Greg Palast on Condoleezza Rice teaming up with Chevron

with Greg Palast
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.gregpalast.com
June 3, 2011

Chevron's Toxic Legacy in Ecuador's Amazon

Image by Rainforest Action Network via Flickr

on Jun 3, 2011

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has teamed up with the Chevron Oil Corporation and a think tank to reduce poverty worldwide. While Rice has been long affiliated with Chevron, their gameplan seems the most unlikely part of the equation. Chevron wouldn’t pay for poisoning 1,400 people by dumping oil in Ecuador, so why would they care about the Third World now? Investigative journalist Greg Palast says this partnership is fooling no one but the American press.

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Iraq and Libya and “humanitarian intervention” by William Blum

by William Blum
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.killinghope.org
2 May, 2011

Iraq: Let us not forget what “humanitarian intervention” looks like.

Libya: Let us not be confused as to why Libya alone has been singled out for “humanitarian intervention”.

On April 9, Condoleezza Rice delivered a talk in San Francisco. Or tried to. The former Secretary of State was interrupted repeatedly by cries from the audience of “war criminal” and “torturer”. (For which we can thank our comrades in Code Pink and World Can’t Wait.) As one of the protesters was being taken away by security guards, Rice made the kind of statement that has now become standard for high American officials under such circumstances: Continue reading

The Protest Movement in Egypt: “Dictators” do not Dictate, They Obey Orders by Michel Chossudovsky

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research (many pics at original source)
January 29, 2011

The Mubarak regime could collapse in the a face of a nationwide protest movement… What prospects for Egypt and the Arab World?

“Dictators” do not dictate, they obey orders. This is true in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Dictators are invariably political puppets. Dictators do not decide.

President Hosni Mubarak was a faithful servant of Western economic interests and so was Ben Ali.

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‘West sought to prompt color revolution after June vote’

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PressTV
Sun, 02 Aug 2009 01:17:02 GMT

The Head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Political Bureau, Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, says certain Western states are seeking to turn the ongoing political milieu in Iran to their advantage.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV, he stated that the United States together with some Western countries are leaving no stone unturned to benefit enormously from the current political situation in Iran and kick up a velvet revolution in the country.

“One knows that color revolutions like Georgia’s Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution were US-instigated and meant to make states of the former USSR pursue Washington’s policies and serve its interests,” he said.

The Brigadier General added that great significance should be attached to color-coded revolutions as US officials have sought to prompt one in Iran. He said the national security adviser during Bush’s first term in office, Condoleezza Rice, once commented that all of Washington’s efforts to deal blows to the Islamic Republic, to isolate or even overthrow it have fallen flat.

[…]

via ‘West sought to prompt color revolution after June vote’

h/t: CLG

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Iran: Whose side are you on continued…? By William Bowles

The Case of the ‘Fatwa’ to Rig Iran’s Election by Jeremy R. Hammond

Jesse Ventura: The 9/11 Commission Didn’t Investigate NOTHING!

Dandelion Salad

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://earth2obama.org/

May 18, 2009 News Corp

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more about “Jesse Ventura: The 9/11 Commission Di…“, posted with vodpod

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Jesse Ventura: You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour + Cheney hedges on memos

Mosaic News – 12/3/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

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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Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

Rice urges tough Pakistan action,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Israelis stab Jerusalem man after ascertaining he was Palestinian,” IBA TV, Israel
“Hebron settlers go on the rampage,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Palestine International Solidariy Day in Moscow,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“92 nations sign cluster-bomb ban; US, Russia don’t,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“UN finds new clues in Hariri case,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Lebanese Christian leader courts Assad,” Syria TV, Syria
“Iraq’s VP Criticizes Al Sadr Over Withdrawal Agreement,” Alsumaria TV, Iraq
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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Mumbai India Terrorist Attacks November 26 2008

Obama: The situation in South Asia represents the single most important threat

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Dec. 4, 2008

excerpts from ‘Obama’s National Security Team Announcement

New York Times, 1 December 2008

The following is the transcript of President-Elect Barack Obama’s National Security Team announcement:

The situation in South Asia, as a whole, and the safe havens for terrorist that have been established there represent the single most important threat against the American people.

