30.4.04

Last Sunday the Bangladesh government arrested nearly 20,000 people in the capital Dhaka, in a bid to foil any agitation by the country's opposition party. Under laws designed to arrest anyone looking suspicious they mainly nicked people mostly aged between 15 and 30 years, most of whom were not even remotely connected with politics! Some had arrived in the capital for job interviews, some to consult doctors or give examinations, while others were just visitors. Freshly released after two days of ordeal inside jail, one youth from the old part of Dhaka, complained "I was forced to keep standing in a dark and dingy room crammed with over 1,000 people. I could not even sleep for a moment."

Bangladesh news review site

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday defended the step of ongoing 'mass arrests', terming it a necessary measure to foil a conspiracy to unseat her elected government. Article from the Daily Star (Bangladeshi middle of the road Newspaper)

29.4.04

It's all locked away which is why I'm posting...

Transcript of Bush/Cheney Testimony Before 9/11 Commission: this is satire, but it's just too hilarious, I've gotta post the whole thing...

    Chairman Kean: The Commission will come to order. Welcome, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President. Although, per our agreement, you are not being placed under oath, we expect that your testimony will consist only of the truth. The Commission and the American people deserve no less, and we trust you are in full agreement with this expectation.

    Cheney: Yes, of course.

    Bush: Sure, OK.

    Kean: I have a few preliminary questions. First, Mr. President, please tell us what pre-9/11 warnings you were receiving in the Summer of 2001 from various intelligence agencies and from other nations' leaders about a possible coming Al Qaida attack.

    Bush: It was all historical. You know, old stuff, very general, about Osama's desire to hurt the United States. They hate us, you know, hate our freedoms. Nothing specific.

    Kean: Did you receive warnings about the possibility of airplanes being hijacked and used as weapons?

    Bush: Nobody would have ever thought of that. For example, there was the Genoa summit where--

    Cheney: To complete that thought. There had been some information in the past, historical reports, about how Al Qaida might want to hijack an airplane and exchange the hostages for the release of the blind Muslim leader. But, of course, nothing about planes used as weapons.

    Kean: But the President just mentioned the Genoa Summit meeting of world leaders, where there was intelligence that terrorists might want to fly a plane into the hotel where the heads of state were staying. I presume that is why President Bush chose to stay on a naval vessel offshore. Is that what you were referring to, Mr. President?

    Cheney: I think the President was referring to the fact that the world leaders, assembled for an economic summit, were also going to be talking about how to combat terrorism.

    Kean: Excuse me, Mr. Vice President, but I was addressing that question to the President.

    Bush: The Vice President has explained my position.

    Kean: Very well. Let's move on to what, on the surface, appears to be inexplicable behavior at the Florida schoolhouse on the morning of 9/11. Mr. President, you were in the schoolroom listening to children read, your Chief of Staff Andrew Card walked in and told you that the second tower had been struck by another jet; America clearly was under attack from some nation or band of terrorists, yet you did not quickly leave, the Secret Service did not whisk you away to safety, your staff did not request that you depart to assume command as Commander in Chief. In short, your behavior was so casual as to leave one puzzled. Could you explain, please?

    Bush: It was a very emotional, confusing time, so I'm not sure I can remember all the details of that morning. As to why I continued to sit there, I knew that the Vice President was on top of things in Washington and--

    Cheney: We conferred on the phone, coordinating the approach the government should be taking. I took the President's commands and implemented them while he made his way back to the capital.

    Chaos & Confusion
    Kean: Let's ignore for a moment the whole phone-communication discussion -- that is, how and when you two conferred when the President was sitting in the classroom for 20+ minutes; the key question is why he didn't exit the classroom immediately, both for safety's sake in case terrorists were out to get him as well, and in terms of assuming command and control of the government's response. How can that be explained?

    Cheney: If I may, Mr. Chairman. It was a chaotic time that morning. While the government responses were being prepared, and information gathered -- by Dick Clarke, myself, and so on -- it was all so confusing, there was no precedent for how to behave, etc.

    Bush: Very confusing. Very historical.

    Kean: Very well. One more question from me and then we'll open it up to questions from the Commissioners. Would you explain, please, Mr. President, why during the summer of 2001, when the threat reports were spiking, you left Washington, D.C., for a month's vacation in Texas, and therefore did not confer directly with CIA Director Tenet about those increasing reports; and why Attorney General Ashcroft, having received an FBI "threat assessment," stopped flying on commercial aircraft? The implication certainly is that your Administration had received reliable reports that aircraft might be hijacked and used as weapons aimed at buildings in Washington and New York City. Certainly nobody would fault you for protecting yourselves and the ongoing governmental institutions, but what the victims' families have requested me to ask you is this: If you took steps to protect yourselves from harm, why, when you realized a massive attack was in the works, why did you do little or nothing to help protect ordinary American citizens on commercial aircraft and in those skyscrapers and government buildings?

    Bush: It was all historical information. No specifics. If we'd had specific information, we would have moved earth and the...earth and the...you know what I mean, to stop those Islam fanatics.

    Cheney: None of the warnings ever provided enough to act on. Non-actionable intelligence. It was all vague. And historical.

    Why No Action Taken?
    Kean: Commissioner Ben Veniste?

    Ben Veniste: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. President, let me read you key descriptions of the warnings in the Presidential Daily Briefing of 6 August 2001, and then you tell me whether you feel those words should have provoked some actionable moves on your part to protect the American people. 

