|Progressive Calendar 08.17.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 02:53:13 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.17.07 1. Art/support CIW 8.17 8pm 2. UofM AFSCME/strike 8.18 10am 3. Venezuela/coop 8.18 10am 4. NWN4P-Minnetonka 8.18 11am 5. Cuba/US 8.19 12:30pm 6. Stillwater vigil 8.19 1pm 7. Korten/GreatTurning 8.19 3pm 8. Amnesty Intl 8.19 3pm 9. KFAI/Indian 8.19 7pm 10. War made easy/film 8.20 6:30pm 11. BushIsBad/musical 8.20 8pm 12. PC Roberts - "No American president can stand up to Israel" 13. Felice Pace - NPR pro-Israel bias 14. George Bisharat - Boycott movement targets Israel 15. Dave Lindorff - Terrorist nation? Takes one to know one 16. Mark Drolette - With the Dems, everything's just Vichy keen 17. Manuel GarciaJr - President Cindy! 18. Edna StV Millay - An ancient gesture (poem) --------1 of 18-------- From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at] gmail.com> Subject: Art/support CIW 8.17 8pm Solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is picking up around the country with more and more protests at Burger King ( www.ciw-online.org). It's time for the Twin Cities to represent! Tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 17 at 8pm we'll be having an art-making party at the Greenhouse to make art for a Burger King Protest on Monday, Aug. 20 at 5pm (location TBA). BYOB... Art-Making Party to support the CIW Friday, August 17, 8pm - ??? The Greenhouse 2915 James Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN Fair food that respects human rights, not fast food that exploits human beings. www.sfalliance.org --------2 of 18-------- From: Jess Sundin <jess.sundin [at] gmail.com> Subject: UofM AFSCME/strike 8.18 10am Sisters and Brothers, We in AFSCME 3260, 3800, 3801 and 3937 need your support and solidarity. On Friday night August 10th, the University brought a "settlement offer" to the AFSCME joint negotiations committee. Our committee has sent this on to our members, recommending that we vote to "reject and strike." A strike vote for all four locals is set for next Thursday, August 23. We need you to stand behind us. This University's wage offer does not come close to meeting our economic needs, and does nothing to make up the pay cuts that our members have faced over the last several contracts. We've faced wage freezes, lost out on annual step increases, and confronted a huge rise in health care premiums. All of this, while rising inflation has taken 4 to 5% out of our pay checks every year. The University Administration has justified these attacks, by calling on its lowest paid employees to "share the pain." This year, University AFSCME stands united, saying enough is enough. This is the year, and this is the contract, when the University needs to start paying back years of our lost wages. We expect that our members will support the negotiating committee by authorizing a strike. We need your solidarity as we move ahead. Community support was crucial to the success of the strike by AFSCME 3800 in 2003. This year, all the University AFSCME locals need your support again. We are asking our supporters on campus, in the community, and in the labor movement to help us win a contract that our members, and our members' families, can live with. We are calling for the first Labor and Community Strike Support Committee meeting, this Saturday, August 18th at 10am at the UTEC building in Dinkytown, 1313 5th Street SE, Room 102A, Minneapolis. Please join us for this meeting, to find out how you can support our struggle for justice for University workers. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Strike Support Committee at (612)234-8774 or * support [at] uworkers.org*. You are also welcome to contact me directly at 612.272.2209 (cell). Please forward this request to others who may be interested in joining us. Information for supporters will be posted soon at *www.uworkers.org*. In solidarity, Jess Sundin U of M AFSCME --------3 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Venezuela/coop 8.18 10am Saturday, 8/18, 10 to 11;30 am, Kellie Germond presents a new documentary on a Venezuelan co-op, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls. www.americas.org --------4 of 18-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P-Minnetonka 8.18 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------5 of 18------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Cuba/US 8.19 12:30pm Sunday, 8/19, 12:30 to 2 pm, Peace with Justice Forum presents speaker Mavis Anderson speaking on "Cuba and the United States: Strands of a Failed Policy," Central Lutheran Church, 3rd Ave and 12th St, Mpls. $7 lunch available; validated parking available in the Central parking ramp beside church. dhilden [at] comcast.net or 612-825-1581. --------6 of 18-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 8.19 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. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------7 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Korten/Great Turning 8.19 3pm Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny (IMPACT) facilitates a discussion of: "Dr. David Korten: The Great Turning from Empire to Earth Community" Sunday, August 19th, 3 - 5 pm Acadia Café Franklin and Nicollet Aves, Mpls As part of our sustainability series, IMPACT will play a 50 minute video presentation featuring author David Korten (recorded in April). Korten oulines the coming of radically changing times; impending peak oil along with climate and economic crises will deeply affect our culture. Korten asks: will we shift our society away from a continuing quest for empire and towards a sustainable earth-based community? Following the video, IMPACT will host a discussion including roles that we can play in moving towards sustainability. ** the event is FREE, please consider patronizing our host: Acadia Cafe ** --------8 of 18-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 8.19 3pm Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, August 19th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. This month's meeting will be our annual pot luck and planning meeting. We will discuss ideas for group activity and organization with an eye toward the future in a casual, picnic setting. Everyone is welcome -- Please bring a dish or beverages to share. 