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(DV) June 2005 Articles

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June 29

One Nation, Unconvinced
by Ken Sanders

Listening to President Bush address the nation on Iraq, one could be forgiven for thinking that Bush is a man without conscience, with little regard for the intelligence of the nation he purports to lead. Clinging to the vestiges of a myth long since dispelled, Bush invoked the attacks of September 11 no fewer than six times in this speech, determined to link Iraq to a crime it did not commit. Bush repeatedly exploited the nation's grief and sorrow regarding 9/11 in a callous and cynical effort to convince someone, anyone, that by invading Iraq we handed down a just punishment for a wrong we had suffered....(full article)

The Lesson of September 11
by Harold Williamson

In his address marking the first anniversary of the U.S. pretending to hand over sovereignty in Iraq, George Bush continued to justify the U.S. military presence there by urging Americans to not "forget the lessons of September 11." Bush continues to preach that "the terrorists who attacked us and the terrorists we face murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent," and that they can only be stopped by transforming their societies into pro-Western style democracies. (Note: Bush said "terrorists", not "insurgents". In fact he didn't use the word "insurgent" in his entire speech. Typical of this presidency, the facts don't bear this out....(full article)

Honey, They Shrunk My Iraq War Speech
by Ahmed Amr

Under the roof of the White House, George Bush has assembled what appears to be the most lethargic unimaginative group of speech meisters ever to gain government employment. The amount of redundancy in his smoke and mirrors show at Fort Bragg was astounding. Virtually every sentence in the speech was plagiarized from previous Bush pep talks, and whole paragraphs were plagiarized from other parts of the same speech. Are we paying these guys? I want a refund. If this is government work, privatize speech writing or outsource it to China. I can understand why Bush wanted to emphasize certain points given the growing unpopularity of his war of choice. But first, Mr. President, you need to keep the audience awake. After a complete review of the president’s speech, I managed to shrink it to a seven-minute pep talk:....(full article)

“Up in Smoke”: Bush Flops in Prime Time
by Mike Whitney

The Bush prime-time fiasco was the biggest presidential pratfall in the history of the office. Bush was expected to lay out a new vision that would soothe the jittery nerves of the country but, instead, ladled out the same tired bromides he’s used for the last five years. Even his worshipful audience of servicemen and women slumped into stunned silence as the Commander in Chief exhumed the pitiable rhetoric of the Vietnam era. The reverberations of Westmoreland’s “light in the tunnel” speech resonated through the Fort Bragg auditorium as Bush blathered on about “no timetable” and “staying the course.” The oratory offered no explanation for why the nation continues to slip beneath the Iraqi quicksand.....(full article)

June 28

Baby George In The Land Of The Bubble People
by Phil Rockstroh

In the early 1970s, when George W. Bush was shirking his National Guard duties in Alabama, state Republican Party insiders tagged him with the moniker, “The Texas Soufflé,” due to his habitual arrogance, ceaseless indulgence in braggadocio, and preening sense of privilege and entitlement. At present, after nearly half a decade of Bush’s soufflé presidency and the rise of what could be termed soufflé economics, soufflé energy policies, and soufflé jingoism, I think those Alabama party hacks were being charitable in their characterization of Bush, because the composition of any given soufflé is too subtle and far too much care must be taken in its preparation to be an apt analogy for his obtuse, crude persona....(full article)

A Guide to the President's First Post-Downing St. Memo
Speech on Iraq
by Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese

President Bush will address the nation about Iraq tonight. This is the first time he will be speaking to the country on the U.S. occupation of Iraq since the Downing Street Memos have been released. As ten senators pointed out in a letter on Friday, June 24: “at a time the White House was promising Congress and the American people that war would be their last resort, they believed military action against Iraq was ‘inevitable.’” Thus, the President was telling the public he was seeking a peaceful resolution when in fact he was planning an invasion. He told Americans there were unmanned Iraqi aircraft that could drop bombs over our cities. His own intelligence agencies told him this was inaccurate. He tied Saddam to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden -- there was no evidence of that. Indeed, the two -- one secular, one fundamentalist -- were mortal foes. He talked about Saddam being able to launch a strike on the United States in 45 minutes -- there was no evidence Iraq was capable of such an attack. He talked about the potential of a mushroom cloud over the United States -- a nuclear attack by Saddam -- when there was no evidence that a weakened, surrounded and embargoed Saddam had any nuclear capability. When he was going to the U.N. it was not to seek peace but to try and make an illegal invasion legal by tricking Saddam into a misstep. For month after month, it now seems evident President Bush and his minions misled the nation, repeating the fabrications and manipulations about weapons of mass destruction over and over and over in a drum beat to war....(full article)

More Rumsfeld Lies About Insurgent Meetings
by Mike Whitney

There were reports last Friday that representatives of the US Occupation Forces in Iraq were engaged in secret talks with leaders of the Iraqi resistance. For a brief two-day period, there was reason to hope that there might be a genuine opportunity to begin negotiations for a political settlement to the 27-month conflict. When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made his scheduled appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows he confirmed that the alleged meetings had taken place saying, “Well, the first thing I would say about the meetings is they go on all the time.” Later, he would reinforce this suggestion on Meet the Press when he was asked whether there had been “two meetings between Iraqi and U.S. officials and some members of the insurgency.” Rumsfeld responded, “I think there have probably been many more than that.” It was all lies....(full article)

The Boots On the Ground in Iraq: One Size Fits All
by Harold Williamson

In a speech at the White House commemorating the one-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, President Bush said, “All of us can now agree that the fall of the Iraqi dictator has removed a source of violence, aggression and instability in the Middle East.” Yet most Iraqis will now argue that the removal of Saddam Hussein from power merely replaced one form of tyranny with another....(full article)

The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
by Jack Random

When Dick Cheney’s optimistic assessment of the war in Iraq was greeted with derision, he responded by suggesting that his critics needed to consult a dictionary on the meaning of the word “throes.” Throes: 1. Pangs, spasms. 2. A hard or painful struggle. The vice president's problem is that his critics were not responding to the meaning of the word “throes” but to the adjective preceding it. Last:  Final, having no successor; after all others in time or order. No one disputes that there will be violent upheaval in the days and weeks ahead. A day without eruptions of violence in Baghdad, Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah or anywhere else where American troops are engaged, would be shocking indeed.  Only yesterday, the media reports dozens dead from suicide attacks in Mosul while mortar attacks in Baghdad claim another eight lives, including the Baghdad Chief of Police, and the official death toll for American soldiers climbed another notch....(full article)

“Debt”: Remaking Procrustes' Bed
by toni solo

Less developed countries’ external “debt” impedes their economic development and attempts to reduce poverty. But it generates huge revenues for rich countries. In the decade 1994 to 2004, Brazil paid rich country creditors US$400 billion in interest alone, equivalent to the entire population of Brazil working a whole year. “Debt” serves various seamlessly linked purposes, all to the advantage of rich country creditors. It is an indispensable mechanism those countries use to guarantee access to diminishing global resources. “Debt” sustains a super-abundant net flow of easy money to their already unimaginably wealthy financial centers. It helps them to dictate international terms of trade by keeping resource-rich poorer countries in quasi-colonial dependency. The deceitful mass-murderers who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and overthrew Haiti's elected government are not concerned about people in poverty. They will ensure “debt” relief only happens in a way that sustains poor countries’ ability to keep on paying. Periodically, they remake the Procrustes bed in which they install their victims, the better to amputate what they feel larger victims don't need or to stretch more puny victims to their optimum yield. The latest G7 declaration on debt relief is another exercise in this procrustean sadism....(full article)

Drowning in Filth
by John Chuckman

“We are all drowning in filth…I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgment have simply disappeared from the face of the earth.”  
-- George Orwell (diary entry for 27 April, 1942)

I've given the date of Orwell's words lest someone think they were written by a contemporary bearing the writer's name. Recent events surely qualify the United States to claim some sort of title from the Guinness Book of Records such as the world's largest moral and intellectual open sewer....
(full article)

Long Before Woodstein
by William Fisher

Most people under forty have no idea what investigative journalism is. Those old enough to remember Watergate and Deep Throat think it started with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and “All the President’s Men.” But investigative journalism has a rich and distinguished history in the United States. It started at least a century ago. But these writers weren’t called investigate journalists back then. They were “muckrakers”....(full article)

June 27

Incinerating Iraqis: The Napalm Cover-Up  
by Mike Whitney

Two weeks ago the UK Independent ran an article that confirmed the US had “lied to Britain over the use of napalm in Iraq.” (6-17-05) Since then, not one American newspaper or TV station has picked up the story even though the Pentagon has verified the claims. This is the extent to which the American “free press” is yoked to the center of power in Washington.  As we’ve seen with the treatment of the Downing Street Memo, (which was reluctantly reported five weeks after it appeared in the British press) the air-tight American media ignores any story that doesn’t embrace their collective support for the war. The prospect that the US military is using “universally reviled” weapons runs counter to the media-generated narrative that the war was motivated by humanitarian concerns (to topple a brutal dictator) as well as to eliminate the elusive WMDs. We can now say with certainty that the only WMDs in Iraq were those that were introduced by foreign invaders from the US who used them to incinerate the indigenous people who dared to resist....(full article)

The Medicaid Wars
by Patricia Goldsmith

While George W. Bush has been conducting his lollapalooza tour for Social Security, the quieter work of dismantling Medicaid has been carried on by the National Governors Association. Right on schedule, the states are starting to feel the first deep hunger pains, the beginning of the end, death by starvation. Grover Norquist, who has said of the states, “I’d like to see them all go bankrupt,” must be savoring the moment. Saturday, June 11, Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, who is about to cut 300,000 people from his state’s Medicaid rolls, gave a national Saturday morning radio address laying out the anti-Medicaid position: “Uncontrolled growth in the cost of Medicaid is a crisis that’s forcing states to choose between quality health care on one hand and a quality education for our children on the other.”  This is a classic neo-con false premise.  Medicaid costs are 50 percent less than overall health care, which means that rising health care costs for the whole economy are at fault, not Medicaid. And certainly not education. . . . Unfortunately for the poor, the disabled, and children, Phil Bredesen’s talk on Saturday was the Democrats’ weekly radio address to the nation....(full article)

Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration As War Criminals
by Ken Sanders

