American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, August 17, 2002
The Nation presents: No Rush to War, a resource guide for those who don't believe that peace equals war.
a parade of empty suits...
men of mean & petty ambitions,
without concern for anything but personal gain,
gwb a perfect example of one of these,
and those staffing his administration
all fawning sycophants goosestepping their way to war...
from the NYT, The Waco Road to Baghdad
Friday, August 16, 2002
Because Bush and friends would get indicted, that's why

Senator asks, why no Enron prosecutions


A senator leading an investigation of Enron asked the Justice Department on Friday to explain why it hasn't prosecuted executives of the energy company that collapsed in December.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer affairs, asked Attorney General John Ashcroft in a letter "why no action has been taken against those who were responsible for illegal activities at the Enron Corp."


Bush is "intellectually backward", UK politician

Bush blasted by UK politician and can not count on any support from the Labour Party for an Iraq war. Way to go George, I never thought a U.S. President could be ignorant enough to piss off the Brits, but you've managed to do it. Give you another six months and the U.S. will have no credibility left.


From the Guardian:

Gerald Kaufman, the former shadow foreign secretary, today became Labour's highest ranking name to voice his concerns over an attack on Iraq.

Writing in the Spectator, Mr Kaufman warns that any invasion would cause "significant casualties" and Tony Blair would find it difficult having to rely on the Conservatives for the majority of his Commons support.

He writes: "Bush, himself the most intellectually backward American president of my political lifetime, is surrounded by advisers whose bellicosity is exceeded only by their political, military and diplomatic illiteracy. Pity the man who relies on Rumsfeld, Cheney and Rice for counsel".
Indonesia's former finance minister says IMF policies are "generic trash": "They pushed the Indonesian government to increase the oil price, which ended up in a major riot in Jakarta in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed."
Nigerians Take Over Oil Platform: "The takeover was believed a continuation of pressure by local Nigerians for more jobs and oil-company financing for better living conditions."
Thursday, August 15, 2002
Tom Tomorrow is working with Michael Moore on an animated movie.

Also, I picked up this interesting tidbit from the Well with, unfortunately, no source attached: " . . . the reason Moore will be able to publish a book on the 2004 election in 2003 is that he had a 'deep throat' contact in the Bush camp and already knows how they'll rig the next election -- no more clumsy wipe-outs of 50,000 black Florida voters from the voter roles as 'felons' (followed by a news blackout by all major American media -- though not all British, for instance), no more ugly judicial coup d'etat. No, they've got something much simpler & more fool proof in mind this time, and Moore has the scoop!"

I was unpleasantly surprised tonite to see Bartcop rail so vociferously against Moore. Perhaps Bartcop has not seen this: Poll Analysis: Nader not responsible for Gore's loss, via Eliot Gelwan, the Indispensable.

But who will Bartcop the Bartcop? . . .

Blaming of the Shrew, by Richard Cohen
May I say something about Ann Coulter? She is a half-wit, a termagant, a dimwit, a blowhard, a worthless silicone nothing, physically ugly and could be likened to Eva Braun. As it happens,   these are all descriptions or characterizations Coulter uses for others in her book, "Slander." It ought to be called "Mirror." [more]
Free Culture - Lawrence Lessig

30-min. Flash slideshow - The current state of intellectual property and its ramifications on creativity and culture.
Artificial Vision Research - Wired

Technology that lets the blind see again.
Clandestine Radio - A World Guide

"Clandestine radio is a field encompassing journalism, diplomacy, and war. Created to disseminate propaganda, clandestine radio has played a major role in every conflict around the world. ClandestineRadio.com keeps the pulse on these fascinating radio stations and the groups who sponsor them."

Shortwave Radio Listening Resource Center
kimwalks.org - A Welfare Reform Blog

Dayton, Ohio blogger Kim Denmark has vowed to walk around the nation seeking support for those who have fallen victim to the nation's "failed" welfare system.
Israel/Palestine

The UN from Qana to Jenin
Why the Secretary General's Report Cannot Be Trusted
by Ran HaCohen

So an evidence of an Israeli soldier clearly affirms allegations of human rights organisations and refute the claims of the Israeli Government. The report presented by Kofi Annan is unreasonably biased in favour of Israel, at least on this crucial point. Why? To understand that, we'll have to go six years back in time. It's an obvious link; strange that nobody seems to remember it. Amazing how quickly things are forgotten when they contradict our mental set.

