Progressive Calendar 12.26.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 15:13:28 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    12.26.06

1. Amy Goodman/CTV   12.26 5pm
2. Xmas talk/cheap!  12.26 6:30pm

3. Bridge vigil      12.27 4:30pm
4. GLBT reading      12.27 7pm

5. Eagan peace vigil 12.28 4:30pm
6. Northtown vigil   12.28 5pm
7. Candlelight vigil 12.28 6:30pm
8. Peace yoga        12.28 7:45pm
9. MichaelLerner/CTV 12.28 8:30pm

10. Lang/McGovern - To surge or not to surge?
11. Marjorie Cohn - Don't count on the Democrats to end the Iraq war
12. William Katz  - The first US foreign invasion: seizing Florida in 1816
13. James Petras  - Why condemning Israel/Zionist lobby is so important
14. ed            - Santa Claus  (poem)
15. ed            - LEP  (poem)

--------1 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Amy Goodman/CTV 12.26 5pm

Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each
Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15.  Below are the scheduled shows through the
end of 2006.

12/26 and 12/27 'Amy Goodman: "Static" Tour' (Part 2).  Host of Democracy
Now!  Talk given 9/8 at St. Joan of Arc Church.

"Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with
consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists.  The
show is mostly local and not corporately influenced! For information about
future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to
eric-angell [at] riseup.net.  (PS It might be better than PBS.)


--------2 of 15--------

From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Xmas talk - cheap! 12.26 6:30pm
ad lib talk

Open Discussion.  The day after Christmas.  we can tell each other how our
"alternative Christmas"  ideas panned out.

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.


--------3 of 15--------

From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Bridge vigil 12.27 4:30pm

Wednesday, December 27, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (this is an ongoing vigil) Lake
Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River between
Minneapolis and St. Paul. Come to Marshall Avenue (St. Paul) side of the
bridge so that we can greet you.

According to Iraqi-American Sami Rasouli, "Day after day for the last
three years and a half or so, by storming houses, detaining innocent
people, killing innocent people, women, children, bombing them from the
air or from the land, building and peppering the Iraq cities, provinces,
by checkpoint. We are not stupid here. More than 80 to 85% now, Iraqis
asking the U.S. to leave. American media talk about this with limitation,
but what we see here are corpses and dead bodies." Rasouli says if U.S.
troops withdrew from Iraq, "The 1,300 al Qaeda members that the Iraq Study
Group mentioned would leave and have no business in Iraq any more. They
are here to target American forces."

Short gathering in a circle east of the bridge after the vigil to hear
about more peace and justice events and issues. December is a critical
month. Everyone receiving this e-mail is invited to come one Wednesday
this December-of course, if you can come more often, that would be
wonderful. (Also: every member of WAMM is asked to commit to one Wednesday
during the month of December, if they possibly can.) Let us Minnesotans
show our current representatives in Washington and the incoming congress
that we want an end to the war and occupation of Iraq not later after even
more death and destruction, but NOW! FFI: Call WAMM 612-827-5364.


--------4 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: GLBT reading 12.27 7pm

GLBT READING SERIES
Christina Henning and Antay Bilgutay    Carol Connolly Reading Series
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
7:00 PM at Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis

Featuring:
CHRISTINA EILEEN HENNING grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, earned her B.A.
in Writing at Bethel University and attended UM-Duluth to study Spanish
and Education. She writes short fiction, poetry,and personal essays, but
her work also includes children's picture books, and honest, unapologetic
commentaries.

ANTAY BILGUTAY grew up in Minnesota and graduated magna cum laude from
Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies and English. He is the
author of six plays. His nondramatic writings have appeared in Speakeasy
and Rake Magazine.

Hosted by John Medeiros and Andrea Jenkins. All Carol Connolly Readings
are free and open to the public.


--------5 of 15--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 12.28 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------6 of 15--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 12.28 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------7 of 15--------

From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Candlelight vigil 12.28 6:30pm

Candlelight Vigil for the Children of Iraq and Other Child Victims of War

Thursday, December 28, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue
South, Minneapolis. You are invited to join with others in this
candlelight service to remember the children, who are always the first
victims of war. Organized by: Twin Cities Peace Campaign. Co-sponsored by:
St. Joan of Arc/WAMM Peacemakers and many other religious organizations.


--------8 of 15--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Peace yoga 12.28 7:45pm

Thursday, 12/28 (and every 4th Thursday), 7:45 to 9 pm, Dialogue about Peace
and listening to Deepok Chopra's set, pre-register at Body Prayers Yoga,
9201 Lexington Ave N, #5C, Circle Pines.  IndigaArt [at] aol.com or 
763-413-0612.


--------9 of 15--------

From: altera vista <alteravista [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Michael Lerner/CTV 12.28 8:30pm

ST PAUL cable station 15 on Thursday, Dec. 28, 8:30 pm.

"Creating a Culture of Love, Peace, and Justice"--speech by Rabbi Michael
Lerner, founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, author of The
Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right,
speaking at the Midwest Conference of Spiritual Progressives, Wesley
Methodist Church, Mpls, Nov. 18, 2006.


--------10 of 15--------

Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question
To Surge or Not to Surge?
By Col. W. PATRICK LANG
and RAY McGOVERN
CountedrPunch
December 25, 2006

Robert Gates' report to the White House on his discussions in Iraq this
past week is likely to provide the missing ingredient for the troop
''surge'' into Iraq favored by the ''decider'' team of Vice President Dick
Cheney and President George W. Bush.

