US ship confronts boats in Gulf + Iranian Boats shot at by U.S. Navy (video)

Dandelion Salad

Al Jazeera English
FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008
22:43 MECCA TIME, 19:43 GMT

A cargo ship hired by the US military has reportedly fired warning shots at approaching boats in the Gulf.

According to American defence officials, the Westward Venture cargo ship chartered by the US defence department was travelling in the Gulf when two unidentified small boats approached the vessel on Thursday.

Lydia Robertson, a spokeswoman for the US navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said that after the boats failed to respond to radio queries and a warning flare, the ship’s security team fired “a few bursts” of machine gun and rifle warning shots.

…continued

***
Iranian Boats shot at by U.S. Navy

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

April 25, 2008 BBC World

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Says U.S. Preparing Military Options Against Iran

Countdown: Limbaugh: I Predict a Riot + McCain’s Memory + James Clyburn

Dandelion Salad

videocafeblog

April 25, 2008

Limbaugh: I Predict a Riot

Keith talks to Rachel Maddow about comments Rush Limbaugh made on the air saying he hoped there would be a riot at the Democratic Convention this year.

McCain’s Memory

Keith reports on John McCain’s flip-flopping on what he would have done and has or has not done for the victims of hurricane Katrina. Paul Waldman weighs in.

James Clyburn Interview

Keith interviews Rep. James Clyburn about his statements on whether Hillary Clinton wants to make sure that Obama can’t win the general election.

Bushed!

Tonight’s: Recount-Gate, Support the Troops-Gate and Language-Gate.

Worst Person

And the winner is…..the Ercon Corporation. Runners up the world wide web inventor of the Beauty and the Geek jeans and Bill Hrmmer.

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McCain Sound Bytes the MSM Ignored (videos)

FBI wants widespread monitoring of ‘illegal’ Internet activity

Dandelion Salad

Posted by Anne Broache
http://www.news.com
April 23, 2008 11:48 AM PDT

WASHINGTON–The FBI on Wednesday called for new legislation that would allow federal police to monitor the Internet for “illegal activity.”

The suggestion from FBI Director Robert Mueller, which came during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, appears to go beyond a current plan to monitor traffic on federal-government networks. Mueller seemed to suggest that the bureau should have a broad “omnibus” authority to conduct monitoring and surveillance of private-sector networks as well.

The surveillance should include all Internet traffic, Mueller said, “whether it be .mil, .gov, .com–whichever network you’re talking about.” (See the transcript of the hearing.)

…continued

h/t: ICH

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FBI Dir Mueller questioned about No Fly List (video)

America’s Role in Haiti’s Hunger Riots

Dandelion Salad

wspus.org

This article was recommended to us by a Haitian friend of the WSP. We reprint it for the information contained – the on the ground conditions as our contact in Haiti confirms them. It doesn’t reflect the WSP policies.

••••••

America’s Role in Haiti’s Hunger Riots

By Bill Quigley

Monday 21 April 2008

Riots in Haiti over explosive rises in food costs have claimed the lives of six people. There have also been food riots worldwide in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivorie, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

The Economist, which calls the current crisis the silent tsunami, reports that last year wheat prices rose 77 percent and rice 16 percent, but since January rice prices have risen 141 percent. The reasons include rising fuel costs, weather problems, increased demand in China and India, and the push to create biofuels from cereal crops.

Hermite Joseph, a mother working in the markets of Port-au-Prince, told journalist Nick Whalen that her two kids are “like toothpicks – they’re not getting enough nourishment. Before, if you had $1.25, you could buy vegetables, some rice, 10 cents of charcoal and a little cooking oil. Right now, a little can of rice alone costs 65 cents, and is not good rice at all. Oil is 25 cents. Charcoal is 25 cents. With $1.25, you can’t even make a plate of rice for one child.”

The St. Claire’s Church Food program, in the Tiplas Kazo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, serves 1,000 free meals a day, almost all to hungry children – five times a week in partnership with the What If Foundation. Children from Cit-Soleil have been known to walk the five miles to the church for a meal. The costs of rice, beans, vegetables, a little meat, spices, cooking oil and propane for the stoves, have gone up dramatically. Because of the rise in the cost of food, the portions are now smaller. But hunger is on the rise, and more and more children come for the free meal. Hungry adults used to be allowed to eat the leftovers once all the children were fed, but now there are few leftovers.

…continued

h/t: World Socialist Party (US)

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Global Famine? Blame the Fed By Mike Whitney

Crisis in Food Prices Threatens Worldwide Starvation: Is it Genocide?

