The state of the Jihad, as he might see it By Michael Scheuer

Dandelion Salad

By Michael Scheuer
Special to The Washington Post
02/26/08 “Washington Post

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell warned the Senate intelligence committee earlier this month that al-Qaida is regrouping, not retreating – and boosting its capacities for launching another attack inside the United States. So how does the war on terrorism look these days through our enemies’ eyes? Here’s an informed – albeit fictional – guess.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate –

Brothers, I write to give my view of how far we have, with God’s help, traveled since declaring war on the United States in 1996. Al-Qaida has today become all that we hoped for when we formed it in 1988: a vanguard organization whose main mission is not fighting, but rather inciting and inspiring young Muslims to arm themselves and defend Islam from the American crusaders, their Zionist offspring and their agent regimes in the Muslim world, especially the House of Saud. We must thank God for the steady flow of young Muslims to our ranks, men who now make the forces of al-Qaida and its allies larger, more intelligent and more pious than ever.

By God’s grace, al-Qaida’s incitement has met with wondrous success; Western polls show that hundreds of millions of Muslims now believe that U.S. foreign policy aims to undermine or destroy Islam. Ironically, Washington itself has become a major inciter of Muslim hatred for the United States, simply by maintaining policies – slaughtering the innocent in Iraq, propping up the House of Saud and Hosni Mubarak’s tyranny in Egypt, blindly backing the pretender state of the Jews – that drive Muslims into our ranks. Not all these Muslims are ready to take up arms, but even the limited number who are now fighting have proved more than enough to stymie U.S. plans in Afghanistan and Iraq and to support the jihad in Algeria, Lebanon, Thailand, Somalia, Gaza and Europe.

And so, even with limited numbers, al-Qaida appears to Muslims as a huge, rising and conquering army. Just as important, Americans have been taught by their leaders to see al-Qaida behind every rock and tree, ready to pounce. American leaders, in effect, now terrorize ordinary Americans, making Washington appear to be the enemy of its own people’s civil liberties.

This all gives us confidence in our plan to defeat America, by bleeding it into bankruptcy and tempting it to spread out its forces.

Brothers, the amount of money that Washington spends on wars to murder Muslims and on pointless “homeland security” measures is staggering, with no end in sight. The war in Iraq alone is costing $12 billion per month. Bush is also burning money to deploy troops to Africa, under a new Pentagon command created to steal the continent’s oil. And after America’s Iraq “surge,” U.S. generals cannot scrape up the few thousand troops they would need to fight our Taliban brothers in Afghanistan because Washington’s NATO allies refuse to send reinforcements.

Thanks be to God, brothers, America is hemorrhaging money and ruining its military by trying to fight al-Qaida’s mujaheddin wherever they appear – or, more accurately, wherever U.S. officials imagine they appear.

Our military and media operations have advanced the ultimate goal of our grand strategy – restoring Islamic rule to the Muslim world. We have a winning formula:

– Driving the United States from the Middle East;
– Destroying Israel and the region’s Arab tyrannies; and
– Settling scores with the heretical Shiites.

Frankly, brothers, things had to get much worse for Muslims before they could get better. We had to goad America into sending a larger, more vulnerable presence into the Muslim world before we could bleed its forces and treasury. The mujaheddin’s 9/11 raid did just that; the inexplicable U.S. decision to invade Iraq vastly expanded the American presence. (Only God could grant such a miracle!) Al-Qaida and the groups we have inspired are now exploiting both the triumph of 9/11 and the hornet’s nest in Iraq that the Americans so foolishly kicked over.

But to win this war, our strategy’s three parts must be pursued in order: First, drive America from Arab lands, then finish off Israel, Mubarak and the House of Saud, then deal with the Shiite apostates. But we risk defeat if we (ital) simultaneously (end ital) fight the Americans, the Zionists, the corrupted Arab regimes and the Shiites.

When the Americans occupied Afghanistan after 9/11, we were confident that we could defeat them there, which would start their retreat from the region. When the Americans madly invaded Iraq, we grew more confident, perhaps cocky. Brothers, we lacked humility for these gifts from God, and now we are on the edge of a setback – one that could disrupt our grand strategy.

Military success came too fast in Iraq. The Iraqi mujaheddin are not ready to unite in an Islamist government to replace the U.S. agent, Nouri al-Maliki. Part of this failure is al-Qaida’s fault. We allowed the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may God accept him as a martyr, to remain al-Qaida’s commander in Iraq for too long. He was consumed by hatred for Iraq’s Shiites and struck them murderously, angering Shiite and Sunni alike. His excesses helped create what, for now, is an unbridgeable split between the two sects, and he raised the specter of civil war in Iraq. Such a conflict would hurt our ability to keep the world’s Muslims focused on the Crusaders and Zionists and allow the apostate Arab regimes to pose as Islam’s protectors by supplying guns, money and fighters to Iraq’s Sunnis in their battle with the Shiites.

Al-Qaida and its allies in Iraq are laboring to repair the damage left by our martyred Abu Musab, and have had some success. But Saudi preachers and spies are deepening the hatred for Shiites among Iraq’s Sunni insurgents faster than we can heal the wounds. As in post-Soviet Afghanistan, the perfidious House of Saud is stealing the fruit of Islam’s military victory by preventing the emergence of a united Sunni front through bribery, false religious guidance and efforts to stoke intra-Sunni fighting.

We must face this reality, brothers, and be ready to retake the initiative in 2008. While U.S. forces are in Iraq, the mujaheddin will focus on them, but after they retreat – and a new U.S. president could leave quickly – the chance of civil war increases. If such a conflict erupts, the mujaheddin might focus on Iraq, not America.
For this reason, I urge you to consider two military options for al-Qaida to have in hand if needed:

– An attack on a major oil-production plant in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques, which suffers under the rule of the House of Saud, to greatly disrupt the world’s oil supply and compel U.S. forces to rush into the kingdom to protect the undamaged facilities and rebuild the others; or

– A raid greater than 9/11 in the United States, an option that could do graver and graver damage as the U.S. economy deteriorates.

Brothers, we can execute either operation. Each would make Washington overreact, again unleashing the Americans’ military ferocity. Such a response would have only a minor impact on the dispersed forces of al-Qaida and our allies in jihad, but America’s vengeance would kill many, many innocent Muslims – and, perhaps, with the approval of the despised House of Saud, find the Americans again desecrating the holy soil of Arabia near Mecca and Medina. These results would focus the wrath of the world’s Muslims on America, delay a Shiite-Sunni civil war in Iraq and keep our grand strategy viable.

Brothers, think about these ideas, and join me in praying for God’s guidance.

Michael Scheuer was chief of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999. His latest book is “Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq.”

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.


Jihad and 21st Century Terrorism (video)

Auschwitz: The Final Solution (must-see video)

Dandelion Salad


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


Clip from BBC documentary Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State- detailing plans for building of the camps at Auschwitz- which would eventually include Soviet POWS and Poles and Jews. The complex included forced labour camps and privately owned industrial plants and the “Death Camps”- Gas Chambers and crematoria. aprox. one million Jews would be killed at Auschwitz.

