Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This says a lot about Canada, our shift to the right, our fear of the other, our obliviousness to our duties under international law and our abject failure to live up to the principles of basic Canadian decency. It also a reflection of the extent that American conservative Republican party style politics has crept into Canada. Canada remains the only country not to demand that the Americans repatriate their nationals from Guantanamo. England did it, Australia did, and those people are now free to walk the streets -- there have been no problems.
Few people in Canada are aware or care about what we, under both Liberal and Conservative governments have done to Canadian citizens who happen to be Muslim in the name of the war or terrorism, or more cynically, in the name of kowtowing to American neocons. Omar Khadr is a young man, and even some of his jailers say that "Omar Khadr is "salvageable" and a "good kid," but a prolonged detention at Guantanamo Bay could turn the Canadian into a radical, say the U.S. soldiers who guard him.
His guards describe him as a "likable, funny and intelligent young man," according to documents from Foreign Affairs, which also state the 21-year-old hopes Canada will get him out of the U.S.-run detention centre in Cuba.
The reports, based on visits to Khadr by department officials in April and March, say American soldiers posted to the detention centre seem "to look out for him by stopping by to chat on occasion, convincing him to meet with his lawyers and encouraging him to 'keep his nose clean.'"
Unfortunately for Omar, Stephen Harper is in the process of "getting tough" on young offenders right here in Canada, he is even proposing life sentences in adult prisons for 14 year olds -- a policy which he has been probably been told by the professionals at Correctional Services Canada, is wrong headed and counter productive. Short of receiving a direct order from his boss, George Bush, there is no chance that Harper will do anything to ensure the release of a child soldier from Guantanamo. As far as he, and sadly, many Canadians are concerned, he should stay there till he dies.
Not all Canadians though, there is one very respected one who disagrees... Romeo Dallaire asks, Who are the real criminals in Omar Khadr's case?
Entering her third week at the foot of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the older sister of Toronto-born Omar Khadr remains on hunger strike in an attempt to solidify public support for her brother to receive a fair trial in Canada. Omar, who speaks five languages fluently, has been held in the American detainment camps in Guantanamo Bay since he was 15. He was captured in 2002 while serving as a translator for Arab militants, after a Special Forces operation left an American soldier critically wounded.
Since his imprisonment, his case has been plagued by allegations of torture, mistreatment and falsified military records doctored to make him appear guilty of the crimes of those adults around him. His older sister Zaynab has spent years campaigning for his return to Canada, but has met fierce opposition from both sides of the political spectrum.
The family, who voted for Stephen Harper, has been condemned by the left for comments suggesting they disapproved of Canada's lax drug laws and generous allowances towards homosexuals. Similarly, the right has condemned the family for their anti-war stance and rhetoric suggesting that Omar was justified in any actions he took after six hours of bombardment killed the adults around him. In her weblog detailing each day of her hunger strike, Zaynab detailed visiting the Museum of Civilization last week where she was attracted to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, stating that “if we followed it, we would truly be a great people”. Hosted at TheKhadrLegacy.com, a website built by the family to update both supporters and detractors on the updates in Omar’s case, the weblog also details her Tuesday visit to a Rideau doctor who suggested that fatigue and malnutrition were responsible for her decreased energy and stamina heading into her third week. Challenged by AM640’s John Oakley earlier this week about how far she was willing to take her hunger strike, Zaynab responded that she was willing to go to any length, just as she hoped any Canadian would for their own younger brother. "The split-second decision of a terrified child caught in unimaginable circumstance does not make him a terrorist", opines Zaynab, critical of the common sentiment that her younger brother is a hardened Jihadist. "I just want to be as normal as any normal unknown Canadian", wrote Omar from his prison cell in a letter to the CBC in June. Canada is now the only Western government to support the detainment camps, as even the United States has condemned its own "black hole" in which civil, international and military laws have not applied. Both presidential candidates in the American election this November have said that they intend to close down the Guantanamo camps. Prosecutors, attorneys and defendants have all announced they are boycotting the proceedings, or resigning rather than being forced to serve in a system that has been condemned internationally as a "kangaroo court". The Supreme Court ruled five months ago that Canadian government had acted illegally in the matter of Khadr, by being complicit in the torture of a Canadian citizen. The United Nations, Canadian Bar Assocation, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have all condemned the refusal to provide Khadr a fair trial in a Canadian court. He is the only prisoner to have cooperated fully with authorities, and has begged to be allowed to return to Canada.
The Khadrs’ mother reports feeling torn between her loyalty to her children, and her belief that Zaynab is needlessly risking harm to herself. “She could die and it would make no difference” she says, “Canada is just not going to let him come home”.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
This is the guy who was waving bottles of fake anthrax around at the UN - remember that? This is the guy who was showing the world pictures of Iraqi mobile bio-labs that we know now (and he knew then) were completely made up! http://www.noahshachtman.com/archives/002725.html
So he is endorsing Obama? In a rational sane America, that would be a bad thing. Who's next? Rumsfeld? Chtheny? Charlie Manson?
