Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
“I can’t begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and, of course, Senator Hillary Clinton, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign,” Palin told the Republican crowd. “The women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”
“Being governor of a small state for less than two years is not consistent with the normal criteria for determining who’s of presidential caliber,” said Goldstein.
“I think she is the most inexperienced person on a major-party ticket in modern history,” said presidential historian Matthew Dallek.
Before becoming governor in December 2006, she served as a council member and mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, which had a population of slightly more than 5,000 during her time in office.
Before that, the 44-year-old mother of five had served on the local PTA and had gained some recognition as a star high school basketball player and contender in an Alaskan state beauty pageant.
She is a favorite of the Christian right. Southern Baptist political leader Richard Land named Palin. He stressed that
- her “pro-life” credentials had been burnished by her giving birth in April to a child with Downs Syndrome.
- Land also pointed to her lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association
- She has campaigned against same-sex marriage and
- called for the teaching of creationism in public schools.
“Sarah Palin’s chief qualification for being elected governor was that she was not Frank Murkowski, she was not elected because she was a conservative. She was not elected because of her grasp of issues or because of her track record as the mayor of Wasilla,”
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tharin Gartrell, left, Shawn Robert Adolph,33, center, Nathan Johnson, right
OK, Here's the big question: Whose patsies are these and Who blew their cover?
Will Obama will be the next 911, and the final step of the fascist take over of the United States of America will have been completed.
This story is getting very little coverage in the corporate media and it appears that a blackout is now in force on the story.
Mr Gartrell was arrested by the Aurora police on Sunday after he was stopped for driving erratically. In the back of the vehicle, officers found two high-powered rifles, one with telescopic sights, a spotting scope, a flak jacket, camouflage clothing, a bulletproof vest, boxes of ammunition, three fake identity cards, two wigs, two walkie-talkies and a quantity of the drug methamphetamine, a form of speed known as crystal meth.
...with the Secret Service conspicuous by its absence
Fox News reported that the three men might have links to Sons of Silence, an outlaw motorcycle group, as well as white supremacists with ties to the Aryan Nation.
How is it that a biker from a club that deals in methamphetamine, a business that as a matter of form has contingency plans for dealing with cops, who is simply pulled over for erratic driving, quickly confesses, for no reason, to an assassination plot to kill Obama and quickly rats out all of his biker co-conspirators?
If you blew your role as patsy by being picked up too soon, it might be wise to mitigate your grief in prison by following through on the story.
The arrest led police to the Cherry Creek Hotel in Denver, about four miles from Invesco Field - where Mr Obama will accept the nomination - to pursue Mr Adolph, 33, who was already wanted on numerous warrants. He jumped out of a sixth floor hotel window, breaking an ankle, and was arrested. Police sources said he was wearing a ring with the Nazi swastika.
All three belong to Aryan Nations, according to Victor Ross, the police chief in Glendale, a suburb of Denver where one of the suspects was arrested. The other two were held in Aurora, another suburb.
"We don't usually have that number of Aryan Nations people here,'' Mr Ross said
OK, so they belong to a meth dealing biker club, they are Aryan Nation, their name is Adolph, they wear a swastika ring, and they are carrying around a meth lab and they jump out of sixth floor windows and they are going to assassinate Obama from a high vantage point in the Invesco Field. That is a rare combination.
A motorcycle gang reportedly connected to the three men suspected of trying to kill Barack Obama are up in arms claiming any link is pure hogwash.
A rep from the Denver chapter of the Sons of Silence motorcycle club said, "Those guys have nothing to do with our organization whatsoever. Nothing. None of our guys know who they are. We heard one of them was wearing a Sons of Silence support t-shirt, but you can buy that online or at any of our swap meets."
So now, our assassins have gone to the trouble of an elaborate costuming. Why? and who are they really?
So far, this plan is off to a bad start. It's not as bad as JFK's head recoiling into the bullet, but it's getting close.
Ironically and coincidentally, Obama's opponent, John McCain, made a blatant appeal to the racist right by appearing at the massive outlaw biker rally at Sturgis, South Dakota, an annual convention of Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-semites. It was at this convention that John volunteered his wife, Cindy, to compete in Miss Buffalo Chip, a topless beauty contest.
OK, here's the drill
- They will fly in a sniper in a private jet.
- They will have obtained two identical rifles (to avoid Technical Services Division-style controversy about the type of rifle found), keeping the receipt from the second rifle (bought at a gun shop in the area).
