Impeachment: No More Investigations Please! by David Swanson

Dandelion Salad

by David Swanson
Global Research, January 26, 2008
After Downing Street

Kidnapping innocent people, denying justice to prisoners, torturing, murdering, circumventing U.S. and international law…

In a December 31, 2007, editorial, the New York Times faulted the current president and vice president of the United States for kidnapping innocent people, denying justice to prisoners, torturing, murdering, circumventing U.S. and international law, spying in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and basing their actions on “imperial fantasies.”

Bush’s and Cheney’s crimes stand open on the table before us. Their lies about Iraqi ties to al Qaeda are on videotape and in writing, and they continue to make them to this day. Their claims about Iraqi weapons have been shown in every detail to have been, not mistakes, but lies. Their threats to and lies about Iran are on videotape. Bush being warned about Katrina and claiming he was not are on videotape. Bush lying about illegal spying and later confessing to it are on videotape. A federal court has ruled that spying to be a felony. The Supreme Court has ruled Bush and Cheney’s system of detentions unconstitutional. Torture, openly advocated for by Bush and Cheney and their staffs, is documented by victims, witnesses, and public photographs. Torture was always illegal and has been repeatedly recriminalized under Bush and Cheney. Bush has reversed laws with signing statements. Those statements are posted on the White House website, and a GAO report found that with 30 percent of Bush’s signing statements in which he announces his right to break laws, he has in fact proceeded to break those laws. For these and many other offenses, no investigation is needed because no better evidence is even conceivable. And rather than taking three months, the impeachment of Cheney or Bush could be completed in a day.

But the investigations that Congress has pursued at its glacial pace over the past 12 months, while thousands upon thousands died, have produced another impeachable offense, the refusal to comply with subpoenas. That is what President Richard Nixon did; and his refusal to comply with subpoenas constituted the offense cited in one of the three Articles of Impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974 as warranting “impeachment and trial, and removal from office.”

Bush and Cheney are claiming executive privilege. Nixon also tried that one. It didn’t work then; and it won’t work now. Condoleezza Rice is claiming, with more frankness, that she’s just not inclined to comply. Even Nancy Pelosi ought to understand by now that the removal of the threat of impeachment is what empowers the White House to ignore subpoenas, and that the threat of impeaching the White House for its stonewalling would break down the wall even before we reached impeachment.

And Bush and Cheney have gone further by announcing on July 19, 2007, that the Justice Department will not enforce any contempt of Congress proceedings. So, that alternative to impeachment would be out even if Pelosi were willing to allow a vote on it.

There are well-intentioned impeachment advocates who want to hold yet more hearings without the I word, with the idea that then the public will demand impeachment (as if the public hasn’t already demanded impeachment).

These people are largely oblivious to the fact that the Congress has held dozens of hearings on impeachable offenses over the past 12 months. Holding more will do nothing but eat up the clock. Most of the ones they’ve already done didn’t even make it onto C-Span. Most invited witnesses refused to show. Most subpoenaed witnesses refused to show. Most of the significant witnesses who have shown up have either refused to answer questions or have arrogantly asserted unconstitutional power knowing Congress would not do anything about it.

There is zero chance of new information making impeachment happen. That claim has been made over and over again as we’ve learned of war lies, spying, detentions, torture, murder, gang rape, political firings, signing statements, refusals to comply with subpoenas, destruction of tapes, commuting of sentences, etc.

The only thing likely to put hearings on TV or to compel witnesses to appear is to make the hearings impeachment hearings. I wish this were not the case, but it is. Congressman Jerrold Nadler held hearings on “The Constitution in Crisis” last summer. Did you know that?

My brothers and sisters, you can’t crawl out from under a rock at this late date, go to one meeting, hear about good intentions to find a compromise and have confidence you’re not being played. At least I wouldn’t if I were you.

What will help make contempt or moderately interesting hearings happen will be unrelenting public pressure for impeachment.

Yes, we need good cops as well as bad cops in this effort. We have to talk with the committee members. But we don’t have to believe every word they say or fail to do minimal research.

Contempt votes don’t happen without Pelosi, and the Justice Department has already said it will not enforce anyway.

What can happen is impeachment, but the enemy is the clock. We don’t have time to waste on the same things we’ve wasted the past few years on. I’m honestly sorry about that. It’s not my fault.

If you want impeachment, insist on impeachment, and do it now.

Robert Wexler is pushing forward within the Judiciary Committee. Ask your representative to sign his letter to Conyers.

Dennis Kucinich will introduce Bush Articles of Impeachment on Monday. Ask your representative to co-sponsor, and ask the media to wake up!

