Saturday, July 06, 2002
War Against Some Terrorists
It's nice to see things going so well in Afghanistan.
Gunmen Kill Afghanistan's VP
Gunmen firing assault rifles Saturday assassinated Afghan Vice President Abdul Qadir, a veteran Pashtun warlord and key figure in U.S.-backed efforts to bring stability to the war- fractured nation. [more]
Lynching John Walker Lindh
The frenzied cry to string John Walker Lindh up by his thumbs is a fine example of America's determination never to let facts get in the way of a good temper tantrum. Attorney General John Ashcroft accuses Lindh of dedicating himself to "killing Americans," and a 10-count felony indictment includes allegations that Lindh committed "conspiracy to murder United States nationals."(...)
A close look at the facts will embarrass both the government and the mainstream press. It will also shame the alternative media, which has been unforgivably silent about what seems to be a blatantly political prosecution of a United States citizen.
A detailed account of Lindh's conduct can be found in the "overt acts" section of the indictment, a 21-paragraph recitation of his journey from Pakistan to Afghanistan to prison. Its most striking feature is the absence of evidence that Lindh engaged in, attempted to engage in, assisted or attempted to assist others in engaging in acts of terror against the United States. Indeed, it makes abundantly clear that Lindh was simply on a mission to prevent the Northern Alliance from retaking Afghanistan. [more]
Friday, July 05, 2002
[database systems to enforce control]
d.sec is about reflecting the mechanisms of repression/control in the fields of free movement and free communication, the experiences of electronic and physical bordercrossing. An attempt to integrate cyber-activism and taking the streets, and find the relations between social and technical skills. The wider objective is to give momentum to an ongoing exploration of technical potentials in the resistance against the border regime.
Mind-boggling audio interview on creating creating Database Systems to Enforce Control, with Jeffery Rosen. He discusses some of these technologies and what civil libertarians think of them.
Origins of the Christians for Cannabis Website - ABC
Surprisingly thoughtful coverage of why well-known Christian denominations are signing on.
Is this satire?
The Bush Administration announced today that plans for invading Iraq have been finalized, and include converting Iraq to a Christian theocracy and giving Saddam Hussein a live televised public spanking prior to his being found guilty of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison. On the drawing board are plans to invade North Korea and Indonesia. (You're hoping I'm joking, right?)
Former Army Space Command Whistleblower Sacked - The Colorado Springs Independent Newsweekly
"The national missile-defense system is supposed to protect America against a nuclear attack. Biff Baker's job was to protect American taxpayers against getting ripped off by the agencies and contractors developing the system. When he did his job too well, he says, he was fired ..."
Terrorists Hang Ronald McDonald, Bush Vows Revenge Air Strikes Against Iraq
"We have incontrovertible evidence that this dastardly act of terrorism against this symbol of American freedom was carried out by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein," said President Bush in an address to the nation last night. "We will strike swiftly against the Iraqi menace who perpetrated this foul deed and let the world know that we will not tolerate terrorism of any kind."
Two Americans, One Brit Held Captive By Israeli Army
NABLUS - Israeli soldiers on Monday took Eric Levine, a U.S. human rights worker from New Haven, Conn.; Brian Dominick, a U.S. medical worker; and Peter Blacker, a U.K. medical worker to an army-occupied house near Nablus where they were made to stay under inhuman conditions, with no explanation, for over 45 hours. The detentions took place at 4pm on Monday, July 1.
Thursday, July 04, 2002
Fly the flag upside down for the love of your country. "To fly the flag upside down means 'distress,' 'danger' ... and America certainly is in distress," he said, adding that individuals are facing personal distress because America could become a police state after Sept. 11. "Getting a rifle butt to your skull will be distressful ... or having your privacy invaded is going to be distressful."
Americans fly flag as coping mechanism. "In the face of such uncertainty, people didn't know what to do. This was something simple, concrete they could do."
A terrorist manifesto?
As Americans prepare to celebrate a rare Thursday holiday, high-ranking officials in the Bush administration announced their discovery of a major new terrorism threat.
This rates at least a bright orange, and it could turn red in an instant," according to George Hanover, an official in the Propaganda Ministry of the Third Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security.
Hanover explained that the alert was based on the FBI's discovery of a document that had been circulating on the Internet, and perhaps in other places.
"The document is quite specific," he said, "and it could be construed to call for violent action on this continent, and it might also involve suicide bombers backed by a well-financed organization with international connections."
