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Fri

03

Nov

2006

Palestine: Women of Beit Hanoun Go "Over the Top"

by Chris Cook


The symbol of the end of the 'Gilded Age' and ultimate refutation of Hope in the still young 20th Century, the ‘Trenches’ of the First War, horrors filled with dead farm boys, a-swim in mud, blood, rats and the reek of futility was given an eerie revisiting today in Palestine. Through the courtesy of BBC television, we witnessed not the flower of Europe's manhood going "over the top," but the women of Palestine, desperate to shield their sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers from the relentless, and pitiless, and murderous Israeli Defence Force, mounting the barricade to face naked the guns.

 

 

 

Mon

02

Oct

2006

A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?
When Hillary Clinton said that her husband Bill was the target of “a vast right-wing conspiracy”, her critics just laughed at her. No one is laughing now.

Next week, President Bush will sign the “Military Commissions Act of 2006” into law. The new legislation will repeal the central tenets of the U.S. Constitution which require the state to charge a man with a crime before putting him in jail, as well as the 8th amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and inhuman” punishment. The law will allow Bush to imprison anyone he chooses and abuse them as he sees fit. It places Bush above the law, our first American monarch.
 

Sun

05

Nov

2006

Neocon Ship Down

by Anwaar Hussain

 
Crashing on the rocks of hubris, the ship Neocon is finally going down and small little furry creatures, commonly known as rats but which once acted onboard like Goliaths, are falling over each other in their mad scurry to jump the ship.

The Neocon propped Bush Administration is preparing to cut and run from Iraq. The most convincing sign of this came when it emerged that Bechtel Corp, one of the biggest construction firms in the world, was leaving the country for good with no new contract to continue the job.

As America prepares to slink out of Iraq, leaving behind legions of demons let lose on Iraqi streets and more than half a million corpses, the discredited Neocons too are jumping the ship taking along with them their myopic vision of U.S. foreign policy that they had used to steer not just America but the whole world into perilous waters.

The stampede was started by William F. Buckley, Jr., that diehard conservative and the pied piper for the American establishments. In a February 2006 piece in his Right wing’s mouth piece journal, National Review, he conceded;

"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. … Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans."


 

Fri

03

Nov

2006

Endgame: The Lights Are Going Out All Over Baghdad

by Chris Floyd

 

While the American election campaign thrashes toward the finish line with the usual spasms of witless diversion and hyper-mendacity – an echo chamber of utter bullshit roaring in a media bubble murderously detached from reality – in the actual world of flesh and blood, the destruction of Iraq engineered by George W. Bush is entering a new phase that could make the previous three years of all-devouring hell look like a sojourn in paradise.

Baghdad is under siege, as Patrick Cockburn reports in the Independent; the city has been encircled by Sunni militias who have cut almost all the roads leading into the capital. Inside the city, "the scale of killing is already as bad as Bosnia at the height of the Balkans conflict," says Cockburn. And it will inevitably, inexorably grow worse, as Shiite militias consolidate their hold within Baghdad while trying to break the blockade from outside. Already, "food shortages are becoming severe" in some parts of the city, he reports, while almost a thousand Iraqis are being slaughtered each week, mostly in Baghdad. Meanwhile, at least 1.5 million internal refugees have fled the ethnic cleansing by both Sunni and Shiite militias, joining the hundreds of thousands who have fled the country altogether. Again, these numbers dwarf those in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars – while the total dead from Bush's war, a very credible estimate of at least 650,000, is approaching the level of the Rwandan genocide.


 

Sat

30

Sep

2006

Thunder on the Mountain: The Murderers of Democracy

“Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes.

I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.”

-- Bob Dylan, “Thunder on the Mountain”


 

Sat

04

Nov

2006

Freedom Loved and Hated

by Paul Balles

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. --Thomas Jefferson

 

There’s no such thing as objectivity. Everything is seen through conditioned eyes. What we love or hate depends on the kind of washing our brains have been subjected to. That theory is verifiable. The practical evidence can be seen in the world’s press.

The Western mind looks at the world through the familiar eyes of CNN, BBC, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC, ABC, Reuters or the Associated Press and Rupert Murdoch. To the Eastern and Middle Eastern mind, much of the controlled Western perspective of the world doesn’t make sense. The Middle East TV channel Al Jazeera, broadcasting in Arabic out of Doha, Qatar, makes sense to 40 million viewers.

The channel has been the object of personal vendettas, agency closures, assassinations and vilification by a number of regimes and government organizations. The real reason for the hatred and attacks? Al Jazeera is the only completely free public broadcasting organization in the world.

Al Jazeera should be a lesson for journalists from other news organizations. Not that restrained journalists could do much to free themselves from the controls that inhibit and restrict them worldwide, but a few might realize the possibilities of truly working as the professionals that journalists should be. Because it exercises freedom from political restraints, here are some of the results experienced by Al Jazeera:

 


 

Thu

21

Sep

2006

America… I Apologize!

