U.S. death toll in Iraq reaches 4,000 + 8 US soldiers & dozens of Iraqis killed in weekend violence

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msnbc.msn.com
Mar. 23, 2008

Grim milestone reached when IED kills 4 U.S. soldiers in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Sunday, the military said, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000.

The grim milestone came on the same day that rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone, underscoring the fragile security situation and the resilience of both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups despite an overall lull in violence.

A Multi-National Division — Baghdad soldier also was wounded in the roadside bombing, which struck the soldiers’ patrol vehicle about 10 p.m. in southern Baghdad, according to a statement.

…continued

h/t: CLG

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US military deaths in Iraq reach 4,000
Eight US soldiers and dozens of Iraqis killed in weekend violence

By Joe Kay
wsws.org
24 March 2008

At least eight US soldiers were killed in Iraq over the weekend, amid a resurgence of violence underscoring the instability of the US-led military occupation. The number of US soldiers who have died in Iraq now stands at 4,000.

Seven soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bombs in Baghdad, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The eighth was killed by “indirect fire”—mortar shells or rockets—on Friday south of Baghdad, according to the US military. So far, 27 US soldiers have been killed in the month of March.

Dozens of Iraqis were killed over the weekend in suicide bombings, and in raids carried out by the US.

The US military stated that it killed 17 and captured another 30 in operations centered in Baquba, about 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. According to the Associated Press, “Iraqi police reported a dozen civilians killed in an airstrike” in Baquba, but the military said that all those killed were “insurgents.”

Again according to the military, five Iraqis with alleged ties to Al Qaeda were killed near the border with Iran. None of the claims of affiliation can be taken at face value, however. The US government has renewed efforts in recent weeks to fabricate ties between Iran and Al Qaeda, which could be used as a pretext for some form of military operation against Iran.

In another incident near Samarra on Saturday, the US killed six Iraqis who were apparently members of the “Sons of Iraq,” also known as the Awakening Councils. These are Sunni groups that have made an alliance with the US occupation. US military forces said that they fired on the Iraqis after they were found “conducting suspicious terrorist activity in an area historically known for improvised explosive device emplacement.”

…continued

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More Iraq news:

ICH

Iraq: Sunday: At least 63 killed in another bloody day of US occupation: In other news, the death toll in a suicide attack in Mosul, some 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, rose to 13 Iraqi soldiers, while the number of wounded reached 30, including 12 civilians, VOI said.

Six killed by US friendly fire: A US airstrike struck checkpoints manned by US-allied Sunni fighters north of Baghdad on Saturday, killing six guards and wounding two, Iraqi police said.

In Iraq, jailed women tell of abuse: Some don’t know why they were arrested, and many are held for months without seeing a judge. Justice officials deny the accusations, but evidence points to deep-rooted problems.

Schoolgirl in Baghdad : Noor Salman is 16-year-old Iraqi girl living in Baghdad. She writes about her experiences of life in the five years since the US-led invasion.

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.

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Dick Cheney tour sparks Iran war rumors (video)

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Obama’s Minister Committed “Treason” But When My Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero

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by Frank Schaeffer
Huffington Post

Mar 16, 2008

When Senator Obama’s preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father — Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer — denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father’s footsteps) rail against America’s sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the “murder of the unborn,” has become “Sodom” by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, “under the judgment of God.” They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama’s minister’s shouted “controversial” comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.

Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation’s sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father’s sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our “stand” by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American.

…continued

h/t: outsider222.wordpress.com

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.

