|Progressive Calendar 08.11.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 03:04:10 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.11.06 1. Alt/violence 8.11 6pm 2. AWC yard sale 8.12 8am 3. N Am ethnic 8.12 9am 4. Latino fair 8.12 10am 5. Avoid military 8.12 10:30am 6. TGen/women/color 8.12 11am 7. Vs US/Israel 8.12 12noon Duluth MN 8. Mendota pow wow 8.12 1pm 9. N-side solidarity 8.12 2:45pm 10. Bike-in/Bell 8.12 5pm 11. NE corn feed 8.12 12. WEI farm day 8.12 13. Jeanne Massey - BetterBallotCampaign lawn signs and more 14. Vandana Shiva - Corporate rule = fascism 15. David Barsamian - Gore Vidal interviewed 16. Gabriel Garcia Marquez - The Fidel Castro I know 17. Noam Chomsky - Apocalypse near --------1 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Alt/violence 8.11 6pm 8/11 (6 pm) to 8/13 (6 pm), advanced level training for Alternatives to Violence Program, Friends for a Non-Violent World, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul. avp [at] fnvw.org --------2 of 17-------- From: Tracy Molm <molm [at] umn.edu> Subject: AWC yard sale 8.12 8am Its that time of year AWC fans: Every year around this time we offer to help you clear that space in your house by taking away items you no longer need, AND all the profits are going to the AWC. As if that's not enough, come back Saturday and get all your holiday shopping out of the way! All joking aside, the AWC Yard Sale is one of our best fundraisers during the year, and that relies on your help both bringing us your previously loved items and for you, your friends and family to come and shop on Sat. Also we can always use help staffing the Yard Sale drop-off and sale, if you have time Friday or Saturday please give our office a call (612-379-3899, or email info [at] antiwarcommittee.org). So we will see you there, and hopefully at some of the other upcoming events! Anti-War Committee Yard Sale Donation Drop-Off/Set-up Friday, 8/11 @ 6-8pm DONATE; 5-10pm VOLUNTEER @ Bethany Lutheran Church, 2511 East Franklin, Mpls. The AWC Yard Sale has boasted some of the most unique and interesting gifts around town. Help us put together the yard sale items, categorizing and generally organizing. Please join us, bring your stuff, and stay for a while to help get the annual sale off on the right foot! Anti-War Committee Yard Sale Saturday, 8/12 8am-3pm SALE; 7am-5pm VOLUNTEER @ Bethany Lutheran Church, 2511 East Franklin, Mpls. Come buy cool stuff, recycle and give your money to a good cause! The AWC Yard Sale has boasted some of the most unique and interesting gifts around town. Looking for that 80's style water bed to complete your bedroom look? Or how about a used t.v. for your office? These are some of the types of fabulous items you can purchase or even donate to our annual fundraising yard sale! VOLUNTEERS and SHOPPERS needed. Questions? Call us at 612.379.3899 or email us at <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/antiwarmn/post?postID=tkUKE34AdtqCk7xe287O1WPO1p7CBqM40fBF3JOmU4YKV_lmfmvGHFdDrsJlJULwcNKALyMEeEZPP-YUb2qw1Ahy>info [at] antiwarcommittee.org --------3 of 17-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: N Am ethnic 8.12 9am August 12 - First Day: North American Ethnic Nationalities Seminar. 9am-12noon First Baptist Church, 499 Wacouta St, St Paul MN 55101 The Karen Community of Minnesota requests your attendance to the North American Ethnic Nationalities Seminar which will be held Saturday August 12, Monday Aug 14 and Tuesday Aug 15 at the First Baptist Church in Saint Paul. This seminar is the first gathering of its kind with the purpose to empower the ethnic minorities of Burma residing in North America. Over 26 delegates from 11 different indigenous groups of Burma are expected to attend. The opening day of the seminar will begin with a Martyr s Day Ceremony on Saturday August 12th from 9a-12p with speakers and presentations to follow. FFI: Karen Community of Minnesota Office 651-291-9711 office hours M-F 9am - 12pm. Wilfred Shwe 651-214-4460 Robert Zan 651-488-1111 --------4 of 17-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: Latino fair 8.12 10am Saturday, 8/12 10am - 2pm Latino Family Resource Fair (La Feria) at Midtown Market, Lake & 22nd Ave. La Feria Anual de Recursos para La Familia Latina del 2006. The Latino Family Resource Fair (La Feria ) will celebrate another year as a recognized and reputable tradition within the Minneapolis community. Once again, the City of Minneapolis, La Oportunidad, Metropolitan Health Plan and the Midtown Market will host this fun and informative event for Latino families living in the Minneapolis community and the greater metropolitan area. In 2005, fair-goers gathered information from nearly 90 registered resource booths in areas of health care, social services, education and more. In addition to a variety of community resources, there will also be traditional food, live music and dancing, and various children's activities. 10am-2pm: East Lake Street and 22nd Avenue Minneapolis. --------5 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Avoid military 8.12 10:30am SHARE WIDELY espeically with YOUTH considering the military or being heavily recruited at their high schools! LH Saturday, 8.12 (and 2nd Saturday of each month), 10:30 am, Coalition for Alternatives to Military Service (or CAMS, a counter-recruitment group) meets at Twin Cities Friends Meeting, 1725 Grand, St. Paul. Contact Mary at wamm [at] mtn.org --------6 of 17-------- From: David Strand <mncivil [at] yahoo.com> Subject: TGen/women/color 8.12 11am Trans-Gender Unity: A Transgender Summit for Women of Color Saturday August 12 11am-5pm Sabathani Community Center 310 E. 38th Street Minneapolis, MN (3rd Floor- Conference Center room D1 & D2) A transgender summit for women of color including brunch, entertainment and prizes. $25 honorarium for conference participants. Sponsored by African American AIDS Task Force and funded by PFund Special Celebrity Guest Bebe Benet--Miss Minnesota USA 2006 Conference facilitator: Ms Andrea Jenkins Conference Coordinator: Ms. Reneka Evans Contact Reneka for pre-registration or more information at (612)825-2052 --------7 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vs US/Israel bombs 8.12 12noon Duluth MN Saturday, 812, noon, emergency rally "Stop US/Israeli Bombing in the Middle East," Power Plaza, Lake Ave & Superior St, Duluth. adamthejanitor [at] yahoo.com or 715-392-6660. --------8 of 17-------- From: Sue Ann <mart1408 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Mendota pow wow 8.12 1pm Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community 7th Annual Welcome Home Pow Wow August 12-13, 2006 St. Peter's Catholic Church 1404 Sibley Memorial Highway Mendota Heights, Minnesota (By Mendota Bridge off Highway 13) Grand Entry Satuday, August 12 - 1 & 7 pm Sunday, August 13 - 1 pm $5 Button Gate Donation Emcee: Mitch Walking Elk Arena Director: Windy Down Wind Head Dancers: Wally Rippling and Beverly Scott Host Drub: Kangi Cikala Co-Host: Thunder Nation For more information call the MMDC office at 651-452-4141 --------9 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: N-side solidarity 8.12 2:45pm Please come to help make this an unforgettable show of solidarity and protest against the continuing violence on the Northside mankwe Please note that since this was written, just over a week ago, we are now at 41 murders in Minneapolis. THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION!!! There have been over 35 murders in the city of Minneapolis since January 1st, 2006. Over half of which have been in North Minneapolis alone, three, on the corner of Broadway and Dupont. Lets Do Something. Silent Protest August 12th, 2006 at 2:45p Meet on the corner of W. Broadway and Dupont dressed in all black Be prepared to stand in unison with