My fellow Americans, it is with a heavy heart that I must confess. I have transgressed. I have committed the most heinous crime of our great land. I have been… hang on... OK.... the lawyer firm, which represents me, Dewey, Cheatem and Howe, has plea-bargained my sentence. If I plead guilty, I will not be charged for high treason for wearing the “Bush is a Moron T-Shirt” when last I visited Washington, DC. You see, I must admit that I have been… thinking!

 

Fri

03

Nov

2006

Palestine as a Foil for People’s Unconnected Dreams
By Ramzy Baroud.

Thousands of people recently marched in London to commemorate Quds Day, an annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people that emanated from Tehran some 26 years ago.

I neither wish to contend nor corroborate the sincerity of the call, made by Ayatollah Khomeini, in a time when the Palestinian people endure, unaided, the unbearable brunt of the Israeli occupation, international isolation and its subsequent economic boycott, and the burden of their leaderships’ own folly, that of factionalism and lack of political coherence.

However, the scene in London was too surreal, and brought into question the usefulness of such displays of solidarity with the Palestinians. As Hezbollah and Iranian flags and banners wavered in the cold London breeze, and posters of Iranian leaders sprung everywhere, I failed to spot one Palestinian flag, one positive message, one helpful chant. It was only when the black clad Neturei Karta rabbis made their entrance that the Palestinian flag was introduced into the march.


 

Tue

24

Oct

2006

Let's March in January! An Impeachment Call to Action

by Dave Lindorff

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that, barring some incredible act of criminal cynicism such as the bombardment of Iran by the president, the Democrats are going to take over the House of Representatives.

That being the case, I propose that it's time all those patriots and lovers of liberty, all those who oppose the administration's mad imperial military policies, all those who recognize the so-called War on Terror for what it is--a War on America, all those whose stomachs turned at the sight of the fatal drowning of New Orleans, all those who are outraged at a president who claims the right to violate laws at will, to ignore acts of Congress and to snub rulings of the Supreme Court, all those who are sick of seeing their government function like a whorehouse for corporate Johns, all those who are angry at having a government that tortures and kidnaps people, including children, in our name, all those who know that there are dark secrets about 9-11 being buried by traitors in the White House, all those who despair at seeing the Bill of Rights ripped out of the Constitution article by article, begin a mass campaign to make impeachment of President Bush item one on the agenda of the next Congress.


 

Mon

02

Oct

2006

NATO’s Inferno
Civilised (adjective): cultured, educated, refined, enlightened, polite, elegant, sophisticated, urbane
Civilise (verb): to enlighten, educate, cultivate, improve, advance, develop, refine

Poor old Dante Alighieri, were he around today, I am sure he would find it difficult to find the words to describe the evils visited by so-called civilised nations on the defenceless of the planet, assuming that is, he was fully informed of what is going on.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised but nevertheless I am. Surprised firstly that I live in a barbaric culture that has been able to masquerade as civilised and secondly, that it has been able to persuade the world that it possesses civilised credentials in the first place. And thirdly, that it has been able to carry off this illusion for well on five hundred years.

Most of us associate the idea of being civilised with learning and with respect for culture, though the root of the word is that of the city dweller.


 

Sun

17

Sep

2006

The Bush Magical Mystery Political Capital Tour

The Bush War Cabinet is invoking the memory of 9/11 as justification for their systematic shredding of constitutional and human rights. President Bush is now on a national speaking tour to make Americans believe they need to constantly be in fear, and should not question the Administration's policies. Instilling fear into Americans, unfortunately, has worked before, and this War President believes it'll continue to work

 

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and the rest of the gang that thinks they’re a war cabinet supporting the man who thinks he’s a war president used the fifth anniversary of 9/11 to tell the world how great they are.       In speech after speech, all meant to boost their neocon candidates’ chances for re-election in two months, they dominated the news media to proclaim that under their watch there have been no more attacks on American soil. They looked directly into the cameras and told us that because Americans are fighting in Iraq, the terrorists aren’t in New York City. For their part, the establishment media willingly disseminated the PR. 

 

 

 

Thu

02

Nov

2006

Kerry and Bush: The Joke's on Us

by Dave Lindorff

 

There are so many things to say about the John Kerry gaffe, it's hard to know where to start.


Just the idea of President Bush’s scolding Kerry and telling him that "words are important" is beyond belief. This, after all, is the guy who for five years has been warning Americans about various "nookular" threats facing us. A guy who has his every utterance scripted for him and yet still manages to screw up his lines with regularity. A guy who had to have a cueing device hidden in his ear canal during his debates with that selfsame Kerry, so he'd avoid just standing at the lectern and saying "duh" in response to questions.

 


 

But let's not stop there. Kerry himself was right in character. He clearly didn't write his own joke, and was too slow-witted to get the joke he was supposed to deliver, which reportedly was that if students didn't work and study hard might end up someday being ignorant incurious leaders like President Bush, and getting the country into another mess like Iraq. It wasn't much of a joke, but by bunging it up, Kerry revealed his Boston Brahman snobbishness, saying instead that if students didn't study hard, they'd end up in Iraq--the clear implication being that he thinks that the US troops fighting and dying in Iraq are there because they’re uneducated.