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God Damn America – The Fear of a Mortal Empire by Manila Ryce (video)

Barack Obama’s pastor Wright’s Sermon (video)

Hope, Change, and Pissing in the Wind By Patrice Greanville & Jason Miller

Obama on Race in America + A More Perfect Union (videos + transcript)

The Bombing of Nagasaki August 9, 1945: The Untold Story By Gary G. Kohls

Obama-Barack

An Election Without Meaning By Peter Phillips

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By Peter Phillips
http://www.projectcensored.org

Will November 2008 bring a meaningful change to America? Will getting rid of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney without impeachment or indictment really make a difference? Will a 600 billion dollar war/defense budget be cut in half and used for desperately needed domestic spending? Will the ninety-three billion dollars profits in the private health insurance companies–those parasitic intermediates between you and your doctor—be used instead for full health care coverage for all? Will Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus be restored to the people? Will torture stop and the US withdraw from Iraq immediately? Will all students in public universities be able to enroll for free? Will the US national security agencies stop mass spying on our personal communications? Will the neo-conservative agenda of total military domination of the world be reversed?

The answer to these questions in the context of the current billion dollar presidential campaign is an absolute no. Instead we have a campaign of personalities and platitudes. There is a race candidate, a gender candidate and a tortured veteran candidate, each talking about change in America, national security, freedom, and the American way. The candidates are running with support of political parties so deeply embedded with the military industrial complex, the health insurance companies, Wall Street, and corporate media that it is undeterminable where the board rooms separate from the state rooms.

The 2008 presidential race is a media entertainment spectacle with props, gossip, accusations, and public relations. It is impression management from a candidates’ perspective. How can we fool the most people into believing that we stand for something? It is billions of dollars of gravy for the media folks and continued profit maximunization for the war machine, Wall Street, and insurance companies no matter who is determined the winner in November.

We must face the fact that the US government’s primary mission is to protect the wealthy and insure capital expansion worldwide. The US military—spending more than the rest of the militaries of the world combined—is the muscle behind this protect-capital-at-all-costs agenda, and will be used against the American people if deemed necessary to support the mission.

Homeland Security, the North American Command, mass arrest practices with the FALCON raids, new detentions centers, and broadened “terrorism” laws to included interference with business profits are all now in place to insure domestic tranquility through extra judicial means if needed.

The two party corporate political system is having a HOMELAND presidential campaign—Hillary, Obama, McCain, Election, Lacking, Actual, National, Debate. It is time for real change, but it will only come with a social movement of reform in the tradition of the progressive, labor, civil rights, anti-war movements of the last century. We need to use all of our activist, legal, and political resources to reverse these threats to freedom. Naomi Wolf says it is not too late to prevent totalitarianism, but we have to act fast.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored. Access to verifying facts and analysis for the issues mentioned above is available at www.projectcensored.org. Reprints and postings allowed with credit to original author.

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Give Nader Just 10 Minutes (video)

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The Fed’s Bailout: Whose Money Is It? by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
Global Research, March 23, 2008

On its own initiative the Federal Reserve has been making decisions to bail out the U.S. financial industry from exposure triggered by the collapse of the housing bubble. The bailouts, which are now extending beyond the traditional regulated banking system to investment banks such as Bear Stearns, involve hundreds of billions of dollars.

The banks inflated the housing bubble, as they do every bubble, by loaning money to borrowers who used it to purchase things they could not buy otherwise.

Credit means, by definition, buy now and pay later. The money used for these loans is largely what the banks are allowed to create “out of thin air” under their fractional reserve privileges. Of course every borrower hopes either to be able to repay its loans from future earnings or to unload the object of the purchase onto someone else. More savvy borrowers hope to keep going by refinancing at lower interest rates at a future date.

A bubble—indeed any type of risky borrowing—is a gamble or a bet. The housing bubble is proving to be probably the worst “bet” ever made by any nation in history. The bet was made by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in cahoots with the Bush administration, because the economy had run out of income derived from legitimate sources like jobs and manufacturing.

You see, the capitalists, who’ve also been borrowing from the banks, sent these jobs overseas aided by free trade agreements like NAFTA. Lacking income from employment, people then used the temporary proceeds of their mortgage and home equity loans as a source of cash (the proverbial family-home-as-ATM) in order to pay credit card debt or college expenses, buy cars, or defray medical expenses.

