Saturday, November 26, 2005

Merkel's grand coalition to implement social cuts

Just as the Democrats in the US long ago gave up any representation for the vast majority (if they, indeed, ever had it) and sold out to the siren song of money and the real powers that be, the PvDA and other parties in the Netherlands have also done so these last years (with one exception yet, the SP, and they also bear watching). And in Germany, the story is the same, not to mention France with the recent "riots" being a classic example. This report lays out what is happening in Germany.

The time has come for the People themselves to face this, and begin to decide for themselves what must be done. And not with violence, but simply by again talking with each other, neighbor to neighbor. And listening more than talking. For in the People rests the ultimate power, unless they give that over on the 'elite' as they have always done. It is time the People start speaking for themselves. No one else is doing this for them. And that is what democracy is about.

After all, "if you always do what you've always done, you're going to always get what you've always got."

What it amounts to is that most parties claiming to be "for the people" have sold out
On November 22 Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel was elected chancellor in the plenary hall of Berlin’s Reichstag. She received 397 votes of the 448 deputies belonging to the grand coalition of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Fifty-one deputies from the “Union” and SPD factions refused to support her.

One of the first to congratulate Merkel was outgoing SPD chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Later, when the formal transfer of the chancellorship took place, Merkel thanked him for his co-operation and confidentiality over the past weeks during coalition negotiations. In the days before Tuesday’s vote, the SPD had organised an intensive campaign to guarantee that all social democratic deputies voted for Merkel.

Read more on the rape of the People...

A News Revolution Has Begun

It has been the observation by many of us concerned with real news, that the mainstream media has served the function of repressing or distracting from the real news on political fronts. As good as they can be in some areas, the mainstream media often serve only as a propaganda tool when it comes to things of political importance. It is no surprise, then, that more and more people are searching out alternate news sources. And internet fulfils this need very well. Once again, I call your attention to the links at left and below for some good sources (at my other blog, link at right). Other sources you will discover on your own.

The Indian writer Vandana Shiva has called for an "insurrection of subjugated knowledge". The insurrection is well under way. In trying to make sense of a dangerous world, millions of people are turning away from the traditional sources of news and information and to the world wide web, convinced that mainstream journalism is the voice of rampant power. The great scandal of Iraq has accelerated this. In the United States, several senior broadcasters have confessed that had they challenged and exposed the lies told about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, instead of amplifying and justifying them, the invasion might not have happened.

Such honesty has yet to cross the Atlantic. Since it was founded in 1922, the BBC has served to protect every British establishment during war and civil unrest. "We" never traduce and never commit great crimes. So the omission of shocking events in Iraq - the destruction of cities, the slaughter of innocent people and the farce of a puppet government - is routinely applied. A study by the Cardiff School of Journalism found that 90 per cent of the BBC's references to Saddam Hussein's WMDs suggested he possessed them and that "spin from the British and US governments was successful in framing the coverage". The same "spin" has ensured, until now, that the use of banned weapons by the Americans and British in Iraq has been suppressed as news.

Great article by Pilger again, read on...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Many (far) right adherents still claim the news media is mostly liberal. There was a time when that was partly true in the US, but look who owns this media the last 15+ years. A huge corporation is anything but liberal, and is beholden to profit making for its stockholders, to say nothing of their intimate ties to the government, including the CIA. Several links on the left deal with this, among them FAIR (Fairness in News and Reporting.

Contrary to recent wisdom, public support for the Iraq war hasn't dropped -- that is, the version that the neocons shilled is still popular.

There's a sizeable plurality of the American public that will never accept a war based on our foreign policy elites' ideological preferences or imperial ambitions. Most aren't pacifists -- that's a straw man -- but they believe war should be an action of absolute last resort.

t's a predictable factor, and one that the hawks that got us into Iraq should have taken into account when they formed their policy. They knew that they could sell the war using modern public relations techniques, a friendly media and the specter of 9/11. But there's a limit to how long you can spin the facts on the ground. Early public support was for the conflict they promised us, not the one we got.

Read on...

Report drops Fallujah bombshell

ROME: The controversy over the American use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in Fallujah deepened yesterday when it was revealed that a US intelligence assessment had characterised WP as a "chemical weapon".

