Countdown: McCain Supports The “DRAFT”

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McCain Supports The “DRAFT”

Today at one of McCain’s campaign stops, a person in the audience told McCain if he plans to use the military to continue the wars he would need to bring back the Draft. He replied “I Don’t Disagree With Anything You Said”. McWarmonger wants to reinstate the selective service DRAFT.


John McCain: Town Hall 08/20/08


John McCain
Town Hall
Las Cruces, NM 08/20/08


A UDIENCE MEMBER: Senator McCain I truly hope you get the opportunity to chase Bin Laden right to the gates of hell and push him in as you stated on your forum. I do have a question though. Disable veterans, especially in this state have horrible conditions, their medical is substandard. They drive four hours one way to Albuquerque for a simple doctors appointment which is often canceled. Our VA hospital is dirty it is understaffed, it is running on maximum overload. The prescription medicines are ten years behind standard medical care we have seven hundred claims stacked up at the VA office in Albuquerque some of them are ten and seven years old waiting to be processed in the mean time these people are homeless. My son is an officer in the Air Force, and I am a vet and I was raised in a military family. I think it is a sad state of affairs when we have illegal aliens having a Medicaid card that can access specialist top physicians, the best of medical and our vets can’t even get to a doctor. These are the people that we tied yellow ribbons for and Bush patted on the back. If we don’t reenact the draft I don’t think we will have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.

JOHN MCCAIN: Ma’am let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said and thank you and I am grateful for your support of all of our veterans.

LABEL: JM NM 08-20 (EW#15) CRKD – ClipB – LS

To download a higher-resolution version of this clip, VISIT:…

h/t: In One Ear… Out the Other and Sensico and




Tonight’s: Support The Troops-Gate, The Phony Terror-War-Gate Civilian Division and Phony Terror-War-Gate Government Division.

Worst Person

August 20, 2008 MSNBC

Paraguay’s New President Fernando Lugo Ends 62 Years of Conservative Rule

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

Aug 19, 2008

“The Bishop of the Poor”: Paraguay’s New President Fernando Lugo Ends 62 Years of Conservative Rule

A former priest known as the “Bishop of the Poor,” Fernando Lugo is the first Paraguayan president since 1946 not to be from the conservative Colorado Party. He has pledged to give land to the landless and fight corruption. We speak to Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American history at NYU.

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Democracy Now! | “The Bishop of the Poor”: Paraguay’s New President Fernando Lugo Ends 62 Years of Conservative Rule.


Paraguay bishop becomes president


Federal Court Rules US Govt May Not Deliberately Subvert California’s Medical Marijuana Laws

Dandelion Salad

American Civil Liberties Union

SAN JOSE, CA – In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a federal court today held that the U.S. Constitution bars deliberate subversion by the federal government of state medical marijuana laws.

“Utilizing selective arrests and prosecutions, the federal government has sought to sabotage California’s reasoned approach to medical marijuana use,” said Graham Boyd, Director of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. “For the first time, a court has recognized that a calculated plan by the federal government to undercut state medical marijuana laws is patently unconstitutional. Today’s decision forecasts an end to any organized federal effort to sabotage state medical marijuana laws.”

While previous high-profile cases affirmed the federal government’s power to enforce federal drug laws against individual medical marijuana patients and providers on a case-by-case basis, today’s ruling clearly recognizes that a calculated pattern of federal enforcement can render state medical marijuana laws effectively inoperable, which would violate the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“It is obvious to anyone paying attention that federal officials have gone to great lengths to sabotage state efforts to allow for appropriate medical marijuana use,” said Boyd. “The court made clear that this deliberate interference – once proved – would be unequivocally unconstitutional.”

The case, County of Santa Cruz v. Mukasey, originated in 2003 when Bingham McCutchen LLP and the Drug Policy Alliance, along with private attorneys Gerald F. Uelmen and Benjamin Rice, sued the federal government for raiding a Santa Cruz-area medical marijuana cooperative, the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana.

The ACLU and others argued, and the court agreed, that the U.S. Constitution permits states to determine for themselves what is legal and what is illegal under state law, and that the federal government may not deliberately undermine this process.

“The federal government has purposely set out to systematically subvert California’s medical marijuana program,” said Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Let us hope that this ruling leads to the merciful end of the federal government’s cruel war on sick and dying medical marijuana patients.”

In today’s ruling, which rejected the federal government’s motion to dismiss the case, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, relied on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s opinion in Conant v. Walters, which stated, in part, “Applied to our situation, this means that, much as the federal government may prefer that California keep medical marijuana illegal, it cannot force the state to do so.”

In addition to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the lawsuit names as defendants U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents involved in the raid of WAMM, and administrators of the DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The court’s ruling is available online at:


Nader Calls For Crackdown on Corporate Crime, Reversal of So-Called War on Drugs + Sean Penn

Ron Paul: Drop Federal Penalities for Marijuana

Banking on Congress by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
Aug 20, 2008

This week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) officials are pushing various agencies charged with regulating banks, such as the Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision to more aggressively give problem banks lower ratings than they may now be receiving from regulators. Regulators give banks a rank between 1 and 5. Well-managed banks get a 1, problem banks receive a 4 or 5. The FDIC wants to see more banks getting 4s or 5s.