It's doublethink of the worst sort. Bush and his crime family are now rightly denigrated for the invasion of Iraq, but somehow Powell escapes the calumny if not blame and then goes on to be seen as some kind of elder statesman, whom you look to for leadership! I find this wrong.
Oh, I know, Powell is really a good man and just did those things because he had to, while he actually worked behind the scenes for good. Just as Obama is excused or even applauded for idiotic and counterproductive statements like saying he would bomb Pakistan, and wants to ramp up, what I guarantee you, is an ANOTHER unwinnable war in Afghanistan because we somehow think he actually has good intentions and is lying just so he can win and then turn into the messiah.
For those who think that an endorsement from that man is a good thing; go ahead and crow over the endorsement of a despicable lackey, serial liar, and war criminal if you like. I just hope you all really enjoy the escalation of the war in Afghanistan and the promised bombing of Pakistan.
For the record I support Obama, but only as the lesser evil.
Friday, October 17, 2008
At least that is the mainstream view. What is not being discussed is the effect that new regulations had on Canadian would be voters, which required them to provide photo-identification at polling booths. This new regulation was NOT communicated to the public. The first I heard of it was on the day of the election! Even a passport was not sufficient in itself to prove identity! It would have been a simple matter to include this new information on the voting registration card that is sent to all voters, but it was not. Stupidity? Indifference? Incompetence? Not likely.
I have no idea how many Canadians were disenfranchised as a result of that policy, but CBC ran a story on election day where they talked to a number of people who were unable to vote since they were not able to produce their "papers". One disenfranchised voter is too many.
The number one piece of photo ID used in Canada is the drivers licence. So who is least like to have a drivers licence? Answer, poor people, minorities, urban people, and of course, immigrants. Who is least likely to vote for a heartless, love the rich and big business, government? Poor people, minorities, urbanites, and immigrants.
Good job Stephen! You should send those Republican campaign advisers a big bonus! Oh, what's that? You did? Never mind.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
(عمر أحمد خضر) to his home in Canada. To it's shame, Canada is the only country in the world that has not asked to have it's nationals in Guantanamo Bay returned.
Even if Khadr is guilty, which is doubtful, he was 15 years old at the time of the alleged (he has never been convicted) offence. Under the Child Soldier Protocol, which both the United States and Canada have ratified, combatants under age 18 cannot be held criminally responsible. The Protocol requires governments to help child soldiers who must be helped to recover and reintegrate into society. It does not specifically bar prosecution of child soldiers but says they should not be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and that they cannot be subjected to life imprisonment without possibility of release. The United States government is seeking life imprisonment for Khadr in a trial which will take place this fall.
I asked her if she was in communication with her brother and she said they can send letters, but it takes a long time and that they are censored. She told me that she would remain on the hill, "as long as it takes".
We will be following this story as it develops so check back soon to read more.
Click here to visit the Khadr families blog and to read Zaynab's thoughts on her hunger strike.
Click here to read "The Unending Torture of Omar Khadr" in Rolling Stone magazine
Update: CBC television will be airing a documentary tonight (Oct. 16, 2008) on the upcoming trial of Omar Khadr.
Update 2: I visited Zaynab again today. She is in good spirits but a little tired and weak. She has not been spoken to by any official, although a few good Canadians took it upon themselves to suggest that she "go back where she came from", not knowing or caring that she, as she told me, was born in Ottawa, so is "as home as I will ever be". She did say that most people were friendly and kind. As we talked she was making simple black felt ribbons with the name "Omar" in white. Zaynab told that me she is afraid that Omar will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Are the people who support Sarah Palin any different? No, the crowd of Palin supporters in the video below represents the absolute worst of America, the bottom feeders, the creationists, haters, bigots, and maniacs. What struck me is the obvious lack of intellect of the people in the video. I wonder how many in that mob could actually define the word "terrorist" let alone "socialism"? There have always been idiots and yahoos in politics, what's new is the way the Palin/McCain ticket is pandering to them in an apparent attempt to create the conditions for social unrest in America. The title for this post is deliberately provocative, but it is a genuine possibility. Given the apparent seething, roiling hatred we see in this video, I cannot see Obama having any success in his presidency. It is obvious that from the day he takes office he will be under constant vicious attack from people that I can only describe as genuine enemies, not political foes, not opponents, but enemies. The only question is when will the real violence begin?
I didn't think it could much worse than the hatred and stupidity evinced in the videos above, but it gets worse... The only other question I have, is why do we have to hear about this stuff from Al Jazeera and not CNN?
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Foxy's relative merits aside, it is bizarre in the extreme that roughly half of America is considering McCain as President. We live in an increasingly complex, technological world, yet McCain does not use a computer! I could not imagine running my business or even my personal life without a computer, yet McCain wants us to believe he can run the country/planet using quill pens, tom tom drums, and carrier pigeons!