——————

excerpt from ‘Remarks With United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Miliband

US Foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice, 1 December 2008

But this is a critical moment for Pakistan to bring all its institutions into a common strategy to defend Pakistan. And defending Pakistan means rooting out extremism, defending Pakistani interests means cooperating fully…

——————

excerpt from David Miliband: ‘The Mumbai tragedy makes us more determined

by UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, Daily Mirror, 2 December 2008

The appalling attacks in Mumbai will give new impetus to today’s Nato summit… I believe this tragedy in India will reinforce our determination to tackle terrorist operations at root and prevent Afghanistan becoming an incubator for international terrorism again.

——————

excerpt from ‘India asks for foreign help to hit terrorists‘ (*)

by Damien McElroy, Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2008

India has called in foreign intelligence agencies to ‘neutralise’ the threat from terrorist groups believed to be behind the attack on Mumbai last week.

Britain, America, Australia and Israel have been asked to track down Pakistani suspects thought to have been involved in the attack.

(*) title of the print version

—————–

excerpt from ‘Warning over mass destruction attacks

by Demetri Sevastopulo, Financial Times, 4 December 2008

“It is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013,” according to the report, released yesterday by the commission on the prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism.

“Were one to map terrorism and weapons of mass destruction today, all roads would intersect in Pakistan . . . Pakistan is an ally, but there is a grave danger it could also be an unwitting source of a terrorist attack on the US,”

——————

excerpt from ‘Experts warn Barack Obama of a nuclear Iran

by Catherine Phillip, Times, 3 December 2008

Iran poses the greatest foreign policy challenge to Barack Obama, the President-elect, with Tehran on course to produce a nuclear bomb in the first year of an Obama administration, a coalition of top think-tanks gave warning yesterday.

The warnings came in a report entitled Restoring the Balance. The Middle East strategy for the President-elect was drafted by the Council for Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.

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WORLD RISK REPORT: FINDINGS NEWS CONFERENCE

WMD Commission Final Report: C-SPAN Callers Are NOT Buying It!

The Mumbai Attacks: More Than Meets the Eye By Jeremy R. Hammond

The Mumbai Massacre: Who Benefits? by Steven Jonas

Mumbai India Terrorist Attacks November 26 2008

Top White House Officials Discussed and Approved Torture, Rice Admits

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, October 1, 2008
Antifascist Calling… – 2008-09-30

White House officials discussed torturing suspected “enemy combatants” early in 2002, according to a detailed questionnaire put to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by Senate investigators. The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released a series of new documents that shed additional light on the origins of U.S. torture policies. The Washington Post reports,

The details of the controversial program were discussed in multiple meetings inside the White House over a two-year period, triggering concerns among several officials who worried that the agency’s methods might be illegal or violate anti-torture treaties, according to separate statements signed by Rice and her top legal adviser. (“Top Officials Knew in 2002 of Harsh Interrogations,” Joby Warrick, The Washington Post, Thursday, September 25, 2008; A07)

John Bellinger III, Rice’s legal adviser at the State Department and during her tenure at the National Security Council (NSC), said in answer to written questions by Senate investigators, “I expressed concern that the proposed CIA interrogation techniques comply with applicable U.S. law, including our international obligations.”

As The New York Times reported,

The documents provide new details about the still-murky early months of the C.I.A.’s detention program, when the agency began using a set of harsh interrogation techniques weeks before the Justice Department issued a written legal opinion in August 2002 authorizing their use. Congressional investigators have long tried to determine exactly who authorized these techniques before the legal opinion was completed. (Mark Mazzetti, “Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations,” The New York Times, September 25, 2008)

In other words, as with the invasion and occupation of Iraq, indeed as with a host of other illegal White House programs across the entire “battlespace” of the “war on terror,” legal niceties were supplied by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and then crafted, as with pre-war intelligence, “to fit the policy” (torture) already in place.

