American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, November 22, 2003
The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed -- Steve Biko

Ignorance and force are strangling our Democracy. Look at the picture below. Is this what Democracy looks like?
I'm guessing if you care about our country enough to seek out the news for yourself you have read about the interview with Tommy Franks ( linked earlier here, scroll down), where he speculates that another 9/11 type attack or worse will allow our leaders to push the citizenry to give up our Constitution.
“It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”

If you haven't noticed already the reactionary Right is working hard to make this a police state as it is; what I hear Franks saying is that the mighty Wurlitzer of Corporate anti-Americans are setting " We the People" (by that I mean "regular folks like you and I, when the wants, needs and aspirations of the citizenry are termed "special interests" and corporate needs are "mainstream" you can see my point) up using the collaborative media they own through advertising dollars and interlocking boards of directorates to make us our own jailers in it. Use this tool from the Columbia Journalism Review to see just how those media companies control our information environment.
Here is what is going on in Britain, the one country in the world to walk lockstep with the (now revealed) lies of the GOP Neocon death machine:
Once an emergency has been proclaimed by the Queen, the Government can order the destruction of property, order people to evacuate an area or ban them from travelling, and "prohibit assemblies of specified kinds" and "other specified activities".

If these rules had been in force during the Iraq war, critics say, they could have been used to to ban street demonstrations, making anyone who travelled to protest guilty of a criminal offence.

Is this getting your attention? I have written about The Big Lie technique before, quoting Adolf Hitler , in relation to the attack on Iraq. Read his words.
Another fitting quote from the man corporate Germany put in power who sacrificed his people and nation on the altar of power:
By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.

There is a history of the government in power misleading the people for the governments ends. Project Northwoods, never acted on, is frightening for its open contempt of Democracy and human life. is one many people are unaware of. The Tonkin Gulf incident is more widely known but not widely enough. Do you here its treachery debated when our less aware friends talk about the necessity of the Viet Nam war? The USS Liberty, had it been sunk after its 2 hour multi-pronged attack by Israeli forces would have had the US embroiled in the Middle east conflict of 1967; who could believe our allies the Israelis did it, of course the Egyptians would wear the blame.
With many prior warnings ignored, regular air defense procedures ignored, a president seemingly unfazed by the news- well you get the 9/11 picture. Judge for yourself. The present administration sure isn't cooperating with the current investigation. Do you remember the Bush "trifecta" joke? He may have won his trifecta on an inside bet.
Think for yourself. Search out truth.
Edward Abbey said it well.
Defiance is beautiful. The defiance of power, especially great or overwhelming power, exalts and glorifies the rebel."

America demands our attention and vigor.
Friday, November 21, 2003
War on terror creates the preconditions for more terror

A bunch of articles have popped up in the past few days warning of Al Qaeda's resurgence.

Most of the pieces link the recent spate of bombings in Turkey and Saudi Arabia with a new strategy that, according to the LA Times, "illustrates that Al Qaeda has survived by mutating into a more decentralized network relying on local allies to launch more frequent attacks on varied targets." In other words, the group is now more into franchising than carrying out its own operations. Time Magazine elaborates:

The paradox of al-Qaeda in the two years since 9/11 has been that while the efforts of U.S. and allied intelligence agencies have battered its core transnational networks, al-Qaeda as a movement or an idea — as distinct from a narrow clandestine organizational network — has actually grown. Analysts believe the international intelligence and security cooperation has severely impeded al-Qaeda's ability to conduct highly sophisticated transnational terror operations such as the attacks in New York and Washington, but that Bin Laden's movement has adapted by morphing into a far more decentralized entity relying principally on the structures and energies of pre-existing local groups ideologically in synch with al-Qaeda.
Thus, Dave Montgomery and Warren P. Strobel of Knight Ridder Newspapers warn that the group "is as lethal as ever, despite the U.S.-led war on terrorism. The organization essentially is reinventing itself to compensate for losses in its ranks."

Now, where does Iraq fit into this scenario? Montgomery and Strobel report that, to correspond with this reorganization, "the United States has diverted more than half the manpower and technology that had been targeted on al-Qaida to the war in Iraq."

Furthermore, Germany's foreign spy chief has warned that "Anti-American and anti-Western sentiment is growing out of anger at the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," which Al Qaeda is exploiting to help fill its ranks. He's not yelling at the wind, either. Recall the Pew Center poll from a few months ago, "Views of a Changing World 2003," which found that Anti-American sentiment went through the roof over the past year. As one might suspect, the animosity is greatest in the Muslim world.