Global Food Crisis: Hunger Plagues Haiti & the World by Stephen Lendman

Global Famine? Blame the Fed By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
04/25/08 “ICH”

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Ben Bernanke. If the Fed chief decides to lower rates at the end of April, he could be condemning millions of people to an agonizing death by starvation. The situation is that serious; there’s no room for error. Food riots have broken out across the globe destabilizing large parts of the developing world. China is experiencing double-digit inflation. Indonesia, Vietnam and India have imposed controls over rice exports. Wheat, corn and soya are at record highs and threatening to go higher still. Commodities are up across the board. The World Food Program is warning of widespread famine if the West doesn’t provide emergency humanitarian relief. The situation is dire. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez summed it up like this, “It is a massacre of the world’s poor. The problem is not the production of food. It is the economic, social and political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis.”

Right on, Hugo. There is no shortage of food; it’s just the prices that are making food unaffordable. Bernanke’s “weak dollar” policy has ignited a wave of speculation in commodities which is pushing prices into the stratosphere. The UN is calling the global food crisis it a “silent tsunami”, but its more like a flood; the world is awash in increasingly worthless dollars that are making food and raw materials more expensive. Foreign central banks and investors presently hold $6 trillion in dollars and dollar-backed assets, so when the dollar starts to slide, the pain radiates through entire economies. This is especially true in countries where the currency is pegged to the dollar. That’s why most of the Gulf States are experiencing runaway inflation. This doesn’t mean that oil depletion, biofuel production, over-population, and giant agribusinesses don’t add to the problem. They do. But the catalyst is the Fed’s monetary policies; that’s the domino that puts the others in motion. Here’s Otto Spengler’s summary in his recent article in Asia Times, “Rice, Death and the Dollar”:

“The global food crisis is a monetary phenomenon, an unintended consequence of America’s attempt to inflate its way out of a market failure. There are long-term reasons for food prices to rise, but the unprecedented spike in grain prices during the past year stems from the weakness of the American dollar. Washington’s economic misery now threatens to become a geopolitical catastrophe….The link between the declining parity of the US unit and the rising price of commodities, including oil as well as rice and other wares, is indisputable.

Never before in history has hunger become a global threat in a period of plentiful harvests. Global rice production will hit a record of 423 million tons in the 2007-2008 crop year, enough to satisfy global demand. The trouble is that only 7% of the world’s rice supply is exported, because local demand is met by local production. Any significant increase in rice stockpiles cuts deeply into available supply for export, leading to a spike in prices. Because such a small proportion of the global rice supply trades, the monetary shock from the weak dollar was sufficient to more than double its price.” (“Rice, death and the dollar”, By Otto Spengler, Asia Times)

The US is exporting its inflation by cheapening its currency. Now a field worker in Haiti who earns $2 a day, and spends all of that to feed his family, has to earn twice that amount or eat half as much. That’s not a choice a parent wants to make. Its no wonder that six people were killed Port au Prince in the recent food riots. People go crazy when they can’t feed their kids.

Food and energy prices are sucking the life out of the global economy. Foreign banks and pension funds are trying to protect their investments by diverting dollars into things that will retain their value. That’s why oil is nudging $120 per barrel when it should be in the $70 to $80 range.

According to Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citigroup in New York, “There’s no supply-demand deficit”. None. In fact suppliers are expecting an oil surplus by the end of this year.

“The case for lower oil prices is straightforward: The prospect of a deep U.S. recession or even a marked period of slower economic growth in the world’s top energy consumer making a dent in energy consumption. Year to date, oil demand in the U.S. is down 1.9% compared with the same period in 2007, and high prices and a weak economy should knock down U.S. oil consumption by 90,000 barrels a day this year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.” (“Bears Baffled by Oil Highs” gregory Meyer, Wall Street Journal)

There’s no oil shortage; that’s another ruse. Speculators are simply driving up the price of oil to hedge their bets on the falling dollar. What else can they do; put them in the frozen bond market, or the sinking stock market, or the collapsing housing market? The Fed has gummed up the entire financial system with its low-interest credit scam; now it’s on to commodities where the real pain is just beginning to be felt. What a mess!

