Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 10, 2005

Open Thread 05-26

Link to the forerunner ...

Posted by b on March 10, 2005 at 19:15 UTC | Permalink

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The Rant

A cancer infects this country, spreading like wildfire, devouring the flesh of our society and threatening to turn what was once the greatest nation on Earth into a rotting corpse of political corruption, greed and abuse of power.

This cancer has a name: George W. Bush.
Like Hitler, Bush may well go down in history as a mass-murderer. Nobody knows for sure how many innocent Iraqis have died at American hands because the Pentagon hides those figures but the number grows every day. Hell, an Italian hostage negotiator can’t even try to bring back someone from their country without getting gunned down by American troops in Iraq.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2005 19:30 utc | 1

whoa, this whiskey bar gets shriller every day.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Mar 10 2005 19:41 utc | 2


Troops in Shooting Were for Negroponte

U.S. troops who mistakenly killed an Italian intelligence agent last week on the road to Baghdad's airport were part of extra security provided by the U.S. Army to protect U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, a U.S. official said Thursday.
a ton of very dry wood for conspiration fires...

Bomber Hits Shi'ite Mosque in Iraq, Up to 30 Dead SPIEGEL says 50 by now.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2005 19:49 utc | 3

I actually disagree.

It is (IMHO) all too easy and misleading to think that Bush is the problem, and that if only the Dems manage to squak a win in 2008 (ha!), all will be well again overnight.

I don't believe that for a minute. Number One, the problem is not Bush but the sizeable % of the American people who have embraced fascist/reactionary ideals.

Bush is the symptom, the outward manifestation, not the true cause. It is the people that must change, not Bush.

We cannot live in peace with, or convert, such people. Fascists have to be thoroughly defeated and humbled (as were the Germans or Japanese) for a number of them to surrender and/or come to their senses.

Which brings me to point #2. The damage done by the Fascists (damage past, present and still to come) will not disappear overnight. As I've said before, when Empires collapse, the aftermath transition is always painful.

So focusing on Bush is ultimately misleading.

Posted by: Lupin | Mar 10 2005 19:52 utc | 4

The sun revolves around the Earth and George W. Bush won the election in Ohio
Bob Fritakis

The Bush family and friends stole both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. The covert operations long associated with George Herbert Walker Bush, former President and CIA director, are now overtly practiced in key battleground states.

Posted by: beq | Mar 10 2005 20:01 utc | 5

@ b: "extra security provided by the U.S. Army to protect U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte."

It figures that he would have "death squads" protecting him...

Posted by: beq | Mar 10 2005 20:06 utc | 6

Re Iraq- At what point does it become clear that the only surviving Iraqis who are cooperating with the Americans are really working for the insurgents?

I also wonder how many joint military operations will be carried out with the sole purpose of testing the loyalty of the 140,000 'trained' Iraqi security forces.

Posted by: biklett | Mar 10 2005 20:10 utc | 7

Negroponte travels to and from the Green Zone by helicopter.

Next lie please.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 10 2005 20:13 utc | 8

Got to agree with Lupin here- Bush is symptom.

Although I wonder if 51% of the people in this country really are facist at heart. A depressingly large number, yes. But I can't help but think that a signifigant number are simply grossly misinformed- or should I say disinformed, as in taken in by disinformation.

Posted by: Brian Hurt | Mar 10 2005 20:16 utc | 9

@Lupin - agreed
@Brian Hunt - At no time 51% of Germany were facists at heart. The facists colaborated with the churches to achieve majority support.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2005 20:23 utc | 10

Hersh has a Pulitzer winner Hersh gives skeptical outlook on Iraq

He questioned the success of the Iraqi elections nearly six weeks ago. "Where is the democracy in this? Why don't we have a prime minister? Who do you think is interfering with the process?" Hersh said, adding that the administration would like current Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to lead Iraq.
He suggested the situation might deteriorate into civil war and said the description of those opposing U.S. forces as "rebels" or "insurgents" is misleading. "We use the word rebels, insinuating we won the war," Hersh said. "But we're fighting a war against people we went to war against (in the first place) - it just turned out they didn't fight the war in the same time scale we did."

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2005 20:28 utc | 11

Bush's apology to Italy. /satire

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 10 2005 20:59 utc | 12

"The mobile patrol was there to enhance security because Ambassador Negroponte was expected through," embassy spokesman Robert Callahan said, confirming a report that first appeared in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Wasn´t that a "checkpoint" before? Now it is a "mobile patrol" of "security for Negroponte" who can get a heli anytime he requests one? Berlusconi will get squezed on this as the Italiens demand answers and responsibility and the U.S. will not give those in sufficient form and depth.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2005 21:20 utc | 13

Pilots group grades U.S. aviation security an 'F'

Posted by: Duct tape cannot save you | Mar 10 2005 21:31 utc | 14

whoa, this whiskey bar gets shriller every day.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | March 10, 2005 02:41 PM

& the world it isn' shrill!

it fucking screams at us in the obsenities the most vulgar from the moment we wake till the moment we sleep

rage & fury are simply forms of taking on a personal responsibility & i understand for the great majority of posters - the principal of giving is the profoundest of energies - even if that giving is dark or even 'shrill'. it is surely the same principle in creation - the darkness of the gift does not reduce the purity of its offering

that we are not on city rings armed to the teeth prepared for combat at this moment - surely augurs at least a certain sense of calm

the 'information' is a part of my work & i find i am a strong if fragile fellow & for me it has been close for a long time to being absolutely insupportable

we are the events we are living through

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 10 2005 21:55 utc | 15

Putin achieves similar results to Bush in his own 'war on terror'

Posted by: War on error | Mar 10 2005 22:37 utc | 16

Children said among Abu Ghraib prisoners.

