American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Includes material the Bush Administration wants to retroactively classify. Download it now, mirror it now. [go]
Remains of Toxic Bullets Litter Iraq:
Friday, May 16, 2003
by Carl Takei, the Boston Globe
"Watching America with Pride, not Prejudice.''

This is the Orwellian motto of the New Jersey-based Community Anti-Terrorism Training Institute, or CAT Eyes, an antiterrorist citizen informant program being adopted by local police departments throughout the East Coast and parts of the Midwest.

Mike Licata, a high school teacher and retired Air Force officer, created the CAT Eyes program in cooperation with ex-military SWAT officer Jason McClendon and businessman Tony Elghossain.

In a recent telephone interview, Licata said he wants to use CAT Eyes to create what he calls ''a modern civil defense network,'' converting neighborhood watch groups into antiterrorist informant cells. These groups, constantly watching for signs of terrorist activity in their neighborhoods and workplaces, would report suspicious activities directly to the FBI.

Said Licata: ''I envision 100 million Americans looking for indicators of terrorism and promptly reporting it to a central database where it would get analyzed.''
[More from Libertythink]
I hereby nominate Steve Perry of Bush Wars...
to the position of honorary harbinger.
Highwayrobbery.com fights the good fight against the evil red light cameras, some of which are manufactured by Lockheed-Martin, which gets a cut of each ticket issued by their machines.
In early May, Israeli Tourism Minister Benny Elon came to the U.S. and lobbied Congress and Christian fundamentalists. He also brought along his peace plan. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Elon calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state -- but not in the Occupied Territories. In a statement Elon said: "Our stay in Judea and Samaria is not temporary." (Judea and Samaria are ancient Jewish names for the occupied West Bank).

Elon: "It's clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing. What we are now seeing across the Muslim world is not a powerful surge of faith but the dying embers of Islam. How will it disappear? Very simply. Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium. Obviously, we will be up against quite a large problem when only the two great religions of Judaism and Christianity remain, but that's still a long way off."
The Great Hidden Issue of the Mideast Conflict



via: UNDERNEWS

During the latest Iraq conflict Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and A-10 Warthog aircraft, among other military platforms, all fired the DU bullets from desert war zones to the heart of Baghdad. No other armor-piercing round is as effective against enemy tanks. While the Pentagon says there's no risk to Baghdad residents, US soldiers are taking their own precautions in Iraq, and in some cases have handed out warning leaflets and put up signs.

"After we shoot something with DU, we're not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer," says a sergeant in Baghdad from New York, assigned to a Bradley, who asked not to be further identified.
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Bush gave his speech Monday at a company in Albuquerque called MCT Industries. "We're standing in the midst of what we call the American dream," he said. MCT is privately owned by the family of Ted Martinez, who founded it on a shoestring in 1973 and is now a wealthy VIP who hangs around with politicians. "The Martinez family is living that dream," Bush said.
...
Apparently the "American Dream" is creating companies whose primary business model is to give money to Republican politicians, and then slurp off the Government Teat. Here are some examples of MTC's American Dream dug up by Michael Kinsley:

October 2002. MCT is one of the contributors to a PAC that paid for the mayor's family to visit China.

July 2002. The Bureau of Indian Affairs approves an MCT municipal garbage landfill on an Indian reservation. Also, the New Mexico Rural Development Response Council and several state agencies help MCT to acquire land for a factory to build platforms for aircraft repairs.

August 1999. Waste News reports that Albuquerque has a bizarre regulation requiring all city garbage trucks to be made out of a particular brand of steel. Only one company sells trucks made out of this material. Guess.

December 1998. The Energy Department (secretary: Bill Richardson, now governor of New Mexico) hires MCT to build magnets to be used in making tritium for nuclear warheads.

June 1997. MCT, as a local company, competes against a national waste-management firm for a local garbage-collection contract. It wins the contract and sells the business to the national firm the next day.
Now that the war in Iraq has come to an end, the Bush Administration is planning to prosecute former Iraqi officials for war crimes. According to Administration sources, hundreds of Iraqis will be put on trial, and thousands more may be granted amnesty in return for confessions. As Pierre-Richard Prosper, US Ambassador for War Crimes explained it, "There must be credible accountability. For crimes committed against US personnel, we, the United States, will prosecute." Crimes committed against the Iraqi people are to be judged by Iraqis, acting under American guidance and control. "Atrocities and abuses by the regime of its own people should be tried by Iraqis," a high-ranking US official said. "We're prepared to provide support which could range from financial aid to legal experts to judges, to make it credible." The obvious premise is that only American control will result in a "credible" process.

