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"All Out October 27 to End This War": You Need to Fight Back

Fri, 19/10/2007 - 20:29
I just got an e-mail from an old comrade and occasional ZNet commentator: "All out October 27 to end this fucking war. Please watch and distribute widely. http://youtube.com/watch?v=76lZC_o95gE."  Here's a direct hyperlink of the video - it rocks.   Main Demo Site: http://www.oct27.org/ read more
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On Torture and American Values

Sun, 07/10/2007 - 21:18
   Okay. Everybody listen up. Now. Repeat after your    Commander-in-Chief, and be sure to get it right.    "[T]his government does not torture people. You    know, we stick to U.S. law and our international    obligations."  "The policy of the United States is not to torture.  The President has not authorized it.  He will not authorize it."  "I will reiterate to you once again that we do not torture. We want to make sure that we keep this country safe." "[L]et's back up and be very clear. You've heard Dana Perino say it today. You heard the president say it numerous times -- the United States does not torture."  "We do not torture. And the fact is no matter how we treat detainees, Al Qaeda, when they capture our soldiers in uniform, will still torture and behead them.  How we treat detainees is not going to affect that."  read more
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Eternally Vigilant?

Tue, 02/10/2007 - 03:04
  Pakistan's regional and global significance cannot be   overstated, and is expanding. It sits at the crossroads   of the Middle East and South Asia, two regions of   great cultural importance, growing economic power,   and enormous political consequence. President Musharraf joins us today to talk about his country's place in this changing world, to discuss peace and development in his nation and beyond.  We at Columbia are eager to listen.  As a community of scholars and as students and faculty who come from everywhere in the world, we take a great scholarly and personal interest in what the President has to say.  The development in Pakistan over the past several years, from its economic growth to its fight against extremism and terrorism, are vital issues for all of us. -- Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, September 16, 2005  read more
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A Barrel of Monkeys

Sat, 29/09/2007 - 02:43
   "Hitler Lives."  "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Unreality    Show."  "Iranian Madman Walks Among Us."  "[A]    grave threat to the United States and its allies in    the Middle East, Europe, and globally."  "What Can    We Learn from a Monster?"  "His ideology of hatred    and Iran's building of a nuclear weapon to implement that ideology are the greatest threats to civilization as we know it."  "[B]razenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated."  "[F]anatics and tyrants." "President of a country that is probably the greatest sponsor of state terrorism."  "[V]ows regularly to destroy the country [of Israel]." "Normal craziness." "[A] petty and cruel dictator."  "[L]ittle weasel."  You get the picture. read more
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"Language and Politics" -- by Kelvin Yearwood

Sun, 23/09/2007 - 21:18
  Not for some time have citizens of the Western world   been made so acutely aware of the politics of language.   This issue has moved from muttering gripes about po-   litical correctness onto the center stage of public con-   sciousness.  Bush, Blair & Co. have made war on words -- blown them up, strafed and up-ended them, or simply tortured their true meaning in dystopian style.  Hundreds of thousands have died, and many more have suffered injury, neglect, humiliation and the destruction of all means of material security. Their hearts and minds division, the Western press, has often been complicit with this exercise of abusive power, overwhelmingly falling-in behind elite political/business agendas, re-articulating the political class’s “doublethink” that resonates so bleakly with the operations of the state in Orwell's 1984. Consequently, “doublethink” functions as a reactionary resolution of class, gender, race and other divisions acted out in foreign and domestic policy. -- For unrepresentative power, “Ignorance is Strength.” read more
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The U.S. Senate Betrays Us

Fri, 21/09/2007 - 01:26
  This afternoon, Thursday, September 20, the United   States took yet another serious step in the direction   of a closed society.  By an overwhelming margin of   72 to 25, the Senate voted to adopt an amendment sponsored by Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas "To express the sense of the Senate that General David II. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces" -- more appropriately known as the Let's strongly condemn the MoveOn.org group for its September 10 statement in the New York Times, and let's make damn sure that this kind of un-American funny business never happens again.  (See "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?")  read more
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Greenspan Speaks: "The Iraq War Was About the Oil"

Mon, 17/09/2007 - 23:42
Here (pasted in below) is an interesting story from the Sunday London Times. Leftists are regularly mocked in the halls of American intelllectual and political power for daring to think that (imagine) the invasion of Iraq was about oil (as in the chant "No Blood fo Oil"). I've heard Barack Obama (for example) criticize this claim as a form of self-defeating cynicism. And of course the White House has long insisted not only that the war wasn't launched because of oil but in fact that oil has had absolutely nothing to do with the illegal occupation of Mesopotamia. Putting aside for now the different things one can mean when they say the "colonial war" (to use Democratic imperial statesman and Obama advisor Zbigniew Brezinski's description of "Operation Iraqi Freedom") on Iraq is "about the oil" (there's a big difference between the claim [ala Ted Koppel and the Carter Doctrine] that the U.S. has a benevolent concern to keep Persian Gulf oil flowing to the global economy and those who follow Chomsky in seeing the motive as the enhancement of critical imperial leverage though placing the military boot on the super-strategic Middle East spigot). how interesting it is to see that well-known radical peace and justice activist Alan Greenspan saying that "the Iraq war was largely about the oil." Enjoy.... read more
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From the Dog-Bites-Man File

