|Progressive Calendar 08.26.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 07:04:54 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.26.08 1. Immigrant women 8.26 1pm 2. David Rovics/CTV 8.26 5pm 3. Palestine poetry 8.26 6:30pm 4. NLG/RNC video 8.26 7pm 5. Antiracism 8.26 6. Copwatch/court 8.27 8:30am 7. GOP/reason/KFAI 8.27 11am 8. RNC/less-lethal 8.27 12noon 9. RNC/psych aid 8.27 3pm 10. RNC/paint signs 8.27 5pm 11. RNC/Ruckus 8.27 5pm 12. YAWR/puppets 8.27 6pm 13. Fr Roy/SOAWatch 8.27 7:30pm 14. VetsPeace conv 8.27-30 15. Rich Broderick - Look Homeward, Angel: The death of Mahmoud Darwish 16. James McEnteer - Death by paranoia: misery in the name of liberty 17. Stephen Lendman - Russia-bashing goes prime time 17a. NEWS Mpls cops detain indy journalists & illegally seize equipment --------1 of 17-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Immigrant women 8.26 1pm August 26: Women's Human Rights Programs at Advocates for Human Rights. Breaking the Silence: A Program to Empower Immigrant and Refugee Women and their Communities. 1 - 5 PM at Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis. Free and open to the public. Event schedule. Registration deadline: August 22. --------2 of 17------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: David Rovics/CTV 8.26 5pm St. Paul Neighborhood Network viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow! All households with basic cable may watch. Tues, 8/26, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 8/27, 10am "David Rovics Live from the Bedlam" Folk singer/song-writer extraordinaire. --------3 of 17-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Palestinian poetry 8.26 6:30pm Palestinian Poetry: Mahmoud Darwich Tuesday, August 26, 6:30 p.m. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 West 7th, St. Paul. at Read the poetry and celebrate the life of the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwich, who died last week. Mahmoud Darwich was the Poet Laureat of the Palestinians and is considered one of the most important Arab poets in history. Sponsored by: Pax Conversational Salons. [Richard Broderick, who has written on Darwich (see below item #15), has been invited to attend. -ed] --------4 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: NLG/RNC video 8.26 7pm Tuesday, 8/26, 7 to 8:45 pm, NLG sponsors legal observer/videographer training for RNC, William Mitchel College of Law, room 223, 875 Summit Ave (at Victoria), St Paul. RSVP genab [at] visi.com --------5 of 17-------- From: Margery Otto <motto [at] asdic-alliance.org> Subject: Antiracism circles 8.26 August 26 registration Register now to participate in an Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circle. An ASDIC Circle is a community of 10 to 12 people who meet once a week for twelve weeks, starting the week of September 9th. We create supportive relationships as together we explore the ways our social behaviors and identities are formed in the context of "race" and racism in the United States. Our relationships are built on honest, informed and deep dialogue that leads to formation of Action Plans. Through the ASDIC experience we create antiracist patterns of relationships in the settings of our own lives and advocate for relational, antiracist policies in the institutions and systems of wider society. Members of past ASDIC Circles report the Circles to be deeply transformative. Two Circles will be offered this fall on the West Side of Saint Paul: one on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:30pm (with a shared meal at 5:30), and one on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 11:00am (with breakfast served at 8:00). Suggested donation for the whole series is $150 which includes textbook, Manual and all meals. Kindly pay what you can - all are welcome without regard to financial circumstances. To register or FFI: Tim Johnson, 651-227-4275 or cpuc [at] usfamily.net. www.cherokeeparkunited.org - ADSIC. Although these two Circles will be held in a community church building, ASDIC Circles are non-sectarian in nature. ASDIC - Fostering wholeness - Spinning webs of relationship - Untangling knots of oppression. --------6 of 17-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: Copwatch/court 8.27 8:30am DARRYL ROBINSON GOES TO COURT You'll recall that Darryl Robinson, CUAPB vice president and head of our copwatch program, was brutalized by Minneapolis police back on July 20th while copwatching at a homeless shelter. To cover up their vicious attack, police arrested Darryl and charged him with obstructing the sidewalk, obstructing legal process and disorderly conduct. Just a few weeks before that, Darryl was charged with trespassing while standing on a public sidewalk doing copwatch at that same shelter. Darryl goes to court on August 27th on all of these charges. We need to stand with Darryl as he fights back against these false and malicious charges. Please mark your calendar and plan to be in court with Darryl. Darryl Robinson Court Case Wednesday, August 27 8:30 a.m. Public Safety Building (new jail) 401 S 4th Street, Minneapolis --------7 of 17-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: GOP/reason/KFAI 8.27 11am TRUTH TO TELL Wednesday, August 27 11:00AM: REPUBLICAN PROGRESSIVES: Where Has All the Reason Gone? Old-line Minnesota Republicans have for the last decade or two been wringing their hands and gnashing teeth over the take-no-prisoners, make-no-liberal-friends radical right shift their party has taken as the state's and the nation's Constitutional compact with its citizens tanks and the proud legacy of Minnesota GOP luminaries like Governors Harold Stassen, Harold LeVander, Luther Youngdahl, Elmer L. Andersen, Al Quie and Arne Carlson and many other so-called moderate-to-progressive party members goes up in smoke. Who will bring it back? Who can bring it back to its glory as the education-minded, workforce-developing, fair-taxation party representing Minnesota's conservative wing? TTT'S ANDY DRISCOLL talks