Progressive Calendar 03.17.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 06:05:36 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.17.07

1. StPat/Irish v war   3.17 11:30am
2. Urban goddess       3.17 7pm

3. Sami/Iraq           3.18 9:30am
4. Anti-war march/WAMM 3.18 1pm
5. Anti-war march/GP   3.18 1pm
6. Anti-war march/YAWR 3.18 12noon
7. Anti-war march/AWC  3.18 1pm
8. Anti-war march/DFL? 3.18 2pm
9. Stillwater vigil    3.18 1pm
10. Secular coalition  3.18 1:15pm
11. Anti-war march     3.18 2pm Duluth MN
12. Amnesty Intl       3.18 3pm

13. PC Roberts     - The last days of constitutional rule
14. Joshua Frank   - Obama's Israel problem
15. Philip Agee    - The descent of the US; the rise of Latin America
16. Sunsara Taylor - The Democrats and Iran

--------1 of 16--------

From: Mike Whelan <mpw4883 [at]>
Subject: StPat/Irish v war 3.17 11:30am

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We are hoping to have a large number marching
with us in the parade. We will meet in front of The Lab bar at 4th and
Sibley after 11:30, and the parade starts at noon. Anywone willing to help
transport banners should show up to 951 Iglehart at 11:00 a.m. For
direction phone (651)312-0191. See you there!

--------2 of 16--------

From: K. Michele Smith <kmichelesmith [at]>
Subject: Urban goddess 3.17 7pm

K. Michele Smith, in partnership with Old Arizona Theatre, presents...
Urban Goddess Monologues: A Celebration of Women's History

March 16 - 25, 2007
Old Arizona Theatre
2821 Nicollet Avenue South

Show times: Fridays & Saturdays, 7 p.m.
        Sunday, 3 p.m.
Tickets: $10/Advance; $12/Door
For more tickets, call 612.604.4717
For more information visit us or on myspace

--------3 of 16--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Sami/Iraq 3.18 9:30am

Sunday, 3/18, 9:30 am, just returned from Iraq, Najaf resident (and former
Mpls restauranteur) Sami Rasouli speaks at First Unitarian Society, Lower
Auditorium, 900 Mt Curve Ave, Mpls.

Sunday, 3/18, 1 pm gather, then Sami Rasouli speaks 1:30 march to Loring
Park, global day of protest to mark the 4th anniversary of the war in Iraq:
"US Out of Iraq NOW," Hennepin & Lagoon Aves, Uptown Mpls.

--------4 of 16--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Anti-war march/WAMM  3.18 1pm

Anti-War Protest and March
4th Anniversary of the U.S. Attack on Iraq
   1:00 PM  Gather: Hennepin & Lagoon Avenues
   1:30 PM  March to Concluding Rally: Loring Park

IRAQ. Stop the War! Stop U.S. threats against Iran! Stop funding the war!
Funds for housing, schools, health care, veterans' benefits and other
human needs, not war! Initiated by: Iraq Peace Action Coalition.
Peacekeepers needed: Come to Lagoon and Hennepin Avenues at 12:15 p.m.
Training will be provided and first-time peacekeepers will be paired up
with experienced peacekeepers.

WAMM members: Gather at the Black Dog Cafe (308 Prince Street, St. Paul)
at 11:30 a.m. or at the Urban Bean Coffee Shop (3255 Bryant Avenue South,
Minneapolis) at noon. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. Youth/student groups:
gather with "Books, Not Bombs" contingent outside the Lyndale and Lake
recruiting station, Minneapolis at noon and then again following the
rally. FFI: Call Youth, Against War and Racism (Brandon), 952-465-5307 or
<againstwar [at]>.

Minneapolis Anti-war Protest:
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Gathering: 1 pm at
Hennepin & Lagoon Avenues in Uptown

Sunday anti-war protest
in Minneapolis to mark the
4th anniversary of the U.S war against Iraq
with the demand: "Bring the Troops Home Now!"

As part of a nationally coordinated effort to mark the fourth anniversary
of the start of the U.S. war in Iraq, an anti-war protest will be held in
Minneapolis on Sunday, March 18. The protest will call for an immediate
end to U.S. military intervention in Iraq and demand the immediate
withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The protest will assemble at 1 pm on Sunday at the Library Plaza and Mall
Area near Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues in the Uptown neighborhood of
Minneapolis. At 1:30 pm, a march will move from Uptown to Loring Park near
downtown Minneapolis.

The U.S. war against Iraq began with the bombing of Baghdad in March 2003.
The war has now cost billions of dollars, the lives of thousands of Iraqis
and over 3,000 U.S. war dead. The protest is being organized under the

 Out of Iraq Now!
 Stop the War! Bring the Troops Home Now! Stop Funding the War!
 No Escalation - Stop U.S. Threats Against Iran!
 Funds for housing, schools, health care, veterans benefits and other
human needs, not war!

Speakers at the protest will include Congressman Keith Ellison,
Minneapolis City Council member Cam Gordon and others.

The three major national U.S. anti-war coalitions, United for Peace and
Justice, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition and the
Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC) are working together to build the Global
Days of Protest. They plan to bring together as many people as possible to
express their opposition to the continuing war in Iraq. Each coalition
lists dozens of events in cities large and small on their websites. UFPJ
reports over 1,000 events are planned across the U.S. on March 17 and 18.
The ANSWER Coalition is also sponsoring a national march in Washington, DC
that will include an anti-war protest at the Pentagon on Saturday.

