Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 03, 2008

OT 08-30

Your news and views ...

Open thread ...

Posted by b on September 3, 2008 at 7:58 UTC | Permalink

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The system
Joe Bageant
Despite what the American left believes, we cannot blame politicians and corporations for everything. At some point waaaaay back there it was our human and social responsibility to stand up, throw ourselves "onto the wheels of the machine," as Mario Savio put it forty years ago. And we did not. Instead we allowed and continue to allow the persecution of those who did or still do. And on and on it goes. Forty-five years after Allen Ginsberg wrote "Howl" I am still seeing the best minds of my generation sobbing on the madhouse steps. Seeing them be medicated, lose marriages, rant on the Internet for years, then give up hope. It's like screaming into a vacuum. You mouth moves but the somnambulant crowd passes silently by in oblivion.(....)

I wish I could at least call this denial. But if people are incapable of even perceiving the facts because of state conditioning, serving up the facts is useless. Which is why all that powerful truth out there on the net has no real effect. It exists outside our indoctrination's reference framework. Therefore it does not exist. What exists is the system. The ward on which we all live and secretly fear Nurse Ratchett. But it is still the system and the U.S. is still a ward in which the citizen patients are carefully observed and managed to best result for the corporate state. Best result meaning economical producers and consumers for (allegedly) free market capitalism. And every patient and affinity group has a cherished unreality which allows them to live in denial. For instance, there is the cherished notion among liberal and left leaning Americans that all this is recent, and sprang up simply because George Bush was elected. I don't think so friends. No one man can establish cruelty in 300 million people in eight years. He can only heighten it by squeezing the people harder, encouraging fear and alienation and coldness of spirit....(more)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 3 2008 8:15 utc | 1

When George met Laura (scene from Oliver Stone's W)

And holy crap Josh Brolin is good.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 3 2008 8:29 utc | 2


these were just the sorta folks you met if you attended college in the US in the mid-70's. Nowadays they are driving their SUV'S, listening to Fleetwood Mac (and modern bands that are just reworked throwbacks to same era) and occupying key places in American business andpolitics.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 3 2008 9:43 utc | 3

South Carolina sheriff buys tank to conduct raids and here's a vid of the continued militarization of America:

Explosions at the RNC Protest, what this vid depicts is the proactive use of 'concussion grenades', on a civilian population, seemingly unbeknownst to the Filmer. And why would they know that?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 3 2008 10:20 utc | 4

Political break in's?

Michelle Gross of Communities Against Police Brutality was the victim of a burglary...and she's hinting strongly that she thinks someone from the government did it.

She and her husband were detained by police in St. Paul on Fri. 8/29/08 while attending an organizing meeting of activists protesting the RNC in the Twin Cities. They were not arrested, and eventually released. However, they returned home to find their [home] garage and car had been burglarized. Nothing was taken, but documents and belongings had been searched. Interviewed at a gathering in Powderhorn Park on 8/30/08

Lets see, tanks, grenades, political sneak & peek... Oh, and after watching the vid above, I got the distinct impression that, not only are these military style exercises, but the next step is to co op the tactics of in theater Iraq, un the use of embedded journalists, I.E., controlled story tellers.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 3 2008 11:18 utc | 5

I WAS RIGHT, just had my suspicions confirmed,...

Embedded reporters or Republican activists?

Further confirming my hunch, DemocracyNow!* today spoke of fox news being embedded and covering the arrests of their rival journalists at the RNC.

Can't help, but wonder how long before we have the 'disappeared', and "accidental deaths", hell, they seem to be greasing the slop for it now...

reuters:Sudden death after arrest may be new syndrome

*P.S. DN is well worth listening to today, if only for the jaw dropping Gov. Don Siegelman interview.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 3 2008 14:03 utc | 6

I'm having a really hard time believing that Palin is a real honest-to-god prolifer... After all, no woman who lives and dies by the pro-life creed would ever endanger the life of her unborn child by undergoing an amniocentesis and especially by hopping on a plane after her water breaks!

Oh sure, both of these actions carry a small risk for a miscarriage, but these risks are statistically significant nonetheless. And sorry, but the argument that Palin had an amniocentesis in order to better plan her unborn child's future just doesn't hold water. Any sort of family planning flies in the face of pro-life thinking!

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 3 2008 14:17 utc | 7

McCain's Voice Mail to Palin Leaked to Press

Because everyone needs a good laugh at Old McDonald.

Posted by: Hamburger | Sep 3 2008 14:40 utc | 8

pr watch: Sears to Start Selling Line of Official U.S. Military Garb

Source: Advertising Age, September 2, 2008

Sears, Roebuck and Company has entered into a first-ever deal with the United States Military to market a new line of officially sanctioned, military-styled clothing to men, women and boys. The military has officially licensed a "soldier chic" line of clothing to Sears called the "All American Army Brand First Infantry Division" collection. The garb, to be launched in 550 Sears stores in October -- just in time for the holiday season -- consists of "authentic lifestyle reinterpretations" of regulation uniforms and military-issued gear like T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, denim and other outerwear. The partnership is part of a marketing strategy to raise the public profile of the U.S. military. Sears already carries some military-themed merchandise on its Web site, like a Modern Military Figure Special Forces Soldier toy for ages 8 and up, a musical DVD titled "Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes, Vol. 2," which lists song titles like "Cadaver Recovery Man" and "Mud & Guts," and a Self-esteem Zip Military Style Vest for Juniors.

Posted by: b real | Sep 3 2008 14:51 utc | 9

thanks Uncle for both links #6, especially the death of wild animals one. We are warned, as by the "Don't Tase me bro" set up incident in Florida last year and that Friday night's Taser comedy routines (Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O shows, about which I wouldn't know save that someone mentioned here.)

In the ongoing Terrordome (Lizard's term?), here's e-mail I just received from Newsmax (I subscribe) trying to raise money and interest (use your credit card) against the>despicable opposition. I believe the raising of such money from betrayed thereof hoi polloi and giving of it to tv station owners and various levels of prostitutes (trickle down? yes, depending/descending on body position) is a major part of this fake election ecology.

If you look at link, it links to 2 short ads now on u-tube but awaiting your urgently needed money to broadcast to us who so desperately need same. Neither mentions Palin. I just think it's telling that the wronged Palin is the hook for the money.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 3 2008 14:58 utc | 10

sorry, link in #10 only works while I'm signed into my e-mail account, so here is text (sorry not the heart-stirring then anger rousing pictures) following links to the 2 u-tubed ads.>1>2

Dear Newsmax Reader:

Please find below a special message from our sponsor, Our Country Deserves Better PAC. They have some important information to share with you. Thank you.


Military Mom Deborah Johns Defends Sarah Palin & Family

Deborah Johns here of the committee. It's time for us to not only stand up for Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, but to also work very hard to defeat the campaign of Barack Obama!

I'm disgusted by the attacks that have been waged against Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin by Barack Obama's campaign and his supporters in the media. These people are shamelessly attacking an accomplished, bright, honest, and decent woman. They are engaging in the worst kind of personal smears against her and her family. Sarah Palin has lived the American Dream, through hard work and dtermination. As the proud mother of a U.S. Marine, I also share a kindred spirit with Governor Palin because she would serve as America's first Blue Star Mom as Vice President! The dirty little secret is that Obama and his supporters are trying to destroy this woman and her family in order to advance their liberal political agenda. SHAME ON THEM!

We here at the Our Country Deserves Better Committee won't stand for this. We're about to launch an aggressive television ad campaign that will highlight Obama's sleazy campaign tactics, and his associations with radical leftists - even the support he has received from avowed terrorists!. You can see two of the first TV ads we will air in key swing state's all across the country below. Take a moment to watch them, and then make a donation to our campaign so that we can get these ads broadcast over and over. You can donate online - HERE.

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Posted by: plushtown | Sep 3 2008 15:23 utc | 11

"reuters:Sudden death after arrest may be new syndrome"
There I thought it would be about Russian journalists' sudden deaths when arrested by Caucasian police.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 3 2008 16:04 utc | 12

Reading Obama’s answers to the Scientists questions (see link), McC has yet to respond, is informative.

What is peripheral, or trivial, hopeful, etc. is supported. Basic principles are touted. It is sophisticated, grand sounding, mainstream soft soap with flying bubbles.

War on ‘evils’ and bio terror are upheld...

It’s time for a comprehensive effort to tackle bio-terror. We know that the successful deployment of a biological weapon—whether it is sprayed into our cities or spread through our food supply—could kill tens of thousands of Americans and deal a crushing blow to our economy Overseas, I will launch a Shared Security Partnership that invests $5 billion over 3 years to forge an international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure to take down terrorist networks.

I will also strengthen U.S. intelligence collection overseas to identify and interdict would-be bioterrorists before they strike and expand the U.S. government’s bioforensics program for tracking the source of any biological weapon. I will work with the international community to make any use of disease as a weapon declared a crime against humanity.>science debate

Posted by: Tangerine | Sep 3 2008 17:10 utc | 13

Surgar English Weekly Afghanistan

[Surgar has expanded it's offices to Kabul to provide national coverage]

Some still have no health care

Kandahar Surgar:

Although the Afghan Health Ministry claims that 85 percent of the nation have healthcare facilities, Kandahar, on the other hand, doesn't meet the same status. Kandahar's health director said that 76 percent of civilians have health care facilities but the remaining 24 have none.

Doctor Adbul Qayum Pukhla, speaking with Surgar Weekly Newspaper, has decided to shut down some healthcare centers due to insecurity issues, given widespread worries about the safety of health care officials in far remote areas of the province.

According to Dr. Pukhla, insecurity will not only make it difficult to provide health care facilities and medicine, but it will also play a major role in closing down functioning health care centers. He explained that 13 of Kandahar province's 17 districts have access to medical facilities, but the remaining 4 are currently without healthcare, saying that Panjwaye, Ghorak, Shorawak, Marof, and Meyanashin in the south are considered too dangerous for medical workers.

While condemning the recent death of a nurse shot last week by unidentified gun men, Dr. Pukhla added that if there was good security throughout Kandahar province, all of the residents of all the districts of the province would have had medical attention.

The Kandahar Health director claimed that doctors are a nonpolitical group of people who serve the civilians of this country, stating: "We are nonpolitical individuals serving everyone in the community. We don't differentiate between our patients on any basis."

He called on all civilians to help doctors in establish and protect health care centers in different parts of the country and help save their fellow civilians who lose their lives because of no available health care.


Airlines to reduce ticket prices

Kabul Surgar:

After extensive efforts by the ministry of transportation, Afghan airline ticket prices will come down by twenty percent. According to the ministry, four airline companies have been punished after raising prices by seventy percent due to the soaring cost of aviation fuel and other commodities.

Both local and international tickets prices were a worry for passengers as well. A passenger, Wazir Mohammad, told Sugar Weekly that 500 US dollar tickets to Dubai had gone up to 670 US dollars.

The airlines complain of high oil prices and additional taxes, as their reasons of raising ticket pricing. According to the director of KamAir, Zamarai Kamgar, passengers should blame high oil prices, higher taxes, and expensive aviation equipment. He urged the transportation ministry to take control over fuel prices and lower them to a fair level. The ticket prices proposed by the transportation ministry are only enough to meet expenses, according to Mr. Zamarai.

But Hamidullah Qadari, Afghan airline and transportation minister, told Surgar that airline officials are pricing up tickets without first discussing it with the ministry, offering as an example a ticket from Kabul to Herat was 2500 AFs, but it has more than doubled to 5500 AFs lately. He pledged to provide a reasonable ticket price with a reduction of 20 percent per ticket, warning the airline companies not to price up the tickets, or they will be fined up to 5000 US dollars on international flights and 2000 U AFs for local flights.


Hamidzada: Afghan government says no to troop withdrawals

Kabul Surgar:

Hamyon Hamidzada, talking on behalf of the Afghan government at his weekly conference in the headquarters of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that until the Afghan National Army and Police are trained properly and national security is as promised, foreign troops will not requested to leave Afghanistan.

According to the minister, no date has been set for troop withdrawal, and foreign troops will not be redeployed until every part of the country is secured. In the interim, responding to recent widespread military killing of innocent civilians, Mr. Hamidzada suggested preparing a signed contract explaining all the duties and responsibilities of foreign troops in the country, to be ratified by the international coalition.

He added that both ministries of defense and foreign affairs pledged to create an official document and send it to Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Wolasi Jerga (National Assembly) for approval, saying that official and unofficial offices will take part in drafting the document.

