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September 13, 2008

OT 08-31

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Posted by b on September 13, 2008 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink

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the counterattack

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 13 2008 18:16 utc | 1


Also, Astor Piazzolla's milonga del angel, makes a good sound track to the above, if, like me, you can't bare to her the blah blah blah in the above. except this was Texas, not Somalia. Why do people keep defending this third-world level of civic infrastructure?

America is hallowed in so many ways.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 13 2008 19:30 utc | 2

Charles Dudley Warner is now best known for making the remark: "Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it". This was quoted by Mark Twain in a lecture, and is often attributed to him. My update on this is: Everybody bitches and moans about the politics (i.e. political system) of present day America (particularly in these columns), but nobody does anything about it. Except vote occasionally. And this doesn’t really do anything about it apart from putting a sticking plaster over a festering wound. Obama, bless him, if he should actually become President (and some of his supporters are beginning to doubt it) will regret the next four years (never mind the then ensuing four years should he make it that far) like nothing in his entire life. Either he or Sarah, in the long run it won’t really make that much difference no matter what either the pundits or the poujadists say.

Lyndon Johnson was effectively ousted by the street riots (mostly young people) at the Democratic National convention in Chicago in 1968 protesting over the ongoing conflict in Vietnam and then Selective Service System which was placing tens of thousands of young men in constant threat of being drafted into military service to participate in a no-win war.

Charles de Gaulle was likewise sent packing by the huge strikes and demonstrations (mostly young people—I was there. I took part) in 1968 which forced his hand and effectively saw the end of the the ancient regime in France.

Kennedy and Nixon do not have rôles this dramatis personae scenario. They were targets of private score settling not street battle public dissent.

So—voila! stop moaning people. Take a page out of the calendar for 1968. What I’m talking about is public insurrection on a massive scale in towns and cities throughout the United States. Impossible? Don’t you believe it. What happened in Chicago and the Champs-Élysées can happen in their counterparts all over America. Remember: at the time “They” all said it couldn’t happen. You want to change the system? Good. Then pack in covering your bourgeois backsides from the safety of your internet blogs and the pages of all those radical tabloids and go out and man the barricades. You’re all just too precious most of you for anybody to take you as anything more than more of the same.

But—maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Americans have become so “comfortable”, so passive, so inured to what’s going on around them that they have become like citizens of the old Roman Empire, unable any longer to initiate any significant opposition to a State slowly sinking under the weight of its own colossal corruption. But, my gosh am I going to catch flack for this. It’s just too close to the mark.

Posted by: Spyware | Sep 13 2008 19:39 utc | 3

b was right...

Bin Laden card - that is capturing him - or in this case presenting a dead mutilated corpse (any large corpse will do) since he's been dead for years now, to be played before November 4 to insure Mc/P selection.

Bin Laden Card

Bush Puts New Focus On Bin Laden, Al-Qaida
by Tom Bowman and Melissa Block

Listen Now [3 min 4 sec] add to playlist

All Things Considered, September 12, 2008 · NPR has learned that the Bush administration is pushing for increased military action along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The plan is part of an effort to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaida leaders by the time the president leaves office.

More bread, corpses, and circus. ~isachar

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 13 2008 19:47 utc | 4

b was right...

Bin Laden card - that is capturing him - or in this case presenting a dead mutilated corpse (any large corpse will do) since he's been dead for years now, to be played before November 4 to insure Mc/P selection.

Bin Laden Card

Bush Puts New Focus On Bin Laden, Al-Qaida
by Tom Bowman and Melissa Block

Listen Now [3 min 4 sec] add to playlist

All Things Considered, September 12, 2008 · NPR has learned that the Bush administration is pushing for increased military action along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The plan is part of an effort to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaida leaders by the time the president leaves office.

More bread, corpses, and circus. ~isachar

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 13 2008 19:47 utc | 5

In a roundabout way, r giap’s post illuminates why Palin is so attractive.


Alaska is the richest, or the potentially richest (?) State of the Union.

The oil benefits return this year will be (about, google will provide) 3,000 dollaris, to each citizen, in Alaska. It was Palin (...) who pushed / organized for that direct return.

More prudent, less populist types would have kept the money, used it carefully for community benefits, and invested in alternatives. Distributing oil rents directly is what Iran, Saudi (for ex.) do, thru social services, Gvmt jobs extravagantly paid, and bottom gas prices. Palin could only do it by this direct return mechanism.

Alaska has no individual income tax, no state tax on income earned or unearned. (Some individual cities may collect tiny sales tax or other small levies. I don’t know the details, all minor for sure.)

Her husband, I have read, belonged, maybe does still, to a separatist organization, as is frequent in the richer parts of our great Nation States, as the better endowed regions now balk at supporting poor / lazy dopes in other places. In Europe, typical examples, if without oil, Northern Italy, Basques,...

There is Palin, re-affirming that Alaska is whole heartedly part of the US. Oil rich Alaska - belongs. Is heartland Amerikka, reinvented! Moose burgers and snow machines (not snow mobiles, that is lower 48 talk) reign...

I can’t help thinking that oil, national cohesion, are playing a big big part in the Palin story.

Posted by: Tangerine | Sep 13 2008 19:52 utc | 6

At #3, Spyware:

Part of the problem here (Tucson) is that almost everyone sees themselves as generals. Never privates.

So we have few dedicated workers.

Posted by: Jake | Sep 13 2008 20:33 utc | 7

Alaskans have been receiving oil rebates for years, Palin did up the amount by only a third by increasing taxes the oil co's pay. It makes it look like she is bringing the big corporations to heel, while at the same time pushing very hard to allow their operations to expand. Neat trick. Considering Alaskans already receive the largest percentage of federal money in the union. Reeks to high heaven of classic corporatism.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 13 2008 20:34 utc | 8

Jake, I’m gonna stick my neck out. I’m a journalist by training so why not?

I’ve been waiting for this. Not literally you’ll understand. Unlike some I got more to do with my time than sit hunched over Moon Of Alabama waiting for b. to post a fix. Though, of course, just replying to this stuff ya kinda gotta be—right? Okay.

For anybody who’s got a caps key on their PC kumputer keyboard (and actually knows the difference between: their and there, your and you’re, whose and who’s) these blog comments (not to mention rebuttals and sur-rebuttals) come on like so much deconstructionist dross. Or maybe its’ just New Age Radical Chic with single digit typing.

The perspectives of this tribe are for the most part so narrow, so political personalities focused, so in-the-box as to be beyond naïvety. Introverted? G’wan, why not! Verbal street fighting by a collection of the disaffected too busy doing yackety-yak to each other to follow the thread of the debate. But, then—who ever gave a f**k about the debate!

When you’re (see—got it right!) so dysfunctional you got to go online to some schaddenfreude blog spot to have someone to talk to, then—wow! Postmodernism move on over.

P.S. I am so f**king bored hearing about f**king Palin I could f**king scream. Somebody go find out when the dessert course is being served. I’ve had enough of this soup and fish already.

Hey, I think I’m going nuts—I’m talking to myself again.

Posted by: Spyware | Sep 13 2008 20:55 utc | 9


if i can be so frank, like all journalists you are a little too fascinated by yourself. i don' know what you presume about the people posting here but has always been my position that they function fully outside our communications. you imagine impotence because it serves your rhetoric purposes to state that. you can presume all you like but it is a reflection more on you than on the community

otherwise, i hope that it is ture - that a people can not be totally inured to their own destruction & are capable of doing something about it

i have one worry though & that is the unparalleled opposition to the iraq war around the world - 12 million people marched, did something - but once that immoral war began they 'appeared' to become silent. i know that is not true. even in the small provincial city i inhabit - it metastasised into multiple & ongoing action on a whole lot of levels

privilege, especially white skin privelege is a very hard habit to break

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 13 2008 21:45 utc | 10

Well there you are. Here I go yackety-yaking to my fellow commentators contrary to all my best instincts as a journalist.

I don’t stand in judgement on a one-to-one basis but I would say that you: remembereringgiap (whatever the hell that means) are amongst the better of commentators I have come across in my time as a blog person. Though at times miles off the point.

I too “function fully” outside of my communications, and why not? In fact, in keeping with most other dipso journalists, I function particularly well after I’ve had a few drinks. Which (if only to inject an element of humour here) seems to me the principal influence most of the people here seem to be under (remember: no cap keys?) when they bash out their (belch) blog comments. And yes, I do tend to bask in the reflected (though often distorted) presence of my own self image. Nothing wrong with that. If you’ve got an ego, use it.

As for your take on all those who demonstrated against the invasion of Iraq. I travelled up to London at the time and took to the streets along with the thousands of others who protested. “But once that immoral war began they ‘appeared’ to become silent.” I’ll stop there and tell you why they became silent: they were scared shitless. They had credit card debt. They had mortgages. They had kids. They were lucky to have jobs that paid above the pittance of a minimum wage. They were kept scared shitless by the manipulative hand of a State that had completely out manoeuvred them into a mind-set of not daring to challenge the State for fear of being left financially stark naked. Incidentally, every employee of the BBC, including the Director General himself Greg Dyke who spoke out, who dared to voice opposition to the war in Iraq, was given the sack. That’s the way the modern democratic state deals with dissidents. Not with the firing squad, just the firing.

Gosh, hope I haven’t missed any more sniping while I was busy belting out all this. Be one hell of a note if I had to leave somebody out. After all. I write from the shores of Merrie England and it’s well after midnight here at good old GMT—or should I say English Summer Time. What there was of it!

Posted by: Spyware | Sep 13 2008 23:19 utc | 11

We were listening to Frank Sinatra last night as we enjoyed our wine. It got me to thinking. The members of the>Rat Pack have all passed away, or at least I think they have, but either way, it doesn't matter. That was a bygone time/era, and there's no going back,>you can never go back .....or can you? Some are trying, as Mr. Rich so adroitly points out.

WITH all due deference to lipstick, let’s advance the story. A week ago the question was: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be?

It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.

No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.

The ambitious Palin and the ruthless forces she represents know it, too. You can almost see them smacking their lips in anticipation, whether they’re wearing lipstick or not.

This was made clear in the most chilling passage of Palin’s acceptance speech. Aligning herself with “a young farmer and a haberdasher from Missouri” who “followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency,” she read a quote from an unidentified writer who, she claimed, had praised Truman: “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity.” Then Palin added a snide observation of her own: Such small-town Americans, she said, “run our factories” and “fight our wars” and are “always proud” of their country. As opposed to those lazy, shiftless, unproud Americans — she didn’t have to name names — who are none of the above.

There were several creepy subtexts at work here. The first was the choice of Truman. Most 20th-century vice presidents and presidents in both parties hailed from small towns, but she just happened to alight on a Democrat who ascended to the presidency when an ailing president died in office. Just as striking was the unnamed writer she quoted. He was identified by Thomas Frank in The Wall Street Journal as the now largely forgotten but once powerful right-wing Hearst columnist Westbrook Pegler.

Palin, who lies with ease about her own record, misrepresented Pegler’s too. He decreed America was “done for” after Truman won a full term in 1948. For his part, Truman regarded the columnist as a “guttersnipe,” and with good reason. Pegler was a rabid Joe McCarthyite who loathed F.D.R. and Ike and tirelessly advanced the theory that American Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe (“geese,” he called them) were all likely Communists.

Surely Palin knows no more about Pegler than she does about the Bush doctrine. But the people around her do, and they will be shaping a Palin presidency. That they would inject not just Pegler’s words but spirit into their candidate’s speech shows where they’re coming from. Rick Davis, the McCain campaign manager, said that the Palin-sparked convention created “a whole new Republican Party,” but what it actually did was exhume an old one from its crypt.

The specifics have changed in our new century, but the vitriolic animus of right-wing populism preached by Pegler and McCarthy and revived by the 1990s culture wars remains the same. The game is always to pit the good, patriotic real Americans against those subversive, probably gay “cosmopolitan” urbanites (as the sometime cross-dresser Rudy Giuliani has it) who threaten to take away everything that small-town folk hold dear.

The racial component to this brand of politics was undisguised in St. Paul. Americans saw a virtually all-white audience yuk it up when Giuliani ridiculed Barack Obama’s “only in America” success as an affirmative-action fairy tale — and when he and Palin mocked Obama’s history as a community organizer in Chicago. Neither party has had so few black delegates (1.5 percent) in the 40 years since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies started keeping a record.>The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket

Posted by: Marilyn | Sep 13 2008 23:22 utc | 12

somebody's family values

get ready to be thoroughly disgusted.

Posted by: annie | Sep 13 2008 23:27 utc | 13

Besides asking McCain on the record if he considers a draft potentially necessary (he does), he should be asked if he will attempt to sign a new nonproliferation treaty with Russia (he won't).

After Bush backed out of the previous agreement, seeking missile defense (defacto first strike) installations around Russia, pushed for NATO membership for Georgia, mischaracterized Russian response to Georgian aggression if not having given Georgia the go ahead in the first place, we have the latest wonderful news of Russian strategic bombers in Venezuela, perhaps for some time, in response to US warships in the north sea.

McCain should be asked if these failures are, in fact, failures.