Among the groups helping to build the March 18 event in Minneapolis are
Women Against Military Madness, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Anti-War
Committee, Youth Against War and Racism and Military Families Speak Out.
For more information, call 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364. --

--------5 of 16--------

From: Wyn Douglas <wyn_douglas [at]>
Subject: Anti-war march/GP  3.18 1pm

The Green Party of the Minnesota invites you to join us in marking the
anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq by joining the statewide
protest and march against the war this Sunday, March 18th in Minneapolis.

The rally will begin at 1 pm in the Uptown neighborhood at the corner of
Hennepin and Lagoon.  Get there before 1pm and look for the Green
Party/Peace Party flags to join with other Greens.  The march will then
proceed down Hennepin Ave winding up in Loring Park will Minneapolis Green
city councilor Cam Gordon will address the crowd followed by other

As there is expected to be a very large turnout, we encourage people who
can to park and ride the bus when possible and or carpool to the event.

The Green Party of Minnesota has officially endorsed this event and would
like to thank the Iraq Peace Action Coalition, Youth Against War and
Racism, The Anti-War Committee http://, Women Against Military Madness http://, Twin Cities Peace Action/Focus on Iraq,
Veterans for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out for organizing this

We also encourage high school students who are interested to support the
youth rally to protest military recruiting tactics.  The rally will be
held in front of the military recruiting station at Lake and Lyndale at
noon followed by a march to Hennepin and Lagoon to join the larger march.
For more info on YAWR see

To contact the GPMN please visit

--------6 of 16--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Anti-war march/YAWR 3.18 12noon

There will be a
Books Not Bombs! antiwar  protest
March 18, 12:00 PM
Lyndale Ave. & Lake St.
*** see press  release below ***

The event will allow youth voices to be heard more widely, highlighting
the widespread youth antiwar activism for the mainstream and alternative

* Correction from previous e-mail: YAWR and Yo!  the Movement are
working collaboratively on the press conference and the evening hip-hop
show.  In accordance with its 501(c)3 tax status, however, Yo! the
Movement does not formally endorse all of the demands or activities of the
Books Not Bombs Youth Bloc.

The March 18th Day of  Action looks like this...

March 18 - A Day of Action

12:00 PM: BOOKS NOT BOMBS Youth Bloc
Lyndale Ave & Lake  St -- Minneapolis
Gather at the military recruitment station on the corner of Lake & Lyndale
in Minneapolis for a Press Conference, short rally, and youth march to the
community-wide demonstration at...

1:00 PM: Mass Antiwar  Demonstration
Hennepin & Lagoon -- Uptown Minneapolis
Gather at Hennepin & Lagoon in Uptown, then march to Loring Park for a
rally organized by Iraq Peace Action Coalition.

4:30 PM: Youth Antiwar Action Meeting
Loring Park Dunn Bros -- 329 W 15th  St
Join with YAWR to start organizing our next major actions.  Meet at the
Dunn Bros across the street from Loring Park.

6:30 PM: Hip-Hop Show
The Dinkytowner -- 412 1/2 14th Ave SE
Hosted by Yo! the Movement.  All ages - $5 with student ID.

Friday, March 16, 2007
Contact: Mattie  Weiss
_mattiemartha [at] gmail.com_ (mailto:mattiemartha [at]

Metro Area High School Students Call for an End to the War in Iraq
Students to Hold Demonstration and Press Conference
at Military Recruitment Center on Sunday March 18

Students from over a dozen area schools are coming together this Sunday to
protest the war in Iraq and its impact on their generation. The press
conference will take place at the military recruitment center on Lake St
and Lyndale Ave, in Minneapolis, and will begin promptly at 12:15pm.
Students will then join the general anti-war march along Hennepin Avenue.

The youth press conference has been organized by YAWR (Youth Against War
and Racism), a student organization that opposes the presence of military
recruiters in schools, and YO! The Movement, a youth leadership
organization focused on arts and education. Student spokespeople will
offer statements about the impact of the war on themselves and their
peers, and be available to answer questions.

"It was wild - in last week's meeting of our youth group, we asked how
many students had been approached by recruiters," said Simi Murumba, a
youth organizer with YO! The Movement, "The entire group raised their
hands. We had no idea how widespread this was. Kids who have never talked
to a college recruiter have been solicited by the military multiple
[Kill for the ruling class. Or die for them. Either is OK with them. -ed]

The students are less surprised. "They cut money for our schools, so we
feel less ready for good jobs and less hopeful about our future," said
Laura Madsen, from Bloomington Kennedy High School, "Then the recruiters
show up and take advantage of this hopelessness. It's a vicious cycle."

The cost of one day of war in Iraq could cover the full cost of attendance
for one year at a public college for more than 17,100 students, or employ
4,269 elementary school teachers or 4,027 secondary school teachers for
one year, according statistics from the National College Board and US
Department of Labor.

Students hope to communicate what they see as the long-term effects of
this war.  "This war is going to have a long-tem impact on our
generation," said Denzel Kingsbury, from Sheridan Middle School. "It's
like we've become desensitized to death and violence, we get hopeless
about getting good jobs, and we just expect politicians to lie to us. And
of course, this is nothing compared to what the war has done to Iraqi

Books Not Bombs! antiwar protest
March 18th, 12:00pm
Lyndale Ave.  & Lake St.