WASHINGTON - Children held by the U.S. Army at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison included one boy who appeared to be only about 8 years old, the former commander of the prison told investigators, according to a transcript.

"He looked like he was eight years old. He told me he was almost 12," Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski told officials investigating prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying....."

.....Karpinski said Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski, then the No. 2 Army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.

"I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians. We're winning the war," Karpinski said Wodjakowski told her. She said she replied: "Not inside the wire, you're not, sir."

Documents describe illegal U.S. pact on Iraq 'ghost detainees'.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military in Iraq and the CIA signed an agreement on keeping "ghost detainees" off the books and concealed from international observers, Pentagon documents made public on Thursday indicated.

Counting the dead in Iraq

UK and US governments must monitor Iraq casualties

World Bank lending arm buys stake in Iraq bank

Annan calls for inclusive, transparent peace process in Iraq

Posted by: | Mar 10 2005 23:59 utc | 17

We don't want no steenkin' furrin langwijjez around here

Posted by: Polyglot | Mar 11 2005 3:05 utc | 19

I have found out an interesting graph with the title World Rotary Rig Count.

If you are wondering about the status of oil exploration, you can have a look at it.

Posted by: Greco | Mar 11 2005 8:19 utc | 21

Iraqi forces dying at twice rate of U.S. military

Posted by: Freedom is messy | Mar 11 2005 8:20 utc | 22

Are we in World War IV?

Posted by: Happy thought for the day | Mar 11 2005 8:36 utc | 23

Disappeared In America
Already invisible in our cities, after detention, they have become "ghost prisoners." In this, there are eerie parallels to past witch-hunts, including the 1919 detention of 10,000 immigrants after anarchists bombed the Attorney General's home; the 1941 internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans; the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs; and the HUAC Black-listing under Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The website is the online companion to the exhibition. On this site you can hear audio, browse video, and view photographs from the exhibition, as well as read pertinent legal documents, and view and contribute to a community-maintained database of disappeared persons.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 11 2005 9:04 utc | 24

Iraq war compels Pentagon to rethink big-picture strategy

Posted by: The Big Picture - Doctor Strangelove | Mar 11 2005 11:41 utc | 25

I bring you ... the Masters of all Shrillness ... The Fafblog!

Hitler: A Pessimist AND a Democrat?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Well that tears it. Giblets was thinkin' about voting for John Kerry* until he found out about his dire new partnership. His partnership of pessimism... with HITLER!

Giblets might have remained completely ignorant of the Hitler-Kerry Pro-Aggression Pact if it weren't for the selfless work of George Bush's web ad, which subtlely splices clips of angry Democrats with clips of Hitler.** What did they all have in common, Giblets wondered? And then it hit him: the anger. The bitterness. And the pessimism. The dark pessimism... of HITLER!

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Mar 11 2005 12:17 utc | 26

Taking a quick left...


I'm sophisticated in my Cuban heels,
my mother's blue felt hat
with the smart feather like a fishing fly

as I sit with her in Kardomah; and
coffee please, I say, not orange squash,
crossing my legs, elegant as an advert.

Beyond the ridges of my mother's perm
the High Street is a silent film
bustling with extras; hands grasping purses,

steering prams, eyes fixed on lists,
bolster hips in safe-choice-coloured skirts
--and then, centre screen, Nicolette Hawkins

(best in the class at hockey, worst at French)
and a boy--kissing,
blouse straining, hands

where they shouldn't be:
the grown-up thing. My hat's hot, silly;
coffee tastes like rust.

My mother, following my gaze, frowns: common.
I'm thinking, if I could do all that
I could be bad at French.


Carole Satyamurti.

Posted by: Og | Mar 11 2005 13:06 utc | 27

'Eyes Wide Open' brings war into focus

Note this paragraph:
Organizers had planned to display more than 1,500 pairs of boots across a large lawn, but their permit afforded them space for only about 150. The county restricts protests and other free-speech events to four paved areas around the building; the lawn is reserved for weddings and community gatherings.

Posted by: kat | Mar 11 2005 14:59 utc | 28

Former Biden staffer sentenced to prison for campaign-fund theft

Roger D. Blevins of Elsmere was accused of raiding Biden’s re-election fund to pay for dates with, and buy lavish presents for, performers on a gay pornographic Web site.


Posted by: beq | Mar 11 2005 15:38 utc | 29


Nice. Pram-steering, here she comes!

Posted by: gylangirl | Mar 11 2005 15:58 utc | 30

@ polyglot. check out the survey results at your NBC link to the foreign language story. Notice how they split the vote counts of the 'not a problem' responses into 2 categories; but give the 'english-only' crowd only one selection? As designed, that category of votes is blowing away the others.

