Mosaic News – 11/21/08: World News from the Middle East + The Ramallah Banana Republic

Dandelion Salad



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


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“Saudi Arabia Won’t Pay Ransom to Pirates,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Struggle for Oil Rich Kirkuk,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“British Expo Examines US Military Damage to Babylon,” Baghdad TV, Iraq
“Tent of expelled Jerusalem Palestinian family torn down,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Oxford University Students Call Peres War Criminal,” New TV, Lebanon
“Dubai Defies Slump With a $20 Million Party,” Dubai TV, UAE
“The Ramallah Banana Republic,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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MIR: The Ramallah Banana Republic

Palestinian Authority President appeals to Israelis in peace ads. He also blocks a Palestinian website accusing his cabinet of corruption. Is this true? And will the peace negotiations continue once the Bush Administration “terms” out?

Answers to these questions and more on Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report.Presented by Jamal Dajani.

For more info, visit at

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Michael Schwartz: US-Iraq: What’s the deal?

Will the Slaughter of Iraqis by the US Military Ever Be Reported? + Inch by Inch

US Activist Detained in Israeli Jail Condemns Blockade of Gaza

Who Will Stop The Settlers? By Jonathan Cook

Hidden histories confirmed: So much for the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ By William Bowles

By William Bowles
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
24 November 2008

“This we do by rigging the parliament through official majorities, a restricted franchise and so forth” — From the minutes of the British Colonial Office, 14 December, 1959

Back in June of 2006 I wrote a piece, based on a story in the New African magazine on how the British government fixed the Nigerian ‘independence’ elections, so that the winner would be a compliant servant of the British government and of course, British and US capital (see ‘Hidden Histories’ 24 June, 2006).

The piece opened with the following quotation from the New African article, the only publication in the UK that had the courage to print the story about how the government fixed the Nigerian election. All the mainstream media caved into government pressure (no doubt a ‘D’ Notice was issued) to kill the story.

“You know why you’re here, Smith. And I want you to know that all your worst fears and suspicions are absolutely correct … I am telling you this because I want you to know how much trouble you are in … Smith, I want you to know that I personally gave the orders regarding the elections to which you objected … If you will keep your mouth shut, I can promise rapid promotion and a most distinguished career elsewhere … but you will not be allowed to work in the UK. You must understand that you know too much for your own good. If you don’t give me your word, means will be found to shut you up. No one will believe your story and the press will not be allowed to print it.” – Sir James Robertson, the then governor-general of Nigeria to Harold Smith in 1960.

This lone civil servant, Harold Smith, blew the lid on the fix and has paid the price for his honesty and courage literally for the rest of his life.

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Is Citigroup Thankful for Corrupt Government and Robbed Taxpayers? by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Nov 24, 2008

They should be, because Citigroup, which was already a huge winner in 1999 when then Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers worked with the Clinton administration and Congress, repealed the Glass-Steagall Act so Citicorp could become Citigroup, has today received another gift from the US government. The Glass-Steagall Act was a reform instituted during the Great Depression to prevent financial concerns from consolidating and becoming “too big to fail.” The Graham-Bliley-Leach (bi-partisan) Act that repealed Glass-Steagall was a gift to Wall Street which has wreaked so much havoc today.

Today, Citigroup received another 25 billion influx of capital (I am still waiting for my bailout) and a guarantee of 300 billion to salvage the company from having to pay the price for their failing mortgage backed securities. It still makes more sense to me to save homeowners from losing their homes, but that’s just me. Citigroup were definitely the big winners today, after GM and Ford were sent back to Detroit empty-handed. I don’t think any capitalists should be bailed out, but it is hard to figure out the “Plan.”

We have decades of economic, security, environmental and war problems to solve and President-Elect Obama is filling his nascent administration with Blue-Tinged Neo-cons (Clinton and Biden, so far) for his foreign policy team and blatant Economic Hitmen for his financial team. These Economic Hitmen like Larry Sanders and Timothy Geithner who have been practicing their neo-liberal policies of “Shock economics” all over the world and have been instrumental in our current financial crises, now they will be part of the governmental institution that will give them more legitimacy in some eyes for further destruction.

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Will the Slaughter of Iraqis by the US Military Ever Be Reported? + Inch by Inch

Dandelion Salad

By Michael Schwartz
Huffington Post
November 18, 2008

I recently received a set of questions from Le Monde Diplomatique reporter Kim Bredesen about the 2007 Project Censored story about 1,000,000 Iraqi deaths due to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The questions and answers are, I think, useful in framing both the untold story of the slaughter in Iraq and the failure of the U.S. media to report on its extent or on U.S. culpability for the deaths of 4% of the Iraqi population.

