Evolution of Dispossession

Evolution of Dispossession
How to Steal a Country?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another double standard ; Espionage

Front page news !

So espionage does make it to the front page, as long as it does not pertain to Israeli spying.

The Best Argument Against a National Referendum

Winston Churchill once said the best argument against a national referendum is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter.

If Winston could only watch this video, he might amend his timetable.

Glenn Beck's Irresponsible Headlines

Just flipping through the channels, I came across the Glenn Beck show. Captioned on the screen was the phrase "Tehran targets NYC?"

What makes this statement so irresponsible is that there is no evidence offered of such a claim, but the statement itself is useful for scaring the populace into supporting another disastrous course of action.

I have been monitoring Glenn Beck's show for a while now, and he certainly bears a grudge against Iran.

The media and this government rely almost exclusively on scare tactics, while expecting the population stateside to ignore the immoral/questionable/criminal behavior of our own government.

Glenn Beck has not run a single show on the cherrypicked/cooked intelligence concerning the Iraq debacle, but its full steam ahead for another misadventure.

What a boob.

Rice says the US is committed to Diplomacy on Iran !

I remember vaguely the news of such an offer when it happened. I never learned the details of it, but the above link shows the interested reader just how committed the US is to diplomatic means of resolving disputes. As the war plan for Iran continues to be developed, we see how avoidable this thing really was ...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pat Buchanan and the NEOCONS

Although Pat Buchanan's prescient article on the Iraq War is a few years old, the arguments contained in the linked article above should be recycled for the sabre-rattling on Iran.

I have said that war with Iran is very close, and I think it will happen in 2007. Some have said that it will happen before April before Blair leaves office.

The dual-loyalty NEOCONS tricked the US into supporting war with Iraq for Israel's interests (and other interests as well), and if you carefully monitor the steady stream of NEOCON publications (which I do), you will see the same tired, recycled, bullshit arguments being used on Iran currently.

I'll let Pres Bush's last comments summarize my feelings :

click here

The Case Against Israel

The linked list contains the UN resolutions that Israel has defied. Most disconcerting is the last table which shows the US usage of security council veto power, which scuttles so many measures to force Israeli compliance with UN resolutions.

The linked list is sourced to the US State Department.

Alan Dershowitz, the author (so claimed) of "The Case for Israel", argued, as a lawyer would, on the case for Israel. Incidentally, in "Beyond Chutzpah", professor Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University juxtaposed Dershowitz's claims with the documentary record of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B'tSelem, Public Committee Against Torture, and Physicians for Human Rights - Israel. The claims in Dershowitz's book become untenable when considering the findings of these mainstream reputable human rights groups, which all consistently criticize Israeli behavior (as well as Palestinian behavior).

Also in Finkelstein's book, Dershowitz's contents were shown to be eerily similar to much content from Joan Peters' "From Time Immemorial" in which Peters argued that on the eve of Zionist colonization Palestine was virtually empty of Arabs. According to Peters, it was only after the Zionists made the "desert bloom" that the Arabs showed up on the scnene. Peters book was initially showered with praise from the likes of Barbara Tuchman, Saul Bellow, and many other scholars. It did not take too long to expose the Peters book as a hoax, which was done. Unfortunately for Dershowitz, he chose to plagiarize from a hoax (see Finkelstein's website for all the details).

The above list mysteriously does not even contain UN 242, which called on Israel to withdraw from all the Occupied Territories of the '67 war. Carter's Camp David Accords, which Menachim Begin and Anwar Sadat signed, also called on Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories and also called on Israel to stop settlement activity in these territories. This behavior from Israel, which is one of the principle obstacles to peace in Israel-Palestine, is the subject of UN rulings, Geneva conventions, international law, and with respect to these measures, Israel continually comes out on the wrong side.

I do not understand all the lip service from the US State Department, the Palestinians and the Israelis for a new comprehensive peace treaty. I view this as a serious stall tactic. If Israel has not complied with the original Camp David Accords under Carter, why would Israel comply with any new terms? Israel does not comply with accords it has signed, it does not comply with UN resolutions, it does not comply with international law, it does not obey rulings from the World Court (in regards to the "security fence" or Apartheid Wall, whatever its label), it does not honor Geneva conventions. How can such a lawless state remain a member of the UN? How can such a lawless state continue to receive billions upon billions of US tax dollars? Average Americans pay for this, and the blood of the Palestinians is on our hands, because we do not do anything to stop it.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lou Dobbs

I very much like the introduction to this piece by Lou Dobbs. I think he is right on point, and at some point, a third party needs to emerge onto the scene and give notice to the Democrats and Republicans. The back and forth and 4 to 6 year cyclical changing of the guards, where one side undoes what the other side did in the first place, it's getting old. The people suffer from this system, and remarkably it's called democracy, though the average American has little to do with the day-to-day governance. Monkeys can be trained to pull a lever too.

A brief respite

My posts are getting longer and more serious, so before there is information overload, a brief respite is provided at the above link. Mood music ... Let's just all pretend everything is ok.

War is a Racket

General Smedley Butler is an icon of the Marine Corps. He wrote the above after retiring. Every American should read and understand his speech.