The war on terror, in short, is breeding more terrorists and more people sympathetic to Al Qaeda's aims. Bush can trumpet the point that the US is hunting down and killing "evil-doers," but the simple fact is that US policy, rather than "draining the swamp" of discontent, is filling it to the point of overflow.
"There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends" --President Dwight Eisenhower

How can it be that International Law is applied only to who the United States chooses? If you take a look at thirty years of United States vetoes at the UN you get a sense of a certain bias, a bias reflected in the latest veto concerning the Israeli Apartheid Wall, as it often happens the sole veto. Selective justice is not justice.

Could selective justice be why the US and Israel are seen by many to be the largest threats to world peace?

David Ben Gurion, wrote to his son 11 years before the birth of the Jewish state: "Negev land is reserved for Jewish citizens whenever and wherever they want. We must expel the Arabs and take their place." By 1951, fewer than 13,000 inhabitants remained of a community that numbered somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 in the late 1940s.

In Israel another people that suffer for State want of their land are the semi-nomadic Bedouins. Although they have lived on their lands for 1000 years or more the state of Israel create retroactive zoning laws classifying the areas of their villages "non-residential", making the Bedoins traditional homesites illegal. It also allows the Israeli government not provide essential services such as electricity, water and sanitation. Since there are no municipalities, these people cannot get a license to build. Their traditional proofs of ownership are not recognized by Israeli courts. These citizens are also subject to having their homes destroyed so they can be moved to cramped towns where they cannot practice their traditional way of life.
The Bedouin who had not fled or been terrorized from their tribal lands during the war were "transferred" in the 1950s, either to the center of the country, to ghettoes attached to towns like Ramle and Lod, where many work as low-wage manual laborers.
The Negev area in which the Bedouin were concentrated came to be known as the "siege zone": a ring of Jewish settlements was established to contain the Bedouin, while their lands were further whittled away through the construction of industrial areas, more military zones and conservation parks, and an airport. Each village was encircled and separated from its neighbors by new Jewish farms, settlements or development towns. Today the Bedouin, a quarter of the Negev's population, occupy just 2 percent of its land.

Negez is home to Israel's Nuclear Reactor, as well as the states Nuclear arsenal. WMD's for short.
PM Ben Gurion consistently refused to allow international inspections. The final resolution was a commitment from Israel to use the facility for peaceful purposes, and an agreement to admit a US inspection team once a year. These inspections, begun in 1962 and continued until 1969, were only shown the above-ground part of the buildings, which continued down many levels underground. The above ground areas had simulated control rooms, and access to the underground areas was kept bricked up while the inspectors where present.

The government of Israel had atomic weapons by 1967 or '69 depending on the source of information. Israel now has submarines carrying US supplied Harpoon cruise missiles fitted with nuclear warheads

"Why should I move into a recognized village. My family has been on this land since before the Turks came, before the British, before the Israelis. There are 1,500 Bedouin buried in our family plot, that's how long we have been here," -- Abu Jledan

The man quoted above has to deal with punitive measures dealt out by the so called "Green Patrol" a paramilitary "environmental" group founded by then agricultural minister Ariel Sharon to destroy homes and confiscate Bedouin livestock. They also oversee the spraying of these people's food crops with herbicide.

Just so you are clear; the folks suffering all this at the hands of Israel are not the people who's plight is so easily palmed off with the epithet "Terrorist". Yet these indigenous souls suffer the same blatant disregard for property rights, human rights and life itself.
But the native never lost his "last spark of hope". The spark was not extinguished in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were terrorized, uprooted and expelled, several decades after Moshe Sharret announced, "We have not come to an empty land but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it"; several years after David Ben-Gurion declared, "I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it"; and several months after Menachem Begin gloated over "a splendid act of conquest " the rape and massacre of 254 Palestinians at Deir Yassin. The spark was not extinguished in 1967, when Israel grabbed the remaining 22% of Palestine and began its military occupation as its war hero Moshe Dayan kindly informed the natives, "You shall continue to live like dogs."

"Possession is nine-tenths of the law," says Michael Jankelowitz, liaison to foreign media for the Jewish Agency for Israel, the chief overseas beneficiary of the North American federation system that is helping Israel finance the plan.

