Friday, May 26, 2006

Books You Must Read by David Gordon

Books You Must Read by David Gordon: "In Speaking of Liberty, Lew Rockwell usefully complements Higgs’s analysis of the dangers of war. He insightfully asks: how can one rationally favor both the market and a bellicose foreign policy? 'The framers intended to keep the US out of foreign wars. They understood that a government that goes abroad in search of monsters to destroy will end up destroying its own people. The foreign policy apparatus of today inflicts a horrible cost on the world. But the greatest cost of all – or at least the one that should matter to us the most – is the cost to the liberty that is our birthright.'"

Enron & Bush Connection

Democracy Now! | Enron: The Bush Connection: "ROBERT BRYCE: She was on the board at Enron at the same time that Graham was in the Senate sponsoring legislation that benefited Enron. Not only did Graham not recuse himself, he sponsored legislation that effectively allowed Enron to operate as an unregulated commodities exchange. So, I mean, there's plenty of -- Enron's money corrupted a lot of elements of government, and it wasn’t just the Bush administration. I’m not saying that to excuse the Bush administration, because, I mean, when you look at Enron and you look at the Bush administration, you see the similarities. Both operated with this clear idea that they were going to change the world, that the world was going to follow their new business model and that that was going to change the world forever.

What else? Well, they launched brutal attacks on anybody who doubted any of their programs. They had huge surges in debt that they covered up with creative accounting. We see that now with the Bush administration, creating some of the largest deficits in American history of any presidency in American history, and also just this idea that they were on a religious mission. This was -- their business model was going to change the world. No one could doubt them. Anyone who did was immediately cast aside. And in a word, it's the same commodity, the same trait that brought down Enron is the defining trait of the Bush administration, and that's hubris. It’s the Greeks’ fatal flaw. And I think that that clearly came home to roost with Lay and Skilling, and I think eventually it’s going to come home to roost with the Bush administration."

Enron and Congress

Democracy Now! | Enron: The Bush Connection: "ROBERT BRYCE: Sure. Let me make one point I think that we've missed here. It's not just the Bush administration, as well. I mean, Congress had a hand in allowing Enron to do what it did. Let's look at the case of Phil Graham. Phil Graham was the one who carried legislation that allowed Enron to do a lot of the things it did and avoid federal oversight at the same time that his wife, Wendy, was on Enron’s board.

AMY GOODMAN: Phil Graham, the former Texas senator.

ROBERT BRYCE: Former senator from Texas. So Enron had tremendous power in Congress, as well, that allowed it to operate with a free hand in the energy trading business and to operate really as an unregulated commodities broker, an unregulated commodities exchange.

AMY GOODMAN: Just one second, because I spoke over you. I spoke over you. The former Texas senator Phil Graham's wife, Wendy, say again her role.

ROBERT BRYCE: She was on the board at Enron at the same time that Graham was in the Senate sponsoring legislation that benefited Enron. Not only did Graham not recuse himself, he sponsored legislation that effectively allowed Enron to operate as an unregulated commodities exchange. So, I mean, there's plenty of -- Enron's money corrupted a lot of elements of government, and it wasn’t just the Bush administration. I’m not saying that to excuse the Bush administration, because, I mean, when you look at Enron and you look at the Bush administration, you see the similarities. Both operated with this clear idea that they were going to change the world, that the world was going to follow their new business model and that that was going to change the world forever."

The Beginning of an Old Era, The Mob is Still in Place

Democracy Now! | Enron Execs Found Guilty on Multiple Conspiracy, Fraud Charges: "GREG PALAST: I was wired, yes. And unfortunately for Tony Blair, I was wired. And when he called me a liar on the floor of the House of Commons, we said, “Well, let's listen to the audio tape.” But, you know, that's not done here in the U.S. I mean, at the same time that we were busting Enron over there, the U.S. press here was acting like Ken Lay, like especially writers like Thomas Friedman of the Times, like he was, you know, Elvis on a pogo stick. He was bringing the wonders of the free market to electricity, this guy who was basically leading -- like I say, you have to understand it's a mob. And one thing I am very discouraged at, reading the coverage, it's all about symbol of an era, as if it's gone, as if under George Bush that era is over. No, that era is beginning. Okay, they got rid of the guy who kicked it off. They had to. He went too far. But the whole gang is still operating. That's one of the big evils."

The Bush Family Enron's 'armed sales force'

Democracy Now! | Enron Execs Found Guilty on Multiple Conspiracy, Fraud Charges: "GREG PALAST: Before he was governor. This is George's brother. And what Jeb was saying is “My father would very much appreciate if you would give Enron the deal.” And the finance minister was just floored. He thought that this was being muscled into giving away Argentina's resources to some guy he’s never heard of: Ken Lay. This is Jeb Bush. Neil Bush then goes on the payroll of Enron to sell the Saudis water systems for Enron. You have to understand that literally the Bush family has been kind of an armed sales force for Enron, and an empowered sales force, sometimes on the payroll, sometimes just in office and the gimme is, of course, the huge political donations.

And that really hasn't been touched in the U.S. papers, the huge international reach of Enron, including, by the way, Mr. Tony Blair, where I broke a story there about Enron's influence with the Blair government, that huge amount of money was paid into the Labour Party to allow Enron to bust the rules to allow them to build power plants in England. I mean, Tony Blair had a lot to answer for, but that story was covered there."

More Evidence of Bush' Hipocrisy

Democracy Now! | Enron Execs Found Guilty on Multiple Conspiracy, Fraud Charges: CRAIG MURRAY: It goes back to before George Bush became President. In 1997 or 1998, George Bush, as Governor of Texas, had a meeting with the Uzbek ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Safayev, which was actually organized and set up by Kenneth Lay of Enron. And if you go to my website, you can find a facsimile of Kenneth Lay's letter to George Bush, telling him to meet Ambassador Safayev in order to conclude a billion-dollar gas deal between Uzbekistan and Enron. And that was the start of the Bush relationship with the Karimov regime.

Karimov is one of the most vicious dictators in the world, a man who is responsible for the death of thousands of people. Prisoners are boiled to death in Uzbek jails. And he was a guest in the White House in 2002. It's very easy to find photos of George Bush shaking Karimov's hand."