- They will send a special invitation to the patsy, a white male from the South with three names, to attend a reception after the public rally.At the rally, the sniper will blow Obama's head clean off. He will then head back to his jet to be flown.
- The patsy will find himself alone at the site of the 'reception', will be drugged, and eventually will be shot by authorities, 'resisting arrest' . The second rifle will be the 'throw down', placed by the authorities beside the patsy so the photos can show the assassin beside his gun. Later, the assassination rifle will be swapped for the throw down (so the ballistics will match), with the patsy's fingerprints applied to the sniper's rifle post mortem.
- The patsy will be described as a white supremacist, neo-Nazi, gun nut. None of his friends will be able to recall hearing him say one racist thing, and nobody will ever recall seeing him with a gun or even talking about guns. Nevertheless, the authorities will raid his house (described as a 'compound'), and will discover a huge cache of guns (including the receipt for the assassination rifle, although a later check of the surveillance tape at the gun shop will show that the video system was malfunctioning at the time the rifle was purchased), neo-Nazi regalia on the walls, and a collection of white supremacist literature.
A generation later, we face a great new challenge, a world energy crisis that threatens our economy, our security, our climate and our way of life. And until we address that energy crisis, our problems will only get worse. For eight long years, the White House has led us in the wrong direction. And now Senator McCain wants four more years of the same.
Can we afford four more years? Is it time for a change? When do we need it? And who do we need as the next President of the United States of America? That's right. Barack Obama is the change we need!
Right now, the United States imports about 70 percent of its oil from overseas. At the same time, billions of dollars that we spend on all that foreign oil seems to end up in the bank accounts of those around the world who are openly hostile to American values and our way of life. This costly reliance on fossil fuels threatens America and the world in other ways, too. CO2 emissions are increasing global temperatures, sea levels are rising and storms are getting worse.
We need to break America's addiction to foreign oil. We need a new energy system that is clean, green and American-made. And we need a president who can marshal our nation's resources, get the job done and deliver the change we need.
That leader is Barack Obama. Barack Obama knows there's no single platform for energy independence. It's not a question of either wind or clean coal, solar or hydrogen, oil or geothermal. We need them all to create a strong American energy system, a system built on American innovation.
After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same. At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times against renewable and alternative energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind energy.
This not only hurts America's energy independence, it could cost American families more than a hundred thousand jobs. At a time when America should be working harder than ever to develop new, clean sources, John McCain wants more of the same and has taken more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry. Now he wants to give the oil companies another 4 billion dollars in tax breaks. Four billion in tax breaks for big oil?
That's a lot of change, but it's not the change we need.
In Montana, we're investing in wind farms and we're drilling in the Bakken formation, one of the most promising oil fields in America. We're pursuing coal gasification with carbon sequestration and we're promoting greater energy efficiency in homes and offices.
Even leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We simply can't drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards, including the ones he can't even remember.
That single-answer proposition is a dry well, and here's why. America consumes 25 percent of the world's oil, but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don't need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn't enough oil in America, on land or offshore, to meet America's full energy needs.
Barack Obama understands the most important barrel of oil is the one you don't use. Barack Obama's energy strategy taps all sources and all possibilities. It will give you a tax credit if you buy a fuel-efficient car or truck, increase fuel-efficiency standards and put a million plug-in hybrids on the road.
Invest $150 billion over the next 10 years in clean, renewable energy technology. This will create up to 5 million new, green jobs and fuel long- term growth and prosperity. Senator Obama's plan will also invest in a modern transmission grid to deliver this new, clean electricity from wind turbines and solar panels to homes, offices and the batteries in America's new plug-in hybrid cars.
SOURCE 2008 Democratic National Convention
Monday, August 25, 2008
I was flipping through the channels last night. I seldom watch Larry King and there are parts of Bill Mahers politics that I don't like, but there they were, shilling for Mahers new movie which is coming out in October and they quickly caught my ear with this...
The movie is called Religulous as in ridiculous. It has the same producer at Borat and distributed by Lionsgate. The release date is October third
"It is not a documentary, but an unscripted, uproarious comedy. Maher says to Larry...
In making this comedy. I am trying to arouse the 16% who I would call Rationalist, America would call them atheist or agnostics. It sounds like it is a small minority, but 16% is bigger than blacks or Jews or homosexuals or NRA members, Teachers Unions, hispanics, If those people stood up and made themselves heard - but they never do..."
