Tuesday, January 31, 2006

the counting continues

for the month of January 2006 = 65
for the month of January 2005 = 108
for the month of January 2004 = 47


middle east cartoon


palestine / canada oscar

Palestine gets its first Oscar nomination
Paradise Now has been nominated "best foreign language film"
The film was directed by Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad from a screenplay he cowrote with Bero Beyer, the film's Dutch producer. Paradise Now chronicles the 48 hours before two best friends in Nablus are sent on a suicide mission to Israel. The New York Times said it “accomplishes the tricky feat of humanising the suicide bombers depicted in the film”. The paper dubbed the film "a taut, ingeniously calculated thriller".

Made in Alberta productions net four Golden Globes,
Brokeback Mountain to shine at Oscars
Once known as "the gay cowboy movie,"Two young, modern-day cowboys (Gyllenhaal and Ledger) meet in the early 60s as both work as ranch hands on a sheep ranch in Wyoming. The two form a lifelong bond, even as their lives diverge and one becomes a rodeo star and the other a ranch hand.


bush and his deception


U.S. President George W. Bush used his annual state of the union address to urge Americans to keep faith with his Iraq policy - and come to terms with their "addiction to oil."


iraq, canadians shot by us

U.S. troops fire on Canadian envoy's car in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. troops in Iraq fired warning shots at the Canadian envoy's car on Tuesday after his convoy failed to slow down while approaching an American military convoy, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

A statement said the shots were fired inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the Iraqi government and diplomats and is the headquarters of the U.S. military.

"The Canadian ambassador's vehicle did sustain damage yesterday from U.S. military gunfire," said the statement.

"The rear guard on a U.S. convoy signaled the vehicle to stay back. After it failed to do so and continued moving toward the convoy from behind, warning shots were aimed at the front of the vehicle, away from the passenger area."

The U.S. military said there were no injuries.

"The incident is under review to determine why it was necessary to fire warning shots," said the statement.

Iraqis often complain that U.S. troops are too quick to fire. American soldiers, who have come under attack by suicide bombers in cars, say they give motorists ample time to slow down before firing shots.


liberal leadership

Martin says he won't lead party in next election

McKenna says he won't run for Liberal leadership

Manley says he won't seek Liberal leadership

Tobin won't be running for Liberal leadership


saddam, the french farce

Saddam's sham trial
Gwynne Dyer

It's easy to tell the difference between the trial of Saddam Hussein and the Nuremberg tribunal. That was a grave and dignified affair; Saddam's trial is more like a French farce, with a large and confusing cast of characters who rush onto the stage to deliver a few lines and then vanish again. But it's a pretty black comedy: seven people associated with the trial, including two defense lawyers, have been assassinated since it began ... another defense lawyer has fled Iraq in fear of his life. ... would have been possible to try Saddam Hussein and his companions before an international court, too. ... But an international court would have had to try Saddam on charges of waging aggressive war (against Iran and Kuwait) and pursuing a policy of genocide (against the Kurds), which would have brought up all sorts of awkward history from the days when the U.S. and Saddam Hussein were effectively allies ... Washington's point of view, Saddam had to be tried in an Iraqi court .... judges will find Saddam guilty, no doubt, and then they will hang him as fast as possible. But the court is accomplishing the improbable feat of turning this monster of a man into a hero and a martyr in the eyes of many people across the Arab world, and even in Iraq itself.


worse than canadian politians

President Creates Cabinet-Level Position To Coordinate Scandals

WASHINGTON, DC—In a televised address to the nation Monday, President Bush announced a new Cabinet-level position to coordinate all current and future scandals facing his party.


harper and america

Harper's Latin American challenge

Canada has chance to be major player in region: AnalystsOttawa needs independent policy to capitalize on changes

The time is right for an independent Canadian foreign policy in the region, not just a more polite echo of Washington's bellicose treatment of the Americas, analysts say.

U.S. looks to seal its borders


uk's 100th soldier in iraq


pro-life americanized


who's sacking who

Saddam defence demands sacking of judge


bush guilty

Participants Declare Bush "Guilty"

An informal International Women's Tribunal, meeting at the sixth World Social Forum in the Venezuelan capital, found "imperialism" and U.S. President George W. Bush guilty of violating the human rights of people in countries like Iraq and Cuba.

Thousands of international activists have gathered in Caracas for the sixth World Social Forum, to protest against war, U.S. economic policies and debate on topics from fair trade to indigenous rights.


bush's world

The world according to George W Bush
Tonight, US President delivers annual State of the Union address as world powers meet in London to discuss global flashpoints
31 January 2006

State of the Union The regime is a bandit state that will stop at nothing to build a nuclear arsenal. There are fears it will send plutonium to Iran.

State of the Region US policy on North Korea has been a complete failure and the regime has blackmailed South Korea into sending aid.

State of the Union President Bush sees new Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an ally on issues including abortion. Mr Harper criticised Canada for not joining Iraq war.

State of the Region Mr Harper's first move was to say he rejected the US assertion that the Arctic North-west Passage was "neutral waters".

State of the Union Enlargement of EU protects friends of the US: Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states. Nato shares the burden in Afghanistan.

State of the Region Merkel supplanting Blair in "special relationship". Use of European airports for "rendition flights" has damaged US.

State of the Union US trumpets progress, pointing to $5bn spent on the country. Afghan government committed to improving security and economic affairs.

State of the Region President Karzai confined to his palace as the insurgency spreads in the south where UK troops will be deployed.

State of the Union "Free elections" were held in December. Iraqis replacing American forces, raising prospect of troops' withdrawal.

State of the Region Shia majority, allied to Iran, swept to victory. Insurgent attacks dashing hopes of withdrawal. More than 2,240 US troops have been killed.

State of the Union Adamant Iran must not be allowed nuclear weapons. Washington wants diplomatic solution but bombing an option.

State of the Region By keeping military threat alive, Mr Bush may allow mullahs to justify nuclear weapons programme for self-defence. Could invite riposte from Israel.

State of the Union After first election for a Palestinian parliament in a decade, US refusing to deal with Hamas until it drops terrorism and ambition to destroy Israel.

State of the Region Dilemma for US is whether to cut off funds to Palestinians - choking the seeds of democracy. Same problem across the Middle East.

State of the Union US forgave debt of the poorest countries. A key bulwark in the "war on terror''. Its mineral and oil assets make it a key strategic partner.

State of the Region Scramble for Africa between China, the US and India. US defines its value in terms of oil and access to military bases.

State of the Union A problem. Socialist candidates topped the poll in 11 elections in past year. But US investment in region is strong. The market economy safe. Drugs war being stepped up.

State of the Region Voters rejecting unfettered capitalism. New leaders expanding state control on the oil and mining industries.

State of the Union An ally in the "war on terror" and a source of enormous potential profit for corporate America.

State of the Region China is poised to challenge the US global leadership and overturn international standards. Economically and militarily the Middle Kingdom is bursting outward.

State of the Union The regime is a bandit state that will stop at nothing to build a nuclear arsenal. There are fears it will send plutonium to Iran.

State of the Region US policy on North Korea has been a complete failure and the regime has blackmailed South Korea into sending aid.


snowmen take action

Nation's Snowmen March Against Global Warming

WASHINGTON, DC—Braving balmy temperatures and sunny skies, millions of scarfless snowmen and snowwomen gathered in cities across the world Tuesday to raise public awareness about the heavy toll global warming is taking on their health and well-being.


us propaganda

Al-Qaeda Propagandizes For Bush On Eve Of State of the Union

Ayman al-Zawahri has popped up on the eve of the State of the Union to hand Bush all the ammunition he needs to threaten American citizens for a sixth consecutive time. Previous tapes which featured Ayman al-Zawahri were found to be cobbled together from old footage.

