Olbermann Special Comment: Waterboarding is Torture (videos)

Dandelion Salad


Keith’s Special Comment on waterboarding and torture.

Added: November 05, 2007


Waterboarding Torture Demonstration at Justice Department (video; over 18 only)

CODEPINK Shows Senator Feinstein Waterboarding (videos; over 18 only)

Mukasey Is (Much) Worse Than Gonzales by John Nichols h/t: DreamFable

Waterboarding Torture Demonstration at Justice Department (video; over 18 only)

This is not easy to watch.  But the world must know waterboarding is torture!  ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad


On Monday November 5th in Washington DC a graphic demostration of “waterboarding” was performed at the Departmnent of Justice in Washington DC
Added: November 05, 2007

CODEPINK Shows Senator Feinstein Waterboarding (videos; over 18 only)

Bush invokes 9/11 to justify torture, domestic spying and war by Patrick Martin

Warning, this film could make you very angry by Robert Fisk

Olbermann: Admin Breaking Laws + Waterboarding Is Torture + Cheney + Giuliani (videos)

Schumer, Feinstein back Mukasey by Andrew Zajac

Action Alert: Do Not Confirm Mukasey!

Waterboarding is Torture… Period + US accused of torture by Ian Munro

The Iraq war has become a disaster that we have chosen to forget By Madeleine Bunting

Dandelion Salad

By Madeleine Bunting
11/05/07 “The Guardian

With the media subdued, governments have not been held to account for the biggest political calamity of our time

‘You think you are innocent, but you’re not,” said the British Muslim suicide bomber in the Channel 4 television drama Britz last week. As the compelling actor Manjinder Virk recited her suicide statement to camera, she went on: thousands of women and children are dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet the governments responsible have been returned to power.

Her assertion sticks in the mind because it goes straight to the heart of how we choose to forget, choose not to understand; and how from such choices it becomes possible to imagine our innocence.

That’s not to say that her own moral choices were defensible – she blew up herself, her beloved brother, fellow Muslims and plenty of women in the crowd – but the challenge even from such a morally flawed character persists. Can we claim innocence of the chaotic violence of Iraq now normalised into the background of our lives? Suicide bombs have long since become routine radio noise. We’re numbed to the atrocities; except for some stalwarts, the initial anti-war activism has been crowded out by other responsibilities. Life goes on, even if in Baghdad it frequently doesn’t.

And to accompany the indifference is the creeping denial of responsibility. Government ministers now talk of Iraq as a tragedy, as if it was a natural disaster and they had no hand in its making. There’s a public revulsion at the violent sectarian struggles best summed up as “a plague on all their houses”, as even the horror gives way to exhaustion.

The irony is that in this great age of communications and saturation media, this is perhaps the most important war to become nigh on impossible to report. Unless the reporter is embedded with the occupation forces, it takes either terrifying courage or extraordinary ingenuity to bring images to our screens of those caught up in the awful maelstrom of this imploded country. Without the human stories that bring people and their suffering so vividly to life, there is little chance of public opinion re-engaging with the biggest political calamity of our time.

The Iraq war represents the end of the media as a major actor in war. In Bosnia journalists stirred western Europe’s conscience with their vivid accounts; these were people we came to understand, recognise and empathise with, and public opinion forced recalcitrant governments to take note and act. It was a lesson not lost on the Kosovans: they ensured the media saw every atrocity, and the coverage was used to secure a comparable outcome to Bosnia – western governments were forced to act. But in Iraq the number of journalists killed (now at least 138) means that this war is near private – the images and people who might make the horror of this war real don’t reach our screens. It’s no longer a war that is accessible to public scrutiny or to democratic engagement.

It may have been Iraqi suspicion of western media that ensured this outcome, but it’s one that serves US interests nicely. The indifference, the exhaustion and the difficulty of reporting leaves the US forces with arguably a freer hand than they have had in any field of operations for decades. While the Americans and the British keep trying to persuade their public that the war is over – a habit initiated by George Bush himself when he announced his pyrrhic victory on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf in May 2003 – they can carry on fighting it. And there are plenty of people only too eager to hope their political leaders are right and that the whole problem of a country they never knew much about just goes away.

All of which makes the achievement of the few who do break through this news blackout all the more remarkable – Ghaith Abdul-Ahad on this paper, and the Guardian’s Emmy-winning film made by an Iraqi doctor on his Baghdad hospital, for example. This week a book is published by another: Dahr Jamail was a mountain guide in Alaska in 2003 who began to take an interest in US foreign policy and ended up picking up his backpack and swapping American mountains for Baghdad and Falluja, driven by a fierce moral imperative that “as a US citizen he was complicit in the devastation of Iraq”. After more than three years of reporting he has post-traumatic stress disorder, but has not lost his conviction that “if the people of the United States had the real story about what their government has done in Iraq, the occupation would already have ended”.

What is chilling about Jamail’s accounts is the routine destructiveness of the US forces; how they demolish nearby homes after a roadside bomb, leave unexploded munitions in the fields of farmers who don’t give information, bulldoze orchards. Livelihoods destroyed, families displaced every day, incubating hatred. One of the worst episodes occurred when Jamail’s friend was caught by chance at prayer time in a mosque when worshippers were shot dead, with children trapped in the mayhem: a holy place desecrated in a US operation. We may know nothing of such routine details of the prosecution of this war, but these are the stories filling the Arabic media. Across the Muslim world they are taken as irrefutable evidence of the humiliation and persecution of their Islamic faith. We can only pretend we don’t understand.

In the meantime, the biggest human displacement crisis in the Middle East for 60 years is unfolding, the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. One in six Iraqis has now been displaced, 60,000 a month are leaving the country, spilling into Syria (1.4 million) and Jordan (750,000). In an uncanny magnification of our own anxieties about migration and the strain on public services, the capacities of these two Middle Eastern countries to educate thousands of traumatised children or provide basic healthcare have been swamped. The UN’s budget for refugees in Syria for 2007 is $700,000 – less than a dollar per person. But this crisis offers no telegenic vistas – people are crammed into the apartments of friends rather than tents on a windy African plain. So it gets even less attention.

Of these millions, Britain confirmed last week that it will take just 500 refugees with a record of having worked for British forces. It drags its feet over offering any more assistance for dispersal, despite requests from the UN; of 123 from Jordan whom the UN have allocated to Britain on tight criteria of having relatives in this country to provide for them, we have so far accepted only three. Britain washes its hands of the consequences of its invasion with the US. There’s a horrible contradiction here: those in power accept no responsibility. Those who might have a sense of responsibility feel utterly powerless.

It can take a generation or more for people to grasp the significance and magnitude of historical events. Facts that are infinitely more bizarre and awful than fiction – as Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine documents – take a long time to be fully absorbed. The Iraq war has been about the abject failure of democracy: governments have not been held to account for a war that has squandered lives, billions in public money and the stability of an entire region with reckless criminality.

· Dahr Jamail speaks at War, Truth and the Media, a conference at the London School of Economics, on November 17 –


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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein (video; over 18 only)

The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (audio link)

Stock Market Mayhem and Bush’s Moral Swamp By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
11/05/07 ”

“It’s scary out there—there’s blood on the streets” anonymous Wall Street trader

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve dropped its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.5% citing ongoing weakness in the housing sector. As expected, the stock market rallied and the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 137 points. Unfortunately, Bernanke’s “low interest” stardust wasn’t enough to buoy the markets through the rest of the week.

On Thursday, the hammer fell. The Dow plummeted 362 points in one afternoon on increasing fears of inflation, a slowdown in consumer spending, a steadily weakening dollar and persistent problems in the credit markets. By day’s end, the Fed was forced to dump another $41 into the banking system to forestall a major breakdown. This is the most money the Fed has pumped into the financial system since 9-11 and it shows how dire the situation really is.

Why do the banks need such a massive infusion of credit if they are as “rock solid” as Bernanke says?

As most people now realize, the mortgage industry is on life-support. Many of the ways that the banks were generating profits have vanished overnight. The “securitization” of debt (mortgages, car loans, credit card debt etc) has ground to a halt. What had been a booming multi-billion dollar per-year business is now a dwindling part of the banks’ revenues. Investors are steering clear of anything even remotely associated to real estate.

Additionally, the banks are holding an estimated $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities and derivatives for which there is currently no market. This is compounded by $350 billion in “off balance sheets” operations—which are collateralized with dodgy long-term mortgage-backed securities—that provide funding for “short-term” asset-backed commercial paper. ASCP has shriveled by $275 billion in the last 10 weeks leaving the banks with gargantuan liabilities. Bernanke was forced to add $41 billion to keep the banking system from slipping beneath the salty brine.

