Saturday, September 10, 2005

Exiles from a city and from a nation by Cornel West

It takes something as big as Hurricane Katrina and the misery we saw among the poor black people of New Orleans to get America to focus on race and poverty. It happens about once every 30 or 40 years.

What we saw unfold in the days after the hurricane was the most naked manifestation of conservative social policy towards the poor, where the message for decades has been: 'You are on your own'. Well, they really were on their own for five days in that Superdome, and it was Darwinism in action - the survival of the fittest. People said: 'It looks like something out of the Third World.' Well, New Orleans was Third World long before the hurricane. It's not just Katrina, it's povertina.

Requiem for a Nation

What do you think of these words: “Unable to win hearts and minds, the invaders now aim lower. The overwhelming evidence is that …the occupiers widened the war to destroy food production in rebel-held areas. The report lists indiscriminate bombings, reprisal against villages and villagers, summary executions, … theft of civilian property, desecration of mosques, killing prisoners of war, wreckage of hospitals, assaults on journalists, training children as spies - all violations of Geneva conventions to which the Soviet Union has solemnly subscribed.”

It seems these are words from some “Islamist” web site, which spew venom against the allied forces’ noble mission in Iraq to motivate and recruit “terrorist” insurgents. Surprisingly, these are words from an editor ial of the New York Times — an editor ial in which it reminds the occupier of “all violations of Geneva conventions to which” the it “has solemnly subscribed.”

Our Neighbor - The Enemy

Four years before his death on December 17th 1830 at the age of 47 in Santa Marta, now in modern day Colombia on the Caribbean coast, the Liberator of South America from the Spanish Empire, Simon Bolivar, made the following prophesy:

"The United States of North America are destined by providence to plague America with misery in the name of freedom"

For something said in 1826, almost 170 years ago, it could not have been more accurate. Bolivar sensed from his dealings with the US at that time what the future held for the newly formed independent countries of the continent. He also saw it in light of the 1823 Monroe Doctrine which made it legal for the US to invade any country south of the Rio Grande and to ensure that "America is for the Americans" - in other words the Americas are for North Americans and no one else in the western hemisphere. Cental and South America would never belong to the people who inhabited them if the United States had their way. The US only nominally recognized these countries independence from Spain several years after Spain itself had recognized it!

Activists plan 9/11 Katrina protest

Activists are organizing plans for Katrina survivors to march in Washington D.C. on and plan to stage an act of civil disobedience by building an encampment on the Washington D.C. mall on Sept. 11, RAW STORY has learned. The encampment would serve as a center for Katrina activism.

Two websites have been established to support the cause: and In the past day, unique hits on have risen from 239 to 3,562, organizers said.

The term "Bushville" was inspired by encampments of homeless people dubbed "Hoovervilles" that sprang up following the Great Depression.

Will Bush wriggle out of this one?

IT'S AN ILL wind that blows no good. But how will the political winds shift as the enormity of the Katrina disaster sinks in?

We face two opposite prospects. The first is that Americans will finally grasp that what connects the catastrophes in New Orleans and Iraq is a witches' brew of self-delusion, deliberate deception, cronyism, and staggering incompetence on the part of the Bush administration. Republicans, meanwhile, will desert a president who is becoming a plain embarrassment even to his staunchest backers.

But there is a darker possibility. The Karl Rove team is gradually getting Republicans back ''on message." The message: There's no point in playing a ''blame game," as Scott McClellan said 15 times at Thursday's press briefing. The New Orleans disaster just proves the unreliability of government in general rather than this feckless president in particular. We should be looking forward to rebuilding -- with the private sector taking the lead.

POLICE STATE IN AMERICA: Now Bush can lock up anyone forever without charge

As if the official ineptitude of the Bush administration in the aftermath of Katrina and the callousness of the Bush family were not enough to digest, a U.S. Federal appeals court has just delivered this bombshell in the Jose Padilla case:

"The Congress of the United States, in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Joint Resolution, provided the President all powers necessary and appropriate to protect American citizens from terrorist acts by those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001... [T]hose powers include the power to detain identified and committed enemies such as Padilla, who associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban regime, who took up arms against this Nation in its war against these enemies, and who entered the United States for the avowed purpose of further prosecuting that war by attacking American citizens and targets on our own soil..."

The Posada Case When Injustice is Justice

In George Orwell's prophetic novel "1984" the Rulers of Oceania, by their language of newthink and process of doublethink, convinced the masses that statements formerly considered irrational were rational. In other words, virtual reality became actual reality. The Party's slogans, accepted by the ruled, were WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Our US Rulers seem to have us well along these same paths, with new realities surfacing added each year. Another one, INJUSTICE IS JUSTICE, became apparent to some of us in the press who were permitted to attend the Luis Posada Carriles asylum hearing before Homeland Security immigration judge William Abbott last week in El Paso, Texas.

Business Elite Ethnically Cleanse the Poor in New Orleans

Christopher Cooper’s War Street Journal article (Old-line families plot the future) is worth excerpting at length because it so shamelessly reveals how the rich elite “business” sociopaths of New Orleans think and operate:

The mostly African-American neighborhoods of New Orleans are largely underwater, and the people who lived there have scattered across the country. But in many of the predominantly white and more affluent areas, streets are dry and passable. Gracious homes are mostly intact and powered by generators. Wednesday, officials reiterated that all residents must leave New Orleans, but it’s still unclear how far they will go to enforce the order.

Disaster disinformation (Wayne Madsen Report)

September 10, 2005 -- Disaster disinformation. How the United States lied about its military casualties from the Indian Ocean tsumani. According to informed sources in Thailand, the Bush administration largely succeeded in covering up at least 300 U.S. military and paramilitary deaths from last December's Indian Ocean tsunami. The American deaths resulted from the destruction by the surging sea of a joint U.S.-Thai Naval Intelligence Command on Phi Phi island, just north of Phuket on the Indian Ocean coast. A focus of the joint command was Thailand's indigeneous population of Chao Le ("sea gypsies') who are about 90 percent Muslim. The Chao Le, a Malay people, ply the Andaman Sea and maintain commerce with fellow Chao Le along the coasts of Malaysia and Myanmar (Burma). The intelligence command also provided protection for increased (and secretive) U.S. and British oil and gas exploration activity in the Andaman Sea off Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and east India. A number of private military contractors (PMCs) working with the U.S.-Thai command and oil companies, were also killed by the tsunami but there are no hard figures on their total death count.

“The US plan to militarize the region is their strategic need.”

Interview with Argentine journalist and researcher Víctor Ducrot

Víctor Ducrot is a journalist, writer, university professor and the director of the News Agency of Mercosur (Southern Common Market), which works with the Department of Journalism and Communication in La Plata National University in Argentina. He is also the author of Bush & Ben Laden SA (2001) and Recolonizacion o Independencia. America Latina en el siglo XXI (2004) — co-authored with journalist Stella Calloni — which sheds light on some little-known aspects about the US-led "war against terror".

Ho Chi Minh y la lucha contra los imperialismos japonés, francés y estadounidense

En ocasión de la próxima celebración del XXX aniversario de la liberación de Saigón, publicamos una presentación de la vida y obra del fundador del Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh. Rechazando todos los compromisos en los que se extravió una parte de su generación, combatió al imperialismo sin descanso, ya fuera japonés, francés o estadounidense. Ha trascendido como uno de los mayores símbolos de la lucha por la libertad en el siglo XX.

Montaner, terrorista

A la hora del almuerzo, el sábado 24 de diciembre de 1960, a unas horas de la celebración de Navidad, la popular tienda por departamentos Flogar, calle Galiano esquina a San Rafael, en La Habana, se encuentra llena de clientes. Juan René Maragosa, de 13 años de edad, sale de la cafetería con su hermana, Marta, y su mamá, Alicia, cuando, de repente, una fuerte explosión les proyecta al suelo.

Los hospitales iraquíes se desmoronan bajo la ocupación

Este informe ilustra de forma muy clara el fracaso absoluto de EEUU a la hora de cumplir incluso los más mínimos deberes humanitarios como potencia ocupante. Y más importante aún, ofrece un cuadro de un sistema sanitario que se ha deteriorado desde el comienzo de la guerra, habiendo fracasado a la hora de revertir esa decadencia. Desde el punto de vista de la sanidad pública, el fin de la ocupación, con una retirada programada de todas las tropas extranjeras, se constituye en la necesidad más urgente.

Trabajadores médicos de Faluya declararon que los francotiradores de los marines dispararon deliberadamente contra varias ambulancias que operaban en Faluya durante el asedio de EEUU a la ciudad. En la foto, ambulancia en el estacionamiento del Hospital General de Faluya con agujeros de bala en el lado del parabrisas del conductor

US-Installed Iraqi Health Ministry Said To Be Operating Torture Cells

The “Ministry of Health” in the US-appointed regime in Baghdad operates detention and torture cells inside the “Health Ministry” building to interrogate those employees whose loyalty comes into question according to a report by Quds Press.