In the wake of the Downing Street Memo and other leaked British documents created before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, many have begun to question the legality of the Bush administration's actions. In particular, families of soldiers, a few Democratic senators, and hundreds of thousands of outraged Americans, are calling for an independent investigation of the Bush administration's manipulation and outright fabrication of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. The word "impeachment" is even being bandied about. While it is certainly appropriate to demand an independent investigation of the Bush administration's pre-invasion shenanigans, as well as to pursue bringing articles of impeachment against the President for his official misconduct, there is something larger at stake. There is the matter of the Bush administration's post-invasion atrocities....(full article)

The Minutemen Project and the US Trade Deficit
by Seth Sandronsky

The Minutemen Project (MP) debuted in April on the Arizona-Mexico border to block immigrants from Mexico and Central America. They were and are looking for low-wage U.S. employment. California Gov. Schwarzenegger praised the MP. Buoyed by this immigrant’s support and the popularity of white supremacy generally, the MP is now tackling the growing U.S. trade deficit, the nation’s excess of imports over exports....(full article)

Main St. to Democrats: No Compromise with GOP Plans
for Social Security
by Seth Sandronsky

People on Main St. have rejected the idea that Social Security needs to be fixed, despite the claims of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Democrats in Congress are responding to that grassroots opposition, an expression of progressive family values. This is no time for Democrats to compromise with the Social Security proposals of the president and his GOP backers....(full article)

The Fantastical World of Studley McMuffin
by Sheila Samples

In his Saturday radio address, Bush boasted that he and his puppet Iraqi Prime Minister Jaafari not only "discussed" their strong partnership but reveled in the dramatic progress all his hard work in Iraq has made over the past year. A mouse in the corner might confide that Bush told Jaafari, "Do as I say or die, punk." A mouse might say that the progress of which Bush is so proud was nothing more than his chortling over his success at ravaging a nation and its people in order to turn over all its resources to Dick Cheney's Halliburton and a few other lucky US corporate contractors. Do you listen to him, America? Do you hear him? Do you believe him when he says that the blood of your children, mingled with the blood of Iraqi children, is but a "grim reminder that the enemies of freedom in Iraq are ruthless killers with no regard for human life"? Well, I believe him. Was ever there a more grim reminder of a ruthless killer with no regard for human life than his smirking self? (full article)

Conrad Burns: A Senator and a Liar
by Joshua Frank

I've met Senator Conrad Burns on two separate occasions: once during a visit to his plush office in Washington DC, and the other at an airport in Montana while he was campaigning for reelection. It wasn't long into our first meeting that I realized the Republican couldn't care less about the state he purportedly represented. Yeah, I admit it -- I was a bit of neophyte back in the day. When I visited Sen. Burns in Washington I had a chance to chat a while with a couple of his sprightly young interns. Both had thick southern accents. I remember how overly eager I was to ask them what they thought about some of the pressing issues that were facing my home state at the time. And I was surprised to find out that neither had ever even been to Big Sky Country. When I pointed this out to Burns he just chuckled, patted me on the back, and divulged in his raspy voice, "I don't hire the cute ones for their brains, kid. I hire 'em cuz they are easy on the eyes."....(full article)

June 24

Volcanoes, Oil, and Prophets
by Shepherd Bliss

I live under what may be the most active volcano in the world -- Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawai’i. While watching lava cascade down its mountain peak, I consider the predicted peak in world oil production and the damage it could do. Its destruction could be far worse on human communities than that of a mighty volcano’s eruption, impacting not only a local area but civilization itself. We live today under the volcanic threat of peak oil, yet most people remain in denial about the potential dangers. According to geologists -- experts in volcanoes and oil -- slowly flowing crises face humanity as our supply of non-renewable fossil fuels dwindles. Few admit how disastrous peak oil could be. People gather at Kilauea’s base to enjoy lava fountains, seething lakes of molten rock, and incandescent rivers of slowly flowing lava. Yet my college students and friends often scatter when I talk about the consequences of peak oil, unable to consider the magnitude of the end of the oil age. Watching red-hot lava come down the peak, especially at twilight, and into the thirsty turquoise sea is awesome. Blazing fire meets receptive water and produces steam, as the heat is absorbed and cooled. It’s all natural. The deadly consequences of peak oil will be human-made....
(full article)

The March of the Madder’n Hells
by Mark Drolette

I’ve often wondered what the fascist Republican bleedership would do if, say, about a million of us showed up on the Capitol Building and White House doorsteps one day a tad cranky. With sore feet, no less. But, ya know what? I’m tired of wondering. I’m also tired of a few other things, like hearing that honesty is “over the top” or how views held by half this nation’s citizens are “out of the mainstream”; of patronizingly being called a member of a “focus group” while trying to prevent an unprovoked invasion and subsequent occupation that have, just as predicted, killed tens of thousands and cost billions; of watching the American corporate media give the backhand and the back pages (if any) to news of genuine consequence; of how exercising one’s First Amendment rights to question an insane war is unpatriotic and “endangers our troops”; of how having a lying, blithering idiot playing president is somehow a good thing; of how torture is OK as long as we do it; of having fewer rights than a corporation; of being labeled a loony for arriving at the obvious conclusion that voting was fixed in the last (s)election (at least); of hearing Republicans call “frivolous” voluminous documented cases of voter intimidation and vote suppression; of the administration regularly shoving reports and information down the memory hole; of being tagged an anti-Semite for having the temerity to suggest U.S. coddling of Israel and support of its brutal subjugation of the Palestinians is simply unacceptable; of how people are poor only because they choose to be and of how the rich have no moral obligation to help them and, by extension, improve our society; of how necessary it is to destroy our Constitution to protect it from those who supposedly want to destroy our Constitution…I’m so tired of all of that, and way, way more, so much so, in fact, that I can think of no better way to shake some of that fatigue than by heading eastward and not stopping till I get to Capitol Hill. I’m lookin’ for a few (around 999,999 or so) good men and women to join me....(full article)

CAFTA Deserves a Quiet Death
by Mark Engler

While the Bush Administration still aspires to ward off defeat, it is becoming increasingly clear that its failure to pass the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) represents the latest in a series of setbacks for its sputtering trade agenda. For working people throughout the Americas, this is cause to celebrate....(full article)

June 23

Guantanamo: The New-World Icon
by Mike Whitney

We can add a new chapter to the Bush Administration’s war on free speech as it was revealed yesterday that an Al Jazeera cameraman has been in custody for three years at Guantanamo Bay. Al-Hajj, a Sudanese national, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001 and has remained in prison without being charged for four years. Is this what Rumsfeld breezily refers to as the “worst of the worst”? If so, independent journalists around the world should take note....(full article)

Policy of Deceit
by Ken Sanders

When Amnesty International described the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as "the gulag of our times," the Bush administration and its supporters took extreme offense. They decried Amnesty for daring to compare Guantanamo to Stalin's camps where political prisoners were either summarily executed or slowly starved and worked to death. Guantanamo, the Bush administration claimed, was a bastion of human rights and necessary for the protection of the U.S. Regardless of whether Amnesty abused its creative license in describing Guantanamo as a gulag, it is interesting how literally Bush and his apologists took the remark. Applying an interpretive standard of strict construction, Bush & Co. were aghast that a heretofore respectable human rights organization would relegate itself to the dust bin of irrelevance by leveling such incendiary and unwarranted criticism at Bush and his stalwart defense of these United States. If, however, one applies that same standard of strict construction to Bush's remarks leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an unfortunate picture emerges. It is a picture of the President of the United States employing the tools of deception and exaggeration to trick a wounded nation into embarking upon an unnecessary, unwarranted, and unwinnable war against a nation that had not done us any demonstrable harm and was incapable of doing so....(full article)

Bush Administration Psychological Warfare Against the US?
An Interview with (Ret.) Colonel Sam Gardiner

by Kevin Zeese

Sam Gardiner has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War College and Naval War College. He was recently a visiting scholar at the Swedish Defense College. During Gulf II, he was a regular on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer as well as on BBC radio and television, and National Public Radio. He authored “The Enemy is Us” an article describing how the Bush Administration used disinformation and psychological warfare -- weapons usually used against the “enemy” -- against the American public in order to support the war in Iraq. He has done an extensive analysis of the media coverage before the war, during the war, and during the occupation as well as of the statements of Administration officials. His conclusions are startling and of great concern. His findings can be found in a report entitled “Truth from These Podia.”....(full interview)

An Open Letter to the Editor of FrontPage Magazine
Mr. Horowitz, My Friend is Not a Bully!
by Chuck Richardson

Chuck Richardson takes on the rightwing nutballs at FrontPage Magazine, which published a slanderous attack on SUNY-Buffalo professor James Holstun, using quotes maliciously misattributed to Richardson, a former student of Holstun's, for organizing a campus lecture featuring writer and activist Norman Finkelstein....(full article)

Voluntary Amnesia in the Service of War
by Norman Solomon

Forget it! That seems to be an unstated motto for American media coverage of the Iranian presidential election. The axiom comes down to: “Don’t let history get in the way of spin.” Evasion smoothes the way to the next war. For maximum propaganda effect, the agenda-setting must be decoupled as much as possible from clear truths -- about the current president’s mendacity in connection with Iraq, and about the record of U.S. government actions toward Iran....(full article)

The G8 Summit: A Fraud and a Circus
by John Pilger

The front page of the London Observer on 12 June announced, "55 billion Africa debt deal 'a victory for millions'." The "victory for millions" is a quotation of Bob Geldof, who said, "Tomorrow 280 million Africans will wake up for the first time in their lives without owing you or me a penny...". The nonsense of this would be breathtaking if the reader's breath had not already been extracted by the unrelenting sophistry of Geldof, Bono, Blair, the Observer et al. Africa's imperial plunder and tragedy have been turned into a circus for the benefit of the so-called G8 leaders due in Scotland next month and those of us willing to be distracted by the barkers of the circus: the establishment media and its "celebrities". The illusion of an anti-establishment crusade led by pop stars -- a cultivated, controlling image of rebellion -- serves to dilute a great political movement of anger. In summit after summit, not a single significant "promise" of the G8 has been kept, and the "victory for millions" is no different. It is a fraud -- actually a setback to reducing poverty in Africa. Entirely conditional on vicious, discredited economic programs imposed by the World Bank and the IMF, the "package" will ensure that the "chosen" countries slip deeper into poverty....(full article)


Dressing Truth
by Keren Batiyov

For all those who are convinced that Truth must be marketed

When Truth goes out
she doesn’t put on Guess,
Burberry, or Bebe;
nor are her togs
from Wal-Mart or Sears;
and she knows nothing of Loreal,
Revlon, and Max Factor.
Truth is, she has never dressed
with an audience in mind.