other artists, activists, and community members for one hour (from 3p to 4p) in complete silence, while honoring those who have lost or those who have been lost due to violence in the neighborhood and also protesting any further acts of violence∑ We will meet for fifteen minutes (2:45-3p) to spread ourselves amongst the four corners, North, South, East, and West (Knowledge, Power, Wisdom, and Overstanding). IMPORTANT This Is An Event For And By The People We Are Not Looking For Media Attention Forward Information To Any And All People You Feel NEED To Be Present The community needs and thanks you. Peace & Love Latisha "Tish" Jones Executive & Artistic Director TruArtSpeaks --------10 of 17-------- From: Shanai Matteson <matt0423 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Bike-in/Bell 8.12 5pm Bike-In at the Bell Saturday, August 12 5pm-12midnight Bell Museum courtyard $8/$5 if you bike in Pedal to the Bell Museum for the second annual Bike-In at the Bell, a celebration of bikes and biking! Learn how to ride safely on city streets, how to navigate bike trails across the state, how to advocate for transportation alternatives, and how to donate your old bike to a good cause. Enjoy live music, a bike circus, food and drinks from bike-friendly businesses, and bicycle art from local artists. At dusk, see a selection of local short films about bikes and biking, followed by a screening of the award winning animated classic, The Triplets of Belleville (2003). This event is open to all, but tickets are discounted for those who bike in. --------11 of 17-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org Subject: NE corn feed 8.12 Its here and its now! This Saturday, AUG. 12th, is the annual corn feed/brat-a-palooza at the NE Farmers Market. You will not only be able to stroll amongst the shade of the trees that line the NE Farmers Market and peruse the bounty of flowers and produce provided by local growers and take home your dinner but also support the NE Farmers Market at our annual Corn Feed and Brat-A-Palooza. It will be a ton fun for the whole family. Bird House John will be there with his one of a kind bird houses and for the young at heart and age there will be a literal juggling of vegetables, and magicians and, I KID YOU NOT, GIANT CAMELS (from Barebones Productions). Fabulous grilled brats from the Trebesch farm (http://trebeschmeats.com/) will be available and this year we will be cooking up the legendary sweet corn from Gardens of Eagan (http://www.frontiernet.net/~atinagoe/); a fifth generation family farm, in operation since 1857 and certified organic since 1974. Trio Tipo (http://www.triotipo.com/) will be providing the unique sounds of their acoustic fusion and Market stalwarts Chowgirls Catering, providers of killer catering (http://www.chowgirls.net/), will be set up for all your epicurean and caffeinated needs. The NE Farmers Market, in its 7th year of operation, is located in lovely lower NE MPLS at the corner of 7th and University AVE NE in the parking lot of St. Boniface Catholic Church. There is plenty of free parking and it is your direct connection to local growers east of the MPLS Mississippi River. If you would like to volunteer to help us on that day please get a hold of Tom Taylor at 612-788-4252 or tom [at] organicconsumers.org Thanks, please spread the word and hope to see you there! Tom Taylor 612-788-4252 tom [at] organiconsumers.org --------12 of 17-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: WEI farm day 8.12 Saturday, August 12: Women's Environmental Institute at Amador Hill Saturday Farm Day - Come and join a working farm day at WEI. Great food, hearty work and extra produce for you to take home. Help harvest and enjoy the out-of-doors. You can join the farm harvest crew or work on the organic apple orchard. RSVP 651/583-0705. Please leave your deserving pets at home. www.w-e-i.org. --------13 of 17-------- From: Jeanne Massey <jkmassey [at] earthlink.net> Subject: BetterBallotCampaign lawn signs and more GET YOUR LAWN SIGN "Vote YES for Instant Runoff Voting" lawn signs are on order. Reply "YES" to jkmassey [at] earthlink.net if you would like one. We'll deliver it when it comes in. HELP LIT DROP We are literature dropping in neighborhoods throughout the city. Reply "YES" again to jkmassey [at] earthlink.net if you can help lit drop for a couple of hours during the evening or on a weekend. DONATE We need to reach voters city wide to win in November. Please support the campaign in any amount you can: $ 25 buys 8 "Vote Yes for Instant Runoff Voting" lawn signs $ 50 buys 500 pieces of "Vote Yes for Instant Runoff Voting" literature $ 100 buys 12 "Vote Yes for Instant Runoff Voting" t-shirts $ 500 buys a campaign intern to organize lit drops, phone banks, door knocks, and mailings for a month You can contribute on line at http://www.betterballotcampaign.org/BBC/contribute or Send a check to: Better Ballot Campaign 3606 Harriet Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55409 ENDORSEMENTS We have received two new exciting endorsements! Andy Luger, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney Minneapolis Urban League, a prominent African American public policy advocacy and social services organization SAVE THE DATE - SEPTEMBER 15 The Better Ballot Campaign is holding a gala event Friday, September 15th at the Hennepin History Museum, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Live entertainment by Le Cirque Rouge. You will receive your invitation soon! UPCOMING EVENTS Volunteer or learn more about Instant Runoff Voting at an upcoming event. See Upcoming Events for venues and dates: http://www.betterballotcampaign.org/BBC/home --------14 of 17-------- Corporate Rule = Fascism By Vandana Shiva August 10, 2006 ZNet Commentary http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-08/08shiva.cfm Terror in Dadri - "Urja" Nagar (Power City) become "Ujar Nagar" (City of Devastation) On the outskirts of Delhi, in Dadri, Ghaziabad, Reliance Energy has plans to build the world's largest gas based power plant of 3500 MW. The investment outlay is more than Rs. 10,000 crore (US $ 2.2 billion). However the real investment is the 2500 acres of land in the most fertile region of the world, with alluvial soils built up over millennia by the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, irrigated by the Ganga Canal system. Farmers on whose land the power plant is to be built, did not even know the Government had acquired the land till the foundation stone was unveiled. Since then, the villagers of the region have been resisting the forced take over of their land. Farmers of seven villages have been on a hunger strike since January 2006 at the protest site in Village Bajhera Khurd in Dader. When I went to Bajhera with Rajendra Singh of Tarun Bharat Sangh and Satpal Choudhary of the Lak Tantrik Party in May 2006, Dr. Jaipal Singh, one of the protestors on a fast said that the villagers came to know of the acquisition only from local newspapers at the time of unveiling of the power project. No consent was taken and no notice was served. When they challenged the injustice and illegality of the acquisition of their land, the authorities told them to either go to Court or accept the "compensation" being awarded. With Delhi's explosive urban sprawl, land in Dadri is worth Rs. 13,500 / Sq.m. Farmers are being offered only Rs. 120/- Sq.m. Further the power project only needs 700 acres, but 2500 acres have been acquired because of high real estate value. And finally no legal procedure has been followed in acquiring the land. Farmers have torn down the fence, and have been ploughing their fields to assert their rights. On 8th of July, India ex Prime Minsiter V.P. Singh who has recently launched a farmers front Jan Morcha to stop farmers exploitation