Rene -- Multitudes -- Another World, Possibly
Another World, Possibly
By Dave Mulcahey
Shortly before he died in 1918, the American critic Randolph Bourne penned an incendiary essay laying bare the monstrous duplicity at the heart of Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy. We know Wilson from school history as the champion of national self-determination. Bourne regarded such high-minded talk as a hollow ruse. History will record, he wrote, that “when the American nation had ostensibly a chance to conduct a gallant war, with scrupulous regard to the safety of democratic values at home, it chose rather to adopt all the most obnoxious and coercive techniques of the enemy and of the other countries at war, and to rival in intimidation and ferocity of punishment the worst governmental systems of the age.”
The essay, which Bourne never finished, is remembered for a pithy aphorism, “War is the health of the state.” This slogan has lately taken on a discomfiting resonance.
Warfare, Bourne observed, exercised a psychological effect on the nation wholly salutary to the state and the classes that ran it. It regimented life and terrorized dissenters, granting the state new powers to punish citizens for the mildest divergences from orthodoxy. Wilson’s lofty rhetoric about a world made safe for democracy was merely filigree on his dangerous idealism of the state. Inevitably, the democratic principles he so fervently boosted came into conflict with the state’s need for power. Just as inevitably, Bourne wrote, Wilson decided “that it is the naïver democratic values that must be sacrificed.”
Rene -- Antonio Negri: The Nostalgic Revolutionary
This is one of the more negative artilces written on Negri within a widely distributed news publication (the Independent!), so I thought it was interesting enough to include. Strangely the article keeps referring to 'empire,' when it seems it should be focusing on 'multitudes.' -rg
Antonio Negri: The Nostalgic Revolutionary
By Adrian Hamilton
August 17, 2004
Now his prison days are over, the notorious Italian 'philosopher-terrorist' Antonio Negri, accused of leading the Red Brigades, is taking on London. But when Johann Hari meets him, he proves to be a slippery customer.
In the late 1980s, the Italian President Francesco Cossiga described Antonio Negri as "a psychopath" who "poisoned the minds of an entire generation of Italy's youth". Negri has been accused of murdering Italy's former Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, and of being il grande vecchio - the grand old man - behind the Red Brigades, one of the most notorious terror groups to attack post-war Europe until al-Qa'ida. In prison he co-wrote an anti-globalisation bible, Empire. Now he's out, and he's heading to London. I am waiting patiently at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, in the shadow of Buckingham Palace, to have my mind poisoned.
"I'm afraid Antonio's gone Awol," his publicist explains, diffidently. And he's due to speak to a crowd of 200 at the ICA in just an hour. "We sent a taxi to pick him up and... well... he's not there. Apparently, this happens." I take this opportunity to have another go at finishing Empire. An unexpected bestseller, the book was written by Negri and an American friend and fellow-academic, Michael Hardt, in the late 1990s, and has now topped 40,000 sales. Thanks to its impossibly dense thickets of sociological prose, it has developed a reputation as the Finnegans Wake of political writing, a book much purchased but never finished.
Here is a typical Negri sentence, selected at random: "The analysis of real subsumption, when this is understood as investing not only the economic or only the cultural dimension of society but rather the social bios itself, and when it is attentive to the modalities of disciplinarity and/or control, disrupts the linear and totalitarian figure of capitalist development." After 400 pages of this, I feel like I have been raped by a dictionary of sociology.
As I try for the thousandth time to figure out what the hell "biopower" is (and how it will motivate the "posse" to "replace the City of God with the City of Man"), I notice a man walking directly towards me in a neat suit. He doesn't smile. "I need wine," he says quickly, as he lights a cigarette. "White wine."
From the vantage point of the bar, I look at the philosopher-terrorist. Now 71, he is tanned and tall, with a slight stoop. Was this bland-looking man really the cause of so much rage? Negri first became notorious in the mid-1970s, when the Italian far left began to fracture. The Italian Communist Party decided to enter into a coalition government with the Christian Democrats. The shard of the far left that could not accept this "Grand Historic Compromise" grew sharper and bloodier, and began to advocate immediate revolution. Negri was the guru of the new movement for "permanent civil war" and "mass illegality".
