Friday, April 23, 2010

An Act Of War

Today, the House of Representatives voted on new sanctions against Iran. The sanctions would include companies around the world, not allowed to do business with Iran. I don't know how this could be enforced without a Naval blockade. Thus, the House today voted for war with Iran...
I live in a country with one of the most horrible governments the world has ever seen. Immoral scum criminals and gangsters. Here was the final tally today:

With a vote of 403-11, the vote saw only seven Democrats, Reps. Baird (WA), Moore (WI), Baldwin (WI), Blumenauer (OR), Kucinich (OH), Waters (CA) and McDermott (WA), and four Republicans, Reps. Flake (AZ), Jones (NC), Paul (TX) and Duncan (TN) oppose the measure. Three others, Reps. Lee (D – CA), Stark (D – CA), and Ellison (D – MN) voted “present.”

And here is what Ron Paul said:

By Congressman Ron Paul

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul - United States House of Representatives

Statement on Motion to Instruct Conferees on HR 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act - April 22, 2010

April 23, 2010 "United States House of Representatives" -- Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one trillion dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.

We hear war advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this bombast before? Anyone remember the claims that Iraqi drones were going to fly over the United States and attack us? These “drones” ended up being pure propaganda – the UN chief weapons inspector concluded in 2004 that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had ever developed unpiloted drones for use on enemy targets. Of course by then the propagandists had gotten their war so the truth did not matter much.

We hear war advocates on the floor today arguing that we cannot afford to sit around and wait for Iran to detonate a nuclear weapon. Where have we heard this before? Anyone remember then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s oft-repeated quip about Iraq: that we cannot wait for the smoking gun to appear as a mushroom cloud.

We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.

Let us remember a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important and necessary to point them out.

Some of my well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to “work” – to change the regime – war became the only remaining regime-change option.

This legislation, whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran. The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran. I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


by Mohammed Daud Miraki

With the long awaited decision by the Obama Administration in regards to the new strategy for Afghanistan, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated to the point that the US commanders started using the word ‘defeat’ in their report to Washington. The word defeat has rarely been uttered by military; however, Afghanistan is the exception, where defeat is a realistic outcome. There, defeat is a reality that all invaders have faced since the beginning when Pashtuns have inhabited this region. The Pashtuns’ resistance is one of multiple factors characterizing the Anatomy of US’s Defeat in Afghanistan, where the inevitability of defeat for the US and NATO appears to be a certainty.

American Military underestimated the Afghans (Pashtuns)

When the American troops landed in Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan, they were confident that the defeat of the Taliban and take over of Afghanistan was inevitable. Their behavior was typically American characterized with excessive over confidence totally oblivious of Afghan history. Characteristically, they did not expect to suffer significant casualties either; however, much to their dismay, American causality has become quite apparent The overconfidence of American military was detailed by a reporter of IWPR:

“…in October when the Americans began deploying at the airport,
they were gung-ho, telling their Uzbek counterparts that it would take no more than a month and a half to defeat the Taliban…”

The report continues:

“Uzbek army personnel working at the air base said scores of US casualties have been arriving there. From November 25 to Decemeber [sic] 2, an Uzbek orderly working with American medical staff said he had witnessed the arrival of four to five US helicopters - carrying between them 10-15 American casualties - each day.”

The wounded soldiers that had returned from Afghanistan were frustrated by the sudden change in their self-perceived invincibility. The frustrations of the wounded soldiers on the base played out in daily occurrences of shouting and name-callings. These were the same soldiers that had heroic mentality before entering Afghanistan.

Similar experiences were reported in other parts of Afghanistan. For example, during operation Anaconda in 2002, America had used massive firepower to subdue a Taliban Commander Saifu-r-Rahman Mansoor in Shah-e-Kot in Southeastern Afghanistan. The Americans thought they could destroy the Afghan resistance by having superior air-power. They learned this to be more a wishful thinking. In the days of the fighting, Pentagon made various extravagant claims of having destroyed Mansoor’s defenses and killing more than a thousand (1000) Taliban fighters. The facts were otherwise. The US forces went to the battle with a heroic mind set, but they were bitterly surprised when they sustained heavy losses and had lost 16 helicopters ranging from Apaches to Chinooks. The escalation reached a point of no return when 22 American Special Forces were caught alive. The heavy losses coupled with the captured soldiers started to take its toll on the US forces until March 10, 2002 when General Tommy Frank decided to pull back 400 troops to Bagram. The official explanation was that the conflict had ended for the most part while media reported that the troops suffered from battle fatigue. The truth was that the pull back was an attempt at building confidence aimed at convincing Taliban that American military is serious in seeking the release of the 22 Special Forces Commandos. The Taliban Commander, Maulana Mansoor demanded the release of all captives held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the 22 Special Forces soldiers.

