Saturday, November 09, 2002
US troops watched Northern Alliance massacre prisoners
A British documentary claims to have proof that American troops watched as Northern Alliance soldiers allegedly slaughtered thousands of captured Taliban fighters during the Afghan war.
The makers of Channel Five's Afghan Massacre say they have evidence that US special forces were present during the alleged atrocities - in which 3,000 are said to have died - but did nothing to stop it.
A last word on the dangers posed to world peace should go to a Californian rabbi, Haim Dov Beliak , who studied at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Israel when it was the ideological center for the settler movement. He is quoted in a sober analysis (published recently in the National Catholic Reporter) of the apocalyptic, Christian Zionist movement which supports both the Occupation and the settlements. Rabbi Beliak is troubled that "the American public knows little about the settlers. There is a profound lack of curiosity about them." They are, he believes, "deeply problematic because they are going to cause World War III. They are not dealing with normal political reality. There is a complete denial of any rights Arabs might have."
Blinded by the Right:
America Stumbles into the Ditch
Would anyone have believed that in the year 2002 America would join ranks with fanatics driven by fabricated stories more than 2500 years old as the basis for foreign policy? Our acceptance of Sharon's administration and its savage policies also means we have accepted the fanatics of Islam who use the same God as the Israelis to justify their atrocities. These mythologies become the motivating tools of those in power to justify their purpose. They grab at the opportunities present -- fear inflicted by enemies of the people, righteous behavior demanded by their God, promise of rewards in the hereafter for those joining against the forces of evil, and ultimate victory for the myths that gave them purpose to carry out their desires. It is unfortunate that America has been hoodwinked into supporting beliefs that should have died a quiet death years and years ago. What a mockery of international law, of the Geneva Convention on Human Rights, and America's proclaimed belief in Democracy and the inherent rights guaranteed to all people is our obeisance to the whims of those who would find recourse to oppression in the pages of a mythological text.
Netanyahu's power play clouds US relations
Likud leadership hopeful rejects independence for Palestinians
The binational option
A growing number of articles and analyses by Palestinians and their supporters are warning that the "two states for two peoples" option is fading, and the goal of a Palestinian state should be exchanged for the establishment of a binational state. At the same time, polls among Israeli Jews show there is a majority, albeit slim, in favor of a Palestinian state.
US Army Ordnance Corps Newsletter reports on P2OG
The United States should create an elite group of counter-terror operatives to make the war on terrorism pre-emptive and proactive, duping Al-Qaeda to undertaking operations it is not prepared for and thereby exposing its personnel.
US aims to control Iraqi oil: Yamani
The United States is planning a war against Iraq primarily to gain control of Baghdad's rich oil resources and thus decrease its dependence on Saudi crude, a former Saudi oil minister and co-founder of OPEC said on Thursday.
"I have no doubt that the aim of striking Iraq is oil, and not the weapons of mass destruction or changing the regime," Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, who was Saudi oil minister in the 70s and 80s, told Okaz daily.
The United States has been working to gradually decrease its dependence on Saudi oil, but after the September 11, 2001 attacks, it is seeking to accelerate the process by occupying Iraq, Yamani said, echoing the charges of Baghdad and other opponents of a US attack.
More propaganda from C(IA)NN
CNN is reporting that al Qaeda has, on a Web site, claimed responsibility for "bombing nightclubs and whorehouses in Indonesia."
I'm willing to believe anti-"Jewish-Crusader alliance" terrorists are claiming responsibility for Bali—as opposed to Muslim Indonesians with specific, domestic goals or any of the other possible suspects. But this article, confidently headlined "Al Qaeda admits Bali blasts on Web," seems weirdly flimsy. Having read it, a fairer headline might have been, "Unknown persons on unnamed Web site say Al Qaeda bombed Bali."
For starters, CNN doesn't provide a link to the purported al Qaeda Web site, or much information about it. (I couldn't find any links to the site elsewhere.) It only says it "has been used in the past by al Qaeda to claim responsibility for attacks, including the synagogue fire in Tunisia in which mainly German tourists died, and strikes on two ships in Yemen."
Labeling the Bali attack "al Qaeda" seems mostly a way to portray it as another battle in a global attack on the West fought by a well-coordinated army of Islamic militants. That may be a politically useful way to conceptualize what's happening, but does it reflect reality?
CNN Report Claiming Al-Qaida Responsibility For Bali Is More Disinfo
Jihad Unspun went to work to verify this report and has learned through sources that this claim is entirely false. CNN said that Al-Qaida had targeted "nightclubs and whorehouses in Indonesia" in a Web site message which also boasted of its aim to hit inside Arab and Islamic countries which are part of a "Jewish-Crusader" alliance. This statement alone raised eyebrows as it appears to be aimed at increasing tensions within the Islamic community itself.