Bredeson: I observed recently that your story on Iraqi deaths caused by US occupation became story no. 1 in this year’s listing by Project Censored. I wondered if I could ask you a few questions on e-mail regarding this issue?


Kim Bredesen, Le Monde diplomatiqe (Norway)

These are my questions.

1.Do you expect that the new administration under Barack Obama will acknowledge the validity of the statistics concerning Iraqi deaths caused by the US occupation force?

It is always difficult to predict the political future, but even if the Obama administration pursues a very different policy in Iraq and the Middle East, I doubt it will acknowledge the amount of violence caused by the war during its first six years. Historically, the U.S. government has a poor record of acknowledging its responsibility for death and/or destruction of other peoples, beginning with the genocide against Native Americans (never officially acknowledged), continuing through two hundred years of the slave trade and slavery (there has actually been a limp official apology), and culminating in the ongoing refusal to acknowledge one to three million deaths in Vietnam caused by the U.S. attempt to conquer that country.

2.You mention in your update to Censored 2009 that there is a media blackout about the dramatic statistics in US mass media. Do you think this will change?

I think that the U.S. mainstream media has a poor record of acknowledging the many instances in which it has (collectively) failed to maintain its constitutionally mandated independence from government policy, and instead has ignored or written false reports supporting government malfeasance and tyranny. It was refreshing that the New York Times and Washington Post acknowledged their failure to report the contrary evidence to the US government claims about WMDs in Iraq, but this is a rare moment that has not led to more independent reporting on other U.S. government action in the Middle East. I think that we can expect the U.S. mainstream media to continue to compromise its journalistic integrity in reporting on Iraq, and this will mean failing to report its own suppression of the Lancet studies and continuing to misreport the U.S. role in the Iraq war. This expectation is, of course, speculation, but the best evidence for this speculation is the fact that the major media have been withdrawing their personnel from Iraq, instead of taking advantage of more favorable security conditions to send reporters to locations that were previously inaccessible and therefore more thoroughly report the impact of the war on Iraqi life.


via Will the Slaughter of Iraqis by the US Military Ever Be Reported?

h/t: Frank Kromkowski


Inch by Inch, Triiibe in DC


On January 27, 2007, Triiibe and friends joined a half million people in Washington, DC to protest the war in Iraq. Performance artists Alicia, Kelly and Sara Casilio (identical triplets) and photographer Cary Wolinsky formed the collaborative Triiibe to create political and social commentary art.

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The Washington Post Undercounts Iraq Deaths (Action Alert)

U.S. Would Control Profits from Iraqi Oil Exports Under Agreement by Jeremy R. Hammond

Documents Obtained By ACLU Provide Further Evidence That Abuse Of Iraqi Prisoners Was Systemic

Huge Protest in Baghdad Over U.S. Iraq Security Agreement

Robert Fisk: Endless War, Iraq and 9/11 (must-see video)

Home of the Brave? (An Alternative to Capitalism) by John Steinsvold

Dandelion Salad

Sent to DS by the author, thanks, John.

A thought-provoking “utopian” article, entitled “Home of the Brave?” which appeared in the American Daily which was published in Phoenix, Arizona on March 14, 2006.

by John Steinsvold
Athenaeum Reading Room
John’s post
14th March 2006

Economists concede that economics is an inexact science. What does that mean? Perhaps it means their economic forecast is better than yours or mine. Recently, economic indicators have been rising and people have their fingers crossed. Economists have given us reason to hope that the job market will improve and that the stock market will continue on a steady climb. Yet, the newspapers continue to report more layoffs and more jobs going overseas.

Meanwhile, our economy is getting more and more complex. We associate complexity with progress for some ungodly reason. The following problems, however, have become inherent in our economy. What does that mean? It means they will be around for a while:

Needless poverty, unemployment, inflation, the threat of depression, taxes, crimes related to profit (sale of illicit drugs, stolen IDs, muggings, bribery, con artists, etc.), conflict of interest, endless red tape, a staggering national debt plus a widening budget deficit, 48 out of 50 states in debt, cities in debt, counties in debt, skyrocketing personal debts, 50% of Americans unhappy at their work, saving for retirement and our children’s education, health being a matter of wealth, competing in the “rat race”, the need for insurance, being a nation of litigation, being subject to the tremors on Wall Street, fear of downsizing and automation, fear of more Enrons, outsourcing, bankruptcies, crippling strikes, materialism, corruption, welfare, social security, sacrificing quality and safety in our products for the sake of profit, the social problem of the “haves” vs. the “havenots” and the inevitable family quarrels over money.