    Bush: Nothing specific, not enough to go on. I would have moved heaven and...heaven and...you know what I mean, to protect the American people.

    Ben Veniste: Yes. Let's look at that intelligence summary: The title of that PDB memo is "Bin Laden Determined To Attack In the United States" -- not, as Ari Fleischer told the press originally, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack the United States." In the PDB is a reference to the fact that al Qaeda was currently  maintaining a "support structure" in the United States. And it cited information obtained in May 2001 suggesting "that a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives." It specifically refers to "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks," and mentions that terrorist suspects were observed doing "recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." Do those quotes refresh your recollection about the dire warnings that something extraordinary was about to happen?

    Bush: There were no flight numbers, no date, all very vague. Nobody could have imagined that planes--

    Cheney: I think we've answered your question, Mr. Ben Veniste. Let us move on to another topic.

    Ben Veniste: I don't recall my asking you a question, sir. Now, Mr. President, following up on your answer, let me ask you this: Does it seem reasonable that a secretive terrorist organization would provide you with the actual flight numbers and date for their attack? The key question remains: With all the fairly specific warnings that you were made privy to, why you did not take actions that perhaps would have helped protect American citizens, as you swore to do when you took your oath of office as President?

    Cheney: With all due respect, Mr. Ben Veniste, we have made time in our busy schedules to be here with you today, but going over and over the same point seems counter-productive. Might we move on, please?

    Ben Veniste: May I remind the witness once again that the rules of this hearing are set by the Commission, not by the Vice President of the United States. Please be so good as to answer the question, Mr. President.

    Bush: It's all so complicated. You wouldn't believe the amount of paper work and issues a President has to deal with. That was more than three years ago, and I can't remember all the details. The Vice President has a better handle on those facts, and I would prefer that he speak on my behalf.

    Kean: The witness will answer the question posed to him.

    Cheney: This is not a court of law, Mr. Chairman. We appear here voluntarily to assist the Commission in its duties of trying to assess where our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies might have gone wrong, might have missed connecting the dots and so on. The FBI and the CIA were deficient--

    Kean: The witness will answer the question posed to him. Mr. President, please proceed.

    Cheney: There are important questions of separation of powers here, Mr. Chairman. The Executive cannot be compelled by the Legislative branch to answer questions that might compromise national security and the right of the President to assert Executive Privilege.

    Kean: Mr. Vice President, please listen to me carefully. The question was not posed to you, but to the President. If you persist in interrupting, you will be asked to leave the room, and we will call you separately to testify later. Finally, this is not a legislative body; the President and Congress have established this independent Commission. You both have agreed to tell us the truth of what you know. Now, Mr. President, the Commissioners are waiting to hear your response to the question posed by Commissioner Ben Veniste.

    Cheney: Mr. Chairman, please listen to me equally as carefully. The President and I didn't agree to come here today to be badgered by the Commission, but rather to try to assist you in putting together an understanding of how and why our intelligence services might have fallen down on the job. If you persist in going over old grounds and into national security matters that are outside your purview, we will have no other recourse but to assume you are acting in bad faith and we will feel compelled to leave and return to our duties.

    Vice Chairman Hamilton: If I may, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to respond to the Vice President. First, there is nothing "outside the purview" of this Commission's mandate, including classified matters. Second, Mr. Vice President, we agreed to this odd arrangement of having the two of you appear together as a courtesy to you. You both are here, and we expect courtesy and cooperation from you. If you do not like the questions posed to you, you are free to record your objections on the record, but you have agreed to come here and tell the truth, which implies answering the questions posed. Should you choose not to cooperate and to leave the hearings after only about 15 minutes or so, the American people will have to make up their own minds as to why you might have done that.

    Cheney: If you persist in turning this into an adversarial hearing, then we would like the White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales, to be present.

    Mr. Bush Replies
    Kean: Mr. Vice President, this is not an adversarial hearing. We are an informational body, trying to amass answers that will aid us in coming up with recommendations to the Congress and the Executive Branch to help prevent future 9/11 attacks. In order to do that job, we need to ask exploratory questions that help us fill in the blanks, that give us a fuller picture of what transpired in the weeks and months before 9/11. No disrespect is intended. In that light, The President once again is requested to answer the question posed. We will afford you, Mr. Vice President, the full opportunity to answer following the President's response.

    Cheney: I would appreciate the courtesy of answering first, if you don't mind. This is all very complicated information -- and perhaps I can set the context that will aid you in understanding the President's response.

    Kean: Mr. Vice President, we appreciate your desire to set the context for us --  and for the President. But, if memory serves, I believe Commissioner Ben Veniste's question was asked of the President. Commissioner, would you object if the Vice President answered the question first?

    Ben Veniste: I would be most delighted to hear the Vice President's remarks -- following the President's response to my question.

    [The President and the Vice President confer]

    Bush: Let me say again that the intelligence information that was coming into the White House--

    Cheney: That was coming into the FBI and CIA--

    Vice Chairman Hamilton: Mr. Cheney, I warn you again not to int--

    Kean: Please proceed, Mr. President, without further interruptions, please.

    Bush: Yes, I was trying to say that the intelligence that we got -- the intelligence we got from the FBI and CIA -- was all very vague, very non-specific. We knew Al Qaida didn't like the U.S., hated us for our freedoms, you know, so the intelligence reporting that he wanted to attack us was nothing new. And there was nothing specific about when or where such an attack might take place, so there was nothing I could have done, or should have done, when there were no specific details.