This shows how powerless the Fed really is when it comes to changing the overall direction of the markets. Sure, Bernanke and his buddies in the Plunge Protection Team can goose the market by buying-up futures and boosting the day’s results. But that’s just a short-term fix. In the long run, the Fed has less chance of stopping the market from correcting than it does of stopping a runaway truck by standing in its path. Besides, the Fed cannot purchase the banks bad investments (CDOs, MBSs, or CP) nor can it reflate the multi-trillion dollar the housing bubble. All it can do is provide more cheap credit and hope the problems go away.

So far, the lower rates haven’t even decreased the price of the 30-year mortgage or made refinancing any cheaper. All they’ve done is postpone the inevitable day of reckoning. In truth, they’re just a desperate attempt to perpetuate consumer borrowing while the banks figure out how to offload their enormous debts. That’s what Paulson’s $80 billion “Banker’s Bankruptcy Fund” is really all about; it’s just the repackaging of subprime junk so it can be passed off to credulous investors. Fortunately, the public has “wised up” and isn’t buying into this latest fraud. As a result, the banks have taken another blow to their already-flagging credibility.

In the last two months, the pool of qualified mortgage applicants has contracted, as has the market for massive merger and acquisition deals (private equity). So the banks are probably doing more with the Fed’s $41 billion injection than just beefing up their reserves and issuing new loans. The market analysts at Minyanville.com summed it up like this:

“Banks are taking the liquidity the Fed is forcing out there through the discount window and repos. After using it to shore up the declining value of their assets, they have excess to lend out. Finding no traditional borrowers that want to buy a house or build a factory, the new rules the Fed has set forth allows the banks to pass this liquidity onto their broker dealer subsidiaries in much greater quantities. These broker dealers are lending thus to hedge funds and margin buyers who are speculating in stocks. Remember, the Fed is powerless unless it can find people to borrow the credit it wants them to spend. By definition, the last ones willing to take that credit are the most speculative.”

This is a likely scenario given the fact that the stock market continues to fly-high despite the surge of bad news on everything from the falling dollar to the geopolitical rumblings in the Middle East. Last month, the Fed modified its rules so that the banks could provide resources to their off-balance sheets operations (SIVs and conduits). If the Fed is willing to rubber-stamp that type of monkey-business; then why would they mind if the money was stealthily “back-doored” into the stock market via the hedge funds?

This might explain why the hedge funds account for as much as 40 to 50% of all trading on an average day. It also explains why the stock market overheating.

The charade, of course, cannot go on forever. And it won’t. Rate cuts do not address the underlying problem which is bad investments. The debts must be accounted for and written off. Nothing else will do. That doesn’t mean that Bernanke will suddenly decide to stop savaging the dollar or flushing hundreds of billions of dollars down the investment bank toilet. He probably will. But, eventually, the blow-ups in the housing market will destabilize the financial system and send the banks and over-leveraged hedge funds sprawling. Bernanke’s low interest “giveaway” will amount to nothing.

Bloomberg News ran a story last week which shedsmore light on the jam the banks now find themselves in:

“Banks shut out of the market for short-term loans are finding salvation in a government lending program set up to revive housing during the Great Depression.

Countrywide Financial Corp., Washington Mutual Inc., Hudson City Bancorp Inc. and hundreds of other lenders borrowed a record $163 billion from the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks in August and September as interest rates on asset-backed commercial paper rose as high as 5.6 percent. The government-sponsored companies were able to make loans at about 4.9 percent, saving the private banks about $1 billion in annual interest.”

Whoa. So, now that the credit markets have frozen over, the banks are going to the government with begging bowl in hand? So much for “moral hazard”.

Commercial paper is short-term notes that businesses use for daily operations. Because much of this CP is backed by mortgage-backed securities; the banks have been having trouble rolling it over. (Refinancing) So–unbeknownst to the public–various banks have been borrowing from the government-sponsored Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) so they can cut their losses (or stay afloat?) The FHLB has extended $163 billion of loans to them, which means that the risks that are inherent in supporting “dodgy banks that make bad bets” has been transferred to FHLB’s investors. The danger, of course, is that—when investors find out that FHLB is mixed up with these shaky banks—they are liable to sell their shares and trigger a collapse of the system. This is a good example of the dim-witted strategies that are being used to bail out the banks. There are probably many similar scams underway just beyond the publics’ view.

Citi’s Woes

Over the weekend, Citigroup’s CEO Chuck Prince got the axe. Citigroup, which boasts more than 300,000 staff worldwide, has lost more than 20% of its market value from bad bets in sub-prime mortgages. According to the Times Online: “The Securities and Exchange Commission may investigate whether it improperly juggled its books to hide the full extent of the problem.”

”Juggled” is not a word that is taken lightly on Wall Street where traders are now bracing for another massive sell-off of financial stocks. Mr. Prince won’t be alone in the unemployment line either. He’ll be accompanied by Merrill Lynch’s former boss, Stanley O’ Neal who got the boot last week when his firm reported $8.4 billion in write-downs. Deutsche Bank analysts now “predict that Merrill may write off another $10 billion of losses related to its portfolio of sub-prime debts”. (Times Online) That would wipe out 8 full quarters of earnings and represent the largest loss in Wall Street history.

The news is bleak, bleak, bleak. The systemic rot is appearing everywhere presaging ongoing losses for the financial giants and a long-downward spiral for the markets. The banks are currently under-regulated, over-leveraged and under capitalized. And now the sh** is about to hit the fan.

Former Fed chief Paul Volcker summarized the overall economic situation last week at the second annual summit of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. In his speech he said:

“Altogether, the circumstances seem as dangerous and intractable as I can remember….Boomers are spending like there is no tomorrow. Homeownership has become a vehicle for borrowing and leveraging as much as a source of financial security….. As a Nation we are consuming…about 6% more than we are producing. What holds it all together? – High consumption – high leverage – government deficits – What holds it all together is a really massive and growing flow of capital from abroad. A flow of capital that today runs to more than $2 Billion per day.” The nation is facing “huge imbalances and risks.”

Volcker is right. The country is in a bigger pickle than any time in its 230 year history. The credit storm that was engineered at the Federal Reserve has swept across the planet and is now descending on commercial real estate, credit card debt, and the plummeting bond insurers industry. These are the next shoes to drop and the tremors will be felt throughout the broader economy.


As this article is being written, Reuters is reporting that Citigroup may be forced to write-down as much as $11 billion in subprime mortgage-related losses!

Reuters: “Citigroup announced today significant declines since September 30, 2007 in the fair value of the approximately $55 billion in U.S. sub-prime related direct exposures in its Securities and Banking (S&B) business. Citi estimates that, at the present time, the reduction in revenues attributable to these declines ranges from approximately $8 billion to $11 billion (representing a decline of approximately $5 billion to $7 billion in net income on an after-tax basis).”

Citigroup’s statement indicates a willingness on its part to come clean with its investors but, in fact, they know that the situation is fluid and there’ll be hefty losses in the future. Mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) will continue to be downgraded as time goes by. According to the Financial Times, one banker was having so much difficulty getting a bid on subprime securities; he found the only way he could get rid of them was through “barter. He resorted to using a tactic more normally associated with third world markets than the supposedly sophisticated arena of high finance. ‘Barter is the only thing that works,’ he chuckled, ‘It’s like the Dark Ages’” The article continues:

“Never mind the fact that the risky tranches of subprime-linked debt have fallen 80 per cent since the start of the year; in a sense, such declines are only natural for risky assets in a credit storm. Instead, what is really alarming is that the assets which were supposed to be ultra-safe – namely AAA and AA rated tranches of debt – have collapsed in value by 20% and 50% odd respectively. This is dangerous, given that financial institutions of all stripes have been merrily leveraging up AAA and AA paper in recent years, precisely because it was supposed to be ultra-safe and thus, er, never lose value.” (Financial Times; Gillian Tett)

AAA and AA assets—the top-graded tranches— have already been downgraded by 20% to 50%!?! And the prices are bound to fall even more because there is no market for mortgage-backed securities. This is a banks worst nightmare; an asset that loses value and requires greater capital reserves EVERY DAY. In fact, AAA rated MBSs have dropped 14% in one month. It is truly, death by a thousand cuts.

The US financial system is now buckling beneath the weight of its own excesses. The subprime contagion—which can trace its origins to the massive expansion of credit at the Federal Reserve—has devastated the housing market generating an unprecedented number of foreclosures, record inventory, and a massive multi-trillion dollar equity bubble which is now catastrophically deflating and wiping out much of the mortgage industry in its path. Its effects on the secondary market have been even more devastating where pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds and foreign banks are left holding hundreds of billions of dollars of complex, mortgage-backed securities and subprime-related derivatives which are now destined to be downgraded to pennies on the dollar ravaging once-robust portfolios. The subprime meltdown has been equally damaging to myriad European investment banks and brokerage houses. We’ve seen a wave of bank closings in France, Germany and England which has left investors shell-shocked; triggering capital flight from American markets and supplanting confidence in the US financial system with growing suspicion and rage. Where are the regulators?

