Progressive Calendar 07.24.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 17:25:26 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     07.24.06

1. Jam with Cam      7.25 9:30am
2. Cuba on KFAI      7.25 11am
3. SPNN/Medicare D   7.25 5pm
4. GP/state fair     7.25 6pm
5. Columbia          7.25 6:30pm
6. Imagine Roseville 7.25 7pm
7. Media workshops   7.25
8. Cease-fire/call   7.25

9. Unlearn racism    7.26 7:30am Mankato MN
10. Peace ed         7.26 8am
11. Cuban revolution 7.26 5pm
12. Frankenfoods     7.26 6pm
13. Dance/film       7.26 7pm
14. Iran/US/nuclear  7.26 7pm

15. GP California  - CA Gov candidate leaves Dems joins Greens
16. GP Minnesota   - GP at the Fair: $1,400 by Aug 1
17. Norman Solomon - The most dangerous alliance in the world
18. William Blum   - The End Is Near, but first, this commercial
19. ed             - Killer action game (poem)

--------1 of 19--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: Jam with Cam 7.25 9:30am

Cam Gordon, Council Member, Second Ward 612-673-2202 (w) 612-296-0579 (c)

Office Hours: every Tuesday morning in the Second Ward 9:30-11am.
The locations will rotate as follows, so that I can meet with residents in
their own neighborhoods:

Fourth Tuesdays:
Seward / Cooper neighborhoods
Seward Tower East Advantage Center, 2910 E Franklin Ave


--------2 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Cuba on KFAI 7.25 11am

Tue. uly 25, 11am: CUBA on KFAI

The U.S. blockade and travel ban against Cuba continues--why? Perhaps,
because it's the 53rd anniversary of Cuba's Revolution, the July 26th
Movement.

Cuban-American VICTOR VALENS was brought to the U.S. when his family fled
the U.S.-backed brutal dictator Bataista in the mid-1950s. Valens is known
in Minneapolis as the proprieter of VICTOR'S 1959 CAFE. Tune into
"Catalyst"  and hearhis story and the story of the Cuban Revolution, being
celebrated at his cafe (WED.JULY 26, 5pm-9pm, Victor's 1959 Cafe 3756
Grand Ave, Mpls)

Valens talks about the impact of the U.S. travel ban and the current
exhibition of photographs at his cafre "Love,Loss, Longing" thta documents
Cuban-American families cut off from their relatives in their homeland.

"Catalyst:politics & culture", Tue. July 25, 11am, KFAI Radio, 90.3fm Mpls
106.7 fm St Paul all shows archived for 2 weeks after broadcast at
www.kfai Hosted by Lydia Howell. Check out the "Catalyst" page at
www.kfai.org for upcoiming programs, TC events, reviews, op-ed and more.


--------3 of 19--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: SPNN/Midicare D 7.25 5pm

Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:

While we still have local public access tv (see: www.saveaccess.org),
select SPNN Channel 15 for "Our World In Depth/Our World Today".  Show
times are 5 pm and midnight on Tuesday evenings and 10 am on Wednesdays.

"Our World In Depth/Our World Today" features analysis of public affairs
with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists.
The show is local and not corporately influenced... get it while you can!

(5 pm and midnight every Tuesday and 10 am on Wednesdays)

7/25 and 7/26
"The Truth About Medicare Part D"
w/Sue Abderholden of NAMI, Jane Hanger Seeley of the Twin Cities Gray
Panthers and Joel Albers of UHCAN-MN.


--------4 of 19--------

From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com
Subject: GP/state fair  07.25 6pm

State Fair Booth Planning Meeting
07.25.06
Every year the Green Party of Minnesota meets thousands of Greens, and
potential Greens at our booth at the State Fair.

Do you have ideas for maybe a booth theme? Are you  willing to help plan the
event and spend some time there doing outreach? Please  meet with others:

Tuesday July 25,
6pm
Cahoots Coffee on Snelling and Selby (just  up from the South-East corner.)

Call Kristen for more information! 651-210-0789
Kristen Olson GPMN State Fair Booth Coordinator


--------5 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Columbia 7.25 6:30pm

TUESDAYS' Conversational Salons @ MAD HATTER in downtonw St. Paul

TUES JULY 25, 6:30pm Roberto Gutierrez, a native of Columbia and married
to a North American, and will hold a dialogue about his country and try to
bring about an understanding of our 2 countries.