CIA operations : A summary

From: http://www.dromo.com/fusionanomaly/interventions.html

An alphabetical list of USA military and CIA interventions *since* WWII
written and distributed by Anthony Cantrell

1. Afghanistan, 1979-present.
2. Albania, 1949-53.
3. Angola, 1975-80s.
4. Australia, 1973-75.
5. Bolivia, 1964-75.
6. Brazil, 1961-64.
7. British Guiana, 1953-64.
8. Bulgaria, 1990.
9. Cambodia, 1955-73.
10. China, 1945-60.
11. Chile, 1964-73.
12. The Congo, 1960-64.
13. Costa Rica, 1955-71.
14. Columbia, presently.
15. Cuba, 1959-present.
16. Dominican Republic, 1960-66.
17. Ecuador, 1960-63.
18. El Salvador, 1980-94.
19. France/Algeria, 1960s.
20. Germany, 1950-60.
21. Ghana, 1966.
22. Greece, 1947-74.
23. Grenada, 1979-84,
24. Guatemala, 1953-80s.
25. Haiti, 1959-94.
26. Indonesia, 1957-58.
27. Italy, 1947-1970.
28. Iran, 1953.
29. Indonesia/East Timor, 1965-1999.
30. Iraq, 1972-present (supporting Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons against Iran 1980-1988)
31. Jamaica, 1976-80.
32. Korea, 1945-53.
33. Libya, 1981-89.
34. Laos, 1957-73.
35. Morocco, 1983.
36. Nicaragua, 1981-90.
37. Panama, 1969-91.
38. Peru, 1961-65.
39. Phillippines, 1940-50.
40. Seychelles, 1979-81,
41. Soviet Union, 1945-1960.
42. Suriname, 1982-84.
43. Syria, 1956-7.
44. Uruguay, 1964-70.
45. Vietnam, 1950-73.
46. Zaire, 1975-78.

According to my estimates the USA is directly responsible for 12 million human murders over the past 50 years. Additionally, if we look at the neoliberal economic
policies [the modern method of creating Banana Republics] imposed upon Third World countries, the number skyrockets. Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista
movement considers this the fourth world war: the so-called "Cold War" was hot in the Third World and is the third, and the neoliberal economic policies backed by
militaries are the fourth.

Also, depleted uranium in Iraq & Yugoslavia, and Agent Orange in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia continue to kill thru childhood lukemia and various cancers. We
have no idea of the effects of chemical and biological warfare being waged on Columbia currently. And this estimate and list doesn't include countries such as
Mexico where the US is supplying weapons and training that repress the populations.

"The United States supports right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East ... because these are the rulers who have tied their
personal political destiny to the fortunes of the American corporations in their countries... Revolutionary or nationalist leaders have radically different political
constituencies and interests. For them creating "a good investment climate" for the United States and developing their own country are fundamentally conflicting
goals. Therefore, the United States has a strong economic interest in keeping such men from coming to power or arranging for their removal if they do."

Anthony Cantrell

From documentary 'Bowling for Columbine' by Michael Moore

1953 US overthrows Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iran
US installs Sjah as dictator
1954 US overthrows democratically-elected President Arbenz of Guatemala
200.000 civilians killed
1963 US backs assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem
1963-1975 American military kils 4 million people in Southeast Asia
sept 11, 1973 US stages coup in Chile
Democratically elected President Salvador Allende assassinated
Dictator Augusto Pinochet installed.
5000 Chileans murdered.
1977 US backs military rulers of El Salvador
70.000 Salvadorans and four American nuns killed
1980's US trains Osama bin Laden and fellow terrorists to kill Soviets.
CIA gives them $3 billion (miljard)
1981 Reagan administration trains and funds "contras". 30.000 Nicaraguans die.
1982 US provides billions in aid to Saddam Hussein for weapons to kill Iranians.
1983 White House secretly gives Iran weapons to kill Iraqis.
1989 CIA agent Manuel Noriega (also serving as President of Panama) disobeys orders from Washington. US invades Panama and removes Noriega. 3000 Panamanian civilian casualties.
1990 Iraq invades Kuwait with the allowance and weapons from US.
1991 US enters Iraq. Bush reinstates dictator of Kuwait.
1998 Clinton bombs "weapons factory" in Sudan. Factory turns out to be making aspirin.
1991 to present: American bomb Iraq on a weekly basis. UN estimates 500000 Iraqi children die from bombing and sanctions.
2000-01 US gives Taliban-ruled Afghanistan $245 million in "aid".

The problem with this list is that it could go on and on - Brazil, Guatemala,
El Salvador, Ecuador, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Iraq,
Iran, Laos, East Timor, Grenada, Greece... All of these and more are countries
who have suffered from oppression, torture, starvation, and death at the hands
of American 'intervention,' whether it takes the form of bombs, sanctions, or our
personal favourite, CIA sponsored military regimes.(Schnews)

Since the Second World War, the US government has bombed 21 countries:
China in 1945-46 and again in 1950-53, Korea in 1950-53, Guatemala in 1954,
1960, and 1967-69, Indonesia in 1958, Vietnam in 1961-73, Congo in 1964,
Laos in 1964-73, Peru in 1965, Cambodia in 1969-70, El Salvador throughout the
1980s, Nicaragua throughout the 1980s, Lebanon in 1983-84, Grenada in 1983,
Bosnia in 1985, Libya in 1986, Panama in 1989, Iraq in 1991-20??, Sudan in 1998,
Former Yugoslavia in 1999, and Afghanistan in 1998 and 2002.(Schnews)


When asked about the number of Iraqi people who were killed by Americans in
the 1991 Desert Storm campaign (200,000 people, incidentally),
General Colin Powell said:
"It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in."
(http://alt.venus.co.uk/weed/current/schn372.htm)

Now the above info is cut and pasted from a website, and the info is sourced to Anthony Cantrell. I ommitted one line from his original post because of its incendiary nature. I'll let the diligent reader try and discover what line was ommitted ...

