Saturday, November 19, 2005

Al-Qaeda the Database Unbound

In a lengthy excerpt posted on Wayne Madsen's site, Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence, explains the origins of the word "al-Qaeda." As previously noted by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, “al-Qaeda” has nothing to do with a terrorist organization, as the neocons and the corporate media tell us over and over, ad infinitum, but is in fact a database. "In the early 1980s the Islamic Bank for Development, which is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, like the Permanent Secretariat of the Islamic Conference Organization, bought a new computerized system to cope with its accounting and communication requirements," Bunel explains. "It was decided to use a part of the system’s memory to host the Islamic Conference's database. It was possible for the countries attending to access the database by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language. The governments of the member-countries as well as some of their embassies in the world were connected to that network." Files associated to the database were called "Q eidat il-Maaloomaat" and "Q eidat i-Taaleemaat" in Arabic. "Those two files were kept in one file called in Arabic 'Q eidat ilmu’ti'aat' which is the exact translation of the English word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which is the Arabic word for 'base.'"

Because of the presence of 'rogue states,' it became easy for terrorist groups to use the email of the database. Hence, the email of Al Qaida was used, with some interface system, providing secrecy, for the families of the mujaheddin to keep links with their children undergoing training in Afghanistan, or in Libya or in the Beqaa valley, Lebanon. Or in action anywhere in the battlefields where the extremists sponsored by all the 'rogue states' used to fight. And the 'rogue states' included Saudi Arabia. When Osama bin Laden was an American agent in Afghanistan, the Al Qaida Intranet was a good communication system through coded or covert messages.... Al Qaida was neither a terrorist group nor Osama bin Laden's personal property.

In short, "al-Qaeda" was in essence an email designation and had nothing to do with the "American agent in Afghanistan," Osama bin Laden. In fact, "al-Qaeda," the terrorist organization, is a creation of the United States government and the corporate media.

50 Percent of American Cretins Think Torture Work

If we can believe the Pew Research Center in Washington, nearly fifty percent of all Americans not only believe torture is justified against "suspected terrorists" (i.e., Pakistani and Afghan cab drivers and dirt farmers kidnapped and then sold to the CIA), but also that it works.

Here's a clue for Bubba in Palookaville: torture does not work. People tortured invariably tell torturers whatever they want to hear to make the pain stop and thus torture is a very unreliable form of intelligence gathering.

Never mind torture is morally and spiritually repugnant.

But then the Americans who believe torture works are the same people who think Saddam teamed up with Osama and attacked the United States on nine eleven.

Moreover, as an indication of the inevitable (when dealing with ill-informed cretins) result of the relentless drumbeat of fake terror attacks and dire warnings of impending doom emanating from the White House are working, 48 percent of Americans believe "that current policies had not gone far enough" in dismantling our cherished liberties, once upon a time guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, "while 34% worried they had gone too far in restricting civil liberties."

It's a testament to the massive stupidity of the populace when a little more than a third of the citizenry understands that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not open for negotiation.

I'm sorry to call fifty percent of Americans cretins. But in essence that is precisely what they are if they believe the phony baloney and mostly illusory al-Qaeda is a threat, that nineteen cave-dwelling Arab hijackers pulled off nine eleven with boxcutters, that the twin towers "pancaked" against the laws of physics, that an aviation fuel fire is capable of melting hardened steel, and a one-legged petty criminal of sub-normal intelligence is capable of running a complex underground resistance in Iraq. My fellow citizens are cretins if they surrender their birthright--constitutionally guaranteed liberty--to gain an illusory and vaporous security from fake terrorism obviously contrived by the government.

An Examination of Bush Fascism

The expansion of democracy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries intensified the antidemocratic reaction of conservative authoritarianism. Starting first in Italy as an antidemocratic and antisocialist movement after WWI, fascism is in essence the twentieth century version of age old tendencies in politics. Like democracy, it is a universal phenomenon, and it appeared in different forms and varieties in accordance with national traditions and circumstances.

Fascism is a postdemocratic political system and cannot be understood except as a reaction to democracy. Fascism is not possible in countries with no democratic experience at all: in such countries dictatorship may be based on the army, bureaucracy, and church, but it will lack the element of mass enthusiasm and participation characteristic of fascism. Fascism learned from democracy the value of popular support for national policies, and it sought to manufacture popular support by propaganda and fear. Evidence of this manipulation of fear can be seen both in the color-coded terror alert system, the false statements made to the U.N. before the invasion of Iraq, and this video montage of the Republican National Convention (.mov file)

True democracy holds respect for all views, left and right, and all citizens are allowed a political voice free from persecution for their political views. The United States' slide towards fascism began with the elimination of the far left from the political dialogue. To date, the socialist and communist factions of our society have been all but silenced, and currently even the most timid of liberalism has been demonized. The only recognizable elements of our current political discourse are the centrists and the extreme far right. The philosophy of truly liberal democrats such as Dennis Kucinich and the deceased Paul Wellstone exists now on the fringe of American politics. This comes in sharp contrast to the time when the American communist party inflamed workers to form labor unions and worker protections and ideas such as the Social Security program were adopted from the Socialist party platform. The uber-"patriotic" right-wing support your troops crowd might be shocked to learn that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

There is no Little red book or manifesto of fascism; it cannot be gathered from one systematic treatise but must be culled from various sources that express thought and opinion as much as political philosophy. For this reason, the Project for the Old American Century has compiled a table comparing the research done by three critics of fascism. Each writer has detailed 14 defining characteristics of fascism pulled from the examination of the regimes of Mussolini, Pinochet, Franco, Hitler, Suharto, and others. The order has been slightly rearranged to better reflect the similarities and discrepancies:

''Intelligence Brief: U.S. Military Bases in the Black Sea Region''

On November 17, Romania and the United States agreed on installing American military bases near the Black Sea. The same day, Washington started a new round of talks with Bulgaria in order to finalize a deal granting the United States use of Bulgarian military bases (the Bezmer airfield and the Novo Selo firing range).

As expected, the positive trend in political and strategic relations between the U.S. and the two southeastern European countries of Romania and Bulgaria is continuing. During the 2003 preparation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in the middle of a serious European diplomatic split in front of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq, Bucharest and Sofia openly said that Washington could count on them for future strategic cooperation. [See: "Bulgaria, Romania and the Changing Structure of the Black Sea's Geopolitics"]

The 2005 advancement in establishing a U.S. military presence in the two countries signals the consolidation of the new American geostrategic initiative in the Black Sea region and will have important consequences for the European Union, U.S.-Russian relations, and the West's strategy toward the "Greater Middle East." Moreover, it also confirms that Washington now seeks small, flexible bases for the possible deployment of forces in Europe, instead of Cold War-style bigger, permanent facilities.

Venezuela: US May Attack Our Country

Caracas, Nov 19 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela concludes on Saturday a week marked by firm actions regarding foreign policy, mainly a strong response to reiterated, open US attacks.

The latest US darts hit Venezuela as there is an underlying crisis with Mexico in the wake of criticism by President Vicente Fox of Venezuela"s rejection of the Washington-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas.

The diplomatic crisis with Mexico started during the Summit of the Americas recently held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, and it led to withdrawal of their respective ambassadors after Venezuela rejected a Mexican ultimatum.

This bilateral crisis remains stagnant. Mexico is demanding an apology Venezuela sees as unjustified, while thousands of people are marching of Saturday in Caracas in support of President Hugo Chavez" stand in the controversy.

To cap it all, as if part of a well-written script, the row with Fox was immediately followed by an attack on Venezuela by US Undersecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Thomas Shannon.

Speaking before the House of Representatives, Shannon reiterated the same anti-Venezuela arguments of his predecessor Roger Noriega while admitting that the White House is working to support internal opposition in the South American country.

After he heard about Shannon's remarks, President Chavez warned on a new US offensive against his country.

He added that this new offensive stems from the US failure in the Summit of the Americas.

In Chavez" opinion, the northern power represents the most serious threat facing the planet. However, he said Venezuela is ready "to resist whatever may come" and will continue struggling for democratic, peaceful revolution.

The Venezuelan president's reaction was echoed by his Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez, who stressed that Washington "will not find us unarmed if it does the crazy thing of attacking Venezuela."

Friday, November 18, 2005

An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald From Former White House Counsel John W. Dean

November 18, 2005

The Honorable Patrick J. Fitzgerald
Special Counsel
Bond Federal Building
1400 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Special Counsel Fitzgerald:

Excuse my being so presumptuous as to send you this open letter, but the latest revelation of the testimony, before the grand jury, by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has raised some fundamental questions for me.