Posted by: aumana | Sep 13 2008 23:51 utc | 14

on truman:

The second law of thermodynamics assures us that everything is running down, and so the United States is no exception. But at the end of the Second World War we were on top of the world. And if anyone had told me then that so much would be acquired and lost in my lifetime, I would not have believed them.

But lost it we have. With hindsight I can now see that our ending was implicit all along. And the blame can be laid largely at one man's door: Eisenhower's predecessor, Harry S Truman (S for nothing).

taken from gore vidal's the american presidency

Posted by: b real | Sep 14 2008 0:26 utc | 15

okay, I'll bite.

Why does Vidal blame Truman?

Posted by: fighting bob | Sep 14 2008 0:41 utc | 16

Phillip Adams Latenight Live is usually pretty stuffy but this discussion rebroadcast from Sep 12, 2001 is worth hearing 7 years on. All the participants, excluding Bobo Brooks, are disturbingly prescient. It's a surprise because I've gotten so used to the willfully unthinking view that I'd forgotten what it's been all about.

Posted by: YY | Sep 14 2008 1:12 utc | 17

"Dusty" Foggo of CIA exec fame threatens to flip on the admin in order to procure a 'get out of jail free' card.

Could get interesting, , ,

Posted by: Li | Sep 14 2008 1:46 utc | 18

@11: Here I go yackety-yaking to my fellow commentators contrary to all my best instincts as a journalist

must be hard for journalists these days, with all these untrained bloggers frothing at the keyboard, and uninterested citizens, and budget slashes.

maybe this article is relevant.

Posted by: Lizard | Sep 14 2008 2:29 utc | 19

sorry 'bout that, fighting bob - had a wedding reception to get to

continuing w/ gore vidal,

Little was known in 1945 about the new president, other than that he played piano. Currently he is being turned into a hero, a Frank Capra sort of leading man who actually stands up for the little guy. Actually, he was a capable, sharp, machine politician who privately remained deeply unsure of himself in the big league.

When he took charge, a decision had to be made: to convert from war to peace or to maintain our military capacity at full strength. The economic reasons for maintaining a war economy were seductive, for president and arms manufacturers alike.

The Democrat Truman was told by Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg, You're going to have to scare the hell out of the American people to make them spend all that money on war in peacetime. Truman accepted the assignment.

Truman set out to convince the American people that the Soviet Union meant to conquer the earth. The fact that we alone had the atomic bomb as well as bases all around the globe apparently counted for nothing. The fact that they had lost twenty million people was not factored in.

They were monolithic, and worse, Communism, always identified as godless and atheistic, was an attractive religion for evil people in every land, particularly in western Europe, where Communist and socialist and labor parties - they were all the same to Truman - were showing their postwar muscle. From the White House television studio, you can convince the whole world that black is white, up is down, freedom is slavery.

For nearly fifty years, occupants of the White House television studio have been able to convince most Americans that the Soviet Union was far in advance of us militarily and economically, even though a walk down a Moscow street was quite enough to convince even the most fearful anti-Red that Russia was a sad Second World country. The flush toilet was a mystery to them, while a workable top for a vodka bottle was the unattainable holy grail.

In due course they did become a formidable atomic military power of course. We had turned them into one.

Truman was reelected - barely - in 1948. And we lost the opportunity of transforming our superpower status into prosperity and growth at home. By now the presidency had embraced the military and we were ready to become a national security state.

What is the national security state? Well, it began with the National Security Act of 1947 and was implemented three years later by a harmless-looking document know as National Security Directive No. 68, kept secret until the mid-1970s.

This contained the blueprint for a new kind of country, unlike anything the US had ever known before. First, there was to be a permanent Cold War. We would never negotiate - ever - with Russia.

Second, full speed ahead on developing the hydrogen bomb, so when the Soviets finally managed an atom bomb, we still wouldn't have to deal with them.

Third, rapidly build up conventional forces. Although Stalin had cut his military forces from twelve million to four million, a complete military draft was introduced - something unheard of in peacetime America.

Fourth, a massive increase in taxes to pay for all this. The sky's the limit, income tax as high as 90%.

Fifth, set up a strong alliance system of friendly nations, directed by the US. This was to become NATO, which tied western Europe to America militarily, effectively giving us dominion over a fourth continent. (When the first B29s landed in Britain in 1948, it was the first successful conquest of those islands since 1066.)

We could control and intimidate our allies with something called the CIA, with its secret, unconstitutional budget, and its mandate to overthrow governments, kill foreign leaders, do whatever dirty work needed doing.

And finally, mobilize the whole of America to fight the terrible specter of Communism. Root out the enemy within with lists of dissident organizations, wiretaps and survelliance - and loyalty oaths for all federal employees.

Posted by: b real | Sep 14 2008 3:59 utc | 20

in kenya this week, salim lone stepped down as raila's spokesman in order to spend more time w/ his (lone's, that is) wife, who just retired from her job, and to slow down a bit. one of the items on his list of things to do, however, is writing a book about the stolen election from his perspective on the front line as ODM party spokesman

here are a couple of snippets from an article in this w/e's east african standard -- When ODM lost State House -- which further support/confirm parts of my analysis in the coup in kenya thread.

Mr Salim Lone shadowed Prime Minister Raila Odinga at the PM’s lowest moment. The veteran journalist who last week left his job as Raila’s spokesman was with the Orange Democratic Movement leaders on December 29, on the day their dream of taking over State House burst like a bubble. ... Mr Lone admits that initially, he was reluctant to take up the role of spokesman for the Orange Democratic Movement and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

"I was convinced Raila and his outstanding national team would win comfortably and he did not need me. But by November, the communication front was not doing well," he said on Friday. When he took up the job, he decided the priority was "to get the world to know the Raila I knew."

"I knew Raila as a serious thinker with fabulous ideas on the economy, and how to unite the country. But throughout our campaign, the international community, including diplomats in Nairobi, felt Kenya would be better off with President Kibaki for continuity," he discloses.

"It was important to get the world to know Raila because he had undergone three decades of sustained demonisation as a communist, tribalist and dictator.
Lone recalled his many conversations with foreign diplomats in Nairobi. Up to the time Kenyans went to the polls last December, they still thought Kibaki would be a better bet for Kenya.

"Their perception of Raila had changed, but the change was minimal. International opinion change gradually. They saw Raila as an activist, an oppositionist not ready to be president," he said.

Foreign diplomats, he said, knew about the corruption in President Kibaki’s regime and the polarisation of the country. But they still believed he could provide continuity and they thought him more predictable.

Lone says international opinion began to shift with the massive irregularities that dogged the polls and how Raila responded to the development.

"The moment Raila came out as one who was willing to sacrifice his ambition for the sake of the country, opinion shifted. That made a huge difference," he said.

Today, as he leaves, Lone believes there is a good working relationship between the PM and President Kibaki. But he cannot bet on the coalition holding together until the 2012 General Election.

wonder if he'll be naming any names (cough..ranneberger!) in his book. he's been blunt & quite outspoken in the past about u.s. interference elsewhere throughout the world. can't imagine he'll hold too much back in his book, given that he's cut his ties now to the govt in nairobi.

and i'll throw in this remark, from a separate article, b/c it's so accurate & what happened in kenya will likely be touted as a model act, or guidelines, for solving the 'democracy' problem in some countries.

"The Accord was indispensable in our case. But it should not be a model for other African countries. The notion that election fraud committed by the authorities should be followed by power sharing agreement will give the green light to dictators to fix elections," he said.

Posted by: b real | Sep 14 2008 4:49 utc | 21

sudan tribune: Britain & France will support freezing indictment of Sudan president

September 13, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The British and French government will back efforts in the UN to stall the issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudan president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, the Guardian reported today.

The newspaper said that officials from both capitals informed human rights activists that they have taken this stance to protect the peace process in Darfur and Southern Sudan.

The human right advocates said that Britain and France will join the Arab League, African Union, China, and Russia in backing a resolution by the UN General Assembly this month requesting a deferral of the charges against Al-Bashir.

Both UK & France are members of the Hague based court and have been the main advocates of referring the Darfur case to the ICC.
An ICC official speaking to the Guardian said that they would meet UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, to outline the ICC’s position on September 23rd.

It was not clear however if Paris or London intend to table down a formal resolution in the UNSC calling for a suspension or if they would just simply not use their veto power to block it.

Posted by: b real | Sep 14 2008 5:36 utc | 22

this may not get through the filters, but Prolonged Wars, Magyar, going towards that other prescient radio podcast from australia on september 12, 2001

Posted by: Twin Pyramids | Sep 14 2008 6:33 utc | 23

b real The notion that election fraud committed by the authorities should be followed by power sharing agreement will give the green light to dictators to fix elections," he said.

the fascist option of last resort when all else fails for team empire/america.

Posted by: annie | Sep 14 2008 8:18 utc | 24

Spyware wrote, "I’ll stop there and tell you why they became silent: they were scared shitless. They had credit card debt. They had mortgages. They had kids. They were lucky to have jobs that paid above the pittance of a minimum wage."

Yes. And what does that lead to? The young can go out and protest almost anytime without fear -- or very much of it anyway. The older ones with obligations are trapped. Slaves to the system we have built up over centuries. Serfs, but in a different way.

What happens? Do you start agreeing with the system so that you do not feel so guilty at being a spineless worm? Do you build up a rage inside that spills over into everyday life and causes you to kick the dog and yell in traffic?

Do you snap someday and shoot up the office?

What happens?

Posted by: Buckarro | Sep 14 2008 10:25 utc | 25

Buckarro (or should that be Buckaroo?): Yes, I know I bollocks on about the barricades but it’s mostly tongue in cheek. Folks is frightened. The masses (Marx’s darlings: “das lumpen proletariat - what he ungenerously called: “The scum of the earth”) do as they are frightened and herded into doing. Tell ‘em Communism’s bad—bang, it’s bad. Tell ‘em Islam’s bad—bang, that too.

The lexicon of fear words is legion. They get het up about a cause, go on to the streets, raise hell for a couple of hours and then go home and watch TV. They’re angry, they’re indignant, but they’re also powerless. It aint really the system (if it were it would all have changed a long time ago)—they’re made that way. There’s not one heck of a lot they can do about the system, the government, their own lives and that is why they lose it and kick the dog, whack the kids, shout in traffic and sometimes even break out a lever action Winchester 30-30 and kill off their workmates.

But, you know all this We’ve been here before. What we’ve lost, we lost a long time ago in the interests of earning a crust, maybe putting aside a few coppers here and there and just getting on with the mess of living day to day. In the interests of maintaining some sort security (pay, pension, promotion) we have sacrificed any sense of our rôle in the larger community—as being a vital part of it on every level and so we substitute protest demonstrations with presumably like minded persons to give us a sense of belonging and common cause. But, we are all of us really out there on our own and we damn well know it. So—enter blog spot comments pages. Kinda naff but it suits some and it’s a lot safer than having some cop wallop you over with a night stick.

Posted by: Spyware | Sep 14 2008 12:21 utc | 26

spyware would have it, that civic responsibility is impossible - i simply know that is not true. often resistance works in that dialectical way - individual, collective, vanguard - here in france & in reality all over the world- the individual & collective resistance operates at it always does - in leaps & bounds & slips. the absence of a real vanguard is perhaps not such a bad thing because if history has made anthing clear - it is how quickly that vanguard can be comprimised

the lesson of latin america today is that the light that is emerging there came not from a vanguard but form a mass movement. ultimately they have sd they have had enough

perhaps one day - those in the west will possess the same common sense to say they have had enough

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 14 2008 13:50 utc | 27

I think Spyware's comments are valid and necessary. He's basically saying ">Where's The Beef!" He's right, for now, there's just>Big Buns, but no beef.

Posted by: Marilyn | Sep 14 2008 14:17 utc | 28


Seeing as you made the effort:

I'm from the UK as well but living in the States. I'm with you about the barricades, but where are they? I'm up for it but in the context of my local protest movement, up for what? Standing around in a group of 10 nice people on a Saturday morning for an hour on a traffic island? Didn't feel like I was getting anything done. I come to the Moon simply because I know literally two people here I can have a good rant with and sometimes you need to broaden the dialogue. But where are the Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers? Black Mask? I think we're supposed to think Jon Steward is enough.

The fact that I'm not a US citizen and never intended to stay even half as long as I have inevitably makes me less inclined to be a martyr for someone else's country. Again as a Brit it seems totally obvious that something like a nationwide Poll Tax Riot is about to kick off, but having lived here for this long it's also bafflingly clear that it never will.

Yes, I have a piss-poor attitude, but having been chewed up and spit out by the sub-prime thing and all its attendant furies (those are still chewing) I don't have the energy at the moment to summon up a better one.

Hopefully - I've been saying this for years - I'll be back in Europe come the spring, and I'm guessing there will be obvious ways to get involved. At least the concept of protest has some cultural validity over there. To get an idea of what people are up against over here, google some youtube footage of police excesses in Saint Paul - 'girl pepper spray flower RNC' should do it - and read the comments. Not edifying.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 14 2008 14:22 utc | 29

Sarah the patsy Judas goat will be newsworthy 'til three seconds after the election.
Spyware is correct that this blog wears it's cynicism like a twelve-year-old in a superman cape.
Americans have become so enamoured of their own mythology that they've lost the ability to recognise a good man and the courage to support him.
First the presidency, then the rest. Forget how groovy and cool you are, get off your cynical asses and support Obama.