According to Hamidzada, the proposed right-conduct document would demand an end to collateral civilian deaths in military operations, in keeping with international peacekeeping groups agreement on the same issue, and require foreign troops to act according to the constitution of Afghanistan.


New Afghan AG: Everyone equal under law

Kabul Surgar:

While receiving votes from wolasi jerga (National Assembly)

Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, Afghanistan's new Attorney General appointed by President Hamid Karzai and approved by the National Assembly, has pledged that he will have one law for everyone and will fight against systemic corruption.

Mr. Aloko promised to treat everyone equally, continue fighting against corruption, and following an investigation, to reinstate those attorneys dismissed by the previous attorney general to their former positions.
He also pledged to make continue efforts in releasing both foreign and local Afghan political prisoners, and seriously consider reinstating lands which were stolen forcefully by certain landlords.

One of Aloko's other ambitions is to arrest those sexual assailants who try to rape children and hand them over to the justice system for punishment.

In answer to questions by some National Assembly members, Mr. Aloko said he would take further action in freeing Afghans who have been imprisoned in Guantanamo and Bagram for the last six years, as long as they had not committed violent crimes.

Mr. Aloko was the preferred replacement choice after the previous Attorney General was dismissed by President Karzai, following that AG's announcment he was a candidate for the upcoming Afghan presidential elections.

Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, was born in Arghandab district of Kandahar and received higher education in Germany. He was formerly an assistant to the previous attorney general he is replacing, and head of the Afghan prisoners release committee.

Afghan fruit export increase

Kabul Surgar:

According to export development organization officials, last year the first four months' fruit exports amounted to 106 million dollars and in the ongoing four months, that amount has jumped to 111 million dollars.
The organization figured that in the year 1386, the total amount of the fruit exported rose to 84 thousand tons, increasing exports by more than 41 million dollars.

Rohullah Ahmadzai, head of public office for export development organization, claimed the financial success of dry fruits for the first four months of 1387 reached one million dollars, and hopes exports of fresh fruits will increase even more this season.

Besides the national increase in exports, the two Northern provinces of Kunduz and Takhar's increased their exports by 30 percent last year.
Mr. Ahmadzia estimated the harvest of grapes will grow up to 3300 tons this year, which will then be exported to international markets.
According to him, the southern province of Kandahar had an income of 21 million dollars of exporting fresh fruits to countries like Pakistan, India, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Iran and to the United States.

Offsetting these improvements, there are still parts of the countries that faced drought and severe winters. Exporters and traders also complain about problems they faced last year both inside the country with the transit payments and outside the country on the highways of Pakistan and India.

Khan Jan Alokozay, representative of the trade and industrial directorate, described the problems the country traders face on the Pakistani and Indian highways, saying security check-points in the different provinces of the country were causing inconvenience to the Afghan traders by forcefully demanding payment for imported goods.

He also spoke of problems with lack of fair markets prices for cloths, high governmental taxes, inefficient electricity, and the inconvenience while traveling in the cities both within and outside the country.

Abdul Hakim, the representative of export incorporation called Andaza which exports dry fruit outside the country, also complained about lack of electrical energy, land availability for the traders, governmental corruption and general insecurity which may have caused afghan traders to invest less money in the country.

Afghanistan is an agricultural country which produces a fair amount of farm goods, but negative factors like lower standards of trade in comparison with other countries, transit problems, and the lack of cold storage ("cold chain"), harm the country's import/export business.


Doctors warned for bad medicine use

Kandahar's medicine union chief has urged local doctors of the Kandahar province not to use harmful medicine imported illegally to the country.

While distributing medicine to public health ministry officials, Hajji Rahm Din (Hajji Agha), accused some doctors of recommending useless folk, patent or counterfeit medicines, and blamed some medicine corporations for importing counterfeit medicine to the country and forcing doctors to sell them for a percentage of profits.

Hajji Agha refused to mention any specific names of any doctor or any medicine import company worker, but at the same time called their actions unfaithful towards the country.

The reason doctors are being blamed more than the medicine corporation union is their usage of the harmful and smuggled medicine imported by these corporations. Hajji Agha, claims that if doctors stop using the bad medicines, then the corporations will be forced to stop importing them.

Hajji Agha, was speaking far more seriously than early times, in urging doctors and medicine importer companies to fight against the illegal and ineffective medicines and serve their communities with good health care.

Illegal, folk, patent and counterfeit medicines have become a global epidemic, responsible for the injury and death of millions of patients every year, who then have no legal recourse against the shadow international manufacturers and importers who deal in bad medicines.


Water and power ministry to provide more power

Kabul Surgar:

Water and power ministry officials claim they will provide 1000 megawatts of electrical power for the country in the upcoming five months.

According to Sarwar Sadiqqi, the spokesman for water and power ministry, at this point, only 40 kilometers for placing power poles and stretching electricity wires from Hairatan to Uzbekistan remains unfinished, which will be completed by Uzbekistan according to the signed contract.

Once that work is completed, Mr. Saddiqi said Afghanistan will be provided with 1000 megawatts of electricity from neighboring countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The remaining work left to be completed inside Afghanistan will be finished by the time Uzbekistan completes its own part of the job.

The 40 kilometers of work remaining in the remote areas of Surkhan to Hairatan will cost 20 million dollars to be paid by the Afghan government.

Mr. Saddiqi, claimed that the project will be completed in five months with the neighboring country Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, an Indian company will lay 420 kilometers of electrical wires in Afghanistan within Kabul. At the present time, new substations are also being constructed.

Although the Afghan government hasn't signed any contract of the future electricity fee with Uzbekistan, officials claim talks about the issue will start in the upcoming two months with the Uzbek officials.


32 Taliban Fighters Killed in Clashes

VOA News

Authorities in Afghanistan say Afghan and foreign troops have clashed with Taliban fighters in two southern provinces, leaving more than 30 insurgents dead.

An official, Ghulam Jailani, in Zabul province said troops killed 22 militants there on Tuesday. He said seven of those killed were Arabs. In Helmand province, authorities said another 10 insurgents died in fighting late Tuesday.

The Australian Defense Ministry says nine Australian troops in Uruzgan province were wounded after insurgents ambushed them Wednesday. One soldier is reported to have life-threatening injuries.

The ministry says the troops were part of an operation to disrupt Taliban command and control networks.


US probe disputes civilian deaths in Afghanistan


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A U.S. investigation released Tuesday disputed a U.N. report that found "credible evidence" that up to 90 civilians died in a raid on a western Afghan village, saying an after-battle assessment found most of the victims were Taliban fighters.

The military probe still claims that up to seven civilians and between 30 and 35 Taliban militants were killed in an operation in Azizabad village in the early morning hours of Aug. 22.

The U.N. backed a finding by the Afghan government that all the estimated 90 to 110 victims were civilians.

The competing claims illustrate the difficulty of determining how many civilians fall victim in a war fought in distant mountains and densely populated villages.

U.S. officials claim they face significant challenges both in identifying Taliban fighters, who mix easily with the general population.

In addition, the U.S. has long claimed that Taliban militants pressure Afghan villagers to falsely claim civilian casualties, information warfare that does serious damage to the reputations of the U.S., NATO and the Western-backed Afghan government.

In Azizabad and other small villages where civilians are reported killed in combat, the Afghan government and international militaries pay about $2,000 for each person killed, as a form of reparations.

U.S. officials claim that gives villagers incentive to file false claims, and say payments have been made for people who never existed.

Posted by: Suliman Shah | Sep 3 2008 17:26 utc | 14

ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE: Commentary: Israel of the Caucasus

Georgia also had a special relationship with Israel that was mostly under the radar. Georgian Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili is a former Israeli who moved things along by facilitating Israeli arms sales with U.S. aid. "We are now in a fight against the great Russia," he was quoted as saying, "and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House because Georgia cannot survive on its own."
Israel began selling arms to Georgia seven years ago. U.S. grants facilitated these purchases. From Israel came former minister and former Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo, representing Elbit Systems, and his brother Shlomo, former director general of Military Industries. Israeli UAV spy drones, made by Elbit Maarahot Systems, conducted recon flights over southern Russia, as well as into nearby Iran.

In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter-bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli air force would fly over Turkey.
Georgia, as Saakashvili saw his country's role, was the "Israel of the Caucasus."

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis appears to have been cemented at the highest levels, according to YNet, the Israeli electronic daily. But whether the IAF can still count on those air bases to launch bombing missions against Iran's nuke facilities is now in doubt.

While DE BORCHGRAVE writes for UPI, IMHO he is very reliable ...

Posted by: b | Sep 3 2008 17:27 utc | 15

Americans working overseas as civilian defense contractors all receive free housing, free utilities, free healthcare, free round-the-world vacation travel, some three times a year, and for on-base, get free food. They also don't pay any US income taxes, as "expatriates". But their "economic incentive" rebate came through in time anyway, for $5000 each, as true patriots. No word yet on what "economic incentives" military mercenary contractors received. Gosh, I sure hope our active duty combat troops got an extra MRE for dinner and a 5-minute phone call home!

Posted by: Charlie Tuna | Sep 3 2008 20:05 utc | 16

Russia Today says Nicaragua has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Wonder if other american governments follow suit.

Posted by: estouxim | Sep 3 2008 22:11 utc | 17

Three University of Kentucky Journalists Jailed at RNC

On Monday night, three journalists from the Kentucky Kernel were arrested while documenting the protests outside the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Nothing indicates that any of the three were actually participating in the protests, much less violating any laws that would warrant their arrest.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 4 2008 1:13 utc | 18

Charlie Tuna is full of crap. not a word in #16 is true. What's your angle?

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 4 2008 1:46 utc | 19

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

everything is happening !

Posted by: Cloud | Sep 4 2008 3:58 utc | 20

re Plushtown at #10, the first time I've seen the term "Terrordome" used was by J. Schawrz at ThisModernWorld

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Sep 4 2008 5:45 utc | 21

Chuck Cliff #21, you're right, that's where I saw it. This Modern World and here are the net things I look at most.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 4 2008 8:48 utc | 22

LA Times has a very interesting interview with a nationalist Russian thinker: Russian nationalist advocates Eurasian alliance against the U.S.

I was deceived by these circles. But at the same time, maybe the West also was deceived by them.

And by Medvedev, also! Because I considered Medvedev to be the revenge of the liberals, and I protested. I think Washington and Brussels also saw the same and we were all deceived. Medvedev proved to be a real hard-core Russian patriot and statesman. So I admire such deception -- even if I was also the victim.

Recommended ...

Posted by: b | Sep 4 2008 11:14 utc | 23


NATO was suposed to be a counterweight to the Warsaw Pact. Now that the latter has been relegated to the scrap heap of history, NATO is expanding. No wonder the Russians want to start a new Warsaw Pact to balance it.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 4 2008 12:04 utc | 24

Ramsey County charges nonviolent Food Not Bombs volunteers under Minnesota version of USAPATRIOT Act, alleges acts of terrorism

In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal USAPATRIOT Act, Ramsey County prosecutors have formally charged eight alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.

Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7½ years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50 percent increase in the maximum penalty.

Affidavits released by law enforcement, which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants.

“These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience,” he said.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 4 2008 13:55 utc | 25

Immanuel Wallerstein Commentary No. 240, Sept. 1, 2008

"Can NATO Survive Georgia?"
The strain continued. When the United States pushed this year for the launching of the process to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO, they met strong opposition not only from France and Germany but from the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy as well. Indeed they had strong support in only four of the eastern European states - Poland and the three Baltic states. The other eastern European states were reticent as well.

Then came Saakashvili's march into South Ossetia and Russia's vigorous and successful riposte. Poland and the three Baltic states immediately gave full support to Georgia, and the United States a bit less rapidly raised its rhetorical level, and sent in warships with humanitarian aid.

What did western Europe do? Immediately, and without consulting anyone, President Sarkozy of France negotiated a truce in the fighting, and then got the European Union to endorse this fait accompli. Chancellor Merkel of Germany then got into the act with further negotiations with Russia. Even Silvio Berlusconi of Italy was telephoning Putin. All this while, Condoleezza Rice was out of the real diplomatic picture.