But the Fed’s current bailouts are not for the ordinary people who can no longer earn enough money to pay for the necessities of life. There are no bailouts—at least not yet—for homeowners facing foreclosure or bankruptcy. Moreover the housing crisis is triggering problems with overextended lending of other types, including leveraging of acquisitions by equity funds such as Carlyle Capital, which is about to be gobbled up by J.P. Morgan Chase.

With all this going on, no one in any official position has addressed the key question, which is: Whose money is the Federal Reserve using for the bailouts?

Let’s make one thing clear. Many commentators are saying the Fed is “printing money.” Wrong! The Fed is not doing this at all. In fact the Fed should print money, because the economy, while debt-ridden, is cash-starved. The Fed or else the Treasury Department should print and distribute money to the populace by the thousands of dollars in fulfillment of a National Dividend this writer has been advocating repeatedly (see “An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States,” Global Research, April 26, 2007). They should do this instead of the piddling $600 “stimulus” rebate now in the works.

Rather the Fed is lending money, and there’s a world of difference.

Suppose you are broke and have huge debts. Someone gives you a hundred thousand dollars. How would you feel? Pretty darned good I’d say.

Then suppose that person says, no, it’s a loan, which you have to start paying back in thirty days with interest. How would you feel then? Well, pretty darned awful, especially if you just heard your job is moving to China.

The Fed is lending huge amounts of money, money that has to be paid back and for which interest is charged. And here’s the key to the whole situation. The only way this money can be paid back in the long run is by work that is done within the producing economy. This is work done by people with real jobs—by you and me, if in fact we still have jobs.

The Fed does not own a printing press. It owns a great big shiny plastic credit card. What the Fed is doing is charging the bailout loans on this credit card, with the men and women within the producing economy ultimately responsible. And if we don’t pay for these loans directly, we pay them through inflation or higher taxes, because they can also end up as add-ons to the national debt.

In case you are having trouble following this, Mr. and Mrs. Working America, let me be a little more blunt. IT IS YOUR MONEY THE FED IS USING TO BAIL OUT THE FINANCIERS! Excuse me for shouting, but can I be any more clear than that?

So where does the Fed get the authority to do all this?

Well, everyone knows by now that Congress gave it to them through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. But it is now time for Congress and the new activist president that we should elect this November to take that authority back—if in fact either of the two competing Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is the activist he or she claims to be.

Unfortunately, neither of them is yet saying anything that could be considered a challenge to the Fed or its outrageous and arbitrary rigging of the system to support its fat cat clientele at the expense of “We the People.”

Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on economics, politics, and space policy have appeared on numerous websites. His book on monetary reform entitled We Hold These Truths: The Promise of Monetary Reform is in preparation. He is also the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age, called by one reviewer, “the most important spaceflight book of the last twenty years.” His website is at www.richardccook.com.

© Copyright Richard C. Cook, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8424

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The 2008 Presidential Election: A Revolution or A Bust? by Richard C. Cook

The Role of the CIA: Behind the Dalai Lama’s Holy Cloak (2007) (article removed)

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Here is a similar post:

Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays ‘Tibet Roulette’ with China by F. William Engdahl

Note: due to copyright issues, this article has been removed from here and Global Research, please read the comments below. ~ Lo

by Michael Backman
Global Research, March 23, 2008
http://www.theage.com – 2007-05-23

Global Research Editor’s note

This incisive article by Michael Backman outlines the relationship of the Dalai Lama and his organization to US intelligence.

The Dalai Lama has been on the CIA payroll since the late 1950s. He is an instrument of US intelligence.