Meanwhile, as the US forces encountered stiff resistance, it claimed to be fighting against a force of 1000 fighters when in reality there were 100 Afghan fighters, 120 Uzbek, and 30 Arab fighters. The US claimed to have killed 700 of 1000 Taliban/Al-Qaida fighters:

“U.S. military spokesmen estimate 700 out of roughly 1,000 Islamic extremists have been killed in the past nine days of fighting, which has cost the lives of eight Americans and three allied Afghans.”

The number of Taliban and foreign fighters killed stood at 88 (mostly Uzbek including 8 Arabs) while the number of US, British and others were much higher. Different media sources reported different numbers in regards to US losses. For example, the Russian online newspaper Strana.Ru on April 8, 2002, reported that the US lost 100 Special Forces and four Apache helicopters. However, data obtained from the battlefield put the casualty figure at 228 killed. From this figure 186 Americans killed in the battle, 22 prisoners executed when the US refused to release Guantanamo prisoners and 20 British SAS were killed when their vehicles were ambushed. The 186 killed Americans included those that were on-board helicopters. The total number of helicopters shot was 16 out of which two Chinook and 6 Apaches were totally destroyed and the remaining crash landed. The Canadians and Australians killed were reported as victims of friendly fire.

Read the rest of this superb essay here:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

War is peace. Ignorance is strength

This John Pilger essay is one of his best.
written in October, 2009
"Barack Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, is planning another war to add to his impressive record. In Afghanistan, his agents routinely extinguish wedding parties, farmers and construction workers with weapons such as the innovative Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of your lungs. According to the UN, 338,000 Afghan infants are dying under the Obama-led alliance, which permits only $29 per head annually to be spent on medical care.

Within weeks of his inauguration, Obama started a new war in Pakistan, causing more than a million people to flee their homes. In threatening Iran – which his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said she was prepared to “obliterate” – Obama lied that the Iranians were covering up a “secret nuclear facility”, knowing that it had already been reported to the International Atomic Energy Authority. In colluding with the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, he bribed the Palestinian Authority to suppress a UN judgment that Israel had committed crimes against humanity in its assault on Gaza – crimes made possible with US weapons whose shipment Obama secretly approved before his inauguration.

At home, the man of peace has approved a military budget exceeding that of any year since the end of the Second World War while presiding over a new kind of domestic repression. During the recent G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, hosted by Obama, militarised police attacked peaceful protesters with something called the Long-Range Acoustic Device, not seen before on US streets. Mounted in the turret of a small tank, it blasted a piercing noise as tear gas and pepper gas were fired indiscriminately. It is part of a new arsenal of “crowd-control munitions” supplied by military contractors such as Ray­theon. In Obama’s Pentagon-controlled “national security state”, the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, which he promised to close, remains open, and “rendition”, secret assassinations and torture continue.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winner’s latest war is largely secret. On 15 July, Washington finalised a deal with Colombia that gives the US seven giant military bases. “The idea,” reported the Associated Press, “is to make Colombia a regional hub for Pentagon operations... nearly half the continent can be covered by a C-17 [military transport] without refuelling”, which “helps achieve the regional engagement strategy”.

Translated, this means Obama is planning a “rollback” of the independence and democracy that the people of Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Paraguay have achieved against the odds, along with a historic regional co-operation that rejects the notion of a US “sphere of influence”. The Colombian regime, which backs death squads and has the continent’s worst human rights record, has received US military support second in scale only to Israel. Britain provides military training. Guided by US military satellites, Colombian paramilitaries now infiltrate Venezuela with the goal of overthrowing the democratic government of Hugo Chávez, which George W Bush failed to do in 2002.