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

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For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright David Swanson, Afterdowningstreet.org, 2008

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/24608
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7905

see

Impeachment Statement by Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel

Impeach

Write To Congress

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Dear Soldiers: Your Government Lied to You By Aaron Glantz

Dandelion Salad

By Aaron Glantz
ICH
26/01/08 “Antiwar

When young American men and women sign up to serve in US military, our government makes a basic promise to them: that if they are wounded in the line of duty they will get the care they need. Unfortunately, for tens of thousands of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s a promise that only exists on paper.

On Feb. 18, 2007, the headline “Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army’s Top Medical Facility” splashed across the front page of one of the nation’s premier newspapers, the Washington Post. The article, which described unsafe conditions and substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, began with the story of Army Specialist Jeremy Duncan, who was airlifted out of Iraq in February 2006 with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, “nearly dead from blood loss.”

“Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold,” the article read. “When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.”

The Washington Post‘s coverage of the Scandal at Walter Reed sparked outrage and finger-pointing across official Washington, but the controversy did not solve the problem of substandard care. Eight months later, in September, Sergeant GJ Cassidy died while receiving treatment for blast injuries at Fort Knox. A GAO report released at the time of his death showed half of the military’s Warrior Transition Units had “significant shortfalls” of doctors, nurses and other caregivers who to treat wounded soldiers.

It’s not known how many other soldiers have died the way GJ Cassidy did – alone while allegedly seeking medical care from their government. But what we do know that increasingly veterans of the Iraq war are taking their own lives, when the Pentagon and the VA fail to provide adequate medical care.

A CBS news investigation in November found that 120 veterans kill themselves every week; or over 6,000 per year. CBS asked all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records for veterans and non-veterans, and found that veterans were twice as likely to commit suicide, Among those taking their own lives was Sergeant Brian Jason Rand, who served two tours in Iraq. On February 20, 2007, the Clarksville, Tennessee police department found his body lying facedown under an entertainment pavilion on the banks of the Cumberland River, with a shotgun beside it.

Then there are those who become homeless because of government inaction. On any given night 200,000 veterans sleep homeless on the street. Increasingly those veterans are younger folks who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

People like Specialist James Eggemeyer, who ended up homeless just a few months after returning home from Iraq with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by loading the bodies of dead Iraqis into a Blackhawk helicopter. The VA took so long to process Eggemeyer’s disability claim that he had to live out of his truck while he waited. The average wait time for a veteran’s disability claim to be decided is now 183 days. More than 600,000 disabled vets are waiting.

Tens of thousands more veterans are being totally denied medical care and disability benefits they were promised after serving abroad.

The numbers are staggering: 11,407 U.S. soldiers have been discharged for drug abuse after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan; 6,159 have been kicked out for “discreditable incidents”; 6,436 have been discharged for “commission of a serious offense”; 2,246 have been discharged for “the good of the service”; and 3,365 have been discharged for “personality disorder,” according to Pentagon data I obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Among those dishonorably discharged after honorably serving in Iraq is Specialist Shaun Manuel who returned from a tour in Iraq to find his newborn son dead of a rare genetic disease called Muscular Spinal Atrophy. Manuel said the situation was made even more painful when his superiors ordered him to begin training for a second tour in Iraq.

“My son passed away,” he told me. “You gonna’ send an emotionally distressed soldier to Iraq – who knows what he’s going to do? I’m ready to just blow the whole world up because I didn’t see my son being born and then he just passed away on me with no warning.”

Manuel never filed paperwork to medically excuse him from the deployment. Instead, he withdrew and buried himself in alcohol. He estimates he drank three fifths of liquor a day. At one point, his wife had to call the police during a domestic disturbance. So the military expelled him with dishonorable discharge and now bars him from getting health care and disability benefits.

Even those who haven’t seen combat can be in for a fight. Private Durrell Michael threw out his back loading generators on a US military base in South Korea. He could barely walk or stand upright, but the Army tried to deploy him to Iraq anyway. When he fought back, they gave him a dishonorable discharge. Now, he’s in another fight: with the VA for medical care.

Independent journalist Aaron Glantz has visited Iraq three times during the U.S. occupation and has also reported from more than a dozen countries across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author of How America Lost Iraq. More information is available at his Web site.

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‘US the Biggest Producer of Terror’ By Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail

Dandelion Salad

By Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail
ICH
BAQUBA, Jan 25 (IPS)

Broken promises have brought a dramatic increase in anti-U.S. sentiment across the capital city of Iraq’s Diyala province.

Many people in Baquba, capital of Diyala 40 km northeast of Baghdad, had supported U.S. forces when they ousted former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. But failed reconstruction projects and muddled policies mean the U.S. has lost that support.

“The Americans based their strategy in Iraq on certain Shias here who have direct enmity with Sunnis and allegiance to Iran,” resident Ayub Ibrahim told IPS. “This was the source of the gap between certain Shias which the U.S. backs, and certain Sunnis they back.” Shias and Sunnis are different sects within Islam.

The U.S. has also alienated people through its policy of extensive detentions. Many believe that raids that lead to arrests are based on motivated information given to the U.S. military by Shia militiamen who have infiltrated the Iraqi army and police.