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: http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html --------9 of 18-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI/Indian 8.19 7pm KFAI¹s Indian uprising for Aug. 19th, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT = REPEAT YOU'RE NOT INDIAN, YOU'RE MEXICAN by Vivian Delgado, Ph.D., Turtle Island Press, paperback, 214 pp. www.geocities.com/drviviandelgado. ³American Indian history to the east followed a pattern of genocide and removal westward. However, upon the arrival of Indigenous people from the east to the western states, genocide continued; but an arid landscape coupled with violently hostile Native Americans who had been sharpening a specialization in violence upon Spainish, French, and even other Native American forces for centuries, gave rise to the mythical and legendary wars of the west. An important aspect of this was the rise of the mestizo nation, members of which have been commonly identified as Mexicanos. Mexicanos formed a ubiquitous and integral part of any frontier settlement - nearly all of these Mexican people were ultimately of Native American ancestry and formed a substratum at all levels of society² ³This study is intended to showcase the lack of information or misinformation that some Native Americans and Indigenous Mexicans have long held about each other. It is not an attempt to downplay any interaction that has already taken place on a political, social, emotional, or spiritual level both good and bad. The intent is to highlight the contributions and similarities and differences that binds them together, perhaps consciously and unconsciously in a way that brings them together and keeps them apart.² Guest:Vivian Delgado (Yaqui/Puebloean) has written a significant amount of literature that has appeared as articles, essays, research and chapters, including curriculum; many of them about Native America and its occupants. As a professional educator, she has served on and currently sits on numerous educational committees and boards, all of which deal with equity and people of color. Her doctoral work was in Education, with two cognates: Native American Philosophy/Multicultural Education and Higher Education. One of her significant accomplishments is ³Free the Spirit Day,² which took place on September 22, 2006. From this day forward, September 22 has been designated for the purpose of returning incorrect vital records information to the Health and Environment Office. Although the directive was for Colorado, it certainly could be applied in any state where indigenous people have been subjected to deliberate and systematic destruction of race, culture and politics. * * * * Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, 612-341-3144. For internet listening, go to www.kfai.org <http://www.kfai.org> and for live listening, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for later listening via the archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM. Programs are archived for two weeks. --------10 of 18-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: War made easy/f 8.20 6:30pm FREE Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "War Made Easy" Monday, August 20, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. "War Made Easy," narrated by Sean Penn, brings to the screen Norman Solomon's insightful analysis of the strategies used by administrations, both Democratic and Republican, to promote their agendas for war from Vietnam to Iraq. By familiarizing viewers with the techniques of war propaganda, "War Made Easy" encourages us to think critically about the messages put out by today's spin doctors - messages which are designed to promote and prolong a policy of militarism under the guise of the "War on Terror." Based on the book by the same title. Sponsored by: WAMM Third Monday Movies. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------11 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: BushBad/musical 8.20 8pm BUSH IS BAD MINNEAPOLIS RUN EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 26 Due to popular demand, Bush is Bad has been extended by two weeks, and will play through August 26. City Pages calls the production "an impressive range of musical modes and comedic styles, sliding past in a brisk 90 minutes and almost making its case that the last six years have been one big laugh riot." Bush is Bad Concept, Music and Lyrics by Joshua Rosenblum Musical Direction by Michael Erickson @ Old Arizona Theater 2821 Nicollet Avenue (right down Eat Street) Minneapolis, MN 55404 July 20 - August 26 Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 8 p.m. Sunday @ 2 p.m. Tickets: $25 ($20 seniors, students, and fringe button holders) Groups Welcome! Call about special discounts and events. Reservations: (612) 871-0050 --------12 of 18-------- The Peculiar Relationship "No American President Can Stand Up to Israel" By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch August 15, 2007 "No American President can stand up to Israel." These words came from feisty Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations (1967-1970) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1970-1974). Moorer was, perhaps, the last independent-minded American military leader. Admiral Moorer knew what he was talking about. On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked the American intelligence ship, USS Liberty, killing 34 American sailors and wounding 173. The Israelis even strafed the life rafts, machine-gunning the American sailors leaving the stricken ship. Apparently, the USS Liberty had picked up Israeli communications that revealed Israel's responsibility for the Six Day War. Even today, history books and the majority of Americans blame the conflict on the Arabs. The United States Navy knew the truth, but the President of the United States took Israel's side against the American military and ordered the United States Navy to shut its mouth. President Lyndon Johnson said it was all just a mistake. Later in life, Admiral Moorer formed a commission and presented the unvarnished truth to Americans. The power of the Israel Lobby over American foreign policy is considerable. In March 2006, two distinguished American scholars, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, expressed concern in the London Review of Books that the