Well, that was pretty exciting. I never thought of the number rationalists in this country as high as 16% and I never thought of them as a movement but we know that it is a viable cohort simply because of the recent book sales of a group referred to as the New Atheists: Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, and A C Grayling, Skepticism and the Possibility of Knowledge, journalists Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and Polly Toynbee, and novelists Martin Amis and Ian McEwan. 16% is something over 51 million people.
The film was shot in many places, the Mormon Church, the Vatican, the Wailing Wall, inside the Mosque at the Dome of the Rock, The Holy Land theme park in Orlando, FL
Larry asks, "What should religion play in our politial life?" "None".
"Religion in America is not about doing the right thing or the ethical thing, it is mainly about salvation. It's mainly about getting your butt saved when you die..."
They discussed Rick Warren and Saddleback Church event where the big question was
"Is there evil and what should we do about it
Obama gives a nuanced answer. We should be aware of evil, but we should be humble about evil. It's easy to sit back in America and say we are the good people, that's common knowledge, evil is always over there, never here. Obama was saying we have a lot of evil right here. Look at the prison system, look at the justice system, look at how we treat immigrants, we torture people now in Anerica, rampant sexual harrassement of women in the military, there is a lot of evil that we are doing.
This type of thinking was labeled by the neoconservatives as moral equivalence the very day after 9/11. How well I remember that day because this was a new term for me. The neoconservatives were out in force that day with their well rehearsed scripts haranguing against this type of thinking, because the moment Americans step outside themselves, put themselves in the shoes of the "other" and view America from the eyes of the rest of the world, the neocon project starts to unravel.
McCain is asked, What do we do about evil.. Two words, Defeat it, and we can defeat evil by the end of my first term. It goes over great in this audience. When they think of evil they think of something very tangible, the devil. they believe in this comic book figure called the devil, who is going to poke your ass in hell if you are bad, and there is heaven where there is air conditioning.
I used to reed Rick Warren in my stage act, it's hilarious. The idea that another person on earth can tell you with such specificity what happens when you die, just blows my mind. That somebody on earth, another person can say, "Oh yea, What happens when you die You will meet Jesus, he's wearing a white robe, then you go in this room and you eat eggs". Are you kidding, What are you talking about, you are person just like me, you are clueless, you have no idea what happens. Of course, Rick believes it. He knows exactly what happens when you die. That is my ultimate message, Unless a god told you personally what happens when you die, it all came from another person who has no more mental powers than you have, and you don't know, so why don't you just man up and say I don't know.
At sometime, Man is going to have to shed this skin if he is going to move forward. I have an intellectual problem with all this, but on another level it is just the ultimate hustle. I ask the Jesus in Orlando's Holy Land, Why cant God just defeat the devil and get rid of evil? It's the same reason the comic book character cant get rid of his nemesis, because then there is no story. If god gets rid of the devil and he could, he's all powerful, well then there is no fear, there's no reason to come to church, to pass the plate, we are all out of a job,
Film Clip Senator Mark Pryor (AR)
Do you believe in evolution? Adam and Eve, five thousand years ago, with a talking snake in the garden.
Senator Pryor talks from both sides of his mouth, but mostly from the right side.
You are a senator it worries me that people are running my country who believe in a talking snake.
About the Presidential campaign
In America it's about racism, only 30% of white Americans have a positive view of Obama
McCain is another Bush in the sense that we are getting a very detached, anti intellectual president. There is a big vacuum when you have a president like that, and so the vice president steps into that vacuum as we saw with Dick Cheney. That could happen with McCain. When you have McCain you get the worse of Ronald Reagan and George W Bush. Old, forgetful, dotering, anti intellectual and into that breach who knows who might step.
It sounds like it is going to be a great movie. You can listen to the King/Maher conversation here A controversial movie such as this, released one month before the election, at pretty much the precise moment when Freedom Watch will have raised the "Obama the Antichrist" meme to a fevered pitch is liable to catch the attention of a lot of people.
You can listen to the King/Maher conversation here
Check out the trailer here .
Wikipedia here .
Disbelief.net here .
Huffpost review here .
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
July 1-2, 2008 GUAM Summit in Batumi, Georgia.
July 1, "US-GUAM Summit" on the sideline of the official GUAM venue.
