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 Friday, September 30, 2005

The Anti-War Speech Everyone Is Talking About

  Etan Thomas delivered a blistering poetical speech as part of the weekend’s antiwar demonstrations in Washington DC.

Etan Thomas is an NBA player for the Washington Wizards

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Etan Thomas


His contribution, which was played in its entirety on Democracy Now!, is being hailed as “the best of the day” in various nooks and crannies of the blogosphere.

Click here (put on your speakers) : Watch and Listen to Etan Thomas

Here is the transcript. Read and pass it along – it has the power to topple tyrants.

“Giving all honor, thanks and praises to God for courage and wisdom, this is a very important rally. I'd like to thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts, feelings and concerns regarding a tremendous problem that we are currently facing.

This problem is universal, transcending race, economic background, religion, and culture, and this problem is none other than the current administration which has set up shop in the White House.

In fact, I'd like to take some of these cats on a field trip.

I want to get big yellow buses with no air conditioner and no seatbelts and round up Bill O'Reilly, Pat Buchanan, Trent Lott, Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Bush Jr. and Bush Sr., John Ashcroft, Giuliani, Ed Gillespie, Katherine Harris, that little bow-tied Tucker Carlson and any other right-wing conservative Republicans I can think of, and take them all on a trip to the ‘hood.

Not to do no 30-minute documentary.

I mean, I want to drop them off and leave them there, let them become one with the other side of the tracks, get them four mouths to feed and no welfare, have scare tactics run through them like a laxative, criticizing them for needing assistance.

I’d show them working families that make too much to receive welfare but not enough to make ends meet. I’d employ them with jobs with little security, let them know how it feels to be an employee at will, able to be fired at the drop of a hat.

I’d take away their opportunities, then try their children as adults, sending their 13-year-old babies to life in prison. I’d sell them dreams of hopelessness while spoon-feeding their young with a daily dose of inferior education.

I’d tell them no child shall be left behind, then take more money out of their schools, tell them to show and prove themselves on standardized exams testing their knowledge on things that they haven’t been taught, and then I’d call them inferior.

I’d soak into their interior notions of endless possibilities.

I’d paint pictures of assisted productivity if they only agreed to be all they can be, dress them up with fatigues and boots with promises of pots of gold at the end of rainbows, free education to waste terrain on those who finish their bid.

Then I’d close the lid on that barrel of fool’s gold by starting a war, sending their children into the midst of a hostile situation, and while they're worried about their babies being murdered and slain in foreign lands, I’d grace them with the pain of being sick and unable to get medicine.

Give them health benefits that barely cover the common cold.

John Q. would become their reality as HMOs introduce them to the world of inferior care, filling their lungs with inadequate air, penny pinching at the expense of patients, doctors practicing medicine in an intricate web of rationing and regulations.

Patients wander the maze of managed bureaucracy, costs rise and quality quickly deteriorates, but they say that managed care is cheaper.

They’ll say that free choice in medicine will defeat the overall productivity, and as co-payments are steadily rising, I'll make their grandparents have to choose between buying their medicine and paying their rent.

Then I'd feed them hypocritical lines of being pro-life as the only Christian way to be. Then very contradictingly, I’d fight for the spread of the death penalty, as if thou shall not kill applies to babies but not to criminals.

Then I’d introduce them to those sworn to protect and serve, creating a curb in their trust in the law. I’d show them the nightsticks and plungers, the pepper spray and stun guns, the mace and magnums that they’d soon become acquainted with, the shakedowns and illegal search and seizures, the planted evidence, being stopped for no reason.

Harassment ain’t even the half of it. Forty-one shots to two raised hands, cell phones and wallets that are confused with illegal contrabands. I’d introduce them to pigs who love making their guns click like wine glasses.

Everlasting targets surrounded by bullets, making them a walking bull's eye, a living piñata, held at the mercy of police brutality, and then we’ll see if they finally weren’t aware of the truth, if their eyes weren’t finally open like a box of Pandora.

I’d show them how the other side of the tracks carries the weight of the world on our shoulders and how society seems to be holding us down with the force of a boulder.

The bird of democracy flew the coop back in Florida. See, for some, and justice comes in packs like wolves in sheep's clothing. T.K.O.'d by the right hooks of life, many are left staggering under the weight of the day, leaning against the ropes of hope.

When your dreams have fallen on barren ground, it becomes difficult to keep pushing yourself forward like a train, administering pain like a doctor with a needle, their sequels continue more lethal than injections.

They keep telling us all is equal. I’d tell them that instead of giving tax breaks to the rich, financing corporate mergers and leading us into unnecessary wars and under-table dealings with Enron and Halliburton, maybe they can work on making society more peaceful.

Instead, they take more and more money out of inner city schools, give up on the idea of rehabilitation and build more prisons for poor people.

With unemployment continuing to rise like a deficit, it's no wonder why so many think that crime pays.

Maybe this trip will make them see the error of their ways.

Or maybe next time, we'll just all get out and vote.

And as far as their stay in the White House, tell them that numbered are their days.”


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 Friday, September 16, 2005

Catholics upset over US Federal Funds used for building a Jewish Chapel

  Read here Press Release from Catholic League

September, 15 2005

Catholic League President William Donohue commented today about the absence of outcry from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) over the building of a Jewish chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy.