The Times reported that “Justice Department lawyers gave oral guidance to the C.I.A. before the secret memo was completed.” Fearful of prosecution, CIA lawyers ordered the use of “harsh techniques” employed by CIA officers “suspended” until their formal authorization by White House proxies in the Justice Department.

Mazzetti reported that former National Security Council legal adviser Bellinger wrote “that during the White House meetings, Justice Department lawyers frequently issued oral guidance to the C.I.A. about the interrogation program. One who did was John Yoo, the principal author of the August 2002 memo, Mr. Bellinger said.”

As ABC News revealed in April,

In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News. (“Sources: Top Bush Advisors Approved ‘Enhanced Interrogation’,” Jan Crawford Greenburg, Howard L. Rosenburg and Ariane de Vogue, ABC News, April 9, 2008)

As chair of the National Security Council, Rice presided over the meetings but when the ABC News story first broke, the White House declined to comment on her participation. With good reason, as it turns out!

In 2002, the National Security Council’s Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell as well as CIA Director George Tenet and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

According to ABC News “Rice chaired the meetings, which took place in the White House Situation Room and were typically attended by most of the principals or their deputies.” Discussions around specific techniques to be used by CIA interrogators were so detailed, ABC News reported, they “were almost choreographed” by high-level Bush administration officials.

The network also reported that at one meeting, Ashcroft famously complained: “Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.” Nor would federal prosecutors if America were a “normal” country.

Viewed as an exemplary means of expanding executive power, Cheney’s shop instructed the Office of Legal Counsel to write a series of still-classified memos that gave the CIA formal legal authority to use what the administration and corporate media euphemistically call “enhanced interrogation techniques” on alleged al-Qaeda suspects.

The Bybee-Yoo memos, with major input from Cheney’s legal adviser (now Chief of Staff), David Addington, are referred to as a “Golden Shield” for CIA repressors fearful of future prosecution as war criminals.

In her response to the question posed by Senate investigators, “Where did it [discussion of prisoner interrogation] take place (e.g., meeting at the Pentagon, etc)?” Rice confirmed ABC’s report, “All of the meetings I attended on these matters occurred inside the White House.”

When pressed by investigators: “Were you present at a meeting at which the OLC gave oral advice about the legality of interrogation techniques proposed for or in use by the CIA?” the Secretary of State replied, “I was present in meetings at which DoJ lawyers provided legal advice about the CIA program. I recall that John Yoo provided advice at several of these meetings. I do not recall if other members of OLC were also present. … I do not know whether any oral advice provided by OLC attorneys differed from OLC’s written advice.”

But as congressional investigators and media reports have previously revealed, the OLC’s “oral advice” most certainly did not differ from their “written advice” since it was supplied by torture-enabler Yoo who acted as a proxy for Cheney’s legal adviser, David Addington.

SASC investigators then turned their attention to the Pentagon’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) programs. “On July 25, 2002 the Chief of Staff to the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) informed the DoD Office of the General Counsel [run by Addington protégé William J. Haynes II], that ‘JPRA will continue to offer exploitation assistance to those governmental organizations charged with the mission of gleaning intelligence from enemy detainees.’ Were you aware that JPRA was offering such assistance?” Rice replied, “I am unfamiliar with the JPRA and am unaware of whether it offered any assistance with interrogations.”

Investigators then questioned NSC legal adviser John Bellinger III. Right from the start, Bellinger played the “Alberto Gonzales card” in his written responses: “The Committee’s questions relate to events that occurred five and six years ago while I served as NSC Legal Adviser during an extraordinarily busy and taxing period. In many cases, I simply do not recall the specific details the Committee has requested.” (emphasis added)

To the questions: “Was there any discussion(s) of specific interrogation techniques used or proposed for use in detainee interrogations?” And: “Was there any discussion(s) about physical and/or psychological pressures used in SERE training?” Bellinger replied: “I was present at meetings in 2002 and 2003 with some or most of the listed individuals at which specific interrogation techniques used or proposed for use in detainee interrogations by the CIA was discussed.” And: “I was present in meetings at which SERE training was discussed. I recall being told that numerous U.S. military personnel had undergone SERE training without significant ill-effect.”