Sources told the London-based Quds Press news agency that four Iraqi physicians had been arrested by the Iraqi puppet police in Medical City Hospital on Wednesday, 31 August 2005. Medical City in Baghdad is one of the largest hospitals in the country.

The sources reported that the Iraqi puppet police locked up the doctors in a cell inside the “Ministry of Health” building on the pretext that they were “Wahhabi” fundamentalists – even though two of the four were Shi‘ah.

Riverbend is back!

Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Back to Blogging...
It has been a long blog vacation I’ve taken. There have been several reasons behind it but the main one has been that I simply have not felt like blogging.

Technically, it’s the summers end… But realistically, we have at least another month of stifling heat ahead of us. It’s almost mid-September and the weather is still hot and dry in Baghdad. There are a few precious hours in the very early morning when the sun seems almost kind. If you wake early enough, you can catch a solid hour of light breezes and a certain summer coolness.

Iran takes over Pipelineistan

TEHRAN - The black chador-clad secretaries behind rows of flat computer monitors at the Petroleum Ministry building in central Tehran are all smiles. Not to mention their bosses. No wonder. According to the ministry's latest estimates in August, Iran will export at least US$60 billion in oil in 2005 - more than $10 billion more than the June estimate. And with oil hovering about $70 a barrel, it could be even more.

New Orleans and the Third World

The devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina is being compared to disasters in the “Third World” but with no specific countries or disasters named. And if not compared to this black hole or repository of disaster that is the “Third World,” a comparison to Africa is as specific as it gets. “New Orleans is a scene from the Third World”, “like the Third World”, “US Handles the crisis like a third world country”, “bodies floating on water reminiscent of Africa” etc. This has been a constant with news commentators, analysts, members of the senate and congress and other sections of America commenting on New Orleans. The accompanying statements to this have been “I cannot believe this is America” or “This is not supposed to happen in America”. It is supposed to and can only happen somewhere else. Attending a food festival event in Madison, Wisconsin I overheard a joke – “Where is New Orleans again?” New Orleans is next to Somalia”.

Private Security & Mercenary Companies Patrol New Orleans Reaping the Profits of a Humanitarian Disaster

"Blackwater USA is a guns-for-hire training-and-recruitment outfit on a 6,000 acre military training compound on the northern coastal plain of Moyock, North Carolina, a stone's throw from the Virginia border."

"What differentiates them from the crazed, ex-military flotsam that rampaged through Congo in the 1960's is that they are (1) incorporated, (2) they use legally recognized financial/contract instruments, and (3), they work for recognized governments. The latter is a very finely drawn point, because governments frequently hire these legalized mercenaries at the insistence, and with the support, of multinational corporations who just happen – as it turns out – to be in the same place these outfits are doing their security.

"On the combat end, Blackwater USA is mostly ex-SEALs with a few former SWAT cops thrown in, run by a blustering hyper-macho ex-SEAL named Gary Jackson. One of the victims of the Fallujah ambush – a WWF-looking body-builder-type – had boasted to a reporter staying in his hotel in Baghdad that he preferred hand-to-hand combat so he could see his quarry eye to eye. When I was running a Special Forces A-Detachment, this kind of talk would have sent me seeking a way to reassign you out of my team."

Gulf War III: Why is Blackwater USA patrolling New Orleans with M-16s?

How do you know that we're finally taking the situation in New Orleans seriously? We're sending in the private mercenaries -- the very same folks we've called on to do the dirty work in Iraq. Reports are beginning to surface that New Orleans and environs are crawling with armed private commandos from Blackwater USA, the North Carolina-based security firm that has risen to prominence with its highly visible role in Iraq. The slide show at the top of this entry comes from their Web site.

A Georgia-based doctor and military veteran who blogs under the name Otter has been down in the disaster zone the last few days, and he has seen the private Blackwater security forces everywhere. He wrote yesterday from a police precinct house in New Orleans:

Blackwater Security is here--clean, well-equipped, and armed to the teeth.

The New York Times has seen them too:

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.

Pastor Niemöller in the 21st Century

What would he say?

“When the Neo-Conservatives came into power, they disenfranchised a large number of American citizens of their vote, but I was neither black nor from Florida, so I said nothing.

Then, after receiving well over twenty specific warnings from both foreign and domestic intelligence sources, and enjoying a month-long vacation, they read a children’s book about a pet goat as two jet liners crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. However, I didn’t work there, nor did a loved one, nor was I a fireman or cop, or even from New York or New Jersey, so I swallowed the official explanation without question.

Will FEBAR Bring Down the House?

With Friday's news that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Michael Brown had been relieved of managing the storm clean-up, a bit of reality settled in to Washington. Brown, you probably know, is a man who couldn't manage a horse breeder's association, and yet who was waved through hearings by an eager Joe Lieberman. It was an admission that New Orleans had been Federal Emergencied Beyond All Recognition. But this action does not stop the growing scandal. According to Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post, five of the top FEMA officials "came to their posts with virtually no experience handling disasters," and the "ranks of seasoned crisis managers have thinned dramatically since the September 11, 2001, attacks."

The Katrina catastrophe and the failure of response - FEBAR - have primed the pump of a deep well, that of liberal and Democratic anger. It isn't just that traffic on liberal blogs has spiked. It isn't just that the images have been so shocking, the reality of a nation unprepared for disaster so outrageous. It is that it cuts in sharp relief how out of power the Democrats are, and what that really means.

The final outrage may have been the formation of a "bipartisan committee" without telling the Democratic leadership of either house, without assuring equal representation, and without giving bipartisan subpoenas power. Publicly and privately, Democratic office holders exploded. When Scott McClellan went through an entire press conference saying that "we shouldn't play the blame game" and the press did not challenge him, it was a sharp, stiff shock to the systems of more than a few representatives who at long last realized what, exactly, Rove's Republic meant to them.

Baghdad on the Bayou

In the Houston Astrodome last Saturday, I met a man named Robert. He invited me to take a seat beside him on a cot pushed against the wall — his home for the previous three days and the foreseeable future. Robert had lived in New Orleans for all of his 55 years, and was in the St. Bernard projects when Katrina washed it all away. “After the storm,” he told me almost as soon as I sat down, “they blew the levees up so they could flood New Orleans.”
I asked him who “they” were.

“The money people,” he answered. “The big money.”

“Why?” I asked.

Robert shook his head at my naiveté. “They had to get the poor people out so they could get the space.” He gestured to the thousands of people in the dome around us, almost all of them African-American, crammed onto cots a few inches apart. “Now they got their space.

Second Amendment Nixed in New Orleans

New Orleans is no longer part of America. It is a brave new world devised by FEMA and the Ministry of Homeland Security. In the new New Orleans, there are no constitutional rights. Not only are soldiers allowed to break down doors (as they do in Iraq) in violation of the Fourth Amendment and even “shoot to kill” if they believe they are threatened (as soldiers in Iraq “shoot to kill” grandmothers and kids at Israeli-styled checkpoints), now the Second Amendment no longer exists.

“Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here,” reports the New York Times. “No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. ‘Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons,’ he said.”

Of course, the trashing of the Second Amendment is restricted to poor people. Rich people will be allowed to hire armed guards. Nixing the Second Amendment “apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16’s and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.”

Why America can't cope

We know, now, that there was not even a Prescott in charge in Washington. President Bush was exorcising heaven-knows-what demons by furiously riding his mountain bike in Texas - nobody, not even the Secret Service or a visiting Lance Armstrong, is allowed to pass him - while Vice-President Cheney was fly-fishing in Wyoming. Condoleezza Rice, next in charge, was shopping for shoes at Ferragamo's and watching Spamalot on Broadway and catching the US Open in New York; while Andy Card, the White House chief of staff, who is supposed to keep it all together, was taking in the sea breeze with much of the rest of the Bush crowd in Maine.

Rats gnawing at corpses floating down the streets three days after Katrina struck, bodies left to decompose in the stairwells of New Orleans's main hospital because its basement mortuary was flooded, tens of thousands still trapped, hungry and thirsty: only then did the inquests into what the Los Angeles Times called the "surreal foreignness" of it all start. But then the questioning was imbued with a peculiarly American self-righteousness and aggressive need to pin blame on the guilty: on the inattentiveness of the Bush administration, its lack of foresight, the racial and class divisions within the US, and so on.

Sen. Rick Santorum Blames National Weather Service For Katrina Damage, Warnings “Not Sufficient”...

Santorum has critical words for forecasters in wake of Katrina 09/09/2005
Damon Boughamer
(Washington) -- U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is suggesting that early mistakes in predicting the path of Hurricane Katrina may be a symptom of lost focus at the National Weather Service. Santorum, who introduced legislation earlier this year to curb the output of government weather forecasters, says tracking life-threatening weather must be central to what the agency is doing.