My comments :


But if you believe the Bush administration after 9-11, the US is hated because of our freedoms! Couple the meddling by the CIA with foreign governments with the US's dreadfully unbalanced foreign policy concerning Israel-Palestine, then you have a true basis for discussing the seeds of anti-American sentiment worldwide.

Just to illuminate the true nature of these operations/interventions, below is one account from a CIA operative concerning one intervention.

John Stockwell is a 13-year veteran of the CIA and a former U.S. Marine Corps major. He was hired by the CIA in 1964, spent six years working for the CIA in Africa, and was later transferred to Vietnam. In 1973 he received the CIA's Medal of Merit, the Agency's second-highest award. In 1975, Stockwell was promoted to the CIA's Chief of Station and National Security Council coordinator, managing covert activities during the first years of Angola's bloody civil war. After two years he resigned, determined to reveal the truth about the agency's role in the Third World. Since that time, he has worked tirelessly to expose the criminal activities of the CIA. He is the author of In Search of Enemies, an exposé of the CIA's covert action in Angola.

Stockwell is a founding member of Peaceways and ARDIS (the Association for Responsible Dissent), an organization of former CIA and Government officials who are openly critical of the CIA's activities. His latest book is entitled The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order.

JOHN STOCKWELL: What we're going to talk about tonight are the CIA's secret wars. But the subject is much broader than merely little CIA dirty tricks and shenanigans. We're talking about a situation ..... We're living in a world which has grievous problems. Our planet is terminally ill, and it's not a long term disease. We're talking about the nuclear arms race. This is something. These 52,000, soon to be 70,000, nuclear weapons are going to be going off sooner, rather than later.

At the same time, the world is facing serious economic problems of the sort that triggered world wars in the past. Leaders of countries, leaders of banks, for purposes basically of greed, have never been able to balance their checkbooks. They always overspend. They run countries into bankruptcy.

When the world has gotten blocked up before, like a Monopoly game where everything is owned and nobody can make any progress, the way they erase the board and start over has been to have big world wars. Erase countries, bomb cities, and bomb banks, and then start from scratch again. This is not an option to us now, because of all these fifty-two thousand nuclear weapons.

The Center for Defense Information counts sixty wars that are being fought in the world today, in which they estimate that five million people will die. The U.S. is on the brink of its next war: the Central American War. In this situation of a volatile world, about as troubled as it can get, the U.S. CIA is running fifty covert actions, destabilizing further almost one third of the countries in the world today.

Now these things interrelate. The nuclear arms race, conventional wars, the world debt, CIA covert actions; they're all viewed from our point of view, they're all part of our national security. They're supervised by the National Security Council. The National Security Advisor advises the President, and we respond to them in terms of our own national security compulsions.

By the way, everything I'm sharing with you tonight is in the public record. The fifty covert actions are secret, but that [information] has been leaked to us by members of the Oversight Committee of Congress. I urge you not to take my word for anything. I'm going to stand here and tell you and give you examples of how our leaders lie. Obviously, I could be lying. The only way you can figure it out for yourselves is to educate yourselves. The French have a saying: "Them that don't do politics will be done." If you don't fill your mind eagerly with the truth, dig out the records, go and see for yourself, then your mind remains blank, and your adrenalin pumps, and you can be excited and mobilized to do things that are not in your interest to do.

Approaching this subject from my own point of view, my own experience -- my special expertise in the CIA covert actions -- let's look at Nicaragua. This is the most famous covert action of the fifty that are going on today. They say there are thirteen "major" ones. This is not the biggest one. Afghanistan is. We've spent several hundred million dollars in Afghanistan. We've spent somewhat less than that, but close, in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is the most famous one, and there's a reason. Part of it is it's closer, but a big part of it is the fact that the Administration is using Nicaragua for a very special purpose, so they have made it public from the outset.

What this is is a technique of destabilization. In covert action, you call it destabilization. You have a target: a government that you don't like. You pick a country you're going to go after. The reasons are quite whimsical. We go after a country for a while, and if it doesn't work, sometimes we wind up being friends with them. They pick a government. They target them. They send the CIA in with its resources and its activists: hiring people, hiring agents to tear apart the social and economic fabric of the country. It's a technique for putting pressure on the government, hoping they can make the government come to the U.S.'s terms, or that the government will collapse altogether and they can engineer a coup d'etat, and have the thing wind up with their own choice of people in power.

Now ripping apart the economic and social fabric is fairly textbookish. What we're talking about is going in and deliberately creating conditions where the farmer can't get his produce to market; where children can't go to school; where women are terrified inside their homes as well as outside; where government administered programs grind to a complete halt; where the hospitals are treating wounded people instead of sick people; where international capital is scared away and the country goes bankrupt.

If you ask the State Department today what is their official explanation of the purpose of the Contras, they say, it is to attack economic targets, meaning, break up the economy of the country. Of course, they're attacking a lot more.

