Showing posts from May, 2007

Bush sabotages upcoming G8 meeting.

Merkel is perhaps his former close ally. Bush is just torpedoing the G8 meeting and making motions as if he actually was interested in combating climate change. No doubt the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will follow along and replace Merkel as his close ally.

Bush unveils climate plans that reject caps
Deborah Zabarenko and Caren Bohan, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush unveiled a strategy on global warming on Thursday that stressed new technologies but rejected the caps on greenhouse gases that other rich countries want.

To address the problem, Bush said he wants the nations that emit the most climate-warming greenhouse gases to meet in the United States this fall.

The proposals came a week before his close ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts the Group of Eight summit where she hoped to forge an agreement on climate change.

Bush has been under pressure to give some ground at the meeting, but critics dismissed …

Imperial Rot?

Petras is always provocative. I doubt that Arab countries are showing much backbone in standing up to the US. I doubt too that the US is actually suffering more than minor setbacks in the larger scheme of things. The US is still the only military mega power. It will not be until conflict with China and Russia develop that there will be real challenges to US power. There are already signs of an arms race with Russia and there is renewed expenditure on the military in China. Even if the US withdrew from Iraq the country would have to work out some modus vivendi with the US that would include some accomodation on oil. At best Iraq would get a much better deal with China perhaps outbidding US and European oil interests.
Profits are soaring with the huge expenditures in Iraq. A more threatening scenario is an international depression if the military Keynsianism system should collapse.

Are the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the Beginning of the End of the American Empire?
Imperial Rot

Dealing Democrats

Another article about the Democrat betrayal of the peace movement. The Democrats are truly a pitiful party. The best solution for activists would be to work outside the political system or try to form a third party. Boring from within will have only the result that activists will be bored to death or exhausted without achieving much of anything.

Dealing Democrats

President Bush can meet with family friend, Prince Bandar while Vice President Cheney meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, but neither leader are able to meet with Cindy Sheehan and the mothers who ask to know why their children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress, the Democrats in particular dealt Cindy and the families of these soldiers another blow. Instead of voting-all the democrats voting against this 120 billion dollar spending bill lacking any deadline for troop withdrawal, the Democrats, as Cindy writes in her open letter to the Congress and the American public, May 28, 2007, handed the Bus…

Sheehan Leaves Peace Movement

Why did it take her so long to give up on the Democrats? It is too bad that she is leaving the stage entirely although there are plenty of others who will keep working in the movement. Perhaps she just needs a rest.

May 29, 2007

Anti-War Activist Cindy Sheehan Leaves Peace Movement
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan, who camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch after her son died in Iraq in 2004, announced Monday that she will bow out of anti-war activities. She cited her frustration with the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as exhaustion and a desire to be near her children, as reasons for her return home to California.

"When I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode," Sheehan wrote in her blog. "I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of 'right or left,' but 'right and wrong.'…

CIA Torture Program Ensnare Innocents

This is an interesting interview. Arar by the way still has a case before US courts but it will probably be rejected on national security grounds. Grey fails to note that Arar still is on the US no-fly list.

'CIA Torture Program Ensnares Innocents'
Interview with Stephen Grey, author of Ghost Plane

Christopher Brown (christo)

Published 2007-05-28 12:04 (KST)

The names Khaled El Masri, Moazzam Begg, Binyam Mohammad, and Maher Arar may not sound familiar to most people. But they are among the hundreds of people, many of whom have no proven ties to terrorist organizations, who since 1997 have been removed from airports on suspicions based at times on the flimsiest of evidence. They have been escorted away at boarding gates, grabbed while they changed planes, and approached on street corners. Those accused disappeared into a secret world of endless interrogations and torture; all transported care of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In his new book Ghost Plane: Th…

Bush administration no closer to getting benchmarks achieved

The oil bill will hardly pass unless the objections of the Kurds are met and de-Baathification is just going to anger the Shia majority and no doubt many Kurds as well. I had not heard anywhere else the suggestion that Bush might be contemplating replacing the Malika government by some sort of National Salvation junta. Just how he could pull that off is hard to imagine!

Bush administration failing to achieve its “benchmarks” in Iraq
By James Cogan
28 May 2007

US President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have all personally warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that time is running out. Deadlines have gone or are fast approaching. Still, the Bush administration is no closer to achieving the “benchmarks” it demanded of the Iraqi government on January 10 and linked to the success of its current military “surge”.

The benchmarks are intended to pressure the Shiite- and Kurdish-dominated Iraqi government into agreeing to a new power-sharing arrangem…

In Mosul Kurds driven out by Arabs

This is just one more part of the mosaic of conflicts that amount to a virtual civil war in Iraq. It seems that neither the US nor so far local authorities are able to do much to stop it.

In North Iraq, Sunni Arabs Drive Out Kurds
Published: May 30, 2007
MOSUL, Iraq — The letter tossed into Mustafa Abu Bakr Muhammad’s front yard got right to the point.

“You will be killed,” it read, for collaborating with the Kurdish militias. Then came the bullet through a window at night.