Continue reading

911 Rescue Workers Need Health Care (videos)

Dandelion Salad


February 26, 2008, US Capitol

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod



Kucinich to Investigate 9/11 Insider Trading

Dennis Kucinich on The Alex Jones Show 02.20.08

The Most Wanted List – International Terrorism By Noam Chomsky

Dandelion Salad

By Noam Chomsky
February 26, 2008

On February 13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hizbollah, was assassinated in Damascus. “The world is a better place without this man in it,” State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said: “one way or the other he was brought to justice.” Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh has been “responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden.”

Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as “one of the U.S. and Israel’s most wanted men” was brought to justice, the London Financial Times reported. Under the heading, “A militant wanted the world over,” an accompanying story reported that he was “superseded on the most-wanted list by Osama bin Laden” after 9/11 and so ranked only second among “the most wanted militants in the world.”

The terminology is accurate enough, according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse, which defines “the world” as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that “the world” fully supported George Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan. That may be true of “the world,” but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight. In Latin America, which has some experience with U.S. behavior, support ranged from 2% in Mexico to 16% in Panama, and that support was conditional upon the culprits being identified (they still weren’t eight months later, the FBI reported), and civilian targets being spared (they were attacked at once). There was an overwhelming preference in the world for diplomatic/judicial measures, rejected out of hand by “the world.”


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.


Noam Chomsky: What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico? (Tom Engelhardt)

Kafka Incorporated: Of Captives, Casualties, Kosovo-stan & the Global Scam

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Feb. 26, 2008

“It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.”
~ Franz Kafka, The Trial

“My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.”
~ Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony

As if conjured from pages almost a century old, the dystopian world of Franz Kafka has actualized around us. Remember Joseph K., whom shadowy Authorities ordered roused from his bed and arrested, then tried and ultimately executed, all without explaining why? The official retort to his declaration of innocence was, “Innocent of what?”

It puts one in mind of Guantanamo, doesn’t it — not to mention some 25,000 prisoners now held in U.S. detention centers in Iraq and untold numbers confined elsewhere?

And then there’s Don Seigelman. But before touching further on that foul matter, let’s recall Georgia Thompson, the Wisconsin state contracting gal who spent the winter of 2006-07 behind bars for purely political reasons. Ms. Thompson also lost her home and life savings, trying to defend herself against a trumped-up case meant to reflect badly on Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. She won handily on appeal, but an earlier Republican judge had denied her freedom in the interim (a period during which two of her most ardent attackers — the former chairman and executive director of Wisconsin’s Republican Party — moved on to greater things, the former becoming our ambassador to Czechoslovakia, while the latter joined Giuliani’s presidential campaign.)

Like former Alabama Governor Seigelman, Ms. Thompson was prosecuted by a “loyal Bushie” U.S. Attorney left in place after the Honest Eight were fired. And the one who targeted Mr. Seigelman (repeatedly, until she found the right set of lies and the right courtroom) chanced to be the wife of a Republican operative closely tied to the campaign of his rival, who most likely won via last-minute election rigging. Mr. Seigelman’s is a long and complex story, fairly well encapsulated by a 60 Minutes segment that aired Sunday evening (except in the cities of northern Alabama, where the station owner — a member of the ultra-wealthy Bass family and Bush “Pioneer” — evidently preferred dead air). That video can be viewed HERE, among other places. For details, see the excellent series of articles at Raw Story: PART I, PART II and PART III..

My point is that all of us could face precisely the same nightmare: being thrown into jail on any pretext, besides the other threats that exist against our livelihoods and liberties.

Let’s face it, “justice” has become another empty word in America, along with “democracy” and “freedom.” Those elected to serve us scorn both our legal heritage and the popular will. Overwhelmingly, we crave peace, but they keep bullying whomever they choose (and making us pay for it). Overwhelmingly, we want our rights back, but they keep spitting on the Constitution and increasing police state powers. Overwhelmingly, we want transparency and accountability, but they keep veiling themselves in secrecy and routinely telling us lies (upwards of a thousand from the White House, alone, and still counting). Overwhelmingly, we want the return of economic equity, but they keep endorsing a tax structure that has steadily widened the gap between plutocrats and the rest of us for 30 years. Overwhelmingly, we want affordable healthcare, but they keep letting insurance companies stand between us and our doctors, thus throwing away billions of dollars every year to reward executives and administrators who add nothing of value. Overwhelmingly, we want media responsive to our need for accurate information, but they keep permitting tycoons to buy ever more outlets and use them to pervert the national discourse, with no regard for objectivity. Overwhelmingly, we want sane energy and environmental policies, but they keep forcing us to subsidize big oil, plus the new agrofuels boondoggle and a fresh wave of nuclear lunacy and other energy developments designed to sustain dependence on the grid, defeating the original purpose of solar and wind power. Overwhelmingly, we want regulatory agencies to regulate, but they keep appointing regulators who do nothing to ensure that even food, toys, bridges and inherently dangerous mines are safe — and have given free reign to a predatory financial system that sucked trillions out of the economy in just the past few years (not even counting the raiders who’ve been allowed to acquire companies by stealing employees’ pension funds). Overwhelmingly, we want jobs at home and only fair trade with others, but they keep kowtowing to transnational corporations that deliberately impoverish us and people around the world. Overwhelmingly, we want our manufacturing capacity restored, both to regenerate decent employment opportunities and also for the sake of national security, but they keep increasing our reliance on distant and often unfriendly sources.

Even that lengthy rant doesn’t fully cover the bases. No doubt you can think of at least half a dozen more disconnects, without really trying. While mulling additions, you might sing along — in paraphrase of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah — “It’s a fact; it’s actual! EVERYTHING is out-of-whactual.”

Clearly, we’re ruled now by The Castle — another Kafka novel, in which unseen and unassailable figures hide, issuing diktats from On High, meant to keep villagers guessing and anxious. Unsurprisingly, the road to the Castle never leads to the Castle. We simply can’t get through to them, any more than his character K. could. And K. died trying.

Which brings me to my next point: death, more specifically suicide. Here I don’t refer to the widely publicized self-destruction of young Iraq vets who, often after multiple sojourns into that chaos, can’t cope, but rather to the prodigious number of recent suicides among Americans who should have been at the top of their game: men and women of middle age. Between 1999 and 2004, the suicide rate among 45-to-54-year-olds rose nearly 20 percent (actually 31 percent among women), and an extremely silly story about this appeared this week in The New York Times. “We’re kind of in the dark,” said Dr. Eric C. Caine, co-director at the Center for the Study of Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center, without a “psychological autopsy.” Theories concerning the cause include a drop in hormone-replacement therapy after 2002 health warnings, purported higher general rates of depression among baby boomers and a statistical fluke, but they’re calling “the prime suspect… skyrocketing use — and abuse — of prescription drugs.”