An understanding of this longstanding relationship to the CIA is essential, particuarly in the light of recent events. In all likelihood US intelligence was behind the protest movement, organized to occur a few months prior to the Beijing Olympic games. — M. C. 23 March 2008

[Article removed]

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Evading spies in Tibet + Secret report from the roof of the world

Dispatches: Undercover in Tibet (video)

Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays ‘Tibet Roulette’ with China by F. William Engdahl

“Democratic Imperialism”: Tibet, China & the National Endowment for Democracy (2007)

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth by Dr. Michael Parenti (01.02.07)

BBC Pictures of Tibetans killed in uprising in Ngawa, Amdho

Steve Chao in Bora, Amdho (Gansu province) + Clash that ’sparked’ Tibet’s violent protests

Keith Green: Easter Song (music video)

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

wiredfortravel

Hallelujah, Jesus is alive! Produced for our Easter Service, 2008, to be a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Continue reading

Give Nader Just 10 Minutes (video)

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HarryButtle

Tell YouTube to include Ralph Nader in the YouTube Presidential Debates! Call, write, or fax:

YouTube, LLC1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA USA

Phone: +1 650-253-0000Fax: +1 650-253-0001

Compare the issues of the Republicans and Democrats with Ralph Nader’s platform at votenader.org/issues/. Why was Nader shut out of the 2000 and 2004 debates? Find out how and rent the documentary, An Unreasonable Man. http://www.anunreasonableman.com

Continue reading

Michael Parenti: The Myth of the Founding Fathers (videos)

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Suryu

As the United States government claims to spread democracy around the world and is deeply involved in ghost writing constitutions for other countries, the spotlight falls back on this country. Is the current US system a democracy, – has it ever been one? In The Myth of the Founding Fathers Michael Parenti takes us back to the early days of the republic. Who were the founding fathers, what were their goals in writing the US constitution? Whom did they exclude and whom did they favor? What was their attitude towards slavery? How many of them actually wanted to create a monarchy? And who – in the end – ratified the constitution after it was written?

‘Shock & Awe’ Five Years On by Michael Faulkner

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by Michael Faulkner
TPJ
March 23, 2008

On March 20th five years ago the ‘shocking and awful’ invasion of Iraq began. The anniversary, last Thursday, provided much food for thought and reflection about that unhappy event, the consequences of which are not only still with us but seem likely to darken the horizon for years to come.

I decided in the days before the 20th March that I could not let this anniversary pass without comment. The problem though, in commenting on the war and its terrible aftermath, is to avoid simply echoing what has been said in those sections of the British media that have attempted a serious treatment of the subject. In March 2003, as the drum beats for war were growing ever louder in their attempt to drown out the voices of opposition, I decided to commit to print my thoughts on the impending conflict. By the 16th March it was clear that war was inevitable. I have just re-read the five thousand words I wrote between the 16th and 19th March 2003 under the title Thoughts on the Eve of War. Much of what I wrote was a fairly detailed commentary on what was happening in the UK parliament and at the UN during those critical days. I have decided to devote this week’s column to selected quotes from my 2003 notes, as I feel that there is merit in recalling those events and, I hope modestly, reminding readers that there was in Britain a mass movement of unprecedented size and unity in opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

Thoughts on the Eve of War: Sunday, 16th March 2003. 

Today the armed forces of the United States, backed by those of the United Kingdom, stand poised to unleash blitzkrieg against Iraq. The US and British governments assume, plausibly, that it will be all over very quickly and that within a few weeks at most, Iraq will be occupied and ‘liberated’ from the Ba’athist tyrant. Whatever the outcome may be, this will not be a war in any serious sense of the term. It will not involve two sides, both capable of inflicting serious damage on each other. It will be a turkey shoot. The most powerful military machine in the world is about to crush a weak, fifth rate state that poses no threat to the US or Britain and, despite claims to the contrary, does not possess adequate means to defend itself….