--------7 of 16--------

From: Jess Sundin <jess [at]>
Subject: Anti-war march/AWC  3.18 1pm

Minneapolis Protest Against the War in Iraq

Sunday 3/18 @ 1:00PM: Gather Hennepin & Lagoon Aves. 1:30PM: March
A concluding rally will be held near Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis.
Stop the War! OUT OF IRAQ Bring the Troops Home Now! No Escalation! Stop
U.S. threats against Iran! Click here for flyer. Sponsored by IPAC.

AWC VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you can volunteer at the protest to help the AWC
with distributing flyers, selling tshirts, signing people up on our list,
or carrying our signs and banners, please come early. Gather at 12:15 @
William's Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar (right across from the Library, where
the rally will start).

--------8 of 16--------

From: Pam Rykken-Scheie <prykken [at]>
Subject: Anti-war march/DFL?  3.18 2pm

[Oops! Not so. The DFL has scheduled a DFL history event right in the
middle of the big anti-war march. -ed]


The first in a series on the history of the DFL Party in Minnesota
Sunday, March 18, 2007  2:00 - 4:00 P.M.

[And where did it disappear to? I'll bet the FL would have been at the
anti-war march. -ed]

Featuring: AL EISELE the man on
the cover of this month's Law & Politics

Mr. Eisele is the newly retired editor of 'The Hill', Washington's
newspaper about Capitol Hill and Politics.  A native of Minnesota he is
the winner of the 1971 American Political Science Association Award for
distinguished reporting of public affairs.  He has worked for both
Senators Gene McCarthy and Walter Mondale and is the author of 'Almost To
The Presidency: A Biography of Two American Politicians' - Hubert
Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy. Mr. Eisele currently resides in Great Falls,

Ukrainian Event Center 301 Main Street NE* Minneapolis (Parking is
available adjacent to the building)

--------9 of 16--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 3.18 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace

Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m.  Come after Church
or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human
desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive.  Sponsored by
the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

--------10 of 16--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at]>
Subject: Secular coalition 3.18 1:15pm

Director of the Secular Coalition for America to speak in Minnesota

U.S. Rep. Fortney H. "Pete" Stark, a Democrat from California, has been
identified as the first openly nontheistic member of the U.S.  Congress.
This makes him the highest ranking elected official in the country, and
the first member of Congress, to go on record as not holding a god-belief.
Rep. Pete Stark, a member of Congress since 1973, acknowledged his
nontheism in response to an inquiry by the Secular Coalition for America

The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) lobbies Congress on issues of
separation of church and state on behalf of atheists, humanists, and
freethinkers.  SCA has a Congressional Scorecard to let people know how
national legislators voted on issues of separation of state and church.

SCA is made up of eight coalition members: American Humanist Association,
Atheist Alliance International, Freedom From Religion Foundation,
Institute for Humanist Studies, Military Association of Atheists and
Freethinkers, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Web / Internet Infidels,
and Society for Humanistic Judaism.

Secular Coalition for America director and lobbyist Lori Lipman Brown will
make five appearances in Minnesota from March 18 to 24.  She will discuss
her lobbying for separation of church and state at the nation's capital.
Here is her schedule.  All but the last event is free and open to the
public.  Please contact August Berkshire of Minnesota Atheists
(612-588-7031, pr [at] if you would like Lori to speak to your
group (free) while she's in town or if you would like to interview her for

Sun., Mar. 18, 1:15 p.m., Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N.,
Sponsored by Minnesota Atheists, (612) 588-7031,

Mon., Mar. 19, 7 p.m., Brown Hall auditorium, St. Cloud State
University, St. Cloud.
Sponsored by Friends Free of Theism, (320) 529-0146.

Thur., Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m., 130 Murphy Hall, University of Minnesota,
Sponsored by Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists (CASH),

Sat., Mar. 24, 10 a.m., Nokomis Recreation Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha
Pkwy., Minneapolis
Sponsored by Humanists of Minnesota, (651) 335-3800,

Sat., Mar. 24, 6 p.m. Private gathering.
Sponsored by Or Emet, the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic

--------11 of 16---------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Anti-war march 3.18 2pm Duluth MN

Sunday, 3/18, 2 pm, Duluth march and rally against the Iraq war, starting at
MN Power Plaza on Lake Ave & Superior St, marching to Duluth Civic Center at
515 W 1st St for a rally at Priley Fountain, Duluth.  anathoth [at]

--------12 of 16--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 3.18 3pm


Join Group 37 for our regular meeting on Sunday, March 18th, from 3:00 to
5:00 p.m.

This month the Philippines will be our focus. Labor and human rights
activists are being increasingly threatened and killed, in most cases by
agents linked to police or the military. In January, Group 37 decided to
form a dedicated sub-group to focus on the country.

Our discussion, led by Gary King, will focus on the worsening situation in
the Philippines; the work of local citizens, Amnesty International, and
other human rights groups in the country; and how our new Philippines
sub-group should move forward. We will begin promptly at 3:00.

In our second hour, we will catch up with the work of our various
sub-groups and other Amnesty International news and campaigns.

Everyone is welcome, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:

--------13 of 16--------

Government Without Restraint
The Last Days of Constitutional Rule
March 16, 2007

The Bush administration's greatest success is its ability to escape
accountability for its numerous impeachable offenses.

