Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 09, 2007

OT 07-63

News and views ...

Posted by b on September 9, 2007 at 01:04 AM | Permalink

Comments

In May 2006 I wrote about social telco traffic analysis by the NSA. Turns out the FBI did the same:
F.B.I. Data Mining Reached Beyond Initial Targets

The documents indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used secret demands for records to obtain data not only on individuals it saw as targets but also details on their “community of interest” — the network of people that the target was in contact with. The bureau stopped the practice early this year in part because of broader questions raised about its aggressive use of the records demands, which are known as national security letters, officials said.

The community of interest data sought by the F.B.I. is central to a data-mining technique intelligence officials call link analysis.
...
Typically, community of interest data might include an analysis of which people the targets called most frequently, how long they generally talked and at what times of day, sudden fluctuations in activity, geographic regions that were called, and other data, law enforcement and industry officials said.
...
The scope of the demands for information could be seen in an August 2005 letter seeking the call records for particular phone numbers under suspicion. The letter closed by saying: “Additionally, please provide a community of interest for the telephone numbers in the attached list.”
...
Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania and a former researcher for AT&T, said the telecommunications companies could have easily provided the F.B.I. with the type of network analysis data it was seeking because they themselves had developed it over many years, often using sophisticated software like a program called Analyst’s Notebook.
...
Officials at other American intelligence agencies, like the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, have explored using link analysis to trace patterns of communications sometimes two, three or four people removed from the original targets, current and former intelligence officials said. But critics assert that the further the links are taken, the less valuable the information proves to be.

So the FBI stopped doing this for now, but NSA and CIA keep on going ...

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2007 1:48:42 AM | 1

I noticed y'day that Riverbend, after a long hiatus has just posted that she and some of her immediate family finally made it across the border and are now to be counted among the million or so Iraqi refugees in Syria.

I heard a snippet of spin on the Danish radio this morning that made me dizzy: Americans have bribed Sunni sheiks to stop fighting the Americans and "turn against" Al Qaeda. The "news" is so old it has mold on it, and that they should "turn against" folk they were never "for" and at most tolerated, baffles me.

The surprising thing was that they called it "bribe" and not the correct spin, "help", "assist" or "aid in the cause of freedom and democracy"

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Sep 9, 2007 1:57:24 AM | 2

kos hears a who?

With apologies to Dr. Seuss.


Yeah, Pelosi.

"Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding up both puppets!" -Bill Hicks

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2007 2:01:35 AM | 3

U.N. poddle Ban Ki-moon helping Bush: U.N. Waits To Issue Its Report On Iraq

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 8 -- The United Nations has delayed the release of a quarterly report on human rights in Iraq to avoid criticizing Washington and Baghdad while they are seeking to rally congressional and international support for the war effort, according to U.N. officials.

The move follows a request by Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to Ashraf Qazi, the United Nations' top envoy in Baghdad, saying Iraq needs "several weeks" to study the report, according to an account by a senior U.N.

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2007 2:16:06 AM | 4

Meet Ted Olsen and the Arkansas Project

Despite his evasive disavowals, Salon investigations showed the right-wing consigliere was deeply involved in a sordid plot to bring down President Clinton.

You should acquaint yourself with Bushcult's new fake pick* for AG, and to think --who ever gets it--, the fact that this person will be seated at Bobby Kennedy's desk never fails to amuse me.

*I say fake pick because A)it's not who they really want, Olsen is merely a false flag to get the Dems to shoot their wad, so Bushcult can put in a real kommissar --which is a whole new ball of anthrax--or B) they will ride the clock out.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2007 2:16:55 AM | 5

Infighting between Petraeus and Fallon - wonna bet Fallon will get kicked out?

Among Top Officials, 'Surge' Has Sparked Dissent, Infighting

For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.
...
The profoundly different views of the U.S. role in Iraq only exacerbated the schism between the two men.

"Bad relations?" said a senior civilian official with a laugh. "That's the understatement of the century. . . . If you think Armageddon was a riot, that's one way of looking at it."
...

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2007 2:46:53 AM | 6

http://rawstory.com//news/2007/US_admits_new_insurgent_grenade_causing_0905.html>They're baaaaacccck Looks like the Russian made RKG-3EM armor piercing hand grenades are indeed becoming a (bigger) problem. Can you say "portable IED".

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 9, 2007 3:31:58 AM | 7

b from last open thread 114:

The DKos diary on the Richardson OpEd received 24 comments - tells me something ...

Since the OpEd was about getting out of Iraq my impression of this comment implies Kossacks want to stay in Iraq. Personally I think it speaks to power. Simply stated Richardson has about as much chance of getting elected President as anyone on this board has. Contrast that with the above post (3) about Pelosi boycotting KOS and you see 965 comments. When their own power is drawn into question the thread is flooded. The importance of the issue is always secondary to power.

Jonathan Schwarz

Nothing warns of this more than the most popular manuscript in history, the Bible itself. Those in power will kill GOD himself in order to keep that power. For those that don't read the bible the story was told in a movie "The Passion of the Christ". This is the ultimate warning in speaking truth to power but it is concistantly ignored. It is one of man's greatest vices in the struggle for freedom.

This is why Iraq is in such turmoil. The leaders are all struggling for power, squabbling amongst themselves and killing each other more than they are resisting the occupation. This is why I posted earlier that what is happening in Iraq is not ethnic cleansing. Even the sectarian parties are killing each other in the struggle for power. Sectarianism is but a tool of the leaders to rally supporters. Even the Anbar Salvation group is based on tribal Sheiks losing power to Islamist leaders fighting the very same Americans they were fighting. It is obvious that if all of Iraq united they would stand a much better chance of removing the yoke of occupation and ending the genocide, yet this remains mission impossible blinded in a struggle for power.

This is a weakness built into all of us and is always exploited with divide and conquer strategies. America installing theocrats to govern over a secular Iraq is a prime example. Nobody spoke louder against America than Hakim before the invasion yet hand him power and he travels to America to lecture the elites that their army is not brutal enough and must kill more of his own people to stop the resistance.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 9, 2007 3:41:10 AM | 8

Sorry about the screw up

b from last open thread 114:

The DKos diary on the Richardson OpEd received 24 comments - tells me something ...

Since the OpEd was about getting out of Iraq my impression of this comment implies Kossacks want to stay in Iraq. Personally I think it speaks to power. Simply stated Richardson has about as much chance of getting elected President as anyone on this board has. Contrast that with the above post (3) about Pelosi boycotting KOS and you see 965 comments. When their own power is drawn into question the thread is flooded. The importance of the issue is always secondary to power.

Jonathan Schwarz posted about this explaining the thought mechanisms behind it. This point was again illustrated in the last GOP debate when Ron Paul warned that Republicans are losing elections over Iraq. Huckabee responded "Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important to the Republican Party". In other words as long we remain the leaders of the Republican Party who cares.

Nothing warns of this more than the most popular manuscript in history, the Bible itself. Those in power will kill GOD himself in order to keep that power. For those that don't read the bible the story was told in a movie "The Passion of the Christ". This is the ultimate warning in speaking truth to power but it is concistantly ignored. It is one of man's greatest vices in the struggle for freedom.

This is why Iraq is in such turmoil. The leaders are all struggling for power, squabbling amongst themselves and killing each other more than they are resisting the occupation. This is why I posted earlier that what is happening in Iraq is not ethnic cleansing. Even the sectarian parties are killing each other in the struggle for power. Sectarianism is but a tool of the leaders to rally supporters. Even the Anbar Salvation group is based on tribal Sheiks losing power to Islamist leaders fighting the very same Americans they were fighting. It is obvious that if all of Iraq united they would stand a much better chance of removing the yoke of occupation and ending the genocide, yet this remains mission impossible blinded in a struggle for power.

This is a weakness built into all of us and is always exploited with divide and conquer strategies. America installing theocrats to govern over a secular Iraq is a prime example. Nobody spoke louder against America than Hakim before the invasion yet hand him power and he travels to America to lecture the elites that their army is not brutal enough and must kill more of his own people to stop the resistance.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 9, 2007 3:43:18 AM | 9

RKG-3 grenades have also been used by Iraqi insurgents against coalition forces. On 1 June 2006, RKG-3 grenades were used in an attack on an American Humvee, and RKG-3 grenades have been captured by US Marines from insurgents in Al Anbar.

RKG-3 anti-tank grenade

Posted by: Sam | Sep 9, 2007 3:56:13 AM | 10

Geneva Bites Back?

Is a vulnerable flank is opening up.

It appears that deflecting blame / responsibility for the disbanding the Iraqi Army De-Baatification ,the rising insurgency (whatever that means) was a popular sport even whilst Larry "Call me Jerry" Bremer III was swanning about in Saddam's Palace in 2003.

Pages 223/224 of his "My Year in Iraq" "Jerry" is having a friendly tete a tete with 4 Star General John Abizaid "The mad Arab" about November 7th 2003.

"Abizaid noted he was fed up that .. Walt Slocombe still opposed re-hiring Sunni field - grade Army oficers . "We need experienced Iraqi commanders who can lead troops. I'm sick of reading his opinion on the subject in newspapers."

Slocombe had been responding to reporter's questions .. questions had been raised by anononymous iniformed officers and Pentagon officials looking for someone to blame for the largely unprecedented insurgency we were now fighting.

I told Abizaid I agreed with Slocombe we needed to be very careful ....

"Listen" he said , "I've always told you that I opposed disbanding the Army, but I've never gone to the Press with my opinion."

Always ? Disbanding ? (Jerrys' emphasis)

"Way back in May, Walt Slocombe had consulted CENTCOM while we prepared CPA order No2 dissolving the old Iraqi Defense Ministry, Saddam's intelligence service and security forces. The order recognised the reality that the army had disbanded itself as Coalition forces swept into the country. We had co-ordinated the CPA decision - and had reviewed every word of the order with Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith before issuring the decree on May 23rd. Lt. Gnl. David McKiernan , Abizaid's commander on the ground , had been fully consulted too."

It seems impossible to find anyone who "Jerry" didn't discuss it with - certainly he must have included it in his nightly e-mails to his wife.... as well.

Dubya's biographer Mr Draper it appears, is talking through his bottom - or Dubya is lying . But Dubya wouldn't lie would he ? Would he?

The sensitivity is explained here:

At war with Whitehall

General Sir Mike Jackson strikes many blows in his autobiography. But how strongly did he express his concerns about Iraq to his political masters?

Richard Norton-Taylor

September 7, 2007 8:00 PM | Printable version

In his much-heralded autobiography, General Sir Mike Jackson, former head of the army, strikes many blows. He describes Donald Rumsfeld, the former US defence secretary, as "one of those most responsible for the current situation in Iraq".

And after a scathing attack on the state of soldiers' accommodation, a state of affairs he blames squarely on civil servants, he writes: "I did not find the MoD a comfortable place to be. Its values were not mine."

Yet the general's attacks against these pretty easy targets raise profound and unanswered questions. Other very senior defence officials say - privately - that Rumsfeld, along with Blair and Bush, should face war crimes charges for failing to discharge the responsibilities placed on occupying powers by the Geneva conventions.

Jackson says in his book that all the heads of the armed forces, including Admiral Sir Mike (now Lord) Boyce, chief of defence staff at the time, were concerned about the US failure to plan for the post-invasion of Iraq. Boyce, he writes, "represented our concerns both to the prime minister and the secretary of state [Hoon] - though it may not have helped that he didn't have an easy relationship with Geoff Hoon".

What we don't know is how strongly Boyce, Jackson, and the others expressed their concerns to Blair and what Blair did about them. All the evidence suggests that as far as Bush was concerned, Blair wouldn't say boo to a goose. Did the service chiefs protest, threaten to resign? We don't know if they even uttered a word when Rumsfeld tore up their orders to British commanders in the field - namely, to try and deal with Iraqi army commanders for help in maintaining law and order after the invasion.

