Friday, September 23, 2005

Prisoners in New Orleans city jail were 'abandoned'

A leading US human rights group accused prison officials in New Orleans yesterday of abandoning hundreds of men in the city jail in the run-up to Hurricane Katrina, leaving them locked up without food, water, electricity, fresh air or functioning toilets for four days as the floodwaters rose to their chests, necks and higher.

The logic of colonial rule

There is now near-universal agreement that the western occupation of Iraq has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster; first for the people of Iraq, second for the soldiers sent by scoundrel politicians to die in a foreign land. The grammar of deceit utilised by Bush, Blair and sundry neocon/neolib apologists to justify the war has lost all credibility. Despite the embedded journalists and non-stop propaganda, the bloody images refuse to go away: the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops is the only meaningful solution. Real history moves deep within the memory of a people, but is always an obstacle to imperial fantasists: the sight of John Reid and the Iraqi prime minister brought back memories of Anthony Eden and Nuri Said in Downing Street just before the 1958 revolution that removed the British from Iraq.

The argument that withdrawal will lead to civil war is slightly absurd, since the occupation has already accelerated and exacerbated ethnic and religious tensions in Iraq. Divide and rule is the deadly logic of colonial rule - and signs that the US is planning an exit strategy coupled with a long-term presence is evident in the new Iraqi constitution, pushed through by US proconsul Zalmay Khalilzad. This document is a defacto division of Iraq into Kurdistan (a US-Israeli protectorate), Southern Iraq (dominated by Iran) and the Sunni badlands (policed by semi-reliable ex-Baathists under state department and Foreign Office tutelage). What is this if not an invitation to civil war? The occupation has also created a geopolitical mess. Recent events in Basra are linked to a western fear of Iranian domination. Having encouraged Moqtada al-Sadr's militias to resist the slavishly pro-Iranian faction, why are the British surprised when they demand real independence?

A Prescription for Exclusion Bush Administration Adopts a Chunk of Heritage Foundation's All-Encompassing Agenda to Rebuild Gulf Coast

While Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush's chief political adviser -- some call him "Bush's Brain" -- is waiting to see if he will be indicted for his role in the Valerie Plame Affair, he has been named by Bush to lead the reconstruction effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. And, based on President Bush's address to the nation on Thursday, September 16, the blueprint for rebuilding will be less "New Deal" and more "New Steal" -- another opportunity for Team Bush's corporate donors and cronies to cash in on the misery of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

There is little doubt that the Rove-guided rebuilding effort will be paying close attention to a recent Special Report issued by the Heritage Foundation on September 12, spelling out a series of guidelines and recommendations for Gulf Coast's recovery.

Blackwater Down

The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit. The company known for its private security work guarding senior US diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf. About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the hurricane relief effort." But its men on the ground told a different story.

Some patrolled the streets in SUVs with tinted windows and the Blackwater logo splashed on the back; others sped around the French Quarter in an unmarked car with no license plates. They congregated on the corner of St. James and Bourbon in front of a bar called 711, where Blackwater was establishing a makeshift headquarters. From the balcony above the bar, several Blackwater guys cleared out what had apparently been someone's apartment. They threw mattresses, clothes, shoes and other household items from the balcony to the street below. They draped an American flag from the balcony's railing. More than a dozen troops from the 82nd Airborne Division stood in formation on the street watching the action.

Antiwar Bus Tour Rolls Into Capital for Protests

Organizers hope that 100,000 will gather this weekend
to urge an Iraq troop withdrawal.

WASHINGTON - They left Crawford, Texas, three weeks ago, eager to build on the momentum created by Cindy Sheehan's antiwar vigil outside President Bush's ranch.

After passing through 51 cities on the "Bring Them Home Now Tour," three busloads of protesters arrived at the National Mall on Wednesday, the vanguard of a movement that Iraq war protesters hope will bring 100,000 people to the capital this weekend.

Family members who have lost relatives — that is a compelling voice that the nation is listening to. This policy has been a disaster…. The daily cascade of headlines and horrible images, the continued reports of bad news, have crescendoed to a tipping point that is rapidly approaching.

Tom Andrews, national director of Win Without War
"We've been to a lot of red states and red cities, and we've gotten great support," said Sheehan, the Vacaville, Calif., woman who sought a meeting with Bush during his August vacation. Her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq last year.

"We think America is not as divided as people would like it to be portrayed," Sheehan said.

Why We're Marching

On Saturday, September 24, tens of thousands of Americans from all walks of life will come together in Washington, DC to call on Congress and President Bush to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home now.

When hundreds of thousands of us marched against this war before it began, the Bush administration called us a "focus group." Now that focus group represents the majority of the American public, who in all the most recent polls are saying this war was a mistake, it's unwinnable, it makes us less safe at home and it should end.

It's time for both the White House and Congress to start listening to those of us who have been and continue to talk with our feet. Here are some of the many reasons why we will be out on the streets of Washington DC this weekend:

We're marching because we are distressed over the continued war in Iraq, an unprovoked, unnecessary war that has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 2,000 US soldiers. We grieve for those families who have already lost loved ones in this war, and we want to stop other families from suffering such painful losses.

We're marching because we want to hold George Bush accountable for dragging us into this war on false pretenses. The September 11 Commission officially acknowledged that Iraq was not involved in the terrorist attacks on our nation, and the U.S. military gave up its search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction because they don't exist.

Purging the Poor

Outside the 2,000-bed temporary shelter in Baton Rouge's River Center, a Church of Scientology band is performing a version of Bill Withers's classic "Use Me"--a refreshingly honest choice. "If it feels this good getting used," the Scientology singer belts out, "just keep on using me until you use me up."

Ten-year-old Nyler, lying face down on a massage table, has pretty much the same attitude. She is not quite sure why the nice lady in the yellow SCIENTOLOGY VOLUNTEER MINISTER T-shirt wants to rub her back, but "it feels so good," she tells me, so who really cares? I ask Nyler if this is her first massage. "Assist!" hisses the volunteer minister, correcting my Scientology lingo. Nyler shakes her head no; since fleeing New Orleans after a tree fell on her house, she has visited this tent many times, becoming something of an assist-aholic. "I have nerves," she explains in a blissed-out massage voice. "I have what you call nervousness."

Wearing a donated pink T-shirt with an age-inappropriate slogan ("It's the hidden little Tiki spot where the island boys are hot, hot, hot"), Nyler tells me what she is nervous about. "I think New Orleans might not ever get fixed back." "Why not?" I ask, a little surprised to be discussing reconstruction politics with a preteen in pigtails. "Because the people who know how to fix broken houses are all gone."

Bush’s Petulant Pique appointments

AUSTIN, Texas — So here are all the liberals going into a giant snit just because President Bush appointed a veterinarian to head the women’s health section of the Food and Drug Administration. For Pete’s sake, you whiners, the only reason he chose the vet is because Michael Brown wasn’t available.

If you recall, Ol’ Heckuva-Job Brownie had to go home, walk his dog and then hug his wife after exhausting himself in his triumphal handling of Hurricane Katrina. Otherwise, he’d have been Bush’s first pick.

Now, even the veterinarian doesn’t get the job — just because those professional feminists raised such a stink. What’s wrong with a vet? They know a lot about birth and udders and stuff. If the mother is having trouble giving birth, you grab the baby by the legs and pull it out — it’s not brain surgery. Then you worm ’em, you tag ’em and you spray for fleas. Why the fuss?

The only reason Bush even needed a new head of the Office of Women’s Health is because the last one, Susan Wood, quit. She was upset because the political hacks who run the agency refused to allow over-the-counter sale of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B.

The IMF Has Lost its Influence

Sometimes historic changes take place quietly, while no one is looking. Great institutions lose power with a whimper rather than a bang. Such is the case of the International Monetary Fund, which is holding its annual autumn meetings with the World Bank this weekend in Washington.

Just a few years ago, the IMF was the most powerful financial institution in the world. When financial and economic crises swept across East Asia in 1997, it was the IMF that laid down the painful conditions that governments had to meet in order to access more than $120 billion in foreign funds.

When the financial contagion spread to Russia and Brazil, the IMF followed, brokering the multibillion dollar loans that - however unsuccessfully - were intended to prop up overvalued currencies on the brink of collapse.

Those days are over. After their nightmarish experience with the fund in 1997-1998, Asian countries began to pile up huge international foreign exchange reserves - partly so they would never have to go begging to the IMF again. But the final blow to the fund came from the country that Anne Krueger, first deputy managing director of the fund, reportedly calls "the A-word": Argentina.

The 'Myth' of Iraq's Foreign Fighters

As we have all seen and heard in the U.S. media, the resistance in Iraq is relying heavily on the influx of foreign fighters. Now it appears the media spin was all wrong according to a U.S. think tank’s finding. The facts also appear to be that Saudi’s are not the majority of these foreigners either.

It also seems that a greater concern should be the fighters taking their newly learned “skills” and exporting them to their home countries. But Bush continues to say not to worry since we are making progress in Iraq and leaving Iraq now is not an option.

Report by US think tank says only '4 to 10' percent of insurgents are foreigners.

Iran and the Invention of a Nuclear Crisis- Part I of a Three Part Series

BARELY TWO years after the United States invaded Iraq in the name of weapons of mass destruction which never existed, the world is being pushed towards a confrontation with Iran on a similarly flawed premise.