But the policy on the use of reverse-engineered SERE tactics had already decided upon months earlier by Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. Indeed, an April 16, 2002 email from Dr. Bruce Jessen, an outsourced psychologist employed by JPRA and the CIA, to Col. Randy Moulton, the Commander of the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) and copied to two other contractors, Christopher Wirts and Mike Dozier demonstrate JPRA’s enthusiasm for the project. Entitled: “Draft Exploitation Plan,” Jessen writes,

Sir,

My initial draft plan. If you decide to proceed with this I will have more details to add to this skeleton.

I am sending this to Mike and Chris so they can operationalize my draft into a CONOP [Concept of Operations] for your consideration.

Bruce

Jessen’s “concept” has been conveniently redacted from SASC documents but Moulton’s reply is significant in that JPRA’s Commander whole-heartedly endorsed reverse-engineering SERE techniques for prisoner torture.

Doc,

We need to craft a 10-12 slide briefing to take up for approval to include what generated this requirement, why we (USG) need it, how it falls within our Chartered responsibilities (or if not, why we should do it) and then make a recommendation.

Colonel Randy Moulton

Commander JPRA

Jessen, as we’ve subsequently learned, supplied what JPRA and their Pentagon masters were looking for in spades. Along with partner James Mitchell, another outsourced psychologist employed by JPRA and the CIA, the duo’s Spokane, Washington-based Mitchell, Jessen & Associates was located close to the Air Force’s SERE school program. The pair, along with military psychologists, did the heavy-lifting to tailor SERE for CIA and Pentagon torture programs. According to investigative journalist Jane Meyer,

Soon, the former SERE psychologists were training CIA interrogators and advising the CIA on implementing a program that one knowledgeable source describes as “a Clockwork Orange kind of approach.” As psychologists they were unusually well-equipped to understand the human psyche. (Jane Meyer, The Dark Side, New York: Doubleday, 2008, p. 163)

“Well-equipped” indeed. According to SASC Chairman Senator Carl Levin, in July 2002, Richard Shiffrin, a Pentagon Deputy General Counsel called Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Baumgartner, the Chief of Staff at the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) “and asked for information on SERE techniques.” Baumgartner responded by drafting a memo with three attachments. According to Levin’s June 17, 2008 statement and supporting documentation released by the SASC,

One of those attachments (TAB 3) listed physical and psychological pressures used in SERE resistance training including sensory deprivation, sleep disruption, stress positions, waterboarding, and slapping. It also made reference to a section of the JPRA instructor manual that talks about “coercive pressures” like keeping the lights on at all times, and treating a person like an animal. Another attachment (TAB 4), written by Dr. Ogrisseg, also a witness today, assessed the long-term psychological effects of SERE resistance training on students and the effects of the waterboard.

During SASC hearings last Thursday, Colonel Steven Kleinman, a senior officer at the Air Force Academy who supervised that service’s SERE program said in testimony he was “shocked” when he witnessed use of the harsh physical and psychological tactics used to train combat pilots facing potential capture during hostile encounters, employed haphazardly on Iraqis in a U.S. prison camp.

Kleinman told Senate investigators that SERE training “had morphed into a form of punishment for those who wouldn’t cooperate.” He testified that he told the task force commander “that the methods were unlawful and were in violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

But as we now know, SERE techniques were reverse-engineered on orders from the highest levels of the Defense Department and the Vice President’s office precisely as a mechanism to break recalcitrant “al-Qaeda” and Iraqi prisoners stripped by White House lawyers of all rights under the Geneva Conventions.

Disingenuously however, Kleinman claimed that SERE tactics were adopted from torture methods used by “Chinese communists.” While historically accurate up to a point, Kleinman failed to disclose their current provenance: the decades-long programs developed by both the CIA and U.S. Military Intelligence that refined crude Stalinist-era methods of psychological torture.