When Truth goes out
she goes out
in all her glorious grandeur
in all her shocking beauty –
Cover and makeup
are only for those
who have something to hide.


Not Buying The Rebel Sell:
A Critique of a Critique of the Left's Political Practice

by Derrick O'Keefe

Since The Rebel Sell came out last year, I had been eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter’s book, which, at first glance, looked as though it might provide a necessary corrective to some of the more obnoxious forms of "culture jamming" that some have posited as a superior alternative to other methods of progressive political organizing. Alas, despite the authors’ claim to be arguing for a more coherent and effective Left politics, the book ends up in strident defense of markets and capitalism. And, rather than being constructively critical, the tone is mocking towards any and all who offer up resistance outside of the narrow confines of Heath and Potter’s recommendations. Indeed, the "counter-culture" framework that the authors rail against is a rather eclectic straw-man, into which they lump everyone from Gramsci to environmentalists, Naomi Klein and Malcolm X....(full article)

The Counterrevolution: Capitalism’s Ugly Head in China
by Kim Petersen

Economist Lawrence Lau pronounced on the Chinese economic miracle: “Chinese economic reforms have not only achieved ‘gain without pain,’ but also actually maximal ‘gain without pain.’” The villagers in Shengyou, Hebei province would be hard-pressed to agree with that assessment of painless gain. On June 11, a group of about 300 armed thugs brutally attacked farmers opposed to the expropriation of their land by the state. Part of the approximately one hour-long rampage was captured on video and posted on the Washington Post website. In the video, screaming, shotgun fire and flares are audible. The dispute is between farmers and the state-owned Hebei Guohua Power Company plant. The power-plant developers seek to build a storage capacity on 26 hectares of agricultural land, but hundreds of farmers occupied the land in 2003 in opposition to a compensation offer they deemed unacceptable....(full article)

US Terror Co-Dependency from Klaus Barbie to Posada Carriles
by toni solo

The political and economic problems afflicting the United States and its allies generate effects progressively more corrosive and self-destructive. From the bogus “war on terror” to fraudulent declarations on debt relief, they seem to flounder from one transparently desperate maneuver to the next. For the moment, poisoned by successive colonial interventions, their governments expect people to believe the absurd myth that they are defending “democracy” or the “homeland”. The Guantanamo concentration camp, secret prisons at Diego Garcia and Bagram, and UK violations of European Human Rights law add detail to the broad pattern of events in Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan. They all betray the essential sadism inherent in efforts by the US government and its allies to crush or control resistance. That brings into focus the ultimate purpose of Guantanamo, since from what ex-inmates have related it is clear the majority of the detainees there have nothing to do with “terrorism”....(full article)

AIPAC Can Place You by the Elbow of the President
by Ahmed Amr

Early next September, the U.S. District court in Alexandria, Virginia will be the scene of a very interesting trial. One Lawrence Franklin will stand before a judge to defend himself against a six-count indictment accusing him of conspiring to disclose national defense and classified information to senior AIPAC officials -- who then passed it on to Israeli intelligence operatives. AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee is not an organization to be trifled with. Everybody in Washington understands that this Likudnik lobby can make and break politicians.  Not only do they have a $30 million annual budget, but they have some very well placed fellow travelers in the mass media. Come election season, they can be counted on to stuff campaign war chests with funds from “independent” PACs that subscribe to their Israel First agenda. Their greatest strength is their ability to leverage their media muscle to defame and ridicule any politician who stands up to their pro-Israeli policies....(full article)

Mounting a Proper Defense Against Klein's Truth About Hillary
by Adam Williams

After being hyped for several weeks as the book that will “swift boat” Hillary, June 21st marked the release of Edward Klein’s notorious unauthorized biography, The Truth About Hillary Clinton: What She Knew, When She Knew it, and How She’ll Go To Become President. Published by the rightwing Sentinel Books, an imprint of Penguin Putnam, commentators from all coordinates of the political sphere note its substantive similarities to Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Again John Kerry. Klein clearly implies that Clinton experimented with lesbianism -- almost as ludicrous a claim that John Kerry shot himself to receive a Purple Heart. What makes this book particularly interesting though is not the exaggerated, embellished and outright fabricated claims of the book itself, but the hype, promotion and reactions the book has produced....(full article)

The Pentagon Papers, 34 Years Later
by Mickey Z.

On June 13, 1971, when the New York Times published an article by Neil Sheehan called, "Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces 3 Decades of Growing U.S. Involvement." It was the first installment of a 7000-page document that came to be known as the "Pentagon Papers." How important was the public airing of a secret government study of decision-making about the Vietnam War? None other than Henry Kissinger labeled the man who leaked that study -- Daniel Ellsberg -- "the most dangerous man in America."....(full article)

June 21

The Bush Radio Address: More Delusional Blather While Iraq Bleeds 
by Mike Whitney

Even by the abysmal standards of the Administration, Bush’s Saturday radio address hit a new low in fear mongering and duplicity.  Invoking the musty imagery of 9-11, the Prince of Mendacity once again articulated the worn vision of America at war with the world. “I will continue to focus on ways to insure that America prevails in the war on terror…protecting our citizens from those who would do us harm.” Presumably, the President’s antidote involves alienating allies, inflaming half the American electorate, savaging the military, vanquishing the economy and creating the most prolific breeding ground for terrorism the world has ever seen....(full article)

Suicide Bombing Shatters Bush's Faith-Based Bubble
by Kurt Nimmo

Somebody, please, send Robert Pape's book to Bush. Pape, the director of the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism at the University of Chicago, has arrived at a conclusion Bush needs to understand, although it is contrary to what he believes, or what he tells us he believes. "Suicide bombings are part of a conscious strategy that has a record of success in other places. Suicide bombing has gained adherents not because so many fanatics are looking for an excuse to throw away their lives, but because it works," is how Steve Chapman, writing for the Baltimore Sun, summarizes Pape's research. Bush seems to believe that if the corporate media ignores suicide bombing, the suicide bombers will go away because, after all, the act is simply a demented craving for media attention. "A conservative columnist for The New York Times has suggested that the media simply cease coverage of suicide bombings," writes Joe Conason for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It was a strange proposal from someone working at one of the world's most important news organizations, but one that aptly reflected current attitudes in the White House, the Defense Department and much of official Washington.... Both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney evidently believe their own uplifting rhetoric and brusque dismissals of criticism. They won't let reality-based analysis intrude on their faith-based perspective."....(full article)

Will the US Anti-War Movement Impeach Bush?
by Virginia Rodino

The recent congressional hearing on the Downing Street Memo and subsequent White House rally and their aftermath has ushered in new energy and confidence to the anti-war movement. The excitement of the realistic possibility of the impeachment of Bush and the participation of elected officials will help to broaden the movement even further. What is absolutely crucial for US anti-war and anti-imperialist activists at this juncture is to not simply stop at the doorstep of the progressives in the Democratic Party....(full article)

What's With the MSM?
by Patricia Goldsmith

I think it’s safe to say the mainstream media (MSM) are having a very hard time with the Downing Street Memos (DSM).  I know the corporate media are not our friends, but I’m still stunned by the hostility the DSM seem to arouse in (for want of a better word) journalists. It ranges from Frank Rich, one of the good guys, who nevertheless needed to be told by Al Franken that “conventional wisdom” aside, it still matters whether or not Bush lied about taking the country to war. By the time Rich wrote his latest New York Times column last Sunday, he had clearly returned to consciousness, but his attitude is indicative of the air reporters have to breathe, their unreal, hot-house reality. No one is immune to the mind-altering effects of our experiment in neural media saturation, least of all the practitioners of the art of mass thought control....(full article)

Someone Tell Bush Iraq Wasn't Responsible for 9/11
Before Another War Breaks Out
by Jason Leopold

“We went to war because we were attacked,” President Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address. Yeah, by al-Qaeda not Iraq. For President Bush to say publicly that the United States attacked Iraq because of 9/11 is not only an outright lie but it's a disservice to the over 1,700 men and women that died in combat in Iraq and thousands of other soldiers who were maimed believing they were fighting a war predicated on finding weapons of mass destruction. There have been no less than half-a-dozen federal probes into 9/11 all of which have concluded that there wasn't a link between the al-Qaeda terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and Saddam Hussein's regime. But Bush is desperate. His ratings have slipped below 50 percent. The public is growing tired of the Iraq war. Republicans in Congress fear that a further decline in the president's poll numbers could hurt their chances of being reelected next year. What to do? Once again, get the public to believe Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and that the war was justified. In other words, lie....(full article)

America's Growing Insecurity in an Era of Rising Military Spending
by Tamer M. N. Anis

The United States today has the most superior military and strongest army the world has ever known. It can boast the most advanced military hardware, the best-trained men and women, and the option of demolishing cities and annihilating millions just by pressing a few buttons. With all this might and the world’s highest defense expenditure, one has to ask are Americans really feeling more secure than they have in the past. Recent research indicates they are not....(full article

Picture-Perfect Killers
by Norman Solomon

In his memoir of Vietnam, former war correspondent Jacques Leslie recalls visiting an American aircraft carrier in the South China Sea, when suddenly "I was engulfed in technology, released to a vast metallic universe where nothing grew, where doubt had no place." The young reporter for the Los Angeles Times found that "the press officers who took turns accompanying me could tell me all about the astonishing mechanics of jet takeoffs and landings, of how the pilots got graded on their bombing accuracy, but they couldn't say if the pilots thought of people below as they dropped their bombs or ever felt regret. Most of the pilots couldn't tell me either, preferring to dwell on the marvels of their flying machines." American media coverage has long glorified such marvels, and the hype about military technology remains profuse. What happens to people on the other side of the awesome firepower is downplayed or ignored, while the awesome weaponry is often presented as implicit further evidence of America's greatness. It's hardly objective reporting. Nor is it in any way good, old- fashioned skeptical reporting. Nor does it tell the whole story. It's mostly mindless cheerleading that avoids asking readers or viewers to think about the terrible carnage and horribly ruined lives the use of such weapons causes....(full article)

A Matter of Education
by Sheila Samples

Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post tells us that George Bush, who had hoped to spend the summer ramming Social Security firecrackers down our throats, is being forced by his plummeting poll numbers to take a second look at shoring up the lies about how peachy keen everything is in Iraq. Not that Bush ever looks at poll numbers, or spends any time worrying about what the street rabble thinks -- but with elections coming up, some Frights (Friends on the Right) are beginning to nervously gnaw their fingernails....
(full article)