From September 16-18, several events will take place at the Naval Academy celebrating the opening of the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel; formal dedication will take place Sunday.

Here is what Donohue had to say:

"The Catholic League understands the central role that religion plays in the lives of most Americans, and it is particularly sensitive to the need for religious expression among our men in women in uniform.

That is why we congratulate the Naval Academy for opening the Jewish Center and heartily approve of federal funds being used to build the Jewish chapel.

Our problem is with the hypocrites at the ADL, ACLU and AU.

To the applause of the ADL, ACLU and AU, Catholic schools are denied government money for the purchase of maps in the classroom, but the federal government can spend nearly 2 million dollars to build a Jewish chapel at the Naval Academy without a word of protest from any of them.

Catholic kids in New York City public schools cannot have a crèche in their classroom but Jewish kids can have a menorah (all to the approval of the ADL), and now a U.S. military building on the grounds of the Naval Academy can display a huge Star of David on its exterior without a peep from any of the church-and-state watchdog groups.

Moreover, since 1845 the Naval Academy has had a non-sectarian prayer said before lunch, but the ADL and the ACLU now want it censored; the ADL has even written to the Armed Services Committees of the House and Senate calling the practice ‘deeply troubling.’

In other words, prayer rugs can be purchased with federal funds to accommodate suspected Muslim terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, and Jewish chapels can be built with federal monies, but Christian kids can’t sing ‘Silent Night’ in the classroom.

Got it everyone?"


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 Thursday, September 15, 2005

US Media Complicity in US Denial of Its Shameful Response to Katrina

 

by

James Petras and Robin Eastman Abaya

Read here full article in Rebelion

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDr. James Petras is Professor Emeritus in sociology at Binghamton University, New York.

He has worked with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for the last eleven years in addition to his work with the unemployed workers' movement in Argentina.

Dr. Petras is coauthor, with Henry Veltmeyer, of Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st Century (Zed Books, 2001), which won the 2002 Kenny Prize in Marxist & Labour/Left Studies. He is also author of a collection of short stories, Andando por el mundo (Altamira Publishing Group, 2001). Read
here Dr Petra's other essays


Excerpts:

The political failures that turned New Orleans and many other Gulf cities and towns into a human catastrophe, shattered the bonds of conformity between the mass media and the government.

Critical reporters described the failure of the government’s Homeland Security to evacuate vulnerable poor people and the absence of basic food and water for the victims.

The media contrasted:

  • Bush partying with Republican cronies in California,

  • Vice President Chaney on the golfing green,

  • Secretary of State Rice shopping in Manhattan and

  • Homeland Security boss Chertoff claiming that disaster relief was in excellent shape
  • ..... .... With the cries of desperation and destitution of tens of thousands of poverty-stricken and hungry African Americans and poor whites barely surviving in a dark, filthy convention center and sports arena.
    By Day Four of the disaster, the critical impassioned voices were replaced by measured voices of official compassion


  • Photo opportunities of Bush abounded;

  • The National Guardmen were arriving and the Government was responding.

  • The “news” was about the heroic aid workers with photogenic white guards and nurses cradling black infants, bringing relief to the “refugees” and ending the growing lawlessness, violence and “looting” among the survivors.

  • Interviews with top military officials focused on the threats to the soldiers from violent elements among the “refugees”.

  • Visual images of armored troop carriers, heavily armed Special Forces against a backdrop of angry desolate people, resonated with the war propaganda from Iraq. What was an exercise in humanitarian aid was converted into a counter-insurgency operation.
  • By the end of the 6th day, the mass media converted the national government’s political failures to protect citizens into a successful military occupation.

    The Militarization of New Orleans

    Nothing captures the “revised line” of the media better than the prominent place given to the government’s order to “Shoot to kill looters”.

    Not a whimper of protest, NOT a critical voice.

    The media converted the destitute city into a war zone: New Orleans became Fallujah.

    The media dredged up every rumor, hearsay, un-substantiated third hand report of child rape and murder to provide a “context” for the “new reality” – the militarization of a devastated American city.

    The media are well prepared for that scenario:


    Embedded journalist featured soldiers handing out concentrated military field rations (totally useless for small children and dehydrated elderly)

    ...... while the beating of blacks carrying groceries (blacks ‘loot’ food; whites ‘find’ food) was omitted.

    Over a hundred thousand people without homes, jobs and savings, water, food and sanitation, were first and foremost subject to military occupationto protect the banks, boutiques and jewelry stores from “looters”.

    Sixteen thousand troops and Special Forces backed by armored carriers and helicopters have taken over the city.

    There were NO announcements or plans for civil reconstruction – jobs for those without jobs and plans to re-house the tens of thousands of families left homeless.

    Instead the media repeatedly played on white paranoia:


    Black rapists terrorizing neighborhoods, shelters, anywhere they could flag a rumor…
    It is surprising that ‘cannibalism' wasn’t included in the medias list of ‘outrages’ committed by the “Africanized” destitute.

    There was hardly any mention of the “looters” who braved the swirling floods and military snipers to bring bottled water to the elderly, dry cereal to children and cans of sardines to the hungry.

    Ninety-nine (90%) percent of the poor blacks were destitute but the media focused on the 1% of criminals.