and oppression, was to join farmers in tillilng the land. The night before, 100 vehicles of the police entered Bajhera Khurd, fired bullets and tear gas at the protestors, then entered the village, broke open doors, assaulted women, children, the old and the disabled, cows and buffaloes, stole every womens gold jewellery, robbed money from safes and trunks, broke every car and motorcycle, took away every mobile phone so that the village was left with no mobility and no communication. Mr. V.P. Singh was arrested along with Raj Babbar, the famous bollywood filmstar and M.P. at the Delhi border On 11th July, I went to visit the women of Bajhera. The foods the community had collected to serve 100,000 who were to join the protest on 8th had been heartlessly destroyed. Prem Pal, the Son of Rohta Singh had been shot in the foot but was not given medical help. Instead he was thrown in Jail. Harvati had been attacked severely on her legs and neck. She cannot speak. Sona's pregnant daughter-in-law was dragged out of a room after breaking down the door. The attack has traumatized her to such an extent that she is having fits. Her husband Charan Singh was thrown in Jail. Maya, a widow had all her cash and jewellery stolen. Her son, Sunil drives a taxi for a living. He had just sold an old car for Rs. 30,000/-. That was taken. Tear gas was exploded in his eyes. He has lost his sight. Maya said "his eyes was what kept the family alive. How will we survive". Even the disabled were not spared. Makhan Singh was attacked by a Bayonet. When Lal Giri was attacked, his aged mother Asharfi threw herself in the way to protect him. Dalit labourer Udaibir's son Jagdish's sons leg has been broken, and a 16 year old son Chandeema is in jail. His wife's mangal sutra was snatched. His one and a half month grandson Kapil who was in his lap was snatched and thrown on the floow. Dulari, Sashi, Masla..... no one was spared. Shiela was hit on the head and face with a bayonet. Her head is still bleeding. People's land and people's blood, is the subsidy being given to corporations to build power plants and cities, shopping malls and golf courses. This is not "Shinning India" or "Smiling India". This is India enslaved, India in tears. The Emergence of the Corporate State leads to the emergence of fascism The partnership between corporations and Governments is leading to the emergence of a corporate state - with the state using its political power to help corporations appropriate the wealth and property of citizens, and corporations using their economic power to help politicians who have helped them to crush democratic dissent. This gives a few people such power that they can rob people of all freedoms. Monopoly markets lead to quasi-military authority. The corporate state becomes a fascist state. Fascist dictatorship is an inevitable outcome of market dictatorship. This is what the atrocities in Bajhera Khurd in Dadri symbolize. Every village is being made a concentration camp. Every home is being turned into a torture chamber. Policies which combine the colonial / feudal principle of the "eminent domain" with the market principle of corporate concentration must become an assault on people's rights. The colonial land acquisition act gave unbridled power to the colonial state to acquire land for public purpose. However, an obsolete act continues to be used to grab land from farmers for private profit. Whether it is for the Reliance power plant in Dadri or the Reliance Special Economic Zones in Haryana and Maharashtra, or the Retail Hubs Reliance is setting up in Punjab, fertile land has been forcefully acquired by Governments at rates 1000 times lower than market rates, and handed over to corporations. Markets are for corporations, not the farmers. For the farmers it is the brute force of a fascist state using colonial laws. In a democracy, land and resources should be governed on the basis of the public trust doctrine, not the eminent domain principle. In times of corporate globalsiation, the Land Acquisition Act can only be the instrument of fascism. It must be set aside. Let corporations negotiate directly with farmers. If farmers do not want to sell their farmland a brute state should not forcefully acquire it. If they do, they should get the full market price. The Newsweek of July 17, 2006 has a cover story on Mukesh Ambani, the brother of Anil Ambani, who is setting up the Dadri power plant. Mukesh Ambani is also setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZ) outside Delhi and Mumbai. In addition he is planning to create 1600 farm supply hubs across India. He calls himself the Wal Mart of India and claims that his success comes from "Government is ceding its powers". However like in Dadri, Mukesh Ambani's SEZ's of 150 square kilometers outside Mumbai has been based on land acquisition with Government help. This is not about Governments ceding its powers, but Government exaggerating its powers to force citizens to cede their resources and assets so that businesses like Reliance can grow bigger. When Newsweek has a cover story on Mukesh Ambani as India's Mister Big who could spark Asia's next boom, they are not telling the story of how ordinary farmers are being robbed of their land and livelihood to create this boom. We cannot allow fascism to be the foundation of India's economic growth. The Dadri atrocity must never be repeated if India is to stay democratic and free. [Yes, corporate rule = fascism. And behind the corporations is the ruling class of billionaires, pushing corporate rule and fascism as fast they can. We must reject their myths of the ruling-class as better than we, or more deserving, or as "giving us our jobs"; or that we have to reward them with billions and live under fascism just so they will get up in the morning. Two and three houdred years ago, people rose up and overthrew kings and dukes and counts. It was a major change in the structure of society. It is time to change the structure of society everywhere, so that there are no more ruling classes. If we don't, they will do to all of us what they did to the people in the article above. A hundred years ago, socialist and populists had an accurate understanding of the ruling class - a fat man in a three-piece suit, with a whip, riding on the shoulders of a bare-chested strong young laborer, *crack* "Faster you scum!" *crack* We should, none of us, want to be these pig-like whip-snappers. Class society is wrong, evil, immoral, destructive of basic humanity. It is not justified by the line that, Well YOU could be one of the whippers, too! Both "major" parties are bought and paid for by the ruling class, so it won't be easy to change things. But if we don't, anything resembling civilization is over. -ed] --------15 of 17-------- GORE VIDAL / AMERICA'S GEORGE GALLOWAY by Allen L Roland OpEdNews http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_allen_l_060808_gore_vidal_2f_america,htm " Bill Clinton was so busy triangulating that he was enlisting under the colors of the other team:" Gore Vidal In the dangerous political tides of today's world ~ it is imperative that we hear the voices of England's George Galloway and America's Gore Vidal to remind us that our ship of state is listing badly and we desperately need a new captain and crew. Here's a typical quote from Vidal that hits the mark ~ "The media belongs to the big money, and the big money, their candidates, their party, is the Republican Party as now constituted ...What isn't typical is a Democratic Party that has also sold out. There are just as many lobbyists and propagandists there as on the other side. They're never going to regain anything until they remember that they're supposed to represent the people at large, and not the very rich." Here is Gore Vidal being interviewed recently by David