Indonesian Police Yet to Name Group Behind Bali Blasts
Indonesian Police Chief Da'i Bachtiar said on Saturday that the interrogation of suspects in the Bali bombing remains to focus on individual suspects and has not directed to find links with any possible groups behind the attacks.
"We have not moved to investigate any possible group. We are still focusing on the individual suspects," Bachtiar was quotyed by Detikcom online news service as saying in Semarang, capital of the Central Java province.
He said the investigation would be very likely to find clues tothe involvement of certain groups, but "We'd be better waiting until the probe on Amrozi and other suspects are concluded."
The Military & CNN by Alexander Cockburn
Col. Christopher St. John, commander of the U.S. Army's 4th PSYOPs Group, was quoted by a French Intelligence correspondent, present at the symposium, as (in the correspondent's words) having ``called for greater cooperation between the armed forces and media giants. He (St. John) pointed out that some Army PSYOPs personnel had worked for CNN for several weeks, and helped in the production of some news stories for the network.''
Guilty-conscience philanthropist and economy destroyer George Soros on trial for insider trading
The trial relates to an attempted takeover of the French bank Societe Generale in 1988.
The bid was led by the corporate raider Georges Pebereau, who built up a substantial stake in the bank, before trying to take control.
The bid failed, but not before Societe Generale's share price had more than doubled.
Mr Soros and three other defendants are accused of using inside knowledge to make millions of dollars.
They allegedly bought Societe Generale stock when it was cheap, before cashing in their investment when the price rose after the bid became public.
If the 72-year old is found guilty, he faces up to two years in prison and a multimillion dollar fine.
Friday, November 08, 2002
Hekmatyar Says The War On Civilizations Has Begun
Correspondent: Do you think a "clash of civilizations" has begun?
Hekmatyar: Yes, the war between the civilizations has indeed begun, and this war will continue forever. I think that those who deny the existence of this war and raise slogans for reconciliation, understanding and dialogue between the civilizations are deceiving the world and themselves. The slogans of reconciliation and cooperation are Western slogans. They are being used to crush the resistance. The Western civilization has launched a fierce war against the other civilizations. The Westerners are calling on others to surrender and not to resist. They want their civilization to be the dominant one in the world. Otherwise, what does reconciliation mean at a time when the West is launching its war against us? How can understanding be reached when the United States has established military bases in many Islamic countries and occupied the most important strategic points in the world by force, when Bush declared his crusader war, the Italian prime minister (Silvio Berlusconi) announced that he defeated communism and will defeat Islam, and the German foreign minister stated that the West will not accept the shari'ah authority in Afghanistan? They are trying to impose their way of life on the poor peoples.
Oh Boy More Fear And Gluttony
Darkness falls across the land, flowers wilt, the GOP takes full, and frightening, control
By Mark Morford
As noted crusty and ruthless and largely unpleasant former Clinton adviser James Carville observed just after the election, "The American people just don't have a clue as to what's coming."
Group Lumps Conservatives with Klansmen and Neo-Nazis
The ADL maintains an extensive database of information on a broad range of "dangerous extremists" and closely monitors the nationwide activities of the predominantly anti-Semitic, white supremacist organizations. The group's website also features a calendar of "Upcoming Extremist Events" in order to alert concerned citizens across the country of hate gatherings occurring in their cities and towns.
Yet some question why the ADL has issued a warning for the Free American's 2002 Home-Land Security Expo that will take place in McDonough, Georgia, from Nov. 8-10.
The Georgia event is billed as an "exposition and book fair" and will feature lectures by notable conservative commentators Tom DeWeese of the American Policy Center and Larry Pratt, president of Gun Owners of America. CNSNews.com asked the ADL to define the extremist threat that the Home-Land Security Expo poses to America.
Steynwalling the Truth
In a recent article named "Stop making excuses for Muslim extremists", published in the National Post last week, Steyn deals with the Washington Sniper:
You get the picture: sure, Muslim fundamentalists can be pretty extreme, but what about all our Christian fundamentalists? Unfortunately, for the old moral equivalence to hold up, the Christians really need to get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people. At the moment, the brilliantly versatile Muslim fundamentalists are gunning down Maryland schoolkids and bus drivers...
It matters little to Steyn that John Muhammad was further from being an "Islamic fundamentalist" than your average Christian. After all, didn't Muhammad allegedly leave notes with, "I am God" written on them. Surely, Steyn is aware that no Muslim, lest of all a Muslim fundamentalist, would declare himself to be God -- Allah.