The Massacre of Qana [read more]

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Offensive, Murderous and Righteous
Sharon Must be the Right Man for the Job

Clearly, seen through Israeli eyes, Sharon is the right man for the job. He is the embodiment of everything Israel is about. He is offensive, murderous and righteous. Sharon has proved once again that he acts as a self-sufficient Iron Wall. The only real question remaining is whether we want to live in a world in which Israel, a criminally offensive state, is accepted amongst nations. [read more]

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Terror trial may put Israel in the dock
Palestinian legislator, Fatah leader, friend of peaceniks, Marwan Barghouti stands indicted for 26 deaths

Handcuffed and in a brown prison uniform, but looking energetic and in high spirits, Israel's most famous Palestinian detainee, Marwan Barghouti, made his first public appearance yesterday since he was arrested near Ramallah in April.

Cameras, reporters, and security men scrummed around in the small courtroom before the judge entered as Mr Barghouti shouted that the uprising would be successful. [read more]
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
War Against the Constitution

Tom Tomorrow is pissed — as we all should be.

Further proof that the Constitution of the United States of America is officially an anachronism

An American touted by Attorney General John Ashcroft as a significant terrorism figure with plans to detonate a radioactive bomb is probably a "small fish" with no ties to al-Qaida cell members in the United States, law enforcement officials said.

The FBI's investigation has produced no evidence that the man, Jose Padilla, 31, who used the name Abdullah al Muhajir after converting to Islam in 1992 or 1993, had begun preparations for an attack and little reason to believe that he had any support from al-Qaida to direct such a plot, one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Okay, I'm a little pissed off this morning.

Do you get it yet? Do you begin to understand the implications here, when an American citizen can be arbitrarily declared a terrorist, held indefinitely as enemy combatant--with no evidence to support the charges? [read more]

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Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty.

Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.

Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants. [read more]

thanks to This Modern World
Looking for a Naomi Klein interview in Index, I noticed their entire archive of interviews is now online, including Howard Zinn and Brian Eno interviews that I liked quite a bit in print. Here's the Naomi Klein quote I was looking for:
"About 8 months after No Logo came out, Radiohead released Kid A. In their interviews, a few of the band members casually mentioned that they had read No Logo while they were producing the album, and that it had influenced the way they had released it. They sort of de-branded themselves, playing their British tour in a big blue unmarked tent without any sponsorship. It became a big story, particularly in Britain because the press there hangs on Thom Yorke's every word. So all of a sudden, a constituency was reading my book that probably never would have otherwise. And I started getting hundreds of letters from teenage Radiohead fans all over the world, asking how they could get involved in globalization activism. The experience made me realize how contagious optimism is. It also showed me the power of leadership through storytelling, as opposed to evangelizing."
Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Kissinger may be a dirtbag, but he has some good points on why Bush should be cautious about invading Iraq:

The biggest danger, though, lay in allowing other countries to use America’s intervention to justify their own acts of pre-emptive hostility, he said. “It is not in the American national interest to establish pre-emption as a universal principle available to every nation.”

Potentially the most “fateful reaction”, he said, would be if India used the example of US military action in Iraq to attack Pakistan.
Bush's Conspiracy to Riot
After the Miami “Brooks Brothers Riot” – named after the protesters’ preppie clothing – no government action was taken beyond the police rescuing several Democrats who were surrounded and roughed up by the rioters. While no legal charges were filed against the Republicans, newly released documents show that at least a half dozen of the publicly identified rioters were paid by Bush’s recount committee. [more]
Bush and his handlers have organized an economic forum likely to attract the coveteous awe of dictators and tryants from all over the globe. Like a crowd of peasants bussed in from the countryside and paid to applaud on cue, the Bush administration has hand picked a list of forum attendees carefully designed to look like a cross-section of the American population. They will listen to speakers and spinmeisters from the administration and business and, well, applaud on cue. The purpose of the "forum" has very little to do with making or affecting policy and everything to do with creating the illusion of taking proactive control of an economy spinning hopelessly out of control. No one critical of Bush economic policy and not a single Democrat from either the Senate or the House have been invited to the forum.