In your post as Special Counsel, you now have nothing less than authority of the Attorney General of the United States, for purposes of the investigation and prosecution of "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity." (The employee, of course, is Valerie Plame Wilson, a CIA employee with classified status, and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.) On December 30, 2003, you received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General regarding your powers. On February 6, 2004 you received a letter of further clarification, stating without reservation, that in this matter your powers are "plenary." In effect, then, you act with the power of the Attorney General of the United States.

In light of your broad powers, the limits and narrow focus of your investigation are surprising. On October 28 of this year, your office released a press statement in which you stated that "A major focus of the grand jury investigation was to determine which government officials had disclosed to the media prior to July 14, 2003, information concerning Valerie Wilson's CIA affiliation, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well as whether any official made such a disclosure knowing that Valerie Wilson's employment by the CIA was classified information."

If, indeed, that is the major focus of your investigation, then your investigation is strikingly limited, given your plenary powers. To be a bit more blunt, in historical context, it is certainly less vigorous an investigation than those of your predecessors who have served as special counsel -- men appointed to undertake sensitive high-level investigations when the Attorney General of the United States had a conflict of interest. (Here, it was, of course, the conflict of Attorney General John Ashcroft that led to the chain of events that resulted in your appointment.)

The Teapot Dome Precedent

As I am sure you are aware, President Calvin Coolidge appointed Owen J. Roberts, a Philadelphia attorney at the time, and former U.S. Senator Atlee Pomerene, then practicing law in Ohio, as special counsels to investigate and prosecute on behalf of the government any wrongdoing related to the so-called Teapot Dome inquiry. That investigation related to the improper dissipation of government assets -- dubious oil leases to Edward L. Doheny and Harry F. Sinclair.

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to spend several weeks at the National Archives going through the files of Special Counsels Roberts and Pomerene. I urge you to send a member of your staff to do the same, for they are highly revealing as to the aggressive -- yet appropriate -- nature of their investigation and actions.

What you will find is that Roberts and Pomerene, before figuring out exactly who was to blame and going after them, first sought to protect the interest of the United States by ending the further dissipation of the nation's oil reserves to Doheny and Sinclair, and seek restitution.

In brief, they started by taking protective civil measures. Only with that accomplished did they move on to criminal prosecutions. Why have you not done the same?

Your investigation also relates to the dissipation -- if not the irreparable destruction -- of a government asset: Valerie Plame Wilson. As you no doubt know, the U.S. Government invested a great deal of money in her special education and training, as well as other aspects of her covert status. Then, either intentionally, or with gross negligence, senior Bush administration officials blew Valerie Wilson's cover. (Prior to the disclosure, her status was not, as some have claimed, an "open secret": Rather, as you yourself have said, the fact that she was a CIA asset was not previously well-known outside the intelligence community.)

Yet there is no evidence that you have made any effort whatsoever to undertake any civil remedies dealing with this either intentional or grossly careless destruction of a government asset. As acting Attorney General for this matter, you have even more authority than did Special Counsels Roberts and Pomerene.

Those who leaked the information about Valerie Wilson breached signed contracts they had made with the government. These contracts, moreover, were not to be taken lightly: They enforced profoundly important obligations to national security, on the part of the very people who were supposed to be serving that end.

Why are you not enforcing those contracts? Why have you not urged the president to sanction those who have released national security information? The president has said he would fire those who committed crimes -- but breach of such profoundly important contracts, even if it does not rise to the level of a crime, is surely cause for dismissal, as well.

You should so urge the President. And if he is not willing to take appropriate action with those who have dishonored their offices, and broken their contracts, you ought to go to court and get an injunction to remove their security clearances.

Again, their agreement with the government was the very understanding upon which they were (and continue to be) given classified information. Now that they have breached it, the vital predicate for those clearances is gone.

The Watergate Precedent

Even more troubling, from an historical point of view, is the fact that the narrowness of your investigation, which apparently is focusing on the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (making it a crime to uncover the covert status of a CIA agent), plays right into the hands of perpetrators in the Administration.

Indeed, this is exactly the plan that was employed during Watergate by those who sought to conceal the Nixon Administration's crimes, and keep criminals in office.

The plan was to keep the investigation focused on the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters -- and away from the atmosphere in which such an action was undertaken. Toward this end, I was directed by superiors to get the Department of Justice to keep its focus on the break-in, and nothing else.

That was done. And had Congress not undertaken its own investigation (since it was a Democratically-controlled Congress with a Republican President) it is very likely that Watergate would have ended with the conviction of those caught in the bungled burglary and wiretapping attempt at the Democratic headquarters.

Now, with a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican President, you (a Republican appointee) are the last bulwark of protection for the American people. We must hope you will keep faith with them.

It was well understood at the Nixon White House, and it surely is at the Bush White House, that government attorneys do not look to prosecute those for whom they work. We knew that career government lawyers simply were not going to be looking for crimes at the White House -- not because they acted with corrupt intent, but simply because it is no one's instinct to bite the hand that feeds them.

When Archibald Cox was appointed special counsel -- under pressure from the U.S. Senate as a condition to confirm Attorney General Elliot Richardson -- he immediately recognized what had occurred. While no Department of Justice lawyer was found to have engaged in the cover up, their timidity had facilitated it. Cox was fired because he refused to be intimidated. His firing became a badge of honor for all those who do the right thing, regardless of the consequences.

While I have no reason to believe you are easily intimidated, all I can say is that your investigation, thus far, is falling precisely within the narrow confines -- the formula procedure -- that was relied upon in the first phase of the Watergate cover-up by the Nixon administration.

So narrow was your investigation that it appears that you failed to learn that Bob Woodward had been told of Valerie Wilson's CIA post until after you had indicted Scooter Libby. While I have no doubt you know your way around the Southern District of New York, and the Northern District of Illinois, Washington DC is a very different place.

With all due respect, Mr. Fitzgerald, I believe you are being had. I believe that you were selected with the expectation that you would conduct the narrowest of investigations, and it seems you have done just that.

The leak of Valerie Wilson's status did not occur in a vacuum. Republicans in Congress do not want to know what truly happened. You are the last, best hope of the American people in this regard.

I can tell you, as someone who travels about the country, that Americans -- regardless of their political disposition -- are deeply troubled by this case. And, increasingly so, by the limits you have apparently placed on your investigation.

To right-minded Americans, the idea that Administration officials have betrayed their national security obligations, yet remain in their jobs, is nothing short of appalling. Beyond politics is patriotism: Patriotic Americans want to see you not only prosecute those who compromised and endangered Valerie Plame Wilson, but also force the Administration to clean house with respect to those who did this, which you can accomplish through appropriate civil action.

As one who does know something about the way Washington works, I hope you will actually use the plenary powers you have been granted to implement what I understood to be the announced policy of the Department of Justice for which you work -- a zero tolerance policy for leaks.

Of Urine and Oil (With Translation)

The following is something I received in my inbox, which I believe is a humorous analogy to the situation in Iraq.

English translation first, followed by Arabic original:

Umm Da'boul was stunned when she discovered her little ten year old was urinating oil. Her shock grew when she discovered he could urinate large quantities that not only covered her daily requirements, but exceeded them. At first, she kept it a secret- especially since it was winter and we were in the midst of an oil shortage. It was unprecedented- every time she needed to light the stove (tanoor) or fill the kerosene heater, she called out, "Yumma, save us Da'boul..."

[Yumma - or mother - is a term Arabs use to call their children. It is a term of endearment]

Da'boul would stand in front of the oven, or the heater, and begin the systematic dripping process until the fire was going strong.

Nuwaira once discovered the strange situation, when she saw the boy urinating on a small compost heap on their street. Da'boul was playing around and having fun as he stoked the fire. Nuwaira began watching this strange phenomenon especially since she was a person concerned with observing and recording strange phenomenas. Nuwaira was finally able to acquire a sample of Da'boul's urine to test in one of her sophisticated laboratories, and she came out with the result: OIL.

The news spread quickly and the women crowded in front of Umm Da'boul's home, carrying containers of various sizes to carry his urine - oil.

New Zapatista "Caracol" Created in Mexico

A Conversation with Veteran Social Fighter Don José Félix Serdán Nájera

SAN ESTEBAN XOCHIMILCO, MEXICO CITY, OCTOBER 2005: The struggle of the Mexican social left is producing relevant and unprecedented results in southeast Mexico City. The form of autonomous organization that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation’s (EZLN's) "caracoles" -- base communities -- have followed since 2003 is being taken up by residents of the San Esteban neighborhood of Xochimilco (an old town now part of a sprawling Mexico City). Here, the land floats on what Mexico's pre-Hispanic history has patiently prepared as a source of ancient crops. The fertile land of a 100-square-meter chinampa (one of the small islands where traditional agriculture developed on Xochimilco's canal system) hosts the Zapatista Caracol "Tecpanpa," its name a Nahuatl word meaning "place of the palaces." It is here where public space and concern for one’s community transcend the private sphere to become another pillar of resistance against social injustice in Latin America.