Mon, 17/09/2007 - 18:04
  On Thursday, September 6, the very same day that the   Israeli Air Force carried out a bombing raid in northern   Syria for still-undisclosed reasons -- unless it's an   obvious reason, such as testing the performance of   the kind of Russian-built surface-to-air missile defense   system that Iran also has been stocking-up-on in anticipa- tion of the worst -- i.e., a "clear message to Iran" -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his spokesperson Michèle Montas issued statements that covered (among other ground) the fact that the Secretary-General had participated in a joint news conference earlier that day in Khartoum with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, where the two of them pledged to work for peace in Darfur, and announced that negotiations to this end are to be held in Libya on October 27. read more
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An Interventionist's Dream

Thu, 02/08/2007 - 01:08
  Yesterday, the Security Council adopted Res. 1769,   calling on "all the parties to the conflict in Darfur to   immediately cease all hostilities and commit them-   selves to a sustained and permanent cease-fire," and   establishing an "AU/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur   (UNAMID)" by no later than October - December 2007   under a "single chain of command...provided by the United Nations."  As Security Council resolutions go, this one has an upside-down structure, with all of the usual baggage about "Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations" not turning up until as late as paragraph 15.  But as in previous resolutions, 1769 pronounces the situation in Darfur a "threat to international peace and security," and whatever transpires in the western states of the Sudan belongs within the Security Council's competency and jurisdiction.  read more
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Alfie Kohn, rewards... and parecon

Wed, 01/08/2007 - 22:30
Some thoughts on alternative education author Alfie Kohn today. I started with his book, "Punished by Rewards", which discusses why rewards (grades, gold stars, salary bonuses or any other kind of bribes) are not good things - not in workplaces, not in families, and not in schools. Why? Five reasons, Alfie says: 1. Rewards are the flip side of punishment - we agree that we don't like punishment, but rewards are just as controlling. read more
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Samantha Power, Bush & Terrorism

Tue, 31/07/2007 - 17:44
The following exchange took place in the ZNet Sustainer system, where Noam hosts a forum... ZNet Sustainer: Noam, Would you be willing to comment on Samantha Power's review essay in the 29 July NYT Book Review? The Times presents her as the very model of the liberal academic -- a columnist for Time, adviser to Democratic presidential candidates, etc. The article is a good deal more than a book review. Noam Chomsky: It was an interesting article, and her work, and its popularity, gives some insight into the reigning intellectual culture. read more
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When the Whole Really Is False

Sun, 29/07/2007 - 01:21
   You know: At least the 2007 Tour de France had the right sense of    etiquette to all-but-collapse under the weight of scandal and disillusion-    ment triggered by the news of the widespread use of doping techniques    by its top racers.  Now. Contrast this with Major League Baseball,    where the governing assumptions are that the whole is so corrupt and    irreparably false, the same kind of news about rampant doping fails to                                     leave more than a few nicks in the paint.  read more
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Barack Obama and the Audacity of Imperialism

Fri, 27/07/2007 - 23:36
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Obama, Nuclear Power and Coal: All About the Green

Thu, 26/07/2007 - 07:22
We live in a degraded political culture. Here is an interesting exchange from the last Democratic presidential candidate debate, which took place earlier this week in South Carolina: read more
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President Bush Defends the Homeland

Thu, 26/07/2007 - 04:23
By my count, the Commander-in-Chief used the phrase 'al Qaida' a total of 87 different times yesterday during his speech at the U.S. Air Force base in Charleston, South Carolina.  (Others have come up with even higher estimates: At one point yesterday, CNN estimated 93 times.)   Since the White House's transcript of the speech totals approx. 3,600 words, this means that the American President uttered the phrase 'al Qaida' (which counts as two words, incidentally) once every 41 words (roughly).  Insofar as the so-called War on Terror and Defense of the Homeland go, this might be the all-time record.  (Though I admit to not having checked very many of the speeches delivered by Dick Cheney over the past six years or so.  Or everything associated with the Department of Homeland Security.  Or the news reports and commentaries that stream across the FOX News Channel, the Weekly Standard, and similar venues.) read more
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President Bush Declares War on Dissent -- Part 97

Sat, 21/07/2007 - 03:48
  Might you be determined to commit, or pose a significant risk of committing,   an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the   peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq, or undermining efforts   to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq, or to provide   humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people?  Might you be part of an unusual   and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United   States, and pose obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in that country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq? Boy. Have I got a Commander-in-Chief for you. read more
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Hearts and Minds and Americans

Tue, 17/07/2007 - 20:14
Somebody kicked-over a rock at The Nation the other day.  An important but otherwise hidden issue lay beneath it.  A hearts-and-minds issue.  One of Alexander Cockburn's friends wondered about the "grand taboo" of the anti-war movement in the States.  (By the way, I'm posting the CounterPunch version of Cockburn's commentary because The Nation's is sequestered behind a $$$$$ curtain.)  Why are the fighters of the armed resistance to the occupying forces inside Iraq "never mentioned as people for whom we should show concern, much less admiration"?  Cockburn wondered too.  After all, they are fighting against a colonial occupation.  Indeed.  Against a neocolonial occupation, wherein some of the world's major multilateral organizations -- first and foremost the United Nations -- have been brought in to provide a cover of legitimacy and to serve as administrators.  To let Cockburn explain it: read more
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