|Progressive Calendar 08.28.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 03:18:51 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.28.08 vote third party for president for congress now and forever 1. Starhawk/circle 8.28 10am 2. Eagan peace vigil 8.28 4:30pm 3. New Hope demo 8.28 4:45pm 4. Northtown vigil 8.28 5pm 5. RNC/paint signs 8.28 5pm 6. Copwatch training 8.28 6pm 7. Peace chorus 8.28 6:30pm 8. Art v military 8.29 7pm 9. Thomas Frank 8.28 7:30pm 10. RNC infoline 8.29 8am 11. NLG/video/RNC 8.29 11am 12. NLG/observe/RNC 8.29 12:30pm 13. RNC/safety 8.29 2pm 14. Palestine vigil 8.29 4:15pm 15. Critical Mass 8.29 4:30pm 16. RNC/peace team 8.29 5pm 17. RNC/paint signs 8.29 5pm 18. Sicko/RNC action 8.29 6pm/8pm 19. Vigil Capitol 8.29 7pm 20. VetsPeace conv 8.29 7:20pm 21. Crawford/film 8.29 7:30pm 22. Ritter/WMD/Iran 8.29 7:30pm 23. Gary Corseri - The future that never comes; the past that never was 24. Stephen Lendman - Russia-bashing goes prime time 25. Ariel Sabar - Denver Dem protesters reject "protest zone" --------1 of 25-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Starhawk/circle 8.28 10am Starhawk and the Upwelling Circle: Court an Upwelling of Earth Wisdom at the RNC August 28 and 29, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Coldwater Spring, 1.5 miles South of Minnehaha Falls, (from Highway 55, turn east at 54th Street, take an immediate right, continue south on the frontage road to Coldwater Spring), Minneapolis. Attend a Magickal Activist Day Camp at Sacred Coldwater Spring with Starhawk and the Upwelling Circle. Wear comfortable outdoor clothing and sturdy shoes. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on, a bag lunch and fruit or a treat to share. Bring a water container for sacred spring water. FFI: Visit <www.friendsofcoldwater.org> --------2 of 25-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 8.28 4:30pm CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------3 of 25-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: New Hope demo 8.28 4:45pm NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:45 to 5:45pm at the corner of Winnetka and 42nd. You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot near McDonalds; we will be on all four corners. Bring your own or use our signs. --------4 of 25-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 8.28 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------5 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/paint signs 8.28 5pm Thursday, 8/28, 5 to 7 pm, sign painting workshop in preparation for the RNC and the Liberty Parade, Bedlam Theater, 1501 S 6th St, West Bank, Mpls. --------6 of 25-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: Copwatch training 8.28 6pm CALLING ALL COPWATCHERS OR WANNA-BE COPWATCHERS: WE NEED YOU! Whether we're at the shelters, outside the clubs during closing time or out at Critical Mass or other protest events, we've shown time and again that copwatch is a valuable service that helps to prevent police brutality and that provides important case documentation for people who are brutalized or falsely arrested. In the run up to the RNC, we've seen increased attacks on homeless people in an effort to shove them out of sight. Now that the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington city councils have given free reign to their police to abuse protesters, we know copwatch will be even more important when the elephant show finally arrives. WE NEED LOTS OF TRAINED COPWATCHERS! Come to a copwatch training to learn about your rights in general and about your rights while documenting police conduct. You'll also learn how to correctly document what you see in the streets and how to work with our technology. We'll spend some time together in a classroom then go out into the streets to practice your new skills. Thursday, August 28, 6:00 PM Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis. Depending on demand, we may add other dates. If a group is interested in setting up a separate date, please let us know. --------7 of 25-------- From: JoAnne McKim <joanne68 [at] frontiernet.net> Subject: Peace chorus 8.28 6:30pm Seattle Peace Chorus The community is invited to join the Presbyterian Church of the Apostles for a ninety minute concert by The Seattle Peace Chorus on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. A freewill offering will be taken to cover the costs of the soloist and musicians. Children are welcome. The church is located at 701 East 130th street, Burnsville, between Nicollet Avenue and Country Road Eleven. For more information, call 952-890-7877. The Seattle Peace Chorus has a 30 member chorus, one soloist and ten musicians. Dr. Lawrence Burnett, Carleton College Choral Director will be the featured baritone soloist. They have a brass quintet consisting of two trumpets, a French horn, trombone, tuba, and an oboe, a