On September 17, Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations General Assembly that his country would not give up its sovereign right to produce nuclear power using indigenously enriched uranium. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran signed in 1974, allows Iran to build facilities involving all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including enrichment, subject to international safeguards. Given the fact that the U.S. continues to impose sanctions on the development of Iran's oil and gas sector (under the extra-territorial 'Iran Libya Sanctions Act'), it is only logical that the Iranians should seek a civilian nuclear energy industry in which they won't have to be dependent on the West for fuel like enriched uranium.

However, as a major concession to Britain, France and Germany — the so-called EU-3 which has sought to prevail upon Iran to abandon enrichment in exchange for guarantees of assured fuel supply — Mr. Ahmadinejad offered to run his country's enrichment plants as joint ventures with private and public sector firms from other countries. Britain and France have rejected this offer, which the Iranians say is a demonstration of their intent to be as transparent as possible. The EU-3 and the U.S. insist Teheran must not work on enrichment because once the technology is mastered, the same facilities could be used to produce not just low enriched uranium (LEU) for energy reactors but highly enriched uranium (HEU) for bombs. Accordingly, they have circulated a resolution in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting — which began Monday — calling for Iran's civilian nuclear programme to be referred to the U.N. Security Council as a potential threat to international peace and security.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (and Dumpers)

September 23, 2005 - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (and Dumpers). Under obvious pressure from FEMA, the state of Louisiana contracted with a Texas firm, Kenyon International (a subsidiary of Services Corporation International), to collect and properly arrange for the burial of the bodies of victims of Hurricane Katrina. Kenyon, a firm charged with illegal body dumping and which was tied politically to both George W. Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Bush was Governor and Gonzales was his counsel, now stands to receive similar contracts to improperly dump the bodies of victims (we earnestly hope there will not be any) from Hurricane Rita.

From an informed source in St. Tammany Parish and the city of Slidell comes this revelation: A week after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, small planes from around the country began delivering food, water, and medical supplies to outlying parishes in Louisiana and counties in Mississippi. However, according to the source, St. Tammany Parish made a startling request to one of the pilots: the parish needed well over 5000 body bags.

The controversy over the wild swings in body counts from Katrina are viewed by many on the Gulf Coast as an attempt by the White House to limit the overall death count to a level manageable by spinmeisters like Karl Rove and Karen Hughes. And speaking of spin, ABC ran a disclaimer on the season premier of its series, "Invasion," Wednesday night. The series is about the "snatching" of bodies (not by Republican-connected funeral companies from Texas but by other-worldy elements) after a strong hurricane ravages southern Florida. Its uncertain why the network ran the disclaimer. Was it to clam nerves following Katrina and prior to Rita or an attempt to focus attention away from the "body snatching" aspect of the show. Knowing of Karl Rove's affectation for influencing Hollywood, I'd bet on the latter.

In the Laboratory of a Revolution

Her work Fidel: The Political Strategy of Victory, which illuminates the Cuban revolutionary process, is known in various editions throughout the Latin Amercian continent and has been one of the most read texts on the subject over the past 20 years. In another one of her works, Making Possible the Impossible: The Left on the Threshold to the 21st Century(1), initially published in Cuba and later in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and Spain, Marta Harnecker offers a panorama of Latin American popular movements and, as the title suggests, ventures to define the new political drive—to make possible what at first sight appears impossible—that is today illustrated by, among others, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez and is embodied in the sentiment of Bolivarian Revolution. Three years ago, the Chilean that left her country persecuted by the Pinochet dictatorship, moved from Havana, Cuba to Caracas where she resides and works as a close ad hoc collaborator of Chavez in what she herself defines as the revolutionary "laboratory" that the petro-country has become. Harnecker is thus part of a select group of intellectuals - militant, organic - that, from within or out of Venezuelan territory, "assesses" the advancement of the process, which since the beginning of the year has had as its declared goal the construction of "socialism of the 21st century". Theoreticians, journalists and analysts such as Heinz Dieterich Steffan (German professor at the University of Mexico), the Uruguayan director of TeleSur Aram Aharonián and Luis Bilbao (journalist and director of the magazine America XXI), among others, make up this think tank of the left. Harnecker, for example, was responsible for the edition and indexation of "El nuevo mapa estrategico" (The New Strategic Map), a collection of speeches given by Chavez in November 2004 to the upper echelons of his government. This booklet contains the condensed doctrine of the Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuela Offers Support to U.S. Indigenous Communities

While setting new global standards for the recognition of indigenous rights in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez has made an offer to bring low-cost gasoline to the poor in the United States, including American Indian tribal communities.

Chavez has also offered free eye surgery for a certain number economically disadvantaged U.S. residents.

"There is an offer on the table for low-cost heating oil and gasoline for poor communities in the United States," said Robert Free Galvan, who is contacting tribes in the United States with Venezuela's offer.

"Hopefully, Indian tribes and Native entities will take advantage of this opportunity to become stron

Riverbend's critique of the new constitution

Baghdad Burning

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

Friday, September 23, 2005

Draft Constitution - Part II
The final version (Version 3.0) of the Iraqi draft constitution was finally submitted to the UN about ten days ago. It was published in English in the New York Times on the 15th of September.

I blogged about some of the articles in the first two chapters last week, so I’ll jump right to Chapter Three: The Federal Authorities. The first notable difference between the final version of the constitution published in the New York Times and the Arabic version published in Al-Sabah is in article (47) under chapter three which sets down the general conditions for the ‘Council of Representatives’. In the Arabic version, there 6 conditions, while in the English one there are only five.

The condition that isn’t in the English version is the one mentioning that women should make up 25% of the members of the Council of Representatives

Bizarro Basra - Two special-ops Brits in wigs, 'traditional Arab dress' – and a car full of explosives?

The closer we look at what happened in Basra the other day, the murkier and more suspicious the picture gets. Two British undercover operatives fired at the Iraqi police, killing one and injuring another, and were taken into custody, then "rescued" as British tanks laid siege to police headquarters. The incident culminated in a pitched battle between Iraqi and British forces, and in its aftermath a war of words is heating up that threatens to expose a widening chasm between these two ostensible "allies."

We are told that our enemy in Iraq is a shadowy network of al-Qaeda-affiliated suicide bombers who will do anything to disrupt that country's march toward "democracy," but instead we find coalition troops shooting at the very Iraqi police we are investing so much money, effort, and hope into.

What in blazes is going on?

Washington Girds for War Protesters, Civil Resistance

Peggy Smith, a retired legal secretary from Terre Haute, Indiana, is coming to Washington for her first anti-war march this weekend. She has one question: ``You think they'll put a 61-year-old lady in jail?''

``I've never been to jail before,'' said Smith, who has been taking classes in non-violent civil disobedience. ``I was married to a lawyer for 31 years. I'm a peaceful person.''

The nation's capital is bracing for what organizers say will be the biggest rally yet against the Iraq war, with more than 100,000 participants. The U.S. Park Police has canceled leaves for all officers, and city police will operate on 12-hour shifts to deal with the protesters, who are planning what one of their Web sites calls a ``mass civil resistance action''

Join The Marines - The Few, The Proud, The Psychotic

Editor's Note: Update - September 21, 2005. I'm adding a few lines to these introductory comments for the sake of current military service people or their families or friends who might read this and misconstrue my thoughts as a blanket condemnation of anyone who might be serving in the Marine Corps or any other branch of the US military.

I spent four years in the military as an enlisted man in the early 1960's during the buildup phase of the Vietnam War. Due to the nature of my job, I was often liaisoned with personnel from other branches of the US military and became very familiar with the day to day world of enlisted men, warrant officers, and lower level commissioned officers of Army, Navy, and Air Force. I got along well with people in the military and seriously considered re-upping, but ultimately decided that I wanted to get back into civilian life and explore new things. The camaraderie of military life and the excitement of living in foreign lands are powerful incentives to remain in the military as a career.

Iraqi resistance earns world’s respect

In the more than two years since they began an armed struggle against the illegal U.S. occupation of their country, the Iraqi resistance has earned the respect of the world’s people.

Not only throughout Arab and Muslim lands, but at gatherings like the World Social Forum in India and Brazil, references to the Iraqi resistance were cheered. Spokespeople for the anti-globalization movement like Arundhati Roy as well as Marxists openly call for solidarity with the Iraqi resistance.

It is easy to understand why the Iraqi fighters have earned this solidarity. And it is time to extend the same solidarity from the anti-war movement here.

Iraqi resistance earns world’s respect

In the more than two years since they began an armed struggle against the illegal U.S. occupation of their country, the Iraqi resistance has earned the respect of the world’s people.

Not only throughout Arab and Muslim lands, but at gatherings like the World Social Forum in India and Brazil, references to the Iraqi resistance were cheered. Spokespeople for the anti-globalization movement like Arundhati Roy as well as Marxists openly call for solidarity with the Iraqi resistance.

It is easy to understand why the Iraqi fighters have earned this solidarity. And it is time to extend the same solidarity from the anti-war movement here.