The propaganda barrage 

For several months, in the build up to this attack on Iraq, we have been subjected to what can only be described as a sustained propaganda barrage to justify the coming war. When it is over, those who have promoted it  – primarily the US and British governments, backed by much of the media – will hope that the anticipated ‘victory’ will drown, in a chorus of self congratulation, all the misinformation, lying and hypocrisy that have preceded the resort to force. Bush, Blair and their supporters must be hoping that memories are short and that the millions who have demonstrated globally against this war will disperse in embarrassment and disarray. Blair, in particular, now facing the most serious predicament of his premiership, will be hoping that ‘victory’ will cast into oblivion his defiance of the U.N. Security Council and dispel any current concerns about the war’s legality.

However it may turn out – and it would be rash to discount the dangers of serious political and social unrest in various countries once the war starts, to say nothing of the stimulus it may give to further acts of terrorism against states backing the war – it is important to challenge the propagandists and to expose their campaign of misinformation, hypocrisy and lying.

Bush 

The US government initiated the war drive against Iraq. The determination to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein pre-dates September 11th. The Republican cabal that helped get Bush into office included this as one of their objectives as long ago as 1996. Their larger objective was to establish the unchallengeable political and military hegemony of the US on a global scale…..

Bush, on the basis of the evidence I have seen, is not competent to hold high office in any country, let alone to hold the office, which, we are told, makes him the most powerful man in the world. The Bush junta (Cheney, Perle, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al) collectively constitute about the most rightwing group of politicians at the centre of any government in American history…..

To make September 11th the casus belli for whatever action the Bush administration decides to take in the name of ‘war on terrorism’ is neither justified nor supportable. September 11th is clearly being exploited in support of the war against Iraq. Neither the British nor the US governments have produced any convincing evidence to link Iraq with Al Qaeda…….

What is the aim of the war against Iraq? 

The main aim of the Bush junta is ‘regime change.’ There are also other aims. Gaining US control of Iraq’s oil resources is not the only objective, but it is a pretty obvious one. To install a government in Baghdad that facilitates US access to the second largest oil reserves in the world, certainly plays a part in the Bush junta’s calculations. Their intention to oust Saddam Hussein has never been denied. No-one is in any doubt about the brutal nature and murderous record of the Iraqi regime – least of all those of us who have not forgotten that Saddam was armed and supported by the US when he used poison gas against the Iranians twenty years ago, or that the US sold him anthrax agents and the British government built his chemical and munitions factories. Saddam Hussein was just as bloodthirsty a dictator then as he is now. The brutal nature of the Iraqi regime is not the reason for the US determination to overthrow it. If ‘regime change’ by full scale invasion is so urgent now, why not then?

….When the demand was made by Britain and the US that Iraq must agree to the re-admission of the UN weapons inspectors, it was confidently assumed that Saddam Hussein would not agree to this. His anticipated refusal would then be sufficient to secure a simple Security Council resolution to trigger war. When he did agree it was then assumed that very soon he would place obstacles in the way of the inspectors, making their work impossible, thereby triggering war.

At this point it is important to look very carefully at the course of events since the passage of Resolution 1441. At the time of writing (16th March 2003), Blair, Aznar and Bush are ensconced in the Azores in a council of war. They are going to say that a second resolution at the UN is not necessary as 1441 warns Iraq of ‘serious consequences’ that will follow from his refusal to disarm. They will then abandon the UN and launch the invasion of Iraq within days.

But Resolution 1441 was worded very carefully to avoid specifically committing the Security Council to sanction the precipitate use of force. The majority of members, including permanent members France, Russia and China, would not have voted for a motion linked to a specific date and containing an ultimatum…….

For several weeks, on Blair’s prompting, it has been assumed that a second resolution declaring Iraq in breach of 1441 and sanctioning the use of force would be necessary and forthcoming. Let’s consider carefully why it is, after so much emphasis on the importance of a second resolution, that Blair, Bush and Aznar are now saying that they do not need it and intend to attack Iraq without breaching the UN charter. Essentially, they have been forced into a position they never expected to be in. It has to do with the stand taken by Russia, China and, particularly France. It has also to do with the position taken by the weapons inspectors. Jacques Chirac and Hans Blix have thrown the war plans awry.