More Bush Lies

Democracy Now! | Enron Execs Found Guilty on Multiple Conspiracy, Fraud Charges: "JIM HIGHTOWER: Ken Lay, whom George W. fondly called “Kenny Boy,” was the major campaign contributor to George W. Bush, and they exchanged Christmas cards with each other. Ken Lay was very personal, very close with the Bush family.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I do know that Mr. Lay came to the White House in -- early in my administration along with, I think, twenty other business leaders to discuss the state of the economy. It was just kind of a general discussion. I have not met with him personally.
. . .
GREG PALAST: Excuse me, Secretary of Energy. He wanted to name the electricity cops, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, so Ken Lay secretly gave Dick Cheney a list of three names. Now, you have to understand, Al Capone used to have to buy off the cops. Here's Ken Lay trying to get them appointed. He said, “Here's three good choices for chairman of the commission that's supposed to regulate me.” Right? That he already knew that he was being asked for the $9 billion back, right?

Anyway, George Bush gave him a real extraordinary Christmas gift. He appointed all three guys to the Energy Commission. So Lay appoints his own regulators, and he did this before in Texas, when George, when George Bush was Governor of Texas, when George Bush says he didn't know Ken Lay, and I've got a letter in Armed Madhouse showing a note from Ken Lay saying, “Here's the guy I want to be my regulator, the cop that's supposed to be watching me,” and sure enough, Governor George Bush appoints Ken Lay's personal cop."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Nation in Chains by Chris Floyd

A Nation in Chains by Chris Floyd:
"With the world's attention understandably diverted by the latest scandals and shameless posturings of the Bush Faction – domestic spying, bribes and hookers at the CIA, military units roaring down to the border to scare unarmed poor people looking for work – few noticed a small story that cast a harsh, penetrating light on the corrosion of the national character.

Earlier this month, the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College London released its annual World Prison Population List. And there, standing proudly at the head of the line, towering far above all others, is that shining city on the hill, the United States of America. But strangely enough, the Bush gang and its many media sycophants failed to celebrate – or even note – yet another instance where a triumphant America leads the world. Where are the cheering hordes shouting "USA! USA!" at the news that the land of the free imprisons more people than any other country in the world – both in raw numbers and as a percentage of its population?"


Monday, May 22, 2006

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire: "I was returned to full duty back at Fort Lewis, reinstated as a Muslim chaplain. My record was wiped clear, after which I, of course, tendered my resignation, received an honorable discharge in January of 2005, and upon separation, I would receive another, a second Army commendation medal for exceptional meritorious service.

I didn't receive an apology. Yes, I am an eternal optimist, and I hope one day that I will receive an official apology, and I believe that by speaking out, speaking the truth, and making people aware of what's going on in Guantanamo and letting others know what happened to me, as a U.S. citizen held in this so-called war on terrorism, that one day all of this will lead to a well-deserved apology. Thank you."

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire: "We call this tactic “sensory deprivation.” Sensory deprivation, it's something that I recently read that the American Psychiatric Association has included in a draft of their definition of torture.

Sensory deprivation. I was subjected to sensory deprivation, but I knew about this tactic, because that's, of course, how I saw prisoners being treated and subjected to when they are in-processed into Guantanamo when they are flown in from Afghanistan under this very same tactic of sensory deprivation; its purpose, which is meant to instill fear and intimidation. You, yourselves, maybe have seen the pictures with the prisoners wearing the hoods on their head. Well, I feared also that a hood would be then thrown on my head, but fortunately for me, that practice of hooding had just been stopped months before my arrest. I also feared of being kicked and beaten violently, especially after hearing some of the prisoners when I spoke with them down in Guantanamo, how they were kicked and beaten during their transport down to Guantanamo."

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire: "I was arrested in secret, held incommunicado. I never showed up at the airport in Seattle like I was supposed to have, where my wife and daughter were waiting. They didn't know what happened to me. My parents in New Jersey had no idea what had happened. I essentially disappeared from society, from the face of the earth. But my family would learn of what happened to me ten days later, when government leaks to the media were then reported, first by the Washington Times, that I was now arrested and charged with these heinous crimes of spying, espionage, aiding the enemy, and mutiny and sedition, which is like trying to overthrow the government. All of these capital crimes, and, yes, I was threatened with the death penalty days after my arrest by a military prosecutor."

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

Democracy Now! | Ex-Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee on Faith and Patriotism Under Fire: "Gitmo's secret weapon. Now, what was Gitmo's secret weapon? Well, from the viewpoint of a chaplain in the United States military whose role is essentially to advocate for the free exercise of worship for all individuals, to advocate for religious freedom, Gitmo's secret weapon was the use of religion against the prisoners, whether to try and break them or frustrate them in the course of trying to glean information from them or in the course of detaining them.

Now, how was religion being used against the prisoners? Well, prisoners would come and they would tell me that when they were taken to interrogation, they were, of course, shackled at the wrists and at the waist and at the ankles, as prisoners down in Guantanamo are shackled, and they would tell me that they would be forced to sit in the center of what was painted on the floor, a satanic circle. The interrogators would attempt to force them to bow down and prostrate, you know, like in the form of the Islamic prayer where Muslims bow down and prostrate, while the interrogator is screaming at that prisoner that “Satan is your god now, not Allah!” This is how religion was being used against prisoners."

Democracy Now! | UN Panel Calls for Bush Administration to Close Guantanamo Bay Military Prison

Democracy Now! | UN Panel Calls for Bush Administration to Close Guantanamo Bay Military Prison: "GABOR RONA: First, thank you for having me on, Amy. The significance of this entire process is that, in addition to what you mentioned, this is the first time that the U.S. has come before the scrutiny of an international legal body since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This is not a situation in which the U.S. appeared because it was being called on the carpet. Quite the contrary. States are required to file periodic reports to the committee, which is charged with monitoring compliance with the torture convention, and the U.S. is a party to the torture convention. So this is a routine process.

What I think was not routine, though, was the fact that the United States sent a large and very high-level delegation to Geneva to appear before the Committee Against Torture, expressed its respect for the process and for the expertise of the members of this committee. It's an independent committee. It's not a political committee. The people on the committee are experts in their field. And the United States presented very detailed information about its legal arguments, asserting why it felt it was in compliance with its international legal obligations, but did not present a great deal of information about its practices, the facts.

And it was gratifying to see that the committee rejected much of the United States' legal posturing, invited the United States to provide more information about actual practices, and in no uncertain terms was critical of the United States’ practices of secret detentions, of interrogation techniques that amount to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, of the process of extraordinary rendition, which is nothing more than enforced disappearances, and of several practices taking place within the U.S. criminal justice system, supermax prisons, and police stations.