According to Bloomberg News, ”European and Asian investors will avoid most US mortgage-backed securities for years without guarantees from government-linked entities creating an enormous drag on the US housing market” Foreign investors believe they were hoodwinked by bonds that were deliberately mis-rated to maximize profits for the investment banks. This may explain why $882 billion has been diverted into Chinese and Indian stock markets in the last month alone.

The biggest losers of all, however, are the financial giants that created most of the abstruse, debt-instruments that are now devouring the system from within. The productive and “wealth creating” components of the economy have been subordinated to a finance-driven model which suddenly derailed due to the abusive expansion of debt. Inevitably, some of the banks that took the greatest risks will be shuttered and trillions of dollars in market capitalization will disappear. They are the victims of their own scam.

Is it possible that anyone with a pulse and a minimal ability to reason couldn’t see the inherent problems of building a humongous financial edifice on the prospect that millions of first-time homeowners with “a bad credit history and no collateral” would pay off there mortgages in a timely and responsible manner?

No. It is not possible. It was completely crazy…..and foreseeable! The real reason that the subprime swindle mushroomed into a humongous economy-busting monster is that the markets are no longer policed by any agency that believes in intervention. The pervasive “free market” ideology rejects the notion of supervision or oversight, and as a result, the markets have become increasingly opaque and unresponsive to rules that may assure their continued credibility or even their ability to function properly.

The “supply side” avatars of deregulation have transformed the world’s most vital and prosperous markets into a huckster’s street-corner shell-game. All regulatory accountability has vanished along with trillions of dollars in foreign investment. What’s left is a flea-market for dodgy loans, dubious over-leveraged equities and “securitized” Triple A-rated garbage.

Let’s hear it for the Reagan Revolution.

What is striking is how the new “structured finance” paradigm replicates a political system which is no longer guided by principle or integrity. It is not coincidental that the same flag that flies over Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib flutters over Wall Street as well. Nor is it accidental that the same system that peddles bogus, subprime tripe to gullible investors also elevates a “waterboarding advocate” to the highest position in the Justice Department. Both phenomena emerge from the same fetid moral swamp—Bush’s America.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Pakistan shakes off US shackles By M K Bhadrakumar

Dandelion Salad

By M K Bhadrakumar
11/05/07 “Asia Times

The pervasive impression is that the impending judgement by the Supreme Court regarding the propriety of President General Pervez Musharraf’s re-election as president of Pakistan for another term prompted the timing of his decision to impose emergency rule last week. The temptation to view the developments in Pakistan through the prism of democracy is almost irresistible.

But democracy is not even a sub-theme in the current world of realpolitik in Pakistan. At best it forms a miniscule part of the story. What emerges beyond doubt is that Musharraf’s move enjoys the support of the top brass of the Pakistan armed forces. Significantly, he signed the proclamation on emergency rule in his capacity as the chief of army staff rather than as the president. He has thereby signaled that the Pakistan armed forces as a whole are backing his move.

It is on occasions such as this that the incomprehensible alchemy of the US-Pakistan relationship fleetingly surfaces. Clearly, it stands to reason that Musharraf took care to consult Washington and Britain before announcing his move. But what was the nature of these consultations?

Musharraf spoke to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday, hardly hours prior to the proclamation of emergency rule. Britain was the prime mover of the Musharraf-Benazir Bhutto rapprochement. Musharraf kept in view the need to assuage British feelings.

Equally, Admiral William Fallon, commander of the US Central Command, was on a visit to Pakistan, and he actually happened to be in the general headquarters of the Pakistan armed forces in Rawalpindi when Musharraf was giving the final touches to his proclamation on emergency rule. The political symbolism was unmistakable.

US reluctantly acquiesces
Fallon did his best to “dissuade” Musharraf from going ahead with his plan, but had to ultimately give in. Fallon apparently warned Musharraf that future American aid for his beleaguered regime might be in jeopardy if the US Congress took a negative view of the rollback of civil liberties in Pakistan. If so, it is obvious that Fallon failed to impress the tough Pakistani top brass. Equally, Musharraf estimated Washington has no choice but to support his regime for the foreseeable future.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the generals in Rawalpindi have done their homework as regards their corporate interests and proceeded to set aside Washington’s unsolicited counsel. Time and again in Pakistan’s history it has appeared that the unequal relationship between the US and Pakistan is far from a one-dimensional tie-up. It would be a mistake to regard Pakistan as a mindless American proxy – which is part of the reason why China and Russia have an abiding interest in that country.

A famous instance arose when, as the then deputy secretary of state in the Bill Clinton administration, Strobe Talbott, narrates in his book Engaging India, his desperate pleas with the Pakistani leadership not to emulate India in exploding a nuclear device in 1998 were simply ignored by the Pakistani generals.

A decade earlier, another Pakistani military strongman, General Zia ul-Haq, simply refused to toe the US line to agree to an Afghan settlement that Washington had worked out with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which would have restored Kabul’s traditional neutrality in the geopolitics of the region. Zia insisted Pakistan’s influence on a future regime in Kabul ought to be predominant.

Thus, in retrospect, it turns out that the former prime minister Bhutto’s abrupt departure for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates last Thursday against the advice rendered by most of her party leaders happened just in time when it dawned on the US and Britain that despite their strong urgings, the generals were hell-bent on the imposition of emergency rule. The US and Britain counseled her to get out of harm’s way and quickly leave the country.

The initial statements of “regret” by the Western capitals, especially Washington, need to be taken with a pinch of salt. To be sure, the US policy toward Pakistan finds itself in a cul-de-sac. Musharraf’s move coincides almost to the hour with the thundering speech by President George W Bush at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think-tank, on Thursday in which he blasted the US Congress for failing to take his “war on terror” not seriously enough, and he went on to compare Osama bin Laden to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin.

Addressing his neo-conservative acolytes, Bush came back to his favorite theme that via his “war on terror”, he was actually waging a global war for democracy and freedom. He compared Islamist “plans to build a totalitarian Islamist empire … stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia” to the Third Reich. He claimed that US-led campaigns have “liberated 50 million people from the clutches of tyranny” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush said the people in the Middle East are “looking to the United States to stand up for them”.

Alas, we knew only a day later that just as Bush was speaking, one of his staunchest allies in his pet global war was squashing democracy and freedom. The US doublespeak becomes all too apparent in the mildly reproachful comment over Musharraf’s move, bordering on resignation, by the US spokesmen. It indicates that Washington’s dealings with the Musharraf regime will continue and normal business will resume once the dust has settled down.

Military ties intact
The statement by the Pentagon spokesman is particularly important for the top brass of the Pakistani armed forces. The spokesman said the development “does not impact our military support for Pakistan … Pakistan is a very important ally in the ‘war on terror’ and he [Secretary of Defense Robert Gates] is closely following the fast-moving developments there”.

Traditionally, it is the opinion of the Pentagon that matters most to the brass in Rawalpindi – and not the perspectives of the State Department or readings by the Central Intelligence Agency. As long as the Pentagon’s support remains intact, as is the case presently, Rawalpindi will be pleased, and Musharraf will continue to enjoy the support of the corps commanders.

At the moment, Musharraf is not looking much beyond the endorsement of the emergency rule by the top brass of the Pakistani armed forces. He doesn’t care for his popularity ratings in Pakistan. And, conceivably, he wouldn’t be particularly flustered by the international reaction either. Musharraf has assessed that the worsening situation in Afghanistan leaves the US with hardly much choice in the matter other than working with the regime that he chooses to head.

Developments in the western Afghan province of Farah (bordering Iran) and the southern province of Kandahar have taken a particularly serious turn lately. The US failed to extract any increased troop commitments at the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her first-ever visit to Kabul on Saturday flatly refused to deploy German troops in the volatile southern provinces of Afghanistan. The new government in Tokyo has cut back on Japan’s involvement by stopping refueling of US ships servicing the war in Afghanistan. The new government in Poland is reviewing its association with Bush’s war.

No need of US advice
Thus, Musharraf knows that the US dependence on him is only likely to deepen in the coming weeks. Besides, Musharraf has succeeded in underscoring in Western capitals that he is the anchor of “stability” in Pakistan. No matter the actual ground reality, he has succeeded in projecting a perceived threat from militants. (The international community has no independent means of verifying these threat perceptions either.)

To a degree, even the reaction by New Delhi – a mild statement of “regret” and a pious hope that “normalcy” will return soon – is an acknowledgement that Musharraf has maintained an overall climate of peace and tranquillity as well as a degree of predictability in relations with India. Western capitals are quite aware of the extreme fluidity of the situation but are literally forced to suspend their disbelief in Musharraf’s claim as the guardian of Pakistan’s stability. What choice do they have?