Hot on the heels of Osama bin Laden's
latest release, an audio tape that boosted George W. Bush's poll numbers despite it being described as a probable fake by bin Laden expert Professor Bruce Lawrence, Ayman al-Zawahri has popped up on the eve of the State of the Union to hand Bush all the ammunition he needs to threaten American citizens for a sixth consecutive time.


Monday, January 30, 2006

no american ownership

Saudi prince buys into luxury market

Saudi prince buys into luxury marketA Saudi billionaire is getting one step closer to putting Muslim capital on the world's luxury leisure industry map after teaming up with Colony Capital in a $3.9 billion deal to buy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. Prince Walid bin Talal's hotel investment group, Kingdom Hotels International, and Colony Capital have agreed to combine Fairmont with the Raffles hotel group to create an international luxury chain with 120 hotels in 24 countries.


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. has found its "white knight" in its bid
to fend off a takeover by U.S. financier Carl Icahn.


bush a butcher

Zawahiri says he escaped US raid

Aljazeera has aired a new video in which al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calls George Bush a butcher and threatens a new attack in the US. ...

"US airplanes ... launched a raid on a village in near Peshawar after Eid al-Adha in which 18 Muslim men, women and children were killed in what they call the war against terror," al-Zawahiri said. ...

"You, American mother, if the Pentagon calls to tell you that your son is coming home in a coffin, then remember George Bush. And you, British wife, if the Defence Department calls you to say that your husband is returning crippled and burnt, remember Tony Blair."


double standard

Double effect or double standards?
Joshua Hergesheimer
Monday 30 January 2006

The village of Damadola in Northwestern Pakistan felt the earth shake. Houses collapsed and men, women and children were killed. When it was over, the US air strike had killed 18 local people, sparking outrage.

For their part, the Americans claimed that they had attacked after receiving intelligence reports that al-Qaida militants were in the area. The villagers, however, profess that everyone killed was innocent. No reports have been confirmed as yet.

Architects of US foreign policy might argue that such deaths, while tragic, are unavoidable in the War on Terror.

In order to "take the fight to the terrorists", those who are plotting to attack America must be targeted wherever they are hiding, even it that means bombing whole villages on circumstantial evidence. Those who support such a policy often appeal to what is termed the "theory of double effect" to justify their position.

The theory of double effect seeks to draw a distinction between actions where the primary purpose is to kill, and actions where the primary purpose is not to kill but where the outcome is that people are killed.

An example of this theory in action would be the difference between a fighter pilot bombing a hospital or a school specifically in order to cause the deaths of the people inside, and a fighter pilot bombing a munitions factory filled with workers, in order to destroy the enemy's capacity to wage war. In both cases, the people inside will die as a result of the attacks.

However, the theory of double effect holds that since the attack on the munitions factory was not directly intended to kill people - though it is the inevitable outcome of such an action - the attack should not be seen as immoral, since the only reason people died is because they happened to be there, not because they were the primary targets. Tragic, but understandable. This is war, after all.

Is this an adequate justification for killing people who are clearly innocent? Though it may seem morally acceptable when fighting terrorists - those whom we are told represent the "ultimate evil" - it is important to explore this philosophy from the other side, when it is our lives that are affected, our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers who are killed, tearing our lives apart.

Was the IRA pub bombing in Guildford justified because it was designed to kill a policeman working on the case, even though the people drinking that night had nothing to do with him, didn't know him?

How would we react if a London bus was attacked tomorrow by Chinese missiles because the Chinese government received intelligence that an outspoken dissident of the Chinese Communist party might be on board?

Would we feel somehow reassured if the hijackers who crashed planes into the World Trade Centre claimed that there were business people working on the 42nd floor who controlled the funding to corporations that funded military operations in the Middle East?

What if the 7 July bombers had claimed that there were legitimate targets on board the Tube - a banker who approved the loan for the Ministry of Defence to buy uniforms for the troops who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, or a lawyer who drafted documents for the British government, or a sympathiser of an ultra-national political party who incited hatred against immigrants living in Britain?

Would we accept that the theory of double effect meant that our loved ones were simply collateral damage, dying for no other reason than that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, sitting next to the wrong person?

I think such claims would provide little or no consolation, and our resentment of those who brought death to us all would only grow stronger.

What happened on the 7 July was murder. What happened in Damadola was murder. If 7 July was unjustifiable regardless of the direction of British foreign policy, how is firing missiles at a village without provocation not similarly unjustifiable? In both cases it was innocent people who died, who were brutally killed as they went about their daily lives.

In other words, we cannot hide behind the theory of double effect as a flimsy excuse for pursing policies that rain bombs down on villagers simply because someone informs the military that a terrorist might have been invited to dinner there, any more than the 7 July bombers can hide behind their claims that they are acting in the name of victimised Muslims everywhere.

No one can take the moral high ground if people are killed in our name, whatever ideology we subscribe to, whatever injustices we believe we have suffered, whatever good we believe might come out of it.

Undoubtedly, some will argue that we cannot be concerned with the niceties of ethics in this life-or-death struggle against terrorists.

Even if such twisted logic can be seen to justify the attack on Damadola because the people who died were not the intended targets, and even if it turns out to be confirmed that terrorists were in fact killed, we still have to ask whether such attacks are strategically beneficial.

This attack was clearly counter-productive. We can add another 100 or so people to the ever-increasing list of those whose lives have been affected negatively by US foreign policy.

It will also increase the domestic pressure on Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf, further destabilising his precarious position. It is not in anyone's interest for the government of Pakistan to be put under even more strain.

Furthermore, the idea that killing a few "top ranking al-Qaida members" will lead to its demise is simply naive. Al-Qaida is not and has likely never been a highly centralised organisation, entirely dependent on those at the top to co-ordinate plans and issue commands.

It is a transnational, decentralised organisation, with highly autonomous cells acting almost independently from one another, spread around all corners of the world.

It would be better to imagine al-Qaida as a franchised corporation, with different cells making decisions informed by local circumstances. Even better, think of al-Qaida as a brand name, the Nike of anti-Western ideologies.

Just as knocking off the CEO of a major company would not diminish its capacity to distribute its products or run its advertisements, so too al-Qaida will persist as long as there is a market to which it can appeal.

More and more people are increasingly fed up with what are perceived to be our double standards, where the lives of Westerners killed in terrorist attacks are worth far more than the seemingly throwaway casualties of Damadola.

Remember that their lives were worth living too.

[Joshua Hergesheimer is a Canadian freelance columnist based in the UK. His writing focuses on the implications of political violence in contemporary society.]


Sunday, January 29, 2006

saddam could implement us

The Greatest Show on Earth
Sunday, 29 January 2006

Don’t Change The Channel! We Will Be Back After These Messages

Saddam Hussein may soon be executed and at the end of his life, he is the main character in a drama that no fiction writer would concoct. The writer would be deemed mad, out of touch with reality. Saddam finds himself in hyperactive reality however. Fitting perhaps, for a man that has lived a surreal life.

Show Time

This show trial has now resumed after a hiatus. Prior to that, the trial had been a public spectacle on the world stage. Now, at its resumption, the unprincipled lynch mob that presents itself as a trial adheres to its lynch mob quality of legal professionalism. It promises to remain a public spectacle on the world stage. The trial grinds along as lawyers are murdered, witnesses for Saddam risk their lives by testifying and witnesses against him are hidden and unnamed. The courtroom is an ongoing reality show on par with Jerry Springer.

It is in our interests that this trial is legitimate in the eyes of the Arab world, the Iraqis, and in the world as a whole. Saddam Hussein has been a tyrant and has ruthlessly killed scores of political opponents. A kangaroo court, such as it is, will not get at the nitty gritty of what has happened in Saddam's life. He will be found guilty and perhaps executed but in the eyes of everyone that has the flimsiest respect for legal processes, this will not be legitimate. It will simply be some of what Saddam meted out comes home to roost. A wave of karma from the depths of hell, but not legitimate.

