Things in Empire

The Anti-Empire Report

Things which don’t go away. Things the American government and media don’t let go of.
And neither do I.


“They’re leaving as heroes. I want them to walk home with pride in their hearts,” declared Col. John Norris, the head of a US Army brigade in Iraq. ((Washington Post, August 19, 2010))

It’s enough to bring tears to the eyes of an American, enough to make him choke up.

Enough to make him forget.

But no American should be allowed to forget that the nation of Iraq, the society of Iraq, have been destroyed, ruined, a failed state. The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured … the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up … an army of young Islamic men went to Iraq to fight the American invaders; they left the country more militant, hardened by war, to spread across the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia … a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again.

“It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,” reported the Washington Post on May 5, 2007.

No matter … drum roll, please … Stand tall American GI hero! And don’t even think of ever apologizing. Iraq is forced by the United States to continue paying reparations for its own invasion of Kuwait in 1990. How much will the American heroes pay the people of Iraq?

Unhappy the land that has no heroes …
No. Unhappy the land that needs heroes.
– Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo

What we need to discover in the social realm is the moral equivalent of war; something heroic that will speak to men as universally as war does, and yet will be as compatible with their spiritual selves as war has proved to be incompatible.
– William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Perhaps the groundwork for that heroism already exists … February 15, 2003, a month before the US invasion of Iraq, probably the largest protest in human history, between six and ten million protesters took to the streets of some 800 cities in nearly sixty countries across the globe.

Iraq. Love it or leave it.

PanAm 103

The British government recently warned Libya against celebrating the one-year anniversary of Scotland’s release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan who’s the only person ever convicted of the 1988 blowing up of PanAm flight 103 over Scotland, which took the lives of 270 largely Americans and British. Britain’s Foreign Office has declared: “On this anniversary we understand the continuing anguish that al-Megrahi’s release has caused his victims both in the U.K. and the U.S. He was convicted for the worst act of terrorism in British history. Any celebration of al-Megrahi’s release would be tasteless, offensive and deeply insensitive to the victims’ families.”

John Brennan, President Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser, stated that the United States has “expressed our strong conviction” to Scottish officials that Megrahi should not remain free. Brennan criticized what he termed the “unfortunate and inappropriate and wrong decision” to allow Megrahi’s return to Libya on compassionate grounds on Aug. 20, 2009 because he had cancer and was not expected to live more than about three months. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying that the United States “continues to categorically disagree” with Scotland’s decision to release Megrahi a year ago. “As we have expressed repeatedly to Scottish authorities, we maintain that Megrahi should serve out the entirety of his sentence in prison in Scotland.” ((Associated Press, August 21, 2010)) The US Senate has called for an investigation and family members of the crash victims have demanded that Megrahi’s medical records be released. The Libyan’s failure to die as promised has upset many people.

But how many of our wonderful leaders are upset that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi spent eight years in prison despite the fact that there was, and is, no evidence that he had anything to do with the bombing of flight 103? The Scottish court that convicted him knew he was innocent. To understand that just read their 2001 “Opinion of the Court”, or read my analysis.

As to the British government being so upset about Libya celebrating Megrahi’s release — keeping in mind that it strongly appears that UK oil deals with Libya played more of a role in his release than his medical condition did — we should remember that in July 1988 an American Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, the Vincennes, shot down an Iranian passenger plane, taking the lives of 290 people; i.e., more than died from flight 103. And while the Iranian people mourned their lost loved ones, the United States celebrated by handing out medals and ribbons to the captain and crew of the Vincennes. ((Newsweek, July 13, 1992)) The shootdown had another consequence: It inspired Iran to take revenge, which it did in December of that year, financing the operation to blow up PanAm 103 (carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine –- General Command).

Why do they hate us?

