American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, July 12, 2003
There was a picture on the front page of the New York Times on Tuesday, July 8. It showed several American soldiers in Iraq sitting in utter dejection as they were informed by their battalion commander that none of them were going home anytime soon, and no one knew exactly when they were going home at all. PFC Harrison Grimes sat in the center of this photo with his chin in his hand, staring at ground that was thousands of miles from his family and friends. A soldier caught in the picture just over PFC Grimes' shoulder had a look on his face that could break rocks.

  212 of PFC Grimes' fellow soldiers have died in Iraq, and 1,044 more have been wounded. The war created chaos in the cities, and it seems clear now that very little in the way of preparation was made to address the fact that invasion leads to social bedlam, not to mention a lot of shooting. Last Sunday, CNN's Judy Woodruff showed a clip of a Sergeant Charles Pollard, who said, "All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks." [more]


Yes, it's not exactly as if there's a fair fight going on there, is there? When your back is turned, somebody walks up to you on a bridge and shoots your brains out. You're standing in the unbelievable heat fantasizing about going home and somebody snipes you from afar. You become a victim of the classic drive-by while manning a checkpoint. You lay in the sand bleeding to death while somewhere, the unelected leader of your country, fresh from watching war movies and having never been in a war situation himself--in fact, after having been AWOL for a year from the frickin' National Guard in Texas--chest puffed up with two beady eyes peering out from behind a face which doesn't see many books, says, "Bring 'em on." Meaning the aforementioned hidden snipers, the driveby shooters and the while your back is turned gangster-style killers--that's who he's talking to. Not 'bring it on' within a ring, where there are rules. No, bring on the indefensible attacks. Bring on the indefensible slaughtering of American troops. 'Cuz there's more soldiers where they came from. But mostly because that unelected shit-for-brains doesn't know jack shit about the real world. His pampers are pampered.

And the DLC doesn't want to bring this type of shit up? FUCK THE DLC. Or, you put it into more of a poetic semblance. But that's the basic sentiment, right? The DLC likes frickin' Lieberman? The DLC says let's not make waves? The DLC says let's play nice to this man who stole the election and lies to the American public and the world like the rest of us process oxygen? "Bush Lied and People Died." Repeat. Memorize. Tell your friends.

Assure a free and fair election in '04 and send that son of a bitch back to Texas where he belongs. No, wait--that would be an offense to fine Texans like Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Craig of BookNotes, Bruce Sterling and at least half of Austin, if not more . . . no, the only place Bush truly belongs is at the Hague. It's the follow-through swing: aim for unelection, then follow-through to Bush getting tried at the Hague. Imagine a just and better world, and then make it so!
They couldn't fire Amiri Baraka, so they did this instead.
Friday, July 11, 2003
Check out today's Daily Kos:

"Have you no sense of decency, sir?" were the words Joseph Welch used to ruin Joe McCarthy, who went a witch hunt too far.

It is time for ALL Americans to ask the same question of the President and the men around him.

He lied to the American people to get them to endorse a war they would not have otherwise.

To say we are glad to be rid of Saddam is to be besides the point. This Administration made certain claims about matters vital to national security. None of which involved dead Shia or democracy in Iraq. There are 250 dead, 1,000 wounded, some crippled for life, behind our invasion. The same invasion which makes it impossible to intervene in Liberia or any other crisis which may arise. The same that offers only poverty to the Iraqis and a distant hope of self government.

An adminstration so inept that is unable to live up to the duties of the Occupying Power in Iraq while now begging the Allies we so casually disdained in starting this war. Suddenly we now need old Europe to help us control the Iraqi beasties. They just won't have a nice, docile colony for us and seek to express themselves. It's time to bring back the days of Mad Dogs and Englishmen and disciplining the wog.

They were told this is what would happen. Only Ken Pollack, who people still, unaccountably cut slack for, said differently. Every other Iraq expert, every one, said this adventure would end badly. Anthony Cordesman, a former Army officer, said without planning for the peace, disaster would strike. Former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, a man who lost his leg in combat, was humiliated by Rummy and the PNAC gang for telling the truth.

Bush and his men are liars. Inept, bad liars. Men who told transparent lies. Who slandered others, from Scott Ritter to Hans Blix, because they did not share their world view and delivered what is apparently the truth.

But unlike blowjobs, or even Watergate, Bush's lies are far, far worse. Because he lied about war and 1250 families will live with that lie forever.

Based on biases and lies, starting with the trickster Chalabi, who needs to be dragged before a US Senate or House committee under penalty of perjury, to tell the truth, Americans were sent to die in the Iraqi desert. Because lies were the only way he could get his war.
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Condi Rice said "Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the Agency , but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.”"

Senior administration officials tell CBS News the President’s mistaken claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was included in his State of the Union address -- despite objections from the CIA.

Before the speech was delivered, the portions dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were checked with the CIA for accuracy, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin .

CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: “Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that’s how it was delivered. ...


What did they know and when did they know it?
Los Angeles radio station KRLA, a Christian broadcaster, has suspended Michael Savage's show after his firing from MSNBC. Savage is also on thin ice in Portland and Boston. Savage claims he was setup and that his comments were the result of a prank call set up by "unknown interests" to ruin his television career. And from the Adcocate
According to a report in The Boston Globe, Bob Foster, a California man who regularly makes prank calls, has been identified as the individual who elicited Savage's ill-fated MSNBC response. In a brief interview yesterday Foster said his call had nothing to do with gay issues but noted that "if he's making those kind of comments, those aren't right."
Is this a victory for the left, or is it just publicity for Savage?
by Rick Fisk, LibertyForum
(Author's note: In the interest of disclosure, I am the inventor of a bio-metric authentication system that is, in one embodiment, designed to enhance payment systems. As such, my invention might end up being used to enhance the technology of companies I mention in this article and I may have already or will soon approach these same companies to market this technology.)
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Liberating the Orphans
Remember when US forces "liberated" more than 100 children from an Iraqi prison last April? It turns out that the prison was really an orphanage.
Goree Island, Senegal - US President George Bush made an eloquent speech but did not win many friends during his brief visit to Goree Island off Senegal on Tuesday.

"We are very angry. We didn't even see him," said Fatou N'diaye, a necklace seller watching dignitaries file past to return to the mainland at the end of Bush's tour.

N'diaye and other residents of Goree, site of a famous slave trading station, said they had been taken to a football ground on the other side of the quaint island at 6am and told to wait there until Bush had departed, around midday.

. . .

"It's slavery all over again," fumed one father-of-four, who did not want to give his name. "It's humiliating. The island was deserted."

. . .

"We understand that you have to have security measures, since September 11, but to dump us in another place...? We had to leave at 6am I didn't have time to bathe, and the bread did not arrive," the father-of-four said.

"We were shut up like sheep," said 15-year-old Mamadou.

Many residents compared Bush's hour-long visit unfavourably to the island tour by former President Bill Clinton in 1998.

"When Clinton came, he shook hands, people danced," said former Mayor Urbain Alexandre Diagne. [more]


via NWD


Thanx for all the concern re: the disappearance of Libertythink.com. I wish I had thought of posting an announcement over here earlier. Duh.

Anyway, we are in the process of hosting the site on our own server locally, however, this has taken much longer than expected. We hope to be up and running within the next week, and don't worry, they'll be plenty of timely content. We may not be publishing, but the posting continues.

cheers
- valis


New art from Joe Sacco, artist and reporter behind Palestine. Really interesting stuff, transporting comic journalism.
On paper, Haroe is slated for oblivion. A U.S.-backed peace plan calls on Israel to immediately tear down all such Jewish settlement outposts erected since March 2001 in the Palestinian territories.

But a tour through miles of golden hills and olive groves reveals that the West Bank is gaining rather than losing outposts. Israel's scattered efforts to raze renegade homesteads have only succeeded in inspiring a contrary construction spurt.

The tally stands at nine destroyed, 10 or 11 built, according to Dror Etkes, a Peace Now activist who takes almost daily settlement-counting jaunts into the West Bank.

"Construction freeze, eh?" he snorted.
Begg's father, Azmat, insists his son is not a terrorist. Ironically, Begg, who owned a bookshop in Birmingham, spent his formative years at a Jewish school and still has many Jewish friends. According to Azmat, a retired bank manager, his son was moved by the plight of the Afghani people and in 2001 travelled to Kabul with his family to start a school for basic education and provide water pumps.

When the allied attack on Afghanistan began in October 2001, Begg and his family moved to Islamabad in Pakistan for safety. It was there that he was seized in January 2002 by Pakistani police and CIA officers, bundled into a back of a car and taken back to Kabul, where he was held in a windowless cellar at Bagram airbase for nearly a year. His family insist it's a case of mistaken identity. Intelligence agents targeted Begg because his name appears on a photo-copy of a money transfer found in an al-Qaeda training camp.

Begg maintains his innocence in his letters home, saying: 'I believe that there has been a gross violation of my human rights, particularly to that right of freedom and innocence until proven guilty. After all this time I still don't know what crime I am supposed to have committed, for which not only I, but my wife and children should continually suffer for as a result.
Original comments: I'm not familiar with this publication, and haven't been able to verify this story anywhere else--if it turns out not to be true I will delete it immediately. Since this publication just published the aforementioned U.S. election scandal story, which I do believe, I am temporarily giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Update: it turns out this story is not true. Thanks to Jason Lubyk of New World Disorder for finding this out for me while I was at work this morning and unable to access the net. He also gives me these 2 additional links to further contextualize this online truth gaffe: the original plane crash story and a right wing rag's refutation of the Katherine Harris-is-dead-from-said-airplane story.