Posted by: gylangirl | Mar 11 2005 16:13 utc | 31

IMF expects Iraq to pay 1/3 oil earnings in debt service

Speaking at the UN summit on debt today (March 9th), Paris Club secretary Emmanuel Moulin mentioned the figures judged by the IMF to represent a "sustainable" level of debt (i.e. payable over the long term):

EDT/GDP = 86%
EDT/XGS = 162%
TDS/XGS = 36%

where EDT = the total Net Present Value of the debt, XGS = Export earnings (from goods and services) and TDS = the total debt service paid in a year. Apparently the Paris Club's deal was calculated to move towards the level of debt implied by these percentages, although Moulin did not explain the assumptions underlying this calculation.

In laymans terms the IMF envisages Iraq paying around a third of it's oil export earnings on debt service. This would be on top of the 5% of oil earnings already going to pay reparations...

Posted by: | Mar 11 2005 19:20 utc | 32

dear Moon of AL:

Congrats on putting up a site with content and humor. Visit ours at:, add us to your rolls, and send us some feedback, if you like.


Posted by: rkent | Mar 11 2005 19:42 utc | 33

@rkent -

blog whoring without heaving even read this site is plain stupit. (Should I delete the above comment as spam?)

Posted by: b | Mar 11 2005 20:46 utc | 34

Four U.S. army drill sergeants charged with abuse - of recruits

I guess that little snippet won't help to correct the drop in recruiting any.....

Posted by: Where Abu Ghraib begins | Mar 11 2005 22:27 utc | 35

A law school blog.............. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 11 2005 22:31 utc | 36

Have a look at the sixth picture on this Link.

Jaafari with a security detail like this makes me wonder.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 11 2005 22:35 utc | 37

Muslim workers walk off job in dispute over prayers

Posted by: Whither or wither pluralism? | Mar 12 2005 0:53 utc | 38

Talon News resurgent in new dress, Gannon / Guckertless and Google bombing

Posted by: Renaissance | Mar 12 2005 1:08 utc | 39

Tom Whitney, writing for the San Francisco Bay View, translates an article from Il Manifesto published on March 3 in which a US Marine is interviewed and admits he and other marines have murdered and continue to murder civilians in Iraq. He implies that the US military has reason to be unhappy with Il Manifesto and therefore would have had motive to attack Sgrena and her rescuers. Don't know anything about the SF Bay View, and, unfortunately, the marine will most likely be dismissed as "delusional" but the article does confirm much of what many here have been saying about the US military.

My first attempt at linking...

Posted by: conchita | Mar 12 2005 3:56 utc | 40

U.S. general, 3 other officers investigated for Guantanamo sex misconduct

Posted by: Thong clad, mini skirted interrogator | Mar 12 2005 5:35 utc | 42

This should be posted to the Screw Up or Plan? thread, but I'll throw it in here:

"The yanks committed int'l war crimes in Falluga, the Italian journalist knew many of the incriminating details and was on her way out of the country to write them up for publication.

"What would you do if you were about to be outed for war crimes? Easy - you'd commit more of the same; you'd kill the purveyor of incriminating facts. Because it was not an op under control of the well-trained corps of assassins but instead was left to the devices of regular army - by necessity this time - there was only so much you could do to cover your smelly tracks. Yeah we got the job done (almost) but the bitch still got away. Now what?"


Well, I'd fully expect said journalist to be shortly revealing those "many" "incriminating details" to an international public hungry for them. But her own stated belief has been that the US didn't want her to return because it opposes the payment of ransom. (It might have passed her notice that Iraqis pay not inconsiderable sums for the return of relatives from criminal outfits every day, without intervention or harassment by US or Iraqi authorities, while among Coalition members the payment of multi-million dollar ransoms for the release, without incident, of one, two, or a handful of citizens is not limited to Italy.)

Let's suppose, however, that you're right - that the journalist has information that will help pave the way to the Hague. Sgrena, a seasoned war correspondent and mature, experienced activist, certainly won't be silenced. If she has something to say, she'll say it; something to reveal, she'll reveal it. It's a grave matter of justice, after all, and what is "rovian" pressure compared to the urgent necessity of presenting the searing, damning truth to a candid world - truth that might bring to a halt the whole bloody enterprise or at the very least move whole masses, in Italy and elsewhere, to passionate, angry, perhaps decisive, protest? I think Sgrena is not a woman to be cowed or deterred, but one who understands and embraces the moral imperative. Don't you?

She's a victim alright, but a victim of something rather more mundane than than an attempted murder. Her government chose not to do what is a matter of routine in such operations: Coordinate with the country team, which includes one representative each of DoD, CIA, and State (or "State," as there is yet no embassy in Iraq.) The reasons for this decision were undoubtedly, at the time, compelling to those who made it; it just didn't turn out well for them. Or for Nicola Calipari.

Posted by: Pat | Mar 12 2005 8:02 utc | 44

Barbara Fast cleared in Iraq torture probe, promoted.

WASHINGTON, March 11 - A military investigation has cleared the former top intelligence officer in Iraq of responsibility for the policy and command failures that led to the abuse of detainees there, and the officer will assume a prestigious command next week, the Army said Friday.

Posted by: Pulling a Fast one | Mar 12 2005 9:35 utc | 45

Fast cleared in torture probe, promoted.

WASHINGTON, March 11 - A military investigation has cleared the former top intelligence officer in Iraq of responsibility for the policy and command failures that led to the abuse of detainees there, and the officer will assume a prestigious command next week, the Army said Friday.