with a former state GOP party chair and a think tank official about where the state's Republicans might go to recapture its former luster as a fiscal watchdog with a big heart. GUESTS: CHUCK SLOCUM - public policy consultant, former MN Republican Party chair SALLY PILLSBURY, longtime Republican activist, professional volunteer DANE SMITH President, Growth & Justice, former StarTribune Capitol reporter, author, "Mr. Wellstone Goes to Washington." INVITED: GOVERNOR ARNE CARLSON KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed [at] KFAI.org --------8 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/less-lethal 8.27 12noon Wednesday, 8/27, noon to 3 pm, training on dealing with the police use of "less-lethal" weapons, including pepper spray, tasers, and batons, Convergence Center, 627 Smith Ave S, St Paul. http://twincities.indymedia.org/event/ --------9 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/psych aid 8.27 3pm Wednesday, 8/27, 3 to 6 pm, Psychological First Aid training for activists, Convergence Space, 627 Smith Ave S, St Paul. http://northstarhealth.wordpress.com or northstarhealth [at] gmail.com --------10 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/paint signs 8.27 5pm Wednesday, 8/27, 5 to 10 pm, sign painting workshop in preparation for the RNC and the Liberty Parade, Bedlam Theater, 1501 S 6th St, West Bank, Mpls. --------11 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/Ruckus 8.27 5pm Wednesday, 8/27, 5 pm, activist training for the 9/4 student strike with Ruckus Society leading the workshop, Bedlam Theater, 1501 S 6th St, Mpls. http://yawr.org/strike or against.war [at] gmail.com --------12 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: YAWR/puppets 8.27 6pm Wednesday, 8/27, 6 to 9 pm, Youth Against War and Racism makes puppets for the protests against the RNC, Bedlam Theater, 1501 S 6th St, West Bank, Mpls. http://www.yawr.org Puppet workshops are led by Chris Lutter of Puppet Farm Arts, http://puppetfarm.org/lutter.html Please RSVP tytymo [at] gmail so they know how many folks to plan for. --------13 of 17-------- From: MnSOAWatch <MnSOAW [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Fr Roy/SOAWatch 8.27 7:30pm Please join us to hear Father Roy Bourgeois, Founder of SOAWatch Update on the efforts of the campaign Wednesday August 27 at 7:30 pm St Stephen's Church Basement 2211 Clinton Ave, Mpls Fr Roy is one of the many speakers in town to speak at the Veterans for Peace National Convention August 27-31 Peace, Liberty and Justice for All at the Ramada Inn, Bloomington. Call 612.529.3551 for more info. The SOA Watch movement is a large, diverse, grassroots movement rooted in solidarity with the people of Latin America. The goal of SOA Watch is to close the SOA* and to change U.S. foreign policy in Latin America by educating the public, lobbying Congress and participating in creative, nonviolent resistance. Most recently, successful efforts have been made in establishing relationships with leadership in Central and South American countries. *School of the Americas (SOA), in 2001 renamed the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation," is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia USA --------14 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: VetsPeaceConv 8.27-30 8/27 to 8/30, annual national Veterans for Peace convention "Peace, Liberty and Justice for All," at the Mall of America Ramada (formerly the Thunderbird), Bloomington, MN. $200 full program registration. Jim Steinhagen at 612-722-1112. --------15 of 17-------- Look Homeward, Angel: The death of Mahmoud Darwish by Rich Broderick Daily Planet August 12, 2008 - This past Saturday, one of the world's leading writers died. He was a towering figure whose more than 30 volumes of poetry place him alongside international literary giants like Yeats and Lorca, Eliot and Mandelstam, Whitman and Rilke, Dickinson and Montale, Dario and Amachai. Beyond that, he was a writer who rose to even more rarified ranks, joining Anna Akhmatova and Pablo Neruda and a handful of other poets who transformed themselves into what Yeats called the voice of the tribe by channeling the suffering, joy, dreams and thirst for justice of their respective peoples while overcoming the parochial limiations of individual place, historical circumstance, and ethnicity to produce verse that speaks to us all. His name was Mahmoud Darwish. If you've never heard of him don't be embarrassed. After all, under the best of circumstances, poets are marginalized figures in our culture. As far as his lack of fame in the United States is concerned, however, Darwish suffered in life as he suffers in death from another, far more consequential liability. He was a Palestinian. In a nation like ours, fully committed to helping finance, arm, rationalize, and provide political and military protection to Israel's now 60-year old attempt to achieve the politicide of the Palestinian people, in a nation where even daring to discuss openly our complicity in Israeli policies of apartheid, collective punishment, torture, brutality, theft of land and resources, and other well-documented atrocities, human rights violations and transgressions of international law and the Geneva Conventions will earn you charges of anti-Semitism, it is virtually impossible for the mainstream media to acknowledge even the existence of a Mahmoud Darwish let alone celebrate his work. Just as another writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, also recently deceased, was lionized in the West because his work and his life fit into the larger metanarrative of the Cold War, so Darwish, whose work and whose life paid witness to Palestinian humanity - even to the point of expressing compassion for the very Israelis who persecute his people - has had to be consigned to the oubliette. Though he confessed that politics touched everything he wrote, Darwish was not a "political" poet, with all that epithet implies. As The Butterfly's Burden (Copper Canyon Press), a