Asked about Katrina by WITF, Santorum described weather service warnings for Florida, where the storm first made landfall, as, quote, “not sufficient.”
Santorum’s bill instructs the government to abandon weather prediction and data reporting efforts that duplicate private-sector activity. He came under fire when it was revealed that the head of State College-based AccuWeather, which would benefit, has given his campaigns thousands of dollars.

Se venden candidatos

Con la Revolución Industrial, la producción en serie exigió motivación para el consumo. Los bienes dejaron de tener sólo valor de uso y pasaron a tener, sobre todo, valor de cambio. Poco a poco, la producción dejó de apuntar estrictamente a las necesidades de los consumidores. El mercado se volvió un fin en sí. Se pasó a producir, no para satisfacer carencias, sino para obtener lucros exorbitantes. Así, se amplió el mercado de productos superfluos, lo cual exige mayor empeño publicitario, de modo de convertir, a los ojos del consumidor, lo superfluo en necesario.

El capitalismo todo lo reduce a la condición de mercancía. Es lo que Marx calificó de reificación. Productos agrícolas e industriales, servicios y actividades culturales, ideas y creencias, todo se transforma en mercancía a ser tratada según las leyes del mercado. Políticos y políticas pasan a recibir el mismo tratamiento. Salen los cientistas políticos para ceder paso a los mercadotécnicos.

Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans

New Orleans - Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force. Several mercenaries we spoke with said they had served in Iraq on the personal security details of the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer and the former US ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte.

"This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States)," a heavily armed Blackwater mercenary told us as we stood on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. "We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."

Eight Big Lies About Katrina

Big Media has given ample space for administration officials and conservatives to spread falsehoods about relief efforts.

In the past week, Bush administration officials and conservative commentators have repeatedly used the national media to spread misinformation about the federal government's widely criticized response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Can we learn from Cuba's lesson?

Although it is a small, poor country in the heart of hurricane alley, Cuba is widely acknowledged to do an exemplary job of protecting its 11.3-million residents from natural disasters. Its record is even more impressive in light of the catastrophic loss of life that the United States - the world's richest and most technologically advanced nation - is experiencing from Hurricane Katrina.

Cuba can offer lessons to the United States, especially in evacuation procedures, the Oxfam study says. Hurricane Katrina is thought to have killed thousands of residents who refused to leave or lacked the resources to do so.

The U.S. and Cuban governments do not have diplomatic relations, and President Fidel Castro typically rejects American offers of aid to protest the U.S. trade embargo on his nation. The most recent offer - and refusal - came after Hurricane [Dennis, Ivan] struck Cuba in July and caused a high death toll by local standards - 16 people.

Iraq veteran Kelly Dougherty speaks of the realities of life in Iraq and the growing movement against the occupation

At war

Kelly Dougherty has seen more of the world than the average 27-year-old American. A native of Cañon City, Dougherty joined the National Guard during her senior year at Cañon City High School. To her surprise, she was deployed overseas twice during her eight-year service period: first in 1999 to the Balkans, then in 2003 to Kuwait and, ultimately, to Iraq.

Now Dougherty is seeing her own country, crisscrossing the U.S. to attend rallies, give speeches and demonstrate against the war in Iraq and current American military policy.

Who's the Looter?

One of the icons of the catastrophe in New Orleans sadly became the looted television. In the days following the levee break, any expression of sympathy, any presumption of blame, was repeatedly coupled with the image of looted guns, rum, and TV's. (Editorial, September 1, 2005, Washington Post, "The Great Flood of '05.") Although we could have hoped that ample resources would have been put in place beforehand, they were not, and chaos inevitably followed. But who is the looter? The desperate, possibly deranged and traumatized miscreant who raided Wal-Mart, more likely for diapers and food than DVD s? Or the Congress and the Administration who knowingly turned a blind eye to what Homeland Security indicated to be one of the three great national security risks facing this country, the vulnerability of New Orleans to a Category 5 hurricane, (along with a terrorist attack, or an earthquake in San Francisco,); while blithely cutting funding to the Army Corps of Engineers for levee maintenance and wet land mitigation that had already been put in place?

But then, as Donald Rumsfeld said after the looting of Baghdad, "Bad things do happen in life, and people do loot." Is the tragedy of New Orleans yet another example of the price we have to pay for this Administration's idea of freedom? As with Baghdad one may well ask, who is the looter?

Red Captain

Physician who told Cheney to go Fuck Himself Lost his Home in Katrina, Detained, Cuffed by Cheney's M-16-carrying Goons

Dr. Ben Marble, a young emergency room physician who plays in alternative rock bands and does art on the side, needs our help. Since he was the one who told Dick Cheney to "go fuck yourself" on Sept. 8, that's the least we can do.

When he, like thousands of others, lost his home due to Hurricane Katrina last week, it was the single most traumatic week of his life. That led to his Sept. 8 confrontation with the man who best represents the worst of the most callous, heartless, shittiest administration in U.S. history.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Katrina; relocation or ethnic cleansing?

FEMA has been entirely reshaped under the Bush Administration. It's no longer designed to meet the needs of a natural disaster but, rather, to advance the political agenda of the current regime. This is clear by the way that FEMA employees did everything in their power to undermine relief operations for the people stranded by Hurricane Katrina. Their orders simply corresponded with Washington's intention to put the city under federal control and to forcefully-evacuate the victims to locations around the Southwest.

Most of us have already heard the damning accusations of Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parrish, LA, who said on Meet the Press that FEMA had cut off supplies of water, food and fuel to hurricane victims, as well as, cutting "all of our emergency communications lines."

Apartheid America and the Right of Return

To give you some idea of the climate in which it could be politically acceptable to use the people of New Orleans as hostages - pawns in some bigger game of corruption played by Bush and his cronies - read the cover story in this month's Harpers, "Still Separate, Still Unequal: America's Educational Apartheid" by Jonathan Kozol. The significant progress made in race relations in the 1960's and 1970's has completely collapsed under the onslaught of Reagan-Bush politics, and that collapse is reflected in the fact that the United States now has two completely separate education systems, one well-funded one for whites, and one much less well-funded one for everybody else. The annual Human Development Report of the United Nations has just come out and states that parts of the United States are as poor as the Third World, and America's black children are twice as likely as white children to die before their first birthday. The way that the people of New Orleans have been treated is just a reflection of how they are treated trying to survive in today's America. The only difference is that the obvious injustice of it all received a little publicity from the journalists down to cover what they thought was a telegenic storm.

End the kidnapping!

ONE week after the announcement of an open letter to the U.S. Attorney General demanding the immediate release of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, given the annulment of the rigged trial that convicted them in Miami, more than 3,000 artists, writers, political and social leaders and Academics from Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania have made that demand theirs.

Cuba’s damning exposé of attempts to definitively subjugate the UN

UNITED NATIONS, September 8.—Cuba exposed here today that the UN General Assembly’s attention has been diverted toward a supposed reform that, far from making it more democratic, seeks to subject it all the more to the interests of the powerful, PL reports.

The extraordinary session of the UN General Assembly of next week has been "completely diverted and its original intention hijacked," stated Ricardo Alarcón, president of the Cuban Parliament, in a speech read out by Ambassador Orlando Requeijo.

Alarcón should have attended the 2nd Parliamentary Presidents Conference that began yesterday at the UN headquarters, but was refused a visa by the U.S. authorities.

'Bush — the man with a snafu plan'

"A government that terrorizes its own people can never stop. If such a government ever lets the fear subside and rational thought return to the populace, that government is finished." -- Michael Rivero

It's a good thing President George Bush doesn't read newspapers or watch TV. If he did, even he could see that people from one end of this nation to the other are rapidly reaching zero tolerance with his bumbling ineptitude each time he is faced with a crisis. Those who watched in amazement as Bush sat paralyzed in a Florida elementary school on the morning of September 11, 2001 as planes were ramming into the World Trade Center and Pentagon -- who watched in dismay as he zigzagged across the country from one hidey hole to another throughout the day -- were not surprised that he dropped the ball when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast on August 29.

How United States Intervention Against Venezuela Works, part 2 of 3

Use of a Private U.S. Corporate Structure to Disguise a Government Program

C. Venezuela: Some Examples of the Current U.S. Intervention Against the Bolivarian Revolution

In Venezuela the administration of George W. Bush is intervening in the political process with a combination of activities very similar to those the U.S. carried out in Nicaragua in the 1980s, but without a terrorist war on the scale of the Contras, and—at least until mid-2005—without an economic embargo. These activities, with a 2005 budget approaching $10 million, masquerade as “civic education,” “support for the electoral process,” and “strengthening the democratic system.” In reality, all these programs, carried out almost silently, support the opposition against President Chávez and his coalition.