July 5 -12, Russian Defense Ministry hold War Games in the North Caucasus region under the codename "Caucasus Frontier 2008".
July 9, 2008 China and Kazakhstan announce the commencement of construction of the Kazakhstan-China natural gas pipeline (KCP)
July 15-31, The US and Georgia hold War Games under the codename Operation "Immediate Response". One thousand US servicemen participate in the military exercise.
August 7, Georgian Ground Forces and Air Force Attack South Ossetia
August 8, Russian Forces Intervene in South Ossetia.
August 14, 2008 Signing of US-Polish Agreement on the stationing of "US Interceptor Missiles" on Polish Territory
Since August 10, the military has stayed in those defensive positions but aerial bombing and artillery barrages have been used to literally depopulate Bajaur and areas of the adjoining agency of Mohmand. After more than two weeks of indiscriminate attacks against alleged militant positions, it is estimated that 300,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes—a significant proportion of the population in the areas not under government control.
August 18, Musharuff resigns
on August 21, a refugee from Zigai said he had fled his home in the Zigai area because “the military helicopter gunships had started pounding civilian targets”. Another man said: “They [the military] are not hitting the known targets of the militants but blitzing the civilian abodes.”
August 19, Mysterious Raid
Friday, August 22, 2008
Is it any wonder, given the strategic wasteland that is America's security policy, that almost seven years into our woebegone war on terror, a study by the Rand Corporation has concluded that al Qaeda remains a "strong and competent" organization?
America spends as much on defense as rest of the world combined, yet our military failed to defend the homeland from an air raid conducted by four commercial jets armed with box cutters, we cannot control the military behavior of Russia, whose defense budget is roughly 10 percent the size of ours, the administration says that the nation that presents our greatest challenge is Iran, whose defense budget is less that one percent of ours, and we've failed to diminish al Qaeda, the terrorist organization that attacked us on September 11, 2001, and whose defense budget is zero percent of ours.
Fellow citizens, I say let's vote McCain in and give the neocons another chance to get it right. In for a penny, in for an Armageddon, that's my motto.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword . Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now. Also catch Russ Wellen's interview with Jeff at The Huffington Post and Scholars and Rogues.
It was hard not to notice the bus at midday Thursday in downtown Fort Worth.
But before a single woman could do anything on camera she would later regret, the event was abruptly canceled.
Someone on the bus said "the city" was kicking them out, but it turned out that the intervention came from Sundance Square Management, which oversees leasing in downtown real estate development.
"We asked City Streets to not do this," said Tracy Gilmour, director of marketing for Sundance Square Management.
"We knew nothing about it until the bus showed up, and that’s just not the way we like to do business in Sundance," Gilmour said.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
clipped from: www.wsws.org
a major turning point in international political relations.
US to set up a new missile system in the heart of Europe. In addition,
- Poland will receive 96 Patriot missiles,
- a permanent garrison of American troops
- Washington’s commitment to come to the country’s defence,
- independently of the NATO alliance.
was strictly of a defensive character?
circumstances confirm the opposite: the missile system is of an offensive character and is designed for use against Russia.
increases the possibility of a confrontation between the two nations with the world’s biggest arsenals of nuclear weapons—Russia and the US—with central Europe as a primary battlefield.
Just before signing the missile deal, Rice reiterated that the system was designed to counter threats from Iran and North Korea and told reporters: “It is not aimed in any way at Russia.”
None of these claims are credible.
- Polish President Lech Kaczynski. Just two days before the finalisation of the missile pact, Kaczynski appeared alongside Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at an anti-Russian rally in Tbilisi to proclaim, “We are here to take up the fight (against Russia).”
- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared that he only agreed to host the US defence shield on the condition that the US augment Poland’s defences with Patriot missiles, which are intended to combat any threat from Russia.
The American State Department has always insisted that the 10 interceptor missiles that are to be installed at a base in Poland, just 115 miles from Russia’s westernmost frontier, are aimed at countering potential missile attacks from so called “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.
Washington has already reached an agreement with Prague to place the second component of the missile defence shield, a radar tracking system, in the Czech Republic to Poland’s south-west.
in an article published in the Blätter für deutsche and internationale Politik, Germany’s most widely read political and foreign policy journal.
author Hauke Ritz stresses
- Iranian military lacks any missiles with a range capable of reaching Europe and that it would require a long period of time to develop and build them
- US State Department ruled out a Russian proposal for setting up a joint US-Russian anti-missile system in Azerbaijan, which could intercept and destroy any Iranian missile at the start of its flight path.