This is what happens when there’s too many dollars sloshing around the system; they all need a place to rest, and when they do, they create equity bubbles. Sound familiar? Indeed. This is Greenspan’s legacy in a nutshell; the dark specter of Maestro will continue to haunt the world until all the hyper-inflated asset-classes (real estate, bonds, stocks, commodities) return to earth and all the red ink is mopped up. That’ll take time, but Bernanke could make things a lot easier if he accepted some responsibility for the current turmoil and raised rates by 25 basis points. That would show speculators that the Fed was serious about defending the currency which would send the commodities bubble crashing to earth. Prices would go down overnight; guaranteed.

But Bernanke won’t raise rates because he doesn’t really give a hoot about the people in Cameroon who have to scavenge through garbage-dumps for a few morsels to keep their families alive. Nor does he care about the average American working-stiff who gets cardiac-arrest every time he pulls up to the gas pump. What matters to Bernanke is making sure that his fat-cat buddies in the banking establishment get a steady stream of low interest loot so they can paper-over their bad investments and ward off bankruptcy for another day or two. It’s a joke; it was the investment banks that started this downward spiral with their rotten mortgage-backed securities and other debt-exotica. Still, in Bernanke’s mind, they are the only ones who really count.

And don’t expect Bush to step in and save the day either. The “Decider” still believes in the unrestricted activity of the free market; especially when his crooked friends can make a buck on the deal.

From the Washington Times:

“Farmers and food executives appealed fruitlessly to federal officials yesterday for regulatory steps to limit speculative buying that is helping to drive food prices higher. Meanwhile, some Americans are stocking up on staples such as rice, flour and oil in anticipation of high prices and shortages spreading from overseas. Costco and other grocery stores in California reported a run on rice, which has forced them to set limits on how many sacks of rice each customer can buy. Filipinos in Canada are scooping up all the rice they can find and shipping it to relatives in the Philippines, which is suffering a severe shortage that is leaving many people hungry.” (Patrice Hill, Washington Times)

The Bush administration knows there’s hanky-panky going on, but they just look the other way. It’s Enron redux, where Ken Lay Inc. scalped the public with utter impunity while regulators sat on the sidelines applauding. Great. Now its the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) turn; they’re taking a hands-off approach so Wall Street sharpies make a fortune jacking up the price of everything from soda crackers to toilet bowls.

“A hearing Tuesday in Washington before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission starts a new round of scrutiny into the popularity of agricultural futures, a once a quieter arena that for years was dominated largely by big producers and consumers of crops and their banks trying to manage price risks. The commission’s official stance and that of many of the exchanges, however, is likely to disappoint many consumer groups. The CFTC’s economist plans to state at the hearing that the agency doesn’t believe financial investors are driving up grain prices. Some grain buyers say speculators’ big bets on relatively small grain exchanges, especially recently, are pushing up prices for ordinary consumers. (“Call Goes Out to Rein In Grain Speculators”, Ann Davis)

“The agency doesn’t believe financial investors are driving up grain prices”?!?

Prices have doubled, people are starving, and the Bush troop is still parroting the same worn party-mantra. Its maddening.

The US has been gaming the system for decades; sucking up two-thirds of the world’s capital to expand its cache of Cadillac Escalades and flat-screen TVs; giving nothing back in return except mortgage-backed junk, cluster bombs, and crummy green paper. Nothing changes; it only gets worse. But this is different. The world is now facing the very real prospect of “completely avoidable” famine because twelve doddering old banksters at the Federal Reserve would rather bailout their sketchy friends and preserve their spot at the top of the economic food-chain then save the lives of starving women and children. Bernanke now has an opportunity to do more damage than Bush with one swipe of the pen. If he cut rates; the dollar will fall, commodities will spike, and people will starve. It’s as simple as that.

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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Financial speculators reap profits from global hunger

Crisis in Food Prices Threatens Worldwide Starvation: Is it Genocide?

An Act Of War – Interview: Seymour Hersh

Dandelion Salad

By Sarah Brown
ICH
04/25/08 “Al Jazeera

Seymour Hersh, one of the world’s best known investigative journalists, has turned his attention to the mysterious and controversial bombing of a Syrian facility by Israel last year.

Al Jazeera spoke to him about the bombing, why he feels the media failed on the story, and what it means for the Middle East.

Q: Why did Israel bomb a target in Syria?

A: Well I don’t have the answers to that direct question – one thing that is terribly significant is that the Israel and its chief ally the US have chosen to say nothing officially about this incident and that’s what got me interested – whoever heard of a country bombing another one and not talking about it and thinking they had the right somehow not to talk about it?

In 1981 when Israel bombed the Osirak reactor in Iraq they were very noisy and public about it. In this case they said nothing publicly, but after a few weeks they began to leak [information].