Power to the victims of New Orleans by Naomi Klein

With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city. On September 4, six days after Katrina hit, I saw the first glimmer of hope. "The people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funnelled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants. We will not stand idly by while this disaster is used as an opportunity to replace our homes with newly built mansions and condos in a gentrified New Orleans."

Turning tide -- the racism and cynicism of the Bush administration

In the wake of the catastrophic Katrina, United States President George W Bush seemed as keen to grab a place in history as Saddam Hussein. The deposed Iraqi leader devastated the natural habitat of the Marsh Arabs of the Tigris and Euphrates Delta. Bush was caught following in Saddam's footsteps: abandoning the African Americans of the Mississippi Delta. The contempt in which the Bush administration holds human life, at home and abroad, comes as no great surprise to America's long-suffering underdogs. Yesterday they were lynched, today they are washed away in cities that have metamorphosed into corpse-clogged cesspools. African Americans are angry. They don't want to be consigned to the same dread bin as the Marsh Arabs. They are speaking out, and are being heard.

Covering Katrina: Has a More Critical Press Corps Emerged?

"It's hard to decide which is more troubling: that it took the national press corps five years to summon up enough courage to report, without apology, that what the Bush administration says and does are often two different things, or that it took the sight of bodies floating facedown in the streets of New Orleans to trigger a change in the press's behavior."

Bolivia on the Train of Life. The Elections and the Social Movements Today

LA PAZ: Nearly three months have passed since the uprising that paralyzed Bolivia last May and June, that brought the government to its knees and forced an abrupt end to Carlos Mesa’s presidency. Four weeks of protests exploded after the approval of the new Hydrocarbons Law, which raised the payment of taxes and royalties from the foreign companies that extract gas in Bolivia. For the people of South America’s poorest nation, this law was unacceptable.

Within a few days, one of the biggest mobilizations in Bolivia’s recent history began to take shape. The coca growers held a week-long march from the town of Caracollo to La Paz (the seat of national government), and trucks loaded with miners began to arrive as well, at the same time that thousands of people from El Alto – La Paz’s radical neighbor – descended into this city in grand marches. The people of El Alto declared a general civic strike that began once again to slowly suffocate La Paz. Hundreds of kilometers away, rocks, barbed wire, and logs where laid down on the country’s few highways, blocking imports, exports, and all travel by land. At the vanguard of these massive demonstrations were the El Alto residents and the indigenous Aymara of the northern highlands, but hundreds of thousands of others – schoolteachers, coca growers, students, taxi drivers, workers, miners – joined in the struggle.

“Knowledge is Power” Science and technology for endogenous development

Modernity brought the idea that progress goes hand in hand with technological advances, closely linked with scientific activity. The search for knowledge is not a “neutral” activity. Far from the image of the platonic value of knowledge as something good or beautiful “per se”, contemporary history shows us knowledge as power and scientific activity and its connection with technological innovation and the economic and political models socially established at world level. Professors Marianela Lafuente and Carlos Genatios analyze the Venezuelan development program in a national scientific environment and the challenges it poses.

El duelo Washington-Teherán

Desde hace cincos años los neoconservadores vienen preparando la invasión de Irán. Los argumentos que usaron para justificar su propia ambición han sido desmentidos, uno tras otro. Pero se niegan a renunciar a sus amenazas. Mientras tanto, gracias al apoyo de sus electores, las fuerzas políticas iraníes han logrado evitar el enfrentamiento directo y hacer que cualquier operación militar resulte demasiado costosa para Washington, observa Thierry Meyssan.

Eight Big Lies About Katrina

Big Media has given ample space for administration officials and conservatives to spread falsehoods about relief efforts.

In the past week, Bush administration officials and conservative commentators have repeatedly used the national media to spread misinformation about the federal government's widely criticized response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

It's Accountability Time By Scott Ritter

If anything, Hurricane Katrina has stripped away the many layers of deceit, deception and misinformation that have been peddled to the American people by the White House, Congress and the mainstream media regarding the true state of our national security.

The power and fury of Hurricane Katrina has momentarily pushed to the side the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. However, to fully understand the ramifications of Hurricane Katrina, and the failings on the part of our government to protect us from harm, we must not forget that before Katrina there was an event we were told “forever changed the world we live in.”


Stop the military from preying upon the vulnerable! Come educate youth dislocated from their lives and communities – facing homelessness, joblessness and often hopelessness – about the false promises of recruiters!

Doling out food to the hungry crowds overflowing Houston’s Astrodome, the National Guard has engaged in ad hoc recruiting in recent days. Tomorrow, September 7, 2005, the U.S. military is conducting a Job Fair in the Astrodome in a blatant effort to exploit the despair of masses of Americans evacuated from the Gulf Coast.

Hiding Bodies Won't Hide the Truth

Cadavers have a way of raising questions.

When people see them, they wonder, how did they get dead?

When a lot of people see a lot of dead bodies, politicians begin thinking of damage control.

Echoing a Defense Department policy banning the photographing of flag-draped coffins of American troops, representatives from the much-maligned Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday that it didn't want journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims, because "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect." An agency spokeswoman told Reuters, "We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media."

Whatever the objective, those pesky questions about accountability are not going away. And a full-scale political storm over the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina continued to rage around the White House this week, despite the best efforts of the president's supporters to deflect criticism by tagging it as partisan - even though many of the critics are themselves Republicans.

"There were two disasters last week: first, the natural disaster, and second, the man-made disaster, the disaster made by mistakes made by FEMA," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters this week.

And her Senate counterpart, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) raised the question, "How much time did the president spend dealing with this emerging crisis while he was on vacation?"

Both have demanded a wide-ranging investigation of the response to Katrina.

After Katrina Fiasco, Time for Bush to Go

The disastrous federal response to Katrina exposes a record of incompetence, misjudgment and ideological blinders that should lead to serious doubts that the Bush administration should be allowed to continue in office.

When taxpayers have raised, borrowed and spent $40 billion to $50 billion a year for the past four years for homeland security but the officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency cannot find their own hands in broad daylight for four days while New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast swelter, drown and die, it is time for them to go.

When funding for water works and levees in the gulf region is repeatedly cut by an administration that seems determined to undermine the public responsibility for infrastructure in America, despite clear warnings that the infrastructure could not survive a major storm, it seems clear someone is playing politics with the public trust.

When rescue and medical squads are sitting in Manassas and elsewhere in northern Virginia and foreign assistance waits at airports because the government can't figure out how to insure the workers, how to use the assistance or which jurisdiction should be in charge, it is time for the administration to leave town.

When President Bush stays on vacation and attends social functions for two days in the face of disaster before finally understanding that people are starving, crying out and dying, it is time for him to go.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lessons From Hell By: John Chuckman

Amid death and destruction, Bush not as Nero, but as Caligula's Horse Incitatus

If he is alive, Osama bin Laden surely is enjoying some hearty laughter. Nothing he could imagine, short of the virtually-impossible task of obtaining a tactical nuclear weapon and detonating it in an American city, compares to the damage just inflicted upon the United States by its own President. Ten thousand dead is the estimate of New Orleans' mayor. A morticians' emergency measures organization is ready for forty thousand corpses. We won't know for weeks, maybe months, as attics, basements, sewers, canals, and dumpsters are searched. The economic damage is nothing less than colossal.

When Maxims Mislead


Versions of this headline adorned many of the world’s newspapers on July 8, the day after the explosions in London. They didn’t mention either Afghanistan or Iraq. Weren’t—aren’t—the bombings there also terrorist attacks, which in the case of Iraq occur daily? Isn’t it always, or almost always, the working class that suffers casualties in these attacks and in war? Don’t they deserve the same respect and the same compassion as the victims of any expression of disdain for human life?

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence of the United States affirmed that all men are created equal. Then a few years later the first Constitution refined this notion, establishing that for the purposes of the census, each black would be counted as three-fifths of a person. What fraction of a person are Iraqis counted as today?

Some people are more equal than others? So they say

New Orleans and Fallujah have a lot in common

I think that New Orleans and Fallujah have a lot in common. They are both cities that have been raped by the American neo-con establishment with the help of our national guards and American military. Fallujah was bombed mercilessly, even though there were no known "terrorists" there; there were people who lived there who fought back against the illegal American attack on their city. But even the U.S. commanders admitted publicly that even if Al Zarqawi was there--he would have been gone before the American rape and pillaging of that city.

In New Orleans, people who want to stay and live off of canned food and bottled water are being forcefully evacuated to who knows where and with what possible future! Why is this being done, other than it having parallels to the Japanese during WWII as well, forcefully taking people from their homes in order to take over a city and a people's property and belongings. Our citizens have the right to stay where they are, just as they do in other situations, it's their right and their responsbility--and not the right of the national police force, the national guard or the New Orleans police to roust them out and pack them out of town. How would you like it if it was done to you.