- the missile shield is directed first and foremost not against Iran, but against Russia.
- This is underlined by the fact that the other bases for the missile system are also located in border regions to Russia, for example Alaska.”
it is intended not as a deterrent against nuclear attack
but rather as an essential component of a US first-strike strategy.
“The strategic significance of the system consists of intercepting those few dozen missiles Moscow is capable of launching following an American first strike,”
in the US magazine Foreign Affairs in 2006 entitled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy,” which argues that the US currently has unique advantages in conducting nuclear war. Ritz concludes: “This article makes very clear the actual function of the missile system: it is to guarantee the US the capacity to carry out nuclear war without the risk of a counter-strike. If this capacity can be achieved then it can be employed as a geopolitical argument, in order to implement national interests.”
Ritz’s analysis of the missile shield system as an essential component of a first-strike strategy underscores the enormous and growing danger that the escalating conflict between the US and Russia could unleash a nuclear conflagration.
Last Friday, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the Russian armed forces’ deputy chief of staff, described the pact as an act of aggression against Russia and warned Poland that it was leaving itself open to retaliation—and possibly even a nuclear attack.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Washington has followed a policy of systematically encroaching on former Soviet territory to establish a string of military bases and governments friendly to the US. The purpose of this policy was to undermine the influence of Russia in the energy-rich regions of central Asia, while seeking to divide and weaken Europe.
the installation of a number of authoritarian regimes which lack any genuine broad popular base such as those of
- Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia and
- Viktor Yushchenko in the Ukraine,
- as well as the regime in Poland.
The most common characteristics of these administrations are
- rabid anti-communism,
- national chauvinism,
- contempt for genuine democratic processes and
- an unwavering adherence to the precepts of the free market.
Such regimes are inherently unstable
the US administration has agreed to install a new weapons system in Poland directed against its biggest neighbour, while at the same time guaranteeing to come to the military assistance of the Polish government when necessary.
Throughout the 1930s, the German dictator Adolf Hitler professed his peaceful intentions while at the same time undertaking a series of provocations as part of his plan to fundamentally redraw the map of Europe in Germany’s interests.
there cannot be the least doubt that the main power intent on establishing new power blocs and spheres of influence in the region is the US. This is the significance of the network of military bases and installations established in Eastern and Central Europe by successive US administrations since 1991 with the aim of encircling Russia.
Now in its missile deal with Poland, it is the US which has agreed to a clause that subverts the traditional structures of the NATO alliance in order to further Washington’s unilateral militarist policy in the region.
The increasingly aggressive penetration of the US into central and eastern Europe is causing alarm in Paris, Berlin and Rome. At the same time, Washington is only able to press ahead with its reckless offensive because of the cowardly stance adopted by the European bourgeoisie, which watches as tensions on the continent escalate to boiling point, but is not prepared to challenge the US administration.
The Missile-Defense Flap
US contractors eye gains from Polish shield deal
Missile Defense: Understanding the Issues
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The Georgian upstart overplayed his hand, reflecting divisions among Western states on strategy in the Caucasus.
The US has always pursued a 'Grand Area' strategy. In this design, whole areas of the planet are presumed to be under its command. American planners had an unprecedented opportunity when the USSR broke down
Contrary to some opinion, the placing of 'lily-pads' in the Caucasus and Central Asia did not begin under Bush or after 9/11, but under Clinton in 1997. Encirclement of Russia is a bipartisan policy.
The US political class is less divided. McCain is staking out the most belligerent territory, but Obama is catching up rapidly. His foreign policy advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has compared Putin to Hitler and complained that Western access to crucial oil pipelines will be cut off by Russia's action - which suggests that any administration that takes his advice would be far more aggressive toward Russia than the Bush administration has been.
Obama wants to pour troops into Afghanistan and shore up the Central Asian frontier. Brzezinski has already supplied the rationale for this in The Grand Chessboard: "Eurasia is the world's axial super continent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia
Eurasia accounts for 75% of the world's population, 60% of its GNP, and 75% of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's."
In this account, control of the Middle East is a secondary aim.
You may recall Obama's sabre-rattling toward Pakistan
It would seem that US control of its Pakistani ally is tenuous, and that the US has to threaten it with a bit of ultra-violence to keep it in line.