After the Korean war, the CIA embarked on a nightmarish program, MKULTRA. Indeed, as I wrote in April, the programs employed at Guantánamo Bay, CIA “black sites” in Europe and Afghanistan and at prisons across Iraq were a distillation of coercive techniques devised during the 1950s and 1960s by MKULTRA psychiatrists.

Indeed, as Scott Shane reported in The New York Times, a 1957 Air Force study titled “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War,” written by Albert D. Biderman, a sociologist, served as one of the primary sources of the CIA’s torture manual, “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation.”

CIA-Military Intelligence PSYWAR programs were further crystallized with the publication of the “Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual-1983” (HRE). The secret manual, compiled from sections of the KUBARK guidelines and from U.S. Military Intelligence field manuals were “written in the mid 1960s as part of the Army’s Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program code-named ‘Project X’,” The National Security Archive reports.

In other words, while “Chinese communists” may have gotten the psychological torture ball rolling, the United States Government’s intelligence apparatus picked it up and ran with it.

The “refined” methods described in KUBARK and HRE included: forced drugging, hooding, sexual humiliation, extended sensory deprivation, prolonged interrogation, environmental and dietary manipulation, beatings, stress positions and other methods of “self-inflicted pain.” CIA officers and their Military Intelligence doppelgängers, at the urging of White House masters, systematically committed war crimes on defenseless prisoners in their custody.

In a major breakthrough that demolished the mendacious claims of the Bush regime, documents released by the Senate Armed Service Committee in June, provided irrefutable evidence that top Pentagon and CIA officials sought out military and “outsourced” mercenary personnel, including psychologists like Jessen and Mitchell, precisely to reverse-engineer SERE tactics for use on prisoners designated “enemy combatants” by the administration.

Psychoanalyst Stephen Soldz, Salon investigative journalist Mark Benjamin and Jane Meyer’s reports in The New Yorker have all documented that moves by Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCT) tasked to the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, followed hot on the heels of explicit demands by the Bush torture team to “take the gloves off.” At Guantánamo and elsewhere, BSCT psychologists held operational positions and did not function as mental health providers but rather, were present at Guantánamo for the purpose of instructing personnel in the use of “enhanced interrogation” tactics, torture.

While hearings by the Senate Armed Services Committee has provided solid evidence of widespread human rights abuses by the Bush administration and their minions, the Democratic-controlled Congress has systematically failed to bring these war criminals to justice.

There is no mistaking the pattern: given ample opportunity to purge the American political landscape of these miscreants, Congress has abnegated its legal right and moral duty to remove Bushist malefactors from power.

With “impeachment off the table,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously declared in 2006, from preemptive wars of conquest to warrantless wiretapping, and from the systematic looting of the economy to the heinous torture of prisoners of war, the Democratic Party is fully complicit with the Bush administration’s high crimes and misdemeanors.

The cover-up continues…

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10410

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Bill Moyers Journal: Torture Hearings + Jane Mayer + Fritz Hollings

Sources: Top Bush Advisors Approved ‘Enhanced Interrogation’

Torture

Mosaic News – 8/26/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

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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Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute
“$250 M for DNC & Counting,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Female Suicide Bomber Surrenders to US Troops,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Rice’s Last Attempt to Move Peace Forward,” IBA TV, Israel
“Israeli Settlements in West Bank Double in 2007,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Israel Releases Longest Serving Palestinian Prisoner,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Kouchner in Lebanon,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“French & Syrian Relations Improve,” Syria TV, Syria
“Clashes in Darfur Kill 16,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Amazigh Cultural Festival,” Al Maghribiyah, Morocco
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

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

Dandelion Salad

RussiaToday

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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Fun With War Crimes – Episode 5 “That Certain Feeling”