In the short term, therefore, Musharraf doesn’t have to look over his shoulder any more or listen to irritating Western hectoring about democracy while he goes about resetting the parameters of Pakistan’s political life. He correctly estimates that what matters most is his apparent willingness to wage a strong military campaign against militants; his helping hand in advancing an “intra-Afghan dialogue” involving the Taliban; and his role in the event of Washington deciding on a military showdown with Iran in the coming months.

In sum, Musharraf assesses he has a relatively free hand to press ahead with his political agenda within Pakistan. He must be pretty much fed up with the intrusive attitude adopted by pretentious US functionaries and think-tanks in recent months with regard to Pakistan’s political future. He has a point insofar as there aren’t any real “Pakistan experts” as such that the Bush administration could claim to have. His sense of exasperation was clearly showing in recent weeks that functionaries in the US administration who have no real grasp of the tough lay of the land in Pakistan have been dictating to him democracy lessons. They didn’t even understand that one way or another, historically, Pakistan always remained on the razor’s edge while life moved on.

Washington’s insistence that Bhutto should join his team was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Under tremendous US pressure, Musharraf, seemingly against his gut instincts, acquiesced with the game plan choreographed in Washington. He knows Bhutto is a complex personality. But he also knows she has influential supporters, like US ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, whose antipathies toward Musharraf date to his posting in Kabul.

All the same, within the fortnight since Bhutto’s arrival in Pakistan from exile on October 12, Musharraf has been proved right. The American blueprint for Pakistan’s democratic transformation became stuck in the mud. It was so visible that all could see, especially when Bhutto began trading charges that the establishment was conspiring to kill its future prime minister, and the negotiations between the two sides over fine-tuning their “deal” ground to a halt. The frustrations deepened when Bhutto realized that she was virtually confined to her Karachi home.

Ironically, Musharraf found he could seize the high ground once it began to dawn on Washington that its hare-brained plan to foist Bhutto atop the political heap in Islamabad was simply unworkable. Plainly put, Bhutto was not acceptable to the Pakistani establishment. Washington had no “Plan B”, either.
Musharraf’s agenda
Musharraf struck fast. Now that he has “liberated” himself from the political burden that Washington expected him to carry, he feels free to act on his own terms. This means first and foremost that he will hold both the offices of president and chief of army staff, at least until the elections, whenever they are held (the January date seems unlikely now). He will in all probability expect a new Supreme Court to endorse his re-election as president, which will enable him to be sworn in for another term in office. Musharraf’s overwhelming win in last month’s presidential polls has not yet been ratified by the court.

Musharraf has certainly sized up that Bhutto’s political image has been badly tarnished due to her controversial “deal” with him. It will take a while for her to regain her credibility in popular opinion within Pakistan. From Musharraf’s point of view, therefore, in the short term at least, she is virtually rendered ineffectual as a rallying point of opposition, even assuming that she has the will to act in such a role.

But he may well keep a line of communication open to her. Who knows, he may still have a need for her, but that is something for the future. More important, Musharraf needs to factor that even after the present setback, Washington and London may still not give up hope completely regarding Bhutto’s return to mainstream politics in Pakistan’s leadership structure. The sad reality is that there are no other credible figures in the democratic opposition other than Bhutto who would be prepared in today’s circumstances to play according to the US script.

Meanwhile, Musharraf has virtually decided to continue to rely on the present ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League, which has staunchly resisted Bhutto’s political accommodation. He has chosen not to upset the apple cart. The intelligence agencies feel greatly relieved that the judiciary has been cracked and the dark days of public accountability are over.

Musharraf continues to rely on the resourceful, crafty Choudhury clan for holding fort in Punjab, the heartland of Pakistani politics. His equations with the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), the party of the “Mohajirs” (migrants from India at the time of the partition in 1947), remain intact. MQM leader Altaf Hussain, who lives in exile in London, has mildly distanced himself from the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan, but he pointedly drew attention to the “reasons” behind Musharraf’s decision. Hussain said sections of the judiciary, the legal fraternity and the media exceeded their “rights, traditions and etiquettes”.

The MQM’s support for the regime is important for Musharraf. It ensures that Pakistan’s most populous city of Karachi takes the imposition of emergency in its stride. Again, it is highly possible that some elements of the Islamic parties, such as the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam of Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be co-opted in the coming weeks. Rehman is a valuable link with the militant Islamist camp. The regime has also assessed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan can be endlessly stalled in the new circumstances with a pliant judiciary.

All in all, the chances of an eruption of popular agitation under the leadership of the democratic opposition are almost nil in immediate terms. This is despite the fact that the reasons advanced by Musharraf for imposing emergency rule lack credibility. He can now count on the intelligence agencies to play their traditional role of manipulating a coalition of political forces that will steer the regime successfully past the next parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has hinted elections are unlikely for another year. Musharraf is evidently planning for the long haul.

Who has the last laugh?
When the epitaph of the Bush era in Pakistan’s contemporary history finally gets to be written in a year’s time, there will be a complex, engrossing story to tell. Bush began reasonably well in 2001 by threatening to bomb the daylight out of Pakistan and to dispatch that country to the Stone Age. His threat of shock and awe indeed worked. Musharraf quickly fell in line in the “war on terror”. The world community applauded Bush. But in the process, Musharraf ensured his regime gained international legitimacy.

Also, Musharraf promptly put a price tag on Pakistan’s role in the “war on terror”. He negotiated hard. And he extracted out of the Bush administration in bits and pieces over the past six years a staggering amount of US$10 billion as assistance. That kept the Pakistani economy going, the army well equipped and his support base intact.

Of course, he took care to endear himself and the Pakistan army as an indispensable ally to Bush. As time passed, like a skilful commando, he began walking a fine line – in and out of the “war on terror” – almost unnoticed, as he pleased. Certainly, Bush noticed but had to pretend he didn’t. There was no other option. Bush was preoccupied in Iraq, and Musharraf knew that as well.

In fact, Bush, who once saw Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s soul in his deep blue eyes and liked it, has no choice but to keep insisting he is on a “hunt” with Musharraf in the Hindu Kush. Now, with a much-weakened Bush presidency almost entering a lame-duck phase, it is only natural that Musharraf feels he must look ahead. He will know by now as well as anyone that his number one public liability within Pakistan is his close association with the George W Bush presidency.

But continued US backing remains vital for Musharraf’s regime. How he reconciles the conflicting interests remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. None of Pakistan’s previous military dictators had such mastery over the art of the possible.

M K Bhadrakumar served as a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for over 29 years, with postings including India’s ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998) and to Turkey (1998-2001).

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Pakistan Police Beat Protesting Lawyers + Pakistan Rounds Up Musharraf’s Political Foes + video

Musharraf Suspends Pakistan’s Constitution! Is Bush Next? (videos)

As many as 3,500 detained in Pakistan h/t: CLG

Bolivia: A Democratic Revolution Transforming Society by Adriana Paz

Dandelion Salad

by Adriana Paz
Global Research, November 5, 2007
Socialist Voice, No. 149

Last March Evo Morales, first indigenous president of Bolivia, instituted in his country a loan to be granted to all children under the age of 12 years living in poor rural communities. During the launching event, Morales approached an indigenous boy and asked him, “What are you going to do now with this money?” The little boy answered “I am going to use it to study because I want to become a president of us like you are.”

Such an answer from an indigenous child would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago, since the aspirations of the vast majority of indigenous Bolivians were limited to day-to-day survival. This answer thus reflects one of the major transformations taking place in Bolivian society. The arrival of Evo Morales Ayma to the presidency of the poorest country in South America is unquestionably a victory of the people.

Since election of Morales in 2005, Bolivia has seen many important changes, some more visible than others. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (www.cepr.net), the government’s assertion of control over the oil and gas industry has brought the country major economic gains. Agrarian reform has received a new impulse, as idle and illegally obtained land is returned to landless farmers.

Other less tangible changes can be seen in the strengthening of the indigenous population’s pride, self-esteem, and leadership in a country where for more than 182 years a racist colonial system consigned them to subhuman status, death, and historical oblivion.

These deep changes aim not only to reduce poverty and improve economic performance, but also to transform the nation and break with its colonial and racist past.

Today, the Bolivian state – not the government – is facing a critical crisis of hegemony. According to Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera, the crisis has a double structural dimension. On one hand, the neoliberal model imposed on Bolivia by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Washington in the mid-eighties has failed. On the other hand, he says, the elitist, racist, anti-national and anti-social colonial state has exhausted its resources and stands bankrupt.