Katrina + Oil = Profits for Our Kings

How are you feeling about your government’s response to Hurricane Katrina? The fact that the people who should have been there to help your desperate neighbors instead are off killing and being killed in Iraq? Along with all that equipment your taxes bought.

How do you feel about oil prices? The fact that Exxon Mobile Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, reported a 32 % jump in profits during the second quarter of 2005, while the rest of us dug deep into our pockets to fill our tanks. And Royal Dutch Shell, with a 34% rise in profits? Or ConocoPhillips, with a 51% increase. All of these in just 3 months! Wouldn’t you like to have a shot at that kind of investment?

Howard Zinn, The Outer Limits of Empire

Tomdispatch: You and Anthony Arnove just came out with a new book, Voices of a People's History of the United States, featuring American voices of resistance from our earliest moments to late last night. Now, we have a striking new voice of resistance, Cindy Sheehan. I was wondering what you made of her?

Howard Zinn: Often a protest movement that's already underway -- and the present antiwar movement was underway even before the Iraq War began -- gets a special impetus, a special spark, from one person's act of defiance. I think of Rosa Parks and that one act of hers and what it meant.


Project Censored presents the 10 biggest stories the mainstream media ignored over the past year.
Just four days before the 2004 presidential election, a prestigious British medical journal published the results of a rigorous study by Dr. Les Roberts, a widely respected researcher. Roberts concluded that close to 100,000 people had died in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Most were noncombatant civilians. Many were children.

But that news didn't make the front pages of the major newspapers. It wasn't on the network news. So most voters knew little or nothing about the brutal civilian impact of President George W. Bush's war when they went to the polls.

That's just one of the big stories the mainstream news media ignored, blacked out, or underreported over the past year, according to Project Censored, a media watchdog group based at California's Sonoma State University.

UN Raises Alarm on Death Squads and Torture in Iraq

Baghdad - The United Nations raised the alarm on Thursday about mounting violence in Iraq blamed on pro-government militias and urged the authorities to look into reports of systematic torture in police stations.

In a bi-monthly human rights report, released on a day when 14 more victims of "extrajudicial executions" were found near Baghdad, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq also said "mass arrests" by US and Iraqi forces, and long detentions without charge, could damage support for the new political system.

"Corpses appear regularly in and around Baghdad and other areas. Most bear signs of torture and appear to be victims of extrajudicial executions," it said, noting incidents reported after arrests by "forces linked to the Ministry of Interior".

"Serious allegations of extra-judicial executions ... underline a deterioration in the situation of law and order."

Let the Dead Teach the Living

They have turned a gigantic warehouse into a makeshift morgue in the Louisiana town of St. Gabriel. Doctors and forensic specialists wait there for the bodies to come in, bodies with no identification, bodies that have spent days submerged in water, bodies gnawed by dogs and rats and 'gators. The doctors have posted a hand-lettered sign on the wall: "Mortui Vivis Praecipant." It means, "Let the dead teach the living."

What Kind of Extremist Will You Be?

Early morning, April 4, a shot rings out in the Memphis sky,
Free at last, they asked for your life,
But they could not take your pride.
In the name of love, one more in the name of love.
-- U2: Pride (In the name of love)

Most everyone who is reading this knows what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. Some of you may even know what happened to my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan on April 4, 2004. If you don't know, Dr. King and Casey were murdered by the same malevolent entities: people and ideologies that say we have to be mortally afraid of the "ism" du jour and we, as Americans who have the "moral high-ground" in the world, can send our innocent children to invade innocent countries and kill innocent people to fight the "ists" that go with the "isms." In Vietnam we were fighting the evil Communists, and in Iraq we are fighting the evil terrorists. Our war against Communism out-stayed its welcome in the 1980s and the military industrial war complex was running out of excuses to build bombs, tanks, bullets, ships, submarines, and soldiers; so in 2001, our leaders who serve the war machine had to switch our enemy of the state to terrorism.

El 11º Grito de los Excluidos se escuchó por todo el país

Por el fin de la corrupción, por democracia directa, por la ética en la política y por el fin de la exclusión social, el eco del 11º Grito de los Excluidos/as se escuchó por todo el país. Con el lema “Brasil, en nuestras manos el cambio”, miles de personas -desempleados, jóvenes, niños/as de la calle, migrantes, campesinos, indios, jubilados, trabajadores de la economía informal, etc.- ocuparon calles y plazas de casi todas las capitales y varias ciudades del país. El Grito era por un nuevo modelo económico que cree empleos, distribuya la renta y que privilegie las inversiones públicas en las áreas sociales; por un programa emergente de superación de la miseria y de la pobreza; por el combate a la desigualdad social; por una reforma política profunda y radical que devuelva al pueblo el derecho a decidir y, también, por una soberanía nacional que garantice los intereses del pueblo brasileño sobre nuestra economía, territorio, riquezas y biodiversidad.

UC Regents lose control of nuclear weapons program. Five admirals, Carlyle Group and Rand take over

“I think some of these folks would put nuclear tips on ice cream cones if they could.” - U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., on efforts by Bush administration officials to repeal a research ban on low-yield nuclear weapons, quoted in Global Security Newswire May 19, 2003

UC and nuclear weapons: the kiss of death

The top-secret Manhattan Project was laid out by Robert Oppenheimer the night Ernest Lawrence took him to the Bohemian Club during World War II. It was a part of California’s brutal rise to economic and political power described in “Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin” by Gray Brechin.

Michael Moores Office Has Moved

The response to today's letter has been overwhelmingly generous. Thank you, all of you, who have contributed to Camp Casey-Covington in Covington, Louisiana. Over 200,000 dollars was donated in the first few hours and the mail indicates that thousands of you are shipping the much-needed emergency items to our relief center on the shores of Lake Ponchatrain.

Republicans Blaming Hurricane Victims

In a effort to shield the Bush Administration from justified and severe criticism concerning the failures of the federal government concerning the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Republican spin machine has gone into full spin mode blaming local government, state government and the poor citizens of the Gulf Coast.

a key aim of the Bush administration's takeover of the NOLA situation is to cut off press access

At first the evidence was scattered and anecdotal. But now it's pretty clear that a key aim of the Bush administration's takeover of the NOLA situation is to cut off press access to report the story.

First, there were the FEMA orders barring members of the press from photographing anything to do with the recovery of the bodies of the dead.

The Demise of Compassionate Conservatism. Bush finds himself up a creek without a political philosophy.

We Have a Loser: Earlier this week, neo-con Bill Kristol told the Washington Post that almost every Republican he had spoken to was disappointed in Bush's performance. By evoking broad disdain for the administration's response from Republicans and Democrats alike, Bush has finally kept his promise to be a uniter, not a divider.

Usually, the blame game is a loser for both parties. However, when Republicans and Democrats can make common cause against a common enemy, like the federal government or hapless FEMA Director Michael Brown, there is more than enough blame game to go around.

The New Orleans Population has the Right of Return

The people of New Orleans have a right to return. It is not too early to say so. In fact, it is imperative that we demand the Right of Return now, before the circumstances of the displacement of this population create facts on the ground that cannot be reversed. We have seen, elsewhere in the world, how those who have been displaced are effectively shut out from returning to their origins, and how quickly the public says, well, that’s just water under the bridge – or over the levee. Others, newcomers, will benefit from the tragedy of the previous population’s displacement. This cannot be allowed to occur in New Orleans.

Not only does the Black two-thirds of the city have the right to return, but the federal government has an obligation to direct every resource to making it possible and practical for them to return, and to live productive lives in the city from which they were driven.

FEMA and Katrina: REX-84 Revisited

If you believe the corporate media, FEMA is simply a bungling and inept emergency management agency and its director, Michael Brown, according to the Washington Post, is simply an "accidental director" and "the failed head of an Arabian horse sporting group who was plucked from obscurity to become President Bush's point man for the worst natural disaster in U.S. history" and, as the Boston Globe notes, "got the job through an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA.... Brown -- formerly an estates and family lawyer -- this week has made several shocking public admissions, including interviews where he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center." In short, the corporate media would have us believe Brown is a clueless lawyer and former horse trader and FEMA an unresponsive federal bureaucratic leviathan wrapped up in red tape. But this does not explain the following:

FEMA refused evacuation help from Amtrak; it turned away experienced fire fighters and first responders; it turned back Wal-Mart supply trucks; refused to allow the Red Cross to deliver food; blocked a 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid; turned away generators and other equipment (see this page with links to news stories). In other words, FEMA went out of its way to deny aid and allow people to die from dehydration, starvation, and lack of medicine and medical help. In addition to denying aid, and thus killing an as of yet (and possibly forever) unknown number of people, FEMA is attempting to control media access to the worst natural disaster in American history (see Journalist Groups Protest FEMA Ban on Photos of Dead). Moreover, journalists and photographers have been assaulted by troops and had their notebooks and cameras confiscated (see The Eye of the Hurricane by Matthias Gebauer).

