The Secret American-Iranian Security Deal In Iraq

Dandelion Salad

By Roads To Iraq
ICH
03/
26/08 “RTI

How it connects to McCain’s visit to Israel

Arab online newspaper published in London, is the only newspaper to report this a week ago but I waited few days to see if there is any development provides evidence to the newspaper claims, and the military campaign in Basra was what i am waiting for.

Arab online says that there are secret Iranian – American negotiations at Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq [please remember there were other developments in this week period, like the U.S. embassy refused to meet the Iranian delegation … etc]

The report contains details and names of people who attended the meeting from both sides which we don’t need here, so this is what the newspaper said in short:

Ahmadinejad offered to calm the situation in Iraq, using the three days attacks-free visit to Iraq as a demonstration of what can Iran do, the second offer is to accept the long term Iraqi – American agreement

To remove Iraq from the 1546 U.N. resolution, which gives the permission for the “Coalition Forces” to use force any Iraq’s neighboring country, if intelligence reports give evidence that the country exporting terrorism to Iraq, there is also a chapter allowing American forces to use Iraqi territory to attack another countries.

– To end all American – European political and logistic support for the Iranian opposition, especially Iran’s Resistance Council Organization, Pijac Kurdish organization, and other small opposition groups [Arabs, Turkmen, Azari…etc].

– Stop the secret and public American administration incitement of toppling the Iranian regime.

– End the U.S. and Europe campaign to push for the Iranian Jews immigration to Israel.

– To put an end to the campaign of the need to for pre-emptive strikes against selective and sensitive intelligence, military and nuclear Iranian sites.

The most important part of these negotiations is; What Iran can do for the U.S. in Iraq:

Ahmadinejad mentioned that he is negotiating with a previous blessing from Ayatollah Khamenei, and that’s reassured the Americans about the seriousness of the negotiations.

So, Ahmadinejad commitments are:

– Intelligence cooperation in Iraq and the region, wihle Washington gives Iran a space to maneuver internationally, easing the international pressure and the embargo, as a result, Tehran to postpone uranium enrichment operations for a period of two years, with the approval of Iran’s nuclear programme by the inspection teams of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

– Full cooperation between Tehran and Washington in all areas, and Iran to ensure the submission of several laws in Washington’s favour by the Shiite coalition blocs and Iraqi Kurdistan Alliance, including oil and gas law, the provinces a law, as opposed to because the American President George Bush to use his powers delegated by the military gives him the right to selective attacks on Iranian sites sensitive, to ensure the security of the American forces and the Iraqi people.

This “Iran – American” deal raised concerns in Israel therefore they invited McCain, the Republican candidate to visit Tel Aviv and asked him to visit Baghdad to be informed about what has been achieved talking with the Iranians, promised him that if the mission is successful, then he will get the support of Tel Aviv and the Zionist lobby in America presidential election.


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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David Iglesias Interview by Greg Palast (video)

Dandelion Salad

GregPalastOffice

David Iglesias is one of the famed fired prosecutors taken out by Rove and his minoins. Watch the report from BBC NewsnightRead the Palast’s reports at http://www.gregpalast.com

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World Made By Hand: Not Just Another Book Review By Carolyn Baker

Dandelion Salad

By Carolyn Baker
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A review of the 2008 novel by James Howard Kunstler (Atlantic Monthly Press)

“The world has become such a wicked place,” she said quietly, just a statement of fact.

“There’s goodness here too.”

“Where is it?”

“In all the abiding virtues. Love, bravery, patience, honesty, justice, generosity, kindness. Beauty too. Mostly love.”

“I’m afraid sometimes that we drove those things out of existence.”

“No, we carry them in our hearts. They’re always with us.”

“I don’t know what’s in my heart anymore. It’s too dark to see.”

“Light follows darkness.”

This dialog between the main character of World Made By Hand, Robert, and his housemate-become-lover, Britney, offers a glimpse into the anguish of those few survivors of collapse living in the small village of Union Grove, New York in a post-petroleum world.

As I sit down to write this review, I’ve just finished lunch-a generous bowl of organic broccoli slaw mixed with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, diced turkey breast, and Caesar dressing. For dessert, a bit of Hagen Dazs coconut sorbet chased with my twice-daily regimen of vitamins and supplements. In a “world made by hand” I would have none of this unless I were able to grow or raise it myself or trade something for these items, assuming that they were even available. I would be forced to rely on my friends and neighbors in close proximity, and they on me, for life’s fundamental necessities.