power of the Israel Lobby was bending US foreign policy in directions that serve neither US nor Israeli interests. The two experts were hoping to start a debate that might rescue the US and Israel from unsuccessful policies of coercion that are intensifying Muslim hatred of Israel and America. The Israel lobby was opposed to any such reassessment, and attempted to close it off with epithets: "Jew-baiter," "anti-semitic," and even "anti-American." Today Israeli citizens who oppose Zionist plans for greater Israel are denounced as "anti-Semites." Many Americans are unaware of the influence of the Israel lobby. Instead they think of the US as "the world's sole superpower," a macho new Roman Empire whose orders are obeyed without question or the insolent nonentity is "bombed back to the stone age." Many Americans are convinced that military coercion serves our interest. They cite Libya, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now they are ready to bring Iran and Pakistan to heel with bombs. This arrogance results in the murder of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of men, women and children, a fate that many Americans seem to believe is appropriate for countries that do not accept US hegemony. Coercion is what American foreign policy has become. Macho superpatriots love it. Many of these superpatriots derive vicarious pleasure from their delusions that America is "kicking those sand niggers' asses." This is the America of the Bush Regime. If some of these superpatriots had their way every "unpatriotic, terrorist supporter" who dares to criticize the war against "the Islamofacists" would be sent to Gitmo, if not shot on the spot. These Bush supporters have morphed the Republican Party into the Brownshirt Party. They cannot wait to attack Iran, preferably with nuclear weapons. Impatient for Armageddon, some are so full of hubris and self-righteousness that they actually believe that their support for evil means they will be "wafted up to heaven." It has come as a crippling blow to Democrats that "their" political party is comfortable with Bush's America, and will do nothing to stop the Bush regime's aggression against the Iraqi people or to prevent the Bush regime's attack on Iran. The Democrats could easily impeach both Bush and Cheney in the House, as impeachment only requires a majority vote. They could not convict in the Senate without Republican support, as conviction requires ratification by two-thirds of Senators present. Nevertheless, a House vote for impeachment would take the wind out of the sails of war, save countless lives and perhaps even save humanity from nuclear holocaust. Various rationales or excuses have been constructed for the Democrats' complicity in aggression that does not serve America. Perhaps the most popular rationale is that the Democrats are letting the Republicans have all the rope they want with which to produce such a high disapproval rating that the Democrats will sweep the 2008 election. It is doubtful that the Democrats would assume that men as cunning as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney do not understand the electoral consequences of a low public approval rating and are walking blindly into an electoral wipeout. Rove's departure does not mean that no strategy is in place. So what does explain the complicity of the Democratic Party in a policy that the American public, and especially Democratic constituencies, reject? Perhaps a clue is offered from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune news report (August 1, 2007) that Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison will spend a week in Israel on "a privately funded trip sponsored by the American Israel Education Federation. The AIEF - the charitable arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) - is sending 19 members of Congress to meet with Israeli leaders. The group, made up mostly of freshman Democrats, has plans to meet with Isreali Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and [puppet] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The senior Democratic member on the trip is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has gone three times. . . . The trip to Israel is Ellison's second as a congressman." According to the Star-Tribune, a Republican group, which includes Rep. Michele Bachmann (R, Minn), led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R, Va) is already in Israel. According to news reports, another 40 are following these two groups during the August recess, and "by the time the year is out every single member of Congress will have made their rounds in Israel." This claim is probably overstated, but it does show careful Israeli management of US policy in the Middle East. Elsewhere on earth and especially among Muslims, the suspicion is rife that the reason the war against Iraq cannot end, and the reason Iran and Syria must be attacked, is that the US must destroy all Muslim opposition to Israel's theft of Palestine, turning an entire people into refugees driven from their homes and from the lands on which they have lived for many centuries. Americans might think that they are merely grabbing control over oil, keeping it out of the hands of terrorists, but that is not the way the rest of the world views the conflict. Jimmy Carter was the last American president who stood up to Israel and demanded that US diplomacy be, at least officially if not in practice, even-handed in its approach to Israel and Palestine. Since Carter's presidency, even-handedness has slowly drained from US policy in the Middle East. The neoconservative Bush/Cheney regime has abandoned even the pretense of even-handedness. This is unfortunate, because military coercion has proven to be unsuccessful. Exhausted from the conflict, the US military, according to former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, is "nearly broken." Demoralized elite West Point graduates are leaving the army at the fastest clip in 30 years. Desertions are rapidly rising. A friend, a US Marine officer who served in combat in Vietnam, recently wrote to me that his son's Marine unit, currently training for its third deployment to Iraq in September, is short 12-16 men in every platoon and expects to be hit with more AWOLs prior to deployment. Instead of re-evaluating a failed policy, Bush's "war tsar," General Douglas Lute, has called for the reinstitution of the draft. Gen. Lute doesn't see why Americans should not be returned to military servitude in order to save the Bush administration the embarrassment of having to correct a mistaken Middle East policy that commits the US to more aggression and to debilitating long-term military conflict in the Middle East. It is difficult to see how this policy serves any interest other than the very narrow one of the armaments industry. Apparently, nothing can be done to change this disastrous policy until the Israel Lobby comes to the realization that Israel's interest is not being served by the current policy of military coercion. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------13 of 18-------- NPR Watch When Will Linda Gradstein Go to Gaza? By FELICE PACE CounterPunch August 15, 2007 This morning (August 14th) we once again had to listen to a report about an Israeli raid into Gaza reported by Linda Gradstein from Jerusalem. Why is it that NPR regularly reports about events in Gaza from Jerusalem; and why is it that Ms.Gradstein, who has reported for NPR on Middle East issues for several years now, rarely if ever has set foot in Gaza? As usual, Ms. Gradstein's report was carefully crafted to satisfy the Israeli government's desire that its illegal occupation of the West Bank, collective punishment of the Palestinian People and military raids into Gaza be reported in terms that present it in the best possible light. They must positively love Ms. Gradstein who apparently has never seen an Israeli Press Release that she did not endorse and mimic. This morning Gradstein described the illegal military raid as an "incursion". MS Word lists the following synonyms for incursion: raid, night raid, attack, sortie, invasion, storming. Has Ms. Gradstein ever used any of these words to describe an Israeli attack into Gaza? When reporting these "incursions" has she ever pointed out that they are a violation of international law? Has Gradstein ever taken the time to interview any of the thousands of innocent victims that these illegal raids have killed and maimed? I challenge NPR to take Ms. Gradstein's reports over the course of years and do an analysis of terms used. I did a search on the name "Gradstein" at NPR's web site and found over 1700 entries; most are reports by Linda Gradstein originating from Israel or interviews with her about Israel-Palestine issues. How often has an illegal raid been described as an "incursion" and how many times have the synonyms been used? How often are favorable terms associated with Israeli actions and unfavorable terms with Palestinian actions? Then, when you have done this analysis, publish the results. This is the sort of investigation in the interest of journalistic integrity that an independent NPR listener Ombudsman would do. But NPR apparently does not want that sort of scrutiny since it has failed for many months now to fill the position of Ombudsman. Why can't NPR muster the courage to report honestly about Israel-Palestine and how do those NPR reporters and editors who do want to practice their craft with journalistic integrity live with the contradiction of NPR's overwhelmingly biased reporting on all things Israeli and Palestinian? Felice Pace lives in Klamath, California. He can be reached at unofelice [at] gmail.com --------14 of 18-------- Boycott Movement Targets Israel by George Bisharat / August 16th, 2007 When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified? That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. It has elicited dramatic reactions from Israel's supporters. U.S. labor leaders have condemned British unions, representing millions of workers, for supporting the Israel boycott. American academics have been frantically gathering signatures against the boycott, and have mounted a prominent advertising campaign in American newspapers - unwittingly elevating the controversy further in the public eye. Israel's defenders have protested that Israel is not the worst human-rights offender in the world, and singling it out is hypocrisy, or even anti-Semitism. Rhetorically, this shifts focus from Israel's human rights record to the imagined motives of its critics. But "the worst first" has never been the rule for whom to boycott. Had it been, the Pol Pot regime, not apartheid South Africa, would have been targeted in the past. It was not - Cambodia's ties to the West were insufficient to make any embargo effective. Boycotting North Korea today would be similarly futile. Should every other quest for justice be put on hold as a result? In contrast, the boycott of South Africa had grip. The opprobrium suffered by white South Africans unquestionably helped persuade them to yield to the just demands of the black majority. Israel, too, assiduously guards its public image. A dense web of economic and cultural relations also ties it to the West. That - and its irrefutably documented human-rights violations - render it ripe for boycott. What state actions should trigger a boycott? Expelling or intimidating into flight a country's majority population, then denying them internationally recognized rights to return to their homes? Israel has done that. Seizing, without compensation, the properties of hundreds of thousands of refugees? Israel has done that. Systematically torturing detainees, many held without trial? Israel has done that. Assassinating its opponents, including those living in territories it occupies? Israel has done that. Demolishing thousands of homes belonging to one national group, and settling its own people in another nation's land? Israel has done that. No country with such a record, whether first or 50th worst in the world, can credibly protest a boycott. Apartheid South Africa provides another useful standard. How does Israel's behavior toward Palestinians compare to former South Africa's treatment of blacks? It is similar or worse, say a number of South Africans, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U.N. special rapporteur in the occupied territories John Dugard, and African National Congress member and government minister Ronnie Kasrils. The latter observed recently that apartheid South Africa never used fighter jets to attack ANC activists, and judged Israel's violent control of Palestinians as "10 times worse". Dual laws for