Colonial state under attack

With the emergence of a new indigenous popular government, the old colonial system, where skin colour and an indigenous last name were grounds for discrimination and exclusion, is now rapidly collapsing. That in itself is a deep social transformation that some have called a democratic revolution. Moreover, the new government is strongly oriented to the defence of Bolivian national sovereignty, through recovering public control of natural resources and land, as well as self-determination for the various indigenous nations that coexist in Bolivia.

These changes go against the interests of the traditional ruling class. They also resist an imperialist agenda that aims to keep Latin American countries subservient to the U.S. and transnational corporations.

And thanks in large measure to Evo Morales and his party, MAS (Movement Toward Socialism), the neoliberal anti-social project has not been consummated. It is more likely that a new nation will soon be born, rather than the old resurrected. For in the 2005 presidential elections, the vast majority of Bolivians (the excluded ones) supported Morales and said “no more” to the old colonial and neoliberal regime.

Raul Prada Alcoreza, Bolivian sociologist, points out the factors at work:

  • More than 20 years of indigenous popular resistance against neoliberal policies. Since mid-eighties the indigenous movement and in particular the coca growers’ movement has provided the core of resistance to neoliberalism.

  • An historic opportunity for the indigenous population to bring to an end more than 500 years of racism and discrimination.

  • The old system’s decline, which became evident in severe social conflicts such as the Cochabamba Water Wars of 2000 and the so-called Gas War of 2003. Both of these dealt resounding defeats to neoliberalism.

  • The growing trend across Latin America for national liberation from U.S. and neoliberal domination. Notable examples of this trend are countries like Cuba and Venezuela, and social movements throughout the region, such as the landless movement in Brazil and the Zapatistas in Mexico.

The Constituent Assembly: A ship loaded with hopes

Rosario Ricaldi, one of the MAS Constituent Assembly delegates, explains that the assembly’s goal is to draft a new constitution that takes into account historically marginalized sectors such as the indigenous people, respects their territorial and cultural rights, and ends the colonial state. For Ricaldi and other MAS members, the new constitution must end all abuses that discriminate against the original people.

The convening of the Constituent Assembly has given rise to a destabilization campaign and an ethnic confrontation that threaten the process as a whole. After a full year of activity, with various interruptions, the assembly missed its original deadline of August 6, 2007, without any significant achievement.

Since its inception, the Constituent Assembly has been plagued by confrontations with a re-emergent right-wing opposition, organized out of the city of Santa Cruz in the east of Bolivia. In Santa Cruz, the wealthiest province in Bolivia, the indigenous population is a minority, while a strong corporate elite is aligned to the oil and gas multinationals and large agribusiness.

For the first eight months, the assembly was deadlocked over rules of procedure and debate, The opposition demanded a two-thirds majority for all votes as a way to prevent radical measures from being introduced into the new constitution.

Once this impasse was over, a combination of factors soon acted to again stall this process. Initially, when voting began within the assembly’s 21 commissions over what report to present to the assembly as a whole, the MAS party manoeuvred in a few of the key commissions so that, in alliance with some smaller parties, it could essentially present both the majority and minority reports and lock out the right wing.

Then, on July 2, threatening to walk out of the assembly, the Santa Cruz-based right wing launched its proposed statutes for provincial autonomy, warning that the eastern half of the country would reject any constitution that did not incorporate its proposals.

At the same time, and almost out of nowhere, the demand arose to change the country’s capital from La Paz to Sucre (where it had been located until 1898). The protests began in Sucre, supported by the opposition, aiming to create a diversion and heighten tensions. Ricaldi notes that right wing benefits from moving the capital to a city closer to its eastern base and away from the combative social movements predominantly based in the country’s west. In response, around 1.5 million people mobilized in La Paz on July 20 to defend its status as the capital.

Congress has set December 6 as the new deadline for the Constituent Assembly’s decisions; the measure limits and restricts its powers. The Assembly’s sessions are now proceeding in conditions of instability, since it is constantly threatened by rightist destabilization.

For a pluri-national state

Perhaps the most contentious issue before the Constituent Assembly is the MAS proposal to define Bolivia as a state that is not merely multicultural but pluri-national. This concept includes autonomy of indigenous communities, proposed as a counterweight to the right wing’s regional autonomy.

Regional or provincial autonomy is a proposal presented by the right-wing opposition. The opposition movements are basically composed by elites of associations of private entrepreneurs and Civic Committees located in the eastern half of the country.

The elite’s regional-autonomy proposal, as Bolivian sociologist and political analyst Prada Alcoreza has noted, is just a pretext to maintain their privileges and control over the land and resources, while subordinating the indigenous, campesino and working-class population through institutional corruption and racism.

By contrast, the pluri-national state recognizes and acknowledges all the indigenous nations that co-exist in Bolivia, with equal status.

Juvenal Quispe, Bolivian journalist and writer, explains that a pluri-national state would create a legal and constitutional framework for a nation of nations, with a single state and territorial autonomy at various levels. The peoples of Bolivia now have an historic opportunity to build their future by going beyond the model of the Eurocentric political theories based on a past of colonialism, exploitation and discrimination, he says.

The elites are responding, as in Venezuela, with a mix of racism and fear, calling for “defense of democratic institutions” from attack by the “authoritarian government” of the “savage and ignorant Indians.”

The right-wing de-stabilization campaign in Bolivia is coordinated in large part by the U.S. embassy. The Right’s tactic of fomenting ethnic and regional confrontation bears a worrisome resemblance to recent bloody ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, where the new U.S. ambassador, Philip Goldberg, was previously posted. The same tactic divide-and-rule tactic lies at the heart of U.S. strategy in Iraq.

Imperialism will not surrender its “back yard” without a fight. The U.S. continues its energetic support of right-wing opposition groups and allies in Bolivia and other dissenting Latin American countries, with the threat of direct military intervention never far away. These efforts are backed up by coordinated media campaigns in North America seeking to demonize Latin American liberation movements and prepare public opinion for intervention.

Agrarian reform

The pluri-national state and the autonomy reforms, whether proposed by the indigenous or the elite, hinge on ownership and control of land. According to Silvestre Saisari, leader of the Landless Movement, “Land is a centre of power. Whoever has the land has the power. We proposed the re-distribution of the land so the power of the elite will be affected.”

The opposition, composed of diverse elite and corporate interests, and the so-called “civic committees” in the east, are working to destroy the Constituent Assembly and government to preserve their control over the land.

Nevertheless, outside of the arena of the Constituent Assembly, the government has achieved amazing progress in conducting a real agrarian reform. In November 2006 the MAS government passed a reform bill for the effective distribution of unused land to landless farmers.

In Bolivia the 70% of the land belongs to the 5% of the population, an injustice that has fuelled protest since Bolivia’s revolution of the 1950s.

An agrarian law originally passed in 1996, after many years of massive and historical marches demanding recognition of indigenous land, authorized the state to expropriate lands not being used productively. However, as journalist Pablo Stefanoni notes, in practice the titles given to indigenous communities allowed only one owner, causing internal disputes, breaking with the indigenous communal land practices, and disrupting traditional land-based cultural organization.

The old agrarian law also allowed landowners to keep their unused lands if they paid a 1% property tax on the land’s value – and landowners themselves determined this value.

The government has now legislated the necessary changes to the old law, and its Land and Territory commission has announced that in the next few weeks the principles of this law will be elevated to the constitutional level.

According to Miguel Urioste, president of Tierra Foundation in Bolivia and long-time advocate of agrarian reform, the new regulations grant government agencies power to identify large land estates and re-distribute them without compensation based on the soil’s productivity and the needs of the landless campesino and indigenous people.

This historical achievement was possible thanks not only to the political will of the Morales administration, but also to the pressure and mobilizations of the social movements that marched from different regions of the countryside to La Paz demanding Senate approval of the bill.

Unlike with past marches, this time participants were not met in La Paz by military and police bullets and tear gas, but by communal kitchens with food and water for the protesters.

The invisible effects of the revolution

Bolivia’s first presidency by an indigenous person is a revolutionary fact that is modifying public opinions on politics and state authority. “It’s a feeling of a political takeover by the people” says Beatriz Vaca, a campesina woman who now works at the micro-credit vice-ministry. “Being an indigenous person is ceasing to have a negative connotation. On the contrary, it is becoming a source of pride both in and out of the country,” adds Vaca.

The trend is toward a revolutionary process that transforms society and its power relationships. The people have an opportunity to build a new and revolutionary form of power.

Of every 10 people in Bolivia, almost seven are extremely poor; of those seven people, four are indigenous. As President, Morales represents not only indigenous people but the poor that have taken over the government.

In an interview in Bolivia Rising blog (www.boliviarising.blogspot.com), Mario Guzman Saldaña, Bolivian ambassador in the USA, points out that President Morales and Chancellor David Choquehuanca and other indigenous leaders in the government are teaching those of us who are not indigenous how to live and understand things, in different way.