I was riveted to this stunning novel by James Howard Kunstler even as my heart was laden with sorrow while turning every compelling page. Like nothing I’ve ever read or imagined, the book takes the reader into the smells, tastes, textures, sounds, and emotions of a post-petroleum world devoid of electricity, media, sophisticated technology, and a plethora of conveniences and distractions that are ubiquitous in twenty-first century Western civilization.

…continued

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

Mosaic News – 3/25/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“4000 Soldiers Killed in Iraq,” Syria TV, Syria
“Sadr Threatens Civil Disobedience,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Iraqi Government Cracks Down on Armed Groups in Basra,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Syria Prepares for Arab Summit,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Lebanon Decides Whether to Attend Arab Summit,” New TV, Lebanon
“Nasrallah Threatens Vengeance,” IBA TV, Israel
“Not Another Nahr Al Bared,” LBC TV, Lebanon
“Kenyan Parliament Approves National Accord,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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NPR Underreports Iraq Deaths (Action Alert)

Fever Named After Blackwater by Ali al-Fadhily & Dahr Jamail

NPR Underreports Iraq Deaths (Action Alert)

Dandelion Salad

www.fair.org
3/26/08

Action Alert

There is no more important question about the Iraq War than the question of how many Iraqis have died. It is impossible to truly evaluate the war or discuss where to go from here without knowing the human cost of the war, and that cost has overwhelmingly been borne by Iraqis. That’s why it’s so disappointing that NPR, looking back on the 5th anniversary of the war, treated this issue with either extreme sloppiness or deliberate dishonesty.

Here’s how NPR anchor Scott Simon introduced a segment on March 15 in which senators James Webb and Jon Kyl talked about “what the war has meant and what the future might hold”:

“This coming Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. So far 3,975 U.S. service men and women have died. Estimates on the number of Iraqis killed range from 47,000 to 151,000, depending on the source.”

But what sources are those? The New England Journal of Medicine (1/31/08) published a survey conducted by the Iraqi government on behalf of the World Health Organization, which estimated that 151,000 Iraqis had been killed by violence between the March 2003 invasion and June 2006. This, presumably, is the source of NPR‘s 151,000 figure. The write-up in NEJM begins: “Estimates of the death toll in Iraq from the time of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 until June 2006 have ranged from 47,668 (from the Iraq Body Count) to 601,027 (from a national survey).”

Is the 47,668 figure from Iraq Body Count–a group that tabulates accounts of civilian Iraqi deaths that appear in Western news sources–the source for NPR‘s 47,000 number? There does not seem to be another major survey of Iraqi deaths that provides that estimate. Yet this is clearly described as a figure from June 2006–before the biggest peak of violence in late 2006-early 2007. Iraq Body Count currently reports that there have been at least 82,249 reported civilian deaths in Iraq; why didn’t NPR use this
number instead?

And if NPR is taking its lower estimate of Iraqi fatalities from the NEJM report, why does it ignore the higher estimate given in that same report of 601,000? That’s the estimate made by the Johns Hopkins University school of public health, and published by the Lancet medical journal (10/11/06). It’s a well-known study done by highly regarded scholars; indeed, when the 151,000 figure came out, NPR‘s All Things Considered (1/10/08) turned for comment to Les Roberts, co-author of the Johns Hopkins study, which NPR referred to then as “a survey that continues to be debated in the press and political circles.” Between January and March, though, that much-debated study somehow vanished from NPR‘s collective memory.

It’s worth noting that 601,000 figure from Johns Hopkins study and the 151,000 number from WHO both only go up to June 2006, and therefore also leave out the worst of the violence. The most recent survey of Iraqi deaths is the poll conducted by Opinion Research Business, a top British polling firm, in August 2007, which found an estimated 1.2 million deaths by violence among Iraqi households. If NPR really wanted to inform its listeners about the range of credible estimates of Iraqi deaths, it would have included this survey–but instead left them with the impression that the highest plausible estimate was one-eighth as high.

Other outlets also downplayed the likely number of Iraqi dead; Jim Lehrer of PBS‘s NewsHour (3/19/08) reported that the number was “at least 90,000,” without mentioning serious estimates almost 14 times higher. Others were more forthright, as with NBC‘s Richard Engel (NBC Nightly News, 3/19/08): “The number of civilian casualties is unclear. Estimates range from 85,000 to 600,000.” But few outlets misled their audiences about what the highest credible estimates were the way NPR did.

ACTION:

Please ask NPR‘s ombud to investigate how NPR determined the lowest and highest estimates for Iraqis killed in the Iraq War.

CONTACT:
NPR Ombud Alicia Shepard

Email form on NPR‘s website:
http://www.npr.org/templates/contact/index.php?columnId=2781901

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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NPR News: National Pentagon Radio?