There is much confusion about what does and does not constitute a war crime. While many have a clear notion of the concept, others are befuddled. In order to bring clarity and understanding to this troublesome subject, a quiz is offered below. A total of five exercises will test the reader's comprehension of the issue of crimes against humanity. In each exercise, a number of incidents are described, but only one qualifies as a war crime. The object is to correctly identify which example in an exercise is a war crime. Ten points are awarded for each correct answer, and at the end the reader can compare his score against a chart to gauge his or her knowledge of the subject.
Blue whale II:
The monster returns - "Scientifically enhanced New York landmark splashes into ocean hall." Nature

A little progressive-voter/Dean-bashing going on in the DLC
But the great myth of the current cycle is the misguided notion that the hopes and dreams of activists represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. Real Democrats are real people, not activist elites. The mission of the Democratic Party, as Bill Clinton pledged in 1992, is to provide "real answers to the real problems of real people." Real Democrats who champion the mainstream values, national pride, and economic aspirations of middle-class and working people are the real soul of the Democratic Party, not activists and interest groups with narrow agendas.

“If a voter has a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, he’ll vote for the Republican every time.”
--Harry S. Truman, former U.S. President
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Indeed, the Republican Attack Machine is now such an entrenched part of the political landscape that it no longer seems remarkable — until you stop and think about the corrosive effect it has on our political discourse. And few have benefited from its toxic rhetoric as much as George W. Bush.
George W. Bush: the unelected puppet-dictator, raping America and bombing the world. Just wanted to make sure we got the nomenclature right.
"Like reading or breathing, web browsing itself is agnostic with respect to politics and culture. Unlike reading or breathing, however, surfing mimics a postmodern, deconstructionist perspective by undermining the authority of texts. Anyone who has spent a lot of time online, particularly the very young, will find themselves thinking about content -- articles, texts, pictures -- in ways that would be familiar to any deconstructionist critic. And a community of citizens who think like Jacques Derrida will not be a particularly conservative one."
My favorite line:
"Chong faced charges after Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers bought some of his pipes and tested them."

Prosecutors will not be pushing for a jail term, though "guidelines recommended a six months-to-one year sentence."

Ah, celebrity justice.

Though speaking of celebrity justice, the campaign against New York's racist Rockefeller Drug Laws is heating up with plenty of star power behind it.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003


Hardline Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ruled out a freeze of settlement activity during a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Sharon's office said Monday. Powell met Sharon Sunday in occupied Jerusalem as part of a regional tour aimed at promoting the roadmap for peace in the Middle East, a three-phase plan aimed at ending the violence and creating a Palestinian state within three years.

The blueprint calls on the Palestinians to crack down on resistance activists but also demands Israel freeze settlement activity and pull back to pre-Intifada lines.

I wear this smug look
because my beloved war
seems set to continue....forever

Amazing how The War Against Terror (TWAT) propagates itself. Prior to the war on Iraq, it seemed likely that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami might actually succeed in realizing his reformist agenda, a much hoped-for scenario amongst the Iranians. That's changed. Now killhappy assholes like Meyrav Wurmser are citing the reversals in Iran and the "wide impact the Iraq war has had upon the region" (duh!) as reasons for pursuing "regime change," a euphemism whose meaning should now be obvious to all, in Iran.

American military promiscuity having driven idiots inclined to terror to a frenzy in Saudi Arabia, a country supposedly "on the brink," one can only wonder how long it will be before the Meyrav Wurmsers allied with unelected Resident George Bush step up their campaign to split - preferably with ordnance - the Saudi kingdom from its oilfields.

With the destabilizing prospect of Shi'ites - thought to form a majority in the Eastern Province, where most of the oil lies - agitating for a greater role in the kingdom, Ms. Wurmser, eager for the broadcast of some Saudi warnography, probably finds herself in a state of severe sexual arousal.

"The Partnership for Civil Justice is handling four key First Amendment lawsuits stemming from protests against corporate globalization, the Bush inauguration and the war in Iraq. The causes vary but the complaints are the same: That the D.C. police collaborate with the FBI and other federal agencies to suppress dissent. And that the police engage in preemptive mass arrests, spying and brutality....

Among the preliminary findings:

  • Two undercover D.C. Police officers have infiltrated local protest groups, an assistant chief testified recently. A federal judge has given the District one month to identify the officers' aliases so plaintiffs can tell whether their rights have been infringed. A city lawyer said the surveillance is necessary not because of suspected criminal activity but because police need to know whether more officers are required for upcoming marches. Two other infiltrators were unmasked by activists, who say one suggested planting bombs on Potomac River bridges.