Posted by: Pulling a Fast one | Mar 12 2005 9:36 utc | 46

It' all part of the plan, the "sleepers" don't get it. This excellent diary was post over at Kos and got a scant six comments, three of which were mine, before going bye bye, and this is most certainly what people need to know above all. I thought I'd bring it over to moon, and let you guys tweak it...
Behold:The Self-Fulfilling Clash of Civilizations

Posted by: | Mar 12 2005 11:58 utc | 48

@Thor (06:58 AM)

I think it might be too late .. if the US army are handing out copies of the little red "Clash of Civilizations".

Posted by: DM | Mar 12 2005 18:27 utc | 49

I assume that those phones have logs at both ends, nacl, and if they've been tampered with, the Italians will notice this right away.

Posted by: alabama | Mar 12 2005 18:58 utc | 50

I assume the phones have logs at both ends, nacl; and if they've been tampered with, the Italians should notice this right away.

Posted by: alabama | Mar 12 2005 18:59 utc | 51

I assume the phones have logs at both ends, nacl; and if they've been tampered with, the Italians should notice this right away.

Posted by: alabama | Mar 12 2005 19:00 utc | 52

triple post? weird....

Posted by: alabama | Mar 12 2005 19:04 utc | 53

double post, I don't know why.

Posted by: alabama | Mar 12 2005 19:05 utc | 54


If she has something to say, she'll say it; something to reveal, she'll reveal it.

and then ... ?

Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq’s health ministry, said that the U.S. military used internationally banned weapons during its deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah.

He said that researches, prepared by his medical team, prove that U.S. occupation forces used internationally prohibited substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city

Posted by: DM | Mar 12 2005 19:18 utc | 55

Analysis / Report highlights the ugly occupation.

The recently released report on the unauthorized settlement outposts in the territories exposes the occupation in all its ugliness.

It reveals that settlers have been working underground for years in the branches of the government, that senior officials refused to divulge information to the report's compiler, attorney Talia Sasson, and that other officials acted contrary to the policies of their ministers.

The issue takes on an even more serious nature in light of the fact that heading the Civil Administration is a military officer with the rank of major general who was involved in unlawful acts. As a result, the Israel Defense Forces is entangled in this affair of deception.

The report's compiler levels accusations at all the branches of the government and the ministries connected with the settlement enterprise in the territories, but she refrains, almost demonstratively, from determining the responsibility of the Prime Minister's Office and the prime minister himself.

Posted by: Remembering Zion | Mar 12 2005 20:56 utc | 56

So is it O.K. to kill me too?

Posted by: Remembering Zion | Mar 12 2005 20:59 utc | 57

US Marines open probe into February 27th 2005 assaults on Iraqi detainees

Posted by: More bad apples | Mar 12 2005 22:16 utc | 58

The supposed attempt at killing Sgrena and the justifications opponents to the war have put forward make no sense at all. Reports about the use of banned weapons in Fallujah by the US have been quite plentiful. Previous, in Iraq, also.

US admits it used napalm bombs in Iraq By Andrew Buncombe, Aug. 10, 2003.

American pilots dropped the controversial incendiary agent napalm on Iraqi troops during the advance on Baghdad. The attacks caused massive fireballs that obliterated several Iraqi positions.>The Independent

No one attests, accuses, calls to justice; no one admits or seriously denies.

Sgrena's (future?) articles in Il Manifesto would have changed nothing. She has also reported about rape, a far more sensitive topic for the US public. Also ignored, etc.

Now, it may be the case that the US likes to kill journalists just on principle. Done it before, will do it again.

Posted by: Blackie | Mar 12 2005 22:38 utc | 59

clash of civilisations


i don't see any civilisation to paraphrase captain willard - i do not see any civilisation at all

i see just many forms of absolutism & barbarism. barbarism masked by its own cleverness or dressed in theology.

it is difficult to be awake in this world & not feel a deep level of disgust with it. for what is done & what is to be done & for doing nothing at all

the level of inertia in the countries that are prosecuting this criminal & immoral war is enough to send me into the water & to never come back

how many crimes can a people live with. unfortunately. german history taught us that lesson. people can live with everything except the consequences. the german people did not worry at all about the crimes carried out in its name until russian soldiers fought back & entered their frontiers

the american nation too will do nothing until its crimes are visited directly upon them & that is a sad epistemology. the saddest

our voices here are so small but i take comfort - some days it is the only comfort that can be had. that other people care. that others resist. that others fight for their humanity & for that of others. unknown others

i look at cnn & see in american culture just violence in acts, in deeds & in words. & chaos. unbelievable chaos. not an ounce of peace. agitation. profound agitation. i have no hope in the world of ever aspiring to be a buddhist or a taoist but i cannot believe even they are sufficiently strong tools to deal with the chaos that america creates & reproduces

& as some have mentioned here. people especially people in anglosaxon countries electing governments who act against them, actively. governments that do not hide their contempt of the people but on the contrary revel in it like some tortured drag queen in some horrific pantomime

pantagruel. song of roland. dante. macbeth lear - these not enough to tell the maccabre tale. perhaps william friedkin somewhere in his sick mind. i don't know

know that i hear some of the beauty of america in natalie marchant, elliot smith - understand somehow that this most terrible country creates a sun ra a bob dylan an elliot smith a thomas dreiser

from inside hell

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 12 2005 22:42 utc | 60

"Giuliana Sgrena wasn't the first Italian hostage to be liberated by the praised work of Nicola Calipari. As described by my colleague, he had also negotiated the freedom of Simona Torretta and Simona Pari, who, after their return to Italy, denounced the U.S. military as a brutal occupying force, called for the return of the 3,000 Italian troops stationed in Nassariya in southern Iraq, and heaped praise and words of support upon the Iraqi resistance fighters. It seems the last thing the Americans would want is an Italian negotiator working, against their wishes, to release journalists and human rights workers effectively exposing the atrocities of their illegal war. More insidiously, it seems that the Americans might view these actions by a junior partner in the Terror War as a punishable affront, using the murder of Calipari as a lesson to those wishing to play a small role on America's imperial stage.