recent collection of the last of his books (translated by Fady Joudah, a Palestinian-American poet who has just won the Yale Younger Poets award) makes clear, Darwish was a lyricist and elegist at heart who sang about love and loss of all kinds. At the same time, his every word betrayed the universal longing of dispossessed peoples in every place and every age to live in peace and justice in their own homeland. Not coincidentally, his own life story embodied the banishment and exile of the Palestinian people. This is what I wrote about him in a review published in 2003 of Unfortunately, It Was Paradise (University of California Press), an earlier translation of his collected works: "Born in 1941], Darwish grew up in a village in Galilee that was razed in 1948 by the Israeli Army along with more 400 other Arab towns and hamlets. Between that time and when he left Israel in 1970, he lived as a de facto displaced person with the official title of 'present-absent alien" - a status that undoubtedly contributed to his heightened sensitivity to the relationship between language and memory. In 2001, in an act that could symbolize his life and self-appointed vocation, Israel began driving a road through the site of Darwish's boyhood village, in the process disinterring centuries of human bones from the village graveyard. Small wonder that, like Akhmatova's epic "Poem without a Hero," the 20-page "Mural," written in 2000; is an echo chamber of voices Darwish evokes from virtually every spirit, both living and dead, that has touched his life. Early in the poem, he announces his intention to serve as channel for these voices: "And take the ode if you wish. I have nothing in it but you. Take your 'I,' I will complete my exile in your handwriting. You can give it to the doves to mail. Who among us is 'I'? For 'I' will end. Between writing and speech a star will fall. Memory swells our reflections". Later in "Mural," he expands the network of his compassionate channeling to include even the doomed aspirations of the very people who drove the Palestinians off their land. "I asked: How long have you watched me and imprisoned yourself within me? He said: Since you wrote your first songs. I said: But you weren't born yet! He said: I have time and I have eternity. I want to live like an American but also within the walls of Jerusalem.." With Darwish's death, we have lost not just a great but a universal poet. Despite America's neglect, his voice will not lapse into silence. All over the Arab world, his verse is memorized, recited aloud at public occasions, even set to music and sung by peasants tilling their fields. If, as Milan Kundera wrote, the history of our times is of the struggle between memory and forgetting, Darwish offered up the lifeblood of memory. His work will live so long as human beings anywhere continue to struggle for peace and justice and a place to call home. --------16 of 17-------- Misery in the Name of Liberty Death by Paranoia By JAMES McENTEER CounterPunch August 25, 2008 Caracas A U.S. traveler in Venezuela may recall the Will Rogers observation: "God must love poor people; he made so many of them". The poor are the natural constituents and enthusiastic boosters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The frequent target of bellicose U.S. rhetoric and actions, Chavez has dared to chart a path of independence for his country, refusing a free-trade agreement with the U.S. Though Chavez has been elected to office several times by decisive majorities, the Bush administration persists in calling him a dictator. Venezuela's huge petroleum reserves and the rising price of oil have allowed Chavez not only to pay off his debts to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund but to help his neighbors become debt free as well. Chavez has made no secret of his desire to build a Latin American common market, independent of U.S. control, which will eventually be strong enough to negotiate rational trade terms with the European Union, the North Americans and others. The Venezuelan oil industry was nationalized in 1976, decades before Chavez took office. But for the first time, the Venezuelan government is investing most of the profits in projects that benefit the poor majority of Venezuelans, instead of the already wealthy few. In community after community, urban and rural, the excitement is palpable. New homes and schools are being built, new clinics and infrastructure. Through government-funded community councils, ordinary citizens are being consulted about political and financial decisions. In the "new geometry of power," as several Venezuelans described it, politicians are not dictating civic projects. The people themselves are prioritizing the needs of their communities and then helping to bring them about. Real democratization - one that includes the traditionally disenfranchised majority - is struggling to become a reality in Venezuela. The only wars being fought here are against illiteracy, poverty and disease. Hope is in the air. Everyone is talking about "the process" of converting their country from a near-feudal state to a more egalitarian society. "We're making a new road," said the mayor of the mid-sized city of Carora, "rather than the traditional mode of government by and for the few". Carora Mayor Julio Chavez, no relation to the president, said "One of my objectives from day one was to reduce the role of the mayor". In Carora, which pioneered the community council concept, one hundred percent of government funds are allocated by community councils, not by the mayor's office. He has to make his budget requests to the council. Is the Venezuelan social experiment idealistic? Yes. Is "the process" proceeding without glitches? No one I met here made that claim. Is this radical social transformation now underway a threat to the United States? Not at all. In fact, as hard as it is for Americans to accept, we could learn from the Venezuelan example. United States foreign policy has always been motivated by a missionary