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise
noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943
W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------6 of 19--------

From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at] qwest.net>
Subject: Imagine Roseville 7.25 7pm

Imagine Roseville 2025 Subcommittee Meetings

Public Infrastructure and Safety
Tuesday, July 25 at 7pm
Hickory Room
Roseville City Hall


--------7 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Media workshops 7.25

Sign-up for Night School
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool1c/ga_3218838>
*Sign-up for Night School*
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool2c/ga_3218838>

We know that the right-wing has dominated the media for decades. It didn't
happen overnight and it didn't happen by accident. Now, if we learn the
tools, our nationwide grassroots network has a chance to take back our
media.

Throughout the summer, DFA Night School will offer three online sessions
that will help build your media skills. The sessions combine an online
presentation with a live conference call and group discussion with our
trainers to show you how to get a progressive message into the media. You
can join any or all of the DFA Night School sessions from the comfort of
your home or office today.  Click here to sign up:

July 25: Working the Mainstream Media
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool_media1c/ga_3218838>
August 1: Leveraging Blogs and Online Media
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool_media2c/ga_3218838>
August 8: Sustaining your Media Presence
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool_media3c/ga_3218838>

The events are free of charge and you don't need any prior experience
working with the media. Media coverage is one of the best tools we have
for spreading our progressive values -- and holding this administration
and Congress accountable for their failures. Click here to find out more
and reserve your spot:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool3c/ga_3218838>

We can change our country, but it's going to take a strong ground game and
savvy media outreach. You have the power, now get the skills. Thanks for
everything you do.

Arshad Hasan Training Coordinator Democracy for America

P.S. If you missed the spring semester of DFA Night School on Campaign
Tactics 101, you can purchase it on DVD at:
http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool_dvd
<http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool_dvdc/ga_3218838>


--------8 of 19--------

Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 17:40:41 -0500
From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Cease-fire/call 7.25

ACTION ALERT: Call-In Day for Ceasefire Lebanon/Israel

Tuesday, July 25 Please take a moment to locate the phone number of your
U.S. representative to congress at
<<http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/>www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org>.

Call your representative on July 25 and urge them to vote YES on H. Con.
Res. 450, calling for an immediate ceasefire and multi-party negotiations.


--------9 of 19--------

From: erin [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: Unlearn racism 7.26 7:30am Mankato MN

More on July 26: YWCA of Mankato Unlearning Racism Continuing the
Conversation. 7:30-9am. Join us for a facilitated discussion. Contact:
Debbie Matzke at (507) 345-4629 ext. 21 or ywca [at] ywcamankato.org.
www.ywcamankato.org.


--------10 of 19--------

From: humanrts [at] umn.edu
Subject: Peace ed 7.26 8am

July 26 - Martha Roberts Speaks on An Approach to Peace Education.
8-9:30am

Martha is Coordinator for Peace Education Programs of World Citizen, Inc.
This program has expanded during its five years of existence to more
groups of elementary teachers, as well as a high school group, meeting to
discuss with other peace educators ways to do peace education.  Lots of
excitement among teachers AND students.  This experience is life-changing.

FFI 763-784-5177 OR http://www.justview.org
Location: St. Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis


--------11 of 19-------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Cuban revolution 7.26 5pm

Wednesday, 7/26, 5 to 9 pm, annual celebration of the Cuban revolution,
Victor's 1959 Cafe, 3756 Grand Ave S, Mpls.  mncuba [at] usfamily.net


--------12 of 19--------

From: erin [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: Frankenfoods 7.26 6pm

Also July 26: Women's Environmental Institute Farm School "Fighting
Frankenfoods: How Social Activists are Changing the Trajectory of
Agricultural Biotechnology" with Professor Rachel Sherman. 6PM-8PM at
Amazon Bookstore in Minneapolis. For more information go to www.w-e-i.org.