To destabilize Nicaragua, beginning in 1981, we began funding this force of Somoza's ex-National Guardsmen, calling them the Contras, the counter-revolutionaries. We created this force, which did not exist until we allocated money. We armed them. We put uniforms on their backs and boots on their feet, gave them camps in Honduras to live in, medical supplies, doctors, training, leadership, direction, as we sent them in to destabilize Nicaragua. Under our direction, they have been systematically blowing up bridges, sawmills, graneries, government offices, schools, health centers. They ambush trucks so the produce can't get to market. They raid farms and villages. The farmer has to carry a gun while he tries to plow, if he can plow at all.

If you want one example of hard proof of the CIA's involvement in this and their approach to it, dig up the "Sabotage Manual" that they were circulating throughout Nicaragua: a comic-book type of a paper, with visual explanations of what you can do to bring a society to a halt: how you can gum up typewriters; what you can pour in a gas tank to burn up engines; what you can stuff in a sewer to stop up the sewage so it won't work -- things you can do to make a society simply cease to function.

Systematically, the Contras have been assassinating religious workers, teachers, health workers, elected officials, government administrators. Remember the "Assassination Manual" that surfaced in 1984? It caused such a stir that President Reagan had to address it himself in the presidential debates with Walter Mondale. They use terror to traumatize society so that it cannot function.

I don't mean to abuse you with verbal violence, but you have to understand what your Government and its agents are doing.

They go into villages. They haul out families. With the children forced to watch, they castrate the father. They peel the skin off his face. They put a grenade in his mouth, and pull the pin. With the children forced to watch, they gang-rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes, for variety, they make the parents watch while they do these things to the children.

This is nobody's propaganda !

There have been over a hundred thousand American "Witnesses for Peace" who've gone down there, and they have filmed and photographed and witnessed these atrocities immediately after they've happened, and documented thirteen thousand people killed this way -- mostly women and children.

These are the activites done by the Contras. The Contras are the people President Reagan called "freedom fighters." He said: "They are the moral equivalent of our founding fathers."

In 1960, we came up with a new term, a policy of trying to correct the problems of Central and Latin America -- the economic imbalances -- by addressing them directly. In President Kennedy's famous program he said: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable." However, the millions and millions of dollars that we put into this program, inevitably went to the rich, and not to the ordinary people of the countries involved. While we were doing this, or trying -- saying we were trying to correct the problems of Central and Latin America -- the CIA was doing its thing too.

The CIA was, in fact, forming the police units that are, today, the death squads in El Salvador. The leaders were on the CIA's payroll, trained by the CIA in the United States. We had the public safety program going throughout Central and Latin America for twenty-six years, in which we taught them to break up subversion by interrogating people: interrogation, including torture, the way the CIA taught it.

Dan Mitrione, the exponent of these things, spent seven years in Brazil and three in Uruguay, teaching interrogation; teaching torture. He was supposed to be the master of the business: how to apply the right amount of pain, at just the right times, in order to get the response you want from the individual. They gave them crank generators -- with "U.S.A.I.D." written on the side, so the people even knew where these things came from -- and developed a wire that was strong enough to carry the current and fine enough to fit between the teeth, so you could put one wire between the teeth, and the other in or around the genitals. You could crank, and submit the individual to the greatest amount of pain, supposedly, that the human body can register.

Now, how do you teach torture? Someone can teach you about torture, but sooner or later you have to get involved. You have to lay on your hands and try it yourself. They would pick up guinea pigs off the streets: beggars, and take them in to use in these torture training classes. Of course, the horror of that is, these people wouldn't know why they were being tortured. They couldn't give up. They couldn't say: "I'm sorry! Stop the pain! I'll tell you the names of everybody involved!" All they could do was lie there and scream!

When they would collapse, they would bring in doctors who would shoot them up with Vitamin B and rest them up for the next class. And when they would die, they would mutilate the bodies and throw them out on the streets to terrify the population, so that everybody would be afraid of the police and the Government. This is what the CIA was teaching them to do.

One of the women who was in this program for two years -- tortured in Brazil for TWO YEARS -- testified internationally when she eventually got out. She said the most horrible thing about it, in fact, was that the people doing it were not raving psychopaths. She couldn't break mental contact with them the way you could if they were psychopaths. They were very ordinary people.

She told about being tortured one day: She's on this table, naked in a room full of six men, and they're doing these incredibly painful, degrading things to her body. There's an interruption. The American is called to the telephone, and he's in the next room, and the others take a smoke break. She's lying on this table, and he's saying: "Oh, hi Honey. Yes, I can wrap it up here in another hour or so, and meet you and the kids at the Ambassador's on the way home."

There's a lesson in all this. The lesson is: It isn't just the Gestapo maniacs, or KGB maniacs, who do inhuman things to other people. It's PEOPLE who do inhuman things to other people. And we are responsible for doing these things on a massive basis, to people of the world today. We do it in a way that gives us plausible denial to our own consciences. We create a CIA, a secret police, with a vast budget, and let them go and run these programs in our name. We pretend like we don't know what's going on, though the information is there for us to know. And we pretend like it's okay because we're fighting some vague communist threat. We're just as responsible for these ONE TO THREE MILLION PEOPLE we've slaughtered, and for all the people we've tortured and made miserable, as the Gestapo was for the people that they slaughtered and killed. Genocide is genocide !!

How to Lose an Army

One of the best-written articles yet on the war dynamic with Iran. The points made by William Lind on the possibility of war with Iran and the driving political forces behind such a calamitous decision should not be ignored.

Happy Reading !

Cheney criticizes China's military buildup !

Let me get this straight, the US spends more on defense than the next 7 countries combined, when considering totals. Some reports of military expenditures have this as spending as much as the next ten countries ranked immediately behind it.