    Ben Veniste: So, if I understand you correctly, Mr. President, you're saying that if you had received exact details, you would have, in your words -- sort of -- moved heaven and earth to protect and defend American citizens and interests. 

    Bush: Yes, that's it. Exactly. I would have moved...I would have done just like you said.

    Ben Veniste: So in the PDB of 6 August 2001, when it refers to suspicious activities of terror suspects in several areas of the country, and in hijackings, and their possible interest in attacks in those locations, you didn't find that to be actionable intelligence?

    Bush: Right. No specifics. What could I have done? Made an announcement based on vague threat information and panicked millions of people in New York and Washington? Can you imagine what the traffic jams would have looked like as people fled those cities? Can you imagine the federal government basically closed down because of these vague warnings?

    Examples of Possible Actions
    Ben Veniste: Well, let's just take one for-instance, if we may. Mr. President, when you were alerted that a "spectacular" attack was being planned by Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida operatives, through bombings and something to do with hijacking airplanes, wouldn't it have made sense, given that a catastrophic attack was on its way, to call together all the principals in your Cabinet and get them to do everything in their power to heighten security at the airlines, have the photos of suspected terrorists (which were released the following day to the press) at the check-in counters, increase security around airports, at government buildings, at large skyscrapers, alert NORAD to be on special call, and so on? Why did you not do any of this?

    Bush: Dick Clarke was in charge of our counter-terrorism program. He alerted the FAA. If there were any slip-ups, it wasn't my fault. The FBI and the CIA didn't connect the d--

    Ben Veniste: My time is running out, Mr. President. So let me just try to parse your answer and follow-up. Despite all the warnings, you, as President of the United States, took no special measures, you ordered no special heightened security warnings, you did not even call your principal advisers together to seek their wisdom on what could be done to batten down the hatches and protect the lives of American citizens. And when the 9/11 attacks did come, the fighter jets at NORAD remained on the ground until more than an hour after the damage was done, even though this was contrary to their quick-response protocols. So my final question to you, Mr. President, is one that a great many Americans want to have presented and answered openly: Did you perhaps do nothing that might have interfered with the 9/11 attacks in order to use the fright and terror that followed to further your own political agenda in--

    Cheney: Mr. Chairman, this is outrageous! I object strenuously to this partisan attack on our President, our Administration. He is suggesting treasonous behavior on our part and I will not be a party-- 

    Kean: Your objection is registered, Mr. Vice President. Commissioner Ben Veniste, please rephrase your question in a less confrontational tone and permit the President to answer it.

    Cheney: I will NOT answer it. This line of questioning, impugning my motives, cannot be permitted to stand!

    Hamilton: That was a most intriguing reaction, Mr. Vice President. Nobody asked you about your actions or your motives. Commissioner Ben Veniste's question was directed at the President -- Mr. George W. Bush, the fellow sitting on your right. Are you suggesting to us that you are the architect of the Administration's policies with regard to pre-9/11 behavior?

    Cheney: It was a mere slip of the tongue, Mr. Vice Chairman, expressed in the heat of the moment. I serve to aid the President in his policy decisions. He was always in charge of Executive policy, and he is now.

    Bush: That's right. I am now. And was then. And always shall be. Just ask Dick.

    Cheney: That's right, Mr. President. You are the man who is in charge.

    Bush: But I do count on you, Dick, for your advice and suggestions. I've always found them most useful.

    Kean: Um, this might be a good point at which to take our morning break. We still stand in recess for 20 minutes, and then we'll resume the questioning from the other Commissioners. Thank you, Mr. President; thank you, Mr. Vice President.

28.4.04

**** Two American soldiers have deserted, claiming asylum in Canada rather than serve in Iraq. They argue that the war is illegal under international law

The 18-year-old is one of two American servicemen who recently deserted their units and fled to Canada to claim asylum as refugees. "We plan to argue that the war in Iraq is illegal under international law and that I have a right not to choose to participate," he says.

"I joined because it was the only way I was going to get a college education," he says.

He went through basic training, and in his spare time began learning about the campaign in Iraq on the internet. He says he became increasingly uncomfortable about the mission, then so disturbed that he considered killing himself. He brought his questions to a commanding officer, who told him to stop thinking so much.

But it will take more than youthful appeal to win over the Canadian immigration and refugee board. Last year, a record 317 Americans applied for refugee status in Canada.

An Iranian soldier who deserted claimed refugee status because he didn't want to use poison gas on the Kurds during his country's war with Iraq. The board was unsympathetic, but the Canadian courts eventually ruled in his favour, and he was permitted to stay.

**** rubbish version of story of the orgasm- for men it is quick, easy and essential for reproduction. For women, it is slow, difficult and purely for pleasure. Yet despite such differences, it brings the sexes together and is the basis of the monogamy [?] that distinguishes us from other animals.

"For one thing, as men and women must equally be aware, they do not actually need one another to enjoy orgasm." thanks for that, jonathan margolis, here seen defending michael "pre-teen fondler", or loving esoteric high priest uri geller, doesnt seem to have much of a clue what hes talking about.

beyond pop-sexuology. random samples.

z-mag instructional: sexual liberation

beyond monogamy: essay

ansonsten natürlich

Im Zusammenhang seiner Beschäftigung mit Marx erkannte Reich, daß der Mensch nicht nur in seiner materiell sozialen Situation betrachtet werden kann, sondern daß er in einer psychosozialen Situation verhaftet bleibt, die sich als historisch mit dem Patriachat gewachsene, sich selbst reproduzierende (die patriachalische Kleinfamilie als das Reproduktionszentrum) Schranke zur Freiheit erweist.