When the understandable misgivings voiced by top U.S. military officials
made it obvious that the surge cart had been put before the
mission-objective horse, the president was forced to concede, as he did at
his press conference on Wednesday, ``There's got to be a specific mission
that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops, before I agree
on that strategy.''

The president had led off the press conference by heightening expectations
for the Gates visit to Iraq, noting that ''Secretary Gates is going to be
an important voice in the Iraq strategy review that's under way.'' No
doubt Gates was given the job of hammering out a ''specific mission'' with
U.S. generals and Iraqi leaders, and he is past master at sensing and
delivering on his bosses' wishes.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's aides have given Western reporters an
outline of what the ''specific mission'' may look like. It is likely to be
cast as implementation of Maliki's ''new vision,'' under which U.S. troops
would target primarily Sunni insurgents in outer Baghdad neighborhoods,
while Iraqi forces would battle for control of inner Baghdad. A
prescription for bloodbath, it has the advantage, from the White House
perspective, of preventing the Iraqi capital from total disintegration
until Bush and Cheney are out of office.

Well before Tuesday, when Gates flew off to Iraq, it was clear that Cheney
and Bush remained determined to stay the course (without using those
words) for the next two years. And the president's Washington Post
interview on Tuesday, as well has his press conference Wednesday
strengthened that impression. In his prepared statement for the Post, Bush
cast the conflict in Iraq as an enduring ''ideological struggle,'' the
context in which he disclosed that he is now ``inclined to believe that we
do need to increase our troops, the Army and Marines.''

Inconsistent message

Lest the Post reporters miss the point, the president added, ''I'm going
to keep repeating this over and over again, that I believe we're in an
ideological struggle . . . that our country will be dealing with for a
long time.'' In the same interview, he described ''sectarian violence'' in
Iraq as ``obviously the real problem we face.''

At his press conference the next day, the president repeated the same
dual, inconsistent message, which went unchallenged by the White House
press corps. Pick your poison: Do you prefer ''sectarian violence'' as the
real problem? Or is it ''ideological struggle?'' The White House seems to
be depending on a credulous press and Christmas-party eggnog to get by on
this.

Incoming Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said last Sunday that
he could ''go along'' with the widely predicted surge in U.S. troops in
Iraq, but for only two or three months. Is it conceivable that Reid
doesn't know that this is about the next two years - not months? Egged on
by ''full-speed-ahead'' Cheney, Bush is determined that the war not be
lost while he is president. And he is commander-in-chief. Events, however,
are fast overtaking White House preferences and are moving toward
denouement well before two more years are up.

`Get with the program'

Virtually everyone concedes that the war cannot be won militarily. And yet
the so-called ''neoconservatives'' whom Bush has listened to in the past
are arguing strongly for a surge in troop strength. A generation from now,
our grandchildren will have difficulty writing history papers on the
oxymoronic debate now raging on how to surge/withdraw our troops into/from
the quagmire in Iraq.

The generals in Iraq may have already been ordered by the White House to
''get with the program'' on surging. Just as they ''never asked for more
troops'' at earlier stages of the war, they are likely to be instant
devotees of a surge, once they smell the breezes from Washington. As for
Gates, it is a safe bet that whatever personal input he may dare to offer
will be dwarfed by Cheney's. Taking issue with ''deciders'' has never been
Gates' strong suit.

Whether Gates realizes it or not, the U.S. military is about to commit
hara-kiri by ''surge.'' The generals should know that, once an ''all or
nothing'' offensive like the ''surge'' apparently contemplated has begun,
there is no turning back.

It will be ''victory'' over the insurgents and the Shiite militias or
palpable defeat, recognizable by all in Iraq and across the world. Any
conceivable ''surge'' would not turn the tide - would not even stem it.
We saw that last summer when the dispatch of 7,000 U.S. troops to
reinforce Baghdad brought a fierce counter-surge - the highest level of
violence since the Pentagon began issuing quarterly reports in 2005.

A major buildup would commit the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to decisive
combat in which there would be no more strategic reserves to be sent to
the front. As Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway pointed out
Monday, ``If you commit your reserve for something other than a decisive
win, or to stave off defeat, then you have essentially shot your bolt.''

It will be a matter of win or die in the attempt. In that situation,
everyone in uniform on the ground will commit every ounce of their being
to ''victory,'' and few measures will be shrunk from.

Analogies come to mind: Stalingrad, the Bulge, Dien Bien Phu, the Battle
of Algiers.

It will be total war with the likelihood of all the excesses and mass
casualties that come with total war. To force such a strategy on our armed
forces would be nothing short of immoral, in view of predictable troop
losses and the huge number of Iraqis who would meet violent injury and
death. If adopted, the ''surge'' strategy will turn out to be something we
will spend a generation living down.

Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., spoke for many of us on Sunday when George
Stephanopoulos asked him to explain why Smith had said on the Senate floor
that U.S. policy on Iraq may be ``criminal:''

``You can use any adjective you want, George. But I have long believed in
a military context, when you do the same thing over and over again,
without a clear strategy for victory, at the expense of your young people
in arms, that is dereliction. That is deeply immoral.''

W. Patrick Lang, a retired Army colonel, served with Special Forces in
Vietnam, as a professor at West Point and as defense intelligence officer
for the Middle East.