Media Vita In Morte Sumus
by Peter Kurth

Now that Michael Jackson has been cleared on all charges of “conspiracy”, child molestation and plying teenaged boys with liquor, balloons and fantasies of fame, the only thing left is to accuse him of what we already knew – that he’s really, really rich, really, really weird and, by now, about as “black” as Paris Hilton. I mention the black thing – if you prefer, African-American -- only because Jackson himself is determined to regard his legal battles as being “racist” in origin.  But even he can’t take that assertion too far.  Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., said last week that the perennially described “self-styled King of Pop,” having escaped prison by the skin of his teeth -- if those really are his teeth -- has decided to “alter his lifestyle” and “get those boys out of his bedroom.”....(full article)

June 18

High Crimes and Misdemeanors
by Ken Sanders

Under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Any reasonable interpretation of the Constitution's impeachment clause, and the historical application thereof, leads to the inescapable conclusion that articles of impeachment should be brought against President Bush for his commission of high crimes against the United States. It is the consensus among legal and constitutional scholars that the phrase "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" refers to "political crimes." While not necessarily indictable crimes, "political crimes" are great offenses against the federal government. They are abuses of power or the kinds of misconduct which can only be committed by a public official by virtue of the unique power and trust which he holds. Thus, high crimes and misdemeanors refer to major offenses against our very system of representative democracy. Likewise, high crimes and misdemeanors can be serious abuses of the governmental power with which the President has been trusted. In the case of Iraq, it is becoming harder and harder to deny that Bush engaged in official misconduct that caused serious and likely irreparable injury to the United States....(full article)

by Patricia Goldsmith

On June 14, Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, gave her take on mainstream media (MSM) coverage of the Downing Street Memo (DSM).  She said, “There have been anti-war groups and anti-Bush groups who’ve tried to generate this [coverage] on the Internet, but . . . there’s no smoking gun here,” because “if you go back to Bush’s own comments [in 2002], you had to be brain-dead not to know what he was up to.”  On June 15, The Washington Post took the same position, even more emphatically:  “The memos add not a single fact to what was previously known about the administration’s prewar deliberations.” This might come as a surprise to George Bush and Tony Blair, who were claiming as recently as last week that war with Iraq was, as they claimed in July, 2002, a last resort undertaken only after all other options were exhausted.  In their joint press conference on June 7, George Bush answered his first question about the DSM saying, “And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. . . . Look, both of us didn’t want to use our military.  Nobody wants to commit military into combat.  It’s the last option.”....(full article)

The Friedman Solution: Reinstate the Draft
by Mike Whitney

When America’s foremost political pundit and spokesman for the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Tom Friedman, says it’s time to reinstate the draft, we should all pay attention. Friedman’s comments appeared in his June 15 column where he reiterated his past predictions that the war in Iraq was still “winnable” if we “do it right.” What’s needed, Friedman postulates, is to “double the boots on the ground and redouble the diplomatic effort to bring in the Sunnis.” “Double the boots on the ground”? Sounds like the draft to me....(full article)

Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
by Jack Random

“Our focus is not on the past. It’s on the future.”
-- Scott McClellan, White House Spokesman.

How convenient to focus on the future when the past is a compelling indictment of criminal and immoral behavior. If it were an adequate explanation, then Richard Nixon would have completed his second term, Lyndon Johnson would have sought reelection, and the Nuremberg trials would not have been convened. Beyond the incredulity of the president’s response to a growing body of evidence that his administration cooked the books to justify an illegal and unjustified war, the crime is not limited to the past. It is ongoing and has no end in sight. When you are caught in the process of committing a crime, whether it is a common burglary or a war of naked aggression, you do not ask leave to consummate the act. Should this be any less apparent when there are hundreds of thousands of lives in the balance? (full article)

An American Lesser Evil Apostle in Tehran
by Reza Fiyouzat

Not content with getting things completely upside down in their own country, American liberals are now touring internationally, dispensing with their erroneous “lesser evil” outlook as freely as their more radical “neo-con” cousins are dropping freedom enclosed in bombs and delivering democracy from the barrels of tanks and guns. This “lesser evil” way of looking at reality has recently been applied by Norman Solomon (who also supported an “Anybody But Bush” stance in the 2004 US elections) to the socio-political reality known as Iran, and more specifically to its ninth presidential elections held on June 17, 2005....(full article)

Dems Forget First Rule of C.Y.A.: Check to See if (Jack)boot
is Already Firmly Implanted

by Mark Drolette

I have this dream: I’m a U.S. forest ranger.  (Must be the hat.)  I oversee a national park, and for longer than I care to admit, I’ve allowed all of its trees, streams, plants, critters -- you know, the foresty-type stuff -- to be subjected to regular dumping of tons of toxic waste by a guy who looks suspiciously like a Republican.  (I’m sure he is, actually; after all, the distribution of noxious garbage is a GOP specialty, though current Democrats certainly merit a dishonorable mention.) I know that what he’s doing is wrong and regularly tell him so.  I’ve sharply honed my scolding skills and now sound quite officious while chastising him, but, even as I continue polishing my admonishing, I nonetheless allow him to continue fouling, unabated, the public’s domain. The payoff? (full article)

Mr. Television Documents the Occupation
by Ira Glunts

Like a voice crying from beneath a collapsed building, every now and then a well-known and respected Israeli startles us with a sharp plea: the country must cease its immoral, illegal and self-destructive occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Despite the horror, the apparent hopelessness of what we hear and see in the debris, we are encouraged that a familiar voice is speaking from a place where we have come to expect silence. Perhaps this means the current situation is not hopeless.  Haim Yavin, the news anchor of Israel’s leading television station, is the latest in a series of desperate voices....(full article)

June 16

Puritanism 2005: Still Raging For Paradise After All These Years
by Phil Rockstroh

It now appears the dire consequences that puritanical hysterics have attributed to human sexuality -- from ill-health, early death, and societal decay, to being the flat-out progenitor of nearly every aspect of worldly travail -- is applicable to the very act they hold more sacred than chastity: work. Ever since the first fantasy-prone Puritans trudged upon the shores of North America, intent on establishing the New Jerusalem, that ever-shilled-for Shining City On A Hill (now in an ongoing state of brownout, on to the way to a full scale blackout), they and their descendants have carried on the conviction that the only impediment to the construction of a godly municipality -- where grace, piety, and purity would reign and whose glowing righteousness would serve as a beacon of divine light to drive the darkness from the face (not to mentioned those Satanically besieged genital regions of the human anatomy) of this sin-blinded earth -- was human sloth, vitality-sucking carnality, and a general disobedience to the admonitions of the Holy Bible . . . that cosmic interoffice memo circulated to increase heavenly dividends by maximizing earthly efficiency....(full article)

Afflicted Powers
by Standard Schaefer

If political Islam is a movement much the photo negative of capitalism itself, what options are open for those who oppose both? This is one of the many vitally important questions Afflicted Powers, one of the best new books on where things stand since 9/11 and the Iraq War, tackles....(full review)

More Damning Than Downing Street
by Paul Rogat Loeb

It's bad enough that the Bush administration had so little international support for the Iraqi war that their “coalition of the willing” meant the U.S., Britain, and the equivalent of a child's imaginary friends. It's even worse that, as the Downing Street Memo confirms, they had so little evidence of real threats that they knew from the start that they were going to have manufacture excuses to go to war. What's more damning still is that they effectively began this war even before the congressional vote. With Congressman John Conyers about to hold hearings, coverage of the Downing Street memo is finally beginning to leak into the media. In contrast, we've heard almost nothing about the degree to which this administration began actively fighting the Iraq war well in advance of the March 2003 official attack -- before both the October 2002 US Congressional authorization and the November United Nations resolution requiring that Saddam Hussein open the country up to inspectors....(full article)

Indict the UN for Abandoning Srebrenica
by Ahmed Amr

Four years ago, I wrote an article arguing that the United Nations, Holland and France were implicated in the slaughter of the male population of Srebrenica. At the time many apologists for the Bosnian Serbs claimed that the whole “incident” was an exaggeration. Last year, The Bosnian Serbs confessed their role in the massacre. And last week, a video emerged proving that the Scorpions, a unit of Special Forces of the Serbian Army, also took part in the carnage. The United Nations should open its files and confess to their criminal failure to prevent the atrocity at Srebrenica. The case against Butros Butros-Ghali, then Secretary General of the United Nations is especially compelling. For the sake of the integrity of the international legal system, he too should stand trial at The Hague....(full article)

One Nation, Under Experiment
by Ken Sanders

Ostensibly, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), are regulatory agencies entrusted to protect the health and safety of the public. However, as starkly revealed by recent events, neither the FDA nor the EPA is particularly concerned about the public. Rather, they see us as test subjects, lab rats, to be exploited for experimentation by or on behalf of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Take, for instance, the April threat by Senators Bill Nelson and Barbara Boxer to block Bush's nomination of Stephen Johnson to head the EPA. The Senators took exception to the EPA's CHEERS (Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study) program, in which low-income, minority families were promised up to $970.00 if they allowed the application of pesticides and other chemicals in rooms primarily occupied by their infant children. The study was partially funded by the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying arm of pesticide manufacturers, to the tune of $2 million. Johnson promised to terminate the CHEERS program in exchange for his confirmation. Nothing like exploiting infants and the poor on behalf of the pesticide industry....(full article)

Violations of Civil Liberties are an American Tradition
by Gene C. Gerard

President Bush is currently lobbying Congress to reauthorize portions of the Patriot Act that are scheduled to expire. While the Patriot Act contains provisions much needed in the war on terrorism, it also has elements that are in conflict with the civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution. Many of the provisions are violations of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Patriot Act allows the government to search someone’s home or office without informing them. It allows the government to obtain an individual’s library records, medical history, and financial documents, among many other items, without any probable cause of a crime. It requires judges to approve of wiretaps without knowing whom the suspect is. Immigrants and non-citizens can be jailed for an indefinite period of time, without any requirement that the government demonstrate that they are a threat to national security. It’s not surprising that the federal government is attempting to strip people of their fundamental rights and freedoms. During the last two centuries, this has been a common occurrence in America during a time of war....(full article)

Holiday in Hell: This Just In…  
by William Fisher

Oppressed Christians: Looking for a five-star holiday? Have we got a deal for you! GITMO-By-The-Sea. Don’t laugh, folks. Our Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could just be poised to become the country’s hottest tourist destination for folks of faith....(full article)