They began to tell certain reporters very grandiose sort of stories about what was going on – ships arriving with illicit materials, offloaded by people in protective gear … from a port in the Mediterranean across to the bomb site, commando’s on the ground, soil samples.

And none of it turned out to be true, really, at least I could find no demonstrable evidence for it.

And so I have to say, that if this article I did generates a decision by Israel to go public with its overwhelming dossier that will answer any questions well that’s great … but they have not and [I find awful] the hubris, the arrogance of thinking that you could go commit an act of war by any definition and then say nothing about it.

Syria of course compounded the problem by being hapless and feckless in response. It took them, I think, until October 1, almost four weeks after the incident before the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, acknowledged it had actually been bombed.

Q: Why was Syria’s reaction so muted?

A: I think they’re just hapless. I don’t think they have any idea about the 24 hour news cycle – it’s just unbeknown to them.

So what happened is: A raid takes place, they announced rather quickly there was an intrusion by the Israelis, they initially say after a couple of days that munitions were bombed, then the foreign minister says in Turkey four or five days after the incident that nothing was bombed however, bombs fell but nothing was hit.

Then, three weeks later, the president says: “Oh, well actually a building was destroyed”. You can’t programme something that inept and that’s a reality. They just weren’t very good.

But there are other factors.

Q: Such as North Korea?

A: There were North Koreans, as the Israelis claimed at the site. They were building a facility, it was a military facility, I think my guess would be.

I was told two different things by various people inside Syria.

One said it was perhaps a chemical facility for chemical warfare, another one said more persuasively to me that “no, it was for missiles – short range missiles to be used in case we’re attacked by Israel, we’d respond asymmetrically with missiles.”

Q: Because they figure chemical weapons are of little use against a nuclear power?

A: Yes. They’re incinerated. And I’m told they made that decision much longer ago than we might think.

I’m told they really devalued the use of a chemical warhead, certainly as a deterrent, because the response is nuclear.

Q: Didn’t some of your sources tell you there was evidence to support the theory that the US wanted Israel to test Syria’s air defences because they are similar to those of Iran?

A: In the beginning. This plan was staffed – by that I mean it was staffed by the US joint chiefs of staff, it was staffed by people in the vice president’s office.

The little bit I know about that process was in the summer, months before the mission, there was a lot of talk about doing the mission [and] there was a report in the intelligence community from the Defence Intelligence Agency saying that Syria had dramatically increased the capability of its radar and command control system.

[It said that it had] anti-aircraft radar close or parallel to that now known to be installed in Iran – so this was a way of testing the Syrian radar.

You can walk all over Syria and no-one cares, it’s a small country of 17 million people. But to go into Iran and check out radars by overflying any site, that leads to counter attack.

The Israelis have been overflying with impunity, there’s not much Syria can do and [the Israelis] knew Syria wouldn’t do anything.

So it was initially understood by my friends as a radar operation, it was only after the fact that they learned something else.

It was very hard to get information [in Israel] because they have a bar against speaking and military censorship has been imposed on this issue.

But I did get some people to say to me “Ah, that stuff about radar was [rubbish] – it was never going to happen, that’s a way or a vehicle for us to get in”.

It seems clear from what I’ve learned from my American friends and the Syrians that the Israelis came right in and the only target they had was the one they bombed.

They weren’t looking at any radar site, they just went in and whacked it.

So, then you really get to the next level of questions that I didn’t really deal with in the article because it’s so hypothetical – who authorised it?

Who did they talk to? I mean Israel does not do a raid like this without talking to the White House and I can’t find anybody that knew they were going to hit the facility beforehand.

That could be that just I can’t find it, and if not that doesn’t mean it’s not there, and it could also be that somebody like Dick Cheney, who has done this before, overrode the chain of command.

So in other words, normally all this information about an Israeli attack would soak through to the joint chiefs, but he undercut that process perhaps – he’s done it before in other incidents – but I just can’t tell you for sure what happened here.

Q: Was the raid’s purpose to act as a potential deterrent to Iran?

A: Of course that was the idea for the US, to let the Iranians know that despite the national intelligence estimate “We’re ready to … we have a proxy and the Israelis will go bang for us if we need.”

But of course, for Israel, this whole mission had another point of view.

I think the Israelis were troubled by the North Koreans there [at the site], they were troubled by the building and they thought: “What the hell, whatever it is we’re not going to let them be. We’re going to hit the facility before it gets up, whatever it’s going to be.