In late July, I wrote to U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. to suggest that they jointly hold hearings on the FDIC’s ability to deal with potential bank failures in the next several years. In the letter, I noted that in a March 10, 2008 memorandum on insurance assessment rates, Arthur J. Murton, Director of the Division of Insurance and Research for the FDIC stated:

While 99 percent of insured institutions meet the “well capitalized” criteria, the possibility remains that the fund could suffer insurance losses that are significantly higher than anticipated. The U.S. economy and the banking sector currently face a significant amount of uncertainty from ongoing housing sector problems, financial market turbulence and potentially weak prospects for consumer spending. These problems could lead to significantly higher loan losses and weaker earnings for insured institutions.

FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair, however, has been singing a more upbeat tune. She recently said, “The banking system in this country remains on a solid footing through the guarantees provided by FDIC insurance. The overwhelming majority of banks in this country are safe and sound and the chances that your own bank could fail are remote. However, if that does happen, the FDIC will be there – as always – to protect your insured deposits.”

Despite these reassuring words, the recent failure of IndyMac highlights the need for tough Congressional oversight. Banking experts have indicated that the cost of the collapse of IndyMac alone will be between $4 billion and $8 billion. The FDIC has approximately $53 billion on hand to deal with bank failures. This amount may not be adequate, given the cost of IndyMac and given the approximately $4 trillion in deposits the FDIC insures.

Congressional oversight of the financial services industry and its regulators should be a topic priority for Congress. I even suggested several questions that should be put to FDIC officials such as:

1. Was IndyMac on the list of “Problem Institutions” before it failed?

2. Were the other banks that failed this year on the FDIC list of “Problem Institutions”?

3. What is the anticipated cost of dealing with the failures of the other four banks that failed this year?

4. As of March 31, 2008 the FDIC reported 90 “Problem Institutions” with assets of $26 billion. What is the current number of “Problem Institutions” and what are the assets of these “Problem Institutions”?

5. How many banks are likely to fail in 2008 and 2009 respectively?

6. What is the estimated range of costs of dealing with the projected failures?

7. What will the effect of higher losses than those projected be on the FDIC’s estimate of the proper reserve ratio?

8. What are the FDIC’s projections for reserves needed and potential bank failures beyond 2009?

9. Is the FDIC resisting raising the current rates of assessments on FDIC insured banks so that the cost of any significant bailouts will have to be shifted to the taxpayers?

10. Does the Government Accountability Office (GAO) believe that the existing rate schedule for banks to pay into the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) is set at the proper level?

It would also make sense for Congress to revisit the FDIC’s current approach to setting reserve ratios for banks.

The FDIC is not likely to address its own inability to clearly assess the current risks posed to depositors and taxpayers by the high-rolling, bailout-prone banking industry.

When Congress reconvenes after Labor Day it would be prudent for Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank to focus on the FDIC and our nation’s troubled banks through some tough no-holds-barred hearings. These two lawmakers are going to have to hear from the people back home soon.

Neither Senator Dodd nor Congressman Frank have responded to my letter of July 23, 2008.

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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Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

Dandelion Salad

By Spengler
08/19/08 “Asia Times”

On the night of November 22, 2004, then-Russian president – now premier – Vladimir Putin watched the television news in his dacha near Moscow. People who were with Putin that night report his anger and disbelief at the unfolding “Orange” revolution in Ukraine. “They lied to me,” Putin said bitterly of the United States. “I’ll never trust them again.” The Russians still can’t fathom why the West threw over a potential strategic alliance for Ukraine. They underestimate the stupidity of the West.

American hardliners are the first to say that they feel stupid next to Putin. Victor Davis Hanson wrote on August 12 [1] of Moscow’s “sheer diabolic brilliance” in Georgia, while Colonel Ralph Peters, a columnist and television commentator, marveled on August 14 [2], “The Russians are alcohol-sodden barbarians, but now and

then they vomit up a genius … the empire of the czars hasn’t produced such a frightening genius since [Joseph] Stalin.” The superlatives recall an old observation about why the plots of American comic books need clever super-villains and stupid super-heroes to even the playing field. Evidently the same thing applies to superpowers.

The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them. That is what the informed Russian public believes, judging from last week’s postings on web forums, including this writer’s own.

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess : Information Clearing House – ICH.


Aprés la deluge — wracking up the fear quotient By William Bowles

Beat The Dead Horse Or Putin’s Revenge By Gaither Stewart

Margolis: Dems onside with Bush on Georgia

Evidence of Georgian tanks + Poland Signs Missile Defense Shield Deal + NATO warns Russia

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House?

The Force Be With Us But Not With You by Bruce Gagnon

Why Not Simply Abolish NATO? by Rodrigue Tremblay


The Greenback Blues: Something’s Gotta Give By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
08/19/08 “ICH”

In a matter of weeks, the euro has been pounded into ground-chuck while the dollar has regained much of its former glory. What gives? The mighty greenback has surged 6% in the last month alone. Apparently, the early reports of the dollar’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The euro is caught in the same recessionary downdraft that is buffeting a number of currencies, all of which are unwinding at the same time although unevenly. Currency markets don’t move in straight lines. But, don’t be fooled, most paper money is steadily losing value due to the wild expansion of credit which started at the Federal Reserve. Investors are moving to cash and hunkering down. Who can blame them? As the massive equity bubble loses gas, balance sheets will have to be mended and lending will slow to a crawl. At present, Germany’s slowdown and Spain’s housing crash are drawing most of the attention but, just wait, the spotlight is shifting fast. Next week it could be shining down on the America’s failing banking system or poor corporate-earnings reports in the US. Then it will be the dollar marching off to the gallows.