Paul Krugman, in a New York Times opinion piece, illustrates just how out of touch the administration is with its selection of John T. Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, as one of the speakers from the business community.

Clueless in Crawford by Paul Krugman
Today, in its Waco economic forum, the Bush administration will try to convince the country that everything is under control — that the economy is mending, that "shady" business practices are no longer a problem. To that end a carefully chosen audience will listen to speeches by administration officials and selected models of corporate probity. Among the speakers announced last week was John T. Chambers, C.E.O. of Cisco Systems.

They really don't get it, do they? One could hardly have picked a better example of what's wrong with the administration's whole approach.

Two years ago Cisco was the world's most valuable company, with a market capitalization of more than $500 billion. Mr. Chambers was among the world's best-paid executives, receiving $157 million in 2000. Cisco was perceived as a company that combined new-economy glitz with old-fashioned solidity, that was on the cutting edge but made real products and earned real profits.

In short, people thought about Cisco the same way they thought about Enron. [more]

As Krugman points out, Cisco was tagged in its heyday by Barron's as the "New Economy Creative Accounting Exemplar" and Chambers himself was recently listed by Fortune, as one of the 25 greediest CEOs in American business. Does that sound like the kind of guy to help lead us out of the current economic quagmire? It does to Bush. (Applaud on cue.)

The Fortune report -- The Greedy Bunch: You bought. They sold.
10 Years After the Coup in Russia
"They ordered tanks and troops into the capital. They isolated Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at his seaside villa and reportedly confiscated the key to the country's awe-inspiring nuclear arsenal. They laid the groundwork for ousting Gorbachev and reversing his liberal policies. What the 1991 coup plotters did not have was a clear plan of action, a set chain of command and the resolve to crush the spontaneous protests by tens of thousands of Muscovites." Lots of essays from The Moscow Times.
the recently arrived page thirteen...
;
help that guy buy himself a seersucker suit...
and extra added value linky goodness...
from the NYRB, It's Own Worst Enemy;
contemplate that in light of the real state of the union...
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
2 million Palestinians under curfew for 53 days!

A Phone Call from Hell
by Uri Avnery

On January 9 we convened a conference on war crimes in a big hall in Tel-Aviv. Several professors of international law and two senior (retired) army officers were on the panel. One of the speakers was a war hero, air force Colonel Yig'al Shohat, who had been shot down over Egypt and lost a leg. In a voice trembling with emotion, he called upon his comrades, the combat pilots, to refuse to obey illegal orders, such as bombarding civilian neighborhoods.

All the TV and radio stations and the two major newspapers ignored the conference, to which they were invited. It was clear that all of the enlisted media had decided to suppress the issue of war crimes.

That became quite clear when we submitted to Kol Israel, the state-run radio network, a paid ad, informing soldiers about their duty to refuse "manifestly illegal orders" - literally repeating the wording of the judgment of the military court following the Kafr Kassem massacre of 1956. Kol Israel refused to broadcast it. We asked the Supreme Court to order the Broadcasting Authority to air the ad, but the court decided that it was unable to do so.

So we decided to take direct action. We distributed among the soldiers a pocket manual, setting out the prohibitions of the Geneva Convention, which was signed by Israel. Among them: Executions without trial (called "liquidations"), shooting of unarmed civilians, torture, prevention of medical treatment, killing the wounded (called "verification of death"), starvation, deportation. [read more]

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What is a war crime?