The administration's offenses against US law, the US Constitution, civil
liberties, human rights, and the Geneva Conventions, its lies to Congress
and the American people, its vote-rigging scandals, its sweetheart no-bid
contracts to favored firms, its political firing of Republican US
Attorneys, its practice of kidnapping and torturing people in foreign
hellholes, and its persecution of whistle blowers are altogether so vast
that it is a major undertaking just to list them all.

Bush admits that he violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and
spied on US citizens without warrants, a felony under the Act. Bush has
shown total disrespect for civil liberty and the Constitution and has
suffered rebukes from the Supreme Count. The evidence is overwhelming that
the Bush administration manufactured false "intelligence" to justify
military aggression against Iraq. The Halliburton contract scandals are
notorious, as is the use of electronic voting machines programmed to
miscount the actual vote.

The chief-of-staff to Vice President Cheney has been convicted for
obstructing justice in the outing of a covert CIA officer. Proof of
torture is overwhelming, and the Bush administration has even had the
temerity to have permissive legislation passed after the fact that permits
it to continue to torture "detainees." The Sibel Edmonds and other whistle
blower cases are well known. The Senate Judiciary Committee has just
issued subpoenas to Justice (sic) Dept. officials involved in the
scandalous removal of US Attorneys who refused to be politicized.

Yet the Democrats have taken impeachment "off the table." Many Democrats
and Republicans and a great many Christians can contemplate illegal
military aggression against Iran, but not the impeachment of the greatest
criminal administration in US history. Far from being scandalized by what
the entire world views as an unjust invasion and occupation of Iraq by the
US, leading Democratic and Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential
nomination rushed to inform the Israel Lobby, AIPAC, that they, if
elected, will keep US troops in Iraq.

The previous occupant of the White House could not escape being impeached
by the House of Representatives for lying about a consensual Oval Office
sexual affair. President Nixon and his vice president, a saintly pair
compared to Bush-Cheney, were both driven from office for offenses that
are inconsequential by comparison.

Liberals branded Ronald Reagan the "Teflon President," but the
neoconservatives' Iran-Contra scandal was a mere dress rehearsal for their
machinations in the Bush regime.

What explains Bush-Cheney invulnerability to accountability?

Perhaps the answer is that Bush has desensitized us. Like kids
desensitized to violence by violent video games and movies and pornography
addicts desensitized to sex, we have become desensitized by the avalanche
of Bush-Cheney crimes, lies, and disdain for Congress, courts, and public

Our elected representatives, if not the American people, now regard as
normal such heinous actions as war crimes, the rape of the Constitution,
self-serving use of government office, and the constant stream of lies and
propaganda from the highest offices of the executive branch.

Perhaps that is what disillusioned foreigners, who once looked with hope
to America, mean when they say that America does not exist anymore.

If the notion has departed that the highest political offices in the land
are supposed to be occupied by people who are honest and faithful to their
oath to the Constitution, then we are far advanced on the road to tyranny.

In future history books, will Bush-Cheney mark the transition of the
United States from constitutional rule to the unaccountable rule of the
unitary executive who cancels out Congress with signing statements and
silences critics with the police state means that are now part of the US
legal code?

Paul Craig Roberts held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at
the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown
University and was Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution at
Stanford University. He served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good
Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at]

--------14 of 16--------

Palestinians Suffer More Than Israelis ... And Will Continue to Do So
Obama's Israel Problem
March 16, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama isn't quite sure how he feels about the lopsided
situation between Israel and Palestine. Less than two weeks after Obama
gloated to AIPAC about his love for Israel, he unexpectedly admitted the
truth while campaigning in Iowa recently. "[N]obody is suffering more than
the Palestinian people..." said Obama, "the Israel government must make
difficult concessions for the peace process to restart..." The truth hurts
indeed, and Obama has been feeling the wrath of the pro-Israel activists
since his statement last week.

Nonetheless, Obama shouldn't be trusted on the issue. While Rep. Dennis
Kucinich hired avid pro-Palestine advocate Noura Erakat to sit on the
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Obama has been backpedaling -
assuring AIPAC and others that he is unwavering in his support for
Israel's continued bullying of Iran and occupation of Palestine.

"[Iran] is a genuine threat" to the United States and Israel, expressed
Obama at a forum sponsored by AIPAC on March 12 in Washington D.C., only
one day after his lucid remarks in Iowa. At the event Obama also
reiterated that he would not rule out the use of force in disarming Iran,
a position shared by the other leading Democratic presidential contenders,
Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

Earlier this month on March 2, Obama spoke at an AIPAC Policy Forum in
Chicago where he clearly laid out his full stance on Israel, promising he
would not alter the U.S./Israeli relationship. "[W]e must preserve our
total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully
funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related
missile defense programs," he said. "This would help Israel maintain its
military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as
close as Gaza."

So while Obama admits that Palestinians suffer more than Israelis, he
still won't do a damn thing to balance out the asymmetrical relationship.
In fact, Obama has made it clear that U.S. tax payers will continue to
foot the bill for Israel's ever-growing arsenal of weapons and missiles if
he is indeed elected president in 2008.

In Obama's March 2 speech, he even had the audacity to declare that "we
have to press for enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701,
which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution
which Syria and Iran continue to disregard. Their support and shipment of
weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which threatens the peace and security in
the region, must end."