Obama’s war on peace and democracy in Latin America follows a style he has demonstrated since the coup against the democratic president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, in June. Zelaya had increased the minimum wage, granted subsidies to small farmers, cut back interest rates and reduced poverty. He planned to break a US pharmaceutical monopoly and manufacture cheap generic drugs. Although Obama has called for Zelaya’s reinstatement, he refuses to condemn the coup-makers and to recall the US ambassador or the US troops who train the Honduran forces determined to crush a popular resistance. Zelaya has been repeatedly refused a meeting with Obama, who has approved an IMF loan of $164m to the illegal regime. The message is clear and familiar: thugs can act with impunity on behalf of the US.

Obama, the smooth operator from Chicago via Harvard, was enlisted to restore what he calls “leadership” throughout the world. The Nobel Prize committee’s decision is the kind of cloying reverse racism that has beatified the man for no reason other than he is a member of a minority and attractive to liberal sensibilities, if not to the Afghan children he kills. This is the Call of Obama. It is not unlike a dog whistle: inaudible to most, irresistible to the besotted and boneheaded. “When Obama walks into a room,” gushed George Clooney, “you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere.”

The great voice of black liberation Frantz Fanon understood this. In The Wretched of the Earth, he described the “intermediary [whose] mission has nothing to do with transforming the nation: it consists, prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camouflaged”. Because political debate has become so debased in our media monoculture – Blair or Brown; Brown or Cameron – race, gender and class can be used as seductive tools of propaganda and diversion. In Obama’s case, what matters, as Fanon pointed out in an earlier era, is not the intermediary’s “historic” elevation, but the class he serves. After all, Bush’s inner circle was probably the most multiracial in presidential history. There was Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, all dutifully serving an extreme and dangerous power.

Britain has seen its own Obama-like mysticism. The day after Blair was elected in 1997, the Observer predicted that he would create “new worldwide rules on human rights” while the Guardian rejoiced at the “breathless pace [as] the floodgates of change burst open”. When Obama was elected last November, Denis MacShane MP, a devotee of Blair’s bloodbaths, unwittingly warned us: “I shut my eyes when I listen to this guy and it could be Tony. He is doing the same thing that we did in 1997.”"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Venezuela deserves a fair hearing Monday, April 12, 2010 By Pablo Navarrete

"It is a little over 11 years since Hugo Chávez first assumed the presidency in Venezuela, following a landslide election victory that swept the country’s discredited traditional parties out of power. Since then, Chávez has presided over a radical and controversial process of reforms that has been increasingly vilified by the mainstream media – and the English-language media has been no exception.

Rightwing outlets, such as Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel, regularly refer to Chávez as a dictator, even though there have been 12 national elections during his time as president – most of which received unprecedented levels of scrutiny by international observers and were systematically deemed as free and fair.

More surprising for many has been the position taken towards the Chávez government by media outlets generally viewed as “liberal”. For example, the BBC has had its coverage of Venezuela questioned recently. In December 2009, researchers at the University of the West of England published the preliminary findings of a 10-year study.

Of 304 BBC reports concerning Venezuela published between 1998 and 2008, the researchers found that only three mentioned any of the Chavez government’s positive reforms – such as poverty reduction programmes that have more than halved the poverty rate from 46.5% in 1998 to 23% in 2009.

\Instead the BBC’s reporting has been characterised by insinuations that Chávez lacks electoral support, and even compared Chávez to Hitler in one instance."
Read the rest here:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I want to concentrate on putting up, daily, John Pilger documentaries as I find them. One would do well in life in knowing the documented work of this man.
This interview, in Houston, Texas 2008, is a nice introduction to Pilger's way of thinking, and his importance as someone who actually gives a damn. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

“We Will Target and Kill U.S. Citizens Based on Lies and You Will Like It” – Says the New York Times

Here is a powerful essay that explodes with emotion. It's written by a gentleman named Scott Creighton. I wish I could write like this...

"As the American military’s credibility has been cast into the gutter by several recent stories which exposed one lie after the other after the other, the Obama administration is taking the unprecedented step to confirm they feel they have the right to kill any US citizen abroad they determine poses a threat to their imperial agenda… based solely on their say-so.

