American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, April 12, 2003
Got Ya !
Telephone conversation between George Bush and Al Jazeera after the recent unpleasantness in Baghdad.

AJ: George
G: Yes, who is this? How did you get this number?
AJ: Never mind about that. This is Al Jazeera
G: Al who. Is that you Gore?
AJ: No George, this is Al Jazeera the television network
G: You guys still around I uh I mean what do you want?
AJ: George, we just want you to know that we are willing to let bygones be bygones.
G: Yeah, well okay.
AJ: George we have new GPS coordinates.
G: GPS what?
AJ: GPS coordinates of our new location so there will be no more mistakes.
G: You've got my attention.
AJ: Are you ready to write down the coordinates.
G: Ready
AJ: Okay here they are Latitude: 38.898556 degrees Longitude: -77.037852
G: Hey thanks I got ya.


Seven Of Diamonds
Reuters

Saddam Hussein's top scientific adviser, one of 55 people on America's most wanted list of Iraqi leaders, has surrendered to U.S. forces, German public TV station ZDF reported on Saturday.

General Amer Hammoudi al-Saadi, who liaised with U.N. weapons inspectors before war broke out, gave himself up to U.S. forces in Baghdad on Saturday, ZDF said.

The station said one of its camera crews had accompanied al-Saadi at his request. His surrender would be the first from the group of 55 the United States wants pursued, killed or captured, ZDF said.

Al-Saadi told ZDF he did not know where Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was. He also insisted Iraq did not possess chemical or biological weapons and denied being a member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.

He told ZDF he had stayed at home even after U.S. forces arrived in Baghdad. He said he felt in no way guilty and had therefore voluntarily surrendered to U.S. forces.

The United States is planning to issue decks of playing cards to its troops depicting the 55 most wanted leadership figures. Al-Saadi, number 55, appears on the seven of diamonds card.
Friday, April 11, 2003
The palace was so large that DeCamp had his men count the rooms and write the numbers on an index card: 142 offices, 64 bathrooms, 19 meeting rooms, 22 kitchens, countless bedrooms, one movie theater, five "huge ballrooms" and one "football-field sized monster ballroom."

Even a cursory tour took hours, through mirrored hallways, across marble floors, beneath intricately tile-domed entryways.

DeCamp moved on to another ornate compound where, the night before, his battalion had discovered a hoard of luxury items. He dragged open a door. Inside were vast supplies of TV sets, Moët champagne, Russian vodka, imported American cigarettes, 150 Persian rugs, Parker pen sets, French wines and expensive Lladro figurines. These, according to the colonel, were gratuities handed out by Hussein's functionaries to favored members of the ruling Baath Party. He offered no explanation for the cache of UNICEF children's clothes and toys.
US soldiers have shot and killed a Baghdad shopkeeper defending his business with a Kalashnikov assault rifle against looters.

The 25-year-old merchant pulled his rifle on the thieves when they began ransacking the shop, neighbours said.

When US soldiers approached the area, the looters told them that the shopkeeper was a member of Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen paramilitary force.

The American troops reportedly opened fire with machine guns, killing the man, the neighbours said.

An AFP photographer saw the covered body of Mohammad al-Barheini lying on a shelf of his shop, his head in a bag, on the Al-Rashid commercial street in the capital.
Israeli troops shot and critically wounded a 21-year-old British peace activist helping Palestinian children cross a street under gunfire Friday, fellow activists and hospital officials said.

Tom Handoll was one of 12 members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who Thursday went to the Rafah refugee camp on the Egyptian border to protest at continued Israeli shooting in the area, said ISM member Nick Smith.

According to Smith, Handoll was shot in the head as he tried to help a group of children cross a street in an area under Israeli gunfire.

Ali Musa, director of the Rafah hospital, said Handoll's brain had been damaged and that he was "clinically dead."
Thursday, April 10, 2003
How neoconservatives conquered Washington
How neoconservatives conquered Washington -- and launched a war First they converted an ignorant, inexperienced president to their pro-Israel, hawkish worldview. Then 9/11 allowed them to claim Iraq threatened the U.S. By Michael Lind

April 9, 2003 | America's allies and enemies alike are baffled. What is going on in the United States? Who is making foreign policy? And what are they trying to achieve? Quasi-Marxist explanations involving big oil or American capitalism are mistaken. Yes, American oil companies and contractors will accept the spoils of the kill in Iraq. But the oil business, with its Arabist bias, did not push for this war any more than it supports the Bush administration's close alliance with Ariel Sharon. Further, President Bush and Vice President Cheney are not genuine "Texas oil men" but career politicians who, in between stints in public life, would have used their connections to enrich themselves as figureheads in the wheat business, if they had been residents of Kansas, or in tech companies, had they been Californians.