Aniruddha --Who seized Simona Torretta?
Compliments of Shobak
1. The Guardian Thursday September 16, 2004 -- Who seized Simona Torretta?
2. Kidnapped Italian Aid Worker Simona Torretta On Why She Went to Baghdad: "Iraq is a Part of My Life"
This Iraqi kidnapping has the mark of an undercover police operation
Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill
When Simona Torretta returned to Baghdad in March 2003, in the
midst of the "shock and awe" aerial bombardment, her Iraqi friends
greeted her by telling her she was nuts. "They were just so surprised
to see me. They said, 'Why are you coming here? Go back to Italy.
Are you crazy?'"
But Torretta didn't go back. She stayed throughout the invasion,
continuing the humanitarian work she began in 1996, when she first
visited Iraq with her anti-sanctions NGO, A Bridge to Baghdad. When
Baghdad fell, Torretta again opted to stay, this time to bring medicine
and water to Iraqis suffering under occupation. Even after resistance
fighters began targeting foreigners, and most foreign journalists and
aid workers fled, Torretta again returned. "I cannot stay in Italy," the
29-year-old told a documentary film-maker.
Today, Torretta's life is in danger, along with the lives of her fellow
Italian aid worker Simona Pari, and their Iraqi colleagues Raad Ali
Abdul Azziz and Mahnouz Bassam. Eight days ago, the four were
snatched at gunpoint from their home/office in Baghdad and have not
been heard from since. In the absence of direct communication from
their abductors, political controversy swirls round the incident.
Proponents of the war are using it to paint peaceniks as naive,
blithely supporting a resistance that answers international solidarity
with kidnappings and beheadings. Meanwhile, a growing number of
Islamic leaders are hinting that the raid on A Bridge to Baghdad was
not the work of mujahideen, but of foreign intelligence agencies out to
discredit the resistance.
Nothing about this kidnapping fits the pattern of other abductions.
Most are opportunistic attacks on treacherous stretches of road.
Torretta and her colleagues were coldly hunted down in their home.
And while mujahideen in Iraq scrupulously hide their identities,
making sure to wrap their faces in scarves, these kidnappers were
bare-faced and clean-shaven, some in business suits. One assailant
was addressed by the others as "sir".
Kidnap victims have overwhelmingly been men, yet three of these
four are women. Witnesses say the gunmen questioned staff in the
building until the Simonas were identified by name, and that Mahnouz
Bassam, an Iraqi woman, was dragged screaming by her headscarf,
a shocking religious transgression for an attack supposedly carried
out in the name of Islam.
VK -- Sundance for Republicans
Sundance for Republicans
Welcome to the nation's first conservative film festival.
By Bryan Curtis
Posted Monday, Sept. 13, 2004, at 3:02 PM PT
DALLAS˜The opening night of the American Film Renaissance, the nation's "first and only" conservative film festival, featured an African-American pianist sitting in a ballroom of Dallas' InterContinental Hotel and playing "As Time Goes By." On Saturday and Sunday, aspiring right-wing auteurs suggested that if we could just get back to the values of Casablanca˜you know, Nazism, adultery, casino gaming˜the studios would make movies worth watching again. "We're seeing the rise of conservative film," said Alan Lipton, the co-director of a short called Operation Eagle Strike. "We're so pro-Israel that I'm sure we'll have plenty of friends in Hollywood."
"Hollywood" was a subject of thoughtful discussion among the conservatives this weekend˜as in, "Who do we know there?" Mel Gibson emerged as a logical first choice, but was deemed too remote to be of practical value to the movement (though one man claimed he knew of Gibson's secret plan to screen The Passion of the Christ in Iraq). The heads of the major film studios were rejected out of hand˜too liberal, too inaccessible˜along with the heads of most of the smaller studios, who tend to prefer Michael Caine to Michael Medved. With little hope of securing six-figure deals, then, the winger-directors had to settle for screening their movies in front of a benevolent audience. "This will probably be the only time in human history this will ever happen," said Evan Coyne Maloney, director of Brainwashing 101, a film about political correctness on college campuses, who reported an "embarrassing" number of compliments.