Europe’s troubles have put to rest to idea that other countries can “decouple” from the US and thrive without help from the US consumer. That might be true in the long-term, but falling demand is already visible everywhere. Retail and auto sales are really taking a thumping and 2009 is shaping up to be even tougher. It’s looking more and more like the Europeon Central Bank was faked-out by the early signs of inflation and missed the deflationary sledgehammer that was about to come crashing down. It was a rookie error by European Central Bank (ECB) chief Jean Claude Trichet and it should cost him his job. Raising interest rates while sliding into the jaws of recession is madness. Now all of Europe is headed for a hard landing and there’s no way to soften the blow. The ECB doesn’t have the same tools as the Fed; Trichet can’t simply backstop the whole system with green paper and T-Bills like Bernanke. He can either slash rates or take a bleacher-seat and hope for the best.

The UK Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, sums up Europe’s woes in last week’s article “ECB Slammed as Europe Crumbles”:

“The economies of Germany, France and Italy all contracted in the first quarter and may now be in full recession, shattering assumptions that Europe would prove able to shrug off the effects of the credit crunch….The picture is darkening so fast in Spain that Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero canceled holidays and called his cabinet back to Madrid yesterday for the first emergency session of its kind since the Franco dictatorship.

Growth has turned negative in Ireland, Denmark, Latvia, and Estonia, while grinding to a halt in Sweden and The Netherlands. Iceland contracted by a staggering 3.7pc. The grim data from Eurostat follows a recession warning in Britain, and shock news that the Japanese economy had shrunk 0.6pc in the second quarter. Almost the entire bloc of rich Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – still two thirds of the world economy – are now in the grip of a major downturn.”

Evans-Pritchard’s article reads like a chapter from the Book of Revelation all that’s missing is the plague of locusts. The ECB is in a pickle and will have to allow the economy to cool off so the credit excesses can work themselves out. It’s like a pig passing through the belly of the boa; it takes time.

As a result, deficits are likely to soar in the south (particularly Spain, Greece and Italy) while growth in the industrial north, Germany, will continue to shrink. Spain, Ireland and England are undergoing the biggest housing meltdown in history having fallen prey to the same Greenspan-inspired hanky-panky we’ve seen in the US. Hundreds of billions of dollars of low interest loans that were issued to unqualified mortgage applicants has clogged up the system. Now the bill has come due and the losses have to be written off. Expect more blood to come.

The problem is so big that the future of the EU and the euro are now very much in doubt. Currency traders are expecting the ECB to lower rates (and weaken the euro) just as the future’s market is wagering that the Fed will raise rates to fight inflation. But don’t bet on it. Interest rates are going down not up, regardless of the Fed’s well-orchestrated PR campaign. Bernanke is just waiting for Trichet to make his move before he produces the Fed-scimitar and begins slashing rates. Don’t forget, the Federal Reserve is essentially the board of directors for the nations banking system. If Bernanke is forced to choose between the people who depend on the dollar as a reliable store of value or bailing out the high-stakes gamblers who run the banks; the Fed chief will choose the banks 100 per cent of the time. In Vegas, that’s called a “sure thing”.

The perception that the dollar is getting stronger is an illusion. Deflation is “dollar positive” because investors who flee from toxic assets naturally move into cash. But that doesn’t mean they have faith in the dollar; far from it. The fundamentals for the greenback get worse by the day. Fiscal and trade deficits are out of control, the national debt is tipping $10 trillion, foreign investment is drying up, and confidence in US leadership has never been lower. The dollar is on a time-line of roughly 6 to 18 months before it’s rolled into spools and sold as toilet paper. Paper currency is a country’s IOU; and foreign central banks are wary of taking checks from a country that no longer wins wars or has the capacity to pay off its debts. That’s why, for the first time, there’s serious talk about the US losing its triple A rating on government debt; and it could happen sooner than anyone thinks. Every time the Fed uses the dollar to prop up the faltering banking system or provide limitless capital for defunct GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the dollar comes under greater pressure. At a certain point the dollar will crumble and the country will have to sell off its assets and industries to pay the bills. That’s when the private equity vultures and Sovereign Wealth Funds will swoop down and scavenge anything of value for pennies on the dollar.