When Rose met Cindy: The case against the war in Iraq

On both sides of the Atlantic, two mothers who lost sons in Iraq have launched campaigns to end the conflict. One camped outside George Bush's ranch. The other stood in the general election. This week, they came face to face for the first time. Andrew Buncombe reports

Along the sunbaked sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue came the sound of singing. It was music from an earlier generation, but as relevant now as it ever was. "All we are saying is give peace a chance," chanted the group of demonstrators as they made their way to the north-west gates of the White House. "All we are saying is give peace chance."

Where does terrorism start?

It is interesting that while medieval Europe strove to dissociate the great achievements of the flourishing Islamic civilisation from the Islamic religion, today's West insists on referring all Muslims' ills, from democratic failure to economic decadence, to the Islamic religion.

The terrorist plague is no exception. Its agents, we are told, are the product of an "evil ideology which must be uprooted".

This IS global warming, says environmental chief

Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the "smoking gun" of global warming, one of Britain's leading scientists believes.

The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming


Absolutely outrageous. Go take a look at the deep cuts the Repugs are suggesting to fund Katrina reconstruction projects. Things like increasing Medicaid premiums and eliminating loans for grad school – you know, the real problems.

Not a pork subsidy to be seen, of course. These people are shameless.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Arab-Jewish Partnership for Peace

Within Israel there are many Palestinian villages that Israel does not recognize geographically and financially. However, Israel will not allow the people in these villages to have running water, electricity or perform infrastructure construction. Ta’ayush participants have gone to these communities and paved roads. When Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home of a widow and her nine children, Ta’ayush rebuilt it. Basically, people mobilize their knowledge and skills to complete various kinds of projects together.

Critics Predict Katrina Whitewash

U.S. President George W. Bush's appointment of his own homeland security advisor to head a White House investigation of what went wrong with the government's Hurricane Katrina response and how to fix it is being greeted with some scepticism by emergency preparedness and response experts.

These authorities, many of whom spoke to IPS on condition of anonymity, point out that the president's advisor, Frances Townsend, has little experience in emergency preparedness and response. She is a former prosecutor whose recent background is in terrorism-related intelligence.

They also expressed doubt that anyone in the executive branch of government could produce an objective assessment of itself.

"The idea that anyone in the White House might produce a report that embarrasses the president or holds people accountable is just naïve," one source told IPS.

Hurricane Aid Used 'To Test Out Rightwing Social Policies'

President Bush's multi-billion dollar reconstruction plans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are being used as "a vast laboratory" for conservative social polices, administration critics claim.
The White House strategy involves the suspension of a series of regulations guaranteeing the going local wage and affirmative action for minorities, while offering tax incentives for businesses in the affected region.

Education aid for displaced children will include $500m (£276m) in vouchers for private schools, while a senior Republican has also proposed a new law permitting a wide-ranging waiver of environmental regulations.

The White House has argued that the deregulation measures are designed to disentangle the relief effort from federal red tape. But Democrats are furious at the proposals. They view them as an attempt to slip through unpopular policies under cover of the wave of sympathy for Katrina's victims. "The plan they're designing for the Gulf coast turns the region into a vast laboratory for rightwing ideological experiments," said John Kerry, the party's defeated 2004 presidential candidate.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias ships 1,000,000 barrels of petroleum to the United States

The Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. issued a press release late this morning to inform that Venezuela President Hugo Chavez’ pledge to ship approximately an additional one million barrels of gasoline to the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastation will begin to come to fruition on September 25 with the arrival at Port Everglades (Florida) of the bulk tanker 'B/t Energy Pride' with a first shipment of 240,000 barrels.

Jewish Defense League Member Sentenced

A Jewish Defense League member was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for his role in a plot to bomb a mosque and a Lebanese-American congressman's office.

During the hearing, Earl Krugel, 62, apologized and said he was a changed man.

But U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew described Krugel's actions as "promoting hatred in the most vile way" and sentenced him to the maximum under Krugel's plea agreement. Lew said Krugel had failed a polygraph test five times during the investigation.

"You are not that changed a person. You have more to give," the judge said.

Krugel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of worshippers at Culver City's King Fahd Mosque and one count of carrying an explosive device in connection with a conspiracy to impede or injure Republican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa.

Krugel, a dental assistant, and the late JDL leader Irv Rubin were arrested in 2001. Hours before they were to appear in court in 2002, Rubin slashed his neck with a razor blade and tumbled 18 feet over a railing at a federal detention center. He died nine days later.

After Rubin's death, Krugel struck the plea deal.

The Jewish Defense League was founded in 1968 by Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane advocated the forcible removal of Arabs from Israel. He was assassinated in 1990 in New York.

JDL Leader Earl Krugel Sentenced to 20 Years for 2001 Terrorist Plot

A member of the Jewish Defense League was sentenced today to 20 years for his role in a plot to blow up a Los Angeles-area mosque, the office of an Arab-American congressman, and the office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Earl Krugel and the militant group's leader, Irv Rubin, were charged in December 2001 with conspiring in the bomb plot. Rubin died a year later from injuries suffered in what authorities said was a jailhouse suicide attempt.

Under his 2003 plea bargain, Krugel admitted conspiracy to violate the civil rights of worshippers at the King Fahd Mosque and also a weapons count tied to explosives that prosecutors said were meant for the field office of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Krugel admitted in his plea agreement that he met with a teenage JDL recruit and showed him a list of mosques that were potential targets. He alleged that Rubin, who was present at the meetings, told the recruit to carry out the bombings. Krugel admitted he and Rubin targeted Issa because he is an Arab American. He also acknowledged calling mosques "filthy" and saying Arabs needed a "wake-up call."

The JDL has been responsible for at least 40 terrorist acts in the United States since its inception in 1968, according to the FBI. Law enforcement officials also said the original target of the foiled plot was MPAC'S LosAngeles office, but it was changed in the days before the planned attack.

La redes terroristas que tienen refugio en los Estados Unidos

Muchos periodistas, defensores de derechos humanos e incluso paises han comenzado a denunciar y dar a conocer a la opinion publica la politica de doble rasero que practica la administracion Bush. Por un lado este gobierno pretende luchar contra el terrorismo, por otro no solo alberga y protege a notorios terroristas que sirven sus fines geopoliticos, sino que hasta financia dichas operaciones terroristas contra otros paises.

Está el mundo bajo el dominio de la hiperpotencia estadounidense?

Los análisis de nuestras publicaciones sobre las relaciones internacionales se centran en el papel de Estados Unidos. Se justifica acaso ese punto de vista o será que estamos sobreestimando la importancia de 'América'? En realidad, Washington tiene la capacidad necesaria para imponer un nuevo orden mundial, pero está lejos de actuar en función de intereses nacionales. Lo que defiende es un sistema económico transnacional.

A bridge too far

Among many unanswered questions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we have this one: Why didn't the stranded residents of flooded New Orleans simply walk to dry land? For many, the answer was simple and disturbing: The suburbs wouldn't let them.

Three long days after the hurricane hit, thousands of evacuees, mostly black, tried to march across one of the last escape routes out of the city, the Greater New Orleans Bridge. But they were turned back by gun-wielding police officers from suburban Gretna, La.

Authorities in St. Bernard Parish, La., to the east, stacked cars to block off roads from the city, according to news accounts. But Gretna's decision gained the most notoriety after two eyewitnesses, San Francisco paramedics caught in the bridge confrontation, reported it on a Socialist Worker Web site.

Deformed Iraqi babies caused by USA use of depleted uranium

The following pictures were provided by Dr. Siegwart Horst-Gunther, authored of a 1996 book titled, "URANIUM PROJECTILES - SEVERELY MAIMED SOLDIERS, DEFORMED BABIES, DYING CHILDREN" (ISBN: 3-89484-805-7). The book is a documentary record of the depleted urnaium ammunition effects on Iraqi babies that were taken between 1993 and 1995. The book has been censored in the USA. Dr. Gunther also has in his possesion additional photographs from his unpublished collection which feature the birth deformities being experienced by USA Iraqi war veterans' children. Dr. Gunther has given permission for his pictures to be treated as 'Public Domain' and copyright free. Please reproduce them and distribute them as widely as possible.

Note on Bush drinking.

September 22, 2005 -- Note on Bush drinking. Much is being made of a recent National Enquirer report regarding George W. Bush's hitting the bottle. It should be noted that the Enquirer has historically hired legitimate journalist stringers who use pen names to mask their true identities, particularly on political stories.

The Bush boozing story is not a new one. The editor has heard of and written about Bush's drinking bouts since 2001. The "choking pretzel" incident had nothing to do with a pretzel but was a carefully contrived story used to cover up a Bush drinking spree that resulted in his passing out on a coffee table in the White House second floor residence and injuring his face. Ditto the numerous cases of Bush falling off a bike somewhere to explain further wounds on his face. Back in college, we used to call that getting "s**t-faced drunk." Apparently, Mr. Bush still thinks he's in college.

Frat boy George: Still getting "s**t-faced"

The White House press corps has been whispering about Bush's drinking over the past few years. None dare write or speak about it lest their credentials are lifted and further access cut off by the most vindictive White House in American history.