Rene -- Reverend Billy's Unholy War
Reverend Billy's Unholy War
August 22, 2004
By JONATHAN DEE
On a Monday morning in Los Angeles, in a half-empty
strip-mall Starbucks on Reseda Boulevard, two young women
are declaring their love for each other.
''I can't keep it to myself any longer,'' says the one with
the two-toned hair -- who, judging by the frowns and
squeamish stares from the other customers, has made little
enough effort to keep it to herself at all. She stands up.
''I love you!'' she says joyfully. ''Brought to you by
Monsanto!'' Her companion blanches. The standing woman, it
emerges, has obtained an endorsement deal for their love.
Her lover, not surprisingly, has reservations, and an
In truth, these two women are not a couple at all; they are
putting on a play, one of several being performed
simultaneously inside the store. But this has not dawned
yet on the legitimate customers. All they know is that
their Starbucks routine has been hijacked somehow. They
turn to each other, friends and strangers alike, with
variants on the same question: Is this for real?
Enter, from the parking lot, Reverend Billy.
6-foot-3, impossible not to look at in his white suit,
clerical collar and dyed-blond pompadour. He is also not a
real minister -- he is a New York-based performance artist
and activist named Bill Talen -- but it generally takes
people a minute or two to figure that out, and this
confusion over the exact derivation of his authority is the
space in which he thrives. ''Hallelujah!'' he shouts
through a white cardboard megaphone as he bursts through
the door. ''This is an abusive place, children! It has
landed in this neighborhood like a space alien! The
union-busting, the genetically-engineered milk, the fake
bohemianism! But we don't have to be here, children! This
is the Good News!''
Rene -- Michael Moore -- Why I Will Not Seek a Best Documentary Oscar
Given our recent discussion at MASS MoCA about political efficacy and cultural production, I thought this might be an interesting read. -rg
Why I Will Not Seek a Best Documentary Oscar (I'm giving it up in the hopes more voters can see "Fahrenheit 9/11")
I had dinner recently with a well-known pollster who had often worked for Republicans. He told me that when he went to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" he got so distraught he twice had to go out in the lobby and pace during the movie.
"The Bush White House left open a huge void when it came to explaining the war to the American people," he told me. "And your film has filled that void -- and now there is no way to defeat it. It is the atomic bomb of this campaign."
He told me how he had conducted an informal poll with "Fahrenheit 9/11" audiences in three different cities and the results were all the same. "Essentially, 80% of the people going IN to see your movie are already likely Kerry voters and the movie has galvanized them in a way you rarely see Democrats galvanized.
"But, here's the bad news for Bush: Though 80% going IN to your movie are Kerry voters, 100% of those COMING OUT of your movie are Kerry voters. You can't come out of this movie and say, 'I am absolutely and enthusiastically voting for George W. Bush.'"
His findings are similar to those in other polls conducted around the country. In Pennsylvania, a Keystone poll showed that 4% of Kerry's support has come from people who decided to vote for him AFTER seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- and in an election that will be very close, 4% is a landslide. A Harris poll found that 44% of Republicans who see the film give it a “positive” rating. Another poll, to be released this week, shows a 21-point shift in Bush's approval rating, after just one viewing of the movie, among audiences of undecideds who were shown "Fahrenheit 9/11" in Ohio.
My pollster friend told me that he believes if Kerry wins, "Fahrenheit 9/11" will be one of the top three reasons for his election. Kerry's only problem, he said, is how many people will actually be able to see it before election day. The less that see it, the better for Bush.
But 20 million people have already seen it -- and the Gallup poll said that 56% of the American public has seen or plans to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" either in the theater or on home video. The DVD and home video of our film, thanks to our distributors listening to our pleas to release it before November, will be in the stores on October 5. This is very good news.
Rene -- US troops face new torture claims
US troops face new torture claims
Tuesday September 14, 2004
Allegations that American soldiers routinely tortured and maltreated
detainees have emerged from a third Iraqi city, renewing fears that
abuse similar to that inflicted in Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad has
been systematic and widespread. American soldiers in the northern
Iraqi city of Mosul beat and stripped detainees, threatened sexual
abuse and forced them to listen to loud western music, according to
statements seen by the Guardian.