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990 and Robert Gates' branch
chief in the early 1970s. McGovern now serves on the Steering Group of
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He is a contributor
to Imperial Crusades, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.
They can be reached at: rrmcgovern [at] aol.com


--------11 of 15--------

Don't Count on the Democrats to End the Iraq War
What's Going On?
By MARJORIE COHN
CounterPunch
December 23 / 24, 2006

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some loving' here today

-Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On?, 1971

In 1971, singer Marvin Gaye raised hackles when he tried to make sense of
the madness of the Vietnam War by asking, "What's Going On?" The song,
told from the perspective of a returning Vietnam veteran, was inspired by
Gaye's brother who had recently returned from that disastrous war.

Gaye would be asking the same question if he were alive today. Nearly
3,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died. A brutal
civil war continues to escalate, aggravated by intense opposition to the
U.S. occupation. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, General John
Abazaid - commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East who just resigned -
and the vast majority of the American people oppose sending more U.S.
troops to Iraq. Yet George W. Bush is planning to do just that.

Even staunch Republicans like MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, who supported
the war and voted twice for Bush, is asking what's going on. On his
December 20 show, Scarborough was appalled by Bush's statement, "I
encourage you all to go shopping more." MSNBC analyst Mike Barnacle noted
that "this President is isolated, delusional, and stubborn." Bush's
"delusion," according to Barnacle, is going to result in the deaths and
carnage of our troops and people throughout the Middle East. "I don't
think [Bush] knows what he's saying . . . He is totally isolated from
reality," Barnacle added. "The deaths of American soldiers now verges on
the criminal."

So what is going on? Former Nixon counsel John Dean recently told a San
Diego audience he doesn't think Bush is in charge - Cheney is running the
government. "One of Dick Cheney's geniuses is that he lets Dubya wake up
every morning and think he's President," Dean noted. Cheney has set up his
own National Security Council in the Vice President's office, according to
Dean. Decisions about budgets, personnel, etc., never get to the Oval
Office. Cheney decides the important matters before they ever reach Bush's
desk, Dean said.

The report of the Iraq Study Group was not prepared by a bunch of
radicals. It even recommended privatizing Iraq's oil. But the group of 10
saw that more troops and shunning Iran and Syria is not the answer. What
did Bush do? He dismissed the ISG report out of hand in favor of Cheney's
agenda.

Why would Dick Cheney and the neocons who convinced Bush to start this war
decide to pull out now? They created the war to achieve their imperial
dream of privatizing Iraqi oilfields and building permanent U.S. military
bases nearby to protect them. They are willing to sacrifice the lives of
our soldiers and the Iraqi people in pursuit of their dream.

Cheney is undoubtedly telling the evangelical Dubya to hang in there, God
is testing him. Remember Bush said he consulted with his heavenly father
before starting the war. If Bush thinks God told him to start this war,
what will it take to make him stop?

And it could get worse. Cheney-Bush has sent our battleships to the
Persian Gulf to "warn" Iran that we mean business. And the White House
blacked out parts of a New York Times op-ed on negotiating with Iran
written by two former U.S. government advisors. This means, in all
likelihood, that Cheney has decided it's time to pick off the next member
of the Axis of Evil. They're following the same strategy they used on the
way to Iraq: convince the American people that Iran is building weapons of
mass destruction, notwithstanding overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Attacking Iran would cause a disaster of epic proportions.

Now that the Democrats are taking over the reins in Washington, we have a
golden opportunity to set things right. But incoming Senate majority
leader Harry Reid has decided to align himself with the 12 percent of
Americans who support sending more troops to Iraq.

It seems more likely the Republicans, not the Democrats, will try to
derail the Cheney-Bush war express. Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore) declared
last week on the Senate floor: "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when
it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same
streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day.
That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore."

Ultimately, it is up to the American people to step up to the plate and
stop this war. It's fine to tell the pollsters we want our troops out of
Iraq. But that's not doing the trick. The Vietnam War ended after
thousands of people marched in the streets. We may not have the draft to
get the college kids off their duffs. But we do have our consciences. And
that should be enough.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and
president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her book, Cowboy Republic: Six
Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, will be published next spring by
PoliPointPress.

[The national Dems, now holding both houses of Congress, show how
despicable they are, and have been less obviously for some time. We want
the war ended; the rich want the war to continue: the Dems, as always,
listen to the PAC money, not the people. There is no "loyal opposition";
there is only a copy-cat disloyal collaboration. This leaves the American
people with no major party to represent them; their only course now is in
the streets and in general strikes. The national Dem party should be
written off as a snare and a delusion, wasting our valuable energy and
time. Move on. We have important business to do, and the Dems are only
going to hinder us. Progressives of the world, throw off your Dem chains;
you have a true democracy to gain. -ed, getting more and more fed up]


--------12 of 15--------

>From the Raid on "Fort Negro" to Iraq
The First U.S. Foreign Invasion: Seizing Florida in 1816
By WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
CounterPunch
December 23 / 24, 2006

This year of 2006 will be remembered as the moment Americans got even with
leaders who had lied to them in order to garner public support for
invading and occupying Iraq. But given the public's preoccupation with a
crucial election and the daily news of a dismal war, few took note of a
significant 2006 anniversary: 190 years ago the United States launched its
first foreign invasion. The parallels to the present are enlightening.