Barsamian for The progressive and Vidal, once again, delivers in style. -Allen L Roland GORE VIDAL INTERVIEWED By David Barsamian August 2006 Issue http://progressive.org/mag_intv0806 Gore Vidal is a gold mine of quips and zingers. And his vast knowledge of literature and history-particularly American-makes for an impressive figure. His razor-sharp tongue lacerates the powerful. He does it with aplomb, saying, "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." He has a wry sense of noblesse oblige: "There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise." Now eighty, he lives in the Hollywood hills in a modest mansion with immodest artwork. I felt I was entering a museum of Renaissance art. A stern painting of the Emperor Constantine was looking down upon us as we sat in his majestic living room. A Buddha statue from Thailand stood nearby. But all was not somber. He had a Bush doll with a 9/11 bill sticking out of it on a table behind us. His aristocratic pedigree is evident not just in his artistic sophistication but also in his locution. In a war of words, few can contend with Vidal. "I'm a lover of the old republic and I deeply resent the empire our Presidents put in its place," he declares. Vidal moved gingerly and was using a cane. A recent knee operation left him less mobile. He says, "The mind is still agile but the knees have grown weak." We sat in upholstered chairs. On a nearby table I saw the galleys of his second memoir, Point to Point Navigation. It will be out this fall. His earlier one, Palimpsest, came out in 1995. Prolific does not even begin to describe Vidal's literary output. He's the author of scores of novels, plays, screenplays, essays. In 1993, he won the National Book Award for his collection of essays, United States. His recent books (he calls them "pamphlets") - Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Dreaming War, and Imperial America - have sold in huge numbers. When I asked him what was the point of his work, he said, "I am chronicling America." The prose, whether polemical or fictional, is elegant. Distantly related to Jackie Kennedy, he does not romanticize JFK. "He was one of the most charming men I've ever known," says Vidal. "He was also one of the very worst Presidents." He's been a Democratic candidate for the House from New York and for the Senate from California. Today, he ridicules the Democrats for supineness. He sees a certain continuity in U.S. foreign policy over the last fifty years. "The management, then and now, truly believes the United States is the master of the Earth and anyone who defies us will be napalmed or blockaded or covertly overthrown," he says. "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." I talked with him on a hot afternoon in mid-April. Q: In 2002, long before Bush's current travails, you wrote, "Mark my words, he will leave office the most unpopular President in history." How did you know that then? Gore Vidal: I know these people. I don't say that as though I know them personally. I know the types. I was brought up in Washington. When you are brought up in a zoo, you know what's going on in the monkey house. You see a couple of monkeys loose and one is President and one is Vice President, you know it's trouble. Monkeys make trouble. Q: Bush's ratings have been at personal lows. Cheney has had an 18 percent approval rating. Vidal: Well, he deserves it. Q: Yet the wars go on. It's almost as if the people don't matter. Vidal: The people don't matter to this gang. They pay no attention. They think in totalitarian terms. They've got the troops. They've got the army. They've got Congress. They've got the judiciary. Why should they worry? Let the chattering classes chatter. Bush is a thug. I think there is something really wrong with him. Q: What do you think of the conspiracy theories about September 11? Vidal: I'm willing to believe practically any mischief on the part of the Bush people. No, I don't think they did it, as some conspiracy people think. Why? Because it was too intelligently done. This is beyond the competence of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. They couldn't pull off a caper like 9/11. They are too clumsy. Q: Today the United States is fighting two wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, and is now threatening to launch a third one on Iran. What is it going to take to stop the Bush onslaught? Vidal: Economic collapse. We are too deeply in debt. We can't service the debt, or so my financial friends tell me, that's paying the interest on the Treasury bonds, particularly to the foreign countries that have been financing us. I think the Chinese will say the hell with you and pull their money out of the United States. That's the end of our wars. Q: You're a veteran of World War II, the so-called good war. Would you recommend to a young person a career in the armed forces in the United States? Vidal: No, but I would suggest Canada or New Zealand as a possible place to go until we are rid of our warmongers. We've never had a government like this. The United States has done wicked things in the past to other countries but never on such a scale and never in such an existentialist way. It's as though we are evil. We strike first. We'll destroy you. This is an eternal war against terrorism. It's like a war against dandruff. There's no such thing as a war against terrorism. It's idiotic. These are slogans. These are lies. It's advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented and developed. But our media has collapsed. They've questioned no one. One of the reasons Bush and Cheney are so daring is that they know there's nobody to stop them. Nobody is going to write a story that says this is not a war, only Congress can declare war. And you can only have a war with another country. You can't have a war with bad temper or a war against paranoids. Nothing makes any sense, and the people are getting very confused. The people are not stupid, but they are totally misinformed. Q: You've called the country "The United States of Amnesia." Is this something in our genes? Vidal: No, it's something in our rulers. They don't want us to know anything. When you've got a press like we have, you no longer have an informed citizenry. I was involved somewhat with Congressman Conyers on what happened in Ohio during the last Presidential election. Conyers is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, and he went up there with a bunch of researchers. They went from district to district, and they found out how the election was stolen. He wrote a report that was published by a small press in Chicago. To help out, I said I'd write a preface for him on how the election was stolen. We were thinking that might help. But The New York Times and The Washington Post were not going to review the book about how we had a second Presidential election stolen. They weren't going to admit it. A huge number of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. You have a people that don't know anything about the rest of the world, and you have leaders who lie to them, lie to them, and lie to them. It's so stupid, everything that they say. And the media take on it is just as stupid as theirs, sometimes worse. They at least have motives. They are making money out of the republic or what's left of it. It's the stupidity that will really drive me away from this country. Q: When were the media better? Vidal: They've never been much good. They belong to the people who own them. But they were better, the level was higher. There used to be foreign correspondents in other countries. There's nobody abroad now. The New York Times gave up being anything except a kind of shadow of The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post is the court circular. What has the emperor done today? And