As the US housing market continues to collapse, trillions of dollars in equity and credit are disappearing in a deflationary bonfire. When a $400,000 home–with no down payment and negative equity–goes into foreclosure; $400,000 vanishes from the digital-pool of credit and has to be written down as a loss. So far, much of the losses have not yet been accounted for because the banks are using their own internal models for determining the downgraded value of their mortgage-backed assets. Two weeks ago, Merrill Lynch sold $30 billion of Mortgage-backed junk for 20 cents on the dollar. But they also financed the deal, so they really only received 5 cents on the dollar. This reflects the true “market value” of these assets. Naturally, Merrill’s sale sent tremors through Wall Street where banks and other financial institutions are sitting on trillions of dollars of this garbage marking it down at a few percentage points every reporting period rather than doing what Merrill did and putting it all behind them. As a result, the banks have less capital to lend, which means economic activity will slow and the country will go into a deep recession. The point is, that the Federal Reserve now holds about $400 billion of this junk-paper on their balance sheets and the US Treasury is planning to take hundreds of billions more (perhaps as mush as $800 billion more under the new legislation!) to prop up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Bush administration is using the US taxpayer and the credibility of the dollar as collateral in its plan to bail out the most reckless, high-stakes Wall Street gamblers and their multi-trillion dollar ponzi scheme that has blown up in their face.

So, how does this affect the dollar?

The nation’s debts are entirely balanced atop its currency. The greenback is like a circus strongman holding a barbell precariously over his head; as the weigh increases, the sweat begins to appear on his brow and the veins begin to bulge in his neck and forehead. Finally, the knees buckle and the and the over-matched weightlifter crashes to the canvas in a heap. That’s the future of the dollar in a nutshell. Its just a matter of time.

But how does that explain the sudden fall in gold prices; after all, gold is the logical alternative to paper money, right?

Wrong. Gold is “real money” alright, but it’s also a commodity. And when commodities are smashed by a deflationary tidal wave–as they have been the last few weeks– gold will follow them into the basement. In truth, gold has taken an even worse pasting than the euro; free-falling from $980 per ounce in mid-July to $786 at Friday’s market close. $194 in a month. Goldbugs are so fanatically committed to their views about “real currency” and “fiat money”, that any correction in the market is seen as proof of government manipulation. (Even though they are right many times) There’s plenty of evidence of meddling in the currency markets, just as one would expect. After all, the western banking system, led by the Fed, operates as a cartel. The head honchos are about as committed to free markets as Bush is to democracy, which isn’t saying much. It’s all a public relations ruse that’s used to defend a de facto monopoly; the paper money scam. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when foreign central banks unexplainably purchase $28 billion of US government securities at the 11th hour (as they did last month) to conceal our trade imbalance and prop up the waning dollar. Don’t forget, it’s their chestnuts they’re keeping out of the fire, too. But, that doesn’t mean the Fed has super powers or that every time gold goes into a tailspin its because the black helicopters fired invisible lasers into the currency markets. When the economy is in the grips of deflation; all asset-classes get dragged down, gold included. Many of the hedge funds and other big market players are selling their gold positions recognizing that the commodities boom is over and it’s time to move on. That doesn’t mean that gold won’t rebound sharply when Bernanke slashes rates or if Bush blows up some new part of the globe. It simply means that in the short term, “cash is king”. Pension funds and hedge funds will continue to deleverage to reduce their credit exposure to put themselves in a better position to roll over their debt. That means that gold’s slide could last a while. This doesn’t look like a conspiracy to me, but I intend to keep my tin-foil hat firmly strapped-on just in case.

No one knows where the bottom is for gold, but one thing is certain; it’s future prospects are a lot brighter than the dollar’s. The Bush administration has yet to demonstrate that it can enforce Dollar Hegemony via military intervention. That is a very big deal. If the dollar isn’t backed by (stolen) Iraqi oil, then the $6 trillion stockpile of dollars and dollar-denominated assets that are languishing in foreign central banks and funds, will continue to dwindle until the dollar’s position as “reserve currency” comes to an end.

That’s one doomsday scenario, but there is another. If Bernanke and Paulson continue to pile all of the nation’s credit problems on top of the greenback; foreign capital will head for the exits and the dollar will crash. Either way, the troubles are mounting and something’s got to give.

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.

More on the Free Gaza Movement

Dandelion Salad

by Judith Norman
Jewish Peace News
Aug 19, 2008

We recently circulated a post concerning the Free Gaza Movement, a group of international activists who are sailing 2 ships to Gaza to break the siege and deliver humanitarian supplies. Below is an interesting exchange of letters between organizers from the movement and a PR official from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In one way, the exchange illustrates the futility of ‘speaking truth to power’: as Noam Chomsky points out, people in power generally already know the truth and they don’t care. The question here is not whether the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will acknowledge that the children of Gaza need hearing aids, the question is whether the Israel navy is going to attack the ships.


Israeli Government Recognizes “Humanitarian” Mission to Break the Siege of Gaza
For more information, please contact:
Greta Berlin, Cyprus +357 99 081 767
Angela Godfry-Goldstein, Israel +972 547 366 393

NICOSIA, CYPRUS (18 Aug. 2008) – In a letter today to the Free Gaza Movement, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that the group of international human rights activists attempting to break the siege of Gaza were “humanitarian,” and stated that the Israeli government “assume[s] that your intentions are good.”

Greta Berlin, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement stated that, “Since the Foreign Minister’s office responded to our invitation to join us, and said that we have good intentions, we now fully expect to reach Gaza.”


Jewish Peace News: More on the Free Gaza Movement.