Of course they shouldn’t be flogging meds night and day on TV (thus driving the price up for people who actually need them), but this is abject bullshit. I submit — from the rather authoritative vantage of one who could easily have been among the suicides and considered it frequently — that a review of victims’ financial records would clear up the issue straightaway. In fact, the story skimmed smooth over one of the biggest problems: A woman who’d sought treatment for depression soon before she died was released in bad shape because her insurance ran out! Few insurance policies will keep anybody in a hospital for more than a week — and how about those who have none to cover mental probs, or none at all? And how about the fact that the scant jobs remaining on our shores have gone reliably to the young and cheap since the mid-90s? We who are old enough to remember that today’s $25,000 was worth $48,000 in 1985 are a positive peril to the corporations-uber-alles system. Sure, some folks are just emotionally messed up, but I for one am not a bit mystified by the larger statistics. What else is reasonable to expect from people who took pride in their work for decades, but have now lost hope of ever earning enough to live decently again and are probably also in deep debt?

For exactly the same reasons, suicide is rampant among Indian farmers. Since the late 1990s, 166,000 of them have offed themselves (in addition to which 8 million left the land) –mainly thanks to Monsanto. They were hyped on buying genetically engineered seeds and their crops failed, because they couldn’t survive without irrigation plus Monsanto’s costly fertilizers and pesticides. Then, after the first failure, the farmers couldn’t even collect seeds from their fields to try again, the damn plants being patented and often programmed to sprout only once.

The GM industry is doing the same to growers everywhere — for instance in Iraq, the ancient cradle of agriculture that made permanent settlements and civilization as we’ve known it possible. And wherever these Frankenseeds get planted, they’ll soon be cross-pollinated to corrupt other fields.

This is all, all, ALL about greed. There’s no other way to understand what’s happening to everyone, everywhere, as far as I can see. Corporations — entities initially chartered by governments strictly to serve the public good and dissolved when they didn’t — have taken control of our governments, and even of supra-national organizations like the EU and UN.

Which brings us to the week’s biggest story: the alleged independence of “Kosova”: the Kosovo province of Serbia, itself a scrap left from the destruction of Yugoslavia. We were all duped about that, as about so much else. The nation was doing very well, thank you, and didn’t care to relinquish its resources to corporate pirates, under the heel of the World Bank/IMF jackboot. Hence, the genocide libel, the bombs, the region’s resultant poverty and dependency. It’s all pure “Shock Doctrine” stuff. Over the past 9 years of NATO rule, unemployment has risen to 60 percent and now, under EU regency, citizens of the “independent” state will work for peanuts, while its puppet rulers fatten. Kosovar drug lords and prostitution profiteers, who got their start as KLA terrorists we funded to help break up Yugoslavia, will be well looked after under their lately installed Eurobremer (Pieter Feith) and a 2,000-member porta-police state, augmented by Britain’s Welsh Guards. The Dutchman Feith will complete privatization of what remains, in complicity with our largely privatized military running Camp Bondsteel — the largest U.S. base since Danang. Built and serviced by Halliburton’s KBR, of course, it’s complete with extensive detention facilities and sited to watch over the Caspian pipeline.

No need to guess who’s paying the steep tab for Camp Bondsteel and the chain of other new pipeline-nanny bases stretching eastward from Iraq into all the “stans”, is there? It doesn’t matter a lick to our “democratic” government what we think about that — unless, of course, we get too vocal in opposition, in which case they’ve got federal prosecutors to sic on us. If even state governors aren’t safe from them, who is?

Two brief notes will complete this review of the week past:

Have you noticed — in, say, a raft of editorials and a shocking e-mail from Wes Clark — how this Kosovan “independence” thingy is being extolled, alongside widespread condemnatory use of the word “nationalism”? They’re out to break down our last conceivable barriers against total depredation, or so it seems to me.

However, on the brightest note struck in a very long while, it appears from one editorial that Obama may have fallen under the salubrious influence of Ralph Gomory, which would be definitively what he needs to break the death-grip of the DLC corporatists. For news of what could conceivably morph into a genuine turnaround, please read HERE and HERE.


60 Minutes: Don Siegelman (vids) + Parts of Broadcast Blocked in Alabama…

Can He Deliver? Obama and Global Trade By Paul Craig Roberts

Alabama station drops broadcast of 60 Minutes expose on political prosecution scandal by Larisa Alexandrovna

Alabama Democratic Party Calls for Special Prosecutor

The Economic Reality Check Machine by The Other Katherine Harris

Feb 25 Program: Seeds of Destruction, US Military Bases Around the World, Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

Potential Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods by Stephen Lendman








The Defining Moment: The Point Of No Return

Dandelion Salad

by Rachel Olivieri
Dissident Voice
February 26th, 2008

If you woke up one morning only to discover that civilization has been on a roaring oil binge and in its catatonic consuming stupor had unceremoniously launched itself into the pit of despair, you’d want to know about that, right? It would be a leading news story on the front page of every prestigious newspaper like the NY Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, etc., right? Yet, I couldn’t find a drop of ink that suggests that life as we know it has already ended and real estate on the North Pole will be available soon. But did you see the latest eye-popping candy on the front cover of Victoria’s Secret catalogue suggesting that if we “buy more we save more” printed on paper from a forest near you? No, you didn’t read the print, silly me.

Seriously, “Late summer 2007, an area of Arctic sea ice almost twice the size of Britain disappeared in a single week.” Overall, about 50% of the Arctic ice has thinned out over the last fifty industrial years as a result of fossil fuel driven economies. Last years shrinkage broke the record for ice melt and 2008 is on pace to obliterate that record.

No, let’s be casual, I mean its only a leading climatologist from Washington State University who recently proved that the tipping point has been breached, and, like it or not, the euphemism shop to till you drop, has the drop on an overly distracted civilization. And it’s not like the issue hasn’t been heating up since “Inconvenient Truth” aired world-wide and every other climatologist in the business not employed by Bush has alluded to the fact that carbon emissions trap heat, and well, hot planets melt ice. No ice, no Malibu, inland properties can speculate new coastlines and build piers or set-up post-industrial villas for the likes of Bush, Cheney and the Wall Street gang.


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.


The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (videos; Parts 1-4)

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (videos; Parts 5-8)

How It All Ends: Your Mission (global warming; must-see videos)

How It All Ends (Global Warming; must-see video; links)

Global Warming

Global Warming/Climate changes/Environment

Playing Politics With Intelligence By Dan Froomkin

Dandelion Salad

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Monday, February 25, 2008

As President Bush and his aides reject the accusation that they are playing politics with matters of national intelligence, it’s worth noting that they have done precisely that many times.

Bush and his top associates have a tradition of selectively disclosing intelligence findings that serve their political agenda — while aggressively asserting the need to keep secret the information that would tend to discredit them. Think the run-up to war in Iraq. Think Valerie Plame. (See, for example, my March 31, 2006, column.)


Mosaic News – 2/25/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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


For more:
“Death Toll Rises in Northern Iraq,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Turkey Drafts Young Men to Fight PKK,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Three Attacks Kill 56 Iraqis,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“US Forces to Stay in Iraq,” Baghdad TV, Iraq
“Camp Cropper Prison in Iraq,” Alsumaria TV, Iraq
“UN Position A Non-Starter,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“Human Chain in Gaza,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Child Injured in Sderot Rocket Attack,” IBA TV, Israel
“Who Threatened the Kuwaiti Embassy?” NBN TV, Lebanon
“Mughniyeh a Hero in His Village,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod



Will Turkey be complicit in another war against another neighbour? by Cem Ertür

Confessions of a Gitmo Guard By Debbie Nathan

Dandelion Salad

By Debbie Nathan
02/26/08 “Counterpunch

A Nightmare World of Torture and Prison Guard Suicides

A psychiatrist who has treated former military personnel at Guantánamo prison camp is telling a story of prisoner torture and guard suicide there, recounted to him by a National Guardsman who worked at Guantánamo just after it opened.