Did the diplomacy work? Only of course up to a point, as controversy continues about where Russian troops are presently stationed and Russia's definitive recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But western European statesmen keep making statements about how one should be careful not to cut off ties with Russia. And it seems the most the western European press can do is to scold Russia that it is they who are breaking friendly relations with western Europe. Most revealing of all is the report in the New York Times that Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states are calling not Rice but Angela Merkel, asking her to use her influence to help resolve the situation. Angela Merkel has made it clear that Germany will not be rushed into approving Georgian membership in NATO. ...

Posted by: constant | Sep 4 2008 13:57 utc | 26> Sun Makes History: First Spotless Month in a Century (audio) (not really a century, since June 1913. May 1913 apparently also spotless. And 8/21/08 had tiny spot not assigned a #)

Sun spotless>words and pictures> Major ice-shelf loss for Canada

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 4 2008 14:02 utc | 27

#14 Suliman Shah

There is a blockquote function for posting news articles in the HTML Tags above the comment box.

Posted by: | Sep 4 2008 14:39 utc | 28

Why does the sun hate America?

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 4 2008 14:43 utc | 29

another 'mistake' Iraq reports 7 killed by U.S. friendly fire

Iraqi officials said three soldiers, two police officers and two paramilitary fighters known as Sons of Iraq and allied with U.S. and Iraqi forces were killed in the clash in Tarmiya.

A member of the Iraqi army in Tarmiya said it was "unbelievable" that the Americans would not have known there was an Iraqi security force checkpoint at the bridge, which sits at a strategic location.

A police officer in Tarmiya, 37 miles north of Baghdad, said the U.S. boat was moving without its lights on, raising suspicions among Iraqis at a fixed checkpoint on a bridge spanning the river.

"We were thinking that they were armed groups using boats in order to attack us, and we opened fire to defend ourselves," said the soldier, who identified himself only as Abu Ali. "The American forces could have identified themselves before or after the incident through turning the boat lights on or making a certain noise. However, that didn't happen and instead we were faced with heavy and deadly fire."

Posted by: annie | Sep 4 2008 15:35 utc | 30


don't worry, soon the meta-neocons under McCain will come up with a strategy to ensure US control of the Sun, too...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 4 2008 18:00 utc | 31>Freak hailstorm turns part of tropical Kenya white

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 4 2008 19:49 utc | 32

Ralphieboy #24
Actually it was the other way around, the Warsaw Pact (1955) was a response to NATO (1949).
NATO's purpose, acording to it's first Secretary General was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down".
And, by the way the Soviet Union did try to join NATO in 1954, prior to the creation of the Warsaw Pact.
But of course that's not what we have learned and are fed daily on our medias.

Posted by: estouxim | Sep 5 2008 2:24 utc | 33

constant: well, come on now, the last thing germany wants is georgia (ru) in the eu, that's like having india shoved over against california and making it our 52nd state. georgia "opens the door," to use the neozi's code words. the only reason dickie is over there giving our tax money away is bribing saakashvili for the oil and gas pipeline corridor and contract rights for cheney's american halliban, (now based in dubailand, yielding a tongue-twisting 'dubailand halliban') and speaking of which, i read both right and left, and have e-mail from both right and left, worldwide, and dickie just stepped on his dick, flame wars over that $1b giveaway for "eu energy security" was so transparent even trent lott is outraged, and lott's as big a crook as keating or chalabi, the right is on fire over this $1b give-away to a former soviet republic, and speaking of which, didn't mccain">"">mccain bless chalabi-ia?? "well, let me say this about that. don't fight against me, my friends, stand up for change you can believe in, change for the well-intentioned and deserving." ahh,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. stand up for a chalabi you can believe in, more like ahh,ha,ha,ha,ha.
mccain-palin 2008 motto: "you're all on your own, now!"

Posted by: Frederik Nietzche | Sep 5 2008 4:12 utc | 34

Like I said, visceral, appallingly visceral....

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 5 2008 4:25 utc | 35

U.S. Spied on Iraqi Leaders, Book Says

The Bush administration has conducted an extensive spying operation on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his staff and others in the Iraqi government, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward.

"We know everything he says," according to one of multiple sources Woodward cites about the practice in "The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008," scheduled for release Monday.

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2008 6:25 utc | 36

Press TV at 11:20 is reporting live from Ramallah crossing.

Posted by: ww | Sep 5 2008 9:21 utc | 37

I was called away, but to explain, it is the crossing between Ramallah and Al-Quds, with people trying to get to pray for the first Fri prayers of Ramadan. Israelis have closed crossing, even though there was supposed to be an easement. Guards have been shooting smoke bombs and seemingly rubber bullets. An interesting display of power, and lack of it in daily life of Palestinians. Apparently they closed it because a child threw a stone.

Posted by: ww | Sep 5 2008 9:44 utc | 38

The Bush administration has conducted an extensive spying operation on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

I hardly think Maliki will have been surprised. Eavesdropping under Saddam was a permanent feature. Our telephone in Baghdad was bugged. What is amazing is how ignorant the US administration is of what goes on in Iraq, in spite of all the electronic wizardry.

Posted by: Alex | Sep 5 2008 10:55 utc | 39

CJ #29, Ralphieboy #31, Neocons can't control the sun nor can those who control the Neocons, but I believe that the tippytop does anticipate events, including climate change events, with much more savvy than they allow to us below. Below we’re captivated by 9/11 and jihad nonsense (thanks uncle, visceral link #35) though the whole neo-Crusade thing is obviously a scam, as is any election where the supposed candidates publicly don’t care about how the hard bought votes will be counted, stress only raising money supposedly to turn the tide against the dread enemy.

Finance people, finance. It’s all money, business, planning. Denial comes from powerlessness. At the tippytop they’ve had power since before puberty, no need for denial about world/business situations. As a small businessman, I’ve been to a lot of local Chamber of Commerce meetings. Decisions are rightly and always made by those who provide the labor and the money, and the higher you go the more those are the same thing. Any organization any of you have been participant in, isn’t that how things work? So how have we become convinced that anything controls except finance? If money rules, those that rule money rule us all, yet they’ve convinced us that they’re unimportant, that celebrities matter more.

Anthropogenic global warming is indeed a scam (though there has been deliberate goosing). The people who supposedly attack Gore et. al. are right on that, but as in the controlled wars of many generations now (military, drugs, poverty, culture) they don’t use weapons they could use, never mention that, by standard geology, earthquakes occur when glaciers lighten and ice likes to slide, so if Gore, Greenpeace etc. really believe in this big melting, why don’t they mention that, scare us into coughing up even more money and power? (For that matter, Geenpeace should leave Amsterdam.) They’re controlled too. Everybody’s paid by proxies of the same people.

As I’ve put here before, with links about magma near surfaces of NE Greenland and West Antarctica, (helping to explain those pesky glaciers melting faster than our best paid scientists ever expect, every time) and about an estimated 3 million active undersea volcanoes (201,055 over 100m tall mapped by last summer), of which an estimated 39,000 would be over 1000m tall, it looks like warming is localized under land but most importantly undersea, where water spreads it while releasing massive amounts of CO2. And this geothermal activity seems tied to sun cycles.> Thousand(sic) of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves

(google the magma, easy to find, not suppressed, just not stressed, Britney panty-less is much hotter)

Here in single MoA link (#1) are 3 stories not stressed, including rain at North Pole. If newspapers etc. really cared about circulation above all else, shouldn’t>wet Santa have been been a big subject?

We’re warming, then we’ll be cooling. Doesn’t leave a big window for the desired earthquakes under the ice, consequent Gulf Stream disruption, and useless eater liquidation.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 5 2008 14:05 utc | 40

So you don’t have to google the magma mash #40:> Magma may be melting Greenland ice> Scientists Find Active Volcano in Antarctica

Also you might add to the mix

Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.>DoD News Briefing: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen 4/28/97 (posted here before by me and by Uncle.)

Wasn’t Gustav fortuitous? Bush and Chertoff showed caring (while Cheney took care of business in Georgia), and #43 didn’t sully the St.Paul lighting of the faithful. And I must admit I’m really glad New Orleans wasn’t destroyed, yet. (I have a lot of relatives there. They don’t take any of this seriously, either.)

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 5 2008 14:29 utc | 41

The News, Pakistan Pakistan cuts supply lines to Nato forces

BARA: In a major development, the federal government on Friday announced disconnection of supply lines to the allied forces stationed in Afghanistan through Pakistan in an apparent reaction to a ground attack on a border village in South Waziristan agency by the Nato forces.

Political authorities of the Khyber Agency claimed to have received verbal directives to immediately halt transportation of all kinds of goods meant for the US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan for an indefinite period.

If confirmed that is a major blow to NATO ...

Posted by: b | Sep 6 2008 7:00 utc | 42

@42 confirmed but somewhat murky.

Dawn: Fuel supply to Nato forces ‘suspended’

LANDI KOTAL, Sept 5: The government is reported to have decided to stop fuel supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan via the Torkham highway with effect from Saturday.

“An order to this effect has come from Islamabad and the Frontier Corps has been asked to stop oil supplies to Nato forces forthwith,” a senior government official said.

Sources said the federal government did not cite any reason for the move, but the decision was apparently taken in the wake of the US ground and missile attacks in North and South Waziristan tribal regions.

The US-led forces have intensified assaults in the tribal region over the past few days and five attacks, including the ground assault in Angoor Adda, have been launched, killing over 50 people, including foreign and local militants and civilians.

The Torkham highway, linking Peshawar with Kabul and northern parts of Afghanistan and Central Asian states, is a major supply route for the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in the war-ravaged country.

Over 20 heavily-loaded vehicles, including oil tankers, were stranded at the border town of Torkham following the government’s decision.

However, an official told Dawn in Peshawar that the supplies had been suspended only temporarily because of the law and order situation in the Khyber tribal region.

“Why would Pakistan suspend oil supplies due to increased US attacks in the region? It goes against conventional wisdom,” the official said.

“Torkham highway has become extremely dangerous due to militancy in Jamrud and Landi Kotal. The administration needs to beef up security of the highway. When we have enough troops on the ground to ensure safety of oil tankers, the supplies would be allowed to go through,” he added.

He denied that the decision to suspend oil supplies had come from Islamabad and said it was taken at the local level in view of the security situation.

The sources said that militants had increased their activities in the Khyber region after the military operation in Bajaur.

How many days reserve does NATO have in Afghanistan? 10?

Posted by: b | Sep 6 2008 7:03 utc | 43

wow b, that's huge.

Posted by: annie | Sep 6 2008 7:30 utc | 44


Oekraïne vangt bot bij Europese Unie ( >>> U draws a blank from the EU

AVIGNON - Nederland verzet zich tegen voorstellen van een aantal lidstaten van de Europese Unie om Oekraïne snel uitzicht te bieden op het lidmaatschap.''Dat is voor ons absoluut niet aan de orde,'' zei minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Maxime Verhagen gisteren in het Franse Avignon, waar de ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken van de Unie zich beraden over de gevolgen van de crisis in Georgië. ... Maar de EU wil niet verder gaan dan het erkennen van de 'Europese aspiraties' van Oekraïne.
>>>> EU limits commitment to recognition of "European aspirations" (M. Verhagen Dutch minister of foreign affairs)

EU geeft Zuid-Ossetië en Abchazië de facto op ( >>> EU gives up on S-O and A

In verband met Georgië, dat vandaag de hoofdbrok wordt, leert de toon van de voorbereidende besprekingen dat vooral Duitsland, maar ook Italië en Frankrijk niet willen dat de EU zich verbrandt aan onrealistische plannen, alleen maar om Tbilisi (en Washington) een politiek plezier te doen. Ook België zit op die lijn.
>>>> EU doesn't want to get burned on unrealistic plans just to please T (&W)

Ukraine : Cheney stößt Tür zur Nato auf ZEIT online >>> Cheney pushes the door open for NATO
In der Ukraine ist die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung gegen einen Beitritt des Landes zur Nato.
>>> the majority of the population in U is against joining NATO

Kaukasus: EU-Außenminister ringen um gemeinsame Haltung >>> EU ministers of FA looking for unified stance on the Kaukasus
Bundesaußenminister Frank Walter Steinmeier forderte auch die Rolle Georgiens in diesem Konflikt näher zu untersuchen: "Wenn wir jetzt daran gehen in einer zweiten Phase, über die Entwicklung der Beziehungen zu den Konfliktpartien, ich meine Russland und Georgien, nachzudenken, Entscheidungen zu treffen, dann ist schon wichtig, wer mit welchen Ursachenanteilen an der Eskalation bis hin zur bewaffneten Auseinandersetzung beteiligt war."
Auch der luxemburgische Außenminister Jean Asselborn warnte davor, die Schuld an der Krise nur bei Russland zu suchen. Auch Georgiens Rolle müsse geklärt werden: "Ich glaube, dass Präsident Saakaschwili eine Verantwortung trägt. Und wir werden in der Öffentlichkeit, weder ihr Journalisten noch wir Politiker unsere Ruhe haben, wenn wir nicht wissen, was bis zum achten August klar geschehen ist, wer und wie die Mechanismen, die zu diesem Krieg führten, ausgelöst wurden."
Der deutsche Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier wiederholte seinen Vorschlag, einen Stabilitätspakt für die gesamte Kaukasus-Region zu organisieren. Ein ähnliches Stabilitätskonzept habe letztlich auch auf dem Balkan erfolgt gehabt.
>>> ministers looking into the role of G in starting this conflict & option of a stability pact for the region

Vers un déploiement rapide et graduel de l'UE en Géorgie >>> fast and gradual deployment in G
L'Union européenne espère obtenir dès lundi un accord de la Russie et de la Géorgie sur le déploiement d'une force internationale en plusieurs phases dès le mois d'octobre en territoire géorgien.
En début de semaine, les dirigeants européens avaient mis dans la balance du retrait russe de Géorgie le report des négociations sur un partenariat stratégique entre l'UE et la Russie, dont le premier round est prévu les 15 et 16 septembre.
>>> the EU with Russia and Georgia working on a strategic partnership at the borders of Georgia with A & S-O

Posted by: constant | Sep 6 2008 14:01 utc | 45

from the you just can't make this shit up dept

9/11 Aftermath Inspires Comic Book Writers

Media pundits often bemoan the declining public interest in news about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But what if the wars were written up as a comic book?