mentality. But it's time to vary the missionary position. From the Manifest Destiny that drove the U.S. to seize half of Mexico, to Woodrow Wilson to Henry Kissinger and up to the present moment, the United States has always inflicted its ideological will on others, however violently, in the name of the greater good. Our near-religious certainty about our own apparently unlimited "best interests" allows the U.S. to justify, at least to itself, interference in the internal affairs of other countries, including many in Latin America. Unfortunately and not coincidentally, our government tends to replace the populist socialism it fears with the much greater evils of dictatorships, torture and genocide in places such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The list is long and tragic. In 1823 President James Monroe declared that Europe had no right to interfere in Latin America. Not long after the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine, South American independence fighter Simon Bolivar presciently predicted that "... the United States is destined to plague the Americas with misery in the name of liberty". As many Latin American countries undertake a dramatic shift from U.S.-imposed neo-liberal economic and political structures to new, more independent forms of democratic socialism, the United States finds itself on the wrong side of history. The American experience - North and South - shows that capitalism only ever benefits a small minority, leaving many millions struggling to meet their basic needs. Bush and Cheney speak for that powerful minority. They view the attempt by Latin nations to re-invent themselves from corporate satellite feudal states to genuinely egalitarian democracies as a threat to their old hierarchical corporate model of governance. These days the U.S. tends to bypass diplomacy in favor of violence. Is this a cause or an effect of our overdeveloped military capabilities? We tend to declare "war" on things: communism, terrorism, drugs, or various villains du jour, like Manuel Noriega or Saddam Hussein. If it is true that a man who raises his fist is a man who has run out of ideas, then it is clear that the Bush-Cheney foreign policy has been mentally bankrupt from the start. They have spurned negotiation for saber rattling and invasions. "You are either with us or with the terrorists,' is an unhelpful Manichean simplicity meant to intimidate countries, but instead merely alienates them. When Condoleeza Rice declared Chavez "a negative force in the region," was she speaking as the U.S. Secretary of State or as a once and future board member of Exxon-Mobil? An American traveling in Venezuela is struck by the dramatic difference in the tone of public discourse. The powerful, prosperous United States is dominated by the language of fear and belligerence. Part of the problem is that we have moved back into Plato's cave, except that the shadows we mistake for reality are the flickering figures on our television screens. We are literally out of touch with reality, in our own country and the rest of the world. Encouraged by political opportunists, we worry about terrorism, rising gas prices, foreign enemies and economic collapse Compared to average Americans, many Venezuelans have little, except this new, energizing hope. But that turns out to be a lot. We should not just respect and encourage the Venezuelan experiment, but perhaps find a way to adapt it for our own peace of mind. We must reclaim the rhetoric of hope. Idealism has been the traditional bedrock American strength. Death by paranoia is a bad way to go. James McEnteer is the author of Shooting the Truth: the Rise of American Political Documentaries (Praeger 2006). He lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia. --------17 of 17-------- Russia-Bashing Goes Prime Time Reinventing the Evil Empire By STEPHEN LENDMAN CounterPunch August 25, 2008 For the West, everything changed but stayed the same, hard-wired and in place. Things just lay dormant in the shadows during the Yeltsin years, certain to reemerge once a more resolute Russian leader took over. If not Vladimir Putin, someone else little different. Russia is back, proud and reassertive, and not about to roll over for America. Especially in Eurasia. For Washington, it's back to the future, the new Cold War, and reinventing the Evil Empire, but this time for greater stakes and with much larger threats to world peace. Conservatives lost their influence. Neocons are weakened but still dominant. The Israeli Lobby and Christian Right drive them. Conflict is preferred over diplomacy, and most Democrats go along to look tough on "terrorism." Notably their standard-bearer, vying with McCain to be toughest. Ten former Warsaw Pact and Soviet Republics are part of NATO: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In addition, Georgia and Ukraine seek membership. Russia is strongly opposed. And now for greater reason after Poland (on August 20) formally agreed to allow offensive US "interceptor missiles" on its soil. A reported 96 short-range Patriot ones also plus a permanent garrison of US troops - 110 transfered from Germany, according to some accounts. Likely more to follow. In addition, Washington agreed to defend Poland whether or not it joins NATO, so that heightens tensions further. The Warsaw signing followed the Czech Republic's April willingness to install "advanced tracking missile defense radar" by 2012. In both instances, Russia strongly objected, and on August 20 said it will "react (and) not only through diplomatic protests." Both former Warsaw Pact countries are now targets. The threat of nuclear war is heightened. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock heads closer to midnight - meaning "catastrophic destruction." It's no joking matter. The US media downplays the threat and hails a pact Zbigniew Brzezinski (a Polish national, former Carter National Security Advisor, and key Obama foreign policy strategist) calls a watershed in the two countries' relationship - "This changes the strategic relationship between the US and Poland. There is a clear and explicit understanding that if there are negative consequences of stationing the missile shield, the US will come to Poland's defense." On the one hand, a surprising statement from a man critical of Bush administration policies, its failure in Iraq, and the dangers of a widened Middle East war. He fully understands the heightened potential for world conflict but sounds dismissive of the threat. On the other hand, he has bigger fish to fry and apparently willing to wage big stakes on winning. The Iraq war and Iran are distractions by his calculus. The real Great Game embraces all Eurasia and assuring America comes out dominant - not Russia, not China, nor any rival US alliance. The major media also downplay the dangers and explain nothing about the high stakes. Instead they beat up on Russia and highlight comments from Secretary Rice that missiles aren't "aimed in any way at Russia," or White House spokesperson Dana Perino saying: "In no way is the president's plan for missile defense aimed at Russia. (It's to) protect our European allies from any rogue threats" that suggests Iran, but, clearly means Russia, according to Hauke Ritz's recent analysis in Germany's influential Leaves for German and International Politics journal. He explained that Iran's missiles can't reach Europe, and that Washington rejected Russia's proposed Azerbaijan-based joint US-Russian anti-missile system - to intercept and destroy Iranian missiles on launch. He thus concluded that Washington's scheme is for offense, not defense. That it targets Russia, not Iran, with Alaskan and other installations close to Russia as further proof. He wrote: "The strategic significance of the system consists of intercepting those few dozen missiles Moscow (can launch) following a first strike. (It's) a crucial element....to develop a nuclear first strike capacity against Russia. The original plan is for....ten interceptor missiles in Poland. But once....established, their number could be easily increased." According to Ritz, Washington wants a missile system that "guarantee(s a) US (edge) to carry out nuclear war without (risking a) counter-strike." It can then be used for geopolitical advantage "to implement national interests," but it highlights the dangers of possible nuclear confrontation and the catastrophic fallout if it happens. In an August 20 Veterans of Foreign Wars convention address, Bush was essentially on this theme in focusing on "terrorism" and saying: "We're at war against determined enemies, and we must not rest until that war is won." Georgia "stands for freedom around the world, now the world must stand for freedom in Georgia" - clearly linking Russia's response with "terrorism" and suggesting from his September 2001 address to a joint session of Congress and the America people that: "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Any that are "will be regarded....as a hostile state." Clearly, Russia is on his mind just as Moscow is carefully evaluating his threat. The BBC echoed the US media, covers all the bases, mentioned the Iranian threat, singles out Russia, obfuscates facts about the conflict, sides with Washington and Poland on the new missile deal, and quoted Polish President Lech Kaczynski saying: "no one (with) good intentions towards us and (the West) should" fear the missiles. It also cited a miraculous turnaround in sentiment saying two-thirds of Poles now favor them. Astonishing since overwhelming opposition was recently evident, so it's hard imagining it shifted so fast. High-Octane Russia Bashing - The Dominant US Media The Wall Street Journal asserted that Poles "see the US as their strongest ally" given "two centuries of invasions and partitioning by Russia" and other European powers. It also highlighted Russia's "nuclear threat" (not Iran's) in a Gabriel Schoenfeld article painting Russia as an aggressor and America aiding its European allies. Schoenfeld (a senior editor of the hawkish, pro-Israeli Commentary magazine) cites "Moscow's willingness to crush Georgia with overwhelming force (and claims) the Kremlin has 10 times as many tactical (short-range) warheads as the US." The "shift in the nuclear imbalance....helped embolden the bear." He ignores America's overall nuclear superiority, but it hardly matters as both countries combined have around 97% of these weapons (an estimated 27,000 world total) according to experts like Helen Caldicott - more than enough to destroy the planet many times over. Nonetheless, Schoenfeld supports the Polish agreement in the face of a "pugnacious Russia (determined to acquire) economic and military power (and) not afraid to use threats and force to get (its) way (with) nuclear weapons central to the Russian geopolitical calculus." It's reminiscent of "the dark days of communist yore (and captures the threat of what) we and Russia's neighbors are up against." For the moment, anti-Iranian rhetoric has subsided with Russia the new dominant villian. En route to the NATO Brussels August 18 meeting, Secretary Rice called Russia's action against Georgia a "very dangerous game and perhaps one the Russians want to reconsider." Russian "aggression" is the buzzword, and the media dutifully trumpet it. So do the presidential candidates. John McCain was especially belligerent in denouncing "Russian aggression" and calling on Moscow to "immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory." He called for emergency Security Council and NATO meetings in hopes condemnation would follow and "NATO (can act) to stabiliz(e) this very dangerous situation." He also wants Russia expelled from the G-8 nations and an end to 10 years of partnership and cooperation. Barak Obama first said that Russia's "aggression" must not stand and denounced "Russian atrocities." He then softened his tone somewhat with: "Now is the time for action - not just words....Russia must halt its violation of Georgian airspace