The Italian journalist who sparked the controversy, Sigfrido Ranucci, told a press conference in Rome that while a colleague was browsing American Defence Department websites he had stumbled on a declassified intelligence report from the first Gulf War.

Ranucci commented that "when Saddam used WP it was a chemical weapon but when the Americans use it, it's a conventional weapon.

Read further...

Are You Brainwashed?

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Note that this was written already on 4 November, 2002. And it's questions and comments are even more true today. This deals mostly with 9/11 events, but since then, the tempo of false stories and distractions has increased. And just because this deals with mostly Americans, don't think we in Europe are avoiding this; even though we have gotten less of it, we still get the propaganda.. Every week in the news here, I also see false stories regarding terrorists and "Osama", "al Zargawi" or "Muslims" and the like. There's lots more, but you get the idea. Give this a read and think a little....

Are you brainwashed? What about some of your neighbours, are they brainwashed? Before you answer that, let us ask you a few preliminary questions: Do you believe that the United States was struck by a terrorist attack on Sept. 11? Do think that the people behind that attack were “Arabs” and that its “mastermind” was this fellow Osama bin Laden, operating from a cave in Afghanistan? Do you believe that the way to stop terrorism is to hit them hard, to hit them at their “bases” in such places as Afghanistan, and to hit the nations who might sponsor them, like, say Iraq?

And what about the economy? Do you think that the recent fall of the stock market, and the weakness in the economy, have been caused by the Sept. 11 attacks? Well, if you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you probably are brainwashed! If you answered “yes” to more than one, you are definitely a “goner.”

“But,” you, reply, “isn't that what most people think? Wouldn't they answer those questions the same way I do?” Well, the answer to that is, yes. But, we would remind you: Just because the majority of people might BELIEVE something to be true, doesn't make it true. All it means, is that you and most of your neighbours are suffering from a mass delusion--or, put more bluntly: YOU ARE BRAINWASHED. So, the question is, really, how did you get this way? How did you come to believe things like those statements in the first questions were true? “Well, I heard it on.... Well, I saw it on.... Well, I read it in....”

Read further...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

6,644 are still missing after Katrina

The estimates at that time were up to 10,000 people dead. While this number may not be reached, who will know? What I find so strange here (yet again), is that most other countries know pretty much how many died within a much shorter time. We're still not getting decent information, and we may never get it with Katrina. I'm curious to see what else turns up after this news report.

The whereabouts of 6,644 people reported missing after Hurricane Katrina have not been determined, raising the prospect that the death toll could be higher than the 1,306 recorded so far in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to two groups working with the federal government to account for victims.

Most of those who remain listed as unaccounted-for 12 weeks after the storm probably are alive and well, says Kym Pasqualini, chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing Adults. She says they are listed as missing because government record-keeping efforts haven't caught up with them in their new locations.

However, Pasqualini says those counting the victims are particularly concerned about an estimated 1,300 unaccounted-for people who lived in areas that were heavily damaged by Katrina, or who were disabled at the time the storm hit. The fact that authorities haven't been able to determine what happened to them suggests that the death toll from Katrina could climb significantly. (Related story: Toll rises as returning find dead in homes)

Read further...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

CIA and FBI Plan to Assassinate Hugo Chávez

This report comes from a trusted and highly rated Canadian source, but also the authors and others referred to in this article are known to me and trusted. All of them are listed in my links somewhere. And that is why this article carries a lot of weight with me, beside being corroberated by a number of other similar articles. Steve Kangas, below, by the way, was also assassinated a few years ago. Two bullets to the head in a distant city. It was officially labeled a suicide.

Now we have a bit more evidence the CIA and the FBI connived with reactionary elements to not only briefly overthrow Chávez, abolish the constitution and the National Assembly, but later assassinate the Venezuelan State Prosecutor, Danilo Anderson. He was killed by a car bomb in Caracas on November 18, 2004, while investigating those who were behind the coup. Giovani Jose Vasquez De Armas, a member of Colombia’s right wing paramilitary group called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, claims he was in charge of logistics for the plot to kill Danilo Anderson. Vasquez De Armas told the Attorney General’s office that those planning the killing, “all discussed the plan with the help of the FBI and CIA.” And the sun will rise tomorrow.

This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation. “How do we know that the CIA was behind the coup that overthrew Hugo Chávez?” asked historian William Blum in 2002. “Same way we know that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. That’s what it’s always done and there’s no reason to think that tomorrow morning will be any different.”