    Zero tolerance” declared Governor Blanco of Louisiana to titillate the President and to prime the automatic rifles of the Special Forces.

    The black mayor of New Orleans, caught between the majority of blacks confined to filth, living amidst the decaying dead and the sewage of the living and the militarization of the city, appealed to the OUTSIDE world.

    The daily rape of a city, of an entire population of the most vulnerable, is condoned.

    While the media pursue a witness to the rumored rape of a 14-year-old several days earlier they ignore reports of mass death, fecal contaminated waters and listless, dehydrated babies.

    The mass state propaganda machine focuses on the President signing an aid bill and promising Law and Order.

    Criminalizing the Victims

    Given the government’s total abandonment of tens of thousands of poor, starving and homeless blacks, it was obvious that many people would scavenge for food and water.

    By deliberately linking the survivors with “looters” and “rapists”, public officials set the stage for the subsequent militarization and de-facto martial law – fertile terrain for the killing fields.

    The first reports that filtered out from (unembedded) eyewitness reports mentioned groups of Guardsmen beating the self-help survivors. Military reports cited the killing of several ‘snipers’.

    No doubt the Government’s first pre-occupation is to saturate the city with the military to prevent the survivors from organizing for justice and to channel all communications about the state of the city through officially approved sources.

    Even more significantly the military defines the nature of the situation as a problem of criminality and the repressive “solution” through maximum control and minimum aid.

    The Magical Powers of the Mass Media

    On the seventh day after the human catastrophe, the mass media were flooded with the faces, voices and compassionate rhetoric of all the major and minor spokespeople of the Bush Administration.

    Every major television network, every featured program presented Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Chertoff and various Generals speaking in mutual admiration of the Herculean efforts, of the courageous and generous Guardsmen, aid workers etc.

    The mass media commentators and interviewers wholeheartedly co-operated in decriminalizing the state.

    The officials guilty of crimes against the humanity of poor and destitute citizens were transformed into humanitarian saviors.

    NOT a single word of self-criticism from the officials and NONE suggested by the media moderators.

    The few dissident critical voices of the first few days were chastened and disappeared from the television screen.

    The US media was the only place in the world in which the guilty officials were exonerated.

    Media-State mass propaganda had its impact:


    Public opinion polls indicated that more (70%) of the public were hostile of the President’s petroleum policy and high gas prices than of the gross political neglect which caused the death of thousands of their, mostly black, compatriots (66%).
    By publicizing the President’s belated and inadequate aid and amplifying the extent of criminality among the destitute, the mass media has racially polarized the catastrophe between generous compassionate white humanitarians and ungrateful, hostile black “refugees” – a term stripping the victims of their citizenship and rights.

    Washington’s “Shoot to Kill” order applied to water bottle snatchers and the real or imagined snipers.

    Negative labeling of the victims by the media heightens the public’s distrust of the testimonials of dehydrated children and frail grandmothers. Criminalization, demonization and militarization is what Washington does best.

    Repeating official propaganda and censoring dissident interviews is what the US mass media does best.

    Not a single mass media outlet, not a single one of the major television outlets mentioned the highly critical reports of the most prestigious overseas media.

    Reports from Le Monde, the Guardian, El Pais, Der Spiegel, La Jornada were NEVER mentioned.

    Photo propaganda and captions in big print are especially effective in our boobocracy and it is what our mass media does best.


  • Photographs of Bush hugging a cleaned-up, photogenic ‘survivor’,EXCLUDED the bodies floating in the debris.

  • Ubiquitous photos appeared of Bush signing the aid bill…seven days after the fact, but NOT photos of Bush at a Republican fund raiser on Day One of the hurricane.

  • No photos of Vice President Chaney golfing on Day Three, while cadavers floated down Main Street in Biloxi, Mississippi.

  • No photos of the President and CEO of the Red Cross depositing her over $640,000 salary, while 40,000 people lacked clean water in “refugee sites”.

  • No photos of Secretary Rice at a Broadway comedy on Day Four while the bodies of old black ladies decomposed near their outraged and destitute relatives and neighbors.
  • Conclusion

    The mass media made an abrupt turn, adapting and shaping the images of the Administration’s catastrophe.

    In seven days the magic of the media transformed the Bush team from incompetent and ignorant leaders to decisive and caring officials.

    At the same time the desperate, dying and furious were converted into an unruly, crime-ridden, ungrateful and chaotic mob.

    The political message was clear:


    Repression and militarization were priority conditions for survival and humanitarian aid. The city had to be under de facto martial law before it could be saved.

    Viet Nam and Falluja come to mind.

    After all, counter-insurgency is what we do best.

    According to the President, his Cabinet members and the media:


    America is rising to the occasion.”
    We won’t forget the 10,000’s of dead and injured, we’ll even lower the flag for a few days – that is if the Congressional Black Caucus raises the issue. As the President would say,


    Let’s move on. We’ve got a war to win in Iraq.”
    In the other America, the victims, their friends, their brothers and sisters are not deceived.

    Certainly the Europeans, Africans, Asians and Latin Americans have images etched in their collective memory: of frantic, desperate New Orleans poor with faces staring angrily at an indifferent government.

    But will WHITE America remember WHO are the criminals and WHO are the victims?