If Obama is truly interested in invoking U.N. Resolutions to prop up his
case for a military assault on Iran, we may as well note the some 65
Resolutions the senator has blatantly ignored that condemn Israel's
actions - past and present - including Resolution 242 which calls for
the withdraw of "Israeli armed forces from territories occupied" during
the Six-Day War of 1967.

Sen. Obama, despite his acknowledgment of Palestinian suffering, has
little to offer those who recognize that lasting peace in the Middle East
will only begin when the U.S. radically alters its relationship with
Israel. Continued funding of Israel's illegal occupation won't end the
violence - it'll only continue it.

Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George
W. Bush and edits

--------15 of 16--------

A Stunning Contrast
The Descent of the US; the Rise of Latin America
March 14, 2007


Anyone following the news in recent times cannot be unaware of the wave of
progressive change sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean. For many
lonely years Cuba held high the torch through its exemplary programs to
provide universal health care and education, both gratis, along with world
class cultural, sports and scientific achievements. Although you won't
find a Cuban today who says things are perfect, far from it, probably all
would agree that compared with pre-revolutionary Cuba there is a world of
improvement. All this they did against every effort by the United States
to isolate them as an unacceptable example of independence and
self-determination, using every dirty method including infiltration,
sabotage, terrorism, assassination, economic and biological warfare and
incessant lies in the cooperating media of many countries. I know these
methods too well, having been a CIA officer in Latin America in the 1960s.
Altogether nearly 3500 Cubans have died from terrorist acts, and more than
2000 are permanently disabled. No country has suffered terrorism as long
and consistently as Cuba.

All through the years, beginning even before taking power in 1959, the
Cuban revolution has needed to have intelligence collection capabilities
in the U.S. for defensive purposes. Such was the fully justified mission
of the Cuban Five, jailed since 1998 with long sentences after conviction
for various crimes in Miami where they had no chance for a fair trial.
Convictions were for conspiracy to commit espionage to murder.
Nevertheless their sights were exclusively set on criminal terrorist
planning in Miami for operations against Cuba, activities ignored by the
FBI and other law enforcement agencies. They neither sought nor received
any classified U.S. government information. Their cases are still on
appeal, and will be for years to come, but their completely biased
convictions rank with the legal lynching in the 1920's of Nicola Sacco and
Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the anarchist immigrants, as among the most shameful
injustices in U.S. history. Freedom for the Cuban Five should be the cause
of everyone for whom fairness, human rights and justice are important,
both in the United States and around the world, joining in the activities
of the 300 Free the Five solidarity committees in 90 countries.

Current U.S. policy with its means and goals can be found in the nearly
500-page 2004 report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba
together with an update published in 2006 that has a secret annex. A
fundamental goal, the same in 2007 as I remember it was in 1959, is
isolation of Cuba to keep this bad example from spreading, and the current
policy if successful, would mean no less than Cuban annexation to the U.S.
and complete dependence, in fact if not in law, as Cubans rightfully
claim. Other fundamental goals from 1959 are still, nearly 50 years later,
to foment an internal political opposition and to cause economic hardship
in Cuba leading to desperation, hunger and despair. It is no exaggeration
to call these goals genocidal.

Yet, U.S. economic warfare of nearly 50 years against Cuba hasn't worked
even though the Cubans who keep book estimate its cost at more than $80
billion. After the Cuban economy's free fall in the early 1990's, with the
collapse of the Soviet Union, it began to recover in 1995. By 2005 growth
was 11.8% and in 2006 it was 12.5%, the highest in Latin America. Some
sectors have surpassed their development levels of the late 80's, before
the collapse, and others are nearly back. Cuba's exports of services,
nickel, pharmaceutical and other products are booming, and try as it may,
the U.S. has not been able to stop this.

In the end U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba have also totally failed. In
September 2006 Cuba was elected, for the second time, to lead the
Non-Aligned Movement of 118 countries, and two months later, for the 15th
consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn the
U.S. economic embargo of Cuba, this time 183 to 4. In 2007 Cuba has
diplomatic or consular relations with 182 countries. Havana meanwhile is
the site of seemingly endless international conferences on every
imaginable theme with thousands of people from around the world attending.
And not least, Cuba in recent years has been hosting more than 2 million
foreign tourists annually at its world-class resorts. Far from isolating
Cuba, the U.S. has isolated itself.

More than 30,000 Cuban doctors and health workers are saving lives and
preventing disease in 69 countries, many in the most remote and difficult
areas where few or no local doctors will go. Meanwhile 30,000 young
foreigners from dozens of countries are studying medicine in Cuba on full
scholarships. All were selected from areas lacking doctors, and all are
committed to return to these areas in their home countries to practice.

In education the Cuban literacy program known as "Yes I can" has been
adopted in nearly 30 countries on five continents where thousands more
Cuban volunteers are teaching. Through this program, in Spanish,
Portuguese, English, Creole, Quechua and Aymara, some 2 million people
have learned to read and write, most of whom continue their education
afterwards through a variety of other programs.

Thanks to these international assistance programs, Cuban prestige and
influence, and international solidarity with Cuba, have never been
greater. It was to defend these worthy programs that the five Cubans,
unjustly convicted, went to Miami in the 1990's.

