Saturday, August 26, 2006


Target Lebanon: The Untold Story, the fourth installment of Apocalypse
Now: The U.S. and Israeli Master Plan for the Middle East is available on
the program archive of the Taking Aim website:


We just called to say we're listening
Great little flash film
Lots more at:,0,6454031.htmlstory


A Brief History of Those Who Made Their Point Politely
and Then Went Home by Kevin Higgins

On this day of tear-gas in Seoul
and windows broken at Dickins & Jones,
I can't help wondering why a history
of those, who made their point politely
and then went home, has never been written.

Those who, in the heat of the moment,
never dislodged a policeman's helmet,
never blocked the traffic or held the country to ransom.
Someone should ask them: "Was it all worth it?"

All those proud men and women, who never
had the National Guard sent in against them;
who left everything exactly as they found it,
without adding as much as a scratch to the paintwork;
who no-one bothered asking: "Are you or have you ever been?"
because we all knew damn well they never ever were.

from 'The Boy With No Face' published by Salmon Poetry




Mumia Abu-Jamal Is In Danger
Rally In Oakland To FREE MUMIA!
4 PM Friday September 15th 2006,
Alameda County Courthouse, 12th and Fallon Sts, south side
Mumia Abu-Jamal Is Innocent!
For Labor Action To Free Mumia! End the Racist Death Penalty!

Award-winning journalist and former
Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has
been on death row for almost a quarter
of a century, for a crime he didn't
commit. The State of Pennsylvania still
wants to execute him, and his case has been
put on a "fast track" to a final resolution.

What may be his last appeal is now
before the 3rd Circuit Court. But we
cannot rely on the courts to free Mumia;
the courts are still refusing to hear
MOUNTAINS of evidence which
conclusively shows his innocence!

In 1995, we mobilized by the thousands
to save Mumia from a date with
death. In 1999, longshore workers
shut down West Coast ports to free Mumia. In
2006, it's time to get back into action to free Mumia!

The victim of a politically motivated
frame-up of monumental proportions,
Mumia is an anti-war, anti-imperialist,
social justice spokesman with the
courage to defy the system from his jail
cell despite a determined conspiracy to
silence him forever. Known as the "Voice
of the Voiceless," Mumia is the
first to point out that his case is just one
among many injustices of this racist,
capitalist system.

Perpetrated by notoriously racist and
corrupt Philadelphia police and
prosecutors, the frame-up of Mumia
Abu-Jamal is supported by leading elements in
both the Democrat and Republican
parties. The US ruling class is so
committed to murdering this "dangerous"
inspirational figure that a resolution--full
of lies about Mumia's case--has been
introduced in Congress to demand that the
city of St Denis, France re-name a street
which was dubbed "Rue Mumia
Abu-Jamal" in a recent ceremony!

In the US, Mumia Abu-Jamal has been
made the "poster boy" for maintaining
the death penalty by the powerful few.
But to the world, Mumia is a hero and
symbol of resistance to racist oppression
and injustice.

All those who are involved in social
justice movements should help
champion his freedom and publicize
actions for his freedom.

Rally initiated by the Labor Action Committee
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC),
PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
510 763-2347 or

Initial endorsers include: The Mobilization
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal;
Frances Goldin, Mumia's literary agent;
Marsha Feinland, Peace and Freedom Party
candidate*; Todd Chretien, Green Party
candidate*; Robert Irminger, Inland
Boatmen‚s Union, ILWU*; Jack Heyman, ILWU*;
Bob Mandel, exec bd, Oakland Education
Association*; Bill Mandel,37 years on KPFA*;
Workers World Party of SF; Nat
Weinstein; Socialist Viewpoint Magazine;
Cristina Gutierrez; Bario Unido por
una Amnistia General; Fred Hirsch,
Plumbers & Fitters 393*; Jack Ford, past
president Teamsters 921*; Patricia
Maginnis; Emily Maloney; Socialist Organizer;
Bay Area United Against War.

*organization listed for purposes
of identification only. (Endorsers
support FREE MUMIA and the three
slogans listed above. They do not necessarily
agree with any other statement in this
announcement or with any other LAC

Endorse the rally! Send your individual
or organizational endorsement by
return email to,
or write to LAC at PO Box 16222,
Oakland CA 94610. Let us know if you
can help build the rally!

Mumia's legal defense needs funds
in this critical time. Please help!
Make checks payable to: Labor Action
Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and
send them to: PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of all
contributions received under this appeal
will go directly to Mumia's legal
defense fund. The remainder will
support the work of the LAC.

For more information on Mumia's case,
go to the following web sites:,,,

- Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


Global Chalk4Peace
Sept 16/17th
WE have TOTAL access
We CAN Make THE Difference
ON THE WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 16 & 17th Chalk4Peace!
On the pavements and sidewalks of our towns and cities
You are invited to Take Action!
To Participate in this GLOBAL outpouring of public art. Where we make
our personal statements for peace on the pavements and sidewalks of
our cities all over our world.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.
(Permit pending)


Free the Cuban Five!
September 23, 2006
Washington, DC
Breaking News...
On Aug. 9, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc
decision denying a new trial to the Cuban Five. On August 10,
the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, together with
the National Lawyers Guild, sponsored an emergency press
conference in Washington in response to the decision.
A partial transcript to that press conference, in English
and Spanish, is here.
A March on the White House will be held on September 23
to continue to press forward with efforts to free the Five.
We urge all supporters to make every effort to join us on
that march. A public demonstration of support for the Five,
and outrage at their continued imprisonment, has never
been more vital. Details of the march are found at the
website below.
Join us in Washington on Sept. 23! Free the Cuban Five!