27.4.04



In Baghdad, however, US officials warned yesterday that the reported stockpiling of weapons in "mosques, shrines and schools" in Najaf could turn such sites into targets for military action.

"The coalition certainly will not tolerate this situation," the US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, said in a statement addressed to residents of the city. "The restoration of these holy places to calm places of worship must begin immediately."

u.s. educational model to be implemented in eye-raq: schools as calm places of worship

25.4.04

AT Isaiah 3:14

The Lord comes to pronounce judgment

on the leaders of his people and their officials.

He says, “It is you who have ruined the vineyard.

You have stashed in your houses what you have stolen from the poor.


similarly;

"Was the earth made to preserve a few covetous, proud men to live at ease, and for them to bag and barn up the treasures of the Earth from others, that these may beg or starve in a fruitful land; or was it made to preserve all her children?"

"Propriety and single interest divides the people of a land and the whole world into parties and is the cause of all wars and bloodshed and contention everywhere"

"..yet my mind was not at rest, because nothing was acted, and thoughts ran into me, that words and writings were all nothing, and must die, for action is the life of all, and if thou dost not act, thou dost nothing"

Gerrard Winstanley et al- The True Levellers Standard Advanced - April, 1649

24.4.04

SM: There was a recent poll done for the BBC though which seemed to suggest that the Iraqi people believed their lives were going to get better.

NC: I read that on the BBC, then I looked up the actual poll and it's worth comparing. What was reported about the poll was trivialities such as the Iraqis are happy to get rid of Saddam Hussain, you don't need a poll for that. They hope their life will get better, so does everybody. What the poll actually said however was quite interesting.
**** The British medical journal The Lancet published a review of "six published and six unpublished trials" studying antidepressant use by children that concluded that, in most cases, "the risks exceeded the benefits." More disturbingly, the review found evidence that pharmaceutical companies "had been aware of problems but did not reveal them."

"They have this data sitting in front of them (showing) that the drugs don't work and there is some risk that they will increase suicidality in children. Why didn't they just put a health warning saying 'don't use in children"' asked Dr Tim Kendall, of the National Collaborating Center for Mental Health (NCCMH) in Britain which produces guidelines to improve patient care.


**** A survey of youth marketers, PR and advertising professionals found that, while respondents say children are "unable to make intelligent choices as consumers" until nearly 12 years old, it's OK to market to seven year olds. Just over 60 percent of those surveyed say advertising targets children at too young an age, but others feel "educational purposes" and brand loyalty justify targeting three year olds.

"eight year olds, dude"
"Like many interrogation forms the Reid technique has been accused of inducing subjects to confess to something that he or she did not do. A British study has indicated that around 20 per cent of people properly interrogated are vulnerable to confess, whether guilty or not."

23.4.04



new pop-left product

based on University of B.C. law professor Joel Bakan's book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.

Achbar also had a top-grossing title with Manufacturing Consent, a film he made with Peter Wintonick in 1993 based on Noam Chomsky's book of the same name.

[...]

Achbar has been taken by surprise by the film's [sale] success. "You can only in your wildest dreams hope for it," he said. "I'm constantly impressed and amazed by the popularity of the film.


this reflective of demand for content on part of supposedly "bread-wine-games" docile masses.. even phil mum dropping out of reformist league in face of yank_imp!

22.4.04

*** The Daily Express said today it was switching its allegiance to the Tories after a seven-year flirtation with Labour because 'a new government is needed to restore the public's faith in democracy'

media moguls select new leader to perpetuate necessary illusion

"Last month he [murdoch] invited the Tory leader to speak to a News Corp thinktank in Mexico, just as he had invited Mr Blair to a similar gathering nine years previously before he was elected prime minister."


*** Wanky liberal whore of the week:

"We have kicked out hereditary peers from the House of Lords and all but demolished the class system. Perhaps that's no bad thing, says Peregrine Worsthorne. But there is one real loss in the drive towards a classless society: the noble spirit of aristocracy"

classless? noble? fuck is he talking about? inbred whining- enjoy:

"Having been brought up among the upper class myself, perhaps it is only natural for me to be aware of that class's strengths and virtues rather than its limitations. "

21.4.04

This guy has balls like watermelons - Mordechai Vanunu is released today after 18 years of refusing to sign a gagging order. His release was again delayed because he objected to being banned from leaving Israel.
Did anyone spot this bit of shameless Blogger/US propaganda linked from the Blogger front page ...

"USA Today Iraqis enjoy new freedom of expression: "'We suffered for years under Saddam Hussein, not being able to speak out,' says Omar Fadhil, 24, a dentist. 'Now, you can make your voice heard around the world.'" You said it Omar. That's pretty much our whole thing."

20.4.04

U.S. neo-conservatives are modern-day barbarians who are more "bellicose, cruel and ferocious" than Hitler and will meet the same end as the German dictator, North Korea said on Wednesday.
"Who are these unwelcome, individual Iraqis on our TV screens, protesting, rampaging, shooting and often dying? Why, says George, they're terrorists. Yes indeed, echoes Tony. He who is not for us is a terrorist. He can and will be killed unless he falls silent."