In fact, it seems John Muhammad became a member of the Nation of Islam, a cult-like organisation that believes the white man is the devil, Elijah Muhammad was a Prophet, and God appeared as an itinerant door-to-door salesman in Detroit, Michigan. A long way from Islam, as anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the religion would know.
There's more ...
Castro Says Scandals Reflect 'Crisis' in Capitalism
President Fidel Castro, in an address on Cuba's national day, condemned recent Wall Street scandals as "bare-faced robbery" today and said they only confirm what he has been saying about capitalism for more than 40 years.
Castro told tens of thousands of flag-waving Cubans in this normally quiet city 250 miles southeast of Havana that "criminal swindling" by business leaders has tricked elderly Americans out of their retirement savings and duped millions of others who invested in the stock market. Citing plunging indexes on the New York Stock Exchange and a return to budget deficits in Washington, he said that the U.S. economic pinch has spread "terrifying" problems to Latin America and that they appear to be getting worse.
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
apparently the nytimes thinks it's not nice to fight back, children
hello, everyone, skippy here. while searching for a link to make a rush limbaugh joke we ran across this ny times editorial by nicholas kristof. mr. kristof takes exception to the fact that the left is apparently sinking to the right's level in vitrol.
"yet these days, the intelligent left is dumbing down and showing signs of slipping into a similar cesspool of outraged incoherence. it's debasing and marginalizing itself by marshaling epithets rather than arguments," mr. kristof says.
and he's right. but we say, so what, assh*le? no, actually, we don't say the assh*le part, we are making a joke. but we do maintain that it's not a sign of weakness or immaturity to fight fire with fire.
sure, there are fringe elements on all sides of the political aisle. lyndon larouche has been running for president since we were young bush kangaroos in our mother's pouch. so, it's rather disengenous to take a nutty remark from the edge and accuse the whole side of the political spectrum of going crazy. do we use the fact that trent lott spoke at the council of conservative citizens to condemn the whole republican party as racist bigots? no, we refuse to paint the whole party with a brush dipped in one member's disgusting waste. and we'd appreciate it if mr. kristof would show the left the same consideration.
he rails against the current wellstone-death conspiracy theories, likening them to vince foster rumors. well, sorry to bring this up, but there's still tons of theories about jfk's assassination. conspiracy theories abound on all sides, mr. kristof. but we don't say that because one theory has one political slant, then it follows that all who have that same political slant also believe in the same conspiracy. that would be like saying that we are sure you hate wen ho lee, just because you work at the times.
it is our position that, after 8 years or more of seeing how undocumented and unsubstantiated hyperbole (as we have witnessed from the right) gets the media's attention, it only makes sense to try it ourselves. you assh*le.
ok, ok, we were just joking again. but you take our point. (and shove it up your...ok, ok, we'll stop, we promise). we are not ghandi. we are not promoting pacifism against violence. we are fighting fire with fire. we are rolling up our sleeves and calling it like we see it.
when mr. kristof wrote a column decrying dick cheney's halliburton dealings, he received, and was incensed by, a letter saying "dick cheney is a maggot feeding on the decaying flesh of human misery." what, he doesn't like metaphors?
"the vitriol is bad for the country, by turning every policy fight into a zero-sum game, and it's also counterproductive," he writes. well, then, why don't you say something to the guys who started the whole thing, like newsmax, and free republic? and while you're at it, ask drudge to be a little less partisan in his link titles ("laughter at wellstone memorial" took you to a picture of clinton and mondale greeting each other fondly before entering the service) before you admonish buzzflash and bartcop.
and, of course, mr. kristof makes a common error in logic: "then there's iraq. i'm afraid that president bush is making a historic mistake by pushing obsessively to invade that country. but it doesn't follow that he's necessarily stupid or venal."
well, no, it doesn't, you're right. he isn't stupid because he wants to invade iraq. it may not even be visa versa. we're not pointing out any cause and effect here. a cat doesn't bury its feces because it licks its fur. but it all happens, doesn't it?
no, we have no idea what we meant by that last phrase, but we still defend the left's right not to be left out by the right, correct? yes, and we'll say it again if we can remember it. after all, mr. kristof, it takes two to tangle, and if you're going to berate the left for sinking to the level of the right, you had better say something to the right first.
Without vision, the party -- well, a Senate majority -- perishes.
It is the first sign of trouble in a play about nothing but trouble. Asked by her father in the play's first scene what she can say to demonstrate her love for him, Cordelia says, "Nothing." To which Lear responds, "Nothing will come of nothing."