McCain's gaffes about the "country"of Czechoslovakia et al, his history as a Viet Cong mouthpiece, (his VC nickname was "Songbird"), his health, his history as a member of the Keating five, and his untreated Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome are extremely troubling, in fact they should be giant red flags to any thinking American. And now we have this interview with Spanish television that shows a man not fit to run a hardware store.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
If you want to contribute -- please visit the site. Your $15 may be the $15 that finally brings a monster -- who is in the same league as Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein... to justice.
Sept. 20, 2008
Vermont Candidate Pledges to Prosecute BushBy Greg Guma, Maverick Media, Toward Freedom
Charlotte Dennett, who entered the race for Vermont Attorney General this week, readily admits that it will be an uphill battle. But the Vermont Progressive Party’s candidate does have one thing going for her – an issue with the potential to mobilize voters upset about the Iraq War. At her first press conference, sitting next to renowned prosecutor and author Vincent Bugliosi, she pledged to prosecute George W. Bush for murder if elected and appoint Bugliosi as a special pros.ecutor to take on the job
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Maybe you've had the impulse to run across a freeway, blindfolded, at rush hour? These guys didn't just dream about it they did it.
They jumped into the darkness and they lived - even though they probably shouldn't have. Are they nuts? Are they stupid? Are they too young to know that they can die? You bet! But for a while they were more alive than most of us will ever be.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Paul Peete at HuffPo wrote the following about some comments that Mike Malloy made on his radio show...
"The first traitor to the Democratic Presidential nominee with a national microphone made his move to support McCain and urge others to do so. On his radio show , billed as "Speaking Truth to Power," Mike Malloy abandoned all progressive logic as he spent his entire show in a rant against Barack Obama to the amazement of listeners and those who have heard him push for Obama's election. Citing Obama's vote in favor of the FISA law and change of heart on allowing off-shore drilling, Malloy said that Obama would not be able to bring about the change that he has championed and that those who follow him through eight years of failure will allow the Republican fascism to point to that failure as evidence that the government the Republicans have put in place by the Bush/Cheney cannot be undone.
To satisfy his predominantly progressive audience's need to have him not completely go GOP, Malloy stated that he wants Americans to elect a Democratic Congress so that they can have a veto proof majority for, in his reasoning, the President does not pass laws and does not declare wars. So where has he been burying his head while Bush/Cheney set in motion all of the predicates for the current energy gouging and war on a nation that neither attacked us, nor had the capability of doing so.
I never heard of Paul Peete, but I know Mike Malloy, and he is no "traitor" to progressive or liberal causes. His comments about Obama are NOT being correctly interpreted by Peete -- I assume deliberately or as a consequence of his lack of mental acuity.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Malloy is simply taking the long view -- something that the justifiably disillusioned yet over-excited liberal dreamers seem incapable of doing. Obama will fail, and he will fail on many levels, this is his intended role in the great American political psycho-drama as written by the oligarchy.
When I say fail, I mean fail in the sense that he will NOT bring about change, there is no "hope", in fact, I have not heard him say anything that makes me think that there will be change -- nor has he said anything that would give me "hope" -- unless you consider his promises to support Israel unconditionally and to bomb Iran and Pakistan unless they bend to his will, hopeful.
Americans are being suckered again. Obama will change nothing, the depth, breadth and extent of the problems facing America, exceed his capacity to correct, even if we accept the dubious premise that he actually wants to.
Electing McSame with a Dem majority in the House and Senate -- as Mike Malloy suggests, is in fact the best way forward; it's the long view, it's the smart approach -- it is not "traitorous" Mr. Peete, have you even listened to single hour of Mike Malloy's show?
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Read this post! As each day passes, and the probability of his ascension to the emperor's cat bird seat increases, the mask drops a little more.
I had had "hope" for Obama, but there is little hope now. My utter loss of faith in this man began with his obsequies at AIPAC, less than 24 hours after his presumptive nomination, and it ended with his support for the neutering of the 4th Amendment via the FISA "compromise" bill that gives law breaking telecoms immunity from civil suit and Buhs everything he wants.
It is clear now, to anyone who is awake, that Gore Vidal is right, that there is only one party in America, and that is the party of the oligarchy, and Obama simply the latest slave to their hegemonic dreams. The Democrats and the Republicans exist simply to keep illusion of a Democratic Republic alive in the minds of the few Americans still paying any attention at all.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Having advocated/wished for some form of an electronic book for over 20 years now, I was very excited to read about Amazon's new Kindle ebook. They got a lot of things right, it is always connected to the internet via the cell phone network, there 10s of thousands of books available and best of all it uses epaper -- which is much easier to read than an LCD screen, and uses no power until you change the page.
Unfortunately, titles cost $10 and you can't share them of course, DRM strikes again. But this post is not so much about the Kindle as it is about ebooks in general, and their impact on society.