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

Fever Named After Blackwater by Ali al-Fadhily & Dahr Jamail

Dandelion Salad

by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail
Global Research, March 26, 2008
Inter Press Service
Hard News

FALLUJAH, Mar 26 (IPS) – Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call “Blackwater” that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq.

“This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection,” Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. “It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours.”

What Iraqis now call Blackwater fever is really a well-known medical condition, and while it has nothing to do with Blackwater Worldwide, Iraqis in al-Anbar province have decided to make the connection between the disease and the lethal U.S.-based company which has been responsible for the death of countless Iraqis.

The disease is most prevalent in Africa and Asia. The patient suffers severe intravascular haemolysis — the destruction of red blood cells leading to kidney and liver failure. It also leads to black or red urination, and hence perhaps the new name ‘Blackwater’.

The deadly disease, never before seen in Iraq on at least this scale, seems to be spreading across the country. And Iraq lacks medicines, hospitals, and doctors to lead a campaign to fight the disease.

“We informed the ministry of the disease, but it seems that they are not in a mood to listen,” a doctor from the al-Anbar Health Office in Ramadi told IPS, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We are making personal contacts with NGOs in an attempt to get the necessary medicines.”

The three doctors who spoke to IPS in Fallujah and in Ramadi in al-Anbar province that lies west of Baghdad, seemed sure that the Iraqi government would do little to face the plague.

“They have not even made any announcement so that people can take precautions,” one of the doctors from Fallujah told IPS.

The doctor said a patient usually suffers three stages of malarial infection. “First is the cold stage where the patient will have chills and shaking, the second is the hot stage when fever takes over, and the third is the sweating stage.”

Doctors in Fallujah say the new complication of the disease that may develop from malarial infection can be treated in its early stages, but is difficult to control when complications develop. Drugs currently being used to treat the disease include Chloroquin, Mefloquin, Pyrimethamine, Suladox, Halfotrin and Primaquine.

Patients seem unaware of the seriousness of the disease, though doctors tell them it is essential to buy medicines from private pharmacies because they are not available at general hospitals.

“Many have died within the past two weeks in my town,” Mahmood Nassir, a schoolteacher from Saqlawiya, north of Fallujah, told IPS. “We know it is a deadly disease, but what can we do about it? We have no government to refer to, and everyone in the Green Zone (the government district of Baghdad) is too busy preparing to escape with their share of the money they stole from us.”

Talat al-Mukhtar is an Iraqi doctor now studying abroad. IPS asked him to comment on the Blackwater fever outbreak in Iraq.

“Malaria is endemic in Iraq, mainly in the northern part. However, it is prevalent in the milder forms; the severe form had been reported but not at an epidemic level.”

Dr. Mukhtar said this form of malaria requires a “triple-drug treatment programme because it is an aggressive infection.” He said the patient “requires meticulous medical and nursing care, and might even need time in an intensive care unit, as it can easily lead to kidney and liver failure.”

Like the other doctors IPS spoke with, Dr. Mukhtar was clear that the Iraqi ministry of health needs to take a proactive role before the disease spreads further. “These cases of severe fever that follow haemolysis should warrant immediate action from the ministry of health to investigate thoroughly these cases and assess whether they are malaria or other conditions.”

Dr. Mukhtar added, “Considering the poor health situation and poor resources in Anbar province, even though clinical judgment is important, laboratory tests are not easily verified, and many other diseases can give the same clinical picture. That is why standard lab investigation is needed, may be with the help of WHO (World Health Organisation).”

The disease seems too sensitive for journalists to talk about.

“There was a great deal of anger when we wrote about cholera in Iraq last summer,” a journalist in Fallujah told IPS. “Neither the government nor the occupation forces would accept our covering such a story.”

IPS was not allowed to take pictures at the Fallujah General Hospital. A doctor refused to disclose how many may have been infected or how many may have died.

The spread of this condition follows the outbreak of other diseases. According to the WHO, as of Oct. 3, 2007 cholera outbreaks in Iraq had spread to nine of 18 provinces, and roughly 30,000 people had fallen ill with acute diarrhoea, with 14 deaths.

An Oxfam International report released last July showed that the humanitarian disaster in Iraq is compounded by a mass exodus of medical staff fleeing chronic violence and lawlessness. The report said the lack of doctors and nurses is breaking down a health system now on the brink of collapse.

The report said many hospitals had lost up to 80 percent of their teaching staff.

Ali, our correspondent in Baghdad, works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who has reported extensively from Iraq and the Middle East

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Ali al-Fadhily, Inter Press Service, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8446

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

UK: Teachers to ban armed forces from classrooms

Dandelion Salad

by David Pilditch
Global Research, March 26, 2008
Daily Express

Teachers vowed yesterday to stop military recruitment campaigns in schools that promote pro-war “propaganda”.