Jackson, meanwhile, suggests he was fighting a war against the Whitehall warriors - the civil servants he so despises - as much as anybody else. The criticism that could be laid against him is that his antipathy towards the bureaucrats distracted him from trying to solve the pressing problems, including the state of soldiers' houses and allowances, he now so loudly complains about. Did he just give up fighting Whitehall?

He may have played to the gallery before the squaddies. But we need to know what he and his fellow chiefs of staff said to their political masters.

You're not allowed to dissolve the institutions of a state. That's conquest. And conquest is "aggressive war".


By the way, one of the comments is priceless:

While sqaddies from British council estates were being killed in an illegal war against the people of Iraq, our great war leader Mike Jackass was getting a face lift to remove the bags from under his eyes.

General full O shit Jackson.

I dont mind people rambling crap when they don't know the real score.

It's those who know, and still try and sell you BS that I despise.

Gotta hand it to those in charge though.

They sure as hell can play a shell game !

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2007 4:18:57 AM | 11

Police: Israeli Neo-Nazi Ring Busted

[P]olice said Sunday they have cracked a cell of young Israeli neo-Nazis accused in a string of attacks on foreign workers, religious Jews, drug addicts and gays.

Eight immigrants from the former Soviet Union have been arrested in recent days in connection with at least 15 attacks, and a ninth fled the country, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, in the first such known cell to be discovered in Israel.

All the suspects are in their late teens or early 20s and have Israeli citizenship, Rosenfeld said.

"The level of violence was outrageous," Maj. Revital Almog, who investigated the case, told Israel's Army Radio.

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2007 9:40:06 AM | 12

@ 12,

that is certainly an interesting story. I like how the skinheads are described as being Jews by dubious ties to parents or grandparents that are Jewish. After all, a good kosher Jew would never do anything like kill a foreigner.

I have noticed in the past that the russian immigrants often get bad press and are treated like country cousins. Could this be an example of that? Is there a stratification of Israeli society where there are some who are more equal than others?

perhaps someone with knowledge of Israeli society will comment.

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 9, 2007 11:49:57 AM | 13

dan

i don't know if you know the story - i don't have a link - but some recent french immigrants to israel - brothers, it think - well brought up, educated, cultured etc - wanted to see what it was like to, "kill an arab" & they did so. they took a palestinian taxi driver & they tortured & killed him

i am not surprised in the current climate of arabaphobia - that such a culture of murder is the rule & not the exception

all the tribunals against war criminals in the united states also express their contempt for the arab people by handing out suspended sentences, three months jail, demotion of rank etc etc etc

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 9, 2007 11:55:16 AM | 14

& the whole incident highlights the mockery israel has mad of its law of return; it is commonly accepted that they accepted many russians with only the slightest connection to judaism as a means of combating the palestinan demographic

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 9, 2007 12:13:10 PM | 15

@Dan oS - Is there a stratification of Israeli society where there are some who are more equal than others?

Definitly, lots of fall lines within the Israeli society:

On the ethnic axis:
- Ashkenasi - Central European/East European jews (speaking Yiddish) that migrated to Israel mostly after 1948.
- Sephardi - originally those from Spain and Portugal, but now the word includes Middle Eastern jews (Mizrahi)
- recent immigrants form Ethipopia (black skin)
- recent immigrants form the Sowjet Union (mostly secular and not a bit jewish)
- Arabs/Palestinians
- Beduins
On the religious axes, jewish nuts, i.e. religious settlers, orthodox, liberals and atheists/agnostics, sunni muslim, christians

The religious folks look down on the atheist/agnostics
The atheist/agnostics look down on the orthodox
The jews look down on the Arab and christians
The ashkenasi look down on the sephardi
Nobody likes the ethiopian and sowjet immigrants
etc.

A point often overlooked: If Israel loses an outher enemy, it may well fall apart. Today the more secular folks are financing the orthodox and settlers as "buffer". If the pressure from outside would go down, they certainly would stop doing so.

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2007 12:45:51 PM | 16

@Dan o' Steele (#13)

"Is there a stratification of Israeli society where there are some who are more equal than others?"

Um... was that a rhetorical question? Hells, yes, there is. Haven't you heard of the ? The Ashkenazim are far, far more "equal" than the Sephardim (who are typically easy to distinguish because of their generally darker complexion).

Of course, it will be immediately countered that I am anti-Semitic for mentioning this, I know nothing about Israeli society or Judaism in general, and, besides, this was done way, way back in the 1950's. It's not like contemporary Israelis do that kind of thing anymore.

I will, however, bow to Malooga when it comes to questions of Israel. He knows far more than I about that subject.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 9, 2007 12:50:35 PM | 17

Screwed that last one up by not closing the tag on the first link... the final "that kind of thing" is a separate link to a story about medical experiments performed upon modern Palestinians.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 9, 2007 12:52:25 PM | 18

And it doesn't look like my link to the "ringworm children" is working anyway. Okay, from that article (http://web.israelinsider.com/views/3998.htm)...

Snip...

"The Ringworm Children" (translated in Hebrew as "100,000 Rays"), directed by David Belhassen and Asher Hemias, recently won the prize for "best documentary" at the Haifa International film festival, and in the past year has made the rounds of Jewish and Israeli film festivals around the world. But it had yet to come to Israeli television screens. The subject is the mass irradiation of hundreds of thousands of young Israeli immigrants from Middle Eastern countries -- Sephardim, as they are called today. The story goes like this:

In 1951, the director general of the Israeli Health Ministry, Dr. Chaim Sheba, flew to America and returned with seven x-ray machines, supplied to him by the American army.

They were to be used in a mass atomic experiment with an entire generation of Sephardi youths to be used as guinea pigs. Every Sephardi child was to be given 35,000 times the maximum dose of x-rays through his head. For doing so, the American government paid the Israeli government 300 million Israeli liras a year. The entire Health budget was 60 million liras. The money paid by the Americans is equivalent to billions of dollars today.

To fool the parents of the victims, the children were taken away on "school trips" and their parents were later told the x-rays were a treatment for the scourge of scalpal ringworm. 6,000 of the children died shortly after their doses were given, while many of the rest developed cancers that killed thousands over time and are still killing them now. While living, the victims suffered from disorders such as epilepsy, amnesia, Alzheimer's disease, chronic headaches and psychosis.

That is the subject of the documentary in cold terms. It is another matter to see the victims on the screen.

To watch the Moroccan lady describe what getting 35,000 times the dose of allowable x-rays in her head feels like. "I screamed make the headache go away. Make the headache go away. Make the headache go away. But it never went away."

To watch the bearded man walk hunched down the street. "I'm in my fifties and everyone thinks I'm in my seventies. I have to stoop when I walk so I won't fall over. They took my youth away with those x-rays."

To watch the old lady who administered the doses to thousands of children: "They brought them in lines. First their heads were shaved and smeared in burning gel. Then a ball was put between their legs and the children were ordered not to drop it, so they wouldn't move. The children weren't protected over the rest of their bodies. There were no lead vests for them. I was told I was doing good by helping to remove ringworm. If I knew what dangers the children were facing, I would never have cooperated. Never!"

Because the whole body was exposed to the rays, the genetic makeup of the children was often altered, affecting the next generation. We watch the woman with the distorted face explain, "All three of my children have the same cancers my family suffered. Are you going to tell me that's a coincidence?"

The majority of the victims were Moroccan because they were the most numerous of the Sephardi immigrants. The generation that was poisoned became the country's perpetual poor and criminal class. It didn't make sense. The Moroccans who fled to France became prosperous and highly educated. The common explanation was that France got the rich, thus smart ones. The real explanation is that every French Moroccan child didn't have his brain cells fried with gamma rays.

The film made it perfectly plain that this operation was no accident. The dangers of x-rays had been known for over forty years. We read the official guidelines for x-ray treatment in 1952. The maximum dose to be given a child in Israel was .5 rad. There was no mistake made. The children were deliberately poisoned.

David Deri makes the point that only Sephardi children received the x-rays: "I was in class and the men came to take us on a tour. They asked our names. The Ashkenazi children were told to return to their seats. The dark children were put on the bus."

The film presents a historian who first gives a potted history of the eugenics movement. In a later sound bite, he declares that the ringworm operation was a eugenics program aimed at weeding out the perceived weak strains of society. The Moroccan lady is back on the screen. "It was a Holocaust, a Sephardi Holocaust. And what I want to know is why no one stood up to stop it."

David Deri, on film and then as a panel member, relates the frustration he encountered when trying to find his childhood medical records. "All I wanted to know was what they did to me. I wanted to know who authorized it. I wanted to trace the chain of command. But the Health Ministry told me my records were missing." Boaz Lev, the Health Ministry's spokesman chimes in: "Almost all the records were burned in a fire."

We are told that a US law in the late '40s put a stop to the human radiation experiments conducted on prisoners, the mentally feeble and the like. The American atomic program needed a new source of human lab rats and the Israeli government supplied it.
There is one person alive who knows the truth: Shimon Peres. The only way to get to the truth and start the healing is to investigate him for his role in the mass poisoning of over 100,000 Sephardi children and youth.

And, Snip...

But here is why (disclosure) won't happen. The film was aired at the same time as the highest-rated TV show of the year, the finale of Israel's talent-hunt show: "A Star Is Born." The next day, the newly-born star's photo took up half the front pages. There was not a word about "The Ringworm Children" in any paper, nor on the Internet. Until now.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 9, 2007 1:01:15 PM | 19

Oh, how horrible!
I'm stunned beyond belief.

Posted by: Jake | Sep 9, 2007 3:52:55 PM | 20

@b

The jews look down on the Arab and christians


True, but I need to correct one apparent mistake here -- most of the indigenous Christians in Israel are Arabs. If I am not mistaken, your sentence implies that "Arab" and "Christian" are two separate groups. The Christians who are native to the country (including Armenians) are Palestinian. There are of course foreign Christians from various countries, including Russians who immigrated from the Soviet Union and got Israeli citizenship by virtue of Jewish ancestry, even though they themselves are Christian.

The Arab Christians are a small minority of the non-Jewish population however -- they comprise only about 8% of the Arab population of Israel (which itself comprises nearly 20% of the country). Still, it is often overlooked that they are both Christian and Arab.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 9, 2007 3:56:51 PM | 21

@Bea - yes, most Christians there are Arabs.

Isn't it interesting that people talk jewish-christian culture or something like that versus Islam?
Theologically Islam and Christianity are more near to each other than Christanity and Judaism. (Think of the role of Jesus and Mary in both religions.)
So who came up with this false grouping?

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2007 4:10:09 PM | 22

it seems to me that the state of Israel is in very sad shape. the unlucky ones who went there seeking a better life free of discrimination and hatred for being Jewish soon found themselves hated by their own as well as the indigenous people they displaced from their homes.

the dream that the early settlers in the kibbutzes had of a homeland for the Jews was soon subverted by greedy men taking advantage of the vulnerable, just like it always was, just like it always is. the dream lives on and is been made into a myth and legend with all kinds of tragedy and sadness giving support and reason to its existence. but it is no different than life anywhere else, with the small exception of some 200 nuclear warheads and the means to deliver them anywhere in the world.

I suppose that many would make fun of me and accuse me of crying crocodile tears but I have come to feel sorry for the Jewish people. I believe that fate has dealt them another bad hand and they are about to lose all over again. not all of them mind you, just the common folks like us.

