American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, September 14, 2002
War Could Unshackle Oil in Iraq: U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool:

A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and leaders of the Iraqi opposition.

Although senior Bush administration officials say they have not begun to focus on the issues involving oil and Iraq, American and foreign oil companies have already begun maneuvering for a stake in the country's huge proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of crude oil, the largest in the world outside Saudi Arabia.

"It's pretty straightforward," said former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who has been one of the leading advocates of forcing Hussein from power. "France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them."

But he added: "If they throw in their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with them."

But with the end of sanctions that likely would come with Hussein's ouster, companies such as ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco would almost assuredly play a role, industry officials said. "There's not an oil company out there that wouldn't be interested in Iraq," one analyst said.


Fortunes of war await Bush's circle after attacks on Iraq:

When the United Nations relaxed its sanctions regime in 1998 and permitted Iraq to buy spare parts for its oil fields, it was Halliburton, under Mr Cheney's leadership, that cleaned up on the contract to repair war damage and get Saddam Hussein's oil pipes flowing at full capacity again. Two Halliburton subsidiaries did business worth almost $24m (£15m) with the man whom these days Mr Cheney calls a "murderous dictator" and "the world's worst leader".
sent to me by friend D.H.,
please pass along to your friends, family, co-workers, etc.
Please go to the web link below to sign a petition to the Nigerian President
regarding the imminent execution (stoning to death) of Amina Lawal. Her crime -
having a child out of marriage. Her lawyers have 30 days to petition the Supreme Court.
It will take one minute to sign. Please pass this on to all your contacts.

www.mertonai.org/amina/OpenLetter.htm
Takahiro Kimura... Broken Face No.165 (29.7x21cm, August 24,2002). Takahiro Kimura (one of our personal favourite collage artists) is now up to 233 in his epic Broken 1000 Faces project. "...The Project of Broken 1000 Faces started in October, 1999. The plan is to create 1000 faces of same size(12x8inch) using same technique(collage and painting on paper). One every day. I find commonplace photos in magazines and photograph collections. It's important that they be random images,chosen by accident. First I tear a face photo into small pieces. Then I reconnect the pieces. I let my sense of the image guide the arrangement. Balance that images from my perception of the subject. I use a nail to scratch the image."

Who armed Saddam?

'An American company, Pfaulder Corporation of Rochester, New
York, supplied the Iraqis with a blueprint in 1975, enabling them to construct
their first chemical warfare plant. The plant was purchased in sections from
Italy, West Germany and East Germany and assembled in Iraq. It was located
at Akhashat in north-western Iraq, and the cost was around $50 million for
the plant and $30 million for the safety equipment. '
(The road to Halabja began here).

Save Nine Ladies!
A stone circle in Derbyshire under
threat.
From the Pakistani Literary Scene:
Does anyone believe war will stop acts of terror? Even if we hide every plastic knife in America, will it stop an attack from a man who is desperate enough to commit suicide? [...] Who ordained that we may pamper ourselves in Victoria's Secret underwear, while millions can't even procure ill-fitted artificial limbs?
Bapsi Sidhwa is a writer of the Parsi community in Pakistan, and is the premiere author in English from that country.

Clearly, she doesn't mess around.

Houstonites can catch her and other call-in readings from around the globe on Sunday, Sept. 22 at the Voices Breaking Boundaries fall kickoff. More info to be found at Voices Breaking Boundaries site.
Friday, September 13, 2002
In war, some facts less factual
"This administration is capable of any lie ... in order to advance its war goal in Iraq," says a US government source in Washington with some two decades of experience in intelligence, who would not be further identified. "It is one of the reasons it doesn't want to have UN weapons inspectors go back in, because they might actually show that the probability of Iraq having [threatening illicit weapons] is much lower than they want us to believe."
Liberal Arts Mafia | Commentary Never before in a time of great peril to our republic have we been gifted by a President as inherently irrational and incapable as we currently are. IF we survive the next two years with only a minimum amount of bloodshed — say less ten thousand innocent lives — we will have to consider ourselves lucky. It is galling that our commander in chief, rather than pursue the guilty parties of September 11 to the ends of the Earth, is willing to drop everything in order to satisfy an ideological vision of American world domination.
Ana Aheb New York

One year ago, a few days after September 11, someone had stapled a sign to a lamp post on 7th street in the East Village. I was taking basic Arabic at the time and could just make it out: I Love New York. The next day it was gone. It was half torn when I saw it. No doubt someone finished the job. There was a lot of misdirected anger in the streets then. There still is.