timpanist with 4 timpani, two drummers and piano. Their major work, Let America Be America Again, is composed by director Frederick West and is based on a poem by Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes. This concert is part of the Chorus' summer Peace Train tour; the group tours internationally and seeks to promote peace and justice through the sharing of music and ideas. --------8 of 25-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org Subject: Art v military 8.29 7pm Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program Unconventional Wisdom and MILLIONS OF INNOCENT ACCIDENTS August 29 - October 26, 2008 Opening Reception: Thursday, August 28, 7 p.m., MAEP Galleries "Unconventional Wisdom" features the print works of Ruthann Godollei and Mike Elko. Both use text humorously against familiar backdrops. Godollei's work is generally devoid of people, but it is always full of their stuff; kitchen tools, iPods, and clocks. Her current series sets these things against the terminology of the current military complex bringing into sharp focus the irony of words like containment, surge, or extended tour. In a pallet of black and white with an occasional hint of color her images strip these words of their mediated meanings, unmasking them for what they really are. Mike Elko, on the other hand, brings witty dialoge to his brightly colored prints assembled from vintage print ads and current news media. Elko is a deadpan storyteller, in the tradition of American humorists such as Stephen Colbert or the radio team of Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding, contrasting contemporary political jargon with appropriated images of the American Dream. Hardland/Heartland (HL/HL) is an artists' cooperative helmed by Eric Carlson, Aaron Anderson and Crystal Quinn. HL/HL dredges through the excesses of consumer culture to assemble installations and performances that are less social commentary than conceptual scrapbook of our time. For "MILLIONS OF INNOCENT ACCIDENTS," the artists have created a landscape and narrative in what they call "an ongoing saga of grandiose proportions." Their inspiration comes from a mélange of influences: popular culture, current events, graffiti, vector graphics, Robert Raushenberg's "junk aesthetic," and the narrative of contemporary science fiction. Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program Minneapolis Institute of Arts 2400 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404 www.artsmia.org --------9 of 25-------- From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com> Subject: Thomas Frank 8.28 7:30pm MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution : Thomas Frank discusses his new book The Wrecking Crew, 7:30pm Thursday August 28 at First Universalist Church, 34th and Dupont Ave. S. in Minneapolis. The event is sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers. From the author of the landmark bestseller *What's the Matter with Kansas?*, a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate - and lucrative - conservative misrule In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in *The Wrecking Crew*, Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us. Casting back to the early days of the conservative revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters - the wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff. It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state. Stamped with Thomas Frank's audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, The Wrecking Crew is his most revelatory work yet - and his most important. Thomas Frank is the author of What's the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. The founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harper's, Frank has received a Lannan award and been a guest columnist for The New York Times. He lives, of course, in Washington, D.C. --------10 of 25-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: RNC infoline 8.29 8am The Arise! Books and Resources Collective is running an infoline (612.871.2283) from 8 a.m. to midnight from August 29th through the end of the RNC to help convention-crashers of all stripes figure out what's going on, where it's happening, and how to get there. You can help crash the convention through the sheer power of information! You can volunteer to answer the infoline! People will be calling the Arise! infoline (612.871.2283) for basic information about public protest/action schedules, transit and transportation info, community resources, rumor control, and everything unexpected. And we'll be referring out answers to questions about issues related to medical (North Star Health Collective) and legal (Coldsnap Legal Collective) so the experts can do their things to help activists in need. Other important information about Arise! and the RNC... We still have copies of the