Been losing my Internet connection… again by Lo

Dandelion Salad

It’s been going off rather frequently lately.  Then as mysteriously as it goes off, it comes back on.  I have no idea why.

Anyway, I’m going to start my garden today, so I have a lot of digging to do.  (photos later)

Hopefully I’ll still have a connection and will bring the latest news to you later today/tonight.

thanks,

Lo

Myanmar Junta seizes aid shipments + Voting in Myanmar’s referendum goes ahead

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com/c.php?c=080501YT
Military Junta blocks new aid and insists on constitutional referendum despite cyclone disaster

Sunday May 11th, 2008

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar writes The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online. He has reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He is the author of the recently published Red Zone Blues. Pepe is a regular analyst for The Real News Network.

***

Voting in Myanmar’s referendum goes ahead

AlJazeeraEnglish

Al Jazeera’s Tony Cheng reports from the town of Myawaddy in Myanmar, where people are voting in the referendum that has gone ahead despite the recent devastation.
Many are illiterate and therefore can not read or understand the constitution, however despite the lack of understanding, one family still plans to vote ‘no’.

Myanmar’s struggle to rebuild communities

Al Jazeera’s correspondent reports on the survivors of the Myanmar disaster and how they are rallying together to rebuild their communities.
The only thing victims can do now is fend for themselves. Now, with entire communities completely destroyed by the cyclone people are seeking shelter wherever they can.
One monastery in the south Myanmar is being used – even though it does not have a roof.

see

Crisis in the Rice Bowl of Mynamar + Backlog of aid supplies in Thailand

Organizations to Donate for Aid Relief for Myanmar

Noam Chomsky on Latin America (2008; videos)

Dandelion Salad

Chomskyan

Noam Chomsky on Latin America-Sloan/MIT Latin Conf.

Noam Chomsky was the keynote speaker at the 2008 Latin Conference at The Sloan School of Management/MIT.

Recorded covertly by Charngchi Way

Inside USA: US interference in Bolivia

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

This week Inside USA looks at the Bush administration’s policies in South America’s poorest nation, and asks what the future holds for Bolivia.

see

Bolivia: What does Santa Cruz want? + Autonomy vote

Stalled Morales puts faith in referendum

US backs eastern seccession in Bolivia (video)

We Must Democratize Our Economic Institutions by Manila Ryce

Fight for Bolivia’s future lies behind referendum

Talk to Jazeera: Evo Morales (videos)

Crisis in the Rice Bowl of Mynamar + Backlog of aid supplies in Thailand

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

Al Jazeera reports from the town of Maubin and from the Irrawaddy Delta, where farmers in the Rice Bowl of Burma have lost their livelihoods because of cyclone Nargis.

***

Backlog of Myanmar aid supplies in Thailand

Australia has raised its offer to help Myanmar and is now pledging more than 23 million dollars. But Canberra is demanding that all restrictions be lifted on foreign workers delivering the supplies. There’s a backlog of aid especially in Thailand.Al Jazeera’s correspondent Tony Cheng reports from the Thai-Myanmar border town of Mae Sot.

see

Bush administration moves to exploit Burma cyclone disaster

Why the propaganda campaign for international intervention in Burma?

Organizations to Donate for Aid Relief for Myanmar

Uribe Would Be Involved in the “Final Offensive” Against Venezuela

Dandelion Salad

by Últimas Noticias
Translated by James Suggett
http://www.venezuelanalysis.com
May 8th 2008
First published April 25, 2008

The so-called “final offensive” against Venezuela (the purpose of which is to take President Chávez out of power) is being planned presumably from Colombia, and would be executed by that country’s army, according to agreements between Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and “the known agent of the intelligence services of the United States,” William Brownfield.

This information is recorded in the document titled “Shock and Awe Theory in Venezuela: Provoke a State of Shock In Order to Command Respect,” presented to the Public Ministry by former Venezuelan Attorney General Isaías Rodríguez when he went to make declarations regarding the Danilo Anderson case last Friday.