Lawyers investigating the claims have sent details to the Pentagon
and the British Ministry of Defence and have demanded an inquiry.
Though the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail and in Basra
has been well-documented, this is the first time claims of abuse have
been made from the north of the country.
Two statements have been taken from Iraqis detained in Mosul and more
In one, an Iraqi lawyer says he was hooded and stripped naked in a
building known as the "disco".
Yasir Rubaii Saeed al-Qutaji describes how loud western music was
played and cold water poured over his body; he said he was also
threatened with sexual abuse.
"For the next 15 hours they tried to break me down by taking me
frequently inside and repeating the stripping, cold water and loud
music sequence," he says.
"Due to the very loud music," he adds, "they would talk to me via a
loudspeaker that was placed next to my ears."
Avi -- The conscientious objectors go free
Palestine / Israel
The conscientious objectors go free
By Orit Shohat
Haggai Matar, Adam Maor, Shimri Tsameret, Matan Kaminer and Noam Bahat - the five conscientious objectors to military service - are getting out of prison tomorrow, after serving a year's sentence, and another year in repeated remands. It is not clear what the army is planning for the day after their release. Will they be required to enlist again? Will they be sent to prison again? Are five youngsters capable of carrying on their shoulders the entire objection struggle opposite a strong military establishment that enjoys the support of the consensus? Is it fair to expect it of them?
An unjustified feeling of failure prevails in the conscientious objectors movement. The army defeated the objectors, as expected, by imposing on themgrave punishment. But this victory was like the victory over terror. It is a victory of the strong over the weak, which yields only a momentary sense of satisfaction. Just as you cannot crush terror while constantly abusing the population it comes from, so you cannot defeat the objectors while ignoring their arguments on the occupation's immorality.
It is hard to defeat youngsters who refuse to cooperate with continuous anomaly. It is hard to prevent the trickling down of the objectors' message, and hard to ignore their accumulative influence on the revulsion the public feels toward the occupation and the settlement movement, which prevents putting an end to it.
Naeem -- Textual Healing
Compliments of Shobak
By Jeremy Scahill,
AlterNet Posted on September 11, 2004,
The guerrilla musicians from the Infernal Noise Brigade were tuning their
instruments, preparing to lead an unannounced, un-permitted march from Union Square to Madison Square Garden. Independent journalists from the Indymedia Center were putting fresh cassettes in their video cameras. An activist was instructing people to line up two-by-two in a straight line because "that way the police don't have a legal right to stop us when we march." The cops were mulling about waiting for whatever would come.
Then, Union Square started beeping with a symphony of cell phone text
message alerts. It was like the activist version of that scene in the awful
Tom Clancy movie "The Sum of All Fears" when the mobile phones of all of the
CIA and White House honchos start ringing during a presidential dinner
party. "From comms-dispatch," read the message. "Reports of police using
orange mesh fencing to surround protesters at Herald Square. Riot cops
moving in. Cameras, medics and legal observers needed."
Throughout the week in New York, independent journalists and activist groups
used text-messaging technology to coordinate an impressive, groundbreaking
campaign of direct action and comprehensive news reporting. It was one of
the many creative, guerilla tactics employed by the decentralized resistance
movement in North America that grew out of the WTO protests in Seattle in
1999. In contrast to the multi-million dollar security budgets for the
Democratic and Republican conventions and at the recent FTAA meetings in
Miami, activists are using existing technology that is virtually cost free
to mobilize hundreds of actions and thousands of activists.
Naeem -- March To Irrelevance: Why Protest Doesn't Work In America
Compliments of Shobak
"March To Irrelevance" is an important article on the protests by Matt
Taibbi. Taibbi is one of the Bush admin's fiercest critics, and a sharp
brain. As such, his critique of the protest movement is worth listening to.