See how dissent terrorises democracy while political quiescence promotes peace and security [...] dissent has turned oxymoronic.

"Bringing democracy to Iraq? What democracy is that? One mullah, one vote? One pipeline, one ministry? One assassination, one empty seat?"

19.4.04

the original WMD dossier (pdf) with lengthy tony intro including the 45 minute claim

embarrassing! harharharhar! thank you guardian

including description of "effects of a 20 kiloton nuclear detonation"- from post-nagasaki studies..

"that's what fundamentalism breeds- no irony" BH
Blair = Churchill - glorious victory

Blair refused three offers to stay out of Iraq

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington, Monday April 19, 2004, The Guardian

Eleven days before the invasion of Iraq, Tony Blair was given three chances by President George Bush to keep British troops out of the war at no political cost, but refused, according to a book published today. An impressively sourced account of the run-up to the war - Plan of Attack by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward - depicts a president acutely conscious of the political cost to Mr Blair of tying his fortunes so closely to Washington's policy on Iraq.

On the day of Mr Bush's offer - March 9, 2003 - Tony Blair faced a rebellion by Labour MPs opposed to the war, and it was becoming increasingly clear that the United Nations would not produce the international sanction for the war that was so important to Mr Blair's credibility at home.

more from the Guardian


Spain to pull troops out 'as soon as possible' Minister says forces could return within 15 days

Giles Tremlett in Madrid and David Teather in New York, Monday April 19, 2004, The Guardian

Spain announced last night it was expediting the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, jolting its coalition partners after another weekend of heavy losses and setbacks. Hours after his government was sworn in, the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, ordered an abrupt recall of Spain's 1,300 troops, saying they would leave Iraq "in the shortest possible time". He said he was no longer prepared to wait until his previous deadline of June 30 because there was no sign of the UN taking control of the post-war occupation.

*Shock as world leader follows International Law and the will of his own people*

more shocking revelations ...

16.4.04

“How can the media report this when they don’t even have a correspondent in Falluja? Why are they failing so completely to report the Iraqi side of the story? How much more obvious can it be that they are only parroting the U.S. military lies concerning the situation?” Dahr Jamail, Independent reporter

When Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the senior military spokesman in Iraq, was asked what he would tell Iraqis about televised images "of Americans and coalition soldiers killing innocent civilians," he said: "Change the channel." because these “are not legitimate news sources”. Precisely

Read a moving account of Jo Wilding’s time in Falluja: “George Bush says to the troops on Easter Sunday that, “I know what we’re doing in Iraq is right.” Shooting unarmed men in the back outside their family home is right. Shooting grandmothers with white flags is right? Shooting at women and children who are fleeing their homes is right? Firing at ambulances is right?”

Read Rahul Mahajan’s report from Fallujah “To Americans, “Fallujah” may still mean four mercenaries killed, with their corpses then mutilated and abused; to Iraqis, “Fallujah” means the savage collective punishment for that attack, in which over 600 Iraqis have been killed, with an estimated 200 women and over 100 children. empirenotes.org Rahul also recently wrote ‘Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond.’

Read Dahr Jamail, Iraq weblog dispatches “Solutions? One thing that remains glaringly apparent today is that Falluja has become another rallying point for the resistance. While most media in the U.S. (and many other Western countries) are failing to report the Iraqi side of the story there, everyone here knows it’s turned into a full-on massacre, and people are extremely angry. This and the entire debacle of how the Americans have handled the situation with Muqtada Sadr, have together brought rivers of volunteers into the already growing resistance to the occupation.”

This Saturday (17) Ewa Jasiewicz who has been living in Baghdad and Basra will be speaking at Kinning Park Complex, Cornwall St, Glasgow 1pm. Full list of her Scottish speaking tour
Ewa's weblog


There is a major conference being held in London and sponsored by Shell, from 26-28th April on the privatisation of Iraq with many corporate representatives looking for a piece of the pie and representatives from the Governing Council and Occupation Authority (Citizens arrest anyone?) attending. Counter demonstrations and actions are being planned by a variety of different peace, justice and anti-militarisation groups, plus a special focus on workers rights in occupied Iraq as well as a counter-conference website. An organizing meeting was held on the 15th. For more information see: warprofiteers.com, Voices in the Wilderness, or contact Voices in the Wilderness on 0845 458 2564 / voices@voicesuk.org.

15.4.04

malen ist revolution



brigitte mohnhaupt, first spk (socialist patients collective), then raf.

political prisoner 1972-1977 and 1982 until present, mostly in strict isolation [i].

münchner str. 33, 86551 aichach, germany
iraq body count: civilians killed on "noble mission" beyond 10K
And let the oil revenues - which people falsely claim we want to seize - be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN

trust fund- harharhar! original new labour!

Tony's pre-war speech.. love the "he's a hitler" third
terry on tony
Dear Mr and Mrs Blair,

"I have just had to mark Tony's essay, Why We Must Never Abandon This Historic Struggle in Iraq, and I am extremely worried.