and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia, with international monitors to verify that these obligations are met." But expect those comments to harden as Democrats meet in Denver, and the party's nominee will likely match his opponent's tough stance. Or at least try under a slogan of "Securing America's Future" to advance the nation's interests in the world. Beating up on Russia is now fair game and made easier with lockstep media support. The Wall Street Journal is more hostile than most, and practically frothed in its August 16 - 17 weekend edition. It called for "Making Putin Pay (and) Turning Russia's Georgian rout into a political defeat." It cited Russian aggression "to remove President Saakasvili from the office to which he was elected in 2004 (and to) overthrow a democratic government." It called on "western authorities (to) explore the vulnerability of Russian assets abroad (or) at least make life difficult for the holders of those assets." The Journal might remember the billions of US fixed income and other investments Russia holds - although the country's Central Bank reported late July that it pared its $100 billion in US "mortgage bonds" to $50 billion early in the year. The US Treasury reports that Russia holds around $36 billion of Treasury securities with considerably more in private hands. The Journal then compared Russia to China and managed a slap at both. It said: "In the world of global commerce....China calculated that....staging an Olympic extravaganza (could enhance its) ambivalent reputation....By contrast, the Putin government....seems to believe its power grows in sync with its reputation as an international pariah, an outsider state," and George Bush added that "Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with the nations of the free world" - with the Journal writer hardly blinking at such brazen hypocrisy. Nor did Journal editorial board member Matthew Kaminski in his headlined piece: "Russia Is Still a Hungry Empire" without a hint about the Soviet Union's bloodless 1991 dissolution now down the memory hole in light of today's inflammatory headlines. Kaminski highlights "Russian tanks rolling through Georgia (with) images of Chechnya in 1994 and '99, Vilnius '91, Afghanistan '79, Prague '68, Hungary '56" and before that Poland, the Baltics and other Eastern European states. "The war in Georgia marks an easy return to territorial expansion and attempted regional dominance." Boris Yeltsin "tried to give Russians an alternative narrative. (He) put forward democracy as a unifying and legitimizing idea for the new Russian state." But that was swept away when "Putin took over." He's unresponsive to the idea of "partnership with the West and freedom at home." He aims to force "young democracies around Russia....back into Moscow's sphere of influence....The worldview of a Russian nationalist is hard for outsiders to comprehend," and for Kaminski one that mustn't be allowed to stand. Nor for other Journal contributors daily (in op-eds and editorials) with some of the most outlandish attack journalism heard since before Gorbachev. Claims that "Kremlin capitalism is a threat to the West....by using its market strength in oil and gas resources to strong-arm its neighbors and outmaneuver the US and EU." And that Russia's real aim "is to replace a pro-western government with a new Russian satellite....reminiscent of the Brezhnev doctrine. (It's) part of a broader campaign (to annex new territory, expand the Russian empire, conduct) cyber attacks against the Baltic states, (assassinate enemies, and use) economic intimidation (through) cutoffs of Russian oil and gas shipments to Ukraine and the Czech Republic....It is important that Moscow pays a concrete and tangible price for its latest aggression, at least comparable to (what) it paid for the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan." The New York Times is more measured but, on August 19, highlighted "Survivors in Georgia Tell of Ethnic Killings" with suggestions of "ethnic cleansing" - a practice that "haunted the borderlands of the old Soviet bloc." Villages were "burned and houses broken; unburied bodies lay rotting; fresh graves were dug in gardens and basements....most victims interviewed (were) ethnic Georgians....(In central Georgian) villages, some killings were carried out for revenge....some (involved) theft (and still others) seemed to be that the power balance was shifting, away from ethnic Georgians to the Ossetian separatists and their Russian backers." Independent reporters on the ground contradicted The Times and similar US media accounts. One wrote: "Georgians living in several of the villages said the Russians occupying their land had treated them well, done nothing to encourage them to leave and offered the only protection available from the South Ossestian militias they feared most" and perhaps their own army in an effort to inflict harm and blame it on Russia. On August 21, The Times headlined: "US Sees Much to Fear in a Hostile Russia (by) usher(ing) in a sustained period of renewed animosity with the West....problems extend(ing) far beyond (arms deals with) Syria and the mountains of Georgia." Others with "anti-American states like Iran and Venezuela." Pressuring US "military bases in Central Asia....counterterrorism, Hamas" and numerous other issues. Obama's chief Russia advisor, Stanford University professor Michael McFaul, was quoted saying Russia appears intent on "disrupt(ing) the international order" and can do it. They're "the hegemon in that region and we are not and that's a fact." "Russia has all the leverage," according to Carnegie Moscow Center's Masha Lipman (with) potential for causing headaches" if it chooses - in the region, the UN, on Iran, Zimbabwe, and to halt "any kind of coercive actions, like economic sanctions or anything else," according to former National Security Council advisor Peter Feaver. An old post-Cold War concern is now arisen. Russia is now "a spoiler." An August 21 AP report cites an example