Equally wrong is the theory that the American and European civilizations are evolving in opposite directions. The thesis of Robert Kagan, the neoconservative propagandist, that Americans are martial and Europeans pacifist, is complete nonsense. A majority of Americans voted for either Al Gore or Ralph Nader in 2000. Were it not for the
overrepresentation of sparsely populated, right-wing states in both the presidential electoral college and the Senate, the White House and the Senate today would be controlled by Democrats, whose views and values, on everything from war to the welfare state, are very close to those of western Europeans.

Both the economic-determinist theory and the clash-of-cultures theory are reassuring: They assume that the recent revolution in U.S. foreign policy is the result of obscure but understandable forces in an orderly world. The truth is more alarming. As a result of several bizarre and unforeseeable contingencies -- such as the selection rather than election of George W. Bush, and Sept. 11 -- the foreign policy of the world's only global power is being made by a small clique that is unrepresentative of either the U.S. population or the mainstream foreign policy establishment.

The core group now in charge consists of neoconservative defense intellectuals. (They are called "neoconservatives" because many of them started off as anti-Stalinist leftists or liberals before moving to the far right.) Inside the government, the chief defense intellectuals include Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense. He is the
defense mastermind of the Bush administration; Donald Rumsfeld is an elderly figurehead who holds the position of defense secretary only because Wolfowitz himself is too controversial. Others include Douglas Feith, No. 3 at the Pentagon; Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a Wolfowitz protégé who is Cheney's chief of staff; John R. Bolton, a right-winger assigned to the State Department to keep Colin Powell in check; and Elliott Abrams, recently appointed to head Middle East policy at the National Security Council. On the outside are James Woolsey, the former CIA director, who has tried repeatedly to link both 9/11 and the anthrax letters in the U.S. to Saddam Hussein, and Richard Perle, who has just resigned his unpaid chairmanship of a defense department advisory body after a lobbying scandal. Most of these "experts" never served in the military. But their headquarters is now the civilian defense secretary's office, where these Republican political appointees are despised and distrusted by the largely Republican career soldiers.

Most neoconservative defense intellectuals have their roots on the left, not the right. They are products of the influential Jewish-American sector of the Trotskyist govement of the 1930s and 1940s, which morphed into anti-communist liberalism between the 1950s and 1970s and finally into a kind of militaristic and imperial right with no precedents in American culture or political history. Their admiration for the Israeli Likud party's tactics, including preventive warfare such as Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, is mixed with odd bursts of ideological enthusiasm for "democracy." They call their revolutionary ideology "Wilsonianism" (after President Woodrow Wilson), but it is really Trotsky's theory of the permanent revolution mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism. Genuine American Wilsonians believe in self-determination for people such as the Palestinians.

The neocon defense intellectuals, as well as being in or around the actual Pentagon, are at the center of a metaphorical "pentagon" of the Israel lobby and the religious right, plus conservative think tanks, foundations and media empires. Think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) provide homes for neocon "in-and-outers" when they are out of government (Perle is a fellow at AEI). The money comes not so much from corporations as from decades-old conservative foundations, such as the Bradley and Olin foundations, which spend down the estates of long-dead tycoons. Neoconservative foreign policy does not reflect business interests in any direct way. The neocons are ideologues, not opportunists.

The major link between the conservative think tanks and the Israel lobby is the Washington-based and Likud-supporting Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa), which co-opts many non-Jewish defense experts by sending them on trips to Israel. It flew out the retired general Jay Garner, now slated by Bush to be proconsul of occupied Iraq. In October 2000, he cosigned a Jinsa letter that began: "We ... believe that during the current upheavals in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces have exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of [the] Palestinian Authority."

The Israel lobby itself is divided into Jewish and Christian wings. Wolfowitz and Feith have close ties to the Jewish-American Israel lobby. Wolfowitz, who has relatives in Israel, has served as the Bush administration's liaison to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Feith was given an award by the Zionist Organization of America, citing him as a "pro-Israel activist." While out of power in the Clinton years, Feith collaborated with Perle to coauthor a policy paper for Likud that advised the Israeli government to end the Oslo peace process, reoccupy the territories, and crush Yasser Arafat's government.

Such experts are not typical of Jewish-Americans, who mostly voted for Gore in 2000. The most fervent supporters of Likud in the Republican electorate are Southern Protestant fundamentalists. The religious right believes that God gave all of Palestine to the Jews, and fundamentalist congregations spend millions to subsidize Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

The final corner of the neoconservative pentagon is occupied by several right-wing media empires, with roots -- odd as it seems -- in the British Commonwealth and South Korea. Rupert Murdoch disseminates propaganda through his Fox television network. His magazine, the Weekly Standard -- edited by William Kristol, the former chief of staff of Dan Quayle (vice president, 1989-1993) -- acts as a mouthpiece for defense intellectuals such as Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith and Woolsey as well as for Sharon's government. The National Interest (of which I was executive editor, 1991-1994) is now funded by Conrad Black, who owns the Jerusalem Post and the Hollinger empire in Britain and Canada.