First, Saldaña says, “There is a clear decision, through the people, their government, and the state, to change the direction of our history – for example, through the recovery of our natural resources.” The other key factor, Saldaña says, is to understand that humans must establish a different relationship with nature.

The president and the chancellor, says Saldaña, often speak of ”living well,” which from the indigenous point of view means an open relationship with nature, considering even trees and rocks as important beings. Rituals and ceremonies have been introduced that previously had been performed only in indigenous communities.

When the vice-president, Alvaro Garcia Linera, was preparing to visit the United States, an Aymara ceremony was held for him in the presidential palace – for the first time in history – blessing his journey and bestowing good wishes upon his mission. Also President Morales, as one of his first acts upon nationalizing an industry, made a special offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Colonialism and neoliberalism tried to relegate the indigenous world to the trash can of history. Now through its growing influence, a new renaissance is around the corner.

This influence can also be seen in other political developments such the new water ministry and new water law which respects indigenous’ ancestral and traditional ways of water management. The judicial system now acknowledges the traditional communal justice system.

A ray of hope

Exciting economical and political developments are taking place in the Andes. Yet they are encountering strong opposition that threatens to overturn what has been achieved until now. However one thing is certain: despite threat, delays, and problems, the courageous Bolivian people won’t take a step backward after gaining all they’ve conquered up to now.

Bolivia’s unique democratic revolution is a ray of hope and a breath of fresh air for all the excluded ones in the world. Yet this dream for freedom and dignity is still a fragile process under constant attack – a process that deserves external support and global solidarity.

Adriana Paz is a Bolivian activist, journalist and a founder member of the Canada-Bolivia Solidarity Committee. For more information about Bolivian solidarity activity in Canada, email

Global Research Articles by Adriana Paz

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca 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.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Adriana Paz, Socialist Voice, No. 149, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7258

The killing of Russian journalists (video; March 2007)

Dandelion Salad


Oksana Chelysheva: the world is ignoring war crimes in Chechnya.


Note: interview was shot 03/07

Oksana Chelysheva is a journalist at the Russian Chechen Information Agency, which specialises in reporting on Chechnya. She is also a leading member of the Russian Chechen Friendship Society, a human rights organisation that co-publishes the newspaper Pravo-zashchita (“Rights Protection”).
Added: November 05, 2007


Al Jazeera: Listening Post: Blackwater (videos)

Al Jazeera: The Listening Post: Anna Politkovskya (videos; China)

In Russia, suspects arrested in Politkovskaya murder

Anna Politkovskaya/journalist

Al Jazeera: Tense situation on the US Mexico border (video)

Dandelion Salad


George Bush may have failed to pass major reforms this year to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. But with the countdown underway to the 2008 presidential election it’s an issue that’s already dominating campaigning. Some critics are arguing that the United States is busy protecting borders abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan – but neglecting their own at home, as Shaun Devitt reports.
Added: November 05, 2007


Another Scheme To Piss Money Away by Guadamour

Immigration Policy by Guadamour

A Common Sense Approach by Guadamour

Border Reality by Guadamour

The Forgotten Victims of the California Wildfires: Undocumented Migrant Workers (link)

Blackwater’s run for the border by Eilene Zimmerman

Police and Protesters Clash at World Bank, IMF (video)

Impeach by Davis Fleetwood (video)

Go to Write To Congress and put in your zip code, then click on your congressperson and find the phone number and/or email. ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad


Spread this around:

in English:

en Espanol:

The Challenge for students video (over 2.2 million hits):

say hello to me on facebook:
or on myspace:

New logo design by Manila Ryce:

NO CURE FOR THAT (read/ write/ get creative):


Added: November 05, 2007


Live call-in Monday: Dennis on impeachment

Dennis Kucinich for President
Nov. 5, 2007

Dennis will host a live, nationwide conference call on Monday, November 5th, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), to announce what will be happening in the House of Representatives this week regarding the Cheney impeachment resolution – and to ask for your help.

The call-in number is (641) 715-3300. When the operator asks for an access code, key in 324341#. The call is open to all interested citizens.


Phone Numbers for Impeachment CoSponsers of HR333

Kucinich Campaign update 11-05-07 with Dennis on Impeachment (video)

Dance Dance Revolution: Don’t Draft Gore by Manila Ryce (video)

Dennis Kucinich: Democracy For America straw poll (videos) Vote now, poll ends 11.05.07 at midnight

Thunderbolts Of The Gods (video)

Dandelion Salad

Note: replaced video Dec. 16, 2012

RathausCafe· Dec 25, 2011

Challenge yourself, your peers, your teachers.  Participate in a revolution in science and human evolution.  Watch this film and in an hour know more than most NASA scientists about the fundamental force that forms and sustains the universe (summary below).

Continue reading

Pakistan Police Beat Protesting Lawyers + Pakistan Rounds Up Musharraf’s Political Foes + video

Dandelion Salad

By Augustine Anthony
Go to Original

Monday 05 November 2007

Islamabad – Pakistan police baton-charged lawyers protesting against President Pervez Musharraf’s emergency rule and continued to detain his opponents on Monday, despite sharp criticism from ally Washington of the clampdown.

Declaring an emergency on Saturday, General Musharraf cited spiraling militancy and hostile judges to justify his action and imposed reporting curbs on the media in a bid to stop outrage spilling onto the streets.

Police baton-charged and scuffled with dozens of lawyers protesting outside the High Court in the economic capital, Karachi, lawyers said. One officer said up to 30 lawyers had initially been detained. Several others were detained later.

“We are not scared of these arrests. We will continue our fight, come what may,” Abdul Hafeez, a Karachi lawyer, told Reuters as police shoved him into a car.

The Karachi Bar Association says its president, Iftikhar Javed Qazi, was among those arrested.

The arrests came after a main Islamist opposition party, Jamaat-e-Islami, said authorities detained 600-700 of its supporters in southern and central provinces overnight.

Authorities had already arrested 400-500 political opponents and opposition lawyers as a “preventive” measure.

Pakistan shares fell around 2.6 percent in early Monday trading, compounding losses incurred last week as talk of impending emergency rule swirled.

Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, has also suspended the constitution.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced disappointment with Musharraf in terms seldom heard before from U.S. officials more accustomed to praising the Pakistani leader’s support in the battle against al Qaeda.

“The United States has never put all of its chips on Musharraf,” Rice said, urging Pakistan to rejoin the road to democracy and warning that U.S. aid to its ally was under review.

Washington has given Islamabad around $10 billion over the last five years.

More Protests Planned

Despite the detentions, a lawyers’ movement that led the fight against Musharraf when he tried to sack the country’s top judge earlier this year, was planning protests in front of courts in most major cities.

Lawyers, journalists, opposition politicians, and ordinary Pakistanis said they believed Musharraf’s main motive in declaring emergency rule was to pre-empt the Supreme Court invalidating his re-election as president last month.

“Many people in Pakistan believe that it has nothing to do with stopping terrorism, and it has everything to do with stopping a court verdict that was coming against him,” former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said on Sunday.

The Court had been due to reconvene on Monday to determine Musharraf’s right to have stood for re-election while still army chief. But most judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, have been sacked. He has been replaced by a Musharraf loyalist.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan’s security has deteriorated sharply since July, when commandos stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad to crush a Taliban-style movement.

Since then nearly 800 people have been killed in militant-linked violence, which has included more than 23 suicide attacks.

Morale in the security forces is low.

On Sunday, a Pakistani Taliban group freed 211 soldiers humiliatingly captured on August 30. They were exchanged for 25 prisoners held by the authorities, intelligence officials said.

While the United States wants Pakistan to go ahead with elections, which had been due in January, it does not want to jeopardize counter-terrorism efforts.

Prime Minister Aziz said that Pakistan was committed to holding elections, but he could not say when. He noted that under the terms of an emergency, parliament’s term, due to expire this month, could be extended for a year.

Nawaz Sharif, the exiled prime minister Musharraf deposed in 1999, said he should quit for the sake of the country.

But Humayun Ansari, a 54-year-old business professor in Karachi, said that might make the situation even worse.

“That would be an invitation for real, real trouble,” Ansari said.

What Bhutto, who heads the largest opposition party, does next could be crucial.

Musharraf allowed Bhutto back from eight years of self-imposed exile last month by granting her immunity against prosecution in old corruption cases.

Before Musharraf proclaimed emergency rule there had been talk that the two could share power after the elections, so long as he quit the army.

Pakistan Rounds Up Musharraf’s Political Foes

By Jane Perlez and Danid Rohdel
The New York Times
Go to Original
Monday 05 November 2007

Islamabad, Pakistan – The government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, making no concessions a day after seizing emergency powers, rounded up leading opposition figures and said Sunday that parliamentary elections could be delayed for as long as a year.