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 9, 2007 4:17:01 PM | 23

Gideon Levy in Haaretz: This is how the moderates [in Israel] look (Good piece)

Haim Ramon [former Israeli Minister of Justice] has made a big comeback [after being dismissed from his position last year on charges of sexual misconduct]. As if renewing the Hebrew language, he has coined the term "infrastructural oxygen" - Israel should strike a blow at Gaza's infrastructural oxygen. Faithful to his suggestions in the Second Lebanon War ("It is permissible to destroy everything"), he is now the progenitor of the doctrine advocating cutting off the electricity, fuel and water supply to Gaza. Ramon is very proud of his demonic plan: "It's the first time the government has discussed these types of proposals," he said. In his eyes, the legal aspect is "hallucinatory"; there is no difference between Hamas and Al-Qaida. And what will happen if this cutoff of water and electricity to Gaza is not effective? "Until we try, we'll never know," the minister told an interviewer. That is, we are dealing with an experiment on human beings. As we all know, Ramon is a representative of a centrist party and is considered one of the party's moderates.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is a moderate, too. She also supports the Ramon doctrine. She says that, "It is inconceivable that life in Gaza continues to be normal." In the view of the moderate foreign minister, life in Gaza is "normal" - it seems she has no idea about what life is really like there - and a cutoff of supplies will bring an end to the Qassams. The hungry, thirsty and suffocating populace will exert pressure and, hocus pocus, there will be no more Qassams....

There is no room for debating legal nuances: Inflicting intentional harm against a civilian population constitutes a war crime. And 40 years of occupation in Gaza has not ended - it has only changed form. But Ramon's path is not only illegal and immoral, it is also ineffective. How long will we continue to believe that striking a population will make it more moderate? Are 40 years of bitter experience not enough to teach us that the opposite is true?

Posted by: Bea | Sep 9, 2007 4:38:13 PM | 24

Apparently not much has changed in the mentality since the ringworm children "experiments" were conducted.

Tragically. Terribly, terribly tragically.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 9, 2007 4:40:06 PM | 25

The Israel-Syria situation remains charged with tension.

Damascus sources said they believe the alleged operation was a "diplomatic and military experiment" in order to test Syria's reactions and intentions.

Israel is maintaining a complete blackout regarding the Syrian charges. Cabinet ministers and senior IDF officers have repeatedly refused to comment on the alleged incident, either on or off the record....

Meanwhile, the Lebanese newspaper A-Nahar said Sunday that reports were circulating in Damascus according to which Syria had begun a partial call-up of reservists. However, the newspaper emphasized that it was unclear to what extent the reports were true and whether or not the call-up is related to Thursday's incident.

It's important to monitor developments here closely. This is a very deliberate provocation. Syria is between a rock and a hard place, wanting to avoid war but also facing extreme pressure from its own people and the Arab world not to just "roll over and take it."

Turkey is now involved as well:

Turkey has asked Israel for clarification after finding two fuel tanks on its territory near the Syrian border.

The tanks allegedly belong to IAF warplanes, a diplomatic source said Saturday. Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper Saturday published photographs of what it said were fuel tanks jettisoned by Israeli F-15s sent to gather intelligence on Syrian installations near the Turkish border.

The jettisoned fuel tanks were discovered late on Thursday in the Turkish provinces of Hatay and Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, hours after Damascus had accused Israel of dropping munitions over its territory.

The Prime Minister's Bureau refused to respond to the reports in the Turkish media. However, government sources noted that Israel's envoy to Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry and given a diplomatic protest regarding the alleged IAF flyover of Syrian air space.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that it "took a harsh view of the invasion of Syrian air space by the IAF." The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is expected to receive the Turkish letter of protest on Sunday and to discuss possible responses to it.

"We have asked Israel to explain what happened," a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters. The source said Turkish authorities were also trying to establish whether Israeli warplanes had briefly violated Turkey's airspace.

Much more info available at Syria Comment. And a whole new blog layout to boot! Could it be that blogger Landis anticipates a serious increase in traffic in the event of an Israel-Syrian war, so he's spiffed up the premises? Sadly, that is probably true...

Posted by: Bea | Sep 9, 2007 5:03:14 PM | 26

Oops! maybe I was wrong about the new look. It might just have been a corrupted code at the bottom that caused the color to change and the right-hand column not to display properly, causing me to jump to conclusions. Never mind.... but do please read his very informative post!!!

Posted by: Bea | Sep 9, 2007 5:09:24 PM | 27

Any MOA's wanna help me figure out what the hell this comment in a much broader post is about? After reading the articles, I for the life of me, could not get where this person gets this mention of Moon of Alabama. Maybe you can?

I couldn't tell if it was meant to be sarcastic or if someone really wrote that?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2007 5:14:32 PM | 28

@Uncle

Look at #3 on this list.

Kudos to b real!

Posted by: Bea | Sep 9, 2007 5:22:28 PM | 29

thanks. that reporter gets a couple things wrong, but what else is new these days ;-)

the actual list is at project censored

needed exposure on an important issue & kudos to MoA for more validation of its importance as a source for news, information & analysis.

Posted by: b real | Sep 9, 2007 5:36:15 PM | 30

even newsweek, which only considers the GWOT narrative, is having trouble finding a good reporting angle on AFRICOM

Perhaps the biggest source of concern is the recent U.S. track record in the Horn of Africa, where Washington has been pursuing an increasingly militarized policy for more than a year with disastrous results. Twice in the past year, the United States has intervened in Somalia — first by supporting local warlords, then by backing an Ethiopian invasion—to undermine the regime of the fundamentalist Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which Washington accuses of maintaining links with Al Qaeda. Fighting has raged across Mogadishu ever since, killing hundreds of innocent civilians and forcing some 400,000 from their homes, without decisively toppling the Islamists. U.S. and European attempts to create a government of national unity have failed spectacularly.

Now the conflict is spreading west to Ethiopia — where tensions between ethnic Somalis and Ethiopians are at a high — and north to Eritrea, which the United States accuses of harboring Qaeda operatives with ties to the ICU. The Bush administration is now on the verge of labeling Eritrea, once a U.S. ally, a state sponsor of terror. None of this helps Washington sell the idea that Africom will be a force for peace. "We have done a horrible job in getting our message out in the War on Terror," says one senior U.S. official in Ethiopia, who provided comment on the condition that his name not be used. "We've ceded the battlefield to these extremist elements." [bullshit. no wonder they don't want their name associated w/ the stmt.]

One of the mistakes Washington has made — a mistake the creation of Africom might compound — has been to rely so heavily on Ethiopia. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who just 10 years ago President Bill Clinton hailed as one of a "new generation of African leaders," now has one of the worst human-rights records in Africa. Secret police repress opposition members while the Meles government intimidates international aid organizations, kicking the medical charity Doctors Without Borders out of Ethiopia's conflicted eastern border region last week.

Similar concerns elsewhere may make it harder for Africom to find a permanent base. But there will probably always be takers. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has offered her country as a possible location. And Frazer maintains that she's "positive" Africom will find a home on the continent somewhere. But with so much hostility, it may never feel entirely welcome.

Posted by: b real | Sep 9, 2007 5:47:26 PM | 31

Bea's article @ 24:

There is no room for debating legal nuances: Inflicting intentional harm against a civilian population constitutes a war crime.

Is that any different than our own governments legislating starvation for Palestinians?

What is even more ironic is hearing Americans call themselves a Judeo Christian nation. When Jews were trying to emmigrate to escape the European death camps those "Judeo Christian" Americans were protesting on the streets of New York "send Jews back" prodded on by the good white Father James Coughlin. Back in the day it was Jews and Blacks. They even blamed Jews for the depression.

This is like hearing people talking about the American civil war as a battle to free black slaves. Like white Americans would kill each other by the hundreds of thousands over "niggers". They say this even though the civil rights movement happened in my life time and had to be enforced by guns. Does anyone remeber Lyndon Johnson "we have lost the South"? How about Black voter suppression in the Florida 2000 election that helped get Bush into the White House.

Today in America we have constant complaints of Anti Semitism in a day and age where Muslims are renditioned, tortured, occupied, bombed, legally assassinated and generally targetted in the media. Recently the first Muslim was elected to Congress and caused a nationial outcry on right wing blogs and he wasn't even Arab but Black.

Note the use of the word "nigger" was not meant to denigrate but to show how ridiculous the claim is.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 9, 2007 7:32:02 PM | 32

b real...I sent your posts on Africom to several people. It was and continues to be very nice work. Thanks

Posted by: R.L. | Sep 9, 2007 8:23:57 PM | 33

b real - :)

Posted by: beq | Sep 9, 2007 8:55:08 PM | 34

b real

felicitations & keep researching & giving - your researches contain both force & tenderness

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 9, 2007 9:38:21 PM | 35

Thanks Bea, I was like wtf???...lol (Still not clear of their --that persons--context on metatfilter or if they were being flippant).

Also, an added bravo to b real, good work.

I would imagine you can take the same models and methods of IMF, WTO, and all the other agencies OF America's imperialism on S. America thus only retooled and reworked to subjugate the whole of Africa. Colonialism by any other name etc...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2007 10:08:57 PM | 36

Thanks Bea, I was like wtf???...lol (Still not clear of their --that persons--context on metatfilter or if they were being flippant).

Also, an added bravo to b real, good work.

I would imagine you can take the same models and methods of IMF, WTO, and all the other agencies OF America's imperialism on S. America thus only retooled and reworked to subjugate the whole of Africa. Colonialism by any other name etc...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2007 10:09:59 PM | 37

@31,

from the link:
Among the nations most often mentioned as candidates to host the Africom headquarters: Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania and Ethiopia, which now has one of the worst human-rights records in Africa.

Ghana & Tanzania are out. Ethiopia is landlocked (for now). So that leaves Liberia.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has offered her country as a possible location.

Maybe EJS forsees Liberia as the next Guam or Puerto-Rico.

a U.S. Army reservist in a 12-man American Civil Affairs unit living in Dire Dawa, in eastern Ethiopia, says it comes down to this: "It's the Peace Corps with a weapon."
its only natural that these troops will appreciate the amiable-ness of the Africans they are helping. But its a mistake to expect the same everywhere. In many cases they might get a reaction roughly comparable to -- a bunch of do-gooders from China wandering the Alabama country-side. The one-size-fits-all approach to Africa is a myth-artifact that just wont go away.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 9, 2007 11:50:06 PM | 38

in an earlier OT thread on the somali congress for liberation and reconstitution conference underway in asmara, i wrote that "asst sec frazer will probably waddle back out before the microphones to disseminate more disinformation" and that's exactly what she did this weekend in ethiopia.

buying time for her GWOT allies in addis ababa on the growing concerns over ethiopia's counterinsurgency operations in the ogaden region, frazer chose her words carefully.

voa: US Official Urges Greater African Involvement in Somalia Peace Efforts

Assistant Secretary Frazer held talks in Addis Saturday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and African Union chairman Alpha Omar Konare. A day earlier she and President Bush's Special Assistant for Africa Bobby Pittman made a whirlwind tour of the vast Ogaden region of southeastern Ethiopia, where government forces have launched a military crackdown against rebel groups.
...
In recent weeks, international aid agencies have accused Ethiopia of denying humanitarian workers access to the region, where civilian casualties are said to be heavy. The rebels say government troops are imposing an economic blockade, creating a man-made famine. The Ethiopian government strongly denies the charges.

At a news conference in Addis Ababa Saturday, Frazer described the allegations as 'unsubstantiated'. But she said she had urged Ethiopian leaders to avoid casualties and human rights violations.

She said efforts to investigate the charges, and to ensure adequate supplies to needy civilians are complicated by the rebels' links to warring factions in neighboring Somalia.

"Part of the challenge is that the chaos, I shouldn't call it chaos, but fighting taking place in Somalia has disrupted that market, the rice and products that normally come into the Ogaden have been disrupted by the situation in Somalia itself," said Frazer. "In addition to that, there are those extremists, insurgents who have tried to make a link with the ONLF and they are trying to, the ONLF is trying to get contraband in through those trade routes. Weapons, arms trafficking is taking place with the same trucks bringing in rice."

huh? the ogaden, which is in ethiopia & tightly controlled by that govt, has been affected by the sitch in somali which has "disrupted" the flow of "rice and products", yet the ONLF is allegedly bringing in contraband in those same "disrupted" trade routes?

the editorial staff at ogaden online sorta sees what's going on here

Jendayi Frazer :Unofficial TPLF Spokeswoman or a Top US Official?

