Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 02, 2011

Open Thread - Mar 2

(sorry, me still busy)

Your news & views ...


Posted by b on March 2, 2011 at 22:23 UTC | Permalink


we are proud of you though i could do with some help with my strategic sense. events are happening so quickly i am no doubt making some errors of judgement

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 2 2011 22:48 utc | 1

forgot how to link ;-}

but it seems some US Airmen have been shot in Frankfurt of all places?

as per NY Times
FRANKFURT — Two United States airmen on their way to Afghanistan were killed and two seriously injured on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire on an American military bus at the Frankfurt airport, according to American military officials in Europe and German police.

Posted by: sabine | Mar 2 2011 23:33 utc | 2

Can you say the following two sentences in the same breath?

BBC: The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has dropped Colombia from its list of countries requiring special observation. It said Colombia remained the world's biggest producer of cocaine but had made progress in its war on drugs.

Posted by: Maracatu | Mar 2 2011 23:55 utc | 3

Look at this crap! And it isn't the first time I have seen such expressions. Whatever one's opinion of former Brazilian President Lula Da'Silva, you get the distinct impression from US bureaucrats and pundits that they deeply dislike him; I would even venture to call it a display of RACISM:

IAD: "Brazil's OUTSIZED global aspirations and its newly acquired diplomatic weight were on full view in Tehran last May."

Outsized!? I mean really! You can almost perceive the dude muttering in the background to "put that ni**er back in his place!"

Posted by: Maracatu | Mar 3 2011 0:02 utc | 4

Not to beat a dead horse... but it recently occurs to me that the US might have more support for a no fly zone over Libya in the Security Council if it hadn't just recently thumbed its nose at the fourteen other members by vetoing the resolution on Israeli settlements.

Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 3 2011 4:02 utc | 5

Q blinks?

AJE reporting from Caracas that Chavez says Q willing to enter into 'mediation' (whatever that means).

Announcement comes on the heels of yesterday's failed attack on Brega oil installation.

Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 3 2011 5:27 utc | 6

As a gedanken experiment on a no-fly zone:

If the enforcer remained neutral except to impose the no-fly zone, Gadddafi’s air assets would be sidelined, and, to the extent that force would be decisive, the issue would presumably be resolved by ground combat.

So, would a no-fly zone be acceptable if it were enforced by NATO? USA? China? Iran? Russia? Saudi Arabia? Turkey?
Would it result in fewer casualties?
Is Gadddafi’s removal an end which justifies virtually any means? The ascendancy of virtually any successor?

Posted by: Watson | Mar 3 2011 6:02 utc | 7

No-fly zones sound clean until you realize that, like in Iraq, it involves bombing all suspected ground-based radar and anti-aircraft bases and just about anything emitting microwaves, etc. US is not going to risk $100+ million per jet to 'save' any refugees.

Posted by: Biklett | Mar 3 2011 6:29 utc | 8

As one might have expected, a court in Lahore has rejected the claim of diplomatic immunity for "Raymond Davis". It's interesting that the decision was based in part on the absence of a restraining order from a the high court where the immunity appeal is pending, and scheduled to be adjudicated on March 14, and in part on the complete absence of documentation for that claim at the level of the court where the murder case is being heard.
Meanwhile the assassination of Minister Shahbaz Bhatti is certainly not going to make the search for due process and calm detachment any easier. The temptation to speculate on these matters is very strong, but I resist it on the grounds of insufficient information to make a reality-based conjecture.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Mar 3 2011 9:28 utc | 9

Speaking of speculation on the background to 9, it's really quite unnecessary since Pakistani news sources provide ample material along that line.

It's also remarkable that a plausible scenario for defusing the tension is being rejected out of hand by the Obama White House (at least if one can believe this link).

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Mar 3 2011 9:57 utc | 10


The Libyan oil terminal town of Brega has been targeted with air strikes, sources in the town said. (...) Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took control there on Wednesday morning but were forced out by opposition fighters later in the day. (...) Libya's governing council rejects a peace initiative by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but the Arab League says it is studying the proposal.