Jewish settlers and Palestinians, segregated roads and housing, and restrictions on Palestinians. freedom of movement strongly recall apartheid South Africa. If boycotting apartheid South Africa was appropriate, it is equally fair to boycott Israel on a similar record. Israel has been singled out, but not as its defenders complain. Instead, Israel has been enveloped in a cocoon of impunity. Our government has vetoed 41 U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli actions - half of the total U.S. vetoes since the birth of the United Nations - thus enabling Israel's continuing abuses. The Bush administration has announced an increase in military aid to Israel to $30 billion for the coming decade. Other military occupations and human-rights abusers have faced considerably rougher treatment. Just recall Iraq's 1990 takeover of Kuwait. Perhaps the United Nations should have long ago issued Israel the ultimatum it gave Iraq - and enforced it. Israel's occupation of Arab lands has now exceeded 40 years. Iran, Sudan and Syria have all been targeted for federal and state-level sanctions. Even the City of Beverly Hills is contemplating Iran divestment actions, following the lead of Los Angeles, which approved Iran divestment legislation in June. Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran has never attacked its neighbors nor occupied their territories. It is merely suspected of aspiring to the same nuclear weapons Israel already possesses. Politicians worldwide, and American ones especially, have failed us. Our leaders, from the executive branch to Congress, have dithered, or cheered Israel on, as it devoured the land base for a Palestinian state. Their collective irresponsibility dooms both Palestinians and Israelis to a future of strife and insecurity, and undermines our global stature. If politicians cannot lead the way, then citizens must. That is why boycotting Israel has become both necessary and justified. This article appeared on page B9 of the San Francisco Chronicle. George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East. Read other articles by George. This article was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am and is filed under Israel/Palestine and Boycotts. Send [ed supports the immediate and total boycott of Israel and its outrageous Zionist policies.] --------15 of 18-------- Takes One to Know One Terrorist Nation? By DAVE LINDORFF CounterPunch August 15, 2007 The idea that the US could be considering classifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization, based upon some dubious evidence that the organization is supplying some weapons - in particular those shaped charges that have been so effective in roadside bombs against US military vehicles - is pretty preposterous when you consider the source. Whatever the truth about the activities of the Iranians, certainly when it comes to terror, the US is unrivalled in the world today. By the latest estimate, over one million people have died in Iraq because of the American invasion of that country, and despite a virtual media blackout over that entire country, and the self-censorship practiced by the US media regarding Iraq, more and more evidence keeps trickling out that the vast majority of those deaths have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the American forces. While we read in lurid detail about every bomb blast detonated by Shia and Sunni fighters that hit Iraqis or that kill or wound Americans, we hear barely a word about the killing of Iraqi civilians by US forces, and it's clear that adding up all of those publicized Iraqi-on-Iraqi attacks you don't come close to a million dead. Guess who's killing the rest? Nor are we getting any figures on the numbers of dead innocents in Afghanistan, where the blackout on reporting is even more effective than in Iraq. What is clear is that American tactics are causing an unending slaughter in both places - a slaughter that is clearly not just part of but central to the policy, and that is so serious that it has led to protests from Britain and other NATO countries that have soldiers in Afghanistan. And let's be honest: this is no matter of "collateral damage." It is a deliberate policy of terror. As I've written before, when your army is killing vastly more civilians than enemy fighters, the deaths of innocents cannot be termed "collateral damage." It's the deaths of enemy fighters which are the "collateral damage." The innocents are the targets. Just consider one of the weapons being used by American forces, the so-called GBU-31. Marc Herold, a professor at the University of New Hampshire, who has been documenting the violence in Afghanistan, has investigated the use of this weapon and offers this description of how it works: "Dropped from a plane and hurtling toward its target at 300 mph, the 14-foot steel bomb uses small gears in its fins to pinpoint its path based on satellite data received by a small antenna and fed into a computer. Just before impact, a fusing device triggers a chemical reaction causing the 14-inch-wide weapon to swell to twice its size. The steel casing shatters, shooting forth 1,000 pounds of white-hot fragments traveling at speeds of 6,000 feet per second. The explosion creates a shock wave exerting thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). By comparison, a shock wave of 12 psi will knock a person down; and the injury threshold is 15 pounds psi. The pressure from the explosion of a device such as the Mark-84 JDAM can rupture lungs, burst sinus cavities and tear off limbs hundreds of feet from the blast site, according to trauma physicians. When it hits, the JDAM generates an 8,500-degree fireball, gouges a 20-foot crater as it displaces 10,000 pounds of dirt and rock and generates enough wind to knock down walls blocks away and hurl metal fragments a mile or more. " Herold notes that several of these terror weapons were dropped by a B-1B bomber earlier this month on a group of Afghans during an open air market outside the town of Baghran, killing an untold number of civilians, including children. The US military described this bombing as a "successful" raid on a gathering of Taliban leaders, and claimed no civilians were present, but the severely injured men, women and children delivered to various hospitals following the attack gave the lie to this