who will be the under-assistant of the secretary of agriculture? As though these things mattered. Q: What do you think of the public advertising of one's faith among political leaders? They make a show of going to church and participating in ceremonies. Vidal: Personally I find it sickening, and very much against what our Founders had in mind. Remember that the country was mostly founded by Brits, and England's always gotten credit for having invented hypocrisy. So we are reflecting our British heritage when we hypocritically talk about how religious we are. Q: Is the U.S. more like Sparta than Athens? Vidal: We're not so good as either. We certainly are not warlike. Spartans were based upon military service. We don't want that. We want to make money, which I always thought was one of the most admirable things about Americans. We didn't want to go out and conquer other countries. We wanted to corner wheat in the stock market or something sensible like that. So we are very unbelligerent. We were dragged screaming into World War I. Well, we were slightly enthusiastic about that, but we were very innocent farm people in those days. In World War II, we fought to stay out of that war. And every liberal figure in the United States from Norman Thomas on was anti-war. They were isolationists in the old populist tradition. So we never had a chance of being Sparta. Q: Talk about the role of the opposition party, the Democrats. Vidal: It isn't an opposition party. I have been saying for the last thousand years that the United States has only one party - the property party. It's the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican. Q: What can people do to energize democracy? Vidal: The tactic would be to go after smaller offices, state by state, school board, sheriff, state legislatures. You can turn them around and that doesn't take much of anything. Take back everything at the grassroots, starting with state legislatures. That's what Madison always said. I'd like to see a revival of state legislatures, in which I am a true Jeffersonian. Q: Do you see any developments on the horizon that might suggest an alternative? Vidal: Newton's Third Law. I hope that law is still working. American laws don't work, but at least the laws of physics might work. And the Third Law is: There is no action without reaction. There should be a great deal of reaction to the total incompetence of this Administration. It's going to take two or three generations to recover what we had as of twenty years ago. David Barsamian is the director of Alternative Radio in Boulder, Colorado. His latest book is "Original Zinn: Conversations on History and Politics." T www.allenroland.com Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website allenroland.com He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on Conscious talk radio www.conscioustalk.net --------16 of 17-------- [We've made a few tiny changes to a bit of this translation that was awkward; otherwise the English (by an unknown translator) is as posted. Original source and date not known. -NY Transfer] The Fidel Castro I Know By Gabriel Garcia Marquez English translation edited by Walter Lippmann His fondness for words. His power of seduction. He hunts for a problem wherever it is. The impelling force of inspiration as befits his style. The breadth of his tastes is very well reflected in his books. He gave up his cigars so as to have the moral authority to fight smoking. He likes to prepare recipes with a sort of scientific fervor. He keeps in excellent shape through several hours of daily exercise and frequent swimming. Invincible patience. Strict discipline. He's drawn toward the unexpected by the force of his imagination. Learning to work is as important as learning to rest. Fatigued by talking, he rests by talking. He writes well and likes to do it. His greatest motivation in life is the emotion of risk. The rostrum of an improviser seems to be his perfect environment. When he starts speaking, his voice is always hard to hear and his course is uncertain, but he takes advantage of anything to gain ground, little by little, until he takes a kind of swipe and takes possession of his audience. He's the inspiration: the irresistible and dazzling state of grace only denied by those who lack the glory to feel it. He's the quintessential anti-dogmatist. He's been sufficiently talented to incorporate the ideas of Josi Marti, his bedtime author, into a Marxist revolution's bloodstream. The essence of his own thoughts lies perhaps in his certainty that working with the masses means first of all taking care of individuals. That could explain his absolute confidence in face-to-face contact. He's got a language for each occasion and a different approach to persuasion according to his listener. He knows how to be up to the same standard as the other, and his vast and diverse information allows him to feel at ease in any environment. One thing's for sure: wherever he is, however he is and whoever he is with, Fidel Castro is there to win. His attitude toward defeat, even in the smallest acts of everyday life, seems to abide by a private logic: he doesn't even admit it, and never takes a moment's rest until he manages to reverse the situation and turn it into victory. There's no one more obsessed when it comes to getting to the bottom of any matter. He engages in any project, whether colossal or microscopic, with the same fierce passion, especially if it means facing adversity. Never does he seem to be in a better mood than in those moments. Someone who thinks they know him well told him: "Things must be very wrong, because you look enraptured." Reiteration is one of his working methods. For instance: the issue of the Latin American foreign debt came up in his conversation some two years ago, and has evolved, branched out and deepened since then. The first thing he said, as a simple arithmetical conclusion, was that the debt was impossible to pay. Then came the staggering findings: its effects on national economies, its social and political impact, its decisive influence on international relations, its providential importance for a unitary policy in Latin America... up to a totalizing vision, which he exposed in an international meeting called for that purpose and which time proved right. His rarest virtue as a politician is the ability to discern how an event will evolve all the way to its farthest consequences... but he practices such ability, not by flashes of inspiration, but as a result of arduous, tenacious reasoning. His supreme assistant is a memory he uses and abuses to back up a speech or a private talk with overwhelming statements and incredibly fast mathematical calculations. He needs to be helped with incessant, spoon-fed and digested data. The task of accumulating information starts as soon as he arises. No less than 200 pages of news from all over the world join his breakfast every morning. Every day, wherever he is, they get urgent reports to him: according to his own estimate he has to read about 50 documents per day, not to mention the reports issued by official services and by those who visit him and whatever arouses his boundless curiosity. Any answer has to be accurate, since he can pinpoint the smallest contradiction in a casual phrase. Books are another source of vital information. He's an avid reader. No one understands where he finds enough time or what method he applies to read so much and so quickly, although he insists he uses none in particular. He frequently takes a book with him in the early hours and makes comments about it the following morning. He can read in English, but he doesn't speak it. He'd rather read in Spanish, and at any given time is willing to read whatever piece of paper with letters on it that falls into his hands. A regular reader of economic