The National Union of Teachers voted to back staff who resist armed forces publicity drives and urged “education for peace” to be embedded in the curriculum.

Delegates at the NUT’s annual conference in Manchester called for a campaign to undermine efforts to enlist teenage recruits.

The union backed a motion committing the NUT to “support teachers and schools in opposing Ministry of Defence recruitment activities that are based upon misleading propaganda.”

Paul McGarr, a delegate from east London, said: “Personally, I find it difficult to imagine any recruitment material that is not misleading.

“We would have material from the MoD saying ‘Join the Army and we will send you to carry out the imperialist occupation of other people’s countries.

Join the Army and we will send you to bomb, shoot and possibly torture fellow human beings in other countries. Join the Army and be sent – probably poorly equipped – into situations where people try and shoot you and kill you because you are occupying their countries’.

“When I see the MoD putting out recruitment material saying that, then maybe I won’t have a problem with using it in school.

“Until then, I think that all recruitment material is misleading and should be opposed.”

He continued: “They want to recruit in our schools because they have got a problem. Young people, who have been at the forefront of campaigning against these illegal and immoral wars, are not signing up.”

The NUT will campaign for pupils to hear from speakers “promoting alternative points of view” and to have “education for peace embedded in the curriculum”. Stefan Simms, a delegate from Ealing, west London, said young troops were being used as “cannon fodder for the profits of oil companies.

“I would be personally gutted after years of putting time and professional effort into the students I teach, helping their education and preparing them for adult life, to find out that some of them have said ‘I decided to join the Army’.”

The MoD hit back at the delegates’ vote, denying that it actively ran recruitment campaigns in schools.

Brigadier Andrew Jackson, Commander of the Army Recruiting Group, said: “The single-Service schools teams visit about 1,000 schools a year, only at the invitation of the school.

“Their aim is to raise the general awareness of the armed forces in society, not to recruit.

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright David Pilditch, Daily Express, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8447

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UK Army chief defends recruitment move (h/t: Cem)

Anti-war Campaigners Have To Change Electoral Tactics By Naomi Klein & Jeremy Scahill

Dandelion Salad

By Naomi Klein & Jeremy Scahill
ICH
03/25/08 “The Guardian

Neither Clinton nor Obama has a real plan to end the occupation of Iraq, but they could be forced to change position

‘So?” So said Dick Cheney when asked last week about public opinion being overwhelmingly against the war in Iraq. “You can’t be blown off course by polls.” A few days later, his attitude, about the fact that the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq has reached 4,000, displayed similar levels of sympathy. They “voluntarily put on the uniform,” the vice-president told ABC news.

This brick wall of indifference helps explain the paradox in which we in the US anti-war camp find ourselves five years into the occupation of Iraq: anti-war sentiment is as strong as ever, but our movement seems to be dwindling. Sixty-four per cent of Americans tell pollsters they oppose the war, but you’d never know it from the thin turnout at recent rallies and vigils.

When asked why they aren’t expressing their anti-war opinions through the anti-war movement, many say they have simply lost faith in the power of protest. They marched against the war before it began, marched on the first, second and third anniversaries. And yet, five years on, US leaders are still shrugging: “So?”

That’s why it’s time for the anti-war movement to change tactics. We should direct our energy where it can still have an impact: the leading Democratic contenders.

Many argue otherwise. They say that if we want to end the war, we should simply pick a candidate who is not John McCain and help them win: we’ll sort out the details after the Republicans are evicted from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Some of the most prominent anti-war voices – from MoveOn.org to the Nation, the magazine we both write for – have gone down this route, throwing their weight behind the Obama campaign.

This is a serious strategic mistake. It is during a hotly contested campaign that anti-war forces have the power to actually sway US policy. As soon as we pick sides, we relegate ourselves to mere cheerleaders.

And when it comes to Iraq, there is little to cheer. Look past the rhetoric and it becomes clear that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton has a real plan to end the occupation. They could, however, be forced to change their positions, thanks to the unique dynamics of the prolonged primary battle.

Despite the calls for Clinton to withdraw in the name of “unity”, it is the very fact that Clinton and Obama are still fighting it out, fiercely vying for votes, that presents the anti-war movement with its best pressure point. And our pressure is badly needed.

For the first time in 14 years, weapons manufacturers are donating more to Democrats than to Republicans. The Democrats have received 52% of the defence industry’s political donations in this election cycle – up from a low of 32% in 1996. That money is about shaping foreign policy and, so far, it appears to be well spent.