cover-up. Furthermore, given the extensive 2600-foot radius of this weapon's kill-range, it clearly is no "precision" weapon for targeting fighters, if any were even present. Nor is this weapon the only example of American terror. Far from it. Stan Goff, in his excellent report on the killing of Cpl. Pat Tillman in Counterpunch magazine, notes that one reason Tillman was killed by his own unit is that the members of his own separated team that fired on him had launched their attack upon a village despite the fact that not a shot had been fired from that village - a clear violation of the Geneva Accords, but an instructive example of how US forces are actually operating in the field. (Tillman himself was also shot while standing up with his arms raised in a sign of surrender - another violation of international law.) Reports are mounting that make it clear that the US is using a deliberate strategy of terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The documented (and illegal) use of white phosphorus bombs, which spray wide areas with a substance that burns through flesh down to the bone, first disclosed in the devastating assault and leveling of the city of Fallujah in 2004, the widespread use of helicopter and fixed-wing "gunships" that inundate football-field-sized areas with bullets and fragmentation weapons, the use of delayed action cluster bombs and shells, the use of concussion weapons and napalm, all speak to a policy of indiscriminate killing. Americans need to wake up to what the rest of the world already knows: The United States is indisputably the number one terrorist nation in the world today. Indeed, the very administration that is talking about calling Iranian Republican Guard troops "terrorists" is at this moment developing plans for an unprovoked aerial assault on Iran that would feature the dropping of 30,000-lb bombs, all manner of anti-personnel weapons, and possibly even tactical nuclear weapons, on Iranian targets, many of them in populated areas. There is a word for this kind of behavior: terrorism. Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. He can be reached at: dlindorff [at] yahoo.com [Behind and directly responsible for US terrorism are the rich, their corporations, and the greatest anti-life force ever invented, capitalism. The ruling class in every country for 5000 years have been unmitigated bastards, but the US ruling class is outdoing them all in sheer volume of evil, pain, suffering, degradation, greed, nastiness, inhumanity, and wild ghoulishness. When the Dem party supports this, it is not a lesser evil, it is the heart of evil. Voting for its candidates means buying into that heart of evil. Lesser-evilism is destroying our moral sense and our humanity. -ed] --------16 of 18-------- With the Democrats, Everything's Just Vichy Keen by Mark Drolette / August 16th, 2007 I wrote this about the Democrats in an April 2006 column: "..just what in the slimy, spineless, mush-mouthed, pants-wetting, knee-knocking, finger-in-the-air, thumb-in-your-eye, two-faced, CYA-ing recent past of the Democratic Party leads you to believe that in any way, shape or form these bipedal jellyfish can lead us to the Promised Land, or even the Suggested Parking Lot, even if by the most miraculous of miracles the GOP somehow forgets to throw the vote-conversion switch in the next selection and the Dems manage to regain a majority somewhere?" However, given their actions since November, I owe an apology: I regret the soft-pedaling. In the same piece, I penned: "In fairness, there are a handful of Dems who do have real guts, folks like John Conyers, Jr., Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee. But they've all been marginalized to one extent or another by their whore, er, more "practical" political sisters and brothers.. So much for Conyers, who shot from the short to the shit list with the unceremonious July 23 arrest at his office of nearly fifty pro-impeachment folks foolish enough to believe him when he'd publicly bellowed about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney days earlier: "Let's take them out!" Speaking of Democratic doublespeak, how about that July 11 97-0 Senate vote on the belligerent Lieberman Amendment - yes, that belligerent Lieberman - essentially accusing Iran of murdering American military forces and of "contributing to the destabilization of Iraq"? (Change the responsible party in the amendment to the "Bush administration" and now you're Tonkin.) I'm no mathematician but I'd assume the clutch of forty-nine Democrats who endorsed this taunting double-dog-dare-ya might include some of the same solons who've done fractured forked-tongue contortions trying to explain away their previous support for the Iraq fiasco. It's something, isn't it? Millions of us plied the streets before the Iraq invasion screaming to the high heavens the whole thing was bogus yet were sneeringly dismissed by the chimp-in-charge as a "focus group". Now that it's become obvious to all but the rock-solid, rock-headed "twenty-nine percenters" (i.e. those Americans who'd support Bush regardless if he were videotaped spraying a group of Grandmothers for Peace with an AK-47) that everything we predicted would happen has happened, former cheerleading politicians and whoreporate media types have frantically issued non-stop mea culpas about their culpability like they bought 'em at a friendly fire sale at War-Mart. Yet here we are in the run-up to a nuclear attack on Iran and the (ir)responsible parties are doing the same damn thing. And who's co-signing the pending deja vu debacle all over again? That's right: the Democrats. Slithering from one jaw-dropper to the next, their most recent outrage was the wiretap bill they tremulously sent to Bush that authorizes his toady nematode of an attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, and sundry fellow henchworms to monitor, sans warrant, all communications that you - yes, you, you terrorist sympathizer, you - conduct with anyone overseas. For any reason. Too bad, too, 'cause I always kinda liked the Fourth Amendment. Yet in light of all this and so much more, otherwise well-meaning and intelligent people massage the fantastical belief that hope for America's salvation still lies with the Democrats. They focus, Pavlonian-like, on November 2008 when Americans next engage in that strange neo-tradition of pushing electronic buttons on screens connected to, well, nothing. [The Dems are as irremediably and criminally evil and as the RPs. Neither party deserves our support. -ed] I'm curious: Who out there believes the 2000 election was not square? 