Kerry, the candidate who voted for the war but opposes the war, who voted for funding for the war and voted against it, is now trying to say that the joke he told is not the joke that was written for him, but that's not going to work. He certainly should have understood instantly what he was saying when he said it, and realized how smarmy it was. What we're left with is the unavoidable conclusion that Kerry doesn't know anything about what he's saying when he says it. Like Bush, he's just reading a script, and like Bush, he's bungling it badly.

 

Sat

30

Sep

2006

Dear Dubya: The Iraq Solution!

Hey there Georgie Boy, long time no speak. From what I’ve been hearing, you’ve had a rough time as of late. As always, I’m here to help. So put down that comic book: 9/11: A Graphic Adaptation, and listen up! I have The Solution.

 

I’ve noticed strain on your face. News reporters aren’t giving you the respect you think you deserve. Your hand puppet… er I mean right hand man, Tony Blair, with a little encouragement from outraged Labour Party MPs, is on the verge of moving out of Number 10 Downing Street. The courts are starting to tell you can’t sit around listening in on the party line anymore. And some smart aleck senators tried to tell you thumbscrews and swirlies were not acceptable! Obviously they didn’t belong to the same frat house you did. Good thing you put the kaibosh on that!

The worst of all is… Iraq. We always keep coming back to Iraq don’t we? It’s the big corncob up the POTUS butt. It ain’t working out. Anbar Province is all but lost. In Baghdad, bodies are piling up higher than that mountain of missing left socks in your laundry room.


Civil war is raging in this little Liberation Quagmire you’ve created.
 

 

Sun

05

Nov

2006

The Demagogic Whistle Stop

by Will Durst

 

Oh for crum’s sake, people. It was a joke! “If you don’t study in school you’ll end up getting stuck in Iraq.” Get it? LIKE THE PRESIDENT! He can’t get out of Iraq. He didn’t study. He’s stuck. John Kerry was talking about George Bush. He wasn’t talking about our troops. John Kerry was a troop. Anybody who can’t figure that out is either a cynical oaf hiding their scurrilous ass behind the troops or pretending they’re dumber than they already are, and from all appearances, the President falls into one of those categories, and if its the latter, that’s a very scary proposition indeed.

Right before Senator John Kerry blew the joke about how dumb people get stuck in Iraq, he blew another about how President Bush comes from the state of Texas but now lives in the state of denial. See, its a pattern. That’s ostensibly a joke too. Didn’t get much of a laugh on that one either. In the “stuck in Iraq” joke, he left out the word “us.” it was supposed to be “you’ll end up getting US stuck in Iraq,” which is funnier on paper especially if you read the “us” as “U.S.” making it work on a couple of different levels.

Both of which are way beyond the cognitive range of most college students in Pasadena. Which is why only dogs think John Kerry is funny.


 

Sun

24

Sep

2006

The Land Without Hope

“Imagine what it's like to be a young person living in a country that is not moving toward reform. You're 21 years old, and while your peers in other parts of the world are casting their ballots for the first time, you are powerless to change the course of your government.

“While your peers in other parts of the world have received educations that prepare them for the opportunities of a global economy, you have been fed propaganda and conspiracy theories that blame others for your country's shortcomings.

“And everywhere you turn, you hear extremists who tell you that you can escape your misery and regain your dignity through violence and terror and martyrdom.”  

- George W. Bush, September 19, 2006 speaking before the United Nations -  

Sounds pretty grim.  Where in the world does this land void of hope exist?  

Imagine what it's like to be a young person living in a country that is not moving toward reform.

 

Sat

04

Nov

2006

Philly Inquirer: Making Biased News out of Mole Hills
by Dave Lindorff

For an example of shameless partisanship and promotion of one candidate in the news pages, it would be hard to find a case more over the top than the Philadelphia Inquirer's handling of John Kerry's botched joke.

Although it offered absolutely no evidence to support the claim that the joke incident had induced a single Pennsylvania voter to change sides in the Senate race from Democratic challenger Bob Casey to Republican incumbent Rick Santorum, the once-proud paper ran a banner headline on its front page on Nov. 2 saying "Kerry's gaffe jolts Santorum, Casey," with a subhead that said, "Santorum uses the remark to put Casey on the offensive."

Anonymous "analysts" were said near the top of the article to be claiming that Kerry's remark to students implying that those who didn't hit the books in college would end up "stuck in Iraq" had "cracked a small window of opportunity for Santorum's struggling campaign." No mention was made of the fact that Santorum is in trouble precisely because the majority of Pennsylvania's voters have concluded that his war-mongering (he wants war with Iran, too) and uncritical support of Bush's war in Iraq mean he has to go.

The truth is that Kerry's remark, which was characteristic of this Boston blue-blood snob, was nothing but a meaningless blip on the electoral terrain, where the vast majority of Americans have already concluded that they've been lied to big time by the Bush administration, and ill-served by a Republican Congress that has turned into nothing but an unthinking cheering section for Bush administration war-mongering. The only way Kerry's comments could have any impact on this election--nationally or in Pennsylvania--would be if they were hyped and blown up in the media into something they were not. But then, that is precisely what the Inquirer attempted to do by making them page-one banner material.


 
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