--------13 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Dance/film 7.26 7pm

CINEMA & CIVICS
Wednesdays, June 14-August 2, 2006
Stevens Square Park

Cinema & Civics Complete Schedule of Events
All events are located in Stevens Square Park and are free and open to
the public. Programs begin at 7 PM, films at dusk. Stevens Square Park
is located at 1801 Stevens Ave in Minneapolis. Call 612-879-0200 or
visit www.stevensarts.org for more information.

July 26, 2006
Beats Off the Streets

Performances by local youth groups and Twin Cities drumlines heat up
Stevens Square Park. Programming sponsored by Penumbra Theatre and the
Twin Cities Black Film Festival. Grill out provided by Willa Battle Center
at the Grace Temple church.

Film: RIZE by director David Lachapelle

Rize reveals a groundbreaking dance phenomenon that's exploding on the
streets of South Central, Los Angeles. Taking advantage of unprecedented
access, this documentary film brings to first light a revolutionary form
of artistic expression borne from oppression. The aggressive and visually
stunning dance modernizes moves indigenous to African tribal rituals and
features mind-blowing, athletic movement sped up to impossible speeds.


--------14 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Iran/US/nuclear 7.26 7pm

Iran, the U.S. and the Nuclear Issue: Is Iran the next target?

Wednesday, July 26
7pm
Room 1-127, Carlson School
U of M West Bank Campus
32119th Avenue South
Minneapolis

Speaker: Nasrin Jewel

Professor of Economics, College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.
Professor Jewell is an Iranian-American whose current research area is
on women and work in Iran. She has authored and collaborated on a
number of articles on the Global Economy, the New World Order, and
Women and Work. She was a Fulbright scholar to Caracas, Venezuela, and
was a MUCIA scholar in Madrid, Spain.

Is the U.S. is preparing to attack Iran?

The U.S. government is linking Iran's nuclear energy program to weapons of
mass destruction. The U.S. has also sought to blame Iran for both the
Shias' resistance to the occupation of Iraq by the US and the resistance
to the occupation of Palestine by Israel.

o Is Iran really trying to build nuclear weapons?
o Why is the US interested in Iran; is it the oil?
o Is Iran actually a threat to the U.S?

Sponsored by: Iraq Peace Action Coalition

For more info: Anti - War Committee 612-379 -3899, Twin Cities Peace
Campaign-Focus on Iraq 612-522-1861, Veterans for Peace 612- 821-9141, or
Women Against Military Madness 612-827-536 4


--------15 of 19--------

CA Gov candidate leaves Dems joins Greens
News  Advisory
THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA _www.cagreens.org_
(http://www.cagreens.org)

FOR IMMEDIATE  RELEASE
Thursday, July 20, 2006

Democratic Party leadership accused of 'race and class bias' by black
gubernatorial candidate Barbara Becnel; She re-registers with Green Party

SAN FRANCISCO (July 20, 2006)  Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate
and death penalty foe Barbara Becnel  the first black woman to run for
governor in California  announced this week that she has left the
Democratic Party because the "Democratic leadership is allowing race and
class bias to dishonor the Democratic Party."

With Green Party candidate for Governor Peter Miguel Camejo by her side,
Becnel signed a voter registration form switching to the Green Party
Tuesday night. She is second high-profile person of color to switch to the
Green Party of late  Nativo Lopez, state and national president of the
influential Mexican American Political Association, has also re-registered
Green, the failure of the Democratic Party to address the concerns of
Latinos."

In a letter to Democratic Party chairman Art Torres (available upon
request), Becnel said the Democratic Party "has transformed itself from
Dixiecrats to Richiecrats - money counts, equality of treatment does not.
This is shameful. The message to us everyday folks from today's Democratic
Party is that the votes of black, brown, poor and middle class people
matter to the Democratic Party leadership only because the Party needs
those votes. But...ordinary, non-millionaire members of the electorate do
not (really)  matter."

She said the party refused to invite her to events, and when asked to
speak by the Progressive Democrats of America at the State Democratic
Convention, she was later "uninvited" by the state party leadership..

"I can no longer support a party that doesn't fundamentally support...
issues that are important to people like me: ending the death penalty
(and) three-strikes and the participation of California's National Guard
in the Iraq war. I plan to tell my story of discrimination and bias to
every person of color with whom I come in contact, encouraging them to
leave this out-of-step Democratic Party and become a Green," she said.