“Heathens” Not Welcome at Air Force Academy
by Bill Berkowitz

In late April, the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a longtime religious watchdog group, called the nation's attention to numerous incidents of religious bias and the official promotion of fundamentalist Christianity at the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based United States Air Force Academy -- a problem that apparently has been brewing for quite some time. Unlike other recent scandals at U.S. military academies involving cadets cheating, the violation of the honor code, and cases of sexual harassment and rape -- which were often written off as the behavior of a few errant cadets -- attorneys for Americans United found that at the Air Force Academy there was "systematic and pervasive religious bias and intolerance at the highest levels of the academy command structure."....
(full article)

June 15

-- External Link of the Day --
The New Blacklist: Corporate America Caves into the Christers by Doug Ireland

How Much Proof Needed Before the Truth Comes Out?
Now Seven Leaked British Documents Raise Iraq War Questions
by Kevin Zeese

The Downing Street Memo -- minutes of a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his advisors that reveals the U.S. was “fixing” the intelligence to support the Iraq War -- was not enough to get the mainstream U.S. media or members of Congress to take the issue seriously. Now there is Downing II, III, IV, V, VI and VII! As the evidence mounts, the failure of the media to seriously investigate the issue is baffling. Why aren’t they interviewing current and former U.S. military intelligence officials about these reports from the highest levels of the British government? Isn’t the media supposed to investigate and expose the truth for their readers and viewers? (full article)

All Bush, All the Time, For the Rest of Your Life
by John Chuckman

A group of Republican legislators proposes to rescind the 22ndAmendment to the American Constitution. This is the Amendment, passed after four terms of Franklin Roosevelt scared the bejesus out of Republicans, limiting a President to two terms in office. The legislators apparently believe that with continued Republican gains in Congress, they may be in a position to change the Constitution by 2006, in time to extend Bush's benevolent work. Of course, Bush must actually be re-elected in 2008, but that represents a mere technicality. Bush was appointed in 2000 by a Supreme Court whose capacity for critical thinking already resembled that of senior judges in the early Reich. By 2008, Bush will have loaded the Court with creatures who might have made splendid careers in the Holy Inquisition under Torquemada....(full article)

June 14

Bloody Sunday and Beyond
by William Fisher

The summer of 1965 found the United States in turmoil. President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who had taken office in 1963 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was already stepping up troop deployments to Vietnam, and an embryonic anti-war movement was beginning to gain the traction that would ultimately cause Johnson to decline to run for reelection in 1968. Elsewhere in the nation, however, millions of Americans were not yet focused on Vietnam. Their struggle -- begun soon after the Civil War in the 1860s -- continued to be to secure equality and justice for African Americans....(full article)

(The Anti-Empire Report)
Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends
by William Blum

William Blum on perceptions of the US from abroad, the persistence of anti-communism, why NATO exists, "reforming" the Indonesian military, how meaningful is the distinction between liberals and conservatives, and more....
(full article)

Letter From Tehran: In Washington's Cross-Hairs
by Norman Solomon

Washington keeps condemning Iran's government and making thinly veiled threats. But in Iran, many people are in the midst of challenging the country's rulers, in the streets and at the ballot box. The June 17 election for president could be a turning point or a hollow spectacle -- no one knows which -- but the Bush administration is eagerly trashing the whole thing. "The United States has not waited for the first ballot to be cast before dismissing Iran's presidential election as rigged," Agence France Presse reported over the weekend. But Iran's election is not rigged. There is a fierce electioneering battle underway, with some significant differences between candidates. Meanwhile, hindered rather than helped by the bellicose statements from Washington, courageous Iranian activists have begun a new wave of actions against the status quo of theocracy....(full article)

Schwarzenegger Blues: Recall the Governator
by Jack Random

Aside from the fact that the governator suddenly looks old and fragile, there is little encouraging about California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest political maneuvering. His call for a special election might be admirable if he or his sponsors were paying for it. After all, it is more about a man’s ego and ambition than any concept of good governance. The worst thing about the governor’s abuse of the initiative process is that it will likely damage the process itself. Initiatives and referendums are the application of direct democracy and those of us who truly believe in democracy are wary when politicians attack the process when it does not serve their purposes. Certainly, there should be reform to remove big money and restore the grassroots to the process. No one should be paid to collect signatures and contributions should be limited to individuals at fixed limits but that is not the issue now. The real question is: Since we are going ahead with this lame brained special election, why is the governor not on the ballot? (full article)

The National Campaign to Impeach President George W. Bush
by Professor Francis A. Boyle

Since the U.S. Supreme Court's installation of George W. Bush as President in January of 2001, the peoples of the world have witnessed a government in the United States of America that demonstrates little if any respect for fundamental considerations of international law, international organizations, and human rights, let alone appreciation of the requirements for maintaining international peace and security. What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive and malicious assault upon the integrity of the international legal order by a group of men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian in their perception of international relations and in their conduct of both foreign policy and domestic affairs. This is not simply a question of giving or withholding the benefit of the doubt when it comes to complicated matters of foreign affairs and defense policies to a U.S. government charged with the security of both its own citizens and those of its allies in Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and the Pacific. Rather, the Bush Jr. administration's foreign policies represent a gross deviation from those basic rules of international deportment and civilized behavior that the United States government had traditionally played the pioneer role in promoting for the entire world community. Even more seriously, in many instances specific components of the Bush Jr. administration's foreign policies constitute ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles....(full article)

The OAS and Nicaragua: The Very Model of a Modern Intervention
by toni solo

The 35th summit of the Organization of American States (OAS) was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the first days of June this year. It marked another tactical defeat for the Bush regime's State Department under Condoleezza Rice and her Latin American point man Roger Noriega. Noriega and Rice performed in tune with the aleatory mix of wishful thinking, hypocrisy and bullying that traditionally mar US diplomacy in Latin America....(full article)

Autism + Vaccines = Tax Dollars
by Evelyn J. Pringle

We are on the verge of a welfare disaster in this country. Eighty percent of autistic children are under the age of 17. In a few short years, the states are going to be forced to provide support for an overwhelming number of disabled autistic adults. “The costs will be in the trillions,” according to Ann Dachel. Ann should know. She is a special education teacher, a member of the National Autism Association, and the mother of a boy with autism and a daughter who developed epilepsy after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that for many years was added to childhood vaccines to boost drug company profits. In the 1990s the CDC added more and more Thimerosal-containing vaccines to the mandatory vaccine schedule without adding up the cumulative amounts of mercury that children were receiving from the vaccines. Finally, in 1999, after watching the dramatic autism and other neurological disorders, officials at the CDC and FDA realized that a fully vaccinated infant was receiving up to 125 times what the EPA considered safe for mercury exposure. Because half the officials involved were on payrolls of the drug companies they were charged to regulate, they have never ordered the pharmaceutical industry to stop using Thimerosal. In fact, the product is still used in some vaccines. Last year's flu vaccine had a mercury content eight times the EPA safe limit and it was recommended for six-month-old babies and pregnant women....
(full article)

Bill Kristol and Israel Want to Draft Your Kids
by Kurt Nimmo

Are you ready to suit up or suit up your kids (and the kids of your kids) in body armor and die for Israel? Before you dismiss me as an anti-Semitic crank, consider the following: “Ephraim Halevy, the former chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service and the current national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, says plans have been made for a substantial U.S. military presence in the Middle East lasting decades,” al-Jazeera reports. “High-ranking U.S. policymakers have ‘raised the idea of establishing an American trusteeship regime in the areas of the Palestinian Authority, if it should turn out that the Palestinians are not ripe for self-rule. That arrangement would require an American operational military presence along Israel’s border with the Palestinian territories.’” Of course, if Israel has its way, the Palestinians will never be “ripe for self-rule” (many Israelis even refuse to consider the word “Palestinian” and believe most Arabs are recent immigrants to Palestine, or instead of Palestine Judea and Samaria, the Hebrew biblical names for the land stolen from the non-Palestinians) and since the Arab demographic trend is against the Israelis (Arabs have more kids than Israelis) and there is no way the Israelis will ever have enough soldiers to muster an “operational military presence” on the so-called border, it will be up to your kids and your kids’ kids (since Halevy says this will last decades) to keep the Arabs in check (and suffering from malnutrition and disease)....(full article)

June 13

USA Patriot Act: The Broad Brush Debate
by Patricia Goldsmith

Remember, in those first fragile days and weeks after September 11, 2001, when we told each other again and again that we had to go on with life as usual -- or else they win? We were afraid to go back into the city and face all the flyers on the walls, the National Guardsman in Penn Station; no one wanted to get caught on the subway; some people couldn’t get on an airplane. But we got through it. We may have developed a few quirks, like keeping the gas tank full and always having plenty of duct tape around, but for the most part we’ve gone back to normal life. Or have we? I believe that on the most fundamental level, we have not gone on as usual. With very little public debate of any kind, and with virtually no informed debate, we have abandoned many of our most cherished democratic principles. In the truest sense, and to our increasing national grief, they have won....
(full article)

The Coming Iranian Class Wars
by Rosa Faiz

With a historic election just days away for Iran, and with the US wolf at its door, Rosa Faiz looks at how: the Iranian bourgeois “liberals” have historically been able to work with both factions of the ruling classes, whether the immediate rulers came in the uniforms of the monarchists or the robes of the clergy, or a combination of both. And this, better than anything else, proves the incapacity of the Iranian liberals for consistency and adherence to their own supposed ideals when it comes to two of the most fundamental cornerstones of bourgeois liberalism: 1) commitment to the separation of religion from governance (an absolute minimum), neglected by the “liberals” who comfortably work inside the clerical regime; and 2) commitment to democracy, neglected by the “liberals” who find it unproblematic to work with the monarchists."....(full article)

June 10-11

War: Realities and Myths
by Chris Hedges

The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief. They know the lies the victors often do not acknowledge, the lies covered up in stately war memorials and mythic war narratives, filled with words of courage and comradeship. They know the lies that permeate the thick, self-important memoirs by amoral statesmen who make wars but do not know war. The vanquished know the essence of war -- death. They grasp that war is necrophilia. They see that war is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. They know how war fosters alienation, leads inevitably to nihilism, and is a turning away from the sanctity and preservation of life. All other narratives about war too easily fall prey to the allure and seductiveness of violence, as well as the attraction of the godlike power that comes with the license to kill with impunity....(full article)