Rebuilding Americas Defenses - PNAC

This is the document which set forth the Neocon plan to turn America into a conquering war machine. Note the reference to "a new Pearl Harbor", and the names of the people who signed it. pdf file.

Also this and more to be found in the links below left under: "Important Information" At my Politics International page (link on right).

Read further...perhaps download.

On John Murtha's Position

"Redeploy"...just in time for Syria and Iran...

There is much of which to approve in the recent speech of Rep. John P. Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, on Iraq. The hawkish Murtha had been critical of the Bush administration's handling of the war for some time, but until now his solution had been to call for more troops. On November 17, however, he recognized courageously that U.S. troops "can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME."

Nevertheless, the anti-war movement needs to be careful not to confuse Murtha's position with its own.

When Murtha says "redeploy" -- instead of withdraw -- the troops from Iraq, he makes clear that -- despite his rhetoric -- he doesn't want to really bring them home, but to station them in the Middle East. As he told Anderson Cooper of CNN:

We ... have united the Iraqis against us. And so I'm convinced, once we redeploy to Kuwait or to the surrounding area, that it will be much safer. They won't be able to unify against the United States. And then, if we have to go back in, we can go back in. Moreover, Murtha's resolution calls for the U.S. to create "a quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines" to be "deployed to the region."

We strongly disagree.

Read further...

Monday, November 21, 2005

What’s wrong with cutting and running?

Lt.Gen. Odom

While I do not agree with some things Gen. Odom says, I do think he makes some very valid points here, and I agree with him on these points.

If I were a journalist, I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren’t they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better. Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:

1) We would leave behind a civil war. 2) We would lose credibility on the world stage. 3) It would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy. 4) Iraq would become a haven for terrorists. 5) Iranian influence in Iraq would increase. 6) Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors. 7) Shiite-Sunni clashes would worsen. 8. ) We haven’t fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet. 9) Talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops. But consider this:

What’s wrong with cutting and running?

Everything that opponents of a pullout say would happen if the U.S. left Iraq is happening already, says retired Gen. William E. Odom, the head of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration. So why stay?

Read further...

About the author.

Torture 'guidance' goes back to Cheney

Powell aide: Torture 'guidance' from VPFormer staff chief says Cheney's 'flexibility' helped lead to abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former top State Department official said Sunday that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the "philosophical guidance" and "flexibility" that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities.Retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Wilkerson, who served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, told CNN that the practice of torture may be continuing in U.S.-run facilities.

"There's no question in my mind that we did. There's no question in my mind that we may be still doing it," Wilkerson said on CNN's "Late Edition."

"There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to do so originated -- in the vice president of the United States' office," he said. "His implementer in this case was [Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Department."
Read further...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Another "threat" to the US

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Evo Morales

I think it is becoming apparent to some Americans what has long been apparent to much of the rest of the world: That what their politicians call "threats to America's interests or security" are really threats to American neo-colonialism. What possible threat could Venezuela or Bolivia possibly be to the U.S.? Certainly not military, and also not economic in a level playing field. What then?

While he may be dead in the corporal sense, the spirit of Simon Bolivar continues to wage the struggle for freedom from oppression. Hugo Chavez is perhaps the most familiar incarnation of Bolivar's elan vital as he defies the neocolonial policies of the United States, a nation which has supplanted the European colonial empires as looters of Latin American bounty. Bolivar's spiritual essence also burns brightly in Evo Morales, another leader of the poor and oppressed in Latin America

Barring a CIA-orchestrated assassination or sabotage of the election process, in December Morales will be the next democratically-elected president of Bolivia. And deservedly so.

As they have with Chavez, the United States government and its lapdogs in the mainstream media have vilified Morales. Morales and Chavez are both portrayed as "threats" to the United States and have been characterized as "enemies." It is mind-boggling that the leaders of the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the history of humanity can view these men or their tiny nations (neither of which have the military might to overpower the state of Rhode Island) as legitimate threats. Is the US power elite suffering from delusional paranoia?

Actually, their fears are well-founded, but one needs to analyze the situation a bit more closely to discern the root cause of their trepidations.

Continue reading "the other side of the story"

An earlier, more 'mainstream' BBC report here.