While Clinton and Obama denounce the war with great passion, they both have detailed plans to continue it. Both say they intend to maintain the massive green zone, including the monstrous US embassy, and to retain US control of Baghdad airport.

They will have a “strike force” to engage in counter-terrorism, as well as trainers for the Iraqi military. Beyond these US forces, the army of green zone diplomats will require heavily armed security details, which are currently provided by Blackwater and other private security companies. At present there are as many private contractors supporting the occupation as there are soldiers, so these plans could mean tens of thousands of US personnel entrenched for the future.

In sharp contrast to this downsized occupation is the unequivocal message coming from hundreds of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq Veterans Against the War which, earlier this month, held the Winter Soldier hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland – modelled on the 1971 Winter Soldier investigation, in which veterans testified about US atrocities in Vietnam – are not supporting any candidate or party. Instead they are calling for immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all US soldiers and contractors. Coming from peace activists, the “out now” position has been dismissed as naive. It is harder to ignore coming from the hundreds who have served – and continue to serve – on the frontlines.

The candidates know that much of the passion fuelling their campaigns flows from the desire among so many rank-and-file Democrats to end this disastrous war. Crucially, the candidates have already shown that they are vulnerable to pressure from the peace camp. When the Nation revealed that neither candidate was supporting legislation that would ban the use of Blackwater and other private security companies in Iraq, Clinton changed course. She became the most important US political leader to endorse the ban – scoring a point on Obama, who opposed the invasion from the start.

This is exactly where we want the candidates: outdoing each other to prove how serious they are about ending the war. That kind of battle has the power to energise voters and break the cynicism that is threatening both campaigns.

Let’s remember, unlike the outgoing Bush administration, these candidates need the support of the two-thirds of Americans who oppose the war in Iraq. If opinion transforms into action, they won’t be able to afford to say, “So?”

Copyright New York Times syndication

Naomi Klein is the author of The Shock Doctrine; Jeremy Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army – Naomiklein.org

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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Letter to Representative John Conyers, Jr. by Ralph Nader

Best U.S. Candidate for Israel-Palestine Peace By Liam Bailey

Winter Soldier: The real face of war (video)

Scahill: Clinton vs Obama on Blackwater (video)

So? … A Note from Michael Moore (+ video)

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

Mike Gravel – Libertarian Candidate for President (video) + Gravel to Run for Libertarian Nod

Dandelion Salad

uterfan

http://www.nationalinitiative.us
http://www.lp.org
http://www.youtube.com/gravel2008
http://www.gravel2008.us

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

.

h/t: Adrian for Mike Gravel ’08!

***

Gravel to Run for Libertarian Nod

By Sarah Wheaton
thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com
March 26, 2008, 9:28 am

Fed up with being excluded from the debates and otherwise marginalized, former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska announced today that he will seek the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

That’s right, we said Mike Gravel, who had been running as a Democrat – not Representative Ron Paul, who has run on the Libertarian ticket in the past, but recently submitted his name to appear on the ballot in the remaining Republican primary contests.

Skyler McKinley, a Gravel spokesman, said that Mr. Gravel would try to pursue the Libertarian nomination at the party’s convention, which will be held in Denver on May 22-26.

“Whether or not some of our delegates will accept Mike Gravel with some of his positions, that has yet to be seen,” said Andrew Davis, a spokesman for the Libertarian National Committee, adding that Mr. Gravel’s advocacy of universal health care, paid for with a national retail sales tax, could turn off some Libertarians. Also, there are already about 15 candidates vying for the nomination.

From Mr. Gravel’s e-mail message to supporters this morning:

The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR. It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism — all of which I find anathema to my views.

By and large, I have been repeatedly marginalized in both national debates and in media exposure by the Democratic leadership, which works in tandem with the corporate interests that control what we read and hear in the media.

I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views.

h/t: Adrian for Mike Gravel ’08!

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Mike Gravel For President 2008

Gravel to the Libbies

The Trouble With Gravel

Frontline’s Timid Iraq Retrospective By Ray McGovern

Dandelion Salad

By Ray McGovern
consortiumnews.com
March 26, 2008

Frontline’s “Bush’s War” on PBS Monday and Tuesday evening was a nicely put-together rehash of the top players’ trickery that led to the attack on Iraq, together with the power-grabbing, back-stabbing and limitless incompetence of the occupation.

Except for an inside-the-beltway tidbit here and there – for example, about how the pitiable Secretary of State Colin Powell had to suffer so many indignities at the hands of other type-A hard chargers – Frontline added little to the discussion.

Notably missing was any allusion to the unconscionable role of the Fourth Estate as indiscriminate cheerleader for the home team, nor any mention that the invasion was a serious violation of international law. But those omissions, I suppose, should have come as no surprise.