If they thought it was nuclear I hope they’ll show us, otherwise they just hit a building that wasn’t done yet.

And the [result] was terrific for them, because it gave Olmert a big jump, a big boost of support

Q: You mean after the war in Lebanon in 2006?

Absolutely. And also it was seen as a message to Bashar Assad, the president of Syria, who the Israelis believe has become cocky after the Hezbollah war because he was a big supporter of Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah leader] – he is Assad’s big buddy.

The Israelis thought that they could take him down a peg, and also the message to Bashar Assad is: “So, what’s Iran doing for you now, buddy? We go and pop you in the head and is Iran doing anything?”

And the American press and the international press end up being used on this one [story] in a scandalous way.

Q: On media culpability, this was a big issue in the lead up to the war in 2003 – questionable evidence that supposedly provides a cause for war. Is the media being manipulated again here?

A: The press was feckless on this and credulous and took everything at face value.

For me the US press – I don’t think they’ve come face to face with what happened here…. the newspapers missed without question the biggest moral story of the last decade, which is the illegal road to war in Iraq and we missed it.

And that’s not our job, it’s not our job to miss that, our job is not to listen to the president. There were elements of the same pattern of “kiss-up” going on and that’s very disturbing.

Q: With US elections this year, do you think any foreign policy is going to change with a new president, especially towards Israel, Iran and Syria?

A: Well certainly [it won’t change] with McCain, he’s talking about not even changing the war, which I think is a big mistake.

Somebody I know wrote a wonderful essay making the point that Iraq is a dead body, and David Petraeus, the general, and our ambassador Ryan Crocker they’re the undertakers, and their job is to keep up with the rouge and the makeup on the body for the next six months until we get past the election – that’s their goal.

[On Israel] it’s very hard, you know in America there’s just no questioning. The American Jewish influence is enormous. There’s a lot of money.

I just wish many American Jews would read the Israeli papers – particularly Haaretz – more carefully and they would see there’s really a vibrant criticism of the Israeli government … and you just don’t see that today.

I’m Jewish and I’m not anti-Semitic and I’m not anti-Israel – [Israelis] understand that, just as by the way a lot of Americans don’t understand that many of the leadership of Hamas and others.

Not everyone spends their life there wanting to kill Jews, they’re more willing than people would like to believe to co-exist, they just don’t like the system the way it works now.

Q: What do you think of Bush’s legacy to the world?

He’s done more to terrify the world than anybody I know. The world is so much more dangerous.

I have a very wise friend, born in Syria, who’s a businessman in the West now.

Right after the bombing began in Iraq he said to me: “This war will not change Iraq – Iraq will change you” and so I’ve seen it come and it’s very scary.

It’s very scary to see how things are so fragile right now, nothing going on good in Lebanon nothing going on with Syria nothing going on with Iran … We can’t talk to people we don’t like?

We’ve got to negotiate, it’s the only way we’re going to resolve our problems.

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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US rebuked Over Syria Nuclear Case + Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace

Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges + The Taming of the Assad (lion) (vids)

US Statement on Alleged Syria Nuclear Links

Syria Statement on US Nuclear Claim

US claims North Korean link to Israeli bombing of Syria (+ video)

Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges (video)

US rebuked Over Syria Nuclear Case + Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace

Dandelion Salad

By Al Jazeera and agencies
ICH
04/25/08 “al Jazeera

The head of the UN nuclear monitoring agency has criticised the US for withholding intelligence information that it says showed the construction of a nuclear reactor in Syria.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Friday also hit out at Israel for bombing the site before inspectors could investigate.

Washington alleged that the facility had a military purpose until Israel destroyed it in a bombing raid last September.

The watchdog was critical of both the US and Israel for their handling of the matter.

“In light of the above, the director-general views the unilateral military action by Israel as undermining the due process of verification that is at the heart of the non-proliferation regime,” it added.

The agency said it was taking seriously the allegations that were passed on by the United States on Thursday and will investigate the findings.

“[We] will treat this information with the seriousness it deserves and will investigate the veracity of the information,” it said.

“Syria has an obligation under its safeguards agreement with the IAEA to report the planning and construction of any nuclear facility.”

…continued

***

Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace

The Media Falls for Fake News Once Again

By John W. Farley
04/25/08 “Counterpunch

Last September 6, Israel bombed a Syrian building at Dair el Zor. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, little was said in public, by either Israel or Syria, but later the Israelis started claiming that the Syrians were building a nuclear reactor. On the radio today (April 25), I heard NPR’s Tom Jelton repeat, as if it were undisputed fact, the US. government claim to have “proof” of a Syrian-North Korean nuclear connection. Now I see that AP writers Pamela Hess and Deb Reichmann have a story headlined “White House says Syria ‘must come clean’ about nuclear work,” while ABC news has a video entitled “Syria’s Nuclear Reactor”.