How blind, how morally blind need one be to miss the irony of that statement? And why does the truth about land issues not appear in the media?
Imagine the ruckus to be raised if we in America had a paramilitary environmental group. And rightly so I'd have to say if the paramilitary groups main focus was collective punishment that had a rascist genocidal focus. What does it say about a country that claims to be a Democracy that only grants full citizenship with all it's benefits to only one group of its population? That practices collective punishment that includes the destruction of homes as well as food crops?

We in America need to be aware of the truth in these matters. As the UN and the Palestinian people push for peace the Likud party of Ariel Sharon defies the will of that world wide Democratic body, the very Democratic body that breathed life into the dreams of Zionists for a homeland in Palestine by creating Israel in 1948; to grasp at land and water resources that International law clearly states belongs to the people it always has. The people who lived on that soil for untold generations. And our US tax dollars help enable this.When Tom Delay can say
"I didn't see any occupied territory, I only saw Israel."

you are hearing a denial of International Law, of UN Mandate and it should trouble you. I have heavily linked this post so you can use it as a learning tool. "A land without people for a people without land" is a propaganda slogan widely circulated. Learn the truth behind the headlines. Politicians crave PAC money for their campaigns from people with a bent not for justice but for domination. For land but not life. Stand up for the truth.

Tricks and Treachery are the practice of fools who don't have the brains to be honest"--Benjamin Franklin

According to right wing website, General Tommy Franks suggests in an interview with Cigar Aficionado that "if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government."
Diebold has been using coercive legal claims to intimidate internet service providers and even universities to shut down websites with links to its memos and remove the memo content. Under copyright laws, however, universities are exempt, and posting links to the memos is not considered a violation of the law. By abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Diebold has intimidated numerous internet service providers to comply with its requests. The damage is two-fold: 1) limiting the public’s information about the security of its voting machines, and 2) expanding corporate control over our most free medium of expression, the Internet.

Congressman Kucinich is working to address these problems by providing some of Diebold’s internal memos on this site to increase public access, drafting legislation to address software security problems, and working to investigate Diebold’s legal abuses.
Thursday, November 20, 2003
For a while we had the Petersons to obsess the mainstream television media. Then we had Kobe Bryant, and for a bit both stories ran concurrently with 'Breaking News' announcements throughout daily coverage. Neither managed to seize national attention, and so periodically CNN and the other networks were forced to mention that the fighting in Iraq is getting a lot of Americans killed, the promised weapons of mass destruction have not been found, and no one but Dick Cheney can say that Iraq was involved in September 11 without looking like a total blithering idiot.

And then, like a surgically enhanced cavalry charge, Michael Jackson blasts to the forefront to rescue the mainstream media from perhaps being required to cover matters of substance. The ability for these talking heads to natter on for weeks and weeks about Jackson, previous charges against him, his musical history, his personal oddities, his baby-dangling antics, and "Oh my goodness, what do we tell the children?" is pretty much bottomless, but we will spend the next several weeks, again, racing to that bottom as quickly as television signals can travel through a coaxial cable. [more]
It's just one guy's opinion, I guess. But it's odd that the one guy happens to be close Bush confidant Richard Perle.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
"Israel should freeze settlement construction, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people and not prejudice final negotiations with the placements of walls and fences." --George W. Bush, November 19th, Whitehall Palace, England.
Bush is Lord?

Bill Connolly has been doing great work documenting the phenomena of Bush's staged photo ops with strategically-placed visual cues placed into the frame. Found this one on Indy Media.

Via t r u t h o u t, a London Observer article by Ed Vulliamy. I can't even begin to offer a comment on this. These people need to be permanently removed from polite society.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
  Ken Goti died:  
A good while ago actuallly. I didn't know because I had left my "homeless period" a good while back also. Kenny was with me during those years. You didn't hear about this because when someone like Ken Goti dies, it isn't newsworthy.

My "homeless period" lasted perhaps eight years. Though I was frequently homeless during that time, it was perhaps only a quarter of that time that I was actually homeless. I refer to it as my "homeless period" because during this time I was required to submit to outrageous demands simply to have a roof over my head. It might have been a motel room with cockroaches that took 90% of my minimum wage takehome pay, or it could just have been half the rent for one tenth of the benefits of where I stayed. It did not matter. Mostly, it beat sleeping under a tree. Not always, however. Once in a while, the demands got so outrageous that I would simply pack my stuff and go back to that tree.