Strangest of all is the media network centered on the Washington Times -- owned by the South Korean messiah (and ex-convict) the Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- which owns the newswire UPI. UPI is now run by John O'Sullivan, the ghostwriter for Margaret Thatcher who once worked as an editor for Conrad Black in Canada. Through such channels, the "gotcha!" style of right-wing British journalism, and its Europhobic substance, have contaminated the US conservative movement.

The corners of the neoconservative pentagon were linked together in the 1990s by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), run by Kristol out of the Weekly Standard offices. Using a P.R. technique pioneered by their Trotskyist predecessors, the neocons published a series of public letters whose signatories often included Wolfowitz and other future members of the Bush foreign policy team. They called for the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq and to support Israel's campaigns against the
Palestinians (dire warnings about China were another favorite). During Clinton's two terms, these fulminations were ignored by the foreign policy establishment and the mainstream media. Now they are frantically being studied.

How did the neocon defense intellectuals -- a small group at odds with most of the U.S. foreign policy elite, Republican as well as Democratic -- manage to capture the Bush administration? Few supported Bush during the presidential primaries. They feared that the second Bush would be like the first -- a wimp who had failed to occupy Baghdad in the first Gulf War and who had pressured Israel into the Oslo peace process -- and that his administration, again like his father's, would be dominated by
moderate Republican realists such as Powell, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft. They supported the maverick senator John McCain until it became clear that Bush would get the nomination.

Then they had a stroke of luck -- Cheney was put in charge of the presidential transition (the period between the election in November and the accession to office in January). Cheney used this opportunity to stack the administration with his hard-line allies. Instead of becoming the de facto president in foreign policy, as many had expected, Secretary of State Powell found himself boxed in by Cheney's right-wing network, including Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Bolton and Libby.

The neocons took advantage of Bush's ignorance and inexperience. Unlike his father, a Second World War veteran who had been ambassador to China, director of the CIA, and vice president, George W was a thinly educated playboy who had failed repeatedly in business before becoming the governor of Texas, a largely ceremonial position (the state's lieutenant governor has more power). His father is essentially a northeastern moderate Republican; George W, raised in west Texas, absorbed the Texan cultural combination of machismo, anti-intellectualism and overt religiosity. The son of upper-class Episcopalian parents, he converted to Southern fundamentalism in a midlife crisis. Fervent Christian Zionism, along with an admiration for macho Israeli soldiers that sometimes coexists with hostility to liberal Jewish-American
intellectuals, is a feature of the Southern culture.

The younger Bush was tilting away from Powell and toward Wolfowitz ("Wolfie," as he calls him) even before 9/11 gave him something he had lacked: a mission in life other than following in his dad's footsteps. There are signs of estrangement between the cautious father and the crusading son: Last year, veterans of the first Bush administration, including Baker, Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger, warned publicly against an invasion of Iraq without authorization from Congress and the U.N.

It is not clear that George W fully understands the grand strategy that Wolfowitz and other aides are unfolding. He seems genuinely to believe that there was an imminent threat to the U.S. from Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," something the leading neocons say in public but are far too intelligent to believe themselves. The Project for the New American Century urged an invasion of Iraq throughout the Clinton years, for reasons that had nothing to do with possible links between Saddam and Osama bin Laden. Public letters signed by Wolfowitz and others called on the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq, to bomb Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, and to threaten states such as Syria and Iran with U.S. attacks if they continued to sponsor terrorism. Claims that the purpose is not to protect the American people but to make the
Middle East safe for Israel are dismissed by the neocons as vicious anti-Semitism. Yet Syria, Iran and Iraq are bitter enemies, with their weapons pointed at each other, and the terrorists they sponsor target Israel rather than the U.S. The neocons urge war with Iran next, though by any rational measurement North Korea's new nuclear arsenal is, for the U.S., a far greater problem.

So that is the bizarre story of how neoconservatives took over Washington and steered the U.S. into a Middle Eastern war unrelated to any plausible threat to the U.S. and opposed by the public of every country in the world except Israel. The frightening thing is the role of happenstance and personality. After the al-Qaida attacks, any U.S.
president would likely have gone to war to topple bin Laden's Taliban protectors in Afghanistan. But everything that the U.S. has done since then would have been different had America's 18th century electoral rules not given Bush the presidency and had Cheney not used the transition period to turn the foreign policy executive into a PNAC
reunion.

For a British equivalent, one would have to imagine a Tory government, with Downing Street and Whitehall controlled by followers of the Rev. Ian Paisley, extreme Euroskeptics, empire loyalists and Blimpish military types -- all determined, for a variety of strategic or religious reasons, to invade Egypt. Their aim would be to regain the
Suez Canal as the first step in a campaign to restore the British empire. Yes, it really is that weird.