Are the wonderful mainstream media, who gave us Saddam’s mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction, lying to us again? The answer is yes.

Last fall, journalist Laura Rozen spoke with Joseph Cirincione, director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress. Cirincione says:

“In attacking Dair el Zor in Syria on Sept. 6, the Israeli air force wasn’t targeting a nuclear site but rather one of the main arms depots in the country. Dair el Zor houses a huge underground base where the Syrian army stores the long and medium-range missiles it mostly buys from Iran and North Korea. The attack by the Israeli air force coincided with the arrival of a stock of parts for Syria’s 200 Scud B and 60 Scud C weapons.”

Cirincione says that there is a small Syrian nuclear research program, which has been around for 40 years and is going nowhere. “It is a basic research program built around a tiny 30 kilowatt reactor that produced a few isotopes and neutrons. It is nowhere near a program for nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel,” he said. Over a dozen countries have helped Syria develop its nuclear program, including Belgium, Germany, Russia, China and even the United States, by way of training of scientists, he said.

So what is really going on here? Cirincione told the BBC that “This appears to be the work of a small group of officials leaking cherry-picked, unvetted ‘intelligence’ to key reporters in order to promote a preexisting political agenda.” The preexisting political agenda may be promoting a war with Syria and/or Iran, or torpedoing negotiations between the US and North Korea. Finally, Cirincione adds ominously “If this sounds like the run-up to the war with Iraq, then it should.”

A big salute to the intrepid Justin Raimundo of the Libertarian website www.antiwar.com, who had this all figured out last October 15. This column is much indebted to Raimundo and Rozen. For ABC, AP, Tom Jelton and National Pentagon Radio, it’s just another day of journalistic infamy.

John W. Farley writes from Henderson, Nevada.

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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Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges + The Taming of the Assad (lion) (vids)

US Statement on Alleged Syria Nuclear Links

Syria Statement on US Nuclear Claim

US claims North Korean link to Israeli bombing of Syria (+ video)

Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges (video)

A Strike in the Dark – What did Israel bomb in Syria? by Seymour M. Hersh

Seymour Hersh: What did Israel bomb in Syria? (video)

Strong Doubts Israeli Air Strike On Syria Hit Nuclear Complex By Sherwood Ross

Report: IAF knocked out Syria radar during Sept. 6 strike By Yossi Melman

Israel’s Syrian Airstrike Was Aimed at Iran by Gareth Porter

US intelligence does not show Syrian nuclear weapons program, officials say by Larisa Alexandrovna

US Bombed Syria: Report

Why did Israel attack Syria? by Jonathan Cook

Joint Chiefs Chairman Says U.S. Preparing Military Options Against Iran

Dandelion Salad

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
ICH
04/25/08 “Washington Post

The nation’s top military officer said today that the Pentagon is planning for “potential military courses of action” against Iran, criticizing what he called the Tehran government’s “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a conflict with Iran would be “extremely stressing” but not impossible for U.S. forces, pointing specifically to reserve capabilities in the Navy and Air Force.

“It would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability,” he said at a Pentagon news conference.

Still, Mullen made clear that he prefers a diplomatic solution to the tensions with Iran and does not foresee any imminent military action. “I have no expectations that we’re going to get into a conflict with Iran in the immediate future,” he said.

Mullen’s statements and others by Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently signal a new rhetorical onslaught by the Bush administration against Iran, amid what officials say is increased Iranian provision of weapons, training, and financing to Iraqi groups that are attacking and killing Americans.

…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.

Which Side Are You On? + Capitulation By Peter Camejo

Dandelion Salad

Posted by The Nader Team
Friday, April 25, 2008 at 11:47:00 AM

If you believe that the Democratic Party is the answer to what ails us as a nation, then please, be our guest – give them some more money.

If on the other hand, you believe that the Democratic Party is part of the system of corporate control and domination, then there is a clear choice:

Support Nader/Gonzalez now.

Earlier this month, we wrote that it was “shameful” that progressives like Medea Benjamin were supporting the Democratic Party over Nader/Gonzalez.

Medea posted a response on one of our blogs, saying she was offended by the accusation, and said we should “respect” each other’s choices.