Immediately I wanted to delete this post, but Jason recommended that I keep it up and give the additional links as an example of an internet rumor, in this case one that turned out to be false.

Further, I would like to point out that the Scoop down in New Zealand does itself a great disservice by rushing to print this Katherine Harris item--especially when they just published the article on the 2002 American election scam. Now, the latter is a great story--and if I were to put that into print, I wouldn't be adding any doubts to my credibility as I let that one go on about and find it's legs. It's much more important to credibly spread the word about the possible takeover of the US election system than it is to claim the 'scoop' on the supposed accidental death of a minor GOP operative.


See also: Bigger Than Watergate!

The first step to Regime Change 2004 is assuring that there is a free and fair election in the United States. Of course, the mind-coaxed masses will automatically issue back, unconsciously, while they sip their 100 oz. soft drink whilst running over small children in their SUVs: "conspiracy theory" . . . well, you know better right? 'Conspiracy theory' has just become an empty-headed slur to be put up on the overloaded and thus irrevelant shelf with 'politically-correct.' The minute I hear anyone use either of those terms I know it's time to give up any chance I have of opening up an immediate channel of communication--by this time, it will take a fair bit of deprogramming to be able to converse with them on a level I am comfortable with.

But back to the stolen U.S. elections of 2000 and 2002--they were both separate fixes with a ton of differences but in both cases I have no doubt that at least in certain places, the fix was in. The first step to regaining or creating a democracy in America? Arguably this would be to assure that we Americans are assured a free and fair election. Or, perhaps the first step is informing the masses about how exactly their corporate media is put together, and how few decision-makers are actually making the decisions about everything they see and hear, and how, for instance, these handful of corporate media giants in America paid for FCC Chairman Michael Powell and his two fellow GOP FCC board member's plethora of trips recently--which can arguably be looked at with cynicism seeing as how those very same FCC members were soon to be voting on an issue very dear to their bill-footer's hearts--namely, deregulation. And then, once the people are aware of the corporate media system and it's stranglehold on the American public (World: seriously, the American public may seem dumb, and many times I myself curse them to no end, but to give them some credit, they are on the receiving end of the most magnificent media system ever invented, and if you were in a field and suddenly a great big spaceship descended upon ya with a thousand groovy lights beaming out all over the place, you'd be dazzled too) then maybe they would be more a) aware of the stolen election of 2002 and more educated about the details of the stolen election of 2000 (i.e.: I was watching the posters over at Fark recently banter about the stolen election of 2000, and not one of them knew that the State of Florida settled the case brought on by the NAACP re: throwing the blacks off the roles [read: obvious admission of guilt, thus 'stolen election' not debatable just on the fact of that case alone], not to mention the excellent reporting by Greg Palast on the subject, etc., etc.) . . . but in any case step one or step two or step three--it's in the Top Ten anyway! Take Back or Create Democracy in America! Assure a Free and Fair Election!!!

And you can start by reading the above articles.

And spreading the word, thanks.

Monday, July 07, 2003
Cable news channel MSNBC on Monday fired Michael Savage after the controversial talk show host wished AIDS on a caller whom he dismissed as "one of the sodomites."

Saturday's episode of "The Savage Nation," his 15th since the program's debut in March, featured Savage discussing air travel with callers.

One caller began discussing his experiences, and after an unintelligible part of the call, Savage asked him "So are you one of those sodomists?"

When the caller said, "Yes I am," Savage, reclining in a chair with his arms folded and wearing dark sunglasses, responded, "Oh, you're one of the sodomites! You should only get AIDS and die, you pig!" in a clip of the show hosted on the Web site of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
• Number of U.S. citizens indicted by a federal grand jury for al Qaeda–related activities: 5.

• Number of immigrants detained after 9/11 — some up to eight months: 762.

• Number of people arrested by the LAPD’s anti-terrorism bureau since 9/11: 75.

• Number of convicted al Qaeda members: 0.

• Number of people the Justice Department charged with terrorism in the first two months of 2003: 56.

• After a Philadelphia Inquirer investigation, the number of those cases that were found to have nothing to do with terrorism: 41.

• Number of cases that involved Latinos using phony Social Security numbers: 28.
Sunday, July 06, 2003
More than 23 million acres of the world's forests - enough to cover the whole of Scotland - are disappearing each year because of logging, mining and land clearance for agriculture.

The scale of deforestation is so great that some countries, such as Indonesia, could lose entire rainforests in the next 10 years. The appetite for wood for furniture, floors and building in Europe and North America is shrinking the world's forests at a rate of 2.4 per cent every 10 years, official figures show.
[more]
“There are a lot of checks and balances in this system,” one Pentagon spokesman told The Times. Asked what those checks and balances were, the official cited the review of the President’s decision by Mr Wolfowitz.

Asked if there were any other checks and balances other than that, the official replied: “No, sir.” [more]

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