"Barbara Becnel is a breath of fresh air in the Green Party.  As a fellow
activist and 'sister,' I welcome her with open arms, knowing that with her
know-how and commitment, the Green Party is better equipped to fight for
justice in the black community," said Donna Warren, who is black and the
Green Party's Lt. Governor candidate.


--------16 of 19--------

From: Eric Makela <em [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: GP at the Fair: $1,400 by Aug 1

Fellow Greens,

Our Party has a bill of $1,430 from the Minnesota State Fair that must be
paid in the next several days. But unfortunately, we don't have the funds.

Thus, we risk being unable to promote our candidates and our values-based
party during what is usually a critical organizing event.

If the Greens are to have a booth at this year's Fair, we must find a way to
pay this bill by Tues, Aug 1. With your help, WE CAN DO IT!

Please reply to this message, or call me at 612-782-2118, and let me know if
you can do one or more of the following:

1) Volunteer to call some other Greens in your area, even if it is just a
few calls. I can get you a list of names. I might also set up a phone bank
in the next few days where you could make calls with others.

2) Contribute some money to the GPMN. Below are some very attainable goals.
One should fit every budget. Please pick one.

+ Ten people contributing $1.00 to $5.00 each.
+ Ten people contributing $20.00 each.
+ Ten people contributing $50.00 each.
+ Five people contributing $100.00 each.
+ One person contributing $200.00.

You may also be eligible to receive a FULL REFUND of your donation from the
State of Minnesota. It's kind of like giving the Green Party a loan. That's
right, you can give, but then you'll get your money back! Ask me for
details.

Thank you for helping us raise to raise these funds. I look forward to
hearing from you soon.

Eric Makela, fundraising helper
Green Party of Minnesota
(612) 782-2118 | eric [at] mngreens.org

Prepared and paid for by the Green Party of Minnesota. Melissa Herrig,
Treasurer.


--------17 of 19--------

The Most Dangerous Alliance in the World
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 20 July 2006
<http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/072006K.shtml>

After getting out of Lebanon, writer June Rugh told Reuters on Tuesday:
"As an American, I'm embarrassed and ashamed. My administration is letting
it happen [by giving] tacit permission for Israel to destroy a country."
The news service quoted another American evacuee, Andrew Muha, who had
been in southern Lebanon. He said: "It's a travesty.  There's a million
homeless in Lebanon and the intense amount of bombing has brought an
entire country to its knees."

Embarrassing. Shameful. A travesty. Those kinds of words begin to describe
the alliance between the United States and Israel. Here are a few more:
Government criminality. High-tech terror. Mass murder from the skies. The
kind of premeditated action that the US representative in Nuremberg at the
International Conference on Military Trials - Supreme Court Justice Robert
L. Jackson - was talking about on August 12, 1945, when he declared that
"no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is
utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."

The United States and Israel. Right now, it's the most dangerous alliance
in the world.

Of course, Israeli officials talk about murderous crimes against civilians
by Hezbollah and Hamas. And Hezbollah and Hamas officials talk about
murderous crimes against civilians by Israel. Plenty of real crimes to go
around. At the same time, by any measure, Israelis have done a lot more
killing than dying. (If you doubt that, take a look at the web site of the
Israeli human rights group B'Tselem and its documentation of deadly
events.)

In American media, the current mumbling about the need for "restraint" is
little better than window-dressing for bomb-dropping. The prevalent
dynamic is based on a chain of rarely spoken lies, however conscious or
unconscious: none more important than the lie that a religion can make one
life worth more than another; render a human death unimportant; elevate
certain war-inflicted agonies to spiritual significance.

"Israel has overwhelming military superiority in both southern Lebanon and
Gaza," the New York Times noted in mid-July. A pattern is deeply
entrenched in US media and politics: the smaller-scale killers condemned,
the larger-scale killers justified with endless rationales.

Stripping away the righteous rhetoric, media manipulation and routine
journalistic contortions, what remains in joint US-Israeli policy is the
unspoken assumption that might makes right. Myths spin around as
convenient. Israel ceremoniously "withdraws" from Gaza, only to come back
with missiles and troops however and whenever it pleases.  The West Bank
also continues to be a place of subjugation and resistance. And, as W.H.
Auden observed, "Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return."

