Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Real News: "Obama and the Cold War Mentality"

Gareth Porter: Will Obama be truly post-Cold War? [Transcript here.]

Historian and author Gareth Porter discusses with Pepe Escobar the positioning of Senator Barack Obama relative to the power of the national security establishment in the US; the legacy of JFK; the feasibility of the US refusing to occupy Muslim lands; and what it takes to be elected president of the United States.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Plans to End Our Democracy - And Still No Impeachment Hearings?

Are you aware of the plans to bankrupt our nation?

A year ago, I wrote a long article about the goals of Karl Rove and his fellow authoritarian conspirators. The article reviewed Karl's history, goals and underhanded planning expertise, and summarizes his plans for creating a single party state, weakening the federal government's control over business and its assistance for disadvantaged Americans. To do this, Karl and others would bleed "the federal government of its money." After the 2006 Bush tax cuts and years of borrowing for Bush's occupation of Iraq, how's the plan doing? Here's an image to help.

Neocon's plan to bankrupt the country is working — bin Laden couldn't be happier

Looks like Karl, Bush, et al., have been quite successful.

Compare their plan with the following quote, "So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy." This statement was made in a video on October 30, 2004. The speaker in this video was Osama bin Laden.


What about plans to boost the price of oil?

Oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh reported back in May of this year that if Bush had not lied us into the invasion of Iraq, the cost of oil would be something less than $40.00. Instead, the price of oil in May was $135 a barrel. Think Progress summarized the oil price situation this way, "The Bush administration’s catastrophic decision to invade Iraq, sink the nation into debt to pay for that war, and consequently, weaken the dollar have all caused oil prices to soar astronomically." (Do you suppose that the oil companies have more than made back their political contributions to both Bush campaigns?)

Back in 1998 a book by Jamal Abdul Latif Ismail was published. In a review of this book, Donna Abu-Nasr, of the Associated Press, provided this paraphrased segment from a 54 page interview documented in the book:

Bin Laden claimed the United States has carried out the "biggest theft in history'' by buying oil from Persian Gulf countries at low prices. According to bin Laden, a barrel of oil today should cost $144.

The price of oil earlier this month reached $145. Bush and bin Laden are again on the same page of their respective plans. (Notice something? Bush has out done bin Ladin much as he has out done his father. Just what we need. Two global bullies trying to out do each other.)


What about where Bush and bin Ladin keep and protect their plans from public view?

On the one hand, we have bin Laden's public plans. On the other, we have Cheney's man-sized safe and "executive privilege." Why do you suppose our leaders are hiding their plans? Do you suppose they realize they have something in common with our arch enemy and need to keep us from noticing?


Does it appear to you that bin Laden and our own authoritarian leaders are working toward the same end? Isn't aiding the enemy treason? Isn't treason a high crime? And Congress hasn't yet initiated impeachment proceedings because ...?

This article was originally posted on The WAWG Blog

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Disturbing Trend in Iraq

Photo Journalist Zoriah is not alone:

I am noticing a disturbing trend in Iraq right now, one that I feel pretty sure will prove to be a major mistake in this war and cause a fair amount of grief to the Iraqi people and most likely beyond. The U.S. Military is arming and funding militias and civil military groups across the country. After a discussion with a soldier about the Sons of Iraq, what is now called a "neighborhood guard" by the US military, the soldier said, "We are basically paying these guys off with money and weapons to not kill us."- June 28, 2008

So that's how the surge worked. That and the fact that al Sader's Mahdi Army took a break (and they weren't the only ones who decided to lie low during the surge). In addition, the Sunni Shia ethnic cleansing, and relocation, had played itself out, so the numbers of deaths dropped.

Here's a bit more nuanced take from Nir Rosen, considered by many to be one of the best journalists in Iraq:

Well, the Americans like to think that the reason why the Sunni militiamen, the Sunni resistance, has stopped fighting them is because they’re paying them, because from the American point of view, it was always about money. They never understood the importance of ideology or of occupation or of resistance... I met with many of these people. Nobody joined the resistance for money. They joined because they believed there was an occupation that was threatening their lives or their country or their religion, or they didn’t like the way the new government looked, so they joined the resistance to fight the American occupation, not for money.

And now they joined these Awakening groups, again, not for money, but because they have another interest: “We’re not going to fight the Americans now, we’re going to fight the Iranians [Shia]. Let’s get the Americans off of our back.” In a way, the Sunnis have actually bought the Americans, because now they control territory. The same militiamen who were killing Shias, who were blowing up Americans just a few months ago, who were on the run, now control territory inside Baghdad and elsewhere, and it’s become safe for Sunnis to go to those areas, not only Sunnis from those areas, but even Sunnis who have fled Shia militias in other places can now go there. So you have safe Sunni territories. From there, different Sunni groups can join. They can establish a political movement, which they’re trying to do, and eventually try to retake Baghdad or at least re-fight the civil war.

But the story is even more nuanced, or nefarious, if you look at the role played by General Patraeus over the years.