Passions are flying all over the place concerning the proposed building of an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from 9/11 Ground Zero in New York. Even people who are not particularly anti-Muslim think it would be in bad taste, offensive. But implicit in all the hostility is the idea that what happened on that fateful day in 2001 was a religious act, fanatic Muslims acting as Muslims attacking infidels. However — even if one accepts the official government version of 19 Muslims hijacking four airliners — the question remains: Why did they choose the targets they chose? If they wanted to kill lots of American infidels why not fly the planes into the stands of packed football or baseball stadiums in the midwest or the south? Certainly a lot less protected than the Pentagon or the financial center of downtown Manhattan. Why did they choose symbols of US military might and imperialism? Because it was not a religious act, it was a political act. It was revenge for decades of American political and military abuse in the Middle East. ((See chapter one of Blum’s book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower)) It works the same all over the world. In the period of the 1950s to the 1980s in Latin America, in response to continuous hateful policies of Washington, there were countless acts of terrorism against American diplomatic and military targets as well as the offices of US corporations; nothing to do with religion.

Somehow, American leaders have to learn that their country is not exempt from history, that their actions have consequences.


In their need to defend the US occupation of Afghanistan, many Americans have cited the severe oppression of women in that desperate land and would have you believe that the United States is the last great hope of those poor ladies. However, in the 1980s the United States played an indispensable role in the overthrow of a secular and relatively progressive Afghan government, one which endeavored to grant women much more freedom than they’ll ever have under the current government, more perhaps than ever again. Here are some excerpts from a 1986 US Army manual on Afghanistan discussing the policies of this government concerning women: “provisions of complete freedom of choice of marriage partner, and fixation of the minimum age at marriage at 16 for women and 18 for men”; “abolished forced marriages”; “bring [women] out of seclusion, and initiate social programs”; “extensive literacy programs, especially for women”; “putting girls and boys in the same classroom”; “concerned with changing gender roles and giving women a more active role in politics.” ((US Department of the Army, Afghanistan, A Country Study (1986), p.121, 128, 130, 223, 232))

The overthrow of this government paved the way for the coming to power of an Islamic fundamentalist regime, followed by the awful Taliban. And why did the United States in its infinite wisdom choose to do such a thing? Mainly because the Afghan government was allied with the Soviet Union and Washington wanted to draw the Russians into a hopeless military quagmire — “We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War”, said Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser. ((See Brzezinski’s Wikipedia entry))

The women of Afghanistan will never know how the campaign to raise them to the status of full human beings would have turned out, but this, some might argue, is but a small price to pay for a marvelous Cold War victory.


Why does the mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship? Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship? No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money — secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba — would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?

Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. ((See Anti-Empire Report of September 25, 2006, 3rd item, for more information about the Cuban election process)) Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; and that’s why it’s not the case. Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?

Is Cuba a dictatorship because it arrests dissidents? Thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. Many have been beaten by police and mistreated while incarcerated. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer. Since the Cuban revolution, the United States and anti-Castro Cuban exiles in the US have inflicted upon Cuba greater damage and greater loss of life than what happened in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. (This is documented by Cuba in a 1999 suit against the United States detailing $181.1 billion in compensation for victims: the death of 3,478 Cubans and the wounding or disabling of 2,099 others. The Cuban suit has been in the hands of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations since 2001, a committee made up of all 15 members of the Security Council, which of course includes the United States, and which may account for the inaction on the matter.)

Cuban dissidents typically have had very close, indeed intimate, political and financial connections to American government agents. Would the US government ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense. ((For a detailed discussion of Cuba’s alleged political prisoners see article ‘Cuba and the Number of “Political Prisoners,” Huffington Post, August 24th 2010))

The terrorist list

As casually and as routinely as calling Cuba a dictatorship, the mainstream media drops the line into news stories that “Hezbollah [or Hamas, or FARC, etc.] is considered a terrorist group by the United States”, stated as matter-of-factly as saying that Hezbollah is located in Lebanon. Inclusion on the list limits an organization in various ways, such as its ability to raise funds and travel internationally. And inclusion is scarcely more than a political decision made by the US government. Who is put on or left off the State Department’s terrorist list bears a strong relation to how supportive of US or Israeli policies the group is. The list, for example, never includes any of the anti-Castro Cuban groups or individuals in Florida although those people have carried out literally hundreds of terrorist acts over the past few decades, in Latin America, in the US, and in Europe. As you read this, the two men responsible for blowing up a Cuban airline in 1976, taking 73 lives, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada, are walking around free in the Florida sunshine. Imagine that Osama bin Laden was walking freely around the Streets of an Afghan or Pakistan city taking part in political demonstrations as Posada does in Florida. Venezuela asked the United States to extradite Posada five years ago and is still waiting.