The creators of a popular comic book that depicted the events leading up to 9/11 have followed it up with a sequel that is seeking to explain how that tragedy led to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Authors Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon are publishing a graphic narrative titled, “After 9/11.”

“We wrote this basically to clarify what was going on in this war,” Jacobson, a former editor at Harvey and Marvel Comics said. “We felt that this graphic medium could help people better understand what’s going on.”
Drawing from articles found in the The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, the authors are now recounting the events after 9/11.

The graphic narrative begins as the hijacked airplanes hit the World Trade Center. The authors then focused on events that led up to the
current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The narrative covers events chronologically ranging from the failed search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, and the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

Setting up the narrative in a chronological fashion helps readers gain a clearer understanding of what occurred and when, Jacobson said. [wtf?!]

Jacobson, who was in charge of writing the majority of the narrative, spent countless hours searching through stacks of newspapers to create a novel with “quoted stories” with nothing but “straight forward facts,” he said.
Their goal was to tell the story because it becomes difficult remembering everything that has taken place during the past few years, Jacobson said.

Posted by: b real | Sep 7 2008 4:30 utc | 46

another article from national defense magazine, this one on the future role of the marines

Marine Corps’ Strategy Stresses Regional Culture

A deeper understanding of culture has become an official part of Marine Corps strategy.

Indeed, the recently published Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025 says that, to be successful in future wars, Marines will need to gain a deeper understanding of the most volatile regions of the world.

The strategy assumes that, after operations in Iraq and Afghanistan slow down, Marines will be able to prepare for future conflicts under a new organization called the Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task
Force. These units will routinely train foreign forces in areas of the world that the U.S. military describes as the “arc of instability” — a swath of territory running from the Caribbean Basin through most of Africa, the Middle East and Central and Southeast Asia.
It’s easy enough for any Marine to grasp that different cultures have their own unique characteristics. Working with a tribe in Africa may not be the same as working with a clan in Iraq or an indigenous people in the Philippines, Wood said.

So while a Camp Pendleton-based unit, for example, might focus on the specific attributes of groups in the Middle East, those Marines will learn that equally unique attributes are associated with a tribe in Africa, Wood said.

And if that unit ever finds itself in Africa during a crisis, those Marines will not try to blindly apply specific Iraq-models to African tribal problems, he added.

The same goes for Marines’ on-site experience, which could establish an intimacy with a region that could come in handy in a clinch. It will take a few years to figure out how to do this, Wood stressed. But that’s the direction the Corps is headed, he added.

Habitual deployment also boosts troops’ level of exposure and experience, which can lead to regional expertise.

“The only way you can get to know a region is if you repeatedly go to that region,” Wood said. “You have to engage in that locality to really understand the nuances (there).”
The Marines will break down the globe into 17 micro-regions under the newly established Career Marines Regional Studies Program.

The intent is for the officers, non-commissioned officers and senior NCOs to study one of these micro-regions for the rest of their careers, said Col. Keil Gentry, head of the national plans branch for the Marine Corps.

Starting when they are lieutenants, the officers will be assigned micro-regions at the Basic School, at which all new Marine officers receive training. The enlisted Marines will be assigned these regions as sergeants, Gentry said.
Although still in the planning stages, the Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Forces are estimated to comprise anywhere from 400 to 1,200 troops, Gentry said. The force could also break down into the platoon level, or about 30 to 50 troops, for training exercises, Gentry said.

The Corps intends to have three MAGTFs deployed at any one time — one oriented toward Africa, one toward Latin America and one toward the Middle East. They would likely come from bases on the East or West Coast of the United States, Gentry said.

Right now, the plan is to source the infantry units from regionally oriented regiments. Those units would form the ground forces of the MAGTF. They are unlikely to change their orientation — an African regiment would stay geared toward Africa — though they are not immune to change, Gentry said. And Gentry doesn’t discount that a Marine could be reassigned to a different regiment at some point in his or her career. There will also be regiments without a regional orientation.

In order to determine which country needs what, these units will work closely with the head of whichever region they are in — be it Central Command, Africa Command or Southern Command — as well as country teams and the host country’s forces.
Language will also be an important tool, and the Corps is planning specialized language programs. Such training will vary, but marines with a linguistic knack would at least be able to carry on a basic conversation, Gentry said. Native speakers would also be identified.

This has been done in Iraq and will continue with the MAGTFs, Gentry said.

Foreign language training would not just be for officers. “It would be peppered throughout the force,” Gentry said.
The Corps’ shift toward culture has been spurred by demographics. The developing world’s population will surge and put constraints on resources, especially oil and water, Zotti said. Swelling youth populations will gobble up jobs faster than governments can grow the economy, resulting in droves of unemployed, dissatisfied young men.

This will happen in places that lack good governance and infrastructure. A number of scenarios could spring from these conditions: non-state groups could stir locals to violence and governments could hoard resources and squeeze out minorities. [read: mzungos]
The security MAGTFs have raised a few eyebrows recently, as some have suggested the Marines might be competing with the Army’s Special Forces to train foreign personnel in counterinsurgency. Some have speculated that a rift could ensue. Wood disagrees.

No U.S. military force will be engaged in an activity with a foreign military except with the direction or consent of the regional combatant commander, he said.

i wrote about the 'long war brief', which outlined similar marine re-tooling as nation-builders, here in march

AFRICOM becomes a fully-fledged unified combatant command upon the end of this month

Posted by: b real | Sep 7 2008 5:05 utc | 47

Oh those Paki's are dancing the Kanjar tonight!

Posted by: Mujra Lux | Sep 7 2008 6:18 utc | 48

Obama Appears on O'Reilly's Show | The Trail |

HARRISBURG, Penn. -- Sen. Barack Obama made his first appearance on Fox News's conservative talk show "The O'Reilly Factor" and was pressed on his foreign policy views.

According to excerpts released by Fox, host Bill O'Reilly questioned Obama on two issues that Republicans view as vulnerabilities, his opposition to the troop surge in Iraq and his willingness to talk even with U.S. adversaries.

"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated," Obama told O'Reilly of President Bush's decision last year to increase troop levels. "It's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

But he added, "The Iraqis still haven't taken responsibility. And we still don't have that kind of political reconciliation."

Posted by: Fran | Sep 7 2008 21:00 utc | 49

Chris Floyd rips Obomba a well-deserved new one.

Posted by: ran | Sep 8 2008 4:04 utc | 50

The U.S. insists it killed 30 Taliban in near Herat. The Afghan government, the UN and now NYT reporters on the ground insist those were 90 civilians: Evidence Points to Civilian Toll in Afghan Raid

Cellphone images seen by this reporter show at least 11 dead children, some apparently with blast and concussion injuries, among some 30 to 40 bodies laid out in the village mosque. Ten days after the airstrikes, villagers dug up the last victim from the rubble, a baby just a few months old. Their shock and grief is still palpable.
A visitor to the village and to three graveyards within its limits on Aug. 31 counted 42 freshly dug graves. Thirteen of the graves were so small they could hold only children; another 13 were marked with stones in the way that Afghans identify women’s graves.

Posted by: b | Sep 8 2008 6:09 utc | 51

Interesting Sratfor take on Georgia in the NYRB: Georgia and the Balance of Power

It is difficult to imagine that the Georgians launched their attack against US wishes. The Georgians rely on the United States, and they were in no position to defy it. This leaves two possibilities. The first is a huge breakdown in intelligence, in which the United States either was unaware of the deployments of Russian forces or knew of them but—along with the Georgians—miscalculated Russia's intentions. The second is that the United States, along with other countries, has viewed Russia through the prism of the 1990s, when its military was in shambles and its government was paralyzed. The United States has not seen Russia make a decisive military move beyond its borders since the Afghan war of the 1970s and 1980s. The Russians had systematically avoided such moves for years. The United States had assumed that they would not risk the consequences of an invasion.
The war in Georgia, therefore, is Russia's public return to great power status. This is not something that just happened—it has been unfolding ever since Putin took power, and with growing intensity in the past five years. Part of it has to do with the increase in Russian power, but a great deal of it has to do with the fact that the Middle Eastern wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left the United States off-balance and short on resources.
Russia has been an empire for centuries. The last fifteen years or so were not the new reality, but simply an aberration that would be rectified. And now it is being rectified. Whether the US and its allies can mount a coherent response has now become a central question of Western foreign policy.

Posted by: b | Sep 8 2008 13:12 utc | 52

b I would think knows (i.e. been e-mailed), but I think hasn't mentioned, was nominated (by "Pottergirl") for best political blog at> Has just the one vote (mine, was looking to nominate, found already nominated, but 1008 nominated political blogs have 0 votes so far). Anyway, obviously it's nonsense, but you might make it less nonsensical. (Have to register, log in, so can only vote once per category.)

Somewhat related, Lizard on OT 8/29 @ #72 linked to the home page and Laurel Canyon stimulated hippie phenomenon articles of Dave McGowan. The other stuff is really good too, all available via home page.>this is link to first part of summary he did of Katrina situation.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 8 2008 13:56 utc | 53

addendum to #53 This link won't say you've already voted.>page 41. And after the 2nd etc. vote you'll find MoA on a lower #'d page.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 8 2008 14:09 utc | 54

a cartoon I must do,after going to a bead store.

Beads against maroon cloth, ideally in encompassing pear shape:

2 large ornate (possibly golden and spiky, possibly purple glass) hanging above, 2 adult worms made of strung beads below, big heads, surrounded by tiny (green?) beads.

“Oh, those testicles are never going to fall. They haven’t fallen yet. I don’t believe in mammalian puberty. Egg, larva, pupa, short breeding period, that’s all anybody gets.”

“It must be horrid to see your offspring live.”

“Yes, but I miss being a larva. One felt so safe, and everything was tasty.”

“Umm, tasty. Wanna breed again? I’ve got more ova, and I like the way you squirm.”

Sad Sac is title

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 9 2008 4:54 utc | 55

Posted by: b real | Sep 9 2008 5:15 utc | 56

This is a good one:

Israel 'could kidnap Ahmadinejad'

Great idea. Then we could legally go and kidnap Bush and put him on trial. At least Bush has done something worth putting him on trial for.

Actually, I do think it would be a good idea for them to go ahead and do it. A. is worthless to Iran, and it would show how far Israel is from being a member of the community of nations (not as though we didn't know it), and how far along the road of Massada they are.

Posted by: alex | Sep 9 2008 11:03 utc | 57

for those following events in somalia, michael weinstein's latest analysis -- this one focusing on how the islamic courts mvmt has applied lessons learned since 2006 to now assume "the balance of power in Somalia" -- is very good

Somalia's Islamic Courts Reach a Cross-Roads

Posted by: b real | Sep 9 2008 16:28 utc | 58

this is very odd

yesterday the u.s. embassy in dar es salaam, tanzania posted the following press release

U.S. Denies Safe Haven to Corrupt Foreign Public Officials

September 8, 2008

Corrupt public officials, their dependents who benefit from corruption, and those who try to corrupt officials will be denied “safe haven” in the U.S. under a new U.S. Presidential proclamation (PP7750).