A version of this story appeared in the New Statesman. About the writer Michael Lind, the Whitehead Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, is the author of "Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics."
April 6th: Iraqi National Congress founder, Ahmed Chalabi is flown into the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah by the Pentagon. Chalabi, along with 700 fighters of his "Free Iraqi Forces" are airlifted aboard four massive C17 military transport planes. Chalabi and the INC are Washington favorites to head the new Iraqi government. A photograph is taken of Chalabi and members of his Free Iraqi Forces militia as they arrive in Nasiriyah.

April 9th: One of the "most memorable images of the war" is created when U.S. troops pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square. Oddly enough... a photograph is taken of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to one of Chalabi's militia members... he is near Fardus Square to greet the Marines. How many members of the pro-American Free Iraqi Forces were in and around Fardus Square as the statue of Saddam came tumbling down?

God Bless America plays. The present, past and future seem to be having a jamboree, merging into a blur. Bashar of Syria, Khatami of Iran, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Li’l Kim of N. Korea, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are all marching around a set of chairs, hoping to sit in one when the music stops. There's one chair too few and the last one to claim one is out. Each time someone loses, a chair is taken away and a huge mysterious beanbag falls from the sky next to the loser.


Unembedded Reporter (as bullets whiz by his head): Who’s got the Wmds?

The music stops. Saddam is out. The mysterious bag falls next to him. He's left holding it, so to speak.

Saddam: Not me! I never had them! Except the ones I purchased from the US and European companies many years ago. (Suddenly, bullets whiz by his head) Ok, Ok..everyone knows I have them…but I whisked them off to Syria just in time to be unable to use them against the US!

Rumsfeld: You’re out, Saddam. We don’t need you anymore. Now get out of here before we use our expert intelligence on your ass and blow up several innocent citizens with our precisely precise well-placed bunker busters.

The music starts again….God Bless America…..and stops. Bashar of Syria stands, holding the bag, so to speak.

Bahar: No, not me! I don’t have the WMDS! (Bullets whiz by his ears) Ok, Ok, I have them now. But I got them from Hussein! And I whisked them off to Iran just in time to be unable to use use them against the U.S. invasion.

Rumsfeld: You’re out, Syria. We don’t need you anymore. Now get out before we use our expert intelligence on your ass and blow the rest of your country away...(Much of Syria is in flames and several Syrians are seen thanking Marines for liberating them)

The music starts again. ..God bless America…it goes on a while and stops. The men scramble for the empty chair.

Khatami of Iran is left standing, holding the bag, so to speak.

Khatami: No, not me! I don’t have the WMDS! (Bullets whiz by his head) Ok, Ok, I have them now!
But I got them from Syria and whisked them off to Osama bin Laden just before we were able to use them against the U.S. Invasion.

(Bullets whiz by his ear) I mean Liberation…sorry.

Rumsfeld: You’re out, Iran…We don’t need you anymore. Now get out before we destroy more of your country with our......(Much of Iran is in flames and several Syrians are seen thanking Marines for liberating them.)


The music starts…God bless America..It goes on awhile...

Hey, stop pushing.

I'm not pushing.

Who farted?

I didnt fart.

You farted.

Good God, was that the smell of human flesh coming out your ass?

I'm not a cannibal!

You are too!

Who's the cannibal here?

The president's men giggle. The music stops. They scramble for the lone chair.

Osama bin Laden is left standing, holding the bag.

Osama: Not me! No, I’ve never had WMDs. I didn’t need them to take down America. Just a little looking the other way and some finely trained killers with 17 virgins on their mind. (A bullet whizzes by his ear) Ok! Ok! I have them now! But I got them from Iran and whisked them off to Saudi Arabia just before I could use them against the U.S…..(bullets) liberation.

Rumseld: You’re out, Osama. We’ll let you know when we need you again. Now go work on a tape. That last one was pathetic.

The music starts…God bless America…it stops.

Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is left holding the bag.

Saudi Arabia: Hmmm…wait…we don’t have…we never had…We are allies.

Rumseld: It’s ok, Saudi Arabia…we no longer need you. You’re not nearly as powerful as you were. Your oil is no longer worth what it used to be. Now that everyone has been liberated. So get out of here before we decide to liberate your women.

The music starts…God bless America…it stops.

Mugabe of Zimbabwe is left holding the bag.

Mugabe: No, not me.

Rumsfeld: Who the hell’s this guy?

Cheney: Not sure. Do you have WMDs?

Mugabe: No, sir. But I do have an impressive resume of atrocities against civilians. I think if you hold it up to Hussein’s that….

Rumsfeld: Get out of here! (Bullets whiz by and Mugabe runs out)

Cheney: How the hell did he get in here?

Rumsfeld: I don’t know…some dictator from some African country.

Cheney: Wolfowitz? Is he on the map?

Wolfowitz: Not yet, Dick. We have our guys working on just how we might exploit the African situation.
At the moment, we’re making a lot of money on selling weapons…

The music starts up….God Bless America…the cd begins to skip. Castro and Lil Kim look at each other, confused.
No, it's a DJ sampling a hip hop version...Castro and Lil Kim eye each other, but keep walking, circling the lone chair.
Finally, the music stops. Castro lands in Kim's lap. The mysterious bag hits him in the head.