Is the Kindle the future of books? Yes, and no, the Kindle is not a "true" ebook anymore than a model T was a self parking Lexus, or an MP3 player circa 1999 was an iPod. In time, someone will address all the concerns expressed here. For now, I will say that the Kindle is extremely ugly and I won't reiterate its many deficiencies. Despite the Kindle's problems, I will say that the day of dead tree data is over. Killing a tree, grinding it into a pulp with poisonous chemicals, then packaging it with yet more dead tree boxes, shipping it thousands of kilometers with giant polluting trucks, storing them in the huge museums that some people call libraries or book stores, until they are worn out, and then packing them up in more paper boxes and burning them or burying them somewhere is beyond stupid - it is criminal.
As far as paying $10 dollars for a book, this is theft, it is too much. The only true value of a book is in its IP. The ultimate goal is to cut profiteers like Amazon's Bezos right out of the loop. For those dinosaurs who still love the smell and feel of books -- you can always recreate the "experience" of reading and recycle by collecting some old newspaper and wrap your kindle in that. That way it will even dirty your fingers - just like a cheap romance novel.
The Kindle of the future will hold hundreds of thousands of books! And in no way will the paltry power requirements and this tiny bit of plastic be worse than all that trash. Besides it will be solar powered. Why do we still have newspapers? It is insane! Megatonnes of waste so some dino can get his sports scores! I do not think so.
Think about the possibilities for students who will be able to download the latest textbooks for cheap - assuming that we can get greedy billionaire thieves like Bezos out the loop. Impossible you say? They are already doing it in Korea, a country apparently not crippled by the turgid thinking of stuck in a rut bibliophiles and greedy lawyers.
A book is a terrible way to acquire data, you cannot look up a word, check a reference, resize the text, and you sure as shit can not read your email in between. In 20 years there will, thank god, be no books. Just like you cannot buy a ridiculous film camera anymore. (And good riddance to an outdated, polluting technology.) Oh, in the future there may still be specialty books such as coffee table books and the like for a while, but even those will be superseded by upcoming superiour storage and display technologies.
I do not love books -- I love the stories and the information. And I do not love the dry dead corpses of what were once living trees that breathed, shaded, and were homes for animals. Save a tree, save the environment, and buy an ebook, just not the Kindle, it is ugly and Bezos has enough money. Most of it stored electronically by the way, not on paper - yecch!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
What about the attack on the Al Shifa "chemical weapons" plant in the Sudan? We now know it was not a chemical weapons plant, it was in fact used primarily for the manufacture of anti-malaria medicines and veterinary products. Clinton should have known this, and probably did, (is US 'intelligence' really that bad?). Mind you that this attack took place two years after the Sudan expelled Osama Bin Laden.
This attack led to the "extra deaths" of thousands of innocent people, perhaps 10's of thousands, and to his great credit -- even Clinton now accepts this and has apologised.
Perhaps the decision to attack was merely a "policy dispute". I would call it a politically motivated war crime.
Did he get a free ride then? Yup. Does that free ride continue to today? Seems so.
Officials later acknowledged, however, "that the evidence that prompted President Clinton to order the missile strike on the Shifa plant was not as solid as first portrayed. Indeed, officials later said that there was no proof that the plant had been manufacturing or storing nerve gas, as initially suspected by the Americans, or had been linked to Osama bin Laden, who was a resident of Khartoum in the 1980s."
Noam Chomsky has argued (in his book 9-11 and elsewhere) that the bombing of Al-Shifa was a piece of terrorism by the United States Government that probably resulted in the deaths of "several tens of thousands" of Sudanese people from diseases such as malaria and TB because they were deprived of the medicines manufactured at the plant.
Werner Daum (Germany's ambassador to Sudan 1996–2000), whose account was used by Chomsky as a source, wrote an article (in Summer 2001) in which he called "several tens of thousands of deaths" of Sudanese civilians caused by a medicine shortage a "reasonable guess". The regional director of the Near East Foundation, who had field experience in the Sudan, published in the Boston Globe another article with the same estimate.
Clinton was not alone in his crime, "...Al Gore, Sandy Berger, George Tenet, and Richard Clarke all stood by the decision to bomb al-Shifa." -- Wikipedia
On June 26, 1993, Clinton bombed Baghdad in retaliation for an alleged but unproven Iraq plot to assassinate former President George Bush. Eight Iraqi civilians, including the distinguished Iraqi artist Layla al-Attar were killed in the raid, and 12 more were wounded. This kind of unilateral action in response to an unproven charge is a violation of international law.
Clinton also ignored the obvious impending genocide in Rwanda, and we all know what happened there. He apologised for that a well. So I guess it's okay then.
UNICEF reports that in 1999 more than 1 million Iraqi children under 5 were suffering from chronic malnutrition, and some 4,000-5,000 children are dying per month beyond normal death rates from the combination of malnutrition and disease. Death from disease was greatly increased by the shortage of potable water and medicines, that has led to a 20-fold increase in malaria (among other ailments). This vicious sanctions system, causing a creeping extermination of a people, has already caused more than a million excess deaths, and it is claimed by John and Karl Mueller that Clinton's "sanctions of mass destruction" have caused "the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction [nuclear and chemical] throughout all history" (Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999).