At a time when multiple sources including human rights and Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, working in Ogaden have detailed not only the type of atrocities but also the extent of the war crimes committed against the Ogaden citizenry by the TPLF army and its’ associated militias;

At a moment when no international journalist is allowed to set foot in Ogaden, it is quiet disappointing, to say the least, to hear the recent outburst from Jendayi Frazer who is a host to the same Ethiopian junta that has not only ordered but carried out the current war crimes reported in Ogaden.

When Frazer terms the genocide that has and is taking place in Ogaden as merely allegations that are 'unsubstantiated', which happens to be the same terms used by Zenawi in the recent Time’s interview, we are left to wonder whether Frazer is a top US diplomat for African affairs or an unofficial spokeswoman for the Tigrian People’s Liberation Front, TPLF.

What evidence, other than the propaganda fed to her by the TPLF misinformation minions, does Frazer have that can make all the horror stories provided the internationally renowned human rights organizations, Ogaden survivors of the current Ogaden war crimes, and the NGOs who have an innate knowledge of the Ogaden landscape and people, as mere ‘unsubstantiated’ allegations?

We, the Ogaden Editorial Board, EOB, believe that Frazer has accepted in face value, the misinformation provided by the TPLF junta headed by Zenawi.

i said "sorta" though, b/c frazer knows exactly what is going on. she's been closely involved in ethiopia's activities in the horn for close to a year now.

an AFP article has her bringing eritrea into the ogaden crisis
US, UN concern over Ethiopian rebel crackdown

Human rights groups have accused the army of razing villages, displacing thousands of civilians and imposing an economic blockade on the region, which has suffered flooding and drought.

"We urge all governments to respect the human rights, but it is difficult when you are fighting an insurgency," said Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the US State Department.
...
Formed in 1984, the ONLF is fighting for the independence of ethnic Somalis in Ogaden, saying they have been marginalised by Addis Ababa.

Frazer said the group was being supported by neighbouring Eritrea.

"Eritrea is undermining the security and the stability in the Horn of Africa," she said. "They harbor terrorists, it is a state sponsoring terrorism. We hope they will stop doing so if not we'll see what actions to take."

Ogaden, an arid area in the Somali state of eastern Ethiopia, is believed to contain oil and natural gas, but rebel activities have scuppered efforts to carry out conclusive explorations.

interesting, but predictable, spin to put the blame on the rebels, who are defending the rights of the people being kicked off their lands by govt forces, as 'scuppering' exploration activities. but then the article itself is flawed, first stating the un team had already left the region, which was reported a few days ago, and then saying that it was still there & that the ONLF just declared a ceasefire - it was declared sept 1st.

sloppy reporting like this makes it difficult to assign credulity to the article or those it represents, which is par for the course when it comes to frazer's rhetoric on eritrea anyhow, given the mendacity of stmts pouring forth from her & meles practically every time they open their mouths in public

iht: Eritrea needs to stop alleged support of terrorists, says U.S. official

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: The U.S. could halt plans to declare Eritrea a "state sponsor of terrorism" if it stops its support of "terrorists" in Somalia, the top U.S. African affairs diplomat said.

"There's always a chance for Eritrea to stop what it's doing," Jendayi Frazer, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told journalists late Saturday.

It was the second time that Frazer had publicly spoken of the evidence her country is compiling of alleged Eritrean support of al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants in Somalia.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Information called for "appropriate measures," to be taken against Eritrea, its archrival, for "openly pursuing its strategy of destabilizing Somalia and the region."

what a crock. the illegal invasion and continued occupation of somalia by proxy is the fundamental destabilizer of the horn right now, and it's not eritrea behind it, it is the u.s. & ethiopia.

the opposition conference in asmara has provided frazer an opportunity to turn up the rhetoric a bit more, however, since sheik hassan dahir aweys has shown up in attendance.

Frazer said that evidence of Eritrean support for extremists includes a conference of Somali dissidents Eritrea is currently hosting that includes individuals who have been linked to al-Qaida.

"We are continuing to gather information and evidence, and I think that we need to do a very thorough job there. But clearly the fact that Eritrea is providing sanctuary for terrorists is best illustrated by the report that Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys was in Asmara yesterday (Friday)," Frazer said.

Aweys has been singled out in a U.S. executive order and a U.N. Security Council resolution for his association with al-Qaida, Frazer said. "So he's a designated terrorist attending a conference in Asmara that's supported by the (Eritrean) government."

Aweys has denied he is a terrorist or has any links with al-Qaida.

now he wouldn't be a very good role model & inspiration for other "jihadists" if he continually denied affiliation w/ AQ, would he? yet that's been his claim all along & the u.s. keeps bluffing on this ca(na)rd. and frazer further demonizes eritrea, largely because it refuses to play along w/ u.s. interests & the superpower's assignment of ethiopia as the regional power. as frazer's deputy, james swan, recently made clear, eritrea is the only horn nation that the u.s. isn't working closely with. all the others have submitted parts of their sovereignty to u.s. policies & interests.

last week, the eritrean ministry of information laid out an itemized rebuttal to frazer's august 17th farcical briefing, which served as a transparent threat to leverage more power over the nation & shape international opinion, outlining the "numerous acts of hostility that Washington has taken against Eritrea in the past ten years" and its position of u.s. policy in the region.

US Policy in Eritrea: A Pattern of Unprovoked Hostility

31. The charges of “sponsoring terrorism” and “destabilizing the region” are the most preposterous allegations that belie the ulterior motives of the US State Department. Eritrea's position on Somalia has been spelled out unequivocally in various occasions and forums before; including at the IGAD and UN sessions. Equating Somalia's quest for national reconstitution after 16 years of mayhem with “Islamist terrorism” is either inexcusable ignorance or deliberate distortion of facts and events. As Eritrea has underlined repeatedly, the presumed presence of one or two alleged international terrorists cannot justify, by any stretch of imagination, the invasion of a sovereign country; and, the deaths of tens and thousands and displacement of almost half a million civilians.

32. The charge of regional destabilization is equally preposterous. Ethiopia has invaded Somalia in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions which were adjusted to “fit the new reality” because of the US support. Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia was long planned with the tacit encouragement and joint planning of the respective US agencies. Ethiopia is violating international law to occupy sovereign Eritrean territories and to spawn a permanent situation of regional tension and instability.
...
34. The spiral of hostility that characterizes US policy towards Eritrea boiled down to one overriding reason. This was true in the 1950s and it is also true today. It has nothing to do with principles of international law or with values of justice, democracy and human rights. The United States has all along believed that its perceived strategies in the region can be better served by Ethiopia; irrespective of the philosophical persuasions of the regime in power in Addis Abeba. This consistent and overriding policy was couched in Cold War terms in the 1950s. It has now been articulated in terms of the regional “Anchor States” as spelled out in the US National Security Strategy of 2002.

35. This policy did not serve the interests of Eritrea, Ethiopia, the region, and even United States itself when we look, in retrospect, to what has transpired in the second half of the last century. It is unfortunate to note that the follies of the past century are not being redressed today.

hardly sounds unreasonable, doesn't it? reportedly frazer shrugged off the ministry's points this w/e and honed in on the fact that aweys was at the asmara conference to the point of excluding any mention at all of what the conference is about or intended to do. this is a similar diversion tactic to that used back in the august briefing to shift attention from the human rights watch rpt on the war crimes in mogadishu to eritrea & DoS political lists.

the eritrean ministry expressed its position on the conference in an article date 6 sept.

Victory to the Somali Congress for Liberation and Reconstitution!

Starting Thursday September 6, Asmara has been hosting a significant and historic congress aimed at promoting understanding and reconciliation among the entire Somali people.

Over the past 16 years the Somali people had been victimized by prolonged and violent civil war which had brought on clan-based division and conflict and nearly destroyed the feelings of nationhood and patriotism. The untold agonies the Somali people had suffered during this chaos are an embarrassing history for a world that prides itself on its humane and modern principles.

The ‘Federal Transitional Government' that gained power in Mogadishu through an illegal invasion is itself a part and extension of the civil war by the Somali warlords. In an attempt to enforce this unwelcome government on the Somali people, regional and international forces had in the past nine months of invasion killed thousands of civilians, displaced millions more and plunged that country into further turmoil and violence. Now the time has come for the international community in general and the Somali people in particular to gain valuable lessons from the destructive past experience and work on finding a comprehensive political solution that leads to national reconciliation and the reconstitution of the Somali nation. The basic objective of the Congress in Asmara the liberation and reconstitution of Somalia, but its immediate target is to create a common understanding that could secure final and sustainable solution.

Emanating from the Somali people's support and cooperation with the Eritrean people's liberation struggle, the Eritrean government's stand regarding the Somali case is and will always be clear and precise. The Eritrean policy in this case comprises no other ulterior motive except the desire to help create grounds for understanding and dialogue as well as to provide political support so as to enable the Somali people settle their differences on their own and live peacefully once again in a united country. It is not difficult to understand the contribution which national reconciliation and reconstitution of Somalia will have on regional peace and stability.

The Government of Eritrea would like to point out that the US led TPLF invasion of Somalia will have a dangerous consequence on the Horn of Africa and that the Somali case should be left for the Somalis to solve on their own. It is with this understanding that the Eritrean government is exerting efforts to create grounds for dialogue. International peace and stability being its founding objective, the UN and its agencies should call for an end to external interference in Somalia and encourage the constructive internal political initiatives. Victory to the Congress for Somali Liberation and Reconstitution!

unfortunately, that does not fit the usa's objectives for the region, as they are still heavily vested in supporting the TFG and its ethiopian lifeline, at the expense of everything they claim to want for the peoples of somalia. as the VOA article stated,
"Frazer ... said she sees no early withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia." she should know. she's the one calling the shots.

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2007 1:10:03 AM | 39


Thanks @39

Eritrea seems to be making an effort to join responsibility on Zenawi's TPLF (Tigrian People’s Liberation Front) rather than collective Ethiopia. This assessment highlights potentially serious issues for Zenawi at home. And he may increasingly find it more & more difficult to hold on to domestic support and its not that he was a very popular leader to begin with.

it should be noted that human-rights & aid organizatiionns are reporting essentially the same types of atrocities by the Ethiopian govt. against Ogaden as have been reported wrt the Sudanese govt. against Darfur. In Darfur, the USA govt threatens hell & fire against Sudan while at the very same moment it acts like all is well in the Ogaden, handing Ethiopia a license to kill & maim at will.

we should please pay atttention to what is happenning in the Ogaden right now. There may already be mass starvation & dying going on there, especially given reports of Ethiopian efforts to prevent the entry of food. And if a genocide is occuring in the Ogaden right now, we may not know because the Ethopians are not letting anyone in.

if we can think & speak of Darfur without also remembering the Ogaden, then we shall have become the very same shameless whores we have tried so hard not to be.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 10, 2007 7:30:17 AM | 40

Great thread!

**************

Again, thank so much, b real, that you have chosen to make this place home and share all of your very important work with us. I am awed and honored.

The only minor critique I could offer is if you could give a monthly, or quarterly, Billmon-like (sigh) basic synopsis of events, with maps, to help bring newbies in to the circle and up to speed.

**********

Not much I can add to the Israeli thread above that wasn't said better by someone else. Except to say, as I never got around to on the Holocaust thread, that there is a strand of Jewish complicity running through the entire narrative, at times aiding and abetting events, and at times, even facilitating the very evil we now rail against.

We are always told that stories like the irradiation of the Sephardim, the syphilitic poisoning of African-Americans, etc. are unfortunate aberrations in OUR system of government, "a few bad apples," but when similar events happen in official enemies like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Iraq, Iran, China, Burma, etc., they are the signature indicator of the inhumanity of their systems. (Yet, when Iraq gassed a few thousand Kurds with US supplied gas, that gave the US license to invade and kill 1M Iraqis and counting.)