Posted by: waldo | Sep 14 2008 14:50 utc | 30


Support Obama? It's your cynicism that is unbelievable. Too cool and groovy to support a war-mongering corporate stooge? Too fucking right.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 14 2008 14:55 utc | 31

Spyware - @9 - Unlike some I got more to do with my time than sit hunched over Moon Of Alabama waiting for b. to post a fix.

Obviously you had enough time to post four comments in this short thread.

You somehow seem to believe that people have no life beyond commenting and posting here. But you do know nothing about these people. Not one bit. I have met several of them. All are engaged in progressive projects of this or that kind. Barricades? I have build some with my own hands, defended them against water cannons, teargas and pepperspray and guess what, back then we won the cause. Today my methods differ, that doe not mean that I don't fight.

I wonder about the arrogance you expose here. Think something needs to be done, do it. If you don't like 'cheap talk' here, why do you add to it?

Posted by: b | Sep 14 2008 15:43 utc | 32

at the risk of further playing into their games & getting the community too sidetracked,

he's obviously a provocateur - whether for personal jollies, or a more institutionalized spy ware, is his problem

and waldo, well didn't waldo tell us earlier he doesn't even reside in those united states?

the point i mean to interject is know when someone is trying to push some buttons here & decide whether it's worth it to follow them down those deadends

Posted by: b real | Sep 14 2008 16:07 utc | 33

So—voila! stop moaning people. Take a page out of the calendar for 1968. What I’m talking about is public insurrection on a massive scale in towns and cities throughout the United States. Impossible? Don’t you believe it. What happened in Chicago and the Champs-Élysées can happen in their counterparts all over America. Remember: at the time “They” all said it couldn’t happen. You want to change the system? Good. Then pack in covering your bourgeois backsides from the safety of your internet blogs and the pages of all those radical tabloids and go out and man the barricades. You’re all just too precious most of you for anybody to take you as anything more than more of the same.

On a bad, smart-ass paper I wrote exactly fifty years ago, my professor left the following comment: "you are amusing some of the time, petulant most of the time, and wrong all of the time." And this was absolutely true. It's also true for the sentences cited above.

To keep it simple, the notion of the "front" no longer pertains as it used to do. There are no "lines drawn in the sand", no oppositional parties offering apparently contrary options. The topology is entirely different, and to think otherwise--to think in terms of the barricades of 1968, for example--is to bathe in the warm waters of uncritical, unthinking nostalgia.

At some level, the author of the lines cited above knows this all only too well--hence his petulant remarks about the phenomenon of the blog (an excellent, because mysterious, instance of our novel topology). In effect, the internet has completely altered the classical distribution of published and unpublished knowledge and opinion, and a good journalist would take this into account, acknowledging that the scene today is no longer as it was forty years ago. A good journalist would also try to analyze this transformation, and, though bound to fail at the exercise, if only because the necessary (i.e. the adequately descriptive and pertinent) concepts have yet to be developed, he would at least be contributing something of value to the discussion.

Maybe someday he will. Being a creature of hope, I certainly hope so!

Posted by: alabama | Sep 14 2008 16:21 utc | 34

So what colour was Jesus?

Nice to see this, about the same time as the
Willie Horton
, er, uh, Obama waffles crap...

Drill baby drill!

Oh, an another thing, after watching a really bad SNL (w/the exception of Tiny Fey doing a smashup Palin) last night at my friend Lizard's house, it came up in conversation, that the election is only two months away and we have yet to have a debate, a Presidential debate, wtf? I mean really, WTF???

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 14 2008 16:48 utc | 35

some reports in the somali press this w/e on the following announcement

Al-Shabaab tips airport’s closure

The Somali Islamist group, Al-Shabaab, launched Saturday what it describes as a "final warning" before the closure of the Aden Adde airport in Mogadishu, threatening to retaliate against anyone violating their ultimatum.

"Since the airport is regularly used by U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies and also serves as a military base for the Ugandan and Burundian occupation troops, we, the Mujahideen of Al-Shabaab, have taken the decision to close to the airport," said a press release published Saturday on the website of the resistance organization.

"The airport is a major source of the income for the Ethiopian forces who manage it," said the document, adding that Al-Shabaab will begin to implement their decision to close Aden Adde airport Tuesday (16/Ramadaan/1429H or September 16th, 2008). According to the Al-Shabaab fighters, if their orders are ignored, they will then begin to stage attacks on the airport.

"We know that in the near future foreign soldiers are scheduled to arrive at Aden Adde airport, therefore, it must be closed," the communiqué continued.

after midnight tuesday, they will consider any planes trying to use the airport as working for the occupying forces

uganda is scheduled to rotate in fresh AMISOM troops sometime in october

The Spokesperson for the UPDF, Maj. Paddy Ankunda says the new force will replace the current 1,600 UPDF troops currently doing peace keeping duties in Somalia.

Maj. Ankunda says UN peace keeping regulations require that a peace keeping force in operation be withdrawn after six months, and replaced by another peace keeping force.

He says Uganda delayed to change the peace keeping troops who begun their duties early last year because of the dire insecurity in Somalia as well as logistical challenges.

Ankunda says the new peace keeping comprising of 1,600 peace keeping troops has been well trained and is ready for deployment next month in October.

uganda's radio katwe notes that

the Somali mission in Kampala has become a business bureau for Museveni and his family members. The lady who is building a shopping centre next to Garden City is a Somali national called mama Amina, she is also a concubine of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Samuel K. Kutesa. Museveni's half-brother General Salim Saleh is rumoured to have Somali blood in him, that his father was a Kenyan-Somali.

There are some other stories circulating that Museveni was thinking of sending his son, Lt. Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba to Somalia to check on the Ugandan troops there. Other sources say he will be deployed there not to be in charge of the troops but as a way of Museveni giving him combat experience since the son has never been in any truly dangerous situation, and this would be a good chance to put on his record that he is a veteran of the "successful" peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

the rest of that article refers, belatedly, to the u.n. report we linked to back in late spring on UPDF troops selling arms to the somali insurgency. otherwise, it is incorrect in stating that, b/c of this, the insurgency ignores the AMISOM presence & only targets ethiopians. all one has to do is read today's somali press to read of a sunday morning roadside bomb "targeting AMISOM troops in KM 4".

while factions of the resistance may indeed be more conciliatory w/ the ugandans, there have been plenty of stmts from some that occupation is occupation & that AMISOM, rather than being peacekeepers -- what peace? -- support the occupiers & thus are legitimate targets.

on museveni's son, the following is from an article, Are presidents' sons 'taking over' Africa?, in botswana's mmegi from august 22nd

In East Africa, a tragedy is brewing. Unlike Nelson Mandela who sat at the peak of political Kilimanjaro, Mandela and Gen George Washington of the United States did not allow disease, death or defeat to set the terminus of their tenure in office. Uganda's president General Yoweri Museveni in July 2005 raped, scrapped and eventually deleted the constitutional clause that limited presidential tenure to two five-year terms so as to allow him stay in power as long as he wishes (and the West is quiet?). That constitutional amendment ushered him to the presidency in February 2006 but says he is still available to the electorate in February 2011. But more constipating now is his recent comments, at the graduation of his son, "sons of revolutionaries completing the tasks of their fathers." Gen Museveni's only official eldest son, Lt Col Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in June, added to his resume a diploma in military strategies having joined the Kansas-based army college of Fort Leavenworth, the US Army Command and General Staff College, in July 2007.

Before his Leavenworth graduation, Maj Muhoozi was the commander of the elite Presidential Guard Brigade in charge of his father's security. He enrolled into the army in 2001 after a cadet course at Britain's Sandhurst Military Academy and the rank of major was bestowed upon him by 'another revolutionary', Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. That was January 2001 when Gaddafi had joined his friend Gen Museveni in commemorating Museveni's 15th anniversary of his military takeover of power on January 26, 1986. At the same occasion, Col Gaddafi advised Museveni that "revolutionaries" - apparently Museveni and himself - "do not hand over power voluntarily." Following his June graduation and the subsequent promotion to the commissioned officer rank of Lt Col, Muhoozi has been appointed and reassigned by his father to command the 'Special Forces' in charge of guarding the oil fields recently discovered and ready for exploration in Uganda. So with these galloping rates of promotions, it is doubtless the 34-year-old Lt Col is being groomed for higher altitudes, including the presidency, once, when and until probably 'death does; his father apart with leadership', which is a mandate yet Museveni takes it for a career or job!

Posted by: b real | Sep 14 2008 17:02 utc | 36

speaking of nobody doing anything about it check this out.

This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. !!


b real after midnight tuesday, they will consider any planes trying to use the airport as working for the occupying forces

wow, i wonder what kind of retaliation might be in store.

Posted by: annie | Sep 14 2008 17:38 utc | 37

Surgar Weekly English Edition, Afghanistan


1200 insurgent bombings this year

Kabul Surgar

On September 1st, a German ISAF general concluded that government-opposition insurgency attacks have reached their highest levels for the year, with 1200 bombings compared to only 800 in the same period of time last year,
claiming that roadside bombing increased fifty percent in the last eight months. He called the increasing number of bombings a concern, and measurable proof the insurgency is nowhere close to being defeated, despite some
statements by international forces' commanders that the insurgency in Afghanistan had dwindled.

In the last several months, insurgents have increased their attacks, showing they are still in command. Their new bombing tactics have greatly increased the ongoing violence, as in the deadly Sarobi raid which killed and
wounded tens of French soldiers and the first multiple attacks in Sahrah Bagh base in Khost province.

The Afghan government has called an assembly of ministers to address the impact these increased insurgent attacks have on civilian populations, and to evaluate the often excessive response from the international coalition.


Ancient Statue saved from smugglers

Kandahar Surgar

Kandahar culture and information department officials have retrieved a stolen ancient statue, believed to pre-date Islam.

On September 7th, Abdul Majid Babai, head of the department of culture and information in Kandahar, told reporters that the statue was recovered with police assistance in the Sanzari village of Zari district, at the home
of the alleged smuggler.

Ghulam Mohammad is charged with intent to sell the stolen statue for 160000 US dollars to a buyer in neighboring Pakistan. The ancient statue is thought to date from between 1500 to 1800 years ago. According to Mr. Babai,
the statue, a religious prayer artifact, is approximately 65 centimeters by 35 centimeters in size.

The recovery was a great achievement for the Kandahar museum, according to Mr. Babai, who added that such findings are essential for preserving the country's historical record as a great civilization. He explained it's not
yet certain how the statue came to be in Kandahar, but is believed to have come from the central province in Bamiyan.

Mr. Babai pledged to hand over the statue to the culture and information ministry for research, in order to determine its exact antiquity. At the same time, officials in Bamiyan claim to have been discovered a 19 meter
statue believed to be 2000 years old, which was discovered beside others destroyed by the Taliban. Archeological exploration continues in hopes of finding other still-intact pieces.

In 1258 AD the Mongols descended on Baghdad in what is now Iraq, and pillaged its magnificent libraries, renowned in antiquity. A well-known adage states that the Tigris River ran black from the ink of the countless
texts the Mongols destroyed, while the streets ran red with the blood of the city's slaughtered inhabitants, as happened again in 2003 when international allied coalition forces bombed and then looted Baghdad museums,
and slaughtered countless thousands of civilians. Afghans must never let that happen to their priceless heritage, martyred with the destruction of the world-famous Bamiyaan Buddha statues by the fundamentalist Taliban.


Human Rights Office: Civilian deaths unacceptable

Kandahar Surgar

Concerned at the sharp increase in civilian deaths through clandestine air strikes by the international allied coalition forces, the Afghan Human Rights Independent Committee office in Kandahar has insisted on putting an
end to such attacks in a published announcement.

On September 7th, in a report sent to Surgar Weekly Newspaper, the local office claimed that prior to the recent high-publicized attacks, the international coalition was pressured by the Human Rights committees in order
to prevent further civilian killings, but regrettably the number of deaths has risen rapidly as the allied war strategy enters a new, far more intense phase especially along the mountainous territory bordering Pakistan.

Air strikes in Arghandab district of Zabul province and Musa Qala, Nad Ali, Sangin, Kajaki, Waasheer, and Gareshk districts of Helmand province by international forces have left many civilians dead and even more wounded.
While critically condemning the air strikes, both the Human Rights Office and President Karzai demanded an end to such air strikes and said their repetition will be unacceptable in the future. As well, opposition militants
have been called on to stop killing civilians in bomb blasts and suicide attacks, and to avoid using peoples' homes and villages as a protective shield.

The allied command's response, however, has been to stage continuous attacks along with an increase in troops levels, in what is the first phase of a planned three-phase escalation into all-out war, including armed covert
ground and aerial incursions into border areas inside Pakistan and Iran.

The official announcement was ended with conveying condolences to the families' losses.


No music during Ramadan!

Kabul Surgar

As the month of Ramadan comes to a close, the ministry of pilgrims and religious direction of Afghanistan has passed out new rules asking people to observe the restrictions in the Islamic Sharia laws and avoid listening
to music and avoid eating or drinking anything in the daytime in the month of Ramadan.