According to a statement from the U.S. Embassy, the suspension of entry to the United States of such corrupt people will depend on whether they were involved in public corruption in their host countries that seriously affects specified American national interests. These interests include: international economic activity of U.S. businesses; U.S. foreign assistance goals; the security of the U.S.; the stability of democratic institutions and nations, and the newly added 2008 State Appropriations Act on corruption related to the extraction of natural resources.

Ambassador Mark Green noted “The proclamation prevents certain individuals involved in public corruption from traveling to the U.S. to enjoy the fruits of their corruption, and it sends a strong message that we’re committed to help international efforts to combat public corruption wherever it occurs.”

The U.S. Presidential proclamation targets public officials, such as government officials, who are involved in acts of accepting bribes (either articles of monetary value or other benefits), misappropriation of public funds, interference with judicial, electoral and other public processes. The proclamation also applies to private sector individuals who have bribed or sought to bribe public officials, and to their spouses, children and dependent household members.

The ‘Denial of Safe Heaven’ [sic] American policy is gaining international recognition.

PP7750 is from january 12, 2004 - Proclamation by the President: To Suspend Entry as Immigrants or Nonimmigrants of Persons Engaged in or Benefiting From Corruption

though that document doesn't state the # 7750 on it anywhere, various references to it make it clear that this is the one

for instance, from a speech (9 december, 2005) by then "Director for Anticorruption & Governance Initiatives Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs"

On January 12, 2004, President Bush issued Presidential Proclamation 7750 (PP7750) to suspend entry into the United States for individuals involved in public corruption that has a serious adverse effect on specified U.S. interests.

PP 7750 was issued, in part, under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA), which allows the President by proclamation to "suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants" into the United States whenever such entry "would be detrimental to the interests of the United States."

PP 7750 provides specific legal authority for the Secretary of State to identify persons who should be denied entry because they are involved in public corruption that has serious adverse effects on the national interests of the United States, including: (1) the international economic activity of U.S. businesses, (2) U.S. foreign assistance goals, (3) the security of the United States against transnational crime and terrorism, and (4) the stability of democratic nations and institutions.

PP7750 prevents such people from coming to the United States to enjoy the fruits of their corruption, and sends a strong message that the United States is committed to supporting international efforts to combatting public corruption wherever it occurs. Implementation of PP7750 has sent shock waves that have reveberated across the world that signal that the United States is committed to cracking down on corrupt officials.

a look at the list of u.s. presidential proclamations under the present regime doesn't look to show any updates

yet, the embassy's press release gets covered in the tanzanian media today w/o any mention that this is not a new PP

but if, as the embassy stated, the "‘Denial of Safe Heaven’ American policy is gaining international recognition", it only seems appropriate that other nations also invoke their own 'denial of safe haven' policies that deny entry to public officials or private individuals & their families in a similar manner. and, in addition to corruption, perhaps it can be expanded to include those who facilitate war crimes & state terrorism.

Posted by: b real | Sep 9 2008 18:54 utc | 59

herbert docena: The US and the Bangsamoro Struggle: Selfish-Determination vs Self-Determination

What is most striking about the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) report on its role “facilitating” the peace process in the Philippines is how openly it boasts of its unique capacity to be “an instrument for advancing US interests.”

The USIP is special, according to the report, because while it can claim to be separate from the US government, it plays a role in the US’ government’s internal division of labor that no other US agency can. The report makes it clear that it was tasked to do the job by the US State Department and that it worked closely with the US embassy and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Manila. But its “quasi-governmental, track one-and-a-half” status, USIP claims, supposedly enabled it to earn the confidence of local actors so much so that even members of the government peace panel reported inside information about cabinet discussions to them. The USIP, “offered a new policy instrument of the US government” which could be “incorporated more frequently into the toolkit of US foreign policy,” notes the report.

The USIP report has become hot copy lately, with the US’ role being cited as one more ground for questioning, if not opposing, the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The latest result of protracted negotiations that date as far back as 1976, the MOA-AD has been billed as a breakthrough towards ending nearly four decades of war between the central Philippine government and Moros advocating for greater self-rule. Moving towards the establishment of a sub-state within the Philippines, the agreement has deeply polarized the country and has since been junked by the Philippine government. Another – perhaps more dangerous – round of fighting has erupted.
Two possibilities have recently been proposed to explain the US agenda: one is that the US is supporting the creation of an independent pro-US Bangsamoro state as a hedge against a more pro-China Philippines; the other is that US is deliberately fomenting and prolonging conflict between Filipinos and Moros so as to justify its intervention in Mindanao. Both assume common underlying geostrategic objectives: access to natural resources, including potential oil reserves, as well as military presence or basing.

In assessing these possibilities, it is useful, first of all, to bear in mind the US’ actual record: it has crushed or has sought to crush pro-independence movements in places it has invaded and occupied (Examples: what became the Philippines – including the “Moro” states that were incorporated into it – in the early 20th century, Iraq and Afghanistan today); it has no problems supporting – or not actively opposing – separatist/ pro-independence movements against regimes it doesn’t like (Examples: Kosovo against Serbia, the Kurds against Saddam’s Iraq, Tibet against China, Taiwan over China, etc); but it has also stood by central governments against separatist movements if these governments’ stability and support are seen as more important for attaining US goals (Examples: Georgia over South Ossetia, Thailand over the Patani Malays of Southern Thailand, Indonesia over the West Papuans, Marcos over the Moros in the 1970s, etc).

That last example is particularly instructive: from 1972-1976, when the poorly armed and poorly trained Moro fighters took on the might of Marcos’ military, the US provided Marcos over $500-million in military assistance which contributed to tipping the balance against the Moros fighters. Despite this, the Moros – despite being poorly armed and poorly trained – managed to bring the war to a stalemate and forced the strongman to the negotiating table. The question is, has the situation changed so much that the US has switched sides in order to achieve its geopolitical objectives, as some believe?


Posted by: b real | Sep 9 2008 19:17 utc | 60

plushtown, lizard #53 re Laurel Canyon stimulated hippie phenomenon

i checked out some of those links and am not denying they may have merit, but the hippie movement didn't start in laurel canyon. vito and friends ( i knew him btw, he used to live in cotati across the street from me w/his wife and kids) did not invent the wild hippie dancing. hippies were an offshoot of beatnicks and the movement took hold in SF at places like the matrix, not the whiskey a go go in LA or on sunset strip.

did the cia start the hippies? i don't know, but if they did, they didn't start them in laurel canyon, tho the scene was stimulated there, the original hippies were a bay area phenomena.

so take that! ;)

Posted by: annie | Sep 9 2008 19:59 utc | 61

b real: your comments and links are great - please keep them coming. It is so difficult to see what is going on in the various arenas of U.S. powerplaying.

The strange case of Aafia Siddiqui: I have been trying to follow and collect some useful information on her story, not yet with sufficient material to post something substantive. If any of you are following this too and have additional information, please post it, beyond the few mainstream news accounts that basically consist of: "disappeared in 2003 while visiting her parents in Karachi with her 3 kids; mysteriously reappeared in Afghanistan in 2008 and tried to assault U.S. military personnel; now held in U.S. custody awaiting trial and possible life imprisonment; no word on whereabouts or fate of her 3 children (U.S. citizens).

Rumored to have been held captive by U.S/Afghan forces in Bagram and tortured at least part of the period 2003-2008 .

There is clearly much more than this to her story, but trying to piece together more than this is elusive, because it does not appear to be much reported or remarked on.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 10 2008 2:17 utc | 62


an personal addendum to your #61.

I spent a week in June 62 in San Fransisco on my way to Korea for a year. I was interested in jazz so I spent several days of my leave in the beatnick area of SF and frequented the Blackhawk, a cool jazz joint at the time. In fact I was privileged to see Miles there that week. Plus way out poetry in the area. A great week for a 22 year old exploring west coast beatnickia.

Upon returning in 63 I looked forward to spending a lot more time there as I received my discharged upon arriving stateside and had a pocket full of cash. But everything had changed. The beatnick scene had disappeared. I didn’t know what had happened but the change in the street scene was palatable. I shortly left SF but afterward have always related that experience to the transition from the beatnick era to the beginning of the hippie era.

I can’t comment on Lizard’s OT 8/29 @ #72 link but I picked up this gem from it which I read years ago and find so pertinent today.

Closing Thoughts (from:
"And it seems to me perfectly in the cards that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing … a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods."
Aldous Huxley, 1959

Except that Aldous missed the fact that TV was the first and foremost mind control drug and the pharmaceuticals the motivational quelling drugs to keep the potatoes on the couch.

but that’s a-whole-nother subject for a-nother time.

Posted by: Juannie | Sep 10 2008 5:51 utc | 63

@ Maxcrat 62

John Young's Cryptome site has some of the relevant documents regarding the Siddiqui case , but you were
probably aware of that already. I haven't plowed through the legal documents, but your brief
comments are highly illuminating. If things stand as you suggest we may be sure that the relevant context will never be provided by the U.S. government or corporate media. "Islamic terrorism" trials serve a useful, well-nigh critical, purpose for those wishing to sustain popular support for the GWOT. Most of the public doesn't have the time, energy, curiosity or desire to dig beyond the sloganeering headlines spewed out like mediatic magma as each trial erupts. I would love to find a Moonie able to document the prosecutorial malfeasance in cases like this (or those of Maher Ahar, Sammi al Arian, the "Heathrow liquid bombers", the Detroit "terrorists", etc.) with the same depth and wealth of detail as provided by b real with regard to the horn of Africa.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 10 2008 6:14 utc | 64

Juannie, huxley's quote sounds like prozac. was lsd developed as the intended precursor?

Posted by: annue | Sep 10 2008 9:49 utc | 65

yes yes that was me spelling my name wrong.

Posted by: annie | Sep 10 2008 10:51 utc | 66

annie #65 LSD doesn't seem to be precursor, but CIA were the ones playing with it in the 50's and early 60's. But besides hippie stimulation (and he talks of Laurel Canyon because he's from L.A., McGowan writes of many things, including "peak oil":

J.F. Kenney spent some 15 years studying under some of the Russian and Ukrainian scientists who were key contributors to the modern petroleum theory. When Kenney speaks about petroleum origins, he is not speaking as some renegade scientist with a radical new theory; he is speaking to give voice to an entire community of scientists whose work has never been acknowledged in the West. Kenney writes passionately about that neglected body of research:

"The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not new or recent. This theory was first enunciated by Professor Nikolai Kudryavtsev in 1951, almost a half century ago, (Kudryavtsev 1951) and has undergone extensive development, refinement, and application since its introduction. There have been more than four thousand articles published in the Soviet scientific journals, and many books, dealing with the modern theory. This writer is presently co-authoring a book upon the subject of the development and applications of the modern theory of petroleum for which the bibliography requires more than thirty pages.
The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not the work of any one single man -- nor of a few men. The modern theory was developed by hundreds of scientists in the (now former) U.S.S.R., including many of the finest geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, and thermodynamicists of that country. There have now been more than two generations of geologists, geophysicists, chemists, and other scientists in the U.S.S.R. who have worked upon and contributed to the development of the modern theory. (Kropotkin 1956; Anisimov, Vasilyev et al. 1959; Kudryavtsev 1959; Porfir'yev 1959; Kudryavtsev 1963; Raznitsyn 1963; Krayushkin 1965; Markevich 1966; Dolenko 1968; Dolenko 1971; Linetskii 1974; Letnikov, Karpov et al. 1977; Porfir'yev and Klochko 1981; Krayushkin 1984)
The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not untested or speculative. On the contrary, the modern theory was severely challenged by many traditionally-minded geologists at the time of its introduction; and during the first decade thenafter, the modern theory was thoroughly examined, extensively reviewed, powerfully debated, and rigorously tested. Every year following 1951, there were important scientific conferences organized in the U.S.S.R. to debate and evaluate the modern theory, its development, and its predictions. The All-Union conferences in petroleum and petroleum geology in the years 1952-1964/5 dealt particularly with this subject. (During the period when the modern theory was being subjected to extensive critical challenge and testing, a number of the men pointed out that there had never been any similar critical review or testing of the traditional hypothesis that petroleum might somehow have evolved spontaneously from biological detritus.)
The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not a vague, qualitative hypothesis, but stands as a rigorous analytic theory within the mainstream of the modern physical sciences. In this respect, the modern theory differs fundamentally not only from the previous hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum but also from all traditional geological hypotheses. Since the nineteenth century, knowledgeable physicists, chemists, thermodynamicists, and chemical engineers have regarded with grave reservations (if not outright disdain) the suggestion that highly reduced hydrocarbon molecules of high free enthalpy (the constituents of crude oil) might somehow evolve spontaneously from highly oxidized biogenic molecules of low free enthalpy. Beginning in 1964, Soviet scientists carried out extensive theoretical statistical thermodynamic analysis which established explicitly that the hypothesis of evolution of hydrocarbon molecules (except methane) from biogenic ones in the temperature and pressure regime of the Earth’s near-surface crust was glaringly in violation of the second law of thermodynamics. They also determined that the evolution of reduced hydrocarbon molecules requires pressures of magnitudes encountered at depths equal to such of the mantle of the Earth. During the second phase of its development, the modern theory of petroleum was entirely recast from a qualitative argument based upon a synthesis of many qualitative facts into a quantitative argument based upon the analytical arguments of quantum statistical mechanics and thermodynamic stability theory. (Chekaliuk 1967; Boiko 1968; Chekaliuk 1971; Chekaliuk and Kenney 1991; Kenney 1995) With the transformation of the modern theory from a synthetic geology theory arguing by persuasion into an analytical physical theory arguing by compulsion, petroleum geology entered the mainstream of modern science.
The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not controversial nor presently a matter of academic debate. The period of debate about this extensive body of knowledge has been over for approximately two decades (Simakov 1986). The modern theory is presently applied extensively throughout the former U.S.S.R. as the guiding perspective for petroleum exploration and development projects. There are presently more than 80 oil and gas fields in the Caspian district alone which were explored and developed by applying the perspective of the modern theory and which produce from the crystalline basement rock. (Krayushkin, Chebanenko et al. 1994) Similarly, such exploration in the western Siberia cratonic-rift sedimentary basin has developed 90 petroleum fields of which 80 produce either partly or entirely from the crystalline basement. The exploration and discoveries of the 11 major and 1 giant fields on the northern flank of the Dneiper-Donets basin have already been noted. There are presently deep drilling exploration projects under way in Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, and Asian Siberia directed to testing potential oil and gas reservoirs in the crystalline basement."

It appears that, unbeknownst to Westerners, there have actually been, for quite some time now, two competing theories concerning the origins of petroleum. One theory claims that oil is an organic 'fossil fuel' deposited in finite quantities near the planet's surface. The other theory claims that oil is continuously generated by natural processes in the Earth's magma. One theory is backed by a massive body of research representing fifty years of intense scientific inquiry. The other theory is an unproven relic of the eighteenth century. One theory anticipates deep oil reserves, refillable oil fields, migratory oil systems, deep sources of generation, and the spontaneous venting of gas and oil. The other theory has a difficult time explaining any such documented phenomena.>newsletter 52, 3/13/04

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 10 2008 12:49 utc | 67

This is quoted on McGowan's site:

Dan, your use of the word "abiotic" is good. As a non-fossil fuel, petroleum has no living antecedent. It contains chemical elements found in living matter; but it is not "formerly living matter." There has not been enough true "formerly living matter" through all of creation to account for the volume of petroleum that has been consumed to date.

My background in this subject goes back to 1943. I was the pilot who flew a U.S. Geological Survey Team from Casablanca to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. We met the Cal. Standard Oil team holding down that lease. Then we went back to Cairo to meet President Roosevelt during the Nov. 1943 "Cairo Conference" with Churchill and Chiang Kai Shek. FDR ordered the immediate construction of an oil refinery there for WW II use. This led to ARAMCO.

During the "Energy Crisis" of the 1970's I was detailed to represent the U.S. Railroad industry as a member of the "Federal Staff Energy Seminar" program started by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sponsored by Georgetown University. That began in Jan 1974 and continued for four years. It was designed to discuss "the working of the United States national energy system, and new horizons of energy research." Among the regular attendees were such men as Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger...most valuable meetings.

During one meeting we took a "Buffet Break" and I was seated with Arthur Kantrowitz of the AVCO Company..."Kantrowitz Labs" near Boston. At the table with us were four young geologists busily talking about Petroleum. At one point one of them made reference to "Petroleum as organic matter, and a fossil fuel." Right out of the Rockefeller bible.

Kantrowitz turned to the geologist beside him and asked, "Do you really believe that petroleum is a fossil fuel?" The man said, "Certainly" and all four of them joined in. Kantrowitz listened quietly and then said, "The deepest fossil ever found has been at about 16,000 feet below sea level; yet we are getting oil from wells drilled to 30,000 and more. How could fossil fuel get down there? If it was once living matter, it had to be on the surface. If it did turn into petroleum, at or near the surface, how could it ever get to such depths? What is heavier Oil or Water?" Water: so it would go down, not oil. Oil would be on top, if it were "organic" and "lighter."

"Oil is neither."

They all agreed water was heavier, and therefore if there was some crack or other open area for this "Organic matter" to go deep into the magma of Earth, water would have to go first and oil would be left nearer the surface. This is reasonable. Even if we do agree that "magma" is a "crude mixture of minerals or organic matters, in a thin pasty state" this does not make it petroleum, and if it were petroleum it would have stayed near the surface as heavier items, i.e. water seeped below.>newsletter 59, 4/13/04

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 10 2008 14:02 utc | 68

#68, should have include this before the quote:

Lastly, these interesting comments from some correspondence by the late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty:

Oil is often called a 'fossil' fuel; the idea being that it comes from formerly living organisms. This may have been plausible back when oil wells were drilled into the fossil layers of the earth's crust; but today, great quantities of oil are found in deeper wells that are found below the level of any fossils. How could then oil have come from fossils, or decomposed former living matter, if it exists in rock formations far below layers of fossils - the evidence of formerly living organisms? It must not come from living matter at all!


This response is for Daniel E. Reynolds, 29 July 1996 on the subject of "Oil - A renewable and abiotic Fuel?"

And the quote continues with this:

My D. Van Nostrand "Scientific Encyclopedia" says "Magma is the term for molten material. A natural, complex, liquid, high temperature, silicate solution ancestral to all igneous rocks, both intrusive and effusive. The origin of Magma is not known." My "Oxford English Dictionary" does not even have the word "Magma."

Some years ago I wrote two or three pages that appeared in the McGraw Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology, i.e. "Railroad Engineering." Even that source is a bit uncertain about the "origin of petroleum" to wit:

"Less than 1% of the organic matter that originates in or is transported to the marine environment is eventually incorporated into ocean sediment," and

"Most petroleum is formed during catagenesis (undefined anywhere). If sufficient organic matter is present oceanic sediments that undergo this process are potential petroleum sources. Deeply buried marine organic matter yields mainly oil, whereas land plant material yields mainly gas." (Their idea of "deeply buried" is the "out.")

All this leaves us no where. I still go with Kantrowitz. Since oil is lighter than water, everywhere on Earth, there is no way that petroleum could be an organic, fossil fuel that is created on or near the surface, and penetrate Earth ahead of water. Oil must originate far below and gradually work its way up into well-depth areas accessable to surface drilling. It comes from far below. Therefore, petroleum is not a "Fossil" fuel with a surface or near surface origin.

It was made to be thought a "Fossil" fuel by the Nineteenth [sic] oil producers to create the concept that it was of limited supply and therefore extremely valuable. This fits with the "Depletion" allowance philosophical scam.

During one of our C.S.I.S. "International Nights" (1978) the Common Market Energy boss, M. Montibrial of France, told us that while petroleum was being marketed then for $20.00 per barrel or more, it cost no more than 25 cents per barrel at the well-head. There is our petroleum problem! We were paying more than $1.50-$1.60 per gallon, one 42nd of a barrel, at that time. Interested folks need to learn more about the Chartered Institute of Transport, and not waste their time with OPEC, the "Cover" story.

Those who pumped the Pennsylvania wells "dry" during the late eighteen hundreds saved what they had for those better days.

L. Fletcher Prouty

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 10 2008 14:13 utc | 69

thanks for the encouraging words, maxcrat & hannah k. o'luthon !


Nigeria Cancels Nuclear Deal With Iran After U.S. Protest

A protest by the United States government has forced Nigeria to cancel a nuclear pact it entered into with the Iranian government last week.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ojo Maduekwe disclosed this in Abuja while briefing newsmen after a meeting with a U.S. government delegation.

An Iranian trade delegation had announced last week that an agreement for Iran to share peaceful nuclear technology had been reached with Nigeria.
Details of the deal were not announced but the Bush administration immediately protested to Abuja and dispatched a delegation to iron out the issue with Nigerian government.

Maduekwe back[ed] off Nigeria’s official position last week after meeting with the U.S. delegation headed by David Kramer, U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor.

"On the issue of nonproliferation of nuclear energy, we are absolutely in tandem with the international community," he said.

Maduekwe said nothing will make Nigeria support Iran on the issue, noting that if Iran is clearly breaking treaty obligations or is moving in a direction that is opposed to what the IAEA is insisting on, Nigeria will not support it.

He concluded by saying that Nigeria values its relations with the U.S. and will not do anything to harm it.

the great (pasty) white godfather has spoken & yar'adua promptly obliged

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 3:47 utc | 70

nothing serious, i just like this picture of ban-ki moon here (scroll down) - it makes him look like he's of robert wadlow-esque proportions

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 4:04 utc | 71

Another sort of>peak oil.

WASHINGTON - Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties partied, had sex with and accepted golf and ski outings from employees of energy companies they were dealing with, federal investigators said Wednesday.

The alleged transgressions involve 13 former and current Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. Their alleged improprieties include rigging contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants, and having sexual relationships with — and accepting golf and ski trips and dinners from — oil company employees, according to three reports released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general.

The investigations reveal a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" by a small group of individuals "wholly lacking in acceptance of or adherence to government ethical standards," wrote Inspector General Earl E. Devaney, whose office spent more than two years and $5.3 million on the investigation.

"Sexual relationships with prohibited sources cannot, by definition, be arms-length," Devaney said.

The reports describe a fraternity house atmosphere inside the Denver Minerals Management Service office responsible for marketing oil and natural gas that energy companies barter to the government in lieu of cash royalty payments for drilling on federal lands. The government received $4.3 billion in such royalty-in-kind payments last year. The oil and gas is then resold to energy companies or put in the nation's emergency stockpile.

"During the course of our investigation, we learned that some RIK employees frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives," the report said.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 11 2008 14:02 utc | 72

ips: BOLIVIA: U.S. Ambassador Expelled for Allegedly Supporting Violent Opposition

LA PAZ, Sep 11 (IPS) - Bolivian President Evo Morales has declared U.S. Ambassador to La Paz Philip Goldberg "persona non grata", after accusing him of aiding and abetting pro-autonomy opposition groups that are blocking highways and occupying government buildings, reducing the supply of natural gas to Brazil.

"I am not afraid of anyone, not even the empire (the United States)," Morales said Wednesday afternoon at the presidential palace when he instructed Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca to inform the U.S. ambassador in writing that he was no longer welcome in the country.

"It is unprecedented for a head of state to announce a declaration of "persona non grata," although this must be looked at within the context of the deteriorated diplomatic relations," former Foreign Minister Armando Loaiza told IPS.

Over the past year, the leftwing Morales administration has accused the U.S. embassy in Bolivia of offering its backing to departmental (provincial) governments in Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija and Chuquisaca in their crusade for radical autonomy. The Altiplano Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us

Just two weeks after US embassy staff were caught lying, gunslinging and whoring in Santa Cruz, Evo tells the ambassador to leave his country by sunup.


The LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal, and AP have all filed their stories this morning. All quote the US gov't saying the accusations of fostering separatist movements them are "baseless." None of them mention that the ambassador was caught, on tape, by Bolivian news crews, sneaking out of a midnight meeting with separatist leaders.


So wait,who is this Ambassador Goldberg dude? Oh right, he was: "head of mission (2004-2006) in Kosovo, formerly a province of Serbia until its local government, supported by the ethnic Albanian majority of the population, declared independence in February 2008." He's a separatist specialist.