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     Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Former Malaysian PM Mahathir: " US and Britain are State Terrorists"

      Quote:

    "The British and American bomber pilots came, unopposed, safe and cosy in their state-of-the-art aircraft, pressing buttons to drop bombs, to kill and maim.

    And these murderers, for that is what they are, would go back to celebrate 'Mission Accomplished'.

    Who are the terrorists?

    The people below who were bombed, or the bombers? Whose rights have been snatched away?

    If you terrify people then you are a terrorist, and the people of Iraq are terrified of being bombed.

    They (the US and Britain) are state terrorists."
    - Dr.Mahathir Mohammad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
    From The Guardian (UK)

    READ HERE Feedback and Comments from BBC readers

    September 9, 2005

    Britain's chief diplomat in Malaysia stormed out of a human rights' conference today after the UK and US were condemned as "state terrorists" by the country's retired prime minister.


    Image hosted by Photobucket.com Malaysia's former leader, Mahathir Mohamad, launched the scathing attack on both countries for invading Iraq, blaming them for thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths.

    The British high commissioner, Bruce Cleghorn, and several British and European diplomats walked out in protest of Dr Mahathir's speech.

    The US embassy had not sent officers to the event.

    Dr Mahathir said:

    "The British and American bomber pilots came, unopposed, safe and cosy in their state-of-the-art aircraft, pressing buttons to drop bombs, to kill and maim.

    And these murderers, for that is what they are, would go back to celebrate 'Mission Accomplished'.

    Who are the terrorists? The people below who were bombed, or the bombers?

    Whose rights have been snatched away?"

    Afterwards, Mr Cleghorn said he had attended the conference out of respect for Dr Mahathir who was the prime minister of Malaysia, where the majority of the population is Muslim, for 22 years before retiring in 2003.

    "Unfortunately, I found myself listening to abuse and misrepresentation about my country," Mr Cleghorn said. "I therefore left."

    Mr Mahathir regularly launched visceral attacks on the West and Israel while in power.

    He said rich countries held back developing nations and discriminated against Muslims.

    At a news conference later, he said:

    " If you terrify people then you are a terrorist, and the people of Iraq are terrified of being bombed.

    They (the US and Britain) are state terrorists."

    When in power, Dr Mahathir was a US ally in the fight against terrorism but bitterly opposed the Iraq and Afghan wars.

    The US administration launched the Iraq invasion because it alleged Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which "we all know was a lie", he said.

    Dr Mahathir co-chairs the international Emergency Committee for Iraq, which was formed in June to ensure Saddam's trial is fair.

    "When you are being tried by a government that is hostile to you," he said today, "justice is not likely to be done."

    He said trial judges should be from countries not directly involved in the invasion.

    He also questioned why there was no tally of Iraqi deaths, and defended his own government's human rights record, often criticised by the West.

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    Advisers told Tony Blair: Replace Jewish Memorial Day with GENOCIDE DAY

      Read here original article in TIMES ONLINE

    13 September 2005

    ADVISERS appointed by Tony Blair after the London bombings are proposing to scrap the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day because it is regarded as offensive to Muslims.

    They want to replace it with a Genocide Day that would recognise the mass murder of Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya and Bosnia as well as people of other faiths.

    The draft proposals have been prepared by committees appointed by Blair to tackle extremism.

    He has promised to respond to the plans, but the threat to the Holocaust Day has provoked a fierce backlash from the Jewish community.

    Holocaust Day was established by Blair in 2001 after a sustained campaign by Jewish leaders to create a lasting memorial to the 6m victims of Hitler.

    It is marked each year on January 27.

    The Queen is patron of the charity that organises the event and the Home Office pays £500,000 a year to fund it.

    The committees argue that the special status of Holocaust Memorial Day fuels extremists’ sense of alienation because it “excludes” Muslims.

    A member of one of the committees, made up of Muslims, said it gave the impression that “western lives have more value than non-western lives”.

    That perception needed to be changed.

    “One way of doing that is if the government were to sponsor a national Genocide Memorial Day.

    The very name Holocaust Memorial Day sounds too exclusive to any young Muslims. It sends out the wrong signals: that the lives of one people are to be remembered more than others.

    It’s a grievance that extremists are able to exploit.”

    The recommendation, drawn up by four committees including those dealing with imams and mosques, and Islamaphobia and policing, has the backing of Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

    He said:

    “The message of the Holocaust was ‘never again’, and for that message to have practical effect on the world community it has to be inclusive.

    We can never have double standards in terms of human life.

    Muslims feel hurt and excluded that their lives are not equally valuable to those lives lost in the Holocaust time.”

    Ibrahim Hewitt, chairman of the charity Interpal, said:

    “There are 500 Palestinian towns and villages that have been wiped out over the years.

    That’s pretty genocidal to me.”

    The committees are also set to clash with Blair on his proposal to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, the radical Islamic group. Government sources say they will argue that a ban is unjustified because the group, which is proscribed in much of the Middle East, neither advocates nor perpetrates violence in the UK.

    Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside and a Holocaust Memorial trustee, said: “These Muslim groups should stop trying to evade the enormity of the Holocaust.”

    The seven committees finalise their recommendations today at St George’s House, Windsor, and will submit them to Blair and Charles Clarke, the home secretary, on September 22.