While the car carrying Nicola Calipari was, according to the most recent reports, hit by between 8 and 10 rounds, he was killed by a direct shot in the temple. He was not the driver of the car, or sitting anywhere near the engine bloc, but was in fact sitting in the back seat next to Giuliana Sgrena. This might suggest a deliberate assassination. There have been numerous reports of trigger-happy American soldiers massacring countless Iraqi civilians with their brutal check point rules of engagement. They have the attitude that this is their world and nobody has the right to disturb their unwanted presence on Iraqi soil. This time it was coalition partners that were refusing to play by the Empire's rules and it seems that there is something more sinister to blame for this "tragic incident."

michael leonardi
weekend counterpunch

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 12 2005 22:50 utc | 61

L'enfer, c'est les autres.

Posted by: JPS | Mar 12 2005 22:54 utc | 62

Valentina Nicoli
The Game of Role-Playing and the Ambush of Giuliana Sgrena

Michael Leonardi
Head Shot: Lifting the Veil on the Sgrena / Calipari Incident

two articles counterpunch weekend

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 12 2005 22:56 utc | 63

Vietnam Fury at Agent Orange Case

Vietnamese plaintiffs have condemned a US court's decision to dismiss their legal action against manufacturers of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

"It is a wrong decision, unfair and irresponsible," said Nguyen Trong Nhan, vice president of Vietnam's Association of Agent Orange (VAVA).

A Vietnamese girl who suffers from Agent Orange effects is seen here in 2004. A federal judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of millions of Vietnamese people who were harmed by the herbicide Agent Orange, used widely during the Vietnam War. (AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

He said his group was thinking of filing an appeal.

The judge in the case said allegations the chemical caused birth defects and illness had not been proved.

"There is no basis for any of the claims of plaintiffs under the domestic law of any nation or state or under any form of international law. The case is dismissed," said US District Judge Jack B Weinstein.

But Mr Nguyen disagreed.

& with mr nguyen i disagree knowing that the american empire like the nazis before them can do what they like in vietnam, in chile & in iraq & do not have a measure of compassion for the victims of their crimes

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 12 2005 23:08 utc | 64

    Army Details Scale of Abuse of Prisoners in an Afghan Jail
    By Douglas Jehl
    The New York Times

    Saturday 12 March 2005

    Washington - Two Afghan prisoners who died in American custody in Afghanistan in December 2002 were chained to the ceiling, kicked and beaten by American soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their deaths, according to Army criminal investigative reports that have not yet been made public.

    One soldier, Pfc. Willie V. Brand, was charged with manslaughter in a closed hearing last month in Texas in connection with one of the deaths, another Army document shows. Private Brand, who acknowledged striking a detainee named Dilawar 37 times, was accused of having maimed and killed him over a five-day period by "destroying his leg muscle tissue with repeated unlawful knee strikes."

    The attacks on Mr. Dilawar were so severe that "even if he had survived, both legs would have had to be amputated," the Army report said, citing a medical examiner.

    The reports, obtained by Human Rights Watch, provide the first official account of events that led to the deaths of the detainees, Mullah Habibullah and Mr. Dilawar, at the Bagram Control Point, about 40 miles north of Kabul. The deaths took place nearly a year before the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

    Among those implicated in the killings at Bagram were members of Company A of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, from Fort Bragg, N.C. The battalion went on to Iraq, where some members established the interrogation unit at Abu Ghraib and have been implicated in some abuses there

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 12 2005 23:11 utc | 65

Remembering Zion --

Always hard to figure how those "settlers" (like Israel was the Wild West or the depths of the Amazon basin) could just strike out on their own and build those comfy homes, terrace with bougainvillas, cool and pleasant in the summer, hubby has to smoke there, fitted kitchen, and a nice little road coming up, almost like a US driveway, linked to other roads that lead to shops, towns, gas stations. Pro-tected, to boot! View a bit dismal but you can't have everything, right. Like minded neighbors, cool. More people moving in soon. Good, that. Trees will grow!

And those buried pipes, plenty water, cool, sparkling, pouring out! And services, just laid on. Garbage collected, wonderful. Electricty? Just push the switch. Garden? We will make the desert bloom - ar hem, just growing some flowers for the dinner table...

Hum, no, did not cost us too much.

Amazing. A miracle!

Even Xymphora was shocked, which surprised me.>Xymphora

Posted by: Blackie | Mar 12 2005 23:13 utc | 66

Clash of civilizations:

Hobsbawm, brief, a bit light, in the Guardian, March 9, 2005.

