Rights Under Attack
. . . about Chaos,
Reason, and Hope
Bush's Operation Clean Sweep :World War IV in 2004
(John Stanton, Information Clearing House, November 29, 2003)
Even though Bush II will lose the popular vote in the US presidential election of 2004, his electoral college victory seems assured. With Republican party governors firmly in charge of Florida, California, Texas and New York, and supported by a whopping Bush campaign war chest approaching $200 million, dubious electronic voting schemes courtesy of Diebold, Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors it seems certain that Bush will make it back to the Oval Office through the back door that is the Electoral College. And if not the Electoral College then by benefit of a rebel attack on US soil which kills thousands of Americans and leads to the suspension of the US Constitution. That according to General Tommy Franks, USA (Ret.), who opined in the magazine Cigar Aficionado that the US will have to shed its constitution in favor of a military style of government. Even the notorious aristocrat Alexander Hamilton would have been appalled as such a statement, as would Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. . . . Mediocre times produce the very worst that the world has to offer: Reagan, Bin Laden, Bush, Hussein, Sharon, and Blair. None but the feeble minded could draw inspiration from such a ghastly lineup of "leaders". . . . With the election of Bush II in 2004, the ideological and economic fracturing of America will be complete and, for the foreseeable future, permanent. The three branches of the US government, corporations, and the majority of state's governors and state houses will be controlled by those Republicans and Democrats who have become indistinguishable in their belief that the government's only role in America is to make it safe and ludicrously easy for small and large corporations to make a profit without the drag of government regulations, programs and taxes that, in their view, steal from the bottom line. . . . But those that rule have in their malleable plebian audience a strange group of middle and lower class acolytes. Among them, the notorious Christian right and an estimated 5 to 9 million American-Muslims who handed Bush II over 90 percent of their vote in the last presidential election. That group, along with neo-con Latinos and Asians, seem to have forgotten the struggles they waged to reach, what once was, a republic with a semblance of representative democracy. Are they trying to recreate the religious-military dictatorships of their own home countries? Bush II certainly has obliged them in that effort. . . . Thanks to the Patriot Act, elements of the Bush PCS can now enter the homes of protestors that question opposition to the established order on the street, the Internet, in high schools, on television, in the newspapers, and even in common conversation. The Pentagon has its own domestic intelligence service that has begun working with the FBI who, in turn, is ramping up its efforts to build databases of Americans who oppose the Bush PCS machine. Even local police, like the Miami Police Department, have become tools of the hideous juggernaut that has been created by the powerful and paranoid of the land. The Miami Police Department received $8.5 million from the $87.5 billion Pentagon appropriation for the Iraq War. The $8.5 million from that Pentagon appropriation was used for the defense of Miami against anti-globalization protestors in the same way it is used by the US military to quell disturbances in Iraq. The Miami protestors were made up of a broad spectrum of America society representing unions, teachers and the young and old alike. That event should be burned into the minds of Americans and the world as the Bush PCS has made it clear that it makes no distinction between the Iraqis demonstrating for a free press, or a US steelworkers demonstrating against a “Free” Trade Agreement. Antiwar, anti-globalization, pro-labor, pro-women’s rights, pro-environment, pro-national healthcare movements should be cautious post-2004 as they take to the streets to protest. America has become a police state. . . . And so the Bush-led PCS will continue to dress its god, its profits, its worldview in the colorful and flammable costume that is patriotism. The rallying cries are very persuasive to simple minds: Fight 'Em There Rather than Here! America is Safer Now! The Economy is Recovering! Do Your Duty and Buy! Cheaper Oil and Gas for Americans! Help Freedom Loving Iraqi's Rebuild! God Bless America! Go Team! That same sort of infantile rationale will continue to be used to not only further the economic and ideological divide in America, but to attack nations who, coincidently, have large oil and gas reserves, sit in the path of energy pipelines, or who happen to believe in Islam. . . . Shortly upon taking office in 2004, Bush’s PCS will move rapidly on a number of fronts. Unbound by the constraints of campaigning, the real work of the Bush PCS will begin. First, the Bush PCS will continue to rupture federal and state programs that assist the middle and lower classes of America and their culture and environment. The US Supreme Court will eliminate a woman’s right to choose. Constitutional amendments banning gay rights, women’s rights and civil rights/affirmative action will be proposed by the Bush PCS and, in all likelihood, will succeed. An additional amendment to the constitution concerning military rule in case of an attack on US soil by any foreign individual or state will be added easing the way towards military rule in America.