Aprés la deluge — wracking up the fear quotient By William Bowles

By William Bowles
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Aug 20, 2008

Russia is following a course “horrifyingly similar to that taken by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s.” — Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s former national security adviser

The other night I went to a meeting on the situation in Georgia organized by the Stop the War Coalition at which one of the speakers was Boris Kargalitsky, a Russian leftie of long-standing, who made some interesting observations on the Russian government’s actions and reactions to the Georgian attack on Southern Ossetia.

There are two, if not three, distinct stories to tell about the events that unfolded from 7 August. On the one hand there is the central role played by the US in orchestrating the attack and subsequent destabilization of the situation in the Caucasus, a part of the US strategy of “full spectrum dominance” of key resources and regions around the planet.

And on the other there is the Russian response to ‘Darth Vader’ directly inserting itself into Russia’s backyard via its proxy, Georgia.

Thirdly, there is the role played by the Western media in orchestrating the events for public consumption, a campaign that tapped into generations of anti-Soviet, anti-Russion propaganda, utilizing all the usual stereotypes; the ‘Russian bear’, Russian expansionism, all of it dosed with the predictable racist sub-text.

“Neoconservative commentator Robert Kagan compared the Russian attack on Georgia with the Nazi grab of the Sudetenland in 1938.”

Predictable neo-Cold War rhetoric no doubt from the neo-con camp and largely meaningless but it does reveal just how surprised the US was by the Russian response. After all, Russia is seen as a has-been, dependent on Western largesse and not in any kind of position to challenge US hegemony.

However, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men gang astray’ as they say. Russia has a powerful military equipped with nuclear weapons, it’s no defenceless, developing country and in all likelihood, the Russian response was not the one the US/NATO expected.

Everything is in flux

It’s less than twenty years since the Soviet Union fell apart and for much of that time the Western powers, led by the US and the UK/EU have largely determined the nature of the ‘new’ Russia, at least they have tried to, trusting that once the Russians got a taste of the ‘free market’ they’d be easy pickings for the pirates.

The principle US objectives can be summed up as follows:

  1. To open up the vast Russian market to foreign capital and products;
  2. Remove Russia as an economic competitor to the US by neutralizing its ability to compete in the world’s markets, in other words reduce it to a third world country;
  3. Remove and/or neutralize Russia as a military power to rival its own;
  4. Destabilize the situation in the Caucasus/West Asian region as it attempts to extend its control eastwards — onwards and upwards toward China.

Unlike Kargalitsky’s English counterparts, who focused pretty much on telling us what we already knew (as well as the usual exhortations as to what we should do), Kargalitsky gave us an insight into how the Russian leadership responded to the US-engineered crisis and also how the Russians themselves reacted.

He pointed out that to describe the Russian response as one of “intra-imperialist rivalries” was a complete misreading of the situation. This is not a war over markets but over strategic assets, of which Georgia is but the latest acquisition by the US. But at the same time Kargalitsky is under no illusions about the Russian response, it’s no move leftward.

That said, it nevertheless represents a watershed in post-Soviet US-Russian relations, a throwing down of the gauntlet by the Russian state, a move not without its risks to be sure, but one that the US and NATO can do little about except make a lot of threatening noises about ‘repercussions’. Indeed, the members of NATO can’t even agree what the ‘repercussions’ should consist of.

It is within this context that we must view the vital role of the corporate media in orchestrating events for public consumption of which the timing of the Georgian attack was crucial, when the world’s media was focused on the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

The degree to which the media has ignored the unprovoked attack on Southern Ossetia by Georgia is staggering; it simply ceased to exist, to be replaced by “a war between Russia and Georgia” at best and “naked aggression” by Russia at its worst.

There can be no clearer indication of the role of the corporate/state media in selling the Empire’s objectives than the way this, the latest disaster has been presented.

But it should be pointed out that there is a growing gap between what the public is really concerned about and the all-out propaganda campaign about the ‘aggressive Russian Bear’ rearing its furry shoulders above all those repossessed houses.

Russia: “We’ll nuke Poland!” goes the headline in the Sun on 14 August, 2008. But what the Russian General Nogovitsyn really said was,

“Poland, by deploying [the system] is exposing itself to a strike – 100 per cent,” which is nothing less than the truth as Poland has placed itself in the frontline should a war break out.

Who knows what the US promised the Poles (or what arms were twisted) but its actions over Georgia should be a lesson to the Polish government that no promise made by the US can be relied upon. And, upon reflection as simplistic as it may appear to be, it occurs to me that the US ‘encouraged’ Saakashvili to invade South Ossetia in order to panic the Poles into accepting the alleged missile defence system.

Georgia is yet another move in a game of chess; strike where you perceive your enemy to have weaknesses. So the Autonomous Region of South Ossetia (to give it its real name) has been simmering since 1994, held in check by the Russian presence, who find themselves sandwiched between Georgian and South Ossetian nationalists.

It doesn’t take much to light the fire; make a promise (not kept of course) that you’ll back Saakashvili (or at least give Georgia the ‘nod’). Remember Saddam and Kuwait in 1990? Or, to go back further, US promises to Hungary in 1956.

Thus as far as the US is concerned, Georgia is an expendable ‘asset’, a mere pawn in its game of expansion. Thus threat and counter-threat will no doubt flow from the outcome of Saakashvili being sacrificed on the alter of US capital and a world even more destabilized than it is already as a result of US/UK/NATO actions.