Bosch and Posada are but two of hundreds of Latin-American terrorists who’ve been given haven in the United States over the years. ((Rogue State, Chapter 9)) Various administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have also provided close support of terrorists in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere, including those with known connections to al Qaeda. Yet, in the grand offices of the State Department sit learned men who list Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, along with Syria, Sudan and Iran. ((See State Department )) That’s the complete list.

Meanwhile, the five Cubans sent to Miami to monitor the anti-Castro terrorists are in their 12th year in US prisons. The Cuban government made the very foolish error of turning over to the FBI the evidence of terrorist activities gathered by the five Cubans. Instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI arrested the five Cubans (sic).


“Hall of Shamer: Clemens Indicted” — page one headline in large type about fabled baseball pitcher Roger Clemens charged with lying to Congress about his use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. ((The Examiner (Washington, DC), August 20, 2010)) Of all the things that athletes put into their bodies to improve their health, fitness and performance, why are steroids singled out? Doesn’t taking vitamin and mineral supplements give an athlete an advantage over athletes who don’t take them? Should these supplements be banned from sport competition? Vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessarily any more “natural” than steroids, which in fact are very important in our body chemistry; among the steroids are the male and female sex hormones. Moreover, why not punish those who follow a “healthy diet” because of the advantage this may give them?

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

13 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on September 1st, 2010 at 10:19am #

    I repeat, indian wars must go on. We all who are not with `jews` and US are now indians. And the only good indian is a dead indian. Sargon of akkad, senacherib of assyria, peter the great, suleiman the great, alexander the great, the great fathers of the confederation, katlo the great, napoleon, churchill the great, obama the great all wanted to conquer– in glory, too– the known world.
    Or sargon, darius, xerxes wold say: we are rulers of four corners of the earth. They knew the earth was flat!

    So, blum, you seem not to know that God Bless America=sargon 1,2,3, jefferson, otto, genghis, suleiman, joshua, dayan, atilla, nero, faisal?
    And america=eauql to four corners of the orb?
    So, maybe hitlers had been right when he thought that it is the `jews`=equalling sargons?
    So, you still think anything changed even since pre-sargon brutal rule. After all, even he must have had teachers! tnx

  2. teafoe2 said on September 1st, 2010 at 10:29am #

    Plagiarized excerpt matches my own view, from ANSWER:

    It is necessary to separate fact from fiction regarding the announcement by the Obama administration that it is removing “combat brigades” from Iraq.

    This is not the time for progressive people to pat themselves on the back, claim “victory” and pretend that the U.S. government is pursuing a different policy than that which was carried out by the previous administration.

    Today’s announcement that renames the 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is nothing more than the rebranding of the illegal U.S. occupation of Iraq that began with the criminal invasion of the country by hundreds of thousands of U.S. forces on March 20, 2003. Let’s remember, the goal of the Bush administration, too, was not to keep a certain number of U.S. troops in Iraq forever, but instead to exercise U.S. domination over the country and the region.

    The Obama administration has maintained the principal military and civilian leaders from the Bush administration. The withdrawal of some combat brigades from Iraq is essentially a redeployment exercise so that tens of thousands more U.S. troops can be sent to Afghanistan.

    Since Bush left office, and contrary to the deep desire of the masses of people who constituted the electoral base for President Obama’s November 2008 victory, the U.S. military machine has grown, not diminished. The U.S. military budget has actually increased, not decreased.

    The ongoing occupation of Iraq, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, the increasing threats against Iran, and the enduring U.S.-Israeli war directed against the Palestinian people are all clear indicators that U.S. foreign policy and its military strategy are premised on the pursuit and maintenance of Empire regardless of whether the Democrats or the Republicans occupy the White House.