Excerpt:"There was a time when mass protests were enough to cause Johnson to
give up the Oval Office and cause Richard Nixon to spend his nights staring
out his window in panic. No more. We have a different media now, different
and more sophisticated law enforcement techniques and, most importantly, a
different brand of protester. Protests can now be ignored because our media
has learned how to dismiss them, because our police know how to contain
them, and because our leaders now know that once a protest is peacefully
held and concluded, the protesters simply go home and sit on their asses
until the next protest or the next election."
A March To Irrelevance By Matt Taibbi, New York Press Posted on September
11, 2004, http://www.alternet.org/story/19840/
Hey, you assholes: The `60s are over!
I'm not talking about your white-guy fros, mutton-chops and beads. I'm not
talking about your Che t-shirts or that wan, concerned, young Joanie Baez
look on the faces of half of your women. I'm not even talking about skinny
young potheads carrying wood puppets and joyously dancing in druid circles
during a march to protest a bloody war.
I'm not harping on any of that. I could, but I won't. Because the protests
of the last week in New York were more than a silly, off-key exercise in
irrelevant chest-puffing. It was a colossal waste of political energy by a
group of people with no sense of history, mission or tactics, a group of
people so atomized and inured to its own powerlessness that it no longer
even considers seeking anything beyond a fleeting helping of that worthless
and disgusting media currency known as play.
Rene -- False comfort from words of war
"War on Terror"
Philip Stephens: False comfort from words of war
By Philip Stephens
September 9 2004
The language of politics is too often the enemy of intelligent
judgment. The simple slogan obscures more than it illuminates. Three
years on from the horrors of September 11 2001 and a week after the
murderous attack on the schoolchildren of Beslan, everyone knows what
the politicians mean when they talk about the war on terrorism. Yet for
all its apparent clarity, the phrase is a dangerous mis-description,
a source of convenient self-delusion for political leaders and of
false comfort for the rest of us.
Part of the confusion arises because the word terrorism describes a
tactic rather than an enemy. The problem, though, runs deeper than
this obvious linguistic imprecision. A declaration of war invites
the conclusion that it is the sole legitimate response. Everything
else has been tried and failed; to suggest otherwise is appeasement.
Terrorists, this characterisation continues, are all the same. Eta
in Spain, Hamas on the West Bank, dissident Republicans in Northern
Ireland, militants in Kashmir and Chechen separatists in the Caucasus -
all must be lumped together with the al-Qaeda jihadists who brought
down New York's twin towers. There is good and evil, and nothing in
between; no place for careful calibrations or for political engagement.
Rene -- Architect Designs Building for Homeless
Architect Designs Building for Homeless
By NATHANIEL HERNANDEZ
The Associated Press
09/11/04 04:31 EDT
CHICAGO (AP) - Renowned architect Helmut Jahn has designed sleek,
one-of-a-kind structures for bankers and office workers, dabbled in
sports and entertainment venues and even erected a modern airline
terminal. But one of his latest structures is an environmentally
friendly structure intent on a larger purpose: housing the poor.
Jahn's stainless steel and glass "single room occupancy" building is
expected to be built next year on a vacant lot near the Cabrini-Green
housing project, which is gradually being torn down.
The silver, Twinkie-shaped structure will consist of 100 units, and
includes public areas where residents can meet and socialize. But more
importantly, homeless advocates say, it will draw attention to the
"supportive housing movement," which promotes SRO buildings as a way
to ease the homeless problem.
In supportive housing, social services and counseling are offered on
site and - unlike at shelters - the poor have a room to call their own.
Rene -- Darfur: Action not words
Darfur: Action not words
11 Sept 2004
America's declaration that genocide is taking place in Sudan has
injected fresh urgency - and controversy - into the international
debate about what the UN unhesitatingly calls the world's worst
humanitarian crisis. It was only to be expected that the Khartoum
government would reject the charge, but there has also been a lukewarm
response elsewhere to Colin Powell's statement to the Senate foreign
relations committee. The US secretary of state says genocide is
taking place on the basis of evidence that black African villagers
in Darfur are being targeted with the specific intent of destroying
"a group in whole or part". Human rights organisations have welcomed
the shift. Britain's official response is that grave crimes are
being committed by the government-backed Janjaweed Arab militias and
that the UN should mount an urgent investigation. Is this a case of
diplomatic sensibilities masking a brutal truth? Is it right to have
reservations about using the G word?