“We never witnessed an attempt to arrest Shia people either by the U.S. army or the Iraqi police and army,” resident Abdul Sattar al-Badri told IPS. Most people see no reasonable basis for many of the arrests.

In November the International Committee of the Red Cross said that around 60,000 people are currently detained in Iraq.

“The Americans occupied our country and put our men in prisons,” Dhafir al-Rubaiee, an officer from Iraq’s previous army told IPS. “The majority of these prisoners have been arrested for nothing other than for being Sunni. Every one of these prisoners has a family, and these families now have reason to hate Americans.”

Others blame the lack of security and the destroyed infrastructure for the increasing anti-U.S. sentiment.

“The lack of security is a direct result of the occupation,” resident Abu Ali told IPS. “The Americans crossed thousands of miles to destroy our home and kill our men. They are the reason for all our disasters.”

Another resident, speaking on condition of anonymity added, “We lived in need during the period of the Saddam government, but we were safe. We were compelled to work sometimes 20 hours a day to earn our living, but we were happy to see our children and relatives together.” U.S. forces, he said, have ended all that.

Abu Tariq believes the U.S. military intentionally destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure. “The Americans destroyed the electricity, water pumping stations, factories, bridges, highways, hospitals, schools, buildings, and opened the borders for strangers and terrorists to get easily into the country,” he said.

The large number of Iraqis killed by U.S. forces has also hardly endeared the forces to the people.

“When targeted by a roadside bomb or suicide bomber, U.S. soldiers shoot at people randomly. Innocent civilians have been killed or injured,” Yaser Abdul-Rahman, a 45-year-old schoolmaster told IPS. “Thousands of people have been killed like this.”

The anti-U.S. sentiment in Baquba is now so high that people no longer hide their distrust of the U.S.

“At the beginning of the occupation, the people of Iraq did not realise the U.S. strategy in the area,” Abu Taiseer, a member of the communist party in the city told IPS. “Their strategy is based on destruction and massacre. They do anything to have their agenda fulfilled.

“Now, Iraqis know that behind the U.S. smile is hatred and violence,” Taiseer added. “They call others violent and terrorists, but what they are doing in Iraq and in other countries is the origin and essence of terror. America is the biggest producer of terror, and they spend huge funds for creating and training death squads all over the world.”

Despite the differing U.S. ways of dealing with Shias and Sunnis, the two sects seem one in their hatred of the U.S.

“Look at our country, it will need 30 years to get back again,” Edan Barham told IPS. “This has nothing to do with sects; all of us are Iraqis, and we should think of Iraq in a better way than sectarian lines.”

“People of Iraq of all sects now realise that it is the occupation represented by the Americans that has damaged the country,” resident Khalil Ibrahim said.

Political analyst Azhar al-Teengane says the only Iraqis who support the occupation are those benefiting directly from it.

“The occupation is good for politicians who have made money, militiamen, contractors and opportunists,” Teengane said. “These form not more than 5 percent of Iraqi people.”

Self-rule could help lower anti-U.S. sentiment, said resident Jalal al-Taee. “In order to improve the situation, the U.S. army should let the people of this city run it.”

(*Ahmed, our correspondent in Iraq’s Diyala province, works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who has reported extensively from Iraq and the Middle East) (FIN/2008)

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.

SC Democratic Primary Results 01.26.08

Dandelion Salad

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008

South Carolina Democratic Primary Results

Candidate Votes %
Barack Obama 295,091 55%
Hillary Clinton 141,128 27%
John Edwards 93,552 18%
Bill Richardson 725 0%
Joe Biden 693 0%
Dennis Kucinich 551 0%
Chris Dodd 247 0%
Mike Gravel 240 0%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 99% | Updated: 5:25 AM ET | Source: AP

h/t: Raw Story

see

Obama runs away with SC primary

Democrat and Republican Delegates 02.05.08

UK Times: Brewster Jennings outed by ‘treasonous’ US govt official in 2001, not 2003 by Luke Ryland

by Luke Ryland
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Luke’s blog post
January 26, 2008

The UK’s Sunday Times has another article today, Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe, in their series about the penetration of US agencies by a criminal network of Turkish, Israeli and US government officials stealing nuclear secrets and selling them on the black market to the highest bidder.

The focus of this new Times article is the original outing of Brewster Jennings, the CIA cover company that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for. The article confirms that Marc Grossman, former # 3 State Dept official, and former Ambassador to Turkey, warned his Turkish associates to be wary of Brewster Jennings because it was a CIA front operation. This disclosure occurred in the summer of 2001, two years prior to the outing of Valerie Plame.

The FBI warned the CIA about Grossman’s activities and Brewster Jennings was dismantled shortly thereafter.