Getting to the truth of not only Saddam's crimes but also what his accomplices have done in the past is an important chapter of the history of the Middle East. It is also an important chapter in American history and learning what has happened will educate us in the art of tyranny. We had better understand this art because tyranny is not going to disappear tomorrow or the next day. We need to understand what makes these psychopaths tick.

A fair and open trial, carried out preferably outside a war zone, conducted under the auspices of the UN, would serve to illuminate the character of not only Saddam Hussein, but of all those that have cultivated his demonic rise to power. The problem is that the very same powers that helped him rise to his throne where he sat for so many years are the ones that are building his gallows today.

His Accomplices

There is a murky world waiting to be exposed. In that murky world, there is plenty of evidence showing Saddam and the Americans in cahoots. Not only during the bloodbath between Iraq and Iran in the 80s, but well before that. In the 1980s, Saddam and Western governments collaborated against Islamic Iran. Iran had recently thrown out another American placed tyrant willing to liberally slaughter opponents, the Shah. It was quite natural then for neo cons such as Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher to applaud and support Saddam's criminal Iran war. He is not, by the way, being tried for this particular crime (the Iran war), and his grandest crime of all.

Well before the atrocities of the 80s and 90s, Saddam was a CIA stooge and anti-communist thug. In the 1950s, the threat of communism gaining a foothold in Iraq was a serious threat to the Americans. The Americans overthrew General Kassam in Iraq in 1963 and had developed close ties with the Baath Party to this end. At the time, Saddam was a minor stooge who was willing to kill to advance his station. In 1958, he had served six months in jail for killing a relative who was a communist. After that the CIA said, 'he's our man'. A month after the coup in 1963, Saddam retuned from exile in Egypt (having fled after his part in attempting to kill Gen. Abdel-Karim Kassem in Baghdad) and went to work as a torturer and killer of communists in the Fellaheen and Muthaqafeen detention camps.

In 1968, the Baath Party successfully fought its way into power and gained control of Iraq. Again, this had the backing of the CIA. In 1979 Saddam grabbed the reigns of power amidst his passion for the anti opposition purges he was conducting at the time.

In 1980, Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, invaded Iran. They used brutal means of collective punishment against the people of Iran and backstage, there was applauding and cheering from the very same folks that are fixing to execute him now. Ronald Reagan sent Rumsfeld to Saddam in 1983 and 1984 to discuss cooperation between America and Iraq (They had fallen out after the Ba’athists warmed up to the Soviets). They discussed the war, further arming of Iraq, economic collaboration, the provision of intelligence, loans and so on. Rumsfeld does not want Saddam talking to the world about what was said behind closed doors. At the times, Rumsfeld knew he was using poison gas and he also knew that Saddam was buying military weaponry from American firms.

The Iraqis slaughtered Kurds using poison gas and likely used American helicopters to do it. The Americans responded in the most lackluster way they could. They had no choice but to condemn it, but they made sure that Saddam knew that it would not alter diplomatic or economic relations. In the UN, the Americans engineered a statement that condemned the use of chemical weapons without naming names. The Americans knew that he was using poison gas against the Kurds and they did nothing.

It is no surprise that the Americans are not going to expose the murky world that they and Saddam shared. It is this as a backdrop to the farce, the bizarre show trial that is going on today. Saddam had accomplices to his crimes, not only in Baghdad, but in Washington as well. In some cases, it is the very same individuals that were involved back then as are involved now with this spectacle.

If he takes the stand and is free to speak, he will have stories to tell. As it is, the judges at the trial have the time delay and the switch to shut off the microphones when something is said to offend the hangmen. He may talk about how the West helped him in the manufacture of chemical weapons. He may discuss collaboration and deals that are well buried in the private world of madmen.


us, back down from korea

North Korea warns of nuclear war, says U.S. should back up counterfeiting charges

North Korea on Saturday warned of nuclear war and vowed to strengthen its deterrent forces, as it demanded that Washington show evidence backing its allegation that the communist regime is counterfeiting U.S. money.

"Dark clouds of a nuclear war are hanging low over the Korean Peninsula," the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

"The ever-more frantic moves of the U.S. to ignite a new war against (North Korea) would only compel it ... to bolster its deterrent for self-defense in every way," it said.

The North has repeatedly accused the U.S. of planning to attack. Washington has denied any such intention.

The North's comments Saturday follow a South Korea-U.S. agreement this month giving American troops more flexibility in the South.

The North said the pact was aimed at preparing for war.

Also Saturday, the North dismissed U.S. accusations of counterfeiting and other illicit activities like drug trafficking.

"The nature and mission of (North Korea) do not allow such things as bad treatment of the people, counterfeiting and drug trafficking to happen in it," KCNA said.

A pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan also urged Washington to prove its allegation that North Korea is counterfeiting U.S. currency.

"If there is suspicion and clear evidence as claimed by the United States, (the U.S.) can present it and prove (it)," the Choson Sinbo newspaper said.

The United States "continues to leak plausible information but the reality is that there is nothing to confirm the fact objectively," it said.

The newspaper sometimes acts as an unofficial mouthpiece for the reclusive, communist North.

North Korea has recently stepped up criticism of the United States for imposing sanctions over its alleged illicit activities.

Washington in September slapped restrictions on a bank in the Chinese territory of Macau, saying it had helped the North distribute counterfeit money and engage in other illicit activities.

A month later, Washington imposed sanctions on eight North Korean companies it said were fronts for proliferating weapons of mass destruction.

The North has refused to return to international talks on its nuclear weapons program until Washington ends the sanctions.

The U.S. has dismissed the threat, saying the sanctions are unrelated to the nuclear issue.

On Friday, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said there were indications that the six-country negotiations over the North's nuclear programs could resume in February.

The last session of the talks, which involve the two Koreas, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia, was held in November. They have not produced a significant breakthrough since they stalled over the North's anger at the U.S. sanctions, AP reported.


god bless america

Craig Etchison, Ph.D.

In the many letters and commentaries published in my local paper since the beginning of the Iraq war, quite a few conclude with the blazing sentiment, "God Bless America." Bumper stickers abound with the same words wherever I drive on the east coast. Signs in front of businesses proclaim, "God Bless America." almost as if God blessing America is a given, something that goes without saying because...well, because we're America. This raises a fundamental question that is seldom, if ever, asked or discussed--should God bless America?

Our president, a man who parades his Christian faith with obvious relish, calls us a peace loving country wherever he speaks, even as he bangs the military drum he carries so proudly wherever he goes. Yet, when we look at the economic, political, and military actions of our country, national leaders like Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and Mr. Rumsfeld carry out policies that ignore the most fundamental tenets of the Gospels--to love your neighbor as yourself, to respond to evil with good, and to be peacemakers.

Our responses to 9/11 clarify how Christian principals played no role in the decisions made by our politicians, the same politicians who work so hard to present themselves as devout servants of God. An illuminating moment occurred when our leaders went to the National Cathedral in DC a few days after 9/11 and prayed the Lord's Prayer--including the line "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Those same leaders forgave no one by refusing to acknowledge that the terrorist act might have deep roots in poverty, despair, and the radical reachings of a few disaffected who did not represent the Muslim community as a whole. Instead, Mr. Bush unleashed our war machine on the Iraqi people in revenge for 9/11--ignoring the fact that the Irais had no connection to terrorism or 9/11. Of course, we now know the sad truth that Mr. Bush was looking for any pretext to become a war president almost from the day he took office.

The consequences of our revenge? Over 2100 American soldiers dead as I write this--and counting. Thousands of American soldiers wounded, many grievously--and counting. An estimated 100,000 Iraqis killed--including thousands of women and children, as is always the case in war--and counting. Thousands of Iraqi civilians wounded, with one estimate putting the number at 300,000--and that in a country whose medical infrastructure, the best in the area before shock and awe, we effectively destroyed.