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posted by Lorenzo 6:01 PM
The UK Gulag: ID cards plan within 10 years
(BBC News, 26 November 2003)
Measures to create a national identity card system have been announced in the Queen's Speech. . . . Legislation will create a national register and powers for compulsory cards. . . . Passports and driving licences will include fingerprints within five years. . . . The measures made it into the speech after Home Secretary David Blunkett scraped through a Cabinet battled to keep the plan on the table. . . . Under the scheme, the government aims to create an identity system which it believes will tackle illegal working and immigration, disrupt organised crime and terrorism and prevent abuse of public services and benefits. . . . At the heart of the system will be a central database which holds data on every legal resident of the UK. . . . New laws will allow law enforcement agencies and other public bodies such as the NHS to use the system to check the identity of a person. . . . These new cards would be based on a system recording 'biometric' data such as fingerprints or a scan of the iris - something the government believes would be impossible to forge. . . . But the two most controversial elements of the scheme are how it would be used by public services and the issue of compulsion. . . . Under the draft bill, ministers will have powers to change the system to prevent people using specific public services if they do not produce a valid ID card. . . . Secondly, ministers will have the power to set a future date when the carrying or production of ID cards would become compulsory.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:04 PM
The moral myth of Bush and Blair
(George Monbiot, The Guardian, November 25, 2003)
As soon as one argument for the invasion and occupation of Iraq collapses, they switch to another. Over the past month, almost all the warriors - Bush, Blair and the belligerents in both the conservative and the liberal press - have fallen back on the last line of defence, the argument we know as "the moral case for war". . . . I do believe that there was a moral case for deposing Saddam - who was one of the world's most revolting tyrants - by violent means. I also believe that there was a moral case for not doing so, and that this case was the stronger. That Saddam is no longer president of Iraq is, without question, a good thing. But against this we must weigh the killing or mutilation of thousands of people; the possibility of civil war in Iraq; the anger and resentment the invasion has generated throughout the Muslim world and the creation, as a result, of a more hospitable environment in which terrorists can operate; the reassertion of imperial power; and the vitiation of international law. It seems to me that these costs outweigh the undoubted benefit. . . . But the key point, overlooked by all those who have made the moral case for war, is this: that a moral case is not the same as a moral reason. Whatever the argument for toppling Saddam on humanitarian grounds may have been, this is not why Bush and Blair went to war. . . . When it suits its purposes to append a moral justification to its actions, it will do so. When it is better served by supporting dictatorships like Uzbekistan's, expansionist governments like Ariel Sharon's and organisations which torture and mutilate and murder, like the Colombian army and (through it) the paramilitary AUC, it will do so. . . . It armed and funded Saddam when it needed to; it knocked him down when it needed to. In neither case did it act because it cared about the people of his country. It acted because it cared about its own interests. . . . It is hard to see why we should expect anything else. All empires work according to the rules of practical advantage, rather than those of kindness and moral decency. . . . There were plenty of hard-headed reasons for the United States to go to war with Iraq. As Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary, has admitted, the occupation of that country permits the US to retain its presence in the Middle East while removing "almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia". The presence of "crusader forces on the holy land" was, he revealed, becoming ever less sustainable. (Their removal, of course, was Osama bin Laden's first demand: whoever said that terrorism does not work?) Retaining troops in the Middle East permits the US to continue to exercise control over its oil supplies, and thus to hold China, its new economic and political rival, to ransom. The bombing of Iraq was used by Bush to show that his war on terror had not lost momentum. And power, as anyone who possesses it appreciates, is something you use or lose. . . . But in debating the war, those of us who opposed it find ourselves drawn into this fairytale. We are obliged to argue about the relative moral merits of leaving Saddam in place or deposing him, while we know, though we are seldom brave enough to say it, that the moral issue is a distraction. The genius of the hawks has been to oblige us to accept a fiction as the reference point for debate. . . . Let us argue about the moral case for war by all means; but let us do so in the knowledge that it had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq.
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posted by Lorenzo 10:14 AM
FBI seizes Saudi embassy records
(Aljazeera.net, 24 November 2003)