Click on the graphic above for a larger version you can print out and post on a lamp post near you.

[From Social Design Notes.]
briefly now...
had to stop by here to make mention of
tonite's POV broadcast of Afghanistan, Year 1380
check your local PBS listings...
The Peace movement is alive and growing fast

Tuesday night, I was at a major gathering of the peace tribes in Los Angeles called



It's a Free Country
A Gathering for Civil Liberties and Peaceful Tomorrows



And quite a gathering it was. Inspirational speakers and a much larger crowd than expected had many, including me, thinking, wow there's a whole lot more of us than we thought.

Speakers included:

Kelly Campbell & Barry Amundson who lost family members in 9/11 and who oppose going to war in Iraq in a misguided act of revenge. Kelly's husband was military who was killed at the Pentagon, Barry lost his brother on Flight 93. Kelley said she became a peace activist because she got tired of going to memorials that turned into calls for war and vengeance.

Medea Benjamin, tireless activist, who spearheaded the plan to take those who lost familiy in 9/11 to Afghanistan to meet those who lost family in the bombings. She repeatedly detailed how the Bush administration has no moral authority to tell anyone anything.

Bob Sheer, syndicated columnist, pointed out the many lies and distortions of the Bushies as they try to steamroller us into a lunatic war.
Fact: Saddam runs a secular state, and is not an Islamic fanatic at all.
Fact: There is no evidence linking Saddam with Al Qaida or 9/11.
Fact: Bush has given no verifiable facts showing Saddam has nukes.

Maria Elena Durazo, President of HERE Local 11, restaurant and airport workers, who pointed out that non-citizens who lost family in 9/11 received nothing from the government. Nothing except immigration raids that is. And yes, they do pay taxes.

Ra'id Faral, Council of American-Islamic Relations, read from the Koran where it says if you kill an innocent person you kill all people, and that Islam is peaceful, but was hijacked by loonies who do not speak for Muslims.

Several ministers, rabbis, and priests spoke. All working towards stopping the madness and stopping the war before it starts.

Readings of religious texts emphasizing peace were interspered the event, with the readings coming from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish scriptures.

There was also a jubilant Baptist choir, a solo gospel singer, and a video about how Peaceful Tomorrows, the peace organization founded by those who lost family members in 9/11, was founded.

Parking was chaos. They were expecting maybe 500 people and 1,200 arrived. Afterwards, many people were saying, "I thought I was alone, but I see I'm not alone at all". There's a whole lot of people opposed to an Iraq War, opposed to the gutting of the Constitution, opposed to the erosion of civil liberties.

Meetings like this are happening across the country now. I was of age in the Vietnam War, and the level of opposition to an Iraq War is already much higher and better organized than in most of the Vietnam years. I seriously doubt Bush has even fifty percent of the population - if you ask people if they favor a war without an OK from the UN or a war that could result in heavy US casualities. Even people I know on the Right are leery about it.

There will major anti-war demonstrations soon. Nationwide. I think the numbers will surprise people. Something IS happening, a spontaneous upswelling of people is creating a serious peace movement.

Links:

Not In Our Name (NION) Major umbrella group, aiming at a nationwide Oct 6 mobilization.

Peaceful Tomorrows Those who lost family in 9/11.

Voice 4 Change Similar to NION.

International ANSWER Tireless. Workin on a DC demo Oct. 26.

Pax Protest Net Nationwide calender of events.
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Prior Knowledge of Sept. 11 Not Just Urban Legend:

"What are you looking at?" asked the schoolteacher as she approached one of her freshman students. The boy, a young Palestinian, seemed captivated as he stared out the window across Brooklyn toward the lower downtown area of Manhattan.

"Do you see those two buildings?" he asked while pointing toward the World Trade Center. "They won't be standing there next week." It was noon, Sept. 6, 2001.

Many people believed this story was nothing more than an urban legend when they first heard it. Everyone has heard similar stories in the wake of such a disaster. Despite the almost unbelievable circumstances of the story, I was able to confirm it last October while working as a crime reporter for the Journal News, a New York-based Gannett newspaper. Catie Marshall, a spokeswoman for the New York City Board of Education, confirmed that school officials reported the incident to police and that the matter had since been taken over by the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force (FBI-JTTF).
Bogside Artists... Petrol Bomber, Battle of the Bogside (2) Mural. "...depicts some scenes from the 'Battle of the Bogside' which took place in August 1969. The mural depicts a young boy in a gas mask, which he used to try to protect himself from the CS gas used by the RUC, holding a petrol bomb." From Works by the Bogside Artists at Political Wall Murals in Northern Ireland. Part of The Northern Ireland Conflict (1968 to the Present).
what other nasty surprises await us...
from the VIllage Voice On-line
Things We Lost in the Fire;
and heres to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Departing Rights Commissioner Faults U.S..
this next from SF Gate's Mark Morford,
Not Another 9-11 Column
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
In West Bank, a concert for peace
The old Steinway grand had seen better days, but when Daniel Barenboim drew the first nostalgic notes of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata from it, 200 neatly uniformed Palestinian students froze in delight. Music, and especially music of this caliber from a live Israeli master, is not something that has often graced young lives more wrapped up in the daily misery of curfews, roadblocks, dangers and hatreds.