Beat The Dead Horse Or Putin’s Revenge By Gaither Stewart

Margolis: Dems onside with Bush on Georgia

Evidence of Georgian tanks + Poland Signs Missile Defense Shield Deal + NATO warns Russia

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House?

The Force Be With Us But Not With You by Bruce Gagnon

Alexander Cockburn on Russia Today: McCain uses Ossetian bloodshed to score points

Why Not Simply Abolish NATO? by Rodrigue Tremblay


Beat The Dead Horse Or Putin’s Revenge By Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart
by Gaither Stewart
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

August 20, 2008

(Rome) The old adage according to which time is the great equalizer holds sway in a special way in contemporary totalitarian America. Unlike the old-horse-beaten-until-it-drops-dead knows it is being beaten, our people are beaten in such a horrendously clinical manner that they do not even realize they are being beaten. Though aware of their mortality, gently beaten human beings however have come to resemble the whipped horse in that they do not seem to realize they are dying from the blows. The problem is there is little or no public opinion. And that collective memory is dead.

A second old horse adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink no longer applies to Americans. We drink and drink and drink without even looking up at our tormentors. Without an iota of curiosity even as to who they are and what they are doing to us.

Vladimir Putin must have been astounded at how Georgia and its American puppeteers fell head over heels into the Caucasian trap. Ingenuously, facilely, Saakashvili, America’s puppet leader of Georgia, sent his US armed troops into South Ossetia shooting wildly at anything moving and challenging Moscow on its home territory. What could be crazier? On that first day European media showed the Georgian “invasion” of South Ossetia, just as the NEXT day it showed the crushing Russian response that reduced Georgia to the virtual reality of the US proxy state it has become.

For the first time since the collapse of the USSR, Russia went on the offensive. Its victory accomplished in a few hours rewrote the global balance of power. Yet, the American public knows little or nothing of these earth-shaking events. The NYT and Washington Post, CNN and Fox, speak only of a Russian invasion of Georgia, a country of wine growers and tourism operators. Don’t American people even wonder why this sudden outburst of military operations in peaceful Georgia which all of a sudden decided to challenge powerful Russia and invade territories inhabited by Russian citizens? Don’t people wonder why and how come Russian tanks are in no hurry to leave “independent” Georgia?

The result of these events is that two decades after the fall of Soviet Russia, the heart of Europe—I refer to Germany, France and Italy—despite their warnings to Moscow to withdraw have never been closer to Russia. If the most pro-American European leader, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, must choose between Bush and Putin, he will unfailingly choose Putin. This European heart is not about to build the anti-Russian alliance Bush and Cheney dreamed of. Washington doesn’t grasp the elementary fact that Russia is an integral part of Europe which today is overflowing with Russian tourists, replacing in many places such as Venice the missing Americans. Maybe this unpleasant combination of events is why the NYT and Washington Post, CNN and Fox, didn’t tell the people the reality of the two-day military action—the first day, the Georgian incursion into South Ossetia, and the second, the crushing Russian response. That was the war! Instead the US media described in Cold War terms the fiction of an unprovoked Russian imperialist invasion of peaceful Georgia.

Only America, its tiny allies of the Baltic region, Georgia, to a certain extent Ukraine and pliable right-wing Poland, believed Russia would do nothing. Poland and Czech Republic, and most probably the Baltic states too, today still intent on pushing Russian borders back to the gates of Moscow, will soon come to terms with their European history and their rightful place in it. They will soon realize that their future is Europe, not the America that considers them territory for military installations.

The break between the heart of Europe and these temporary American satellites splits NATO, the European Union and the West in general. But it draws the heart of Europe and Russia nearer. The “war” in Georgia makes this tendency explicit. As soon as Moscow’s victory was evident, French President Sarkozy, current rotating President also of the Europe Union, flew to Moscow, then to Tbilisi, as Europe’s representative. Not a peace mediator, his mission was in effect to ratify the Russian victory, to recognize its sphere of influence in the Caucasian region and to seal America’s defeat. Georgia can now forget South Ossetia and Abkhazia as well as its ambitions for NATO membership. Who wants America’s satellite in NATO anyway?

This real Europe of Germany, France and Italy are not what imperialist neocon America dreamed of. Most certainly New World Order America didn’t count on a resurrected Russia capable of the re-conquest of lost territories of the Russian Empire and of a new relationship with Europe. Moreover, not even in its worst nightmare did America dream of exchanging its alliance with real Europe for a string of powerless satellites on the Baltic, or happy-go-lucky romantic Georgians.

Official reactions from Brussels are NATO reactions, that is, US-dominated NATO. And even NATO words are unexpectedly mild—“firmness” and demands for Russians withdrawal. Russia answers facetiously that its peace-keeping mission in Georgia may last a few more days. Meanwhile in Rome, without haste Berlusconi plans a trip to Moscow too, in early September. Georgia is not to interfere with the vacation period.

Saakashvili is known to be more American than Americans, his nation armed and supported by the USA. But armed and supported for what? Only for its oil and gas pipelines, of dubious value and a dubious future? Not at all.