Your son has been in the sixth form now for several years, studying world politics, and yet his recent essay shows so little grasp of the subject that I can only conclude he has spent most of that time staring out of the window."
some anti-psychiatry

have found out via preliminary tests, that there's a high probability that i'm on the so-called autism spectrum; more specifically, a certain construct called asperger's syndrome may apply. am now being advised to take a specialist psych consult - what exactly the benefit of a "diagnosis" would be, ain't quite clear. it's not like the pharmaceutical-psychiatric complex would benefit. potentially though, a certain hubris about not being neurotypical may evolve if necessary. but naturally, i find the anti-psych perspective far more enlightening.

the institute for the study of the neurologically typical states:
"Neurotypical syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by preoccupation with social concerns, delusions of superiority, and obsession with conformity."

pathological treatment of "mental" deviations -> striving for end of history ("we must all be alike, montag!") - try this.
* chomsky reminds us that iraq is about geopolitical power, current popular discourse therefore a superstructure of deception
"As pretext after pretext for the war has collapsed, commentators have had to scurry to take the next one seriously. The latest, after the collapse of all others, is that the US goal was to establish democracy in Iraq, indeed the whole Middle East. The assumption is taken for granted in news reporting, and accepted even by the harshest critics, who laud the noble vision but think it is beyond our means, etc. Only Iraqis seem to reject it; in recent polls, 1% of people in Baghdad think the US invaded to defend democracy, 5% to help Iraqis, while most of the rest assume that the goal was to take control of Iraq's resources and to reorganize the region for US power interests -- an option that is virtually inexpressible here, though it sounds pretty simple and obvious."

which brings us to:

* oil peak, neo-cons, corporatism [i] and the new world order

* pdb obviously only one in a swell of warnings
sputtering like a computer

tom tomorrow's amusing commentary on bush's ludicrous mumbling at last night's press conference. spot on.

"It's hardly a surprise when a politican gives evasive answers at a press conference. It's just that Bush is so terrible at it--he has maybe eighteen pre-programmed sound bites ready to go, and if none of them are applicable to the question, he just starts sputtering like a computer on the original Star Trek, after Captain Kirk has just irrefutably pointed out the illogic of its basic programming.

[...]

And then there was this illuminating exchange:

Q. Mr. President, Why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 commission? And Mr. President, who will you be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30?

A. We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over. And secondly, because the the 9/11 commission wants to ask us questions. That's why we're meeting, and I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

Q. Mr. President, I was asking why you're appearing together rather than separately, which was their request.

A. Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them.

In other words: that is a very good question, I commend you for asking such a good question, next question please."

13.4.04

* wsws.org on the pdb

* How many Nagasaki Nuclear Bombs equal the Radiation loosed in the 2003 Iraq war? Answer: About 250,000 Nuclear Bombs.

12.4.04

keywords of deception

the whole language thing is striking yet again. new keywords: "structural problems" re: intelligence and "extremely precise" re: targeting of resistance fighters in fallujah, despite:
"Of 1200 injured, it said 243 were women and 200 children. The groups warned their estimate might be too low. "Dead bodies are lying in the streets. Ambulances are being shot at by snipers. Medical aid and supplies have been stopped by US occupation forces," a statement from the NGOs said. The Marines conducting the week-long operation in Falluja have been accused of firing indiscriminately on people in the city, killing women and children."

you will see that all representatives use these words religiously, while the media does all it can to swallow them uncritically and accepts any semantic that is thrown at it.

the best new word however, is "specific". as condi points out and gwb reiterated yesterday, it is certainly correct that the pdb makes no "specific" mention that terrorists were going to fly hijacked airliners into the wtc towers on 9/11. how silly. as bush says, he would have "moved mountains" to prevent such an attack, had he known of its "specific" arrival. no shit. if only it had been more "specific" hey...

strangely though, keyword "specific" doesn't seem to apply in any area of u.s. policy, especially not when it comes to generating a casus belli. nor has any "specific" action since 9/11 really accomplished anything. and we all know that the bush league was internationally asleep pre-9/11, instead focusing on nmd, alaskan oil, tax cuts, medicare and other moves of public corporatism (= fascism) via international capital transfer (= imperialism). how convenient to wake up suddenly, and divert popular attention away from internal affairs and launch a "war on terror".

sadly their "war on terror" is a complete farce. afghanistan is said to have been a victorious war, yet it did absolutely nothing to reduce the al-qaeda threat. if anything, it gave radical islam a reason to group itself globally, in a more extensive manner than ever before. and as everybody knows by now, the pre-emptive attack on iraq with no link to the "war on terror" proposed, has thus nothing to do with anything, other than fascism and imperialism. these are the only two fitting words - by definition, not popular use.

yet, despite global opposition to iraq policy (which must be looking increasingly shaky to the Führer and his Stab), condosleazy maintains that "they hate us for who we are", thereby attempting to emphasize that the "u.s. is at war" (with someone completely unrelated to 9/11), in this so-called "war on terror". straight deception, open lying.

unfortunately, the stupid majority in red america will never wake up to these specific deception strategies. looking at history though, we are relieved to know, that generating public support via patriotic and militant emotions is always a first symptom of a brownish-völkisch flight of madness coming to an end.


billmon had a great orwellian excerpt to this end:
"A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London. It had no caption, and represented simply the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier, three or four metres high [cf. hicks re: saddams "elite" republican guard, "desert warrior, two feet tall, never lost a battle, we shit bullets!"], striding forward with expressionless Mongolian face and enormous boots, a submachine gun pointed from his hip. From whatever angle you looked at the poster, the muzzle of the gun, magnified by the foreshortening, seemed to be pointed straight at you. The thing had been plastered on every blank space on every wall, even outnumbering the portraits of Big Brother. The proles, normally apathetic about the war, were being lashed into one of their periodical frenzies of patriotism."

like this, it will happen again.