How Kwasi Setu, DC activist, Disappeared for 11 Months: "Environmental activist Kwasi Setu disappeared last year during a trip to the South. He managed to get word out that he had been kidnapped by sheriffs in Georgia who were holding him in jail without charging him. This is apparently normal treatment of black men by white sheriffs in Georgia, for Kwasi reported that the jail was full of men who had not been charged. They had not seen a magistrate, let alone a lawyer and a judge, and were being held without charge -- some for as long as 9 months!"
I was inordinately pleased last Saturday morning to hear that Ann Coulter was about to be interviewed by FAIR on Counterspin . . . the resulting exchange was a bit on the mind-boggling side. When confronted with a quote by herself that she apparently does not like, she calls it a "lie." Like when she allegedly told a Vietnam Vet that it was people like him that lost the war. When asked how the media can be so right-wing when she is plastered all over it, she mentions something incomprehensible about "not being taken out and shot yet." When given examples of the right-wing method of personal insults against political opponents, she either claims it was a mistake, calls it a "lie," or says she never heard of it. When Rush Limbaugh said, "Here is a picture of the White House dog," and showed a picture of Chelsea Clinton, this, according to Coulter, was a mistake. FAIR points out that this was done twice, was that also a mistake? I could go on and on, but I found her method of "polemics" highly disturbing, to say the least. Most disturbing, however, was her co-opting of the term "samizdat." She referred to the neocon media in America today as "what I call samizdat media." Perhaps I can refute her claim the next time I appear on television.
Monday, August 12, 2002
Selective Memri
Quick Backgrounder on the mid-east translation service
Colombia Declares Emergency
President Alvaro Uribe today declared a limited state of emergency in Colombia and imposed a new tax on wealthy citizens to help finance the armed forces, moving early in his presidency to stop the spread of a worsening civil war.
The Mideast Threat That's Hard to Define
There are people inside the American defense establishment -- the most powerful, technologically sophisticated military in the history of mankind -- who believe that the greatest threat they face today may come from followers of an early 18th century religious extremist who called for a renewal of Islamic spirit, moral cleansing and the stripping away of all innovations to Islam since the seventh century. Those disciples are known as Wahabis.
One of the most disturbing facts that has been revealed by those investigating Bush adminstration 9/11 prior knowledge has been that Pakistani ISI chief General Ahmad had been in the US meeting with the US gov the week of the attack, the same General who had wired Al-Qaeda cell leader Mohammed Atta $100,000 a few days previous to 9/11. The excellent Centre for Reasearch on Globalization has been investigating why the US gov during the week of 9/11 was meeting with one of the men who was financing the attack on the World Trade towers.

Secret Hearings Conceal 9/11 Terrorist Links to Congress & White House: "Three days after the attacks on September 14, the New York Times reported that important members of the Bush Administration met with the terrorist financier and ISI Chief, General Ahmad: CIA Director George Tenet, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Under-Secretary of State Marc Grossman, and Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) -- Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee."

The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks: "In assessing the alleged links between the terrorists and the ISI, it should be understood that Lt. General Ahmad as head of the ISI was a 'US approved appointee'. As head of the ISI since 1999, he was in liaison with his US counterparts in the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Pentagon."

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11: "In a bitter irony, Rep. Porter Goss and Senator Bob Graham, --the men who hosted the mysterious September 11 breakfast meeting with the alleged 'hijacker's high commander' (to use the FBI's expression), had been put in charge of the investigation and public hearings on so-called intelligence failures."

Transcript of Dr. Condoleezza Rice's May 16th Press Conference.
Sunday, August 11, 2002
Brazilians Find a Political Cost for I.M.F. Help:

"It's easy at the top to say cut back on expenditures, but it is hard when you are a politician and the unemployment rate is 18 percent," said Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. Latin America "is not like the United States where you have a social safety net," he added. "Firing a worker has enormous economic and social consequences."

Asked during a news conference in Argentina this week why Latin Americans were increasingly rejecting the magic recipe of privatization, lower tariffs and increased foreign investment, Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill replied, "I have no idea."
US is putting North Korea's finger on the nuclear trigger: "Pyongyang is a reprehensible Stalinist regime that refuses to allow international inspection of its covert nuclear program, that visits the most appalling suffering on its own people and, if all goes well, today it will pour the concrete foundation for the first of two US-supplied nuclear reactors, from which it will be able to extract sufficient 'near-weapons-grade' plutonium to make dozens of bombs."

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