Dandelion Salad

funwithwarcrimes

Watch more episodes here:
http://www.funwithwarcrimes.com
Episode 5 of 8, as the Bush trial continues. Condi evolves. Jesus stops by and global warming has the
Defendants feeling the heat.
Ep. 6 – “Surprise Witness” – coming August 26th
Watch more episodes here:
funwithwarcrimes

Fun With War Crimes – Episode 5 “That…“, posted with vodpod

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Fun With War Crimes: The Bush Bubble – Ep #4

funwithwarcrimes

Fun With War Crimes: The Bush Bubble – Ep #4

Dandelion Salad

funwithwarcrimes

Didn’t you always know Karl Rove had a crush on Bush? Clueless to the impact of Katrina, ready to take more money from your babies, the Bush bubble gets bigger and bigger…

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funwithwarcrimes

Kicking Sand In Russia’s Face By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
07/15/08 “ICH”

Last week’s utterly useless and hugely expensive G8 summit in Japan was at least a welcome comic relief after all the bombast and threats flying back and forth between the US, Israel and Iran.

The world leaders dined on caviar as they earnestly discussed hunger and the global food crisis. They agreed to do something about global warming by 2058. That’s real courage and leadership.

“Yo Harper,” called out President George Bush, beckoning Canada’s prime minister to come meet the president of Nigeria. Stephen Harper now joins Britain’s late, unlamented former PM Tony Blair in being treated like a White House car jockey. Bush’s arrogant public behavior towards two of his most faithful followers says a great deal about the importance of America’s “key” allies to Washington.

Bush and Harper, who had just come from a session blasting Zimbabwe’s ruler, Robert Mugabe, as a wicked, corrupt tyrant, glad-handed with Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar-Adua who won office last year in one of Nigeria’s most spectacularly rigged elections. That’s saying a lot, since Nigeria is without doubt the world’s most corrupt nation. But Nigeria has oil, and may supply up to 25% of America’s future requirements. The US is also building bases in West Africa to oversee the region’s growing oil exports.

Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, which I fondly remember when it was prosperous, beautiful Rhodesia, is now dirt poor and bankrupt thanks to Afro-socialism and expulsion of its white minority.

Obedient western-backed dictators who rig elections are hailed as “statesmen.” Insubordinate rulers who don’t cooperate are branded “dictators” or “tyrants.”

Good for old crocodile Mugabe for refusing to be pushed around by the hypocritical western powers who are screaming about his electoral fraud while blessing worse fraud and oppression in the Arab, Central Asian, and African dictatorships they support.

Invited guests at the G8 summit included Ethiopia, which is inflicting wide-scale atrocities in Somalia and on its own Oromo minority, and is now facing another major famine. Oil and gas-rich Algeria, whose brutal military rulers, one of the world’s most repressive regimes, proudly call themselves “the eradicators.”

One of Bush’s official briefing books fell into media hands. It described Italy as “known for governmental corruption and vice,” and called Bush’s “best pal” PM Silvio Berlusconi a “political dilettante” who holds power thanks to his ownership of the media. “Are the courts still after you, Silvio,” tactfully called out buddy Bush to Italy’s embarrassed leader? Mama mia! Italians have a perfect expression for this: “bruta figura.”

Adding to the surreal aura at the G8, and exposing the utter falsity of Washington’s faux “war on terror,” the Bush administration announced it was taking Nelson Mandela off its terrorist list. Who is next? The late Mother Theresa? Bambi?

While this farce was going on in northern Japan, Bush’s girl Friday and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Prague to initial a truly daft plan to build a new US anti-missile system (ABM) in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Washington claims the system is designed to shoot down Iranian long-ranged missiles – which Iran does not have – carrying nuclear warheads – which Iran also does not have. “We are protecting Europe,” chirped Rice. Of course, Condi. Those mad mullahs in Tehran are just itching to attack Belgium and Norway.

The only possible use for these ABM missiles would be to protect US military bases in Western and, more important, Eastern Europe, from some future missile attack by Iran. But Iran would only attack US bases, and thus court national destruction, if it were first attacked by the United States.