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has subpoenaed Saudi Arabia embassy bank account records as part of a probe into the financing of Islamist groups. . . . According to the Washington Post on Sunday, the seizure was justified as an attempt to “determine whether Saudi government money knowingly or unknowingly helped fund extremists”. . . . The probe, requested by congressional leaders and approved by the National Security Council, is unprecedented and has outraged Saudi Arabian officials. . . . The government of Saudi Arabia has subsequently turned over embassy spending records for the past 20 years, the official said, adding: "We have nothing to hide." . . . The probe, which extends to the activities of Saudi Arabia consulates across the US, began this August. . . . It was launched as the US and the Saudi Arabian governments were hailing a new era of cooperation in fighting various Islamist organisations such as al-Qaida - and shortly after the deportation of a Los Angeles consulate staff member. . . . Saudi Arabian political analyst Zuhair al-Harithi told Aljazeera on Monday that the investigation may negatively affect the US-Saudi relationship. . . . “Such a procedure is unacceptable - it is against the international law,” he said. . . . “No government has ever probed into the bank accounts of embassies, as every embassy has its own diplomatic immunity,” he said. . . . Al-Harithi also believes that this probe comes in the context of the US propaganda campaign against Saudi Arabia. . . . “Despite security co-operation between the United States and Saudi Arabia, some neoconservatives in the US administration want to break ties, aggressively pursuing any opportunity to deteriorate relations,” he added.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:30 PM
Robert Fisk: We are paying the price of an infantile attempt to reshape the Middle East
(Robert Fisk, The Independent, 21 November 2003)
The Australians paid the price for the alliance with Bush in Bali. The Italians paid the price in Nasiriyah. Now it is our turn . . . It's the price of joining George Bush's "war on terror". They couldn't hit Britain while Bush was on his triumphalist state visit to London, so they went for the jugular in Turkey. The British consulate, the British-headquartered HSBC bank. London-abroad. . . . "They" must mean "al-Qa'ida". And of course, merely to point out that we - the British - are now paying the price for George Bush's infantile attempt to reshape the Middle East in Israel's favour will attract the usual venom. . . . Al-Qa'ida was quite specific. The Saudis would pay. The Australians would pay. The Italians would pay. The British would pay. They have. Canada is still on the list. . . . They knew, too, of the demonstrations that awaited George Bush in London. So why not distract attention from the whole panjandrum by assaulting Britain in Turkey. Who would care about Bush's visit to Sedgefield when Britons are lying dead in the grounds of their consulate in Istanbul? Just so in Iraq. The Iraqi insurgents are well aware of George Bush's falling opinion polls in the United States. They know how desperate he is to extract himself from Iraq before next year's presidential elections. Thus are they increasing their assaults on American forces and their Iraqi supporters, provoking the US army to ever more ferocious retaliation? . . . But we go on misunderstanding. Take those tiresome speeches by Osama bin Laden. When his audio-tapes are aired, we journalists always take the same line. Is it really him? Is he alive? That becomes our only story. But the Arab response is quite different. They know it's him. And they listen to what he says. So should we. . . . But alas, we still pedal the old myths, as George Bush did in London on Wednesday. His speech contained the usual untruths. Note, for example, the list of attacks he gave us: "Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Bombay, Mombasa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad and Istanbul". Najaf may well have nothing to do with al-Qa'ida but the suicide bombings in Jerusalem, vicious though they are, have absolutely nothing to do with our "war on terror". They are part of a brutal anti-colonial struggle between Palestinians and Israelis. Yet the inclusion of Jerusalem allows Ariel Sharon to join his war against the Palestinians to Bush's war against al-Qa'ida. This mendacity continued. Israel, said Bush, had to "freeze" settlements on Palestinian land - not close them down - and only dismantle what he artfully called "unauthorised outposts". . . . "Outposts" is Israel's word for the most recent land seizures in the West Bank and the word "unauthorised" suggests that there is some legality to the massive settlements already built on Palestinian land. According to Bush, the "heart of the matter" in the Middle East is "a viable Palestinian democracy." Not once did Bush mention "occupation". Why not? Is he so frightened of Israel's lobby before next year's US presidential election that even this most salient fact of the Middle East experience has to be censored from his narrative of events? . . . There was, too, the familiar distortion of the historical narrative. He said that America and Britain would do "all in their power to prevent the United Nations from solemnly choosing its own irrelevance." Come again? Who was it who wouldn't let the UN inspectors finish their search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq last year? Who was it who wouldn't accept a UN stewardship of the Iraq crisis? . . . Bush claimed yet again that we "tolerated" the dictatorships of the Middle East. Rubbish. We created them, Saddam's regime being the most obvious example. Who doubts, Mr Bush asked us, "that Afghanistan is a more just society and less dangerous without Mullah Omar playing host to terrorists from around the world?" Could this be the same Afghanistan which once more cringes under the warlords of the old Northern Alliance, the Afghanistan where the opium poppy is once again the country's prime export, where aid workers are being cut down by the Taliban? . . . And in Iraq, where the occupying powers now face an Iraqi insurgency of fearful proportions, Mr Bush still thinks he is fighting "Ba'athist holdouts and jihadists". Even his military officers are repeating that it is a growing Iraqi guerrilla army they are fighting - not "foreign fighters" or "jihadis". . . . Where, oh where are we going? How much longer must we suffer this false account of history? How much longer must we willfully misread what we are doing and what is being done to us?