In another request, the ministry urged all the local TV channels and radio stations to broadcast prayer calls five times a day, and has asked both sides in the war to suspend attacks in the holy month of Ramadan, but the
TV and radio stations have not changed their programming, and fighting continues none the less.


Price controls enacted!

Kabul Surgar

Due to severe problems with the high prices of food in the month of Ramadan, the 24 districts of Kabul city will begin controlling food prices.

while talking at a conference with the districts chiefs on Tuesday September 3rd, Wahabulldin Saadat, city service deputy of Kabul municipality, told reporters that the prices and quality of different items should be
controlled by the municipality, with the help of district officials. According to Saadat, rules will be imposed by appointed officials in the districts in order to control both prices and quality, and anyone found breaking
those rules will face legal action.

Giving a specific example, Saadat told the bakeries if the weight of a single loaf of bread differs from that of the weight designated by the municipality, that bakery will be closed until a future time determined by officials.
In order to have control over city markets, Saadat said, an official request had been sent to the presidential office in Kabul, requesting authorization for the municipality to shut down any store or shop, in cases of rules

In a response to the official requests, the president's office has appointed a committee to agricultural ministry, ministry of economy, ministry of taxes, and the municipality officials.

Lately food prices and costs of other daily needs prices have soared in Kabul, and it is hoped new pricing rules will play a major role in lowering them.


170000 students get literacy education

Kabul Surgar

Based on Afghanistan education ministry officials' claims, one hundred and seventy thousand students, and primarily females, have received literacy education in fourteen thousand different education centers.

In the last seven years, thirty four percent of the population was provided with literacy education, according to the ministry, and it plans to raise the number to fifty per cent in the upcoming year.

In these centers, education is provided to those who don't have access to even the basic reading and writing tools.

According to education ministry deputy Khaleq, speaking at an assembly organized in Kabul about the literacy day, more than thirty hundred thousand uneducated people have received the necessary literacy education
bu the need exists to expand these education centers educate those who are still illiterate. Khaleq talked about leveling teaching program norms with those of international education centers and providing updated
school study programs to future students.

Many Afghans were obliged to be left without an education during the decades-long war, due to lack of facilities, economical poverty, and opposition to secular education by the Taleban, whose forces have burned
girls schools and murdered their teachers.


Foreign troop deaths increasing

Kandahr Surgar

International coalition force leaders in Afghanistan claim the deaths of foreign troops is on the rise. According to them, August alone was the deadliest month since the occupation began, in which 43 foreign soldiers
were killed in militants' attacks.

General Richard Blanchette, the international forces commander in Afghanistan, said the past August was the deadliest month than any other for foreign troops since the 2001 invasion.
In the last eight months of this year, 200 foreign troops have already lost their lives, compared with 230 during the entire year in 2007.

Nine American soldiers died in July, with ten French soldiers' deaths and three Canadian troops losing their lives in August. Militants have increased bombings by 30 percent and new troops are needed to prevent such
attacks. A request has been made to redeploy 4500 new troops to fight Taliban in Afghanistan, and American President Bush has authorized covert incursions into Pakistan and Iran along their borders with Afghanistan.


Last year bad one for journalists

Kabul Surgar

On September 3rd, the Independent Journalists and Defend Journalists committees submitted their annual reports to the media at a news conference.

Mohammad Zia Bumiya, head of the Defend Journalists Committee, told reporters about a new book describing Afghan journalists duties from 2007 to 2008 which will be published later this year.
According to Bumiya, the book will contain vital subjects as well such as journalism related information, publication subjects, newspaper and media progress, and other stories from the media world.

Rahimullah Samandar, head of the international journalist committee, said written reports about cultural events in the country would be included in the upcoming publication. He described some forty
different incidents of forceful beatings of journalists, and said last year was a bad one for Herat journalists. According to him, two female journalists were even obligated to flee their home town
province of Herat and settle abroad in Tajikistan and Qatar. And not just in Herat, but journalists in other provinces of the country like Ghazni, Khost and Nengarhar continue to complain about the
way they are treated by government security officials.

Mr. Samandar called use of force against journalists a concern, and told reporters about the committees' talks with the presidential office, but no official responses have been made yet.


Suicide bomb blasts Kandahar

Kandahar Surgar

Recently two suicide bomb blasts inside the headquarters of the war troubled provincial offices in Kandahar have left tens of people dead and wounded, and greatly increased the level of insecurity.
This was the second biggest attack in Kandahar since the recent attack on the main prison by Taleban militants, which freed hundreds of criminals and political prisoners.

The two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the main police headquarters in Kandahar, once believed to be the safest place with tightest security in the entire province.
Although the exact numbers are not yet clear, two policemen were said to be killed and approximately thirty eight others, including eight civilians, were wounded.

Taliban claimed responsibility while stating that two of their martyred comrades, residents of Zabul and Kandahar provinces, had carried out the attacks. Their claims to have been wounded the fourth
brigade commander of border police, Abdul Raziq Khan, were discounted when the commander assured Surgar Weekly he was in healthy condition suffering minor injuries.

This is not the first time Abdul Raziq has survived attempted suicide attacks.

The suicide attacks occurred after the successful attack on Kandahar prison, following the interior ministry deputy's remarks about inventing new strategies to make better security in the province.
General Muneer Mangal called the new approach towards better security in the province productive, and hoped that future attacks would be prevented in Kandahar.

Posted by: Shah Loam | Sep 14 2008 18:59 utc | 38

How, exactly, is that doing anything about it, Annie? It's great that those women oppose Palin, but did gathering in a park make that so? No. They felt that way before they went out in public and expressed it, and the only way we know that they did was via the Internet because the media is controlled by the Multi-Nationals, and they control the message. Soon enough, the Multi-Nationals will control the Internet. How do we change that, Annie, because that really would be doing something about it. How do we foment a way to take back the mass media and prevent the takeover of the Internet?

Posted by: Marilyn | Sep 14 2008 19:08 utc | 39

And how do we prevent the takeover of the Internet if they keep closing all the Starbucks, and the libraries have to cut back their weekend hours and throttle and censure their Internet bandwidth because the American Taliban is ratcheting up their Global War of Terror until it deficits the entire $2T discretionary budget, not already wholely encumbered by repaying Treasury interest to the Chinese underwriters, what's not directly servicing the open-door Fed bank window, and disappearing $100B's in radioactive waste from the Neo Twin-Tower GSE receiverships now hollowing out the American Dream right before our very eyes!!!

Well, Marilyn, we'll all have a lot of time to sit around our smudge fires under the freeway overpasses and hobo jungles and talk Obama-Clinton up for 2012, because there ain'ta gonna be no soup kitchens and bread lines under Pres'nent Palin, no sir, lessin' you swear on a stack o' Bibles to oppress them'there sinners, gays, evil RTL'rs and other ungodly heathenry, and lead a life filled with "well-intentioned and deserving" humility and gratefulassitude for whatever small urine drops the NeoZi.con Mercy Squad trickles down your back, and says it's 'raining roses and chocolates' on this, your Sabbath day.

Posted by: Tom Terrific | Sep 14 2008 19:56 utc | 40

All with the rubber stamp of a Democratic Congress, right Tom? Or they're just powerless, witless dupes in all of this and somehow Obama/Biden, who are currently part of that Congress, are going to miraculously change their stripes and become non-capitulationists.>Despite the protests of African American members of Congress, Al Gore dutifully ratified the 2000 election results conceding the election to Bush. Al was such a good loser.

Posted by: Marilyn | Sep 14 2008 21:55 utc | 41

Tantalus, b real, if you check back in comments (way back) you'll find me commenting on this blog in a supportive and fraternal manner. The fact I don't comment regularly does not mean that I drop in, shit on the floor and stroll back out just to annoy people. This blog has strayed from it's roots and become anarchistic. Cynicism has become the currency of exchange and this has led to a spiralling negative debate that leads to ludicrous assertions e.g. the current Democratic nominee a "war-mongering corporate stooge".

It's easy to understand Republicans supporting McCain. Fear is their motivator; fear of white supremacy becoming redundant, fear of their priviliged lifestyle and culture being subsumed by immigrants and people of colour, fear of being exposure as pathetic religious hypocrites and being relegated to their deserved inconsequence.

But the basic ethos of the Democratic party is courage and empathy: courage to stand on the side that supports the underpriviliged, the helpless, the simple, the downtrodden. It's easy to sneer at everything, find the worst in everything, to refuse to believe that many people have an honest and positive motivation to support and expand the democracy of America. And Rove would be clapping his hands in glee to see his strategy of smearing the Democratic party being so enthusiastically adopted here.

My support of the real America, the democratic America, the intellectually honest America has not wavered (in the face of fearsome provocation) in 40 years. I know that most people are basically good, caring and honest. Political systems can pervert these traits. Commu/Fascist Russia demonstrated how far. Orwell's 1984 illustrated how even love can be corrupted and destroyed.

America has had eight years of hatred, pessimism and cynicism injected into It's culture and society (and eight more if you include Republican behaviour during the Clinton administration). The GOP inspired attack on America has neutered the courage of many. However, some people will continue to strive for the common good, for intellectual honesty and the true principles of Democracy.

Barack Obama is one of these bright and honest lights in the gloom of war and political perversion. He's is obviously a far-and-away better candidate to lead America than McCain and *shudder* Palin. Refuse to believe it, don't vote or throw it away on a 3rd party candidate and all your fearful imaginings may come true.
In the mean time, continue to indulge your cynicism if you must but if you can't say anything good about Obama, STFU.

Posted by: waldo | Sep 15 2008 2:15 utc | 42


It's not cynicism, mate. It's hope. For. Change.

And change isn't going to come - ever - if everyone shuts the fuck up.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 15 2008 2:52 utc | 43

waldo, you are hilarious. i especially like the part where you state that "the basic ethos of the democratic party is courage and empathy." seriously, with all the depressing economic news breaking today, i needed a real lol moment, and your post provided a much needed respite from the ominous fiscal gloom. so thank you.

here's the part you won't like, because i refuse to STFU when it comes to pointing out what should be obvious to you. obama had his chance to bring his actions in line with his rhetoric, but of course he didn't. or couldn't. to prove he will be a responsible custodian for his corporate paymasters, he turned his back on progressives, and let the groundswell of excitement fizzle as he sauntered to the right. as an anarchistic cynic (i'm lol-ing again--awesome!) i was disappointed, but not surprised.

as for that courageous and empathetic party you think is the panacea for all the ills visited upon us by the nasty GOP, the democrats had their chance to do something after their stunning victories in 2006, but they didn't. or couldn't. and so it goes as the sun sets on this psychotic, brutal nation on the brink of collapse.


tantalus: you're a good man for humoring our friend waldo. i hope fleeing this bestial country becomes a realistic possibility for you.

Posted by: Lizard | Sep 15 2008 4:13 utc | 44

Some fun for r'giap: 'Who the f*** are you to lecture me?': Russian minister's extraordinary rant at David Miliband

David Miliband was subjected to an astonishing four-letter tirade from his Russian counterpart at the height of the Georgia crisis.

The Foreign Secretary received the undiplomatic tongue-lashing over the telephone after expressing the EU's anger with the Kremlin, it was revealed yesterday.

At one point Sergei Lavrov, the colourful Russian foreign minister, became so incensed that he reportedly barked: 'Who the f*** are you to lecture me?'
It came as he put forward objections to the Russian invasion of Georgia following a meeting with EU foreign ministers in Brussels last month.

Posted by: b | Sep 15 2008 8:09 utc | 45

Thanks to b real @ 33 and alabama @ 34, and to b passim. Meanwhile, it looks like financial Armageddon has arrived: just desserts, mere coincidence, powerful occult forces (probably non-U.S.) favoring Obama, or none of the above? The great depression was the formative experience of my parents lives. I've always wondered what it would be like to relive that experience. It now seems entirely possible that millions of U.S. citizens may have that "opportunity".

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 15 2008 9:13 utc | 46

spyware: The perspectives of this tribe are for the most part so narrow, so political personalities focused, so in-the-box as to be beyond naïvety. Introverted? G’wan, why not! Verbal street fighting by a collection of the disaffected...

There is something to that, sure. The pol/perso stuff sometimes irks me yet I am an offender. I have seen up close how small character traits, allegiances, mindsets, rivalries, and all the rest, affect not only group - personal, on the spot, positions as well as 'global' decisions. Going into it may be worthless as with little knowledge the predictive value may be seen as approaching zero. It is giving up political stances and action, for gossip column trivia, if one wants to be negative.

Then what? That’s the important question.

A new political movement? Revolution? Guns and gung-ho? Taking over Fox news? New analysis that might become mainstream? A super snazzy novel world order, run by the WTO? All journalists in the US going on strike? (etc.)

Step up to the plate!

Bloggers are 100% dependent on the mainstream news, Gvmt. papers, stats, etc. though they try and use the best sources they can find (see our host here.) They are part of the mainstream tissue, network and can’t escape it - that is what everyone everywhere is exposed to and acts upon.

Post modernism and deconstructionism - college type labels - that is an easy dig, they are not prevalent on this board, and moreover are not at all new despite their recent tags.. *Radical chic*, as you must know as a journalist, is an empty moniker that serves to describe a tiny group - called the caviar left belonging to the ‘arts’ crowd (fashion, home markets, art, etc. sweet easy satire, publicity...) and moreover it is outdated by now. It is an 80’s term.