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     Monday, September 12, 2005

    Dates to Remember: September 24- 26, 2005 - Protest Gathering To Bring our US Troops Home

      by Justin Raimondo

    September 9, 2005

    There is a time to talk the talk, and a time to walk the walk – a time for analysis, and a time for action – and now is the time for the latter.

    We need immediate action TO STOP THE WAR:

    BEFORE it spreads beyond Iraq,

    BEFORE it bankrupts our country,

    BEFORE all the blood needlessly shed leaves an indelible moral stain that will shame us for generations to come.

    I read and write about this rotten war practically every day, and I'm beginning to wonder: when will it ever end?

    We've talked, and written, and discussed among ourselves until we're blue in the face:
    Now it is time to act.
    Thanks to United for Peace and Justice, a national coalition of hundreds of groups opposed to our interventionist foreign policy, a golden opportunity presents itself on the weekend of Sept. 24-26, when a great coming together of the antiwar movement is planned.

    This event, however, promises to be far more than a gathering of the usual suspects.

    In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as resentment of the lies, the incompetence, the sheer criminality of our rulers reaches a crescendo, this weekend of protest has the potential to become the focal point of a mass movement – one that has the power to defeat, once and for all, the neoconservative gang that has hijacked American foreign policy and recklessly steered it in an increasingly dangerous direction.

    The polls show that the majority of Americans now want a reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq: a large – and growing – minority demands a complete withdrawal sooner rather than later.

    Post-Katrina, those "withdraw now" numbers are bound to rise. A majority is now saying, for the first time since 9/11, that domestic policy is a higher priority than foreign policy.

    As Pat Buchanan puts it in the new issue of The Spectator:

    "America remains a superpower, but seriously overstretched. With armed forces of 1.2 million, we are fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, have troops in scores of countries, and are committed to defend dozens of others all over the world.

    The U.S. budget is $400 billion in deficit, as 77 million Baby Boomers approach retirement age and eligibility for social security and Medicare.

    Either the Bush tax cuts go and we recruit hundreds of thousands more troops, or the war guarantees must be re-assessed and the empire abandoned. My feeling is that when the time comes to choose, the empire goes.

    Message from Katrina: Come home, America."

    We were lied, cajoled [.pdf], and manipulated into this war – which soon turned into a quest for Empire – by a relatively small number of people; a cabal of highly placed government officials, "mainstream" pundits, and think-tank theoreticians, who, in alliance with the leadership of both parties, reacted to the 9/11 terrorist attacks by unleashing a policy of untrammeled aggression in the Middle East and around the world.

    On the home front, we saw a massive and concerted attack on our civil liberties, carried out in tandem with a propaganda campaign of unprecedented proportions – and based, as it turned out, on pure deception.

    Widespread anger at the discovery that Iraq possessed NO "weapons of mass destruction" and had nothing to do with 9/11 has slowly been building as the casualty count in Iraq has skyrocketed.

    The news that the U.S. government is preparing 25,000 body bags for use not in Iraq, but in Louisiana, where this administration was caught flat-footed and completely unprepared for a natural disaster, is enough of a spark to set off a social and political explosion, the reverberations of which could take down both wings of the War Party.

    We are all familiar enough with our Republican war-birds, whose cries of "invade!" and "bombs away!" are heard on Fox News and the right-wing radio circuit on a daily basis.

    But there is another, and in many ways more formidable, branch office of the War Party embedded deep inside the Democratic Party, which lays claim to the mantle of liberalism (in the 20th century sense, not the 19th) and yet regularly worships at the temple of Ares, sitting in the pews right next to Rush Limbaugh and Bill Kristol.

    Few politicians are as hawkish as Hillary Clinton: she wants more U.S. troops in Iraq, not less. No wonder she and Newt Gingrich are such bosom buddies.

    The same goes for the Two Joes – Lieberman and Biden – and their neoconnish cohorts at the Democratic Leadership Council.

    While Bill Kristol and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) prod the GOP leadership to stand fast on the war, Marshall Wittmann of the DLC – who made the transition from Social Democrats, USA to the Christian Coalition to John McCain's staff to the DLC with the effortless ease of a born amphibian – harangues his fellow Democrats from his perch on the "Moose blog," invoking the specter of "national greatness" to shore up support for the war among the party faithful.

    There is lots of shoring up to do, as the Democratic rank-and-file shows increasing impatience with spineless leaders tripped up by their own rhetorical and moral ambiguity. Democrats are searching, restlessly, for real leadership – a Moses to lead us out of the Iraqi quagmire and back onto dry land.

    Go and check out dailykos.com, where Democrats lash out in anger at the DLC smoothies who offer up only Bush Lite as a program. The war is increasingly the focal point of their anger and frustration, and chances are the Democrats won't have another lockstep convention of Stepford delegates.

    The days when the Democratic grassroots are content with their role as hand-raisers for their timorous and thoroughly neoconized leadership are definitely over. The only question now is: will a leader emerge?

    Is Senator Russ Feingold, who is showing every sign of launching a presidential bid, their Gene McCarthy, their McGovern – who, unlike his predecessors, has the potential to take the White House?

    Only time will tell, but of this much we can be certain: the Democratic Party establishment, which has been staunchly pro-war up until this point, is facing a challenge from within.