The Israeli leaders who launched this month's state-of-the-killing-art air
assault on Gaza and Lebanon had to know that many civilians would be
killed, many others wounded, many more terrorized. The smug moral
posturing that Israel's military does not target specific civilians is
moldy political grist - and, in human terms, irrelevant to the totally
predictable carnage.

"There are terrorists who will blow up innocent people in order to achieve
tactical objectives," President Bush said on July 13. Of course he was
referring to actions by Hezbollah and Hamas. We're supposed to pretend
that Israel does not also "blow up innocent people in order to achieve
tactical objectives."

Israel calls itself a Jewish state, and its leadership often claims to
represent the interests of Jewish people. Killers who terrorize often
claim to be acting on blessed behalf of others of the faith. Muslims,
Christians, Jews, Hindus ... By now, such demagoguery ought to be
transparent.

In the 40th year of Israel's unconscionable occupation of Palestinian
territories, Israeli leaders have their agenda. What's ours?

It should include clearly opposing the most dangerous alliance in the
world.

In the United States, evading the "might makes right" core of the alliance
is easy. The dodge makes dropping bombs on Lebanon and Gaza that much
easier for the Israeli government. As usual, you can hear it in the
weasel-worded statements from even the better politicians on Capitol Hill.
You can read it in New York Times editorials. Instead of saying that
aggressive war by Israel "is utterly renounced and condemned as an
instrument of policy," the message is that aggressive war by Israel is
accepted and embraced as an instrument of policy.

Most of all, you can hear it in the silence.

Norman Solomon's latest book, /War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death,/ was published in paperback this summer. For
information, go to: _www.normansolomon.com_.


--------18 of 19--------

The End Is Near, but first, this commercial
by William Blum
July 23, 2006 at 12:12:19
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_william_060723_the)end_is_2c_but.htm

There are times when I think that this tired old world has gone on a few
years too long. What's happening in the Middle East is so depressing.
Most discussions of the eternal Israel-Palestine conflict are variations
on the child's eternal defense for misbehavior -- "He started it!"
Within a few minutes of discussing/arguing the latest manifestation of the
conflict the participants are back to 1967, then 1948, then biblical
times. I don't wish to get entangled in who started the current mess. I
would like instead to first express what I see as two essential underlying
facts of life which remain from one conflict to the next:

1) Israel's existence is not at stake and hasn't been so for decades, if
it ever was, regardless of the many de rigueur militant statements by Arab
leaders over the years. If Israel would learn to deal with its neighbors
in a non-expansionist, non-military, humane, and respectful manner, engage
in full prisoner exchanges, and sincerely strive for a viable two-state
solution, even those who are opposed to the idea of a state based on a
particular religion could accept the state of Israel, and the question of
its right to exist would scarcely arise in people's minds. But as it is,
Israel still uses the issue as a justification for its behavior, as Jews
all over the world use the Holocaust and conflating anti-Zionism with
anti-Semitism. 2)

In a conflict between a thousand-pound gorilla and a mouse, it's the
gorilla which has to make concessions in order for the two sides to
progress to the next level. What can the Palestinians offer in the way of
concession? Israel would reply to that question: "No violent attacks of
any kind." But that would still leave the status quo ante bellum -- a life
of unmitigated misery for the Palestinian people forced upon them by
Israel. Peace without justice.

Israel's declarations about the absolute unacceptability of one of their
soldiers being held captive by the Palestinians, or two soldiers being
held by Hezbollah in Lebanon, cannot be taken too seriously when Israel is
holding literally thousands of captured Palestinians, many for years,
typically without any due process, many tortured; as well as holding a
number of prominent Hezbollah members. A few years ago, if not still now,
Israel wrote numbers on some of the Palestinian prisoners' arms and
foreheads, using blue markers, a practice that is of course reminiscent of
the Nazis' treatment of Jews in World War II. [1]

Israel's real aim, and that of Washington, is the overthrow of the Hamas
government in Palestine, the government that came to power in January
through a clearly democratic process, the democracy that the Western
"democracies" never tire of celebrating, except when the result doesn't
please them. Is there a stronger word than "hypocrisy"? There is now "no
Hamas government," declared a senior US official a week ago, "eight
cabinet ministers or 30 percent of the government is in jail [kidnapped by
Israel], another 30 percent is in hiding, and the other 30 percent is
doing very little."[2] To make the government-disappearance act even more
Orwellian, we have Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking in late
June about Iraq: "This is the only legitimately elected government in the
Middle East with a possible exception of Lebanon."[3] What's next,
gathering in front of the Big Telescreeen for the Two Minutes Hate?

