Progressive Calendar 08.26.08
From: David Shove (
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]>
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

--------2 of 17-------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
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]" <wamm [at]>
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]>
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]

--------5 of 17--------

From: Margery Otto <motto [at]>
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] - ADSIC.  Although these two Circles will be
held in a community church building, ASDIC Circles are non-sectarian in

ASDIC - Fostering wholeness - Spinning webs of relationship - Untangling
knots of oppression.

--------6 of 17--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Copwatch/court 8.27 8:30am

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]>
Subject: GOP/reason/KFAI 8.27 11am

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.

 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."

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed [at]

--------8 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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.

--------9 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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. or northstarhealth [at]

--------10 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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,

--------11 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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. or against.war [at]

--------12 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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. Puppet workshops are led by Chris Lutter of
Puppet Farm Arts, Please RSVP
tytymo [at] gmail so they know how many folks to plan for.

--------13 of 17--------

From: MnSOAWatch <MnSOAW [at]>
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

*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]>
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

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

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

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
August 25, 2008


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

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
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 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 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
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

"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

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 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

-- 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]

--------17a of 17--------

Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 08:31:16 -0500
From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at]>
Subject: EXTRA! JUST IN! It has started!

Contact: Vlad - 917-650-2486
         vlad [at]


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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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