2004's? Wow, that's a lot of hands. Then what on earth makes you think the 2006 vote was on the up-and-up? Because the Dems "won"? Hmm. Might it be possible another explanation exists, that the announced balloting results were instead tied to an "arrangement" between America's two controlling political parties, parties now virtually alike? (After feeding at the same military-industrial complex-filled trough long enough, one war pig resembles another.) At the risk of appearing like I've cheesily fattened a column by quoting myself (even if it's true), I also wrote this in April '06: "We are entirely on our own, folks, and have been for a long time. If we are to ever survive the pure hell in which America is squarely mired, it is up to us - and only us - to pull her out". So, given the Dems' pathetic complicity in America's ruination, what to do? Well, here's something guaranteed to get the ruling corporatemeisters. attention since it would affect the only thing they truly care about (their wallets): a general strike. It's worked before. Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States records that in Seattle in 1919, "a walkout of 100,000 working people brought the city to a halt". The five-day strike ended after "[t]he mayor swore in 2,400 special deputies" and "[a]lmost a thousand sailors and marines were brought into the city by the U.S. government." Granted, a successful nationwide general strike has about as much chance of materializing as does a decision made by a Clinton not based on self. I've an idea, though: Maybe we could lure our notoriously apathetic fellow citizens into the event by naming it American Idle and awarding a lifetime's supply of Big Macs to those who successfully cast votes for the most-bludgeoned participant. If the tabulation is done by Diebold, though, forget it. It was bad enough when Democrats weren't doing what they should've been doing. It's far worse now they're doing what they have no business doing. The whole thing's revolting. Say, that gives me another idea. Mark Drolette is a writer who lives in Sacramento, California, and whose next book, Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not?, will also be his first. It will be available once it's finished, published and then made available. Mark can be reached at mdrolette [at] comcast.net . Read other articles by Mark. This article was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am and is filed under Elections, Democrats and Humor. --------17 of 18-------- President Cindy! by Manuel Garcia Jr. / August 16th, 2007 The race to become ruler of the world on January 20, 2009 is now upon us, and as ever the problem facing the would-be Pharaohs is the anachronistic impediment of the U.S. Constitution requiring the appearance of a plebiscite approving the selection of Number One. The obstreperous voting masses, oblivious to anything beyond their immediate needs and wants: survival, the safety of their children, watching the game on TV, a good price on whatever, "time for myself", and a good supply of booze (or substitute enjoyable neurosis), are as ever obdurate to the careerist ambitions of the pharaonic contenders. Such is the agony of mid-August campaigning for the presidency of the United States of America, fifteen months before the election. It is commonly known that the next USAmerican Pharaoh will be selected by a committee of representatives of the property interests of the nation, and the candidates chosen for the road shows of the primaries and electoral events of 2008 will be a batch of individuals who are deemed most likely to carry the crowds along the channels laid out by the Big Money. It might be the Shrike "against" the Dour Doughface in the finals, or it might be some other pair pleasing to the owning elite. The eighty to ninety percent of eligible voters (a decreasing proportion of the USAmerican population under the Rovian Regression of democracy), outside the management, will exhibit a variety of delinquent and passive-aggressive behaviors: failing to become enthused about the mandated choices, manning public protests, becoming active in third party politics and even abandoning voting altogether. Many clueless of "effete intellectual snob" (thanks, Spiro) persuasion will agonize about "how to register" and "who to vote for" in order to maximize the effectiveness of their single vote. Since most USAmericans are now marginalized by the political system, they tend to share the same type of fantasies. They wish they could somehow vote for a real change - whether that change is for a new Christian Kingdom or a Socialist Revolution - and they wish they could somehow vote to throw out all the careerist bums who confidently punch their tickets in the government gravy train from its Washington D.C. locomotive down through its fifty state luxury sleepers, the county administration box cars and down to its city council cabooses. But, voters can't get what they really want if they vote obediently. However, voters do have one option that is primarily symbolic and generally ineffective, unless they happen to share a very wide agreement: they can write in a candidate. So, friends, here is my suggestion. Instead of swallowing hard to accept another "morning after" Democrat, or hoping Ralph Nader can somehow miraculously combat the accumulated malevolence of a rigged electoral system fully under the control of the pharaonic parasites, act like a rebellious jury that ignores all instruction from the judge and just decides what it damn well thinks is just. Act out the equivalent of a "jury nullification" as "voter nullification", and write in Cindy Sheehan as president. "But, I'll be throwing my vote away!" you may cry. If you want an immediate end to the Iraq War, taxation of corporations and a equitable use of national resources for the benefit of the national population, your vote doesn't count anyway. If you live in the wrong neighborhood or have too rich a complexion, your right to vote will be questioned more strenuously - even rejected - under the new Rovian eligibility criteria. If you vote for