Posted by: Maracatu | Mar 3 2011 12:01 utc | 11

While Gaddafi comes under investigations for crimes against humanity, nine Afghan boys collecting firewood are gunned to shreds by Nato forces.

Posted by: Lex | Mar 3 2011 12:08 utc | 12

The human rights council and the Security Council and the UN in general are congratulating themselves on cohesion, consensus, speedy action, etc.

After Egypt and Tunisia, everyone wants to wave clean hands, be for human rights, democracy, against green clawed-dictators, etc. (They are having their very own popular movement I swear!)

Kadafi, whose rehab after 2004 can be sorta, if clumsily, washed away, is easily presented as a lunatic.

The timing plays a role - at some point it becomes essential to ‘intervene’, take a stand, play one’s role, be very present in the media, on the international stage, even if it’s a lot of blah and argument - otherwise one is nobody, powerless.

(Therefore Clinton’s trip and speech to the HRC, which has been disdained by the US since forever. And the arguments about no-fly zone etc.)

Another factor is that Lybia is energy rich and while large in area very small in population and foreign investment - maybe 7 million in Lybia as compared to 85 + in Egypt. Tunisia and Egypt are both far more lucrative and intertwined with the ‘West’ - Tunisia in the hands of the French, say (and the news from there right now is dicey), Mubarak’s Egypt traditionally a US ally re. Israel etc., both thus being gingerly treated with a wait and see policy, or just holding off thru confusion in the hope of some smooth ‘transition’ where more ‘rights’ are given to the ppl (association, pol. parties, etc.) but where they remain economic serfs, even if many demands will have to be acceded to.

Lybia does not have that status, it is a candidate for take over.

Moreover, because of Kadafi’s labor policy, to quote an anon. Brit ex. dipl., of my acquaintance:

“There will be nobody left there once the foreignors leave and they won’t be able to run the place themselves.”

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 3 2011 14:46 utc | 13

murdoch the monster gets exacly what he wants from his tory lackies

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 15:15 utc | 14

From Angry Arab

that clown Chavez

can anyone tell me what the AA has ever done for the Palestinians? Or is he a clown who sits on his comfortable armchair coming with slogans

Posted by: hans | Mar 3 2011 15:47 utc | 15

I remember reading somewhere that they were lacking medical personal in Benghazi because many working on the local hospitals were foreigners and had left or were leaving.

Something similar must be happening all around the country but not being reported. The western foreigners and the chinese were likely working on oil or other big infrastructure projects which may not be critical. The work will stop and the oil may stop flowing.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 3 2011 16:22 utc | 16

the demonization of chavez is facile & is also taken up by intellectuals like the mexican carlos fuentes & the beruvian vargas lhosa - it is an ignorance of the facts & an underestimating of the struggle chavez has to engage. a far more realistic & sympathetic assessment has been made by that truly great latin american writer, eduardo galeano

from what i can gather aa antipathy has come with no analysis & there is analysis out there - with the bolivarian movement - some criticizing the identification of chavez inextricably with it - the reality he is - but he has done everything to democratize the process - at every level of venezuelan society & it is he, in his person who has born the brunt of the attack on venezuela including his kidnapping in the 2002 coup

there is a very real attempt though to change that with popular assemblies, & the like but he is fighting an opposition who are clearly following orders from washington & whose funding almost entirely comes from washington

when i hear such tomfoolery from aa or anyone else i want to remind them that it was the people's revolt in venezuela, very similar in its nature to the arab revolts, a fight to the death against neoliberal economies enforced by imperial power - a people's movement that chose chavez & not the other way around & it has been that movement who have consistently supported him

the political process are not complex in venezuela & have a transparence - that no western society could live with

i understand the role of the latin americans participating at an international level but i am frightened that their own fragility makes them a target & the western world has little subtle understanding of the reasonable positions proposed & it is clear there are those in the state department who want to usurp the momentum of the arab revolts to use elsewhere as they have already attempted to do

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 16:26 utc | 17

& it is true as Maracatu pointed out - the racism expressed by the west towards the latin americans especially the indians is repellant but just a continuation of their real attitude towards the 'other'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 16:28 utc | 18