AMY GOODMAN: We only have a minute, but how signific"

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Whose Death is Worth More?

Reflecting Hubris by Tom Engelhardt: "Let me offer a few framing comparisons:

1. Sometime in the coming week or two, the number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghan Wars will exceed the 2,752 people who died in or around the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (including those on the two hijacked jets that rammed into the towers). With a combined death toll of 2,739, the war dead have already crept within 13 of that day's casualties in New York. Here's a question then: Who thinks that the United States will ever spend $500 million, no less $1 billion, on a memorial to the ever-growing numbers of war dead from those two wars?"

A Parable for Americans

Space Aliens From Luxemburg: A Horror Story by Stefan Molyneux: "Let us imagine that tomorrow morning, when you flip on CNN, you see Wolf Blitzer being jostled by surging crowds. Everyone is running, staring at the sky in fear. 'Space aliens have landed in Luxemburg!' cries Wolf, wide-eyed and almost hysterical, 'and they have a message for all mankind!'

There is a burst of static, and then you see a drooling, bulging-eyed monstrosity gripping prepared notes in its slimy sea-green tentacles.

'Citizens of Earth!' it gurgles, 'We bring good news! We see that, all over the world, citizens live under the slavery of what you call ‘governments.’ Millions of you are unjustly imprisoned, billions are stolen from you through taxation, and government-owned WMDs threaten the very survival of the planet! This is a moral abomination, and we have come to put a stop to it!'"

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Violence Robs Iraq of Christian Heritage

Violence robs Iraq of Christian heritage: "there is social discrimination of Iraqi Christians. And since the collapse of central authority (beginning with the second US-led invasion), Iraqi Christians have been targeted by extremists",
"Grim future

Despite the difficulties in practising their faith and threats, an Iraq bereft of Christians is difficult for the community to grasp.

Christians pre-date Islam by some 700 years and have lived in the area known as Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) since St Thomas the Apostle preached in 30 CE and founded the East Syriac Church.

'I can't imagine an Iraq without Iraqi Christians, says Hancock.

'Iraqi Christians contributed to Iraq with their skills and loyalty to the country. It is sad to watch what happened to them for the last three years.'"

We Have Figure It Out!

Political Cortex: Horseshit! Bush and the Christian Cowboy: "Mr. Bush tells Oval Office visitors from Germany:

'You cannot lead people unless you're optimistic about what you're doing. You've got to believe it in your very soul. One of the interesting things about the presidency is people watch me like a hawk. They're looking at my moves. And if I'm going to be wringing my hands and if I'm all worried about the decisions I make are not going to lead to a better tomorrow, they'll figure it out.
. . .

And so when you talk to me today, I just want you to know I not only strongly believe in the decisions I make, I'm optimistic that they're going to work -- very optimistic.'"
But, we have figure it out. Your decisions are not going to lead to a better tomorrow regardless of what you do with your hands.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Less We Forget

Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity: Neoconsevative Iraq Just War Theories Rejected: "Americans were largely unaware of the depth and importance of the opposition of Church leaders to an attack on Iraq, since for the most part the mainstream media did not carry the stories. In the same way, many Americans were unaware that Pope John Paul II spoke against the first Gulf War 56 times. Media in the United States omitted this from the commentaries on the war. Many have also been unaware of the number of Iraqis killed in that war (not to mention the war which recently 'ended'). In February 2003 Business Week published an interview with Beth Osborne Daponte, a professional demographer who worked for the Census Bureau. The first Bush administration tried to fire her because her published estimates of the number of Iraqi deaths conflicted with what Dick Cheney was saying at the time. She was defended by social science professionals and was able to keep her job. Her estimates: 13,000 civilians were killed directly by American and allied forces, and about 70,000 civilians died subsequently from war-related damage to medical facilities and supplies, the electric power grid, and the water system.
In the past few years, Catholic neoconservatives have been attempting to develop a new philosophy of just war which would include preemptive strikes against other nations, what might be called a "preventive war." George Weigel has published major articles defending this position since 1995. First Things magazine published his articles and editorially agreed with this point of view. The present Bush administration has used these writings to defend the strike against Iraq. Shortly before the war began, through the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, President Bush sent Michael Novak to go to Rome to try to justify the war to the Pope and Vatican officials. Catholic News Service reported that the two-hour symposium was attended by some 150 invited guests, including lower-level Vatican officials, professors from church universities in Rome and diplomats accredited to the Vatican. Since with one voice Rome had already rejected the argument for a preventive war, Novak took the approach that a war on Iraq would not be a preventive war, but a continuation of a "just war," Iraqi War I, and actually a moral obligation. He argued that a was also a matter of self-defense, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was an un-scrupulous character, and therefore it was only a matter of time before he took up with Al Qaida and gave them such weapons.

Novak did not succeed in convincing Church leaders-in fact, some commentators reflected that his efforts might have had the opposite effect. Novak's credibility in this argument was perhaps under-mined by his employment at the American Enterprise Institute, heavily funded by oil companies, some of whom began advertising in the Houston Chronicle for em-ployees to work in Iraq even before the war began. Administration officials denied for months that the goal of the war on Iraq was related to oil. On June 4, 2003, however, The Guardian reported the words of the U.S. deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz (one of the major architects of the war). Wolfowitz had earlier commented that the urgent reason given for the war, weapons of mass destruction, was only a "bureaucratic excuse" for war. Now, at an Asian security summit in Singapore he has declared openly that the real reason for the war was oil: "Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defense minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."


Are Bush's Actions those of a Christian?

From the Iranian Letter we have the following simple question:
"Mr President,

You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the Messenger of peace and forgiveness."
The simple answer is: There is no way to reconcile them.

Bush policy and actions cannot be reconciled with Christian teaching. Remember the words of John Paul II, when he rigthly opposed the Bush doctrine of preemption, before the war against Iraq started, as opposed to Christian teaching in principle; a fact that most Christians in the United States, many Roman Catholics, have ignored. The Pope warned about all the evil that would grow from Bush's Doctrine, and held him responsible for it. Bush war of aggression was declared to be inconsistent with Christian just war theory, even before no WMD were found. The fact that there were no WMD only made the point even more clear.

The president, and the American people who support him are responsible for all the evils ensuing.

The Pope rightly argued that the Bush administration's principle of preemption would conduce to endless war in the world. That is what we are witnessing.
So for all you Christians out there who may feel chided by the fact that a Muslim may challenge Bush to live up to his Christian profession. Please, remember that he is not the first to do so.