Arise! Atlas--142 pages of street maps, bike routes, cool spots, and radical local history! Stop by Arise for a copy of our handy-dandy, pocket-sized Atlas. See the Cities from their fun sides! The Atlas has addresses and contact information for all kinds of local radical spaces, resources, places to visit, and various neat stuff. Plus lots of maps and interesting day trips. Only $6! We'll be open for extended hours and be a "green" space during the RNC! We'll be open from 8am to midnight from August 29 to September 5 as a safe, "green," family friendly gathering spot for convention-crashers of all stripes. We offer a cool place to rest, water (and occasional food!), a public bathroom, FREE internet access, maps and schedules, and a safer space for those who have taken part in actions to decompress, talk and recover. Come on over! --------11 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: NLG/video/RNC 8.29 11am Friday, 8/29, 11 am to 12:30 pm, NLG sponsors legal observer/videographer training for RNC, William Mitchel College of Law auditorium, 875 Summit Ave (at Victoria), St Paul. RSVP genab [at] visi.com --------12 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: NLG/observe/RNC 8.29 12:30pm Friday, 8/29, 12:30 to 2 pm, NLG sponsors legal observer finishing school for RNC, William Mitchel College of Law auditorium, 875 Summit Ave (at Victoria), St Paul. RSVP genab [at] visi.com --------13 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/safety 8.29 2pm Friday, 8/29, 2 pm, health and safety training to become the best-dressed activist in the street at the RNC (including what to wear, what to bring, how to be safe on the streets), Bedlam Theater, 1501 S 6th St, Mpls. (West Bank near the LRT station.) http://twincities.indymedia.org/event/ --------14 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 8.29 4:15pm Friday, 8/29, 4:15 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end US military/political support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, corner Summit and Snelling, St Paul. --------15 of 25-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: Critical Mass 8.29 4:30pm ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR RNC ACTIONS! During the Republican Convention, CUAPB will play a number of important roles. Along with copwatch as noted above, we'll be involved in jail medical support, jail exit support, documentation of cases through our hotline, court watch/court support, and even assisting homeless people being swept aside in both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. It will take a lot of hands and we really need your help. First event on the list will be the Critical Mass on August 29th. This will be the one year anniversary of the attack on Critical Mass that resulted in many injuries and 19 arrests. It will also be a kind of kick off event for protests against the RNC. As such, we think the MPD may have "special plans" for this event and we need all copwatchers out with us that day. Copwatch at Critical Mass Friday, August 29 Meet 4:30 p.m. Loring Park, Harmon Place side near the dandelion fountain --------16 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/peace team 8.29 5pm 8/29 (5 to 7 pm) and 8/30 (9 am to 5 pm), Macalester-Plymouth United Church, 1658 Lincoln Ave, St Paul, intensive weekend trainings to participate as peace team members during the Republican National Convention. $35. Send registrations to minnesotapeaceteam [at] gmail.com or Minnesota Peace Team/Wojtan, 13341 Everest Ave, Apple Valley 55124. Questions? 612-483-6041 --------17 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/paint signs 8.29 5pm Friday, 8/29, 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. --------18 of 25-------- From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: Sicko/RNC action 8.29 6pm/8pm FRIDAY, AUGUST 29th at MayDay Books 301 Cedar Ave, Mpls, West Bank FREE showing, Michael Moore's Sicko AND LOW-COST health screenings, 6PM LEARN about ways to take action During the RNC and beyond 8PM Sponsor : MayDay Books and Universal Health Care Action Network of MN which is offering low-cost health screenings to help you maintain your health: tests include cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, total $16. UHCAN's licensed health practitioners volunteer their time to offer these tests at much lower cost than in health clinics. Pre-registration is encouraged, call MayDay Books at 612.333.4719, email joel [at] uhcan-mn.org, or sign up on the sheet at MayDay Books! --------19 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vigil Capitol 8.29 7pm Friday, 8/29, 7 pm (and every Friday until the RNC convention), meditation and vigil for peace at the RNC at the State Capitol lawn, St Paul. http://www.rippleeffect08.com or 612-227-1817. --------20 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: VetsPeace conv 