From Thom Hartmann. " Ceo, public worker, and Tea Party guy are in a room with a plate of twelve cookies.
Ceo takes 11 cookies, and tells the Tea Party guy, look out, that public worker wants part of your cookie."
Perfect anology for what's going on in the US today.
The assult on Labor here in the US is breathtaking.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 3 2011 16:34 utc | 19

lhasa is a writer of little talent & an intellectual that history has left far behind. carlos fuentes on the other hand is a very great writer with an enormous ego - i don't think he likes the idea of anyone in latin america being more famous than him

there is a wonderful lecture by eduardo galeano on foratv - his analysis is both informed & intelligent & following bob dylan's dictum, he underestimates no one

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 16:38 utc | 20

And I suppose the answer, as it's always been, Ben, is to hire an intermediary, who also happens to be banging the CEO's daughter, and the CEO is banging the intermediary's wife, to get a cookie of your own, and a bonus lifetime prescription of Viagra, but you have to give half the cookie to the intermediary. The CEO, gives the intermediary's sons and daughters some cake and pie, and keeps eight cookies for himself, and everybody's happy happy.

I have an idea, how about there are no CEO's and no thing called Labor, meaning erase the divide and share the cookies equally amongst all fact, no more cookies, too much sugar, it's not good for anyone. Instead, a cornucopia of equally distributed fruits and vegetables.


Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 3 2011 16:44 utc | 21

Report: Israeli company recruits mercenaries to support Gadhafi

Report: Israel company recruiting Gadhafi mercenaries Published Tuesday 01/03/2011 (updated) 01/03/2011 20:19 Font- Font+ TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- An Israeli company is recruiting mercenaries to support Moammar Gadhafi's efforts to suppress an uprising against his regime, an Israeli news site said Tuesday.

Citing Egyptian sources, the Hebrew-language news site Inyan Merkazi said the company was run by retired Israeli army commanders.

The report claims that many high-profile former Israeli officers have been illegally trading weapons in several African nations, and have faced interrogations over their activities in the past.

The news site said the head of the company recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israeli intelligence chief Aviv Cokhavi. It added that the officials all approved the company's recruitment of mercenaries to help Gadhafi.

here is the original article in hebrew w/ translation here. apparently an arabic version of the story names General Yisrael Ziv and the company Global CST sourcing (according to the arabic reporter) is an un-named Yediot Ahronot reporter.

Posted by: annie | Mar 3 2011 16:53 utc | 22

@21 Couldn't agree more. Nice dream.

Here in the US, with the uber-rich owning most of our elected officals, including Obama, plus most of the national media, we've a hugh uphill battle ahead of us.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 3 2011 19:00 utc | 23


Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 19:26 utc | 24


Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 19:28 utc | 25

here's a working link to fidel's NATO's Inevitable War

Posted by: b real | Mar 3 2011 19:41 utc | 26

Wow, Fidel and I are in agreement, and I too, have a beard, but I guess Bernanke also has a beard, and Bernank and I never seem to agree. It's not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last.

My all time favorite rendition of Hasta Siempre

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 3 2011 21:15 utc | 27

jan garbarak not so bad either

there is a beautiful version by the charlie haden liberation orchestra

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 21:36 utc | 28

Fidel defends globalism?

The population wasn’t lacking food and essential social services. The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development.

For that reason, it provided jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers from Egypt, Tunisia, China and other countries.

So according to Fidel, a country with an 'official' unemployment rate of over 20% (non-regime estimates say more like 30%) "needed an abundant foreign labour force" of 1.8 million guest workers - a labor force specifically imported to drive down wages and standards of living of 6 million native Libyans so that Q and his western clients could siphon off the excess profits resulting from this wage arbitrage.

And this guy calls himself a socialist?


Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 3 2011 22:02 utc | 29

fidel & all the other latin american politicians have been quite clear on two points - no foreign intervention & they do not offer unconditional support for gaddafi - even the statement of nicaragua before th u n was quite clear on this point - on condemning the violence of a state - i find their approach just & if the south is capable of mediating then that would be a good thing but i do not believe the u s ('international community') would allow such a sensible form of negotiation

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 22:20 utc | 30

Michael Hardt:

One of the fundamental characteristics of the imperialisms of the 19th century was their competition. Today, competition between the dominant nationstates is less important than the co-operation among them. This is one way in which the traditional model of imperialism no longer defines our contemporary era. Two of the fundamental differences between imperialism and Empire are that the latter has no centre and no outside.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 3 2011 22:57 utc | 31

how the usuk enforced their nfz
+US pilots can choose to attack whenever they "believe" Iraq has
threatened air patrols or violated the no-fly zones. "Retaliatory" targets can be chosen from a list of pre-selected sites, which need have no link with the site of the purported transgression. Targets can be hit long after the "danger" is over. As an example, a US bombing raid on 18th July at Najaf in southern Iraq - according to Washington aimed at military targets - was in fact the bombing of a car park, which left 14 civilians dead and 35 injured. (Strangely, the US noted no Iraqi violations in the build-up to the launch of the air war against Yugoslavia).+

n how they *protected* the kurds

Posted by: denk | Mar 4 2011 5:06 utc | 32

the other *humanitarian* intervention
now a de facto us colony.

same lies, same actors, different target

Posted by: denk | Mar 4 2011 5:29 utc | 33

Hate Comes to Orange County. youtube vid.

The USG planned the war on terror well before 9/11.

After it, they deported Muslims, imprisoned Muslims - most were innocent - arrested ‘terrorists’, indulged in or allowed various intrigues and plots to involve Muslims in ‘terror’ or other illegal acts, opened Gitmo, tortured Muslims at Abu Ghraib and in many other places, put all kinds of Islamic organizations, associations, groups, on the terror list, as well as literally 1000s of individuals and businesses all over the world, most of them completely unknown and unremarkable. They accused muslim charities of funding terror, and closed many.

USG created a conduit under the umbrella of USAID whereby donations to ‘islamic’ entities but particularly those that offered aid to ‘Palestinians’ were shunted to and disbursed (if ever) by USAID.

-- Sorry no links, news did appear in the press on page 45, and in official documents, but it was hidden from the public at large.--

The US twisted the arms of other countries to ‘support the war on terror’, which basically meant doing what the US does, and proudly, gloriously trumpeting it. Various world leaders either extended it to their local enemies (e.g. Putin) or complied by cracking down on Muslims and jawing on about Al Quaida. Amusing to see Kadafi attribute unrest to AlQ...or Saudi Arabia showing they hunt out terrarists...

At the same time, the US supported or kept on as client states countries like Saudi Arabia. Thousands of articles have been written about the contradiction(s).

It has taken more than 15 years for a few of the righteous ppl and upright pols of Orange County to get with the agenda: bold and insouciant, they openly and vociferously heckle Muslims, much as they did blacks long ago.

Interestingly, they target a charity, following their Gvmt. Openly demonstrating at religious observance meets such as mosques is still taboo, one supposes, though closing a physical space (not ppl but bricks!) is acceptable, as in NY near ‘ground zero.’ Possibly the time lag is a testimony to the passive resistance of US citizens, to put on positive spin on it all.

Yet, there is no contradiction. US official policy, both domestic and foreign, is deeply racist. It is so through a deliberate policy of encouraging what used to be ‘ethnic’ hate now morphed into a more acceptable ‘cultural hate’ to divide and conquer, create strife. Projected internationally...

The salient division is between those who have power, status, influence, i. e. have their hands on the flux of money and/or energy (e.g. Saudi princes, the Mubarak family, despots in the ‘Stans, financiers in the City of London, EU atlanticists like Sarkozy, to quote a medley), those who keep their ppl in order and working for low or no wages or in any case silenced, as is happening in the US right now. Vs. all the rest, everyone else.

The other part of the equation is support for Israel, and the opportunistic hate of ppl that can be defined in shoddy, shifting, ethnic, religious, political terms (‘no democracy’ re the latter) because the ME is sitting on more than 50% of world energy reserves, which the US needs desperately.

The uprisings in N Africa and burgeoning in parts of the ME are frightening, in their ppl-power aspect, in that they refuse schisms and define themselves simply as belonging to a nation - moreover willing to help ppl from other nations. Refusing tribal, geographical, professional, power, age and even sex or religious distinctions.