Bush is not acting according to Christian principles. Neither are those who support him. Therefore, faithful Christians ought to be reminding them of the fact until they repent and amend their evil ways.

If Bush Has His Way. . .

We will have yet another senseless war in the middle East, hundreds of thousands of more deaths and destruction.
Iran is not a threat, as Iraq was not a threat.
Bush is the threat. His administration uses pride, prejudice and fear to justify its ideologically driven agenda. Its ultimate purpose is not justice, truth and peace; but power, manipulation and self-interest.

I write this as a Christian. I beleive more Christians need to take a stand against the deception and evil policy of the current administration. I pray that God will have mercy upon us and more Christian would take a stand for truth and resist all forms of abuse and manipulation.

Pen and Sword: A Letter From Iran by Chris Floyd: "But there is no chance – zero, zilch, zip – that Bush will make any move at all to lessen the tension. We will probably never know if Iran's nuclear ambitions are peaceful now because the Bush gang is taking every possible step to goad Tehran into leaving the NPT and girding itself for the coming war by seeking nuclear weapons. They are moving systematically to cut off every possibility of a peaceful solution – save the abject surrender of Tehran. The Bush Regime's insistence that any Security Council resolution on Iran's program contain the draconian 'Chapter Seven' strictures – which allow for military action in response to non-compliance – give glaring indication of Washington's true intentions. They want war – or else they believe that by ratcheting up the war fever to intolerable levels on the diplomatic front (along with the covert ops they are now running inside Iran), they will force the Iranian regime to crumble on its own, after which the Americans can march in – at the head of an 'international coalition,' no doubt – to 'restore order' and receive the hosannas of the grateful population.

This won't happen, of course. So we will, in the end, if Bush has his way, have war. It is therefore incumbent upon us all to do whatever we can to keep this swaggering fool from having his way, and his war. Let's close by giving the last word, via Juan Cole, to the Iranian dissident Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her resistance to the Iranian theocracy. Her words present a clearer vision of what will come than the bloated fantasies of the Bush Regime's puerile strategists:

'The only beneficiaries of the war are people who sell arms. As a Muslim Iranian, I state here that I do criticize the government of Iran. But this does not mean that America has the right to invade Iran. And if America has not learned its lesson from Iraq and thinks of invading Iran, notwithstanding all of the criticisms we have of our government, we will defend our country to the last drop of our blood. And we will not let an alien soldier set foot on the land of Iran. If American speaks of globalization, this doesn't mean that the whole world is seen as one village and Bush is seen as the only sheriff of that village.'"

Conservative Ascendancy

Pen and Sword: A Letter From Iran by Chris Floyd: "(There has, of course, been much backroom dealing between the two nations’ leadership in the past decades – such as the Reagan-Bush Administration dealing illegal arms to the fundamentalist regime in the Iran-Contra scam, and, of course, the clandestine 'October Surprise' negotiations in 1980 between candidate Ronald Reagan's campaign team and the Khomeini regime that was holding American hostages. These secret talks, confirmed by some of the Iranian principals involved and directed, according to eyewitness testimony, by then-VP candidate and ex-CIA chief George H.W. Bush, were aimed at preventing the Iranians from releasing the hostages before the 1980 presidential election. [Robert Parry has the whole story here.] It goes without saying, of course, that such secret dealings by private citizens with foreign governments is high treason. And Iran's agreement to abide by Bush's request to prolong the suffering of the American hostages and their families by several months was very likely the deciding factor in Reagan's elevation to power. So there is your 'conservative movement' for you, your 'morning in America': the conservative ascendancy was founded on high treason and has now culminated in an unprovoked war of aggression and a self-declared presidential dictatorship above the reach of law."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Morons and Creative Destruction

Wilhelmian America by Steven LaTulippe: "Try as I might, I can only find two explanations for the administration’s new tone of hostility toward China and Russia.

The first possibility is that America is being led by morons. Only someone with an extremely limited intellectual capacity would cho ose, at the precise moment when America finds herself embroiled in a war with radical Islam, to pick fights with two of the most powerful nations on earth.

While the president himself may fit this category, I reject this as an overall explanation. Too many of the folks surrounding Bush have enormous experience in foreign relations and have track records of academic achievement. Writing them off as mere cretins would be a dangerous underestimation.

That leaves the second explanation. Namely, the Bush Administration is attacking Russia and China because those nations are using their seats on the U.N. Security Council to stonewall our march to war with Iran.

Factions within the Bush Administration desperately want war with Iran to stop their alleged nuclear program. They want a new Security Council resolution condemning the Iranians and threatening future 'unspecified action' if the Iranians don’t back down (resolutions which, just like the pre-Iraq War resolutions, can be conveniently reinterpreted by the neocons to 'justify' an attack).

The Russians and Chinese, who’ve seen this movie before, are having none of it.

Thus, the neocons are baring their fangs and going after them with threats and intimidation.

It truly is a strange world when the presidents of two foreign powers (nations with whom we have had hostile relations in the past) are the ones who are, albeit unintentionally, looking out for the true interests of the American people. While our own government is scheming against us, Presidents Hu and Putin are attempting to abort America’s drift toward another senseless conflict. War with Iran would be a disaster for America (though it might add anoth"

You Will Know them by Their Fruits

The Iranian President is not alone in the appreciation that Bush is not acting as a Christian. I profess to be a Christian, and I find Bush's policies and conduct an offense to the Gospel of Christ. It is an irony that a non-believer is pointing out the obvious inconsistency between Bush's claims and actions; while so many American Christians are still being deceived by manipulation, prejudice and fear; fearing that they cannot judge the conduct of a president that claims to be an evangelical Christian. But Jesus said clearly:

'You will know them by their fruits. '

What are the fruits of Bush's presidency? For starters: Kidnap, torture, death of thousands, domestic spying, wars of aggression, lies, intimidation and manipulation.

If he is a Christian he must repent immediately and amend all the evil he is responsible for resulting from his immoral behaviour and policies as president of the United States. Until then he ought to be regarded as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Weblog: Iranian President Tells Bush to Be More Christian - Christianity Today Magazine: "'Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ, the great Messenger of God,' Ahmadinejad wrote, 'But at the same time, have countries attacked: the lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed?' (That's a cleaned up version from what appears to be a somewhat poor translation.)

Ahmadinejad criticized the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the treatment of prisoners, support for Israel, U.S. actions in Latin America and Africa, and several other items.