As if the killing and destruction isn't enough, we've strewn the country with the remnants of up to 2000 tons of depleted uranium munitions that will have lethal consequences forever. Use of depleted uranium leaves radiactive and toxic waste that has led to a massive rise in birth defects in Iraq and Afghanistan--perhaps most poignantly captured in the words of one Iraqi who said that mothers no longer ask if a newborn child is a boy or a girl. They want to know if it's normal. Various cancers are epidemic among the population. The horror of depleted uranium weapons--the residue has a half-life of 4.5 billion years--violates every treaty and convention on the rules of war. But, hey, we're America.

Does no one see the disparity between what our officials pray (and sanctimoniously profess at every public opportunity) and what our military is doing? Is this not blatant hypocrisy? Would the God of love and mercy described in the gospels really bless us for choosing to start a war that is destroying His children and His creation?

Why would God bless us when we've given all the Terry McNichols on the lunatic fringe of the Arab world the psychological ammunition to recruit the downtrodden, the disaffected, and those whose dignity has been trampled. The result? Since Mr. Bush began his war of choice, terror attacks have quadrupled, and the world is far less safe for everyone.

When will we Americans understand that we are not exceptional, the we, like every other person on this planet are children of the one Creator? We were, however, given exceptional resources. We were given exceptional opportunities to make this world a better place for all of God's children, not just the children of the obscenely wealthy who have more than they need or could ever use. We were given fiscal resources, natural resources, and intellectual resources to help others less fortunate. To feed the hungry. To house the homeless. To heal the sick. Instead, we will spend over $500 billion this year on a war machine that spews death and destruction around the world, gobbling up our financial resources at over $12,000 per second. Why would God bless such a profligate people when hundreds of millions of people lack food, clean water, basic sanitation, not to mention clothing, shelter, and education? How can we ever justify before God or man spending over $12,000 per second on a war machine when each day, every day, 30,000 children die from malnutrition and the diseases associated with malnutrition?

I return to the Gospels and the parable of the rich man and his servants. To those who are given much, much is expected. We Americans have been given much--arguably more than any nation in the world's history--but what are we doing with our abundant resources? We squander them on war and preparations for war even as those preparations destroy our environment. We spend $18 billion a year caring for nuclear warheads we house--enough warheads that we could target every country on earth with 10 warheads. We have the equivalent stockpile of 155,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs, and Mr. Bush wants more. How could God bless a people who delight in war?

I have argued against the Iraq war since we first learned of its possibility because history--especially the history of the past fifty years--shows clearly that violence leads to more violence. We've known since WWI--the war to end war--that violence won't lead to peace. Eighty million people--a majority of them women and children--died from war in the 20th century. How many more must die before we understand the futility of war, the futility of revenge?

And while waging this war in Afghanistan and Iraq is a major failure of my country, I am also compelled to speak out when my country wages a massive war against the environment. Since Mr. Bush took office, he has rolled back over 400 laws and regulations that protect the environment. The U.S., a mere 5% of the earth's population, is the greatest purveyor of greenhouse gases in the world, releasing 25% of all greenhouse gases. And our national government does nothing substantial to reduce those gases. The energy bill recently passed in the senate gives huge tax breaks and incentives to King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nuclear, Gas) while slashing already inadequate conservation measures along with money for research into alternative fuels.

The climate change now furiously underweay because of our profligacy won't affect just us. Climate change will affect--is affecting at this moment--the whole world. That Glacier Bay will have no glaciers in 25 years is one small example. In 50 years or less, polar bears will disappear. Populations are abandoning their south sea island homes as the sea rises over them. And when the inevitable environmental crash comes--sooner rather than later according to most scientists--people around the world will suffer. And we, who have the resources, the technology, the opportunity to mitigate that crash, do little as our president fiddles, a puppet of the mighty energy sector, and our congress serves as paid lackeys for the transnational corporations who rape the resources of the world so a few can wallow in obscene wealth.

When are the masses of decent people in this country--and I believe that the vast majority of the people in this country are decent--going to stand up to the fear mongering, to the blatant greed of the military-industrial complex, to the corporate-purchased politicians and say, "This is not what the American experiment is about"? Our leaders have craftily convinced many of us to believe a lie--to believe that dissent is unpatriotic. When are the many going to embrace the words of Teddy Roosevelt, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public"?

I have been called part of the "hate America crowd" because I question what is happening in this country. But when my country fails to live up to its potential, then I am compelled to speak out. I would have this country live up to its shinning ideas of truth and justice for all. I would have a government by and for all people--not a select wealthy few who have the colossal hubris to think they have a special hot line to God. I would have my country embrace Gandhi's words--"There is no road to peace. Peace is the road."

So long as our elected leaders consider us exceptional and better than the rest of the world. So long as we believe we can break any rule--not only international laws and conventions but also those basic tenets found in the Gospels--whenever we want. So long as we utilize violence to solve conflict. So long as we squander our precious finite resources on a war machine engaged primarily in empire building and economnic terrorism. So long as we willfully destroy the environment that sustains us and all living creatures on earth. So long as our country continues down this path, the question remains--should God bless America?

Is it not time for all of us who care to speak up? Is it not time to let the president and the Congress know that our present course is unacceptable? Is it not time for us to throw off the politcally manufactured shackles of fear? Is it not time for us to proclaim that we want a decent government that is not beholden to every special economic interest? Is it not time for us to declare that our government will have only one special interst--treating all people and the environment with decency? Is it not time for us to decree that all decisions will be made in a single context--people and planet before profit? Maybe then we'll be worthy of God's blessing.


history repeating

Standing at the brink
by Charles Sullivan
January 28, 2006

Let us understand that we are witnessing history in the process of repeating itself, as it so often does. Our ignorance of unwritten history is what dooms us to repeat it. So much of written history has been fictionalized to make martyrs of the worst kind of human beings. What is happening in America today has parallels to events that unfolded in other nations in modern history; and always with catastrophic results for humankind. Most notable, perhaps, was the rise to power of Nazism embodied by Adolph Hitler last century.

Norman Livergood has summed up the American predicament most accurately and succinctly.

"American citizens must realize that the Democratic Party leaders have now caved in to the Republican Party.

The so called “compromise” was nothing more than an abject capitulation by the Democrats to Republican threats. The Neanderthal, right-wing, reactionary judges Bush demanded will now be confirmed.

We are in Germany, 1933. The so-called moderate German leaders have deluded themselves into believing they can “control” Hitler by capitulation to him—with the connivance of Goering, his henchman has seized all power through the “Enabling Act,” destroying the Reichstag (House and Senate). Hitler has suspended elections and appointed himself Dictator.

The reign of terror has begun!"

Norman Livergood’s words should sound hauntingly familiar. They should alarm any wakeful citizen and make their skin crawl with repulsion. The people, made ignorant by the aide of a condescending commercial media that is a servant to power, reassuringly whisper to themselves that this cannot be happening to us, not here. That was then, this is now. A different climate existed in Nazi Germany than exists here in America. Our president and his coterie are our protectors, as well as defenders of freedom and democracy. They are people of faith, church-goers. We must place our faith in them as servants to humanity.

How, then, do we find ourselves in the condition of a rat inescapably suffocating within the coils of a Boa Constrictor, gasping its final breath?
The end is coming and it is coming soon, if we do not awaken from our collective stupor. The life is being strangled out of us and we do not even struggle to free ourselves. We think we are a free people with inalienable rights, as the reptile prepares to swallow its prey. Naiveté, as well as ignorance, can get us killed.

Hitler was aided in his ascent to the role of Dictatorship by Germany’s Enabling Act. Bush and his cabal are being aided by the National Security Agency, Patriot Act Two; self inflicted terrorism, the corporate media and Diebold Corporation. Each of these components are cogs in a wheel of fascism that is running rough shod over the planet, killing hope everywhere.

The NSA is engaged in an extensive campaign to spy upon ordinary law abiding citizens, in clear violation of our right to privacy. Our every move, our every word, is being monitored and evaluated by hidden eyes that operate in front of sinister minds. Those who utter truth are the enemies of fascism. They must be monitored and if they become too effective as organizers, they must be rounded up and imprisoned, as dissidents always are.