No matter, the VP criticizes a country for its military buildup. Am I the only one who finds this ironic and disingenuous? Are Americans supposed to be scared of China too? We should be scared of Iran, North Korea, China, Russia (again), Venezuela, the Taliban, Al Queda, Hezbollah, Hamas ...

Is there no bottom to this barrel?

Of course, the US will not pick a fight with China. They have a 2 million-man army, nukes, and they can actually fight back.

It is sometimes difficult to draw the line between sabre-rattling and lunacy with comments coming from this administration.

Cheney should be more concerned with the Libby trial, and its implications for him.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Federal Reserve System

The link contains some useful information. Make your own conclusions, and above all, do more research on the topic.

Zionist quotations

The link above has some quotations that any student of the Israeli-Palestinian issue should explore.

Zionism has some very ugly characteristics, and many pundits sing the praises of the Zionist enterprise, but there is not much media exposure to some of the harder-to-sell aspects of Zionism.

Zionism and its study are crucial to understanding the underpinning political forces behind the creation of a Jewish state on what was land occupied by the Palestinians.
Though there are large Christian and other non-Muslim Palestinians, the majority of Palestinians are Muslim.

Theodor Herzl, in writing "Der Judenstaat" said a few interesting things, apart from arguing the need for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.

For example, in regards to anti-semitism, Herzl said that anti-semitism should be embraced ; that persecution of Jews in other lands would facilitate the fulfillment of the Zionist goal in Palestine.

Herzl also argued that Uguanda could serve as an alternative site for Jewish colonization, as he knew there would be significant problems in establishing a Jewish homeland in a predominantly Muslim area.

When King and Crane visited villages throughout the Middle East (post WWI) to determine democratically which powerful countries should serve as mandate powers, the choice was overwhelmingly the US, due to its hesitance in entering WWI. France and England were viewed with disdain throughout the Muslim world, due to colonial disasters in Egypt and Algeria, both of which reflected poorly on England and France.

Ultimately, the mission of King and Crane was upended by the Sykes-Picot collusion, which effectively split the mandate responsibilities between the French and the English. Another polling question the King-Crane commission was tasked to ask the general public was support or opposition to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. 90% of the respondents were opposed.

Rudolph Kastner colluded with the Germans to guarantee safe passage to Palestine for many Zionists. The consequence of his betrayal was the death of thousands of non-Zionist Jews at the hands of the Nazis. When he eventually immigrated to Palestine, and news of his Nazi collusion were made public, he was killed as a traitor.

Prior to the establishment of a Jewish state, Jews lived throughout the Middle East, and were not persecuted, as they were in Europe.

The whole argument of a "clash of civilizations" is a red herring. Arabic and Hebrew are both semitic languages, as both sets of people are semitic. In modern times, the term anti-semitism is a term used to signify being anti-Jewish.

But the linked quotations do represent some facet of the Zionist mindset, and as such, should be carefully considered.

Galloway vs Hitchens

I finished watching a debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens concerning the Iraq War, and the premise of the debate was to discuss the opposing viewpoints that the war was just and necessary.

Each segment is 55 minutes long, and I have watched only the first 55 minutes. But it was riveting, and there was much useful information presented, and many arguments discussed.

I know 2 hours is a lot to ask, but if you are bored, and want to watch a good debate, then it is provided for your convenience.

Offer some comments after watching the debate.

Part 2 is available at :



click here

It Has Begun

All over the news in the last few weeks, the coverage has been dominated by the next presidential election, disregarding the media frenzy on Anna Nicole Smith's death and Britney Spear's bald head, and her brief stint at the rehab hospital.

The Presidential election is a year and a half away, and we are already seeing the power-hungry lining up and becoming organized. Why is this so disconcerting?

Obama, Clinton, et al are still serving their constituents supposedly. So when elected officials hungry for more power ignore their current duty, what happens to the state of governance in the present?
Is the USA in such good shape that it can be neglected for 18 months so that we can provide a track for the mad dash to the White House?

There are bigger questions out there than Hillary or Obama on the democratic side, or Guiliani or McCain on the republican side. Better questions which impact the Big Picture are :

1. Why are Americans herded into one of two political parties, when other Western democracies have multiple parties represented in the election process?

2. Given the state and nature of corruption that has always existed but has shown its ugly head in the last few years, at what point do Americans become fed up with charlatans presumably speaking on their behalf? If the middle man of the corporate-controlled electoral process is corrupt to the core, or glaringly incompetent, why don't Americans insist on a fundamental change in their governance, namely the National Referendum?

3. Who, of all the candidates, will refuse the special interest dollars and stand up for the interests of the US, and not the interests of other groups?

It's amazing to observe the machinations of the people desperate for power. I believe that many enter politics with noble thoughts of improving the system of governance. Maybe it is the case that the corruptive elements are too strong for humans to withstand. Or maybe the system itself has design flaws that should be changed, for the greater good.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Scott Ritter on Hezbollah and AIPAC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O125hGt9qt4

I read Scott Ritter's book "ENDGAME" and found his account of the disarming of Saddam Hussein to be quite relevant in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq.

He makes some important comments in this piece on Hezbollah and AIPAC.

Background on Israel-Lebanon

Last summer, when Israel used the capture of 2 Israeli soldiers (they were captured in Lebanese territory) to launch its bloody war against Lebanon, in which the Beirut airport was bombed, a milk factory, the UN compound in what Kofi Annan called deliberate, and before Israel left a million cluster bombs in Lebanon before its retreat, George Galloway was interviewed by SKY NEWS, and I thought the interview was riveting.