Predictably, Moscow went ballistic. It has been fuming for over a year over Bush’s missile plan, and getting angrier by the month. The Kremlin actually threatened a “military-technical” response, whatever that means, if the US installs an ABM system on its doorstep.

Nearly 70% of Czechs and Poles also oppose this crazy and unnecessarily provocative plan. Poland is demanding a $3 billion air defense system from Washington as its price for basing the interceptor missiles. The clever Poles may be trying to sabotage the plan without having to say no to their protector and ally, the US. One wonders how much Czech politicians are getting paid to go along with Bush’s little Central European Maginot Line?

If the White House is so determined to provoke Russia, why doesn’t it just go and bomb Putin’s country dacha or Lenin’s tomb?

Bush and Rasputin Dick Cheney have broken a 1991 pledge made by President Bush Senior to Soviet chairman Michael Gorbachev. In exchange for Gorby’s not using the Red Army to crush spreading revolts in East Germany and across the dying Soviet Union, Washington agreed not to advance NATO eastward toward Russia or into the old USSR. Gorbachev’s courageous, humane concession averted a crisis that could have led to a nuclear war.

Gorbachev kept his side of the bargain, allowing the Soviet Union to implode. But the US, sneering at Boris Yeltsin’s bankrupt, demoralized post-imperial Russia, quickly reneged and began advancing NATO ever closer to Russia’s borders. Washington is currently mucking around in Georgia and Ukraine, both parts of Russia’s back yard and considered seriously off limits to the western powers.

Small wonder Bush’s foolish ABM system so outrages the Ruskis who have every right to moral outrage and being angry as hornets. Bush’s paranoia and obsession with Iran is causing him to risk provoking a military clash with Russia. He is fast pushing Russia’s new President Dimitri Medvedev and PM Vlad Putin to the wall.

John McCain is cheering Bush on. He recently called for Russia to be expelled from the G8 and vowed that if elected president, he would “confront” Russia. At least old crocodile Mugabe isn’t threatening to start a war or two.

Eric Margolis, contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada, is the author of War at the Top of the World. Visit his website. http://www.ericmargolis.com/

Copyright © 2008 Eric Margolis

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.

Bill Moyers Journal: Traces of the Trade + Neo-slavery + Race in America

Dandelion Salad

Bill Moyers Journal
June 20, 2008

Traces of the Trade Preview

BILL MOYERS JOURNAL presents a special preview of the documentary which opens the 21st season of P.O.V. TRACES OF THE TRADE: A STORY OF THE DEEP NORTH tells the story journey of discovery into the history and consequences of slavery. In this bicentennial year of the U.S. abolition of the slave trade, one might think the tragedy of African slavery in the Americas has been exhaustively told. Katrina Browne thought the same, until she discovered that her slave-trading ancestors from Rhode Island were not an aberration. Rather, they were just the most prominent actors in the North’s vast complicity in slavery, buried in myths of Northern innocence.

…continued plus video and transcript

Douglas Blackmon on Neo-slavery

Many Americans are not familiar with Juneteenth — but now 29 states recognize the 19th of June as a state holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the 1865 day that General Gordon Granger of the Union Army sailed into Galveston, Texas and read General Order #3, announcing that “all slaves are free.” It was a full two and a half years after slaves in rebel territories had been freed by The Emancipation Proclamation.

…continued plus video and transcript

Patterson and Loury on Race in America

As many Americans celebrate “Juneteenth,” a special day of recognition commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL examines racial inequality in America through the prisms of the legacy of slavery and the current socio-economic landscape. Historical and cultural sociologist Orlando Patterson and Glenn C. Loury, an economist and expert on race and social division offer their perspectives in this ground breaking electoral year.

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Moyers on Juneteenth

Finally, some historical footnotes as we close the JOURNAL. Two weekends from now, we’ll celebrate the Fourth of July and America’s Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1776. Thirty years later, Britain and the United States each abolished the slave trade. But despite the official ban on importation, slavery continued in America another 60 years — only to be followed after the Civil War, as you just heard, by another hundred years of oppression.

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see

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