A cousin had already been gunned down. So Mr. Muhammad and three generations of his family joined tens of thousands of other Kurds who have fled growing ethnic violence by Sunni Arab insurgents here and moved east, to the safety of Iraqi Kurdistan.

“We had our home in Mosul and it was good there, but things are now very bad between Arabs and Kurds,” said Mr. Muhammad, 70, standing outside his new, scorpion-infested cinderblock house in the nearby town of Khabat.

While the American military is trying to tam…

On the US embassy in Baghdad

This is from Engelhardt's website. Engelhardt often has very hard-hitting original articles that are a great antidote to the pap often served up by the mainstream press.
Tomgram: The Mother Ship Lands in Iraq

The Colossus of Baghdad
Wonders of the Imperial World
By Tom Engelhardt

Of the seven wonders of the ancient Mediterranean world, including the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes, four were destroyed by earthquakes, two by fire. Only the Great Pyramid of Giza today remains.

We no longer know who built those fabled monuments to the grandiosity of kings, pharaohs, and gods; nowadays, at least, it's easier to identify the various wonders of our world with their architects. Maya Lin, for instance, spun the moving black marble Vietnam Memorial from her remarkable brain for the veterans of that war; Frank Gehry dreamt up his visionary titanium-covered museum in Bilbao, Spain, for the Guggenheim; and the architectural firm of BDY (Berger Devine Yaeger), previously …

A Conservative Voice: Democratic Jellyfish, Republican Lemmings

Obviously opposition to the Iraq war is not a monopoly of left wingers. This fellow is about as anti=left as you can be. He is also not opposed to "fighting terrorism" as he thinks that it would be appropriate to bomb Iran back into the stone age if they support terrorism. His opinion of middle easterners is not exactly liberal!
A link to Turtel's own site can be found at the Conservative Voice.
by Joel Turtel
Democrat Jellyfish, Republican Lemmings
May 27, 2007 01:00 PM EST

I never in my life thought I would be rooting for Democrats to get some spine. I despise the liberals’ and Democrats’ fascist-socialist steal-your-money and regulate us to death philosophy. But they are now the only power we have who can stop this sick, meaningless war in Iraq. Yet the Democrats are jellyfish.

What dopes we were to start this war. We played right into the hands of the terrorists. We are fighting on their ground, in their territory, in their kind of guerrilla war, in a tribal, religious…

The Iraq Oil Law: A view from Cuba

The author is an American. I wonder how he manages to be in Cuba. I thought that in general the US did not allow travel there. I guess he does not intend to go home! Given the tone of his articles he probably will not be regarded as a refugee fleeing Cuba and welcomed back with open arms.

US-Iraq Pullout Bad for Business
Por Etchegaray / Jueves, 24 de Mayo del 2007 / 12:10:14 /

By Circles Robinson*

A US pullout from Iraq would jeopardize the windfall profits for a host of well-placed corporations specializing in oil, weapons, construction, security, and other war services.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at a record high, so it’s no surprise that Exxon, Chevron, Halliburton, Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Parsons, BP, Shell, etc., are firmly behind President Bush in his efforts to maintain and extend the Iraq occupation as long as possible.

With the corporations’ security expenses and investment risks being picked up by the US taxpayers, what incentive is there to …

US, Arab states supply military aid for Lebanon

The US and some Arab States have been ganging up on Shia's in Lebanon but in this case the target is radical jihadist Sunnis.

Lebanon defends military aid from U.S.

By ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press Writer Sat May 26, 5:15 PM ET

TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Lebanon's pro-Western prime minister on Saturday
rejected opposition criticism over planeloads of U.S. military aid
pouring in to shore up the country's army in its battle with Islamic
militants in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Three more U.S. transport planes with military supplies arrived from
Kuwait as part of an international airlift. A total of eight military
transport planes have landed at Beirut airport since late Thursday —
four from the U.S. Air Force, two from the United Arab Emirates and
two from Jordan.

A four-day-old truce between the Lebanese army and al-Qaida inspired
Fatah Islam militants mostly held up on Saturday despite sporadic
gunfire in the Nahr el-Bared camp on the outskirts of the northern
port city of Tripoli. But the L…

Free Speech in Venezuela

There is still much privately owned media in Venezuela. It is interesting to note that Chavez is closing down a station much of whose programming is popular among poorer people part of the mass entertainment diversion that is becoming virtually Global. In the Philippines Korean(translated into Tagalog) and US soap operas are both immensely popular. The Philippines have their own variants and even has modern day equivalents of "I was a communist for the FBI" in a soap opera in Tagalog that has NPA (New People's Army) operatives as the bad guys.
It sounds as if Chavez intends to foster a revolutionary substitution for these sorts of programs to buttress his "socialism".

Zero Hour for Venezuela's RCTV
by George Ciccariello-Maher

The expiration of Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV's public concession draws near: at 11:59pm on Sunday, May 27th, RCTV's concession will expire without renewal, and its space on channel 2 will be handed over to the newly-founded V…