Incidentally, I was in Switzerland for a week during Israel's destruction of Lebanon, and I was fortunate to watch the coverage from CNN World and BBC World, and the disparity in coverage was amazing.

The BBC gave boths sides of the history of the conflict and Hezbollah's genesis, while CNN World was decidely pro-Israel. The coverage was appalling by CNN World.

e.g. When Kofi Annan gave comments of the bombing of the UN compound, BBC World gave the speech in its entirety. Annan said that the coordinates of the UN post were well known by the Israelis, and that when the firing of shells and other ordinances were getting close to the UN compound, the UN communicated this to the Israelis continually for 6-7 hours prior to the attack. Kofi Annan said the attack was deliberate, which Israel has done before, targeting UN workers and the UN compound.

What did CNN World have to say about this ?

It was something to the effect of Kofi Annan called the attack "deliberate" with deliberate in quotation marks. CNN World did not show the entire context of his comments, with the important background.

Israel's response : Mark Regev, who lies habitually (I can back up this charge), said "Israel would never do such a thing".

In fact, it has done it before, and until the US stops using its security council veto (more than 40 UN security council resolutions critical of Israel have been vetoed by the US and thus scuttled) to protect its little non-law-abiding non-UN-resolution-abiding buddy, Israel will continue.

Of course, the pro-Israel ideologues claim that the UN has an anti-Israel bias ...

Please watch George Galloway's video :

click here

Monday, February 19, 2007

AIPAC and their agenda

I visit AIPAC's website fairly regularly. It is interesting to note how transparent their agenda is.

Some background on AIPAC :

1. It is not registered as an agent of a foreign government
2. It pays no taxes in the US, though its various arms generate loads of capital from within the US
3. It has a history of complicity in espionage

Not many Americans are aware of the Larry Franklin incident, which happened in the last couple of years. The difference in coverage is appalling.

When Wen Ho Lee was suspected of espionage activities at Los Alamos, it was covered ad nauseam on the mainstream news stations.

So for readers who do not know about Larry Franklin, I will give you some background.

Franklin worked at the Pentagon as a DOD analyst at some department responsible for Iranian affairs. He met messieurs Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman at a restaurant, and in their discussions, Franklin knowingly passed classified information to these 2 high-ranking officials at AIPAC. Unbeknownst to them all, the conversation was being secretly surveilled and taped by the FBI, which had been tracking espionage activity of AIPAC for years.

Rosen and Weissman quickly resigned from AIPAC (and had quick indictments against them), and Larry Franklin was quickly indicted, but no mention of this at all in the US presses. I did a media search for this event at the time, and I found a paragraph blurb of this event from the Washington Post, buried in some obscure section.

What I did not see was any front-page headline from any mainstream news outlet concerning this treacherous activity.

This is not the first time that Israeli espionage has been given a nice tidy sweep under the rug, safe away from the US population's scrutiny. True Jonathan Pollard is rotting in prison, but true also that Richard Perle should be, but is not.

Instead, he is making speeches and crafting policy matters for various NEOCON think tanks which are making concerted efforts to trick the masses into supporting another unjust war, this time with Iran.

What bothers me is not so much AIPAC's transparent agenda (all lobbying groups attempt to change policy in their favor) but the complete subservience US officials have to this uber-powerful lobbying group. Just ask Walt and Mearsheimer ...

Within one year of Franklin's non-story, AIPAC had its annual meeting. This was shown on CSPAN, and I watched many of the addresses made by US officials including :

Dick Cheney
Majority leader Boehner (at the time)
Steny Hoyer
Hillary Clinton
John Bolton
Condaleeza Rice

There was a time when treacherous groups would be accused of treason ; today our officials pucker up and kiss their ass. Why ?

We Killed Jesus, We'll Kill You Too

The link is to an an article and some very graphic picture concerning a human rights worker from Sweden who was brutally attacked by Israeli setters (late last year).

What caused the attack?

The human rights workers were accompanying Palestinian schoolchildren to school, to make sure they were not harassed or hurt by the Israeli settlers, which they frequently are.

The words the settlers were chanting are quite unsettling to me.

I guess this ends the debate that the movie "The Passion of the Christ" sparked ...

HRW's statement

The link contains a great article from Norman Finkelstein about the situation in Gaza. As a result of this article, I wrote Ken Roth an email, and I will post his reply below.

From: scott sorrell [mailto:sorrell67@cox.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 7:41 PM
To: Ken Roth
Subject: statements from HRW on Gaza

Dear Sir,

I have been a vocal defender of you in the past, but the most recent statements by HRW on the situation in Gaza is simply unacceptable morally.

I was deeply offended at the HRW official stance on Palestinians standing up in a non-violent fashion and deterring the destruction of Palestinian homes. which can ONLY be classified as collective punishment.

Where is the sense of justice that HRW continually quotes when HRW berates a group for courageously doing what the international consensus cannot, namely staking life and limb for a simple basic moral principle?

Please take the moral high ground once again, and place HRW's usual impeccable reputation on the line for the diensfranchised, dispossessed, and displaced Palestinians.

Our future generations will judge us on how we as a collective humane group deal with this polarizing issue, and HRW should play the role of the leader, not the blind follower of power politics.