8.29 7:20pm Friday, 8/29, 7:20 to 9:30 pm, evening of free and public events at the Vets for Peace National Convention at the Ramada Mall of America, 2300 E American Blvd, Bloomington. Includes VFP chair Elliott Adams, singer Tao Rodriguez Seeger (grandson of Pete), ILWU David gonzales, Military families Speak Out rep Rick Hanson, Iraq Vets Against the War rep Margaret Stevens, former MN state senator Becky Lourey, poetry and former UN waspons inspector and Middle East expert Scott Ritter. Info from agedp [at] earchlink.net or 612-821-9141. --------21 of 25-------- From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at] winternet.com> Subject: Crawford/film 8.29 7:30pm Fri, August 29 - Sun August 31 CRAWFORD: 7:30 p.m. with Weekend Matinees at 5:15 p.m. - Oak St. Cinema CRAWFORD Fri. August 29 - Sun. August 31 Nightly @ 7:30 p.m. Sat - Sun Matinees @ 5:15 p.m. Oak St. Cinema CRAWFORD--This is the political documentary of the year, vital, engaging, folksy, a deeply-committed look at what happens to the 705 residents of Crawford, Texas, when George HW Bush moves to town. Just in time for the RNC! "It's about the town's compelling characters, not just about GWB, and looks at both sides. One of the best documentaries among many I had seen this year." -- Programmer Al Milgrom -- "Specifically good for 'budding' doc filmmakers." Newcomer independent filmmaker David Modigliani intersects the personal and political in this prizewinning portrait of an indigenous America, seldom before seen by the media. Modigliani will present the film nightly with a Q&A following. Runtime: 80 minutes --------22 of 25-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Ritter/WMD/Iran 8.29 7:30pm Former U.N. Weapons Inspector, Scott Ritter: The Iran Talks Friday, August 29, 7:30 p.m. Veterans for Peace Convention, Ramada Mall of America, 2300 East American Boulevard, Bloomington. Co-sponsored by: Veterans for Peace and U.S. Tour of Duty. FFI: Call Minnesota Veterans for Peace, 612-821-9141. Saturday, August 30, 3:00 p.m. William Mitchell College of Law, Auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Co-sponsored by: the WAMM Middle East Committee, National Lawyers Guild-MN and U.S. Tour of Duty. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. Sunday, August 31, 7:00 p.m. First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis. Co-sponsored by: the First Unitarian Social Action Committee, U.S. Tour of Duty, WAMM, Middle East Peace Now, and Northwest Neighbors for Peace. FFI: Email <carydberg [at] comcast.net>. Wednesday, September 3, 7:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Co-sponsored by: the WAMM Middle East Committee and U.S. Tour of Duty. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. Canceled: Thursday, September 4, 7:00 p.m. Peace Presbyterian Church, St. Louis Park. Join former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter and special guests for a lively, indispensable discussion about the "War on Terror" and Iran in the crosshairs. Find out why Ritter, who visited Iran on a fact-finding mission, commented, "We are seeing history repeat itself." A book sale and signing will follow the presentation. Suggested donation: $10.00 (no one turned away). --------23 of 25-------- The Future that Never Comes; the Past that Never Was; the Present Inscrutable by Gary Corseri Dissident Voice August 27th, 2008 Why am I not surprised by Obama's choice of Joe Biden as his running mate? Because I learned as a child: in America, the future never comes! Should we shake our heads, wondering, when the candidate for "change we can believe in" chooses a consummate Washington "insider" as his co-agent for that change? Not if we understand that we have lived for decades in a military-industrial, media-fashioned, academia-certified, legally sanctioned Disney World/Murdoch World in which the future never comes. Expecting the promised future is like expecting to find Weapons of Mass Destruction. Eventually, it becomes a vicious joke: like Bush looking under a table in the White House, then smirking at the camera, "Nope, not here, either". When I was a child, our teachers ushered us into the auditorium at PS 178 in Queens, New York. The ponderous movie screen lowered from the ceiling and the future unrolled: wives and mothers in evening gowns (!) danced (!) around spotless kitchens preparing gustatory delights for hubbies and kids. We would all drive shiny autos on super-elevated expressways winding around gleaming city towers. There was no traffic and everything went smoothly, thanks to guidance systems under the thoroughfares. The city was enclosed in a giant bubble dome for perfect climate control and protection from the nastier elements - hurricanes and blizzards. Other huge domes around the city sheltered the abundant food supply. Machines did the hard work, and people devoted themselves to leisure and