    Democrats, in their millions, hate this war.

    In this they reflect the general feeling in the country that something is very wrong with this nation's foreign policy – and that we need to get our priorities straight.

    Come home, America – from Pat Buchanan to Russ Feingold, the cry is being heard.

    From right to left, in the South and in the North, in the board room and the back room – the realization is spreading that we have taken on too much, that we cannot sustain this tremendous outpouring of energy and resources, that something's got to give.

    The nation is finally awakening, and not only to the massive deception carried out by the war propagandists and their fifth column in the American media, but to the fact that we have the power to change all this – that things don't have to be this way.

    We don't have to live in a predatory empire: we can have our old republic back.

    But only if we are willing to act now…

    On Sept. 24, 1869, known as "Black Friday" in the annals of American economic history, a financial panic ensued as a result of the political manipulation of the gold market by Jay Gould and James Fisk, and the subsequent sell-off of gold reserves by the U.S. government.

    As Wikipedia explains: in order to finance the Civil War:

    "The United States government issued a large amount of money that was backed by nothing but credit. After the war ended, people commonly believed that the U.S. government would buy back the 'greenbacks' with gold."
    When that promise was not forthcoming, the panic of 1869 ensued: it was a crisis of confidence in the veracity of our leaders, both political and financial. The legitimacy of the ruling regime was challenged, and the Gilded Age turned to tin as the moral stock of our rulers fell.

    Let Sept. 24, 2005, be the War Party's "Black Saturday."

    The day on which the promises of our rulers – that they can "liberate" Iraq and save Louisiana; that they can defend America and embark on a campaign to spread "democracy" across the globe; that they can ensure order in Baghdad and on the mean streets of our own decaying inner cities – begin to catch up with them.

    They will panic – while the rest of us celebrate and begin to realize our own power to change the world instead of just mourning it.

    As the lefties say, "Don't mourn – organize!"

    If you can't get to Washington to register your protest, then organize your own protest on your home turf.

    Get together with some of your friends, have them contact their friends and acquaintances – and show the War Party and its minions that you're mad as hell and you aren't going to take it anymore.

    Do your part, however large or small it may be, and together we can take back this nation from the hijackers who made off with our resources, our military, and our good name.

    Get involved.

    Contact United for Peace and Justice at: (212) 868-5545.

    Read here original article

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     Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Hurricane Katrina: Poor AFGHANISTAN Offers Aid to Superpower America

      Afghanistan has offered us $100,000 in disaster relief aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    The U-S Embassy in Kabul says President Hamid Karzai has signed a decree on behalf of the people of Afghanistan allowing for the donation.

    A presidential statement says the people and Government of the United States have given Afgahnistan extensive support in difficult situations.

    President Karzai says Afghanistan now wants to assist the U-S in its time of need.

    Related Articles:

  • The images of destruction, suffering and death from Hurricane Katrina circulating around the world have evoked both disbelief that such a powerful country could be so overwhelmed by a natural disaster and an outpouring of sympathy and assistance. Rich countries like Japan and France and poor ones like El Salvador have offered help. Read here for more

  • Axis of Evil country, Iran, offers help to United States: Iran said on Sunday that it was ready to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States through the Red Crescent. "We are ready to help through the Red Crescent whenever we receive an official request (from the United States)," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told reporters in Tehran.Assefi said Iran deeply regretted the death of many Americans and the material damages inflicted on the residents as a result of the hurricane.The spokesman stressed that there was no political motivation behind the possible aid and rejected reports of "hurricane diplomacy". Washington and Teheran have had no diplomatic relations for 26 years and, besides Israel, the US is regarded as the main political foe of Iran. Indonesia, the country hardest hit by last year's devastating tsunami, has offered to send 200 paramedics and 10,000 blankets to victims of Hurricane Katrina, officials said. Read here for more

  • Why the American dream is one of the biggest lies : The lessons of hurricane Katrina and its terrible aftermath are not about disaster management but about exposing the falsehoods at the very heart of modern America. Read here for more

  • Hurricane Katrina's blow to New Orleans and the failure of the government to respond have shown the United States to be a failed state. The Bush administration focused all of its resources on war and the Department of Homeland Security, yet when a major American city was attacked by the forces of nature, the government failed to respond leaving at least hundreds, probably thousands, to die, others to suffer in illness and injury, and many more thirsty and hungry.Read here for more

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     Monday, September 05, 2005

    The Incompetence of the Bush Administration: An Impeachable Offense.

      by
    Paul Craig Roberts
    (Paul Craig Roberts has served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. )

    3rd September 2005

    The raison d'etre of the Bush administration is war in the Middle East in order to protect America from terrorism and to insure America's oil supply.

    On both counts the Bush administration has failed catastrophically.

    Bush's single-minded focus on the "war against terrorism" has compounded a natural disaster and turned it into the greatest calamity in American history.

    The US has lost its largest and most strategic port, thousands of lives, and 80% of one of America's most historic cities is under water.

    If terrorists had achieved this result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in history.

    Prior to 911, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) in order to protect the strategic port, the refineries, and the large population.

    However, after 2003 the flow of funds to SELA were diverted to the war in Iraq. During 2004 and 2005 the New Orleans Times-Picayune published nine articles citing New Orleans' loss of hurricane protection to the war in Iraq.