in its headlined piece" "Russia blocks Georgia's main (oil) port city" of Poti and continues to hold positions around Gori and Igoeti....30 miles west of....Tbilisi." Reports from Other Sources On August 21, Russia Today reported that "Abkhazia rallie(d) for independence (and) the Abkhazian Parliament has approved an official appeal to Russia to recognize its independence." Tens of thousands rallied in support, and on August 23, Reuters reported that South Ossetia did as well and its president, Eduard Kokoity, plans to ask Russia and the international community for recognition. Russia's Deputy Federation Council Speaker, Svetlana Orlova, told the rally that "Russia is always with you and will never leave you in the lurch." On August 23, The New York Times reported that "the Kremlin is nearing formal recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, possibly as early as next week." Apparently likely according to Russian Regional Development Minister, Dmitry Kozak, who told Itar-Tass "support is likely (and) that after all the events that have occurred, one should not expect otherwise." On August 21, Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh "appealed to Russia and to governments of other countries to recognize Abkhazia's independence," for both his province and South Ossetia. On August 20, Interfax reported that the Russian Federation Council (Russia's upper House of parliament) is prepared to recognize both provinces' independence if their people "express such a will....and if the Russian president makes a relevant decision on this score," according to Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov. On August 25, Russia Today reported that (in emergency session) the Federation Council unanimously voted to ask President Medvedev to recognize Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence. Both province presidents addressed the chamber and "again said they will never agree to remain within Georgia" and are more entitled to independence than Kosovo. Konstantin Zatulin, deputy head of the Duma Committee for International Affairs in Russia's State Duma, its lower chamber, stated that his body "most probably" will go along. At the same time, tensions remain high. Both sides continue hostile accusations. Russia maintains it's conducting an orderly withdrawal "in accordance with the international agreements (to their) previous (places) of deployment," according to Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of Russia's General Staff. US military officials at first said they saw no significant pullback. On August 22 with a clear withdrawal underway, the International Herald Tribune reported that the "US and France say Russia is not complying" with the cease fire. Russia is observing a 1999 joint Russian-S. Ossetian-N. Ossetian-Georgian agreement prepared by the Joint Control Commission, an international South Ossetian monitoring body. It lets Russian troops secure a corridor five miles beyond either side of South Ossetia's border that extends into Georgia. It also allows Russian peacekeepers to operate under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On August 23, RIA Novosti reported that Nogovitsyn said Russian forces will patrol Georgia's Black Sea Poti port as "envisaged in the international agreement. Poti is outside of the security zone," he said, "but that does not mean we will sit behind a fence watching them riding around in Hummers." Nor allow Georgia to rearm for more aggression as Russia suspects, and that Georgia's deputy defense minister, Batu Kutelia, admitted doing initially. On August 22, he told the Financial Times that his government attacked the S. Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, and attempted to seize it. On August 22, Nogovitsyn heightened tensions by claiming Georgia is now preparing for new military action against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "We have registered an increase in (Georgian) reconnaissance activities and preparations for armed actions in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone." As a result, he said that Russia reserves the right to maintain peacekeepers in both provinces. For its part, RIA Novosti reports that America now refuses to participate with Russia in "NATO's Operation Active Endeavour naval antiterrorism exercise," according to a Russian Black Sea Fleet source. The announcement came after Russia's NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, said his country was "temporarily suspending military cooperation with NATO until a political decision on relations" between the two nations had been resolved. Also on August 22, the Israeli Ynetnews.com published a Russian daily Kommersant interview with Washington's new Moscow ambassador, John Beyrle, sure to embarrass his superiors. He called Russia's response justified after its troops came under attack. "Now we see Russian forces which responded to attacks on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, legitimately...." He went on to criticize Russia's over-reaction and warned about its impact on US - Russia relations as well as investor confidence. Nonetheless, his first comment is telling and quite contrary to everything from Washington and biting anti-Russian media responses. Finally on August 23, Russia Today reported that the "local (S. Ossetian and Abkhazian) population (said) they fear Georgia might repeat its regional aggression. They also (want) Russian troops to stay in the area to shield them from any possible attacks." Russia has set up 18 S. Ossetia peacekeeping posts and plans a similar number in Abkhazia "to deter looters and the transportation of arms and ammunition." All the News Not Fit to Print Not a major media hint that Georgia is a US vassal state. That its military is an extension of the Pentagon. That its aggression was manufactured in Washington. That its well-supplied and trained by America and Israel. That pipeline geopolitics is central. Beating up on Russia as well. Diverting Moscow from any