I won't even go into the bombing of Kosovo, an action that was taken without UN authorization.
The complete list of Clinton's crimes is much longer than can be reasonably be posted here. What's interesting is how Clinton has been 'rehabilitated' and his long list of murders and war crimes is forgotten. In ten years will Bush suffer a similar fate? Bet on it.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Yes, we've been on about an attack on Iran for a year or more, but the clouds of war are gathering again- this time darker and thicker than before. Gates has just ordered another carrier group to the Persian Gulf. What's different is that in the past they always said it was a normal rotation, but this time, this time, Gates is quite explicit, it is a warning to Iran to back off. Which would be fine if there was anything for Iran to back off from. There isn't of course, so no matter what they do, they can't win. "Later this week Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is expected to confront the Iranians with evidence of their meddling and demand a halt. If that doesn't produce results, the State Department has begun drafting an ultimatum that would tell the Iranians to knock it off - or else." http://www.cbsnews.com/stories
I keep asking myself why they are doing this? There are no easy answers. A lot of people would say Israel, but that is wrong. Israel/America is not worried about Iran. Iran is not, and can never be, an existential threat to Israel. Oh, Israel will benefit, but the real goal is oil, and the real loser will be China. The strategic thinkers know that China is the real enemy. China is breathing down America's neck, not militarily, but economically. Anyone with a calculator can see that America is sinking and China is rising quickly.
So what to do, what to do? The answer is simple really, control the oil. All of it. Forever. This is going to be shock and awe to the nth degree. The plan is to hit them and hit them so hard, that even the toughest fighters will be rocked back on their heels as they watch the slaughter.
I think that the plan is to destroy, then control, the whole middle east, take the oil, and crush the Muslims, as Admiral Fallon said, "like ants".
If you think this sounds bad, it gets worse. When the blow back comes and it will - you will be confronting an enraged, embittered and determined enemy, who will attack with a never before seen fervor. Bush will declare a national emergency, NSPD 51 will kick in, and that's the end of democracy in America.
America gets the oil, the people will be happy, Israel will have a free hand with the Palestinians, and China will be told they are back to being a branch plant. Oh, and Bush and Cheney get to avoid the war crimes trial.
Friday, April 25, 2008
The great Mike Malloy over at Nova m is asking his listeners to write, email, and phone the FCC to complain. We all know it probably won't don't any good because Limbaugh has a special pass from the bushies, but hey, we have to try.
Have a look and listen, this guy is going for a repeat of 68. This is how the Rwanda genocide started, this is how civil wars start. He has to be stopped.
Click here to listen the Malloy over at Nova M: http://www.novamradio.com/live/stream.php
9PM EST - Monday to Friday
Friday, April 18, 2008
I say that I don't like Hilary because I want to defend her. She was not lying when she "misspoke" about landing under fire in Bosnia. Hilary knows, very very well, that everything she says gets fact checked, so when she told that story it seems probable that she did not realize that that the "incident" never happened.
More likely she confabulated the memory. No doubt she was told repeatedly that the trip was dangerous and received lots of warnings about how she might come under sniper fire, etc. Over time these warnings, and her memories, melded into a false narrative -- this phenomenon is called confabulation. Confabulation is common, we all do it, most of us don't get caught.
Hilary subconsciously wanted to make herself the hero, and over time, in her own mind at least, she was. She confabulated. She did not lie.
John Dean got caught too. See the link...
Saturday, March 22, 2008
- Depending on who you talk to, Iraq has lost between 60,000 and 1.2 million killed.
A good comparison is Poland. The population prior to the war was roughly the same as Iraq, @ 34,849,000 compared to Iraq in 2003, which was according to the UN, 25,175,000. By the end of the occupation, which again is roughly about as long as America has been occupying Iraq, they had lost 5,600,000 people or 16.07% In contrast Iraq has lost 4.7 % of its population if one assumes 1.2 million extra deaths is correct.
The Germans killed 5 times as many people as the Americans. One could compare Iraq with occupied Norway, who lost "only" .042 of their population but then the Germans considered them fellow Aryans.
France lost 562,000 -- a "mere" 1.35% of their population, but then they, despite the fact that after the war, every second Frenchman claimed to have been a Maquis, did not resist to the extent that the Iraqis have.
If the low number is true, then, in historical terms, the Iraqi occupation has been kind indeed, even the higher number does not approach the Germans, forget the Mongols who tended to kill, well... everyone.
1.2 million dead Iraqis is still a stack of bodies approximately 189 miles high.
- source data: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties
Thursday, March 20, 2008
They are on side on a lot of issues, but on one issue - Salon tows the line. 911 Truth is off limits there; Patrick Smith, of "Ask the Pilot" has done a hit piece, and Farhad Manjoo their tech writer has taken a whack at it too, here and here. Sadly, I have yet to see a single article at Salon that does not ridicule and sneer.