"Go Fuck Yourself, Mr. Cheney!" - LIVE on CNN

I'm not kidding you. In Mississippi, during a press conference, after telling the press that what needs to be done, gets done. A resident walked up to the gaggle and said this:

"Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney!! Go fuck yourself!!!
Cheney looked pissed. Really pissed.

A reporter then asked him, "Do you get that a lot, Mr. Cheney?"

He replied, "That's the first time I've heard it. Must be a friend of John er.. uh.. never mind."

It sounded as though he was pushed away (probably by the secret service). CNN would not show this guy.


Is this a sign? Are we starting to hear the people revolt? I am thinking about this spontaneous event and I'm thinking that this moment should be repeated many, many times!!!

Wayne Madsen Report

September 8, 2005 -- Some evacuees are being treated as "internees" by FEMA. Reports continue to come into WMR that evacuees from New Orleans and Acadiana who have been scattered across the United States are being treated as "internees" and not dislocated American citizens from a catastrophe. Some FEMA facilities are preventing these internees from leaving on their own. Reports of mandatory registration and the issuing of FEMA ID cards suggest that FEMA, an agency that is rife with right-wing security goons and severely lacking in humanitarian workers, has other motives in treating poor and destitute American citizens as prisoners in their own country.

Meanwhile, WMR is receiving reports that mercenary private military contractors (PMCs) are now operating in the New Orleans metropolitan area. These may include foreign nationals with questionable human rights records in their native South Africa, Israel, Colombia, El Salvador, Britain, and Australia. PMCs have been extremely active in occupied Iraq, especially under the aegis of massive Pentagon omnibus contracts awarded to Halliburton and its Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary. Joseph Allbaugh, the former FEMA director under Bush and current FEMA director Michael "Brownie" Brown's college roommate, is currently a registered lobbyist for disaster relief business for Kellogg Brown & Root. Allbaugh's lobbying firm is called the Allbaugh Group. Halliburton has recently been awarded lucrative contracts to repair U.S. Naval bases damaged by Katrina.

The presence of PMCs is worrisome. There are unconfirmed reports of mercenaries shooting residents of New Orleans and that mercenaries are involved in burning the bodies of victims in makeshift crematoria set up throughout the city. The reported burning of bodies could be an attempt by the White House to suppress the total death count to an "acceptable," "manageable," and "spinnable" level.

FEMA is anything but a humanitarian rescue and recovery organization. It is once again a hotbed of security goons as it was under Reagan and GHW Bush. The past is prologue.

A little history on FEMA: " When Ronald Reagan took over the presidency in 1981 he named his old California National Guard chief, retired General Louis Giuffrida as his emergency czar. Giuffrida had a tainted image as California's National Guard commander. He drew up lists of 'militant negroes' who were to be rounded up in emergencies. He designed 'Operation Cable Splicer,' which kept track of political dissidents in California, especially anti-Vietnam War protestors. When Giuffrida took over at FEMA, he began to embark on similar projects. FEMA began to store some 12,000 names it had obtained from the FBI's domestic intelligence files. FBI Director William Webster was so outraged at this interference in FBI matters he forced FEMA to turn the list back to the FBI. FEMA's surveillance lists may have included at least 100,000 U.S.A. citizens that were assumed to be potential threats to security. These included the names of survivalists and tax protestors." -- Wayne Madsen, Handbook of Personal Data Protection, Stockton Press (NY) and Macmillan (London), 1992.

Rechaza Bush la oferta de ayuda cubana para víctimas del huracán

Washington, 7 de septiembre. El gobierno de George W. Bush rechazó hoy implícitamente el ofrecimiento de ayuda de Cuba para asistir a las víctimas del huracán Katrina, con el envío de más de mil 500 médicos y 34 toneladas de medicinas, al responder que su deseo es que el presidente Fidel Castro "ofrezca libertad a su pueblo".

Este fue el comentario del vocero de la Casa Blanca, Scott McClellan, quien añadió no obstante que es el Departamento de Estado el que está a cargo del manejo de las ofertas de ayuda internacional, que a la fecha suman un total de 94 países y de organizaciones diversas.

The Great New Orleans Land Grab

Los Angeles, Alta California - September 7, 2005 - (ACN) There were numerous incidents that occurred during and immediately after Katrina struck that point to the "unthinkable". It now appears that a sophisticated plan was implemented that utilized the "cover of a hurricane" to first destroy and than take over the City of New Orleans? As the world watched the events unfolding, one could not help think that something was terribly afoot concerning the rescue by FEMA of the city's poor and predominate Black population. It seems that a well laid out plan was put into effect to grab valuable real estate from well established but poverty stricken Black families of New Orleans? What is being implemented now is nothing less than a sophisticated scheme to purge and ethnically cleanse what Whites have termed "Black and 'welfare bloated' New Orleans".

Among the most telling anomalies pointing to something terribly afoot is the gun battle, killing 5, that occurred at the breeched levy between the New Orleans Police Department and, what have now been identified as US military agents. An Associated Press report, which has now disappeared, stated that at least five USA Defense Department personnel where shot dead by New Orleans police officers in the proximity of the breeched levy. A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers said later that those killed were "federal contractors" on their way to "repair" a canal. The "contractors" were on their way to launch barges into Lake Pontchartrain, in an operation to "fix" the 17th Street Canal, according to the Army Corps of Engineers spokesman. Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley of New Orleans later reported that his policemen had shot at eight suspicious people near the breeched levy, killing five or six.

Bush accepts aid from Mexico, silent on Venezuela but rejects help from Cuba

Los Angeles, Alta California - September 8, 2005 - (ACN) For the first time since 1846, the Mexican Army will be operating in Aztlan territory. A 35 vehicle Mexican Army convoy carrying water treatment plants, mobile kitchens and food supplies for the victims of Katrina is presently rumbling north to Houston, Tejas. The convoy is due to cross into Laredo, Tejas, early today, said a spokesman for President Vicente Fox.

Professor Javier Oliva, a political scientist at Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM) said that the convoy has "a very high symbolic content". He added, "This is a very sensitive subject, for historic and political reasons." The army trucks will also include 195 unarmed Mexican soldiers, officers and specialists, who will provide water and hot meals for the Black victims that were evacuated from the New Orleans area.

The convoy includes two mobile kitchens that can feed 7,000 people a day, three flatbed trucks carrying mobile water treatment plants and 15 trailers of bottled water, blankets and medicine. It also includes military engineers, doctors and nurses.

Mexico has also sent a Mexican navy ship to the Mississippi coast with rescue vehicles and helicopters. The ship "Papaloapan" left the Mexican port of Tampico on Monday and will be docking in the Mississippi River near Biloxi, Mississippi. Mexico has sent disaster relief aid to other Latin American countries, but this is the first time it has done so to the USA.

In 1846, Mexican troops advanced north of the Rio Grande in Tejas, a rebel state that had joined the United States. Mexico did not then recognize the Rio Grande as the U.S. border. Soon after the Mexican-American War began and this led to the theft of half of Mexico's territory in 1848

De víctimas a bandidos: los medios de comunicación y Nueva Orleáns

Durante breves horas, pero de forma espectacular, los fracasos políticos que convirtieron a Nueva Orleáns y a otras muchas ciudades y pueblos del Golfo de México en una catástrofe humana hicieron añicos los lazos de amistad que existían entre los medios de comunicación y el gobierno del país. Periodistas críticos describieron el fiasco del sistema de seguridad nacional para evacuar a ciudadanos pobres y la ausencia de alimentos básicos y agua para las víctimas. Los medios compararon al presidente Bush (de fiesta con sus amigos republicanos en California), al vicepresidente Chaney (jugando al golf), a la secretaria de estado Rice (de compras en Manhattan) y al jefe de la seguridad nacional Chertoff (asegurando que la ayuda gubernamental funcionaba a la perfección) con los gritos de desesperación y la penuria de decenas de miles de necesitados y hambrientos afroestadounidenses y blancos pobres, que apenas sobrevivían en un oscuro y nauseabundo centro de convenciones y en un estadio deportivo.

From victims to vandals: mass media and New Orleans - James Petras

Briefly, but dramatically, the political failures that turned New Orleans and many other Gulf cities and towns into a human catastrophe, shattered the bonds of conformity between the mass media and the government. Critical reporters described the failure of the government’s Homeland Security to evacuate vulnerable poor people and the absence of basic food and water for the victims. The media contrasted Bush partying with Republican cronies in California, Vice President Chaney on the golfing green, Secretary of State Rice shopping in Manhattan and Homeland Security boss Chertoff claiming that disaster relief was in excellent shape with the cries of desperation and destitution of tens of thousands of poverty-stricken and hungry African Americans and poor whites barely surviving in a dark, filthy convention center and sports arena.