Posted by: Tangerine | Sep 15 2008 12:47 utc | 47

Thanks, Lizard! I don't know why I bother, honestly...

What's not to love? This blog has strayed from it's roots and become anarchistic...


Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 15 2008 12:54 utc | 48

Having said that, I don't know if this and other blogs like it (are there other blogs like it?) have such a tiny impact. It's out there, it's linked, it's read.

In these debased times, intelligent debate might actually be the new Situationalism. And for the life of me I can't see how MoA could ever be tagged anarchistic...

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 15 2008 12:58 utc | 49


Oh--I am so yesterday!

Posted by: Spyware | Sep 15 2008 15:52 utc | 50

b@45 merci

what a tool, what a sorry excuse for a son - these puffed up onces mist all go to the same skin specialist

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 15 2008 17:21 utc | 51

breal & b

there is a diary on dkos about chavez - read the commentary & these are supposed to be 'people of the left' - 'left' in the space between joseph mcarthy & roy cohn

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 15 2008 18:10 utc | 52

i'll have to check it out a little later - not after i just finished eating lunch ;-)

colombia journal: The Final Offensive for the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is a Stark Contrast to Other Developments in the Hemisphere

While the eyes of the world focus on the internal crisis in Bolivia and the unfolding tensions in the Andean region, the pro-Bush government of Colombia is engaged in one of its most intensive lobbying efforts in recent memory, a full court press that will culminate with the visit next week of President Alvaro Uribe to Washington. It is amazing how in one country of the hemisphere, an indigenous president, Evo Morales, is openly confronting the United States, accusing it of meddling in its internal affairs by fomenting unrest in the state of Santa Cruz, while in another the president is stopping at nothing to get even closer to the Bush-McCain regime.
The latest effort can be seen in Uribe’s unprecedented lobbying onslaught in Washington, focused on the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which, according to government officials in Bogotá, still has a chance of getting passed by the US Congress before they pack their bags for the year.

With this in mind, a delegation of over 70 representatives from different sectors of Colombian society, including businessmen, elected officials, students, trade unionists and Afro-Colombian and indigenous representatives, are in Washington meeting with members of Congress—both Republican and Democrat—to promote the merits of the US-Colombia FTA. The delegation was led by Colombia’s Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata, who said the purpose of the massive lobbying effort was to generate the maximum pressure possible on the US Congress to finally approve the FTA. “We cannot wait until the last minute for this,” one official traveling as part of the delegation told the daily newspaper El Tiempo. “There’s a window of opportunity and we need to take advantage of this now.”
As his lobbyists flood the halls of Congress under the radar screen, touting the benefits of the FTA to US lawmakers, Uribe can once again point to his regime as the one loyal and stable friend in an increasingly hostile hemisphere, one that must be rewarded with a trade deal that benefits everybody. No doubt, such a message will have resonance with some lawmakers, given the current context. And unless one pays close attention to the brilliant media packaging of this delegation, it’s easy to accept at face value the pro-FTA arguments that they are presenting.

Posted by: b real | Sep 15 2008 18:47 utc | 53

frida berrigan @ tom dispatch: Military Industrial Complex 2.0: Cubicle Mercenaries, Subcontracting Warriors, and Other Phenomena of a Privatizing Pentagon

Consider the following: In fiscal year 2005 (the last year for which full data is available), the Pentagon spent more contracting for services with private companies than on supplies and equipment -- including major weapons systems. This figure has been steadily rising over the past 10 years. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, in the last decade the amount the Pentagon has paid out to private companies for services has increased by 78% in real terms. In fiscal year 2006, those services contracts totaled more than $151 billion.

Ever more frequently, we hear generals and politicians alike bemoan the state of the military. Their conclusion: The wear and tear of the President's Global War on Terror has pushed the military to the breaking point. But private contractors are playing a different tune. Think of it this way: While the military cannot stay properly supplied, its suppliers are racking up contracts in the multi-billions. For them, it's a matter of letting the good times roll.
Consider fiscal year 2001, which conveniently ended in September of that year. It serves as a good, pre-War on Terror baseline for grasping just how the Pentagon expanded ever since -- and how much more it is paying out to private contractors today.

Back then, the Pentagon's top 10 suppliers shared $58.7 billion in Department of Defense (DoD) contracts, out of a total of $144 billion that went to the top 100 Pentagon contractors. Number 100 on the list was The Carlyle Group with $145 million in contracts. Keep in mind, of course, that this was the price of "defense" for a nation with no superpower rival.

Fast forward to 2007 and the top 10 companies on the Pentagon's list of private contractors were sharing $125 billion in DoD contracts, out of a total of $239 billion being shared among the top 100 contractors. The smallest contract among those 100 was awarded to ARINC and came in at $495 million.

In those seven years, in other words, contracts to the top 10 more than doubled, the size of the total pay-out pie increased by two-thirds, and the lowest contract among the top 100 went up almost four-fold.

Just as revealing, almost half the companies on the Pentagon's Top 100 list in 2007 were not even on it seven years earlier, including McKesson, which took in a hefty $4.6 billion in contracts and MacAndrews and Forbes which garnered $3.3 billion.

And here's a fact that makes sense of all of the above: Given the spectrum of services offered and the level of integration that has already taken place between the Pentagon and these private companies, the United States can no longer wage a war or even run payroll without them.

Posted by: b real | Sep 15 2008 18:56 utc | 54

daily nation: Darfur rebels to get US aid, says news agency

The Bush Administration pledged to provide Darfur’s JEM (Justice and Equality Movement) rebels led by Mr Khalil Ibrahim with military assistance as a part of Washington’s plan to deal with situations in Sudan in general and Darfur issue in particular.

According to Information gained by the Sudan Media Centre in London, a meeting was held between JEM leaders, namely Jibril Ibrahim, the movement’s leader’s brother, Altahir Alfakki and Haroun Abdulhameed and Mr Bejy Tchenny, allegedly a Pentagon official in a central London hotel.

The JEM leaders demanded that the Pentagon provide them with military assistance and training.

The US official lauded the movement’s commitment to the goal of removing the Khartoum regime due to its failure to commit to its agreements and pledges.

Mr Tcheny promised future cooperation with JEM, confirming his keenness to convey the issues discussed in the meeting to the US department, namely the Pentagon, to consider the possibilities of providing JEM movement with military and logistic support.

i don't see any such story at the english version of the SMC & nothing on it at the sudan tribune today. the u.s. has been meeting regularly w/ various rebel groups & are already (still) supplying some, from what i've read, through chad, uganda, etc

Posted by: b real | Sep 16 2008 3:14 utc | 55

the economist basically comes to the same conclusion we have touched on here on several occassions wrt exaggeration of "al-qa-idah in the mahgreb" by the press/GWOT & so-called 'terrorism' experts

A real network of terror? Al-Qaeda’s claims to have a network in the Maghreb are probably premature

..does AQIM really exist as a co-ordinated regional organisation?

So far there is little evidence that it does. Until now, nearly all of AQIM’s claimed attacks have been in a rectangle of land to the east of Algeria’s capital, Algiers. (The GSPC, from which AQIM has emerged, is a ruthless remnant from the civil war which began after the Algerian army stepped in to prevent Islamists from taking over after they had won the first round of an election in December 1991, thereby prompting a decade of strife that left as many as 200,000 people dead.) In this mountainous zone, clashes between AQIM fighters and Algerian security forces are occurring almost every day. Whenever the authorities claim a big victory, AQIM invariably sets off a suicide-bomb or a remote-controlled explosion, usually aimed at Algerian forces, sometimes at foreigners. AQIM said it was behind the double bombing last December of the UN offices in Algiers and a court house, killing more than 40 people.

But AQIM’s presence elsewhere in the region is fuzzier. In Algeria, says George Joffé, a north Africa specialist at Cambridge University, there is “constant low-level violence, a bit like in Colombia”. But he doubts that AQIM is a “coherent regional organisation, more a series of groups with national agendas and a common ideology”. He discounts the idea that they are controlled by al-Qaeda’s leaders on the Afghan-Pakistan border.
..Wolfram Lacher, an analyst for Control Risks, a security consultancy with headquarters in London ... says ... “On the whole, Algeria is the only country in the region which hosts a large and active terrorist organisation. In the other countries, such organisations are not able to survive, due to the tight control of the security forces.”

the article concludes,

But governments in the Maghreb are certainly trying to stir Western anxieties in order to get more American and European cash and support.

w/ more than a little encouragement from the west, no doubt

Posted by: b real | Sep 16 2008 4:39 utc | 56

For Maxcrat and others following the Aifa Siddiqui case, John Young has added some new documents at his Cryptome site. In particular, one learns in passing that after that Mrs. Siddiqui completed her doctorate at Brandeis University, hardly a hot-bed of Taliban activism or sharia.

This case certainly deserves further airing and wider public attention.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 16 2008 7:54 utc | 57

Bob Woodword, eh! Pathetic beyond comment. Go read Chris Floyd.

In a TV appearance to puff the book, Woodward celebrated the arbitrary murder, by methods unknown, of people designated "terrorists," by criteria unknown, as "a wonderful example of American ingenuity solving a problem in war, as we often have."

Posted by: DM | Sep 16 2008 11:05 utc | 58

@Hanna - Aifa Siddiqui - Aafia’s son reaches Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The young son of detained Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Muhammad Ahmed, reached Pakistan safely from Kabulon Monday evening by a PIA commercial flight.

“The Afghan government handed over Muhammad Ahmed to a senior official of the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul and he arrived in Islamabad and was received by Director-General of the Afghan desk at the Foreign Ministry, Rafi Zaman,” the Foreign Office spokesman told The News. Ahmed has been handed over to Fauzia Suddiqqui, sister of Dr Aafia.
It may be mentioned here that US officials claimed to have arrested Dr Aafia and her three children from Ghazni this July. One of them has since died while there is no information about her daughter whether or not she would be handed over to Pakistani officials.

Posted by: b | Sep 16 2008 11:39 utc | 59

This Wikipedia article seems to be a good starting point for the basic information on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. As always, what is reported there should not be taken as Gospel. I don't know the truth in this case, but there's enough stench of illegality, kidnapping, and torture to raise legitimate suspicions of yet another miscarriage of justice.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 16 2008 12:46 utc | 60>More coup talk coming out of Iraq. At this point I think every major Iraqi party has acknowledged the possibility of a military coup. Remember this talk was first started by Steve Biddle back in June, and ahead of the (supposed) July SOFA deadline.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 16 2008 18:17 utc | 61

ips: Leaders Express Full Support for Bolivia’s Morales

SANTIAGO, Sep 16 (IPS) - After an emergency summit in the Chilean capital, the presidents of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) expressed their resounding support for the government of Bolivia and decided to set up commissions to support talks and to investigate recent killings in that country, which is caught in a wave of political unrest.

"The member countries of UNASUR express their fullest and most decisive support for the constitutional government of President Evo Morales," says the statement unanimously approved by the presidents, which was read out by host President Michelle Bachelet at around midnight Monday after the six-hour meeting.

Along with Morales, the emergency meeting brought together centre-left and leftwing presidents Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Cristina Fernández of Argentina, as well as rightwing President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia, Peruvian Foreign Minister José Antonio García Belaúnde in representation of President Alan García, and delegates from Guyana and Suriname.

The governments of South America "vigorously reject and will not grant recognition to any situation that implies a civil coup or the rupture of the institutional order, or that will undermine the territorial integrity of the republic of Bolivia," Bachelet read.

UNASUR also issued a call to all concerned political and social factions in Bolivia to take the necessary measures to stop the violence in that country and to reach a "lasting solution."

The fledgling South American bloc, which groups the 12 countries of South America, also vigorously condemned the attacks on public institutions and the murders of indigenous supporters of Morales in the northern Bolivian province of Pando, where more than 30 people were killed and dozens are still missing.
Both Bachelet and Morales underscored the role played by UNASUR in the first crisis that it has faced since its formal creation on May 23 in Brasilia.

"After this lengthy but very fruitful meeting, and the agreements reached, UNASUR has been consolidated," said Chile’s leader.

In a press conference, Morales said he was pleasantly "surprised by the solidarity" expressed by the 12 governments represented at the special summit, and expressed gratitude for "the firm position to defend the democracy and unity of the Bolivian nation."

others elsewhere point out that UNASUR was the obvious choice, rather than the OAS, in order to limit u.s. interference

The UNASUR emergency meeting was officially called over the weekend by Bachelet, as president pro tempore of the regional bloc. ... After flying in to Chile from Ecuador, Correa said that "we will see here if integration is real or just more blah blah blah."

"We all know perfectly well what is going on in Bolivia; hypocrisy has no place here. Phantoms that we thought were banished from the region are appearing again in other forms, in other clothing, as other ghosts, but they are the same spectres as before," he said.

For his part, Chávez said that "35 years ago this continent stayed silent, the governments of the Americas kept mum," when Chile’s socialist president Salvador Allende (1970-1973) was overthrown in a coup that gave rise to the 1973-1990 dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

"In Bolivia there is an international conspiracy taking place, a conspiracy directed by the U.S. empire, just as occurred in Chile" in 1973, he said.
Although UNASUR was created only four months ago and does not yet have fully formed official institutions, "it could become an important forum for dialogue," because it groups the countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and Andean Community trade blocs, University of Chile Professor Paz Milet told IPS.