Then in 1999 came Hugo Chavez, the U.S.'s latest worst nightmare in the
region, admittedly following the Cuban example in Venezuela, with its
enormous income from petroleum, to establish what he calls a Socialism for
the 21st Century with a foreign policy of regional integration under his
innovative Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, excluding the
United States altogether. The program is already underway through
institutions such as Mercosur in trade, Petrocaribe, Petroandino and
Petrosur in the energy sector, the Banco del Sur in finance, and Telesur
in electronic media.

Another program under ALBA is Operacin Milagro (Operation Miracle) for
offering free eye surgery to people unable to afford it for cataracts,
glaucoma, diabetes and other vision problems. It began in 2004 as a joint
Cuban-Venezuelan effort to bring Venezuelans by air to Cuba cost free for
operations. Within two years 28 countries of Latin America and the
Caribbean were participating, and operations restoring sight numbered
485,000 of whom 290,000 were Venezuelans. Jet liners loaded with patients
come and go from Havana everyday, but by early 2007 thirteen modern eye
clinics were being built in Venezuela, and several had already performed
thousands of operations there. Other clinics were being established in
Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti, all with Cuban planning
and staffing. The ten-year goal of Operacin Milagro is to restore sight to
6 million people of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the program is
expanding to Africa.

The Cuban example of so many years, and now Venezuela, have also recently
inspired the peoples of Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and
Nicaragua to elect progressive leaders. Most have rejected the 1990s
"Washington Consensus" and the neo-liberal model along with determined
U.S. efforts to establish a hemispheric free trade zone. All are
developing grassroots social and economic programs, each in its own way,
aimed at improving the quality of life for all, especially the
long-excluded majorities of their populations where this injustice
prevailed. Although achievements in Cuba continue to shine, the torch of
revolution in the region has effectively passed from the towering figure
of Fidel, ailing at eighty, to Chavez, a military man and teacher inspired
by Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti.

Reflecting on these new hopes for hundreds of millions in such a vast
region, one cannot avoid recalling the old professor, Prospero, addressing
his class for the last time in Ariel, the classic essay by Jose Enrique
Rod, still read by students in Latin America. In borrowing from The
Tempest, and urging his students to follow the soaring spirit of virtue
and good, represented by Ariel, and to reject the crass materialism of the
U.S. personified by Caliban, Prospero drew a contrast between Latin
American idealism and the United States that is as valid today as in 1900
when the essay first appeared.

While Latin America is fast moving in progressive directions, almost
unimaginable less than ten years ago, in contrast the United States, at
least since the Reagan era, has been moving step by step toward a Fascism
for the 21st Century. And the pace has quickened in the last six years of
Republican government under George W. Bush with passage of the Patriot Act
under emergency circumstances just after the attacks on the Twin Towers in
September 2001, and then adoption in 2006 of the Military Commissions Act,
both with substantial support from Congressional Democrats. Other
legislation supports this trend.

The U.S. Federal Government now has legal powers to secretly monitor ones
communications, whether by telephone, ordinary mail, e-mail, or fax, plus
your bank accounts, credit cards, the web sites you visit, and the books
you buy or read in libraries. Torture, secret prisons, kidnapping, and
jailing indefinitely without trial or recourse to courts through habeas
corpus - all are now legal. So is "extraordinary rendition" whereby U.S.
captives are delivered to other governments where they will likely be
tortured and possibly assassinated. Investigations by the European
Parliament have identified around 1200 secret CIA flights carrying these
people through European airports to secret prisons. To qualify for this
treatment, anyone in the world, U.S. citizens and any others, only need be
designated by the government as an "illegal enemy combatant" whose only
definition is someone who has "purposefully and materially supported
hostilities against the United States." Hostilities or a hostile act can
be interpreted as almost anything that opposes U.S. policies, from a
speech expressing solidarity with Cuba to a picket line protesting the war
in Iraq. If an "enemy combatant" ever gets a trial, it will not be by a
jury of peers but by a U.S. military court that can use hearsay and
evidence obtained under torture.

These powers reminiscent of the Nazi regime are not just a global U.S
Sword of Damocles waiting to fall on perceived enemies. The full range of
repression has been going on since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001
with plenty of evidence coming from the prisons and concentration camps of
Bagram, Abu Graibe and Guantanamo as well as from testimony of various
released innocents swept up in the process. It is an on-going worldwide
application of fascist power in a non-defined, nebulous "war on terrorism"
that has no end or geographical limits. Since September 2001 the Bush
government has given one specious reason after another for what it
believes are the motives of Islamic terrorism, never admitting that it is
a reaction and resistance to U.S. imperial policies, starting with U.S.
support for Israel's continued occupation and colonization of Arab lands
and Israel's refusal to return to its borders before the Six-Day War in

By 2006 the U.S. had designated some 17,000 people around the world as
"enemy combatants," according to press reports. Combine this repression
with gargantuan contracts to private U.S. firms, as in Iraqi security and
"reconstruction," along with forcing the Iraqi government, always with
eyes on the prize, to contract highly prejudicial 30-year "production
sharing agreements" to American and British oil majors, excluded from Iraq
before the invasion, plus historic lows in trade union power, and you have
the marriage of government and corporate power that Mussolini, who
invented the word in 1919, described as the essence of fascism. The one
bright spot are the recent indictments of 13 CIA people in Germany and 26
others in Italy for kidnapping and other violations of their laws. They
will never be brought to trial, of course, but the indictments are
refreshing developments.