'My students ask me how can these actions be reconciled with … duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ, the Messenger of peace and forgiveness,' he said. 'If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, or Jesus Christ were with us today, how would they have judged such behavior? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ will be present?'"

Unfortunately True

Talk Is Necessary by Charley Reese: "What will Mr. Bush do then? Go to war and wreck the world economy? I hope that then his rich friends will intervene and say, 'Now, cool it, George, you're about to cost us all a lot of money.'

Losing money – that might dissuade him. He seems utterly indifferent to the loss of lives and moral standing."

War and the Pump

Foreign Policy, Monetary Policy, and Gas Prices by Ron Paul: "The sooner we get out of Iraq and allow the Iraqis to solve their own problems the better. Soaring gasoline prices are one giant unintended consequence of the war, pure and simple.

Even so, many war hawks are seriously agitating for an attack on Iran – another major supplier of worldwide oil. They are not concerned one bit about the impact such an attack would have on the wallets of average Americans; their obsession with regime change in Iran trumps all common sense. But let me be clear: An attack on Iran, coupled with our continued presence in Iraq, could hike gas prices to $5 or $6 per gallon."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Is the Truth finally Catching up with Bush?

Ray McGovern | McCarthyism: Mary and Joe: " But it is also likely that the truth telling will continue. And, in the end, the truth tellers will be glad they did. The years of Bush, Cheney, and Goss are limited, and they will not be able to repeal 18 US Code 2441 (the War Crimes Act of 1996 condemning torture) before going out the door. In addition, potential truth tellers have become increasingly aware of the seldom-mentioned 'Nuremberg obligation' to do what one reasonably can to prevent the commission of international crimes like torture.

By conducting these activities overseas, Bush's lawyers thought they might dodge the US criminal statute. Maybe so. But international sanctions also apply. Will Donald Rumsfeld be able to travel to Europe once he loses his Secret Service protection and that afforded by the office of secretary of defense? Will CIA operatives, like the notorious keystone-cops kidnapping crew in Milan, be able to vacation on the Riviera? Interpol knows who they are.

Those inside the government who become privy to - or, worse still, become responsible for - such criminal activity have a legal as well as a moral obligation to blow the whistle. So take heart, past or future truth tellers. With the polygraph, they may eventually track you down. But it is bound to be awkward indeed to take you to court for revealing war crimes. And you will have earned not only a badge of courage but also exculpatory evidence in the event there are prosecutions - here or abroad."

A Piece of the True Story

Now that they are cooking another war against Iran let us not forget the lies used to manipulate public opinion in favor of a war of agression against Iraq. Here is a piece of the true story denounced by Ray McGovern:
ajc: "Q: What's your latest mission?

A: We're trying to spread a little truth around. I've just been watching very, very closely how intelligence has been abused in the lead up to the Iraq war and, now, after the war. I fear for what this will mean for a very crucial part of our government. If the president can't turn to the CIA for straight answers, whether he knows it or not, he's in bad shape. He has nowhere to turn for a straight answer. He can't expect [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz or [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld to tell him, "Sorry boss, we didn't think of A or B or C. We thought it would be a cakewalk." He's getting slanted advice from the people running the policy toward Iraq.

Q: Who's to blame?

A: Rumsfeld and [Vice President Dick] Cheney primarily. And then George Tenet, the head of the CIA. He's not making any waves. This is an abnegation of responsibility because the CIA is supposed to make waves. The CIA [should be] completely objective. It should not promote or defend any particular policy. So, once the CIA loses its reputation for complete objectivity, it has nothing special to offer and you might as well just close it down.

[McGovern says Tenet and Cheney should resign.]

Q: What are the most egregious examples of "sexed-up" intelligence?

A: The report that Iraq was seeking uranium from the African country of Niger was false on its face and has to be at the top of the list. That was the most obvious and crass lie and the only report they had in September and October of last year to raise the specter that Saddam Hussein might get nuclear weapons.

The other main thing, of course, was the alleged tie between Iraq and al-Qaida. CIA analysts spent a year and a half poring through each and every report and found none to be persuasive or reliable. Then [Secretary of State] Colin Powell made his speech to the United Nations on Feb. 5, where he produced some cockamamie evidence suggesting that al-Qaida types were roaming around Iraq with Saddam Hussein. In the period leading up to the war, the president would say that we have to go after Iraq because of 9/11. That is the way that the president played on the trauma of 9/11 to persuade the American people that we couldn't take a chance on Saddam Hussein.

Q: Do the American people care that they were misled on Iraq? Does Congress? The press?

A: There's still a lot of torpor, but there are two new elements now. No. 1: The men and women who are being killed every day in Iraq. No. 2: The fact that no one --- not even the press --- likes to be lied to. I'm an American, and I never thought the president would lie so often and so demonstrably.

The Bush administration's reasoning went like this: 'We'll deceive Congress. We'll have our war. We'll win handily. The folks in Iraq will meet us with cut flowers and open arms, and who will care at that point whether the [war's premise] was based largely on a forgery?' But there's zero chance that Congress will establish an independent judicial commission to investigate how we got into Iraq. Both houses of Congress are controlled by the president's party. There are no statesmen to rise above party affiliation and say, 'We were lied to.' No one will do that."

State Sponsors Terrorism

Democracy Now! | FBI Counterterrorism Unit Spies on Peace Group School of the Americas Watch: "ERIC LeCOMPTE: Well, with the ACLU, what we have learned is that since at least 2001, the F.B.I. has been spying on us and on our gatherings that take place at the gates of Fort Benning every year. Every year at Fort Benning, we gather there to call for a closure of the School of the Americas, a school that has graduated over 60,000 Latin American soldiers. These soldiers from Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador have returned to their home countries and committed the worst human rights abuses in Latin American history, and what we've found is that, as we’ve gathered there, the F.B.I. has been monitoring us, has been spying on us, and has been recording what we're doing."

They Are Watching!

Democracy Now! | FBI Counterterrorism Unit Spies on Peace Group School of the Americas Watch: "JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Ann, this seems almost a complete replay in the 1970s, when the government was involved in massive spying on all kinds of legitimate groups of dissent. And, obviously, there were congressional hearings at the time and new legislation passed. But how has the Bush administration been able to get away with just completely renewing this all over again?