The last of the utopian projects

Perestroika plunged Russia into social ruin - and the world into an unprecedented superpower bid for global domination,2763,1433430,00.html>Guardian

Posted by: Blackie | Mar 12 2005 23:26 utc | 67

The defeatist, demoralized and demoralizing posts here are counter-revolutionary. The deification of bourgeois writers who betrayed the revolution for a life of vol-au-vents, petit bourgeois posturing and fat royalty payments is a counter revolutionary act. The maudlin, cowed posts attributing omnipotence to the twin beasts of capitalism and imperialism are just smokescreens for capitalist propaganda. Through structural manipulation of the semi-modulated quasi-ideological bios, true Marxist-Leninist ideas are being subtly edged out of mainstream discourse. Therefore, the actions of these fifth-columnist imperialist lackeys serve to ensure that the innate potential of ‘Moon of Alabama’ is subverted, revolutionary acts and principles are derided and discouraged and the neutered and hijacked blog functions as a willing implement of the totalitarian status quo.

”During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act"

Posted by: Diehard | Mar 13 2005 0:14 utc | 68

Media/perception manipulation - a long piece by NYT: News or Public Relations? For Bush It's a Blur

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 different federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government's role in their production.

Posted by: b | Mar 13 2005 0:23 utc | 69

alphabet of our destiny

auschwitz bergen belsen chelmno dachau einhoven flossenberg
gospic halberstadt innsbruck janowitz kolpin luebben mauthausen
neustadt ooberdorf plaszow ravensbruck sasel treblinka ulven
volary weitten annen zeitz question it you are part of the
construction do not yield question always question you must know
what is happening you are there you are always there you always
know what's happening what's happening

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 1:00 utc | 70

Ah, Diehard, you've caught on to our little game here! All things hitherto posted at Moon of Alabama were just a warm-up, an ushering-in, of the GREAT REVOLUTIONARY ACT that you performed so finely @ 07:14 PM on 12 March, 2005. Nothing will ever be the same....

Posted by: alabama | Mar 13 2005 1:04 utc | 71

ô slothrop you sing the saddest songs

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 1:09 utc | 72

perhaps you were tright the other month - my dear alabama- that i do have something in common with bush - that i do not do irony

diehards/slothrops/? post filled me with nothing but the sadness of certitudes i have know on this earth - certitudes that comforted me - even when dogma became doggorel

there was a moment when i thought all could be reduced to mao tse tung's 'on contradiction. everything but as i walk towards the grave i am glad that i have embraced the darker truths of early karl & late lenin

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 1:14 utc | 73

& perhap because a crude explanation is in order

i'd like to
tell you how
working class child
takes off skin
layer by layer
hair by hair
i was doomed
glimpsing first light
a dull globe
in a cell
i'd name home
making you feel
compfortable with title
though i held
rails of bed
snot & tears
staining the sheets
that weren't cleaned
for enough time
to become maps
of a world
you were never
meant to enter
i wore glasses
to see through
mist before me
came a father
who coughed his
way to grave
that wasn't it
was lead box
a lead box
initialled with name
lawrence michael barnett
fourty four years
you had remained
& i cannot
at thirty six
forget your words
at 10 years
old get out
of this hell
i became boxer
to spite you
to defile words
endeavour of love
endeavour of action
endeavour of hope
taking some time
father they made
me a moron
me so stupid
i was hidden
underneath other's legs
so they couldn't
break & enter
this heart solid
because it spat
out any absolutes
that couldn't be
tested through opposites
taken so low
taken as high
as any man
would want to
tear open envelope
with my name
carved in hate
i opened world
father only way
i could falter
through the circles
still come up
for air breathe
dive even lower
until depth height
all distance obsolete
horizontal i took
what was mine
the world and
everything in it
marxist at fourteen
a committed addict
at twenty eight
a ruthless icon
here & now
i'm not made
flesh & bone
no i'm less
so much less
than that beautiful
boy running around
an imaginary universe
here ends digression
i want you
to know i
loved you father
throughout all this
you & mother
so much more
than i had

right to expect
right to demand
right to steal
right to rebel
an old chant
you would have
heard me yelling
in some street
anywhere on earth
ground sand soil
these are relative
terms father you
understood this better
than i'm able
tell at time
when memories drift
& engulf me
as they did
with their lessons
that i left
some distant era
ago ago ago
engulf me father
with your promises
& your stories
that seduced me
into believing this
worth the trouble
worth the wait
death'll be welcome
so engulf me
push me further
one more step
at a time
when i feel
nothing but pain
accepting it gracefully
i have emerged
as only son
who loved you
who loves you
engulf me father engulf me

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 1:32 utc | 74

Benjamin, 1938:

The resistance that modernity offers to the natural productive elan of an individual is out of all proportion to his strength. It is understandable if a person becomes exhausted and takes refuge in death. Modernity must stand under the sign of suicide, an act which seals a heroic will that makes no concessions to a mentality inimical toward this will. Such a suicide is not resignation but heroic passion. It is the achievement of modernity in the realm of the passions. In this form, as the passion particuliere de la vie moderne, suicide appears in the classic passage devoted to the theory of the modern.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 2:19 utc | 75


there is a beautiful poem to benjamin by brecht
called something like -'to walter benjamin who suicided escaping the nazis' - have it in french but not in english
short economic - just like b b for w b