11.4.04

august 6th pdb released;
"President Bush was told more than a month before the Sept. 11 attacks that al-Qaida had reached America's shores, had a support system in place for its operatives and that the FBI had detected suspicious activity that might involve a hijacking plot...

Senior administration officials said Bush saw more than 40 mentions of al-Qaida in his daily intelligence updates during the first eight months of his presidency. The CIA prepared the document "in response to questions asked by the president about the possibility of attacks by al-Qaida inside the U.S," one said.

But the senior officials refused to say what Bush's response to the memo was."

view pdb


before 9/11 commission, whilst fallujah is boiling: "Today, along with many allies, we are helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to build free societies...to spread the blessings of liberty and democracy as alternatives to instability and terror,"

10.4.04

art of resistance
* "major combat activity is over"

whilst the u.s. media is reporting on the anniversary of saddam's statue being pulled down, thus still failing to recognize the event as a lame photo-op, bremer keeps provoking the shia south and as a consequence, things are turning rather sour for the imperial occupation.

naomi klein on the demonstration of moqtada al-sadr supporters:
"On Sunday, all of these explosive forces came together when thousands of demonstrators filled Firdos Square. On one side of the plaza, a couple of kids climbed to the top of a building and took a knife to a billboard advertising Iraq?s new army. On the other side, U.S. forces pointed tanks at the crowd while a loudspeaker told them that "demonstrations are an important part of democracy but blocking traffic will not be permitted"."


* unsurprisingly, neo-cons are banking on these events by blaming everybody else for this mess. by stepping up their ayatollah rhetoric, they push for retribution in iran.


* situation in iraq far worse, despite lifting of sanctions and saddam gone

rahul mahajan tells us why:
"it's misleading to say that the sanctions regime was ended.

It is true in a purely technical sense. There are no longer any legal restrictions on imports and huge amounts of consumer goods are flooding the markets of Iraq. In a more meaningful sense, however, the sanctions continue and have actually been substantially worsened.

Let's not think of "sanctions" as some specific legal regime controlling Iraq's trade. Let's look at the effects. In the last few years before the war, what the sanctions on Iraq amounted to were a situation in which there was minimal provision of basic government services (garbage collection, electrical power, potable water, health care in government hospitals, education) and the revenues of Iraq were externally controlled. Iraq's oil revenues went into a U.N.-controlled escrow account in New York, there were massive bureaucratic impediments to its disbursement, and the United States often denied or held up essential contracts, especially for industrial and infrastructure reconstruction. Because of this, you had high unemployment, high infant mortality, minimal access to medical care, etc.

After the war, Iraq's revenues are still externally controlled. Now, the escrow account is controlled by the United States. No matter how bad the bureaucratic impediments under the Oil for Food program, there was at least a government in Iraq that would make plans to use its oil revenues to buy various goods, to do reconstruction, and so on; now, there is virtually nothing. The "government of Iraq,' the adjunct of the CPA, has no authority or control over any substantial amount of funds. Allocations are made by the U.S. government, a foreign authority, and most of them go to companies like Halliburton and Bechtel, which use their cost-plus contracts to "study" problems instead of fixing them.

As a result, the level of services provided in Iraq is actually lower than before. Hospitals get less in the way of supplies and can deliver less care than before the war. When I was in Baghdad in January, there was no garbage collection. Unemployment is far higher than it was before the war (most estimates run at about 60%).

8.4.04

btw, main page of wikipedia today is focused on the frankfurt school

very high quality and exciting diagram to boot!
its fair to say things have kicked off big style in the eastern fringe of the empire. what's the story? who's the aggressor anyway? well, here's what it looks like on the ground -

"In fact, during the war, Falluja was not a hotbed of resistance. Its turn to resistance started on April 28, when U.S. troops opened fire on a group of 100 to 200 peaceful protesters, killing 15. They claimed they were returning gunfire, but Human Rights Watch investigated and found that the bullet holes in the area were inconsistent with that story -- and, furthermore, every Iraqi witness maintained that the crowd was unarmed. Two days later, another three protesters were killed."

[....]

"With the recent fighting in Falluja, cordoning off the city, in which 12 Marines, two other soldiers, and at least 66 Iraqis were killed, there is no chance to get off this track in the foreseeable future.

But, not satisfied with this massive problem with the Sunni, the CPA chose the same time to pick a fight with the Shi'a followers of Moqtada al-Sadr."

[....]

"In general, there is no quicker way to get an Iraqi to laugh than to talk about how the United States is bringing freedom or democracy to the country. It's standard when talking about the latest problem the Americans cause, to say derisively, "This is the freedom." When I asked Rasool Gurawi, a spokesman at the al-Sadr office in Thawra, the slum of two million that is perhaps al-Sadr's strongest base of support, about Bush's claims, he said, "This is democracy? Attacking peaceful demonstrations? Killing people and destroying buildings?"

[....]

The people in the Shi'a slums of Baghdad who are now furiously resisting the Americans hate Saddam with a passion to this day. They suffered under his repression and they also suffered from neglect, especially under the sanctions -- scarce resources and repairs went to politically more favored areas. They expected great improvements when the United States took over.

Shaykh Sadun al-Shemary, a former member of the Iraqi army who participated in the 1991 uprising and now a spokesman for the al-Sadr organization in Shuala, told me, "Things are exactly the same as in Saddam's time -- maybe worse."