Best wishes,

Scott Sorrell

Lafayette, LA




From: Ken Roth
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:39 PM
Subject: RE: statements from HRW on Gaza

Thanks for your note. Please see our statement at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/11/22/isrlpa14652.htm.


Olmert's Faux Pas

A while back, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a faux pas in Germany when he inadvertently admitted that Israel had nuclear weapons, in violation of Israel's long-standing nuclear ambiguity stance.

This admission brought fire upon Olmert immediately, with many inside Israel calling for his immediate resignation.

It is hard to get past the inherent double-standard concerning US rhetoric about a nuclear-free Middle East when the US's main ally has nukes.

In 1977, a law passed prohibiting the US to give aid to nations that secretly develop nuclear weapons, which means that every cent of US aid since 1977 is illegal by our own laws !

Iraq was supposedly invaded to prevent Hussein from acquiring nuclear weapons, and the same justification will be used against Iran, even though that's not the main concern. And yet the most aggressive nation militarily in the Middle East in modern history has nukes, and could conceivably use them, and you will not find a single member of Congress that openly discusses this issue because of the aforementioned law.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Existential Threat?

The other day I heard a pundit on CSPAN giving a talk, and the speaker had the temerity to say that Iran is an existential threat to the USA.

Forget for a moment the sordid history of the CIA coup in 1953 of a pro-Western leader who had already established a parliamentary system in Iran. Let's focus on Mossadegh's true crime.

He nationalized Iranian oil. Truman spoke quite highly of Mossadegh. But this presumptuous leader of Iran dared to boot Ango-Iranian oil (which is today BP - British petroleum) from Iran because it was, in a word, stealing (Iran's oil resources).

Now, the campaign has begun to "spread democracy to the greater Middle East", which has really become Bush's code words for attack.

War with Iran is coming, many say before April when Blair leaves office. Though the US will act on behalf of Israel, as it has demonstrated before, the rhetoric that Ahmadinejad plans to "wipe Israel off the map" (not what he said at all actually) serves the purpose of disinforming the US public (once again) . Our CIA says Iran won't have a nuke for 10 years and no system for delivering it, so why the rush?

The Israel facet is definitely a component. Visit any NEOCON org and you will see chickenhawks clamoring for wiping Iran off the map actually.

But we cannot escape the reason ; dollar hegemony.

http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_05/petrov011606.html

The Iranian oil bourse was designed to eliminate the dollar from trades involving Iranian oil, and Ahmadinejad is simply continuing Saddam Hussein's plan to cripple the US economically by providing a reason for all countries to decrease their dollar reserve amounts.

So we will see another war, for false reasons, and all for the glory of the banking establishment, so that they can continue to rake in their enormous profits, in violation of the Constitution mind you. Who suffers because the US uses a fiat currency ? We the American people do, and any country that gets in the way ...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finkelstein on Counterpunch

http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein12282006.html

Best article written yet on this issue.

Norman knows his stuff. Hard to argue with the facts presented in this rebuke of Jimmy Carter's attackers.

Since people cannot counter-argue Norman's many valid points, they must resort to defamation of character and ad hominem attacks.

chutzpah knows no bounds ...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CAR20070101&articleId=4271

to all the cynics out there that say the israeli lobby is not influential , read the link , as it is very revealing.

i guess i should forward this to abraham foxman and alan dershowitz and even noam chomsky who all claim that the phantom israeli lobby wields no significant power in the US.

joke

this article represents the true manipulation that DOES exist, and the general in question does not say that the US should strike iran out of our national interest, but out of the concern for the israeli national interest.dual loyalties, or is it really a higher loyalty to a rogue state that allows our political leaders to be sub-contracted out for pursuing actions that have nothing to do with our constituents and their needs and desires.

i am so disgusted by this article.

Gates proof that Iran is operating inside Iraq ...

Just read an article on the front page of Yahoo that Gates can prove that Iran is working inside Iraq.

Yippy Skippy...

Let's review : The US argued with faulty/falisified intelligence that Iraq had WMD and must be dealt with. Tangential rationales were
a) the US will free an oppressed people, and the Islamic world will love the US for it
b) the US will bring democracy to the Middle East
c) the US will force compliance with UN resolutions

4 years after the invasion, most Americans concede that they were, to some varying degree, duped into supporting the original invasion. The official reasons for commencing this debacle have all been shredded with the documentary record.

But there is an arrogance on the part of the US that is staggering, to me at least. The US lied its way into a war halfway around the world, and even though there was a shake-up in Congress, mainly attributed to this failed Iraq policy, the executive branch continues to "stay the course", in obvious opposition to the will of the people.

But it is earth-shattering news that Iraq's neighbor might actually want to influence the political situation in their neighbor ?

Stop the presses, a country wants to influence the policies of its neighbors ! The US has been doing to it since the 1800's, in central and south america, and the backlash to these failed policies is the rise of socialism all throughout this central and south american sphere. The main reasons the US pursued these failed policies in the first place were to :

1. set up systems in neighboring countries that allowed exploitation by US corporations
2. fight the rise of socialism and ultimately communism

It's ok if the US influences the policies of its neighbors, but how dare those presumptuous, crazed, fanatical zealot Iranians try to do it? How dare they? It is the imperial right of the US to try and change the political structure of Iraq, but Americans should be deeply outraged if the Iranians try it ...

This is an issue only if you have a memory of 2 weeks.

Gotcha !

http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0213-20.htm

Great article which explains how pre-Iraq war intel was doctored by NEOCONS to make the case for war.