    When he delivered his major address in Cairo on June 4, 2009, President Obama described the war in Iraq as a “war of choice.” That is simply popular vernacular for a war of aggression. The reality of his position, however, was revealed today when President Obama actually called George W. Bush to confer with him in advance of tonight’s address on Iraq. Tonight, President Obama took the occasion to salute Bush as a “patriot” with “love of country and commitment to our security.” George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials in the Bush administration should be indicted and prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    The invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq has shredded Iraqi sovereignty and “succeeded” in killing as many as 1 million Iraqis. The invasion and ongoing occupation has succeeded in ripping apart a once-united country. It is the U.S. invasion that stoked a sectarian civil war. It was a deliberate and conscious policy by the U.S. occupation forces to organize, finance and arm Iraqis along ethno-sectarian lines in order to weaken the nationwide resistance of the people against foreign occupation.SNIP
    Divergences appeared from this point on, but the above I agree with 100pct.

  3. MichaelKenny said on September 1st, 2010 at 11:05am #

    James Brennan’s remarks were truly absurd. He want’s the Scottish Government to bring Megrahi back to Scotland! Exactly how they are supposed to do this is unclear! First of all, the decision to release him would have to be set aside, something he could challenge in the Scottish courts. Then he would have to be properly extradited from Lybia and, under international law, countries are entitled not to extradite their own citizens. If he was kidnapped, his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights would clearly be violated and he would have to be released. In practice, he would probably have died of old age long before he could be brought back to Scotland!
    Re Cuba: Cuba is a dictatorship because the people cannot choose to abandon communism if they want to, as happened in Europe. Or indeed, having abandoned it, to go back to it if they choose to. We all know that Mr Blum’s pious claim that the Communist Party has nothing to do with elections is nonsense. How many candidates in the last Cuban presidential election proposed to abandon communism? What percentage of the vote did they get? How many members of Cuba’s parliament want to abandon communism? How many people voted for them?
    The absurdity in Mr Blum’s argument is that he seeks to defend the Cuban dictatorship by arguing that similar things happen in the US. Thus, by definition, Mr Blum believes that the US and Cuba are governed by the same political system!
    The great Cuban propaganda scam (in both directions!) has always been based on the fact that Americans cannot travel to Cuba and see for yourseves what’s going on there. Cuba is now a major tourist destination for Europeans. A young Belgian couple I know went to Cuba on holidays a few years ago and wanted to see some of these wonderful “achievements” of the revolution but when they asked if they could see how Cubans really lived, they were told it was forbidden. Imagine the absurd dialogue: “our revolution has achieved wonderful things”. “How interesting. Can I see these achievements?” “No, they’re secret”!!! Nobody hides something they’re proud of and want others to copy! Thus, the logical conclusion is that, whatever is hapenning in Cuba, the Cuba Government is hiding it from the outside world.

  4. teafoe2 said on September 1st, 2010 at 3:40pm #

    “a Belgian couple” affluent enough to go to Cuba “on holidays” “a few years ago” told Kenny an anecdote.

    Which reinforced Fra. Kenny’s professional anti-Communist prejudices, so he recites it as gospel. hohum.\

    The first part about returning the designated patsy to Scotland was good, kudos.

  5. BartFargo said on September 1st, 2010 at 6:53pm #

    Awesome as usual, except for the curious last paragraph on steroid use. The reason performance enhancing drugs like steroids and amphetamines are banned in sports is that they have profoundly negative side effects on athletes’ health, and often can cause permanent organ damage. They can yield tremendous gains in athletic performance- but should all athletes be forced to risk lifelong complications to be on the level of their doped up competitors? Vitamin and mineral supplements (at least the ones which are “permitted”) do not have any such known serious side effects, and that is precisely why they are regulated so differently from controlled substances.

  6. mary said on September 2nd, 2010 at 12:35am #

    Somebody posted the excellent paragraph on Cuba onto Craig Murray’s site yesterday. The resident Zionasty troll there (all sites seem to have them) has been attempting to demonize Cuba and Castro. This good response was made today by a person who has visited the island.

    Comrades – you asked what my experience was of Cuba. Thank you, I’m very glad you asked. Almost as soon as you arrive, you get the impression that this is a special place. it’s not just that things are rather run down (which they are), or that there’s a lack of modern technology on display. Things are often shabby, but the people are not. There is a pride about them, and – dare I say it – a solidarity which I’ve never found anywhere else.

    It’s about the safest place in the world. There is traffic, but it’s not reckless, and there is not a disregard for pedestrians/ cyclists. A part-time travelling companion was a single lady in her late thirties. She had travelled between towns, having not making any plans in advance. When it was time to leave, they asked if she wanted a contact in the next town – if not, fine. No pressure, and no sense of being in danger.

