Inside Iraq: American master plan with Robert Fisk

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My gosh, this is difficult to watch.  This is the worst interview I’ve seen.  Who is this guy, Brad Blakeman?  And why was he invited to do this show?  Wonder if Fisk will ever do another show with Al Jazeera?  ~ Lo


Since the end of the Cold War a decade ago, the U.S. has gone to war in Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan.

Supporters say the interventions are humanitarian deployments to stop aggression, to topple dictatorships, or to halt what they describe as terrorism.

Critics argue that with the US possessing unprecedented economic and military strength, American leaders have openly embraced the idea of imposing its ambitions on to the world.

However, after each U.S. intervention, the attention of supporters and critics alike has turned to speculate on which countries would be next.

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Joe Biden: On the Issues by Lo + Obama Introduces Joe Biden

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Aug 23, 2008

Lots of info: Biden: On the Issues

Congressional Votes

Joseph Biden has missed 193 votes (30.3%) during the current Congress.

Joseph Biden has voted with a majority of his Democratic colleagues 96.6% of the time during the current Congress. This percentage does not include votes in which Biden did not vote.

Voted against H.R. 6304; Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978


The picture shows where Joe Biden falls on their graph.

From the Political Compass

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US Primaries Chart 2008

This website copyright © Pace News Limited 2001-2002.


Some past posts on Joe Biden:

Iraq Hearings: Questions to Petraeus (Obama; Dodd; Feingold; Biden)

Sen Joe Biden: America Has No Credibility! (video)

Biden, Webb, McCain & Obama respond to Bush’s SOTU (vids)

The Five Iraqs By Scott Ritter

CIA photos; Guantanamo Bay; Torture cover-up; Director to Testify and more (links) + Biden (video)

NPR Iowa Public Radio Democratic Debate (12.04.07) + Iran Sparks Fireworks One of the better debates from the primary season, imo.

Senator Joe Biden: I Stand By My Impeachment Threat! (videos)

If you love Joe Biden, you’ll love Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, and Dodd – but not Kucinich


Obama Introduces Joe Biden


Barack Obama’s introduction of Joe Biden in Springfield, IL.


[Biden’s speech starts around 13 or 14 mins in]

Barack Obama Introduces Joe Biden as Running Mate



If I Were A Democrat Again, this is What I’d Tell Obama

“Change,” “Hope” … Why They Must be Talking About Joe Biden! By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Deconstructing Brzezinski’s Russia By Jim Miles

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Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Jim Miles

The warrior ethic of the American Imperial elite, embodied in its fullest measure by Zbigniew Brzezinski, has been rejuvenated momentarily by Russia’s attack on Georgia. Reading Brzezinski’s words leaves one choking on their overt hypocrisy or laughing insanely at the obvious absurdity of them. His writing technique is flawless, based on the big lie technique – tell it straight up, tell it often enough, and ignorant masses will tend to believe it. In a current TIME magazine article Brzezinski does this extremely well. Continue reading

Totalitarianism: It Can Happen Here by Paul Street

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by Paul Street
Dissident Voice
August 23rd, 2008

Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism
By Sheldon Wolin
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0691135665
ISBN-13: 978-0691135663 Continue reading

The Saakashvili Experiment By Ramzy Baroud

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Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Ramzy Baroud

Just as the world’s attention was focused on China’s Beijing Olympics, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, on 7 August, invaded the tiny breakaway province of South Ossetia. The initial attack on the South Ossetian capital, Tskninvali, soon extended to an all out war, which eventually invited Russia’s wrath, and the death of thousands of innocent civilians on both sides.

Prior to Saakashvili’s war, little was known about the political specifics of that area and the brewing decades-long territorial disputes which date back to the early 20th century, highlighted during an intense civil war that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Georgia’s successful secession from the Soviet grip, understandably, inspired independence fervour in ethnic regions within Georgia. The small region of South Ossetia — majority ethnic Russians and minority Georgians — sought to join the North Ossetian province, which remained part of Russia. Another region was Abkhazia, whose protracted fight with the central Georgian government has also provoked much violence.

The fact that South Ossetia belongs to Georgia was hardly contested. Even Russia has long recognised Georgian sovereignty in that region. Russia, nonetheless, remained largely involved in South Ossetia — mostly as a “peacekeeping force”, rationalising such involvement as essential for the national security of the country and the safety of its citizens. Most South Ossentians — like Abkhazians — hold Russian citizenship.