In July 1816, General Andrew Jackson, Commander of the U.S. Southern
District, ordered Army, Navy and Marine units to invade Florida, then
under the flag of Spain. Jackson acted, probably on orders from President
James Madison, without a Congressional declaration of war. Neither Spain
nor its colonial outpost posed a threat to the U.S. or its citizens.
Rather, the President and the General - both prominent slaveholders - had
concluded that the slave economy and its human "property" were threatened
by the several thousand Native Americans and African Americans, including
escaped slaves, who had united in the Seminole Nation on Florida soil.

As in the case of President George W. Bush's attack on Iraq, this first
foreign sortie by the U.S. had an enormous impact on the Executive Branch
and its presidential powers, on respect for the Constitution by those
sworn to protect it, and on the public's right to know. Historian William
Weeks points out that this episode established a number of dangerous
precedents, some of which Secretary of State John Quincy Adams later
regretted:

 President Madison and Secretary Adams violated the Constitution when they
bypassed Congressional input into the Executive decision to go to war. The
Constitution grants war powers to the Congress alone.

 Adams, in defending the invasion, lied to Congress and the public about
the reasons for it.

 Adams proclaimed that those Americans who opposed the war were not only
wrong but were giving aid and comfort to the nation's foreign enemies, and
he covered up atrocities committed under General Jackson's command. [1]

Was Florida, in that distant time, any more of a menace to the strongest
country in the Americas than Iraq was 19 decades later? Not really.
Rather, the slaveholding elite was convinced that the Africans who fled
from bondage on southern plantations to Florida's free air posed an
immediate danger to Georgia, the Carolinas and perhaps the South's entire
slave plantation system. In today's language they regarded these men and
women - who did not live under white masters, carried arms, were allied
with Native Americans and welcomed runaways to their villages - as
potential "terrorists." So the slaveholders used the leverage afforded by
their economic power to steer the White House toward a military response
to the perceived threat.

Who was "the enemy," really? Africans had been escaping from the southern
English colonies and since 1738 were among the earliest explorers and
pioneer settlers of Florida, where they built free, self-governing
communities. Florida was their "American dream." When the Seminole Indians
fled southward from Creek persecution, the Africans in Florida welcomed
them and taught them methods of rice cultivation they had brought to the
Americas from Senegambia and Sierra Leone. Pooling the wide range of their
knowledge and skills, the two peoples united in a multicultural Seminole
nation that was willing to fight slave-hunting posses from the American
colonies in defense of their right to self-determination. [2]

After the 1776 American Revolution the newly-minted United States stepped
up the slave-hunting forays into Florida. By 1812, events had escalated.
President Madison's administration provided covert support for a private
force called "the Patriots," which crossed the border to plunder, seize
free people for enslavement and wanted to incorporate the Florida
peninsula into the new nation. A year later, Tennessee militia and federal
government troops joined the Patriots, but the Seminole alliance repelled
the combined force. In fact, the Seminole resistance led to the
Congressional defeat, in April 1814, of a Patriot resolution to annex
Florida.

By 1816, however, Andrew Jackson, now a famous war hero and "Indian
fighter," resolved to take Florida in order to close down what he called
"this perpetual harbor for our slaves." He ordered his field commander,
General Edmund P. Gaines to:

 provoke an attack on "Fort Negro" on the Apalachicola River, seize its
powerful cannons and its 300 Black and Seminole residents, and

 "restore the stolen negroes and property to their rightful owners." [3]

Sailing down the Apalachicola, the U.S. naval vessels passed fifty miles
of large and expanding African cornfields along the river banks. [4]

Upon reaching "Fort Negro," U.S. forces confronted a Black commander named
Garcia, who had four pieces of heavy artillery, six light cannons, a large
store of ammunition and deep scorn for the interlopers. Garcia faced two
Navy gunboats, hundreds of regular U.S. Army soldiers and 500 Creek
Indians who hoped to capture runaway Seminoles.

Gaines ordered the fort to surrender and sent a delegation of Creeks to
negotiate with Garcia. Garcia rebuffed the order, routed the delegation
and fired a cannon shot over the Creeks. Surgeon Marcus Buck, assigned to
the U.S. Fourth Infantry Regiment, wrote: "We were pleased with their
spirited opposition, though they were Indians, negroes and our enemies.
Many circumstances convinced us that most of them determined never to be
taken alive." [5]

Gaines's forces surrounded "Fort Negro" and opened fire, but the initial
artillery exchanges proved inconsequential. Then fortuitously, a cannon
ball heated in the cook's galley and lobbed into the fort hit Garcia's
ammunition magazine. The resulting spectacular explosion destroyed Fort
Negro and killed 270 people. Of the 64 who survived, Garcia was executed,
and the others were marched back to slavery.