Situations previously characterised as genocide include the Turkish
massacre of 1.5 million Armenians during the first world war and,
less controversially, the Nazis' extermination of six million Jews
in the second world war, when the term was coined from the Greek
word genos (race or tribe) with the Latin word cide (to kill). It
has been widely applied to Pol Pot's Cambodia of the 1970s and made
bloody reappearances in Rwanda in 1994 and in the aftermath of the
wars of the Yugoslavian succession. Slobodan Milosevic, the former
Serbian president, is facing a genocide charge at the Hague war crimes
tribunal. Radislav Krstic, a Bosnian Serb general, was convicted of
genocide for his role in the Srebrenica massacre of 7,000 Muslim men
Kamal -- Bin Laden's self-defeating jihad
Bin Laden's self-defeating jihad By Gilles Kepel Published: September 7 2004
20:47 | Last updated: September 7 2004 20:47
Three years after the September 11 attacks, the hostage-taking in North
Ossetia and its horrendous outcome and the capture of two French journalists
in Iraq have shed new light on the challenges facing Islamist terrorism. In
his 2001 pamphlet, Knights under the Prophet's Banner, Ayman al-Zawahiri,
al-Qaeda's ideologue, reminded his readers that the "jihadist vanguard" was
always at risk of being isolated from the "Muslim masses". He wrote that the
jihadists needed to find ways of mobilising those masses towards the supreme
political goal: the triumph of the Islamic state and the implementation of
Islamic law worldwide. Dr Zawahiri considered the 1990s a decade of failed
opportunities. Jihad had been unsuccessful in Algeria, Bosnia, Egypt and
Kashmir because militants had proved unable to galvanise civil society. To
reverse this trend, he came up with the idea of spectacular terrorism to
shock the enemy and make the Muslim masses see the jihadists as "Knights".
The September 11 attacks were conceived by Dr Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden as a way of "magnifying" jihad against Israel and "burning the hands of the US", Islam's "faraway enemy" and the chief ally of the Jewish state. But three years on, this ideology has not achieved its goal. Although al-Qaeda
has resisted cold war-inspired US military strategy (Mr bin Laden and Dr
Zawahiri remain on the run) and directed a succession of bloody terrorist
attacks - from Bali to Madrid - jihad activists have not seized power
anywhere. They have lost their Afghan stronghold and US-led coalition troops
have pursued the war on terror to Iraq, toppling Saddam Hussein's regime and
occupying Baghdad, erstwhile capital of the Muslim Caliphate. For the ulema
- the Islamic scholars - this is a catastrophe. Instead of making inroads
into enemy territory, jihad has backfired and led to what they call fitna -
a war in the heart of Islam that has pitted Shia against Sunni, Arab against
Kurd, Muslim against Muslim, and brought nothing but chaos. In Palestine,
jihad has also so far led to fitna: the Palestinian Authority has lost
influence, while Ariel Sharon's government has built a fence that keeps away
most suicide bombers and will choke the Palestinian economy. Jihadists are
at a crossroads: they are looking desperately for new slogans and modes of
action that will trigger mass mobilisation. This is the context for the
North Ossetia massacre and the abduction of the French journalists. Even
though large numbers of Chechens resent Kremlin policy and look forward to
independence, only a few identify with Islamist radicals, who tried to
hijack the whole Chechen independence movement. Taking hundreds of children
Genevieve -- Neoconservatism and Espionage. AIPAC Spy Scandal: Crimes of the 'Clean
Neoconservatism and Espionage. AIPAC Spy Scandal: Crimes of the 'Clean
Justin Raimondo, AntiWar
September 8, 2004 - These are bad times for Israeli spy operations. It
wasn't enough that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was
outed, last week, as a major supplier of U.S. secrets to Tel Aviv: on
Monday, Israel's spy satellite – meant to keep an eye on Iran's nuclear
ambitions – went kaput on lift-off. Measured in time, money, and diplomatic
blowback, the loss of the satellite is a hard blow to the Jewish state – but
the AIPAC affair could deliver a knockout punch to one of Washington's most
powerful, and feared, lobbying groups. Not only that, it could also destroy
the neoconservative wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment by
demonstrating, in a court of law, the key link between neoconservatism and
Attempts to minimize the damage, mostly conducted in the pages of the
Jerusalem Post, and the New York Times – which has published "news" stories
on the subject consisting almost entirely of the neocons' outraged denials –
have so far downplayed the significance of the documents allegedly given to
AIPAC officials by Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin, and then passed on
to Israel. The Amen Corner always refers to a draft of a presidential
directive on Iran, and then goes on to scoff at the seriousness of the
alleged transmission: everybody does it, goes the argument, and what are
some "draft" policy papers between such good friends? No notice is ever
taken of the "other documents" frequently mentioned, albeit in passing, in
various news accounts. But what are we talking about, here: secret codes?