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posted by Lorenzo 3:48 PM
FTAA Draft Ignores Environment, Poverty Issues
(Environment News Service, November 20, 2003)
Trade ministers from the 34 democratic nations of the Western Hemisphere today advanced the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Miami at their eighth ministerial meeting. . . . Environmental protection is mentioned, but not given a prominent place in the draft FTAA agreement, raising concerns that protections will be ignored or dismantled in the interest of trade. . . . When completed, the FTAA will be the world's largest free market, with a combined gross domestic product of nearly $13 trillion and 800 million consumers living from Alaska to the tip of South America. . . . The ministers say they are open to the ideas of civil society, and invite contributions in writing from anyone and everyone. "We recognize and welcome the interests and concerns that different sectors of society have expressed in relation to the FTAA. . . . Many cities have asked to be considered for the permanent site of the FTAA Secretariat, including six in the United States - Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Galveston, Houston, and Miami. Other candidate cities are - Cancun, Mexico; Panama City, Panama; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Puebla, Mexico. . . . Whatever city is finally chosen will have to contend with protesters who object to the globalization of trade the FTAA represents. In Miami today, a scheduled and permitted march sponsored by the AFL-CIO was completed without incident. . . . Chanting “No to FTAA” and “FTAA, Don’t Take Our Jobs Away,” union members, environmentalists and religious and human rights activists from North, Central and South America marched through the streets of Miami Thursday to stop the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Estimates of the number of marchers in the street varied from 10,000 to 20,000. . . . The march topped off a three day series of Stop FTAA events in Miami, which included a workers’ forum on impact of unfair trade on workers throughout the hemisphere and a massive People’s Gala, which celebrated cultures through music, food and dance. . . . According to AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, the protest march delivered a message to every working family that unions and their thousands of allies throughout the hemisphere are “standing beside you, fighting beside you and marching beside you” to ensure there will not be an FTAA.
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posted by Lorenzo 10:28 AM
The end of the imperial project
(Patrick J. Buchanan, WorldNetDaily, October 15, 2003)
[NOTE: The author of this article is considered to be a member of the far right wing of US politics, which makes this article even more interesting.]
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is bitter over the way Condi Rice leaked word the National Security Council would be big-footing his Pentagon to take over the management of Iraq. . . . The State Department is having a hellish time persuading the United Nations to support a U.S. resolution that might bring in U.N. troops and aid. . . . Republicans are balking at the White House request for $20 billion for reconstruction. Democrats are painting Iraq as a disaster bred of White House hubris and Bush unilateralism. U.S. forces are being daily hit with mining, bombing and sniping attacks. And half the nation is now dissatisfied with President Bush's handling of Iraq. . . . In Baghdad, radical Shiites appear to be edging toward a clash with U.S. occupation forces. And at the Islamic summit in Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad has called on Muslim countries to evict the United States from Iraq. . . . So, the neoconservatives who rhapsodized about American soldiers being hailed as liberators in Baghdad as they were in Paris in 1944, and democracy sweeping the Middle East, have been exposed as naifs whose knowledge is as small as their egos are large. . . . As to whether the war was wise, however, the returns are tilting heavily against the president. . . . our failure to unearth any hard evidence that Iraq had chemical or bio weapons ready for use, or was working on nuclear weapons, or had ties to al-Qaida or a role in 9-11 has been ruinous to the nation's and president's reputation for truth. . . . And the White House's stubborn refusal to admit that prewar intelligence was faulty has enabled critics to claim the president's men deceived the country. And that is what the world believes. . . . Our alliances have been strained. The rift with Old Europe is unrepaired. Our Arab friends are putting distance between us. And the president's coalition partners are embattled. Prime Minister John Howard of Australia has been censured by his senate for misleading the country on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and British belief in the integrity of Tony Blair has sunk with his approval rating. . . . As for neoconservative predictions that democracy would break out in the Arab world and Mideast peace would be at hand after Baghdad, the less said the better. The "roadmap," smeared with the blood of Jewish victims of Hamas terror and Palestinian victims of Sharonite reprisals, is crumpled up in the back seat. . . . As for the salutary effect of "shock and awe" on Axis of Evil nations, where is it? Iran and North Korea appear undeterred by our smashing of Iraq and even more resolved to acquire atomic weapons to defend themselves against U.S. air, sea and ground forces that are otherwise irresistible. . . . Has our victory in Iraq been a triumph in the war on terror? . . . How? Before the invasion, not one U.S. civilian or soldier had died in a terror attack plotted by Saddam in a decade. Since we went to war, 330 Americans have died, 1,500 more have been wounded, and Iraqi guerrillas are killing three to six soldiers a week and wounding scores. According to the administration itself, Iraq has become "a haven for terrorists." Before the invasion, all was quiet on what is now called "the central front" in the war on terror. . . . One thing, however, seems certain. With Americans balking at paying the cost in blood of occupying Iraq, and Congress balking at voting even 1 percent of GDP to hold Iraq, the imperial project of the neocons – to erect an American empire in Arabia and impose democracy on reluctant Muslims – is dead. . . . Only Mahatir thinks not. Pointing to the Israeli air strike near Damascus, he told the Islamic summit, "Israel has been urging America to invade Syria, and Americans seemed to be reluctant, so in order to force the hand of America, Israel invades Syria." . . . Will Bush allow Sharon and his neocon auxiliary to drag us into another war, against Syria or Iran, or will he see his country's interests more clearly now?