It is time we face the fact that atrocity is the Hallmark of OUR system, along with its bastard half-brothers, deflection, denial, self-justification, sanctimony. and propaganda. But instead of facing our own complicity in EVIL, and in perpetuating a system which spawns evil, we project our own guilt and crimes onto others. This false projection always results in a mystification of reality, which then, more concretely, results in self-justifying myth-making.

This mystification of evil reached its apogee with the Holocaust industry's treatment of Nazi Germany, and the murder of Jews, as unique in history.

To quote Finkelstein speaking of that moral weasel, Weisel:

Now here’s my question: Please cite even a single article in the vast output of scholarship on American slavery that even remotely echoes such insane preoccupations. Or, point to me a single article in the scholarly literature on American slavery making the claim that it “leads into darkness,” “negates all answers,” “lies outside, if not beyond, history,” “defies both knowledge and description,” “cannot be explained nor visualized,” is “never to be comprehended or transmitted,” marks a “destruction of history” and a “mutation on a cosmic scale,” is “non-communicable ” - “we cannot even talk about it.” I am, or course, quoting here the high-priest of Holocaust studies, Elie Wiesel. Does this sound to anyone on the listserv like rational inquiry or is it, as I’ve suggested, a highly lucrative and politically useful mystery religion?

The real lesson is that the Holocaust was not unique, was not sui generis, but was just one event in a long string of events, what Arendt called the [endless] "banality of evil:" the long parade of human pathology, of those who separate their fate from the world's, and pit themselves against life itself, in the endless, but, tragically, temporally delimited, quest for MORE -- a vast parade of fools and little men, as r'giap might say.

As Finkelstein heroically asserts, evil can be de-mystified by scholarship and education -- which is his task, Naomi Klein's, our's here on this blog, and the task of those who seek justice the world over.

And Jews are not immune from this pathological sickness anymore than any other group of people. Indeed, the pressure to "achieve" in society, common to immigrant groups and minorities, only heightens the temptation to cut oneself, and one's fate, off from humanity, to cleave oneself from life, as it were -- the very conditions necessary for creating human monsters.

And so it should be no surprise that Israel has held the world title for "Little Shop of Horrors" for so long. Nor should it be a surprise that funding for this program comes from the bigger shop of horrors across the sea.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 10, 2007 12:40:50 PM | 41

Just to note: Iranian leader: No plan for nuclear bomb

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated Sunday that his country has no plans to build nuclear weapons, state radio reported.

"While the Iranian nation has no atomic bomb and has no plans to create this deadly weapon, it is still a respected nation" for its spiritual and revolutionary values, he told a meeting of the nation's elite Revolutionary Guards.

Posted by: b | Sep 10, 2007 1:28:20 PM | 42

In the meantime, speaking to Congress as I'm typing, Gen. Petraeus is hammering repeatedly on Iran's supposed complicity in Iraq. And protesters in the gallery are being quickly hauled away.

Posted by: catlady | Sep 10, 2007 2:14:57 PM | 43

Here is more on the Israel-Syria mystery, from someone who is uniquely connected in both countries:

Israel tried to attack ground targets in Syria, says Bishara

Former MK says IAF's infiltration of Syrian airspace was meant to take out anti-aircraft missile facilities, ground targets. 'This was a full blown aerial operation and we are treading on dangerous ground,' he says

"Israel not only invaded Syrian airspace, but apparently tried to execute some sort of secret strategic operation," said former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara in an article published on a Syrian website Monday.

Bishara, who fled Israel after he was suspected of aiding Hizbullah operatives during the Second Lebanon War, said he believed the Israeli Air Force attempted an attack on Syria and was not just trying to send a message.

"Israel counted on Syria opting to keep (the invasion) quiet, rather than admit it happened," said Bishara.

"Based on (Israel's) recent statements regarding Russia's deployment in Syria, the purpose of the operation was apparently a strike on anti-aircraft missile facilities or on other ground targets.

"This could also have been an attempt to expose a breach in Syrian radar, allowing somehow to make way to Iran. This, of course, was impossible without Turkey's cooperation which the Israelis didn't seem to have. Either that or Turkey was flustered when IAF fuel tanks were found in its territory, prompting it to ask for an official explanation.

"Without getting carried away," continued Bishara, "this was a full blown aerial operation and we are treading on dangerous ground....

Posted by: Bea | Sep 10, 2007 4:58:46 PM | 44

la times: Fading superpower?
Like all empires before it, the U.S. will slip from the top of the heap. Let's start getting ready.

It is hardly farfetched to scan the historical record and conclude that self-love and imperialism go together, whether it was the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes insisting that British colonialism in Africa had been "philanthropy plus 5%" or President Bush insisting that it was America's special mission to spread democracy throughout the world. But what the historical record also shows is that imperial moments are, in fact, fleeting, and that hegemony has a shorter and shorter shelf life. The Roman Empire lasted more than 700 years (more than a millennium if you count the Byzantines); the British Empire lasted a little more than 300 years in India and less than a century in much of Africa. The economic challenges facing the U.S. at least suggest that America's time as sole superpower could be shorter still.

Americans, who grow up believing in their country's exceptionalism (which in foreign policy terms often seems to mean not believing that the historical constraints that apply to other nations apply to the U.S.), are not predisposed to believe that American predominance could possibly be coming to an end. And yet it seems more like wishful thinking than rational analysis to believe that the United States -- which in the coming decades will certainly have to adapt to a multipolar world in geo-economic terms, as China and India reoccupy the central place in the global economy that they had 500 years ago -- can continue indefinitely to play a hegemonic role.

The truth is that whether it is imperial Rome, imperial Spain or imperial Britain, economic strength and political strength have always gone together. Because no one denies that the U.S. will decline in comparative terms economically (though it will almost certainly remain one center of the world economy), the only way one can believe that geopolitics will not also become multipolar is to believe that the U.S. is somehow exempt from what seems one of history's few ironclad laws. And that is not analysis; that is faith.

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2007 6:13:57 PM | 45

Just as well everyone is distracted bythe surge 'success', Bin Laden's latest YouTube releases and this a.m.'s drama at Islamabad airport.
Otherwise they might notice this:

Afghan captors free Pakistani troops

More than 260 Pakistani troops kidnapped by a pro-Taliban group in Afghanistan have been freed, according to security officials.

The troops were captured more than two weeks ago in a volatile tribal region on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Even worse than noticing that news story they may try to reconcile it with these.

CNN August 30 2007:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The approximately 100 Pakistani paramilitary forces who were reported missing Thursday in the region of South Waziristan have been found and are safe, an army spokesman said.

Heavy rains had led them to seek shelter with local tribes, the spokesman said. The announcement came several hours after the army reported they may have been "kidnapped" by local militants with suspected ties to the Taliban.

OR

CBS News Aug 31 2007:

About 130 Pakistani Army soldiers and paramilitaries have been released by militants along the Pakistan-Afghan border, but have not been able to leave the area due to fighting between tribes nearby, according to a military spokesman.

Major Gen. Waheed Arshad told CBS News Friday that the "situation has almost been resolved."

I couldn't find much in the way of follow up pieces on any of this since the end of August. I'm loathe to say they aren't there as maybe I haven't been searching hard enough, but that in itself says something considering the amount of column inches generated by the capture of 3 israeli soldiers by Hezbollah last year. Or 30 Korean xtians in Afghanistan this year.

No this isn't about the ethnocentric preferences of corporate media. It is about the fact that the capture of 260 Pakistani soldiers was politically inopportune so no one spoke of it.

Notice also, how when the Afghani resistance is successful they aren't referred to as Taliban but 'possibly pro-Taliban', or 'local militants with Taliban ties'. I want one of them - one of those pro-Taliban ties, I suppose they are green with images of OBL and Sheik Omar embroidered on them.

Yet when a fucking great 600lb bomb takes out a village or civilian compound there is never any doubt about the Talibanality/al-Q-ism of the dead former occupants.

However it is further evidence that Mushareef is in more shit than a Harbor Water duck, there can be little doubt who is 'winning' in the tribal lands if the locals feel emboldened enough to take more than 250 troops hostage. He can't risk the USAF 'solution' as even the Bhutto slime would have to back away from a deal if the cruise missile and bombing runs were cranked up right now.

How can the amerikan government continue to pretend they are gung ho on the global war on terra when neither the US nor Pakistan nor Afghanistan have the least control over the area where the dreaded al-Qaeda bogeymen live? More importantly the only time they ever try and catch the AQ bad asses is when they are humiliated so badly they are obliged to be seen 'doing something'.

This isn't an advocacy of any intervention - Pakistani or foreign in Waziristan ,but those pentagon pricks don't have the scruples about the place which many of us do, yet they are so contemptuous of the amerikan citizenry and their own ability to manipulate amerikans they don't even pretend to try and get al-Qaeda anymore.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 10, 2007 6:16:59 PM | 46

This is ominous:

Qassam Rocket Fired from Gaza Hits Israeli Army Base

Preliminary reports indicate that Tuesday's early morning attack would mark the largest number of injuries sustained in a single Qassam attack against Israel.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 10, 2007 8:48:12 PM | 47

Blowback comes the New World:

Mexican oil and gas pipelines hit.

More immediate short term profits for the robber barons and a quicker fall for the US empire for the rest of us. And so it goes.

Time to pay Suharto £53m

The supreme court has ordered Time magazine to pay $106m (£53m) in damages for defaming former Indonesian dictator Suharto by alleging that his family amassed $15bn during his 32-year rule.

..."The article and photographs hurt the image and pride of the plaintiff as a great retired army general and the former Indonesian president," a supreme court spokesman told The Associated Press.

How many of us will ever make L53M? How many Indonesians, too? I never knew that being hurt could be so profitable.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 10, 2007 10:12:38 PM | 48

& suharto is nothing short of a swine

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 10, 2007 10:18:47 PM | 49

before pearls;-)

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 10, 2007 10:24:28 PM | 50

OPEC meets tomorrow (911) - maybe the mexico bombings, which have pushed crude prices even higher, are yet another attempt to pressure the coalition into increasing production. they still didn't bite on the niger delta terror warning or the stories about depleted reserves.

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2007 11:04:47 PM | 51

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/10/business/realestate/main3246900.shtml>Unsold houses gives new meaning to "we're screwed".

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 10, 2007 11:39:15 PM | 52

OT squared/Off-Topic for Open Thread, for Malooga:

misattributed, but good anyway: Dorothy Parker and Clare Booth Luce -- arguably two of America's great twentieth century literary women -- come to a door at the same time. Luce steps aside, saying, "Age before beauty". Dorothy Parker walks through the door, saying, "...and pearls before swine."

Posted by: catlady | Sep 10, 2007 11:39:44 PM | 53

another, for malooga - a mix of u.s. education, emotional mediators, and ecuador ;-)

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2007 11:49:55 PM | 54

I have a 911 Anniversary Post I wanted to contribute, but I'll wait a bit to see if b- gives us a dedicated thread.

Posted by: jj | Sep 11, 2007 2:48:13 AM | 55

Clueless in Quito, Rotary Spin, and Supersize This Tale. heh!

Looking for ward to your post, jj.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 11, 2007 2:59:25 AM | 56

In the interim, here's a Blockbuster ...gag...vomit...weep... but at least Israeli TV showed it, unlike xAm. TV which would NEVER dare...

On August 14, at 9 PM, Israel's Channel Ten television screened a documentary film which exposes the ugliest secret of Israel's Labor party founders: the deliberate mass radiation poisoning of nearly all Sephardi youths of a generation.

"The Ringworm Children" (translated in Hebrew as "100,000 Rays"), directed by David Belhassen and Asher Hemias, recently won the prize for "best documentary" at the Haifa International film festival, and in the past year has made the rounds of Jewish and Israeli film festivals around the world. But it had yet to come to Israeli television screens. The subject is the mass irradiation of hundreds of thousands of young Israeli immigrants from Middle Eastern countries -- Sephardim, as they are called today. The story goes like this: link

Posted by: jj | Sep 11, 2007 3:06:49 AM | 57

Huh. I'll have to check that out, jj.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 11, 2007 7:51:26 AM | 58

Bernanke sees some progress in reducing global imbalances

Ohhh..., that's trade and current account imbalances -- not standard of living, income healthcare, food, security and lifespan imbalances.