Posted by: b real | Sep 16 2008 18:39 utc | 62

b real @ 62

that sure does sound good. as I despair at the rotting of our north american culture, it is quite refreshing to see the south americans finally getting their collective acts together and push back against the invaders.

I do wish them luck and perseverance

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 16 2008 18:56 utc | 63

b real & dan

i have been trying to watch this closely - feeling at some levels it has felt like the months before september 11 in 1973 in chile - clearly, that is what the empire wants - i hope over hope that the solidarity between these latin american countries can forestall any american adventure

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 16 2008 20:01 utc | 64

bolivia vs empire

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 16 2008 21:14 utc | 65

inca kola news: The thing to take away from the Unasur declaration

The declaration hammered out by the Unasur heads of state last night is, I believe, one of those moments in history that is not recognized as such until much later (text in English and Spanish linked here). For sure the resolution was about the current unrest in Bolivia, but after reading it through several times I've been struck by its recognition of Latin America's turbulent past and the declaration's mature, forward-looking tone. What it's really saying to the world is something far more important than "hey, Santa Cruz, stop being jerks" (vitally important though that is). The Moneda Declaration says to the world









coha: Bolivia: A Profound Breakdown of Communication with Latin America

UNASUR’s Debuting Role

If such a re-positioning does not happen soon, it may well be too late for Washington to develop cooperative and mutually beneficial policies. Latin American-led trade agreements such as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) could appear more sensitive and better adapted to regional well-being than any U.S.-crafted free trade agreement with nations that are too weak, like Costa Rica and Panama, to defend their authentic self-interests against subsidized U.S. farm products. Also, the fledgling Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) joins the Organization of American States as a multilateral, democratic body capable of facilitating regional integration and conflict resolution. The difference is, of course, that the former does not include the U.S. as a member. It is this stunning difference that ultimately could lead to the supplanting of the OAS by UNASUR a development that would be sure to lead to the return of Cuba to a major regional body. At its September 15 emergency meeting on the Bolivia crisis in Santiago demonstrates, the leaders of this multilateral organization are capable of engaging in constructive and balanced dialogue that is certain to profoundly affect the separatists. Refusing to fall prey to the mudslinging in which U.S. diplomacy frequently engages, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa dismissed probing by the press into the possibility of covert U.S. intervention in Bolivia, a charge that Correa himself was not making in other contexts, and he reiterated the support of member states to the restoration of order and preservation of unity in Bolivia.

and more positive news from inca kola news
Bolivia round-up

Posted by: b real | Sep 16 2008 22:05 utc | 66

HKOL @57 - thanks for the cryptome update on Aafia Siddiqui's case. It just doesn't add up.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 17 2008 0:01 utc | 67

This article in one of the Pakistani newspapers today describes Aafia Siddiqui's son's release to an aunt in Pakistan. An Afghan government official in the article claims that this is not the son that disappeared with her and two other children from Karachi back in 2003, but instead is an orphan she adopted in 2005 after the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region. Elsewhere in the article it says the U.S. has been searching for her as a dangerous terrorist since 2003, so it is hard to see how she somehow managed to adopt an orphan in 2005 without the notice of anyone in officialdom.

The most interesting item, and something I had not read anywhere else before, is at the end. The article asserts that Aafia Siddiqui's husband is a nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammad and is being held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay. If true, one can't help but wonder if she has been apprehended and held (and perhaps her husband as well) by the USG to apply pressure on KSM.

Still looking for more pieces of this puzzle, but it really smells bad.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 17 2008 0:54 utc | 68

god, aljazeera loves to suck some state dept/centcom cock - it'd most probably be clearer if i read thepress releases coming from either the state dept or centcom

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 17 2008 1:22 utc | 69

"But that was back when I was more naive, and actually believed that the electoral process could really bring about fundamental change in this country. Camejo never lost that naivete. For a positive personal recollection of Camejo, please read this one by the As'ad Abukhalil, the Angry Arab. Turns out that Camejo had the intelligence and integrity to solicit Abukhalil as a candidate to run against Diane Feinstein for the Senate.

Abukhalil appreciated the offer, but being an anarchist, declined. His explanation resonates with my current attitude about the political process: Furthermore, I do not, as an anarchist, believe in the American political and electoral systems, and thus do not harbor hopes, or illusions, of change "from within" so to say, although I remain optimistic of the prospects for progressive change on a global scale, affecting us here in the US." -American Leftist

Posted by: waldo | Sep 17 2008 1:27 utc | 70

Waldo, why would an anarchist believe in electoral and indeed conventional political systems? I don't understand your quote. Are you saying Abukhalil sinned by rejecting the US process, a sin that we here at the Moon are also guilty of? Sounds like he did as his conscience dictated. As far as optimism about prospects for progressive change on a global scale, if Abukhalil is saying that isn't going to come from the USA, he's right.

I'll stick my neck out and say that the majority here are expressing their dissatisfaction with the political options available vis a vis candidates and parties, not the underlying structure. If you don't feel that you're represented, you aren't. Democracy, while requiring realism and a certain grasp, on the part of the electorate, of realpolitik, can't function indefinitely if it requires the level of willing suspension of disbelief that the current American system asks of 'we the people.'

I'm not quite an anarchist, but I am a socialist, and the idea that I am represented in the current US system in any way is laughable, as is the notion that the Democratic candidate will in some way morph into a bringer of 'progressive change.' Anarchism or magical thinking - is that really the choice, as you see it?

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 17 2008 2:45 utc | 71

I lifted this quote from another site. Hunter S. Thompson is the author, and he wrote the following eight years ago:

No sir, not a chance. Mr. Jones does not even pretend to know what's happening in America Right now, and neither does anyone else.

We have seen weird Times in this country before, but the year 2000 is beginning to look super weird. This time there really is nobody flying the plane ... We are living in dangerously weird times now. Smart people just shrug and admit they're dazed and confused. The only ones left with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.

The autumn months are never a calm time in America. Back to Work, Back to Football Practice, etc....Autumn is a very Traditional period, a time of strong Rituals and the celebrating of strange annual holidays like Halloween and Satanism and the fateful Harvest Moon, which can have ominous implications for some people.

Autumn is always a time of Fear and Greed and Hoarding for the winter coming on. Debt collectors are active on old people and fleece the weak and helpless. They want to lay in enough cash to weather the known horrors of January and February. There is always a rash of kidnapping and abductions of schoolchildren in the football months. Preteens of both sexes are traditionally seized and grabbed off the streets by gangs of organized perverts who traditionally give them as Christmas gifts to each other to be personal sex slaves and playthings.

Most of these things are obviously Wrong and Evil and Ugly — but at least they are Traditional. They will happen. Your driveway will ice over, your furnace will blow up, and you will be rammed in traffic by an uninsured driver in a stolen car.

But what the hell? That's why we have Insurance, eh? And the Inevitability of these nightmares is what makes them so reassuring. Life will go on, for good or ill. But some things are forever, right? The structure may be a little Crooked, but the foundations are still strong and unshakable.

Ho ho. Think again, buster. Look around you. There is an eerie sense of Panic in the air, a silent Fear and uncertainty that comes with once-reliable faiths and truths and solid Institutions that are no longer safe to believe in. ... There is a Presidential Election, right on schedule, but somehow there is no President. A new Congress is elected, like always, but somehow there is no real Congress at all — not as we knew it, anyway, and whatever passes for Congress will be as helpless and weak as whoever has to pass for the "New President."

Posted by: Lizard | Sep 17 2008 3:30 utc | 72

heh. some news highlighting the continuing clusterf_ck that is AFRICOM

stars & stripes: Stuttgart community gets update on HQ renovations

[Army Col. & U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart commander Richard] Pastore has heard word that people in the Stuttgart community are blaming the influx of AFRICOM personnel for long lines and delays.

"Nonsense," he said. "What we have to do is work together as a community, as a team, and we can get all this done. I can assure you. Word has gone out to the entire garrison staff that I better not hear any of that coming out of their mouths. … Feel free if you’ve got people out there saying stuff like that, check ‘em up."

any regulars from germany seen any stories on community complaints? last year there were stories about how parents on the base were upset over issues involving the influx of personnel associated w/ the new combatant command & how it was affecting the limited schooling there.

but it's only fitting for AFRICOM's HQ to not even be wanted on a frickin' military base!

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2008 4:27 utc | 73

oops. guess i was chuckling too much to notice that i forgot to paste the url into that link...

sorry 'bout dat - Stuttgart community gets update on HQ renovations

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2008 4:32 utc | 74

Body exhumed by scientists to help fight against flu

"Ready or not, a flu pandemic is coming", says Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She said CDC scientists have created a potential vaccine in case the virus develops into a pandemic strain and are conducting more research to develop a vaccine. They have recreated the virus that caused the 1918 flu pandemic to better understand it.

April 6, 1917:
* US declares war on Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire.
* American men are drafted into military service and deployed for training in Spain
* ALL NEW RECRUITS ARE GIVEN MANDATORY VACCINATIONS — One of which is a “broad-spectrum” live virus influenza vaccination
* Rockefeller makes millions in vaccine sales while consolidating Standard Oil contracts worldwide
* The first British soldiers committed to World War I are deployed to Iraq to protect American oil interests there
* Following mass vaccine injections, U.S. soldiers are crowded into troop ships and sent to “train” in Spain. Seasick, stressed soldiers aged 18-34 exhibit influenza symptoms on the voyage
* Immediately after arriving in Spain, U.S. soldiers are “trained”, that is, exposed to, the various forms of gas they will experience in the trenches in France
* Exposure to these highly toxic gases causes the live-virus influenza organisms to mutate into an extremely lethal, and highly communicable, form of virus
* Millions of young, healthy men and women aged 18-34 die worldwide as a result of vaccinations combined with novel and highly toxic chemicals
March 1997:
* Zero confirmed “H5N1″ human cases exist anywhere in the word
* The U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Ft. Detrick, Rockville, Maryland, the US research center for biological weaponry, commissions Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger to lead a research team to ISOLATE the 1918 Flu Virus’ genetic code, the most lethal pathogen in history
Aug. 24, 1997:
* Brevig, Alaska. Research Team member Johan Hultin sends well-preserved 1918 flu virus specimens (from a frozen body killed by the 1918 flu) to Dr. Taubenberger’s lab in Maryland.
* Days later, Taubenberger detects the genetic fragments for which he has been searching.
* The 1918 virus’ RNA-based gene fragments are analyzed by computer sequencing in order to reveal its complete genetic code. Even with a super-computer, this code sequencing will take years to complete.
October, 2003:
* Taubenberger’s team finally deciphers the deadly 1918 flu virus’ entire genetic code - completing a 6 year project.
* Taubenberger’s colleague, R.G. Webster, publishes article in American Scientist Magazine declaring: “The world is teetering on the edge of a flu pandemic that could kill a large fraction of the human population”.
June, 2005:
* At Rockefeller controlled Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, Taubenberger, Peter Palese and Adolfo Garcia-Sastro create plasmids, or DNA rings, from the 1918 killer virus, permanently “stabilizing” its genetic material for use as a biological weapon
* This is the final step in revitalizing the deadly pathogen but the press is told tit will only to be used as a “vaccination tool” - even though the disease is currently non-existent.
August, 2005:
* Taugenberger’s team inserts plasmids into human kidney cells which then transfers human DNA into the virus making it “human specific”
* The 1918 virus, responsible for the death of millions around the world is now ready for use by humans
Sept. 9, 2005:
* The UN in New York City issues a world-wide press release introducing David Nabarro as the “UN System Senior Coordinator for Avian, Human Influenza”.
Sept. 29, 2005:
* Nabarro issues an “Official U.N. Warning” that “an outbreak of ‘avian influenza’ would kill between 5 million and 150 million people on each continent.”
Oct. 2005:
* Pres. Bush’s newly appointed secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS, the parent organization of both the CDC and the FDA), former Utah Governor Mike O. Leavitt, intensifies multibillion Pandemic Bird Flu preparations
Dec. 2005:
* Bush solicits Congress for $7.1 Billion to fund “preparations” — $3.3 billion is immediately allocated to Leavitt’s HHS
January 24, 2006
* Department of Homeland Security awards KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, a $385 million contract for US detention centers
Jan. 2006:
* Leavitt launches website which he says: “Let me be clear. It is only a matter of time before we discover H5N1 in America. The migration patterns of the wild fowl that carry the virus makes it appearance here almost inevitable!”
* China hosts the “International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Influenza” in Beijing and is promised massive sums of money from the west — Leavitt alone commits $334 million in funds to aid China’s research into “vaccine development”.
* Leavitt has a long history of fostering Chinese trade activities as Utah’s Governor
March 2006:
* Breaking new ground, Leavitt’s HHS allocates funds to a private television network to produce a “made-for-TV” movie about the “bird flu”
* Leavitt jokes that he wants “the handsomest actor” to play his character
* Leavitt declares on HHS website (exactly as John D. Rockefeller declared in 1916): “The best defense against influenza is VACCINATION.”
* Leavitt further declares: “The current U.S. capacity for manufacturing egg-based vaccines is not sufficient to supply our entire population. HHS is supporting research into [human kidney] cell-based vaccine manufacture of producing vaccine domestically
April, 2006:
* HHS announces a $97 million contract for the development of cell-based flu vaccine.
* Leavitt declares: “The FDA can use its Emergency Use Authorization authority to permit the use of unapproved products if there’s a reasonable belief the products may be effective.”
* 32 states pass laws which make resisting inoculation once ordered by the governor a felony.
* These laws join Patriot Act I, II, BARDA, BIOSHIELD I, II in making drug treatment and inoculation mandatory once a Pandemic is called.
* Unlimited quarantine without review is mandated under these laws for those who resist inoculation under Pandemic conditions.
* Fully staffed, empty detention centers exist all over North America. The largest, in Alaska, is rumored to have a 2.5 million person capacity.
December, 2006
* New York Times reports Gulf War Syndrome positively linked to vaccination of Veterans.
* More than 100,000 vets contracted the syndrome during the 1991 Desert Storm Operation.
* More than 20,000 vets have died to date from this syndrome believed to be triggered by squalene, a vaccine “adjuvant.”
* All modern vaccines contain squalene
April 17, 2007:
* The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) branch of HHS utilizes its Emergency Use Authorization authority and awards a license to produce H5N1 “Bird Flu” vaccines to Sanofi-Pasteur.