Given the libel laws in the UK, the Times has not published Marc Grossman’s name again in this piece, but long-time observers of this case all recognize that Grossman is the unnamed official in this article, as well as the previous two articles.

From the Times:

The claims that a State Department official [Marc Grossman] blew the investigation into a nuclear smuggling ring have been made by Sibel Edmonds, 38, a former Turkish language translator in the FBI’s Washington field office.
[…]
She has previously told The Sunday Times she heard evidence that foreign intelligence agents had enlisted US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Her latest claims relate to a number of intercepted recordings believed to have been made between the summer and autumn of 2001. At that time, foreign agents were actively attempting to acquire the West’s nuclear secrets and technology.

More from the Times:

One group of Turkish agents who had come to America on the pretext of researching alternative energy sources was introduced to Brewster Jennings through the Washington-based American Turkish Council (ATC), a lobby group that aids commercial ties between the countries. Edmonds says the Turks believed Brewster Jennings to be energy consultants and were planning to hire them.

We know that the FBI was running a counter-intelligence operation against the Turkish diplomatic community, the American Turkish Council (ATC) and other groups such as the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (A.T.A.A.)

Times:

But [Sibel] said: “[Grossman] found out about the [proposed Brewster Jennings] arrangement… and he contacted one of the foreign targets and said… you need to stay away from Brewster Jennings because they are a cover for the government.

“The target… immediately followed up by calling several people to warn them about Brewster Jennings.

“At least one of them was at the ATC. This person also called an ISI person to warn them.” If the ISI was made aware of the CIA front company [Brewster Jennings], then this would almost certainly have damaged the investigation into the activities of Khan. Plame’s cover would also have been compromised, although Edmonds never heard her name mentioned on the intercepts. Shortly afterwards, Plame was moved to a different operation.

Plame was moved because Brewster Jennings was dismantled due to the FBI discovering that Grossman had blown the cover. Plame has been forbidden by the CIA to refer to her work, or even the fact that she worked at CIA, prior to 2002.

In Joe Wilson’s book, The Politics of Truth, he says that he met his future wife, Valerie Plame, at an American Turkish Council (ATC) event at the residence of the Turkish ambassador in Washington DC in 1997. At the time, both the ATC and the Turkish diplomatic community were targets of FBI investigations.

Incidentally Wilson was on the Defense subcommittee of the board of the ATC, and he was personally and professionally close to ATC Chairman and former National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft. Scowcroft recently appeared in a Rogue’s Gallery, apparently indicating that he is one of the guilty parties in Sibel Edmonds’ case.

Wilson’s consulting company, JC Wilson International Ventures, appears to have some Turkish clients, some of which may have come through his involvement at the ATC.

Clearly there are a number of potential conflicts of interest here. I don’t have any theory as to what was going on here, there are more questions than answers. Wilson had business interests with the ATC, and he was friendly with ATC Chair Brent Scowcroft, who was apparently a target of these investigations. The idea of a CIA agent dating, then marrying, someone so closely aligned with a target also gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.

An anonymous letter, apparently written by an FBI official, obtained by the Times and others outlining many of the facts in this case, states that much of this information was given to the Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who was investigating the 2003 outing of Plame, and the information was also given to the Scooter Libby defense team but apparently neither side decided to use this information for their own purposes.

The Times:

“Phillip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, said: “It’s pretty clear Plame was targeting the Turks. If indeed [Grossman] was working with the Turks to violate US law on nuclear exports, it would have been in his interest to alert them to the fact that this woman’s company was affiliated to the CIA. I don’t know if that’s treason legally but many people would consider it to be.””

Marc Grossman has again (anonymously) denied the charges against him, however in an interview this week, Phil Giraldi wondered why neither Grossman nor any of the others were actively working to exonerate themselves:

“Quite honestly, if I were Marc Grossman, who allegedly is now making $3 million a year working for the Cohen Group, I would be kind of concerned about my personal reputation where people are saying that I was taking money, and I would want to straighten out the record and I would want to the FBI to produce a definitive statement about me, and (Grossman) hasn’t demanded that. He hasn’t gone after that, and none of the other people in this case have gone after that, so I’m wondering why, if these people are innocent, they aren’t making a more serious effort to demonstrate that they are.”

I wonder too.

Significantly, since the Times began this series three weeks ago, the White House has quietly moved to legalize the sale of nuclear technonlogy to Turkey in an apparent attempt to ‘Exonerate Neocon Criminals’ who have been illegally selling this technology for a decade. Congress has 90 days to block this legislation, otherwise it becomes law. If Turkey wants and deserves nuclear technology, this decision should be made openly and transparently, not the result of stealth decisions made by this administration to hide crimes of senior US officials.