The sad truth for Georgia is that its leader over-estimated American support for his stupid attempt to re-take the disputed territory of South Ossetia peopled by Russian citizens. In a way, this was also a case of the tail wagging the dog, As if the USA, already bogged down by Iraqis and Afghans, would seriously go to war with Russia over Georgia! Something about this reminds me of the American-instigated Hungarian uprising of 1956, crushed then by Soviet tanks.

Russia today is confident. It is not afraid as it was of the multi-colored revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia and NATO’s advance up to its borders. US humanitarian aid to Georgia or talk of Russia’s exclusion from the G 8 do not disturb Putin. He now knows he can count on the real Europe. Russia is not about to surrender to American demands and threats. NATO-USA accuses Russia of invading small countries, Russia charges NATO for supporting the criminal regime of Georgia. While NATO and Russia both claim that their relations will never be the same again, Russian tanks roam around the Caucasus region as they please. Europe has received Putin’s message to the world loud and clear. The Russians are truly back.

The question is, has the American public, busily drinking from the fount of NYT and Washington Post, CNN and Fox News, grasped the trap-like situation their arrogant, unrealistic, self-absorbed, narcissistic leaders have lead them into? For it is clear as day that a huge bill is falling due and the American people will ultimately have to pay it.

Gaither Stewart is a Senior Contributing Editor for Cyrano’s Journal/tantmieux, a novelist and journalist based in Italy. His collections of fiction, Icy Current Compulsive Course, To Be A Stranger and Once In Berlin are published by Wind River Press. ( His recent novel, Asheville, is published by Wastelandrunes, (


Margolis: Dems onside with Bush on Georgia

Evidence of Georgian tanks + Poland Signs Missile Defense Shield Deal + NATO warns Russia

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House?

The Force Be With Us But Not With You by Bruce Gagnon

Alexander Cockburn on Russia Today: McCain uses Ossetian bloodshed to score points

Why Not Simply Abolish NATO? by Rodrigue Tremblay

Russian General threatens Poland over missile deal



Mosaic News – 8/19/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here:
“43 People Killed in Algeria,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Life After Musharraf,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Iran Launches Space Rocket,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Turkey Strengthens Ties With Africa,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Olmert Threatens to Fire Barak,” IBA TV, Israel
“Young Women Train for Jihad in Gaza,” New TV, Lebanon
“Russia Starts Georgia Pullout,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Evidence of Georgian tanks + Poland Signs Missile Defense Shield Deal + NATO warns Russia

Dandelion Salad


Evidence of Georgian tanks rolling into South Ossetian capitol

After hellfire night of heavy shelling, Georgian creepers and straightlegs poured into South Ossetian capital of Tskhinval. In this unique footage Georgian troops were filmed on 08.09.2008 at about 13:00 in a small village of Rgneti just half a mile from the South Ossetian capital.

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Richard Perle continues criminal enterprise, MSM still silent (Sibel Edmonds)

by Luke Ryland
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Luke’s blog post
Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Aug 20, 2008

In 1989, the Wall Street Journal reported that Richard Perle and Douglas Feith had set up a lobbying company called International Advisors Inc [IAI] to lobby for “appropriation of U.S. military and economic assistance’ to Turkey.”” When news of the $600,000 per annum contract got too hot to handle, Perle and Feith folded IAI and helped establish the American Turkish Council (ATC) to accomplish the same goals, but with a more respectable veneer.

Now, nineteen years later, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Richard Perle is “exploring going into the oil business in Iraq and Kazakhstan” with a “consortium founded by Turkish company AK Group International… Potential backers include two Turkish companies as well as Kazakhstan.”

Richard Perle issued a strange-sounding denial to the Wall Street Journal that he is involved with these latest oil projects, although he also issued a similarly “bizarre” denial to the 1989 WSJ article which reported on his consulting company IAI.

The WSJ continues:

“AK’s chief executive is Aydan Kodaloglu, who, like Mr. Perle, has been involved with the American Turkish Council, an advocacy group in Washington.”

In fact, according to her bio on the AK Group website, Kodaloglu “serves as a Board Member of the American Turkish Council.” The ATC, established by Perle et al as a “sister organization” to AIPAC, was often caught on wiretaps heard by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. She described the ATC as a “front for criminal activity.”

The ATC has been under surveillance by both the FBI and the CIA since at least 1996, in part because of suspected involvement in drug trafficking, public corruption and involvement in a nuclear black market procurement ring, but more importantly because of involvement in the ‘great game’ of the vast energy fields in Central Asia including Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Investigative journalist John Stanton has written extensively about the connections between Central Asia and many of the ‘associations’ in the US, including the ATC, and others such as the American Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the US Kazakhstan Business Association (UKBA). Stanton argues that:

“While the ATC is an Association in name and in charter, the reality is that it and other affiliated Associations are the US government.” (emphasis in original)

Perle’s partner in this enterprise, the AK Group is an “international consulting” group whose two other directors are Murat Akay who works “Turkish companies interested in establishing joint ventures with U.S. and Israeli enterprises” and Fehmi Sait Hurol who is “involved in various cultural activities and exchange programs between Turkey and the U.S.”

Interestingly, Sibel Edmonds has previously referred to “organization(s) supposed to be promoting the cultural affairs of a certain country within another country” as front groups for organized crime networks. Given the connections here, it would not be surprising if Mr. Hurol and the AK Group are one such front group.