This is not the way to the truth. There are serious questions. They must be answered.Not everybody is a fan of Farhan's journalistic or intellectual prowess, as seen in the comment below. Neither am I - this is the guy who just tried to tell us that the recent errant KH series spy satellite was shot down by, wait for it, a cruise missile! It must have been one low and slow spy satellite. And he is supposed to be tech writer. His perspicacity on the 911 question is in serious doubt as well.
This story was assigned to the wrong reporter
This story should not have been assigned to Farhad Manjoo. Sifting through the various levels of truth, lies, myth and fantasy surrounding the events of 9/11 requires a journalist who can review evidence objectively, not a dittohead like Manjoo whose knee-jerk response to any criticism of the Bush administration and Republicans is to insist that they would never act with anything other than the purest and noblest of motives. It's time for Manjoo to move to Fox News and for Salon to hire a real political reporter.
I like Salon, but they should open up the filter, just a little.
Obama is being hit and hit hard. The Iran Project is still on the table. Gas is a $110 a barrel. Trouble in South America. Gaza is under siege, water, food and medicine are scarce. And Gaza is now under threat of a shoa - another nakba. A threat made explicit by the Israelis, a threat so evocative that it shocked the Israeli people themselves.
It's been five long years since another, new, holocaust began, in the "hell that is now Iraq" - as Saddam called it from the gallows. Electricity in Baghdad is on for an hour a day at most. Baghdad, one of the oldest cities in the world, in one of its hottest places, in the dark, powerless. Powerless in so many ways.
And we have lost one of the great souls. Sir Arthur C. Clarke has died at 90, or as he said, "I have completed 90 orbits around the sun". I will miss him.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Russian Yakhonts hyper-sonic anti-ship missile
I've been talking about the attack on Iran for so long now, I'm into the boy who cried wolf zone. But time will tell, and time, my friend, is running out. If there is to be an American or Israeli attack on Iran, it must be soon - within the year. We will know soon.
Today we have Daniel Ellsberg warning about an attack on Iran. He is very worried. Ellsberg says that, "The American public and media have not picked up on the urgency surrounding a pending war with Iran... no matter how much time is left, impeachment is one thing that must happen for the sake of preserving American democracy."
The war plans are not just on the table Mike, Sy Hersh says they are being "updated by the minute".
I won't even bother to add that so called "case" against Iran is a thin, wet, dirty, tissue of lies and propaganda, without any basis in reality whatsoever.
Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps the country's most famous whistleblower, fears that before the Bush administration leaves office, it will try to attack Iran.
Indeed, Ellsberg's argument gained merit as George W. Bush increased his rhetoric against Iran when he delivered his final State of the Union Address. Bush accused Iran of training militia extremists in Iraq and emphasized the United States will confront its enemies.http://www.alternet.org/audits
So what happens if Bush does attack Iran Mike? Please see this link to a shocking, yet truly superb article on Iranian military capabilities. The Iranians have an arsenal of hypersonic and unstoppable ship killer missiles like the Russian SS-NX-26 Yakhonts missiles, (speed: Mach 2.9; range: 180 miles) deployed by the Iranians along the Gulf's northern shore.The US Navy has no defense against these missiles. None. If and when the attack on Iran occurs, within hours the world will change again as the Iranians will almost certainly sink USN Nuclear Carriers, tankers, and capital ships.
There are really only three things that are important right now Mike: stopping the war, not starting a new one, and 9/11 justice.
Personally I would like to hear a show devoted to asking questions about the attack on Iran.
Keep up the great work. We appreciate it.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Super Tuesday. Super indeed. Tonight we will know who the nominee's are. Much is at stake tonight. I will be posting more later tonight as the results come in.
So the results are in, and they are... inconclusive. Unless you are Republican. The Democratic nomination could go either Hilary or Obama. I am not excited. Their policies are similar. I see little difference. I "like" Obama more, but right now, until I see some real promises on the table, I don't care who wins.
Update: Feb. 15
I changed my mind. I do care who wins. Obama is not going to make much of a dent in miles thick wall around the oligarchy, nor is he going to have much money to work worth given that the US has such massive deficits and debts. I have seen Obama and he is sincere I think, and unlike Hilary who is so indebted, so beholden and yes so corrupted by her ties to the oligarchy, at least Obama will try and he should be elected.
Friday, February 01, 2008
"I believe that it is abundantly clear that the case that was outlined on behalf of going to the resolution -- not going to war, but going to the resolution -- was a credible case. I was told personally by the White House that they would use the resolution to put the inspectors in ... Some people now think that this was a very clear open-and-shut case. We bombed them for days in 1998 because Saddam Hussein threw out inspectors."
Does Everything go Down the Memory Hole Now?
Hans Blix and other inspectors said many many times that Saddam was cooperating with the inspectors! I remember! Saddam was in fact, extremely cooperative.
Why would Saddam have not cooperated? HE DID NOT HAVE WMD! Even though the US sold him the precursor chemicals for nerve gas. So logically he had nothing to lose by cooperating. He knew the gun was pointed at his head.
All this was widely reported in what left of the free press at the time, and was certainly on the Internets.