Memories and Alibis
by Harold Williamson

The other day, one of my favorite readers and sharpest critic commented on the quotation from Macbeth that was included at the end of my last essay.  She discovered that most intriguing passage when she was fourteen years old while studying Shakespeare's plays on her own -- Hamlet and Macbeth being her favorites. She wondered about the phrase: "till the last syllable of recorded time," because she has always believed that time has no beginning nor end. She thought that Shakespeare might have been trifling with metaphysics while indulging in some pretty liberal poetic license.  It sounds to me like she has the old Bard's number. Personally, I prefer to sing the song rather than analyze the lyrics. But I think that perhaps Shakespeare was talking about "recorded time" as being "history," which is strictly a human fabrication.  At that time, of course, Shakespeare could not have known that Albert Einstein would demonstrate that "time," as we humans perceive it, is an illusion -- being an integral part of the very "fabric" (space-time) of the universe.  And, of course, any meaning derived from any historical account would depend upon the perspectives of both its author and its reader, because each of our memories is also a fabrication....(full article

Playing Monopoly in Charm City
by Lila Rajiva

A powerful essay on faux American optimism and the house of cards that is the American housing market, told from the kind of first-hand experience most readers will resonate with all too well....(full article)

Christ Inc.
Faith-Based Fascism
by Leilla Matsui and Stella La Chance

When a triumphal George W. Bush declared his intention to cash in on his “political capital” in the days after the election, he was merely reaffirming his commitment to hand over the reins of power to a higher authority than even Dick Cheney. The religious right, with its enormous political stake in the “End Times” outcome of America's latest Imperial misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, have seized upon Bush's continued pledge to transform the “Homeland” into a locked down religious theme park with the organizational zeal they had previously reserved for bilking gullible parishioners out of their social security checks. Like Halliburton, Christ Inc. has become the latest recipient of taxpayer largesse, having won the contract to keep the media out of the news business, and to ensure that power speaks to truth, as opposed to the other way around. Purging the “news” of news is just the latest attempt by religious Brownshirts to stamp their poisonous insignia on every major institution that they don't control lock, stock and barrel....
(full article)

Electoral Politics and the War
Lessons from 2004 and What the Anti-War Movement
Should Do in 2006: An Interview With Joshua Frank
by Kevin Zeese

Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Elect George W. Bush. The book is an analysis of the 2004 presidential campaign. An excerpt from the book can be read here. Frank’s writings appear regularly in Dissident Voice, CounterPunch, and Left Turn, among others, and he is a contributor to the book Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch. In this interview we examine what the anti-war movement can learn from the 2004 presidential election and how the movement should be approaching the 2006 election....(full article)

The War Path of Unity
by Joshua Frank

The following essay is an excerpt from the highly anticipated new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush by Joshua Frank, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. Visit to order your copy of this must own book today! An interview with Frank can be read above....(full article)

Leftist Victories in Latin America Create New Opportunities
for SOA Opponents

by Dan Bacher

The increasing number of leftist, populist led governments winning elections in Latin America means a new opportunity for Fr. Roy Bourgeois and other opponents of the School of the Americas (SOA) to close the institution down. The left is on an unprecedented ascendance in Latin America. After years of suffering under U.S. backed dictatorships, the majority of the people in South America have rejected neo-liberal policies and have voted for left-leaning governments in the most recent elections. SOA Watch, the organization started by Bourgeois, now has the chance to ask the elected leaders of these countries to pull their troops out of training at the school....(full article)

In a Land of Sausage Brains, Always Suspect the Wurst
by Mark Drolette

America’s most dangerous enemies, next to those who comprise the current fascist administration, are those who support the current fascist administration and find its malapropism-spewing front man cuter’n sea monkeys and besides, dontcha know that being smart is only for them smarty-pants smart people? Yup, that’s right: I’m saying American citizens who don’t fully and actively oppose the utter destruction the Bushies are wreaking upon America and the world are just as bad as the wreakers.  After all, you’re either fer ‘em or agin ‘em, right? (full rant)

June 9

-- External Link of the Day -- 
The History of Female Orgasm
by Yoshie Furuhashi

Did Blair Know About the OSP? And When Did He Know It?
by Ahmed Amr

Once again, journalists are hounding Tony Blair about the rush to war. On the strength of one lousy Downing Street memo, they are contesting his plea of innocence against scurrilous charges that he sexed up intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. But as the Prime Minister has often repeated to those who would listen -- he was taken in by reasonable intelligence that turned out to be wrong. Tony didn’t lie -- he just made a bad call on the strength of the information that was available at time. He made the momentous decision to go to war based on his fear that Saddam was intent on invading England and had the capability of launching chemical weapons against the British homeland on 45 minutes notice. In a recent White House Press conference, a reporter questioned Tony Blair about the pre-invasion Downing Street Memo. The now famous document reveals that, “Intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of removing Saddam through military actions....
(full article)

Trained to "Disassemble"
by Ken Sanders

According to our dear Yale-educated President, to disassemble means to "not tell the truth." Imagine the astonishment of all those illiterates out there who had been long operating under the apparently false impression that to disassemble meant to take something apart. One hopes that dictionaries are being revised nationwide. Nonetheless, and regardless of any disagreements Webster's might have with his definition, Bush declared last month that the accusations of torture and abuse by detainees at Guantanamo weren't credible because they were made by "people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble." Sadly, detainees at Guantanamo are not the only haters of America who are trained to lie. It is clear that the Bush administration hates this country, those who defend it, and those who call it home. It is also clear that the Bush administration, notwithstanding all claims about Bush being a straight-shooter, are well-trained in the art of dissembling....(full article)

The Economy Turned the Corner and Is Headed in the Wrong Direction
by Gene C. Gerard

Throughout the presidential campaign last fall, one of Mr. Bush’s favorite stump lines was “The economy has turned the corner.” Presumably, this was the best (and, no doubt, the simplest) line that Karl Rove and Karen Hughes could craft for the president to reassure the nation that our economic woes were behind us. However, various reports released recently, as well as a comprehensive survey of America’s concerns, suggests that if the economy did turn the corner, it’s made a u-turn....(full article)

Arms Dealer to the World
U.S. Dominates the Global Trade in Guns, Bombs and Missiles
by Nicole Colson

The arms trade is a booming business. Each year, more money is spent around the globe on the weapons and military expenditures than anything else -- more than social services, agriculture, health care, even the drug trade. But if you think that the biggest seller of the world’s weapons is a “rogue” nation or one of the countries on George Bush’s “Axis of Evil,” guess again....(full article)

Iraq: Bush's Land of Make-Believe
by Ken Sanders

In the world of the Bush Administration, nothing is as it seems. Facts are doctored, if not deleted or "disappeared" outright. Science is filtered through the prisms of religion and politics. Intelligence is tailored to support policy. When it comes to Iraq and the interminable war on terrorism, for Bush & Co. black is white, up is down, and increased casualties and insurgent violence is a sign of progress. Recent data compiled by the Brookings Institution reveal an Iraq that is becoming more chaotic and deadly by the day. For instance, as of May 2005, the average number of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Iraq was 77 and 615 per month, respectively. A year ago, those numbers were 42 and 584. As of May 2005, an average of 600 Iraqi civilians per month were killed by warfare. Last year, that average was only 350 per month. At this time last year, there were an average of 52 insurgent attacks per day. As of May 2005, there were 70 per day....(full article)

Former Army Sec, Enron VP, Thomas White Wants Govt. Funding
for New Energy Project

by Jason Leopold

Beware. This could be your tax dollars at work. The federal government may guarantee hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to help a former energy executive who publicly admitted he had no idea that the division he once ran cooked its books and who is now trying to secure funding for a new energy company he started with three ex-colleagues. Yes, Thomas White, the former vice chairman of Enron Energy Services and one-time Secretary of the Army, who testified before the U.S. Senate more than two years ago that he was clueless about the tactics the employees who worked for him used to manipulate electricity prices in the California power market in addition to the massive losses EES -- under his leadership -- hid in an effort to keep its parent company, Enron Corp, temporarily afloat, is back in the energy business and this time he's looking for a handout....(full article)

Who Will Save the Children?
by Sheila Samples

As if we needed yet one more shudderingly repulsive account of a Republican who is virulently anti-gay by day and an abusive pedophile by night... But there Jim West is -- still squatting in the mayor's office, still holding all of Spokane, Washington, hostage despite unanimous calls for his resignation from citizens, business leaders, the Chamber of Commerce and, at long last, from even his own City Council. A defiant West maintains that he is being persecuted by those who accuse him of molestation and by Spokane's newspaper, which broke the story on May 5 after a lengthy and in-depth investigation....(full article)

Sleeping With the Enemy
by John Pilger

The National Union of Journalists and the Blair government are planning a "launch" ceremony, at which they will announce their "partnership". According to John Fray, the NUJ's deputy general secretary, this collaboration will "promote awareness among journalists of the issues that surround the struggle against poverty on a world scale... We want to help the media to tell it like it is." In a glossy letter to NUJ members, Fray says that joining hands with the government is "enhancing the understanding of the need for a positive approach to international development amongst those who report and comment on the issues…” For this "positive approach," the government is paying the journalists' union 80,000 pounds. What a bargain price for the principle of independence from power....
(full article)

Harboring a Terrorist: The Case of Luis Posada Carriles
by Derrick O'Keefe

Another unmentionable subject for Bush is the case of perhaps the hemisphere’s most notorious terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, who was recently detained in Florida for illegally entering the country from Mexico. The septuagenarian anti-Castro zealot has spent decades organizing terrorist violence against Cuba, and his history of collaboration with U.S. officials -- he is a former CIA “asset” -- illustrates the extreme hypocrisy of the “War on Terror.”....(full article)

Bonds Are Us
by Sheila Velazquez

The U.S. Treasury has frozen interest rates on savings bonds. As of May 1, Series EE bonds have a fixed rate, the one that prevails at the time of their purchase. Gone is the safety net of floating rates that rise with inflation, and those people who will be most affected will find their savings bonds yielding less in purchasing power when they cash them in. I learned about savings bonds from my mother. In her mind, they were one of the two safe ways to put away a few dollars, the other being the cracked sugar bowl on the top shelf of the cupboard, which she said was "right where I can watch it." Statistics are periodically released that show that average Americans don't save anymore, but in fact, the feds and the financial institutions reinforce poor saving habits by not encouraging and requiring that we set aside funds for our big purchases, like our homes and vehicles. Instead they pander to our weaknesses and need for instant gratification and suck the resources from the working class....(full article)