Medea used the word “respect” three times in one paragraph.

One person who was on the receiving end of Medea’s “respect” in 2004 was Peter Camejo, Ralph’s running mate in 2004.

We asked Peter to respond to Medea.

Please read Peter’s essay carefully.

Pass it around.

And let us know what you think.

If you agree with Peter – then please help fund our growing alternative voice to the corporate two-party duopoly.

Have a safe weekend.

Onward.

The Nader Team

***

From the comment section:

Capitulation

By Peter Camejo

I was stunned to see Medea Benjamin complaining to the Nader/Gonzalez campaign because the campaign had used the word “shameful” in referring to “progressive” Democrats who had supported the pro-war, pro-Patriot Act, anti-labor, and anti-environmental candidate John Kerry in 2004.

I have great personal admiration for Medea Benjamin for many of the stands and actions she has taken through the years. But her capitulation to the Democratic Party has been truly disappointing.

Medea Benjamin eventually joined the “progressive” Democrats and has become an active supporter of the Democratic Party.

Without the Democratic Party’s support, Bush’s war policies could never have been implemented. The Democrats voted in Congress a resolution that included the phrase, “unequivocal support for George Bush’s conduct of the war in Iraq.”

They have voted for all the funding requests for the war in Iraq. In 2005 at the State of Union address, the entire Congress, with few if any exceptions, gave George Bush 39 standing ovations in one hour. They rose to their feet and applauded every time Bush used the word Iraq even before he finished his sentence.

Of course this is nothing new for the Democratic Party. This is the Party of human slavery, of the Jim Crow of 5,000 lynchings, of fighting the right of women to vote, and of imprisoning Japanese Americans in camps.

This is the Party that launched a war of mass murder killing two million Vietnamese as the “peace” party in the 1960s. It is the party that has supported the destruction of the trade unions, lowered taxes for the rich – while raising them for the poor. The Democrats voted 98% in favor of the Patriot Act in the Senate without reading it.

Earlier, 100 percent of Senate Democrats voted to confirm the right-winger Antonin Scalia for the Supreme Court.

In 2004 the Democrats ran John Kerry for President – the same John Kerry who said he could implement Bush’s war policies better than Bush especially in increasing militarization in America and promoting the war in Iraq.

What confuses so many progressively inclined people is they do not really understand that our society is controlled by the corporate power of concentrated money.

The corporations and the super rich – through their domination of the government, the media, and educational institutions and of course the two parties – run our society.

The totalitarian rule of money is a self correcting mechanism. It has flexibility which is part of why it is so powerful.

The two-party system allows the appearance of differences and adjustments to public sentiment. It has become the single most successful political form for the rule of a minority over a majority in the history of the world. How this system of control developed, consolidated, and has survived through the years will be studied for years to come.

The front line in this denial of democracy is the Democratic Party because it is the instrument that controls, channels and co-opts the forces that otherwise could challenge the rule of concentrated money.

It is precisely the “differences” between the two major parties that makes the system effective.

And the front line in the battle for the control of money over people are the so-called “progressive” Democrats who talk the talk. They confuse people, prevent free elections, and fight hardest to undermine a Nader/Camejo candidacy or a Nader/Gonzalez candidacy or any other candidacy whose voice for democracy begins to be heard.

They may think they are helping move the country toward a more progressive agenda. But in fact, they are deepening the illusion that answers can be found through the Democratic Party. In turn, this reinforces the two-party domination over the United States, making possible the horrendous policies we have seen over the last eight years.

You – Medea Benjamin – are now one of those on the front lines defending the two-party domination, and as a direct result, defending the rule of concentrated money and other illegalities and injustices of our present system.

You can’t have it both ways.

In 2004, the Democrats went further than just supporting Bush’s policies.

They led a massive campaign to silence the only well known candidacy that opposed Bush’s policies. They did this by manipulation.

They sent representatives into the Nader/Camejo campaign to disrupt it, to seek to prevent his supporters from getting Nader/Camejo on the ballot. They actively sought to prevent those who disagreed – and favored peace, social justice and democracy – to have a voice.

They harassed people trying to petition for Nader/Camejo. They brought at one time over twenty lawsuits to try to block Nader/Camejo’s campaign from state ballots. They spent tens of millions of dollars in their battle against free elections and against voter choice.

Even today they are trying to “fine” Nader/Camejo tens of thousands of dollars for merely seeking ballot access in the State of Pennsylvania.