Hundreds of other Africans and Seminoles in the region fled to the
Suwannee River, where they built villages that extended down the seacoast
to Tampa Bay. [6] Within months, the relocated Black and Indian nation
chose Billy Bowlegs as their king, and his chief Black advisor, Nero, as
their military commander. They gathered horses, drilled and readied
themselves to defend against future attacks. [7]

Andrew Jackson, energized by his victory, notified incoming President
James Monroe that he was ready to seize Florida "in sixty days." His
troops captured Pensacola in May 1818. The General now shifted into high
gear, embarking on "a campaign of terror, devastation, and intimidation"
that included burning "sources of food in a calculated effort to inflict
starvation on the tribes," according to historian William Weeks. His
"exhibition of murder and plunder known as the First Seminole war," writes
Weeks, was part of Jackson's goal of "removing or eliminating native
Americans from the southeast."[8]

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, believing in "Indian removal,
slavery, and the use of military force without congressional approval,"
and that it was "better to err on the side of vigor than on the side of
weakness," defended the invasion, as well as Jackson's brutal search and
destroy operations. In presenting that defense, writes Weeks, "he
consciously distorted, dissembled, and lied about the goals and conduct of
American foreign policy to both Congress and the public" - an effort,
Weeks believes, that "stands as a monumental distortion of the causes and
conduct of Jackson's conquest of Florida, reminding historians not to
search for truth in official explanations of events." [9]

In 1819, the United States persuaded a war-weary Spain to sell Florida for
$5 million, and in 1822 it entered the Union as a slave state.

Although the first Seminole War had ended with a real estate deal that
erased all claims of Florida's original inhabitants, many more years of
war lay ahead. The U.S. had entered a quagmire, with, at times, half of
its army tied down in ongoing skirmishes in Florida's swampland.

The Second Seminole War began full scale in 1836. That year, soon after
arriving to take command of U.S. operations in Florida, General Sidney
Thomas Jesup warned of the war's consequences: "This, you may be assured,
is a negro and not an Indian war; and if it be not speedily put down, the
south will feel the effects of it on their slave population." He analyzed
the task ahead:

The two races, the negro and the Indian, are rapidly approximating; they
are identical in interests and feelings. . . . Should the Indians remain
in this territory the negroes among them will form a rallying point for
runaway negroes from the adjacent states; and if they remove, the fastness
of the country will be immediately occupied by negroes. [10]

The war raged on, with U.S. officers violating truce agreements, seizing
women and children as hostages, attacking peaceful villages and destroying
crops. The Army tried mightily to pit the Blacks against the Indians
through various diplomatic maneuvers, but the attempts at racial division
failed. Unable to sunder Seminole solidarity, a U.S. military victory
remained elusive. The Seminoles, using classic guerilla tactics, continued
to run circles around the most modern army in the Americas. On Christmas
Eve, 1837, about 400 red and black Seminoles, though outnumbered more than
two to one, inflicted the most stunning loss suffered by the U.S. Army in
decades of Indian warfare. [11]

After a year of guerilla warfare, Jesup restated his view: "The warriors
have fought as long as they had life," which he credited to "the
determination of those who influence their councils - I mean the leading
negroes." He concluded, "The negroes rule the Indians, and it is important
that they should feel themselves secure; if they should become alarmed and
hold out, the war will be resumed." Jesup proposed that the entire
Seminole nation, with its Black members, be allowed to migrate west. While
planters greeted the idea with "violent protests," ultimately Jesup's
proposal would prove to be the only plan that could bring peace. [12]

In the Second Seminole War 1500 U.S. soldiers had died, Congress had spent
more than $40,000,000 (pre-Civil War dollars!) and thousands of soldiers
were wounded or had died of disease. Seminole losses, particularly
civilians, were undoubtedly much higher.

Finally, thousands of red and black Seminoles, having won assurances that
they could remain free and united as a nation, agree to migrate to the
Oklahoma Indian Territory. Others neither surrendered nor left their
Florida homeland. The Seminoles of Florida had operated the largest
station on the Underground Railroad and had emerged undefeated, with their
community intact, from nearly 50 years of siege. Their accomplishment has
no equal in United States history.

William Loren Katz is the author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage. His
new, revised edition of THE BLACK WEST [Harlem Moon/Random House, 2005]
also includes information on the Philippine occupation, and can now be
found in bookstores. He can be reached through his website:
www.williamlkatz.com

Notes

[1] William Weeks, John Quincy Adams and the American Global Empire
(Kentucky, 1992).; See also, Noam Chomsky, Failed States, [New York, 2006]
89-92 for a discussion of how precedents established by the 1816 invasion
of Florida impacted on American foreign policy through the current
occupation of Iraq.

[2] The following sources inform this article: Kenneth W. Porter, The
Negro on the American Frontier [New York, 1971] a pioneering collection of
scholarly articles on African Americans and Native Americans, based on
primary sources presents reliable information on the Seminole alliance.
Newer sources confirm Porter's major findings: Daniel F. Littlefield,
Africans and Seminoles from Removal to Emancipation [Greenwood Press,
1977]; William Loren Katz, Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage [Atheneum
1986] a popular history; Kevin Mulroy, Freedom on the Border: Seminole
Maroons in Florida, the Indian Territory, Cuahuila, and Texas [Texas Tech
University Press, 1992]; Kenneth W. Porter, The Black Seminoles: History
of a Freedom-Seeking People, [University Press of Florida] 1996, "revised
and edited by Alcione M. Amos and Thomas P. Senter" from a Porter
manuscript.

[2] Major General Sidney T. Jesup, Jesup Papers, box 14; 25th Congress,
Second session, 1837-1838, House Executive Doc., Vol. III, no. 78, p. 52.

[3] Porter, 202, 212.

[4] Report of Col. Clinch on "the destruction of Fort Negro, on the
Apalachicola, July 29, 1816" [Washington: War Records Office, National
Archives]

[5] Porter, 219

[6] Porter, 221

[7] Porter, 223

[8] William Weeks, Op. Cit.; see also Richard Immerman and Regina Gramer,
Passport, (newsletter of the Society of Historians for American Foreign
Relations, August 2005.