The caracol's inauguration was held on the morning of October 22. One of the main events was the christening of a trajinera, one of the colorful boats that serve as the traditional means of transport on the canals that connect Xochimilco's chinampas. From that day on, the caracol's first official rebel trajinera has born the name "Digna Ochoa," after the Mexican social fighter and human rights defender who died in 2001. Her death was, to many, obviously the result of a murder, and not a suicide as was the official explanation. Those responsible for the crime remain shrouded by the veil of impunity.

Drugs and the Guatemalan Military

Washington, D.C., November 18, 2005 - Investigative journalist Frank Smyth breaks new ground in documenting links between retired Guatemalan military officers and drug trafficking into the United States in "The Untouchable Narco-State: Guatemala's Military Defies the DEA." Smyth's story, featured in the independent weekly Texas Observer appearing on news stands today, uses declassified U.S. documents from the National Security Archive among other critical evidence.

Smyth's article tells the devastating tale of ongoing, endemic corruption in Guatemala, made possible by the clandestine ties between smugglers and former senior military officers. Unlike other Latin American countries like Colombia and Mexico, Guatemala has not prosecuted or extradited any of its drug kingpins for a over decade. Today the country is a hub for drug smuggling into the United States - according to statistics cited in the article, up to 75% of all cocaine that reaches the United States passes through this Central American nation.

Records provided by the National Security Archive for the story describe a powerful and brutal military institution with intimate ties to the United States and a history of corruption. They include information on:

The Man Who Sold the War

The Man Who Sold the War: Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war

The road to war in Iraq led through many unlikely places. One of them was a chic hotel nestled among the strip bars and brothels that cater to foreigners in the town of Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand.

On December 17th, 2001, in a small room within the sound of the crashing tide, a CIA officer attached metal electrodes to the ring and index fingers of a man sitting pensively in a padded chair. The officer then stretched a black rubber tube, pleated like an accordion, around the man's chest and another across his abdomen. Finally, he slipped a thick cuff over the man's brachial artery, on the inside of his upper arm.

Strapped to the polygraph machine was Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a forty-three-year-old Iraqi who had fled his homeland in Kurdistan and was now determined to bring down Saddam Hussein. For hours, as thin mechanical styluses traced black lines on rolling graph paper, al-Haideri laid out an explosive tale. Answering yes and no to a series of questions, he insisted repeatedly that he was a civil engineer who had helped Saddam's men to secretly bury tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The illegal arms, according to al-Haideri, were buried in subterranean wells, hidden in private villas, even stashed beneath the Saddam Hussein Hospital, the largest medical facility in Baghdad.

It was damning stuff -- just the kind of evidence the Bush administration was looking for. If the charges were true, they would offer the White House a compelling reason to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. That's why the Pentagon had flown a CIA polygraph expert to Pattaya: to question al-Haideri and confirm, once and for all, that Saddam was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

There was only one problem: It was all a lie. After a review of the sharp peaks and deep valleys on the polygraph chart, the intelligence officer concluded that al-Haideri had made up the entire story, apparently in the hopes of securing a visa.

Venezuela's Chavez calls Bush a 'killer' and a 'madman'

CARACAS (AFX) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lashed out at his US counterpart, George Bush, late yesterday, calling him a 'killer' and a 'madman' after a top US diplomat criticized Caracas.

'The planet's most serious danger is the government of the United States. ... The people of the United States are being governed by a killer, a genocidal murderer and a madman,'
Chavez said at a meeting of Venezuelan and Brazilian business executives in Caracas.

The Venezuelan president criticized testimony to the US Congress by Washington's top diplomat for Latin America, Thomas Shannon, who said Venezuela was a 'threat to regional stability'.

Shannon said the administration is 'working multilaterally, engaging the OAS (Organization of American States), the EU and the Council of Europe, among others, to support Venezuelan civil society, speak out against abuses of democracy and hold the Venezuelan government accountable to its commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

The Bush administration is 'reaching out, at a bilateral level, to our partners in the hemisphere and in Europe to do the same, and sensitizing them to the threat to regional stability posed by the Venezuelan government's arms shopping spree and its support for radical political movements,' Shannon said.

'Within Venezuela, we are working to preserve political and civic space for increasingly at-risk groups,' the diplomat told the House of Representatives' subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

Chavez accused the Bush administration of 'assuming the right to grossly intervene in any country'. Shannon's remarks, he told the executives, were part of a 'new offensive' by the White House, after its 'failure' at the Summit of the Americas in Argentina.

American Christian Fundamentalist Leader Calls For Global War

If Christian fundamentalists are to be believed, America's invasion of Iraq and the consequent brutal slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in that country are all part of a grand divine plan that will finally culminate in the 'second coming' of Jesus Christ. Establishing an empire that will extend all over the globe, Christ will rule like a powerful monarch, saving those who believe in him and dispatching non-believers, all non-Christians and non-conformist Christians, to everlasting perdition in hell. This is no childish nonsense for millions of Christian fundamentalists, who sincerely believe this to be predicted in the Bible. Not surprisingly, American Christian fundamentalists are today among the most fanatic supporters of Bush's global imperialist wars, in Iraq and elsewhere, which they see as in keeping with the divine mandate. They are no eccentric or lunatic fringe elements, for today Christian fundamentalists exercise a powerful influence in American politics. Among them is George Bush himself, who insists that the American invasion of Iraq has been sanctioned by God, with whom he claims to be in personal communication.

While the Western press is awash with stories, real and exaggerated, about 'Islamic fundamentalists', rarely is mention made about Christian fundamentalists, who, with their vast resources and close links with the current American administration, are a potentially more menacing threat than their Muslim counterparts. According to newspaper reports more than a third of Americans are associated with one or the other Christian fundamentalist outfit, most of which are fiercely anti-communist, anti-Muslim and are passionate advocates of free-market capitalism, global American hegemony and the myth of the civilizing mission of white America. In recent years, these fundamentalist groups have been engaged in aggressive missionary work in other countries as well, including in the so-called 'Third World'. Fired by a passionate hatred for other religions, which they dismiss as 'false' and even 'Satanic', they are today among the most well-funded missionary groups in large parts of Asia and Africa. Crusading for Christ, these fundamentalist groups are not simply out fishing for souls. Rather, for them Christianity is only part of the agenda, which also includes aggressively promoting American and Zionist interests. Today, these groups preach not only Christ but also Pax Americana and even American-led imperialist wars, which they bless as holy causes to usher in the final arrival of Jesus.

Texas-based author and preacher Michael Evans is one of the most notorious American Christian fundamentalist preachers today, a passionate advocate of war in the name of Christ. In a recently published book, titled 'Beyond Iraq: The Next Move-Ancient Prophecy and Modern-Day Conspiracy Collide' (Whitestone Books, Florida, 2003), he spells out a grand design for American global hegemony, blessed in the guise of a holy global war. Key players in this 'divine' plot include the CIA, the American government and army, and Israel, besides various Christian fundamentalist outfits. The book is dedicated, among others, to what Evans describes as 'two old friends', Ehud Olmert, former Israeli Vice President, and the former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Equally revealingly, the book begins with a quotation which graces the lobby of the original headquarters of the CIA.

Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.
"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

Congressional Hispanic Caucus and U.S. House and Senate Roll Call Vote on Iraq Resolution

Below is the roll call vote of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and of the entire House and Senate on the resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to attack Iraq. The Hispanic Congressional Caucus was unanimous in rejecting the resolution by a vote of 15 - 0. The House approved the resolution by a vote of 296 to 133 and the Senate approved the resolution by a vote of 77 to 23.

Civilization, genocide style

"I think it would be a good idea"- Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought about Western civilization

Ann Clwyd is the Prime Minister Blair’s Human Rights Envoy in Iraq. On November 15th, 2005, interviewed by Jeremy Paxman at BBC 2 Newsnight, she said:
"We have been trying to train the Iraqis in human rights. We’ve set up conferences for the Iraqis on human rights with all the NGOs. We've been trying our very best to get human rights into the Iraqi psyche. We want to help them I think" (1)

When I first heard Ann Clwyd's words, I thought I had missed something. So, I went on line and watched the programme again. No, I had not missed anything. The words were still there, as clear as they could be.

