Friday, March 16, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Vietnamese legendary Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, 93, meets with Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro, younger brother and designated successor to President Fidel Castro, on Wednesday, April 28, 2005, at Giap's house in Hanoi, Vietnam. Castro is visiting Vietnam as the communist country prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War on Saturday, April 30. (Ap Photo/ Doan Bao Chau)


Click on photo


March 05, 2007
Palestinian-Israeli Dispute Engenders American Sympathy for Israelis
Public's views have become more polarized over last 10 years

by Lydia Saad


PRINCETON, NJ -- For the nearly 20 years Gallup has been tracking Americans' sympathies in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, more Americans have continually sided with Israelis. That remains the case today, as a solid majority of Americans (58%) say their sympathies lie with the Israelis and only 20% say their sympathies are more with the Palestinians. This is according to Gallup's annual World Affairs survey, updated Feb. 1-4, 2007.

-Imperial Hubris
Michael F. Scheuer

Does unvarying military, economic, and political support for Israel serve substantive US interests, those that, by definition, affect America's survival?

Do we totally support Israel because it is essential to our security, or because of habit, the prowess of Israel's American lobbyists and spies, the half-true mantra that Israel is a democracy, the fear of having no control over a state we allowed to become armed with WMD, the bewildering pro-Israel alliance of liberal Democrats and Christian fundamentalist, and a misplaced sense of guilt over he Holocaust?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007


By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 6, 2007; A11

(Speaking before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce prior to his South American trip)

George Bush talked of grinding poverty and called it "a scandal" that democracy and capitalism have not delivered more to Latin Americans. The working poor need change, he declared.

George Bush invoked Simon Bolivar, the "great liberator," and vowed to "complete the revolution" and bring true "social justice" to the region

Bush Likens George Washington, Simon Bolivar

Last Edited: Tuesday, 06 Mar 2007, 2:30 AM EST
Created: Monday, 05 Mar 2007, 10:00 PM EST
03/05/2007 --

(Speaking before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce prior to his South American trip)

President George W. Bush likens George Washington, whom Americans call the father of their country, and Simon Bolivar, the South American independence hero who has become the symbol of the region's anti-U.S. movement.

In a speech to members of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday, ahead of his trip to Latin America this week, Bush said Bolivar "is often compared" to Washington.

"Like Washington, he was a general who fought for the right of his people to govern themselves," he said.

He added, "Like Washington, he succeeded in defeating a much stronger colonial power; and like Washington, he belongs to all of us who love liberty."

Bush Prepares for Trip to Latin America
As Counter to Chávez, Six-Day Tour Is Designed to Deliver Message: 'We Care'


By Ron Hutcheson and Pablo Bachelet
McClatchy Newspapers

(Speaking before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce prior to his South American trip)

WASHINGTON - President Bush acknowledged Monday that U.S.-backed economic policies and free-trade agreements have failed to lift millions of Latin Americans from poverty.

"The fact is that tens of millions of our brothers and sisters to the south have seen little improvement in their daily lives, and this has led some to question the value of democracy," he told members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "The working poor of Latin America need change, and the United States of America is committed to that change."

Chavez, a fiery leftist who recently called Bush the "king of liars," also will be on the road. He'll host an anti-Bush rally in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday in advance of Bush's stop in neighboring Uruguay.

  • Bush announced a series of relatively modest efforts to help the poor, including a plan to send U.S. military medical teams to the region.
  • In Mexico, Bush will meet President Felipe Calderon, in Merida, in the Yucatan Peninsula, a site picked to avoid the threat of massive protests in Mexico City.
  • In Brazil, Bush is expected to announce a joint effort to promote the production of ethanol made from sugar cane, though some corn-based ethanol producers in the United States worry that the initiative could hurt their business.
  • Bush has invited Lula to join him later this month at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
  • "The objectives of this trip are not to unveil a grandiose vision for the hemisphere," Bush would try to "present another option" to Chavez and show "the softer, gentler side of the Bush administration."
  • he'll take time out to tour a national park in Uruguay and
  • visit Mayan ruins in Guatemala and Mexico.
  • He'll also meet with poor children in Brazil,
  • hold a roundtable discussion with Colombians of African descent and
  • visit an agricultural cooperative in Guatemala.
Bush said he wants to reach out to Latin Americans who "remain stuck in poverty and shut off from the promises of the new century."