Blix 

The second report in early March made clear that progress was being made and crucially argued for more time to complete the process of disarmament. Some months were needed. The whole thrust of Blix’s report was that the inspections should continue. This clearly dismayed Powell and Straw but strengthened the French and Russian position, which supported the continuation of the inspections.

The French Case

Whatever its motivation, the French case has been clear, consistent and rational. Chirac has argued that: a) the inspections are producing results and that the objective of disarming Saddam Hussein can be achieved without resort to war; b) that resolution 1441 does not sanction the resort to war and was not intended to do so; c) in view of (a) and (b) any attempt to introduce a second resolution containing an ultimatum and therefore triggering war before the inspections had taken their course, was completely unacceptable and would be opposed by France.

This is a completely logical position that in no way undermines the UN…..

The vilification of France in the US and in much of the British press at present is nauseating. The Daily Express, for example, on the 14th March carried a front page advertisement offering a £5 trip to France with the message ‘Let’s invade France! They’re lousy at war but the booze is good!’

The Sun, on the same day, on its front page, juxtaposed pictures of Saddam Hussein and Jacques Chirac with the caption ’Spot the Difference’ – with the clear implication that there was none. The utterances of the foreign secretary on the same subject are only slightly less scurrilous. In the US it is even worse. Such is the level to which public treatment of these issues has sunk that, apparently ‘French Fries’ have been renamed ‘Freedom Fries.’

Monday, 17th March 2003 

Vilification of France

It is a measure of the bankruptcy of the Bush/Blair case that they have to stoop to the puerile level that characterises their utterances against the French. In Britain, France has been singled out for especially vituperative treatment. A few weeks ago pundits such as the BBC’s normally sensible and well-informed John Simpson, were confidently asserting that the French would ‘definitely’ come round to support Britain and the US. When it came to it, the pundits said, France would not use the veto. It was all a matter of an exaggerated Gallic amour proper. This attitude betrayed a certain disdain for France, which is quite deep-rooted in English political culture.

Then, a week or so ago, when it started to look as though Chirac might mean what he said, the smug, contemptuous smiles began to disappear from their faces. Horror of horrors! The French actually meant what they said! Then began the talk about the ‘unreasonable’ exercise of the veto. If France were to veto a resolution in the Security Council sanctioning war, then, it was claimed, France would be willfully destroying the authority of the UN. Let’s look at this argument.

What is an ‘unreasonable’ veto? 

Since the foundation of the UN Britain has used the veto 32 times – far more often than France. But the US has used the veto much more often. To give two examples amongst many, in June 1982 the US alone vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for the simultaneous withdrawal of Israeli and Palestinian armed forces from Beirut, on the grounds that this plan ‘was a transparent attempt to preserve the PLO as a viable political force.’ Was that veto not unreasonable? In 1975 the US blocked UN action to stop Indonesians from committing aggression against East Timor. Was that reasonable? Reasonable or not, the founders of the UN agreed in 1945 to give permanent members of the Security Council the power of veto. There is no provision for member states to decide which vetoes are ‘reasonable’ and which are ‘unreasonable’ and on this basis to ignore the veto. Fairly evidently, those states against whom the veto is used will regard its use as unreasonable. If, on the basis of such calculation it is deemed permissible to ignore the Security Council and act unilaterally, it is such action and not the use of the veto that flouts the procedures of the UN.

US bullying in the Security Council 

As has been evident for months now, the US and British governments are determined to attack Iraq come what may. Bush has been less concerned about working through the UN than has Blair, whose position in his own party and in the country is less secure than Bush’s in the US. Therefore, he has been very keen to ‘work through the UN.’ What has this amounted to in practice?