…continued

h/t: The Largest Minority

see

US “Shock and Awe” Plan Revealed to Overthrow Venezuela

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.

US Terrorism Report: Selective Data, Wrong Lessons.

Dandelion Salad

by Ramzy Baroud
Global Research, May 9, 2008

The data provided in the US State Department’s annual terrorism report for 2007 points to some interesting if puzzling conclusions. The much publicised document, made available 30 April via the State Department’s website, makes no secret of the fact that Al-Qaeda is back, strong as ever. It also suggests that violence worldwide is nowhere near subsiding, despite President Bush’s repeated assurances regarding the success of his “war on terror”.

Will the report inspire serious reflection on the US’s detrimental foreign policy and its role in the current situation?

Let’s look at some of the data. To start with, take Pakistan. Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda-inspired attacks in the country more than doubled (from 375 to 877) between 2006 and 2007. These attacks have claimed the lives of 1,335 people, compared to 335 in a previous report. That is a jump of almost 300 per cent.

Then there’s Afghanistan, which was supposedly “liberated” shortly after 11 September 2001. The number of attacks reported there increased a sharp 16 per cent in 2007. Some 1,127 violent incidents killing 1,966 people represent a significant surge in violence compared to 2006’s 1,257 deaths.

There have also been many other violent incidents around the world, including but not limited to North Africa, the terrorist bombings in Algeria in particular.

But this is barely half the story — or 40 per cent of it, if we want to be as specific as the terrorism report. Iraq accounted for 60 per cent of worldwide terrorism fatalities.

Considering the fact that the horrifying violence currently witnessed in Iraq was unheard of prior to the US invasion of 2003, will the Bush administration take a moment to connect the dots? Even a third grader could figure this one out: the US occupation was a major, if not sole factor, in Iraq’s relentless bloodbath. In order to right the wrong in Iraq, the US military should clearly just withdraw, and Bush — or whoever next claims the White House — should stop fabricating pretexts to justify a prolonged mission.

On 1 May 2003, President Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq. As he stood on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln a huge banner behind him bore the words “Mission Accomplished”. The New York Times then wrote, “the Bush administration is planning to withdraw most United States combat forces from Iraq over the next several months and wants to shrink the American military presence to less than two divisions by the fall.”

Instead, more than five years after Bush’s speech, the administration seems determined to maintain a military surge, having added 20,000 soldiers. Making no apologies for the war’s contribution to an increase in terrorist activities, Bush’s officials continue to rationalise the surge as a commonsense response to ongoing violence, conveniently omitting the US’s own part in this violence. The State Department report doesn’t classify any of the thousands of innocent victims killed by US or coalition forces as victims of terrorism.

Russ Travers, deputy director of the Counterterrorism Centre, stated on the day the report was published, “It’s a fair statement that around the globe people are getting increasingly efficient at killing other people.” While Travers’ assertion is undoubtedly true, there seems to be no intention of providing any context, no connection drawn to the US’s direct invasions, or indirect but equally devastating role in campaigns of violence, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

But what the State Department’s terrorism report didn’t fail to do was once again identify Iran as the world’s “most active” state sponsor of terrorism. As reported in the Associated Press on 1 May, Iran was responsible for “supporting Palestinian extremists and insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, whereÉ elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps continued to give militants weapons, training and funding.”

The irony is that the report further contributes to the US’s long-touted case for war against Iran; ironic because the report’s findings, if viewed responsibly, substantiate the claim that the Bush administration’s policies have only made the world more unsafe. Wouldn’t a war against Iran hike up the number of violent or terrorist incidents?

It also remains unclear how powerful Al-Qaeda really is, and how much of its capabilities were hyped in order to enable the Bush administration to continue its mission. Consider the two occasions Al-Qaeda was back in the news recently.