    It’s not often one can appear as a tourist in the back-streets of any major city and feel no hostility, or hungry eyes at your back. The most hassle I received was a furtive offer of cigars – there were quite a number of such offers. A polite refusal would suffice, every time.

    There is no advertising. It takes a little while for that to sink in – no billboards, no exhortations to enhance your life or fill the void with this or that product or drink. There are billboards promoting the revolution, praising the workers, and reminding one of the importance of the struggle.

    Co-workers greeted each other with such affection, we mistook them for lovers or close family members before realising that this is just how they get along. Strangers are quick to co-orporate if there is a problem, beyond the somewhat enforced assistance that the police encourage when it comes to car-pooling.

    The education level among the most ordinary of people appears uncommonly high. Teeth were of a higher standard than one might find outside Beverley Hills. People generally looked fit, far more so than in the UK/US, and had a genuine sense of pride in their country and what it had accomplished. Not the belligerent, swaggering nationalism one finds all too often in the US and sometimes the UK, nor the rather aloof superiority often found (quite justifiably, actually) in northern Europe.

    Racism appeared entirely absent. There was no discrimination that I could discern in play anywhere. Perhaps this was because races mixes so freely – it was not uncommon to find an individual having entirely dark skin, but with strikingly green eyes.

    The cars are amazing if one has a fondness for 1950s vintage American automobiles. These are family heirlooms, and no inconsiderable ingenuity has been applied to their upkeep. The same is true for everything else – the Blockade is a way of life, and has been for generations. Music is a passion, and there’s little to match the enthusiasm of Cuban musicians when they get going. Anyone making a visit should pack their bags with spares for instruments (guitar strings in particular, classic and acoustic), and if you bring strings for the double bass too, you will have friends for life. Let me know if you’re visiting, and I can provide advice on what’s needed.

    It’s all the little things that they lack, but which make life so much easier for us. Tampons, make-up and electric pick-ups. Pens, baseballs, tennis rackets. Baseball caps, toothbrushes, western clothes. Ask them what they need, and they’ll tell you with a hearty laugh and a shrug, “Everything!” The much bigger things, which some of us lack greatly in the west, are available – electricity, clean water and heat is not a problem. Health care and education is not a problem. Dental care, basic food needs and crime, too, are not problems.

    Possibly most striking is the fact that Cubans are generally extremely well informed about world politics, and with the odd exception have pride in their country and genuine affection for Castro. Some expressed regret for not being able to leave, but understood that if those able to make a life elsewhere were to all leave, then the country would be lost. If there were no embargo, as many people would arrive as leave, as they became more prosperous. It was also striking that Cubans hold no hatred to Americans for their situation because of the Blockade, nor against Americans for not liking them. They understood that Americans are terribly misinformed, and huge numbers of Americans have deep problems themselves caused by their own government. They understand that the US administration is the problem, not the people. Perhaps this enlightenment is because of their absence of racism.

    Perhaps the most striking of all, beyond the people, was the sheer natural beauty of Cuba. An explosion of sounds, smells, sights and the feel of warm sun, pure air, gave me the most accurate approximation of what I’d imagined, as a child, to be paradise. Given the farming is nearly all organic now, the food actually tastes as it should (as God intended, if you will).

    There are police about, but the police at home were far more intimidating as far as I was concerned. When meeting with a group of Cubans, one would occasionally swing by, my impression was to make sure I was ok, rather than looking for a reason to cause trouble. One could stroll around at night without seeing a police presence, and without feeling intimidated. (The sense that one _should_ feel intimidated has picked up for me aplenty in numerous places around the world, but never here.)

    That’s probably enough rambling about Cuba for now. Let me know if there’s something specific, and I’ll do my best to relate what I gleaned there. I would advise those in free countries where one is allowed to see for themselves what a socialist country can manage to give to its people, on maybe 5% of US per capita income. It is striking, that the basics can all be met with so little, when fairly distributed. No millionaires or billionaires produced in the process, but it can be done. If another 5%, 10%, 50% were put on top of that, we should be living in utopia ourselves. Little wonder the US just cannot abide such a terrible threat to the American fantasy.