Nor was it a surprise that any viewer hoping for insight into why Cheney and Bush were so eager to attack Iraq was left with very thin gruel.

It was more infotainment, bereft of substantive discussion of the whys and wherefores of what in my view is the most disastrous foreign policy move in our nation’s history.

Despite recent acknowledgments from the likes of Alan Greenspan, Gen. John Abizaid and others that oil and permanent (or, if you prefer, “enduring”) military bases were among the main objectives, Frontline avoided any real discussion of such delicate factors.

Someone not already aware of how our media has become a tool of the Bush administration might have been shocked at how Frontline could have missed one of President George W. Bush’s most telling “signing statements.”

Underneath the recent Defense Authorization Act, he wrote that he did not feel bound by the law’s specific prohibitions:

“(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq,” or

“(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.”

So the Frontline show was largely pap.

At one point, however, the garrulous former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage did allude to one of the largest elephants in the living room – Israel’s far-right Likudniks – and their close alliance with the so-called neo-conservatives running our policy toward the Middle East.

But Armitage did so only tangentially, referring to the welcome (if totally unrealistic) promise by Ahmed Chalabi that, upon being put in power in Baghdad, he would recognize Israel.

Not surprisingly, the interviewer did not pick up on that comment; indeed, I’m surprised the remark avoided the cutting room floor.

Courage No Longer a Frontline Hallmark

Frontline has done no timely reportage that might be looked upon as disparaging the Bush administration – I mean, for example, the real aims behind the war, not simply the gross incompetence characterizing its conduct.

Like so many others, Frontline has been, let’s just say it, cowardly in real time — no doubt intimidated partly by attacks on its funding that were inspired by the White House.

And now? Well the retrospective criticism of incompetence comes as polling shows two-thirds of the country against the Iraq occupation (and the number is surely higher among PBS viewers).

So, Frontline is repositioning itself as a mild ex-post-facto critic of the war, but still unwilling to go very far out on a limb. Explaining the aims behind war crimes can, of course, be risky. It is as though an invisible Joseph Goebbels holds sway.

On Monday evening I found myself initially applauding Frontline’s matter-of-fact, who-shot-John chronology of how our country got lied into attacking and occupying Iraq. Then I got to thinking – have I not seen this picture before? Many times?

It took a Hollywood producer to recognize and act on the con games that sober observers could not miss as the war progressed: Where were the celebrated “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD)?

Robert Greenwald simply could not abide the president’s switch to “weapons of mass destruction programs,” which presumably might be easier to find than the much-ballyhooed WMD so heavily advertised before the attack on Iraq.

You remember – those remarkable WMD about which UN chief inspector Hans Blix quipped that the U.S. had 100 percent certainty of their existence in Iraq, but zero percent certainty as to where they were.

Robert Greenwald called me in May 2003. He had read a few of the memoranda published by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) exposing the various charades being acted out by the administration and wanted to know what we thought of the president’s new circumlocution on WMD.

I complimented him on smelling a rat and gave him names of my VIPS colleagues and other experienced folks who could fill him in on the details.

Wasting no time, he arrived here in Washington in June, armed simply with copious notes and a cameraman. Greenwald conducted the interviews, flew back to his eager young crew in Hollywood and, poof, the DVD “Uncovered: The War on Iraq” was released at the beginning of November 2003.

So Frontline is four and a half years behind a Hollywood producer with appropriate interest and skepticism. (Full disclosure: I appear in “Uncovered,” as do many of the interviewees appearing in Frontline’s “Bush’s War.”)

Actually, the interviewing by Frontline occurred just a few months later. I know because I was among those interviewed for that as well, as was my good friend and former colleague at the CIA, Mel Goodman.

I was struck that Mel looked four years younger on this week’s Frontline. It only then dawned on me that he was four years younger when interviewed.

Have a look at “Uncovered,” [http://www.truthuncovered.com/index.php] and see how you think it compares to Frontline’s “Bush’s War.”

Safety in Retrospectives

It also struck me that producing a Frontline-style retrospective going back several years is a much less risky genre to work with. Chalk it up to my perspective as an intelligence analyst, but ducking the incredibly important issues at stake over the next several months is, in my opinion, unconscionable. The troop “surge” in Iraq, for example.

Only toward the very end of the program does Frontline allow a bit of relevant candor on a point that has been self-evident since Cheney and Bush, against strong opposition from Generals Abizaid and Casey (and apparently even Rumsfeld), decided to double down by sending 30,000 more troops into Iraq.