Dr. John R. Smith, 75, is a Oklahoma City psychiatrist who has done worked at military posts during the past few years. He is also a consultant for the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services, and is affiliated with the Veteran’s Affairs Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City. The court-appointed psychiatric examination of Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in 1995, was conducted by Smith. A few years ago, he became a contract physician, treating active duty members of the US military in need of psychotherapy.

Smith spoke on February 22, 2008, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, held in Washington DC. His presentation dealt with the psychological impact on guards of working at Guantánamo . He focused on a chilling case history, of a patient he called “Mr. H.”
Smith described Mr. H as a blue-collar Latino in his 40s who had done routine service in the National Guard for years before being called up to Kuwait. Then, shortly after 9/11, he was diverted from Kuwait to Guantánamo . The detention camp had just opened. Mr. H was deployed there to work as a guard.

Untrained for the job, Mr. H was taken aback by the detainees. They threw feces and urine on him, said Smith, and tried to get him to sneak letters out, telling him that if he didn’t, “they would see to it that his family suffered the consequences.” The prisoners also mocked Mr. H, that his being in the military made him “a traitor” to Latinos and other minorities. Mr. H was confused and terrified.

Meanwhile, according to Smith, “this good Catholic man with a family who had pretty much always followed the rules” was called on to participate in torture. One of his jobs was “to take detainees to certain places and see that they were handcuffed in difficult positions, usually naked, in anticipation of interrogation.” Mr. H often watched the questioning. He saw prisoners pushed until they fell down, then cut. They responded to the torture with “defecation, vomiting, urinating,” and “psychotic reactions: bizarre screaming and crying.”

Smith noted that Mr. H said he was “required to handcuff and push to the ground detainees who were naked.” The prisoners were also made to “remain on sharp stones on their knees.” Detainees, Mr. H told Smith, would try to avoid interrogation by rubbing their knees until they bled in order be taken to the prison hospital.

According to Smith, Mr. H’s comment about these events “was poignant and simple: ‘It was wrong what we did.'” While still at Guantánamo , he responded to being a participant in torture “with guilt, crying and tears. But of course it was forbidden to talk with anyone about what he was experiencing.” He “became more and more depressed.” Apparently, so did other military personnel. Smith said Mr. H told him that in the first month he was at Guantánamo, two guards committed suicide.

Smith said that by the time he saw Mr. H, he “had become very ill. He was suicidal, terribly depressed, anxious,” and “riddled with insomnia and horrible dreams and flashbacks.” He had already seen two military therapists and not improved. But those therapists “were active duty and he didn’t dare tell them” what had happened at Guantánamo. Smith was not active duty, and after two or three sessions Mr. H opened up. With medication and psychotherapy, he became less suicidal but was still too sick to do any more military service.

Three years later after treating Mr. H, Smith got three new patients who were guards at Guantánamo on later tours. They said conditions were much improved –“they loved it at Guantánamo and went swimming in the Caribbean.” Still, one guard was having problems directly related to his work there. He “described having to cut down a detainee” who tried to hang himself after chewing through an artery in his own arm. There was blood everywhere. When the guard left Guantánamo, he was suffering from “anxiety attacks, panic attacks.”

Smith said his presentation at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting was the first time he’d ever spoken publicly about his Guantánamo patients. He decided to talk, he said, because he is concerned that veterans are generally ineligible for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) disability benefits if the condition is not caused by combat. He considers the guards of Guantánamo “an overlooked group of victims.” But in making that case, Smith stepped into a unique role. Heretofore, almost all accounts of torture at Guantánamo have come from non-governmental human rights groups or detainees and their defense lawyers. The FBI accounts in 2004 were contradictory. Smith, a prestigious physician, relayed accounts from inside the military.

Debbie Nathan is a New York City-based journalist who writes frequently for CounterPunch. She can be reached at

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. 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.

Inside the Fires of Imperialism: Crusade of Surge & Siege By Manuel Valenzuela

Dandelion Salad

By Manuel Valenzuela
02/26/08 “ICH

Part Three

Through Middle East Eyes

In order for the peoples of America and the West to understand what has been and is currently being done to the peoples of the Middle East we must envision ourselves as human beings living and going through life in that most troubled of regions. We must exercise a humanist form of empathy that places us squarely inside the lands of desert and sand, the lands of the people of the Bible, of terrain full of mirages and complexities, of alien and unfamiliar cultures and languages and religions, of a history that predates any western beginning or thought, of a complexity we know almost nothing about.

We must see through the eyes of peoples we do not understand and are completely ignorant of, of peoples we have been conditioned through ceaseless propaganda to disdain and oftentimes hate. We must, in order to see into resurrected Crusades, know the unknown, so that we cease to fear what is foreign and alien. We must contemplate life as it currently exists for the people of the region, not the life we are made to believe in, nor the hazy reality imagined in our minds. For the sake of the millions now dead and dying, for the sake of the dispossessed and the suffering, the maimed and mentally destroyed, we must have an understanding of life in the Middle East, life inside the fires of imperialism.

We must, in order to comprehend the catastrophe befalling the peoples of the Middle East, imagine ourselves as people living under tyranny, under occupation, under oppression and modern day colonialism, in lands where the devil’s excrement abounds, where it makes blind monsters of men, where conflicts are born from the interpretations of fables and mythology, where theological differences succeed in both dividing and conquering, and where western colonialism has and continues to inflict great damage on millions of Arabs and Muslims.

If we are to understand the suffering and oppression of the Arab and Muslim people of the Middle East, we must confront the Empire and its omnipresent grip over the region; a powerful nation with omnipotent control over lands whose resources are needed to run the engines of hegemonic power; a hegemonic Goliath that methodically and calculatedly rules over dozens of little David’s by proxy, intimidation and through puppets. Indeed, to fully understand the 21st century’s version of yesteryear’s crusades, we must journey to the lands where greed and petroleum mix, where neoliberal capitalism and market colonialism fuse, where economic genocide and hegemonic drive intermingle and where the grand pieces of the global chess match collide.

For this present Crusade is not about reclaiming Jerusalem or the Holy Land, or of converting the heathens and barbarians into good Christians. It is not about conquest in the name of a god or a religion, nor a crusade to determine a clash of civilizations. No, this Crusade is about conquering and controlling petroleum, a resource unknown by past Crusaders. This Crusade is about conquering and controlling geostrategic land, about appropriating for the Empire the region’s vast fields of oil and natural gas and the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates.