and historical topics, he also appreciates good literature and follows it very closely. He's in the habit of bombarding people with swift, consecutive questions that he asks in bursts until he finds out the whys of the whys of the final whys. Once a Latin American visitor hastily gave him figures about rice consumption in his country; he did his mental arithmetic and said: "That's weird; each person eats four pounds of rice a day". His supreme tactic is asking about things he already knows to confirm his data, and in some cases to size up his interlocutor and treat him accordingly. He misses no chance to be well-informed. At an official reception he attended during the war in Angola he described a battle so thoroughly that it was hard to convince a European diplomat that Fidel Castro had taken no part in it. His account of the capture and murder of Che Guevara, his description of the attack on the Moneda Palace and Salvador Allende's death, or one on the ravages of Hurricane Flora were great spoken examples. His vision of Latin America's future is the same Bolivar and Marti: an integrated, autonomous community capable of changing the fate of the world. He knows the United States better than any other country, barring Cuba. He has in-depth knowledge about the nature of its people, its power structure and its government's hidden intentions, something he has efficiently used to weather the unceasing storm of the blockade. When interviewed, usually for hours on end, he dwells on every subject, venturing into its least expected twists and turns without ever neglecting accuracy, aware that a single misused word can bring about irreparable damage. He has never refused to answer any question, nor has he lost patience. There are some who keep him from hearing the truth in order to spare him from too many worries. He knows, though. To an official who tried to do so, he said: "You hide the facts from me so as not to disturb me, but when I find out at the end I will die of shock for having to face so many truths you never told me." The most serious ones, however, are those they keep from him to cover up for deficiencies, because parallel with the outstanding achievements that sustain the Revolution - whether in politics, science, sports or culture - runs a huge bureaucratic incompetence that affects daily life at almost every level, and particularly domestic happiness. When he talks with people in the street, their conversation acquires the raw expressiveness and frankness of real endearment. They call him "Fidel." They surround him safety. They address him on a first-name basis; they argue with him, state opposing views and make demands, all in a live broadcasting session through which the truth comes tumbling out. That's when we get to see the uncommon human being concealed by the brightness of his own image. This is the Fidel Castro that I believe I know: a man of austere habits and insatiable hopes, old-fashioned bearing, cautious words and fine manners whose ideas can't be less than extraordinary. He dreams that his scientists will eventually discover the ultimate cure for cancer, and he has developed a foreign policy fit for a world power in an island 84 times smaller than his major enemy. He's convinced that a proper formation of consciousness is humankind's greatest accomplishment, and that moral incentives outdo material things in changing the world and pushing history. In his few moments of yearning for life, I've heard him ruminating on the things he could have done differently to reclaim more time from life. Seeing him weighed down with the burden of so many people's destiny, I asked him what he would like to do more than anything else, and his straightaway answer was: "To stand on a street corner." --------17 of 17-------- Apocalypse Near By Noam Chomsky August 08, 2006 ZNet Commentary http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-08/08chomsky.cfm Noam Chomsky interviewed by Merav Yudilovitch Last week, a group of renowned intellectuals published an open letter blaming Israel for escalating the conflict in the Middle East. The letter, which mainly referred to the alignment of forces between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, caused a lot of anger among Ynet and Ynetnews readers, particularly due to its claim that the Israeli policy's political aim is to eliminate the Palestinian nation. The letter was formulated by art critic and author John Berger and among its signatories were Nobel Prize winner, playwright Harold Pinter, linguist and theoretician Noam Chomsly, Nobel Prize laureate Jos√© Saramago, Booker Prize laureate Arundhati Roy, American author Russell Banks, author and playwright Gore Vidal, and historian Howard Zinn. -- Prof. Chomsky, you claimed that the provocation and counter-provocation all serve as a distraction from the real issue. What does it mean? "I assume you are referring to John Berger's letter (which I signed, among others). The "real issue" that is being ignored is the systematic destruction of any prospects for a viable Palestinian existence as Israel annexes valuable land and major resources, leaving the shrinking territories assigned to Palestinians as unviable cantons, largely separated from one another and from whatever little bit of Jerusalem is to be left to Palestinians, and completely imprisoned as Israel takes over the Jordan valley. "This program of realignment cynically disguised as "withdrawal," is of course completely illegal, in violation of Security Council resolutions and the unanimous decision of the World Court (including the dissenting statement of US Justice Buergenthal). If it is implemented as planned, it spells the end of the very broad international consensus on a two-state settlement that the US and Israel have unilaterally blocked for 30 years - matters that are so well documented that I do not have to review them here. "To turn to your specific question, even a casual look at the Western press reveals that the crucial developments in the occupied territories are marginalized even more by the war in Lebanon. The ongoing destruction in Gaza - which was rarely seriously reported in the first place - has largely faded into the background, and the systematic takeover of the West Bank has virtually disappeared. "However, I would not go as far as the implication in your question that this was a purpose of the war, though it clearly is the effect. We should recall that Gaza and the West Bank are recognized to be a unit, so that if resistance to Israel's destructive and illegal programs is legitimate within the West Bank (and it would be interesting to see a rational argument to the contrary), then it is legitimate in Gaza as well." You claim that the world media refuses to link between what's going on in the occupied territories and in Lebanon? "Yes, but that is the least of the charges that should be leveled against the world media, and the intellectual communities generally. One of many far more severe charges is brought up in the opening paragraph of the Berger letter. "Recall the facts. On June 25, Cpl. Gilad Shalit was captured, eliciting huge cries of outrage worldwide, continuing daily at a high pitch, and a sharp escalation in Israeli attacks in Gaza, supported on the grounds that capture of a soldier is a grave crime for which the population must be punished. One day before, on June 24, Israeli forces kidnapped two Gaza civilians, Osama and Mustafa Muamar, by any standards a far more severe crime than capture of a soldier. The Muamar kidnappings were certainly known to the major world media. They were reported at once in the English-language Israeli press, basically IDF handouts. And there were a few brief, scattered and dismissive reports in several newspapers around the US. Very revealingly, there was no comment, no