News media cited official Afghani reports attributing the recent assassination attempt on US-ally Afghani President Hamid Karzai to Al-Qaeda. In other reports, the US rationalised its own assassination of a leading Somali militia leader Aden Hashi Eyrow on 1 May as targeting a key Al-Qaeda member. It’s not the logic of the assassination that is key here, but rather the fact that while Al- Qaeda has reached a position of strength that can penetrate several layers of defences in Afghanistan, the US is getting itself involved in a regional feud in Somalia. Why would the Bush administration be chasing Al-Qaeda in Somalia, as in Iraq, if the group is reportedly in the most powerful position in Afghanistan?

Moreover, if Al-Qaeda indeed exists on such a large and influential scale in so many countries, isn’t it time to question the logic used by the Bush administration’s “war on terror” that was meant to weaken and destroy Al- Qaeda in the first place?

It may be, of course, that Al-Qaeda’s power and outreach is inflated for political reasons, where every conflict the US is involved in becomes immediately reduced to those who support, shield or host Al-Qaeda or Al- Qaeda inspired groups, thus justifying US military intervention anywhere.

Instead of dealing with the obvious truths that the terrorism report highlights, the authors of the report have resorted to another logic that places blame squarely on external circumstance, never holding the US government accountable for its actions.

Finally, is there really a need for lengthy reports that cost large sums of money and thousands of work hours if the lessons gleaned are always the wrong ones, leading to more blunders that prompt more violence, and more terrorism reports?

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

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 Ramzy Baroud, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8935

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Dandelion Salad

By Vincent Bugliosi
ICH
05/10/08 “

There is direct evidence that President George W. Bush did not honorably lead this nation, but deliberately misled it into a war he wanted. Bush and his administration knowingly lied to Congress and to the American public — lies that have cost the lives of more than 4,000 young American soldiers and close to $1 trillion.

A Monumental Lie

In his first nationally televised address on the Iraqi crisis on October 7, 2002, six days after receiving the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a classified CIA report, President Bush told millions of Americans the exact opposite of what the CIA was telling him -a monumental lie to the nation and the world.

On the evening of October 7, 2002, the very latest CIA intelligence was that Hussein was not an imminent threat to the U.S. This same information was delivered to the Bush administration as early as October 1, 2002, in the NIE, including input from the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies. In addition, CIA director George Tenet briefed Bush in the Oval Office on the morning of October 7th.

According to the October 1, 2002 NIE, “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [chemical and biological warfare] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war.” The report concluded that Hussein was not planning to use any weapons of mass destruction; further, Hussein would only use weapons of mass destruction he was believed to have if he were first attacked, that is, he would only use them in self-defense.

Preparing its declassified version of the NIE for Congress, which became known as the White Paper, the Bush administration edited the classified NIE document in ways that significantly changed its inference and meaning, making the threat seem imminent and ominous.

In the original NIE report, members of the U.S. intelligence community vigorously disagreed with the CIA’s bloated and inaccurate conclusions. All such opposing commentary was eliminated from the declassified White Paper prepared for Congress and the American people.

The Manning Memo

On January 31, 2003, Bush met in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a memo summarizing the meeting discussion, Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor David Manning wrote that Bush and Blair expressed their doubts that any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons would ever be found in Iraq, and that there was tension between Bush and Blair over finding some justification for the war that would be acceptable to other nations. Bush was so worried about the failure of the UN inspectors to find hard evidence against Hussein that he talked about three possible ways, Manning wrote, to “provoke a confrontation” with Hussein. One way, Bush said, was to fly “U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, [falsely] painted in UN colors. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach” of UN resolutions and that would justify war. Bush was calculating to create a war, not prevent one.

Denying Blix’s Findings

Hans Blix, the United Nation’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, in his March 7, 2003, address to the UN Security Council, said that as of that date, less than 3 weeks before Bush invaded Iraq, that Iraq had capitulated to all demands for professional, no-notice weapons inspections all over Iraq and agreed to increased aerial surveillance by the U.S. over the “no-fly” zones. Iraq had directed the UN inspectors to sites where illicit weapons had been destroyed and had begun to demolish its Al Samoud 2 missiles, as requested by the UN. Blix added that “no evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found” by his inspectors and “no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.” He said that for his inspectors to absolutely confirm that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) “will not take years, nor weeks, but months.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief UN nuclear inspector in Iraq and director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the UN Security Council that, “we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.”