"And what of human rights?" asked novelist Haifa Zangana last April on the Guardian:
An estimated 60% of Iraqi families still depend completely on the monthly food ration. A recent UN human rights commission report says that malnutrition among Iraqi children under the age of five nearly doubled last year to 7.7%, and blamed the war for this deterioration. More than a quarter of Iraqi children do not get enough food to eat.

Four million Iraqis are still in exile, and more are joining their ranks. Many academics, scientists and consultants are leaving for the fear of assassination or kidnapping. According to the interior ministry, 5,000 Iraqis were kidnapped in the last 15 months. Roadside bombs, mortar assaults, shootings by US troops and suicide attacks are all part of daily life.

There are 17,000 prisoners, mostly under US control. Two new prisons have been built by US contractors to accommodate 4,000 new prisoners in the south. A recently published Human Rights Watch report documents the torture and ill-treatment of members of political and armed groups, the arbitrary arrest and torture of criminal suspects, and the torture of children held in adult facilities.

Dick Cheney: War Profiteer

Questions persist about Vice-President Cheney’s role in the ongoing investigation and scandal swirling about the White House. His chief of staff and confidante Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. Let's take a look at some personal incentives for Cheney’s selling war to our country.

Cheney has pursued a political and corporate career to make himself very rich and powerful. He is the personification of a war profiteer who slid through the revolving door connecting the public and private sectors of the defense establishment on two occasions in a career that has served his relentless quest for power and profits.

As Defense Secretary, Mr. Cheney commissioned a study for the U.S. Department of Defense by Brown and Root Services (now Kellogg, Brown and Root), a wholly owned subsidiary of Halliburton. The study recommended that private firms like Halliburton should take over logistical support programs for U.S. military operations around the world. Just two years after he was Secretary of Defense, Cheney stepped through the revolving door linking the Department of Defense with defense contractors and became CEO of Halliburton. Halliburton was the principal beneficiary of Cheney's privatization efforts for our military's logistical support and Cheney was paid $44 million for five year's work with them before he slipped back through the revolving door of war profiteering to become Vice-President of the United States. When asked about the money he received from Halliburton, Cheney said. "I tell you that the government had absolutely nothing to do with it."



Muere lentamente
quien se transforma en esclavo del habito,
repitiendo todos los dias los mismos trayectos,
quien no cambia de marca.

No arriesga vestir un color nuevo y no le habla a
quien no conoce.
Muere lentamente
quien hace de la television su guru.

Muere lentamente
quien evita una pasion,
quien prefiere el negro sobre blanco
y los puntos sobre las "ies" a un remolino de
justamente las que rescatan el brillo de los ojos,
sonrisas de los bostezos,
corazones a los tropiezos y sentimientos.

Muere lentamente
quien no voltea la mesa cuando esta infeliz en el
quien no arriesga lo cierto por lo incierto para ir
detras de un sueño
quien no se permite por lo menos una vez en la vida,
huir de los consejos sensatos.

Muere lentamente
quien no viaja,
quien no lee,
quien no oye musica,
quien no encuentra gracia en si mismo.

Muere lentamente
quien destruye su amor propio,
quien no se deja ayudar.

Muere lentamente,
quien pasa los dias quejandose de su mala suerte
o de la lluvia incesante.

Muere lentamente,
quien abandona un proyecto antes de iniciarlo,
no preguntando de un asunto que desconoce o
no respondiendo cuando le indagan sobre algo que sabe.

Evitemos la muerte en suaves cuotas,
recordando siempre que estar vivo exige un esfuerzo
mucho mayor
que el simple hecho de respirar.

Solamente la ardiente paciencia hará que conquistemos
una espléndida felicidad.

Pablo Neruda

Eyes on US Troops in Paraguay as Bolivian Election Nears

The recent shift to the left among Latin American governments has been a cause for concern in the Bush administration. The White House has tried in vain to put this shift in check. Presidential elections in Bolivia on December 18th are likely to further challenge U.S. hegemony. Evo Morales, an indigenous, socialist congressman, is expected to win the election. How far will the U.S. go to prevent a leftist victory in Bolivia? Some Bolivians fear the worst.

In the past year, U.S. military operations in neighboring Paraguay have complicated the already tumultuous political climate in the region. White House officials claim the operations are based on humanitarian aid efforts. However, political analysts in Bolivia and Paraguay say the activity is aimed at securing the region’s gas and water reserves and intervening in Bolivia if Morales wins.

Five hundred U.S. troops arrived in Paraguay on July 1st with planes, weapons and ammunition. Reports from a journalist with the Argentine newspaper, Clarin, prove that an airbase exists in Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, which is 200 kilometers from the border with Bolivia and may be utilized by the U.S. military. (1)

Earlier this year, Paraguayan lawmakers granted U.S. troops total immunity and have given the Pentagon access to the Estigarribia base, which was built by U.S. technicians in the 1980s and is larger than Paraguay's international airport in Asunción, the country’s capital. (2)

CITGO to Begin Discounted Heating Oil Distribution to Poor U.S. Communities

Caracas, Venezuela, November 18, 2005—The Venezuelan-owned and U.S.-based fuel refiner and distributor Citgo will begin distributing discounted heating oil to poor U.S. communities next week. Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Minister of Energy and Petroleum, made the announcement yesterday, saying that the measure is meant to show Venezuela's commitment to disadvantaged sectors in the United States.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez had originally announced the measure last August, while the U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was visiting Venezuela.

The launch of the discounted heating oil program is meant to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday and will benefit communities in poor communities of Boston, Massachusetts and of the Bronx, New York.

The first phase of the program will begin in Boston and will provide 4.5 million liters (1.2 million gallons) of heating oil at discounted rates, which will mean a savings of approximately $10 million. According to the Venezuelan government, the discounts will be achieved by eliminating middle-men and having Citgo deliver the heating oil directly to the communities. Accordingly, the plan does not involve any losses to Citgo itself.

The logistics of the plan will involve non-profit community organizations, which will help with the selection of beneficiaries, distribution, and billing. Heating oil costs are expected to reach historical heights this year, which means that many poor households might have to go without heat, despite limited state programs to subsidize heating oil for low-income families.

Citgo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA and operates five refineries and licenses 14,000 gas stations throughout the U.S.

The "Some Other Dude Did It" Defense of I. Lewis Libby

Two presiding deities -- and lively ghosts they are -- continue to hover over the present administration: Vietnam and Watergate. Though the competition between them is fierce, this week Watergate suddenly surged to the fore as the Washington Post's Bob Woodward, famed investigative reporter turned imperial "stenographer" for the Bush administration, crashed and burst into distinctly Judy-Miller-esque flames. Even Woodward's blurry account of his testimony for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald had a taste of Millerdom to it. It's interesting, by the way, that he thought to offer an "apology" to his Washington Post colleagues and boss, but not to the Post's readers who might wonder why the supposed greatest reporter of our times swallowed the first Plame leak the way a cat might a canary and later went out on the hustings claiming there was little significance to the case. On Larry King Live ("When the story comes out, I'm quite confident we're going to find out that it started kind of as gossip, as chatter...") and National Public Radio ("When I think all of the facts come out in this case, it's going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great…"), he dissed the case, while referring to Fitzgerald as "a junkyard-dog prosecutor." It's quite a sordid little tale. So prepare yourself for another perfect storm of newspaper and blogging criticism over the sad fate of the mainstream media and our -- until recently -- less than investigative press.

Libby's defense team should be careful what it hopes for, because the real facts don't help Libby at all. Woodward's recent disclosure merely adds another senior administration official to the already large group who were obviously working with Libby to distract the public from a truth the administration had already fessed up to -- that the President had made an entirely unsubstantiated claim about an Iraqi search for uranium from Niger in his State of the Union Address. It's not that "some other dude did it" or that "some other dude did it first." The more the real facts about smearing and deception by senior administration officials come out, the more obvious it is that lots of them did it -- and Patrick Fitzgerald shows no signs of folding up his tent and departing. In the meantime, the SODDI defense is likely to prove not only unhelpful to Libby but a potential disaster for the Bush administration, sweeping yet more people into the case.

''Insurgents, Warlords and Opium Roil Afghanistan''

The Afghan insurgency continues to burden U.S., N.A.T.O. and Afghan troops. The Afghan government and the powers that support it have been unable to eliminate the resurgent Taliban and Islamist insurgency that finds its support in the countryside. The insurgents are using methods of guerrilla warfare to target policemen, international workers, and U.S., N.A.T.O. and Afghan troops. The insurgents regularly set up ambushes and then retreat near the end of the ensuing firefight before military reinforcements can be called in. Additionally, insurgents are increasingly using suicide attacks and remote-detonated roadside bombs, apparently learning from the guerrilla tactics used by insurgents in Iraq.