follow-up, and no call for military or terrorist attacks against Israel. A Google search will quickly reveal the relative significance in the West of the kidnapping of civilians by the IDF and the capture of an Israeli soldier a day later. "The paired events, a day apart, demonstrate with harsh clarity that the show of outrage over the Shalit kidnapping was cynical fraud. They reveal that by Western moral standards, kidnapping of civilians is just fine if it is done by "our side," but capture of a soldier on "our side" a day later is a despicable crime that requires severe punishment of the population. "As Gideon Levy accurately wrote in Ha'aretz, the IDF kidnapping of civilians the day before the capture of Cpl. Shalit strips away any "legitimate basis for the IDF's operation," and, we may add, any legitimate basis for support for these operations. The same elementary moral principles carry over to the July 12 kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers near the Lebanon border, heightened, in this case, by the regular Israeli practice for many years of abducting Lebanese and holding many as hostages for long periods. Truly disgraceful "Over the many years in which Israel carried out these practices regularly, even kidnapping on the high seas, no one ever argued that these crimes justified bombing and shelling of Israel, invasion and destruction of much of the country, or terrorist actions within it. The conclusions are stark, clear, and entirely unambiguous - hence suppressed. "All of this is, obviously, of extraordinary importance in the present case, particularly given the dramatic timing. That is, I suppose, why the major media chose to avoid the crucial facts, apart from a very few scattered and dismissive phrases, revealing that they consider kidnapping a matter of no significance when carried by US-supported Israeli forces. "Apologists for state crimes claim that the kidnapping of the Gaza civilians is justified by IDF claims that they are 'Hamas militants' or were planning crimes. By their logic, they should therefore be lauding the capture of Gilad Shalit, a soldier in an army that was shelling and bombing Gaza. These performances are truly disgraceful." You are talking first and foremost about acknowledging the Palestinian nation, but will it solve the "Iranian threat"? Will it push Hizbullah from the Israeli border? "Virtually all informed observers agree that a fair and equitable resolution of the plight of the Palestinians would considerably weaken the anger and hatred of Israel and the US in the Arab and Muslim worlds - and far beyond, as international polls reveal. Such an agreement is surely within reach, if the US and Israel depart from their long-standing rejectionism. "On Iran and Hizbullah, there is, of course, much more to say, and I can only mention a few central points here. "Let us begin with Iran. In 2003, Iran offered to negotiate all outstanding issues with the US, including nuclear issues and a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The offer was made by the moderate Khatami government, with the support of the hard-line "supreme leader" Ayatollah Khamenei. The Bush administration response was to censure the Swiss diplomat who brought the offer. "In June 2006, Ayatollah Khamenei issued an official declaration stating that Iran agrees with the Arab countries on the issue of Palestine, meaning that it accepts the 2002 Arab League call for full normalization of relations with Israel in a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus. The timing suggests that this might have been a reprimand to his subordinate Ahmadenijad, whose inflammatory statements are given wide publicity in the West, unlike the far more important declaration by his superior Khamenei. "Of course, the PLO has officially backed a two-state solution for many years, and backed the 2002 Arab League proposal. Hamas has also indicated its willingness to negotiate a two-state settlement, as is surely well-known in Israel. Kharazzi is reported to be the author of the 2003 proposal of Khatami and Khamanei. "The US and Israel do not want to hear any of this. They also do not want to hear that Iran appears to be the only country to have accepted the proposal by IAEA director Mohammed ElBaradei that all weapons-usable fissile materials be placed under international control, a step towards a verifiable Fissile Materials Cutoff Treaty. "ElBaradei's proposal, if implemented, would not only end the Iranian nuclear crisis but would also deal with a vastly more serious crisis: The growing threat of nuclear war, which leads prominent strategic analysts to warn of 'apocalypse soon' (Robert McNamara) if policies continue on their current course. "The US strongly opposes a verifiable FMCT, but over US objections, the treaty came to a vote at the United Nations, where it passed 147-1, with two abstentions: Israel, which cannot oppose its patron, and more interestingly, Blair's Britain, which retains a degree of sovereignty. The British ambassador stated that Britain supports the treaty, but it "divides the international community". These again are matters that are virtually suppressed outside of specialist circles, and are matters of literal survival of the species, extending far beyond Iran. "It is commonly said that the 'international community' has called on Iran to abandon its legal right to enrich uranium. That is true, if we define the "international community" as Washington and whoever happens to go along with it. It is surely not true of the world. The non-aligned countries have forcefully endorsed Iran's "inalienable right" to enrich uranium. And, rather remarkably, in Turkey, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, a majority of the population favor accepting a nuclear-armed Iran over any American military action, international polls reveal. "The non-aligned countries also called for a nuclear-free Middle East, a longstanding demand of the authentic international community, again blocked by the US and Israel. It should be recognized that the threat of Israeli nuclear weapons is taken very seriously in the world. "As explained by the former Commander-in-Chief of the US Strategic Command, General Lee Butler, "it is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East, one nation has armed itself, ostensibly, with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, perhaps numbering in the hundreds, and that inspires other nations to do so." Israel is doing itself no favors if it ignores these concerns. "It is also of some interest that when Iran was ruled by the tyrant installed by a US-UK military coup, the United States - including Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kissinger, Wolfowitz and others - strongly supported the Iranian nuclear programs they now condemn and helped provide Iran with the means to pursue them. These facts are surely not lost on the Iranians, just as they have not forgotten the very strong support of the US and its allies for Saddam Hussein during his murderous aggression, including help in developing the chemical weapons that killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians. Peaceful means "There is a great deal more to say, but it appears that the "Iranian threat" to which you refer can be approached by peaceful means, if the US and Israel would agree. We cannot know whether the Iranian proposals are serious, unless they are explored. The US-Israel refusal to explore them, and the silence of the US (and, to my knowledge, European) media, suggests that the governments fear that they may be serious. "I should add that to the outside world, it sounds a bit odd, to put it mildly, for the US and Israel to be warning of the "Iranian threat" when they and they alone are issuing threats to launch an attack, threats that are