Everybody starts laughing, wondering what Castro is doing there.

Kim: You can get off me anytime, Fidel.

Castro: Wow...whoever called you Lil Kim never played Musical Chairs with you.

Kim: Get off me, Castro!

Castro: talk about the Battle of the Bulge.

Kim: Get off me or I'll call China!

Castro: We should stick together! Just like the old days.

(The President's Men are still laughing)

Rumsfeld: Castro, are you still alive?

Castro: No sir. (he rises; bows and leaves quietly.) Think about it, Big Kim (winks)...

North Korea is the only one left; surrounded by the mysterious bags.

Unembedded Reporter (bullets whiz by his ear, just for the fun of it): Do you have WMDs?

Li’l Kim: Yes, I believe we do.

Cheney: Hmmm…diplomacy or liberation?

Powell: Diplomacy!

Rumsfeld: Liberation!

Powell: Diplomacy!

Rumsfeld: Liberation!

Powell: Diplomacy!

Rumsfeld: Liberation!!!!

Powell (getting in his face) Liberation!

Rumsfeld: Diplomacy!!!!!!!!

The two begin to scuffle. Victoria Clarke, dressed in full Dominatrix garb, with a pretty little pink sweater over it; apparently, she’s just come from a Pentagon briefing to the Media.

Victoria Clarke: Ok, boys…who wants to show me their MOAB?

All the President's Men immediately fall to their knees, waiting to be liberated.

Unembedded Reporter (bullets whiz by his heads just for the fun of it): Victoria, what’s your secret?

Victoria: (shoots him) Oops… I’m not at liberty to say. We wouldn’t want to put the troops in harm’s way, would we? And don't worry about the silly WMDs...I've already planted a few. Now, heel, boys…

All the President's Men: Yes, Ma’am!

(Inspired by comments by Mike; don't have his webpage at the moment)



A pre-post, or then again maybe just post pre-next war, round-up.

Iraq War One brought among its unintended consequences the still barely acknowledged scourge of Gulf War syndrome, Timothy McVeigh and Al Queda. Rosenfield thinks about the next wave of hazards.

Michael Lind chronicles the history of neo-cons and their long march to power over U.S. foreign policy.

Gene Healy asks:If we don't find any serious WMD, isn't the Pentagon just going to ship in the chem/bio equivalent of the "throw-down" guns bad cops keep around?


Jeff St.Clair asks:This begs the question: if it was so easy, why was it necessary? How big of a threat was the Beast of Baghdad, after all? Did his rusting army, even the supposedly fearsome Republican Guard, really pose any kind of the threat to the US? Or even the pampered sheiks of Kuwait?


24/7 real-time battlefield cable coverage shaped mass perception of the war, but Natasha Walter believes the victor in the news wars has been the Internet. (thanks to Cursor)
The Daily Show moves to the undisputed leadership of left-leaning media satire. (Cursor yet again)
Pollack imagines Mohammed Said Sahhaf's next career move.
Oh yeah, and less whimsically he reminds us how under the fog of war intoxication the Senate (in the person of Joe Biden) is sneaking through a mutation of the Rave Act.
"Adahy Wakiza" (formed from the Cherokee words for "Lives in the Woods" and "Determined Warrior") will be a Wildlife Sanctuary, Nature Reserve, Intentional Community, Eco-Village, Spiritual Retreat and Humane and Environmental Sustainability Education Center on 166+ acres of pristine tropical rainforest in the country of Belize, Central America. It is to be the first pod of the Sylvestria Eco-Village Network. The principles of Sylvanism will be adopted as a core philosophical structure of Adahy Wakiza. Sylvanism is the belief that humanity can control it's evolutionary destiny in more creative and positive ways than what has been displayed to date. We can change from Homo Sapiens Sapiens or "man who knows that he knows" (but doesn't necessarily know what he knows or what to do with it!) to Homo Sapiens Sylvestris or "Wise man of the forests" who listens to his accumulated knowledge and uses it to live in accord with and respect the forests of the world and their inhabitants, both animal and plant.

Adahy Wakiza social structure will be a primal living, primitivist (a la the writings of John Zerzan, Derrick Jensen, and Daniel Quinn et al), anarchistic, egalitarian, pre-agrarian, non-dominionistic.
Intentional Community is an inclusive term for ecovillages, cohousing, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing cooperatives and other related projects and dreams...

This Web site serves the growing communities movement. We provide important information and access to crucial resources for seekers of community, existing and forming communities, and other friends of community.
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Disinformation Used To Sell Assault on the Constitution

...This is a classic example of disinformation, or flatout lies, used to justify this assault on the Constitution and the legal rights of all Americans. The Patriot Act is just the first step, and now congress members themselves are trying to gut congressional oversight, thus making the checks and balances of the 3 branches of government into a joke.