But this is the first war I’ve ever covered in which the leadership in the West bases its policies on its own lies. I mean, it's one thing to lie to the people, and then you have your own policy of how to pursue a war...

...but to pursue the war on the basis of the lies you're telling the people, this is an entirely new concept in war and strategy in foreign policy. I’ve never seen it before.

From an interview with Robert Fisk on Democracy Now and Amy Goodman

Sunday, March 04, 2007


CLICK on map for enlargment


...There are only two choices left: We confront the monster, or we invite it to dinner.”

At another point in the movie, one of the kidnappers asks his victim, “When half the city is knee-deep in shit and you’re rolling in an expensive car, you expect them not to hate you? Why shouldn’t they hate you?”

Secuestro Express introduces its subject from a nervous distance. The film opens with ominous music and sweeping, aerial shots of the city’s expansive slums. Tin-roofed shanties crammed onto the hills ringing the prosperous center city tumble over one another chaotically, but also seem massed, as if waiting for a signal to swallow up the high-rises and condos below. They are an explosion, a violence, waiting to happen.

Entreaties to “build the middle-class” and “extend a hand to whoever works for you” are of course meaningless, feel-good platitudes offered as alternatives to empowering the impoverished. It’s a politics based, like Secuestro Express is, on a fear of the poor. You almost have to feel sorry for Jakubowicz and company. They realize both the immorality and the danger of Venezuela’s class divide, but they are too timid to support those working to remedy it. They’re left, then, with their impossible dream: that through the extended hands of the rich, Niga, Budú, and the slums of Caracas will disappear—poof!—and Trece will be declared chairman of the Revolutionary Republic of Middle-Class Venezuela.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Sunni insurgent groups

(top row):

  • Jihad Factions of Iraq,
  • Al-Qassas Brigade,
  • Al-Rashedeen Army,
  • Islamic State of Iraq,
  • Mujahideen Army;

(bottom row)

  • Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI),
  • 1920 Revolution Brigades,
  • IAI.

For somebody in America, Evan Kohlmann has a remarkably intimate view of the Iraq insurgency. In 2004, he founded, a clearinghouse of virtually every communiqué -- video, audio, Internet, printed -- issued by insurgent groups in Iraq. For three years, Kohlmann has pored through every one of them, with the help of Arabic translators, and emerged with a clear-eyed view of who is fighting whom in Iraq and why. Given his insights, Kohlmann has been put to work as a consultant by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the FBI and the CIA.

Friday, March 02, 2007



The Bush-Cheney regime is America's first neoconservative regime. In a few short years, the regime has destroyed the
  • Bill of Rights,
  • the separation of powers,
  • the Geneva Conventions, and the
  • remains of America's moral reputation along with
  • the infrastructures of two Muslim countries and countless thousands of Islamic civilians.

Plans have been prepared, and forces moved into place, for an
  • attack on a third Islamic country, Iran, and perhaps
  • Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well.

This extraordinary aggressiveness toward the US Constitution, international law, and the Islamic world is the work, not of a vast movement, but of a handful of ideologues--principally
  • Vice President Dick Cheney,
  • Donald Rumsfeld,
  • Lewis Libby,
  • Douglas Feith,
  • Paul Wolfowitz,
  • Richard Perle,
  • Elliott Abrams,
  • Zalmay Khalilzad,
  • John Bolton,
  • Philip Zelikow, and
  • Attorney General Gonzales.