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Chávez Supporters Win 17 out of 23 Venezuelan States, but Lose 3 Most Populous

Dandelion Salad

by Gregory Wilpert
November 24th 2008
November 23, 2008 (

President Hugo Chavez’s governing party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) got mixed results in the regional and local elections today, winning stronghly in 17 out of 23 states, but losing the country’s two most populous states and the Capital District of Caracas, with two more states still to be decided.

At midnight Venezuelan time, about eight hours after the first polls closed, the president of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, announced the results of the regional and local elections, with 95% of the vote counted.

According to Lucena, participation had reached an unprecedented high for a regional vote, at 65.45%. Over 17 million voters were registered, which is several million more than in the last such election four years ago. As a result, lines tended to be long and many polling places had to remain open far longer than the official closing time of 4pm.

Chávez’s PSUV lost the governorships of the two most populous states, Miranda and Zulia, and the mayor’s office of greater Caracas, which will be a significant blow to Chávez and his movement.

The perhaps greatest surprise is the upset victory, with 52.45% of the vote, of opposition leader Antonio Ledezma, of the Brave People’s Alliance, in greater Caracas. Ledezma once was governor of the city, from 1992 to 1995, when it was an appointed office. He was then elected as mayor of the city’s main municipality of Libertador in 1995.  Ledezma is considered to be an integral part of the country’s old political guard, given his ties to former President Carlos Andrés Perez.

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Citizens’ Economic Stimulus Plan: Stop Paying Credit Card Debt by Richard C. Cook

excerpt on current

by Richard C. Cook
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

November 24, 2008

Now to the Wall Street bailouts, the plan for the government to purchase preferred shares in banks, and the takeovers of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, may be added the intention announced last night that the government will throw another $20 billion at Citibank, the nation’s largest financial institution.

The announcement came after Citibank’s stock fell 60 percent last week to $3.77 a share. Of course it won’t help the 50,000 people Citibank is laying off, but, what the hey, no plan is perfect.

Meanwhile, almost nothing has been done to help the consumers within the producing economy who have lost trillions of dollars in the stock market crash, seen the value of their homes fall in many cases below what they owe on their mortgages, and lost jobs or health benefits through the escalating recession. Fannie Mae, which over the weekend sponsored a Walk for the Homeless in Washington, D.C., an event that drew thousands of participants, had announced the previous day that it was placing a moratorium on further home foreclosures until after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Wow, thanks.

But what then? Everyone agrees that the recession will be long and deep, not only in the U.S. but in nations that export to us. The Federal Reserve can only go so far in cutting interest rates, because at a certain point nations such as China which have floated the Federal deficit will no longer lend.

Besides, what good are low interest rates if borrowers can’t even afford to repay the principle, which is the situation so many of us find ourselves in today? Japan found that out in the 1990s, leading to a recession that lasted a decade.

So what are ordinary people to do who have families to feed, rent or mortgages to pay that are still inflated from the collapsed housing bubble, unmet medical or insurance expenses, or may be trying to get their kids through college? Should we go deeper into debt when U.S. households, businesses, and government already owe in the neighborhood of $60 trillion (excluding federal unfunded debt liabilities), almost five times the GDP? Banks have cut back on lending anyway.

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“Bush’s Iran War Plan Delivered to Obama” + “Iran threatens global order”

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

24 November 2008

1) Iranian Commander: Bush’s Iran War Plan Delivered to Obama

2) Iran would punish Israel partners in war

3) UK Foreign Minister Miliband: Iran threatens global order


excerpt from:

Iranian Commander: Bush’s Iran War Plan Delivered to Obama

Fars News Agency, 22 November 2008

Addressing a meeting to mark the start of the Week of Basij (mobilization of volunteer forces), lieutenant commander of the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Gholam-Ali Rasheed said that US President George Bush has established the infrastructures required in the region for posing a threat to Iran.

“The United States’ threats have now found a structural form. They have done the planning for reaching the necessary preparedness to wage a war (against Iran) through setting up military bases, holding (security) pacts, etc.,” he said.

The General viewed “northwestern and southeastern Iran as well as the southwestern province of Khuzestan as vulnerable points” the US forces are likely to use if they want to invade Iran, and underlined that the aforementioned areas should become invulnerable within the next one year.

He further urged military officials to leave war rhetoric and expression of foreign policy views to politicians and “accelerate measures to boost Iran’s deterrent power”.

Considering that the country is now under threat, he said, we should consider measures to prevent entering the stage of actual war.

US forces attacked a Syrian village near the borders with Iraq on October 26, and the raid on Sukkariyah, which took place almost simultaneously with an air raid on a Pakistani village, has raised speculation about the likelihood of similar unilateral strikes by the US troops on other regional states, including the Islamic Republic.