was watching maroonspoon site with the local channels, jUST AS Martial Law IS BEING considered in Galveston, Texas they toured UTMB with one of the hospital officials who said it will be at least a MONTH before UTMB re-opens. UTMB is home to a top-level biodefense laboratory researching killer viruses

Martial law is when military judges replace civilian judges in the courts. In strict dictionary terms, martial law is the suspension of civil authority and the imposition of military authority. When we say a region or country is "under martial law," we mean to say that the military is in control of the area, that it acts as the police, as the courts, as the legislature.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 17 2008 4:35 utc | 75

gotta like this (even though the blogger has a problem w/ it)

inner city press: At UN, Nicaraguan Priest Takes Helm and Swings Left

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 -- A priest has taken the reins of the UN General Assembly, and Tuesday he preached peace and love. But Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann at his post-preach press conference, when Inner City Press asked the first question about what he will do to defuse what's been called the New Cold War, said that there are many more serious issues than Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Georgia, the ones Inner City Press listed from this summer.

Iraq, d'Escoto said, do you know how many people have been killed there? He cited the Lancet, as he had to journalists throughout the week. When asked by another reporter if he equated Russia in Georgia with the U.S. in Iraq, as wars of aggression, d'Escoto touched his hearing aid and said he hadn't heard right, was the question if Georgia's entry into South Ossetia was an aggression and against the UN Charter. Of course, he said.

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2008 4:56 utc | 76

oh and yea, the new top 25 under-reported stories for 2008 according to project censored will be published oct 1st and their #1 pick is a series of stories on the massive numbers of iraqis killed & displaced by the united states war of aggression

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2008 5:01 utc | 77

and, the inner city press article i linked above didn't mention it, but d'escoto, of course, was the foreign minister for the sandinista govt back in the eighties & a liberation theologist

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2008 5:04 utc | 78

their #1 pick is a series of stories on the massive numbers of iraqis killed & displaced by the united states war of aggression

finally someone is giving them the attention they deserve. project censored rocks

Posted by: annie | Sep 17 2008 5:17 utc | 79

i'm listening uncle.

though i'm afraid many of us still lack the diabolical imagination to really appreciate what these old lines of sociopaths are capable of.

Posted by: Lizard | Sep 17 2008 6:18 utc | 80

Columbia: Witness Ties Colombian General to Paramilitaries

a former paramilitary fighter has said in special judicial proceedings that Montoya, who heads Colombia's army, collaborated with death squads that took control of this city's poor neighborhoods from the guerrillas a few years ago. His testimony, along with that of at least four paramilitary commanders, is illuminating the links between Colombia's potent, U.S.-backed military and its brutal paramilitary proxies.
Videotaped testimony by Luis Adrián Palacio, made during two days of closed-door hearings in August and viewed by The Washington Post, has prompted the attorney general's office in Bogota to open a preliminary criminal investigation of the allegations against Montoya, senior investigative officials said.
Palacio's testimony comes after several jailed paramilitary commanders, recounting their crimes as part of a government-supervised disarmament of militias, have implicated 30 military officers and police officials. Taken together, testimony by the former fighters shows how some commanders of an army that has for years received U.S. military hardware and training may have collaborated more closely than previously thought with death squads in the 1990s and the early part of this decade.

Posted by: b | Sep 17 2008 6:47 utc | 81

b: at what point do the details become an impenetrable white noise?

Posted by: Lizard | Sep 17 2008 6:56 utc | 82

Three and a half month unsuccessful work - $8.7 million

From the NYT peiece linked above:

Robert B. Willumstad, who became A.I.G.’s chief executive in June, will be succeeded by Edward M. Liddy, the former chairman of the Allstate Corporation. Under the terms of his employment contract with A.I.G., Mr. Willumstad could receive an exit package worth as much as $8.7 million if his removal is determined to be “without cause,” according to an analysis by James F. Reda and Associates.

Posted by: b | Sep 17 2008 7:18 utc | 83

uncle #75, Lizard #80, yes indeedy.

From uncle's timeline (October '03), I googled American Scientist, because I believe at that time the 1918 flu DNA sequence was published, (to help other scientists prepare vaccines of course, not to give the famous terrorists a leg up), was curious if it was here. Still don't know, am not paying the $12 for a pdf (hell, that's 1.75 liters of vodka retail), but if I had some of that mysterious terrorist funding, $12 (8.45 euros) for info that took a super-computer years to deduce? Happy happy terrorist, lap dances all around.

This is the abstract:

In 1997 the world came perilously close to a global epidemic of the "flu." If this particular virus had attained the ability to spread from person to person, the pandemic might have taken the lives of a third of the human population. As it was, only six people died—and all of them had contracted the virus from chickens sold in Hong Kong poultry markets. The only thing that saved us was the quick thinking of scientists who convinced health authorities to slaughter more than a million domesticated fowl in the city's markets. The avian virus turned out to be a new strain—one that the human population had never seen before. Webster, one of the scientists who consulted Hong Kong authorities in 1997, and Walker tell a horrific tale: These new, deadly strains arise a few times every century, and the next one is around the corner.>link

What I love is the "the quick thinking of scientists" line. Holy obviousness, Batman. (And of course, quick thinking leads to slaughter.)

Lizard #72, yes, especially HST's

Autumn is always a time of Fear and Greed and Hoarding for the winter coming on. Debt collectors are active on old people and fleece the weak and helpless. They want to lay in enough cash to weather the known horrors of January and February. There is always a rash of kidnapping and abductions of schoolchildren in the football months. Preteens of both sexes are traditionally seized and grabbed off the streets by gangs of organized perverts who traditionally give them as Christmas gifts to each other to be personal sex slaves and playthings.

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 17 2008 11:02 utc | 84

re b's #81, i posted some materials expanding on those connections of montoya (on the right) back in july here

there's a small battle going on in dc over the so-called free trade agreement w/ colombia & wapo picking this up is probably related to it

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2008 14:26 utc | 85

lion lying down with us lambs.>Riding out Ike on an island, with a lion


I particularly like the comments. 95% on the first 3 pages are near this "I wish I was there! sounds like fun" (on 3rd page, towards bottom, Wednesday, September 17, 2008 1:28 AM))

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 17 2008 16:32 utc | 86

Surgar Weekly, English Version, Afghanistan

More women taking drugs

Kandahar Surgar

With essentially no Afghan women's rights and the other social
issues of poverty, lack of education and unemployment, more women
in Kandahar are taking drugs, women department officials claim.

On September 14th, Kandahar women department director Aghli Rana
Tarin told Surgar weekly about their upcoming training programs, in
order to counsel women against taking drugs. According to Ms. Tarin,
two foreign-funded institutional programs have kicked off, retraining
fifty drug-addicted women in order to avoid contraband substances.
She agreed that lack of women's rights and other socials ills are
the main reasons Afghan women are turning to drug addiction.

While explaining the unprogressive future of women in Kandahar,
the women department director complained that there hasn't been a
meaningful change in womens' lives within the last seven years. She
pledged to launch more training programs in order to help women find
productive and meaningful activity, and called these rehabilitation
programs the most effective way of helping women refrain from drugs.

Although men as drug addicts far outnumber women, the public
health concern is that if serious steps aren't taken in order to deal
with this issue, the relative number of women abusing themselves
with contraband drugs may increase disproportionately.

In Western societies, by comparison, abuse of prescription drugs
by both men and women is widespread, with overuse of mood-alterant
and pain-killing pharmaceuticals considered an overlooked pandemic.
Paradoxically, alcohol abuse has been declining steadily for decades.


Samangan gets prison

Kabul Surgar

On September 11th, a contract to build a new prison in Samangan was
signed by the justice ministry. According to the ministry officials,
the new prison will cost 867000 dollars and once built will be 8000
square meters in size, with room for some 3000 prisoners.

Abdul Qader Adalatkhwa, the deputy of the justice ministry said the
prison will be built with international standards. An Afghan-German
construction company will complete the work in nine months, he said.

Meanwhile the prisoners of Samangan province are kept in an old
governmental building which by no means has the necessary prison
necessities. The new prison is expected to solve these problems.

Afghanistan has prisons in 203 districts of the 34 provinces but 160
districts still lack prison facilities.


Officials: insurgents active in Helmand

from BBC

Taliban not only control some of the districts of the troubled
southern Helmand province, but attacks on both foreign forces and
Afghan national army is a further expansion of their control in
the territory, reports say. Under new occupying force operations
and strengthening the Afghan national army, the territory will be
cleared of Taliban, according to the new Helmand police chief.

One of the reasons the southern province is becoming so violent
is the miscommunications among police, Afghan national army and the
occuping forces. The police chief of the province spoke to the BBC,
insisting on raising the number of national police and pointing out
that security would improve in the province with such efforts.

Helmand, a former Taliban stronghold lays in southern Afghanistan.
According to the police chief of the province, Helmand not only has a
long border with Pakistan but it's a major drug production center as
well which provides opportunity for insurgents to be active. British
troops are deployed in the province to put an end to the insurgency.

The police chief said Taliban operate in the districts of Washeer,
Baghran, Nawzad, and Deasho of Helmand but will be ousted soon. The
province gained attention last year after Taliban carried out single-
and multiple-man attacks.


Ministries against violence

Kabul Surgar

Ministries of pilgrims and religious direction and women affairs
signed an agreement with the United Nations women affairs office on
September 7th, in order to put an end to violence towards women.

According to Sayeda Mojhgan Mostofi, women affairs ministry deputy,
the objective of signing the agreement is to work together with
religious leaders to accomplish a non-violence campaign in seventeen
provinces of the country, in order to end violence towards Afghan women.
The decision was made after the success of their campaign in 34 provinces
last year for the same program.

Pransa Gonasckra, United Nations women affairs office head, said
the agreement's 170000 US dollar budget will be paid by the Italian

The campaign against violence towards women will deal with issues
such as healthy family relations, the necessary waiting period after
child-birth, and preventing forced marriages at young ages. According
to the religious ministry deputy Shafeq Samim, such campaigns will help
Afghan women to have a better social life.

The ministry of pilgrim and religious direction has recorded
approximately a thousand different violence related incidents towards
women in the first quarter of the ongoing year. Suicides, including
women setting themselves on fire are increasing recently.


ISAF: we will fight

Kabul Surgar

The war against the anti-governmental insurgency will turn into
chaos if the Mujahideen (holy warriors) take part, new International
forces spokesman General Richard Weblanchet said. He pointed out
that proper communications and understandings between Afghan
National army and the occupying troops should improve and strengthen.

The general's remarks were made after Mujahideen warlords clearly
indicated their intent to partake in the fight. An elderly Mujahid
(warlord) and official Wolasi Jerga (National Assembly) member Abdul
Rab Rasol Sayaf made the statement, "No one will win the ongoing war
except the holy warriors."

Although Weblanchet's remarks mostly resolve around gaining better
understanding among the Afghan National army and the foreign troops,
he insisted that if Mujahideen take part, the fight will take on a
flawed direction.

General Weblanchet urged Mujahideen soldiers to support the Afghan
national army in the fight against militants, saying that anyone meeting
the requirements can join the fight by enrolling in Afghan national army.

In his interview, the ISAF spokesman agreed that in the past several
years, Afghanistan's security is becoming less so, but insisted that the
country has significant improvements in other areas like rehabilitation
and the formation of a stable new national government.


International Refugee Organization: Human smuggling on rise

Kabul Surgar

Based on reports from international refugee organizations, human
smuggling and kidnapping have increased in Afghanistan. The report was
the result of an actual survey taken by the organization, based on
real peoples' testimonies.

The international refugee organization in Afghanistan has urged
human rights organizations to take serious steps in order to put an
end to the situation and have asked the Afghan government and other
foreign organizations to help control the illegal smuggling.

The organization pledged to hand over the survey to the Afghan
government in Kabul.