I met Ken Goti early on during this time when I first went to a labor pool. Kenny had actually been a pilot on an aircraft carrier during his service years. He actually had steered one of those big ships for several years.

In a labor poll, most of the people you work with are not that good. That is perhaps why they are there. Others, however, are quite extraordinary. Kenny was one of these. He was the one that everyone else wanted to work with.

Though I knew nothing of the trades when I first when to these pools, I quickly became one of these few desired work partners. It's simply called getting the job done. A few of us (like Kenny) seemed to instictively know how to do this. That's why people followed us. People like us however needed to be spread across different contracts to quiet the protests of those who had hired our labor pool, and both of us were often sent out on a contract simply to quiet these protests. The hiring company would see that they had gotten someone who was real good, and they would be happy.

It was for this reason that it was actually many years before I ever got to work with Kenny. In fact, he requested me on his assignment. It was a great experience. Working with Kenny made working for minimum wage seem easy. There was a real sense when you were working with Kenny that your work actually made a difference. I've held many higher paid jobs since then, but none with more satisfaction that those few days provided. I was very good, and thought myself the best, but after those days working with Kenny, I understood that I was merely second best. Not below Kenny by much, but below just the same. I didn't mind it a bit though. Neither Kenny nor I were ever ones to make such comparisons back then, and I make mine here only in requium. But let me back up a little here.

By the time this had happened, my homeless period was ended. By this time, I knew quite well the almost insurmountable difficulties of escaping homelessness. I took it upon myself to try to provide that escape on many occasions to many people. A roof and no rent, and use it wisely. This was a disaster. I was being ripped off left and right. Until Kenny came along.

I was walking home one night when I encoutered him with his posssessions on his back. "What's up?" I asked. He also couldn't stand his roommate, and was going to the trees as I had often done before. I certainly by this time understood his sentiments, but I said no, come stay with me.

I told Kenny that I would not charge him rent; that to do so would only delay his exit from my offer. I also told him that I would not place a timelimit on the offer, knowing by this time how very difficult it is to escape homelessness.

Kenny took me up on my offer, and it was two weeks later that he said that he had gotten a place and was moving out. My only success in offering the help that I wanted to provide.

You have to understand what Kenny was. Kenny was forever reaching out. He was forever reaching out to his coworkers, inspiring them to be better. He was forever reaching out to his superiors, trying to show them that he was really that much better. And he really was that much better.

Ken Goti was reaching out as he always did when the scaffolding he was working on collapsed. Ken Goti died in that collapse. When he did, our country lost one of the best citizens it had.

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh may have violated state money-laundering laws in the way he handled the money he used to buy the prescription drugs to which he was addicted, law enforcement officials in Florida and New York told ABCNEWS.

A conviction on such charges in Florida would be a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

via Steve Gilliard
The truth is…there is nothing special about President Bush. Like every other modern president, he has launched wars, told half-truths and untruths, and acted in the interests of America's capitalist elite - hardly Stop the Press stuff. So why the deeply hostile reaction to his arrival in Britain, everywhere from the backrooms of Downing Street to the front pages of the papers to the ranks of the anti-capitalist and anti-war movements? [more]
TIKRIT, Iraq — In a tactic reminiscent of Israeli crackdowns in the West Bank and Gaza, the U.S. military has begun destroying the homes of suspected guerrilla fighters in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, evacuating women and children, then leveling their houses with heavy weaponry. [more]
"Hey, this is just like Gaza, isn't it?"

And meanwhile, around Baghdad, the US military is hard at work with "Operation Iron Hammer."
An interesting article about the various forces at work in Israel's largest and most important public institution.
'According to documents ordered declassified by the Assassination Records Review
Board, the Joints Chiefs of Staff in 1962 approved a plan-codenamed Operation Northwoods-to create a
pretext for an invation of Cuba. The Joint Chiefs recommended developing a "terror campaign in Miami,
Washington, DC, and elsewhere, which would be blamed on Cuba. Ships would be bombed, planes hijacked, and
innocent Americans killed, producing "casualty lists" which "would cause a helpful wave of national
indignation." On March 13, 1962, the plan was sent to Secretary of Defense Rober McNamara, who presented it
to President John F. Kennedy...'
Monday, November 17, 2003
What sort of Democracy will Mr Bush and company allow in Iraq? We know what type of "Democracy" they are hoping for:
... "and then Washington would have the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein," a return to the happy days when Saddam's "iron fist...held Iraq together, much to the satisfaction of the American allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia," not to speak of the boss in Washington.