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posted by Lorenzo 5:17 PM
Colourful cavalcade protests against Bush UK visit
(Meg Clothier and Sabina Zawadzki, Reuters, November 19, 2003)
George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth lookalikes in an open-top coach, a giant inflatable missile and a pink "peace tank" wound through London in a cavalcade of protest against the U.S. president. . . . The march on Wednesday was a colourful prelude to demonstrations on Thursday, when some 100,000 people were expected to take to the capital's streets to express their anger about the war in Iraq. . . . "I'm ashamed to be British. I'm ashamed Tony Blair and the Queen are entertaining this megalomaniac," said Cherry Bennet, 40, a scriptwriter from London. "I'm not a mad left-winger," she said. "I'm middle England." . . . Bennet was among hundreds of people gathered on the south bank of the River Thames, where the "Alternative State Procession" kicked off a day of opposition on the streets to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and Britain's participation in it. . . . Kate, from Devon, over 100 miles away, said she too planned to stay all night. "Bush should go. He causes destruction. He destroys property, people, the environment. He is a global menace." . . . It was mostly a frustrating day for protesters, who tried in vain to catch a glimpse of Bush as security men whisked him from one engagement to the next. . . . Across town, the cavalcade rumbled away, led by a horse-drawn carriage carrying the celebrity lookalikes. Behind the coach was an 18-foot-long inflatable Trident missile and a pink "peace and love tank", driven by a young boy. . . . A black London cab represented "taxi drivers against the war", and a red London bus advertised its route as London-Baghdad. Some dressed as U.N. weapons inspectors; others poured red dye into the water of a Trafalgar Square fountain to represent blood spilt in Iraq. . . . "This is really street theatre symbolising all the different elements of the peace movement," said Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition, one of the organisers. . . . Airline worker Dawn Totten, 50, said she had flown from her home in the United States to join the protest. "I came all the way from San Francisco because demonstrations go unrecognised and unreported there."
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posted by Lorenzo 4:56 PM
The mobilization in Miami is underway
(Starhawk, Utne Reader, November 12, 2003)
We've come here to protest the FTAA, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a trade agreement that will be negotiated in a ministerial here in Miami November 20-21. . . . The FTAA has been described as "NAFTA on steroids." It extends throughout the entire hemisphere, far beyond the territory covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which currently affects the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Since NAFTA was signed in 1994, the U.S. has lost 785,000 manufacturing jobs. Mexico has gained jobs but lost hundreds of thousands of small businesses: average income from manufacturing has fallen by 21 percent . . . The FTAA is being negotiated without true public participation. CEOs of corporations and other top business leaders are afforded a chance to give meaningful input through the American Business Forum, meeting here during the week before the FTAA ministerial, but the text of the agreement is not being released to the general public and environmental and labor groups are offered only a token meeting with the ministers. The FTAA contains a clause that allows corporations to sue governments for loss of their "projected profits" if environmental or labor regulations cut into their bottom line. Rulings on those suits are made by tribunals in secret hearings not open to the public, by bureaucrats who are not elected nor accountable to us, and their rulings override the laws we make. . . . This mobilization is looking big. After Cancun, we talked about trying to organize at a slightly less frantic pace, trying to find ways for new people to step up to larger responsibilities and spread the work. That's happening. But, like Cancun, Miami does not have a large, radical community to draw from. There are some dedicated, mostly young, activists here from the local area, but much of the experience and drive for the actions is coming from outside. . . . The mobilization is seriously short on money. If any of you can help, please check the www.unitedforpeace.org web site -- you can donate online. We need money for food, medical supplies, copies, signs, banners, and all of it. A few more resources could really make the difference in how effective we are here, Thanks, Starhawk
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posted by Lorenzo 3:33 PM
Londoners Gather to Protest Bush Visit
(Beth Gardiner, The Guardian, November 18, 2003)
Hundreds turned out for the first of a number of planned protests as President Bush arrived in London on Tuesday, and activists said their numbers were swelling for a march through the capital they hope will overshadow the pomp and ceremony of the state visit. . . . The Stop the War coalition predicted 100,000 Britons will march past Parliament on Thursday at the week's main anti-Bush event, increasing its earlier estimate of 60,000. . . . ``Our phones have not stopped ringing with calls from people wanting to show their opposition to the visit,'' said Lindsey German, an organizer at the coalition. ``Feelings are running very strongly and the more we are told that we should welcome the president, the more opposition grows.'' . . . Hundreds of environmentalists gathered for a march coinciding with Bush's arrival Tuesday evening to protest his rejection of the Kyoto treaty on global warming. . . . The planned protests contrasted sharply with the warm reception Bill Clinton, who remains extremely popular in Britain, received on presidential trips to London. Bush's itinerary also appears far more controlled - he is not expected to indulge in any of the casual shopping trips or pub visits his predecessor enjoyed. . . . London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who on Monday called Bush 'the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen,'' urged anti-Bush demonstrators to remain peaceful. . . . ``You are protesting against an illegal war and occupation, and the world will be watching you,'' he said.
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posted by Lorenzo 3:19 PM
Are The Israelis Willing To Start World War III?