September 22, 2005 -- Neil Bush meets Russian-Israeli oligarch in Latvia. There is an interesting postscript to WMR's Sept. 19 report on the selling out of America's communications security and intelligence infrastructure to neo-cons linked to international American fugitive Marc Rich. According to RIA-Novosti, Neil Bush, the brother of George W. Bush -- infamous from the Silverado Savings & Loan scandal and a sordid divorce trial from his ex-wife Sharon -- met on the evening of Sept. 21 in Riga, Latvia with Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who is wanted by the Russian government for a host of criminal activities, including embezzlement. Berezovsky, who also has Israeli citizenship and has been traveling between Israel, Britain (where he has political asylum), and Ukraine in an attempt to undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, has been linked by international law enforcement agencies to Rich's global network. The Bush-Berezovsky meeting was apparently facilitated by Belokon Holding, a large Latvian investment firm headed by Valeri Belokon.

Belokon is reported to be involved with Berezovsky in supporting the right-wing and anti-Russian Latvian political party, New Era ("Jaunais Laiks"). The party was founded by wealthy Latvian financier Repshe Einars, a former Prime Minister and Defense Minister who has allegedly received financial support from Berezovsky, Belokon, and Grigori Krupnikov, a former chairman of the Latvian Jewish community and secretary general of New Era until January of this year. It is also noteworthy that Latvia has been a major hub of weapons smuggling for the international Russian-Israeli-Ukrainian Mafia (RUIM).

Berezovsky visited Riga to meet with Bush and other shareholders of Bush's company Ignite!, a firm involved in providing education and training software in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. and, not coincidentally, in Florida and Texas. One of Bush's chief financial supporters is Defense Minister and Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, an individual who often crossed paths with the Taliban and Al Qaeda on his frequent hunting and falconing trips to eastern Afghanistan.

One attempt by the Clinton National Security Council to attack Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in eastern Afghanistan -- Operation Delenda -- was scrapped because of the close proximity of UAE hunting and falconing sheiks like Rashid bin Maktoum to the targeted locations. It is also likely that the Able Danger U.S. Special Operations/DIA surveillance of Al Qaeda during the same time detected the presence of Neil Bush's friends to the Al Qaeda training and operational areas. Able Danger was quickly shut down by the Bush administration.

From 1994 to 1999, Bush ran Interlink Management Corporation (10000 Memorial Drive, Houston) headquartered in the same building where his father George H. W. Bush also maintained an office. Interlink was involved in bio-warfare defenses against biological warfare terrorist attacks, including anthrax attacks, on people, crops, and animals. Ignite!'s advisory board includes two officers of Bessemer Trust, a firm that handles investments for George H. W. Bush. Other Ignite! advisers include former Tennessee Senator and Republican National Committee chairman Bill Brock, Houston businessman Bob Stearns, a Bush loyalist who was selected by then Gov. George W. Bush to be a member of the Texas Technology Board, and Peter Su, a former campaign adviser to George W. Bush. Ignite!'s Bush has the Chairman and CEO title at Ignite! while Ken Leonard serves as President and Chief Financial Officer. Other Ignite! investors include George H. W. and Barbara Bush, Taiwanese businessmen, and Middle East billionaires.

Neil Bush's (center) international playmates: a Russian oligarch (left) with links to Marc Rich, wanted by Russia for criminal activity, and a Dubai potentate (right) who liked to hunt and falcon in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Had enough of the Bush crime family America? Perhaps not. In October 2001, while speaking in Dubai, Neil said something that should send shivers down the spines of every American. Speaking of his learning-disabled son Pierce, Neil said, "My father was the 41st President and my brother is 43rd. I think that if Pierce finishes high school, he'll be the 50th President of the United States." Another learning disabled President Bush? Like hell.

Neil Bush was a frequent Middle East traveler prior to and after the 911 attacks. In March 2001, Bush was peddling his Ignite! software in Egypt. In October 2001, Bush visited Dubai and Saudi Arabia, pushing his education software product to UAE and Saudi schools.

George Bush Jr. hits the bottle again!

Los Angeles, Alta California - September 22, 2005 - (ACN) President Bush, a recovering alcoholic, has "fallen off the wagon" again according to First Lady Laura Bush in comments made on on Disney owned KABC Radio in Los Angeles this morning. Apparently, a series of major problems that have fallen on the shoulders of the president recently have caused the "Commander in Chief" to pick up the whiskey once more. The fact that Bush Jr's popularity is at the lowest, according to political polls, does not help the president to maintain his sobriety. This in combination with the recent Katrina fiasco, being hounded by grieving mother Cindy Sheehan who's son was needlessly killed in Iraq and the impending Hurricane Rita about to hit his home state of Texas is just too much for George Bush to take. The rising rate of US troop casualties in Iraq at the hands of determined insurgents is not helping much either.

Una cuña en el MERCUSUR: Estados Unidos en Paraguay

El misterio sobre la instalación de una base militar estadounidense en Paraguay comienza a develarse: se trata de instalar una cuña en el Mercosur y controlar la región, objetivos que contrastan con la pasividad de gobiernos que deberían haber reaccionado hace tiempo.

Michael Schwartz on Immediate Withdrawal

Not long after Baghdad fell to American troops, it was already apparent that the United States was part of the problem, not part of the solution, in Iraq; and that, as long as the American military occupied the country, matters would just get worse. Every passing month has only predictably confirmed that reality. There's no reason to believe that the next year of our military presence will be any less destabilizing than the last.

Ready for Revolution: A message for Barbara Bush

By now everyone that reads this article has been affected in some way by the images that have been transmitted via the television in regards to the crisis in New Orleans. To some, it is an excuse to show that their particular company cares for the community. These individuals will give a large financial donation, or have a food drive right now while it is sexy, but what will they do next week? Some people view this tragedy as something the people brought on themselves, as to say God is punishing these people for not pulling up their bootstraps, and getting out of poverty. According to some, the affected party should be summoned to a life in 4-D: death, destruction, despair and displacement. Even Barbara Bush said, that it is actually better to be living (in the shelters) than how they lived before. A silver lining for "them."

A Pitiable Response to Katrina: Citizens Swept Aside by Government

A few short weeks ago, America was shocked, stunned and spellbound by the specter of a flooded city, desperate people wading through water to find food and shelter, and children being airlifted by helicopters to escape the certain death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters. As many sat transfixed in front of their televisions watching this tragedy unfold, many of us were not amazed that the faces of those left behind were predominantly and overwhelmingly African American. Meanwhile, those running the relief efforts from Washington, D.C. were overwhelmingly not.

And as I called the Department of Homeland Security about the destruction that Katrina had left in Mississippi, I wondered what this pitiable response to a predicted occurrence meant for our lack of preparedness for an unforeseen event like a terrorist attack.

A Look Ahead at Bolivia's Three Presidential Elections

As Bolivia watchers know (and they seem to be increasing daily) this humble nation in the Andes is headed toward a historic election in just two short months. On December 4th Bolivians will go to the polls to select a new President. The fact of the vote itself is historic, an unscheduled election provoked by the second Presidential resignation in three years (of Carlos Mesa in June). Bolivia is a deeply polarized country and that polarization is clearly at hand in the run up to the December 4 vote.

Here is some analysis and predictions about where things stand with not just one Presidential election coming up here, but in reality, a series of three important decision points that will determine the immediate political future of this politically fragile country.

Bush's Hard Fall

His career was based on creating low expectations and then meeting them, but Katrina brought a cold blast of reality.

These are hard times, but then life is hard, as it says in Ecclesiastes: "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong nor riches to men of understanding; but time and chance happeneth to them all." And now scientists have found that football fans experience a 20 percent drop in testosterone after their teams lose a game. Your team goes down to bitter defeat and you sit on the couch, crushed, almost in tears, and your wife snuggles up next to you and blows in your ear and you think, "Oh no, not that again."

The Backdoor to Military Rule in America

Without any doubt, the most dangerous threat to the freedom of the American people in our lifetime lies with what might be called the Padilla doctrine, an exercise of such raw military power that, if upheld, will totally transform life in America as we know it. Unfortunately most Americans remain blissfully unaware of the ominous implications of this doctrine.

On May 8, 2002, Jose Padilla, an American citizen, flew from Pakistan to Chicago's O’Hare International Airport, where he was taken into custody by federal agents as part of the U.S. government's "war on terrorism." Initially held as a "material witness," Padilla was transferred to New York, where he was assigned an attorney.

Air Force Col: Bush, Cheney, NeoCONs TREASONous

US Air Force Col Robert Bowman: “I want to start with a scary thought: Can you imagine what would have happened if George W. Bush had been President during the Cuban missile Crisis”

“You know our freedoms are not under attack from the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Bathist Party. They’re under attack by the likes of John Ashcroft. They’re trampled by Donald Rumsfeld, they’re disdained by Dick Cheney, and they’re not even understood by George W. Bush.”

I want to start with a scary thought: Can you imagine what would have happened if George W. Bush had been President during the Cuban missile Crisis.

You people who are out here protesting, you are the shock troops battling to preserve our cherished freedoms. You know our freedoms are not under attack from the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Bathist Party. They’re under attack by the likes of John Ashcroft. They’re trampled by Donald Rumsfeld, they’re disdained by Dick Cheney, and they’re not even understood by George W. Bush.

Wolfowitz Sends His Gal to State Dept. — To Work With Cheney's Daughter

Shaha Ali Riza, lately in the news as World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's Saudi-born girlfriend, has been assigned to the U.S. State Department. The move, which has not been announced by either huge agency controlled by the Bush regime, means that she'll be working with Dick Cheney's daughter Liz Cheney, a top official in the key Near East Affairs bureau.