Stupid me! I thought the Fed had turned red for a second.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 11, 2007 12:01:12 PM | 59

Little bit of martial law practice - right chere! Watch Brenda's blog.

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2007/09/us-martial-law-exercise-oct-15-20-2007.html

Posted by: Jake | Sep 11, 2007 12:21:22 PM | 60

william blum on tim weiner's cia tome, "legacy of asses"

A pullet surprise for "Legacy of Ashes" by Tim Weiner

In 1971 the New York Times published its edition of the Pentagon Papers, based on the government documents concerning Vietnam policy which had been borrowed by Daniel Ellsberg. In its preface to the book, the Times commented about certain omissions and distortions in the government's view of political and historical realities as reflected in the papers: "Clandestine warfare against North Vietnam, for example, is not seen ... as violating the Geneva Accords of 1954, which ended the French Indochina War, or as conflicting with the public policy pronouncements of the various administrations. Clandestine warfare, because it is covert, does not exist as far as treaties and public posture are concerned. Further, secret commitments to other nations are not sensed as infringing on the treaty-making powers of the Senate, because they are not publicly acknowledged."[6]

In his new book, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA", New York Times reporter Tim Weiner also relies heavily on government documents in deciding what events to include and what not to, and the result is often equally questionable. "This book," Weiner writes, "is on the record -- no anonymous sources, no blind quotations, no hearsay. It is the first history of the CIA compiled entirely from firsthand reporting and primary documents."(p.xvii)

Thus, if US government officials did not put something in writing or if someone did not report their firsthand experience concerning a particular event, to Tim Weiner the event doesn't exist, or at least is not worth recounting. British journalist Stewart Steven has written: "If we believe that contemporary history must be told on the basis of documentary evidence before it becomes credible, then we must also accept that everything will either be written with the government's seal of approval or not be written at all."

As to firsthand reporting, for Weiner it apparently has to be from someone "reputable". Former CIA officer Philip Agee wrote a 1974 book, "Inside the Company: CIA Diary", that provides more detail about CIA covert operations in Latin America than any book ever written. And it was certainly firsthand. But Agee and his revelations are not mentioned at all in Weiner's book. Could it be because Agee, in the process of becoming the Agency's leading dissident, also became a socialist radical and close ally of Cuba?

Former CIA officer John Stockwell also penned a memoir ("In Search of Enemies", 1978), revealing lots of CIA dirty laundry in Africa. He later also became a serious Agency dissident, and the Weiner book ignores him as well.

Also ignored: Joseph Burkholder Smith, another Agency officer, not quite a left-wing dissident like Agee or Stockwell but a heavy critic nonetheless, entitled his memoir "Portrait of a Cold Warrior" (1976), in which he revealed numerous instances of CIA illegality and immorality in the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia.

There's also Cambodian leader Prince Sihanouk, who provided his firsthand account in "My War With The CIA" (1974). Sihanouk is also a non-person in the pages of "Legacy of Ashes".

Even worse, Weiner ignores a veritable mountain of impressive "circumstantial" and other evidence of CIA misdeeds which doesn't meet his stated criteria, which any thorough researcher/writer on the Agency should give serious attention to, certainly at least mention for the record. Among the many CIA transgressions and crimes left out of "Legacy of Ashes", or very significantly played down, are:
...

Posted by: b real | Sep 11, 2007 12:24:51 PM | 61

b real

we shopuld not be so surprised - the seeds of the cia were born in the ashes of the s.d., of gehlens group & of the gestapo. it was intitiated by verifiable psychopaths - the brothers dulles, bill donovan, james jesus angleton

like the sd & the gestapo - they are just common murderers dressed up in the clothing of national security

the most ironic laugh in this - is that even in their proper context - they are next to useless as eiither gatherers or holders or interpreters of intelligence

as vassals they are perfect. as instruments of terror in wars against innocent people - this they have perfected over 50 years & their skill at destabilisation works simply because in every country in the world there are people who exult power & hate people & these are the perfect clients & associates of the c i a

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 11, 2007 12:41:26 PM | 62

Poor Monolycus. Thanks for your post on *Sunday* It blew my mind. I sent it out to others after reading.

Posted by: beq | Sep 11, 2007 2:52:31 PM | 63

link?

Posted by: beq | Sep 11, 2007 2:55:08 PM | 64

Nevermind. It happens. Some things should get posted twice.

Posted by: beq | Sep 11, 2007 2:57:01 PM | 65

How a Democratic congress works: Miers, Bolten contempt filings delayed

House Democratic leaders have decided to postpone a vote on a criminal contempt resolution against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers for several weeks, and possibly longer, according to top lawmakers and aides.
...
Democrats had vowed to take up the issue when Congress returned from its August break, with Democratic leaders declaring that any failure to do so would undermine the ability of Congress to conduct its constitutionally mandated oversight role.

“Congress will act to preserve and protect our criminal justice system and to ensure appropriate congressional oversight in all areas essential to the well-being of the American people,” Pelosi said back then.

But Pelosi decided to delay a vote until at least late September, and possibly into October. Democrats said they are not yet ready for such a vote because they have not briefed lawmakers on what it would mean and how the controversy would play out, both legally and politically.

cowards ...

Posted by: b | Sep 11, 2007 3:21:26 PM | 66

b, yes, that is exactly what they are, cowards

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 11, 2007 3:43:45 PM | 67

FINALLY! Someone with guts enough to say this in MSM print:

Iraq's Crisis Comparable to Darfur

Four years after a US-led invasion that was sold to the public partly on humanitarian grounds, Iraqis are suffering from a man-made catastrophe comparable in scope to the tragedy in Darfur.

The plight facing Iraqis “is as significant (as Darfur),” says Margarette Wahlstrom, deputy head of the UN’s aid coordination arm Ocha.

Comparisons between emergencies are difficult but in terms of displaced people alone, Iraq’s crisis, with 4m displaced people, is double that of Darfur. For Iraq to be described in similar terms as Sudan - whose plight has mobilised a new generation of human rights activists - is striking testament to how bad the situation has become.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 11, 2007 3:51:45 PM | 68

They're not cowards, they're puppets. Puppets don't have emotions.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 11, 2007 4:26:58 PM | 69

compare & contrast u.s. rhetoric (charm) on "helping africans help themselves"

reuters: U.S. mounts charm offensive for new Africa Command

"The command is focused on African solutions that are led by Africans. ... We do not see this command getting involved in operations. There will be no new troops assigned to Africa as a result of this and there will be no new bases associated with it," Henry told reporters in London.

"We think the solutions to Africa's security problems need to be indigenously developed in Africa. Some outsiders can help, but they can't do the heavy lifting."

The comments were part of a U.S. charm campaign to counter critics' charges that its strategy in Africa is driven by greed, imperialism or competition with China, which has mounted its own strong diplomatic and economic offensive on the continent.

east african (nairobi): Make Peace Now Or Face the Gun, U.S. Tells Kony

The United States government will contribute to military efforts to wipe out the Lord's Resistance Army rebels and hunt down its leaders in the event of the failure of the current peace talks in Juba in Southern Sudan, a senior official said last week.

In the strongest indication yet of America's growing frustration with the lack of a breakthrough after 14 months of talks, Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said the talks, which have dragged on as rebels make one demand after another, need to make progress.

"We're looking forward to the conclusion of this process in a timely manner to address a formal ceasefire, demobilisation and reintegration of the former fighters," she said. "We don't believe that this should be an open-ended process, so we're hoping that these current consultations will be the beginning of the end of this peace process.

We feel we have the basis, especially under the UN Security Council Resolution, to assist in efforts to mop up the LRA and to get them out of Congo," Dr Frazer told journalists in Kampala last week. "So we will not sit still and just let them live in Garamba Park and cultivate land and kill animals. The peace process is their way out; the other way is a renewed effort to apprehend them. We certainly would support those efforts to apprehend them."
...
Dr Frazer told journalists that the US government is worried that a fresh regional war involving Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo could flare up as a result of renewed fighting in eastern Congo between government troops and rebels loyal to renegade Congolese General Laurent Nkunda.

Gen Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi who is close to Kigali, accuses President Joseph Kabila's troops of allying with Hutu rebels of the Forces Democratique pour la Liberation de Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group that the Rwandese government considers a threat to its stability.

"I am concerned about the continuing activity of negative forces, particularly in the Congo - whether that be the FDLR or the Interahamwe or the LRA - as well as the need for some type of political solution to the situation with Nkunda," Dr Frazer said at the end of her one-day visit to Uganda.

Dr Frazer said she had also spoken with Presidents Kabila of Congo and Paul Kagame of Rwanda over the security situation in the Great Lakes, and that "all stated that they want to work together diplomatically to try to reduce the tension in the region."

According to Dr Frazer, the US government is ready to back co-ordinated military operations by the three countries to fend off rebel forces fighting any government while using a neighbouring country as a military base.
...
Dr Frazer also vowed that her government would not shy away from employing military means to end the activities of the "negative forces" if efforts to end conflicts through dialogue are not successful - yet another indicator of the new approach the US is taking on conflicts in the region.

Posted by: b real | Sep 11, 2007 10:46:56 PM | 70


No Terror Charges for Chiquita Execs

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department said Tuesday it will not prosecute 10 Chiquita Brands International executives involved in the company's now-defunct payoff of Colombian terrorists protecting its most profitable banana-growing operation.

The banana company admitted to paying about $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as AUC for its Spanish initials.

The AUC has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports.

What! How can that be! har har... snark.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 11, 2007 11:57:34 PM | 71

Good for Japan: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Will Resign

Abe, a nationalist whose support rating has plunged to 30 percent, also cited the ruling party's defeat in July 29 elections, in which the opposition took control of the upper house of parliament.
...
Abe announced his departure just as the government faced a battle in parliament over whether to extend the country's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. Just days earlier, he said he would quit if he failed to win parliamentary passage of legislation extending the mission.
...
The United States has turned up the pressure on Japan to extend the mission. U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer met with Cabinet officials, including Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, earlier Wednesday to make Washington's case for extension.

Posted by: b | Sep 12, 2007 3:43:22 AM | 72


@70

Trying to keep up with Africoms mission is making me dizzy. Its been billed as terra-buster, fire-fighter, teacher/trainer, tree-planter, well-driller, welfare-provider, ... and now, it wants to be prince charming

how about dog-catcher, hooter-waitress, ice-cream-truck-driver, meter-maid ... ?

we will all be dead & gone before Africoms mission is done.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 12, 2007 5:39:57 AM | 73


and if you have'nt guessed it by now, Jendayi Frazier second job is -- part-time Hollywood screen-writer. Non-union by the way. And so far, she's set up some pretty cool storylines for TV's next reality-show. Its called Africom.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 12, 2007 6:14:24 AM | 74

Japan isn't the only government undergoing a quick shakeup and game of musical chairs... Putin springs surprise choice for PM's job

Snip...

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday named the little-known head of a financial market watchdog as his prime minister in a surprise move that kept Russians guessing over who would succeed him in the Kremlin.

Earlier, Putin accepted Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov's resignation and then left Moscow for a planned trip to the Volga region without publicly disclosing a replacement.

It was left to the speaker of the State Duma (parliament), Boris Gryzlov, to announce that Putin had nominated Viktor Zubkov, the 65-year-old head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service as new prime minister.

The agency's main duty is to fight money laundering and Zubkov worked with Putin in the St Petersburg mayor's office during the 1990s.

There's also the BBC's coverage... Putin names next prime minister

The choice of a Mr Zubkov suggests a behind-the-scenes power struggle between "clans" within the Kremlin that are differentiated mainly by their degree of hostility toward the West, says the BBC's Russia analyst Steven Eke.

White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the choice of leaders was a matter for the people of Russia to decide and that the US "looks forward to continuing its good relations with the Russian government".