Evidently Orrin Hatch, Charles Schumer, Jon Kyl, et. all think that nobody will bother to check out the facts. Moussaoui was not a "lone suspect." The FBI did link him to Al-Qaeda. The problem in pursuing the investigation was the branch of Al Qaeda, which the FBI discovered that Moussaoui belonged to.
U.S. "Global Dictatorship"
File it under: "American Image, War's Enhancement of". This from the tepid Bangkok Post:

Haste makes waste. Attributed to the 16th century English epigrammatist John Heywood, this simple proverb contains a meaningful message: Irrational acts carried out impatiently can backfire, and often do.

Militarily, the war in Iraq may have been won. Intellectually and politically, that is another question. The pre-war diplomatic battle did not go the way the US government wanted; neither did the early stages of the military battle. The battle for Baghdad is still to come after which will dawn a new era of US global dictatorship and an even bigger battle for the hearts and minds of those who oppose it.

History will show that the US government never really wanted to avoid war; preparations to execute the suspect began many months ago even though the search for evidence found nothing.

Efforts made through the United Nations to legitimise the execution included clear and proven efforts to fabricate evidence that would have brought a proper judicial process to an instant halt but in this instance was totally ignored.

Now, after having all but executed the suspect, the US government is saying that it will find the evidence to prove his guilt. Isnt it supposed to be the other way around.

And how do we know the evidence is not being planted right at this very moment? Indeed, the US government has waged war against a country in search of weapons of mass destruction, all of which were originally supplied by US and European companies in the first place.

The distortion of an international diplomatic process, the disinformation campaigns via a servile media, economic arm-twisting and political blackmail have been the order of the day. This is democracy, freedom and American values? Thanks, but no thanks!

Because violence begets violence, phenomenal battles are still to come as the post-war ripples spread worldwide. Dividing up the spoils is bound to be controversial. Countries which have been good boys (dek dee) will get contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq. The rest will suffer the consequences of having backed the wrong dictator. Indeed, there will be no shortage of countries queuing up to appease the dictator to get a piece of the action.

In UN conferences, the US government will throw its weight around, as it always has. Countries facing financial problems will find themselves rescued by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank _ provided, of course, they liberalise their economies, sell-off infrastructure at fire-sale prices and remove capital currency controls.

Much turmoil is forecast in the Arab and the Muslim worlds where the battle for hearts and minds is already lost. From the depths of humiliation, hopefully, the Arabs will learn how they have been hoodwinked. Like the Native American tribes, they have been skilfully divided and craftily crushed. Once the control of global oil falls into US hands, the economies of Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and many North African countries will be worthless. The Palestinians can look forward to being transferred to a nice little reservation in Iraq, about the same size as the one they have now.

As a result, terrorism will continue, forcing Americans to constantly remain alert and spend millions on security, the costs of which are always borne by consumers.

Already, ordinary Americans living abroad are feeling the heat. They are being told to avoid political discussions or wearing clothes that clearly identify them as Americans. According to a report on the Education site of the official US media mouthpiece, CNN, some American students abroad are passing themselves off as Canadian. This, of course, creates problems for real Canadians, whose government opposed the war.

In hindsight, had the former Soviet Union won the cold war, the world would have come under a communist dictatorship. We now have a dictatorship disguised as democracy, and using the same means of coercion and disinformation that the communists used, so brilliantly depicted by the British author George Orwell in his classic novels, Animal Farm and 1984.

As to the future, the world is divided into those who are for US or against US. Hence, global geopolitics will see much soul-searching over this question: To whom is the US administration accountable?

In a real democracy, accountability is key, along with the means and ability to throw out an unpopular government. In this case, neither is possible. There is no forum where US leadership can be submitted to a vote. Nobody voted this country in and nobody can vote it out. How did this curious situation come about? You tell me.

The UN, headed by its pro-US commissar Kofi Annan, has lost a fair amount of credibility and legitimacy. Note that when it was known that documents supplied to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency about Iraq buying uranium from some African countries were forgeries, Mr Annan did nothing to investigate this.

Flawed democracies are bound to fail, and unjust rulers will fall, as they always have. No empire or dictatorship can last. Sooner or later, countries will realise that they did not overcome communism and/or colonialism to fall victim to yet another strain of neo-imperialism and pseudo-democracy.
Full article - which closes on an optimistic note that I hope is not misplaced - is here.
Hold Your Applause
It's hard to smile when there's no water. It's hard to applaud when you're frightened. It's hard to say, "Thank you for liberating me," when liberation has meant that looters have ransacked everything from the grain silos to the local school, where they even took away the blackboard.