Another drug connection, Ashcroft said, lay in an unusual phrase in the document: "the pursuit of happiness." Some names associated with the document, the attorney general said, were suspected of involvement in smuggling, as well as of participation in an attack by terrorists in disguise on a ship in Boston harbor which resulted in the destruction of much of its cargo.
"The similarities with the U.S.S. Cole attack are too significant to ignore," Ashcroft said, "and we all know what other terrible things started beneath the lax security system operated by the Port Authority of Boston." [more]
thanks to BuzzFlash
The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. [more]
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. [more]
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;... [more]
The Doors never sold out, but Led Zeppelin sure did
As I write this, I'm listening to John Densmore of the Doors on Jon Wiener's KPFK radio show tell why Doors songs have never been used on commercials. It's because song rights are held by all of them, and any one member can veto a decision.
That Cadillac commercial with the Led Zeppelin track? The Doors were offered fifteen million to have "Break On Through" in that ad and turned it down. Why did they turn it down? Densmore explained, (I'm paraphrasing) "We all have a nice house and a few cars, and money can be a disease. Plus, I've gotten letters from people saying our songs saved them from committing suicide, so why should that be commercialized?". He explains more in the current issue of The Nation.
Thanks John, I'm glad someone still remembers what it was about.
Two personal accounts of being on the ground in Israel and Palestine.
Jerusalem Under Attack
The last suicide bomber blew himself up no more than 300 yards from my Jerusalem apartment. The windows shuddered as the deafening sound filled the air. Then came a moment of silence followed by the loud echo of sirens. [more]
Uninvited Guests Become Neighbors
I am the General Manager of the Arab Palestinian Shopping Centers. We are trying to build a chain of modern shopping cetners in the midst of the Israeli re-occuption of Palestinian cities. Below are two personal accounts, one today and one from 4 days ago, of life under Israeli military curfew. [more]
Wednesday, July 03, 2002
The last refuge of a scoundrel
From the Atlanta Constitution via Sam Brown's Progessive Review
Q: Do other countries have pledges to their flags, or is this a uniquely American custom? - Fred Gates, Norcross
A: "Pledges of allegiance are marks of totalitarian states, not democracies," says David Kertzer, a Brown University anthropologist who specializes in political rituals. "I can't think of a single democracy except the United States that has a pledge of allegiance." When Hitler ruled in Germany and Mussolini in Italy, their regimes demanded that "true patriots" publicly vow their allegiance to their respective fatherlands. Postwar democratic governments of the two countries made a
conscious effort to minimize such shows of national pride.
Tuesday, July 02, 2002
How Abd a-Samed became the 116th child killed in Gaza
by Amira Hass
He loved nothing more than to go down to the sea, swim, and fly his home- made kite - but on Friday morning, June 21, Abd a-Samed Shamalekh, aged 10, went instead to his family's plot of land to pick eggplants and cucumbers. [more]
The G-8 and the American Empire, by Murray Dobbin
All the pomp and ceremony surrounding the meeting in Kananaskis would suggest serious democratic leaders grappling with intractable problems. The trouble is, the problems were created by this same gang. These are not statesmen. They are more like a political Hells Angels handing out toys to poor kids at Christmas to polish their image -- all the while running a protection racket for the world's most powerful corporations. [more]
While the Shrub recently spoke out against easing economic sanctions against Cuba to help out his brother Jeb's gubernatorial re-election campaign with influential American-Cuban voters after Diplomat Jimmy Carter's visit there (and speech vociferously recommending an end to the sanctions), Washington State just shipped their first apples to Cuba.
Waiting to Fight Climate Change Is Note a Viable Option, by Dr. David Suzuki
The Pentagon has some cool chemicals for you
The war on terrorism is gonna get a whole lot groovier...
Taking drugs to fight terrorism to take drugs to...
::Project Sunshine: Pentagon Program Promotes Psychopharmacological Warfare
Money to Israel - Or Else!
Condaleeza Rice let the Bush pussycat out of the bag Sunday, when after a diatribe against Yassar Arafat she was asked if it were possible that the almost two million dollars slated for the Palestine Authority would be held back if Arafat did not remove himself as Palestinian leader.
However, Rice was completely taken aback when the questioner asked her if the administration would withhold funds from the Israelis if they did not follow President Bush's guidelines. She blanched, hesitated, and sputtered frozenly, "Withholding funds from Israel is not on the table."