They have been supported by their media shills at the

  • Weekly Standard,
  • National Review,
  • Fox News,
  • New York Times,
  • CNN, and the
  • Wall Street Journal editorial page and by
  • "scholars" in assorted think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute.

The entirety of their success is based on the power of
  • propaganda and the
  • big lie.

Bush accuses Iran of arming the Iraqi insurgents, a charge that experts regard as improbable. The Iraqi insurgents are Sunni. They inflict casualties on our troops, but spend most of their energy killing Iraqi Shi'ites, who are closely allied with Iran, which is Shi'ite. Bush's accusation requires us to believe that Iran is arming the enemies of its allies.

On the basis of this absurd accusation--a pure invention--Bush has
  • ordered a heavy concentration of aircraft carrier attack forces off Iran's coast, and
  • he has moved US attack planes to Turkish bases and
  • other US bases in countries contingent to Iran.

In testimony before Congress on February 1 of this year, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said that he expected the regime to orchestrate a "head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large." He said a plausible scenario was "a terrorist act blamed on Iran, culminating in a 'defensive' US military action against Iran." He said that the neoconservative propaganda machine was already articulating a "mythical historical narrative" for widening their war against Islam.

Why is the US spending one trillion dollars on wars, the reasons for which are patently false. What is going on?

There are several parts to the answer. Like their forebears among the
  • Jacobins of the French Revolution, the
  • Bolsheviks of the communist revolution, and the
  • National Socialists of Hitler's revolution,

neoconservatives believe that they have a monopoly on virtue and the right to impose hegemony on the rest of the world. Neoconservative conquests began in the Middle East because oil and Israel, with which neocons are closely allied, are both in the MIddle East.

The American oil giant, UNOCAL, had plans for an oil and gas pipeline through Afghanistan, but the Taliban were not sufficiently cooperative. The US invasion of Afghanistan was used to install Hamid Karzai, who had been on UNOCAL's payroll, as puppet prime minister. US neoconservative Zalmay Khalilzad, who also had been on UNOCAL's payroll, was installed as US ambassador to Afghanistan.

Two years later Khalilzad was appointed US ambassador to Iraq. American oil companies have been given control over the exploitation of Iraq's oil resources.

The Israeli relationship is perhaps even more important. In 1996 Richard Perle and the usual collection of neocons proposed that all of Israel's enemies in the Middle East be overthrown. "Israel's enemies" consist of the Muslim countries not in the hands of US puppets or allies. For decades Israel has been stealing Palestine from the Palestinians such that today there is not enough of Palestine left to comprise an independent country. The US and Israeli governments blame Iran, Iraq, and Syria for aiding and abetting Palestinian resistance to Israel's theft of Palestine.

The Bush-Cheney regime came to power with the
  • plans drawn to attack the remaining independent countries in the Middle East and
  • with neoconservatives in office to implement the plans.

However, an excuse was required. Neoconservatives had
  • called for "a new Pearl Harbor," and
  • 9/11 provided the propaganda event needed in order to
  • stampede the public and Congress into war.
  • Neoconservative Philip Zelikow was put in charge of the 9/11 Commission Report to make certain no uncomfortable facts emerged.

The neoconservatives have had enormous help from the
  • corporate media, from
  • Christian evangelicals, particularly from the "Rapture Evangelicals,"
  • flag-waving superpatriots, and from the
  • military-industrial complex whose profits have prospered.

But the fact remains that the dozen men named in the second paragraph above were able to
  • overthrow the US Constitution and
  • launch military aggression under the guise of a
  • preventive/preemptive "war against terrorism."

When the American people caught on that the "war on terror" was a cloak for wars of aggression, they
  • put Democrats in control of Congress in order to
  • apply a brake to the regime's warmongering. However, the
  • Democrats have proven to be impotent to stop the neoconservative drive to wider war and, perhaps, world conflagration.

We are witnessing the triumph of a dozen evil men over American democracy and a free press.