In my recent article “The Central Asia Islamization Cocktail: Mosques, Madrassas, Heroin & Terrorism” I quoted former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds describing the use of Turkish operatives and front groups to gain “control of Central Asia, particularly the oil and gas wealth, as well as the strategic value of the region.” Sibel said:

“This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.

This is why I have been saying repeatedly that these illegal covert operations by the Turks and certain US persons dates back to 1996, and involves terrorist activities, narcotics, weapons smuggling and money laundering, converging around the same operations and involving the same actors.

And I want to emphasize that this is “illegal” because most, if not all, of the funding for these operations is not congressionally approved funding, but it comes from illegal activities.

And one last thing, take a look at the people in the State Secrets Privilege Gallery on my website and you will see how these individuals can be traced to the following; Turkey, Central Asia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – and the activities involving these countries.”

Richard Perle is listed in Sibel’s State Secrets Privilege Gallery, and now we see him attempting to profit from his ATC connections by entering into an oil deal in Kazakhstan and Iraq, two decades after the WSJ first reported on the early phases of this criminal enterprise.

Meanwhile, the US media is mostly silent on the key issues again. Despite even the most mainstream WSJ reporting on Perle’s recent dealings, including the importance of Turkey and the American Turkish Council, the rest of the media is asleep at the wheel, completely ignoring, or whitewashing, these important elements of the story.

Perhaps investigative reporter Joe Lauria said it best last week.

“Centrism is the philosophy of the American media – and that essentially backs the status quo, when you’re a centrist, and this game of objectivity that they play is really limited by parameters that you’re allowed to ask questions and to investigate and in a sense then you’re transmitting these assumptions, and reinforcing every day that the US is really a functioning democracy, not even a representative democracy. And as we know of course there are oligarchic interests that buy off Congress, that puts the person in the White House that they need…”


FBI files “formal complaint” with Sunday Times by Luke Ryland

The Central Asia Islamization Cocktail: Mosques, Madrassas, Heroin & Terrorism

Sibel Edmonds (archive of posts)


Brian Conley and other American activists Detained in Beijing

Dandelion Salad

Updated: For more info and updates, please visit:

Sent to me by UJ.

by UJ
20 August 2008


Beijing – Brian Conley, creator of the well-known videoblog, Alive in Baghdad, was detained with his friend, Jeffrey Rae, early Tuesday, August 19th in Beijing. Their detention appears to have taken place at the same time as that of international artist James Powderly, whose detention was reported Tuesday. Three other bloggers and activists, Jeff Goldin, Michael Liss, and Tom Grant, have also been missing since Tuesday morning. Conley, 28, Rae, 28, Goldin, 40, Liss, 35, Grant, 39 are all American citizens.

So first off, let me just point out how absolutely pathetic it is that, as I’m sitting down to write on this terrible no-name unpopular zit of a blog, the big time zillion dollar mainstream media CNN is showing Larry King reruns and not bothering at all to cut away to the story of 5 American citizens being arrested by a foreign government. Now, I know Brian Conley. We’re not buddies, we don’t send each other christmas cards or nothin,’ but I have talked to him enough to know the he understands and cares way more about this stuff than any of the blowdried corporate chuckleheads the big networks have covering Beijing. The fact that my unheard of ass has to blog about this while CNN sits back and runs repeats is absolutely outrageous and a complete and utter disgrace. These cheesy dipshit network goons in Beijing are all drooling and prawning around for the next chance to give Michael Phelps a handjob on live television while the real journalists who came to cover actual important stories are left to rot in a Chinese jail. I could puke.


If you go that link above to the support page, you’ll also notice that you can pick up a copy of the Alive in Baghdad DVD and also some t-shirts and assorted swag and stuff. In fact, if you haven’t been watching AiB, now would be a great time to pick up a copy of the vol. 1 DVD. Iraq will be a major issue in this year’s election, and Alive in Baghdad will teach you everything you need to know about life in Iraq. Grab one for yourself, for somebody else, whatever you want. Besides that, just give whatever you can. It is absolutely critical that we support independent journalists like Brian Conley. If he doesn’t have the funds to keep bringing you the truth about Iraq, China and so many other places, these stories will not get covered, period. Please, give whatever you can so that when Brian gets back he’ll know that even though the Chinese government doesn’t like citizen journalists, the rest of us are hungry for more.

Free Brian Conley Right Now | Read or Alive.


Alive in Baghdad: Iraqis Discuss the Resistance (video)

Alive in Baghdad: Welcome to Ruweishid – Iraq (video)

Alive in Baghdad: Life as a Painter and Mother (video)

Alive in Baghdad: Uncut – An Iraqi Woman and Her Library (video)

Israel to Free 200 Palestinian Prisoners By Liam Bailey

By Liam Bailey
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Middle East Conflict

The Israeli Cabinet has voted to free 200 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture of goodwill to Palestinian “president” Mahmoud Abbas, likely a final goodwill gesture before Olmert is replaced in September. Israel is thought to be holding between 8,500 and 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, at least 700 hundred of which are children. So how about a gesture of common decency: releasing all the Palestinian children, instead of this superficial gesture which is more to enhance Israel’s international image than goodwill to the Palestinians. Continue reading