The Democrats the Day After
Final verdict? We agree entirely with this assessment by Mark Donham, an Illinois environmentalist who sent it along to us the morning after.
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Unscientific polling: This morning I was talking about the opening of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex with my freshmen. I was suggesting that this is a play about a state that has suffered a grevious attack & is in disarray & that it is as concerned with politics as with psychology & the nature of the gods. About halfway through the class the discussion veered into contemporary topics. We were talking about political divisions & how different societies attempt to resolve them. On a whim, I asked for a show of hands: How many of you think the US ought to invade Iraq in the next few months? Five hands went up. How many think we shouldn't? Twelve hands went up. How many aren't sure? Seven. Clarkson is a generally conservative school: draw your own conclusions.
The mature world of relativity
Simplistic thinking and anti-intellectualism reign. Stigmatizing countries and groups as "terrorist", "axis of evil" or other variants of the label "bad guys" makes it easy to develop an opinion or a policy for people who are unwilling or unable to recognize that they are inherently prejudiced, for people who are, in Milan Kundera's words, "ambassadors of the absolute". It is the thinking of the "immature man", who "experiences the fear of (or anger against) the mature world of relativity where he loses himself as a drop of water in a sea of strangeness" (Kundera: Life is elsewhere).
In the simplistic world, "strange" groups are "bad", and "bad guys" use weapons indiscriminately. In the simplistic world, people are ignorant of their ignorance of "strange" groups, ignorant of the fabrication of "information" about those groups. For them, which countries and groups are "bad" becomes an axiom. And "bad guys" should not possess weapons.
Reuven Pedatzur writes in Ha'aretz about what he calls "the real problem that Israel faces along its northern border". His assumptions are clear: Syria and Hezbollah are "bad", and present a clear danger because they possess weapons. He does not clearly state, let alone question, those simplistic assumptions.
Marc Sirois appears to be much less afraid of the "mature world of relativity" in his concise "History of Hizbullah":
"Over the next few years [the beginning of the eighties - IB], these militiamen and a group of Shiite clerics formed the core around which a new group congealed. Eventually it became Hizbullah, but along the way some of its members used other names such as Islamic AMAL, Islamic Jihad, etc. There were no less than 55 private "armies" operating in Lebanon at the time. It is, therefore, impossible to say with certainty which early actions taken against the Israelis and Western interests in Lebanon were the work of Hizbullah itself, which were committed by freelancers using the name, and which were carried out by actual members acting without authorization."
All Because of a Small Olive
by Uri Avnery
Why has the Sharon-Ben-Eliezer-Peres government collapsed? Because of a small olive.
PM Sharon dissolves Knesset, election slated for Feb. 2003
"Elections are the last thing this country needs right now," said the prime minister, "the political blackmail of the far right has left me no option."
Monday, November 04, 2002
Oh no, it's not about the oil, is it? One thing you can credit free market capitalism for; money is more honest than politics. If you want to know if climate change is real, just ask insurance companies about the millions they spend on research into the question, and the rising insurance premiums for climate-related disasters, such as floods and cyclones. Similarly, if you want to know what the war in Iraq is really about, ask British Petroleum, who are demanding a "level playing field" in access to oil reserves after the regime change is effected. BP are concerned that the Bush administration plans to annex Iraqi oil reserves for the US market, and deny foreign companies access to the resource.
You can no longer separate anti-terrorism from the pursuit of oil, whether it is in the Middle East, or for example in Colombia, where the US is now moving to protect the oil pipelines against sabotage by the guerillas or in Georgia where American forces are moving in to protect the new pipeline that is being built to carry oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. The two, anti-terrorism and the pursuit of oil, have become combined into a single foreign policy which is the dominant foreign policy of the Bush administration. You can't separate them.
Not bad article on the connections between Fascism and "Islamism." Although the author does not indicate his sources, he appears to lean heavily on the work of Kevin Coogan and Dave Emory, who have been investigating these connections for some time now. Interesting material, bur sadly will be likely used to justify the clash of civilizations thesis and more intervention in Islamic countires.
Ignacio Aronovich... Street SP. "...Esta é uma galeria de excluídos sociais. As fotos são o resultado de alguns anos morando na região central de São Paulo. Todas são cenas cotidianas. Quase nenhuma foi publicada. A mídia, em geral, não se interessa por estas imagens, já que não há novidades aqui. Exemplos vivos (e alguns mortos) das consequências da má distribuição de renda do Brasil." From Lost Art em São Paulo. (br)