While the United States and its allies in the 2001 Afghan intervention have had notable successes -- most significantly, the removal of the Taliban regime from power and the creation of a new democratic government complete with elections -- they have been unable to stomp out the ongoing insurgency that continues to shake Afghanistan's stability. In addition, they have failed to control the power of the warlords who run different regions of the country. The most significant reason behind these failures is the lack of military support and economic assistance provided to the Afghan government in Kabul.

Neo-con global conspiracy under increased assault from US Attorney

November 18, 2005 -- Neo-con global conspiracy under increased assault from US Attorney for Northern Illinois and Special Prosecutor in CIA "leakgate" Patrick Fitzgerald.

Yesterday, Patrick Fitzgerald indicted former Hollinger International chairman (Lord) Conrad Black on 11 counts of fraud and issued an international warrant was issued for his arrest. Hollinger owned several neo-con newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times (Robert Novak's syndicator, which it still owns), Jerusalem Post, London Daily Telegraph, New York Sun, and several Canadian newspapers. In his indictment, Fitzgerald said of Black and his co-conspirators, "All in all, what has happened here has been the grossest abuse by officers or directors and insiders."

Lord Conrad Black: another neo con cabalist indicted

In addition to Black, Fitzgerald charged Jack Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, Hollinger's former executive vice president, and Mark Kipnis, former corporate counsel. Chicago Sun-Times former publisher F. David Radler was indicted by the same Chicago grand jury that indicted Black and the other Hollinger executives. Radler pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate against his former Hollinger colleagues. Radler may be sharing information on suspected Hollinger money laundering, carried out by two off-shore Barbados-based entities called Moffat Management, Inc. and Black-Amiel Management Inc.

Hollinger's board includes Richard Perle, 911 Commission member and former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson, and Henry Kissinger. Incoming Deputy Attorney General and US Attorney for Eastern Virginia Paul McNulty has probed deals involving the Pentagon, Boeing, Perle's Trireme Partners (a joint Perle-Kissinger investment firm), and Hollinger. Perle as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board recommended the Air Force's use of Boeing planes for replacement fuel tankers over Airbus. His Trireme Partners had received an influx of Boeing capital. Air Force procurement official Darleen Druyun and Boeing executives were prosecuted by McNulty and found guilty of contract fraud.

Black's wife, Barbara Amiel Black, also served on Hollinger's board and was Vice President for Editorials. Mrs. Black is an ardent supporter of the Israeli Likud Party who once proffered the assassination of Yasser Arafat: "One can never predict the consequences of an assassination, but I think it is too late to kill Arafat. Had Arafat been eliminated 20 years ago, the situation might be different." (Daily Telegraph, Sept. 15, 2003).

McNulty is also the prosecutor who is investigating the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the leak of classified material involving former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer Larry Franklin. Franklin and two former AIPAC officials have been indicted in that case, which is ongoing. Franklin pleaded guilty in return for his cooperation against the AIPAC officials -- Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman -- and as yet unnamed Israeli intelligence agents and other U.S. interlocutors, including a senior fellow who is an Iran expert at a "Washington think tank."

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship when he became a member of the British House of Lords as "Lord Black of Crossharbour." The arrest warrant for Black has resulted in the issuance of an INTERPOL red notice to apprehend the fugitive since it is believed he is residing in Canada with a British passport. U.S. fugitive Marc Rich, the Zug, Switzerland-based "silent partner" of the neo-con global criminal cartel and Scooter Libby's former client, was also subject to an INTERPOL red notice prior to his being pardoned by President Clinton.

In 2003, financial discussions were held between The Carlyle Group and Hollinger. A Carlyle source told The Observer, "Ideally, we would look to take a 25-40 per cent stake [in Hollinger]. That would allow us to put people on the board."

Hollinger directors and principals continue to face an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

There is another interesting nexus between Fitzgerald's probe of the White House CIA leak and McNulty's probe of the AIPAC espionage. It turns out that Fitzgerald has questioned Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler (as well as Walter Pincus) about the leak. While all attention is focused on Woodward, it is also important to focus on Kessler because he is also mentioned in the AIPAC probe in a report by the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

"The FBI apparently taped the July 21, 2004, conversation that Weissman and Rosen had with Kessler, the Washington Post reporter, according to sources. Rosen and Weissman got in touch with the White House and Kessler because they wanted to get the information out as soon as possible, sources said. Franklin told the AIPAC staffers that he was giving them the information because they had better connections than he did.

In the exchange, Rosen, Weissman and Kessler joked about "not getting in trouble" over the information, according to sources . . . Kessler, who did not publish a story with the leaked information, declined to comment on his news gathering."

Well now. Two Washington Post reporters -- Woodward and Kessler -- failing to report on serious Bush administration leaks and involved with officials who are now facing criminal prosecution for those leaks. Folks, that is the current state of journalism in Washington, DC. Again, thanks to WMR's supporters for supporting this modest effort to return journalism in this town to its roots.

Reports of "bestial" treatment includes rape, torture, sodomizing of children, and the gratuitous murder of innocent civilians

November 18, 2005 -- Pentagon intelligence sources are reporting that the situation on the ground is "out of control." Reports of "bestial" treatment involving U.S. personnel, private mercenaries from at least 25 countries, and Iraqi government forces are flooding out of Iraq. The "bestial" treatment includes rape, torture, sodomizing of children, and the gratuitous murder of innocent civilians.

November 17, 2005 -- Senior U.S. military officers aided and abetted torture and sexual molestation film and photo fest in Iraq. Former U.S. military intelligence agents have revealed to WMR that Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the official who "Gitmo-ized" Abu Ghraib, told military interrogators at the very beginning of the U.S. occupation what the "deal was" regarding sexual humiliation and molestation. In late April 2003, Miller's first foray into Iraq was to Bilad Airbase, near Camp Anaconda, one of the first detention sites. One interrogator said that Miller was "one sick motherfucker," and that Sanchez engaged in a cover-up mode from the very beginning.

Sanchez and Miller: Covered up the joint White House-CENTCOM Abu Ghraib homo-erotic film fes

"Watergate" Woodward is neck deep in Leakgate

November 17, 2005 -- Washington Post managing editor Bob Woodward's role in exposing Valerie Plame and CIA network is no surprise to many and indicates continuing obstruction of justice. According to Washington journalists who know Bob Woodward, the fact that he was likely one of the water carriers for Dick Cheney in exposing Valerie Plame and her covert network is no surprise. They cite his famous "Deep Throat" character in Watergate. One of Woodward's boss's at the Post said he confronted the junior reporter and asked him, "If your source is so goddamned important, how come we don't know who it is?" It turns out that his source, Mark Felt of the FBI, was not as important as some of the other sources in Watergate, including FBI Director L. Patrick Gray, White House counsel John Dean, and possibly, Chief of Staff Al Haig.

Then there was Woodward's supposed death bed interview with CIA Director Bill Casey, who succumbed to a brain tumor just before he was due to testify in the Iran-contra scandal. People who worked at the hospital where Casey was being treated said there was no way Woodward could have gained access to Casey's room, whether posing as a doctor or claiming he was an old friend.

Richard Nixon deserves a laugh now that his "holier-than-thou" pursuer is now officially part of a White House cover up of criminal activity

Woodward is now embroiled in the CIA leak scandal, having testified this past Monday before Patrick Fitzgerald's new grand jury in the same Washington court house where top Nixon administration officials were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and obstruction. Susan Ralston, Karl Rove's secretary, is also due to testify this week. This flurry means that the investigation of the White House is expanding, not narrowing. The fact that Woodward withheld from Post editors and publishers the fact that he was also a recipient of classified information, possibly from Cheney directly or via National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, indicates a cover-up of Watergate proportions. Southern California, they are not tremors you're experiencing. That is Nixon jumping up and down for joy from his grave in Yorba Linda.

In some respects, Woodward is more disruptive to the criminal investigation than was Judith Miller. Woodward's revelations that he was told about Plame by a third White House source somehow exonerates Lewis Libby, who special prosecutor Patrick Fitgzerald claimed was the first official "known" (that means "known" at that time) to leak the classified information. Karl Rove's allies are also spinning the idea that Woodward's revelations clears Rove. Woodward's revelations only point to a much wider criminal conspiracy and continued obstruction of justice that has impeded the work of the special prosecutor.

Bolton off his leash

November 17, 2005 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose lies have no bounds, assured everyone worried about unconfirmed US ambassador to the UN John Bolton's lack of tact and offensive behavior that the mercurial official would be kept on a short leash. If Bolton was ever on a leash, he's off of it now.