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 2:27 utc | 76

Telling the truth is not always the revoltionary act. Who here denies the counter-revolutionary problem is people believe too much? Even among people like myself who imagine utopia think too much and highly about the presentiments of collapse, the "logic" of capital accumulation and the "end of oil," etc. Example: the MoA obsessions about macroeconomy and resource sustainability. Who fucking knows? I think jdp in another thread said it pretty well: what benefits elite power? If you only ask and answer this question, the social totality is comprehensible and the pain of life discernable as a symptom of plainly understood domination. This simple warning is the duty of revolutionary rhetoric.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 2:57 utc | 77

The ACLU is determined to get the truth out about torture by the US military and prosecute those responsible. It just released a new set of documents from another FOIA filing which substantiate torture by US Marines in Iraq and suggest a culture of secrecy surrounding it. Abuses include:

* holding a pistol to the back of a detainee’s head while another Marine took a picture (Karbala, May 2003)
* ordering four Iraqi juveniles to kneel while a pistol was "discharged to conduct a mock execution" (Adiwaniyah, June 2003)
* severely burning a detainee’s hands by covering them in alcohol and igniting them (Al Mumudiyah, August 2003), and
* shocking a detainee with an electric transformer, causing the detainee to "dance" as he was shocked (Al Mumudiyah, April 2004).

Documents viewable at the ACLU site.

Posted by: conchita | Mar 13 2005 3:22 utc | 78

Lots of interesing stuff to read this morning.

Social Security: On With the Show
President's 'Conversations' on Issue Are Carefully Orchestrated, Rehearsed

If the presentations sound well rehearsed, it's because they often are. The guests at these "Oprah"-style conversations trumpet the very points Bush wants to make. Seniors on stage express confidence that Bush's plan to create private investment accounts would not eat into promised benefits, and the granddaughter of one spoke hopefully on Friday of a richer retirement if the president prevails.

Seems as if the WaPo is shifting its position toward Bush. Not only in the article, but also in the use of the pictures. Look at the picture that goes with the article and then remember when they pictured him with a halo!!! quite a shift. WaPo is using pictures for probaganda in I way I have not seen with the NYT or other newspapers. I remember during the primaries they always used a picture of Dean looking like a real imbecile, then after the scream and after loosing the first primary, when it became clear that Kerry is the candidate they switched to a picture with a nice looking Dean. Now they seem to be doing the same thing in reverse with Bush.

Beirut on the brink of an abyss - There is foreboding in Lebanon after Hizbollah flexed its political muscles last week.

A new way of calculating the escalating crisis that has engulfed Lebanon since former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a bomb blast last month has emerged on the streets of Beirut.
It is not to be found in the sizes of the rival demonstrations that have blocked Beirut's streets, but in the price of an AK-47 assault rifle.

Before Hariri's murder - blamed by many Lebanese on Syria, whose army and intelligence services have lingered in the country for 30 years - you could buy one for $100 (£52). These days, say Lebanese, you would be lucky to find a weapon for $700.

'We did not organise the demonstration to show our force. We wanted to show we were the voice of Lebanon's conscience. We wanted to sound the alarm.'

What alarms Hizbollah is the knowledge that as the Syrian forces in Lebanon have been forced out by international pressure following Hariri's death, there are those, in Washington, who wish to see Hizbollah's days equally numbered.

International law starts to bring Washington back into the fold

In the opinion of many legal experts, the US government broke international law when it waged war on Iraq without explicit UN backing. Unrepentant, it has reserved the right to take similar action again, unilaterally if need be.
But another key pillar of global jurisprudence - laws concerning individual liberty, dignity and human rights - is proving harder for Washington to ignore: like a sheriff with a posse of deputies, international law is slowly catching up with the Bush administration.

Despite its hostility to the international criminal court, the US may soon be forced by a UN security council majority to refer war crimes prosecutions in Sudan to the ICC. Diplomats say that would represent a big boost for supranational criminal justice.


Posted by: Fran | Mar 13 2005 7:07 utc | 79

Wow, somethings seems to be shifting - very interesting article in the NYT about Bush propaganda. Its 8 pages!!!

Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged Television News

It is the kind of TV news coverage every president covets.

"Thank you, Bush. Thank you, U.S.A.," a jubilant Iraqi-American told a camera crew in Kansas City for a segment about reaction to the fall of Baghdad. A second report told of "another success" in the Bush administration's "drive to strengthen aviation security"; the reporter called it "one of the most remarkable campaigns in aviation history." A third segment, broadcast in January, described the administration's determination to open markets for American farmers.

To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three. The report from Kansas City was made by the State Department. The "reporter" covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. The farming segment was done by the Agriculture Department's office of communications.

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government's role in their production.

This winter, Washington has been roiled by revelations that a handful of columnists wrote in support of administration policies without disclosing they had accepted payments from the government. But the administration's efforts to generate positive news coverage have been considerably more pervasive than previously known. At the same time, records and interviews suggest widespread complicity or negligence by television stations, given industry ethics standards that discourage the broadcast of prepackaged news segments from any outside group without revealing the source.

Posted by: Fran | Mar 13 2005 7:20 utc | 80

Last one bevor heading out to enjoy a beautiful sunny day.

Bin Laden fatwa as Spain remembers

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Muslim clerics in Spain have issued what they called the world's first fatwa, or Islamic edict, against Osama bin Laden as the country marked the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.