[9] Washington Chauncey Ford, ed., Writings of John Quincy Adams
[Macmillan, 1916], volume 6, p. 385n

[10] Major General Jesup, in American State Papers, Military Affairs, vol.
7, 820-822; see also Porter, 272, 281, 282.

[11] For U.S. efforts to sow racial discord, see exchanges between General
Gaines and King Hatchy in American State Papers, 1 (Washington, D.C.,
1832) 723, and Chief Emachutochustern to General Thompson, Indian Agent,
1835 in American State Papers, Military Affairs 4, (Washington, D.C.,
1861) 463; Porter, 1996, "revised and edited," 88-93; Porter, "Seminole
Flight from Ft. Marion," Florida Historical Quarterly xxvi (July, 1947)
92-98.

[12] Major General Jesup, March 26, 1837 in American State Papers,
Military Affairs, VII. 835.; Porter, 276-277; Mulroy, 29.

[America looks "good" only to those who don't know its history. -ed]


--------13 of 15--------

Why Condemning Israel and the Zionist Lobby is So Important
by James Petras
www.dissidentvoice.org
December 25, 2006

"It's no great secret why the Jewish agencies continue to trumpet support
for the discredited policies of this failed administration. They see
defense of Israel as their number-one goal, trumping all other items on
the agenda. That single-mindedness binds them ever closer to a White House
that has made combating Islamic terrorism its signature campaign. The
campaign's effects on the world have been catastrophic. But that is no
concern of the Jewish agencies."

-- December 8, 2006 statement by JJ Goldberg, editor of Forward (the
leading Jewish weekly in the United States)

Introduction Many Jewish writers, including those who are somewhat
critical of Israel, have raised pointed questions about our critique of
the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the United States and what they
wrongly claim are our singular harsh critique of the state of Israel. Some
of these accusers claim to see signs of 'latent anti-Semitism,' others, of
a more 'leftist' coloration, deny the influential role of the ZPC arguing
that US foreign policy is a product of 'geo-politics or the interests of
big oil. With the recent publication of several widely circulated texts,
highly critical of the power of the Zionist 'lobby', several liberal
pro-Israel publicists generously conceded that it is a topic that should
be debated (and not automatically stigmatized and dismissed) and perhaps
be 'taken into account.'

ZPC Deniers: Phony Arguments for Fake Claims
The main claims of ZPC deniers take several tacks: Some claim that the ZPC
is just 'another lobby' like the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club or
the Society for the Protection of Goldfish. Others claim that by focusing
mainly on Israel and by inference the 'Lobby', the critics of Zionism
ignore the equally violent abuses of rulers, regimes and states elsewhere.
This 'exclusive focus' on Israel, the deniers of ZPC argue, reveals a
latent or overt anti-Semitism. They propose that human rights advocates
condemn all human rights abusers everywhere (at the same time and with the
same emphasis?). Others still argue that Israel is a democracy - at least
outside of the Occupied Territories (OT) - and therefore is not as
condemnable as other human rights violators and should be 'credited' for
its civic virtues along with its human rights failings. Finally, others
still claim that, because of the Holocaust and the
'History-of-Two-Thousand-Years-of-Persecution', criticism of Jewish-funded
and led pro-Israel lobbies should be handled with great prudence, making
it clear that one criticizes only specific abuses, investigates all
charges - especially those from Arab/Palestinian/United
Nations/European/Human Rights sources - and recognizes that Israeli
public opinion, the press and even the Courts or sectors of them may also
be critical of regime policies.

These objections to treating the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict and the
activities of Zionist Lobbies as central to peace and war serve to dilute,
dissipate and deflate criticism and organized political activity directed
at the ZPC and its directors in Israel.

The response of the critics of Israel and the ZPC to these attacks has
been weak at best and cowardly at worst. Some critics have responded that
their criticism is only directed toward a specific policy or leader, or to
Israeli policies in the OT and that they recognize Israel is a democracy,
that it requires secure borders, and that it is in the interests of the
Israeli 'people' to lower their security barriers. Others argue that their
criticism is directed at securing Israeli interests, influencing the
Zionist Lobby or to opening a debate. They claim that the views of 'most'
Jews' in the US are not represented by the 52 organizations that make up
the Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations of America, or the
thousands of PACs, local federations, professional associations and weekly
publications which speak with one voice as unconditional supporters of
every twist and turn in the policy of the Zionist State.

There are numerous similar lines of criticism, which basically avoid the
fundamental issues raised by the Israeli state and the ZPC, and which we
are obliged to address. The reason that criticism and action directed
against Israel and the ZPC is of central importance today in any
discussion of US foreign policy, especially (but not exclusively) of
Middle East policy and US domestic policymaking is that they play a
decisive role and have a world-historic impact on the present and future
of world peace and social justice. We turn now to examine the 'big
questions' facing Americans as a result of the power of Israel in the
United States.

The Big Questions Raised by the ZPC and Israeli Power in the USA:

War or Peace:

Critical study of the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq, US involvement
in providing arms to Israel (cluster bombs, two-ton bunker buster bombs
and satellite surveillance intelligence) prior to, during and after
Israel's abortive invasion of Lebanon, Washington's backing of the
starvation blockade of the Palestinian people and the White House and
Congress' demands for sanctions and war against Iran are directly linked
to Israeli state policy and its Zionist policy-makers in the Executive
branch and US Congress. One needs to look no further than the documents,
testimony and reports of AIPAC and the Presidents of the Major American
Jewish Organizations to observe their claims of success in authoring
legislation, providing (falsified) intelligence, engaging in espionage
(AIPAC) and turning documents over to Israeli intelligence (now dubbed
'free speech' by liberal Zionists).