self-improvement. There was, of course, no war, no violence. Everyone lived long and was youthful - in a technological Shang-ri-la, brought to our youthful attention by G.E. (only later did I learn that meant General Electric, maker of kitchen appliance-wonders and nuclear bombs). "We bring good things to life" was one of their slogans. Another was: "Progress is our most important product". No one asked, "Progress towards what?" As I sauntered a little further down the primrose path, I was assured by no less of an heroic-romantic figure than John F. Kennedy that the U.S. was engaged in a "twilight' struggle against the forces of darkness and tyranny. Once we triumphed in the struggle (and our triumph was assured because we were - though no one would quite say it - on the side of righteousness and God), once we triumphed it would all be sweetness and light and we'd reap the harvest of our sacrifices: the world of the spotless kitchens and gleaming city towers, and, of course, later, California dreamin... Then Kennedy was dead, King was dead, and year after year the future was prorogued in Vietnam. Someone had to pay for that postponement and no better unshaven character was available than Richard M. Nixon. No better one until Jimmy Carter caught us napping with his speech about our "national malaise". In cardigan sweater and with fireplace logs crackling, he tried to warn us that the future of cheap oil and endless consumption wasn't coming. How dare he? the media roared, and we got back on track with the man on the horse who not only saw the gleaming towers, but the "city on the hill," as well. Reagan's stooge-in-waiting, George Bush Sr., packaged the future in an end-of-the-Cold War "dividend"; while his successor - sax-playing, cool-shaded Clintonsurfed - the wave of an orgiastic stock market dot.com bubble, and somehow the healthcare system that he and the missus were elected to repair and improve got lost in the shuffle in Serbia. And when kids got killed in Waco or Iraq, Janet Reno and Madeleine Albright assured us all it was worth it - the future would be better! So, by now, I've given up on it. When mealy-mouthed Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Rice assured me of quick victory in Iraq, a world made safer because a dictatorship would be dismantled, I didn't bat an eye. I knew that future would not come. The future does not come largely because the past upon which these liars and fantasists fabricate edifices of deception never was. We never were a glorious little Republic that had taken on the nefarious British empire in order to establish freedom and democracy on a new continent. How could we make such a claim in the year of our Constitution's ratification when a fifth of the nation's denizens (not "citizens") were slaves? Did we then fight a Civil War to amend that evil? Did we amend that evil only to have a now "united" nation continue its genocide against its tribal peoples? Remember the Alamo? Did we conquer half of Mexico to avenge the attack on Davy Crockett or because we wanted the gold in California? Did we beat down Spain to help the Cubans, or to conquer the Cubans and the Filipinos as well? Did we take on Germany in the War to End All Wars because of the Kaiser's iniquities, or because we wanted a seat at the victors' table - to save that still nefarious British empire and get our share of the spoils? Did we take on Hitler to save the Jews (a half century of movie and book propaganda seems to indicate this)or - was it to establish our hegemony in the capitalist world, the burgeoning New World Order that followed the horrific blood-letting? "History," Napoleon said, "is an agreed-upon myth". If the future never comes, and the past never was, what have we got to stand on now in this impinging moment? "The present is too much on the senses," Robert Frost wrote, "too present to imagine". And that is the crisis we democrats with small "d"'s. must face now. We are a people bereft of real choices because our capacity to imagine a real world - a doable, viable worldhas - been shattered. We find that we have been gulled about the real nature of our world and our very circumscribed lives within it. Our politicians are not the only ones with "handlers". We have all been "handled" by fraudulent dream-makers and shape-shifters. One wonders if we dead will awaken in time? Gary Corseri has published novels and poetry collections, edited the Manifestations anthology, had his dramas produced on Atlanta-PBS and elsewhere. He has taught in prisons and universities, performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and has published/posted his work at hundreds of venues, including DissidentVoice, CounterPunch, The New York Times and Village Voice. He can be contacted at: gary_corseri [at] comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary. This article was posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 6:00 am and is filed under Democracy, History, Philosophy. --------24 of 25-------- 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. --------25 of 25-------- Protesters at Democratic Convention Fly The "Cage" by Ariel Sabar The Christian Science Monitor Published on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 They've come to Denver for countless causes, but they almost uniformly reject the designated protest zone. Denver - They're outside city offices, in parks, on the capitol steps and near the US Mint. But the one place most protesters here are avoiding is the official demonstration zone, a fenced-in parking lot near the Democratic National Convention that activists here mockingly call "the freedom cage." The designated protest area at the Democratic National Convention was empty Monday. Many protest groups are opting to take their messages elsewhere in Denver. The 47,000-square-foot zone is hemmed by rows of metal barricades and concrete barriers and watched over by uniformed Secret Service agents. Views of the Pepsi Center convention site, some 700 feet away, are blocked by a giant tent housing news media. On Monday afternoon, a couple hours after the convention kicked off, the zone was an asphalt desert. A microphone stood on a lonely stand. A Canadian documentary crew waited for protesters who never came. An official sign-up sheet near a low-rise platform was a study in sarcasm. Requesting the 7 a.m. slot was one "G. Washington," who listed his cause as "You can't cage freedom." At 11:30 p.m., "B. Obama." Topic: "Hope for Cages." "It's so far away, it's surrounded by cops, it's just ridiculous," said William Aanstoos, a college dropout from Asheville, N.C., with a yellow bandana around his neck who came to see the site after taking part in antiwar rallies elsewhere in the city. "I don't think anyone is taking it seriously." The American Civil Liberties Union and several protest groups sued Denver and the Secret Service over the zone earlier this summer and lost. A federal judge ruled that the zone didn't infringe on free speech because convention delegates would pass within 200 feet on their walk into the Pepsi Center, and no trees or other objects would block sight lines to that walkway. Unlike the "free speech zone" at the Democratic convention in Boston in 2004, where protesters were corraled behind concrete barriers away from the convention site, delegates inside the secure convention perimeter here can walk within eight feet of the protest zone. The Secret Service says the barricades and large police presence are critical precautions against tossed explosives, car bombs, and other threats to security at the convention, home this week to the stars of the Democratic Party, including two former presidents. "The legal requirement is that those expressing their freedom of speech are within reach of the delegates," Malcolm Wiley, a Secret Service spokesman at the Denver Joint Information Center, said in a phone interview. "The requirement isn't that you see the building." Even so, most protesters are taking their message elsewhere, many to a constellation of 13 parks within a mile of the Pepsi Center. One of the most active groups is Recreate 68, an alliance of anticorporate and antiwar protesters that has demonstration permits every day of the convention. But rallies and parades are also being staged by groups pitching everything from immigrant rights, women's equality, and Ralph Nader to lower fuel costs, legal marijuana, and a united Jerusalem. Police have so far been underwhelmed. A parade permitted for 25,000 Sunday drew just 1,000, according to the city. A march on Monday was so small that police reopened closed streets. As of Tuesday night, the city had reported 135 convention-related arrests. Most occurred Monday night, when police say a crowd of 300 disrupting traffic near Civic Center Park refused requests to disperse and then rushed a police line. Suspects were charged with disobeying orders, obstructing a public street, and interference, violations of city ordinances. But most events have been peaceful, officials say. On Monday afternoon, Bob Kunst, a Miami man who is president of Shalom International, a pro-Israel group, stood outside an entrance to the convention site with a sign that read "Obama BAD for America and Israel." His group had planned a demonstration that evening in the official protest zone, but after seeing it he had second thoughts. The site is several blocks from roads accessible to cars, and he worried about whether some of his group's elderly supporters would survive the walk. "It's not fair to hold everyone hostage to a few crazies," he griped. "They're treating everyone like a criminal. Who are we catering to with this type of paranoia?" 2008 The Christian Science Monitor ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.