(M. Raphael Johnson, American Free Press, November 8, 2003)
The gloves are off, and with America and Israel still unable to steal any oil from Iraq because someone keeps blowing the pipelines, Russian and Chinese firepower buildup suddenly slammed the door firmly shut on Caspian oil reserves in the old Soviet republics. For more than a decade American oil multinationals have been conducting 'joint ventures' in the former Soviet republics bordering the Caspian Sea, with the stated intent of pumping stolen crude oil out through Turkey, then on to western markets. Now this route has been blocked permanently, and America is in no position to do anything about it, because a large part of the U.S. conventional army is currently bogged down in Iraq, being shot at and killed on a daily basis. . . . For many who have been watching this region as a confrontation between the United States and Israel versus Russia largely over the control of the biggest gas and oil deposits in the world, a new front has been opened. . . . Since the end of the Gorbachev era, the Russian oligarchs, nearly all Jewish by ethnicity (with the noticeable exception of Vladimir Potanin), have controlled nearly all key sectors of the Russian economy. This, of course, includes Russia's major ace-in-the-hole, oil and gas. The giant YUKOS conglomerate is presently one of the largest oil companies in the world, valued at about $40 billion. . . . YUKOS is the result of a 'loans for shares' deal brokered through the semi-coherent Boris Yeltsin in 1995. Here, the liberal Russian government swapped loyalty from the oligarchs in exchange for privatization at prices far below that of the market. This $40 billion giant was bought for about $300 million, thus looting the entire Russian economy for the benefit of a handful of Israeli citizens living in Russia. . . . According to a Nov. 3 Agence France-Presse story, Khodorkovsky [YUKOS' chair] made a deal with Jacob Rothschild this year that control of the YUKOS giant would pass to Rothschild in the event of Khodorkovsky's arrest. . . . It is significant that YUKOS's liberal pressure group, the Open Russia Foundation, is completely controlled by Rothschild now that its founder is in jail. As their official mission statement reads, "The motivation for the establishment of the Open Russia Foundation is the wish to foster enhanced openness, understanding and integration between the people of Russia and the rest of the world." . . . Their board of trustees includes Rothschild and Henry Kissinger. The Washington, D.C. launch of the organization included Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Librarian of Congress James Billington, one of the leading voices against Russian traditionalism in the academic establishment. Significantly, the Open Russia Foundation recently provided Yale University with substantial grants to study the Russian economy as well as providing the Carnegie Foundation with 3 percent of its entire operating budget. . . . It seems that the drive to control the globe's energy is progressing. The American empire's battles in Serbia, Central Asia, Iraq and Chechnya are one and the same war. Other than fighting Israel's enemies, these adventures are also wars to control Central Asian oil and natural gas (one of the main pipelines from the Caspian Sea went straight through Serbia). The control of this wealth by the United States and Israel necessitates bypassing Russian channels. This means that the Jewish oligarchy in Russia would become the central actor in world politics. . . . The Israeli/CIA complex was using Khodorkovsky to sell off the assets of YUKOS to Exxon/Mobil (as well as a smaller piece to Texaco), hence bringing Russia's pipelines into the hands of the western powers. The Nov. 5 New York Times also indicated that the Bush family's Carlyle Group was involved. . . . It was not long after Putin began threatening the YUKOS conglomerate that neo-conservative pundits such as William Kristol and Ariel Cohen began calling Putin a 'communist,' 'another Stalin' and 'tyrannical.' . . . The basis of these wild accusations, of course, is the fact that Putin stands in the way of Zionist domination. . . . Russia's response has been to clamp down on further foreign penetration into defense and other sensitive industries, and specifically, to target those believed to be working for both the CIA and Mossad and attempting to control Central Asian oil. . . . It needs to be reiterated that where the (CIA goes, Mossad goes as well. Israeli and American interests have come together in the dominance of the Central Asian region and therefore, so have liberal ideology, the Beltway set, neo-conservatism, Ivy League eggheads, Christian Zionism, the Rothschilds and the American media.) Afghanistan through the Caspian Sea through to Georgia, Azerbaijan and into the Balkans (not to mention pipelines leading to oil-hungry China), have become one single theater of war over trillions of dollars in oil and gas wealth, incorporating every single power center in global politics. The battle against the New World Order is being decided in Moscow. . . . The American response to this situation within this region is to create the GUAAM pact, including, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. . . . "The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline will export up to 1 million barrels per year of high quality Caspian crude oil by 2005." In other words, billions of dollars of oil are slated to be pumped through this region very soon, and the economic/military alliance of GUAAM is the means to ensure American control over it. This connects the Serbian, Afghan and Iraqi wars. . . . Russia's response to Israel's terror threats against most of the Islamic world is fully understood as both a political and economic question. Further, increasing cooperation between Russia and India, as well as China, are clear markers that Putin, one of the few actually competent leaders in world politics, is building an anti-imperialist and anti-NATO alliance with the aim of countering American/Zionist moves for the world's oil and gas wealth. . . . The interests, however, go even further than Zionist control over American foreign policy decision-making. Vialls writes on another topic: that the existence of the American/Zionist empire is based on the victory of American forces over the Russian and Islamic.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:22 PM
ARMAGEDDON POSSIBILITIES ARISING FROM TODAY'S MIDDLE EAST
SHARON'S TOP AIDE 'SURE WORLD WAR III IS COMING'
"Where the CIA goes, Mossad goes as well. Israeli and American interests have come together in the dominance of the Central Asian region and therefore, so have liberal ideology, the Beltway set, neo-conservatism, Ivy League eggheads, Christian Zionism, the Rothschilds and the American media. Afghanistan through the Caspian Sea through to Georgia, Azerbaijan and into the Balkans (not to mention pipelines leading to oil-hungry China), have become one single theater of war over trillions of dollars in oil and gas wealth, incorporating every single power center in global politics. The battle against the New World Order is being decided in Moscow."
(MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 15 November 2003)
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posted by Lorenzo 8:04 PM
Bush faces fiery welcome
(Tania Branigan, The Guardian, November 3, 2003)
Anti-war campaigners will prop grinning effigies of George Bush on to pyres around the country, hoping to stoke up opposition to his state visit to Britain this month. . . . The gesture is an apt one, for the US president can expect pyrotechnics when he arrives on November 19. Protesters angered by the invitation hope it will backfire on the government; George Galloway MP has described it as "sheer political madness". . . . Activists say it is galvanising opposition to the occupation of Iraq, and demonstrators will travel from across Europe to join the protests in London. . . . Critics argue it provides Mr Bush with an opportunity to portray himself as a well-respected statesman in the run-up to next year's presidential elections. And they are determined to show the world that British opposition to involvement in Iraq has not faded. . . . "If we can help sabotage George Bush's election campaign, so much the better. We want to send a message to all the people of the world - I think our best defence against a terrorist outrage is having a huge demonstration." . . . Ms German said: "We are saying he will not be able to drive round London and go to banquets and have photo-opportunities for his forthcoming election campaign back home without it being clear that opposition to the occupation of Iraq continues on a mass scale in this country . . . "People feel they have a right to protest and to protest in an effective way; getting close to him and making their voices heard. . . . "But if the only way to get Bush round London is behind a huge iron curtain of security, that in itself will be a terrible blow to the idea that he is welcome here." . . . The most controversial protest will be a non-violent act of civil disobedience at Buckingham Palace. Milan Rai of the anti-war group Justice not Vengeance, which initiated the plan, stressed that it would not involve trespass, but declined to elaborate. . . . There will be a big demonstration on the second day of Mr Bush's visit, as well as rallies and vigils around the country, and, organisers hope, school, college and workplace walkouts like those seen on the day that the war began. . . . Most potent of all may be the presence of another American, Ron Kovic. The trip from California is challenging for the paralysed Vietnam veteran turned peace activist, but he said he was determined to join the protestst. . . . "This is about life and death. I can't help feeling - as many veterans do - that we are watching a replay of the Vietnamese war," said Mr Kovic, who is best known for his autobiography, Born on the Fourth of July. . . . "President Bush is going to London to represent a particular point of view on the war. I'm here to represent what war really is. I'm coming to represent the millions of people in my country who knew this war was wrong from the start."
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posted by Lorenzo 5:06 PM
UK National Demonstration
Thursday 20th November
Assemble 2pm at Malet Street, Central London (nearest tubes: Goodge Street, Russell Square and Euston/Euston Sq). March to Trafalgar Square where a statue of George Bush will be pulled down. This event will continue until 7pm to allow for people coming from work.
If there is only one STOP BU$H event that you can make - this is the one.
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posted by Lorenzo 4:58 PM
Hate for the US Has Reached Startling Levels
In Iraq, against all the technological, financial, and covert superiority of the United States Empire, an underground resistance fueled by this hate is battling in ways few thought possible just a few months ago earlier this year. . . . Meanwhile Washington resembles more and more a kind of disfigured self-emulating Alice and Wonderful these days. An inept and ignorant crusading American President who knows next to nothing about the Middle East, nor the world for that matter, is writing constitutions for Arab Muslim countries and proclaiming against all historical realities that the U.S. is on the side of bringing 'democracy' to the region! . . . Only if the new meaning of 'democracy' is U.S. imperial domination coupled with CIA control and manipulation, on top of now brutal military occupation, can one make any sense now of the extraordinary disconnect between rhetoric and reality. Add to all this that the guilding, pushing, cajoling, manipulating, hands of the Israelis are all over Washington these days. And that war criminal (by any of the known definitions that is) Ariel Sharon, close friend of the American President, is both the commanding General and Prime Minister of 'the Jewish State'.
