I have a habit of many years of going to all my leftist and antiwar sites on the internet each and every morning. When the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, I noticed that like later in Iraq, there were reports of civilian casualties. Also, like Iraq, I knew because of US government censorship that the exact number of civilian casualties or even a reasonable approximation was going to be very, very difficult. Then, I began hearing and reading of the bombing of weddings and funerals. I wish so much now that I had kept a scientific count of all such events because these are much harder to deny as accidents of war than are civilian deaths in a combat zone. Even taking a low estimate of one every two months and my recollection is that they were more numerous, it amounts to forty-eight over a period of eight years. These bombings can not simply be explained away as accidents or bad intelligence. Surely, US intelligence agents in Afghanistan would know when a funeral or marriage was going to take place, or they should have that knowledge, as they are often very large gatherings of people. Just recently, a drone attack killed 70 people attending a funeral in Pakistan. Continue reading
Cynthia McKinney and 20 other humanitarians on the ship “Spirit of Humanity” were stopped in International waters Monday by the Israeli Navy. This is a pretty big deal. An aid ship captured by the armed forces of another country in International waters is an act of piracy…I think. At least it was when Somali pirates captured an American ship recently.
It appears that the U.S. Mainstream media is going to ignore this story even though Cynthia McKinney was once a Congresswoman from Georgia and a Presidential candidate. How odd. What does this say about the news we receive daily from the mainstream media. The New York Times Boasts “All the News that’s fit to Print”. Apparently this act of piracy and cowardly behavior isn’t fit to print. I condemn the New York Times for failing to print this news that they are fully aware of.
John Pilger Calls UK National Health Service a Treasure, Blasts US Lawmakers for Being “in Bed with Powerful Interests” and Neglecting “Their Own People’s Basic Human Rights”
We play an excerpt of an extended interview with Australian investigative journalist, John Pilger. Speaking about the US healthcare system, Pilger says, “What is it about US legislators that they appear to be so in bed with such powerful interests, such as the insurance companies, that they can’t represent their own people’s needs, their own people’s basic human rights.” [includes rush transcript]
John Pilger, investigative journalist. He is speaking Saturday, July 4th, at the Socialism 2009 conference being held at the Women’s Building in San Francisco.
Note: DS changed the title July 3, 2009
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
July 2, 2009
I’ve wondered often why people who go to “town meetings” held by campaigning politicians rarely ask fundamental questions.
Here is one that should have been asked of presidential candidate Barack Obama: “If you get to the White House, will you appoint to top positions Americans who have a track record of making the right decisions in their respective fields?”
“Of course, I will,” Obama would have undoubtedly replied.
Of course, he did not when it came to the collapse of the corrupt Wall Street casinos and the bailout of these gamblers by the American people. Obama chose the very Wall Streeters and Wall Street servants who were involved in, condoned, or profited from the speculative binges that led to the biggest government bailout scheme in world history. The President’s explanation is that he wants experienced people who know how Wall Street works. Yeah, right! In reality, he wanted political cover.
Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Speaks from Israeli Jail Cell After Arrest on Boat Delivering Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks to us from her jail cell in Israel. She was taken into custody along with twenty others, including former US Congress member Cynthia McKinney, when the Israeli military boarded their ship in international waters as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. [includes rush transcript]
Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Speaks from Israeli Jail After Arrest. Democracy Now 7/2/09
July 02, 2009
Vodpod videos no longer available.
1) Saddam’s weapons bluff aimed at Iran – FBI reports (July 2009)
2) [from the archives] Turkey would consider Israel request to bomb Iraq (February 1998)
excerpt from: Saddam’s weapons bluff aimed at Iran – FBI reports
by JoAnne Allen, Reuters, 2 July 2009
Saddam Hussein believed Iran was a significant threat to Iraq and left open the possibility that he had weapons of mass destruction rather than appear vulnerable, according to declassified FBI documents on interrogations of the former Iraqi leader.
“Hussein believed that Iraq could not appear weak to its enemies, especially Iran,” FBI special agent George Piro wrote on notes of a conversation with Saddam in June 2004 about weapons of mass destruction.
He believed Iraq was being threatened by others in the region and must appear able to defend itself, the report said.
The FBI reports, released on Wednesday, said Saddam asserted that he was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions of the United States for blocking the return of UN weapons inspectors who were searching for WMD.
“In his opinion, the UN inspectors would have directly identified to the Iranians where to inflict maximum damage to Iraq,” according to the documents obtained and released by the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute.
from the archives:
excerpts from: Turkey would consider Israel request to bomb Iraq
by Tom Doggett, Reuters, 19 February 1998
If Iraq fired missiles at Israel in retaliation for a U.S. attack, Turkey would consider a request from Israel to fly its planes over Turkish soil to strike back, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States said on Thursday. […]
“If things come to that stage, whereby Iraq is using weapons of mass destruction against Israel, we will certainly consider” a request from Israel to fly over Turkey, [Nuzhet] Kandemir said during a briefing with reporters at his residence.