That's the word from one of my moles in the World Bank. This significant assignment — a hardened link between the money of the World Bank, which is supposed to focus on poverty, and the neocons' aims of trying to salvage their privatization plans for Iraq — has not be reported anywhere else, to my knowledge, and I see no word of it on the World Bank website either.

Mr.Blair, an explanation, please!! British soldiers in terrorist attack? What is going on in Iraq?

That nothing would surprise anyone now, two and a half years into the incredible act of mass butchery called the war in Iraq, in which a sovereign nation was attacked, its infrastructures destroyed and tens of thousands of its civilians slaughtered in an unprovoked and unfounded casus belli, is nothing new. But day-by-day, new chasms of incredulity are opened with revelations which would have appeared absurd only a few years ago.

After Abu Ghraib, little else remains to shock and few stones are unturned in terms of the depths of evil and sheer depravity to which the soldiers of the USA and its allies are prepared to sink to, in a never-ending war which sees the occupation forces losing control on a daily basis.

Now it transpires that two British soldiers were dressed as Arabs and attacking the Iraqi security forces in Basra? And the British authorities have admitted they were members of the SAS? They were caught after shooting at and murdering an Iraqi police official and their car was found to be packed with explosives and a C4 detonator?

Bush waives Saudi trafficking sanctions

President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism, for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.

In June, the State Department listed 14 countries as failing to adequately address trafficking problems, subjecting them all to possible sanctions if they did not crack down.

The Bush/Saudi relationship is really creepy. Who suggested dropping sanctions against sex slave trade -- Jeff Gannon?

Cindy Sheehan Rips War Party in Baltimore Talk

Cindy Sheehan, and the “Bring Them Home Now Tour,” hit Baltimore City last night. The Shriver auditorium on the Johns Hopkins U. campus was packed to capacity to hear the anti-Iraqi War messages of her and others. Sheehan said, we need an “Opposition Party” and that Congress is mostly made up of cowards, who have given “a liar” and “a maniac,” - George W. Bush - the power to invade Iraq. If Congress doesn’t shape up, she said: “Fire them!”

Bush's words on Iraq echo LBJ in 1967

Bush officials bristle at the suggestion the war in Iraq might look anything like Vietnam. Yet just as today's anti-war protests recall memories of yesteryear, President Bush's own words echo those of President Johnson in 1967, a pivotal year for the U.S. in Vietnam.

"America is committed to the defense of South Vietnam until an honorable peace can be negotiated," Johnson told the Tennessee Legislature on March 15, 1967. Despite the obstacles to victory, the president said, "We shall stay the course."

After 14 Marines died in a roadside bombing on Aug. 3, Bush declared: "We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. And the job is this: We'll help the Iraqis develop a democracy."

The two wars were waged quite differently even though they shared similar aims.

New Orleans Unmasks "Apartheid, American Style"

What is the recipe for a toxic sludge potent enough to destroy a heavily populated city and inflict infection with a mere splash? Start with a force of nature powerful beyond belief. Mix in an ample supply of sewage, garbage, brackish water from Lake Ponchatrain, floating corpses of humans and animals, and various and sundry noxious chemicals. Blend well with a system of seriously inadequate levees resulting from cuts in federal funding. Of course this concoction would not be complete without heaping portions of racism, spiritual emptiness, and avarice fueling slow and inadequate federal relief efforts.

Heart of darkness revealed

The New Orleans debacle exposed America's "heart of darkness" to the world as its leaders allowed their own tens of thousands of Americans to suffer or die. Many throughout the world were aware of the damage the US government was capable of inflicting upon people of other nations, but Hurricane Katrina showed what America’s decision-makers were willing to do to their own. The twin evils of raw capitalism and imperialism were on full display as the human race watched the events unfold on the Gulf Coast. As Mother Nature unleashed her ferocity, Americans witnessed the destruction of a jewel of a city and the pleasant fiction of the “American Dream” in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Brighter Prospects? Ms. Bush and White America's Rhetoric of Limited Alternatives

Most of us are by now familiar with Barbara Bush’s assessment of the situation of poor evacuees from New Orleans transported to the Astrodome in Houston. Noting on American Public Media's radio program Marketplace that “so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” the former first lady concluded, with a slight giggle, that their displacement from their homes “is working very well for them.” In other words, according to Bush, because there are only two options for the poor, mostly African-American evacuees – poverty in New Orleans or life as an displaced person in the Astrodome – they should be content with, even grateful for, their changed circumstances.

Bush’s remarks are, as many commentators have remarked, arrogant, classist, and racist. They are also nothing new. The sentiment she voices – what we might call the rhetoric of limited alternatives – has historically marred white Americans’ discourse about African Americans. As it recurs, we discover whites’ entrenched, troubling assumptions about black Americans and their place in the nation.

The Bush Administration and Fascism

The Bush administration (like the Reagan administration) has a particularly difficult task, and the Bush faction is pretty much a narrow reactionary statist extreme of the Reaganites—who were a narrow reactionary statist extreme of the narrow bipartisan spectrum (most Reagan policies extended late Carter policies).

The Bush administration has to deal with the fact that the last 25 years have been an unusual, probably unique, period of American economic history. For the large majority, real wages have stagnated or declined, working hours have increased, benefits have shrunk, rights have been denied (including the right to organize, basically rescinded under Reagan and since), and wealth has been concentrated in a tiny part of the population. To keep the population in line requires major efforts of all sorts, which have been carried out intensively. They are even harder than before because there’s no resort to “the Russians are coming” technique for instilling fear and obedience.

There are similarities to rise of fascism, which have been pointed out right in the mainstream. One of the leading scholars of Modern Germany, Fritz Stern, had an article in Foreign Affairs a few months back on the “descent into barbarism” of Germany in the 1930s. His family came to the US as refugees in the 30s, and he opens by saying that he now worries about his adopted country. He then runs through the techniques of national mobilization used by Hitler to drive a society that was the pride of Western civilization to the depths of barbarism. Each one is an implicit reference, which can’t be missed, to the Bush administration.

Rescue Came from the Grass Roots: The People, Not FEMA, Saved Themselves

From her Atlanta home, former Gulf Coast resident Latosha Brown and a few friends watched the man-made catastrophe unfold in the wake Hurricane Katrina.

"We kept expecting to see the National Guard, the government, the Red Cross, somebody to do something. The idea that our leaders would allow people to fend for themselves two, three, five days with no food, water, medicine or help from outside – we just couldn't get our minds around it.

"People were dying by the hundreds in New Orleans, and more folks we knew in Mississippi, in Alabama were hurt, missing and homeless or hungry. You've got two choices when you see something like that. Choice one is to feel defeated. Choice two is to be pro-active and do something about it. There were about six of us in my living room at that moment, all movement vets. We called around to see what we could make happen ourselves.


George W is the kind of guy who'll gladly sacrifice your life for his country.

Not only was he a cheerleader when he was in college at Yale, but he also was an energetic cheerleader for the war that was raging in Vietnam at the time. Of course, he cheered from a safe distance, using family connections to make certain that he personally would not have to do any fighting.

Now that he's in the White House, Bush is cheerleader-in-chief for his own war. In a recent speech designed to shore-up sagging public support for his misadventure in Iraq, he referred to the terrible fact that nearly 2000 Americans have already died there. Of these dead troops, Bush said, "We owe them something," by which he meant continuing the war. What a callous payback: Many have died, so many more must die to pay tribute to those who've died. That's a war rationale chasing its own tail.

But when he says that "we" must war on, he certainly does not mean that any of his own family members should be among those Americans who'll face death. Neither of his twin daughters, who are of primo enlistment age, have signed up for what their Daddy tells others is a "noble cause." Nor will you find any of his eight enlistment- age nieces and nephews anywhere near his war. Apparently, the cause is not quite noble enough for the Bushes to join it.

Israel, the Holocaust, and Anti-Semitism by Noam Chomsky

So there are two national groups which claim national self-determination. One group is the indigenous population, or what's left of it -- a lot of it's been expelled or driven out or fled. The other group is the Jewish settlers who came in, originally from Europe, later from other parts of the Middle East and some other places. So there are two groups, the indigenous population and the immigrants and their descendants. Both claim the right of national self-determination. Here we have to make a crucial decision: are we racists or aren't we? If we're not racists, then the indigenous population has the same rights of self-determination as the settlers who replaced them. Some might claim more, but let's say at least as much right. Hence if we are not racist, we will try to press for a solution which accords them -- we'll say they are human beings with equal rights, therefore they both merit the claim to national self-determination.

Lula's Lament

'When there is such an overwhelming disaster and you see yourself as part of this disaster, you begin to question your whole life. Why so many years of sacrifice and struggle?' Congressman Fernando Gabeira expresses the feelings of many petistas - members or supporters of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) - when they heard that the party they built or supported as an instrument of democratic, ethical politics, was governing on the basis of systematic corruption.

The Brazilian left is in a state of profound shock and confusion. Over the past two decades hundreds of thousands of people have devoted their lives to creating the PT as a principled and forceful instrument of social justice against one of the most corrupt and unjust ruling elites in the world. Now they are having to come to terms with their own party's lack of principle.