    Every expert and newspapers as distant as Texas saw the New Orleans catastrophe coming. But President Bush and his insane government preferred war in Iraq to protecting Americans at home.

    Bush's war left the Corps of Engineers only 20% of the funding to protect New Orleans from flooding from Lake Pontchartrain.

    On June 18, 2004, the Corps' project manager, Al Naomi, told the Times-Picayune:

    ".. The levees are sinking. If we don't get the money to raise them, we can't stay ahead of the settlement."


    Despite the dire warnings delivered by the 2004 hurricane season, the Bush administration made deep budget cuts for flood control and hurricane funding for New Orleans.

    The US Senate, alarmed at the Bush administration's insanity, was planning to restore the funding for 2006.

    But now it is too late.

    Many multiples of the funding that would have saved the city now have to be spent to rescue it.

    Not content with leaving New Orleans unprotected, it took the Bush administration five days to get the remnants of the National Guard not serving in Iraq, along with desperately needed food and water, to devastated New Orleans.

    This is the slowest emergency response by the US government in modern times.

    By the time the Bush administration could organize any resources for New Orleans, many more people had died and the city was in total chaos.

    Despite the most dismal performance on record, Bush's Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, said on Thursday that the Bush administration has done a "magnificent job."

    The on-the-scene mayor of New Orleans sees it differently:

    "They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying.

    They're thinking small man, and this is a major, major deal."

    It is a major deal, one that will affect Americans far beyond New Orleans. According to reports, 25% of our oil and gasoline comes through the New Orleans port and refineries, all out of commission.

    Needed goods cannot be imported, and exports will plummet, worsening an already disastrous deficit in the balance of trade.

    The increased cost of gasoline will soak up consumers' disposable incomes, with dire effects on consumer spending. US economic growth will be siphoned off into higher energy costs. American lives far from New Orleans will be adversely affected.

    The destruction of New Orleans is the responsibility of the most incompetent government in American history and perhaps in all history.

    Americans are rapidly learning that they were deceived by the superpower hubris.

    The powerful US military cannot successfully occupy Baghdad or control the road to the airport--and this against an insurgency based in only 20% of the Iraqi population.

    Bush's pointless war has left Washington so pressed for money that the federal government abandoned New Orleans to catastrophe.

    The Bush administration is damned by its gross incompetence. Bush has squandered the lives and health of thousands of people. He has run through hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars.

    He has lost America's reputation and its allies.

    With barbaric torture and destruction of our civil liberty, he has stripped America of its inherent goodness and morality.

    And now Bush has lost America's largest port and 25 percent of its oil supply. Why?

    Because Bush started a gratuitous war egged on by a claque of crazy neoconservatives who have sacrificed America's interests to their insane agenda.

    The neoconservatives have brought these disasters to all Americans, Democrat and Republican alike. Now they must he held accountable.

    Bush and his neoconservatives are guilty of criminal negligence and must be prosecuted.

    What will it take for Americans to reestablish accountability in their government?

    Bush has got away with lies and an illegal war of aggression, with outing CIA agents, with war crimes against Iraqi civilians, with the horrors of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture centers, and now with the destruction of New Orleans.

    What disaster will next spring from Bush's incompetence?

    Read here original article "Impeach Bush Now, Before More Die" by Paul Craig Roberts in Counterpunch


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     Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Israel's Gateway to Influencing and Manipulating Policies of United States

     
    Data compiled by Hugh Galford in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

    (The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs - WRMEA is a 100-page magazine published 9 times per year in Washington, DC, that focuses on news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region.The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. AET's Foreign Policy Committee has included former U.S. ambassadors, government officials, and members of Congress, including the late Democratic Senator J. William Fulbright, and Republican Senator Charles Percy, both former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Members of AET's Board of Directors and advisory committees receive no fees for their services.) Read here for more on WRMEA

    2004 Top Ten Career Recipients (US Congressmen and Senators)of Pro-Israel PAC Funds

    CLICK HERE ON FULL LIST OF US CONGRESSMEN WHO RECEIVED FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM PRO-ISRAEL PAC

    Compiled by Hugh Galford

    Read comments and voting patterns in US Congress and US Senate on Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East issues against the names of these US politicians in THIS list.

    CONGRESS - Current Cycle

    Hoyer, Steny (D-MD)
    $37,500

    Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL)
    36,000

    Berkley, Shelley (D-NV)
    35,100

    Lantos, Tom (D-CA)
    31,600

    Frost, Martin (D-TX)
    31,300

    Cantor, Eric (R-VA)
    23,750

    Crowley, Joseph (D-NY)
    23,000

    DeLay, Tom (R-TX)
    23,000

    Lowey, Nita (D-NY)
    20,650

    Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA)
    20,650


    CONGRESS : Career

    Berkley, Shelley (D-NV)
    $201,455

    Frost, Martin (D-TX)
    165,414

    Engel, Eliot (D-NY)
    137,918

    Levin, Sander (D-MI)
    113,727

    Lowey, Nita (D-NY)
    109,738

    Lantos, Tom (D-CA)
    107,250

    Hoyer, Steny (D-MD)
    92,275

    Evans, Lane (D-IL)
    87,379

    Harman, Jane (D-CA)
    86,271

    DeLay, Tom (R-TX)
    81,050


    -------------------------------------------------

    US SENATE : Current Cycle

    Specter, Arlen (R-PA)
    $80,350

    Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) 73,000

    Murray, Patty (D-WA)
    72,495

    Daschle, Tom (D-SD)
    70,500

    Reid, Harry (D-NV)
    64,999

    Bayh, Evan (D-IN)
    56,500

    Bennett, Robert (R-UT)