We need public open hearings to determine which officials have been supplying the nuclear black market before this becomes law.

see

Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe by Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert, Joe Lauria

Phil Giraldi chats about Sibel Edmonds by Luke Ryland

White House in panic over Sibel Edmonds? by Luke Ryland

Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey by Joshua Frank

Turkey’s Drug-Terrorism Connection By Martin A. Lee (1997)

Sibel Edmonds: Kill The Messenger (must-see video)

Edmonds-Sibel

CIA Leak/Plame Case (posts prior to end of June 2007)

CIA Leak Case (posts since June 2007)

Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe by Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert, Joe Lauria

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert, Joe Lauria in Washington
The Sunday Times
January 27, 2008

AN investigation into the illicit sale of American nuclear secrets was compromised by a senior official in the State Department, a former FBI employee has claimed.

The official is said to have tipped off a foreign contact about a bogus CIA company used to investigate the sale of nuclear secrets.

The firm, Brewster Jennings & Associates, was a front for Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent. Her public outing two years later in 2003 by White House officials became a cause célèbre.

The claims that a State Department official blew the investigation into a nuclear smuggling ring have been made by Sibel Edmonds, 38, a former Turkish language translator in the FBI’s Washington field office.

Edmonds had been employed to translate hundreds of hours of intercepted recordings made during a six-year FBI inquiry into the nuclear smuggling ring.

She has previously told The Sunday Times she heard evidence that foreign intelligence agents had enlisted US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Her latest claims relate to a number of intercepted recordings believed to have been made between the summer and autumn of 2001. At that time, foreign agents were actively attempting to acquire the West’s nuclear secrets and technology.

Among the buyers were Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Paki-stan’s intelligence agency, which was working with Abdul Qadeer Khan, the “father of the Islamic bomb”, who in turn was selling nuclear technology to rogue states such as Libya.

…continued


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.

see

Phil Giraldi chats about Sibel Edmonds by Luke Ryland

White House in panic over Sibel Edmonds? by Luke Ryland

Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey by Joshua Frank

Turkey’s Drug-Terrorism Connection By Martin A. Lee (1997)

Sibel Edmonds: Kill The Messenger (must-see video)

Edmonds-Sibel

MIR: Lebanon on the Brink (video)

Dandelion Salad

linktv

Palestinians break the Israeli Siege on Gaza. President Bush ends a six-nation Middle East tour. Violence continues in Iraq. But is anyone paying attention to Lebanon? And who is to blame for the latest spree of assassinations?

Answers to these questions and more on Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report presented by Jamal Dajani.

For more information, go to http://www.linktv.org/mosaic

January 25, 2008

The True Miracle of Israel by Ramzy Baroud

Dandelion Salad

by Ramzy Baroud
Global Research, January 26, 2008

Israelis and their supporters tend to depict Israel as a country of miracles. What else could explain the country’s astonishing “birth” and subsequent survival against all sorts of “existential threats”? How else would Israel develop at such a phenomenal pace, making the “desert bloom” and continually scoring a high ranking amongst developed nations in most noteworthy aspects?Meanwhile, Palestinians continue to be depicted as “their own worst enemies”, a people who “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” and who stand outside the parameters of rational human behaviour. Israel is often, if not always, contrasted against a regional backdrop of “backward”, “undemocratic” and essentially violent Arabs and Muslims.

Such depictions — of luminous, civilised Israelis facing wicked, backward Arabs — are the building blocks of a polemic sold tirelessly by Israeli, American and Western media. Most often, it goes unchallenged, thus defining the West’s understanding of Israel and its moral “right to exist”. The argument is rooted in the horrors of the Jewish holocaust; however, Israel’s handlers have managed to turn deserved sympathy for that tragedy into an unwarranted assertion, somehow equating Palestinians with Nazi Germany in order to justify a constant state of war in the name of self-defence.

In this specific context, the power of the media cannot be over-emphasised. It has defined a fallacious reality based on a skewed narrative. Never in history has a story been so slanted as that of Palestine and Israel. Never has the victim been so squarely blamed for his own misfortunes as the Palestinian. This is not an arrogant counter-narrative to Israel’s concoctions. It’s a glaring truth that continues to be either ignored or misunderstood.

The “miracles” often associated with Israel are not random; they are assertions. Miracles are a religious notion, referring to the unexplained and supernatural. Thus they become exempt from rational questioning. This formula has served Israel’s strategic purposes well. On one hand, Israel’s existence is portrayed as a resurrection of sorts: from near-annihilation to a “miraculous” rebirth. Indeed, considering how the birth of Israel story is offered, the narrative is no less impressive than biblical legends. Such discourse has been used successfully to appeal to a much larger group than those who identify with Israel on ethnic or religious grounds. It has impressed tens of millions of Christian fundamentalists worldwide. In the United States, Christian Zionists represent the popular backbone of the pro-Israeli camp. While American Jews tend to vote based on economic or political interests, Christian Zionists see their allegiance to Israel as a religious duty.