And Hilary knew all that, and she knows the inspectors were not impeded when she voted for the war. This is not true, many of us knew that the WMD stories were lies, even at the time. If H. Clinton was not in possession of the facts then she is stupid and uninformed, if she actually accepted the story as told by Bush and Cheney - then she is dangerously naive. On the other hand if she knew the facts and voted to kill one million people, beggar the treasury, all the while making the United States the world's leading outlaw nation - then she is plain evil.
No one can hide something like a chemical weapons factory, not anymore. If Saddam had had anything the US would have the address, the telephone number, and the name of the guy running the plant.
Her husband, obviously with her assent, since she is so "strong", attacked and destroyed what he said was a chemical weapons plant in the Sudan 3 days before the Monica hearings. Some of us, "knew" that it was in fact a pharmaceutical factory even at the time. Since Sudan was under American led sanctions at the time, they were unable to produce enough medicines to treat their sick, and thousands, perhaps 10's of thousands of the vulnerable, mostly the old, and the young died as result.
Here is the official bullshit line as it was reported then. http://www.cnn.com/US/9808/20/us.strikes.01/
And here is the truth as we now know it. http://www.workers.org/ww/1998/sudan0910.php
Even Bill now admits it was a mistake, would that his wife had his balls. And I don't mean in a jar.
If you want more war, more death, more hatred toward America, plus a completely deadlocked congress and senate, compounded by a screaming, raging, right wing noise machine, by all means vote for Hilary.
At least Obomba has no blood on his hands - yet. But we can always hope that he will follow through on his callow, cowardly and near insane threats to bomb Waziristan, that's in Pakistan, a country with real WMD.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Glenn Greenwald over at Salon is posting today about the American Attorney General Michael Mukasey's recent testimony before Congress.
Greenwald, inter alia, is upset because even extraordinary testimony from Mukasey about torture is now "ordinary".
Mukasey explicitly embraces the most extreme theories of presidential omnipotence and lawlessness and displays as much Cheney-ite contempt for the notion of Congressional oversight as the Vice President himself. He repeatedly endorsed patently illegal behavior -- including torture...
He went on to say..
Mukasey repeatedly insisted that even his most lawlessness-endorsing views are within our political mainstream, and he's right about that. It's now been seven years that our country has functioned under the radical executive power theories of the Bush administration, which include the right of the President to break the law. Congress long ago decided it would do nothing about any of it, would acquiesce to it, and thus -- as was predictable and predicted -- it has all become normalized.
No more "torture"
It's so simple I wish I had thought of it, all that is required to end torture in America is to change the name! It's not "torture", that has such a negative, even authentic ring to it, no let's call it "enhanced interrogation techniques", no wait, let's reduce it to some acronym with no unpleasant connotations. EIT, yeah that's it, EIT! We had to use a little EIT on the detainee, then we had some tea.
The Senators and Mukasey spoke all day long about torture with such dispassion that one would have thought it was nothing more than the latest bureaucratic HUD program. They don't even use the euphemism "enhanced interrogation techniques" any more. That phrase has been so normalized that they now all know and use an abbreviation for it -- "EIT."
Glenn has long been an eloquent, careful and relentless opponent of the regime occupying the White House. Nevertheless he has always held out the hope and belief that America was still a functioning democracy. Just last December he blogged approvingly and hopefully about Chris Dodd's attempt to block the new FISA bill that is before Congress, a bill that will legalize warrantless surveillance, and provides retroactive immunity for the telecom companies that aided and abetted warrantless, and therefore illegal spying on Americans. Unfortunately for that sense of optimism, the democratic leadership is now actively blocking Dodd, and it looks like the authoritarian FISA bill will now pass - just the way Bush wants it. So where is the "democracy"?
Glenn goes on to say,
Congress does that (enables illegal activities) because we live in a system of lawlessness -- we have decided that the President has the power to break the law without consequences...
I am with Glenn up to this point, but then he loses me in an outbreak of optimism...
The Bush administration will be gone in 11 months, but -- in the absence of some meaningful accountability -- all of this will remain.
"Probably" Bush's last State of the Union Speech
Even that notorious organ of the state, The Washington Post, has said recently that this is "probably" Bush's last State of the Union speech. Probably? Probably?
It is sad to see someone like Glenn Greenwald, an American in the best sense, essentially admit that democracy in America has ended, and even sadder to have to agree with him. Sad... and terrifying.
Here is my comment at Salon on Glenn's latest blog.
Glenn Deklares a Diktatorship
Glenn has been building up to this for some time, as he said in his book, "How Would a Patriot Act?", two years ago, "we are a country in which the president has said -- expressly and repeatedly -- that he has the power to act without restraints, including the power to break the law."
More recently he has used the term "oligarchy" not once but many times. Over the last few months and years he has meticulously detailed the abuses of, not a President - but a dictator.
Glenn's latest post amounts to a declaration that democracy in America has ended, and that it has ended in the sad spectacle of the craven, obsequious, and beaten members of the Congressional Boyar Duma reduced to begging the Tzar's top secret policeman for favors.