Or, for the more alarmist, there's the FoxNews take on it... Putin Dissolves Government, Nominates Viktor Zubkov as New Prime Minister

Snip...

President Vladimir Putin dissolved Russia's government Wednesday and then quickly nominates Viktor Zubkov, a Russian Cabinet official who oversees the fight against money laundering, to be the new prime minister.

Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of the State Duma, said Putin nominated Zubkov, who heads the Federal Financial Monitoring Service and who served under Putin when the two worked in the city administration of St. Petersburg in the early 1990s.

Earlier Wednesday, in a major political shakeup, Putin dismissed Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and dissolved his cabinet, paving the way for Putin to name a new head of government.

Read this last loosely as "Oh God, Oh God, The Evil Empire has awakened. We're all gonna die."

Or don't read it at all. I won't blame you this time.


Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 12, 2007 10:48:52 AM | 75

Dr. Jendayi Frazier, truly another in what is becoming a long line of self-hating African-Americans, to use the Jewish term, or House Nigger, to use the African-American term -- following in the proud tradition trailblazed by Colin Powell and Condi Rice, her mentor, before her.

From her bio:

Prior to joining the George W. Bush Administration, Dr. Frazer taught public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Where they all pass through Dr. Frazer brought practical experience to that position, having worked as a political-military planner with the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gotta prove that ice runs in your veins as a military planner first, before they let you play around with Statecraft and as Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, during her time as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.

Dr. Frazer earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation examined Kenya's civilian-military relationship. Security issues remain of interest to Dr. Frazer, who regularly speaks to military audiences and about military-related issues in Africa.

Boy, there's a peacemaker in the mold of MLK!

From Ask the Whitehouse, July 2 2003 (A government propaganda outlet):

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Hello, it is wonderful to be here with you today. I look forward to answering your questions. We have had an exciting week and look forward to our trip next week to the continent of Africa.

Allen, from Lynchburg, Virginia writes:
Dr. Jendayi Frazer- Could you please explain President Bush's plans to deal with the wide spread poverty, hunger, warlords, and the growing AIDS epademic in Africa.

Thank you so much for your time, I am a 16 year old student but I am also very concerned with World Affairs.

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Dear Allen,

I would like to thank you for your interest in world affairs and encourage you to continue your study of the African continent.

In answer to your question, President Bush's vision for Africa is a continent that is free, prosperous and peaceful (It's always that "vision" thing). Our policy is focused on particularly on the major challenges of HIV/AIDS on the continent. The President signed a historic initiative -- the Emergency Plan for AIDS relief which will provide prevention education, care and treatment and assist orphans to address this major pandemic.(And provided protection from US manufacturers of HIV vaccines from cheaper third world competition.)

The President also hopes to promote a prosperous Africa through open markets and free trade relations (There's that neo-liberal genocide disguised as aid, again) with the continent. We have an initiative called the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act which provides access to the U.S. market for African products. (Seen any African products in a store near you lately?)

We hope through this initiative to create jobs in Africa and to create investment opportunities for American companies and businesspeople. (Ahhh, yes, creating opportunities for US corporations to control the market, destroying jobs and self-sufficiency) We are working towards a peaceful Africa by supporting conflict resolution initiatives with African leaders and supporting U.N. peacekeeping missions in Africa. (peace=war)

Michael, from Fuquay Varina, North Carolina writes:
As far as building America's relationship with the continent of Africa, would you please describe that challenge? Specifically, what are the general feelings of Afican people what are their opinions not the government's view but the people of US foreign policies in the Mid-East etc. to determine how to develop this relationship we must understand the scope of the challenge. Thanks

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Dear Michael,

You asked what are the challenges of building America's relations with the continent of Africa.

Our best diplomats are American citizens who live and work in Africa. There are many faith-based organizations, multiple missions who are promoting education, who are assisting with health care across the continent. We have Peace Corps volunteers -- young people with an interest in Africa, who are also the diplomats for American engagement.

And there are official State Dept officials working with the governments.

I think in general, Africans and Americans have had a very strong positive and warm relationship. (Especially the ruling class puppets) Clearly, when we look at the range of global affairs there will be areas where we share common interest and areas in which there are some disagreement. But as a whole, I would say our relationship with Africa is very positive.

Kurt, from Indianapolis writes:
How did the White House decide on these African countries? Will the President have time to go on a safari while he is there? (Now, there's a citizen who knows how to cut through all of the dross and focus on the important things in life -- will the president pretend to be Teddy Roosevelt, and kill animals for propaganda purposes?)

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Dear Kurt,

The President was extended invitations from many African heads of state. And certainly with 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa it is not easy to decide where we will visit on this first trip.

We decided to go to South Africa and Nigeria because we have very strong and deep bilateral interests. South Africa is the largest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria is the continent's most populous country with 120 million people (What about the oil?).

We also wanted to visit a country that is primarily francophone so we are going to Senegal (Neo-liberalism, Spy Center, oh, and oil, again), West Africa's longest standing democracy. We will visit Botswana, the country with Africa's strongest and fastest growing economy (Where Uranium was recently discovered, and due to AIDS and neo-liberal "strip the state" policies, the average life span has declined from 67 to 50 in the last decade and a half).

And we will visit Uganda (long-time currupt puppet and lynchpin in the CIA battle to control Central African resources), which is the only country in the world to have reversed the AIDS prevalence rate.

So the President is visiting countries that exemplify this new compact for development, which focuses on ruling justly, investing in people and promoting economic freedom.(Naziism Neo-liberalism)

Alvaro, from Spain writes:
The situation in Liberia is very hard. Some countries want U.S. to lead a multinational force because Liberia was founded by freed American slaves. (Who imported their preferences for elitism from the US slave economy and rose to be top dog) What would the goals of the mission be? Will U.S. send troops to Liberia? How many troops could U.S. send - a small or a big contingent? How long could U.S. troops stay?

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Dear Alvaro,

You note that the situation is very hard in Liberia and ask whether the U.S. will send troops.

Indeed the situation is quite tragic. President Bush just hours ago spoke on the tragedy in Liberia and noted that we are pleased that the cease fire is holding. He also said that Charles Taylor must leave the country to give the people of Liberia a chance for peace.

The U.S. is actively discussing how we can best support international efforts to assist Liberia return to peace and the rule of law.

We are working with regional governments to support the negotiations in Ghana and to map out a secure transition to peace.

We will help the people of Liberia find the path to peace. But as the President said this afternoon, he is still looking at the options, he has asked Secretary Powell to discuss the situation with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and will continue to support the diplomatic efforts. (Don't worry, as in Ghana, we got our black World Puppet in there.)

Mutili, from NY writes:
1 Kenya had been blacklisted as an autocratic, undemocratic and very corrupt. After the December 2002 elections, Kenya has more democracy, and corruption is on the decline. What is the U.S. doing to support the new Kenya Goverment, especially as concerns Financial Aid???

2 When will a US President ever visit Kenya, especially considering we are all suffreing the consequences of terrorism??? Don't you think it's only fair for the US President to show support for Kenya in the fight against terrorism by visiting the country???

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Dear Mutili,

You ask how the U.S. is supporting Kenya after its democratic elections in Dec. 2002.

Kenya has been a strong ally to the U.S. and we were all thrilled with the conduct of the election. Kenya has become a beacon for democracy across the continent and the world as a result of its peaceful free and fair elections.

The U.S. continues to provide support to the Kenyan government through our U.S. aid programs and by supporting Kenya at the World Bank and the IMF.

Kenyans have suffered as you note as a result of terrorism (resistance). Our governments are working closely together to combat terror and we look forward to President Kibaki and President Bush meeting soon although we will not be visiting Kenya on the current trip. (That's England's baby)

Chris, from Nebraska writes:
What are your duties as senior director for African Affairs?

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Hello Chris,

My duties as Senior Director for African Affairs are two-fold:

I advise the President and the National Security Advisor on Africa issues and I also work with the various government agencies, for instance, the State Dept, Defense Dept and Treasury and others to coordinate our national security policy on Africa.

And so I am dual-hatted. I am both the President's Special Assistant and am Dr. Condoleezza Rice's Senior Director for African Affairs.

Josh, from Nashville, TN writes:
What is the best part about your job?

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
Josh,

Believe it or not the best thing about my job is my bosses. I absolutely love working for President Bush and for Dr. Condoleezza Rice. (That should tell you everything) Whenever I meet with the President, he immediately puts everyone at ease. He's engaged and he is focused on Africa issues. The same goes for Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

He has met with more African leaders than any other President. He has directed more members of his cabinet to visit Africa including the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Commerce and Energy and the U.S. Trade Representative. (And all out of the goodness of his little heart. Who'se really America's first "black" President?)

Kasongo, from Vermont writes:
Dear Dr. Frazer,

Why does the American government support two regimes known for having created hovoc in the Great Lakes region in the last five years? I am referring to Presidents Munseveni and President Kagame, who launched a war that has killed more than 3.5 million deaths?

Dr. Jendayi Frazer
The war in the Congo over the past five years has involved nine African countries. It has been a tragic war, as you say, that has led to millions of deaths.

Since the Bush Administration came into office in January, 2001, we have put pressure on all countries to withdraw from the Congo. This includes Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda. President Bush has met with the leaders of the Great Lakes region and Dr. Condoleezza Rice has spoken to them on multiple occasions.

This diplomatic pressure has led to the latest withdrawal of Rwanda and Uganda from the Congo. We were pleased that a new government of national unity was named in the Congo concluding the last component of the Lusaka Peace Accord signed in 1999.
(Doesn't answer the question directly. We always support corrupt, violent thugs, but when someone is NOT doing our bidding, then we talk about the corruption going on -- see above, also Food for Oil.)
Dr. Jendayi Frazer
I've enjoyed our dialogue this afternoon. I am pleased with the extensive interest in our Africa policy. I hope you will continue to log-in to the White House web site where we will follow the President's trip to Africa. To stay abreast of the President's trip to Africa and our evolving African policy log-on to www.africa.gov. In the meantime, I hope you have a Happy Fourth of July to celebrate America's freedom and independence.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 12, 2007 11:01:48 AM | 76

Oh, yeah... speaking of Russia, for those of you who haven't heard... The Russian air force has tested a giant fuel-air bomb which the military says is the biggest non-nuclear explosive device in the world.

At this rate, the world won't go out with a whimper after all. Choke on it, T.S. Eliot!

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 12, 2007 11:24:12 AM | 77

Consider the timing of this nationwide protest, who is organizing it,, how widespread it is planned to be (111 U.S. universities and 2 in Israel), and how vulnerable to this type of information the age group of the target audience is:

National Islamo-fascism Awareness Week

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever – Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses.

The purpose of this protest is as simple as it is crucial: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat. Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves. According to the academic left, anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the war on terror is an "Islamophobe." According to the academic left, the Islamo-fascists hate us not because we are tolerant and free, but because we are "oppressors."

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a national effort to oppose these lies and to rally American students to defend their country.

Note: Emphasis added.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 12, 2007 12:17:41 PM | 78

I don't much care for PC Roberts racist politics, but his writing is superb:

The jobs data and the absence of growth in real income for most of the population are inconsistent with reports of US GDP and productivity growth. Economists take for granted that the work force is paid in keeping with its productivity. A rise in productivity thus translates into a rise in real incomes of workers. Yet, we have had years of reported strong productivity growth but stagnant or declining household incomes. And somehow the GDP is rising, but not the incomes of the work force.

Something is wrong here. Either the data indicating productivity and GDP growth are wrong or Karl Marx was right that capitalism works to concentrate income in the hands of the few capitalists. A case can be made for both explanations.

Recently an economist, Susan Houseman, discovered that the reliability of some US economics statistics has been impaired by offshoring. Houseman found that cost reductions achieved by US firms shifting production offshore are being miscounted as GDP growth in the US and that productivity gains achieved by US firms when they move design, research, and development offshore are showing up as increases in US productivity. Obviously, production and productivity that occur abroad are not part of the US domestic economy.