Security forces were reported to have detained about 500 opposition party figures, lawyers and human rights advocates on Sunday, and about a dozen privately owned television news stations remained off the air. International broadcasters, including the BBC and CNN, were also cut off.

The crackdown, announced late Saturday night after General Musharraf suspended the Constitution, was clearly aimed at preventing public demonstrations that political parties and lawyers were organizing for Monday.

“They are showing zero tolerance for protest,” said Athar Minallah, a lawyer and a former minister in the Musharraf government.

In Islamabad, police forces continued to block the Parliament and Supreme Court buildings. But the day was mostly quiet, there was no formal curfew, and most people went about their business as usual. Several small protests were broken up, including one involving two dozen people who scuffled with the police.

Police officers armed with tear gas broke up a meeting at the headquarters of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission in Lahore and took dozens of people away in police vans, including elderly women, schoolteachers and about 20 lawyers, according to people at the meeting. In all, about 80 lawyers were detained, and many others who faced arrest warrants remained in hiding, according to members of a nationwide lawyer’s lobby that has grown increasingly influential as an anti-Musharraf voice.

The head of the human rights commission, and one of Pakistan’s most prominent democratic figures, Asma Jahangir, was placed under house arrest on Saturday night. Among others arrested were Javed Hashmi, the acting president of the political party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and workers of the political party of the opposition leader, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Ms. Bhutto remained in her Karachi home on Sunday.

Despite repeated warnings by the United States and other Western nations over the past several days, the Musharraf government also appeared set to put off parliamentary elections that had been scheduled for January. At a news conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the government was holding internal discussions on the future of the elections. “We are still deliberating,” he said. “In an emergency the Parliament could give itself one year.”

As the Bush administration has seen General Musharraf, one of its closest allies in fighting terrorism, become increasingly unpopular with the Pakistani public in the past several months, American officials have urged the general to abandon his military post and hold fair elections to bolster his standing. But even though he promised from time to time to step down as Pakistan’s military leader while remaining as president, he never did so.

His decision to suspend the Constitution and fire the Supreme Court was taken days before the court was due to decide whether his re-election on Oct. 6 was valid. A close aide to General Musharraf said the Pakistani leader had decided to declare an emergency when he was told last week by a Supreme Court justice that the court would rule within days that he was ineligible to continue serving as president. The ruling would have been unanimous, according to the aide.

A government spokesman, Tariq Azim Khan, when asked Sunday why 500 people had been arrested, said the arrests were “preventive measures” because the people presented “a threat to future law and order.”

Ms. Bhutto returned to Karachi from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates hours after emergency rule was imposed. Leaders of her party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, had said she would fly to Islamabad on Sunday to hold talks with other opposition parties on how to proceed. But Ms. Bhutto did not show up here.

In interviews with foreign broadcast outlets, she called on the Musharraf government to lift what she called “martial law” and to hold elections.

Sympathizers of Ms. Bhutto, who came back to Pakistan with the backing of the United States and the specific mandate of bringing a democratic face to Pakistan, said her options for influencing the situation were limited.

Ms. Bhutto’s potential to rally large numbers of demonstrators, her most potent weapon, was now in severe trouble, said Najem Sethi, the editor in chief of The Daily Times. Organizing large protests under emergency rule, and after the bomb attack on her arrival procession Oct. 18 that killed 140 people, would be very difficult for her, he said.

“She will be very critical,” Mr. Sethi said. “But she is not going to participate in protests. She’s going to make a token representation. Behind the scenes she will work with the government for election as soon as possible.” Enver Baig, a senior leader of her party, said that the group’s strategy in the immediate future would be announced Monday.

Among the lawyers arrested was the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Aitzaz Ahsan, who has opposed General Musharraf in legal arguments before the Supreme Court. Mr. Ahsan led the protests last spring over the firing of the Supreme Court Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

A legal colleague of Mr. Ahsan’s, Ayesha Tammy Haq, waited outside the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, the garrison city adjacent to the capital, to see Mr. Ahsan on Sunday. “If you want to take the country away from Talibanization, these are the people who can do it, the secular middle class,” Ms. Haq said.

One of General Musharraf’s main justifications for suspending the Constitution and firing the members of the Supreme Court was the need to combat extremists sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. In his address, he blamed the Supreme Court for hampering the government’s antiterror efforts by releasing terror suspects.

Even though the government was doing all it could to prevent public demonstrations by the legal profession, lawyers said they had other strategies to undermine the emergency rule.

An effort would be made to persuade lawyers not to appear before any judges who had agreed to be sworn in as judges under the emergency decree, said Mr. Minallah, the lawyer and former government minister.

Further, two thirds of the judges in the high courts had resigned or were not invited to be sworn in again under the emergency laws, said Feisal Naqvi, a lawyer who was at the raided meeting. Only 5 of the Supreme Court’s 17 judges agreed to take a new oath of office on Sunday morning, Mr. Naqvi said.

At the government news conference in Islamabad, Prime Minister Aziz spoke further about controls on the news media that were reported Saturday night. Broadcasters had said that the government had issued orders that journalists who brought “ridicule or disrepute” to General Musharraf and other officials could face up to three years in prison. On Sunday, Mr. Aziz said that the government would meet with television broadcasters to work out a “code of conduct.”

Pakistani journalists, proud of the dozen or so privately owned news channels that have flourished in the last three years, said Sunday they would refuse to knuckle under. “We will resist by not institutionally accepting this,” said Talat Hussein, the director of news and current affairs at Aaj TV.

After a meeting of the Federal Union of Journalists here, the president of the Islamabad Press Club, Afzal Butt, said the press would boycott government functions and briefings on Monday.

Earlier, the director of the Aaj channel, Wamiq Zuberi, said a magistrate accompanied by five buses of gun-toting police officers showed up at the studios on Saturday night and tried to confiscate an outdoor broadcasting van. The magistrate did not have a warrant and the workers at the studio stood their ground, forcing the officials to leave empty-handed, Mr. Zuberi said.

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


TPMtv: The Devil You Know


Over the weekend President Pervez Musharraf declared a State of Emergency in Pakistan, instituting martial law, suspending the constitution, and firing the chief justice of the supreme court. Police have also begun rounding up scores of lawyers, judges, and activists, and the state has taken control of many of the private television stations and raided newspaper offices. This puts the Bush administration in a nearly impossible bind: oppose a Musharraf dictatorship or continue to support a leader who has been one of America’s lone allies in the region in waging the war on terror. All this under the specter of a nuclear power teetering on the brink of failed statehood.
Added: November 05, 2007


Musharraf Suspends Pakistan’s Constitution! Is Bush Next? (videos)

Sanders Votes Against Global Warming Bill By Erin Kelly + Interview (link)

Dandelion Salad

Truthout.org Interview with Bernie Sanders

By Erin Kelly
Burlington Free Press
Go to Original

Friday 02 November 2007

Washington – Sen. Bernie Sanders voted Thursday to oppose a sweeping global warming bill because he does not believe it is strong enough to prevent catastrophic climate change by the middle of this century.

“This bill is in fact a step forward, but we have a very long way to go to produce a bill that will truly reduce global warming and reflect what the scientific community tells us needs to be done,” the independent senator said after the vote by a key Senate panel.

The legislation, by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; and John Warner, R-Va., narrowly survived a 4-3 vote by members of a global warming subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Sanders voted with two Republican members against the bill that would reduce global warming emissions from power plants, factories and motor vehicles by about 50 percent to 60 percent by 2050.

The bill, expected to come to a vote of the full Senate committee this month, poses a dilemma for Sanders and his allies in the environmental community. It is seen as the first major effort by Congress to fight global warming, but it falls short of the goals scientists say must be achieved to stop widespread drought, flooding and other devastating climate change.

“This bill is too weak in a number of ways,” Sanders said. “Number one and most importantly, it does not reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, which the scientific community is telling us very clearly must be done for us to have even a 50-50 chance of keeping the planet from catastrophe. The bill would lower emissions by up to 63 percent. But that’s just not good enough.”

Sanders also objected to the legislation because it would allow new coal-fired power plants to be built. Coal-fired plants are a major contributor to global warming, many scientists say.

The senator is concerned that the bill offers no guaranteed funding for clean energy sources such as solar and wind. The bill offers subsidies to the coal industry to develop cleaner coal-burning technology and to the automobile industry to re-tool plants to create more fuel-efficient cars.

“There are a lot of politics that are going on here,” Sanders said. “Coal is an important industry in Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Virginia and other states. So the coal industry is very powerful here in Washington. The solar and wind industries don’t have that kind of clout.”

Sanders said he would work with other senators to try to improve the bill before it comes before the full environment committee. He said he does not expect it to reach the Senate floor before next year.

Sanders won approval for one of the nine amendments he offered to strengthen the bill. The amendment requires automakers to produce vehicles that get an average of 35 miles per gallon in order for auto plants to qualify for federal aid to re-tool.