CSIS report: Turkey would be the optimum route for a possible Israeli attack on Iran (March 2009)
Today was supposed to be the day that the Justice Department — after two delays — released an unclassified version of the CIA Inspector General’s 2004 Report into the interrogations of “high-value detainees” in the “War on Terror,” which Democrat Congressional staffers described as the “holy grail,” according to Greg Sargent of the Plum Line, writing in May, “because it is expected to detail torture in unprecedented detail and to cast doubt on the claim that torture works.”
Sargent was following up on an article in the Washington Post, “Hill Panel Reviewing CIA Tactics,” which described how Senate Intelligence Committee investigators were interviewing those involved in the interrogations, “examining hundreds of CIA e-mails and reviewing a classified 2005 study by the agency’s lawyers of dozens of interrogation videotapes” (which were later destroyed), and also examining the CIA Inspector General’s Report.
Various news items on The Spirit of Humanity:
Israel to deport peace activists sailing to Gaza
Published: 07.01.09, 00:13
After aid boat from Cyprus en route to Gaza Strip intercepted by Israeli Navy, 21 peace activist passengers will be deported in coming days
Israel is planning to deport within the next few days the 21 peace activists who arrived on a boat from Cyprus with the intention of entering the Gaza Strip. An Israeli Navy unit boarded their boat and escorted it to Ashdod port. Immigration police will transport the detained activists to Ben Gurion Airport, and from there they will be deported out of the country.
by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, July 1, 2009
Antifascist Calling… – 2009-06-30
Offensive Operations in Cyberspace
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed a memorandum on June 23 that announced the launch of U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). A scheme by securocrats in the works for several years, the order specifies that the new office will be a “subordinate unified command” under U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM).
According to the memorandum, CYBERCOM “will reach initial operating capability (IOC) not later than October 2009 and full operating capability (FOC) not later than October 2010.”
Gates has recommended that this new Pentagon domain be led by Lt. General Keith Alexander, the current Director of the ultra-spooky National Security Agency (NSA). Under the proposal, Alexander would receive a fourth star and the new agency would be based at Ft. Meade, Maryland, NSA’s headquarters.
By Brant Lyon
July 2, 2009
Hot dogs agog hot dogs a-gag
godblessamerica how you love to eat!
Except the Japs’ rising son’s
been whipping us into shape
and taking the belt a WWF cinch
girding an impossibly thin waist
for all that conveyor belt abundance.
Don’t let the sun set on Empire
We’ve wriggled out of toy Toyotas
and climbed back into the driver’s seat.
A high-riding Cadillac Esplanade SUV.
Or is that a Humvee? Is that hot dog Osama
under the boardwalk getting it on
with an all-American chick a doo-wop
do-rag on his head?
The idea of it gives you gas
at $2.49 and 12 miles to the gallon.
A man’s gotta eat as many as he can
in the ten-minute throwdown a carnival
showdown before a glorious July sunset concedes
to the rosy glow of the midway.
More more! This is no time to think.
A brave native son in an A-shirt will steal
a kiss from his babe rock
their caged cradle above the treetops
shove his tongue down her throat
that breathless dizzy moment the Wonder Wheel
spins them to the top of the world.
Water sprays from the showerheads of a fake palm tree
on Coney’s strand.
A public convenience to wash the burning
sand off your godblessedamerican feet.
Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest is held every year on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Aves. in Coney Island at the flagship store of Nathan’s Famous Corporation. At last year’s event, the 93rd, six-time champ Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi and defending champ Joey Chestnut were tied with a prodigious intake of 59 hot dogs each, inhaled in ten minutes. Chestnut finally won in a five-dog “eat off” just after. The contestants were cheered on by over 30,000 spectators, and watched by an additional 1.5 million households in the US as it was broadcast live exclusively on ESPN. Following the 2007 event Kobayashi was reported to have come down with arthritis of the jaw, unable to open his mouth more than the width of his finger.
BRANT LYON is an ‘artivist’ living in Brooklyn, NY. Keeping it down to three squares a day, he knows corporatized entertainment has got him hopelessly outpaced; and though he observes that the business of America may still be Big Business, laments that Coney Island just ain’t what it used to be. His poetry/prose, has appeared in Rattle, Lullwater Review, Medicinal Purposes, BigCityLit, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Brant otherwise conflates poetry with music, as a composer and performer, both in his NYC reading series, Hydrogen Jukebox, and in his newly released poemusic CD, Beauty Keeps Laying Its Sharp Knife Against Me (Logochrysalis 2008).