Protection of terrorists who serve U.S. interests is still another feature
of American Fascism of the 21st Century. There are many examples,
especially among Cuban exiles, but two stand out from the others: Orlando
Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. Both have long, well-documented pedigrees
as international terrorists, but one of their joint crimes was historic:
the first bombing in flight of a civilian airliner in the Western
Hemisphere. It was Cubana flight 455 that on October 6th, 1976 exploded
just after takeoff from Barbados killing all 73 people on board.

Bosch and Carriles, both of whose CIA careers began around 1960, planned
the bombing in Caracas and provided the explosives to two Venezuelans
recruited by Posada. These two were discovered, convicted, and sentenced
to long prison terms. Not so with Bosch and Posada who were protected by
then-Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez who has his own history of
working with the CIA. Although they were both arrested and tried
separately in Venezuelan courts as the intellectual authors of the crime,
neither was convicted.

Bosch was found not guilty and released in 1988, returned to Miami but was
arrested for an old parole violation. The Justice Department then ordered
his deportation as an "undesirable" and as "the most dangerous terrorist"
of the Western Hemisphere. But Jeb Bush, son of then-President Bush,
persuaded his father in 1990 to quash Bosch's deportation order. Since
then Bosch has lived freely in Miami where he gives television interviews
in which he makes every effort to justify terrorism against Cuba.

For his part Posada's trial in Venezuela never ended because in 1985 he
escaped from prison, fled the country, and soon turned up in El Salvador
working in the CIAs Contra terrorist operation against Nicaragua. When
this ended he stayed underground in Central America and from the early
1990s organized more terrorist operations against Cuba. In 2005 he was
arrested in Miami for illegal entry to the U.S., and although he admitted
to the New York Times to terrorist bombings of hotels and other tourist
facilities in Cuba, in one of which an Italian tourist died, he has only
been indicted for lying to the FBI and in his request for naturalization.
The Bush administration refuses to certify him as a terrorist so that he
can be tried as such, at the same time ignoring Venezuela's extradition
request as a fugitive from justice, alleging absurdly that he might be
tortured there. His treatment suggests that he will eventually be pardoned
by Bush, perhaps on Christmas Eve of 2008 just before leaving the White
House, just as his father on Christmas Eve of 1992 pardoned former Defense
Secretary Casper Weinberger and various CIA officers for crimes in the
1980s Iran-Contra scandal, thus precluding their trials scheduled to begin
the following month.

One need not dwell on the obvious. The conviction of the Miami Cuban Five
for their anti-terrorist efforts, in contrast with the official protection
of terrorists like Bosch and Posada, speaks volumes on the U.S. as the
pre-eminent state sponsor of international terrorism.

The major disguise used to cloak this U.S. program of worldwide aggression
from the 1980s to the present has been "promotion of democracy," a
hypocritical claim used ad nauseum by Presidents, Secretaries of State and
others that has never fooled anyone. It has always been clear that the
"democracy promotion" programs of the National Endowment for Democracy,
the State Department, the Agency for International Development and
associated foundations and agencies are nothing more that attempts to
foment and strengthen internal political forces in countries around the
world that will be under U.S. control and will protect and cater to U.S.
interests. Their origins are in the CIA's political operations starting in
the 1940s, and they have included the overthrow of democratically elected
governments and the institution of unspeakable repression as in Brazil in
1964 and Chile in 1973 to name only two of many examples.

To be sure there has been, and is, important and worthy resistance in the
U.S. to this developing fascism both within Congress and among private
organizations and individuals. But it has been mostly isolated attempts of
a defensive and rear-guard nature, with little mention in the corporate
media. Bills have been introduced in Congress to ease or end the economic
blockade of Cuba, to amend the worst of the repressive laws, even to
impeach Bush and Cheney, but they seem unlikely ever to prevail or become
law. The two parties, actually competing branches of a one-party state,
have simply adopted ever more extreme measures to maintain their monopoly
of power.

Even the judicial system, once perhaps the last hope for enforcing the
Constitution, has been riddled with neo-conservatives who ignore it. Take
only the appeal of the Miami conviction by the Cuban Five. The original
three appellate judges of Atlanta's 11th Circuit issued a compelling
93-page unanimous decision upholding the defense position that no fair
trial of self-admitted Cuban agents was possible in Miami's prevailing
anti-Cuban atmosphere and that the trial venue should have been moved.
Nevertheless the other 10 judges of the Circuit voted to hear another
appeal en banc and then unanimously overturned the first decision with
only two of the original three judges voting against (the third had
retired). That 10 of the 13 Circuit Court judges would uphold Miami as a
place where Cuban agents could get a fair trial is a good example of how
morally and intellectually corrupt the federal judiciary has become.

So these are grim days indeed for the United States and by extension for
its allies, starting with its junior partner, the U.K., and extending
through NATO. There have been other periods of shameful repression in the
U.S., like the years following World War I, but never with a global reach
like this.

Predictably U.S. prestige around the world, what there ever was of it, has
disappeared, replaced by contempt and scorn. Testimony to this is the
repudiation of Bush and what he stands for expressed by so many thousands
in the streets protesting his presence as he traveled around Latin America
attempting to lure five countries away from regional integration. What a
contrast with the enlightened, idealistic, and progressive social and
political movements now flowering in Latin America!