ANN BEESON: Well, that's exactly right, and I'm glad you raise that, because one of the things that’s remarkable when you look at what’s happening today is the utter lack of imagination of the F.B.I. In fact, you see precisely the same groups being targeted now as terrorist sympathizers that used to be targeted as communist sympathizers during the Cold War. And that includes the American Friends Service Committee and other Quaker groups. It includes groups like the National Lawyers Guild. A whole range of groups that were spied on then are now being spied on again today.

And, in fact, as you say, there were protections, we had thought, put in place during that era when Americans cried out and said this is not the American way. We can't have the F.B.I. routinely spying on protesters. And right after 9/11 then-Attorney General John Ashcroft basically overturned many of the guidelines that in the last several decades had limited this kind of spying on protest groups."

Rumsfeld Arguably a War Criminal

RAY McGOVERN:Democracy Now! | Retired CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Takes on Rumsfeld Over Justification for Iraq Invasion: "And I suppose the good news is that finally someone had a chance to ask Don Rumsfeld -- if I were in Washington, I never would have got into a session where Rumsfeld spoke. I have to give him credit that he took questions and answers. But, you know, it's really interesting that when I walked into the place, I wrangled a ticket very surreptitiously. I was met with this little blurb on Donald Rumsfeld, and as I read it, I had to chuckle. It says, “There’s going to be a question-and-answer period, but please adhere to these guidelines. Refrain from using the word ‘lie’ in relation to the war in Iraq. Do not question the secretary’s personal responsibility for torture. And please don’t discuss first use of nuclear weapons against Iran. If you violate these guidelines, you'll be immediately removed from the auditorium, flown to an undesignated prison location somewhere in Eastern Europe and tortured. Thank you for your cooperation. The World Cannot Wait.” A wonderful, wonderful group. Those were the folks that spoke up and tried to brace Donald Rumsfeld with the lies and their charges of him being -- and he is, arguably -- a war criminal. And we shouldn't shy away from saying that."

Speaking Truth To Power

Finally, Rumsfeld is publicly confronted with the truth.
Democracy Now! | Retired CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Takes on Rumsfeld Over Justification for Iraq Invasion: "JUAN GONZALEZ: And then, it happened again.

PROTESTER 3: Serial killer! This man needs to be impeached, along with George Bush! How can you sit here tonight and listen to this criminal? You’re a war criminal, Mr. Rumsfeld!

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Get out of here!

JUAN GONZALEZ: By the end of his speech, security had escorted three protesters out of the building. Then, Rumsfeld began taking questions from the audience. One of those who posed a question was Ray McGovern, who spent 27 years as a C.I.A. analyst.

RAY McGOVERN: And so, I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people. Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven’t lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn't lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. The President spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence people, and he went to the American people and made a presentation. I'm not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

RAY McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were?

DONALD RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were, and we were --"

Cheney Heating the Pan

Last time it was anti-French propaganda. Now Cheney is playing the propaganda card against Russia. If Cheney is so conscerned about human rights how about realising the prisoners at Guantanamo, stop torture and eliminate the secret prisons.

That would be a good start.

In the meanwhile we are forced to see how again the Bush administration is playing the same cards it used to justify a war of agression against Iraq. This is not about human rights it is about Russia's and China's opposition to the War against Iraq.
Strong Rebuke for the Kremlin From Cheney - New York Times: "'In many areas of civil society — from religion and the news media, to advocacy groups and political parties — the government has unfairly and improperly restricted the rights of her people,' Mr. Cheney said in a speech to European leaders in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius. 'Other actions by the Russian government have been counterproductive, and could begin to affect relations with other countries.'"

Don't Believe a Word Bush Says

I think that is the best advice to deal with Bush and his administration.

Don't Believe a Word He Says, as the following explains:
Why So Defensive?: "The way I see it, the Washington press corps is still appropriately embarrassed that they screwed up in the run-up to war. Now, as Bush's approval ratings fester, they are getting bolder in challenging the official White House line on any number of issues. They're justifiably proud of a handful of great investigative pieces.

But they still haven't addressed the central issue Colbert was raising: Bush's credibility. As it happens, the public is way ahead of them on this one: For more than a year, the polls have consistently been showing that a majority of Americans don't find Bush honest and trustworthy.

And yet, as I've chronicled time and again in this column, (see, for instance, my Feb. 3 column, It's the Credibility, Stupid ) the mainstream press -- the very folks in that ballroom on Saturday night, the ones who actually have access to the president and his aides -- have allowed that fundamental issue to go unexplored.

What Colbert was saying about the guy sitting a few feet away from him -- and I think this is what made so many people in that room uncomfortable -- was: Don't believe a word he says."

Once Again: Cooking War for the American Public

This article links Iran as a sucessor to Hitler, regardless of the facist policies of the Bush administration and the repressive abuses of Israel against Palestinians.

Just for the record, the US is the one who is waging wars of aggressions, attempting to control the world for its interest and is the nation responsible for destroying a democratically elected government in Iran and establishing the religious dictatorship .

Do not miss how again half truths, distortions and fear are being called upon in order to justify, yet once more, another disastrous and illegal war of aggresion: read it for yourself:

Never Again?: "But in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration -- putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, eight miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.

His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be 'eliminated by one storm,' as Ahmadinejad has promised."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Peddling Democracy by Tom Engelhardt and Chalmers Johnson

Peddling Democracy by Tom Engelhardt and Chalmers Johnson: "Exporting the American Model: Markets and Democracy

By Chalmers Johnson

There is something absurd and inherently false about one country trying to impose its system of government or its economic institutions on another. Such an enterprise amounts to a dictionary definition of imperialism. When what's at issue is 'democracy,' you have the fallacy of using the end to justify the means (making war on those to be democratized), and in the process the leaders of the missionary country are invariably infected with the sins of hubris, racism, and arrogance.

We Americans have long been guilty of these crimes. On the eve of our entry into World War I, William Jennings Bryan, President Woodrow Wilson's first secretary of state, described the United States as 'the supreme moral factor in the world's progress and the accepted arbiter of the world's disputes.' If there is one historical generalization that the passage of time has validated, it is that the world could not help being better off if the American president had not believed such nonsense and if the United States had minded its own business in the war between the British and German empires. We might well have avoided Nazism, the Bolshevik Revolution, and another thirty to forty years of the exploitation of India, Indonesia, Indochina, Algeria, Korea, the Philippines, Malaya, and virtually all of Africa by European, American, and Japanese imperialists."