More information about Mr. Barenboim is available on his website: www.daniel-barenboim.com
Anis Shivani: Progressive Irrelevance?
"The left thinks of Bush as an idiot. He is, but only in the sense of not being intellectual. He is the smartest fascist to come down the pike in a long while, and has completely outwitted the opposition.



As long as progressives continue to grant the basic premises of the "war on terrorism--that it is a "war" and that we're fighting "terror" - it will wage a losing struggle. If voices who question the basic reality of events remain isolated--voices like those of the ousted Cynthia McKinney--we are doomed to an era of complete silence. The dictators in Washington are in a great hurry to do away with this country's freedoms and numb us to a new American militarism. If progressives treat them as political actors who will go along with the normal rules of liberal contest, it'll continue to be blindsided by the next shocks in the works. " OutLookIndia [via allaboutgeorge]

Mainstream media on 9/11 foreknowledge: the government knew airplane attacks were going to occur in the US by Russ Kick:

1. Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial aircraft in July 2001.

2. The FAA refused to let author Salman Rushdie fly in North America starting the week before 9/11.

3. Four days before the attacks, Florida Governor Jeb Bush activated the National Guard, citing “acts of terrorism”

4. On September 10, 2001, high-ranking Pentagon officials cancelled travel plans for the morning of September 11.

5. On September 10, 2001, San Francisco’s mayor was warned against flying to New York the next morning.

6. CIA Director George Tenet warned Congressmen of “an imminent attack on the United States of this nature.”


Peace to those who died on 9/11 and their friends and family.
A curse on the houses of Bush/Bin Laden and their fundamentalist ilk.
- JL

UPDATE: I've put up links to 9/11 one-year-later articles by Robert Fisk, Alexander Cockburn, Noam Chomsky, Justin Raimondo and John Pilger over at New World Disorder.
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Department of futile gestures, Part 2: Joe Conason & Andrew Sullivan are "colleagues," at least according to Conason. Maybe it's just because I'm an academic, where the word colleague still means something more that "co-worker," but I find Conason's use of the word, at best, wishful thinking & at worst a symptom of what Mediawhoresonline would call "Kool Kids Syndrome"--the media ideology that says, "Really, despite our slight political differences, we're all members of the same fraternity." That's what "balance" amounts to, in the final analysis. I wonder if Sullivan thinks of Conason as a "colleague." I had thought Conason had more sense, though I had already begun to despair of Salon. Joan Walsh's piece in today's number, "It's My Country and I'll Cry if I Want To," [premium subscribers only] put me in mind of that old Phil Oachs song, "Love Me, I'm a Liberal":

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every coloured boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the AFL-CIO board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New Republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the Democratic Party.
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.

But that's mostly an aside. Conason not only abuses the word colleague, he engages in a rhetorical sleight of hand made famous recently by the Washington Post's defense of Susan Schmidt; that is, he claims that the letters Salon received objecting to hiring Sullivan were "similarly worded." Exactly what is being impled here? I would like to know how many letters there were & how many were "similarly worded." Did people copy my letters to Salon, posted here previously? Is there some orchestrated effort that the editors of Salon find offensive? I'd thought that the editors were, at least, liberals & that they might see "orchestrated effort" as a form of political organizing, a concept that used to have some currence on the left, especially in the labor movement. (It was an "orchestrated effort"--or many of them togehter--that finally brought the Vietnam war to a close, though our leaders at the time made sure it was as dishonerable a close as possible.) Were Eric Alterman's & my letters similar, how about the one sent by Dr. Menlo? Or some of the other folks who commented over at American Samizdat? This just seems like a smear to me. Come on, Joe, are your really saying you're being targeted by fanatical leftists?