This Crusade is a neoliberal one, designed to inject American style debauched democracy and corrupt capitalism into the Middle East. This Crusade, this invasion and occupation, this folly into mass murder and mass destruction, this criminal enterprise to appease the gods of greed and of the Almighty Dollar, is an ideological struggle initiated by the masters of neoliberal economics, who, together with those enamored with American Manifest Destiny, have for decades decimated the lives of the people who inhabit this condemned region.

As such, as much as we must see ourselves through Arab and Muslim eyes, we must also look inwards, towards our own selfish way of life, searching our self-centered egos and our ethnocentric bubble of delusion. We must learn to see and accept the role we have in the great damage done in our name. We must learn to understand, and acknowledge, that so much of the Crusade of Surge and Siege is a direct consequence of our gluttony and greed, our insatiable hunger for wealth and materialistic goods, our addictions to comfort and convenience and our complete and utter abandonment of humanist values as death and destruction is rained down on Arab and Muslim peoples.

In many ways, we, with our ever-expanding demands for better and greater standards of living, for more complete comfort and luxury, are the engine that runs the Empire’s economy and thus its power, and that of its rulers. It is the People that give sustenance to the Empire’s actions, and it is us who inevitably depend most on Middle Eastern petroleum. Indeed, every engine needs energy to give it life, to keep it operational, to maintain its many parts in harmony, to make sure of sound performance and of engine health.

This energy, of course, the energy we depend on for the continued survival of our “way of life” and our “values,” — by which we naturally mean greed, comfort, gluttony and the standard of living no other nation enjoys – the energy that helps guarantee our “democracy and capitalism,” — by which we mean the exploitation of the people of undeveloped nations and the market colonialism holding them hostage, all to maintain our “way of life” – as well as our addictions of mass consumption and materialism, comes directly from the black gold that permeates beneath the surface of the lands we inhabit, mostly from the nations of the south, whether it is the lands of Arabs or Muslims or Latin Americans or Africans.

The Crusade of Surge and Siege is thus a natural manifestation of our own vices and sins, of our unwillingness to part ways with a life no other people can claim to possess, and which becomes ever harder to simply abandon the longer it lasts and the more it continues to grow. Our gluttony has continued its devastation on the peoples of the region, decade after decade, because those living inside the Empire refuse to part ways with an unsustainable way of life due to an uncontrollable addiction to greed and a plague-like, insatiable appetite for materialistic goods. In the end, while we can feel good by blaming corporations or leaders, it is We the People who ultimately shoulder the blame for an indifference and a gluttony that stoke the flames that grant life to the engine of the Pax Americana.

Region Condemned

At the crossroads of humanity, connecting east and west, located in vitally geostrategic positions, the Middle East has long been a prize for any aspiring Empire. Many powers have invaded and occupied these lands and peoples, only to inevitably be violently thrown out over time. History is saturated with the hubris and folly of Empires long since disappeared, whose arrogance and wealth ended up but rotting, decaying carcasses when their adventures with the Middle East came to a less than triumphant conclusion.

The Middle East has always been resistant and hostile to invasion and occupation, with its people using the accumulated wisdom of generations, and that of thousand years old civilizations, together with a silent patience that buys time and studies how best to defeat its enemies, preying on its victim like stealthy lions on a hunt. Over time, these peoples have developed guerrilla warfare and the experience of multiple occupations, slowly, and methodically, castrating the invader, one soldier, one supply line at a time. In a region that has seen much suffering, destruction and death, a war of attrition against these peoples cannot be won. Ideas of time, of black and white thinking, of the definition of victory, of analysis and reason, of the necessity for vengeance, of death, and of war and battle are interpreted and seen differently from western views. The failure to understand this reality has ruined the armies of powerful empires.

Many of the now defunct powers, it seems, failed to learn and understand human history, only to repeat the mistakes and the delusions of predecessors. They failed to read between the lines, failing to see a cornucopia of red flags. The region is as dynamic and as complicated as it is tempting, with theology, history, culture, society, territorial claims, commerce, ethnic and tribal affiliations mixing in a cocktail of fiery anger, aggression and turmoil against those powers that have tried to tame such a varied and mysterious land.

With the short-sighted machinations and the complete ignorance of the region of the last century’s western European powers the fate of the modern day Middle East was sealed. Like Africa, the Middle East we know today is one of artificiality, one that never before existed until the west imported the fictions of imaginary lines of division. Western, colonial power exceptionalism, with its belief in Judeo-Christian superiority and its belief that it was civilizing the inferior, “sub-human” Arab and Muslim peoples, created imaginary borders out of thin air, as always in its ignorance and hubris and geopolitical self-interest, carving nations where none dared exist, and where none should ever have been birthed.

Dividing lands, sects, ethnicities, tribes and peoples based on colonial powers’ interests and intentions was a mistake that condemned millions of people and resulted in a contemporary Middle East whose volatility, and importance to the world’s powers, makes it a region of immense conflict and of potential danger to the world entire. Colonial follies have led to the region’s greatest animosities and injustices, together with its greatest crimes against humanity, fating millions to live inside a geopolitical puzzle carved by the hands of the west.

Failing to take into consideration tribal, sectarian, ethnic and cultural dynamics, or the realities of Islamic theological differences, or centuries-old territorial claims to land, or the longstanding resistance to foreign invasions and occupations, or the injustice of claiming and stealing the land of continuously native peoples, or the sensitivity of the Islamic faith to and resentment in foreign entities occupying lands deemed sacred and holy, European powers set in motion the inevitable clash between the rich north and the resource rich, geopolitically necessary Middle East.

Of course the indigenous peoples of these lands had their destinies, and that of their descendants, decided for them by yesteryear’s colonizers. Today’s Crusade of Surge and Siege owes its genesis to Europe’s indifference and ignorance, to its catastrophic errors. In its short-sighted appetite for power, the long-term volatility of the region has been compromised. Yet since only sub-human infidels would feel the consequences, the west continued adding fuel to the fire.

Claws of Control

When the volatile liquid of petroleum, together with that of natural gas, are included into the Middle East cauldron – a reality that escaped all previous powers exerting force in the region before the turn of the 20th century – what emerges is a geopolitical and geostrategic prize on a scale not seen by emerging Empires before. Indeed, control of the region and of its resources – for oil, natural gas and water are today and will invariably be into the future of great strategic importance – will decide the fate of the present Empire, as well as those waiting in line to rise when America begins her decline, as she is presently doing. It is in this region where the destiny of the modern world will be decided, and it is those who dwell there who will be forced to endure the grand chess match played between powerful competitors.

Control of the region, while signifying control of its resources, also means control of the spigot, of the pipelines feeding and fueling economies, of access to these same resources by other nations, as well as control of the waterways granting passage to tankers headed to all corners of the globe. Control the Middle East’s oil fields and you control the world. Controlling the Middle East, especially having a firm grip on those lands where oil and gas abound, virtually guarantees that the Empire’s oil and gas companies, today gorging on the profits that war, insecurity and control engender, will assume major investments in, and the enormous profits from, extracting, refining, transporting and selling the Middle East’s resources. It guarantees the continued plunder of the Middle East’s oil by American energy giants.