Off his short leash and his rocker: Bolton says UN should comply with US dictates or be replaced. Bolton's rhetoric is nothing new, its just that the mustache is a bit larger

Bolton's latest outrage is to suggest that unless the UN comply with US dictates it should be replaced. Bolton cited former Republican far right North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, Bolton's one-time employer, as a role model for dealing with UN ambassadors.

We've heard this right wing clap trap about international organizations before:

"In our view, the times when there was no 'League of Nations' were far more honorable and more humane."
-- Adolf Hitler, Munich speech, April 13, 1923

"The League of Nations has never been a real league of peoples. A number of great nations do not belong to it or have left it"
-- Adolf Hitler, Reichstag speech, January 30, 1937

"The League of Nations was not an instrument of a just policy of understanding among nations, but is and was a guarantee of the meanest dictation man ever invented."
-- Adolf Hitler, Wilhelmshaven speech, April 1, 1939

"There's no such thing as the United Nations, if 10 floors
of the 38-story UN headquarters building were eliminated, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
-- John Bolton, 1994 Federalist Society speech

"Being practical, Americans say that either we need to fix the institution or we'll turn to some other mechanism to solve international problems."
-- John Bolton, Jesse Helms Lecture Series, Wingate University, November 14, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Thou shalt not question my war!

Let Them Eat Merde

"Man is born free and everywhere is in chains" was said by a Frenchman, Jean Jacques Rousseau. Two centuries after Rousseau, another Frenchman, one Nicholas Sarkozy describes millions of his fellow citizens as "scum" - among several other pungent epithets directed at them because they happen not to belong to what Sarkozy clearly conceives of as the master race.

Fortunately for France, its president - himself no paragon of egalitarian virtue - is at least more intelligent and civilized than Sarkozy. Speaking at a news conference with the visiting Spanish Prime minister, President Chirac said: once order is restored, France will have to ''draw the consequences of this crisis, and do so with a lot of courage and lucidity."

''There is a need to respond strongly and rapidly to the undeniable problems faced by many residents of underprivileged neighborhoods around our cities,"

It seems that the statesmen of the world are divided, like the general populations, into the realists and the fantasists. Sarkozy wants Chirac's job and he is appealing to the crasser sentiments of his fellow citizens, a sizeable portion of whom voted for Chirac's racist opponent last time the president was elected. He calculates that with the hardcore of the Gaullist movement allied to the far right fascism of the ultra nationalists, his bid for the presidency is all but assured.

Letter from a Black Man in Canada :Rosa Parks v. Condoleezza Rice

Rosa Parks and Condoleezza Rice are from the same bowl of grits. However, history will judge both differently. Parks stood with the oppressed of the world and Rice stood with the oppressor.
Rosa Parks was loved all over the world. She visited Canada in 1998 and was given an honorary degree from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Parks became the first woman in U.S. history to lie in the Capital Rotunda, joining a select few – including presidents and war heroes – given a public viewing in the historic venue. Her memorial service was held at the St. Paul AME Church in Montgomery.

It is significant that the AME stands for African Methodist Episcopal and was the church of Paul Robeson, Harriett Tubman and other African American freedom fighters. Parks also has the distinction of being recognized by both the civil rights and Black power movements. While the corporate media has highlighted Parks' role in the civil rights movement, they are unable or unwilling to discuss the fact that she also supported the more radical wing of the African American liberation struggle.

Parks actually spoke at the funeral of Robert F. Williams, the black revolutionary from Monroe, North Carolina who was forced to flee to Cuba and China after being falsely accused of kidnapping a Euro-American couple during a confrontation with a racist mob. At Williams' funeral on October 22, 1996, Parks told the congregation at a Monroe church that she and those who walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Alabama had "always admired Robert Williams for his courage and his commitment to freedom. The work that he did should go down in history and never be forgotten."

Homo racist americanus

It appears that lots of white Americans are mad at France. Most of these Americans are the same ones who are still angry with the French for not supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq – something they should not single out France for, since almost the entire world recoiled in horror at the American aggression. Now the French have antagonized American racists again, by deciding it is not in their best interest to antagonize the entire Arab and Muslim world by massacring young French rioters of West African and Arab descent. But, for racist Americans, it’s an unforgivable crime for white people to not put colored people immediately, and bloodily, in their place.

It's not that the French are strangers to the game of massacre and genocide, beginning with the Crusades. The French have a thousand-year history of antagonizing Arabs and enslaving Blacks and anybody else they could get their filthy colonial hands on. And the French Left has been damn near worthless in opposing what they considered to be "their" empire. Now, millions of the people of that empire have settled in France, making up one tenth of the population. Integration with underlings is something the French never fully contemplated, nor did other Europeans on the continent that has shrunken in geopolitical size with the loss of empire.

But the French were taught a lesson in the mid-Nineties, when Paris was wracked by a series of subway bombings. France had taken the side of the Algerian government in that country's war with Islamic fundamentalists. French commuters paid the price, and the government didn't forget the lesson: You mess with Muslims and Arabs at your own peril, because they do not recognize the boundaries that Europeans have unilaterally drawn. Arabia and Africa are IN France. Domestic politics and international politics have become one – an unanticipated result of globalization. After the terrorist bombings of the mid-Nineties, France seem to have learned its lesson in discretion.

But white Americans are anything but discreet. Among the most indiscreet is Jack Cafferty, the daily buffoon at CNN. Cafferty spoke for many of his American race-mates when he cal led the French insurrectionists "mutants" and called for a U.S.-style hammer to be brought down on them. Amazing, isn't it, that white Americans of Cafferty's ilk think they have the right to manage the affairs of everybody else's country – including European countries. The Caffertys of the U.S. believe they have mastered the art of keeping colored people in their place, and they deride the French for letting down the white side, by not committing mass murder.

Living in a bubble of an insular culture that is increasing divorced from reality, the Jack Caffertys and George Bushes fail to understand that the world has no more use for the truly mutant species, homo racist americanus – which has reached the end of its evolutionary line. If the world survives the depredations of homo racist americanus, that line will go extinct. And nobody will miss them.

Incendiary weapons: The Big White Lie

US finally admits using white phosphorus in Fallujah - and beyond [but denies civilian casualties]. Iraqis investigate if civilians were targeted with deadly chemical

The Iraqi government is to investigate the United States military's use of white phosphorus shells during the battle of Fallujah - an inquiry that could reveal whether American forces breached a fundamental international weapons treaty.

Iraq's acting Human Rights minister, Narmin Othman, said last night that a team would be dispatched to Fallujah to try to ascertain conclusively whether civilians had been killed or injured by the incendiary weapon. The use of white phosphorus (WP) and other incendiary weapons such as napalm against civilians is prohibited.

But Pentagon lies continue:
US used white phosphorus in Iraq
"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC - though not against civilians, he said.
US bombed insurgents with phosphorous
A US military official confirmed today that white phosphorous bombs were deployed against insurgents in Iraq last year but denied media reports they used against civilians.

See proof here

Ecuador Mobilizes Against Free Trade Agreement

For the last two days, in various points across Ecuador, the social movements and organizations have been, once again, on the warpath. The enemy, always the same at heart, today bears the name Free Trade Agreement. The Ecuadorians have decided to wage a frontal battle against that kind of "accord," with which the United States hopes to take possession of the riches of our América. Or as the manifesto that we received from the nucleus of the new Ecuadorian mobilization says: "The model that the FTA imposes is based on the importation of what they don't want... and in the exportation and privatization of our natural resources and the ransacking of our biodiversity." Let's go look at the story...

On November 9, on the eve of the signing of the Andean Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE in its Spanish initials) released a communique. Signing the FTA, said federation president Luis Macas, was equivalent to “allowing not just the goods but the life of present and future generations of Ecuadorians to be confiscated, as we will be submitted to the laws of transnational corporations and the geo-strategy of the United States."
For that reason, as well as other demands (such as Occidental Petroleum's exit from the country), Ecuador's social organizations called for mobilization: "We call on the Ecuadorian people, on the social organizations, on the assemblies and all the popular sectors committed to profound change, to demand that the country rise to the task of QUE SE VAYAN TODOS" ("all of them must go," meaning the political class).

And, logically, inside the circles of power, in the office of President Alfredo Palacio, no one paid attention to them. Because of that, since a little over 48 hours ago, Quito and a few Ecuadorian provinces have been living through some turbulent times.

Destruction of Cuba, and reverting its social and economic gains to pre 1958 status to be Studied at US Law School

Havana, Nov 12 (Prensa Latina) In another action against Cuba, the Bush administration has channeled taxpayer money to a US university to come up with a plan on how to revert the island to its 1958 status.