The Bush administration has had support in the Security Council from Britain, Spain and Bulgaria. Of the permanent members of the council, France, Russia and China have demanded that the inspections should be allowed to continue and have opposed any second resolution that would trigger war. As it became clear that at least one of these would use its veto, Bush and Blair began to work feverishly to ‘persuade’ six of the apparently undecided non-permanent members to support a second resolution authorising war. If this bore fruit, it could be argued that, as a majority of the members of the council supported the US/British stand, any veto would be ‘unreasonable.’

Although there is nothing surprising in the methods employed by the US in the attempt to bring these states ‘on side’, it is worth considering them briefly, if only because both the US and British governments claim that they occupy the ‘moral high ground’ in defence of their stance. The US has engaged in threats, bribery and bullying to achieve its ends. This is nothing new. At the time of the first Gulf war in 1991, two Security Council members, Cuba and Yemen, voted against the use of force. With regard to Cuba, which for thirty years had suffered from a punitive US blockade, there was nothing that could be done. But, following the ‘no’ vote, the Yemeni representative was told that it was ‘the most expensive vote he would ever cast.’ An economic package was immediately cancelled. Threats of the same kind have been made against those Third World member states over which the US exercises economic leverage. But, astonishingly, this time it does not appear to have worked as well. It seems that the hardening of French determination to use the veto has persuaded the ‘swing’ states to resist US bullying and persuaded them that it is not worth casting their vote for war, which would very likely only exacerbate social and political tensions in their own countries where popular opinion is firmly opposed to war.


TPJ is not subject to copyright.  Anyone is welcome to freely quote and use material from TPJ.  In reproducing or using material from the TPJ proper attribution is appreciated.

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Big Media in Seattle Gets Dressed Down! (video)

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143tbone

http://www.worldcantwait.org
Going into the 6th year of the Iraqi occupation does not go unheeded as protesters hold big media corporations accountable for lies that kill.

Added: March 22, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Iraq: Five Years of Genocide by Zuheir Kseibati

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by Zuheir Kseibati
Global Research, March 22, 2008
Al-Hayat – 2008-03-20

Five years ago to the day, it was the dawn of the American invasion that carried Iraq to the endless darkness of the occupation. The fall of Baghdad, the Arab capital which they almost dubbed Saddam Hussein’s capital, was nothing but the onset of a massive volcanic eruption in the region; its fires still consume the Arabs’ stability and security and rewrite maps from the Ocean to the Gulf.

The captain of the invasion, George Bush, celebrates the “first large-scale Arab uprising against Usama bin Laden.” He reassures Americans that the costs of the invasion and war against and in Iraq, now touching $500 billion, are petty when bearing the “gains” in mind…notably ending “Saddam’s tyranny” and lighting the candles of hope towards “democracy.”

As he celebrates the fifth anniversary of the invasion, Bush forgets the big misleading lie about the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The battle has turned into a front against al-Qaeda and terrorism, and its strategic goal is to prevent shifting the battlefield to the US. Let it then be the 100-year war fought with Iraqi blood!

Those were five years of tears and blood. They are good enough a price for the Baghdad government to prevent a quick American withdrawal, which would sweep away the “achievements” realized so far, including the reduction of death tolls and rates. The suicide bombers, however, continue to come in waves, while hundreds of thousands have been left dead since the invasion and occupation began. Millions are now refugees all over Mesopotamia and neighboring countries, announcing the worst humanitarian “crisis” in a country that holds the world’s third largest oil reserves. Perhaps it is certainly much worse than a crisis.

Despite all this, Bush is still celebrating the liberation of Iraqis from tyranny, and also from their blood, wealth, sovereignty, security, stability, and unity. By all moral standards, neither he nor his Vice President Dick Cheney feel embarrassed when they present on their list of victories the face of a new Iraq in which al-Qaeda is weakened and the resources of terrorism are dried up. They conveniently overlook al-Qaeda’s students and women, the swamps of corruption drowning ministers and officials, the impoverishment of the homeless and the insanity of those who have been plagued by massacres and bombings that have turned Iraq into the home of the forgotten genocide.