New Orleans becomes a war zone. A dress rehearsal for martial law?

The disaster that struck New Orleans and the southern Gulf Coast has given rise to the largest military mobilization in modern history on US soil. Nearly 65,000 US military personnel are now deployed in disaster area, transforming the devastated port city into a war zone.

Squads of combat-equipped troops toting assault rifles and columns of humvees with gunners at the ready crisscross its flooded streets. Soldiers with bayonets mounted have begun house-to-house canvassing of the city to enforce the complete removal of its civilian population.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the disastrous delay in providing aid to the city’s beleaguered citizens was in large part a matter of waiting until this massive military force was ready to deploy.

Livro que revela a conexão terrorista do FBI de Miami

ENQUANTO Marwan Al´Shehhi e o chefe do comando de Al Qaeda, seu primo Mohammed Atta, com doze de seus cúmplices se infiltravam no sul da Flórida e começavam seu treinamento para o fatídico 11 de setembro, a alguns quilômetros daí, nos escritórios da Segunda Avenida, esquina da rua 163, em Miami, o Agente Especial Héctor Pesquera, se consagrava a maltratar cinco cubanos, encerrados em suas jaulas de castigo e a chantagear suas famílias.

O livro Miami-Washington: la fillière terroriste du FBI (Miami-Washington: a conexão terrorista do FBI), do jornalista canadense Jean-Guy Allard, explica como Pesquera e seus especialistas da contra-inteligência não deram a menor atenção às atividades dos terroristas que destruíram as Torres do World Trade Center para orientar todos seus esforços em satisfazer as exigências dos cabecilhas de grupos miamenses da extrema direita. O livro será lançado proximamente na capital francesa.

Petrocaribe: columna vertebral de la integración

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica.— Cuando este 6 de septiembre, en conmemoración del aniversario 190 de la Carta de Jamaica escrita por Simón Bolívar, se reunieron aquí jefes de Estado y Gobierno de la región del Caribe fundadores de Petrocaribe, se estaba haciendo práctica la integración de nuestros pueblos como única forma de ser más libres y más respetados.

Incógnitas sobre el once de septiembre

A las críticas que llueven sobre la Administración de George W. Bush por su imprevisión e inacción ante la amenaza real del huracán Katrina que asoló varios estados de la Unión, se suman revelaciones que crean verdaderas incógnitas al cumplirse cuatro años de los atentados contra las Torres Gemelas de Nueva York y el Pentágono, con el saldo de millares de víctimas.

UN hits back at US in report saying parts of America are as poor as Third World

Parts of the United States are as poor as the Third World, according to a shocking United Nations report on global inequality.

Claims that the New Orleans floods have laid bare a growing racial and economic divide in the US have, until now, been rejected by the American political establishment as emotional rhetoric. But yesterday's UN report provides statistical proof that for many - well beyond those affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - the great American Dream is an ongoing nightmare.

America’s Pretenses Washed Away

Everyone has been affected by the news of Hurricane Katrina and it’s victims who happen to be largely of color. The media has made no attempt to hide its racist practices by portraying the economically disenfranchised Black people that live there, whose lives have been devastated and destroyed, as thugs, criminals, and lawless rouges while the fairer “victims” of Katrina are portrayed as helpless and defenseless survivors trapped in dehumanizing conditions. Down in Louisiana, with its vicious racist policies that allowed 30 percent of New Orleans’ residents of color to live below an acceptable standard of living and educational opportunity, with its governor having her lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, calling her own devastated constituents hoodlums and lawbreakers, the receding waters have revealed a frightening reality in this so-called land of opportunity.

There’s no million-dollar prize at the end of this game of Survivor, there’s dehydration, starvation, and death for the losers and the winners get unimaginable nightmares that will haunt them for the rest of their natural lives.

Unbearable Crime on the Mississippi

When I woke up today, the only thought that came to mind was Reverend Jesse Jackson's indignant cry, "This is the bottom of the slave ship we are looking at."

I think Jesse actually put his finger on what happened to all of us this week. Those shots we've seen are, as he said, the bottom of the slave ships. I think that really goes to why all the rest of us watching are so traumatized. And I think it is necessary to repeat what he has said about how the people in this country have a high tolerance for viewing "black pain." Yes, while we are asking the unheard question as to why a third of New Orleans' population is poor and all black, everyone from the president on down is comfortable with these realities of our ongoing unemployment, overcrowding, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, neighborhood crime and despair.

Jesse's metaphor is also so apt in that you only had to listen to five minutes of reporting to know families had been separated in ways that could be irreparable – across states, even mothers from month-old babies...just evacuating babies without contact with the parents is such a nightmare, I hate even hearing about it. These are the people who were marginalized from the Internet as well; are they going to run to a computer site?

Blasphemy About New Orleans:A God With Whom I am Not Familiar

This is an open letter to the man sitting behind me at La Paz today, in Nashville, at lunchtime, with the Brooks Brothers shirt:

You don't know me. But I know you. "It isn't God that kept me from turning around and beating your lily white privileged ass."

I watched you as you held hands with your tablemates at the restaurant where we both ate this afternoon. I listened as you prayed, and thanked God for the food you were about to eat, and for your own safety, several hundred miles away from the unfolding catastrophe in New Orleans.

You blessed your chimichanga in the name of Jesus Christ, and then proceeded to spend the better part of your meal – and mine, since I was too near your table to avoid hearing every word – morally scolding the people of that devastated city, heaping scorn on them for not heeding the warnings to leave before disaster struck. Then you attacked them – all of them, without distinction it seemed...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury on New Orleans: "Americans Are Being Brainwashed"

Paul Craig Roberts has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Regan administration.

Roberts followed up his commentary Impeach Bush Now, Before More Die with an interview on The Alex Jones show on Monday 5th September 2005. The former Assistant Secretary had noted of the New Orleans disaster "If terrorists had achieved this result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in history." and went on to spell out how the disaster was left to happen. He succeeded these comments on Monday by laying out the facts again and asserting that the Federal government has been criminally negligent and should be held up to accountability.

Bush rejects Chávez aid

An offer of aid from the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, which included two mobile hospital units, 120 rescue and first aid experts and 50 tonnes of food, has been rejected, according to the civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson.
Mr Jackson said the offer from the Venezuelan leader, whom he recently met, included 10 water purification plants, 18 power generation plants and 20 tonnes of bottled water.

Estados Unidos frente a la realidad

Más allá del excepcional fenómeno climático y de la catástrofe humana que provocó, el huracán Katrina tendrá graves consecuencias políticas. Al poner bruscamente al desnudo la ausencia de Estado en Estados Unidos, Katrina reveló la verdadera política de la administración Bush: privatización del Estado, nepotismo, desvío de medios públicos para ponerlos al servicio de las compañías petroleras. Para Thierry Meyssan, el huracán, no la guerra, será el catalizador de las tensiones internas en Estados Unidos.

Martial Law, Curfews Make New Orleans a War Zone

Hurricane KatrinaNew Orleans is under military occupation as well as underwater. As in a war zone, military bases are being established in a city divided into sectors, while the navy has moved warships up the Mississippi for helicopter operations. Martial law and curfews are in force. One military commander says over 30,000 people remain. Confusion mounts about what will happen if residents ignore instructions to evacuate the area.

Project for the New American Colonies (A Neoconned American Revolution)-humor

It is the middle of the 18th Century. King George II has died and his mad grandson, George III ascends to the British throne. But wait! this is a quasi-historical political polemic! A palace coup takes place and, and... there's another, equally mad King George wearing the crown, and he's surrounded by neoconservative administrators, advisers and sycophants. They have a plan for imperial Great Britain to dominate the world and they have a Project for the New American Colonies. This, then, is history as it might have been.

Bush pretende investigar "errores" de su gobierno ante la catástrofe

Solecito Sólo encuentren "al idiota del nivel más alto", señala el presidente del condado Jefferson

Solecito Halliburton, dueña del contrato para evaluar los daños de Nueva Orleáns: Houston Chronicle

Barbara Bush: It's Good Enough for the Poor

Finally, we have discovered the roots of George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism."
On the heels of the president's "What, me worry?" response to the death, destruction and dislocation that followed upon Hurricane Katrina comes the news of his mother's Labor Day visit with hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston.

Commenting on the facilities that have been set up for the evacuees -- cots crammed side-by-side in a huge stadium where the lights never go out and the sound of sobbing children never completely ceases -- former First Lady Barbara Bush concluded that the poor people of New Orleans had lucked out.