That was what I found when spending the day in Umm Qasr and its hospital, in southern Iraq. Umm Qasr was the first town liberated by coalition forces. But 20 days into the war, it is without running water, security or adequate food supplies. I went in with a Kuwaiti relief team, who, taking pity on the Iraqis, tossed out extra food from a bus window as we left. The Umm Qasr townsfolk scrambled after that food like pigeons jostling for bread crumbs in a park.
Undersecretary John Bolton on the meaning of the Iraq escapade for others: "We are hopeful that a number of regimes will draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq..."

From today's FT:
For other potential targets of western power, however, some hasty reappraisals may be in order. The one that the White House would love to see take hold is that asymmetric warfare may have been oversold as an answer to US power.

In the end, the main restraints on this power will be self-imposed, flowing from a reluctance to accept the burdens of constant military campaigns and postwar reconstructions unless vital interests are at stake. Prospective military opposition, from any point on the spectrum of capabilities, will not in itself be a deterrent. There is one crucial exception to this proposition, already noted by North Korea. The only apparently credible way to deter the armed force of the US is to own your own nuclear arsenal.
I'm sure Bolton's lesson is not lost on many.
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
The CIA connection to the Progressive / Left establishment and the marginalization of conspiracy research from QQ, excerpted and hyperlinked by LibertyThink

Journalist Bob Feldman follows the money trail to "Left" media orgainizations that have sought out funding from the big establishment foundations.
Are the interests of the people being served by "dissidents" who are being subsidized by the agencies of the ruling class whom they should be exposing? What does this say about the motivations behind the Left establishment's ideological warfare against conspiracy researchers, and their adoption of an increasingly watered-down analytical view which fails to look closely at the inner power structures and conspiracies of the ruling elite?
"That's an internet theory and it's hopelessly implausible. Hopelessly implausible. So hopelessly implausible I don't see any point in talking about it."
— Noam Chomsky, at a FAIR event at New York's Town Hall, 22 January 2002, in response to a question from the audience about US government foreknowledge of 9/11.
At that time, 9/11 investigators had already presented substantial documented evidence for: prior warnings, Air Force stand-down, anomalous insider trading connected to CIA, cover-up of the domestic anthrax attacks, inconsistencies in identities & timelines of "hijackers", US connections to al Qaeda in Balkans, a Pak ISI-al Qaeda funding connection, etc etc etc.

"If they don't like what we're doing,
we don't get funded next year."

— John Moyers,
TomPaine.com Executive Director

Flames? Comments? Insight?
"War is hell and the worst possible solution, but let us also remember that with disaster comes opportunity, not least of which is the opportunity for millions of people oppressed by the brutal Saddam Hussein regime to gain a brief, anarchist burst of freedom before the next government is installed, and the "command and control" strucutres of society are rebuilt. It will take serious pressure, attention, and genuine care and compassion on behalf of the citizens of the world to ensure that even if Saddam is defeated, what he stands for is not repeated.

War is here, and it is wrong. But just as wrong, if not more so, would be to forget about Iraq-- something that will be very tempting to do once the next war is announced and 'debated' in the public sphere. The stand against war is also the stand for a better life for the Iraqi people, and all people of the world, especially those who are suffering. Don't get so wrapped up in the evils of the world, whether they emanate from Baghdad, Paris, or Washington that you forget about the core mission: peace, justice, and liberty for all."

--P.L. Gropius
New York City
April 7, 2003
Monday, April 07, 2003
AIPAC and the Iraqi opposition
An unusual visitor was invited to address the annual conference held last week in Washington by AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States: the head of the Washington office of the Iraqi National Congress, Intifad Qanbar.
Politically active artists have been shaken by the alleged visit of military investigators to the family of an outspoken San Francisco hip-hop band member, calling it one in a series of moves aimed at silencing dissenting musicians and actors.

The incident surfaced a week ago when Michael Franti, the front man for the band Spearhead, told Pacifica Radio network's "Democracy Now" that military investigators visited the mother of an unnamed band member in Boston. The woman also has a daughter stationed with U.S. military forces in the Middle East.

The mother, whom Franti also declined to name for her safety, said plainclothes investigators appeared at her door on March 16, showing pictures of the band performing at an anti-war demonstration the previous day in San Francisco, Franti said. They questioned her about entries made in her son's checking account, his travel records for the past several months, and his general whereabouts, Franti said.
From the AP:
"It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no one is trying to fix the problem," said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president and his representative in southern Kandahar. "What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business."

Karzai said reconstruction has been painfully slow -- a canal repaired, a piece of city road paved, a small school rebuilt.

"There have been no significant changes for people," he said. "People are tired of seeing small, small projects. I don't know what to say to people anymore."
And there's another Karzai brother in the papers today; Mahmood, aided and abetted by Jack Kemp, tells readers of the WaPo that the best way the American-selected ruler of the country - or at least the capital...largely - is to pursue a program of "democratic politics and free-market economics."
Ebola Spurs Fears of Looming Ape Extinction
...(R)esearchers announced yesterday that numbers of great apes in Gabon have declined by more than half in less than 20 years. Experts fear the decline is even greater outside Gabon and that, unless trends are reversed, great apes could become effectively extinct in as little as two generations. National Geographic
Right now I know that the template for the samizdat is a bit messed up--will work on fixing it tonite, but also--if there are any generous, talented designers out there, we would, of course, be incredibly appreciative if you wanted to gift us with some new, unbelievably cool samizdat template. Well, beyond appreciative, actually--let's say completely bowed over--how's that? Any takers please email me: drmenlo -at- well.com . . .