14 percent grow poppies

Kabul Sugar

Fourteen percent of Afghan families are busy growing poppy according
to counter-narcotics control ministry officials.

These reports were publicized after the UN published its annual
report, and claim a decrease in poppy growing in the country. The
decrease still continues, and in some areas the practice has been
completely stopped, Afghan officials said.

According to the UN reports, a hundred and fifty seven thousand
square hectares were sown with poppies in the ongoing year, which
was a 19 percent decrease in comparison to last year's percentage.

The reports said in comparison to other provinces in the country,
Kandahar, Helmand, Dai Kundi, Uruzgan, Zabul, Nemroz and Fara are
major poppy growing provinces which produce ninety two percent
of the opium in the country.

Although Afghan officials claim a decrease in poppy growth in the
country, the United Nations narcotics department doesn't agree and
claims that heroin smuggling and production has actually increased.

International societies and the Afghan government have been trying
to stop the poppy cultivation for the last several years, but
unfortunately they haven't succeeded in completely in doing so.
During the initial years of Taliban rule, poppy cultivation was
almost completely eliminated, prior to the US counter-coup.


United Nations call for peace

from BBC

United Nations Mission Assistance in Afghanistan called both sides at
war to bring an end to the ongoing war, and stay on the peace path. United
Nations urged the two sides to discontinue the conflict during the upcoming
peace day on September 21st. Peace day which is celebrated world-wide is on
September 21st, and celebrated for the first time in Afghanistan last year.

Adrian Edwards, UNAMA public affairs head, while talking about the
vital holiday, urged all sides at war to drop their weapons, put an end to
the violence and choose the path towards peace with respect to the
international peace day. The United Nations wants to open the peace day
celebrations in Afghanistan by launching various fund programs.

United Nations launched many support funded programs in the country
last year when celebrating the first Afghan peace day, perhaps the best
example was in vaccinating thousands of children to prevent polio.

Mine clearance programs in Bamyan, continued vaccination against polio in eastern and southern provinces of the country, and establishing a cartoon theater are some of the programs the UN has planned to launch on this upcoming peace day.

Afghans need to celebrate this day more than anyone because they have
been struggling with wars and violence for over three decades, experts say.

Posted by: Shah Loam | Sep 18 2008 0:49 utc | 87

@ShaLoam - thanks!

Hmm - someone hacked a private Palin email account she also used for gov. business and put screenshots up at

Hackers Access Palin's Personal E-Mail, Post Some Online seems to be down now. I can't reach it.

Posted by: b | Sep 18 2008 6:54 utc | 88

The Palin e-mail doesn't seem to be worth reading, and its release will probably be used to good effect in order to portray her as a victim. Meanwhile, one can only laugh when a Rothschild criticizes Obama for his alleged elitism. Probably most Americans don't even recognize the family name of Europe's most celebrated (or notorious) banking family.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 18 2008 11:02 utc | 89

ips: U.S. Ties to Bolivian Opposition "Shrouded in Secrecy"

NEW YORK, Sep18 (IPS) - Who in Bolivia is receiving millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars? That is what many Latin America policy analysts in Washington want to know.

"Washington has decided to keep its ties to Bolivia's opposition shrouded in secrecy," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, an independent think tank.

In interviews with IPS, Weisbrot and other critics of U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America and the Andean region voiced deep concern over the George W. Bush administration's reluctance to disclose details regarding the amount of U.S. funding and its recipients in Bolivia.

"The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is doing in Bolivia what it was doing in Venezuela...aiding the opposition," said independent researcher and writer Jeremy Bigwood, who specialises in Latin American affairs.

For example, a July 2002 declassified message from the U.S. embassy in Bolivia to Washington said, "A planned USAID political party reform project aims at implementing an existing Bolivian law that would...over the long run, help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS [party of now President Evo Morales] or its successors."

Bigwood has made several attempts to obtain detailed information about the nature of current U.S. spending in Bolivia, without success. He says he has filed five separate petitions under the Freedom of Information Act since 2005.

However, one FOIA request he filed revealed that the quasi-governmental National Endowment for Democracy had funded programmes that brought 13 young "emerging leaders" from Bolivia to Washington between 2002 and 2004 to strengthen their right-wing political parties.

"It's not just the USAID but also other U.S. government entities that are putting money into opposition groups in Bolivia," Bigwood told IPS, charging that a major part of the funding is apparently aimed at "bribing people" in that country.

Posted by: b real | Sep 18 2008 18:09 utc | 91

in kenya, the kriegler commission report, the culmination of months of 'investigations' and hearings by the "independent review of the elections commission (IREC)", as expected did not challenge the stolen presidential election nor attempt to determine who actually won. in fact, it 'found' that allegations of rigging were just that - allegations, which only adds to the complete farce surrounding the entire ordeal.

but, as i said, that was to be expected - it was never really an 'independent' commission. kreigler's presentation to kibaki & odinga: "Even if you wanted a re-tallying of the results, still you won’t have sorted out the mess. It would have been impossible to tell who won or who lost between the two of you. The decision to work together was the best for this country."

where have we heard that talking point before, eh?

as if anyone needs yet more evidence of who was behind the coup, here's another piece on that hypocrite, piece-of-shit ambassador ranneberger

east african standard: Envoys urge State to push for reforms

The US Government will sustain pressure on Kenya to reform its institutions regardless of the outcome of the November US presidential elections.

Mr Michael Ranneberger, the US Ambassador to Kenya, told Kenyatta University students in Nairobi on Wednesday America’s future relations with Kenya would be determined by evidence of commitment to effective reform and democracy.


He said the US seeks to entrench historical relations with Kenya and support generational change in leadership.

as in 'change that takes several generations', or the creation/production of amenable leaders?

The ambassador said the US would also maintain its role as an ally on the East African seaboard.

"The future of our relations depends on actual reforms. We must have these reforms by the next 2012 elections."

sounds like an order

The US policy in Africa on human rights, he added, was based on the rule of law and would not change "no matter who becomes president of the United States".

"The country is at a turning point. If it does not learn from what happened it will go in the wrong direction.

finally, a stmt we can both agree on!

We have told Kibaki and Raila that future relations with the US depends on actual reform."

The envoy said the US expects a swift implementation of the recommendations of the Kriegler and Waki commissions.

He said Washington regards the reports as a basis for reform and the rule of law.

no shit. more rigging, of the kriegler rpt at least. the release of the findings of the waki commission -- the "commission of inquiry on post-election violence" -- have been extended into mid-october, but they have no bearing on the status of the election result.

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2008 4:25 utc | 92

air force officer humor

Near the end of the U.S. Air Force’s annual “Four Star Forum” session Sept. 17, one of the 13 assembled generals made a quip that summed up the challenge the Air Force will face as it attempts to reclaim what Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz called its “ass-kicking good” performance status.

The moderator asked Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, commander of the service’s special operations command, what he would do if he had “another dollar” to spend in his budget. Wurster said he would buy more CV-22 tilt-rotors and MC-130 transports. “Then I’d walk down the table here and knife each of these gentleman in the back and take their one dollar,” he joked.

- air force times, Schwartz pledges to remake UAV culture

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2008 4:43 utc | 93

I know the matter has already been discussed at length here and elsewhere, but I would be interested in another go-round with regard to the Israeli raid on Al Kibar on September 6, 2007. The reason for renewed interest is this speech by CIA Director Michael Hayden (noted at Cryptome). This is an official statement rather than an unsourced report or anonymous tip. Hayden explicitly states the reason for the Al Kibar raid, and narrates its background as a triumph of U.S.-Israeli cooperation. Hayden's brief mention of the dismantling of the A.Q. Kahn network might also elicit some further questions. We are being presented, after over a year of winks, nods and leaks, with a nice piece of "official truth". I would like to see a reasoned and documented deconstruction of that proffer, although I seriously doubt that relevant documentation is available. Further discussion of the secrecy subsequent to the raid would also be welcome. If things did indeed stand as Hayden states, that would have been superb grist for the Bush-neocon propaganda mill, heretofore not noted for its reticence.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 19 2008 5:58 utc | 94

Continuing in the vein of proffers of "official truth", could it be that even the U.S. Senate is expressing doubts about the Fbi's Anthrax case? They certainly have reason to be more interested in this case than in the usual run of scams.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 19 2008 7:49 utc | 95

Hannah K. O'Luthon: since that speech isn't actually saying much, we'd have to wonder why Hayden goes on at such length and with such warmth. In particular, he makes a big fuss about the CIA--as the brains of the intelligence community and a great member of the team. And while he also goes on about the "reasoning" that led to the raid, he doesn't tell us that the CIA was the source of that reasoning, or that it was a happy sponsor of the raid. He does, however, remind us that the CIA has to defer to the new umbrella agency....

Oh, and he also tells us that the on-site wreckage was cleaned up overnight.

From all of which we might infer (1.) that the CIA didn't think for a minute that the installation was "nuclear"; (2.) that it had to watch, helplessly, as the True Believers did their bombing thing; and (3.) that when the wreckage vanished in the twinkling of an eye, the CIA made merciless fun of the True Believers, who, no doubt humiliated, probably started pushing back at the CIA in bureaucratic ways that I can't even begin to imagine.

If so, then this speech is meant to soothe the hurt feelings of everyone.

Will it work? I infer from the speech that the CIA's sense of injured merit is causing major problems for its "team-mates," especially because the CIA is right far more often than the other players.

And then, of coure, there's the Plame Affair, a legend that may well outlast the U.S. government itself.

Posted by: alabama | Sep 19 2008 9:04 utc | 96

Thanks to alabama for an interesting alternative reading of Hayden's text. If the "official version" is true, it is difficult to explain why Israel and Syria have seen fit to take up the recent Turkish sponsored joint discussions, unless the attack was such a brilliant success that Syria suddenly saw the light. Maybe the attack should be viewed as an attempt to sideline those talks, which must have been developing around that time. Pure speculation on my part, of course, and formulated without any of alabama's skill in textual analysis. It's hard to make one's way in the wilderness of mirrors when wool is being pulled over your eyes.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 19 2008 9:41 utc | 97

John McCain Is a Senile Idiot

Oh jeez listen to this interview with a Miami radio station, in which John McCain thinks Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is some sort of leftist Latin American leader. Ha ha, that's Zapatero, you crazy old coot, not Emiliano Zapata from 100 years ago. How old are you, anyway?

here's the relevant transcript

QUESTION: Senator, finally, let's talk about Spain. If you're elected president, would you be willing to invite President Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero to the White House to meet with you?

MCCAIN: I would be willing meet, uh, with those leaders who our friends [sic] and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion, and by the way, President Calderon of Mexico is fighting a very very tough fight against the drug cartels. I'm glad we are now working in cooperation with the Mexican government on the Merida plan. I intend to move forward with relations, and invite as many of them as I can, those leaders, to the White House.

QUESTION: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government, to the president itself?

MCCAIN: I don't, you know, honestly I have to look at relations and the situations and the priorities, but I can assure you I will establish closer relations with our friends and I will stand up to those who want to do harm to the United States of America.

QUESTION: So you have to wait and see if he's willing to meet with you, or you'll be able to do it in the White House?

MCCAIN: Well again I don't, all I can tell you is that I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us, and standing up to those who are not, and that's judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America, and the entire region.

QUESTION: Okay... what about Europe I'm talking about the President of Spain?

MCCAIN: What about me what?

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2008 15:09 utc | 98

Hannah K. O'Luthon, I haven't been paying the right kind of attention to Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and even if I did, I don't believe that I'd really understand it (your very generous comments about my reading habits notwithstanding).


Back in 1995, while wandering around Turkey for a couple of weeks (and my, how I'd like to go back), I met a retired engineer who spent some time explaining the facts of life about the Ottoman Empire, The Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the French Empire, the British Empire, and the German Empire, all of which are currently alive and well, he explained, albeit in a somewhat spectral state. He also mentioned the American Empire in passing, and said that it would soon enough go the way of the Ottoman Empire, in the sense that its military ambitions would eventually break the bank and render it rather spectral in its turn.

I enjoyed this a lot. But what I really liked was his explanation of the Near East (Turkey included, to be sure). Yes, oil's important--all strategic commodities are valuable. But the commodity that really counts is water, and Turkey, it seems, controls the water-supply for the entire region (he explained this by reviewing the country's complex of dams and reservoirs). Though I found him absolutely convincing, I never did figure out how to follow the flow of water thereafter in the grander scheme of things (always focused on oil).

No one wants to die of thirst, and no one welcomes the spreading desertification of the entire Mediterranean basin--meaning that water is surely the stuff of war and peace in that part of the world. I would therefore be inclined to guess (and you can see how I like to guess) that any ongoing talks between Israel, Turkey and Syria would be likey to address the problems of water-supply, rather than those of internecine warfare (which has been "business as usual" thereabouts for six thousand years). Or, to put with more finesse, keeping the peace as a precondition for letting the waters flow.

If I take another pass at Turkey, maybe that patient engineer would bring me up to date on this shadowy subject.

Posted by: alabama | Sep 19 2008 15:36 utc | 99

i am concerned that we have not heard from deanander & there seems to be either no updates on her site nor any recent contribution to feral scholar - hope things are well

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 19 2008 18:28 utc | 100

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