If, as the overwhelming evidence indicates, the ZPC played a major role in
the major wars of our time, wars capable of igniting new armed conflicts,
then it ill behooves us to dilute the role of the Zionist/Jewish Lobby in
promoting future US wars. Given Israel's militarist-theocratic approach to
territorial aggrandizement and its announced plans for future wars with
Iran and Syria, and given the fact that the ZPC acts as an unquestioning
and highly disciplined transmission belt for the Israeli state, then US
citizens opposed to present and future US engagement in Middle East wars
must confront the ZPC and its Israeli mentors. Moreover, given the
extended links among the Islamic nations, the Israel-ZPC proposed 'new
wars' with Iran will result in Global wars. Hence what is at stake in
confronting the ZPC are questions which go beyond the Israeli-Palestine
peace process, or even regional Middle East conflicts: it involves the big
question of World Peace or War.

Democracy or Authoritarianism
Without the bluster and public hearings of former Senator Joseph McCarthy,
the Jewish Lobby has systematically undermined the principal pillars of
our fragile democracy. While the US Congress, media, academics, retired
military and public figures are free to criticize the President, any
criticism of Israel, much less the Jewish Lobby, is met with vicious
attacks in all the op-ed pages of major newspapers by an army of
pro-Israeli 'expert' propagandists, demands for firings, purges and
expulsions of the critics from their positions or denial of promotions or
new appointments. In the face of any prominent critic calling into
question the Lobby's role in shaping US policy to suit Israel's interests,
the entire apparatus (from local Jewish federations, AIPAC, the Presidents
of Major American Jewish Organizations etc) go into action - smearing,
insulting and stigmatizing the critics as 'anti-Semites'. By denying free
speech and public debate through campaigns of calumny and real and
threatened repercussions the Jewish Lobby has denied Americans one of
their more basic freedoms and constitutional rights.

The massive, sustained and well-financed hate campaigns directed at any
congressional candidate critical of Israel effectively eliminates free
speech among the political elite. The overwhelming influence of wealthy
Jewish contributors to both parties - but especially the Democrats -
results in the effective screening out of any candidate who might question
any part of the Lobby's Israel agenda. The takeover of Democratic campaign
finance by two ultra-Zionist zealots, Senator Charles Schumer and
Israeli-American Congressman Rahm Emanuel ensured that every candidate was
totally subordinated to the Lobby's unconditional support of Israel. The
result is that there is no Congressional debate, let alone investigation,
over the key role of prominent Zionists in the Pentagon involved in
fabricating reports on Iraq's 'weapons of mass destruction', and in
designing and executing the war and the disastrous occupation policy. The
Lobby's ideologues posing as Middle East 'experts' dominate the op-ed and
editorial pages of all the major newspapers (Wall Street Journal, New York
Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post). In their pose as Middle East
experts, they propagandize the Israeli line on the major television
networks (CBS, NBC,ABC, Fox, and CNN) and their radio affiliates.

The Lobby has played a prominent role in supporting and implementing
highly repressive legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military
Commission Act as well as modifying anti-corruption legislation to allow
the Lobby to finance congressional 'educational' junkets to Israel. The
head of Homeland Security with its over 150,000 functionaries and
multi-billion dollar budget is none other than Zionist fanatic Michael
Chertoff, head persecutor of Islamic charity organizations, Palestinian
relief organizations and other ethnic Middle Eastern or Moslem
constituencies in the US, which potentially might challenge the Lobby's
pro-Israel agenda.

The biggest threat to democracy in its fullest sense of the word - the
right to debate, to elect, to legislate free of coercion - is found in
the organized efforts of the Zionist lobby, to repress public debate,
control candidate selection and campaigning, direct repressive legislation
and security agencies against electoral constituencies opposing the
Lobby's agenda for Israel. No other lobby or political action group has as
much sustained and direct influence over the political process -
including the media, congressional debate and voting, candidate selection
and financing of congressional allocation of foreign aid and Middle East
agendas as the organized Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) and its
indirect spokespeople heading key Congressional positions. A first step
toward reversing the erosion of our democratic freedoms is recognizing and
publicly exposing the ZPC's nefarious organizational and financial
activities and moving forward toward neutralizing their efforts.

Their Foreign Policy or Ours?
Intimately and directly related to the loss of democratic freedoms and a
direct consequence of the Jewish lobby's influence over the political
process is the making of US Middle East policy and who benefits from it.
The entire political effort of the Lobby (its spending, ethnic baiting,
censorship and travel junkets) is directed toward controlling US foreign
policy and, through US power, to influence the policy of US allies,
clients and adversaries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Lobby's
systematic curtailment of our democratic freedoms is intimately related to
our own inability to influence our nation's foreign policy. Our
majoritarian position against the Iraq War, the repudiation of the main
executioner of the War (the White House) and our horror in the face of the
Israeli invasion of Lebanon and destruction of Gaza are totally
neutralized by Zionist influence over Congressional and White House
policymakers. The recently victorious Congressional Democrats repudiate
their electorate and follow the advice and dictates of the pro-Zionist
leadership (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Rahm Emmanuel, Stephan Israel and
others) by backing an escalation of troops and an increase in military
spending for the war in Iraq. Bush follows the war policy against Iran
proposed by the zealous Zionist fanatics in the American Enterprise
Institute, repudiating the diplomatic proposals of the bi-partisan Baker
Commission. Congress quadruples US arms stored in Israel (supposedly for
dual use) in the aftermath of Israel's bombing of Southern Lebanon with
one million anti-personnel bomblets from cluster bombs in direct defiance
of US electoral opinion. While hundreds of millions of undernourished
women and children suffer and die in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the
Lobby ensures that over half of US foreign aid goes to Israeli Jews with
per capita incomes of over $22,000 USD.