The probability that another self inflicted terrorist attack will occur on American soil has already been planted in the public conscience; even as the Bush cabal, with the aide of its chief ally in empire—Israel, is preparing to instigate war with Iran. As was the case with Iraq, Iran’s threat will be grossly exaggerated and its leadership demonized in the Western media. This war, connived amid the same gross lies and distortions that resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq—the modern Viet Nam—may well be waged with nuclear munitions far worse than the depleted uranium used against Iraq. Iran’s defense infrastructure lies beneath many feet of concrete and only nuclear weapons are capable of penetrating them.

A US-Israel attack on Iran is eminent, probably no later than March or April; or it might come as late as June. When this occurs the Middle East will become a vortex of fire and brimstone that is beyond control. It will assume a life, a momentum of its own, with global consequences. The Boa Constrictor is tightening its grip on power, as it acts to defend the imperialist dollar against the more equitable Iranian Bourse.

If and when another self inflicted terrorist attack is launched on American soil, the constitution will likely be suspended, martial law declared, and a full blown dictatorship will be unleashed upon us. A significant segment of the citizenry, bred on ignorance and nourished by fear, will welcome the event with open arms, just as did the citizens of Germany in 1933.

The fervor of Nationalism will once again drown out all reasonable discussion, as well as the objective examination of the evidence. Flags and yellow ribbons will become ubiquitous, while those who struggle to uphold the Constitution will be denounced as unpatriotic traitors. Rational thought will be suspended and labeled as dangerous and subversive.

The fascists, regardless of their party affiliation, have no intention of relinquishing power in our lifetimes. Their objective is to control the world economy, to maintain the concentration of wealth among the few, and to use the world’s poor and disenfranchised as their servants.

When this catalyzing event occurs, as it certainly will, rigged elections will no longer be necessary. Diebold, with its clear ties to corporate wealth, will no longer be required to supply the machinery of despotism—the monsters of oppression will be fully upon us. Then there will be little need to practice deception, except to inspire the hatred of our perceived enemies. The long nightmare will have begun. The spiral into the abyss of hell will finally be under way. Truth will be kept safely hidden from public view, and distorted into unrecognizable forms.

In truth, however, it is not turban-wearing terrorists of Middle Eastern decent that threaten our lives and our freedoms; it is the domestic terrorists that hold public offices who will destroy us. The real enemy stealthily moves unencumbered in our midst, posing as our protectors, as guardians of democracy. The dangers now facing us as a people are truly beyond exaggeration.

We stand on the brink of the collapse of both the domestic and global economies, engineered by the plutocrats and corporatists who represent the world’s wealthiest one percent of the global population. This makes them a small but powerful minority. It also means that we out number them ninety-nine to one. Those are pretty good odds in any conflict; and they are good odds in a revolution. But only if we act to save ourselves and the world as we know it. The first step is to awaken the masses.

If we fail to unite with the vast majority of our fellow law abiding, peace loving citizens around this planet of majesty; if we fail to work across all of the boundaries that have kept us separate and disempowered for so many years, we will deserve the unimaginably horrible fate that awaits us on the other side of the Rubicon. I pray that we possess the requisite wisdom and strength of character not to go there.


who's the fool

Saddam walks out amid trial chaos
29 January 2006

The trial of Saddam Hussein has been thrown into chaos shortly after resumption when the former Iraqi president, his lawyers and all high-profile co-defendants walked out in protest at the proceedings.

Activists plan mock Bush, Blair trial
29 January 2006

International activists and lawyers involved in the defence of Saddam Hussein say they will hold a mock trial of George Bush, the US president, and the British and Israeli prime ministers for alleged war crimes committed in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.


hitler and bush, the same

Why History Will Compare George W. Bush And Adolf Hitler
MWC.News Network
Friday, 27 January 2006
Christy Cole


From that spot you read this from, imagine 100 years into the future. Just see it in your mind slip past you, and for a moment deliver you to an unfamiliar time. Do not join, just observe. Seek out your own descendants.

Providing we survive, the next century of global warming, 100 years in the future will be radically different. Note the changes to the environment. Anticipate the funny car-like vehicles. Notice the people. Go ahead and smile at their odd fashions.

Study the people very closely. In that age, my grandchildren will be of the elders. Your own likeness may be reflected from their faces. So close, yet, so far away. See that the people you study view the past just as if you do, through a prism of relevance.

Understand that they do not know you, that you are not real to them. You are but a transcript of history handed down. Watch them go through their days as if the lessons already taught could never be unlearned. One hundred years from now, how we felt will matter less than actual events, as even those whom knew us well, will be dust. Whatever the future holds, someone, somewhere, will be writing down how it was received. Our taboos will become quaint jokes.

We will be history. They will shoulder the weight of it. Marvelous or desolate, they shall inherit what we leave them with. They will be clever enough to be trying to make sense of it all, and our political correctness will mean nothing to them.

Explore what they will know of us, what they will say. Learn about ourselves through the eyes of those yet to come. Try to find out what became of us.

Look for their sources of history. Their books, their libraries, listen to the stories handed down from our own lives. From our recent past.

Let me tell you what you will find in a bold and untroubled future.

When you see the name George W. Bush, you will also find a study of Adolf Hitler.

They will compare the two, even if we refuse to do so.

In one hundred years, they will not care how we felt about comparing the two. You will find a robust and honest debate on it. Those in our future will not have a knee jerk reaction to the conversations of our day, as we do.

To them, our inability to make the comparison ourselves, does it openly and with honesty, will be seen as one of the most cravenly acts of silence, ever?

For a moment, let us go in reverse. Let us travel back and find Adolf Hitler. Not Hitler, eating a pistol, defeated in a bunker, circa. 1945.

Not THAT Hitler. Go back a little further.

A man named Adolf did not suddenly pop onto the world stage from nowhere and start liquidating people one bright afternoon. You do not get that kind of power simply by stating you have it.

It is odd how in the arguments surrounding him and what he did, motive and method are often completely absent from the conversation. It is as if his crimes were so vast and atrocious, only death is debated, and the simplicity and clarity of evil is forgotten.

The ORIGINAL SIN is left unidentified. The original crime.

We argue about the complicated nature of the truth being covered in blood. The nature of evil becomes a philosophical stance. We forget the truths, in themselves, were never hard at all. They were, in fact, obvious all along to those who could accept they were in the presence of such evil in the first place.

The root of all evil is... greed. It has always been so.

What most choose to forget/leave out about the holocaust Hitler commanded was that it did not start out as genocide. It started out as theft. The more that was stolen, the more had to die. It really was that simple.

Right before they became 'Nazis’, they were called 'The Civilized Germans'. They had a superior legal system. Once he became their leader, he started systematically dismantling it, until he had literally made legal his choice to murder millions.

Hitler was no great enigma. He was a thief. A common thief with extra-ordinary power, the power to change the law. Which he did, year by year, hour by hour. The power to murder his victims for whatever he said they did wrong. He got away with it so much, he keep doing it. He started murdering whole families. Entire neighborhoods. He simply killed them for their assets, their homes, their businesses, their money, art, and whim... their power. He stole their POWER.

It all started as a theft on a grand scale. Eventually, it became so big, only genocide could cover the nature of it. Mass murder he ruled legal and needed. Why...? Because he could.

And this has WHAT to do with George W. Bush...? Everything.

Remember Hitler was ELECTED first. Before he unleashed hell on earth, he had to attain a position that could afford him such powers. Nothing occurs in a vacuum.

Hitler did not assume power and immediately ramp up the ovens to throw small children in. There was an Adolph that existed before he became a murderous monster and that Hitler did not dare let the German citizens understand what he was doing, until they, too, were covered in the blood of the innocent.

