Requiem for the Republican Party By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
May 04, 2009 “Information Clearing House

The experts think the Republican party can get up off the canvas and stage a comeback, but don’t bet on it. The poor GOP isn’t really even a party anymore; it’s more like a vaudeville troupe scuttling from one backwater to the next performing the same worn slapstick. They’ve simply become irrelevant, a “non-party” that no one pays much attention to apart from the occasional zinger on the Daily Show or Letterman. In truth, the GOP is so deeply-traumatized from their shocking fall from power, they’d probably benefit from a spell on the couch. Perhaps if they spent a few weeks in therapy, they’d see what a mess they’ve made of everything.

No one is suggesting that the Democrats are perfect either. Far from it. The Dems seemed to relish the 8 years they spent as Bush’s doormat while the Bill of Rights was split into matchwood and the country was dragged from one war to the next. Bush served two full terms and the feckless Democrats never stood up to him or stopped him even once from doing exactly what he wanted. Wiretapping. Iraq. Torture. Never.

Continue reading

“The United States does not torture,” Crapaganda by William Blum

Dandelion Salad

by William Blum
May 4, 2009

The Anti-Empire Report

Some thoughts about torture. And Mr. Obama.

Okay, at least some things are settled. When George W. Bush said “The United States does not torture”, everyone now knows it was crapaganda. And when Barack Obama, a month into his presidency, said “The United States does not torture”1, it likewise had all the credibility of a 19th century treaty between the US government and the American Indians.

When Obama and his followers say, as they do repeatedly, that he has “banned torture”, this is a statement they have no right to make. The executive orders concerning torture leave loopholes, such as being applicable only “in any armed conflict”2 What about in a “counter-terrorism” environment? And the new administration has not categorically banned the outsourcing of torture, such as renditions, the sole purpose of which is to kidnap people and send them to a country to be tortured. Moreover, what do we know of all the CIA secret prisons, the gulag extending from Poland to the island of Diego Garcia? How many of them are still open and abusing and torturing prisoners, keeping them in total isolation and in indefinite detention? Total isolation by itself is torture; not knowing when, if ever, you will be released is torture. And the non-secret prisons? Has Guantanamo ended all its forms of torture? There’s reason to doubt that.3 And what do we know of what’s happening now in Abu Ghraib and Bagram?

Continue reading

Sean Gourley on the mathematics of war

Dandelion Salad

TEDtalksDirector By pulling raw data from the news and plotting it onto a graph, Sean Gourley and his team have come up with a stunning conclusion about the nature of modern war — and perhaps a model for resolving conflicts.

Continue reading

Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Originally posted at the Future of Freedom Foundation
4 May 2009

Speaking at a press conference to mark his first 100 days in office, Barack Obama made two bold claims about the policies he has already implemented to tackle the Executive overreach of the Bush administration, with regard to detention and interrogation policies in the “War on Terror.”

“We have rejected the false choice between our security and our ideals by closing the detention center at Guantánamo Bay and banning torture without exception,” the President said.

Unfortunately, neither claim is strictly true, as I aim to demonstrate in two articles, with particular reference to the three Executive Orders that Barack Obama issued as one of his first acts as President.

Continue reading

US denies letting troops convert Afghans + US troops urged to share faith in Afghanistan

Updated: May 5, 2009

Dandelion Salad

The Independent
Monday, 4 May 2009

The US military denied on today it has allowed soldiers to try to convert Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with bibles translated into local languages.

General Order Number 1 from the U.S. military’s Central Command forbids active duty troops – including all those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan – from trying to convert people to their religion, considered a crime in many Muslim countries.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed footage of a church service at Bagram, the main US base north of the Afghan capital Kabul, in which soldiers had a stack of bibles in the local languages, Pashtu and Dari.


Trying to convert Muslims to any other faith is a crime in Afghanistan. An Afghan man who converted to Christianity was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2006 but was allowed to leave the country after an international uproar.

via US denies letting troops convert Afghans – Asia, World – The Independent.


US troops urged to share faith in Afghanistan

Nothing but the TRUTH…

US soldiers in Afghanistan have been filmed with local language Bibles and urged to be “witnesses for Jesus” despite anti-proselytising rules.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports.



US army rejects ‘conversion’ claims – 04 May 09

The highest ranking military officer in the United States says it’s not the military’s position to ever push any specific form of religion, in response to an exclusive Al Jazeera report that showed a group of US soldiers in Afghanistan in possession of Bibles translated into local languages.

The troops discussed giving the Bibles to Afghans as gifts – despite military directives banning soldiers from spreading religion, as Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports.

watch via

from the archives:

With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military

Holy warriors in the US armed forces

Buying Brand Obama by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 4, 2009

Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.

Continue reading

Looking Backward, Looking Forward

Dandelion Salad


Forum on “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: An intergenerational discussion among activists about lessons learned and directions to go in creating progressive social change” held March 25, 2009 at the Canoe Social Club at Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle.

Continue reading

Still Hammering For Justice: Happy 90th Birthday Pete Seeger + Seeger: Solidarity Forever

Sent to DS by the author, thanks Stephen.

Dandelion Salad

By Stephen Dohnberg
Global Pundit
crosposted at Digit Journal with lots of photos and videos; May 2, 2009
May 4, 2009

Pete Seeger sang across the land, wrote number one hits, was hit by blacklists, enlisted southern black voters, wrote anthems that span generations & define eras, and even influenced some of the greatest orators of the 20th Century. Pete turns 90 today.

Throughout the following piece, we’ll see proof that the influence of Pete Seeger, on his 90th birthday, spans generations. People from across the globe share testimonies, songs, and poems sent specifically for this article. Six Musicians offer renditions of Seeger material (their bio’s and links are posted below), as well tributes and comments from political party leaders, schoolteachers, poets, and citizens. Enjoy!

The songs Pete Seeger wrote or popularized through recordings will outlive him, but Seeger has outlived the injustice and hardship, to shine the light of social justice on the human condition. On turning 90 this May 3rd he proves that, as Martin Luther King Jr said, “the arc of history is a long one but bends toward justice”.

Continue reading