Through control of resource-rich nations, the Empire’s energy conglomerates are granted access to and possession of these precious and finite resources, such as oil and gas, that would otherwise escape their colossal grasp. Such was the purpose of illegally and aggressively invading and occupying Iraq, where, years prior to invasion, the state and the industry unilaterally, and in secret, carved up Iraq’s existing and potential oil fields. This symbiotic relationship between the state and the corporate world, whereby the muscle and the power of the state are used to protect and further the interests of the energy industry, at great detriment to the people of the resource-rich nation, along with the knowledge, capital and resources of the industry being used to impregnate the Empire with cheap and abundant oil and gas, to the great benefit of its economy and hegemony, to the great detriment to all other potential rivals, is a classic example of corporatism, the fusion of state and profit.

The state thus secures for the energy industry those nations possessing large amounts of tapped and untapped oil reserves, only to later receive the benefits from conglomerates in the form of subsidized petroleum prices, control of oil and gas supplies, along with tax revenues from these companies and their products which, thanks to rising petroleum prices, further enhance the state’s coffers and further enable a transfer of resources, in the form of paying exponentially higher prices at the pump, away from the pocketbooks of the American people and towards the corporate and establishment world.

With a government saturated with corporate executives, lawyers and lobbyists, many from the energy and defense industries, and a revolving door of opportunity between the halls of power and the halls of profit that never seems to stop and in fact only continues to gain momentum, it is easy to see why America’s foreign policy in many ways mirrors the interests of the corporate world, especially those of the energy-industrial complex. Thus, the Crusade of Surge and Siege is a reflection of a corporate world swarming the Middle East like vultures ready to feast on the spoils of war. It is easy, too, to foresee where America will be focusing its muscle and its might in the near future, for one simply needs to follow the trail of black gold, the trail of greed and money.

As such, Central Asia, with its collection of despotic Stans, together with Iran, with its vast oil and gas fields, will most likely follow in the footsteps of Iraq – with her oil – and Afghanistan – with her strategic location and pipeline route – as the next targets of the Empire, whether militarily, through buying off of leaders or through market colonialism. Already on the radar screen are the countries of Western Africa, with valuable proven and potential oil reserves, with nations such as Nigeria already feeling the strain of possessing the devil’s excrement, already reeling both from western energy conglomerates meddling in the domestic affairs of these governments and through the pillage of their natural resources. It is the people of these lands which are at present already feeling the effects of oil and its many vices and corruptions. As usual, it is the native people inhabiting oil rich lands that will never see one drop from the massive profits oil creates.

The thirst and addiction for oil is also the reason Venezuela has become of such importance, for Hugo Chavez has become the exception, not the rule, to the Empire’s demand that a nation’s oil not be used for the good of the people. He has not sold out his nation, and his people, to the dictates of the Empire. With enormous reserves of proven oil, said to rival or even surpass those of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela is an obvious choice for American intervention, and will most likely become a victim of the Empire’s hegemony before too long. Its intransigence against the Empire’s commands will not be tolerated much longer.

Its crime, indeed, Hugo Chavez’s crime, which no oil-rich nation or leader is allowed to commit, is redistribute the nation’s oil profits to its citizens and to the state’s growing treasury. Venezuela’s crime, and why she is now a target of the Empire, is having the audacity to use its own resources for the betterment of the population, and the state itself. What has made the Bolivarian state a pariah of the Empire, placed in the waiting line for the Empire’s firing squad, is that it refused to comply or sacrifice its people to the demands of America. Her great error, in the minds of the American establishment, was to destroy the cancer of neoliberal economics, the so-called Washington Consensus, the disaster of debauched capitalism and market colonialism. For this indiscretion, together with its decision to keep oil revenues within the interests of the nation, instead of allowing American energy conglomerates to pillage oil and revenues, Venezuela is now a target of American hegemony.

The lessons to be learned from the harsh teachings of the Empire have been absorbed by the Middle East’s kings and dictators. The oil beneath your sand belongs to the Empire, not your people. It belongs to America’s energy-industrial complex. You will sell your oil at the prices selected by the Empire, at the supplies it seeks, as always in American dollars. You will increase or decrease supply as the Empire sees fit, as always to the benefit of America. The spigot ultimately is under the control of the Empire and, if your oil supply is threatened by an enemy of the Empire, your nation will be invaded and occupied by America’s legions. You will be protected only because the Empire protects its lifeblood.

If you obey and remain loyal to the Empire, not your people, you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams, allowed to rule over your lands, allowed to remain a viable Middle East leader. If you fail to learn the lessons of those who no longer rule, or those no longer alive, you will cease to rule, cease to exist and cease to be a friend. You will be overthrown, replaced and forgotten. From Mossadegh to Saddam, from Iran to Iraq, to question or challenge the Empire is to seek the wrath of blood and the full might of America’s military. To even think of nationalizing your oil, or of retaining its wealth for the benefit of your people will unleash shock and awe on your land. These lessons have been memorized and incorporated, never to be broken, never to challenge the dictates of Empire and never to interfere with its unquenchable thirst for the devil’s excrement.

Empire Unhinged

What is transpiring in the Middle East is, more than anything else, a symptom of a disease a long time in the making, of the natural tendencies of Empire to accumulate for itself the blood that grants it life and the oxygen that makes it grow. Empires old and new have always sought to maintain and indeed expand their power, their hegemony, their standards of living, their “way of life.” They never seek to reduce their influence or minimize their footprint on the world; they can never lower the expectations of their population nor slow down the engine that has brought them to such power. They almost always seek to expand their economies and their domain, always trying to increase growth.

As such, with sustainability being anathema to their chosen path, with Empires becoming victims of their own hubris and success, with greed and thirst for power consuming its elite, with comfort, laziness and gluttony possessing its people, the Empire, either willingly or forced, must stay on the present course and must retain and ratchet up the same machinations that have for decades assured supremacy. Thus, caught in a vicious circle of its own making, the Empire must increase its power and domination and must continue its path of imperialism, of conquest and of pillage, all in order to satiate its people, its elite, its economy and its own power-induced, greed addicted ego.

Failure to maintain the ever-more difficult course of Empire would allow rivals the fresh air to grow and challenge, it would result in the growing unease of its people, and it would open the door for maturity and decline. The Empire is akin to a massive corporation succeeding under a neoliberal capitalist model, where to survive and thrive, expansion and dictatorial power are the rule, not the exception, where return on investment is demanded, with expectations of profit and returns higher every year, with market share growth part of the formula, with success ultimately lying in the exploitation of worker and Earth, of the uncompromising, merciless crushing of competition, and the buying, or acquisition of, smaller potential rivals.

By placing high barriers to entry, by possessing unmatched capital and profit, by integrating vertically and horizontally, by accumulating the infrastructure, resources and relationships its challengers need to grow, by dominating the market through its sheer size and strength, and by securing the unilateral power of monopoly a corporation can maintain its dominance and power, thereby keeping potential rivals at bay, and its stockholders happy. Failure to grow and expand exponentially usually means failure to survive, with investors fleeing what is perceived to be a sinking ship, and competition ready to cannibalize a dying company. Without growth on an almost annual basis, decline is sure to follow. Such is the reality of empire, much to the detriment of the empire itself, much to the detriment of humanity, and much to the detriment of Earth.