Up to this point I agree with everything that Glenn said.
He finishes however, by asserting that "Bush will be gone in 11 months", and wistfully hopes that the next boss will be better than the last boss. "It remains to be seen..." if the next putatively "democratic" President will prosecute any of this sanguinary regime's many crimes. This is where he loses me.
If Bush and his whole grisly gang are in fact planning on packing up and going on the lecture circuit, how to explain their apparent lack of any fear that those new and extraordinary powers of the "unitary executive" will not be used against them? After all the executive can now declare anyone an "enemy combatant", spirit them away to a secret prison and then administer all the EIT units that they care to apply.
But they are not worried. They keep committing crimes. The attack on Iran is still on, despite the latest NIE. They have no fear, no worries. Bush is a textbook extreme sociopath, and for people like him, consequences are an abstraction at best. But what about the rest of them - surely they must be worried? If they are, I see no evidence of that whatsoever.
Look for another attack on America. Wait for the deliberately unspecified "catastrophic emergency" that will trigger NSPD 51 - which gives Bush out-of-the-drawer dictatorial powers, with "legitimate" primacy over the Congress, the Senate and what's left of the Supreme court.
Glenn is right that Bush is now a functional dictator (a charge that has never before been seriously or credibly leveled at a sitting POTUS). Where he goes wrong is his sadly naive, but admirable, belief that there will be an election and perhaps... prosecutions.
There will be no election and if there is, it will be a Diebold affair. Either way it's more war, and no "freedoms", not in America anyway.
The only question is what are you going to do about it? There is only one answer, there must be impeachment, and it must be now.
Tragically, the quisling Pelosi, with the assistance of her erstwhile colleague and fellow sonderkommando, Reid, continue to keep impeachment "off the table".
Monday, January 28, 2008
Of course none of this addresses any of the root problems in the region. Israel is still occupying Palestinian land. Still practicing collective punishment on the people of Gaza. All of this is a flagrant violation of international law.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Never mind it was not Ronald Reagan who raised taxes, it was congress - back in the day when there was a congress. Remember those days?
Obviously this was someone helping him using a wireless device.
For comparison here is a picture of the decider and his little transceiver that he wore the 2004 debates.
The analysis was done by one of the top NASA image specialists, and he concluded that shub was WIRED. More, proof as if we needed it, that Bush is a pawn, a "Mechanical Turk", only stupider.
Here is a little something from Raw Story about the 04 debate. Look at the transcript and tell me that Chimpsky wasn't hearing "the voices" again.
"In the second debate, Bush went off the rails, again in a way that suggests remote coaching. According to the rules, each candidate answers questions in turn. The one to whom the question is addressed gets two minutes to reply, and his opponent gets ninety seconds to rebut. At the moderator's discretion, there may be a one-minute extension, providing each candidate an additional thirty seconds on each question.
At one point, when Bush had taken a question, and Kerry had delivered a spirited rebuttal, moderator Charlie Gibson decided to extend the session. But he had trouble getting the words out, as Bush leapt up and leaned into his face, repeatedly demanding the very extension that Gibson was attempting, without success, to offer him.
Kerry: "We're gonna build alliances; we're not gonna go unilaterally [into war]; we're not gonna go alone, like this President did."
Gibson: "Mr. President, let's extend for one minute..."
Bush: "Lemme just one question; I, I gotta answer this."
Gibson: "Exactly, and with reservists being held on duty..."
Bush: "Let, let me just answer this, what he said about goin' alone."
Gibson: "Well, I wanted to get into the issue."
Bush: "You tell Tony Blair we're goin' alone. Tell Tony Blair we're goin' alone. Tell Servio Belisconi we're goin' alone..."
A fair reading of the scene would have Bush's remote coach urging him to respond at that moment, with enough vehemence to distract the President from what was happening right before his eyes. "You've got to respond to that - you can't let it go. He's insulting our allies," we can imagine the coach saying. And we can imagine Bush getting flustered to the point that he failed to grasp what the moderator was trying to tell him."Of course there is a Rational explanation for the voices. It was Jesus.
Not one, not a single "most popular" story, is remotely important to our society. It is sickening, truly sickening. Where is the outrage about Gaza? Where are the 935 lies of bush?
Maybe, just maybe, when the coming war is over, and the survivors emerge from the rubble - humanity will see the light. More likely, they will shrug, pick up a stick, and start beating their neighbor - just because he's a Jew, or an Arab... or an American.
I just hope that after we are gone, the dolphins will do a better job. I am sure that they will!
Top ten most viewed stories on FOX web site.
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- Iowa Police Officer Stripped of His Duties After Traffic Stop Sex
- Heath Ledger Found Dead at Manhattan Residence; Sleeping Pills Discovered in Apartment
- Pop Tarts: Sundance Devastation: Stars React to Heath Ledger's Death
- Quick-Moving Blood Infection Kills 22-Year-Old College Student