Sanders’ vote to oppose the bill drew praise from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

“Senators Lieberman and Warner deserve credit for pushing action on global warming, but Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders deserves the highest praise for not supporting the bill, which does more to support corporate welfare than it does to reduce global warming pollution,” the group said in a written statement Thursday.

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Noun + Verb + 9/11 + Iran = Democrats’ Defeat? By Frank Rich

Dandelion Salad

By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 04 November 2007

When President Bush started making noises about World War III, he only confirmed what has been a Democratic article of faith all year: Between now and Election Day he and Dick Cheney, cheered on by the mob of neocon dead-enders, are going to bomb Iran.

But what happens if President Bush does not bomb Iran? That is good news for the world, but potentially terrible news for the Democrats. If we do go to war in Iran, the election will indeed be a referendum on the results, which the Republican Party will own no matter whom it nominates for president. But if we don’t, the Democratic standard-bearer will have to take a clear stand on the defining issue of the race. As we saw once again at Tuesday night’s debate, the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, does not have one.

The reason so many Democrats believe war with Iran is inevitable, of course, is that the administration is so flagrantly rerunning the sales campaign that gave us Iraq. The same old scare tactic – a Middle East Hitler plotting a nuclear holocaust – has been recycled with a fresh arsenal of hyped, loosey-goosey intelligence and outright falsehoods that are sometimes regurgitated without corroboration by the press.

Mr. Bush has gone so far as to accuse Iran of shipping arms to its Sunni antagonists in the Taliban, a stretch Newsweek finally slapped down last week. Back in the reality-based community, it is Mr. Bush who has most conspicuously enabled the Taliban’s resurgence by dropping the ball as it regrouped in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Administration policy also opened the door to Iran’s lethal involvement in Iraq. The Iraqi “unity government” that our troops are dying to prop up has more allies in its Shiite counterpart in Tehran than it does in Washington.

Yet 2002 history may not literally repeat itself. Mr. Cheney doesn’t necessarily rule in the post-Rumsfeld second Bush term. There are saner military minds afoot now: the defense secretary Robert Gates, the Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen, the Central Command chief William Fallon. They know that a clean, surgical military strike at Iran could precipitate even more blowback than our “cakewalk” in Iraq. The Economist tallied up the risks of a potential Shock and Awe II this summer: “Iran could fire hundreds of missiles at Israel, attack American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, organize terrorist attacks in the West or choke off tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s oil windpipe.”

Then there’s the really bad news. Much as Iraq distracted America from the war against Al Qaeda, so a strike on Iran could ignite Pakistan, Al Qaeda’s thriving base and the actual central front of the war on terror. As Joe Biden said Tuesday night, if we attack Iran to stop it from obtaining a few kilograms of highly enriched uranium, we risk facilitating the fall of the teetering Musharraf government and the unleashing of Pakistan’s already good-to-go nuclear arsenal on Israel and India.

A full-scale regional war, chaos in the oil market, an overstretched American military pushed past the brink – all to take down a little thug like Ahmadinejad (who isn’t even Iran’s primary leader) and a state, however truculent, whose defense budget is less than 1 percent of America’s? Call me a Pollyanna, but I don’t think even the Bush administration can be this crazy.

Yet there is nonetheless a method to all the mad threats of war coming out of the White House. While the saber- rattling is reckless as foreign policy, it’s a proven winner as election-year Republican campaign strategy. The real point may be less to intimidate Iranians than to frighten Americans. Fear, the only remaining card this administration still knows how to play, may once more give a seemingly spent G.O.P. a crack at the White House in 2008.

Whatever happens in or to Iran, the American public will be carpet-bombed by apocalyptic propaganda for the 12 months to come. Mr. Bush has nothing to lose by once again using the specter of war to pillory the Democrats as soft on national security. The question for the Democrats is whether they’ll walk once more into this trap.

You’d think the same tired tactics wouldn’t work again after Iraq, a debacle now soundly rejected by a lopsided majority of voters. But even a lame-duck president can effectively wield the power of the bully pulpit. From Mr. Bush’s surge speech in January to Gen. David Petraeus’s Congressional testimony in September, the pivot toward Iran has been relentless.

Reinforcements are arriving daily. Dan Senor, the former flack for L. Paul Bremer in Baghdad, fronted a recent Fox News special, “Iran: The Ticking Bomb,” a perfect accompaniment to the Rudy Giuliani campaign that is ubiquitous on that Murdoch channel. The former Bush flack Ari Fleischer is a founder of Freedom’s Watch, a neocon fat-cat fund that has been spending $15 million for ads supporting the surge and is poised to up the ante for Iran war fever.

There are signs that the steady invocation of new mushroom clouds is already having an impact as it did in 2002 and 2003. A Zogby poll last month found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) now supports a pre-emptive strike on Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

In 2002 Senators Clinton, Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards and Chris Dodd all looked over their shoulders at such polls. They and the party’s Congressional leaders, Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, voted for the Iraq war resolution out of the cynical calculation that it would inoculate them against charges of wussiness. Sure, they had their caveats at the time. They talked about wanting “to give diplomacy the best possible opportunity” (as Mr. Gephardt put it then). In her Oct. 10, 2002, speech of support for the Iraq resolution on the Senate floor, Mrs. Clinton hedged by saying, “A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war.”

We know how smart this strategic positioning turned out to be. Weeks later the Democrats lost the Senate.

This time around, with the exception of Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidates seem to be saying what they really believe rather than trying to play both sides against the middle. Only Mrs. Clinton voted for this fall’s nonbinding Kyl-Lieberman Senate resolution, designed by its hawk authors to validate Mr. Bush’s Iran policy. The House isn’t even going to bring up this malevolent bill because, as Nancy Pelosi has said, there has “never been a declaration by a Congress before in our history” that “declared a piece of a country’s army to be a terrorist organization.”

In 2002, the Iraq war resolution passed by 77 to 23. In 2007, Kyl-Lieberman passed by 76 to 22. No sooner did Mrs. Clinton cast her vote than she started taking heat in Iowa. Her response was to blur her stand. She abruptly signed on as the sole co- sponsor of a six-month-old (and languishing) bill introduced by the Virginia Democrat Jim Webb forbidding money for military operations in Iran without Congressional approval.

In Tuesday’s debate Mrs. Clinton tried to play down her vote for Kyl-Lieberman again by incessantly repeating her belief in “vigorous diplomacy” as well as the same sound bite she used after her Iraq vote five years ago. “I am not in favor of this rush for war,” she said, “but I’m also not in favor of doing nothing.”

Much like her now notorious effort to fudge her stand on Eliot Spitzer’s driver’s license program for illegal immigrants, this is a profile in vacillation. And this time Mrs. Clinton’s straddling stood out as it didn’t in 2002. That’s not because she was the only woman on stage but because she is the only Democratic candidate who has not said a firm no to Bush policy.

That leaves her in a no man’s – or woman’s – land. If Mr. Bush actually does make a strike against Iran, Mrs. Clinton will be the only leading Democrat to have played a cameo role in enabling it. If he doesn’t, she can no longer be arguing in the campaign crunch of fall 2008 that she is against rushing to war, because it would no longer be a rush. Her hand would be forced.

Mr. Biden got a well-deserved laugh Tuesday night when he said there are only three things in a Giuliani sentence: “a noun and a verb and 9/11.” But a year from now, after the public has been worn down by so many months more of effective White House propaganda, “America’s mayor” (or any of his similarly bellicose Republican rivals) will be offering voters the clearest possible choice, however perilous, about America’s future in the world.

Potentially facing that Republican may be a Democrat who is not in favor of rushing to war in Iran but, now as in 2002, may well be in favor of walking to war. In any event, she will not have been a leader in making the strenuous case for an alternative policy that defuses rather than escalates tensions with Tehran.

Noun + verb + 9/11 – also Mr. Bush’s strategy in 2004, lest we forget – would once again square off against a Democratic opponent who was for a pre-emptive war before being against it.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Dems Philly Debate (videos; links)

Kucinich: Drexel U Debate + Post-debate Interview (videos)

Targeting Iran – Talk by David Barsamian (videos; updated)

Dandelion Salad


Run time: 49:15 min

Part I of a talk by David Barsamian, host and producer of Alternative Radio (www.alternativeradio.org) and author of “Targeting Iran” given October 28, 2007 at Town Hall Seattle.
Added: November 04, 2007

Part II

Targeting Iran – Interview


Run time: 27:18 min

Interview with David Barsamian, host and producer of Alternative Radio (www.alternativeradio.org) and author of “Targeting Iran”
Added: October 28, 2007


President Eisenhower warns the U.S. (vid)

Kucinich Campaign update 11-05-07 with Dennis on Impeachment (video)