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 15:10 utc | 73

two from the latest online issue of monthly review

a solid descriptive & analytical essay from edward s. herman and david peterson:
Jeremiah Wright in the Propaganda System

Beginning in March 2008 and extending through the last Democratic primaries of early June, the United States witnessed the most brazen demonization in its history of a person based on his race, his creed, and his ties to a presidential candidate. One major purpose behind these attacks was to use the demonized figure to discredit the politician. But participation in the attacks also fed the voracious, twenty-four-hour-a-day media appetite, and quickly took on a life of its own. When we look back at the ugly spectacle then taking place, the evidence suggests that, despite much optimism about narrowing racial divides and an emerging “post-racial” consciousness, something much closer to the opposite had gripped America.

Of course, we are referring to the U.S. political class and establishment media’s treatment of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his relationship with Barack Obama. Contrasted with their handling of the Reverends John Hagee, Rod Parsley, and Pat Robertson and their links to John McCain, this episode provides an outstanding illustration of this country’s racism, chauvinism, and political biases.

noam chomsky: Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 15:34 utc | 74

adding on to #73

Bolivia: a Coup in the Making?

Yesterday, in Bolivia, Minister of Government, Alfredo Rada, accused the right-wing autonomist leader Branko Marinkovic, and Santa Cruz prefect, Rubén Costas, of orchestrating a wave of violence as part of a “civic governors’ coup d’état.” Rada accused Marinkovic of having just returned from the United States where he allegedly received instructions for fomenting the coup attempt.

“Bolivia on the Brink,” is a phrase too often uttered by passing journalists unaccustomed to the country’s regular politics of the streets. But events of the last two weeks cannot be passed off as the ordinary business of protest. Rather, a right-wing coup attempt is in the offing in the five departments (states) governed by the right-wing opposition to President Evo Morales, of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party. The critical “media luna” departments of the eastern lowlands – Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni, and Pando – have been joined in part by far-right elements in the government of the department of Chuquisaca. Thus far, these right-wing autonomists have not achieved critical support within the military, but the passivity of the Morales government in the face of ferocious racism, violence, and the takeover of state institutions and airports on an unprecedented scale, does not bode well for the future of Bolivia.

One indication of the seriousness of the situation is that Morales just announced that US ambassador Philip Goldberg is no longer welcome in Bolivia and will be asked officially to leave the country in the coming hours. Morales accused Goldberg of meeting with the oppositional prefects (governors) of the five departments in rebellion, to help coordinate what has become a full-scale destabilization campaign.
The immediate objective of the autonomist right is to destabilize the Morales government and to weaken left-indigenous forces throughout the country. One longer term goal is to reaffirm and consolidate private elite control over the natural gas and agricultural wealth of the country that is currently under threat due to widespread popular sentiment in favour of expropriation, nationalization, redistribution, and the establishment of social control over Bolivia’s riches. A related long-term objective of the autonomist right is to re-conquer state power at the national level.

Bolivia: Escalating Tensions and Increased Violence Demonstrate Widening Rifts

It appears that the sustained international attention given to the lowland prefects, and especially from the U.S., has emboldened them in their attempts to block Morales, regardless of the official message they receive from these diplomats. Bolivian law only gives these prefects a mandate to carry out public works, welfare programs, and other budget initiatives. They have far out-stepped these bounds. By meeting with Santa Cruz prefect Ruben Costas during an escalation of the current conflict, Ambassador Goldberg gave the impression to all sides in Bolivia that Costas enjoyed U.S. support. That day, Costas capitalized on this impression by refusing to swear in the new Departmental Police commander, appointed by the Morales administration, after protestors in Santa Cruz beat up his predecessor. Yesterday’s declaration of Ambassador Goldberg as “persona non grata” is, in part a response to this impression after a long history of bilateral friction.

Background on the crisis

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 18:07 utc | 75>Newshoggers says that the Iraqi/oil majors deal is now officially dead. Look forward to the 2 car funeral.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 11 2008 18:38 utc | 76

Israel asks U.S. for arms, air corridor to attack Iran

The security aid package the United States has refused to give Israel for the past few months out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran included a large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system and refueling planes.

Officials from both countries have been discussing the Israeli requests over the past few months. Their rejection would make it very difficult for Israel to attack Iran, if such a decision is made.

Posted by: b | Sep 11 2008 19:35 utc | 77

inner city press: UN's Ban Avoids Questions of New Cold War, U.S. War on Terror, Excluded Journalists Speak

UNITED NATIONS, September 11 -- A new Cold War is how many have described recent dynamics in the UN Security Council. Things came to a boil when American criticized Russian military and political moves with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, breaking away from Georgia. Russia countered by citing the precedent of Kosovo, not only the recognition of its break-away from Serbia earlier this year by the U.S. and most of the European Union, but also NATO's bombing of Belgrade in 1999. Russia vetoed a draft resolution to impose sanctions on Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, along the China, put Iran sanctions on the slow boat thereto, and asked the U.S. whether it had found the weapons of mass destruction it had claimed were in Iraq.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was largely invisible during these fights. On September 11 he finally held a press conference, and began by apologizing for what he called his summer absence, promise to henceforth do monthly question and answer sessions. Inner City Press asked about what's called the new Cold War, what Ban thinks and is trying to do about it. ...

After reading from notes about humanitarian aid to Georgia, Ban did not answer the question. So Inner City Press repeated it, linking the rift not only to Georgia but also Kosovo and Zimbabwe and asking if Ban is seeking to be an impartial mediator between the U.S. and Russia.

"As Secretary-General, I really try to avoid your question," Ban said. "I do not want to think of that kind of possibility." ...

This candidly admitted attempt to avoid questions was repeated in the balance of the press conference. Ban was asked twice to comment on U.S. military incursions into Pakistan in search of insurgents. First he said he was not ready for the question, then that he did not want to answer it.
How to avert a Cold War, in the UN and more importantly the wider world? While there were on September 11 more responses than before, which must be noted here, no real answered were advanced.

Footnote: After the press conference, there were complaints about perceived bias in the way questions were allocated.
Another long-time correspondent, who asked for anonymity in order to retain access, said that everything Ban does is in favor of the U.S.

reasonable speculation here, but the timing of his vacation w/ the geogian attack on south ossetia & the fact that he didn't consider it enough of an emergency to return to work is quite suspect

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 21:17 utc | 78

sorry - i don't think i came across clear enough in that last post - ban ki-moon takes his orders from the host country, as have most, if not all, of his predecessors. glad to see the press start to acknowledge that, is all.

Posted by: b real | Sep 11 2008 21:26 utc | 79

b real

but you really felt, like the us puppet king hussein of jordan that kofi annan was at the end completely fatigued by his masters & sometime a little truth came from him

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 11 2008 21:35 utc | 80

but ban ki moon is what happens when you place john bolton, marcos,margaret thatcher & golda meir in a hottub at plato's retreat for group gangbang

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 11 2008 21:38 utc | 81

A rare and hideous image, rgiap! How are you feeling, brother?

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 11 2008 21:59 utc | 82


there is good news on one front in that, while not having the results of the biopsy - they think cancer is less a possibility than it has been for the last month

however - i, almost accidentally was examined for a day at the nuclear medicine facility - & they found that there is blockage with my heart & i will have to have another stent & have the one that is already there replaced - it means a coronographie & then surgery

sickness has been a defining for me unfortunately for the last years - but something about my almost constant hospitalisation this summer has brought a change in my relation to it, my life has been exceptional - it will remain so & if i go - then it has been a purposeful existence

it has 'helped' - that the world we are living in is sicker than my body is

thanks for thinking of me comrade

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 11 2008 22:12 utc | 83

havin a compulsion to read today to think of other things - i have wandered to dkos & really its pure pagan idolatory over there - it's like the keystone kops playing politics

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 11 2008 22:22 utc | 84

B real - again, thanks for the posts - especially those on Bolivia. If not for you and MoA, I would have no idea this was going on there. Evo Morales has seemed an inspirational and strong leader there, from the few interviews I've caught.

R'Giap: wishing you well. You are a great inspiration.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 12 2008 1:02 utc | 85


thank you, really

i too have been taking note of the empire's evil work in the budding flower of the bolivarian revolution - it is clear that evo is a leader of the calibre of mandela - a thoughtful & visionary man & it is clear that the u s wants to murder him & i am very frightened about what plans they have for venezuela

for me - in this moment - what is happening in latin america amongst its people is the only light in the world

it is clear that the empire is engaged destabilisation on a daily & also on an armed level. it does not care if the americas are covered in blood. this last century washington knelt deep in the blood of the americas

i am glad tho that chavez & the russians are playing cheeky buggers - showing clearly that the empire speaks with forked tongue

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 12 2008 1:12 utc | 86

Posted by: b real | Sep 12 2008 3:27 utc | 87

Someone commented on the following at another board I frequent, does anyone got any further to add? Or know the scoop?

Ok, let's see...

--Bolivia expels US ambassador
--US expels Bolivian ambassador
--Venezuela expels US ambassador
--Chavez says that if there's a coup in Bolivia, Venezuela will do what's necessary
--The rest of South America is scrambling to avert a civil war / coup in Bolivia, given that they get much or most of their natural gas from the poor kid in the neighborhood

This is as ugly as I've seen it, and with Russian military presence in Venezuela right now to boot. The US is being put in check, as in chess, because it simply cannot try to topple the Bolivian regime without the risk of something really, really nasty happening, like Venezuela cutting off its oil imports to the US at the same time as Ike hits.

and Chavez just aired videos of coup plotters within his military.

This is the nadir of US-Latin America relations, as far as I can tell, at least that I can remember. Incredible how the tide is turning...

Ahhh, on preview thanks b real... anyone else? Ideals thoughts opinions?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 12 2008 5:52 utc | 88

Thanks again to b real and other contributors for useful comments and links, and hearty best wishes to rgiap for better health and favorable outcomes.

The coup plotting against Ivo Morales is obvious to anyone watching (even with minimal historical knowledge or direct experience) what's been happening in Bolivia. It would appear that the "empire" is crumbling, and that the more realistic imperialists see Obama as the better choice for limiting damage and restoring a modicum of rationality. It is, however, quite possible that the already weak economy in the U.S. will deteriorate so visibly within the next six weeks, that the retrograde right will feel compelled to launch some hare-brained military adventure in search of the necessary electoral jolt provided by a surge of misconceived patriotism. Given a suitable 3 or 4 day media blitz, any one of Bolivia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iran could provide the pyromaniacs with suitable tinder.

In order to bring something other than rhetorical ardor to the discussion, allow me to cite this link to Asia Times on Line's front page, which offers several good articles.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 12 2008 6:20 utc | 89

I fell asleep in front of my computer - and was later woken up with this Google Video. I didn't click on anything, and I don't know where the link came from, but nevertheless a very interesting interview with Eustace Mullins (who I have never heard of). Worth Watching: The World Order.

Anyone know of, or can comment on Eutace Mullins?

Posted by: DM | Sep 12 2008 12:36 utc | 90

DM, the first thing I found about Mullins: "the last surviving protege of the 20th century intellectual and writer, Ezra Pound."

Some more digging: his two heroes are Pound and Joe McCarthy. If that ain't enough, lots of other stuff - depressing in the extreme. He's a genial interviewee, however.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 12 2008 14:14 utc | 91

venezuela analysis: Coup Plot Against Chavez Disclosed on Venezuelan TV

Mérida, September 11, 2008 ( On Wednesday night Mario Silva, on the program "La Hojilla" (The Razorblade) showed a recording from an unidentified source in which various military personnel, some retired and some active, were planning a coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

The coup plan aimed to take the Miraflores Palace, the headquarters of the government and the president's office.

Among the participants in the recording were vice admiral Carlos Alberto Millan Millan, who was also inspector general of the National Armed Forces, general of the National Guard Wilfredo Barroso Herrera, brigade general of Aviation, and Eduardo Baez Torrealba, who was involved in the April 2002 coup attempt.
Chavez emphasized that if there is a coup, "the counter-coup would be overwhelming."

He also linked the plot with US plans to assassinate him, "The empire is desperate and the Yankee-sympathizers here are helping them attack me." He outlined the US strategy to use Venezuelan flags on foreign or US planes in order to make it look like a local rebellion.

"We are alert, I say to the country to trust your government, our intelligence organizations, our Armed Forces, in which our officials and soldiers have learnt many lessons."

nikolas kozloff for nacla: The Next Cuban Missile Crisis?