    55,750

    Wyden, Ronald (D-OR)
    55,000

    Brownback, Samuel (R-KS)

    50,850

    Shelby, Richard (R-AL)

    38,500


    US SENATE : Career


    Daschle, Tom (D-SD)
    $533,635

    Specter, Arlen (R-PA)
    461,973

    Lautenberg, Frank (D-NJ)

    433,806

    Durbin, Richard (D-IL)
    326,671

    Reid, Harry (D-NV)
    318,801

    Wyden, Ronald (D-OR)

    255,562

    Lieberman, Joseph (D-CT)

    227,758

    Boxer, Barbara (D-CA)

    223,794

    Dodd, Christopher (D-CT)

    221,178

    Conrad, Kent (D-ND)
    201,939



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    Chilling Message from a Suicide Bomber to the World

      From BBC News


    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    The full text of the videotape of Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the four 7 July bombers, which was aired on Arabic television channel al-Jazeera and in which he explains his motives.

    " I'm going to keep this short and to the point because it's all been said before by far more eloquent people than me.

    And our words have no impact upon you, therefore I'm going to talk to you in a language that you understand.

    Our words are dead until we give them life with our blood.

    I'm sure by now the media's painted a suitable picture of me, this predictable propaganda machine will naturally try to put a spin on things to suit the government and to scare the masses into conforming to their power and wealth-obsessed agendas.

    I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe.

    Our driving motivation doesn't come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer.

    Our religion is Islam - obedience to the one true God, Allah, and following the footsteps of the final prophet and messenger Muhammad... This is how our ethical stances are dictated.

    Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world.

    And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters.

    Until we feel security, you will be our targets. And until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight.

    We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.
    "

    A second part of the tape was less clear, but he could be heard saying:
    "I myself, I myself, I make dua (pray) to Allah... to raise me amongst those whom I love like the prophets, the messengers, the martyrs and today's heroes like our beloved Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, Dr Ayman al-Zawahri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and all the other brothers and sisters that are fighting in the... of this cause.

    With this I leave you to make up your own minds and I ask you to make dua to Allah almighty to accept the work from me and my brothers and enter us into gardens of paradise
    ."
    Who is Mohammad Sidique Khan ?

    Profile:

    Born in St. James's Hospital, Leeds, he grew up in Beeston but moved to Lees Holm in Dewsbury, near Leeds in West Yorkshire in early 2005.

    His father, Tika Khan, a foundry worker, was born in Pakistan.

    His mother is Mamida Begum. He received his secondary education at South Leeds High School, formerly the Matthew Murray High School, which was also attended by Hasib Hussain, the July 7 bus bomber.

    Khan was married to Hasina Patel, who is of Indian Muslim descent, a "community enrichment officer," who had worked in schools with special needs pupils. They met at the University of Leeds and married in 2001.

    Their daughter, Maryam, was born in May 2004.

    Khan worked at Hillside Primary School in Dewsbury as a "learning mentor" with the children of immigrant families who had just arrived in Britain. He was introduced to MPs Hilary Benn and Jon Trickett during his school's trip to the House of Commons in July 2004.

    Khan was also involved in the community-run Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Beeston, and worked at its youth outreach project, the Hamara Youth Access Point (HYAP) at 73 Lodge Lane. This premises is one of seven in the Leeds area being examined by police.

    Staff at the centre have confirmed that two of the London bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, and Hasib Hussain, frequented the HYAP. Khan used the outreach project as a recruitment centre, according to a friend of his who spoke to The Guardian.

    Khan attended the Stratford Street mosque in Leeds.

    His mother-in-law, Farida Patel, is also involved in education and works as a council liaison officer at Birkdale School in Dewsbury. In 2004, she was a guest at a Buckingham Palace garden party, where she received an award for her work as a teacher specialising in bilingual studies.

    According to his birth certificate, Khan was registered as "Mohammad Sidique Khan". Other spellings of his name include Mohammed Sadique Khan and Mohammad Sadiq Khan.

    Parents at the school told the BBC the teaching assistant had been highly regarded by both children and parents.

    "He was a good man, quiet," said one parent, speaking outside the school.

    "When I told my daughter she said 'no, he can't do something like that'. I had to go and buy the paper and show her."

    Another parent, Sharon Stevens, told the Press Association how he had been a "big supporter" of pupils and parents.

    "He was really understanding and he did work for the children and parents."
    Neighbours told how he was not well-known in the Dewsbury Muslim community, but they believed he was a "very pleasant" person.

    One neighbour said: "He didn't seem to be an extremist. He was not one to talk about religion. He was generally a very nice bloke."

    Despite the tributes, Mohammad Sidique Khan detonated enough explosives on a Circle Line train to kill seven people.

    Documents belonging to him were found near the Edgware Road blast.

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