Like all religious miracles, Israeli miracles are “matters of faith”. They can either be accepted as one package or rejected as such; the bottom line is that they are beyond argument, beyond the need for tangible proof. Those foolish enough to deconstruct this — and thus question Israel as a state accountable to law, like all others — are subjected to the wrath of God (in the case of the “true believer”) or the wrath of the media and the Zionist lobby (in the case of the sceptic). When an American politician, for example, is accused of not standing “fully behind Israel”, the accusation doesn’t warrant justification. It stands on its own, like a biblical command that has survived the test of time and reason: Thou shalt stand fully behind Israel. The accused politician can only defend his record of support for Israel; he cannot question why this is necessary in the first place, or ever acknowledge the fact that the latter’s track record is soaked in blood, sullied by illegal occupations, and grounded on human rights violations and defiance of international law.

As the 60th anniversary of the so- called birth of Israel draws near, a most impressive — albeit grotesque — misrepresentation of that history will be offered in abundance. Media pundits and politicians will celebrate the miracle, omitting how Israel was delivered on top of the ruins of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages. The killing and ethnic cleansing that became known as the Palestinian Catastrophe — or Nakba — was not the work of invisible and miraculous seraphs, but rather well trained and well-armed Zionist gangs and their supporters.

Nor did Palestinians lose the battle due to their laxity or backwardness. Their bravery, for those who care to consult serious historical works (such as those of Israeli historian Ilan Pappe or late Palestinian Professor Edward Said), is a badge of honour that will be carried by Palestinians for years to come. They lost because, as parallel historic experiences demonstrate, neither bravery nor fortitude are enough to withstand so many powerful forces at play, all plotting for their downfall.

Moreover, those celebrating Israel’s miraculous efforts in making the desert bloom — the inference being that “nomadic Palestinians” failed to connect with the “neglected” land, and only the “return” of its rightful owners managed to bring about its renewal — will most likely forget that its was the Palestinian proletariat — the cheap, oppressed, and dispossessed labour force — that mostly worked the land, erected the homes and tended to the gardens of the miracle state. No less than $100 billion of American taxpayers’ money contributed to Israel’s current economic viability, as well as military preparedness.

All of this is likely to be overlooked as Israel and “friends of Israel” around the world celebrate another miraculous year of survival and affluence. Will they pause to wonder why over five million Palestinian refugees are dispossessed and scattered around the world? Will they lend a moment’s silence to the many thousands who were brutally murdered so that Israel could live this fallacious miracle? Will they ever understand the pain and the tears of successive generations dying while holding onto the keys of homes that were destroyed, deeds to land that was stolen, and memories of a once beautiful reality from which they were violently uprooted?

If there is any miracle in Israel’s existence it is that the lies upon which it is founded could be perpetuated for so long, despite glaringly obvious truths to the contrary. Indeed, it is a miracle that such grave injustice could reign for so long uncontested.

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

Ramzy Baroud is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
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

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© Copyright Ramzy Baroud, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7904

Pentagon chief says US ready to deploy combat troops in Pakistan By Bill Van Auken

Dandelion Salad

By Bill Van Auken
wsws.org
26 January 2008

The United States is “ready, willing and able” to deploy American combat troops in Pakistan for joint military operations in the country’s troubled border region, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

The public statement about an American intervention in Pakistan appeared aimed at pressuring the regime of President Pervez Musharraf into accepting a more direct US role in the suppression of internal opposition, which is linked to the growing resistance to the American-led occupation of neighboring Afghanistan.

According to media reports, the Bush administration has conducted extensive top-level discussions on the crisis in Pakistan and drawn up plans for a US intervention in the wake of last month’s assassination of Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The administration reportedly sees the political crisis in the aftermath of the political killing as an opportunity to expand its influence in the country.

…continued

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.

Olbermann: Stay The Course + Delegate-Gate + Worst + Bushed! (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

Jan. 25, 2008

Stay The Course

Keith talks with Sam Seder.

Delegate-Gate

Keith talks with David Shuster.

World’s Worst

Worse: Police Chief Henry Wiehagen

Worser: Bill’O

Worst: Bret Baier

Bushed!

Perpetuity-Gate

Crony-Gate

1984-Gate

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

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

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

Selected Episode

Jan. 25, 2008

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Egypt Closes Rafah Border,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Tight Security in Jerusalem,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“All Military Options on the Table,” IBA TV, Israel
“Weather Compounds Problems in the West Bank,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Israel Watches Syrian Movements in the Golan Heights,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“US Offers to Send Troops to Pakistan,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Iraqi Prisoners Released,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
“MIR: Lebanon on the Brink,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Feingold Picks on the Son of a Mill Worker By Manila Ryce

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
The Largest Minority
Friday, January 25th, 2008

It’s always confused me how people can get behind Edwards as the alternative to Obama and Hillary when it’s quite obvious the guy’s no liberal. Edwards only received a 60% rating by the ACLU, he’s adamantly against marriage equality, he voted for the Patriot Act, supported the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and voted for the war in Iraq. Then he used these same initiatives that he supported as reason to criticize Ashcroft and Bush. Even if we are to now believe that he does mean what he says about civil liberties and poverty, I’d still have to agree with Nader’s assessment of John Edwards as a “sniveling coward” for his inability to actually take a stand at the critical moment.