Speculation that Israel could also bomb Iran mounted after a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.


Iran would punish Israel partners in war

Press TV, 22 November 2008

A top Iranian commander says Iran will retaliate against any country that would aid and abet a potential strike against Iranian interests.

Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi, the Chairman of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday that Iran has drawn up plans to take retaliatory measures against potential aggressors and their accomplices.

This comes as Israeli echelons have stepped up their efforts to portray Iran as an international threat, claiming that the country seeks nuclear weaponry.

Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) denies the Israeli claim, insisting that its enrichment program is solely directed at the civilian applications of the technology.

While maintaining that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat to Tel Aviv, Israeli officials argue that the use of military force is a legitimate option in halting Iran’s nuclear progress.

Since the historic victory of Barack Obama in the US presidential election, Tehran has seen an explicit increase in Israeli threats against its nuclear program.

Commander of Israeli Air Force (IAF) General, Ido Nehushtan, has said in a recent interview that his forces are ‘ready’ to attack Iran’s nuclear sites whenever Tel Aviv gives a green light.

A senior politician and former top Israeli military official, Lieutenant General Moshe Ya’alon, declared last week that an attack on Iran would be in line with efforts to overthrow the Tehran government.

Iran, in response, has warned that should any of its national interests come under attack by either the US or Israel, its armed forces would target Israel and American bases in the region.

In a show of power, the Iranian military has recently test-fired its medium- and long-range missiles — such as the advanced Shahab-3 and the newly-tested Sejjil missile.

On Saturday, Brig. Gen. Hejazi said in spite of a ballistic response, Iran, in times of war, would become ‘an even bigger quagmire’ than Iraq and Afghanistan for the US.

For Washington to assist Tel Aviv in a war against Tehran, its forces would have to use territories of the two US-occupied countries or Bahrain — where the US 5th Fleet is stationed.

“We have ensured that if any harm is inflicted on Iran, anyone who assists the aggressor will suffer hurtful retribution,” warned Jazayeri.

The Iranian general also claimed that the IRGC naval forces are capable of destroying US warships in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz — if the White House envisions a new military conflict in the oil-rich region.


UK Foreign Minister Miliband: Iran threatens global order

excerpt from:

Foundations of Freedom: the Promise of the New Multilateralism

by UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, 21 November 2008

Foreign Secretary David Miliband delivered a speech on the importance of the spread of democratic values throughout the world entitled ‘Foundations of Freedom: the Promise of the New Multilateralism’.

In the next year, the most pressing threat to global order, one in which EU action is vital, comes from the actions of Iran. Its refusal to address the international community’s concerns about its pursuit of nuclear enrichment threatens to spark a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East. Others, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey might feel forced to recalculate whether nuclear weapons were essential to protect their interests.


Prospect of Israeli strike in Iran more likely, intelligence sources told the Times

Iranian General: Don’t be a launch pad for war


“Emergency Preparedness” or Martial Law? by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, November 23, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

Vigilant Shield 09: A Cover for Illegal Domestic Operations?

On November 17, U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) concluded Vigilant Shield 09 (VS09), described in a press release as a training exercise focused on “homeland defense and civil support.”

Launched by President Bush in 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NORTHCOM has been mired in controversy since its creation. Among its more dubious accomplishments were illegal domestic spying operations in conjunction with the Pentagon’s shadowy Counter Intelligence Field Activity unit (CIFA) that targeted antiwar activists.

Despite CIFA’s shut-down and the alleged dismantling of its TALON database (now incorporated into the FBI’s Guardian Threat Tracking System), SourceWatch revealed that “in accordance with intelligence oversight requirements, the DoD will maintain a record copy of the collected data.” One can’t help but wonder whether that “record copy” of TALON somehow migrated into a NORTHCOM database.But the NORTHCOM-CIFA liaison wasn’t the only episode of illegal military spying on Americans to come to light. In May, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Marines, including a Colonel and the co-founder of the Los Angeles County Terrorist Early Warning Center, stole top secret intelligence files from Camp Pendleton’s Strategic Technical Operations Center.Among the documents filched by the intelligence privateers were those marked “Top Secret, Special Compartmentalized Information,” the highest U.S. Government classification. The files included surveillance dossiers on the Muslim community and antiwar activists in Southern California.

Before being run to ground by investigators, the spy ring regularly received and disseminated secret files and surveillance reports transmitted by Lauren Martin, a Navy reservist who worked as an outsourced intelligence analyst at NORTHCOM headquarters in Colorado Springs. Martin was responsible for the region that included Southern California.

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