Also, some harbingers (samizdat participants) might have noticed 2 new slots in the posting page at blogger--these title and url slots are for xml, which basically means on another page somewhere somebody can just run the headlines from American Samizdat. As it is, if you fill these slots out, these are also published on the blog as the title--perhaps this complicates things and I will change that so the xml part of the posting is completely separate from the xml-publishing? Unfortunately the comments section seems to be disabled as a temporary fix to the template problems, so email me if you have any opinions. You will also notice I added a 'blogroll' over the old harbinger list (which was in order of invite acceptance)--this is randomized to help give some of the blogs who joined later some more even attention. This has also been added to SLA, and will soon be added to Menlo from Space!

Moving along on samizdat matters, we passed the one year anniversary of American Samizdat last January. Those who know me in my flesh know that I am bad about birthdays and such in that realm, so I suppose this carries over into my internet life as well. Traditional celebrations aside, I want to thank each and every Harbinger for joining, and give special thanks to the posters too voluminous to go into now (on my lunch hour). Especially now, the American Samizdat is badly needed. Any recommendations on how to make it grow are also welcome, as well as recommendations for additional harbingers! This ain't no country club, folks! It's near impossible to keep up with all the great progressive blogs that spring up as of late--if you or anyone you know is interested in helping to make the Samizdat even better, don't hesitate to let me know (drmenlo -at- well.com). And please know I read all email and will get back to you asap--although sometimes there are delays to my best intentions.

best, 'dr. m.'

Jews settle in Palestinian Jerusalem
Jewish groups argue that they are entitled to live on the land, and to remove the Palestinian "squatters", under the Jews' right of return. The courts agree, even though no similar right is extended to Palestinians driven from their homes in West Jerusalem. Moreover, the supreme court has ruled that Palestinians cannot buy property in the Jewish quarter of the city, even if they once lived there.

Moni Mordecai, director of the pressure group Peace Now, accused the government of using the war in Iraq as a cover for the decision. "The timing of this action raises the suspicion that the government intends to enable this underhanded opportunism that they hope will go unnoticed in the international community, to exploit a situation that holds disastrous implications for the area," he said.
Support of U.S. Military Role in Mideast Grows
Nearly eight in 10 Americans now accept the Bush administration's contention — disputed by some experts — that Hussein has "close ties" to Al Qaeda (even 70% of Democrats agree). And 60% of Americans say they believe Hussein bears at least some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — a charge even the administration hasn't levied against him.

Half of those polled support war against Iran if they continue to develop nuclear weapons, and 42% support war against Syria if they provide support to Iraq.
The Shock and Awe Photo Gallery: Witness The Liberation of the Iraqi People
The above site, like any other that is truly is reporting what is happening in Iraq, is under constant hacker attack, so if you cannot access a page, please refresh until it appears.
Sunday, April 06, 2003
Baghdad hospitals on the brink of crisis
The ICRC has described the situation as “near critical” in the capital with water systems to become quickly affected with no maintenance of power plants and generators. Lack of adequate clean water is hampering efforts to treat the wounded.

Iraqwar.ru : news and analysis on the American invasion of Iraq from Russian journalists and military experts. See also: aeronautics.ru for more on the Russian perspective.

Thanks to Philip Shropshire and his Changesurfer Radio interview for the nods.

Well, Andre, you stumbled onto an illegal surveillance operation.

In the U.S., 434 megacycles is ILLEGAL to use for surveillance. That frequency is an amateur radio (ham radio) frequency, legal ONLY for hobby operation.

No local, state or federal agency can use it for surveillance.

Visualize the Costs:
[O]peration [I]raqi [L]iberation: A lot of people don't really understand how much money is at stake with the Iraq "crusade". This diagram could help you to understand what the USA is doing, and what are its main goals. [via walker]
U.N. to Set Standards on Use of the Term
"Every time any media outlet mentions the Iraqi Republican Guard they always preface it by calling it elite. However, there is no internationally accepted definition for 'elite.' I think we face the real possibility of cheapening the use of the word if standards aren't set," said United States Secretary of State Colin Powell.


Powell continued, "I think it's sad that we've degenerated into some sort of elite relativism where you only have to be better than the next guy to be considered elite even if that next guy sucks. Any person that goes through two weeks of training shouldn't be called elite."


As part of the standard settings procedure the U.N. plans to send in an elite team of inspectors to measure the Iraqi troops' eliteness level.
BBSpot

Wacky Voices of Dissent:

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