Bush and Debt

What a Wicked, Monetary World by Bill Bonner: "The Financial Times goes on to note that it took 204 years for the U.S. government to accumulate its first $1 trillion in debt. Now, it adds that much every 18 months. George W. Bush has added more debt than any president who ever lived. In fact, he's added more debt than all the presidents who ever lived...combined."

Truth About Democracy and Freedom

Democracy Versus Freedom by Jarret B. Wollstein: "As Ivan Eland explains in The Empire Has No Clothes, “The three greatest imperial powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – France, Great Britain, and the United States – were democracies.”

Indeed, in the 20th century, the United States attacked more countries than any other nation. Since the end of World War II, the United States has engaged in more than 200 armed conflicts, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians – waging wars or military actions in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, and Bosnia. In nearly all of these conflicts, there was no threat to the United States.

It is clear from the history of Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, that democracy is no guarantee of peace.

The path to freedom and peace

Throughout the world, thugs and despots – some democratically elected, and some not – solemnly give lip-service to “democracy” and “freedom,” while doing everything in their power to destroy them.

To have a free and peaceful world, we must create societies in which the inalienable rights of the individual person are again respected, and the powers of government are strictly limited.

That means ending confiscation of property without trial, secret arrests, imprisonment without conviction, and torture of prisoners. It means abolishing sovereign-immunity laws, which exempt government agents from legal responsibility when they kidnap, steal, torture, or murder.

It means creating truly independent citizens’ grand juries with the power to investigate and indict corrupt government officials and police.

And it means ceasing government spying on its own citizens and ending foreign invasions to impose “democracy” by force.

No, democracy is not the same as liberty. All too often, building “democracy” has been used as a justification for destroying freedom.

To achieve a free and peaceful world, we must restore freedom and individual liberty, not democracy."

The Truth Concerning Contemporary 'Conservative' Ideology

The Great Conservative Hoax by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.: "Similarly, when the whole of your intellectual enterprise has been wrapped up in celebrating the nation-state and its wars, condemning civil liberties, casting aspersions on religious liberty, and heralding the jail and the electric chair as the answer to all of society’s problems, you can't complain when your policies produce tin-pot despotic imperialists like Bush. You have no intellectual apparatus with which to beat them back.

The problem with American conservatism is that it hates the left more than the state, loves the past more than liberty, feels a greater attachment to nationalism than to the idea of self-determination, believes brute force is the answer to all social problems, and thinks it is better to impose truth rather than risk losing one soul to heresy. It has never understood the idea of freedom as a self-ordering principle of society. It has never seen the state as the enemy of what conservatives purport to favor. It has always looked to presidential power as the saving grace of what is right and true about America.
For my part, I'm hoping that the whole conservative movement will go down in flames with the decline and fall of the Bush administration. The red-state fascists have had their day and instead of liberty, they gave us the most raw and stupid form of imperial big government one can imagine. They have given America a bad name around the world. They have bamboozled millions. They have looted and bankrupted the country. They have killed tens of thousands.

If they don't crack up on their own, we must do what we can to discredit them and their ideology forever."

Common Sense

What Congress Can Do About Soaring Gas Prices by Ron PaulFirst: We must reassess our foreign policy and announce some changes. One of the reasons we went into Iraq was to secure “our” oil. Before the Iraq war oil was less than $30 per barrel; today it is over $70. The sooner we get out of Iraq and allow the Iraqis to solve their own problems the better. Since 2002 oil production in Iraq has dropped 50%. Pipeline sabotage and fires are routine; we have been unable to prevent them. Soaring gasoline prices are a giant unintended consequence of our invasion, pure and simple.

Second: We must end our obsession for a military confrontation with Iran. Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, and according to our own CIA is not on the verge of obtaining one for years. Iran is not in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and has a guaranteed right to enrich uranium for energy – in spite of the incessant government and media propaganda to the contrary. Iran has never been sanctioned by the UN Security Council. Yet the drumbeat grows louder for attacking certain sites in Iran, either by conventional or even nuclear means. Repeated resolutions by Congress stir up unnecessary animosity toward Iran, and create even more concern about future oil supplies from the Middle East. We must quickly announce we do not seek war with Iran, remove the economic sanctions against her, and accept her offer to negotiate a diplomatic solution to the impasse. An attack on Iran, coupled with our continued presence in Iraq, could hike gas prices to $5 or $6 per gallon here at home. By contrast, a sensible approach toward Iran could quickly lower oil prices by $20 per barrel.

Third: We must remember that prices of all things go up because of inflation. Inflation by definition is an increase in the money supply. The money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank, and responds to the deficits Congress creates. When deficits are excessive, as they are today, the Fed creates new dollars out of thin air to buy Treasury bills and keep interest rates artificially low. But when new money is created out of nothing, the money already in circulation loses value. Once this is recognized, prices rise-- some more rapidly than others. That’s what we see today with the cost of energy.

"Oil prices are at a level where consumers reduce consumption voluntarily. The market will work if we let it. But as great as the market economy is, it cannot overcome a foreign policy that is destined to disrupt oil supplies and threaten the world with an expanded and dangerous conflict in the Middle East."

Partisan Blindness to Truth

This piece serves to explain the problem with American public, it is by definition unwilling to hear the other side. Left and right only reads and hears what cannot seriouly challenge its ideological persuasion.
The Fox News Effect: "On the other hand, Democrats avoided Fox when it came to political news and preferred National Public Radio and CNN. And when the news focused on controversial issues such as the Iraq war and politics, 'partisans are especially likely to screen out sources they consider opposed to their political views,' said Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar, director of the communication lab."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another Credibility Gap - Propaganda and Science Journals

For Science's Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap - New York Times: "Journals have devolved into information-laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry, say Dr. Richard Smith, the former editor of BMJ, the British medical journal, and Dr. Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet, also based in Britain.

The journals rely on revenues from industry advertisements. But because journals also profit handsomely by selling drug companies reprints of articles reporting findings from large clinical trials involving their products, editors may 'face a frighteningly stark conflict of interest' in deciding whether to publish such a study, Dr. Smith said."