the pretty face that looks like yours from among the approved contenders, you will get a black, or female (or whatever) mask over the the same kind of guardian (and errand boy/girl) of white power capitalism we always get, whether with a horizontal Texas drawl or a vertical Massachusetts nasal pinch. Obedience is not in your interest. "But Cindy Sheehan has no experience running a government!" you might fret. Honestly, are you happy with the results garnered by our "government experienced" would-be Pharaohs? Is there anybody who believes that Cindy Sheehan is less trustworthy, less honest, less truthful and less concerned about the USAmerican people than anyone in the dugout of Big Money approved presidential pitchmen? Number One barks out the orders and hires and fires as needed to get them done. Do you really believe Cindy Sheehan is less capable of doing this than the careerist androids of the Big Money Brat Pack. [Insert John Belushi saying "Please"]. The flaw in this suggestion is the same flaw as in John Lennon's song "Imagine". Yes, it is true that if most people had the same vision they could overcome war, hunger, nationalism, religion, and all the scourges of humankind. But, humanity has proved unable to share such a compassionate vision, even though humans everywhere say they want "peace" and justice. and other forms of universal good. Note, however, that the flaw is based on probability, not possibility. It is not probable that most people would share a common humanistic vision, but there is no logical impediment to such an outcome, and in fact if most people did choose to share such a vision - through their actions - then the desired humanistic compassionate state (and world) would necessarily have to emerge. It is the same with the elections in the U.S.A., if enough people choose to vote for a given candidate, in this case by write-in balloting, then regardless of the shenanigans by partisan election officials, and the hacking of electronic voting machines, the "will of the people" will become clearly evident. The success of any such act of mass disobedience would be the beginning of the end of the current syndicates running USAmerican politics as a continuing criminal enterprise for the enrichment of corporate sponsors. For such an act of national liberation by mass disobedience to ever occur, it would be necessary for many voters to see beyond their assumed self-interests as co-conspirators with the political machines they pledge allegiance to. They have to see "their" interests and the nation's interest as being above and different from "the party's" interest. In the 18th century, this was called patriotism. Being patriotic might cost you money, it might contradict your prejudices, and it might challenge your patience. But it will bring you into a closer brotherhood and sisterhood with a great number of other people who also think of themselves as "Americans". When you vote for Cindy Sheehan as president, you are declaring "I do not wish to make war on other Americans by seeing them as a threatening 'other' race, religion, class or type; I do not wish to enslave, depreciate and discard my fellow countrymen and countrywomen because it is advantageous to my pocket to do so; I do not wish to invest my county's blood and treasure in piratical ventures around the world, whether alone or in league with foreign bandits whose thievery and bloodletting are enabled by our resources". So - imagine - we all go to the polls in 2008, ask for paper ballots and write in "Cindy Sheehan" for president. Imagine, the vote is overwhelming. Imagine the panic of the pharaonic class. Imagine all the court decisions trying to stem the tide, all the resistance to democracy, even perhaps the calling out of the National Guard (and imagine what side they would prefer). Go ahead, imagine another country, possible if we have the courage to hold a common vision. Why Cindy Sheehan? Her patriotism is compassionate, based on the power of motherhood and the eternity of grief for a lost child. Who doesn't prefer this over cynical self-aggrandizement leaving a failed adventurist war hung around a gutted nation's neck like Samuel Taylor Coleridge's albatross, by a gang of con-men marketing facile prejudices to an inattentive public - "the sting". What does Cindy Sheehan think of this nomination? I have no idea; I didn't ask her, I have never met her nor communicated with her in any way. I have read about her, and more importantly I have read her essays, speeches and interviews. In the past I have voted for more than one mass-murdering Pharaoh on the basis of much less information, so what more do I need to know about Cindy? "What if she refuses the mandate?" you may wonder, fearful of being caught in a rebellion gone awry. Do not worry, if we can muster the mandate, then Cindy or an equally worthy citizen of our choosing [sic] can be positioned to implement the authentic will of the people. "When in the course of human events". Manuel Garcia, Jr. is a recently retired physicist (DOE/LLNL) moving into other activities; contact = mango [at] idiom.com. He wants you to read "Climate and Carbon, Consensus and Contention." His e-mail address is mango [at] idiom.com. Read other articles by Manuel, or visit Manuel's website. This article was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am and is filed under Elections, Democracy and Solidarity. Send to a friend. --------18 of 18-------- Edna St Vincent Millay An Ancient Gesture I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron: Penelope did this too. And more than once: you can't keep weaving all day And undoing it all through the night; Your arms get tired, and the back of your neck gets tight; And along towards morning, when you think it will never be light, And your husband has been gone, and you don't know where, for years. Suddenly you burst into tears; There is simply nothing else to do. And I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron: This is an ancient gesture, authentic, antique, In the very best tradition, classic, Greek; Ulysses did this too. But only as a gesture, - a gesture which implied To the assembled throng that he was much too moved to speak. He learned it from Penelope... Penelope, who really cried. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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