The US government has granted the Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska, 750,000 dollars to draft a plan to manage Cuba's urban and rural property if the Bush administration is successful in its die-hard attempt to topple the island's revolution.

The moneys come from the Cuba transition program for a two-year grant to design a tribunal that would confiscate properties on the island and deliver them to the US corporations and rightwing Cuban-Americans who abandoned their properties after they left the island on the heels of the 1959 revolution.

The Miami Herald estimates that claims of 6 billion dollars have been filed since Cuban President Fidel Castro nationalized thousands of properties of corporations ranging from Texaco to United Fruit, which have attempted to sabotage the islands post-revolution economy.

The Cuban government has reached agreements with companies from other countries whose properties were nationalized, but the fierce US blockade of the island bars American enterprises from doing business and least striking deals on this issue with Havana.

The policy detailed in the US Plan for Assistance to a Free Cuba seeks to erase all social and economic gains of the Cuban Revolution in the shortest time period, while installing a market economy dependent on the US.

"These are events that took place over 40 years ago. That's going to be a big project," law school dean Patrick Borchers told the Miami daily.

The US-AID funding will pay for six salaries as well as computer software and travel expenses.

"One of the major issues at the time of transition will be property confiscations," US-AID's David Mutchler told the Herald.

The US has maintained an economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba for nearly half a century. The Cuban Foreign Ministry states the subsequent damage to the Cuban economy is over 82 billion dollars.

On November 8, the UN General Assembly voted for the 14th consecutive year to request Washington end its blockade of Cuba. This year's record vote was 182-4 with only Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau supporting the US policy.

US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton walked out of the General Assembly session to avoid listening to the overwhelming support for Cuba on the issue.

White Phosphorus in Fallujah

Subject: White Phosphorus in Fallujah

There have been denials of the use of White Phosphorus in Fallujah.
Here's a Marine Corps link to a long article based on lessons learned in Fallujah's destruction.

This caught my attention. Scroll down to "Demolitions":

* A 60mm or 81mm white phosphorous mortar round, wrapped three times with detonation cord, and a one-quarter or one-half stick of C4. Used when contact is made in a house, and the enemy must be burned out. "
Infantry Squad Tactics
Marine Corps Gazette | November 05, 2005,15240,79595,00.html

Tom Baxter
USAV 1967-69
Tallahassee, Florida
Write on my gravestone:
"Infidel, Traitor." --infidel to every church that compromises with wrong; traitor to every government that oppresses the people.
- Wendell Phillips

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


In the words of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, "If the world is upside down the way it is now, wouldn't we have to turn it over to get it to stand up straight?"

Many magical things are stirring in Latin America - things that couldn't even have been dreamt of under the U.S. supported dictatorships of just 20 or 30 years ago. There is a movement afoot. High hopes and dreams that stretch from the Pampas of Argentina to the plains of Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, and especially from Washington's nemesis Venezuela. A dream, Bolivar's dream, is stirring in the hearts of hundreds of millions to the South.

In January of 2006, the VI World Social Forum will be held simultaneously on three continents; In Karachi, Pakistan; in Bamako, Mali; and in Caracas, Venezuela. I will be traveling to the VI World Social Forum in Caracas, where I plan to blog my daily experiences and observations throughout the Forum - which runs from January 24th through the 29th, and then afterwards as I visit successful examples of the "social missions" - from literacy, high school, and university education, to Cuban doctors and eye health, to cultural heritage programs.

I am a veteran, and a member of Veterans For Peace, and have been closely following the World Social Forum since its inception in 2001. This year I have the privilege and the opportunity to actively participate in this momentous event.

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell

If you appreciate the added breath of fresh air that Milfuegos brings to the blogosphere -please consider supporting this site by sending a donation to help make this trip a success.

checks should be made out to:

"Veterans For Peace, Chapter 31"

and mailed to:

Veterans For Peace
c/o John Grant
4008 Pilgrim Road
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

Please note on the memo line: "DONATION for Milfuegos"
or if you prefer "DONATION for Macu Naima"

I had thought of explaining the World Social Forum (all five thus far), and I came to the conclusion that it would be better to just post articles from each one (About the WSF, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005), and let you see what they were all about, and how they evolved.

about the WSF

WSF 2001

WSF 2002

WSF 2003

WSF 2004

WSF 2005

EXPOSÉ: THE "CHRISTIAN" MAFIA- Where Those Who Now Run the U.S. Government Came From and Where They Are Taking Us By Wayne Madsen

After several months of in-depth research and, at first, seemingly unrelated conversations with former high-level intelligence officials, lawyers, politicians, religious figures, other investigative journalists, and researchers, I can now report on a criminal conspiracy so vast and monstrous it defies imagination. Using "Christian" groups as tax-exempt and cleverly camouflaged covers, wealthy right-wing businessmen and "clergy" have now assumed firm control over the biggest prize of all – the government of the United States of America. First, some housekeeping is in order. My use of the term "Christian" is merely to clearly identify the criminal conspirators who have chosen to misuse their self-avowed devotion to Jesus Christ to advance a very un-Christian agenda. The term "Christian Mafia" is what several Washington politicians have termed the major conspirators and it is not intended to debase Christians or infer that they are criminals . I will also use the term Nazi – not for shock value – but to properly tag the political affiliations of the early founders of the so-called "Christian" power cult called the Fellowship. The most important element of this story is that a destructive religious movement has now achieved almost total control over the machinery of government of the United States – its executive, its legislature, several state governments, and soon, the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

The United States has experienced religious and cult hucksters throughout its history, from Cotton Mather and his Salem "witch burners" to Billy Sunday, Father Charles Coughlin, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, and others. But none have ever achieved the kind of power now possessed by a powerful and secretive group of conservative politicians and wealthy businessmen in the United States and abroad who are known among their adherents and friends as The Fellowship or The Family. The Fellowship and its predecessor organizations have used Jesus in the same way that McDonald’s uses golden arches and Coca Cola uses its stylized script lettering. Jesus is a logo and a slogan for the Fellowship. Jesus is used to justify the Fellowship’s access to the highest levels of government and business in the same way Santa Claus entices children into department stores and malls during the Christmas shopping season.

When the Founders of our nation constitutionally separated Church and State, the idea of the Fellowship taking over the government would have been their worst nightmare. The Fellowship has been around under various names since 1935. Its stealth existence has been perpetuated by its organization into small cells, a pyramid organization of "correspondents," "associates," "friends," "members," and "core members," tax-exempt status for its foundations, and its protection by the highest echelons of the our own government and those abroad.

Why all the fuss over the Balkans? OIL???

Why all the fuss over the Balkans? Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, Wes Clark, Madeline Albright, George Bush II, et al, all have their hands in the Balkan stew. Since when did the US care about genocide? Well, here's an interesting website from the US Department of Energy that adds a new dimension to the noblesse oblige cover used for another war waged by the USA.

Slimeball of the week

Ahmad Chalabi, the world's most prolific liar and thief, attended homecoming last week at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a neo-con citadel where the likes of Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, and Lynne Cheney hang their hats.

Chalabi, who makes Joe Isuzu look like Honest Abe Lincoln, said he never fed the U.S. false intelligence to coax it into a war in Iraq. He also denied he passed classified US cryptographic intelligence to the Iranians. Using standard neo-con language, Chalabi dismissed these charges as an "urban myth."

Chalabi met with his good friends Condoleezza Rice, Treasury Secretary John Snow (couldn't be about the counterfeit currency Chalabi was caught with), and Stephen Hadley (who's still reportedly a target in Patrick Fitzgerald's probe of the White House). Chalabi also has a meeting scheduled with Vice President Dick Cheney. Now what would the Iraqi Oil Minister and the former (and still paid) CEO of Halliburton be discussing?

"We've Seen the Inner Workings and Felt the Consequences": Iraqi Veterans Against the War

Were you critical of the war before you were sent to Iraq? How did your feelings toward the war and occupation change while you were there?

I was definitely critical of the war before it began and I protested it during the build up, after it started, and until I left. When I first got to Fort Jackson (South Carolina) in October of 2001, I was meeting all of these people being called out of the Individual Ready Reserve and they were telling me that an invasion of Iraq was next. I was skeptical at first, but when it hit the papers I realized that those people warning me had honestly known.

Once I got there, what I saw was a lot worse than what I could have ever imagined. All of the things we had been told that we were going there to do were shown unequivocally to be lies. We were told we weren't supposed to treat Iraqi civilians unless they were about to die and only if that injury was a result of an attack directed at us or inflicted by us. Our supervisor told my platoon that "the Geneva Conventions don't exist in Iraq and that's in writing if any of you want to see it."

When will we be free?