Remember when the US attack on Iraq was imminent? Right Wing Neo-Fascist leader of Spain Jose Maria`Aznar and Italy's Leader with Fascist roots (and Cabinet ministers) Silvio Berlusconi with 80% and 70% of their population against joining US aggression signed on to the Bush administrations war agenda, giving the word "Coalition" respectability in the US press.
One country stood by it's citizen's will, resisting both US bribery and pressure. Turkey. Here's what the former US ambassador has to say about this amazing and uncharacteristic democratic move.
... explained by former Ambassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz, now a distinguished senior statesman and commentator. Ten years ago, he explained, Turkey was governed by a real democrat, Turgut Ozal, who “overrode his countrymen’s pronounced preference to stay out of the Gulf war.” But democracy has declined in Turkey. The current leadership “is following the people,” revealing its lack of “democratic credentials.” “Regrettably,” he says, “for the US there is no Ozal around.”

Paul Wolfowitz on this issue:
Wolfowitz directed sharp criticism at Turkey, indicating that its refusal to allow deployment of 62,000 troops on its soil was a mistake and urging the country to change this attitude.

He goes on to say:
Wolfowitz told the CNN-Turk that he was particularly disappointed with the Turkish military.

"I think for whatever reason, they did not play the strong leadership role
and attitude that we would have expected," he said.

A Turkish politician says it loud and proud.
"Turkey is a democratic country and everybody that appreciates the functioning of the true democracy should respect this," said Deniz Baykal, leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

Baykal's CHP voted as a bloc against a government motion requesting authorization for U.S. troops that was voted down in a March 1 vote in Parliament with a narrow margin of four votes.

Some folks obviously are unclear about what a Democracy is. Aznar will not be running in Spain in 2004. Spanish folks know what Democracy is about after having a Fascist leader like Franco.
Some assert it against all odds.
Where do you stand?
Feeling a Draft? Part Dieux
DU SCOOP! (must read) $28 Million to get DRAFT READY BY JUNE 15, 2005!!

Read this official budget carefully and you will see that Bush is gearing up the draft--there is no longer any doubt about it. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005, that the system is ready for activation within 75 days. So on June 15, 2005, expect the announcement that the first draft lottery since Vietnam will be held for 20 year-olds.

And indeed the Selective Service System is gearing up by trying to fill vacancies in long-dormant draft boards.

A vote for Bush in 2004 is a vote to reinstate the draft in 2005? Something to think about.

Mr Livingstone recalled a visit at Easter to California, where he was denounced for an attack he had made on what he called "the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years".

The mayor said: "Some US journalist came up to me and said: 'How can you say this about President Bush?' Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction."

Mr Livingstone, who is holding a "peace party" for anti-war groups in City Hall tomorrow, added: "I don't formally recognise George Bush because he was not officially elected. So we are organising an alternative reception for everybody who is not George Bush." [more]
Sunday, November 16, 2003
A gedanken experiment: What if the US were invaded and occupied by the Russian and Chinese armies in a manner that is similar to what the US and Great Britain have done in their invasion and occupation in Iraq? The post and the ensuing comments make for some generally thoughtful reading.
David Neiwert of Orcinus follows up on his recent "Creeping Fascism" post with "Hatred, anger, and the 2004 election", in which he addresses the increasing tone of violence in the rhetoric of the Right against those with whom they disagree (us). This is an important topic that I've mentioned a number of times over the past year both in my own posts and in my comments to others' posts. Neiwert presents a good history in this post of the development of this meme recently.

As someone who came of age during the Vietnam protests, I find the parallels between then and now to be most obvious: Now, as then, this violence and eliminationist meme is being fostered by the more extreme conservative pundits. Now, as then, as the Left begins to win the argument by strength of reason and real world events, the disagreement of the Right turns to anger, the anger turns to hatred, and the hatred turns to talk of violence against the Left. Once this meme of violence is firmly established, each of the pundits then seek to "out-do" each other on it, gradually ratcheting up the description of violence, all the while claiming quite disengenuously that they are not actually advocating for this violence. And yet now, as then, there is no other end possible to this; the times may have changed but people remain the same. Then, it was Kent State. Now, it will be somewhere else, but it will be somewhere. And now, as then, the punishment will fall only upon the victims of that violence as the pundits all creep away to hide behind the red, white, and blue of their faux patriotism.

And the chimp smirks because he cannot smile.

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