But setting such rationale aside, the fact is that South Ossetia is an important component in Russian foreign policy, and particularly its policy and attitude towards former Soviet republics and satellite states in Eastern Europe. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cold War was transformed into a political scramble: the US and NATO expanded their boundaries of influence and territorial outreach, while Russia struggled to maintain a level of influence and halt the encroachment of the US-led NATO.

Georgia, situated strategically between Russia, the Black Sea, Turkey and Iran, deserved due attention. The US became keenly interested in ensuring the inclusion of Georgia into its sphere of influence. Through dedicated efforts, a pro-Western leader, Saakashvili, came to power through a highly televised “Rose Revolution”. While the integrity of the elections that followed and the role of the CIA in concocting and ensuring the success of the “revolution” are still intensely debated, the fact is Georgia fell into a new sphere of influence. Saakashvili is a man desperate for European-US validation. He too sought NATO membership and heedlessly invited Israeli military “specialists” to modernise his country’s armed forces in anticipation of a battle with Russia.

Evidently, Georgia’s leader knew well that a victory against Russia was unattainable. By embarking on a war against a tiny province, because, as he claimed, he ran out of patience, Saakashvili was following a script that was hardly of his own writing. The logic behind the war was to test Russia’s resolve, and the readiness of its newest president, Dmitri Medvedev. A hesitant Russian response would be taken as another sign of weakness or lack of political and military decisiveness in Moscow, which might also inspire more such experiments. Too harsh a response could also be decried as “genocide” and war crimes and could be exploited to compel Russia’s weaker neighbours to seek the protection of NATO.

This is what indeed transpired since Russia called off military actions 13 August.

First, leaders of pro-US countries in the region — namely, Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia — attended a rally in support of Georgia’s Saakashvili on 14 August in Tbilisi. The televised event was accompanied by a flood of experts pedaling Russia’s evil intents to the world media while promoting a larger US role to ensure the independence of these nations and to preserve their fragile democracies. “They’re all seriously worried that it’s Georgia today and one of them tomorrow,” surmised Krzysztof Bobinski, director of the Warsaw-based Unia & Polska Foundation.

Second, the Russian response to Georgia’s war in South Ossetia has resulted in a remarkable breakthrough in negotiations between the US and East European countries regarding the Bush administration’s plans for a new missile defence shield. On 14 August, “Poland and the US signed a deal to build a controversial missile defence shield in Eastern Europe,” reported the British Telegraph newspaper. “The agreement highlights how Russia’s invasion of Georgia has prompted a swift reappraisal of the region’s security and alliances. The US and Poland have been talking about the missile shield for a year but rushed to cement their alliance in the wake of this week’s conflict.”

It’s rather interesting how a controversial and unpopular plan that has raised the ire of the Polish people — 70 per cent of the country is against it — was overcome within days of war and is now embraced as a necessary deterrent. One cannot help but question the relationship between the decision to invade South Ossetia, which was certain to compel some Russian response, and the rush to embrace Bush’s military designs in that region. The plan to place missiles in Poland seemed like a resounding failure as late as last month when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “tried and failed just before leaving for Europe on Monday [7 July] to seal a deal to place missiles in Poland, the State Department said,” according to CNN. Now Poland is all for it. It return, Poland would receive US assistance in overhauling its military, reminiscent of the Israeli-US efforts in aiding Georgia’s military, which emboldened the latter to pursue war with Russia.

While Russia’s decisive response to Saakashvili’s war may have temporarily reaffirmed Russia’s military readiness, it has already provided the needed justification for greater US-NATO intervention in Georgia, Poland, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. That US presence might be welcomed by the unnerved “democratic” leaders of these states but it will pique the fury of Russia, whose political radars are intercepting the Bush administration’s every move in the region with great alarm.

The ceasefire between Russia and Georgia, achieved through French mediation, will hardly be the end of the new Cold War underway in an area too accustomed to cold wars. The fact is that Russia will fight to break away from the pro- US ring of former Soviet states that promise to undermine its influence in a Eurasia, and the US will do its utmost to maintain a level of tension, if not hostilities in the region, for without it neither a missile shield nor the 270 billion barrels of oil in the Caspian basin can be brought within Washington’s reach.