Eric Alterman & the Media Horse have defended Salon in the past & so have I, but Alterman's column today gets it about right, I think, except that I'm more skeptical of the whole idea of "balance" than Alterman, who notes that he has in the past suggested conservative writers Salon might hire instead of Horowitz & now Sullivan. I'm of the mind that balance is bullshit, frankly. When the right starts hiring real leftists to comment from inside the corporate media then maybe I'll change my tune.
War Against Some Terrorists

The Chicken Hawk Factor

"There's more combat experience on the 7th floor of the State Department than in the entire Office of the Secretary of Defense," quipped the high-ranking State Department official to a room filled with senior military officers last month. The statement "generated riotous applause," according to an eyewitness quoted in the Nelson Report, a private newsletter subscribed to by foreign-policy heavyweights and embassies in Washington. [read more]

----------

Bush is Intent on Painting Allies and Enemies in the Middle East as Evil
by Robert Fisk

Just as Americans are recovering from the harrowing television re-runs of the 11 September attacks, their President is going to launch the biggest reshaping of the Middle East since the British and French parceled out the Arab lands after the 1914-18 war. When he addresses the United Nations on Thursday, George Bush will be threatening not only Iraq – which had absolutely nothing to do with the crimes against humanity in New York and Washington – but Syria, Iran and, by extension, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. [read more]

----------

Cheney's Warped Perspective on the Need to Attack Iraq
by Scott Ritter

Contrary to the myth propagated by Cheney, there were no "smoking gun" revelations made by Hussein Kamal regarding hidden Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Throughout his interview with UNSCOM, a UN special commission, Hussein Kamal reiterated his main point--that nothing was left. "All chemical weapons were destroyed," he said. "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons--biological, chemical, missile, nuclear--were destroyed. There is not a single missile left ... they [Iraq] had kept blueprints and molds for production, but all the missiles were destroyed." [read more]

----------

Iraq War Hawks Have Plans to Reshape Entire Mideast

As the Bush administration debates going to war against Iraq, its most hawkish members are pushing a sweeping vision for the Middle East that sees the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq as merely a first step in the region's transformation. [read more]

----------

The End of Empire
by William Greider

The imperial ambitions of the Bush Administration, post-9/11, are founded on quicksand and are eventually sure to founder, but for fundamental reasons not currently under discussion. Bush's open-ended claims for US power--including the unilateral right to invade and occupy "failed states" to execute "regime change"--offend international law and are prerogatives associated only with empire. But Bush's greater vulnerability is about money. You can't sustain an empire from a debtor's weakening position--sooner or later the creditors pull the plug. That humiliating lesson was learned by Great Britain early in the last century, and the United States faces a similar reckoning ahead. [read more]

----------

All of this reminds me of little poem I read in high school.

Ozymandias

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822
IDF demolishes home of militant said behind tank bombing
Israel does not make distinctions between militants who attack its soldiers and terrorists who attack its citizens. Either way, illegal collective punishment is doled out to the families and loved ones of attackers, regardless of who they attack or when (the attack referenced happened in January). Ten people were wounded during the attack on and destruction of the house, and several families were left homeless.

Why does Israel not distinguish between Palestinians fighting conventional battles against Israeli troops, and terrorists attacking innocent civilians?
Monday, September 09, 2002
Bush Aides Set Strategy to Sell Policy on Iraq
Get ready for the blitz-- the "product" of war with Iraq will be marketed to the people of America this month. Why? "From a marketing point of view," said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, "you don't introduce new products in August."
Sunday, September 08, 2002
Fuel for the Anti-Bush Fire: "Here is my prediction. Corporate America has won this round and just about every round that has preceded this one on global warming. But just as global warming traps too much of the sun's heat (energy) in the lower atmosphere, supercharging our climate system --hence the storms, droughts, and assorted extremes of our once calmer climactic system -- the Marie Antoinette approach is also trapping extreme political pressure in a cauldron that will not be able to hold it. The anti-globalization protesters are not disappearing, just regrouping. Moderate mainstream environmentalists are furious about the state of the planet in a way that I have never seen before in my career. "
Zapata Stencil Graffiti by Nico / Industrias Ilegales. "...Nico of Industrias Ilegales, a Chicano street artist from East Los, Aztlan has been decorating the walls that surround his Boyle Heights neighborhood with the mystical power of stencil graffiti. In the tradition of The Basques and the Mexicans who used the same techniques in protests propaganda during the 1970s. Nico has been stenciling the portraiture of Mexican Revolutionary General Emilio Zapata on back alleyways." From Murals at BrownPride.
I live in Seoul now and there is a swanky bar around the corner from my crib called, of all things, Said & Chomsky. They don't seem to do much business.

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