  • Two men in street clothes -- one wearing a black ski mask -- were captured on amateur videotape roaming through the inauguration crowd. They shove bystanders and one pepper-sprays people seemingly at random. After two years of pressing by the Partnership, the District acknowledged the men were on-duty police officers. One has admitted pepper-spraying, but both deny anything they did was improper.

  • FBI agents took notes on protesters boarding buses to the Bush inauguration and monitored activists' gatherings, including one at First Congregational United Church of Christ on G Street NW, according to government records.

  • A document that the Justice Department claimed is a 'state secret' turned out to be mainly a list of protest groups and activities, including the Sunday Anarchist Bowling League, according to records.

  • A D.C. police video obtained by the Partnership called 'The Changing Face of Demonstrations' shows footage of protests, and the narrator says that 'law enforcement would target anybody dressed in black,' the color of 'anarchists.'"

Check the Web site of Partnership for Civil Justice - Legal Defense & Education Fund
Afghanistan Roundup
Last week, there had been a few reports in Pakistani papers that Karzai was planning a secret meeting with members of the ousted Taliban to offer them positions in the foundering Afghani government. I didn't know how to gauge these stories, but the meme is snowballing. Muhammad Khurshid of paknews.com points out that, as with many other major moves by Karzai, extending a hand to moderate Taliban is a U.S. machination:
The United States has also realised that these people have no importance in the political landscape of Afghanistan and this is the reason that it has given a go ahead signal to Afghan transitional president Hamid Karzai to establish contacts with Taliban leaders to persuade them to give up armed struggle against the US forces.
A prime target for Karzai is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the fundamentalists we supported in the Afghani-Soviet conflict.

This has left many Afghanis in a tizzy, most notably our oh-so-recent allies, the Northern Alliance, who helped us "kick out" the Taliban a long, long time ago in 2002. This report from the Swiss press indicates that many Afghani citizens aren't too happy with Karzai's plan either.

Perhaps the move is intended to internally divide the Taliban, some factions of which are, by their own account, being funded by the Russians.

But, hey, don't worry about a thing. The Pentagon says everything's all right. Everything's all right. Everything's all right.
"Fighting terrorism, y'understand . . . " It took 20 military vehicles and dozens of police and soldiers to cart away the 3 women, steal the computers and mess up the joint. "Won't be bringing in no more internationals into this place to nonviolently oppose our ongoing genocide, no sir!"

On the other hand, real men do this:




Kurt Nimmo suggests renaming the neocons: "the Chaos Cabal, the Gang that Couldn't Conquer Straight."

Easy to destroy, hard to create.
Meticulous researchers at the media watch group FAIR (where I'm an associate) recently pointed out that U.S. news outlets "have been quick to declare the U.S. war against Iraq a success, but in-depth investigative reporting about the war's likely health and environmental consequences has been scarce."

During the war, the London-based Guardian has reported, the Pentagon dropped 1,500 cluster bombs -- horrific weaponry that fires small pieces of metal which slice through human bodies. Unexploded cluster bombs are now detonating, sometimes in the hands of Iraqi children. And, as it did during the first Gulf War, this spring the U.S. government fortified some munitions with depleted uranium, which leaves fine-particle radioactive dust that has been linked to cancer and birth defects. [more]

America: Turn off all tvs. Get on the internet for clear, uncut wordlines. Corporate media should be handled like cyanide.
"When one of the students asked, 'do we have to talk now? Can we be silent? Can we get legal council?' they were told, 'we own you, you don't have any legal rights,'" Felson says.
At first glance, the LEIU's gathering looks like any of the dozens of trade shows and conferences that enable America's professionals to enjoy a tax- deductible, or taxpayer-paid, few days of Northwest summer. This one happens to involve a trade association for cops. But hey, you want your public officials to be up on the latest trends, too, right?

Well, maybe. The problem with the LEIU seminar--and the reason planned protests of it have the Internet buzzing, particularly among folks who've cut their teeth protesting wars and the WTO--is that the LEIU might be very ordinary, or very, very sinister, or both--and there's no way to tell. The Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit is a private entity whose dues-paying members are hundreds of North American law enforcement agencies. Its founding purpose, in the Cold War atmosphere of 1956, was "to promote the gathering, recording, and exchange of confidential information not available through normal police channels, concerning organized crime."
Monday, May 12, 2003
In 1987, Brown told Hunter and two dozen other first-graders at Brookfield Elementary School that she would put them through college if they graduated from high school. Four years ago, most of them did, with 19 enrolling in college.

On Saturday, Hunter became the first person in her family -- and the first from that first-grade class -- to earn a college degree, a bachelor's in accounting from Alcorn State University. And Hunter's beloved Miss Brown was there to see it, telling her afterward: "It's a new beginning for you."