A malleable new Secretary of Defense [Robert Gates] would deal with the recalcitrant generals and pick a Petreaus ex Machina of equal malleability and political astuteness to implement this stop-gap plan.

One of the last Frontline interviewees concedes that the purpose of the “surge” was to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq, so that Bush’s war could be handed off to his successor somewhat intact. (Even that seems doubtful at this point.)

“That decision [to order the ‘surge’] at a minimum guaranteed that his [Bush’s] presidency would not end with a defeat in history’s eyes, that by committing to the ‘surge’ he was certain to at least achieve a stalemate,” said journalist and author Steve Coll.

Okay, a small kudo to Frontline for including that bit of truth – however obvious.

Rather Not, Thank You

Intimidation of the media is what has happened all around, including with Frontline, which not so many years ago was able to do some gutsy reporting. Let me give you another example about which few are aware.

Do you remember when Dan Rather made his Apologia Pro Vita Sua, admitting that the American media, including him, was failing to reveal the truth about things like Iraq?

Speaking to the BBC on May 16, 2002, Rather compared the situation to the fear of “necklacing” in South Africa.

“It’s an obscene comparison,” Rather said, “but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around peoples’ necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck.”

Talking to another reporter, Dan told it straight about the careerism that keeps U.S. journalists in line: “It’s that fear that keeps [American] journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore-in on the tough questions so often.”

The comparison to “necklacing” may be “obscene” but, sadly, it is not far off the mark.

So what happened to the newly outspoken Dan Rather with the newly found courage, when he ran afoul of Vice President Dick Cheney and the immense pressure he exerts on the corporate media?

We know about the lies and the cheerleading for attacking Iraq. But there is much more most of us do not know and remain unable to learn if Rather and other journalists keep acting the part of the lion in the Wizard of Oz, before he gets his courage.

For Dan Rather, the fear would simply not go away – even after leaving CBS for HDNet and promising that, on his new “Dan Rather Reports” show, viewers would see hard-hitting and courageous reporting that he said he couldn’t do at CBS.

Will it surprise you that Dan Rather cannot shake the necklace?

I refer specifically to a program for “Dan Rather Reports,” meticulously prepared by award-winning producer, Kristina Borjesson. The special included interviews with an impressive string of first-hand witnesses to neocon machinations prior to the U.S. attack on Iraq, and provides real insights into motivations – the kind of insights Frontline did not even attempt.

Nipped in the Bud

Last year Borjesson’s taping was finished and the editing had begun.

Borjesson’s requests to interview people working for the vice president had been denied. But, following standard journalistic practice (not to mention common courtesy), she sent an e-mail to John Hannah in Cheney’s office in order to give Hannah a chance to react to what others – including several of the same senior folks on Frontline last evening – had said about him for her forthcoming report.

At that point all hell broke loose. Borjesson was abruptly told by Rather’s executive producer that by sending the e-mail, Borjesson could have “brought down the whole (‘Dan Rather Reports’) operation.”

The show was killed and Borjesson sacked. For good measure, she was also accused of “coaching” interview subjects and taking their words out of context.

Since neither Rather nor his executive producer would provide proof to substantiate that allegation, Borjesson took the unprecedented step of sending her script and transcripts to all her interview subjects and asking them to confirm or deny that she had coached them or taken their words out of context.

Not one of them found her script inaccurate or said they were coached. She has the e-mails to prove this.

This sorry episode and Frontline’s careful avoidance of basic issues like the strategic aims of the Bush administration in invading and occupying Iraq are proof, if further proof were needed, that the White House, and especially Cheney’s swollen office, exert enormous pressure over what we are allowed to see and hear.

The fear they instill in the corporate press, and in what once was serious investigative reporting of programs like Frontline, translates into programs getting neutered or killed outright – and massive public ignorance.

Some consolation is to be found in the good news that, in this particular case, Kristina Borjesson is made of stronger stuff; she has not given up, and was greatly encouraged by how many of the very senior officials and former officials she had already interviewed consented to be re-interviewed  (since the tapes belonged to the “Rather Not” folks).

Now who looks forward to being re-interviewed?

Borjesson’s original interviewees took into account her problems with the cowards and the censors – and her atypical, gutsy refusal to self-censor – and went the extra mile. A tribute to them as well, and their interest in getting the truth out.