The exact details of the corruption are still being investigated. It is generally admitted that the cúpula (group at the top) of the PT bribed political parties of the right to join their alliance in Congress and gave monthly payments to congressmen of the right to support their legislation. (The PT president, Lula, won with 67 per cent of the vote but the PT only has a fifth of the seats in Congress - though it is the largest party.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What is Covert Action?

-- -- Intelligence services generally are organized into the following major functional areas:

- Intelligence Collection

- Analysis

- Counterintelligence

- Covert Action

Intelligence Collection is the collection of Intelligence information, secret or otherwise, through spying, interrogation, satellites, etc. If the information is collected through spying or interrogation, it is known as HUMINT (human intelligence). If it is collected through technical means such as electronic eavesdropping or satellites, it is known as TECHINT (technical intelligence). Open-source Intelligence (OSINT) is information gathered from non-secret, public sources.

Intelligence Analysis is the assessment of collected raw intelligence and the processing of it into usable intelligence product that can be used to guide policy and operations.

Imperial State by James Petras

Imperialism, the political-economic domination and exploitation of countries via economic penetration and/or military conquest or intervention is the driving force of contemporary history. Whole regions of Eastern Europe, the former USSR, Africa, South-Central Asia and Latin Americas have been converted into neo-colonies, colonies or spheres of influence of the US, the European Union and Japan. Newly emerging capitalist countries, like China, are challenging the established imperial powers for markets, raw materials and energy sources. Imperial wars, colonial occupations, military intervention and military coups to expand the empire are euphemistically referred to as "regime change" and "democratization". In order to understand the nature, structure and dynamics of the imperial system it becomes necessary to identify and explain the key political concepts and their place in the construction of the contemporary world empire.

Cindy Sheehan Caravan Stopped by Capitol Police

September 21st, 2005 12:53 PM

Washington, D.C.—At just past noon on Wednesday, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and the rest of the Bring Them Home Now tour were stopped by a pair of squad cars two blocks from the U.S. Capitol by members of the Capitol police force. Officers explained that they wanted to use bomb-sniffing dogs to inspect the caravan of three RVs and several cars.
The officers said it was standard practice to inspect large vehicles in the area. “RVs aren’t allowed on Capitol Hill,” one said. “That’s standard procedure. Any trucks that come on Capitol Hill are stopped and turned around.” Campers aren’t allowed at all, the officer said, “unless they’ve been previously authorized.”

Officers told the peace activists they couldn’t park at the Capitol because they don’t have the proper permits. Sheehan and company then began preparing to make the rest of the trek on foot. Awaiting them near the Capitol steps were a crowd of television cameras for a scheduled noon press conference.

Earlier this week in New York City’s Union Square park, police officers unplugged Sheehan’s microphone, saying she didn’t have a proper permit for that either.

People with Bring Them Home Now seemed unfazed. “It’s always something,” said Stacy Bannerman of Military Families Speak Out, whose husband spent a year fighting in the Sunni Triangle. “It’s just part of the deal.

The conference is being held by Sheehan and the others to announce their arrival in Washington and to kick off a weekend of resistance that is expected to include a march of 100,000 people and mass civil disobedience.

At 1:30 p.m., Sheehan and her allies plan to head to the White House, where they’ll attempt to give President Bush a letter asking him to answer the question, “What noble cause are our loved ones dying for?”

Alarcon Demands Immediate Release of 'Cuban 5' : 'They Are Now Kidnapped'

A story that has been major news in Cuba, but has gotten little attention in this country is the case of the Cuban 5--five Cuban nationals arrested in 1998 and accused of being spies and a threat to the national security of the United States. Last month, a federal appeals court overturned their convictions and ordered a new trial for the men.

Latin American Storm Victims Adrift

Thousands of Latin American immigrants in the southeastern United States uprooted by Hurricane Katrina are now fleeing Hurricane Rita, while activists are demanding that the U.S. government provide them with special protection, because so many are hesitant to seek assistance out of fear of deportation.

Katrina left 300,000 Latinos homeless and jobless, and "as far as we know, at least two immigrants who did seek aid have been arrested because they were undocumented," said Maricel García, spokeswoman for the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC). But she warned that "there might actually be many more."

Although the George W. Bush administration states that it is providing humanitarian aid without regard to immigration status, "that is not what is really happening, which is just terrible," García said in a telephone interview with IPS from Chicago, Illinois.

Here it Comes

"I have seen the face of God!"

No, this is not George W. Bush's daily affirmation upon looking in the mirror each morning after coming to/transmogrifying/getting up (though it could be, I guess), but rather the rapturous exclamation from Howard Beale (Peter Finch) in the chillingly predictive 1976 movie Network (based on the brilliant screenplay by the late, great Paddy Chayefsky).

Beale is a newscaster-turned-primetime-ranting-head (deemed the "Mad Prophet of the Airways") whose on-air, anti-establishment, truth-laden diatribes have garnered a huge audience. Not just his ratings go sky-high, however: when he successfully urges viewers to help kill an unsavory multi-billion dollar deal (is there any other kind?) involving "Arabs" and his network's parent company, Communications Corporation of America (C.C. and A.), he also exponentially increases the ire of Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty), the corporation's president and board chairman.

Democrats set to let right-winger head Supreme Court

The widely hailed “brilliance” of John Roberts, President George W. Bush’s nominee for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has been shown during Senate confirmation hearings to consist mainly of his ability to evade embarrassing questions and to manipulate the law for right-wing results.

For example, Sen. Joseph Biden asked him point-blank for his opinion of this statement by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Abortion prohibition by a state controls women and denies them full autonomy and full equality with men. It is unconstitutional.”

Roberts replied: “Well, that is an area where I think I should not respond.”

Apocalypse Now - How Mankind Is Sleepwalking to the End of the Earth

This headline appeared in the London Independent in early February of 2005, following a conference at the Hadley Centre in Exeter, England, where 200 of the world’s leading scientists issued the most urgent warning to date: that dangerous climate change is taking place today, and not the day after tomorrow.

Floods, storms, and droughts. Melting polar ice, shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid. Scientists from the fields of glaciology, biology, meteorology, oceanography, and ecology reported seeing a dramatic rise over the last 50 years of all the indicators of climate change: increase in average world temperatures, extreme weather events, in the levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and in the level of the oceans.

Chile tiene un nuevo dictador ?

La verdad es que si el escritor colombiano Gabriel García Márquez viviera en Chile, tendría suficiente material literario para escribir toda una continuidad de los "Cien años de soledad".

If Corporations Could Laugh by Ralph Nader

If only corporations could laugh. If only corporations could laugh during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Judge John Roberts’ nomination for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, they would head for the nearest champagne closet in their executive suites.

What a triumph for the most dominant powers in and around our nation. Judge Roberts got away without having important questions asked regarding the interface between corporations, the Constitution, the election laws, the regulatory agencies as they relate to workers, consumers, the environment, manipulated communities, the double standard justice system and the pertinent practices of corporate law firms.

US Rep. Maxine Waters Cautions Against Eminent Domain in Rebuilding

Rep. Maxine Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat, warned Tuesday against using government's power of eminent domain to redevelop New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina concentrated its devastation on largely poor African American neighborhoods.

"We have to watch the redevelopment in New Orleans for a lot of reasons, and one of them is to make sure that the shadow government of the rich and the powerful does not end up abusing eminent domain to take property that belongs to poor people in order to get them out of the city," Waters said.

Waters' comments came after the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on legislation to cut off federal funding for cities that use eminent domain to condemn private property for economic redevelopment, including such private uses as shopping malls, hotels and condominiums.

Bush on the bottle again?

The National Enquirer's web site has an explosive, shocking story about President Bush's drinking:

"The war in Iraq, the loss of American lives, has deeply affected him. He takes every soldier's life personally. It has left him emotionally drained," [said a Washington source].
"When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider.

Of course, we don't believe a word of it: George Bush takes every life personally? Right. Tell that to Mrs. Sheehan. And as far as Katrina goes -- guess that means the levees breaking upset him enough to drink but not to, you know, do anything about it.

The Real Story of the German Elections - A Green-Left Coalition

The real story of the German election, which has not been accurately reported in the American corporate media, is that the left won.

The combined tallies of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder, its coalition partner the Green Party, and a new leftist party, the Left Party, composed of the former Communist Party of the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and breakaway leftists from the SDP, add up to almost 52 percent of the vote, and represent a majority of the Bundestag, the German parliament.

Mohammed Atta and Prince Nayif: the Saudi drugs dealers who helped finance the 911 attack

In 1999, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) broke open a major conspiracy involving a Saudi prince’s Colombian cocaine smuggling from Venezuela to support some “future intention” involving Koranic prophecy. The DEA operations were contained in a “Declassification of a Secret DEA 6 Paris Country Office” memorandum dated June 26, 2000, a date which coincided with the height of Israeli art student and 911 hijacker activity in the United States. In June 1999, 808 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Paris. At the same time, the DEA was conducting a major investigation of the Medellin drug cartel called Operation Millennium.