Ramzy Baroud ( is an author and editor of 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).


Pat Buchanan: Georgia started the war + It’s like the Cold War

Planning For Cold War And Beyond + Full spectrum dominance

The Eurasian Corridor: Pipeline Geopolitics & the New Cold War by Michel Chossudovsky

Ron Paul: DNC Camps & NATO

NATO suspends contact with Russia over Georgia

Bush to Putin, “Get out now!” Putin to Bush, “Nyet!” By Mike Whitney


Obama makes Veep choice; McCain is bidin’ his time



by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post

Aug 23, 2008

PHOENIX – While Senator Joe Biden will make his first appearance today in Springfield, Illinois as Barack Obama’s running mate, the McCain camp will continue to play the waiting game regarding their Vice Presidential choice. “Let those name calling Commie Democrat traitors have their day,” McCain told the Post Times Sun Dispatch, “but soon they will be shaking like brie eating Frenchmen waving white flags when they see who I’m going to pick.”

In contention for the GOP choice is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, General David Petraeus, and the dark horse, Ron Paul. “I don’t thinkicate that McCain will pick that RuPaul, in fact I know he won’t pick that RuPaul” said President Bush, “but wait until the surprise secret gets out that we’ve been protecticating so well and it’s too bad I can’t tell you that secret is that in the Veep spot will be none other than my brother Jeb. The American people must understand that we will get Florida for sure without having to cheat fair and square this time.”

“Now that Obama has chosen a well respected senator with impeccable foreign policy experience,” said Gerald Steetor, a top Washington pundit, “speculation is that McCain will counter with an equally impressive choice which I believe will be the person Dick Cheney tells him to pick.” A McCain spokesman said that the Arizona Senator will not be making any announcement until he completes an accurate count of the houses he owns.

“It’s a misplaced emphasis to count on who the running mate will be to secure a win in November,” said Karl Rove, “you need to count on who is counting the votes in November to secure that victory.”


McCain to announce VP choice by telegraph + McCain to pick Ronald Reagan as VP

Bill Moyers Journal: Denver Reality + China 2008 + Journalist Philip Pan

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Bill Moyers Journal
August 22, 2008

Denver Reality

With celebrations set to kick off in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, the JOURNAL travels to Colorado where tough economic times are hitting suburban communities.

Video link and transcript

China 2008

More than 30 years after the Nixons visited China, where do relations, and finances, stand?

Video link and transcript

Journalist Philip Pan

When Beijing was chosen to host the 2008 Olympic games, China pledged to improve its human rights records. And before the games, the government announced that Beijing would have three designated “protest zones” where citizens would be allowed to gather and seek public redress — after filing the proper paperwork.

But, as the Olympics progressed, the protest zones remained empty. According to the government, of the 77 requests received, 74 were withdrawn after the grievances were redressed through the proper channels, and the remainder were rejected as incomplete or against the law. Eyewitnesses, though, report that several of the applicants were taken away by plainclothes police and many are still missing.

Video link and transcript

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.


Brian Conley and other American activists Detained in Beijing

Nader: Excluded From Saddleback Church

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The exclusion of independent and third party presidential candidates from the Saddleback Church Forum, held on Saturday August 16th, can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the two corporate parties by the church. We made our presence known and stood in solidarity with supporters of various candidates and causes which would not be heard that night.

Join us on August 27 in Denver during the Democratic National Convention to demand our inclusion in future presidential debates and forums.

music by DJ Infamy

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Media Observer: Olbermann: Retire the “Special Comment”

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Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Maryscott O’Connor

Simulposted with the Thomas Paine’s Corner and Greanville Journal

Keith Olbermann is very good at soundbite polemic; the rise in popularity of Countdown has at least as much to do with his inarguably charming personality as with Olbermann’s ability to transform complex issues of modern political science into televised Reader’s Digest versions both palatable and comprehensible to today’s harried and confused American citizen. Olbermann’s genuinely outraged Special Comments — the ones he aimed at Bush when he first started offering them on Countdown — were things of beauty.

Lately, however, they’ve lost their impact. It started with the one he aimed at Hillary Clinton. They have become, successively, less effective with each attempt.