The UN inspectors were making substantial progress and Hussein was giving them unlimited access. Why was Bush in such an incredible rush to go to war?

Hussein Disarms, so Bush … Goes to War

When it became clear that the whole purpose of Bush’s prewar campaign — to get Hussein to disarm — was being (or already had been) met, Bush and his people came up with a demand they had never once made before — that Hussein resign and leave Iraq. On March 17, 2003, Bush said in a speech to the nation that, “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict.” Military conflict — the lives of thousands of young Americans on the line — because Bush trumped up a new line in the sand?

The Niger Allegation

One of the most notorious instances of the Bush administration using thoroughly discredited information to frighten the American public was the 16 words in Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union speech: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” The Niger allegation was false, and the Bush administration knew it was false.

Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former ambassador to Iraq, was sent to Niger by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate a supposed memo that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake (a form of lightly processed ore) to Iraq by Niger in the late 1990s. Wilson reported back to the CIA that it was “highly doubtful” such a transaction had ever taken place.

On March 7, 2003, Mohamed ElBaradei told the UN Security Council that “based on thorough analysis” his agency concluded that the “documents which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic.” Indeed, author Craig Unger uncovered at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union address in which analysts at the CIA, the State Department, or other government agencies that had examined the Niger documents “raised serious doubts about their legitimacy — only to be rebuffed by Bush administration officials who wanted to use them.”

On October 5 and 6, 2002, the CIA sent memos to the National Security Council, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and to the White House Situation Room stating that the Niger information was no good.

On January 24, 2003, four days before the president’s State of the Union address, the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, which oversees all federal agencies that deal with intelligence, sent a memo to the White House stating that “the Niger story is baseless and should be laid to rest.”

The 9/11 Lie

The Bush administration put undue pressure on U.S. intelligence agencies to provide it with conclusions that would help them in their quest for war. Bush’s former counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, said that on September 12, 2001, one day after 9/11, “The President in a very intimidating way left us — me and my staff — with the clear indication that he wanted us to come back with the word that there was an Iraqi hand behind 9/11.”

Bush said on October 7, 2002, “We know that Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high level contacts that go back a decade,” and that “Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gasses.” Of Hussein, he said on November 1, 2002, “We know he’s got ties with Al Qaeda.”

Even after Bush admitted on September 17, 2003, that he had “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, he audaciously continued, in the months and years that followed, to clearly suggest, without stating it outright, that Hussein was involved in 9/11.

On March 20, 2006, Bush said, “I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack on America.”

Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder is available May 27.

For more information visit www.prosecutionofbush.com

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

see this post for a review of his book:

http://incogman.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/will-someone-please-arrest-this-murdering-sob/

War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think By Philip Giraldi

Dandelion Salad

By Philip Giraldi
ICH
05/10/08 “American Conservative

There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action. The decision to go ahead with plans to attack Iran is the direct result of concerns being expressed over the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, where Iranian ally Hezbollah appears to have gained the upper hand against government forces and might be able to dominate the fractious political situation.

The White House contacted the Iranian government directly yesterday through a channel provided by the leadership of the Kurdish region in Iraq, which has traditionally had close ties to Tehran. The US demanded that Iran admit that it has been interfering in Iraq and also commit itself to taking steps to end the support of various militant groups. There was also a warning about interfering in Lebanon. The Iranian government reportedly responded quickly, restating its position that it would not discuss the matter until the US ceases its own meddling employing Iranian dissident groups. The perceived Iranian intransigence coupled with the Lebanese situation convinced the White House that some sort of unambiguous signal has to be sent to the Iranian leadership, presumably in the form of cruise missiles. It is to be presumed that the attack will be as “pinpoint” and limited as possible, intended to target only al-Qods and avoid civilian casualties.

The decision to proceed with plans for an attack is not final. The President will still have to give the order to launch after all preparations are made.

Copyright – The American Conservative

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

Iran