June 8

Bolivia on a Tight Rope
by Benjamin Dangl

On June 6th 2005, after months of steady road blockades and protests demanding the nationalization of the country’s natural gas reserves, President Carlos Mesa offered his resignation to congress, explaining he was incapable of presiding over such a tumultuous country. This was one of many climactic points in a series of popular uprisings over the destiny of the second largest gas reserves in South America. At this writing, the fate of the gas, and the geopolitical future of the country, is still very much in question....
(full article)

Damage Control Over the Downing Street Memo
by Kim Petersen

During the UK elections, the minutes of a meeting between high-ranking UK officials was leaked and published in The Times of London. The memo, written prior to the US/UK aggression against Iraq by Matthew Rycroft, a top aide to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, indicates that the invasion of Iraq was “inevitable” and policy-driven. The authenticity of the minutes is undisputed and, according to one anonymous former senior US official, is “an absolutely accurate description of what transpired.” Although the corporate media has been characterized as relatively silent and lackadaisical in pursuit of a “hot” story, agitation by some Democratic Party politicians has kept the Downing Street Memo issue simmering. In damage mode, Bush and Blair faced the meekly probing media together in Washington yesterday at a joint White House news conference that focused mostly on aid to Africa....(full article)

June 7

Is Bolivia on the Edge of Revolution?
Mass Protests Force President to Resign
by Alan Maass

Bolivian President Carlos Mesa was driven out of office yesterday, following weeks of escalating protests demanding nationalization of the country’s natural gas resources. Who will succeed Mesa is still uncertain as we go to press, but it was clear that the popular movement against transnational corporate domination of Bolivia’s natural resources and the country’s own native elite had scored a huge victory. The upheaval in Bolivia is the latest flashpoint in a wave of struggle crisscrossing Latin America -- from Ecuador, where the government of Lucio Gutierrez was toppled in April, to Venezuela, with the sharpening of anti-imperialist sentiment in the face of renewed threats from the U.S. Latin America has become a crucible, where Washington-backed free-market policies known as neoliberalism are despised by the mass of the population. Capitalism and political systems that serve only the rich may be dealt a series of crippling blows. Nowhere is the struggle for a society based on solving the problems and meeting the needs of ordinary people more advanced than in Bolivia. Tom Lewis is the co-author -- with Bolivian popular leader Oscar Olivera -- of the South End Press book Cochabamba! Water War in Bolivia, on the struggle for water rights in one of Bolivia’s largest cities. Here, Tom explains the background to the crisis and weighs the prospects for revolution in Bolivia....(full article)

More Terrorists?
by William Fisher

I read in the papers that the FBI has charged two more U.S. citizens with conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida. The two, it is alleged, were enthusiastic followers of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 50, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Tarik Shah, 42, of New York, a martial arts expert and jazz musician, are currently being held without bail. They got busted as the result of an FBI sting, and the Feds say they have it all on tape. Now, I haven’t a clue whether these two are bad guys, but since they haven’t had a trial yet, the Constitution says they’re presumed innocent. Beyond that, though, you’ll pardon me if I approach this with just a tad of skepticism. The reason is that the track records of the FBI, the immigration guys at the Department of Homeland Security, the “few bad apples” who brought us Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram, and the sometimes over-zealous lawyers in the Justice Department, aren’t all that reassuring. Consider two of the government’s most recent “terrorism” cases....(full article)

Torture is Part of the Territory of Occupation
by Naomi Klein

Brace yourself for a flood of gruesome new torture snapshots. Last week, a federal judge ordered the Defense Department to release dozens of additional photographs and videotapes depicting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib....(full article)

Against CAFTA
by toni solo

Amid the confusing signals streaming out of events in Latin America recently, arguments around the Central American Free Trade Agreement juxtapose two opposing motifs. One follows from the mute recognition by the United States that it is in decline against its competitors in Asia and against the European Union. Hence US efforts to preempt World Trade Organization negotiations so as to consolidate corporate control of and access to Latin America's resources via CAFTA and similar deals before Latin American countries can consolidate resistance. The other contrary motif is growing widespread resistance to CAFTA and similar agreements accompanying increasing awareness that the bogus “free trade” they represent is unsustainable. Rejected along with CAFTA is the gangster system of international corporate welfare economics rigged by the powers that control the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and by local financial enforcers like the Inter-American Development Bank. Throughout Latin America, the majority of people know very well that handing over sovereignty within a failed international economic and financial system operated for the benefit of rapacious corporations is a bad idea....(full article)

Pushing Back the Violence: Peacemaker Teams Get in the Way
by Greg Moses & Susan Van Haitsma

For two unarmed peacemakers walking in Colombia’s Magdalena River Valley, there is only one thing to do. When an eight-year-old girl screams that troops are about to kill her father, they run toward the guns. “Kill us first!” plead Scott Albrecht and Sandra Rincón as they move in front of the troops, arms outstretched. Had the Canadian and the Colombian not stepped in front of the girl’s father, say witnesses, the nine-man paramilitary force was “preparing to kill him.”....(full article)

Watergate Was a Small Crime
Deeper Than Palast on the Deep Throat Revelation

by Paul Street

On at least four occasions (twice on television and twice on the radio) during the last week, I’ve had to endure listening to dominant media outlets host debates on whether or not Mark Felt was “a hero” for feeding Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward with information on the notorious Watergate break-in of June 1972, when four spies working for the Richard Nixon re-election campaign were caught burglarizing the Democratic Party’s headquarters. These debates seemed to suggest that Felt is a hero of “the left,” assigning Republicans the role of denying Felt’s goodness. Felt, a hero? God, no…at least not from this (mine) left perspective, at least.  For one thing, the “hero” designation accepts the wrongheaded notion that the Watergate revelations were “heroic” in the first place. They weren’t. The amateurish Watergate operation, as Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman pointed out in 1988, was a relatively small sin compared to other crimes more professionally committed by the Nixon administration. Those other transgressions included the “secret bombing” of Cambodia, which killed possibly 200,000 people and terribly damaged a poor peasant nation, and the undertaking of a massive FBI operation to undermine basic democratic freedoms at home....(full article)

Media Exclusion of Women as Sources Impedes Meaningful Reform
by Lucinda Marshall

Laudable as the goals of “media reform” may be, until the voices of women (as well as other silenced groups) are fully and equitably included, it will remain a deluded (mostly white) guy buzzword, self-limiting in its scope of meaningful change. The Project for Excellence in Journalism’s recently released study, "The Gender Gap: Women Are Still Missing as Sources for Journalists," documents the painfully limited use of women as news sources and makes clear the serious and pervasive nature of the problem. The study found, among other things, that female voices are most noticeably missing on cable news programs and stories dealing with foreign affairs. The results of the study clearly indicate that women as sources of information are essentially invisibilized to a large extent. Inasmuch as foreign affairs comprise a significant portion of the news, it is, as Sheila Gibbons of Women’s eNews put it: “[E]asy to see that failing to include women as sources in that coverage would dramatically reduce their presence in the news, and block our perception of them as people with ideas and expertise.”....(full article)

Portrait of Laurie Flynn, TeenScreen's Top Pill Pusher
by Evelyn J. Pringle

On January 1, 2001, Laurie Flynn joined Columbia University, and became the top dog for marketing the TeenScreen program which is nothing but a clever tool invented to recruit children in public schools as customers for the pharmaceutical companies. The truth about programs like TeenScreen and the pills Flynn is pushing was uncovered during an investigation by the US Preventive Services Task Force. A report by the Task Force released in May of 2004, determined: (A) There is no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality. (B) There is limited evidence on the accuracy of screening tools to identify suicide risk. (C) There is insufficient evidence that treatment of those at high risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality. (D) No studies were found that directly address the harms of screening and treatment for suicide risk. Prior to joining Columbia, Flynn served as the executive director of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) for 16 years. NAMI bills itself as “a grassroots organization of individuals with brain disorders and their family members.” In reality, NAMI is the pharmaceutical industry's number one front group dedicated solely to promoting and selling as many pills as humanly possible. Which means before she hooked up with TeenScreen, Flynn was the nation's top pill pusher for 16 years....(full article)

June 6

America's War on Speech and the SHAC 7 Trial
by David Sugar

On June 1st, they came to Trenton bearing the first amendment, placards of mutilated animals, and chants. They include people who range from ever-dangerous vegan teens to violent Manhattan insurance executives. Some brought their toddlers, who no doubt were organizing a chemical weapons attack. These were after all America's newest and most dangerously violent hardcore #1 domestic terrorist threat: Animal Rights Activists.  Seven members of an Animal Rights group known as SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty) are on trial as "Animal Enterprise Terrorists," each facing 23 years imprisonment and perhaps a potential ticket for future Guantánamos, all for the dangerous and violent act of publishing a web site!....(full article)

The Law
by Rev. Keith R. Wright

A short story of what America may one day look like if Christian fanaticism, particularly Dominionism, takes control and administers its Law....(full story)

June 5

From Watergate to Downing Street -- Lying for War
by Norman Solomon

You wouldn’t know it from the media focus on Deep Throat last week, but the lies that Richard Nixon told about the Watergate break-in were part of his standard duplicity for the Vietnam War. It wasn’t just that the Nixon administration engaged in secret illegal actions against a wide range of peace advocates -- including antiwar candidate George McGovern, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. Deception was always central to Nixon’s war policy. Thirty-three years after Watergate, echoes of his fervent lies for war can be heard from George W. Bush....(full article)

Rivaling Pax Americana
by Kim Petersen

As reported in the self-titled newspaper of record, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave “an unusually blunt public critique of China” at an Asian security conference in Singapore. Obviously, blunt critique is not unusual for Rumsfeld, but, while the regime of President George W. Bush was courting China in its War on Terror, unfriendly rhetoric aimed against the Chinese regime abated. The article noted that Chinese military expenditures threatened to upset the “delicate security balance in Asia.” The solution offered was the usual neoliberal drivel calling for a focus instead on political freedom and open markets. The security balance has hitherto been lopsided in favor of US imperialist interests and although Rumsfeld seeks to evoke fears in neighbors at the rapidly developing Chinese state (which benefits the entire region), it is the US state that feels most discomfited....(full article

When is Someone Going to Toss Rumsfeld Into a Cage?
by Jason Leopold

If you want to ensure that the media doesn't cover an important political story, send out a press release on a Friday, preferably at the end of the day. By the time reporters return on Monday, the story will be old news and will either be buried deep within a newspaper or not covered at all. That's what the Pentagon brass is praying for. At the end of the day Friday, the Pentagon confirmed a pattern of widespread abuse of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, by military personnel dating back two and a half years. Releasing the report when most beat reporters have left for the weekend was a calculated move by White House and Pentagon spin doctors to control media coverage of the explosive report....(full article)

Deep Throat and the Power of the People
by Ted Glick

There is no question that former top FBI guy Mark Felt's decision to provide information to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in the early '70s was one important part of what led to Richard Nixon's eventual resignation from office in August of 1974. But, not surprisingly, the corporate media have left out the decisive factor which led to that result: the sentiments and the actions of the U.S. American people at the grassroots....(full article)

June 2

Monkey Business by Matt Taibbi: Everybody always talks about religious conservatives, but nobody ever does anything about them.