The US and its poodles are dumbfounded and aghast - the supposed egalitarian fake values they used to dismiss and dominate others have suddenly found favor, been adopted! Their pious preaching to the choir, as well as symbolic funding of pro-democrat orgs., youth orgs, etc. has had an effect - when it was not supposed to!

The war on terror is the son of the war on communism. - 5 minutes.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 4 2011 16:02 utc | 34

i am rereading - angler - the secret presidency of cheney - it is difficult to see how the darkness which has fallen during that period can ever be lifted. it was imperialism in extremis - we are still there - perhaps further down that dark corridor

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 4 2011 16:11 utc | 35

How the US' ATF supplied thousands of guns to the Mexican drug war:

The guns ended up on the street in Mexico...and the US.

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 4 2011 19:39 utc | 36

Swiss press and radio ran a story about the main hospital in Bengazi, with several interviews, this was a few days ago.

The head doc said that he had 125 ppl in intensive care, with 3 of them post-op/birth, the rest burnt maimed shot up and so on from the fighting. Not to mention hundreds of less serious wounded.

He said his hosp. is very well equipped (and pictures showed a tip top facility) and he doesn’t lack medecines, he was not making a plea, he explicitly stated, for matériel or donations, but half his nurses had already left (Bosnians, Ukrainians, and Chinese) and the rest were set to leave as soon as possible, as soon as their Gvmt. could get them out.

Keeping intensive care patients alive, he said, will not be possible, except for a very few. He was asked about Lybian nurses and said there were ‘willing hands’ but an intensive care nurse has to be highly trained, there is nobody there. (‘Il n’y a personne...’)

This reminded me of the Bulgarian nurses saga - 450 children infected with AIDS in El Fatih hosp. in Bengazi, 1998. The West framed this a scapegoating of innocent 5-6 almost-Europeans (one was a Palestinian doctor who became Bulgarian), but in fact all the nurses in the children’s unit were first arrested, and they were all Bulgarians.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 5 2011 14:26 utc | 37

a history of jullian assange & rupert murdoch

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 5 2011 19:07 utc | 38

Noirette, that video is so disgusting.

Posted by: annie | Mar 5 2011 21:07 utc | 39

Not an antidote, but perhaps an analgesic: Not in Our Town

Posted by: d.l.finn | Mar 6 2011 1:08 utc | 40

The cryptome article linked by r giap at 38 was interesting, not that I read it all (ex. the parts about JA’s background.)

Assange is the epitome of a new figure, using his informal, i.e. individual, idiosyncratic skills, and tech power, in a novel way, in a confused landscape, without any traditional base or allegiance - national, political, corporate, financial, media power, clan/tribe, platform, etc. and so thus more than muddy on the socio-political end, with a shifting mish-mash of ideas, aims, actions. I think there is a core though there somewhere, once found, articulated, he would do much better.

His confusion is natural, anybody would be stumped.

The figure of innovating and threatening maverick in close touch with the mainstream - collaborating with the NYT for ex.- is hard to interpret - brave, plotting, canny or misguided, foolish, etc., what?

article about publishing the Diplo cables in the MSM from pravda

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 6 2011 16:17 utc | 42

interview with bela tarr

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 6 2011 18:18 utc | 43

giap, thanks for that movie link @41. I've watched the first two parts and will finish it up today. Very well done.....real cinema....what cinema should be, and seldom is.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 7 2011 13:17 utc | 44


the travelling players is available on you tube in 24 parts - a real test of will - but an extraordinary work that is watched over thirty years & has not lost its power

was having a real feast of it - in this lasst week in part because of sickness & a little time off work - but the limit was a russian torrent of 'dust of time' whereinstead of subtitling or even dubbing - you have a russian baritone describe everything including dialogue - & even for me that was too much

i now realize that angelopolous has allowed dvd's to be made - because he was opposed to it - but even those are few & far between in france - so youtube was the only way to rewatch

they are treasures, in any case

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 7 2011 14:34 utc | 45

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