He used fear to whip them into frenzy. To make them want blood as badly as he wanted stolen power. One ugly little man turned good people into mass murderers with lessons he learned from a hypnotist. All the banners and goose stepping morons made it seem official and patriotic.

He stole the very souls of his own people

Hitler seized absolute power by simply demanding more, and more, and more of it, and a willingness to crush anyone who tried to stop him. Whatever he wanted was enacted by LAWS that could be manipulated through corruption. Through loopholes, and re-interpretations, Adolf Hitler evolved into a leader above the law. He followed no law but that of greed and might.

He tried to steal entire races of mankind. He stole nations. It was all nice and legal because otherwise it would have been an obvious crime of inhuman proportions.

Sound familiar...? A tyrant dismantling a justice system so that ANYTHING he does, up to and including SLAUGHTER is legal.

It was not about hate and murder. It was about power, and assets. MANY assets. It was about being above the law. A thief with the ultimate powers of burglary.

Did Hitler hate Jews..? Certainly. But he did NOT kill them, simply because he hated them. He killed them because they were rich and he was stealing it ALL. All witnesses and heirs had to die, so the stolen loot could never be disputed. He killed them because he COULD. He had lots of help, too. All dedicated thieves, themselves.

A select, loyal few around him helped break, bend, reverse, dismiss, or pervert every single law that made Germans 'Civilized'. They destroyed true patriots, bullied, and blackmailed or shamed others into helping them. A million other conspiracies spawned by one central plot that was completely based on the politics of looting. A central conspiracy of naked greed, carried out by powerful people in high positions of government.

Why else would you kill millions of people? Money. Lots and lots of money. There is no other reason.

Those that resisted were systematically eliminated in the quite that fell when good men went silent. That silence is always the forewarning of a slaughter on the horizon. A collaboration of silence.

Adolf Hitler was not born a monster. He was CREATED as surely as any creature Dr. Frankenstein could patch together from death. A secret law here, a redacted right there, was how it was done. That is exactly how the good Germans awoke to find themselves Nazis one day. It did not happen overnight.

Men with names like Prescott Bush helped Hitler. They financed him. Kept his secrets. Cheered him on. Instigated mass murder on a biblical scale. And why would they do this..? Because they too were direct beneficiaries of the theft. They helped DESIGN the theft. Why would they? Because they COULD.

They used their power to cover up the deeds of a monster. They betrayed their own people to enslave them with the laws of a mad man hell bent on stealing everything. They made sure the masses in their control; saw what they wanted them to see. The brain washing of good people to believe it was all justified was in their hands. Propaganda was an art to them and they were highly skilled at it.

They made decent people believe the smell of charring human flesh in their midst did not matter. Those that refused to adjust to it were thrown into those fires as well. They made them like it and to want more.

The ones helping Hitler did it so that their own grandchildren would never have to work a day in their lives. They did it because they were consumed with murderous greed. It was all pure profit they believed had no cost whatsoever because it was not them in the devils path.

The theft of a lifetime, coupled with the lofty promise of legacy. Those above the law made sure their children and friends were immune from accountability as well. This brings us, full circle, to the grandson who certainly understands what his grandpa did back in the day.

A grandson that has implemented every single tactic Hitler used to turn the 'Civilized Germans' into the 'Nazis' against his own people.

That man now calls himself President of the United States of America. He has followed Hitler's playbook almost word for word. He most certainly learned the inside secrets of these tactics at his own family dinner table.

At every single point, the ascent to power has been a direct parallel. Even right up to the lies that began a pre-emptive, devastating war. Even at this moment, a great dismantling of our justice system is under way. Within both Congress and The Supreme Court, high ranking traitors have been installed to steal elections, justify torture, and disassemble any right that makes us 'civilized'.

These high ranking traitors are even now replacing the very foundation of our government, The Constitution, with an act they believe the name of will hide the treason buried within it. Those not betraying our nation overtly have turned into silent cowards in the face of these bullies and criminals.

That is exactly how Adolf Hitler turned Germany into Nazi Germany

If it sounds like a duck. Looks like a duck. Walks like a duck. Smells like a duck. If it FEELS like a duck...It is a duck. Pretending it is something more or less romantic has become tedious and vacant.

To not compare them is an exercise in obscene futility. Eventually the truth of what is happening will be written.

George W. Bush is deliberately walking the same path of Adolf Hitler. There is no coincidence their methods fall in lockstep with one another when laid side by side. Their motive is the same.

Even their speeches are eerily similar; all talk of lofty ideas like 'freedom' and 'sacrifice' with no real understanding of either word. They cover those surrounding them in medals, as if those that do the dying died for just that. The past repeats itself, even if we refuse to acknowledge its' presence.

Those implicated by history, prefer you do not remember it, lest it seem familiar. For every 1,000,000 second rate burglaries, there will be at least one bold and daring crime, horrific in its nature. And it always begins with a large theft.

On September 10th, 2001, a huge crime was revealed to the people of the United States Of America. A theft on a grand scale. Staggering even. Possibly the largest in history. Any history.

Rumsfeld, himself, announced, TRILLIONS were missing late that evening. To pretend the death that swooped from a clear blue sky less than a day later had nothing to do with this enormous crime is not just ignorant, but down right dangerous.

Who took it? Who was authorized to touch it in the first place? Start there.

At this point giving them the benefit of the doubt may even betray this nation, and lead to the great silence that always directly precedes genocide.

There is much we should be SCREAMING about

Especially when you throw in the fact of who benefited on the insurance of the World Trade Centers. Henry Kissinger alone made ATLEAST ONE BILLION DOLLARS, MAYBE EVEN FOUR.... Yes. I said BILLION. Yes. I said Dollars. Yes, I said Henry Kissinger.

A man known as a war criminal, in every country, EXCEPT this one.

Who would you lie to for a billion dollars..? A TRILLION..? 10 Trillion?

Who would you kill for such money? Who would you kill to keep it? Who could you kill to hide that you took it...?

Hitler killed MILLIONS before he was stopped.


George W. Bush has proven he will kill thousands and tens of thousands for no reason at all, without the slightest trace of remorse, or reflection. Worse, he has proven he will LIE to ensure this death comes to pass. He demands it. Why..? Because he CAN.

Because he makes powerful men, like his father, very, very, rich from it. They protect him by perverting the very laws we live by. By making secret laws. By taking our rights to do anything about it.

He has admitted to breaking the law and dared anyone to stop him. His enablers also spawn out to infect us with a madness that is born of lies meant to inspire that exact reaction, mad confusion. Fear.

The nomination of Alito to the Supreme Court is no less than an obvious pharonic grab to completely immunize him from any law. He will BE the law. To believe he will not use the power available to him, power he betrayed his own nation's laws for is cowardly, and gullible.

Wishful thinking is, as well, a delusion of those in denial of their own complicity in history. The record of George W. Bush speaks for itself, his incompetence and twisted desires are obvious even to the dull, and unimaginative. He is no great lover of life or liberty. Freedom was never the motive. Not OUR freedom, anyway.

This man speaks of life even as he, his family, and friends; gleefully make billions from the butchery he makes sure will continue indefinitely. If a gallon of blood were worth to him what a gallon of oil was, he would not be so eager to command it spilled.

Bush has sought, and found a way, to justify torture. His enablers let him justify any number of killings, no matter how innocent those inflicted with it are. He hides the death from us, as if we are children, and then obscenely yanks it from its secret grave to throw in our faces every time he needs a distraction. Every time we dare question his power, he changes the definition of it to give himself even more force and status.

Just like Adolf Hitler

Bush likes it. He enjoys the power. He revels in the status fear, theft, and murder has put him in. Only the committed stupid would assume that a man above the law would not like it. Use it to its' fullest potential to benefit himself, and his cronies.

Only angry and typical semantics keeps us from calling this man what he really is.

George Bush is what Adolf Hitler was in 1939.

And if he is not stopped, it is very likely a World War, possibly a holocaust, will ensue. And soon.