I personally had to pay them $20,000 not to have a lien put on my home for having been Ralph Nader’s Vice Presidential candidate.

The Democrats, especially the people you, Media Benjamin, call “progressives,” were the most vicious in their endless diatribes against Nader calling him “crazy,” “ego maniacal,” “stupid,” and “agent of Bush.”

Media Benjamin you are now shocked that the Nader/Gonzalez campaign used the term “shameful.”

Where was Medea Benjamin during the Democrats hate campaign against democracy in 2004? You were campaigning for a pro-war candidate and supporting the vicious anti-Nader/Camejo campaign.

Medea Benjamin in her effort to support John Kerry helped successfully to manipulate within the Green Party support for David Cobb, the anti-Nader pro-voting Democrat candidate who favored US occupation of Iraq in two public debates with me.

She worked to get the Green Party convention to prevent Nader/Camejo from being endorsed after Nader/Camejo representatives won a number of Green Party primaries and state conventions, including California.

During the 2004 campaign, there was a letter on David Cobb’s web site titled “Vote Kerry and Cobb.” And it was signed by Medea Benjamin, among others.

If you are going to seek fairness and oppose “trashing,” why don’t you start with all your friends whose extreme public attacks on Nader/Camejo you never protested?

Why not promote among your Democratic friends the publishing of ads apologizing to Nader and the American people for the twenty-four harassing lawsuits in twelve weeks filed by Republican corporate law firms like Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis and abuses they committed in 2004 against the rights of the American people to have free elections and voter choice?

Yes Medea Benjamin you have the right – like so many before you – to seek to reform the Democratic Party. The truth is, however, that what you actually achieve is to give cover for this pro-war anti-labor political organization. Millions upon millions have tried to reform the Democratic Party for decades.

The AFL-CIO went in to reform the Democrats with millions upon millions of supporters only to be reduced from 33% of the work force to 12% – a submissively controlled force ineffective in defending even their own existence – unable to even get the Democratic Party to repeal the notorious anti-labor Taft Hartley law of 1947.

The generation of progressive “leaders” that capitulate in 2004 will have to be replaced by a new generation that will stand by principles like the early abolitionists of the Liberty Party, the Populists who led the uprising of 1890s, the Debsian socialists and Women’s Party activists of the early twentieth century – and yes like Ralph Nader who refuses to capitulate to a Democratic Party that has and is selling out the American people.

Making personal attacks on Ralph Nader is starting to get a little old. Maybe it’s time for your Democratic Party friends to end their political bigotry against Nader/Gonzalez.

Yes we should all work together on issues we agree on. Yes we should try to get people regardless of what party they are registered with to support specific objectives.

That is how the most massive peace demonstrations ever were organized in the 1960s and 1970s or the millions who marched together for immigrant rights just a couple of years ago. Of course none of those actions were ever supported by your Party, the Democrats.

The ranks of the Democratic Party are desperately seeking change. In time they will see that the Democratic Party cannot be and will not be the agency through which peace, social justice and saving our environment will come. On this issue you and I remain divided. On the debate about this issue Nader and those supporting him have been saints in their language in comparison to your friends in the Democratic Party.

The Nader/Gonzalez campaign has nothing to apologize for. Nader has been one of the most beautiful examples of showing respect for all including those who disagree with him.

It is time for you and your Democratic Party associates to show respect and apologize to Ralph Nader.

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

see

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

Ralph Nader posts

Nader for President 2008

Mosaic News – 4/24/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

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

linktv

Assad Confirms Syria-Israel Talks,” IBA TV, Israel
UNRWA Stops Operating in Gaza,” Dubai TV, UAE
Israel & Hamas Getting Closer to a Ceasefire,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Exhibition of Future Thirst,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
An Eye on Israel,” Al-Alam TV, Iram
Pakistan Taliban Calls for a Ceasefire,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
PKK Kills Three Turkish Soldiers,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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

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see

Syrian ambassador rejects US nuclear charges + The Taming of the Assad (lion) (vids)

US claims North Korean link to Israeli bombing of Syria (+ video)

US man held on Israel spy charge + video

PBS: TV Generals Pentagon Propagandist & It’s Illegal!

Dandelion Salad

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

April 24, 2008PBS News Hour

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

.

see

Max and the Marginalized: Whose Face Can You Save

NYT on the Pentagon’s Puppets (video)

Pentagon pundits jeopardize America’s Free Press (Action Alert; vid)

Pentagon Propaganda & Antiwar Analysts

Major revelation: US media deceitfully disseminates government propaganda