    Posted by: glenn at September 2, 2010 2:27 AM

  7. Don Hawkins said on September 2nd, 2010 at 2:31am #

    Sent this to media this morning where we all get the proper course in conduct or opinion.

    Oh well,

    James lee was shot on 09/01/10. Absolutely amazing to read this any thought’s?

    An Internet video of the money-throwing scene shows cash flying through the air and people chasing it.

    “I didn’t say anything to him,” she said of her son. “I just said, ‘Hi,’ and held him. He’s too young to know what’s going on.” Washington Post

    The gunman who took hostages at Discovery Communications’ headquarters in Silver Spring was apparently inspired by the author of a popular series about a telepathic ape who tries to save humankind from problems such as overpopulation, but the writer said Wednesday that he is baffled by James J. Lee’s interpretation of his book.
    “I’m not recommending its goals or its shameful features – its relentless materialism, its appalling wastefulness, its enormous appetite for irreplaceable resources,” he says. “I’m recommending only its mode of operation, which released the greatest and most democratic outpouring of human creativity in human history.”The biggest obstacle to this explosion of creativity, the two agree, is “the government.”A minute later, someone came into the room in his house and fixed the author’s television, just as the news announced that Lee had been shot. Quinn let out what sounded like a laugh of relief. “So it’s all over?”

    “That’s what governments are there for, to keep good things from happening,” Ishmael says. “But if you can’t even manage to force your own presumably democratic governments to allow you to do good things for yourselves, then you probably deserve to become extinct.”

    Asked about the current status of the species, Quinn worried about the planet’s growing population. “We’re obviously in deep trouble,” he said. Washington post

    James Lee, the man currently holding hostages at Discovery HD, has issued a list of demands in support of ending the human race in the name of saving the planet.
    As crazy as it sounds, there’s nothing new about that agenda. There are groups, most notably the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT), that have been advocating the end of humanity for years, receiving occasional mainstream media attention along the way.
    That program might seem pretty inherently extreme, but that doesn’t mean its supporters are on board with James Lee’s attack on Discovery.
    VHEMT’s Les Knight tells us:
    “He’s right that Earth doesn’t need more people, but the Discovery Channel lacks the power to grant universal reproductive freedom and the means to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Coercive methods like taking hostages won’t help humanity nor the earth.”
    Which just goes to show: no matter what your cause, even the extinction of the human race, the crazed gunman is always an outlier. Business insider dot com

    During the hostage situation at Discovery HQ today, TV news anchors really soft-pedaled their characterizations of James Lee, who was eventually shot and killed by police. Lee was clearly off his rocker, but they’d make soft statements like: “He apparently has a few concerns about Discovery’s programming.”
    That’s because there was a chance Lee might have been watching or listening to their coverage and they didn’t want to risk setting him off.
    Here’s an MSNBC anchor explaining how “we’ve all” been “delicately quoting from” Lee’s insane manifesto, which he called “rambling and at times non-sensical” after the situation had been diffused. “We didn’t want to say that when we thought he might be watching.” Business Insider dot com

    The money-throwing scene shows cash flying through the air and people chasing it.
    Erratic; deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion; eccentric; Am going to turn on the tube and see if I can spot any erratic behavior then again maybe just read.


  8. mary said on September 2nd, 2010 at 3:28am #

    There’s nothing new under the sun Don. This is Kissinger in 1974 (and then taken up by Scowcroft) espousing population control. He is seeing the problem from the US perspective of course.

  9. Don Hawkins said on September 2nd, 2010 at 4:03am #

    Mary I read that and I see all the T’s crossed and i’s doted. You know when this first started to happen yesterday I turned on Fox New’s just wanted to see. What’s his name Cavuto said like three times this man James Lee watched Al Gore’s movie and was waiting for him to say Al fly’s in a private jet but he didn’t do it. You would think they could raise the bar just a tad but I guess they just enjoy looking like total fool’s. Oh that’s a personal opinion and am I left, right, Democrat, Republican well no as to be truthfully honest I haven’t the slightest idea what they mean.