Empires continuously seek to maintain and grow, not slow down and shrink. For this reason America will not slow down its imperial ambitions, just as it will only demand that its hegemony be allowed to expand. It will seek to crush all competition, just as will try to grow at the expense of the rest of the world. The Middle East, the breadbasket of the world’s energy needs, is a region, and a prize, that no modern empire can be without, and thus, of paramount importance to those elite for whom imperialism and Empire is the next logical step in the evolution of America. The pursuit, protection and control of Middle East oil and gas is the only logical answer to the question of why America has established permanence in the region, why she invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, why she seeks to impose her will on Iran, and why she supports, finances and helps maintain in power the cadre of puppet kings, princes, sheiks, generals and dictators that rule the nations of the region.

What is occurring today, and will continue to intensify well into the future, is the expropriation of the Middle East directly into American hands, with the Empire planting the seeds of hegemony and control over the region’s vitally important natural resources, as well as its vitally important geostrategic terrain, for a permanent – or “enduring” in Orwellian speak – and unchallenged stay. Every new military installation or base already or presently being built confirms to the thinking world, which excludes the American masses, that the United States seeks not only complete control of the Middle East, but the exclusion of all potential rivals. Through its actions, America has let it be known that the Middle East is off limits to Russia and China, with Europe allowed inside the fringes, that it is the sole domain of the Empire, and that she will be in the region for as long as oil and gas flow freely from the inner organs of the Arab and Muslim underground.

The American flag has firmly been planted in the great majority of Middle East nations, with the Empire’s military establishing permanent Crusader castles and garrisons and bases, in dozens of countries, to secure for the realm the spoils and rewards of the region. At present, in the Middle East is where the lifeblood of the Empire lies, along with that of the industrialized world, where its energy for the foreseeable future is secured. Naturally, then, it is this region, more than any other, that must be protected and defended and taken off the grand chessboard before emerging rivals rise and old challengers think themselves resurrected. It is in the Middle East where a permanent footprint must be established, where the Empire must claim the divine right to plunder, rape, destroy and subjugate. The great catastrophe of the Middle East will thus continue well into the future.

It is the black energy that lies below humanity’s feet that propels the Empire and its people to unmatched wealth and power. And so, in order to understand the Crusade of Surge and Siege, in order to give prominence inside the conscious mind of billions to the genocide inside Iraq, the crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and the human rights violations throughout the Middle East, we must come to an understanding that as long as petroleum fuels the human condition, as long as carbon-based engines and products dominate our civilization, wars and invasions and occupations and the oppression of entire peoples will continue unabated by today’s present Empire, with its corresponding brutality and barbarity and violence and destruction and mass murder continuing to haunt us until either we put an end to our insatiable thirst for oil, or our insatiable thirst for oil puts an end to us.

Part Four Will Be Posted 27/02/08

Due to the great response and interest “Crusade of Surge and Siege” has had over the last week, I have written a fourth and final part to the series. Along with part three, “Inside the Fires of Imperialism,” part four, “Into the Valley of Catastrophe,” has now been published.

For those wishing to read more about the brutality of America’s occupation in Iraq, along with its consequences, I suggest my previous essays, “Operation Iraq Forever,” “Holocaust Redux” “The Killing Fields: Ghosts of the Walking Dead,” and “Dear Terrorist Child.” These essays convey aspects of America’s Crusade that are not covered in this essay.

Also, it should be noted that the Israeli/Palestinian issue has largely been left untouched in this series. That topic is an issue reserved for its own essays, some of which have been written already, and some which are yet to come. For those interested, please see “The Untermensch Syndrome: Israel’s Moral Decay,” “A Malignant Tumor On the World,” and “The Walls That Divide Us.”

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. 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.


Crusade of Surge & Siege: Homeland Born & Bred By Manuel Valenzuela (Part 1)

Cages of Conquest – Hear No Evil, See No Evil By Manuel Valenzuela (part 2)

The Year of Living Dangerously Part 1 By Manuel Valenzuela

The Year of Living Dangerously Part 2 By Manuel Valenzuela


Manuel Valenzuela

Free Energy Home Generator – Zero Point Energy – Off the Grid

Dandelion Salad

[Note: this is a clip from an Australian News channel.  DS has no information about these generators. ~DS]

Replaced video Dec. 19, 2009

October 31, 2008

Is this the end of the internal combustion engine? Will we finally be able to drive past gas stations with a friendly wave and a honking horn? Will we be disconnecting from the power grid or even selling power back to the electric company? We’re about to find out. Continue reading

It’s an Election, Not a Coronation by Rosemarie Jackowski

Dandelion Salad

by Rosemarie Jackowski
Dissident Voice
February 26th, 2008

Democrats are once again experiencing Nader angst. In fact, many of them are suffering so much anxiety that they not only attack Nader, but also Nader supporters. The Democratic Party needs to be reminded that it is an election, not a coronation.

No one automatically deserves a vote simply because of Party affiliation. Hillary and Obama will get the votes of the Party faithful. Other voters will cast their ballots based on issues. On the issues, is any candidate better than Nader? No major party candidate even compares. That is why they have refused to allow Nader to debate.

The Democrats had their chance, and once again they blew it. They started out with Kucinich who called for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq — not only withdrawal across the Iraq border — but Kucinich called for bringing all troops home now. He also supported a Single Payer Health care system. That would save the lives of 18,000 U.S. citizens every year.

The Democrats also had Edwards who had promised to fight the wave of corporate crime — a major problem. Would there be war if the corporations did not profit from the killing?

Instead of voting for Kucinich or Edwards, the Party faithful cast their votes for candidates with a questionable history of support for peace, health care, and economic justice. This has created a vacuum of ideas. Nader is now filling that vacuum. The Democrats could have had it all — a peace candidate and an easy win against a weakened Republican candidate. Instead, they will again blame Nader, while refusing to accept the inevitable results of the votes of the Party faithful. They have ignored one of the most fundamental lessons of politics — you get what you vote for.

The Democrats have turned their backs on a large segment of the population — the anti-war groups. No self-respecting peace advocate can vote for either Democratic candidate. One candidate wants to increase the size of the military. The other stood by in silence while the Clinton administration was responsible for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Both Democratic candidates have foreign policy positions that are to the far right of Republican Ron Paul.

Nader is not only correct on issues of Foreign Policy, but he is also the world’s greatest consumer advocate. His candidacy is perfect timing. We are all consumers — consumers of war and peace, consumers of public utilities, consumers of agricultural products, the list could go on and on.

How’s NAFTA working for you? Have you read the fine print on your credit card statement recently? Are you happy with your public utility company — what about your cable company, your Internet provider? What about health care insurers who try to maximize profits by denying medical care to the seriously ill? What is the salary of the CEO of your health insurance company?

Lack of vigilant consumer protection has led to a culture of distrust. We live in a red tape jungle. Only Nader can bring about the necessary changes so that consumers can develop a sense of trust and confidence in the corporations that provide essential goods and services.

Ralph Nader has been a national treasure for decades. He has worked quietly — without publicity or fanfare — helping ordinary citizens. I first met him many years ago. The public utility had a plan to build a floating nuclear power plant off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Ralph came to Cape May. He met with the citizens. Because of his help, the floating power plant was not built.