Let us go forward again into that future we sought out before. Seek out those that descended from these times once more, and see the lives we gave them.

Stand and watch their faces, search their eyes from the distance of a century.

Will Bush be to them what Hitler is to us now..? How does our future affect the past they will be born of..? Do their limbs carry the scars of the chains of bondage? Will they be branded like cattle?

Look at them again. Do not blink. Now watch them disappear. Watch as their existence is reversed right before your eyes, and the future becomes a dark prison we, ourselves helped build. A prison where mad leaders torture and murder at will. Because they enjoy it. Need it. Because they can.

We have grown to become the "Civilized Germans' in 1939, powerful and led right up to the thin veil that stands between outrage and atrocity.

We are told to forget the stink of torture, that it is a figment of an unpatriotic imagination. We have been taken to the edge of a great abyss filled with that foul stench. The bleeding, the dying, the maimed. The ones robbed are in there.

Once we no longer mind the smell of it, they will build ovens. It will all be perfectly legal because they say it is legal. Other traditional 'undesirables' will join the 'enemy' in the flames. All that we know and love will be detained in the dark visions of men like Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush. Men who will take as much as they can, until someone stops them.

Eventually all of history will collide in a place that shatters our future, and is the wreckage those you watch will be born of. This collision is being choreographed for the benefit of the architects. The less we resist the more rapidly they will consolidate their power. We stand between them and all they wish to steal. It is a dark place, indeed.

There will be no discussion of history there, unless it is to praise the great victories of Dear Leaders grandfather. The bush family made a lot of money from Hitler's death camps. There is nothing that says they will hesitate to build more. Once they were in a place where they COULD.
Unfortunately, we have been on the road there all along, we are now rapidly closing in on that destination. It was a path chosen by one who was supposed to protect us.

In this place, the similarities between tyrants will not be hidden any longer. The trumped up political correctness that avoids the debate will be the chains around our throats. Phony outrage over the comparison will be silenced abruptly in the face of familiar slaughter.

If we do not compare G.W. Bush to Hitler, if we are not honest about their motives now, 1941 is only a few seasons away. And the dying has just begun.

Only mass murder can hide the enormity of the crimes they have already committed. The theft of an empire.

God help us all.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

us killings and abuse

G.I. Is Guilty of Abusing Afghan Prisoners

Japanese march to protest crime by US military
Some 800 Japanese calling for an end to crimes by U.S. military personnel marched in protest on Saturday, a day after prosecutors indicted a U.S. sailor for killing and robbing a 56-year-old Japanese woman this month. ... "Not just in Yokosuka, but in cities with bases such as Okinawa...there are many incidents and accidents involving U.S. soldiers," Kyodo quoted Masahiko Goto, a lawyer who took part in the demonstration, as saying.

US abuses in Afghan jails


from canada

SKATER girl Avril Lavigne wants to get rid of her trademark men's shirts and ties and become a fashion model.

Chirac tricked by Canadian hoax
Jacques Chirac finally took the gag in good humourFrench President Jacques Chirac thought he had taken a call on Friday from the new Canadian prime minister - but found himself the victim of a radio hoax. ...When impersonator Marc-Antoine Audette finally gave his true identity, the president burst out laughing.

Tim Hortons in Afghanistan
Forces want troops to have their double-doubles: Canadian icon wary of store in a war zone
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The Canadian Forces want to raise morale among troops deployed here by setting up the furthest flung coffee and doughnut franchise in the world: Tim Hortons Afghanistan.


bush at war with his own

Bush is at war with Americanism
January 28, 2006

Forget the war on terrorism. President Bush is engaged in a full-blown war on Americanism.

Ridiculous? Unthinkable? The idea that an American president could epitomize anti-Americanism is certainly counterintuitive. But it's a lot less shocking if we consider just what defines this country's core values.

And if that list includes such essentials as freedom, responsibility, justice, humanity, respect and fairness -- and doesn't it? -- if that's what it means to be American, then George Bush is indeed at war with Americanism.

Each new revelation forces patriotic Americans to reconsider how much of ourselves -- our liberties, our reputation, our dignity -- have now been sacrificed on the altar of the Bush presidency. Each week brings fresh outrages. Torture, wiretaps, planted news stories, secret prisons, one unmasked war justification after another. This country faces some very real threats, but must we give up everything that makes America, well, America in order to live safely within our borders?

As it turns out, that's a false choice anyhow, since even our security has been diminished by George Bush. The 9/11 commission has flunked him for his preparations against another attack. Meanwhile, he admits a breathtaking disinterest in Osama bin Laden, saying "I am truly not that concerned about him" and "I don't really think about him very much."

Bush he has been similarly unconcerned about North Korean nuclear proliferation on his watch, Hurricane Katrina, and the still unsolved anthrax case. Add these to his Iraq obsession, which has severely diminished our military, and American security has lessened.

For this, we've given up two centuries worth of proud honor and traditions?

For this, George Bush has traded away so much of what makes this country great that his presidency can only be described as a war on Americanism.


Once, America stood as a proud beacon for human rights. Now we are known for the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition and torture.

Once, we stood foursquare for the rule of law. Now we demolish inconvenient agreements we once promoted -- the Geneva, nuclear nonproliferation and ABM treaties, the International Criminal Court -- and thereby encourage others to follow suit.

Once, America's word was good. Today -- after deceits ranging from WMD, to promised but withdrawn U.N. votes, to shameful lies about former football star Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan -- we are distrusted.

Once, America stood tall against colonialism. Today, with invasion excuses falling like dominoes, most of the world sees us as just another old-fashioned imperialist predator.

Once, we stood for due process of law. Now our President creates his own prisons and courts and denies the accused long sacred rights -- to habeas corpus, an attorney, a speedy trial judged by peers, knowledge of the crime charged, and more.

Once, we were a model for civil liberties. Now, Mr. Bush authorizes himself to conduct illegal wiretaps on Americans while his government monitors everyone from vegans to Quakers, then snoops in libraries to see what we're reading.

Once, we stood for press freedom. Now our tax dollars pay to plant stories and buy off journalists, here and abroad, while our President plots to blow up al Jazeera, all in the name of bringing freedom to the Mideast.

Once, we were a good neighbor. Today, our 5 percent of the world population produces 25 percent of global warming emissions, while the President scuttles the Kyoto Protocol.

For all these reasons and others, world opinion of the United States has sunk precipitously -- as well it should, for this is not the America our Founders had in mind.

And so we must ask, just what will be left of Americanism after George Bush is through with America? And, if the goal is not only preserving our lives, but also our way of life, just who is the true enemy of America and Americanism?

Surely al-Qaida is. Too bad, therefore, that the President doesn't think very much anymore about the folks who brutally attacked us on 9/11.

Surely Saddam Hussein -- who never attacked the United States and never threatened to do so -- was no such enemy, however brutal a dictator he certainly was.

But what of Mr. Bush himself? However counterintuitive, it is hard to reach but one conclusion about a President who has bankrupted America morally, fiscally, and militarily, who has alienated the world and deeply divided his own country, and who has trampled roughshod over our most sacred traditions and liberties, as if he were some sort of self-anointed king.

David Michael Green teaches at Hofstra University.


america sucks

Ask any (progressive) Democrat

J.B. Williams
Friday, January 27, 2006

Democrats are convinced that Americans keep electing Republicans either because they are stupid, or because the DNC message just isn’t reaching the electorate. How could their message not reach the electorate when the lamestream press covers their message daily on every front page?

Their message is out there, we hear it, we get it--it isn’t that complicated. Even my second grader gets it. Today’s DNC campaign platform can be summed up in two words… "AMERICA SUCKS!"

In short, nothing about America is right or good in the eyes of Democrats and their campaign message is, nothing short of a complete DNC victory can change that. This is their message… Everything sucks and only Democrats can fix it… We get it… We hear you loud and clear--like a broken record actually.