Secret evidence and the White House’s authorization is enough to arbitrarily kill US citizens under the regime of the Peace Prize “winning” Barack Obama. They state that they want to kill Awlaki, a popular anti-American dissident living in Yemen, because his rhetoric has turned to taking an active hand in orchestrating violence. They don’t offer any proof of this nor do they even state who this violence is directed toward. In fact they offer up no more actual specifics other than to say “he knows what he did”

“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He’s gotten involved in plots.” New York Times

In a move that is increasingly less remarkable as the days go by, the New York Times cites an unnamed source and ”secret evidence” as justification for stripping a US citizen of his civil liberties and quite probably his life. In terms of propaganda, the New York Times knows no equal. Not only do they pass this off as an acceptable practice, but they expertly weave into the fabric of the story the way YOU AND I ARE SUPPOSED TO FEEL ABOUT IT.

The official added: “The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual — through his own actions — has become one. Awlaki knows what he’s done, and he knows he won’t be met with handshakes and flowers. None of this should surprise anyone.” New York Times

None of this should surprise you, says the New York Times, after all, this is what you expect.

It’s brilliant propaganda which I am sure it will set the tone for this week’s talking points on both sides of the artificial political divide.

On Feb. 12th 2 men and 3 women were killed in a night raid by US Special Forces. Two of the women were pregnant. The soldiers involved used their knifes to dig the bullets out of the women and then a story was concocted that tried to say the women were already dead when they got there, victims of “honor killings”. The New York Times ran with that propaganda story and everything the military said at first about that story turned out to be a lie.

Wikileaks just released a video of an Apache helicopter gunship attack on a crowd of Iraqi civilians and two journalists from 2007 in New Baghdad. The video clearly shows civilians, most all of them unarmed, being targeted and killed in a brazenly callous manner. Then it shows a family in a van showing up to try to help one of the victims being targeted by the gunship and torn to shreds after US soldiers beg for permission to kill more unarmed people. In the front seat you can clearly see two small children. Twenty minutes later the same gunship targets an apartment complex and launches several hell-fire missiles into it even after watching at least 2 unarmed men walk in the front door and in spite of the fact that they can clearly see another innocent, unarmed man walking by the front door right before they fire. Entire families were killed in that building, not “insurgents”. The military covered up that story for years, lying about how the journalists died. Lying about how the children were wounded. Lying about how many victims were armed. Everything the military said about the incident turned out to be a flat-out lie.

The “Umar Fizzlepants” story lacked credibility since day one. Clearly it had been staged as cover for the fact that Obama had given the order to kill a US citizen in a country we aren’t even at war with. In the end, it turns out, that our own intelligence services had to admit that they “allowed” Umar Fizzlepants to board that flight, knowing full well he might be a terrorist. Of course, they didn’t just let him on the plane, they staged the whole thing. But the important part here is that we KNOW they lied about the entire thing right from the start.

Lies, Lies, Lies, and still more Lies. And now, they say we “expect” them to kill anyone they want, any US citizen included, based on nothing more than evidence we can’t see “for national security reasons” and their say-so.

Factor that in with the obviously fabricated recent case of the Hutaree 9, a “homegrown terrorism” plot which the JTTF and the FBI set in motion (and may be completely lying about since there is no recording released so far in which ANY of the suspects talks about killing cops), the McCain Liebermann “belligerent combatant” legislation in the senate and now also in the House, and you have the makings of a rather dangerous mixture of lies, violence, and illegal incarcerations targeting US citizens first and foremost. Jane Harmon, one of the sponsors of the first ”Homegrown Terrorist Act”, summed it up best at the end of the New York Times propaganda piece… certain US citizens are the number one threat to America…

At a panel discussion in Washington on Tuesday, Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California and chairwoman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, called Mr. Awlaki “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.” New York Times

Now keep in mind, they went out of their way to make the point that they are targeting Awlaki for what he has “done” not just what he has “said” but at the same time they offer no proof of anything he has supposedly done. No proof what-so-ever. So is it all a lie? Why the hell would we believe ANYTHING they say? Are they really just targeting him for what he says? and if so, who is next? Hedges? Greenwald? William Black? Who?

Propaganda runs in terms of campaigns. Lines, talking points, and slogans are simply tools to support an overall agenda and if you can’t see the writing on the wall of this one, you need glasses.

At a time when then general population should be starting to come to at least some of the conclusions we “conspiracy theorists” came to years ago, that the US military is lying through their teeth about what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rest of their imperial campaign across the Middle East, the New York Times comes out and tells us that we should not only support it, but in fact we should “expect” US citizens to be killed or arrested for no other reason that some unidentified source’s say-so for reasons you and I will never know.

That’s fascism.

The Times is working to normalize the full-on fascist state developing right before our eyes."