The New IEDs

Irreversible Ecological Decline, Irreparable Economic Damage and Indigenous Emigration and Displacement

As the agonizing similarities between the Bush administration’s failures in both gulfs continue piling up here’s one more to consider: the devastating toll of IEDs.
In Iraq, the story is well-known: Rumsfeld et al’s failure to respond to early information about the insurgency’s use of IEDs, not to mention pleas for armored Humvees, has taken a huge toll on U.S. troops, potentially causing hundreds of preventable deaths and thousands of lost limbs.
In the U.S., the devastation caused by Katrina forces us to confront not only the domestic costs of a diversion of resources to imperialistic adventurism, but also a harbinger of the devastating consequences to come from Bush’s denial of global warming and oil-industry-friendly energy policies: Irreversible Ecological Decline.

Still Clueless in Crawford, Witless in Washington

You've probably heard of the ubiquitous, 'The guy' in the story, who on being asked, "Does the Sun rise in the East or the West?", replies, "Don't know...I'm still new to town".

I'm pleased to tell you the 'The guy' now has an identity.

He gave himself away (once more?) when he told Diane Sawyer, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

No Paper Trail Left Behind: The Theft of the 2004 Presidential Election

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." (Through the Looking Glass)

In order to believe that George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also believe all of the following extremely improbable or outright impossible things.(1)

From Project Censored - The News That Didn't Make The News.

September 7, 2005 -- Right-wing media continues to refer to Americans as "refugees."

Bush on the Gulf Coast in his role as Slim Witless, the yodeling moron. At least Saddam Hussein didn't play the guitar while he killed his own people.

September 7, 2005 -- Right-wing media continues to refer to Americans as "refugees." The once respected United Press International (UPI), now owned by the loonie Moonie Unification Church of megalomaniac Korean "Reverend" and ex-convict Sun Myung Moon, continues to refer to Americans from New Orleans as "refugees." A Sep. 6 story stated, "troops scouring New Orleans for survivors and victims reported finding at least 40 mutilated bodies in the Convention Center refugee center." Webster's Dictionary's definition of a refugee: "one who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution." So, in other words Louisiana, "Welcome to America!"

Falluja and New Orleans: Hide the Dead

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Falluja and New Orleans: Hide the Dead

From Reuters, it appears that FEMA is more concerned with public relations than the provision of disaster relief:
The U.S. government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area.

The Bush administration also has prevented the news media from photographing flag-draped caskets of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, which has sparked criticism that the government is trying to block images that put the war in a bad light.

And, one is compelled to add, the news media was also prevented, to the extent it was inclined to escape its embedded escorts, from establishing the number of people killed during the attack upon Falluja last November. In the old South, African Americans were at least legally construed as 3/5 of a person. In New Orleans, FEMA is trying to render them invisible, as the US military does with civilian casualties in Iraq.

Fox's NY affiliate refuses Bush 'no clothes' ad

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A local affiliate of the Fox television network has rejected a campaign advertisement for a Democratic politician that lampoons President George W. Bush by superimposing his head on a naked torso.

The ad, produced by Brian Ellner, an openly gay candidate for Manhattan borough president, opens with a close-up of Bush's face and zooms out to show the torso from the hips up, with a voice-over saying, "New Yorkers know the emperor has no clothes."

Ellner also introduces his male partner during the 30-second commercial.

La intervención silenciosa de los EE.UU. contra la revolución bolivariana

Philip Agee
El gobierno de los EE.UU. está llevando a cabo un programa de operaciones a favor de la oposición política venezolana para remover del poder al Presidente Hugo Chávez Frías y a la coalición de partidos que lo apoya. El presupuesto para este programa, iniciado por la administración de Bill Clinton e intensificado bajo George W. Bush, ha subido de unos $2 millones en 2001 a $9 millones en 2005, y las actividades se disfrazan como “la promoción de la democracia,” “la resolución de conflictos,” y “el fortalecimiento de la vida cívica”. Consiste en proveer dinero, capacitación, consejo y dirección a una amplia red de partidos políticos, ONG, medios de comunicaciones, sindicatos y empresarios, todos determinados a terminar con el proceso revolucionario bolivariano. El programa tiene claros propósitos de corto, mediano y largo plazo, y se adapta fácilmente a los cambios en el proceso político venezolano en constante flujo.

How United States Intervention Against Venezuela Works By: Philip Agee

It is no secret that the government of the United States is carrying out a program of operations in favor of the Venezuelan political opposition to remove President Hugo Chávez Frías and the coalition of parties that supports him from power. The budget for this program, initiated by the administration of Bill Clinton and intensified under George W. Bush, has risen from some $2 million in 2001 to $9 million in 2005, and it disguises itself as activities to “promote democracy,” “resolve conflicts,” and “strengthen civic life.” It consists of providing money, training, counsel and direction to an extensive network of political parties, NGO’s, mass media, unions, and businessmen, all determined to end the bolivarian revolutionary process. The program has clear short, medium, and long-term goals, and adapts easily to changes in the fluid Venezuelan political process.

Telesur alcanza Europa, África y Estados Unidos

La Telesur, en tanto red latinoamericana, ya comienza a alcanzar parte de Europa, el norte de África, y hasta Estados Unidos, con sus 45 millones de latinos. La información es del responsable de la nueva Televisión del Sur en Brasil, Beto Almeida, en una entrevista para el periódico Hora do Povo.

The real costs of a culture of greed

WHAT THE WORLD has witnessed this past week is an image of poverty and social disarray that tears away the affluent mask of the United States.

Instead of the much-celebrated American can-do machine that promises to bring freedom and prosperity to less fortunate people abroad, we have seen a callous official incompetence that puts even Third World rulers to shame. The well-reported litany of mistakes by the Bush administration in failing to prevent and respond to Katrina's destruction grew longer with each hour's grim revelation from the streets of an apocalyptic New Orleans.

Katrina y la Norteamérica oculta

"Pereyra, míreme a la cara./ ¿Por qué este castigo, Eulogia? ¿Por qué tanta crueldá?". (Roberto Fontanarosa)

El huracán Katrina ha revelado al mundo que la indolencia, la división de clases y el racismo siguen siendo parte implícita de la vida cotidiana de la única superpotencia del mundo, Norteamérica. Ha sucedido igual como en 1927 cuando la Gran Inundación de Missisippi azotó Nueva Orleans y fue cubierta por el agua. Los que tenían dinero abandonaron la ciudad con anticipación, mientras los desposeídos tuvieron que quedarse a merced de la naturaleza y recién, varios días después fueron trasladados a refugios miserables que carecían de toda infraestructura necesaria para una emergencia.

Las mentiras de Reporteros Sin Fronteras

La ONG francesa Reporteros Sin Fronteras, consagrada a la defensa de la libertad de la prensa, es hoy objeto de polémica. Para algunos, constituiría un vector eficaz de libertad en el mundo, para otros –entre los que nos encontramos– se ha convertido en correa de transmisión del Departamento de Estado y manipula una causa al servicio de la estrategia de Estados Unidos. Salim Lamrani, investigador de la universidad de la Sorbona, analiza detalladamente acusaciones y respuestas y devela el alcance de la superchería.

Brazil's problem is the neoliberal model

In recent weeks, a corruption scandal has engulfed the government of Luis Ignacio ‘Lula’ da Silva in Brazil, with demonstrations from both the Left and the Right against the president and the current regime.

Joao Pedro Stedile, who spoke in Vancouver in the fall of 2003, is an economist and a central leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the world’s largest and most dynamic social movements. On September 7, Brazil’s Independence Day, the MST is organizing mass mobilizations as part of its efforts to put forward a popular political project in opposition to neo-liberalism.

The real heroes and sheroes of New Orleans

LARRY BRADSHAW and LORRIE BETH SLONSKY are emergency medical services (EMS) workers from San Francisco and contributors to Socialist Worker. They were attending an EMS conference in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. They spent most of the next week trapped by the flooding--and the martial law cordon around the city. Here, they tell their story.

George W. Bush Investigates!

Rick Santorum says that hurricane victims who remained in their homes should be penalized. The Republicans are rushing to get the first of the relief dollars to... Mississippi, where Trent Lott's highly acclaimed front porch once existed. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Homeland Security are getting their major catastrophe information from newspaper headlines that don't exist other than in Karl Rove's imagination -- and making decisions (or not) based on those imaginary headlines.

And George W. Bush, the man responsible for appointing and/or supporting these criminally negligent excuses for "protectors of the homeland", is going to oversee an investigation into what went wrong.

No Direction Home

"How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home…."
-- Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone"

Let's be clear about one thing. Nothing that has happened in the past week -- the mass destruction in the Mississippi Delta, the obliteration of the city of New Orleans, the murderous abandonment of thousands of people to death, chaos and disease -- will change the Bush Administration or American politics at all. Not one whit. The Bush Administration will not reverse its brutal policies; its Congressional rubber-stamps will not revolt against the White House; the national Democrats will not suddenly grow a spine. There will be no real change, and the bitter corrosion of injustice, indifference and inhumanity that is consuming American society will go on as before.