Members of the Press have shown a lack of interest in, and knowledge of, the issues. Some TV interviewers are so uninformed that they avoid the real issues. Watching them is sometimes painful. The problem is not limited to FOX. Tim, Chris, and the others make me wish for a real journalist such as Helen Thomas.

Nader is not the only candidate who has been the victim here. Ron Paul and Mike Gravel have also been marginalized and disrespected. The voters are the ultimate victims. They never get to hear the platforms of all candidates. Cynthia McKinney has a powerful message that most voters have not heard. How about a Nader/McKinney team! Race, gender, and party affiliation barriers can be broken down with support for a Nader/McKinney candidacy.

The Democrats have a history of using unethical, strong-arm legal tactics to keep Nader off the ballots and out of the debates. Is there anything that they won’t try in order to silence an opposing candidate? Nader supporters will have to come up with a nation-wide network of Pro Bono lawyers to help with any assault from the Democrats. That’s not how democracy is supposed to work. Freedom of speech should not have to be purchased in a court room. Open the debates. Allow all candidates to be heard.

Nader’s announcement as a candidate has given an opportunity to demand the truth — but in the words of Jack Nicolson, maybe the voters “can’t stand the truth.”

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.

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.


Pariah or Prophet? By Chris Hedges

On the Issues: Ralph Nader

Road Trip for Ralph

The Audacity of Revolution VS The Hope of Chumps by Manila Ryce (video)

An Unreasonable Man (must-see videos; Nader) Parts 1-4

Ralph Nader Announces Candidacy (videos) (updated)

Ralph Nader: It’s not always about winning by Mark Silva


Chomsky: Why is Iraq Missing from 2008 Presidential Race? (link)

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
Feb 26, 2008

Noam Chomsky: Why is Iraq Missing from 2008 Presidential Race?

In a major address, Noam Chomsky says there has been little change in the conventional debate over a US invasion abroad: from Vietnam to Iraq, the two main political parties and political pundits differ only on the tactics of US goals, which are assumed to be legitimate. On the other hand, public opposition to war has also remained consistent, Chomsky says, but, whether Iraqi or American, ignored. [includes rush transcript]
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Noam Chomsky, Professor of linguistics at MIT for over half a century, Chomsky is the author of dozens of books on US foreign policy. His most recent is called Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.


Where’s The Iraqi Voice? By Noam Chomsky

Interventions with Noam Chomsky (video link)


Cleveland Corporate Media vs. Dennis Kucinich By David Swanson

Dandelion Salad

By David Swanson
After Downing Street
Feb 26, 2008

Cleveland, Ohio’s corporate media has passionately opposed the progressive populist efforts of Dennis Kucinich for decades. This week marks the climax of its most ferocious crusade to remove him from Congress.

Unable to be confident of motivating enough Democrats to vote against Kucinich in Tuesday’s primary, Clear Channel right wing radio station WTAM (these guys ) is openly encouraging Republicans to participate in the Democratic primary and vote against Kucinich.

My advice to such infiltrators is to take care or they may get stuck with a Republican nominee who believes the world is (not) more than 6,000 years old. Don’t risk it, folks. Vote for Huckabee!

Of course, leading the charge against Kucinich is the Cleveland Pain Dealer. Oops, I mean Plain Dealer. Having savaged Kucinich for years in reports and editorial for, among other things, failing to raise more money, the Pain Dealer attacks him in its latest anti-Kucinich editorial (the third in the past week) for having raised too much money:

Here’s the headline: “Editorial: Kucinich’s far-flung fans fatten his finances”

Here’s the text:

“Dennis Kucinich can’t plead poverty anymore. Since posting an Internet video warning that ‘corporate interests are converging on Cleveland to knock me out of Congress,’ Kucinich has raised $700,000 to defend his hold on the underrepresented people of the 10th District. Not surprisingly, most of his biggest donors live in other people’s districts. Other people’s states, in fact. Maybe viewed from Newton, Mass., or Hanapepe, Hawaii, Kucinich looks pretty good. Maybe when you see Cleveland only during playoff games, it seems just fine. But people like spiritualist Marianne Williamson of Nipomo, Calif., really ought to try living here. Then maybe they might understand why a lot of the people who are actively investing in Northeast Ohio’s future have also given money to challenger Joe Cimperman. They’re not out to silence Kucinich. They just want someone in Washington willing to help push a very big rock up a very steep hill.”

The Pain Dealer fails to note that Cimperman himself doesn’t live in the district he is seeking to represent, and says nothing about the corporate sources of his massive funding. But Kucinich has for six terms represented the people of his district and city and state better than just about any other group of constituents is represented in Washington. And he has done something else that every member of Congress is supposed to do: he has represented the people of the United States of America.

This past Tuesday morning, in the rain, in front of the U.S. Capitol, Kucinich took time off from campaigning in Cleveland and from his busy schedule on the Hill to join a handful of New York Congress Members in an event that no other representative from outside New York attended. Gathered on the Capitol lawn were hundreds of 9-11 rescue workers suffering from health problems dating from that toxic day, heroes lacking affordable health care. These people risked their lives for others and suffer every day for having done so.

Every district in this nation would vote to give these people health care for life. Many in Congress cheer for them and support the occupation of foreign nations in their name. But only Dennis Kucinich showed up, spoke, encouraged, and committed to holding the city of New York accountable through committee investigations. The people of Cleveland should be proud. The people of America should be proud. And everyone should give what they can to keep this courageous voice in our government:


Cleveland, Limbaugh radio station urges Republicans to register as Democrats to defeat Dennis Kucinich

Monday, February 25, 2008

CLEVELAND, OH – The #1 most powerful Rush Limbaugh radio station in Ohio and the Midwest – Clear Channel WTAM 1100 AM – is urging its Republican listeners to switch their party affiliation to Democrat for the March 4th primary election to “vote against Dennis Kucinich … and make sure he doesn’t make it out of the primary.”

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, facing the toughest re-election campaign in his tenure in the U.S. House, has been targeted by the Republican Party and by corporate interests in the Cleveland area who are heavily funding his opposition.

In a promotional campaign that began last night, WTAM radio host Bob Franz skirted with an outright corporate-sponsored endorsement by declaring, “If I weren’t a responsible radio talk show host, I would say …” At that point, he continues with a strongly partisan political message that includes a call to action to vote against Kucinich (Audio supplied by WTAM Radio)

WTAM Program Manager Ray Davis insisted that the Franz promo was “a talk show host’s opinion.” When challenged by a senior Kucinich campaign official as to whether the message reflects “the opinions of the management, ownership or sponsors of WTAM radio,” Davis responded in an email, “Those are your words … (not mine). My words are: “It’s a talk show host’s opinion.” Please don’t misquote me.”

Various media watchdog groups are exploring whether WTAM and Clear Channel have violated Federal Communications Commission rules and guidelines, Federal Elections Commission rules, or federal laws prohibiting corporate contributions to election campaigns.

Andy Juniewicz (216) 409-8992
Campaign Headquarters: (216) 252-9000

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