It's funny how the NEOCONS got the war they wanted, and in the last year or so, have been scrambling to distance themselves from the failure of the Iraq war.

If not scrambling, then backtracking from previous statements.

Lie to the public, send the troops in harm's way, and claim you had nothing to do with it when it goes badly.

Chicken-hawk traitors of the USA, and many of them occupy the highest levels of our government.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Carter's book

I just finished Carter's book, "Palestine : Peace not Apartheid", and thought I would offer some comments on the book, and the various reactions to the book from the mainstream media.

First of all, before I even started the book, I was following very closely the various media attacks on Carter's main thesis, that some form of Apartheid was being practiced in the Occupied Territories, and that the Palestinians were the victims of some type of systematic repression. Wolf Blitzer, a former representative of AIPAC, interviewed Kenneth Stein et al, who resigned in protest from the Carter Center, in his situation room. The burning question of the discussion was whether or not Jimmy Carter went over to the "dark side" so to speak, because the guests argued, valid or not, that Carter was a supporter of terrorism, a borderline anti-semite, and was using his good name and impeccable background to slander the always-the-victim state of Israel.

I also watched a great debate between Gil Troy of McGill University and Norman Finkelstein of Depaul University on "Democracy NOW". I sent Gil Troy an email concerning issues that were raised during the debate that he never adequately answered in my mind. He responded to my comments and questions in a very respectful way. In Troy's defense, his comments have not been as nearly as heated on the book as some other vocal pro-Israel ideologues, such as the plagiarist Dershowitz, or Kenneth Stein, or Abe Foxman of the ADL, or Dennis Ross, or any available NEOCON from any NEOCON hotbed who have spewed venom concerning the book's contents. I knew from reading these various commentaries about the book that Carter was probably right on. My experience with reading on the I-P issue is that the more substantive arguments are used to criticize Israeli behavior, the more the person making the arguments gets attacked by the mainstream media, pro-Israel zealots, NEOCONS, etc. They don't bother attacking David Duke, they go after people like Chomsky and Finkelstein and Michael Lerner, and now Jimmy Carter.

About the book itself : Carter himself acknowledged that the Apartheid system in the OT was not necessarily the same as the Apartheid system practiced in South Africa, where race was the motivating factor. The motivating factor in the Israeli case is land acquisition, and the creation of an atmosphere within the OT that might force out the humiliated Palestinians voluntarily, which is an Israeli goal. Moreover, the inflammatory use of "apartheid" is quite commonplace in discussions within Israel concerning the status of the Palestinians in the OT. The term is used frequently in reports from groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B'tSelem, etc. SO if the term is used within Israel, and within reputable mainstream human rights groups, why the dramatic controversy when an ex-President who negotiated the only lasting peace between Israel and ANY Arab neighbor uses the term? Makes no sense; the controversy is quite contrived.

I was impressed with the level of detail with which Carter explained the evolution of the peace process. Carter, in general, did not draw conclusions so much as he did reveal some of the intimate details of Camp David in 1978, Oslo in 1993, Camp David under Clinton, and Taba, etc. There were a few factual errors. His thesis was not affected by these details. One of the main arguments used against the book, which in my mind would be a valid argument, is that Carter's criticism is mostly reserved for Israel, and that he does not address the many actions on the side of the Palestinians that also warrant criticism. I do not dispute this, but would add that there are enough outlets which do this job already. Too much blame is placed on the Palestinians obviously, and not enough on the Israelis , and so maybe Carter wanted a counter-balance. He did issue some crucial qualifiers saying that suicide attacks within Israel are reprehensible. No one argues that point.

Some conclusions from me would be : Begin signed Camp David in 1978. These accords effectively removed Egypt from the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sadat was assassinated for having initiated them (earlier in the 70's when he addressed the Knesset paving the road for furture peace). The key provision of the accords (for the Palestinians) was the Israel would retreat to the pre-June 1967 borders and would dismantle settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip, in line with UN 242. Has this been accomplished? Sadly, 29 years later, the answer is still no. Geroge HW Bush froze Israeli aid because of the ongoing settlement activity, in violation of UN 242 and Israel's commitment to the Camp David accords. The effect was that the settlement activity stopped immediately. Why doesn't the good son use the same tool, which he would if he really believed in the "Roadmap" ?

Apart from other peace discussions, I think this fact stands out more, because this is an agreement that Israel signed and has not fulfilled. It is a slap to the face of Carter and the US. Other conclusions that are obvious from the book: As the book is virtually conclusion free, just Carter providing some background of the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians, his personal history with working on this issue for decades, the reader is allowed to make up their own minds. If one juxtaposes Carter's book (and Amnesty's yearly reports, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH yearly reports, B'tSelem's yearly reports) on the one hand, and the collective outputs from the ADL, AIPAC, mainstream US media, NEOCON thinktanks on the other, and ask yourself, who is telling the truth and who is distorting the factual record, I think there can only be one answer.

I will close this by saying yesterday I read about 50 customer reviews on Amazon. The vast majority were positive. And despite the controversy, or because of it, the sales of the book keep climbing. I saw it was at #2 on the non-fiction hardback NYT bestseller list the other day. This is all positive news. Let the Zionists keep clamoring about anti-semitism, and let Americans keep reading books like Carter's, for if they do, there will be a shift in foreign policy one day, one that contains some modicum of justice for the Palestinian people.