Houseman’s discovery rated a Business Week cover story last June 18, [The Real Cost Of Offshoring, by Michael Mandel] but her important discovery seems already to have gone down the memory hole. The economics profession has over-committed itself to the “benefits” of offshoring, globalism, and the non-existent “New Economy.” Houseman’s discovery is too much of a threat to economists’ human capital, corporate research grants, and free market ideology.

The media has likewise let the story go, because in the 1990s the Clinton administration and Congress overturned US policy in favor of a diverse and independent media and permitted a few mega-corporations to concentrate in their hands the ownership of the US media, which reports in keeping with corporate and government interests.

The case for Marx is that offshoring has boosted corporate earnings by lowering labor costs, thereby concentrating income growth in the hands of the owners and managers of capital.

According to Forbes magazine, the top 20 earners among private equity and hedge fund managers are earning average yearly compensation of $657,500,000, with four actually earning more than $1 billion annually. The otherwise excessive $36,400,000 average annual pay of the 20 top earners among CEOs of publicly-held companies looks paltry by comparison.

The careers and financial prospects of many Americans were destroyed to achieve these lofty earnings for the few.

Hubris prevents realization that Americans are losing their economic future along with their civil liberties and are on the verge of enserfment.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 12, 2007 12:24:30 PM | 79

I don't much care for PC Roberts racist politics, but his writing is superb:

The jobs data and the absence of growth in real income for most of the population are inconsistent with reports of US GDP and productivity growth. Economists take for granted that the work force is paid in keeping with its productivity. A rise in productivity thus translates into a rise in real incomes of workers. Yet, we have had years of reported strong productivity growth but stagnant or declining household incomes. And somehow the GDP is rising, but not the incomes of the work force.

Something is wrong here. Either the data indicating productivity and GDP growth are wrong or Karl Marx was right that capitalism works to concentrate income in the hands of the few capitalists. A case can be made for both explanations.

Recently an economist, Susan Houseman, discovered that the reliability of some US economics statistics has been impaired by offshoring. Houseman found that cost reductions achieved by US firms shifting production offshore are being miscounted as GDP growth in the US and that productivity gains achieved by US firms when they move design, research, and development offshore are showing up as increases in US productivity. Obviously, production and productivity that occur abroad are not part of the US domestic economy.

Houseman’s discovery rated a Business Week cover story last June 18, [The Real Cost Of Offshoring, by Michael Mandel] but her important discovery seems already to have gone down the memory hole. The economics profession has over-committed itself to the “benefits” of offshoring, globalism, and the non-existent “New Economy.” Houseman’s discovery is too much of a threat to economists’ human capital, corporate research grants, and free market ideology.

The media has likewise let the story go, because in the 1990s the Clinton administration and Congress overturned US policy in favor of a diverse and independent media and permitted a few mega-corporations to concentrate in their hands the ownership of the US media, which reports in keeping with corporate and government interests.

The case for Marx is that offshoring has boosted corporate earnings by lowering labor costs, thereby concentrating income growth in the hands of the owners and managers of capital.

According to Forbes magazine, the top 20 earners among private equity and hedge fund managers are earning average yearly compensation of $657,500,000, with four actually earning more than $1 billion annually. The otherwise excessive $36,400,000 average annual pay of the 20 top earners among CEOs of publicly-held companies looks paltry by comparison.

The careers and financial prospects of many Americans were destroyed to achieve these lofty earnings for the few.

Hubris prevents realization that Americans are losing their economic future along with their civil liberties and are on the verge of enserfment.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 12, 2007 12:26:58 PM | 80

Putin picks surprise nominee for PM

The nomination of Viktor Zubkov, who currently oversees the government's fight against money laundering, appeared to have caught much of the Russian political elite off-guard.
Not only the Russian's I bet. Every ambassador in Moscow is scrambling now to find out who the guy is.

The prime minister usually will be the next president.
But Putin may well change that. Anyway, it's an important decision.

Zubkov is:
- From Leningrad, Putin's political hometown.
- A longtime tax and anti-money-laundering bureaucrat.
- No obvious FSB (secret service) connections.

Certainly Russia could need someone cleaning up the robber barons tax evasions. But how strong is this guy and will he have the political support?

Posted by: b | Sep 12, 2007 2:21:10 PM | 81

Meanwhile, back in Baghdad, the pesky natives are protesting the apartheidization (or "Palestinization") of their city.

Tsk, tsk. Must they be so damned difficult? Why can't they get with the programme? Sunni and Shia are supposed to WELCOME walls...

Posted by: Bea | Sep 12, 2007 3:55:41 PM | 82

The Jewish New Year and Muslim Ramadan both start today. Weird how those religious holidays completely overlap this year, although the two religions could not, at this point in time, possibly be more estranged from one another.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 12, 2007 4:06:17 PM | 83

New poll shows support for Fatah is rising, and for Hamas is waning.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 12, 2007 4:09:43 PM | 84

New UN Report highlights the hardships that Israeli settlements in Hebron are imposing on the Palestinian residents there.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 12, 2007 4:23:08 PM | 85

today is the 63rd birthday of leonard peltier, 31 of 'em still in jail, as ward likes to put it "not for anything anyone including even his prosecutor at any point in the past _____ years has been prepared to say that they actually believe he did. But rather as a symbol of the arbitrary ability of the federal government of the United States to repress the legitimate aspirations to liberation of indigenous peoples within its claimed boundaries."

john trudell's look at us (video)

jim page's song for leonard peltier (lyrics)

Posted by: b real | Sep 12, 2007 6:06:14 PM | 86

jony_b_cool @73 - and now, it wants to be prince charming

no no no, that's charmin!

check out this headline which summarizes how far in the crapper AFRICOM's ideas of successful "capacity building" programs have stunk sunk.

Building Loyalty, One Toilet at a Time

yet, in the end, newsweek is still unable to evoke the fragrance of bouquets of roses & help jendayi float the woyane regime in addis ababa.

recall that their previous feature on AFRICOM, dated last saturday, also had a most telling subheading -- The United States is planning a new strategic command to take the global War on Terror to the Horn of Africa

while newsweek tries to push the GWOT spin & the image of AFRICOM as a "peace corps w/ guns", the u.s. militarization of african nations continues.

The Kenya Army has acquired a fleet of Hummer (H1) vehicles worth Sh335 million from the US Government.

Defence minister, Mr Njenga Karume, received 41 of the 100 vehicles at the Kahawa Barracks in Nairobi.

US Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Michael Ranneberger, presided over the colourful ceremony also attended by deputy Chief of General Staff, Lt-Gen Julius Karangi, and Army Commander, Lt-Gen Augstine Njoroge.

The fleet included troops carriers and ambulances.

The envoy said the gesture was part of his Government's efforts to combat terrorism in the East African region.

He said the US would continue to strengthen the country's military.
...
He added the US would continue to strengthen and protect Kenya from terrorists.
...
The vehicles come amid another US donation of four speedboats last year to the Navy to help fight marine-related crimes.

Reports indicate that the US has increased its military aid to Kenya by nearly 800 per cent since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The rise in grants for training and sale of arms reflects Kenya's designation by the US State Department as a "frontline state" in its global war on terrorism.

Washington-based Centre for Defence Information says US military aid of other kinds is due to expand.

The country is set to receive $3 million (Sh190 million) through a special anti-terrorism programme, with funding projected to rise to $5.5 million (Sh368 million) next year.

those figures are taken from the recent center for defence information report U.S. Arms Exports and Military Assistance in the “Global War on Terror”, which i linked to in an earlier open thread, covering 25 individual country case studies - eight being african.

Since 2001, CDI has sought to thoroughly evaluate and analyze this trend of increased military assistance. Over the last six years, CDI has profiled 25 countries that have a unique role in the “war on terror” through the strategic services they have provided to the United States as it conducts anti-terror operations across the globe. The series features analysis of the current political situations in the profiled countries, taking into account other indicators of the relative stability and openness of the country, such as military expenditures, total number of armed forces, and the human rights situation as assessed by the U.S. State Department, alongside an evaluation of U.S. military assistance to these countries over the past 17 years – the post-Cold War years.

CDI’s ongoing research continues to document some troubling trends. Using U.S. government data, CDI has documented that, in the five years after Sept. 11, total U.S. arms sales (Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales ) to these 25 countries were worth four times more than those concluded in the five years prior to Sept. 11, and these countries received 18 times more total U.S. military assistance (Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training) after Sept. 11 than before. Furthermore, 72 percent of the countries in this series received more military assistance and 64 percent conducted more arms sales with the United States during the five years after Sept. 11 than during the entire period between the end of the Cold War and Sept. 11 (FY 90-01).

Posted by: b real | Sep 13, 2007 12:07:58 AM | 87

another stingin' editorial from the eritrean ministry of information

Securing Global Dominance: A Tried and Failed Strategy


Today the world is going through a period of transition in which fake Western democracy and individual freedom are losing face and a new ideology advocating for the social welfare of the peoples of our planet is emerging. Hence the popular opposition against the attempts to exploit and secure domination is gaining momentum.

It is not thus difficult to imagine then the anxiety these new developments have caused to those who want to rule the world in a zero some [sic] manner. That is why these quarters are always busy to strictly maintain their exploitation by manipulating minor natural differences between peoples and inciting conflict and destruction. However, their methods of creating a crisis and then polishing their ‘crisis management' skills have not only been unable to incapacitate the peoples of the world but have on the contrary sharpened their awareness. Because mankind always reaps what it saws [sic], we can see now that the fires they set alight on others have backfired on them. Even terrorism, supposedly the world's greatest fear, is nothing more than a product of the devious tactic of creating a problem where there was none and then trying to manage that problem. As a result of these imprudent strategies, the true face of Western philosophies, once seen as the values of civilization, has been unmasked and put to question. Although it will require time and patience, it is certain that the growing popular awareness and opposition will eventually defeat exploitation and dominance.

In situations such as at the present epoch, due to an anxiety born out of failure, the strategy for securing global dominance is going beyond sophisticated and clandestine tactics and assuming the face of open threats and blatant use of force. Yet the use of sheer force to secure submission has been known to be one of the factors that caused the downfall of many great empires. No country or people had been defeated through the use of force and the various developments in the world are daily confirming this fact. The popular opposition in the Horn region against exploitation and domination being part of the similar developments in other parts of the world, it is a political struggle among those who work for the freedom of peoples and the ones hired by external forces to incite chaos, slave agents such as the despicable TPLF regime. However, since there is no force that can overcome the strength of a united people, it is not difficult to imagine that failure is the only future that awaits the strategy of exploitation and domination.

If not revised in the face of the current forceful opposition, no one, including the American people will gain from the US-led philosophy of hoarding world resources and dominating markets for the benefits of the minority. Today, more than ever before the time has come for the US Administration to introduce some changes in its strategy. Since continued pressure and use of the muscle provokes peoples of the world to strengthen their opposition, change in strategy is imperative.

and a little sumthin' for those who often dream of trains (post-mussolini, of course) -- Eritrean Railway and Ropeway (Unofficial) Web Site

Posted by: b real | Sep 13, 2007 12:40:01 AM | 88

U.S. in Anbar like talks with http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fairenough/latimesB92.html>Mahdi Army.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 13, 2007 1:56:45 AM | 89

@87,

not sure whats worse between the mess Jendayi is about to make of Africa or the unimaginable amounts of Charmin it will take to clean up after shes done.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 13, 2007 2:05:35 AM | 90

#88

Wow that guy sounds like an MoA'er.

Loved the RR pic's, especially the Littorina railcar, serious competition for the http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=200219>galloping goose.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 13, 2007 2:48:54 AM | 91

@ b real
Thanks for the link to the Rope Way site. Very interesting, and
rather sad. As noted, it could have become a mecca for tourists as well as
a useful bit of infrastructure for local development.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 13, 2007 3:43:50 AM | 92

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