"I have tried to do all that I can do," said Brown, who had been making $45, 000 a year when she started setting aside $10,000 a year into a trust fund nearly two decades ago.
Israel/Palestine
Visit Arafat? For God's Sake, Why?
by Uri Avnery

But does Arafat really want peace? Most Israelis are unable to imagine such a thing. How could they? Did they ever hear the true story?

From my personal experience, I can recount this: At the end of the October 1973 war, Arafat concluded that if the armies of Egypt and Syria were defeated after their unexpected brilliant initial successes, then there is no military solution to the conflict. As usual, he decided quickly and decided alone. He instructed his trusted aide, Sa'id Hamami, to publish an article in London calling for the attainment of a peace settlement with Israel by political means. (This induced me to meet with Hamami in secret, and since then I have followed Arafat's moves closely.)

For the Palestinian national movement, the proposed change was redical. A political process instead of the sole reliance on "armed struggle". A peace settlement with Israel, which had taken possession of 78% of the Palestinian land and expelled half of the Palestinian people from their homes. That necessitated a mental and political revolution, and since 1974 Arafat has promoted this revolution cautiously and with determination, step by step. (I witnessed these steps - first through Hamami and Issam Sartawi, later in personal contact with Arafat.) in 1988 the Palestinian National Council at long last adopted this line explicitly, after a series of ambivalent resolutions. Abu-Mazen was closely connected with this process right from the beginning.

Throughout this period, Yitzhaq Rabin and Shimon Peres actively opposed this development. (On this, too, I can bear personal witness, since I conveyed several messages from Arafat to Rabin.) It must be stated clearly for history's sake: Not Rabin and Peres were the spiritual fathers of Oslo, but Arafat and Abu-Mazen. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Peres and not to Abu-Mazen was, therefore, a gross injustice.

Sharon, of course, does not want peace that brings with it a viable Palestinian state in all the occupied territories and the evacuation of the settlements. But he is far too shrewd to openly obstruct Abu-Mazen, the protegee of the West. Therefore he is concentrating all his efforts on breaking Arafat - knowing that without Arafat, Abu-Mazen would be ineffective.

That is the crux of the matter. Arafat is essential for the peace effort. That's why I went to visit him.
[more]

Rerouting the road map to peace

The president has spread out the road map. Now, a few discussions about key intersections, modest rerouting in a few spots and destination peace in the Middle East.

Not so fast. The Israeli right wing has plans to tear up the dangerous idea of peace. And it knows where to go for support -- Christian fundamentalists in the United States.

As was mentioned in Post-Intelligencer news pages last week, Haaretz, the liberal Israeli daily, had an excellent report on the pre-emptive organizing among hard-line settlers. Haaretz (www.haaretz.com) reported that Tourism Minister Benny Elon would tour the U.S. Bible Belt to whip up opposition to peace plans.

In the United States, Elon says his visit is focused on tourism, not wrecking the peace efforts. But Haaretz points out that he has been talking about the road map with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and other critics of the administration's Middle East policy.

None of that removes the chill of his original statement in Haaretz: "It's clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing. ... Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium."
[more]

Return of the 'constraints ministers'

More than a decade ago, Ariel Sharon led the troika known as the "constraints ministers" in Yitzhak Shamir's last government. Sharon and his partners, David Levy and Yitzhak Moda'i, wanted to constrain their prime minister from pursuing the path of concessions advocated by Shimon Peres and George Bush Senior's administration. They therefore erected various roadblocks to the diplomatic proposals of those days.

U.S. envoy William Burns, who visited Jerusalem this week, can report upon his return to Washington that the "constraints ministers" have reappeared, in a new incarnation. Burns, who heads the State Department's Middle East desk, came to discuss implementation of the road map and prepare the upcoming visit by his boss, Colin Powell, who will arrive this weekend. His Israeli hosts met him with lists of their reservations and the difficulties entailed in implementing the international plan for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
[more]
The group directing all known U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms, according to participants.

Will there be ramifications? Or will the Washington Press Corps let this one ride into the Sunset? You don't have to be a nuclear scientist to figure it out...
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Norman Mailer Writes To Dennis Miller
Dear Dennis,

 Just because the two big guys who flanked you on Monday Night Football took away your balls and left you with a giggle in replacement doesn't mean you have to suck up to The Wall Street Journal.  But thanks for appreciating my fine use of "keen."

 Keen up, then, to my piece and read it again without panic.
 You're too good to become squalid and kiss-ass for so little.

 Cheers, blessings,

 Norman Mailer


Reprinted from Bartcop.com, who got it from the WSJ.

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