the names of American agents abroad? America's war plans in Iraq? It could
be any or all of the above.
Veronica -- What John Kerry Said in 1971
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
ˆ Dwight D. Eisenhower
September 4, 2004
What John Kerry Said in 1971
An excerpt from his Senate statement for Vietnam Veterans Against the War on April 22, 1971.
Mr. Kerry: Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington, Senator Pell. I would like to say for the record, and also for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniforms and their medals, that my sitting here is really symbolic. I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony.
I would simply like to speak in very general terms. I apologize if my statement is general because I received notification yesterday you would hear me and I am afraid because of the injunction I was up most of the night and haven't had a great deal of chance to prepare.
Winter Soldier Investigation
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
Truthout -- Sen. Graham -- Bush Covered Up Saudi Involvement in 9/11
Sen. Graham: Bush Covered Up Saudi Involvement in 9/11
By Mary Jacoby
Wednesday 08 September 2004
The former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee tells Salon that the White House has suppressed convincing evidence that the Saudi royal family supported at least two of the hijackers.
As the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman during the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and the run-up to the Iraq war, Sen. Bob Graham tried to expose what he came to believe were national security coverups and manipulations by the Bush administration. But he discovered that it was hard to reveal a coverup playing by the rules. Much of the evidence the Florida Democrat needed to buttress his arguments was being locked away, he found, under the veil of politically motivated classification.
Now, as he prepares to retire after 18 years in the Senate, the normally cautious former governor of Florida is unleashing himself in a new book, "Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia and the Failure of America's War on Terror."
In his book, Graham asserts that the White House blocked investigations into Saudi Arabian government support for the 9/11 plot, in part because of the Bush family's close ties to the Saudi royal family and wealthy Saudis like the bin Ladens. Behind the White House's insistence on classifying 27 pages detailing the Saudi links in a report issued by a joint House-Senate intelligence panel co-chaired by Graham in 2002 lay the desire to hide the administration's deficiencies and protect its Saudi allies, according to Graham.
Truthout -- Carter -- Letter to Zell Miller: 'You Have Betrayed Our Trust'
Editorial Note: This is for the international folks, Mr. Zell Miller is a Democrat who spoke at the Republican National Convention, something not very common. The content of his message is more or less dealt with in Mr. Carter's letter.
Letter to Zell Miller: 'You Have Betrayed Our Trust'
By Jimmy Carter
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday 08 September 2004
To Sen. Zell Miller:
You seem to have forgotten that loyal Democrats elected you as mayor [of Young Harris] and as state senator. Loyal Democrats, including members of my family and me, elected you as state senator, lieutenant governor and governor. It was a loyal Democrat, Lester Maddox, who assigned you to high positions in the state government when you were out of office. It was a loyal Democrat, Roy Barnes, who appointed you as U.S. senator when you were out of office. By your historically unprecedented disloyalty, you have betrayed our trust.