In addition to doing away with the Hamas government, the current military
blitzkrieg by Israel, with full US support, may well be designed to create
"incidents" to justify attacks on Iran and Syria, the next steps of
Washington's work in process, a controlling stranglehold on the Middle
East and its oil.

It is a wanton act of collective punishment that is depriving the
Palestinians of food, electricity, water, money, access to the outside
world ... and sleep. Israel has been sending jets flying over Gaza at
night triggering sonic booms, traumatizing children. "I want nobody to
sleep at night in Gaza," declared Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert[4];
words suitable for Israel's tombstone.

These crimes against humanity -- and I haven't mentioned the terrible
special weapons reportedly used by Israel -- are what the people of
Palestine get for voting for the wrong party. It is ironic, given the
Israeli attacks against civilians in both Gaza and Lebanon, that Hamas and
Hezbollah are routinely dismissed in the West as terrorist organizations.
The generally accepted definition of terrorism, used by the FBI and the
United Nations amongst others, is: The use of violence against a civilian
population in order to intimidate or coerce a government in furtherance of
a political objective.

Since 9-11 it has been a calculated US-Israeli tactic to label the fight
against Israel's foes as an integral part of the war on terror. On July
19, a rally was held in Washington, featuring the governor of Maryland,
several members of Israeli-occupied Congress, the Israeli ambassador, and
evangelical leading-light John Hagee. The Washington Post reported that
"Speaker after prominent speaker characteriz[ed] current Israeli fighting
as a small branch of the larger U.S.-led global war against Islamic
terrorism" and "Israel's attacks against the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah
were blows against those who have killed civilians from Bali to Bombay to
Moscow." Said the Israeli ambassador: "This is not just about [Israel].
It's about where our world is going to be and the fate and security of our
world. Israel is on the forefront. We will amputate these little arms of
Iran," referring to Hezbollah.[5]

And if the war on terror isn't enough to put Israel on the side of the
angels, John Hagee has argued that "the United States must join Israel in
a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both
Israel and the West". He speaks of "a biblically prophesied end-time
confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and
Second Coming of Christ."[6] The beatification of Israel approaches being
a movement. Here is David Horowitz, the eminent semi-hysterical
ex-Marxist: "Israel is part of a global war, the war of radical Islam
against civilization. Right now Israel is doing the work of the rest of
the civilized world by taking on the terrorists. It is not only for
Israel's sake that we must get the facts out -- it is for ourselves,
America, for every free country in the world, and for civilization
itself."[7]

As for the two Israeli soldiers captured and held in Lebanon for prisoner
exchange, we must keep a little history in mind. In the late 1990s, before
Israel was evicted from southern Lebanon by Hezbollah, it was a common
practice for Israel to abduct entirely innocent Lebanese.  As a 1998
Amnesty International paper declared: "By Israel's own admission, Lebanese
detainees are being held as 'bargaining chips'; they are not detained for
their own actions but in exchange for Israeli soldiers missing in action
or killed in Lebanon. Most have now spent 10 years in secret and isolated
detention."[8]

Israel has created its worst enemies -- they helped create Hamas as a
counterweight to Fatah in Palestine, and their occupation of Lebanon
created Hezbollah. The current terrible bombings can be expected to keep
the process going. Since its very beginning, Israel has been almost
continually occupied in fighting wars and taking other people's lands.
Did not any better way ever occur to the idealistic Zionist pioneers?
But while you and I get depressed by the horror and suffering, the
neo-conservatives revel in it. They devour the flesh and drink the blood
of the people of Afghanistan, of Iraq, of Palestine, of Lebanon, yet
remain ravenous, and now call for Iran and Syria to be placed upon the
feasting table. More than one of them has used the expression oderint dum
metuant, a favorite phrase of Roman emperor Caligula, also used by Cicero
-- "let them hate so long as they fear". Here is William Kristol, editor
of the bible of neo-cons, "Weekly Standard", on Fox News Sunday, July 16:
"Look, our coddling of Iran ... over the last six to nine months has
emboldened them. I mean, is Iran behaving like a timid regime that's very
worried about the U.S.? Or is Iran behaving recklessly and in a foolhardy
way? ... Israel is fighting four of our five enemies in the Middle East,
in a sense. Iran, Syria, sponsors of terror; Hezbollah and Hamas. ... This
is an opportunity to begin to reverse the unfortunate direction of the
last six to nine months and get the terrorists and the jihadists back on
the defensive."