immediate and credible, and in serious violation of international law, and are preparing very openly for such an attack. Whatever one thinks of Iran, no such charge can be made in their case. It is also apparent to the world, if not to the US and Israel, that Iran has not invaded any other countries, something that the US and Israel do regularly. "On Hizbullah too, there are hard and serious questions. As well-known, Hizbullah was formed in reaction to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and its harsh and brutal occupation in violation of Security Council orders. It won considerable prestige by playing the leading role in driving out the aggressors. "The 1982 invasion was carried out after a year in which Israel regularly bombed Lebanon, trying desperately to elicit some PLO violation of the 1981 truce, and when it failed, attacked anyway, on the ludicrous pretext that Ambassador Argov had been wounded (by Abu Nidal, who was at war with the PLO). The invasion was clearly intended, as virtually conceded, to end the embarrassing PLO initiatives for negotiation, a "veritable catastrophe" for Israel as Yehoshua Porat pointed out. Shameful pretexts "It was, as described at the time, a "war for the West Bank." The later invasions also had shameful pretexts. In 1993, Hizbullah had violated "the rules of the game," Yitzhak Rabin announced: these Israeli rules permitted Israel to carry out terrorist attacks north of its illegally-held "security zone," but did not permit retaliation within Israel. Peres's 1996 invasion had similar pretexts. It is convenient to forget all of this, or to concoct tales about shelling of the Galilee in 1981, but it is not an attractive practice, nor a wise one. "The problem of Hezbollah's arms is quite serious, no doubt. Resolution 1559 calls for disarming of all Lebanese militias, but Lebanon has not enacted that provision. Sunni Prime Minister Fuad Siniora describes Hizbullah's military wing as "resistance rather than as a militia, and thus exempt from" Resolution 1559. "A National Dialogue in June 2006 failed to resolve the problem. Its main purpose was to formulate a "national defense strategy" (vis-a-vis Israel), but it remained deadlocked over Hizbullah's call for "a defense strategy that allowed the Islamic Resistance to keep its weapons as a deterrent to possible Israeli aggression," in the absence of any credible alternative. The US could, if it chose, provide a credible guarantee against an invasion by its client state, but that would require a sharp change in long-standing policy. "In the background are crucial facts emphasized by several veteran Middle East correspondents. Rami Khouri, now an editor of Lebanon's Daily Star, writes that "the Lebanese and Palestinians have responded to Israel's persistent and increasingly savage attacks against entire civilian populations by creating parallel or alternative leaderships that can protect them and deliver essential services." You are not referring in your letter to the Israeli casualties. Is there differentiation in your opinion between Israeli civic casualties of war and Lebanese or Palestinian casualties? "That is not accurate. John Berger's letter is very explicit about making no distinction between Israeli and other casualties. As his letter states: "Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment." "You claimed that the world is cooperating with the Israeli invasion to Lebanon and is not interfering in the events Gaza and Jenin. What purpose does this silence serve? "The great majority of the world can do nothing but protest, though it is fully expected that the intense anger and resentment caused by US-Israeli violence will - as in the past - prove to be a gift for the most extremist and violent elements, mobilizing new recruits to their cause. "The US-backed Arab tyrannies did condemn Hizbullah, but are being forced to back down out of fear of their own populations. Even King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Washington's most loyal (and most important) ally, was compelled to say that "If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance, then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire." "As for Europe, it is unwilling to take a stand against the US administration, which has made it clear that it supports the destruction of Palestine and Israeli violence. With regard to Palestine, while Bush's stand is extreme, it has its roots in earlier policies. The week in Taba in January 2001 is the only real break in US rejectionism in 30 years. "The US also strongly supported earlier Israeli invasions of Lebanon, though in 1982 and 1996, it compelled Israel to terminate its aggression when atrocities were reaching a point that harmed US interests. "Unfortunately, one can generalize a comment of Uri Avnery's about Dan Halutz, who "views the world below through a bombsight." Much the same is true of Rumsfeld-Cheney-Rice, and other top Bush administration planners, despite occasional soothing rhetoric. As history reveals, that view of the world is not uncommon among those who hold a virtual monopoly of the means of violence, with consequences that we need not review." What is the next chapter in this middle-eastern conflict as you see it? "I do not know of anyone foolhardy enough to predict. The US and Israel are stirring up popular forces that are very ominous, and which will only gain in power and become more extremist if the US and Israel persist in demolishing any hope of realization of Palestinian national rights, and destroying Lebanon. It should also be recognized that Washington's primary concern, as in the past, is not Israel and Lebanon, but the vast energy resources of the Middle East, recognized 60 years ago to be a "stupendous source of strategic power" and "one of the greatest material prizes in world history." "We can expect with confidence that the US will continue to do what it can to control this unparalleled source of strategic power. That may not be easy. The remarkable incompetence of Bush planners has created a catastrophe in Iraq, for their own interests as well. They are even facing the possibility of the ultimate nightmare: a loose Shi'a alliance controlling the world's major energy supplies, and independent of Washington - or even worse, establishing closer links with the China-based Asian Energy Security Grid and Shanghai Cooperation Council. "The results could be truly apocalyptic. And even in tiny Lebanon, the leading Lebanese academic scholar of Hizbullah, and a harsh critic of the organization, describes the current conflict in "apocalyptic terms," warning that possibly "All hell would be let loose" if the outcome of the US-Israel campaign leaves a situation in which "the Shiite community is seething with resentment at Israel, the United States and the government that it perceives as its betrayer. "It is no secret that in past years, Israel has helped to destroy secular Arab nationalism and to create Hizbullah and Hamas, just as US violence has expedited the rise of extremist Islamic fundamentalism and jihad terror. The reasons are understood. There are constant warnings about it by Western intelligence agencies, and by the leading specialists on these topics. "One can bury one's head in the sand and take comfort in a "wall-to-wall consensus" that what we do is "just and moral" (Maoz), ignoring the lessons of recent history, or simple rationality. Or one can face the facts, and approach dilemmas which are very serious by peaceful means. They are available. Their success can never be guaranteed. But we can be reasonably confident that viewing the world through a bombsight will bring further misery and suffering, perhaps even 'apocalypse soon.'" ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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