January 14, 2007

The Anti-Empire Report
Johnny Got His Gun
By William Blum

In the past year Iran has issued several warnings to the United States about the consequences of an American or Israeli attack. One statement, issued in November by a high Iranian military official, declared: "If America attacks Iran, its 200,000 troops and 33 bases in the region will be extremely vulnerable, and both American politicians and military commanders are aware of it."[1] Iran apparently believes that American leaders would be so deeply distressed by the prospect of their young men and women being endangered and possibly killed that they would forswear any reckless attacks on Iran. As if American leaders have been deeply stabbed by pain about throwing youthful American bodies into the bottomless snakepit called Iraq, or were restrained by fear of retaliation or by moral qualms while feeding 58,000 young lives to the Vietnam beast. As if American leaders, like all world leaders, have ever had such concerns.

Let's have a short look at some modern American history, which may be instructive in this regard. A report of the US Congress in 1994 informed us that:

Approximately 60,000 military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to test two chemical agents, mustard gas and lewisite [blister gas]. Most of these subjects were not informed of the nature of the experiments and never received medical followup after their participation in the research. Additionally, some of these human subjects were threatened with imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth if they discussed these experiments with anyone, including their wives, parents, and family doctors. For decades, the Pentagon denied that the research had taken place, resulting in decades of suffering for many veterans who became ill after the secret testing.[2]

In the decades between the 1940s and 1990s, we find a remarkable variety of government programs, either formally, or in effect, using soldiers as guinea pigs -- marched to nuclear explosion sites, with pilots sent through the mushroom clouds; subjected to chemical and biological weapons experiments; radiation experiments; behavior modification experiments that washed their brains with LSD; widespread exposure to the highly toxic dioxin of Agent Orange in Korea and Vietnam ... the list goes on ... literally millions of experimental subjects, seldom given a choice or adequate information, often with disastrous effects to their physical and/or mental health, rarely with proper medical care or even monitoring. more...

January 13, 2007

TELL THE FCC TO STOP BIG MEDIA

The FCC wants to lift media ownership rules and open the floodgates to wholesale consolidation of local newspaper, radio and television outlets. The FCC needs to hear from you before they hand over local media to concentrated giants like News Corp., General Electric and Clear Channel. Big Media's drive to control local outlets stifles the competition and diversity that are the lifeblood of a democratic media system.

Comments are due January 16.

The more people who file comments at the FCC, the more likely they are to respond in the public's best interest. Please encourage your friends to participate!

January 12, 2007

Bush's New Strategy - The March of Folly
So into the graveyard of Iraq, George Bush, commander-in-chief, is to send another 21,000 of his soldiers. The march of folly is to continue...
by Robert Fisk  

There will be timetables, deadlines, benchmarks, goals for both America and its Iraqi satraps. But the war against terror can still be won. We shall prevail. Victory or death. And it shall be death.

President Bush's announcement early this morning tolled every bell. A billion dollars of extra aid for Iraq, a diary of future success as the Shia powers of Iraq ? still to be referred to as the "democratically elected government" ? march in lockstep with America's best men and women to restore order and strike fear into the hearts of al-Qa'ida. It will take time ? oh, yes, it will take years, at least three in the words of Washington's top commander in the field, General Raymond Odierno this week ? but the mission will be accomplished.

Mission accomplished. Wasn't that the refrain almost four years ago, on that lonely aircraft carrier off California, Bush striding the deck in his flying suit? And only a few months later, the President had a message for Osama bin Laden and the insurgents of Iraq. "Bring 'em on!" he shouted. And on they came. Few paid attention late last year when the Islamist leadership of this most ferocious of Arab rebellions proclaimed Bush a war criminal but asked him not to withdraw his troops. "We haven't yet killed enough of them," their videotaped statement announced.

Well, they will have their chance now. How ironic that it was the ghastly Saddam, dignified amid his lynch mob, who dared on the scaffold to tell the truth which Bush and Blair would not utter: that Iraq has become "hell" . more...

January 11, 2007

Dear Mr. President: Send Even MORE Troops (and you go, too!) ...from Michael Moore Dear Mr. President,
Thanks for your address to the nation. It's good to know you still want to talk to us after how we behaved in November.

Listen, can I be frank? Sending in 20,000 more troops just ain't gonna do the job. That will only bring the troop level back up to what it was last year. And we were losing the war last year! more...

*****NEW ARTICLE*****

Gulf Coast Civic Works Project

Call on Congress to support the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project

 Click here to add your voice! 

Description
The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project was proposed a few months ago by Prof. Scott Myers-Lipton, a Professor at San Jose State University, in California. His proposal captures, in simple language, a common-sense approach for rebuilding the Gulf, providing economic opportunity for Katrina survivors, as well as "restoring faith in the government‚s social compact with its citizens."

This is a plan that should be embraced by every member of Congress and every American. It's a big, comprehensive initiative, but it's not a bloated program. It speaks to core American values of community and individual responsibility and equality of opportunity, while recognizing the importance of culture and history. And fundamentally, it makes sound economic sense.

There is no other plan that takes advantage of the economies of scale and available labor pool represented by the city's former residents for rebuilding. And it fits perfectly with the stated desires of officials at every level, who say they want to preserve the character of New Orleans and to make it possible for New Orleanians to return.

The Proposal

January 10, 2007

Green era begins for the City of Richmond

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin's swearing-in last night marked a significant milestone for Richmond and the Green Party. She is the first Green Party candidate to take the helm of a city with more than 100,000 residents.

Mayor McLaughlin invited Matt Gonzalez, a former San Francisco Board of Supervisors president and Green Party member, and Van Jones, executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, to speak at the swearing-in ceremony. This was unique, for in the past, speakers have been restricted to outgoing and incoming elected officials.

As is the case with most political functions, the ceremony went on and on. I was glad it was over and I could join many others at the Richmond Auditorium for, what turned out to be, a sit down meal. Thank you.

January 9, 2007

Watching the President's Iraq Speech: A Diagnostic Guide
Sadly, I think the diagnosis is inevitable. Nothing in Bush's history suggests otherwise.
by Arianna Huffington

Paging Dr. Freud... or at least Dr. Phil.

When it comes to the White House's latest "new approach" to Iraq, we are definitely entering "the lunatics have taken over the asylum" territory.

The judgment behind it -- looking at the advice of military experts, and the unambiguous results of the November election, and deciding the proper response is to escalate our involvement in Iraq -- is straight out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Psychiatric literature defines delusional thinking as "false or irrational beliefs maintained despite clear evidence to the contrary." more...

January 8, 2007

Future of Iraq: The spoils of war
How the West will make a killing on Iraqi oil riches
By Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb

Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said. more...
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