Unfortunately the Bush White House has done everything in its power to provoke Chávez yet further. Last April, the Pentagon announced that it would revive its Fourth Fleet in the Caribbean. The fleet is based at the Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida and answers to the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami. Southcom has about 11 vessels currently under its command, a number that could increase in future.

An April 24 Bloomberg report claimed that the fleet would be lead by the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George Washington. But a subsequent report appearing in the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal quoted U.S. Admiral James Stavridis as saying that the force would not have an offensive capability. “We have no intention whatsoever to have an aircraft carrier as part of the Fourth Fleet,” Stavridis said.

The Navy claims it resuscitated the Fourth Fleet to combat terrorism, to keep the economic sea lanes of trade free and open, to counter illicit trafficking, and to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Such claims notwithstanding, it’s no secret that the United States would like to head off the left wing-alliance between Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia. And Chávez is probably correct in seeing the Fourth Fleet in Caribbean waters as a “shot across his bow.”

new statesman: Cuban missile crisis II?

The revival of the Fourth Fleet has coincided with the overflight of Venezuelan islands by US warplanes based in the Netherlands Antilles just off the Venezuelan coast. As usual in such an event, Washington put this down to “navigational errors” by US pilots – a worrying state of affairs, even if the excuse were true. The Brazilians for their part are worrying about US warships nosing around the vast, newly discovered offshore oilfields which hold an important key to Brazil’s prosperity and probably entry into OPEC. The Ecuadoreans have given the US notice to quit their base at Manta before the end of this year.

In the next few weeks the situation in the Caribbean cockpit is going to get much more tense. Within weeks of the Georgian actions in South Ossetia, mounted with US and Israeli help on the first day of the Olympic Games, Russians bombers have just landed in Venezuela and its ports are preparing to welcome next month a big Russian naval force including the heavy cruiser Peter the Great and an anti-submarine warship. There are 1,000 men aboard. There may well be Russo-Venezuelan war games.

Posted by: b real | Sep 12 2008 15:09 utc | 92

james petras: Masters of Defeat: Retreating Empire and Bellicose Bluster


Isolation in Latin American can not be overcome because Washington’s pursuit of empire via prolonged military aggression - in the rest of the world and in Latin America –can not compete with the profits, wealth, investment and trade opportunities offered to the ruling classes of Latin America by the new markets in Russia, the Middle East, Asia and by oil rich Venezuela.

Washington’s militarist imperial strategy is evident in its dual policies: Prioritizing the spending of $6 billion in military aid to repressive Colombia while sacrificing $10 billion in trade, investments and profits with oil rich Venezuela. Washington has spent over $500 billion in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; billions are spent in war preparations against Iran; over $3 billion annually for Israel’s military; all the time losing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade and investment with Latin America.

The most striking aspect of this historical contrast is that the military spending embedded in military-centered empire building has failed even its minimum goal of gaining political control, military outposts and strategic resources for war. In contrast, global market competitors have secured access and control over strategic economic resources, and signed lucrative political co-operation agreements without costly military commitments.


walden bello: Toward a New American Isolationism

For people in this part of the world, the weakening of U.S. power is most evident elsewhere: in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, where Washington is bogged down in unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; in Latin America, where the rebellion against neoliberalism and U.S. meddling is in full swing; and, most recently, in Central Asia, where Washington and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been taught a painful lesson in overextension in Georgia.

The erosion of Washington's position is less obvious in Asia. After all, the United States continues to maintain more than 300 military bases and facilities in the Western Pacific. Over the last decade, it has established a permanent troop presence in the Southern Philippines to make up for its giving up its two big military bases on Luzon Island in 1992. And in Indonesia, the Pentagon has reestablished its close ties with the Indonesian military after several years of uncertainty, using the opportunity provided by relief operations during the tsunami of 2004.

Nevertheless, the region – and Southeast Asia in particular – is probably more independent of the United States today than at any other time in the last 60 years. Economics is the reason. Over the last two decades, several developments have eroded the U.S. position.

First of all, its drive to create the trans-Pacific free-trade area known as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) failed.
Second, U.S. efforts to impose capital account and financial liberalization on the Asia Pacific economies as a key element of more thoroughgoing structural transformation backfired.
In a third development not positive for the United States, the region has become increasingly dependent on the red-hot Chinese economic locomotive.
All in all, the biggest beneficiary of the Bush administration's imperial and corporate misadventures over the last decade has been China, which has kept itself from military entanglements and devoted itself single-mindedly to economic development.

Posted by: b real | Sep 12 2008 15:18 utc | 93

ips: RUSSIA-VENEZUELA: Cold War Coming to the Caribbean?

CARACAS, Sep 12 (IPS) - Two Russian Tupolev TU-160 strategic bombers landed at Venezuela's main Libertador military airbase, 60 kilometres from the capital, "to carry out training flights" in the region, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

"Yes, eat your heart out, 'pitiyanquis' (little Yankee imitators)," said Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, in two lengthy nationwide radio and television broadcasts Wednesday. "What's more, I'm going to pilot one of those insects (planes)," he added jokingly, while confirming that the bombers are at the airbase for training flights.

Russia announced a few days ago that a naval task force would be sent to the Caribbean, and military spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo said the vessels "would carry out a series of exercises, including joint search and rescue manoeuvres, as well as telecommunications trials" with their Venezuelan counterparts.

Moscow's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andréi Nesterenko, said the navy would send four ships in November, including the nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) and the anti-submarine frigate Admiral Shabanenko. Russian anti-submarine fighter planes are also to take part in the exercises and will be "temporarily stationed" at one of Venezuela's air bases, he said.

"We want to calibrate our defensive capability with that of our strategic allies, one of which is Russia," said Chávez, calling for applause in response to the arrival of the TU-160s.
Chávez mocked his critics, repeatedly calling them "pitiyanquis" and accusing them of "seeing the ghost of Soviet Union-style communism appear, which no longer exists; instead, a sovereign and independent Russia is rising."

He defended the procurement of weapons from Russia and China for over 4.5 billion dollars in the past three years, including Sukhoi fighter jets, Mi helicopters, Kalashnikov assault rifles, radar and missile systems, patrol boats and reconnaissance planes. Submarines and other equipment may be added to the list.

"The 'pitiyanquis' criticise the manoeuvres with Russia, but they say nothing about the United States redeploying its Fourth Fleet after an interval of 60 years, and having a base right there in Curaçao (one of the Netherlands Antilles islands, 50 kilometres off the Venezuelan coast)," Chávez said.

Posted by: b real | Sep 12 2008 15:28 utc | 94

Thanks b real - as always very valuable excerpts/links and very welcome.

Posted by: b | Sep 12 2008 17:13 utc | 95

reuters: Honduras in diplomatic snub to U.S. over Bolivia

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras, a former U.S. ally in Central America now run by a leftist government, told a U.S. envoy not to present his credentials as ambassador on Friday in a diplomatic snub in support of Bolivia.
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who has moved the country closer to Chavez, was due to receive a new U.S. ambassador on Friday in a ceremony at which the envoy would present a letter with his diplomatic credentials.

But Zelaya temporarily put off the event in support of Bolivia, a government source said.

"The government decided to temporarily suspend the reception of the new ambassador's letter of credentials in solidarity with Bolivian President Evo Morales," the source said. The snub means that envoy Hugo Llorens is not officially U.S. ambassador.

Posted by: b real | Sep 12 2008 18:27 utc | 96

re DM #90 Tantalus #91, on Eustace Mullins: his dismissal shows what a trap anti-Semitism is, whether one falls, is pushed/paid, or merely classified as such.

The World Order rules through a simple technique, Divide and Conquer (Divide et impera). Every natural or unnatural division among people, every occasion for hatred or greed, is exploited and exacerbated to the limit. The polarization of racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. is accelerated by a flood of government decrees, originating in foundation �studies�, which are designed solely to set American against American. Only in this way can the World Order maintain its iron grip on the daily lives of the people. The World Order also rules by the principle of �1984� � no groups of two or more people are allowed to gather unless the World Order has a representative present. If you start a club of dandelion fanciers, the Order will send someone who will be quietly helpful, avoid taking the front position, and who will offer to pay the rent of a meeting place or the printing of the minutes. In more radical groups, the Order�s representative will be the first to suggest dynamiting a building, assassinating an official, or other violent action.

The international terrorism of the Communist Party originated in a small club of German and French workingmen in Paris, dedicated to quiet reading and discussion, until Karl Marx joined. It was then converted into a revolutionary group. This one example explains the Order�s determination to allow no group, however insignificant, to remain unmonitored. The World Order adopted the Hegelian dialectic, the dialectic of materialism, which regards the World as Power, and the World as Reality. It denies all other powers and all other realities. It functions on the principle of thesis, antithesis and a synthesis which results when the thesis and antithesis are thrown against each other for a predetermined outcome. Thus the World Order organizes and finances Jewish groups; it then organizes and finances anti-Jewish groups; it organizes Communist groups; it then organizes and finances anti-Communist groups. It is not necessary for the Order to throw these groups against each other; they seek each other out like heat-seeking missiles, and try to destroy each other. By controlling the size and resources of each group, the World Order can always predetermine the outcome.

In this technique, members of the World Order are often identified with one side or the other. John Foster Dulles arranged financing for Hitler, but he was never a Nazi. David Rockefeller may be cheered in Moscow, but he is not a Communist. However, the Order always turns up on the winning side. A distinguishing trait of a member of the World Order, although it may not be admitted, is that he does not believe in anything but the World Order. Another distinguishing trait is his absolute contempt for anyone who actually believes in the tenets of Communism, Zionism, Christianity, or any national, religious or fraternal group, although the Order has members in controlling positions in all of these groups. If you are a sincere Christian, Zionist or Moslem [he ought to add Jewish, but he did put in Zionist], the World Order regards you as a moron unworthy of respect. You can and will be used, but you will never be respected.>context

Personally, I think all religions patently false, all cattle control. As posted here before, I think major function/ purpose of Christianity is engendering of anti-Semitism.>page that link came from

Also, just for fun/zeitgeist, this is link at top, under his name>

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 12 2008 18:52 utc | 97

should have added, also what a trap Communism and supposed anti-Communism are. At this point I'm not sure even Medieval communism was real, am sure 20th century stuff never was.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 12 2008 19:00 utc | 98

The following is Press TV's exclusive interview with Peter Bourne, who served as an adviser to former US president Jimmy Carter.

Press TV: We understand there is an indigenous majority in Bolivia --represented by President Morales -- and a minority of European descent, which has for the first time lost power in the country. How do you think this is contributing to the unrest there? And is this indeed the main problem?

Bourne: Yes, this really is the key to the problem in Bolivia. We have always had historically the majority indigenous population dominated by the more wealthy minority. Finally democracy prevailed and a representative in the form of Evo Morales was elected to lead the country, and he was the first representative of the large indigenous population of the country.

So it was an achievement for social justice. It unfortunately upset the vested power interest in the country particularly American corporate interests.

Press TV: Evo Morales says the US ambassador was behind the issues of separatism in this country. In what ways do you think the US ambassador might have tried to contribute to a breakup of Bolivia?

Bourne: Well, I think there was resentment by the group particularly those based in Santa Cruz who were not primarily from the indigenous background. They wanted to secede and essentially create an autonomous area.

They pushed hard with US backing for a referendum calling for the revocation, an ouster of President Morales.

That vote was lost, Morales won and I think the US was then forced to resort to other ways to stir up trouble to create instability and I am sure they hope to see this lead to the overthrow of the president.

Press TV: Do you think the US is planning to remove the government of Evo Morales as it tried to do so in Venezuela in 2002 and did so in Iran in 1953, in Guatemala in 1954 and in Chile in 1973?

Bourne: Well, I think, these are different times now. In Guatemala they were able to use direct military force to overthrow the democratically-elected president and there were major operations by the CIA in Chile to overthrow the democratically-elected president there.

So it's quite a different circumstance. Evo Morales is moving very rapidly to bring healthcare and education to the people of Bolivia.

I think he has very strong public support, and he has the backing of other countries in the region, particularly Venezuela.

So I think it would be increasingly difficult for the US to overthrow him and that is not to say they will not try.

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 12 2008 21:22 utc | 99

brazil & argentina have sd they will not stand idly while bolivia is being destabilised. even faithful u s lackey - nonduras will not give u s ambassador accreditation - only chile in all of latin america silent on what is happening in bolivia

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 12 2008 21:31 utc | 100

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