No other organized political action group or public relations firm acting
on behalf of the Cuban and Venezuelan exiles or Arab, African, Chinese or
European Union states comes remotely near the influence of the Zionist
lobby in shaping US policy to serve the interest of Israel.

While the Lobby speaks for less than 2% of the US electorate, its
influence on foreign policy far exceeds the great majority who have
neither comparable organizational nor financial muscle to impose their
views.

Never in the history of the US republic or empire has a powerful but tiny
minority been able to wield so much influence in using out nation's
military and economic power and diplomatic arm-twisting in the service of
a foreign government. Neither the Francophiles during the American
Revolution, the Anglophiles in the Civil War and the German Bund in the
run-up to World War Two, nor the (anti-China) Nationalist Taiwan Lobby
possessed the organizational power and sustained political influence that
the ZPC has on US foreign and domestic policy at the service of the State
of Israel.

Confronting the Lobby Matters
The question of the power of the Lobby over US policies of war or peace,
authoritarianism or democracy and over who defines the interests served by
US foreign policy obviously go far beyond the politics of the Middle East,
the Israeli-colonial land grabs in Palestine and even the savage
occupation of Iraq. The playing out of Zionist influence over the greatest
military power in the world, with the most far-reaching set of client
states, military bases, deadly weapons and decisive voice in international
bodies (IMF/World Bank/United Nations Security Council) means that the
Lobby has a means to leverage its reach in most regions of the world. This
leverage power extends over a range of issues, from defending the fortunes
of murderous Russian-Jewish gangster oligarchs, to bludgeoning European
allies of the US to complicity with Israel's ethnic cleansing of
Palestine.

The ZPC represents a basic threat to our existence as a sovereign state
and our ability to influence whom we elect and what agendas and interests
our representatives will pursue. Even worse, by serving Israeli interests,
we are becoming complicit with a State whose Supreme Court legalizes
political assassinations across national boundaries, torture, systematic
violations of international law and a regime which repudiates United
Nations resolutions and unilaterally invades and bombs its neighbors and
practices military colonist expansionism. In a word Israel resonates and
feeds into the most retrograde tendencies and brutal practices of
contemporary American politics. In this sense the Lobby through its media,
Congressional influence and think tanks is creating an Israeli look-alike.
Like Israel, the US has established its own Pentagon assassination teams;
like Israel, it invades and colonizes Iraq; like Israel, it violates and
rejects any constitutional or international legal restraints and
systematically tortures accused but untried prisoners.

Because of these fundamental considerations, we cannot oblige our Jewish
'progressive' colleagues and compatriots and refrain from confronting the
Zionist Lobby with force and urgency. Too many of our freedoms are at
stake; too little time is left before they succeed in securing a greater
military escalation; too little of our sovereignty remains in the face of
the concerted effort by the Lobby and its Middle Eastern
'expert-ideologues' to push and shove us into a new and more devastating
war with Iran at the behest of Israel's pursuit of Middle East dominance.

No other country, abuser or not, of human rights, with or without
electoral systems, has the influence over our domestic and foreign policy
as does the state of Israel. No other Lobby has the kind of financial
power and organizational reach as the Jewish Lobby in eroding our domestic
political freedoms or our war-making powers. For those reasons alone, it
stands to reason, that we Americans have a necessity to put our fight
against Israel and its Lobby at the very top of our political agenda. It
is not because Israel has the worst human rights agenda in the world -
other states have even worst democratic credentials - but because of its
role in promoting its US supporters to degrade our democratic principles,
robbing us of our freedom to debate and our sovereignty to decide our own
interests. The Lobby puts the military and budgetary resources of the
Empire at the service of Greater Israel - and that results in the worst
human rights in the world.

Democratic, just and peaceful responses to the Big Questions that face
Americans, Europeans, Muslims, Jews and other peoples of the world passes
through the defeat and dismantlement of the Israeli-directed Zionist Power
Configuration in America. Nothing less will allow us to engage in an open
debate on the alternatives to repression at home and imperialism abroad.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University,
New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser
to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). His latest book is, The Power of
Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, 2006). He can be reached at:
jpetras [at] binghamton.edu.


--------14 of 15--------

 Santa Claus is an
 FBI stooge. Put a land
 mine in your chimney.

 Afterward, Hoover
 him up with the J Edgar
 model vac. It sucks!

 This exploded view
 of Santa brought to you by:
 Our Buddies, Our Elves.


--------15 of 15-------

 Those in the Lesser
 Evil Party are LEPers.
 Best keep your distance.

 LEPers lose fists feet
 knees spines fingers ears eyes teeth
 tongues hearts guts minds souls.


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