Through an intercepted fax, the Bogota Country Office of the DEA learned of the Paris cocaine seizure and linked the drug smuggling operation to the Saudis. The DEA investigation centered around Saudi Prince Nayif al Saud, whose alias was El Principe (the Prince). Nayif's full name is Nayif (or Nayef) bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan al-Saud. In pursuit of his international drug deals, Nayif traveled in his own Boeing 727 and used his diplomatic status to avoid customs checks. The DEA report stated Nayif studied at the University of Miami, Florida, owned a bank in Switzerland, speaks eight languages, was heavily invested in Venezuela’s petroleum industry, regularly visited the United States, and traveled with millions of dollars of U.S. currency. Nayif is also invested in Colombia's petroleum industry.

Plamegate: The John Bolton Connection

I'm now hearing that the investigation may be inching closer to never-confirmed UN Ambassador John Bolton.

According to two sources, Bolton's former chief of staff, Fred Fleitz, was at least one of the sources of the classified information about Valerie Plame that flowed through the Bush administration and eventually made its way into Bob Novak's now infamous column.

After delving into Fleitz, I can safely report that he is, at a minimum, a very interesting character.

Women Leaders to Demand in D.C. Freedom for Cuban Five

Washington, Sep 21 (Prensa Latina) A delegation of women leaders will travel to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23, to demand that Attorney General Alberto Gonzáles immediately free the Cuban Five.

According to a report by Minnie Bruce Pratt on website, the action was called by the New York Committee to Free the Cuban Five in collaboration with the National Committee.

The five Cubans -Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and René González-have been held since 1998 in US federal prisons, under sentences ranging from 15 years to double life.

They were railroaded into jail amidst the fierce anti-communist climate in Miami for monitoring the terrorist activities of right-wing groups against revolutionary Cuba.

On May 27 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled that the imprisonment of the Cuban Five was unjust and violated international law.

In August, a panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals declared the convictions null and void, and said each defendant deserved a new trial.

The women´s delegation asked to speak with the attorney general in order to protest the continued incarceration of the Five, and to demand visitation rights for the prisoners´ families.

The Bush administration has repeatedly denied visas to family members and loved ones who wish to visit the Five. Adriana Pérez, who is married to Gerardo Hernández, has not seen him for over six years.

René González´s daughter has never seen her father, although she is a US-born citizen.

In her report, Minnie Bruce Pratt that women leaders from an impressive spectrum of American and international organizations, from human rights, anti-prison to social and religious groups, signed a letter addressed to the US Attorney General.

A President in time of disaster

"Los movimientos revolucionarios están guiados por el amor a los semejantes"

Entrevista a Silvio Rodríguez
"Yo nací en San Antonio de los Baños, que es un pueblo que está a unos 40 kilómetros de La Habana. Es un pueblo que tiene su personalidad, un pueblo con un nivel cultural bastante alto, con una cantidad enorme de publicaciones a lo largo de su historia, muchas de ellas humorísticas. Es una tierra de humoristas, de pintores, de cantores repentistas. Es decir, de poetas".

Ahí nací yo, que tuve una etapa de dibujante, o sea que pasé por esa cosa que te inculca o te imprime el pueblo: el gusto por las artes plásticas. Incluso me gane la vida haciendo dibujos de historietas en la adolescencia.

No Exit; descending into hell with George Bush

The bodies of the mangled and bloated corpses are no where to be found on America's news programs. Like the countless dead in Iraq they're purged from the coverage and stripped from the public record. They've been replaced by the well-scrubbed visage of the Potemkin-president issuing his comforting words for his people.
"New Orleans will rise again," Bush crowed, invoking the worn phraseology of the slave era.

For a White House that prides itself on appearances and spends over $62 million per year on public relations firms; the Bush monologue on national TV was a dismal performance. His limp promises of restoration, all ringing with the same free-market timbre that has left Kabul and Baghdad in a shambles, fell well short of the mark. The ruinous affects of his tenure are now everywhere to be seen and even the media's impenetrable smokescreen seems to be lifting.

Disaster follows Bush like a shadow. It is the one inescapable fact that haunts his 58 years, and it should provide some meager relief for those who believe that he and his vile regime cannot be brought down.

Just look around; Iraq, Afghanistan, Enron, Cheney's energy-papers, the deficits, the courts, the UN, Israel-Palestine, New Orleans, the corporate-corruption, the war-profiteering, the incompetence, the lies; everything Bush touches is reduced to rubble. No institution, however protected, can withstand the onslaught of his withering company; the vast wreckage extends in every direction.

An Interview with Camilo Mejia "The Problem in Iraq is the US"

Camilo Mejia was the first U.S. soldier who served in Iraq and went public with his refusal to re-deploy. He spent nine months in military confinement for deciding to follow his conscience.

Since his release, he has been a tireless antiwar campaigner--at the side of Cindy Sheehan when she began her antiwar vigil outside George Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and traveling to New York to support the St. Patrick's Four, activists on trial for opposing the war. His book, Road from Ramadi, is forthcoming from New Press.

I Told You So, That British and American "special forces" Were Creating "Terrorist Acts" and Blaming Iraqis

For the past several months, I have been saying and writing that Americans and British are disguised as Iraqis and doing these "terrorist" attacks and trying to stir up civil war in Iraq. Now, the proof that backs up my assertions is here; the British "speical ops" were caught, disguised as Iraqis, as part of the Mehdi Army no less, and set to do more mischief. So there you have it.

This is just another nefarious deed to add to the lies of Bush and Blair--another inhumane and terrorist act on their part to send their men in to do these deeds in order to set Iraq afire with civil war. Add to this that Ahmed Chalabi is still being supported by America and its minions in Iraq, and you have even more evil afoot.

Remember also that the American governing authority makes all contracts in Iraq, has already made many binding contracts that will reward American companies, and give little to the Iraqi citizenry. In the meantime, the American ambassador to Iraq is now making sounds of attacking Syria! What further madness is this.

So remember, when you hear that Iraqis are killing Iraqis--as I've said for a long time, Don't you believe it. The proof is now here, just as the proof of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib is here--now, what will we, and what will the world do to stop these evil twins, Bush and Blair.

Sam Hamod is an expert on world affairs; he is the former editor of Third World News in Wash,DC; advisor to the State Department and now edits,

Back to 007 mission

What I find difficult to understand why most of the people behave like cattle derived by politicians and the media.
People, politicians and the media forget the main problem and started to shift the focus on sub-problems in an attempt to play down the cause of the real problem.

I am referring here to the “British Insurgents” captured in Iraq, people started to debate on “if they were handed over to Militia or not” or “is Iraqi police infiltrated by Militia members or not” but they forget to debate on:

- Why do SAS members disguise as Iraqis?
- Is it the SAS job to gather information?
- Why do they need two M4, two rocket launchers, anti-tanks rockets, 2 Machineguns, wire cutters, explosives and 2 wigs to gather information?
- How many missions like this one “succeeded” before ?.

Watch Newsnight on the BBC

What will happend if two Iraqis walking the streets of London or New York with the same gadgets ( in the UK is shoot to dead policy).

The positive news is: this event was a wakeup call for some silent Iraqis and I am including Blogs too.
We Iraqis learned in our history books the term “divide and conquer” and now we are seeing it live.

For sure we will never hear any information about their mission from officials, sadly people also will never ask these questions and much worst they will Justify it and for sure also the coming weeks there will be no bombings in Bassra too.

Hugo Chavez: "Oil prices will soar to $200 a barrel

The President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez Frias said recently that world oil prices would surge to $200 dollars a barrel if the United States attacks his country. President Chavez added, "We are preparing for the resistance!"

In a CNN interview Chavez said "if they attack us with their battleships, with waves of intelligence officers, bombs, marines and all of that, well, you can forget about oil."

Chavez, has charged the United States with drafting a plan to attack Venezuela but he says that any such invasion would leave Venezuela and the Americans without oil.

"The barrel could reach $200 from one day to the other ... the US government can forget about the 1.5 million barrels of oil that we send every day and which contributes enough to its development."

"We are preparing for the resistance ... terrorists who live in the United States are planning my death," he added.

Despite the antagonism between Caracas and Washington, Chavez on Sunday said his country will continue to send one and a half million barrels of gasoline to the United States to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, mostly Afro-Americans. "Citgo" gasoline stations in the USA owned by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. are selling gasoline and heating fuel at one half the prices being charged by Chevron and similar companies that are gouging the American people.

Message: I Can't

The president won't be happy until he dons a yellow slicker and actually takes the place of Anderson Cooper, violently blown about by Rita as he talks into a camera lens lashed with water, hanging onto a mailbox as he's hit by a flying pig in a squall, sucked up by a waterspout in the eye of the storm over the Dry Tortugas.

Then maybe he'll go back to the White House and do his job instead of running down to the Gulf Coast for silly disaster-ops every other day.

There's nothing more pathetic than watching someone who's out of touch feign being in touch. On his fifth sodden pilgrimage of penitence to the devastation he took so long to comprehend, W. desperately tried to show concern. He said he had spent some "quality time" at a Chevron plant in Pascagoula and nattered about trash removal, infrastructure assessment teams and the "can-do spirit."

The Zapatistas Interrogate History

"...We will conquer the place that belongs to us and that we deserve as indigenous people, as peasants, as the exploited. The fight is ours, our heritage is our, history is ours."
– Comandante David
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
September 16, 2005

LA GARRUCHA, CHIAPAS; AROUND 2. A.M. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2005: The relentless tromp of boots pounding through the mud, exhausted, electric minds in the Tzeltal region of the Lacandon Jungle, looking for a place to throw their bones after a long journey to La Garrucha - the third Caracol, named, "Resistance for a New Sunrise."