New from Art is Hell... Photocopy Art by Tony Calzetta and Gabrielle de Montmollin. "...Tony Calzetta and Gabrielle de Montmollin are pleased to present their first collaborative artwork... a booklet of photocopy art to be distributed for free as part of FREE MANIFESTA, an open exhibition of nonmonetary artworks to be held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany from May 24 - August 25, 2002."
We'll choose our leaders
As long as the Israelis are against Arafat, I'm with him - whatever my reservations
It is important to understand how we reached this bloody impasse. I took part in the Camp David talks in the summer of 2000 and was one of those who fought hardest to reach an agreement - indeed, I had to put up with accusations from others in the Palestinian delegation that I was too keen to reach a deal. But I was the first to refuse what had apparently been offered (apparently, because nothing was in writing). Contrary to subsequent claims, there was no serious offer made at Camp David, no solution floated that we would have regretted passing up.
The talks at Taba four months later, where there was a serious dialogue, were a different matter. If we had been offered at Camp David the kind of outline package we reached at Taba, we could have had a deal. But Ehud Barak, the Israeli prime minister, blocked the attempts to reach agreement because Israeli elections were two weeks down the line.
The errors go back further. There was a strategic mistake built into the 1993 Oslo agreement: to go for an interim, transitional deal, when the two peoples were ready for a comprehensive peace. The interim period allowed the Israelis to carry on as they had before, pressing ahead with settlements, closures and land expropriation, behaving like a classic occupier. There were also constant changes of leadership on the Israeli side, which led to the cancellation of agreements and understandings. [more]
Monday, July 01, 2002
Arafat Calls for Democratic Elections in the United States; World Reaction is Mixed, by Rahul Mahajan
"Mr. Bush is tainted by his association with Jim-Crow-style selective disenfranchisement and executive strong-arm tactics in a southeastern province controlled by his brother," said Mr. Arafat, who was elected with 87% of the vote in 1996 elections in the West Bank and Gaza, declared to be free and fair by international observers, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. "Our count shows that he would have lost the election if his associates hadn't deprived so many thousands of African-Americans, an oppressed minority, of the right to vote. He is not the man to bring peace to the Middle East." [more]
See also via Rahul: Of Lies and Oil
If you look at the larger picture in both the Bush and the Clinton administrations, including, of course, past U.S. history as well, you see a systematic pattern of privileging corporate interest and corporate profits more than any questions of real security. When U.S. officials talk about national security, it is usually a code word for protecting corporate profits and U.S. military dominance abroad.So why do the Warbloggers so aggressively tow the line?--Do they get a cut, or are they just stupid?
Democratic Congresswoman claims Bush has IQ of 88. "'That tells you something,' she said, insisting that a 'shadow government' consisting of Mr. Bush's 'father and the guy who calls himself the vice president' was actually making the decisions in this country. 'The 88 certainly isn't making the decisions,' she said."
U.S. Bombs Kill or Wound at Least 120 Afghans
Afghans Say U.S. Attacked Wedding
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - U.S. helicopter gunships and jets attacked a house Monday while a wedding was under way, killing and injuring scores, witnesses and hospital officials said.
The attack occurred in the village of Kakarak in Uruzgan province, where special forces and other coalition troops are searching for al-Qaida and Taliban fugitives.
There was no comment from U.S. officials.
One survivor, Abdul Qayyum, told reporters at the Mir Wais Hospital in Kandahar that the attack began about 2 a.m. and continued until 4 a.m., after which U.S. special forces ground troops were in the area.
"The Americans came and asked me 'who fired on the helicopters', and I said 'I don't know' and one of the soldiers wanted to tie my hands but someone said he is an old man and out of the respect they didn't," he said.
Hospital officials said a number of wounded were being brought to Kandahar. Most of the dead and injured were women and children, they said.
"We have many children who are injured and who have no family," nurse Mohammed Nadir said. "Their families are gone. The villagers brought these children and they have no parents. Everyone says that their parents are dead."
Another nurse, Sher Mohammed, said he heard that scores were dead and injured.
Cabinet votes not to change Law of Return
According to unofficial estimates, half of the people who immigrated to Israel in the past two years were not Jews. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians born in what is now Israel and their descendants are not permitted to set foot in the country.
Sunday, June 30, 2002
Aleksandr Deineka... Parad Krasnoi Armii (The Parade of the Red Army) (Moskva: Molodaia Gvardiia, 1931). From Soviet Children's Picture Books from the Twenties and Thirties. "...The great variety of styles is immediately apparent when leafing through the collection: from sweet traditional drawings to avant-garde and socialist realism."