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posted by Lorenzo 9:28 AM
America’s shuttered window on the peace process
(The Daily Star, November 5, 2003)
According to the best polling of world opinion, the US has never been more unpopular globally. It is well documented that even our friends in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia are expressing anger with American policies in the Middle East. These opinions should matter because no country is isolated from global events. . . . Americans need to understand that there are two vastly different global windows through which America’s behavior in the world is surveyed. One window is framed by the US media, Hollywood and other interest groups. The other includes world media outlets such as the BBC and the Arabic satellite station Al-Jazeera, but also many new satellite channels blaring out a very different point of view than America’s, 24 hours a day. Not surprisingly, the main issue of contention that surfaces is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and America’s one-sided support for Israel. . . . In the US, Israel is portrayed as a virtuous party and the victim of Palestinian terrorism. . . . In the US, Democrats and Republicans, together, provide strong support for Israel, a long admired friend. . . . But Americans must understand the message from the other window. For the first time, almost the entire world has access to television. What the rest of the world sees are the brutal actions of the Sharon government, funded by the US, beating up on a poor people that are illegally occupied. They witness more than a million Palestinians often under house arrest and their elected president confined to a bombed-out headquarters surrounded by US-funded weaponry. They witness thousands of Palestinian homes and businesses being bulldozed. They see around-the-clock cruelty inflicted on the Palestinians at the hands of one of world’s most powerful armies, generously funded by the US. They watch as Palestinians are unable to go to school, hospital or work. They hear Israel defend the use of torture and human shields, even as the US condemned Iraq’s use of the same illegal practices. They hear Sharon declaring that the answer to the Palestinian problem is to “batter” Palestinians militarily until they become poorer and passive. They hear the US condemning Iraq for violating UN resolutions and then see it supporting Israel’s flouting of dozens of Security Council resolutions, while vetoing some 32 proposed resolutions unfavorable to Israel. . . . Americans should be informed that the remaining Christians in the Middle East are especially angered by Christian Zionists and their American congressional allies. Many of these advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands and oppose the Palestinian-Israeli “road map.” . . . The world witnesses Sharon’s government hijacking the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy and claiming it was similar to attacks against Israel. Yet in the eyes of much of the world there is no similarity. Israel is occupying Palestinian land, which most agree is illegal and wrong. Americans should know that even though world opinion is divided and often critical of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, it is also near unanimous in its regarding Sharon as the principle obstacle to peace. This anger isn’t just expressed in the Middle East, but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. . . . The US needs to be a real friend of the Israelis and tell them the truth: A foundation of oppression and injustice will cause Israel to inevitably collapse.
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posted by Lorenzo 10:50 AM
MER - Mid East RealitiesAre US and ISRAEL PREPARING AGAIN TO STRIKE BIG
MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 4 November 2003: There are growing rumors in Washington now that the US is preparing hard air strikes somewhere in the Middle East. Secret heavy bomber deployments may be underway to European bases as has been the case in previous years when major strikes were being readied. Whether the targets are in Iran or Syria, or even North Korea for that matter, are of course highly classified. Ariel Sharon's surprise visit to Moscow this week to again meet personally with Putin could be another ominous sign. The Israelis will probably try to blackmail or threaten Putin in one way or another to stay out of whatever is coming, especially if it involves Iran, now Israel's top target. Meanwhile, as in previous MER analysis reports, the hijacking of Bush-Washington by the Israeli-Jewish lobby hardliners working closely with Vice-President Cheney was too much for a former ranking insider. The former Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel is now trying to blow the whistle; but few in Washington have the courage or understanding to both listen and act. Among other things MER has learned that President Bush personally some time ago promised Ariel Sharon that he would have advance copies of all Presidential speeches dealing with the Middle East in case the Israelis felt any changes might be necessary.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:26 PM
Shame they missed Wolfowitz, says politician
(Herald Sun, 28 October 2003)
"We hope the firing will be more precise and efficient (next time), so we get rid of this microbe and people like him in Washington who are spreading disorder in Arab lands, Iraq and Palestine," Walid Jumblatt said in a statement. . . . Jumblatt, who is also the leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, called Wolfowitz a "friend of Ariel Sharon", the hardline Israeli prime minister, "and one of the main architects of ... the destruction of Iraq". . . . A government source said that Beirut did not intend to publicly condemn the remarks. . . . "It is not the habit of the Lebanese government to publicly condemn the words of a member of parliament who sits as the head of an important party and who also enjoys popular support," he said.
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posted by Lorenzo 2:52 PM
Poll: Israel and US labelled biggest threats to World peace
(EUOBSERVER, 30 October 2003)
Over half of Europeans think that Israel now presents the biggest threat to world peace according to a controversial poll requested by the European Commission. . . . According to the same survey, Europeans believe the United States contributes the most to world instability along with Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and North Korea. . . . The European Commission is coming under fire for publishing the results of a number of questions - relating to Iraqi reconstruction - while failing to publish the results which revealed the extent of mistrust of Israel and the United States in Europe. . . . a decision was made to publish a preview of the questions pertaining to the reconstruction of Iraq, to coincide with the Iraqi donors conference in Madrid, which took place at the end of last week. . . . This admission has raised questions about whether the Commission sought to suppress the results which would have came at a particularly sensitive moment. . . . According to El Pais, a massive 59 percent of Europeans said they believed that Israel is the biggest obstacle to world peace.
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posted by Lorenzo 6:10 AM