Borjesson is now completing the program on her own. Look for an announcement in the coming months, if you’re interested in real sustenance rather than the pabulum served up, no doubt under duress, by Frontline.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington, DC.  He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer in the early sixties, then a CIA analyst for 27 years.  He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq war (video)

Frontline: Bush’s War (must-see video link)

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

Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq war (video)

Dandelion Salad

Posted previously on my old blog on February 20, 2006. ~ Lo

ik990 on Mar 27, 2008

The War on Iraq, filmmaker Robert Greenwald chronicles the Bush Administration’s determined quest to invade Iraq following the events of September 11, 2001. The film deconstructs the administration’s case for war through interviews with U.S intelligence and defense officials, foreign service experts, and U.N. weapons inspectors — including a former CIA director, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and even President Bush’s Secretary of the Army. Their analyses and conclusions are sobering, and often disturbing, regardless of one’s political affiliations.

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Michael Parenti: Spanish American War (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Suryu

THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR AND THE RISE OF US IMPERIALISM!

Michael Parenti uses the history of the Spanish American War to answer several very intriguing questions. Who first expressed the desire to annex the island of Cuba – and when? Why was the US government concerned about Spanish repression of the rights of Cubans while the repression of African Americans within the US was ignored? Why did the US attack the Philippines when it was Cuba they supposedly wanted to rescue? Why did the US give verbal support to the Cuban liberation movements against Spain while selling weapons to Spain to fight the popular movement? The Spanish American War was an important turning point in the transition of the US to an imperial power and many of the forces at work are eerily contemporary.

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

Parenti-Michael

Message of the Day: Everyday

Dandelion Salad

http://shalomplace.com/seed


MESSAGE OF THE DAY

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”

– Clarence W. Hall

SCRIPTURE READINGS
http://clicks.aweber.com/

Acts 3:1-10; Ps. 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9; Lk 24:13-35

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.

Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.

He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.

REFLECTION ON THE SCRIPTURES
– from “Daily Bread”
http://clicks.aweber.com/

He asked them, ‘What are you discussing as you walk along?’

The question to the disciples on the road is for us, as well. What we think, feel and believe is revealed in what we say, whether we talk about current events, plans, politics or the weather.

Moreover, our discussions form us, for better or worse. It might be a good exercise to imagine Jesus walking with us today, listening intently to all we have to say. He called the disciples on the road “foolish” and “slow of heart.” What would he say about us? Do we choose forums where discussion amounts to little more than inane blather, or perhaps do we meet regularly with others for the explicit purpose of offering support, studying scripture or sharing faith?

For spiritually edifying fellowship and conversation, we pray.


NOTES FROM A CLASSICAL WORK

– “Meister Eckhart’s Sermons”

The heavens are everywhere alike remote from earth, so should the soul be remote from all earthly things alike so as not to be nearer to one than another. It should keep the same attitude of aloofness in love and hate, in possession and renouncement, that is, it should be simultaneously dead, resigned and lifted up.

The heavens are pure and clear without shadow of stain, out of space and out of time. Nothing corporeal is found there. Their revolutions are incredibly swift and independent of time, though time depends on them. Nothing hinders the soul so much in attaining to the knowledge of God as time and place.

Therefore, if the soul is to know God, it must know Him outside time and place, since God is neither in this or that, but One and above them. If the soul is to see God, it must look at nothing in time; for while the soul is occupied with time or place or any image of the kind, it cannot recognize God. If it is to know Him, it must have no fellowship with nothingness.

Only he knows God who recognizes that all creatures are nothingness. For, if one creature be set over against another, it may appear to be beautiful and somewhat, but if it be set over against God, it is nothing. I say moreover: If the soul is to know God it must forget itself and lose itself, for as long as it contemplates self, it cannot contemplate God. When it has lost itself and everything in God, it’s itself again in God when it attains to the knowledge of Him, and it’s also everything which it had abandoned complete in God.

If I am to know the highest good, and the everlasting Godhead, truly, I must know them as they are in themselves apart from creation. If I am to know real existence, I must know it as it is in itself, not as it is parceled out in creatures.

– Sermon Two, “The Nearness of God”

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Keith Green: Easter Song (music video)

Kurt Vonnegut: Anarchist and Social Critic By Gaither Stewart

By Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
March 26, 2008

(Note: After my early enthusiasm about the writer and man Kurt Vonnegut, I became skeptical of his skepticism. Was he a phony, I began to wonder? After I met him, his life style in his sumptuous Manhattan East Side town house bothered me and seemed to belie his satires of that same life. Even the adoration for him in Europe at the time sharpened my suspicions that he was perhaps not what he seemed to be. Despite my admiration for him the writer, the satirist, the anarchist, still for some time after our two meetings in the middle 1980s, I wondered if his claim that he belonged to the establishment because he was rich was not somewhat jaded. I wondered about his “positive nihilist” role. What did that mean? It took me time to make full circle and again see him for what he was. What in the end endeared me to Kurt Vonnegut was his unwavering attack on the “American way of life” and what it has engendered in the rest of the world.)

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