Truthout -- William Rivers Pitt -- One Thousand and One
One Thousand and One
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Wednesday 08 September 2004
On the day Operation Iraqi Freedom suffered the 1,000th death of a United States soldier, some quick numbers are in order:
1,095 days since the attacks of September 11;
538 days since the invasion and occupation of Iraq;
1,001 American soldiers dead in Iraq;
1,132 total Coalition soldiers dead in Iraq;
More than 20,000 'medical evacuations' of American soldiers from Iraq;
More than 10,000 civilians dead in Iraq;
0 weapons of mass destruction;
0 democratic elections in Iraq;
0 connections between Iraq and the attacks of September 11;
0 captures of Osama bin Laden, in Iraq or anywhere else;
$1.7 trillion to be spent on Iraq in the next decade, according to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences report by the Committee on International Security Studies (CISS).
Rene -- End of the rainbow
End of the rainbow
In 2000 the Republicans paraded their diversity. But now the party is
showing its true colour - white
Gary Younge Monday September 6, 2004 The Guardian
General Colin Powell is missing in action. At the Republican convention in 2000 he led from the front, opening a line up that could have been set up by Jesse Jackson's Rainbow coalition. Of the three co-chairs in 2000 one was black and another Hispanic; national security adviser Condoleezza Rice kicked off prime-time coverage one night while Chaka Khan serenaded George Bush. "Make no mistake about it," said a Republican strategist at the time. "Bush is personally obsessed with diversity." That obsession, even at this cosmetic level, seems to have long passed.
Powell, the secretary of state, was absent last week - not just from the
podium but from the entire convention. The White House says his absence was
a matter of "custom and tradition" that prevents the national security team
from attending. This must have been news to Bush's father, who had secretary
of state James Baker at his side at the 1992 convention. Powell did not come
either because, given his misgivings on the war, the party did not want him
there or because, given his misgivings about the party, he did not want to
Rene -- Bush by numbers: Four years of double standards
An incredible list -rg
Bush by numbers: Four years of double standards
By Graydon Carter
03 September 2004
1 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security issued between 20 January 2001 and 10 September 2001 that mentioned al-Qa'ida.
104 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein.
101 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned missile defence.
65 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned weapons of mass destruction.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.
73 Number of times that Bush mentioned terrorism or terrorists in his three State of the Union addresses.
83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam, Iraq, or regime (as in change) in his three State of the Union addresses.
$1m Estimated value of a painting the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, received from Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States and Bush family friend.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned Saudi Arabia in his three State of the Union addresses.
1,700 Percentage increase between 2001 and 2002 of Saudi Arabian spending on public relations in the United States.
79 Percentage of the 11 September hijackers who came from Saudi Arabia.
3 Number of 11 September hijackers whose entry visas came through special US-Saudi "Visa Express" programme.
Zombie anti-imperialists vs the 'Empire'
Essay1 September 2004
Zombie anti-imperialists vs the 'Empire'
by James Heartfield
'I call these zombie categories because they are dead but somehow go on living, making us blind to the realities of our lives.' Ulrich Beck
In the anti-war movement, young protesters reacting against the political leadership offered by Bush, Blair and Berlusconi meet older radicals thrilled to find a new audience for their well-rehearsed polemics against capitalism and imperialism. Theories of a capitalist crisis, giving rise to Great Power rivalries and the exploitation of the third world are being dusted off for a twenty-first century audience.
Yet a superficial revival of radical pamphleteering hides what is really going on. The old left is lending its vocabulary to a movement that is not interested in changing the world, so much as decrying it. The original theory of imperialism envisaged an era of transition, where the barbaric features of the age were all signs of the old society struggling to contain the new.
Clearly, today's is not an age of transition, and there is no substantial movement towards a new society. Ideas developed in revolutionary times take on a quite different significance when they are re-presented in another context. Sloganeering against 'imperialism' and 'overaccumulation' does not imply revolutionary change today. Rather, these radical ideas become components of a moral revulsion at the mundane world of politics, where the point is not to change the world but complain about it.
The publication of Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in 2001 opened the floodgates to critiques of US imperialism. This was a new turn for the 'anti-capitalist' movement, which had until then concentrated on criticism of the market rather than state actions. Institutions under the spotlight were the World Trade Organisation, and the 'Washington Consensus' more than states and armies (1).