All that people seem to talk about is how John Edwards is saying the right things. Yeah, but is he doing the right things? Has he ever? No. Edwards’ supporters are no more interested in the issues than Clinton or Obama supporters. It’s so appealing to think that he’s the most progressive candidate than it is to understand that he’s damn near identical to the other two. Perhaps if he didn’t look so much like Kennedy, people would be a bit more critical of his hollow marketing. I do agree with his campaign rhetoric that there are “two Americas”, but it does seem as if there are also two Edwards’ to inhabit both.

In an interview with the Huffington Post on Thursday, Feingold restated his hesitance to endorse either Sen. Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Both, he said, would make great presidents. The same praise was not, however, heaped upon Feingold’s former Senate colleague Edwards, whose political sincerity the Wisconsin Democrat questioned.

“I don’t understand how somebody could vote, five or six critical votes, one way in the Senate and then make your campaign the opposite positions,” Feingold said, expanding on comments he made a week ago to the Appleton (Wisconsin) Post-Crescent. “That doesn’t give me confidence that if the person became president that they would continue the kind of policies that they are using in the Democratic primary. I’m more likely to believe what they did in the Senate.”

Asked to explain what precisely he found problematic, Feingold offered that Edwards had “taken in” voters by switching positions on several key issues.

“You have to consider what the audience is, and obviously these are very popular positions to take when you are in a primary where you are trying to get the progressive vote. But wait a minute — there were opportunities to vote against the bankruptcy bill, there was an opportunity to vote against the China [trade] deal. Those are the moments where you sort of find out where somebody is. So I think, people are being taken in a little bit that now he is taking these positions.”

The Edwards campaign did not return a request for comment.

read more…

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.

Kucinich Drops Out & Doesn’t Endorse Anyone (video; Gravel)

Dandelion Salad

representativepress

http://representativepress.googlepage…

see

Impeachment Statement by Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel

Thank you, Congressman Kucinich + Dennis Kucinich: A Tribute (vids; updated)

Ron Paul Would Consider Kucinich in Cabinet Post by AlaskaSteven (link)

Kucinich abandons White House bid + photos link + Vows to keep fighting for causes + Integritynow.org (vid) (updated)

Gravel-Mike

Kucinich-Dennis

USA Today excludes Ron Paul (video)

Dandelion Salad

erkd1

We are currently being misled by Big Media in a concerted effort to manipulate the public into a pro-war agenda. Voices of decent are being systematically removed from the debate.

LINKS:

USA Today article:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics…

Ron Paul pummeling Giuliani:
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/prim…

Stop Big Media:
http://www.stopbigmedia.com/

Real reporting on Ron Paul:
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campai…

USA Today as “anti-war, anti-establishment”:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washingt…
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/…

Must see documentary featuring FOX News and the Florida reporters case:

The Corporation (must-see video)

My own video on Media Consolidation and the same case of FOX petitioning to lie legally:
Why The News Media Lies – And How We Can Stop It (video)

Fight the good fight,

Erik aka erkd1

see

Why The News Media Lies – And How We Can Stop It (video)

The Corporation (must-see video)

Ron Paul Would Consider Kucinich in Cabinet Post by AlaskaSteven (link)

Paul-Ron

Who’s Worse, Clinton or Paul? By David Swanson

Dandelion Salad

By David Swanson
After Downing Street
Fri, 2008-01-25

Let’s assume, just for the sake of masochism or preparedness, that the Republicans nominate McCain or somebody similar, that the Democrats nominate Clinton, and that Paul runs as an independent or libertarian. Here’s a question for those who care about peace and justice: Who’s worse, Clinton or Paul?

I’m assuming most of us will agree that McCain is the worst of the lot. Of course, I’d rather see Edwards nominated than Obama or Clinton, and I’d rather see Obama than Clinton. And, yes, of course McKinney or Nader would be preferable to the whole sorry bunch. But just for the sake of excruciating self-abuse and maybe illumination of the need to nominate someone who is not Clinton, let’s try to answer the question.

If Ron Paul had been president for the past 7 years, a million more Iraqis would be alive, and another 4 million would not be refugees. The world would be a safer place, and Americans would have lost fewer freedoms. Clinton has supported the worst of the crimes of the past 7 years and opposed very few of them. She voted to invade Iraq and voted repeatedly to fund the occupation. Paul did neither of those things. Of course, this does not tell us whether Clinton would have launched the wars that Bush launched if she had been president.