They accused him of abandoning his religion and urged others of their faith to denounce the al Qaeda leader, who is believed to be hiding out near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The ruling was issued by the Islamic Commission of Spain, the main body representing the country's 1 million-member Muslim community. The commission invited imams to condemn terrorism at Friday prayers.

Posted by: Fran | Mar 13 2005 7:52 utc | 81

New oil deposits found off coast of Brazil

Posted by: Nugget | Mar 13 2005 9:59 utc | 82

Shi'ite-Kurdish talks to form Iraq government fail.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Talks between Kurdish leaders and a Shi'ite bloc to form the next Iraqi government have collapsed three days before Iraq's first fully elected parliament meets, senior members of the two sides said on Sunday.

Posted by: Big purple finger | Mar 13 2005 10:42 utc | 83

Under Bush, a new age of prepackaged television news

Open link to Fran's 2.20am post.

Posted by: Nugget | Mar 13 2005 11:13 utc | 84

thank you conchita - for your continually reminding us how the enlightenment brought forth monsters & how the empire uses torture not as an aide but as a central element of their occupation of other countries

they are neither accidents, aberrations, random, feral - they are what they are - the following to the letter, the corruption of judicial & legislative process

it will not be stopped - on the contrary - it will continue apace along with the systematic murder of journalists

they do not realise it but the huiliation of the arab people has just begun & their sorrows are far from over - it is the beginning of the beginning while the empire is itself on its last legs

that is the paradox that lin piao understood well when he sd that wounded beast was capable of great terror, of enormous damage

that is what we will witness in what we call our future & what the harder call life

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 14:26 utc | 85

Giuliana Sgrena in a sentence
(article in the Independent Sunday) makes it clear that the soldiers who fired on her and killed Calipari did not do so knowing whom they were attacking. However, does this mean that their higher ups also did not know or did they not inform them that the Italians would be passing?

Posted by: conchita | Mar 13 2005 18:36 utc | 86

hey, comrade slothrop (and anyone else who is listening) -->Joe Bageant sounds like he is on the edge of a nervous breakdown, but still challenging us:

Allow me to address the skepticism of many lefties: Do you think red state working folks are too damned dumb to recognize the truth if and when it is ever presented in relevant terms? OK, don't answer that. But buried under the cholesterol, fear and consumer state indoctrination, it is there. And lest you get too proud, remember: You voted for Kerry. We all be dumb sometimes, brutha. Most of the time, really. So educating working class folks is worth a try if for no other reason than that the alternative is just too awful to contemplate---Dale Earnhardt on the ten dollar bill. I can't help but believe that if informed folks, like those on websites such as this, helped people focus on mutual class enemies, then the Bush bandits would have plenty to worry about.

Bageant on class, race, the Heartland, globalisation, and the failure of pwog/liberal strategy in the US. always interesting.

Posted by: DeAnander | Mar 13 2005 18:52 utc | 87


Achieving practical consciousness of class war is crucial, and possible. Doing so competes, especially in times of economic uncertainty, with the normative seductions of fascism in which workers understandably value the maintenance of a perceived status quo by way of violent neocolonial conquest. The normative movement of class solidarity requires far less sexy "praxis": unionization, traditional politicking, peaceful resistance. In order for a class to be for itself requires leadership and counterhegemonic media. We need a billionaire Lenin.

There's no question, absolutely none, if News Corp. were suddenly expropriated by MoA, we would steer history toward much brighter light.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 19:56 utc | 88


i still think the sgrena story is far from clear. there are so many implausibilities in what happened yet so many things that are consistent with an 'ambush', with a 'targeted assasination' as the israellis are want to say & what we common people call common murder

in a war of anhiation there are no errors

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 20:01 utc | 89

in a war of anhilation there are no errors

but slothrop who would be our bill o'reilly

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 20:04 utc | 90

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two Americans working for a company that provides security for the U.S. Embassy were killed by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, the embassy said Sunday.

The pair, and a third American contractor who was wounded in the blast, were attacked while riding in a car Saturday between Baghdad and Hilla, embassy spokesman Robert Callahan said.

The contractors were employed by Blackwater Security, he said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine began pulling troops out of Iraq as part of a phased withdrawal of its complete 1,650-man contingent, the sixth largest in the U.S.-led coalitopn

more mercenaries become mincemeat

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 20:11 utc | 91

See:>Shit like this.

This is what we're up against.

If only we could beam Antonio Gramsci's brain into Michael Eisner's body...

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 20:42 utc | 92


Pat, of course.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 20:43 utc | 93

Actually, okiebyaccident is our o'reilly. Pat should be network director of programming standards & practiuces to make sure lefty sentiments are not too querelous.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 20:47 utc | 94

deanander can do liason stuff: grow the greenroom snacks and make sure all underwriters are prounion, antisweat.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 20:52 utc | 95

I'll make the coffee.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 20:54 utc | 96

rgiap, you are in charge of sunday nfl programming.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2005 21:00 utc | 97


now, that's what i call work

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2005 21:15 utc | 98

Telling the truth is not always the revoltionary act. Who here denies the counter-revolutionary problem is people believe too much?

Posted by: slothrop | March 12, 2005 09:57 PM

"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."

Posted by: Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) | Mar 14 2005 3:23 utc | 99

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