Host Juan Williams replied: "Well, it just seems to me that you want ...
you just want war, war, war, and you want us in more war. You wanted us in
Iraq. Now you want us in Iran. Now you want us to get into the Middle East
... you're saying, why doesn't the United States take this hard,
unforgiving line? Well, the hard and unforgiving line has been [tried], we
don't talk to anybody. We don't talk to Hamas. We don't talk to Hezbollah.
We're not going to talk to Iran. Where has it gotten us, Bill?"

Kristol, looking somewhat taken aback, simply threw up his hands.

The Fox News audience does (very) occasionally get a hint of another way
of looking at the world.

Iraq will follow Bush the rest of his life. Here comes now our Glorious
Leader, speaking last week at a news conference at the G8 summit in St.
Petersburg, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin. "I talked about
my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq
where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of
people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same thing."[9]

It's so very rare that Georgie W. makes one of his less-than-brilliant
statements and has the nonsense immediately pointed out to him to his face
-- "Putin, in a barbed reply, said: 'We certainly would not want to have
the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite
honestly.' Bush's face reddened as he tried to laugh off the remark. 'Just
wait'," he said.[10]

It's too bad that Putin didn't also point out that religion was a lot more
free under Saddam Hussein than under the American occupation.  Amongst
many charming recent incidents, in May the coach of the national tennis
team and two of his players were shot dead in Baghdad by men who
reportedly were religious extremists angry that the coach and his players
were wearing shorts.[11]

As to a "free press", dare I mention Iraqi newspapers closed down by the
American occupation, reporters shot by American troops, and phony stories
planted in the Iraqi press by Pentagon employees?

The preceding is in the same vein as last month's edition of this report
in which I listed the many ways in which the people of Iraq have a much
worse life now than they did under Saddam Hussein. I concluded with
recounting the discussions I've had with Americans who, in the face of
this, say to me: "Just tell me one thing, are you glad that Saddam Hussein
is out of power?"

Now we have a British poll that reports that "More than two thirds who
offered an opinion said America is essentially an imperial power seeking
world domination. And 81 per cent of those who took a view said President
George W. Bush hypocritically championed democracy as a cover for the
pursuit of American self-interests." The American embassy in London was
quick to reply. Said a spokesperson: "We question the judgment of anyone
who asserts the world would be a better place with Saddam still
terrorizing his own nation and threatening people well beyond Iraq's
borders."[12]

They simply can't stop lying, can they? There was no evidence at all that
Saddam was threatening any people outside of Iraq, whatever that's
supposed to mean. It may mean arms sales. Following the Gulf War, the US
sold around $100 billion of military hardware to Iraq's "threatened"
neighbors: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Gulf States, and Turkey.

As to the world being a better or worse place ... only Iraq itself was and
is the issue here, not the world; although if the world is a better place,
why am I depressed?

NOTES

[1] Washington Post, March 13, 2002, p.1
[2] Washington Post, July 16, 2006. p.15
[3] Washington Post, July 3, 2006, p.19
[4] Associated Press, July 3, 2006
[5] Washington Post, July 20, 2006, p.B3
[6] Sarah Posner, The American Prospect, June 2006
[7] FrontPageMag.com, Horowitz's site
[8] Amnesty International news release, 26 June 1998, AI INDEX: MDE
15/54/98
[9] Associated Press, July 15, 2006
[10] Ibid.
[11] The Independent (London), May 27, 2006, p.32
[12] Daily Telegraph (London), July 3, 2006, p.1

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War 2 - Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only
Superpower - West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir Freeing the World to
Death: Essays on the American Empire. www.killinghope.org


--------19 of 19--------

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