Amnesty International Fallout
Reality Check: Who to Believe on the Iraq War and
US Treatment of Prisoners?

by Kevin Zeese

President Bush called a report by Amnesty International “absurd” for its charge that the United States is mistreating terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying accusations were being made by “people who hate America.” At a Rose Garden press conference on May 31 the president exclaimed: “It's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America...” President Bush's comments were echoed by senior members of the administration who all lined up to blast the report in a thou-doth-protest-too-much coordinated attack on Amnesty. What was the administration so defensive about? (full article)

War Made Easy: From Vietnam to Iraq
by Norman Solomon

This article is an excerpt from Norman Solomon' must-read book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, to be published in mid-June....(full article)

Improvisation From The Proscenium
The Matter of Mind, Myth, and Metaphor: Epilogue

by Harold Williamson

We seldom heed what others have to say unless it has some immediate application to our own lives. Yet when the need arises to say something ourselves, we often expect others to listen as we mistakenly assume the role of prophet and succumb to the temptation to indulge in some amateur preaching. But libraries are replete with books filled with long sermons written in arcane and lifeless prose addressed to a nodding choir. So what couldn't be said in an essay of moderate length would have only added to the cacophony. “Improvisation from the Proscenium: The Matter of Mind, Myth, and Metaphor” was written for a general readership having some background in science as well as the humanities. No claim was made to novelty in points of detail. The various theories presented as paradoxical philosophy are more thoroughly explained in the literature; however, many are abstruse -- some because they require considerable scholarship, others because they are not true....(full article)

Child Vaccines Did & Do Cause Autism
by Evelyn J. Pringle

On Feb 9, 2004, the National Autism Association issued a press release that reported on one of the larger studies under review based on the Center for Disease Control's Vaccine Safety Datalink. The Association reports that independent investigation of CDC data revealed children were 27 times more likely to develop autism after exposure to three thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs), than those who receive thimerosal-free versions. Let that sink in. 27 times more likely to develop autism. Then consider that our government regulatory agencies had this information for years and deliberately kept it hidden from the public. This failure to warn the public was not due to negligence or laziness, it was a deliberate cover-up and it continues today. . . . In order to enroll in public schools and day care, children must comply with mandatory vaccine schedule, which includes vaccines that have not undergone the scientific testing necessary to guarantee their safety, and have the potential to harm millions of children....(full article)

Why Is Bush Getting Away With Murder?
by Lance Selfa

Check any opinion poll this month and you will find that President Bush’s popularity rests somewhere in the mid-40 percent range. On specific subjects, like privatizing Social Security, Bush’s ratings reach Nixonian levels of unpopularity, with about one in three Americans expressing support. And a growing majority believes the war in Iraq wasn’t worth it. Bush’s and Congress’s crashing support should be a signal that Americans are looking for an alternative to the right-wing politics that dominated the country. Yet, you’d be hard-pressed to find among the liberal organizations and the Democratic Party a sense of anything other than a feeling of siege and resignation. Why? Usually liberals explain their impotence by blaming the American populace (or “the heartland”) for being too right-wing to realize just how great liberal ideas are. Yet a “veteran Republican who has close ties to the White House,” quoted by the May 24 New York Times comes closer to the truth. “The only reason [Bush is] still up there in the 40s is that the Democrats are really brain-dead and have nothing positive to put on the table,” the operative said. “This is more than a rough patch; it’s a dark moment right now for Bush.” So if even Bush’s supporters can see that a real opposition could cripple the administration, why can’t the so-called “opposition” see it? (full article)

Watergate Proves That Even Presidents Will Break Laws
to Achieve Goals

by Jason Leopold

Tuesday's revelation that W. Mark Felt, the former number two man at the FBI, was the anonymous source known as Deep Throat, who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein unravel the Watergate scandal in the pages of the Washington Post 30 years ago, should be seen as an important reminder that even the leader of the free world can be devious, corrupt and dishonest. . . . The sad reality these days, however, is that it takes a scandal such as a president receiving oral sex in the Oval Office by an intern to qualify for above the fold headlines and impeachment. Leading the country into a war under false pretenses? Sorry, not juicy enough. The Downing Street memo that was unearthed by the Times of London last month should have been the smoking gun that finally resulted in Bush being brought up on High Crimes and Misdemeanor charges under the United States Constitution's impeachment clause....(full article)

The Strange Case of Deep Throat vs. Strep Throat
by Stan Moore

As Deep Throat, Mark Felt did something useful and remarkable. But some have asserted that Felt did a good thing for a questionable reason -- he may have been angry over having been passed over for FBI Chief and thus blown the whistle on the Nixon Administration as a form of revenge. If this is true, and had Felt been appointed as FBI Chief, then perhaps Woodward and Bernstein would have never gotten their scoop and Nixon may have finished two terms and the entire history of the USA may have played out completely differently. But Deep Throat did more than blow the whistle on Nixon. His own undercover, illegal operations continued even after Nixon Fell. Deep Throat became Strep Throat, a pox on America....(full article)

Who Owns The World?
by Said Shirazi

My friend Mike was so upset by the looting of the Baghdad museum two years ago that he stood out in front of the Met with a handwritten sign denouncing U.S. plunder of the world. The passing New Yorkers, art lovers and international tourists were largely sympathetic. My wife and I came out to show support, as did two of his other friends. The strategy we developed was not forming ranks shoulder to shoulder but rather standing in front of him as if thoughtfully considering his message, acting as shills rather than comrades. But you know the U.S. does create wealth, I felt compelled to say over Chinese food a few weeks later. When a screenwriter sits down and plots the reveal of an action movie or a programmer codes a Java plug-in for a web browser, they are making something out of nothing. Designing and planning create value as much as cutting fabric and sewing do; a pattern is required to make a dress as much as needle and thread. Managing, organizing, borrowing, signing checks are all activities necessary to business. Manual labor is not enough, there has to be mental labor as well; there has to be a plan....(full article)

Spaced Cowboy’s Space Cowboys
by Mark Drolette

... Clumsy label or no, PNAC’s RADSFARFANC (I’ll do my darnedest to keep all those letters straight as we continue) recently came to mind yet again upon perusing a very brief article from Reuters on Yahoo.  (Helpful hint #1 for budding political satirist/commentators: the shorter the item, the more important the topic.) Headlined “Air Force seeks Bush nod for space weapons-NYT,” it leads: “The U.S. Air Force is seeking President Bush's approval of a national security directive that could move the United States closer to fielding offensive and defensive space weapons, the New York Times reported…” Later, it reads: “With little public debate, the Pentagon has already spent billions of dollars developing space weapons and preparing plans to deploy them, the newspaper said.” That darn Pentagon -- what a wacky bunch!  They’ve already spent billions of our money pursuing space weapons before getting Bush’s permission?  (Although ‘tis possible, I suppose, that when the Department of Defense boys dropped by to get W’s “X”, he was out riding his trike, er, bike.) The item finishes: “Air Force officials said the directive did not call for militarizing space. ‘The focus of the process is not putting weapons in space,’ said Maj. Karen Finn, an Air Force spokeswoman. ‘The focus is having free access in space.’” Hmm, let’s see: the Pentagon is “developing space weapons” but “not [for] putting weapons in space.”....(full article

Bush Administration Promotes Global Conflicts by Rewarding Allies
by Gene C. Gerard

Since the Bush administration invaded Iraq, they have insisted that in doing so, they are spreading democracy. The administration has grandly pledged to “end tyranny in our world.” And President Bush advised the nation only a few months ago that “democracy is on the march.” But a report just released by the World Policy Institute casts doubt on these assertions. And it calls into question the favorite declaration by the Bush administration: namely, that America is safer today than it was before the invasion of Iraq....(full article)

Body Slamming the 4th Amendment
by Mike Whitney

The Senate Intelligence Committee is working behind closed doors to expand the powers of the Patriot Act and deliver another withering blow to the 4th amendment. This time the constitutional broadside comes in the form of "administrative subpoenas," an Orwellian expression which indicates that law enforcement agencies, like the FBI, will be able to circumvent the courts to subpoena records. To understand the breadth of this new classification, we need to grasp the basic inconsistency in the terminology itself....(full article)

Bombing Iran: The Facts Don't Matter
by Joshua Frank

As if things were going so smoothly in Iraq, now this: leaders in the US are calling for military strikes on Iran. Their infatuation with taking down the mullahs isn't predicated on defending the United States. Rather, it's to protect Israel -- from what, we're not really sure. AIPAC, the highly influential pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington recently held its well-attended annual conference, where the core educational thrust of the event was to persuade US politicians and the mainstream media into believing that Iran needs a little warfare. The assumption is that Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon. So we better bomb 'em, and quick....(full article)

Evil vs. Really Evil: The Upcoming Iranian Presidential Elections
by Reza Fiyouzat

The Iranian presidential elections of 1997 and 2001 were riddled with the same overtones of “lesser evil” stuff that has become prominent in Western, and especially Anglo-Saxon elections. For us Iranians, “lesser evil” mentality gave us the politely-termed “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami, whose presidency has not changed at all, nor in any significant way, the level of social misery and oppression in Iran. On June 17, there will be a new round of presidential elections held in Iran. After two servings of the old “lesser evil” tripe, however, the Iranian people have wised up and know that “lesser evil” stuff means they will be shafted, and taken for suckers yet again. And in this realization, they exhibit more sophistication than most of their western counterparts. But of course, their starting point was always one of no trust in the government, whereas most westerners labor under the illusion that their governments and states are benign institutions looking out for the interests of their citizens. The Iranian electorate has lost their illusions about all the “lesser evil” talk: this year, by contrast, the elections are mostly perceived to be about unadulterated, pure-grade evil, plain and simple. The evils being presented are equally repulsive. And we are not talking merely about the candidates running in the elections. That part is simply an open farce. The truly evil ones we are referring to are foreign....(full article)

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