If he wishes to preserve the power of this particular element in his arsenal, if indeed it remains salvageable, Keith Olbermann ought to retire the “Special Comment.” He must reserve its use for the truly heinous, the truly momentous, the truly “Special” — or risk its becoming yet another Countdown number, no more nor less notable or effective a propaganda tool than the “Worst Persons” or “Bushed.”

Those of us on the left and even many “in the middle” rightly applaud Countdown’s consistent provision of much-needed balance and correction to the onslaught of misinformation from the rest of corporate news networks’ baffling combination of reciting dictation from the GOP and constant omission of basic facts and glaring errors and missteps of the Bush Administration and, more recently, the McCain campaign for the Presidency.

The outrage Olbermann felt as he read aloud his very first Special Comment was palpable. And I shared it; we all did. Thus was born the Special Comment.

If it has lost its initial, undeniable potency (and I would argue it has and that, moreover, Olbermann risks transforming this now semi-regular editorial commentary into a merely erudite version of the Andy Rooney screed), it is because Olbermann has begun using these polemics as political weapons — trying, that is, to use them as such — instead of presenting them as he did in the beginning — as the infuriated remonstrances of a man who had, to that point, endeavoured desperately to maintain equanimity in the face of increasing insanity and finally refused to continue even bothering to pretend to pretend that ANYTHING sane remained in the world about which he gave his nightly reports.

Perhaps, spurred by the liberal and well-deserved praise his righteous and eloquent indignation elicited, Keith got carried away. After a few more Special Comments aimed at “Still President” Bush, Olbermann found other targets in Clinton and McCain… and his prose gradually became more prosaic and less puissant.

Case in point: His latest, regarding John McCain, while as always a well-constructed diatribe, might very well have been written by any number of Obama supporters. It lacks nothing in the way of facts, passion or a genuine basis for indignation; McCain has behaved abominably and Olbermann is correct in his analysis and disparagement of the candidate and the man.

Nevertheless, the frequency of these “Special” Comments and the essentially de rigueur character of the behaviour for which Olbermann takes McCain to task in this latest philippic combine to transform what began as a savagely incisive and dynamic rhetorical instrument into mere soothing anodyne to the liberal viewer — and perhaps a guarantor of said viewer’s patronage.

If Mr. Olbermann wishes to maintain his position as an editorialist on a news network whose commentary occasionally reaches Olympian heights of elocutionary brilliance, he should consider giving his Special Comments a hiatus for the duration of the Presidential campaign and perhaps hand the baton of daily expostulation to CNN’s Jack Cafferty, whose most recent commentary may be a smoke signal to MSNBC communicating his willingness to jump ship:

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

One after another, McCain’s answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has — virtually none.

Where are John McCain’s writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America’s moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

A disingenuous display of objectivity is not the point of shelving the Special Commentary for the duration of the Presidential Campaign. Only a fool would believe Keith Olbermann a neutral observer of these political proceedings. No, my suggestion is in service of preserving the “specialness” of the Special Comment itself. Frankly, there is nothing Special enough about John McCain to warrant another epistle written directly to him. Olbermann’s viewers are all too aware of McCain’s pernicious failings and the ills that would befall this nation should his campaign and the right wing succeed in torturing the electoral system sufficiently to guarantee a McCain victory in November. Let the facts, as illuminated so expertly in the Countdown format, speak for themselves. Do not waste another Special moment on the venial sins of John McCain.

If Mr. Olbermann does feel moved to create another of his incandescent jeremiads, perhaps he ought to let the unsparing glare of light and righteous rage fall upon someone who truly deserves to hear the unvarnished truth about the damage caused by her actions — and inactions: Nancy “Impeachment is off the table” Pelosi.

Senior Contributing Editor Maryscott O’Connor is also editor in chief and founder of


Olbermann Special Comment: McCain, Grow Up! 08.18.08


Keith Olbermann

Mosaic News – 8/22/08: World News from the Middle East

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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.


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here:
“‘Free Gaza’ Boats Set Sail from Cyprus to Break Israeli Blockade,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Syria Supports Russian Operations in the Caucasus,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Turkey Remains Neutral,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Salafis & Hezbollah Reach Agreement,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Fighting Resumes in Somalia,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Lebanese Women Recruited for Tourism Police,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“Algeria: al-Qaeda Connection,” Link TV, USA
Produced by Jamal Dajani

Vodpod videos no longer available.