The president, the captain of occupation, and his vice president who has bestowed upon his wife an adventurous and challenging trip to the secret base, are not ashamed of revealing the “logical” conclusion of the extremely costly war: that no other generation of Americans will have to be sent here to deter a potential confrontation on American soil. And if the cost is the blood, wealth, and unity of Iraqis, that would be their problem.

When Mesopotamia becomes the nation of unified plagues falling upon the necks of a nation, the American president finds no reason to apologize for his lies about weapons of mass destruction. Only a handful of the original war architects remain with him but mostly in hiding, while Cheney promises the Iraqis that he would not tire. The battle still has chapters to come, and if the Americans were to be bored by any slackness on al-Qaeda’s side, there would still be the Iranian “influence.” It is as if the vice president is taking the risk to address the victim of murder and warn him against the murderer!

Five years of tears and blood. The deafening bombs are still louder than the wailing of the mothers who lost their children and the weeping of men every time they lost children and fathers. But does any of this happen in Iraq? Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is commending the “healing of the nation,” for Iraqis are no longer killed on the basis of their sectarian identity! Genocide has become “fair,” as it no longer discriminates between Sunni and Shiite. To become indiscriminate, the genocide has had to last as long as the occupation itself. Everything that has been since the dawn of March 20th, 2003 is a “success” according to Cheney’s testimony.

According to al-Maliki’s account, life goes on in Iraq. The only obstacle that hinders “reconciliation” between the ruling forces and the disgruntled parties is a final resolution over the oil law to divide the inheritance of the murdered victim.

The “Iraqis were liberated” five years ago. All they need to do is to believe the American when he offers them a medal for defeating tyranny so they can prepare themselves for another decade or two of war on terror, while he promises them “strategic” military bases to guard oil facilities …and the dead.

Cheney wonders about the Arabs and why they are so shy in front of Iran and al-Qaeda. In the century-long war, everyone has a role to play.

In the long night and the epic of forgotten genocide, only Bush hallucinates about victory….All the politicians of Iraq hallucinate about democracy-deception. It is the long night of genocide.

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© Copyright Zuheir Kseibati, Al-Hayat, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8418

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Iraq + Lies

It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza (1999)

Dandelion Salad

by Patricia Lanza
motherearthnews.com
April/May 1999

The basics of a nontraditional method of gardening that is not only organic, earth friendly, and incredibly easy, but will enable you to accomplish more, in less time, with less work…

If someone told me years ago that he or she had found a way to do an end run around the sweat equity of traditional gardening, a way around digging, weeding, and rototilling, a way to produce more regardless of time constraints, physical limitations, or power-tool ineptness… well, I would have checked that person for a head injury. Yet such a system is actually possible, though I never would have believed it if I hadn’t stumbled upon the basics myself.

Lasagna gardening was borne of my own frustrations. After my husband retired from the U.S. Navy, we began our next period of work as innkeepers. When the demands on my time became so great that I could no longer do all that was required to keep both the business and the garden going, the garden suffered. I’d plant in the spring, then see the garden go unattended. I needed a way to do it all.

Just when I was about to give up, it happened: a bountiful harvest with no work. I’d planted, late again because of a late spring. And again, when the seasonal demands of the business began claiming all of my time, my plantings were forgotten. In midsummer, I made a much belated foray into the garden. I had to hack through a jungle of weeds to find the vegetable plants—but what a payoff! I discovered basketfuls of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and egg plant. True, there were also basketfuls of rotted, overgrown, and unusable vegetables (the product of neglect), but the abundance was truly amazing.

To gain some measure of control that year, I simply stomped the weeds flat in between rows and put down cardboard boxes to walk on. The harvest continued, with carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes persisting among the weeds. Stout stems of collard greens pushed the plants up to tower above the mess, despite the native morning glory that tried to hold back growth. Lower-growing Swiss chard also persevered, though I had to cut out the shriveled leaves and pull a few weeds to get to the good growth.

…continued

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Gardening