The after-midnight, anxious rumors place the head count in the thousands. Tents are popping up everywhere. The familiar indigenous music of the canyons is hitting on all cylinders. Hundreds are dancing in the muddy quagmire. The place is alive. This is why murals are made. This weekend will make history.

195 years ago, late in the evening, around 11pm, of September 15, 1810 in Dolores Hidalgo, Miguel Hidalgo seized on the swelling energy of the Mexican masses, and shouted, in what is now known simply as 'el grito', "Viva Mexico." The history books will tell you that 'el grito' was the pinnacle of colonial Mexico's desire for freedom and independence from the Spanish crown; it was the pivotal moment, the turning of the tides, when the peasants and indigenous of Mexico united following the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo in the revolution of Independence. What the history books won’t tell you is that 'el grito' was a moment of false promises - the beginning of failure. For the next century Mexico would be led by an incestuous, feudal oligarchy that utilized the language of freedom and independence, but pushed for neither.

The Day Time Stopped (the A-Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

August 6th and August 9th - days that live in infamy.

Sixty years ago the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed in a horrific blink of an eye. In Hiroshima, on August 6th 1945 at 8:15 a.m. - 80,000 people were instantly vaporized, and a total of around 140,000 people, representing around 40% of the city’s population of 350,000, were to be dead by the end of that year.

The death toll from radiation-related diseases in Hiroshima continues to grow, reaching a total (as of August 6, 2005) of 242,437 (95% civilian). 1

Three days after Hiroshima was decimated, Nagasaki was hit. At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945 - the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. 74,000 people were killed and another 70,000 were wounded.

"I knew a single word that proved our democratic government was capable of committing obscene, gleefully rabid and racist, yahooistic murders of unarmed men, women and children, murders wholly devoid of military common sense... I said the word, It was a foreign word. That word was Nagasaki."

- said Kurt Vonnegut in his semi-autobiographical novel Timequake.

FDA Shenanigans

Here's yet another indication that no one is running the show in our federal government: A Washington Post article today explains how, last week, the FDA appointed one Dr. Norris Alderson, a veterinarian, to the post of director of the Office of Women's Health (vacated last month by Dr. Susan Wood). Then, a few days later, the FDA announced that a Theresa Toigo would be directing the Women's Health office—and refused to acknowledge that they had, in fact, named Alderson to the post a few days earlier.

It's the Governance, Stupid!

Katrina may well put an end to the culture wars in Washington and move the political debate back to the issue of governance.

Katrina was a gut-punch to America's political psyche, and the lay of the land is going to change in her wake. In the aftermath, as one might expect, the pundits have tried to shape how that landscape will look according to personal ideology.

But they will inevitably overlook the most frighteningly obvious lesson from all of this.

What Katrina revealed about our federal government was an utter lack of competence, and the sorry state of its institutions after 30 years of spending on the wrong priorities.

We will train professionals prepared to fight against death in any part of the world

"We will train professionals prepared to fight against death; we will demonstrate that there is a response to many of the tragedies of the planet, that the world can and should be better; we will demonstrate the value of a conscience and ethics; and we will offer lives," affirmed President Fidel Castro during yesterday's national graduation ceremony for the 1,905 doctors who have completed the 2004-05 course. It was also the occasion for the constitution of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of doctors specializing in situations of disaster and serious epidemics.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"The most expensive military effort in 60 years"

The Institute for Policy Studies recently published an analysis of the cost of the Iraq War and occupation, "The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops." The study was co-authored by two prominent researchers and writers, Phyllis Bennis and Eric Leaver. Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), is the author of the forthcoming Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the U.N. Defy U.S. Power (Interlink Publishing, Northampton MA, October 2005). Leaver is a research fellow at IPS and serves as the policy outreach director for the Foreign Policy In Focus project.
Kevin Zeese: Your study, "The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops," examines the economic and human costs of the Iraq War and occupation. Let's start with the economic costs. How does the cost of the Iraq War compare to previous wars in the last Century?

Leaver: The Iraq War is the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years.

Market Principles? by Noam Chomsky

Take the US. In 1750… it was one of the richest societies on earth, but it was, of course, pre-industrial. If it had pursued its comparative advantage in accordance with market principles, it would now be exporting fish, fur, agricultural products, etc.

Instead, it industrialized, but not by adherence to market principles. Rather, by radical violation of these principles consciously undertaken to change its comparative advantage (otherwise known as development). Did it participate in “globalization”? Sure. Cotton in the early period of industrialization was rather like oil today, and the US was the major cotton exporter, thanks to extermination or expulsion of the native population and slavery—not exactly in accord with market principles, but perhaps the world’s leading illustration of “globalization.”

UN Human Rights Body to Scrutinise U.S. Abuses

The U.N. Human Rights Committee, scheduled to meet in Geneva next month, has written to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) calling for any available evidence of human rights abuses by the United States -- particularly in the aftermath of its global war on terrorism.

The 18-member committee, comprising of independent human rights experts, will take up "issues of specific concerns relating to the effect of measures taken (by the administration of President George W. Bush) in the fight against terrorism following the events of 11 September 2001," the day the United States was subject to terrorist attacks.

The primary focus will be "on the implications of the USA Patriot Act on nationals and non-nationals, as well as problems relating to the legal status and treatment of persons detained in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Iraq and other places of detention outside the USA."

IMF Policies Thwart Poverty Goals - Report

If U.S. President George W. Bush is serious about his enthusiastic embrace last week at the United Nations of democracy and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to slash global poverty, he will press his treasury secretary and other members of the governing board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting here this week to stop imposing strict spending limits on poor-country governments.

That is the message of two new reports by ActionAid International (AAI), which charges that IMF anti-inflation policies and the World Bank, which is bound by them, are making it impossible for Third World governments to make much progress either in achieving MDG targets or in promoting democratic institutions.

The MDGs include achieving universal primary education, cutting hunger and poverty in half, and sharply reducing maternal and infant mortality by 2015.

"What the IMF and World Bank are doing is effectively tearing the heart out of democracy," said Rick Rowden, (AAI's) senior policy analyst. "Holding periodic elections doesn't mean much when a nation's economic direction is hammered out between the IMF, the central banks, and the finance ministries behind doors that are closed to voters."

Email from arrested White House official suggests powerful congressman lied about trip

News of David Safavian’s arrest Monday ricocheted through the Washington political scene like a gunshot.

Safavian, 38, who oversaw $300 billion in federal procurement for President George W. Bush, quit Friday after an FBI operation alleged he obstructed an investigation and tried to finagle a government deal for a friend. He was appointed in 2004.

Yet what is most significant about Safavian’s case isn’t Safavian himself. It’s the fact that he was arrested—and that emails he sent to conservative superlobbyist Jack Abramoff indicated that those on the trip knew that a trip to Scotland in 2002 was being paid for by the lobbyist.

British "Undercover Soldiers" Caught driving Booby Trapped Car - "They refused to say what their mission was."

The following Reuters report raises some disturbing questions.

Why were undercover British "soldiers" wearing traditional Arab headscarves firing at Iraqi police?

The incident took place just prior to a major religious event in Basra.

The report suggests that the police thought the British soldiers looked "suspicious". What was the nature of their mission?

Occupation forces are supposesd to be collaborating with Iraqi authorities. Why did Britsh Forces have to storm the prison using tanks and armoured vehicles to liberate the British undercover agents?

"British forces used up to 10 tanks " supported by helicopters " to smash through the walls of the jail and free the two British servicemen."

Was there concern that the British "soldiers" who were being held by the Iraqi National Guard would be obliged to reveal the nature and objective of their undercover mission?

Mercenary scandal in Chile

September 20, 2005 -- Mercenary scandal in Chile. Chile's newspapers are exposing a mercenary-for-hire scandal involving a Chicago-based company called "Your Solutions, Inc." It was discovered that Chilean mercenaries bound for duty in Iraq were being secretly trained in the town of Lepaterique in the province of Francisco Morazan in Chile. Some 120 Chileans arrived in Honduras from Chile on September 8 to be trained alongside 50 Hondurans. The Chileans illegally entered Honduras on tourist visas. The training concluded on September 17. The mercenary firm has appealed to the Honduran government not to expel and deport back to Chile some 105 Chileans who received military training in Honduras.

The news of the presence of the Chileans in Honduras broke just prior to their being sent to Iraq. As a requirement for their Iraq duty, the Chileans were required to have prior military or security police training. The Chileans were offered three salary tiers, the two highest salary levels requiring knowledge of English. Your Solutions, Inc. was apparently linked to another mercenary firm operating in Chile.

Although the Pentagon will not admit it, part of its "exit strategy" from the country is to turn over more military responsibilities to private military contractors (PMCs), the Defense Department's "Newspeak" for the "dogs of war," i.e., mercenaries. At least 40 different PMCs are now operating in Iraq and they draw a hodgepodge of former military and security personnel from the United States, South Africa, Chile, El Salvador, Britain, Israel, Nepal, Fiji, Ukraine, Canada, Colombia, and other nations.