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
Denis Diderot, France, 18th century

"Man will never be free until the last mercenary is strangled with the entrails of the last missionary."
Macu Naima, The World, 21st Century

FEMA Gives Eviction Notice to 150,000 Staying in Hotels

No more free rooms for Katrina evacuees.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday warned an estimated 150,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in government-subsidized hotels that they have until Dec. 1 to find other housing before it stops paying for their rooms.

The announcement effectively starts the clock ticking toward a new exodus of Gulf Coast storm victims who have been living rent-free in 5,700 hotels in 51 states and U.S. territories under the $273 million program.

Under FEMA's decision, the evacuees will have 15 days to lease apartments, make other arrangements or begin paying their own bills. Many families will be eligible for as much as $2,358 for three months' rental assistance from FEMA, payments that may be extended for as long as 18 months.

Families in 12,338 hotel rooms in Louisiana and Mississippi - nearly one-fourth of the 53,894 total subsidized by FEMA - may get a reprieve. Because of those states' devastated housing stocks, officials may seek extensions of hotel aid two weeks at a time until Jan. 7, at the discretion of the top FEMA official in each state, officials said.

The deadline will fall hardest in Texas, where 19,734 hotel rooms are occupied by Katrina evacuees, and Georgia, where they are housed in about 8,900 rooms.

Libby Indictment May Open Door to Broader Iraq War Deception

The details revealed thus far from the investigation that led to the five-count indictment against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby seem to indicate that the efforts to expose the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson went far beyond the chief assistant to the assistant chief. Though no other White House officials were formally indicted, the investigation appears to implicate Vice President Richard Cheney and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser, in the conspiracy. More importantly, the probe underscores the extent of administration efforts to silence those who questioned its argument that Iraq constituted a serious threat to the national security of the United States. Even if no other White House officials ever have to face justice as a result of this investigation, it opens one of the best opportunities the American public may have to press the issue of how the Bush administration led us into war.

Evidence Mounts That Bush Wants New Wars - Do the People of the United States Care Enough to Stop Him?

In this his time of troubles, Bush seems to be moving deliberately and rapidly toward new wars of aggression in an unforgivable gamble to overcome his troubles. His speech on Veterans' Day, November 11, 2005 at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania leads to this conclusion more clearly than any of his previous speeches and activities. The new wars would be the start of a world war initiated by Bush and radical Christianity against what he calls radical Islam, but in truth the wars would be waged against all Islam.

To repeat, despite Bush's arguments to the contrary, the "clash of civilizations" would consist of wars started by us. The killing of innocent people in these wars is likely to be massive, and the wars could at any time turn nuclear. If the people and the politicians of America allow these wars to take place, the stain on the morality of Americans will last for generations.

Eyes on US Troops in Paraguay as Bolivian Election Nears

The recent shift to the left among Latin American governments has been a cause for concern in the Bush administration. The White House has tried in vain to put this shift in check. Presidential elections in Bolivia on December 18th are likely to further challenge U.S. hegemony. Evo Morales, an indigenous, socialist congressman, is expected to win the election. How far will the U.S. go to prevent a leftist victory in Bolivia? Some Bolivians fear the worst.

In the past year, U.S. military operations in neighboring Paraguay have complicated the already tumultuous political climate in the region. White House officials claim the operations are based on humanitarian aid efforts. However, political analysts in Bolivia and Paraguay say the activity is aimed at securing the region’s gas and water reserves and intervening in Bolivia if Morales wins.

Five hundred U.S. troops arrived in Paraguay on July 1st with planes, weapons and ammunition. Reports from a journalist with the Argentine newspaper, Clarin, prove that an airbase exists in Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, which is 200 kilometers from the border with Bolivia and may be utilized by the U.S. military. (1)

The ILEA: A New School of Assassins in El Salvador?

As the solidarity movement prepares for another protest and vigil against the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security and Cooperation (WHINSEC, nee School of the Americas and forever known to the movement as the School of Assassins) this November, another threat to peace and democracy in the Americas lurks behind the curtain.

On September 21, the United States and El Salvador ratified the establishment of a new police academy for Latin America, to be built on Salvadoran soil. The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) presents several concerns for Latin America’s peace and security.

Amman Radisson Owned by Palestinians

The Radisson SAS was bombed by Mossad because it was considered a Palestinian target--and because blame could be pinned on the mythical al-Zarqawi. Running black ops engineered to be blamed on Arabs is the basic Israeli intelligence modus operandi (as the bombing of American and British property in Cairo and Alexandria in 1954 by Israeli military intelligence--known as the Lavon Affair, the prototype of all Israeli covert terrorism to come--was initially blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, itself an MI6-CIA penetrated organization). It is simply not credible to believe al-Zarqawi (even if he was alive) would target high-level Palestinians and their Chinese guests at a Jordanian-Palestinian owned hotel.

Only Israel stands to gain from the bombing of the Radisson SAS.

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Amman Bombings: More Suspicious Details

A story appearing on the CBC World News website this afternoon reveals additional details about the Amman hotel bombings and shoots a big hole in the official story, as pimped by the corporate media. A security official, who will likely be demoted if his identity is revealed, told the Associated Press that "lights in sections of both the Radisson and Hyatt hotels went out just before the near simultaneous blasts in--apparent--co-ordinated fashion.... A DJ at the Radisson, where a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding reception was bombed, also recalled how the ballroom where the party was being held mysteriously descended into darkness. 'The lights at the wedding hall went off seconds, maybe just one second, before the blast, although there was electricity outside the room in the corridor, the nearby lobby area and the reception,' Fadi al-Kessi told The AP. 'For some reason, I looked to my right in the darkness and saw what looked liked lightening, then there was a loud boom. It felt like the explosion came from the ceiling, then people started running out,'" notes the AP. (Emphasis added.)

So here we have an eye witness confirming the photographic evidence--the explosion occurred above hotel drop ceilings. It also appears somebody deliberately switched off the lights, although we are told all the terrorists, with the exception of Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, died in the blasts. No explanation is provided how the suicide terrorists managed to accomplish this feat. No doubt these two details will find their way to the memory hole soon enough--or a lame explanation will be dreamed up and provided to the corporate media.

If we are to believe other details subsequently added to the official story, the Hyatt bomber, said to be Rawad Jassem Mohammed, "sized up American-Syrian movie producer Mustapha Akkad [who produced all of the Halloween movies] at a hotel coffee shop before going to a toilet with another Iraqi man to don his suicide belt, a security official close to the investigation said.... Mohammed returned minutes later, the bulkiness of his bomb under his clothes apparent and walking with difficulty, before blowing himself up near Akkad and his daughter, Rima, the official cited eyewitnesses as saying," News24 reports. It is inferred here that Mohammed either recognized Akkad--unlikely for an Iraqi from a rural area (that is unless Akkad was pointed out to Mohammed, possibly by his intelligence handler)--or simply targeted him because he was an American (although Akkad was born in Syria, he came to America in 1950).

It is now obvious the Amman hotel bombings were a black op executed by Mossad, British intelligence, or the American military, or it was a collaborative effort of all three (suspicion, however, falls on the Israelis, since they have plenty of experience with these sort of operations, from the Lavon Affair in the early 50s onward). Although we are told by the Bush echo chamber corporate media this was an al-Zarqawi terrorist event--specifically targeted at Jews and the Jordanian government--the fact is the targets consisted of affluent Arab wedding guests, Palestinian officials, a delegation of Chinese military officials, and an Arab-American movie producer. It appears Akkad, a more or less well-known American, was specifically targeted (he was "sized up" by Mohammed), thus sensationalizing the attack (few here in America seem to care when poor Iraqis or Arabs are the victims of such attacks). It cannot be disputed--although the American corporate media can ignore--the fact the bombs were placed in the ceiling. If indeed Rawad Jassem Mohammed and his cohorts were present, they did not carry bombs (it is possible they were strapped with belts they believed contained explosives). Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi is little more than a malleable patsy thrown in the mix to add a further and frightening dimension to the Arab terrorist archetype—now we cannot trust Arab women (again, a detail engineered previously by the Israelis; consider Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat and other Palestinian female bombers profiled on this page).

Not surprisingly, in the wake of the Amman terrorist bombing black op, the Jordanian police indicate they will "harness state-of-the-art electronic surveillance technology" in banks (and likely elsewhere) and also implement "tough new security rules," including “a demand that citizens report the identities of any foreigners renting flats or houses,” according the News24, thus tightening the noose of the Jordanian police state further. All of this, as well, will get Americans incrementally accustomed to the idea that in order to prevent (fake) terrorist attacks, we may soon be required to hack up the Bill of Rights further (by passing Patriot II, the sequel) and pave the way for more police state tactics and technology.