Clinton does keep open the possibility of attacking Iran, even with nuclear weapons. Paul opposes new foreign occupations and would end the existing ones, close down the empire, and bring the troops back from the 80 percent of the nations on earth where they are now stationed. Paul would do something else remarkable for the federal budget: he would cut the budget of the Pentagon. Clinton would not.

But Paul would also eliminate the little the United States gives in foreign aid. Clinton might not boost it, but would probably not eliminate it. Clinton might also, in limited ways, restore the right to organize a union, halt the fall of the minimum wage, and restore a little progressivity to the tax code. Paul would not. Paul would cut empire spending, not in order to spend on something useful, but in order to cut taxes on corporations, the rich, and the poor alike. He would cut spending on everything useful as well. What Clinton’s husband did to welfare, Paul would do across the board.

It’s very difficult to imagine Clinton investing in the sort of green energy program that is probably needed to save the planet from ruin, but it’s impossible to imagine Paul doing so. On the other hand, it’s quite possible to imagine Clinton getting us into a nuclear war. How do we choose which way we would least like to perish?

In the meantime, how would we live? With Paul, the government would do even less to get Americans health care. With Clinton it would do a bit more, albeit at great wasteful expense propping up a private insurance system doomed to ultimately fail.

With Clinton in the White House, we’d face militaristic machismo and corporate corruption. Taxpayers would work half the year for the greed of weapons makers, media corporations, and insurance companies. Under Paul, the government would only boost corporate greed through deregulation; the machismo would take the form of immigrant bashing and world government conspiracy paranoia. Clinton would bomb some countries and talk to others. Paul would neither bomb nor talk.

Clinton has been a leading opponent of impeaching Bush or Cheney for their abuses of power. She could be expected to take advantage of the new presidential powers to spy without warrants, rewrite laws, violate laws, operate in secret, etc. Paul backed impeachment of Bush until he became a candidate and then sold out. But he bases his policies – even those I oppose – on his interpretation of the Constitution and U.S. law. To some significant extent he could be expected to try to operate within the bounds of the Constitution.

Clinton would continue the illegal occupation of Iraq. Paul would end it without offering the Iraqi people a dime in restitution or assistance. That’s also exactly what he would offer any struggling American. Clinton would make minimal advances in public education. Paul would cut or eliminate federal school spending.

Women who value the right to abortion would lose it under a Paul Administration. This is not speculation. He openly says he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s his principle and he stands by it courageously and honestly, but most Americans disagree with him.

Clinton would be no friend to immigrants, but Paul would be worse. Paul would allow fewer legal immigrants, while denying any illegal immigrants a path to become citizens. An immigrant woman here without papers who was raped would be denied the right to an abortion. Her child, born in America, would be denied citizenship. Her family would be denied welfare, as well as health care, and education, not to mention any investment in public transportation. Undocumented workers would gain no workplace rights under a Paul government, and so the rights of all of us would continue to erode. In fact, immigrants would be scapegoated and associated with 9-11, and Paul’s priority would be “securing borders,” which ain’t cheap (or useful).

Under a Paul administration there would be fewer immigrants for a good reason: he opposes the trade policies that destroy the economies of the nations they flee to come here. But Paul opposes those policies because they are international, not because they empower corporations and hurt workers. That’s none of his concern. He’s a “property rights” man, even if it’s at the expense of those without property. He opposes NAFTA for the same reason he opposes the United Nations. He would erode international law even more swiftly than Bush, thereby endangering us all in the long run.

And eliminating Clintonian corporate trade agreements might slow the exploitation of third-world workers but would not end it. That would require global agreements on workplace rights, something neither Paul not Clinton would ever take the lead on, but something unions might be able to work toward under Clinton.

Under Clinton we would have major national campaigns of protest, against occupations, against media conglomeration, against corporate trade. These are very difficult battles for us to win. Under Paul, we would have many more battlefronts, but they would all be smaller, and organized groups might be more willing to wage them because Paul would not be a Democrat. We’d be fighting to save schools and housing and transportation and all sorts of other programs. We might have a better shot at winning such campaigns, and we would have the option (admittedly not the best option) of addressing such needs at the state level. Paul might destroy more of what’s good in the federal government than anyone before him, but he would not forbid the states from replacing it.

If Paul does run, and if he does draw support, there is the possibility that Clinton will improve some of her positions, although Edwards hasn’t had that impact on her. There’s a guarantee, however, that the left will eat itself alive with accusations of treason. To do that to ourselves over a candidate who would eliminate anything good we’ve ever created, a candidate likely to take more voters from McCain than Clinton, would be tragic.

I don’t have an easy answer, except this: DO NOT NOMINATE HILLARY CLINTON.

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.

see

USA Today excludes Ron Paul (video)

Ron Paul Would Consider Kucinich in Cabinet Post by AlaskaSteven (link)

Ron Paul’s replies FL debate 01.24.08 (video)

Paul-Ron