PHOTO Credit: Zoriah Photo Journalist. Commentary:

The above image is of a confiscated weapons cache housed inside of a US/Iraqi army base in Sadr City. Notice that there are no magazines in these weapons. As I was taking these photos, U.S. soldiers filled their pockets with loaded magazines, intending to distribute them to local militias.

Zoriah's Blog entry, IRAQ WAR PHOTOGRAPHER DIARY - MILITIAS, June 26, 2008.

Originally published on GDAEman Blog

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Change You Can Believe In... or Honestly, Would I Lie To You?

In efforts to strengthen his somewhat faltering presidential bid after last weeks shuffle to the center to the right in his reversal of a long held campaign promise with his support for preemptively pardoning retroactively legalizing years of Bush criminal behavior and expanded domestic surveillance at the low, low price of gutting your fourth amendment rights, Barack Obama has made more major position "adjustments" with changes to his campaign website today.

The AP reports about an hour ago: Obama Web site removes 'surge' from Iraq problem

Barack Obama's aides have removed criticism of President Bush's increase of troops to Iraq from the campaign Web site, part of an effort to update the Democrat's written war plan to reflect changing conditions.
McCain said Obama is failing to acknowledge success. "Today, we know Sen. Obama was wrong" to oppose the surge, McCain said.

As first reported Tuesday by the New York Daily News, Obama's campaign removed a reference to the surge as part of "The Problem" section on the part of his Web site devoted to laying out his plan for Iraq.

The change was part of many broader changes that Obama spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said were made to reflect current conditions.
Designed to appeal to the center right likely in hopes of drawing voters away from the McCain camp, which he'll need to replace progressive support lost over FISA, Obama takes more steps towards offering another "Bush Third Term" coke or pepsi choice between himself and McCain to voters this year.

The AP article continues...

The change was part of many broader changes that Obama spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said were made to reflect current conditions. She provided the full text of the old site and the updated version, which includes a new section on the recent resurgence of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and another on this year's negotiations over a Status of Forces Agreement that would detail the legal basis for the ongoing presence of U.S. military forces operating in Iraq.

The changes stress that Obama's plan to end the war is responsible and designed to improve national security. They include:

_ An updated Obama quote at the top of the page. The previous quote stressed how Obama had the judgment to oppose the "rash war" from the start. This was a popular message among Democratic voters and was meant to draw distinctions with primary rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, who initially supported the war. The new quote focuses on how ending the war will make Americans safer — a message aimed at general election voters who are more likely to trust McCain on issues of national security, according to polling.

_ A description of Obama's plan as "a responsible, phased withdrawal" that will be directed by military commanders and done in consultation with the Iraqis. Previously, the site had a sentence that has since been removed that flatly said, "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq." Morigi said that his plan hasn't changed, but they wanted to expand the description. "There's not an intent to shift language," she said.

_ A new sentence that says Obama "would reserve the right to intervene militarily, with our international partners, to suppress potential genocidal violence within Iraq."

Only one of his plan's subheads remains unchanged, the first one — "Judgment You Can Trust." That's a message the campaign wants Americans to embrace.


So, Osama Walks into This Bar, See?
...and Bush Obama says, "Whad'l'ya have, pardner?" and Osama says, "Well, George Barack, what are you serving today?" and Bush Obama says, "Fear," and Osama shouts, "Fear for everybody!" and George Barack pours it on for the crowd. Then the presidential bartender says, "Hey, who's buying?" and Osama points a thumb at the crowd sucking down their brew. "They are," he says. And the two of them share a quiet laugh.
Hat Tip to Greg Palast

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Use Iraq Moratorium to stop war with Iran

Friday, July 18, is Iraq Moratorium day #11.

It is a day, as is the Third Friday of every month, on which individuals and groups across the country take some action to call for the end to the war and occupation of Iraq.

The number of listed events on the Iraq Moratorium national website,, is approaching 100, with more still being added.

Since it began in September, more than 1,000 events in 41 states and 235 communities have taken place under the Iraq Moratorium banner.

This month, many peace groups are asking people to contact Congress members on Iraq Moratorium day and ask them to stop a new proposal, House Concurrent Resolution 362, which essentially calls for a blockade of Iran and is steamrolling its way through the House.

HCR 362 is a dangerous bill calling for severe sanctions--far beyond those proposed by the Bush administration--and could be interpreted as an act of war under international law. It would further alienate Iran and could trigger retaliation against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, blockage of oil shipments through the straits of Hormuz, and potential involvement of other nations in the region. If we want catastrophe in the Middle East, deeper recession and gas at $6 per gallon, this would do it.

United for Peace and Justice, the nation's largest antiwar coalition (and an endorser of the Iraq Moratorium) has designed July 19-21 as days of action to stop a war with Iran. Details here.

The whole concept of the Moratorium is to do something to interrupt business as usual -- to stop what you're doing on Friday, interrupt your normal routine, and do one thing, whatever it may be, to end this senseless, bloody war.

Participants either take part in a group action or do something individually -- wear an armband or button; write, call or email their Congressional representatives; put up a yard sign, or donate to a group working to stop the war. Group actions include rallies, marches, vigils, speakers, films and other activities.

There are lots of ideas and organizing tools on the website, as well as reports, photos and videos from around the country.

Will you do something?

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