  10. Don Hawkins said on September 2nd, 2010 at 4:33am #

    Let’s see this very second a Cat 4 Hurricane moving up the East coast kind of unusual and could be because the oceans are now at the warmest in recorded history well the last two months a tad bit warm Worldwide like the warmest in recorded history and when I watch Fox New’s they always’ seem to overlook that part more on the lines of Al Gore fly’s in a private jet no new tax’s we need to dig more holes I mean drill baby drill. Of course CNN kind of overlook’s a few things at times. Yesterday someone went over to Chad Myers weather anchor and as he walked over said am not a scientist but you are Chad so where the heck is this storm going? If Chad Myers is a scientist then am a astrophysics.

  11. mary said on September 3rd, 2010 at 12:40am #

    The British record in Basra.
    The British Military in Iraq : A Legacy of War Crimes and Atrocities
    Felicity Arbuthnot

    Blair sells his book ‘A Journey’. The Iraqi people’s journey was to hell.

  12. mary said on September 12th, 2010 at 8:58am #

    Sick bags at the ready.

    Blair to get Liberty award Monday

    Philadelphia Inquirer
    September 12, 2010

    Blair to get Liberty award Monday; Britain ‘s ex-leader will also discuss his book and world events with former President Bill Clinton.

    By Paul Nussbaum

    Tony Blair, the former British prime minister *who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland and war to Iraq* , will be awarded the 2010 Liberty Medal on Monday at the National Constitution Center .

    Blair will receive the medal in a public ceremony from former President Bill Clinton, in recognition of his “steadfast commitment to conflict resolution.”

    The Liberty Medal, first awarded in 1989 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, annually honors those who exemplify the constitutional principles of justice, fairness, and a balance between individual rights and the good of the community.

    Blair plans to donate the $100,000 in prize money to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, two of the organizations he has created since leaving office in 2007.

    Blair arrives in Philadelphia just as he is reemerging into the spotlight with the publication this month of A Journey: My Political Life. An immediate bestseller, the memoir has brought its author much of the same praise and criticism that his 10 years as prime minister did.

    Protesters have flocked to book-signing events to castigate him for being President George W. Bush’s “poodle” and leading Britain into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . But reviewers have praised Blair for his candor about political life and his complex motivations.

    Blair served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007, the longest term of any Labor Party leader. The boyish-looking Blair championed a “new Labor” that was centrist and business-friendly, and he led the party to an unprecedented three consecutive general-election victories.

    He was a key broker of the 1998 Good Friday Accord, which created a power-sharing agreement and ended sectarian violence in Northern Ireland . And he led a reluctant Europe to intervene, with the United States , in the Balkans in 1999 to rescue Kosovo from genocide and “ethnic cleansing.”

    His subsequent support of the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan , with the commitment of thousands of British troops, eventually cost him his popularity at home, and he resigned.

    He has spent much of the time since working abroad, trying to create a long-term peace between Israel and the Palestinians as a special U.N. envoy to the Mideast .

    His Africa Governance Initiative works in Rwanda , Sierra Leone , and Liberia , fighting malaria, poverty, and corruption.

    Blair writes in his memoir that “I have always been more interested in religion than politics,” and in 2008 he created the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to work for the peaceful coexistence of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs.

    And he leads Breaking the Climate Deadlock, an initiative for a new international policy on climate change.

    On Monday, before the awarding of the Liberty Medal, Blair will be feted at two receptions at the Constitution Center , and he will join Clinton in onstage conversation at 2:30 p.m. about his new book and the world events in which the two leaders played active roles.

    The medal will be presented at 7 p.m. on the center’s front lawn, where Blair and Clinton will be joined by Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and Constitution Center chief executive David Eisner.

    A “gala dinner” will follow at 8:30.

    The first Liberty Medal went to Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement in Poland . Other recipients have included South Africa leader Nelson Mandela; Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O’Connor; former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton; and U2 lead singer Bono.

    Last year, the medal was awarded to filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

    The Constitution Center has administered the award since 2006.

    Monday’s medal presentation will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. on 6ABC, and the Constitution Center will present a live stream of the presentation and the 2:30 Clinton-Blair conversation at

    Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum at


    You couldn’t make this copy up.

  13. mary said on September 12th, 2010 at 9:07am #

    Another facet of this person whose every cell is corrupt, is revealed here.