Beams on Christian Eyes

Beam Christians by Laurence M. Vance: "Beams on Christian Eyes

These beams can take many forms. For some the beam is President Bush. Because they are so blinded to Bush’s pseudo-Christianity, some Christians actually believe that Bush is "God ordained" or "God’s anointed" or "one of us." For others the beam is conservatism. Christians who are theologically conservative have made a terrible mistake in identifying with the conservative movement, with is propensity for nationalism and power at the expense of liberty. For some the beam is the Republican Party. They know the Democratic Party is too far to the left to even consider. But in spite of the bones it throws to the free market, the Republican Party is no better. It is the party of militarism, big government, plunder, compromises, and sellouts. For others the beam is the military. They actually think that the Department of Defense is defending our freedoms by meddling in the affairs of other countries all over the globe. The fact that the United States spends more on its military than Russia, China, Japan, Britain, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Brazil, India, Italy, South Korea, Iran, Israel, Taiwan, Canada, Spain, Australia, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Singapore put together doesn’t seem to raise a red flag with these people. In some cases it is the U.S. government that is the beam which blinds these Christians. They can be spotted by the sound of their mantra: "obey the powers that be." They want so much to believe that the U.S. government is a force for good in the world instead of the force for evil that it currently is because of its military adventures and its interventionist foreign policy.

Beam Christians are shallow thinkers. They foolishly reason that because some outspoken liberals are opposed to this war then they should support it. These Christians have such a beam in their eye that it has gone into their brain and affected their thinking. It doesn’t seem to have ever occurred to these people that it is the retired generals and groups like Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans against the War that oppose the war that anti-war Christians are in agreement with, not some Hollywood leftist who only opposes the war because a Republican president started it.

Some Christians are blinded by indifference. Don’t ask them their view about Bush and his war – "What difference does it make?" is their only reply. Perhaps the greatest beam that blinds some Christians is pride. They will not publicly admit that they were deceived into supporting the war and were wrong about Bush, wrong about the conservative movement, wrong about the Republican Party, wrong about the military, and wrong about the government’s foreign policy.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Goering: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

Unfortunately, and to their shame, it works the same way with Christians as well. From the discord-sowing, self-proclaimed champion e-mail debater to the indifferent, washed-up evangelist, to the blind government-respecting employee of a Christian ministry – it works the same way every time. They are all beam Christians."

State Terrorism

Hideous Kinky by Chris Floyd: "And so it was again this week when The Washington Post outlined the Pentagon's plan to put dirty war – by death squad, snatch squad, secret armies, subversion, torture and terrorism – at the very heart of America's military philosophy. Not defense against declared enemies, not deterrence of potential foes, but conducting "continuous" covert military operations in countries "where the United States is not at war" is now the Pentagon's "highest priority," according to the new "campaign plan for the global war on terror" issued by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

What's more, the plan makes it clear that Rumsfeld, far from being politically vulnerable, has in fact been exalted above every other institution and official of the U.S. government, with the exception of the twin tyrants in the White House, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The Pentagon warlord has been given carte blanche to send the 53,000 secret soldiers of the Special Operations Command into any nation he pleases, to undertake any mission he pleases, without congressional approval, legal restraint or the authority of the target nation's U.S. ambassador. Thus America's diplomats, the ostensible representatives of the nation abroad, have been reduced to mere frontmen, pathetic beards for black ops savaging the laws, sovereignty and citizens of their hosts.

The plan is the culmination and codification of an ad hoc array of programs and powers that Bush has doled out to Rumsfeld over the years, including a series of executive orders signed after the 2004 election that essentially turned the world into a "global free-fire zone" for the Pentagon's secret armies and proxy foreign militias, as a top Pentagon official told The New Yorker. "We're going to be riding with the bad boys," another Bush insider said. Yet another courtier compared it to the glory days of the Reagan-Bush years: "Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador? We founded them and we financed them. The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren't going to tell Congress about it." The overriding ethos of the plan is brutally simple: "The rules are, 'Grab whom you must. Do what you want,'" an intelligence official told The New Yorker.

Perhaps most ominously, the plan makes copious preparations for expanding the range of the war on terror even further. The trigger for these new actions is another terrorist strike on U.S. soil. Oddly enough, the Bush faction views such an unspeakable horror as an "opportunity," Pentagon officials told the Post; it would provide a "justification," they said, for hitting already-targeted individuals, groups and states that for various political reasons have not yet been subjected to what Bush likes to call, in his bloodthirsty parlance, "the path of action."

Rumsfeld's 'campaign plan' is itself a blueprint for state terrorism, an open license to break any and every law on earth and inflict human suffering on a global scale. Yet the only controversial aspect of this sinister program noted by the Post was the potential turf battles it might spark within the national security bureaucracy. Not a single question was raised about the morality or legality of the undertaking; the Pentagon's assertion that only 'bad guys' would be hit was simply swallowed whole – despite the glaring fact that tens of thousands of innocent people have already been killed or falsely imprisoned in the so-called 'war on terror.'"

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bushisms: True or false?

A 'Don't Misunderestimate Bush quiz"

1 In July 2002, President George W Bush told Tony Blair, "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur." True or false?

Correct! The comment was reported in The Times on 9 July, 2002.

2 While on a tour of Asia, George W used the word "devaluation" instead of "deflation" and immediately triggered a big drop in Japan's currency, the yen. True or false?

Correct! He said it in February 2002. Bush aides hastened to clear up the confusion saying the president had "misspoken".

3 In June last year, the US president told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, "I said you were a man of peace. I want you to know I took immense crap for that." True or false?

Correct! The comment was reported in the Washington Post on 3 June.

4 In April, George W said this about Iraq, "It will take time to restore chaos and order." True or false?

Correct! He said it to reporters while talking about Iraqi POWs.

5 In September 2000, Dubya revealed to his fellow Americans that "more and more of our imports come from overseas". True or false?

Correct! He came out with this gem in 2000 during his campaign for the presidency.

Respecting the Dignity of All

What leads millions of people to transgress the law of inmigration? Could it be possible that the law itself is to blame? Is the law justifying plunder?

If people want to work and employers want the workers, isn't it the responsibility of the law to secure the means for this to happen in a just manner without plunder or explotation, respecting the dignity of all?

Most people are missing to point, Legally right does not mean Morally right.

If you want clarity concerning this issue, ask yourself the following questions: who is making a profit out of the current state of affairs?, and ask also if they have any say in setting up the laws that underlay the whole problem.

Control Over Higher Learning

The 'Academic Bill of Rights' by Ron Paul: "Opponents of increased federalization of higher education should be especially concerned about HR 609's 'Academic Bill of Rights.' This provision takes a step toward complete federal control of college curricula, grading, and teaching practices. While the provision is worded as a 'sense of Congress,' the clear intent is to intimidate college administrators into ensuring professors' lectures and lesson plans meet with federal approval."