So Obama was being perfectly realistic about what he might be expected to do.
In his most recent book, Second Chance, Brzezinski offers a future president the purported means to reverse America's declining power. One of his recommendations is to pay more attention to Russia, disrupt its increasingly close relationship with China and make a concerted effort to contain Putin's efforts to restore Russian power. Brzezinski, I suspect, is speaking for a lot of people in the American establishment. So, don't buy the line that Obama is just tail-coating McCain when he talks tough about Russian aggression. It is an integral component of the global 'Grand Area' strategy of a significant component of US power.
One of the most strident anti-Russian voices was that of former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. In comments to the British Guardian and the German Die Welt, he compared Putin to Hitler and Stalin, and the Russian intervention in Georgia to the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939. “Georgia is to an extent the Finland of today, both morally and strategically,”
Brzezinski pointed to the central role of oil, particularly the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline built over the last decade with US support to bring oil from the region to the world market, bypassing Russian territory. “If Georgia no longer has its sovereignty, it means... that the West is cut off from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia,”
The strategists of US imperialism have broader interests than oil, however. Brzezinski himself has long sought the breakup, not only of the old Soviet Union, but of the Russian republic which comprises the bulk of the land mass of the former USSR. As the Guardian observed Monday, “The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is only a minor element in a much larger strategic equation: an attempt, sponsored largely by the United States but eagerly subscribed to by several of its new ex-Soviet allies, to reduce every aspect of Russian influence throughout the region, whether it be economic, political, diplomatic or military.”
Monday, August 11, 2008
A cartoon from the early part of the 20th Century by an IWW artist gives a power analysis in graphic form. It also underlines the slogan “We are the many, and they are the few!”
It is a graphic some of you may have seen before, but how many of you knew it was a IWW original?
A short history of the US branch of the most revolutionary mass organisation in American history, the Industrial Workers of the World union, the IWW.
The IWW changed American trade unionism forever, being the first big union to organise black and white across entire industries, and calling for the abolition of the wage system and industrial democracy. It was largely defeated by a massive campaign of repression launched by bosses and the government
A ‘Wobbly’ Century
Interesting. This week (March 27, 2007), Time's cover story is an essay arguing in favor of teaching the Bible in schools, which can be boiled down to this: "Of course the Bible should be taught in schools. Duh. It's religion that shouldn't be." On the cover of its international edition is a story that is less easily boiled down: "The Truth About Talibanistan," about the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (and also, Pakistan), and how it's "the next battleground of the war on terrorism." The story is in the U.S. edition of the magazine but not on the American cover, presumably because Rick Stengel & co. think the Bible will do better newsstand (even though it is a singularly unattractive cover).
Newsweek brass in October (2006) when the international editions all ran a cover called "Losing Afghanistan: The Rise of Jihadistan " about the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (and also, Pakistan), and how it's a place from which "Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups [can] hatch the next 9/11." The American cover? An exclusive cover shot and story on Annie Leibovitz entitled "My Life In Pictures" (which was also controversial for whitewashing her life as a lesbian); presumably Jon Meacham & co. thought it would do better on the newsstand.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
clipped from: www.wsws.org
the attempt by Georgia to militarily seize control of the enclave of South Ossetia
Russia’s armed intervention to counter this assault.
US imperialism’s drive to establish hegemony over the vast energy resources of Central Asia and the Caucasus through the assertion of American military power in the region.
The Russian ruling elite, for its part, is seeking to reassert its grip over a region that was ruled by Moscow for two centuries
the Bush administration’s drive to incorporate Georgia into the NATO alliance
Moscow sees as part of an attempt to establish a military encirclement of Russia
President Mikheil Saakashvili sent massed military units into South Ossetia on Thursday morning
violating a unilateral cease-fire declared by Tbilisi.
the Georgian regime
launched an all-out military offensive aimed at conquering the region.
the Georgian military laid siege to the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.
the town is practically destroyed,
more than 1,400 civilians had been killed in the Georgian military assault.
Georgia with utilizing massive violence with the aim of forcing the Ossetian population to flee.
a policy of ethnic cleansing
among the dead were ten Russian peacekeepers
30 more were wounded in the shelling of their barracks
The peacekeepers were deployed
as part of an agreement reached between Moscow, Tbilisi and South Ossetia to end the fighting that erupted following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the subsequent bid by the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to separate from Georgia.
sending a tank column and infantry into South Ossetia, where they have become engaged in fierce combat with Georgian units for control of Tskhinvali.