The war on terror SUCKS! Bush lied, people died, terrorists did nothing to us, we caused it all, we can’t win, Islamic terrorists are "freedom fighters" and American soldiers are "Nazis". We hear you! We suck!

Our economy SUCKS! Matter of fact, capitalism and our free market system SUCKS! Capitalism only rewards those who earn, leaving those who don’t behind and that SUCKS! We get it! Socialism is better--we hear you!

Western Medicine SUCKS! Doctors, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals--bad. Trial lawyers--good. We get it! We have the best medicine in the world but it is too damn expensive and that SUCKS! We understand! Socialized medicine--good!

American Intelligence SUCKS! No WMD, no Bin Laden, torture camps and "Gulags", NSA eavesdropping, no Geneva Convention for terrorists, no United Nations cooperation and so many leaks that information flows from our secret services like water through a kitchen colander. WE SUCK at intelligence! Got it!

Our Military SUCKS! They are a rag tag bunch of broken manipulated fools doing the dirty work of the Bush Empire. They are poorly trained, poorly outfitted, poorly led and poorly fed. Their spirit is broken, they can’t fight their way out of a wet paper sack and only Democrats can fix everything that is wrong with the military, its leadership and its capacity to win wars. Hear ya loud and clear!

Freedom SUCKS! Freedom is the basis of self-determination and if every American was capable of self-determination, who would be a Democrat today? That SUCKS!

Free Speech SUCKS! If it concerns religion or any form of moral principle. All else is fine…

Life SUCKS! Life is often inconvenient, always unfair and sometimes downright tough. We get it, abortion--good, euthanasia--good, life--bad.

The Founders SUCK! The framers got it all wrong with their silly God given inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Huh! Just a bunch of wealthy landowners securing their own dynasty at the expense of the little guy. Marx and Lenin, now these fellows are some real progressive thinkers who cared about the little guy. We get it! Socialism--good…

Justice SUCKS! Come to think of it, the Constitution SUCKS! We need Supreme Court judges willing to re-write the Constitution since the framers got it all wrong. The framers left so much out that we need special kinds of justices who will write-in the missing parts. The written Constitution--bad, the imaginary Constitution--good. That’s why Alito SUCKS!

Marriage SUCKS! So does the traditional family unit. Unisex--good, communal living--good, traditional family values--bad. Hard to miss this one!

Israel SUCKS! Hamas, Hezbollah, Mujahidin, Al Qaeda, all freedom fighters, not terrorists. Palestinians--good, Jews--bad! We hear you loud and clear!

Corporations SUCK! Driven by extreme greed, they plan and plot the destruction of average Americans; they rape and pillage our nation’s resources. Modern day despots responsible for all things evil in the world. Labor unions--good, corporations--bad.

Face it, AMERICA SUCKS! This is the message that Howard Dean and other DNC leaders have been peddling for some years now. We have not missed their message. We couldn’t miss it if we wanted to. It is pounded into the American psyche day in and day out, around the clock, news paper upon news paper, on every network news program in the country. Even Al Jazeera gets it, hell, even Bin Laden knows the DNC squawking points inside out.

Democrats aren’t out of power because we missed their message. They are out of power because we are sick and tired of hearing their message.

Two days ago, CNN/Gallup announced the results of their current nationwide survey, in which only 16% of voters strongly support a Hillary Presidential run in 2008. THAT SUCKS since Hillary is by far the clear front-runner in the DNC camp. 51% say there is no way they would ever vote for a Hillary Presidential bid. No shocking headline to most Americans, but it SUCKS!

Democrats continue to misread the public on a range of matters, but none more than the public disdain for Democrat’s anti-American message. Contrary to the assessments of Democratic campaign strategists, their problem isn’t that their message isn’t resonating. It’s that it is resonating, negatively! American’s have heard their message, loud and clear, like a broken record… They just don’t buy it!

People who believe AMERICA SUCKS will vote for any Democrat that runs for any office today. But nobody else will and most Americans don’t believe that our country or our founding principles SUCK!

Republicans are poised to win even more power in the coming elections and all they have to do is hand a microphone to the Democrats, sit back and enjoy the show. It’s Democrats who don’t get it and until they figure it out, they will continue to repeat their mistakes over and over, getting the same results every time.

According to most Americans, DEMOCRATS SUCK!

JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history, and American philosophy. He is published nationwide and in many countries around the world.


americans dumber than bush

Polls Show Many Americans are Simply Dumber Than Bush
Paul Craig Roberts

01/29/06 "ICH" -- --
Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses. Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding information.

Much of the problem is the media itself, which serves as a disinformation agency for the Bush administration. Fox "News" and right-wing talk radio are the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree.

Despite the media's failure, about half the population has managed to discern that the US invasion of Iraq has not made them safer and that the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties is not a necessary component of the war on terror. The problem, thus, lies with the absence of due diligence on the part of the other half of the population.

Consider the New York Times/CBS poll. Sixty-four percent of the respondents have concerns about losing civil liberties as a result of anti-terrorism measures put in place by President Bush. Yet, 53 percent approve of spying without obtaining court warrants "in order to reduce the threat of terrorism."

Why does any American think that spying without a warrant has any more effect in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Bush is disobeying, requires the executive to obtain from a secret panel of federal judges a warrant for spying on Americans. The purpose of the law is to prevent a president from spying for partisan political reasons. The law permits the president to spy first (for 72 hours) and then come to the court for permission. As the court meets in secret, spying without a warrant is no more effective in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant.

Instead of explaining this basic truth, the media has played along with the Bush administration and formulated the question as a trade-off between civil liberties and protection from terrorists. This formulation is false and nonsensical. Why does the media enable the Bush administration to escape accountability for illegal behavior by putting false and misleading choices before the people?

The LA Times/Bloomberg poll has equally striking anomalies. Only 43 percent said they approved of Bush's performance as president. But a majority believe Bush's policies have made the US more secure.

It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly threatening two more with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in Muslim sentiment away from the US.
Prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq, a large majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now only about 5 percent do.

A number of US commanders in Iraq and many Middle East experts have told the American public that the three year-old war in Iraq is serving both to recruit and to train terrorists for al Qaeda, which has grown many times its former size. Moreover, the US military has concluded that al Qaeda has succeeded in having its members elected to the new Iraqi government.

We have seen similar developments both in Egypt and in Pakistan. In the recent Egyptian elections, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, despite being suppressed by the Egyptian government, won a large number of seats. In Pakistan elements friendly or neutral toward al Qaeda control about half of the government. In Iraq, Bush's invasion has replaced secular Sunnis with Islamist Shia allied with Iran.

And now with the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian election, we see the total failure of Bush's Middle Eastern policy. Bush has succeeded in displacing secular moderates from Middle Eastern governments and replacing them with Islamic extremists. It boggles the mind that this disastrous result makes Americans feel safer!

What does it say for democracy that half of the American population is unable to draw a rational conclusion from unambiguous facts?

Americans share this disability with the Bush administration.
According to news reports, the Bush administration is stunned by the election victory of the radical Islamist Hamas Party, which swept the US-financed Fatah Party from office. Why is the Bush administration astonished?

The Bush administration is astonished because it stupidly believes that hundreds of millions of Muslims should be grateful that the US has interfered in their internal affairs for 60 years, setting up colonies and puppet rulers to suppress their aspirations and to achieve, instead, purposes of the US government.

Americans need desperately to understand that 95 percent of all Muslim terrorists in the world were created in the past three years by Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Americans need desperately to comprehend that if Bush attacks Iran and Syria, as he intends, terrorism will explode, and American civil liberties will disappear into a thirty year war that will bankrupt the United States.

The total lack of rationality and competence in the White House and the inability of half of the US population to acquire and understand information are far larger threats to Americans than terrorism.
America has become a rogue nation, flying blind, guided only by ignorance and hubris. A terrible catastrophe awaits.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.