That is all you need to know about the occupation of Iraq."



eneko a, brilliant Spanish artist whose posters can be seen pasted on the streets of Madrid... at the link is more of his work...

7.4.04

** wanky liberal reflections of the month - with teenage pregnancy rates approaching 10% for under-18s in her council of lambeth, myerson feels she has to discuss her own fake pregnancy when she was a young bourgeois at university

"I gathered all the watercolours of flowers I had ever painted, put them in a wicker basket and set off to sell them. I trawled around every craft shop in Bristol. I had to find a way of keeping us - the baby and me, that is."

** Academics 'harming' efforts to combat terrorism - In his paper, published in today's Times Higher Education Supplement, Professor Glees - who is director of the centre for intelligence and security studies at Brunel - says: "There is still a marked suspicion of professional security activities, even in the defence of liberal democracy... Some senior members of Britain's diplomatic community and more than a few members of Britain's academic community believe that security and intelligence services do not provide the answer to the problem but are, in fact, its cause."

Academics are mainly "hostile to the idea of intervention in international affairs and have, since 1980, harboured strong suspicions of American motives".

Professor Glees will also claim that political correctness makes it difficult for academics to attack Islamic fundamentalism or oppose student societies that demand the destruction of western society, if they wish to do so.

** Bai-bai "election": Media tycoon predicts Bush "to walk" into second term
"They're [who?] with him on that, completely. He's going to walk [the election]. The economy's doing extremely well [?] and there is an international crisis. You've got to understand, America was attacked. 9/11 changed America - it was a big moment in history."

All of Mr Murdoch's newspapers supported the war, which he believed was the only way of ridding the Middle East of Saddam Hussein.

5.4.04

On Tuesday (6th), David Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice once again. In London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted! The logic is that the innocent man shouldn’t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets. His spokesmen in the Home Office says it’s a completely “reasonable course of action” as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison. The government calls it ‘Saved Living Expenses’.

Paddy Hill, of the Birmingham 6, spent 16 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Paddy has now been presented with a bill for £50,000 for “living expenses” incurred while wrongly convicted. “The establishment hates me and people like me as we proved them wrong,” he said. “They either want to ignore us or hurt us.”

Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four, wrongly convicted for killing a paperboy, was charged £60,000 for the 17 years he spent in jail. He said: “If I had known this I would have stayed on hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill.”


Blunkett’s fight has been described as “outrageous”, “morally repugnant” and the “sickest of sick jokes” from the Sunday Herald

Our shoddy treatment of victims of injustice from the Guardian
consumer whore

4.4.04

"...But the implications for Blair may be still more explosive. The discussion implies that, even before the bombing of Afghanistan, Blair already knew that the US intended to attack Saddam next, although he continued to insist in public that 'no decisions had been taken' until almost the moment that the invasion began in March 2003. His critics are likely to seize on the report of the two leaders' exchange and demand to know when Blair resolved to provide the backing that Bush sought..."

2.4.04

"Wohin könnte man blicken, ohne Opfern der Selbstverleugnung zu begegnen? Da sitzt Mir gegenüber ein Mädchen, das vielleicht schon seit zehn Jahren seiner Seele blutige Opfer bringt. Über der üppigen Gestalt neigt sich ein todmüdes Haupt, und bleiche Wangen verraten die langsame Verblutung ihrer Jugend. Armes Kind, wie oft mögen die Leidenschaften an Dein Herz geschlagen und die reichen Jugendkräfte ihr Recht gefordert haben! Wenn Dein Haupt sich in die weichen Kissen wühlte, wie zuckte die erwachende Natur durch Deine Glieder, spannte das Blut Deine Adern, und gossen feurige Phantasien den Glanz der Wollust in Deine Augen. Da erschien das Gespenst der Seele und ihrer Seligkeit. Du erschrakst, Deine Hände falteten sich, Dein gequältes Auge richtete den Blick nach oben, Du - betetest. Die Stürme der Natur verstummten, Meeresstille glitt hin über den Ozean Deiner Begierden. Langsam senkten sich die matten Augenlider über das unter ihnen erloschene Leben, aus den strotzenden Gliedern schlich unvermerkt die Spannung, in dem Herzen versiegten die lärmenden Wogen, die gefalteten Hände selbst lasteten entkräftet auf dem widerstandlosen Busen, ein leises, letztes Ach stöhnte noch nach, und - die Seele war ruhig. Du entschliefst, um am Morgen zu neuem Kampfe zu erwachen und zu neuem - Gebete. Jetzt kühlt die Gewohnheit der Entsagung die Hitze Deines Verlangens, und die Rosen Deiner Jugend erblassen in der - Bleichsucht Deiner Seligkeit. Die Seele ist gerettet, der Leib mag verderben! O Laïs, o Ninon, wie tatet Ihr wohl, diese bleiche Tugend zu verschmähen. Eine freie Grisette gegen tausend in der Tugend grau gewordene Jungfern!"

der einzige u sein eigenthum
Lord Denning: “I shall tell your Lords about another one [case]. It is almost too sordid to mention. It is all about inflatable dolls. They are life-size female figures, with orafices and the like. They come from Germany. The Customs authorities at Heathrow said, “We cannot have this stuff coming into the country. It is obscene and indecent.”

favourite quotes from my research into parliamentary debates re: european union integration

1.4.04

Et tu, Brute?


The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.