Georgian authorities charged that Russian warplanes had struck the country’s military bases, airfields and the main Black Sea port of Poti late Friday and early Saturday,
Bombs reportedly fell on the capital of Tbilisi and on the area of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
The timing of the Georgian incursion
the opening of the Olympics in Beijing
The Georgian president
“looking with hope”
“is not about Georgia anymore. It’s about America, its values... America stands up for those freedom-loving nations and supports them. That’s what America is all about.”
Under the Bush administration
US-backed “Rose Revolution” that paved the way for Saakashvili’s rise to power
Georgia is as an American bridgehead into the oil and gas-rich Caspian Basin
strategic transit route for funneling energy supplies out of the region, while bypassing Russia.
Washington has provided hundreds millions of dollars in military aid,
sending in large numbers of US military trainers for the country’s growing armed forces.
participating in the US occupation of Iraq, numbering some 2,000
Tbilisi indicated Friday that it would seek US help in bringing at least 1,000
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
declaring, “Now we see Georgia has found a use for these weapons and for the special forces that were trained with the help of international instructors.”
Last month, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a provocative visit to Tbilisi, denouncing Russia and reiterating US backing for Georgian NATO membership.
Washington has stopped short of providing explicit support
backs the position of its client state in the Caucasus.
United Nations Security Council failed
because of Washington’s opposition to a clause calling on all sides to “renounce the use of force.”
US is backing Georgia’s right to take military action.
Secretary of State Rice
“We call on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia’s territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil,”
the end product of the increasingly aggressive policy pursued by US imperialism in the wake of the dissolution of the USSR nearly 17 years ago
to further its own aim of military and economic hegemony. This began with the bloody wars in the former Yugoslavia.
All of the arguments used by Washington to justify its support for Bosnia and Kosovo and its military assault on Serbia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s could be employed just as effectively to condemn Georgia’s intervention and defend South Ossetia, as well as Russia’s military intervention on its behalf.
In this case, however, Washington has elevated Georgia’s “territorial integrity” as the paramount principle
justifying Georgia’s military intervention and an assault on the province’s Russian population that Moscow has branded as “ethnic cleansing.”
The apparent contradiction
underscores the fact that US imperialism’s supposed aversion to ethnic cleansing and the suppression of ethnic enclaves is entirely dependent upon who is doing it and whether or not it serves US strategic interests.
There is a direct link between this latest war and those waged by the US in the Balkans. In February, the US and the West recognized Kosovo’s “independence” based on its unilateral secession from Serbia
The aim in backing this secession
its support for the suppression of similar secessionist entities in Georgia
to further US military plans for the encirclement of Russia and the securing of access routes to the Caspian Basin.
In the run-up to Kosovo’s unilateral declaration
Moscow had repeatedly warned that it would set a precedent
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in particular. In its aftermath, the Russian regime stepped up its support for both territories.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
“Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to it’s people & illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue, & honor of it’s solders on the ground. Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send solders to die for illegal invasion they started. Somehow torture is tolerated. Somehow lying is tolerated. Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, & nonsense. Somehow nobody is accountable for this.”
Brother of Pat Tillman
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
there are not one but three wars being fought out in the country since 2003:
- the first is the war of resistance against the American occupation by insurgents from the Sunni Arab community.
- The second is the battle between the Sunni and Shia communities as to who should rule the Iraqi state in succession to Saddam Hussein.
- The third conflict is a proxy war between the US and Iran to decide who should be the predominant foreign power in Iraq.
- sealed off by concrete walls.
- There are checkpoints every few hundred yards.
- Sunni and Shia do not visit each other areas unless they have to.
The best barometer for the real state of security in Baghdad is the attitude of Iraqi refugees, particularly the 2.4 million people who fled to Jordan and Syria. Though often living in miserable conditions and with their money running out, the refugees are generally not coming home to Iraq and, when they do, they seldom return to houses from which they have been forced to flee.
The battle for Baghdad was won by the Shia and was ending even before ‘the Surge’ began in February 2007.
Iraqis will not accept the occupation continuing indefinitely and Iran will not allow itself to be marginalized.
If McCain were to try to win a military victory in Iraq he could find the supposed achievements of ‘the Surge’ rapidly evaporating.