Philip Agee, 72, was a CIA secret operations officer in Latin American
from 1960 to 1969. He is the author of the best-selling Inside the
Company: CIA Diary (Penguin Books, 1975) plus other books and articles.
Deported in 1977 by the U.K and four other NATO countries, he has lived
since 1978 with his wife in Hamburg, Germany. He travels frequently to
Cuba and South America for solidarity and business activities, and in 2000
he started an online travel service to Cuba:

--------16 of 16--------

Red Light, Green Light
The Democrats and Iran
March 14, 2007

"Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership
had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for
Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran...The
measure provides nearly $100 billion to pay for fighting in two wars, and
includes more money than the president requested for operations in
Afghanistan and what Democrats called training and equipment shortages."
 -- AP, March 13, 2007

"For all the criticism on the left, Democratic strategists say they are
counting on most of the antiwar lawmakers to realize that this current
spending bill is the best they can get."
 -- New York Times, March 14

You could close your eyes and pretend it isn't happening.

Pretend that the new Democratic Congress - after four years of torture,
mass murder and war crimes against the people of Iraq - didn't just
promise the War-Criminal-In-Chief that they would do nothing to stop a new
and even more dangerous war against Iran.

Pretend that these same Democrats - who have sold you out so many times
and at the cost of so many lives - didn't just promise to give the
president more money than he even asked for to fight his current wars!

Pretend that somehow history - and the people of the Middle East - will
forgive you for meeting this news with passivity, silence or at best
"protest as usual."

Or you could open your eyes and confront the nightmares engulfing millions
of people in the Middle East and endangering people around the world that
only people living in this country can bring to a halt.

You can get on a bus, hop on a train, purchase an airline ticket, or pile
into a van and get your butt to Washington DC on March 17th to march
across the bridge and encircle the Pentagon, on March 17th before the eyes
of the world!

Forty years ago, a generation who refused to accept an unjust and
murderous war on Vietnam descended on the Pentagon. They looked out at the
villages being razed, the children burning alive by napalm, and the blood
that would be on their hands if they didn't bring this to a halt and they
declared it was time to go "from protest to resistance."

Now, at a time when the Bush regime, with the silence and complicity of
the Democrats, are escalating their assault on Iraq and aggressively
preparing a new war against Iran, it is wrong not to be at the Pentagon.

It is wrong to hide behind the lie and excuse that "protest doesn't make a
difference." It is wrong to despair because "they're not listening to us."
And it is wrong to dismiss the real danger of a new war against Iran
simply because Bush is having so much trouble in Iraq.

The problem has never been that "protest doesn't work." The problem is
that there haven't been nearly enough protests and they haven't been
nearly demanding enough.

The campuses across the country have not yet been shut down in massive
student strikes demanding an immediate end to the war. The Oscars weren't
filled with movie stars and directors giving heart to millions around the
world by demanding impeachment right now. The anti-war vets - while way
ahead of most of the movement and of where the Vietnam vets were at this
far into the war then - haven't yet staged their equivalent of the Winter
Soldiers testimonials about the war crimes they witnessed or Dewey Canyon
protest where the Vietnam Vets threw back their medals. We haven't yet
seen this war's Daniel Ellsberg - someone willing to risk 150 years in
prison or more to disclose and disrupt the administration's ability to lie
their way into more war. Hundreds of thousands haven't yet, in the words
of Cindy Sheehan, "turn[ed] off your TV and carri[ied] a sign or a banner
and descend[ed] on the White House as oppressed peasants descending on the
castle of the lord of the realm with pitchforks and torches?"

These are things I know we are more than capable of! The problem is not
that millions don't hate the Bush program, the problem is that that anger
has not been transformed into active, ongoing, determined resistance - not
to merely express our unhappiness - but to bring all this to a halt. That
has to begin to change on March 17.

In a time of legalized torture, of expanding war, of war crimes and of
crimes against humanity - all of us are accountable!

Lets just be honest: none of us can claim in good conscience we've done
all that we can and none of us should sleep soundly at night until we do.

Protest and resistance and refusal to go along are needed MOST when those
in power "aren't listening."

Too many people are in denial about the growing likelihood of a us attack
on Iran as detailed by Seymour Hersh and others. As Larry Everest, has
recently written, "The U.S.'s quagmire in Iraq has weakened the U.S.
influence, fueled the spread of Islamist trends, and bolstered Iran's
regional influence. All this has made the situation in the Middle East
even more unacceptable to the U.S. imperialists, and the Bush regime has
resolved on a course to become even more aggressive in reversing all this
- with the escalation of the war in Iraq and now the serious threats
against Iran. And meanwhile the Democrats have proved incapable and
unwilling to stop Bush's troop 'surge' to Iraq and have mounted no
significant opposition at all - and in some cases significant support -
to the real threats to launch a U.S. attack against Iran."

Right now, it is more clear now than ever that there "will be no savior
from the Democratic Party."

[Locally, however, there will be classes on DFL history, eg, on where the
"FL" came from, and where the FL it went. See item #8 above. If we can't
have peace, we can at least have party history. -ed]

It is more clear than ever that the war on Iraq is not going to stop until
we act in ways that make it stop. It is more clear than ever that a war in
Iran will not be prevented unless we act in ways that prevent it. And it
is more clear than ever that Bush won't stop unless we drive him out.

It is time to march on the Pentagon. It is time for us to go from protest
to society-wide resistance.

Sunsara Taylor writes for Revolution Newspaper and sits on the Advisory
Board of The World Can't Wait  Drive Out the Bush Regime. She can be
reached at: sunsarasworld [at]


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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