planned intervention against Iran. Even enlisting Russia's cooperation - not to sell Iran sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems and agreeing to tougher sanctions in return for perhaps Washington deferring on Georgian and Ukrainian NATO admission and recognizing S. Ossetian and Abkhazian independence. Perhaps more as well to put off greater confrontation for later under a new administration. Clearly, however, the fuse is lit. It has been for some time. It relates to everything strategic about this vital area with its immense energy and other resources as well neutralizing Russia's power as America's top rival and key Eurasian competitor. Controlling the region's oil and gas is crucial and what Michel Chossudovsky explains in his August 22 article titled: "The Eurasian Corridor: Pipeline Geopolitics and the New Cold War." He calls the Caucasus crisis "intimately related to the control over energy pipeline and transportation corridors (and cites) evidence that the Georgian (August 7) attack....was carefully planned (in) High level consultations (between) US and NATO officials" months in advance. On August 23, RIA Novosti said a Russian security source accused Georgia of involvement a year ago in "coordinat(ion) with NATO's plans to strengthen its (Black Sea) naval presence." Chossudovsky discusses America's (1999) "Silk Road Strategy: The Trans-Eurasian Security System (as) an essential building block of (post-Cold War) US foreign policy." Proposed in House legislation but never enacted, it was for "an energy and transport corridor network linking Western Europe to Central Asia and eventually to the Far East." It aims to integrate South Caucasus and Central Asian nations "into the US sphere of influence." It involves "militariz(ing) the Eurasian corridor," much like Security and Prosperity Partnership plans are for North America. Efforts are largely directed against Russia, China and Iran as well as other Eastern-allied states. It's to turn all Eurasia into a "free market" paradise, secure it for capital, assure US dominance, control its resources, exploit its people, transform all its nations into American vassals, and likely aim to dismantle Russia's huge landmass if that idea ever comes to fruition. Russia, however, isn't standing idle and is partnered in two strategic alliances: -- the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) since June 2001 along with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan with Iran in observer status. It defines its goals as: "good neighborly relations;" promoting "effective cooperation in politics, trade and economy, science and technology" and more as well as "ensur(ing) peace, security and stability in the region." Given NATO's potential threat, its main purpose is military; and -- the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) since 2003 "in close liaison with the SCO" with a heavy emphasis on security against NATO Eurasian expansionism; its members include: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The stakes are huge as both sides prepare to confront them. All part of the new Cold War and Great Game. Reinventing the Evil Empire and beating up on Russia as part of it. Risking a potential nuclear confrontation as well and what a new US president will inherit with no assurance a Democrat will be any more able than a Republican. And with a global economic crisis unresolved, either one may resort to the age old strategy of stoking fear, going to war, hoping it will stimulate the economy, and be able to divert public concerns away from lost jobs, home foreclosures, and a whole array of other unaddressed issues. In early 2003, it worked. Will 2009 be a repeat? Will it deepen what author Kevin Phillips calls "the global crisis of American capitalism?" Will the Doomsday Clock strike midnight? It moved two minutes closer on January 17, 2007 to five minutes to the hour. It cited 27,000 nuclear weapons, 2000 ready to launch in minutes. It said: "We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since....Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices." It said the situation is "dire." It called for immediate preventive action. Its message went unheeded, and conditions today have worsened. The high Eurasian stakes up things further, and neither side so far is blinking. Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net. --------17a of 17-------- Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 08:31:16 -0500 From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at] winternet.com> Subject: EXTRA! JUST IN! It has started! PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Vlad - 917-650-2486 vlad [at] glassbeadcollective.org MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICERS DETAIN INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS AND ILLEGALLY SEIZE EQUIPMENT MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (August 26, 2008) - Minneapolis Police officers detained three journalists early this morning, confiscating each of the their personal belongings including cell phones, video cameras, still cameras, a computer, hard drive, clothing, personal objects and money. The journalists are all members of New York City based Glass Bead Collective and are in town to document the events around the Republican National Convention. Police officer York photographed the three journalists and questioned them individually about their travel plans and what they intended to report on. The officers refused to file an official report of the incident or give a receipt for the items taken, claiming that they were allowed to conduct the search and seizure under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security due to security risks leading up to the Republican National Convention. The journalists were detained and then released after their belongings were confiscated. The journalists were clear that they did not consent to being searched at any point during the detainment. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.