U.S. Out of Iraq Now! We Are the Majority!
End Colonial Occupation from Iraq,
to Palestine, Haiti, and Everywhere!
October 28 National Day of Action
Locally Coordinated Anti-War Protests from Coast to Coast
Vote With Your Feet … and Your Voices, and Banners, and Signs!
Let Every Politician Feel the Power of the People!


October 28 National Day of Action
Locally Coordinated Anti-War Protests from Coast to Coast
Vote With Your Feet … and Your Voices, and Banners, and Signs!
Let Every Politician Feel the Power of the People!


End Canada's Occupation of Afghanistan!
Call for action on October 28, 2006

This call for a pan-Canadian day of action, co-signed by the
Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Islamic Congress, the
Canadian Labour Congress and the Montreal coalition Echec
a la Guerre, is being distributed and discussed at the World Peace
Forum now taking place in Vancouver. -SV The Collectif Échec
à la guerre, Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Labour Congress,
and the Canadian Islamic Congress are jointly calling for a pan-
Canadian day of protest this October 28th, 2006, to bring Canadian
troops home from Afghanistan.

On that day, people all across the country will unite to tell
Stephen Harper that we are opposed to
his wholehearted support for Canadian and U.S. militarism.
This October marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion and
occupation of Afghanistan, and the people of that country are
still suffering from the ravages of war. Reconstruction in the
country is at a standstill and the needs of the Afghan people
are not being met. The rule of the new Afghan State, made
up largely of drug running warlords, will not realize the
democratic aspirations of the people there. In fact, according
to Human Rights Watch reports, the human rights record
of those warlords in recent years has not been better than
the Taliban.

We are told that the purpose of this war is to root out terrorism
and protect our societies, yet the heavy-handed approach of
a military occupation trying to impose a US-friendly
government on the Afghan people will force more Afghans
to become part of the resistance movement. It will also
make our societies more -- not less -- likely to see terrorist

No discussion on military tactics in the House of Commons
will change that reality. Indeed, violence is increasing with
more attacks on both coalition troops and on Afghan civilians.
While individual Canadian soldiers may have gone to Afghanistan
with the best of intentions, they are operating under the
auspices of a US-led state building project that cares little
or the needs of the Afghan people. US and Canadian interests
rest with the massive $3.2 billion Trans Afghan Pipeline (TAP)
project, which will bring oil from the Caspian region through
southern Afghanistan (where Canada is stationed) and onto the
ports of Pakistan.

It has been no secret that the TAP has dominated US foreign
policy towards Afghanistan for the last decade. Now Canadian
oil and gas corporations have their own interests in the TAP.
Over the last decade, the role of the Canadian Armed Forces
abroad has changed, and Canadian foreign policy has become
a replica of the US empire-building rhetoric. The end result
of this process is now plain to see with the role of our troops
in Southern Afghanistan, with the enormous budget increases
for war expenditures and "security," with the Bush-style speeches
of Stephen Harper, and with the fear campaigns around
"homegrown terrorism" to foster support for those nefarious

It is this very course that will get young Canadian soldiers killed,
that will endanger our society and consume more and more
of its resources for destruction and death in Afghanistan.
We demand a freeze in defense and security budgets until
an in-depth public discussion is held on those issues across
Canada. The mission in Afghanistan has already cost Canadians
more than $4 billion. That money could have been used to fund
human needs in Canada or abroad. Instead it is being used
to kill civilians in Afghanistan and advance the interests
of corporations.

On October 28th, stand up and be counted.
Canadian Troops Out of Afghanistan Now!


San Francisco Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, November 14th, 7PM
555 Franklin Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
The Board will vote on a resolution to phase out JROTC.


I urge everyone to get a copy of "Sir! No Sir!" at:
It is an extremely informative and powerful film
of utmost importance today. I was a participant
in the anti-Vietnam war movement. What a
powerful thing it was to see troops in uniform
leading the march against the war! If you would
like to read more here are two very good

Out Now!: A Participant's Account of the Movement
in the United States Against the Vietnam War
by Fred Halstead (Hardcover - Jun 1978)


GIs speak out against the war;: The case of the
Ft. Jackson 8; by Fred Halstead (Unknown Binding - 1970).

Both available at:,-proj-total-margin&field-author=Fred%20Halstead

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein


Endorse the following petition:
Don't Let Idaho Kill Endangered Wolves
Target: Fish and Wildlife Service
Sponsor: Defenders of Wildlife<l=1155834550


KPFA RADIO is considering airing the very informative program,
"Taking Aim," produced by Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone. We
encourage everyone who has heard and appreciated this show
to contact KPFA's Tracy Rose and let her know you want the
show to air:

Here's my letter:

In solidarity,
Bonnie Weinstein

Dear Tracy,

The program, "Taking Aim", with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone
is a one-of-a-kind, powerfully informative program. Schoenman
and Shone are leading experts in the history of the Middle East with
years of experience living in the region. They are both important
reporters for news that the mainstream media tries to hide or
distort. "Taking Aim" would be a very valuable addition to the fine
programing already on KPFA.

More importantly, the information disseminating from this program
and the serious work of Schoenman and Shone, provide invaluable facts
that KPFA listeners need to hear--truth that is told nowhere else.

The more in-depth information that is made available to the general
public--your listeners--from "Taking Aim" will help to further
educate your well-informed audience.

I strongly urge you to add this program to your broadcasts.

In my opinion, "Taking Aim" and the work of Schoenman and Shone
compares well with Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now." I wish it could
be on every day.


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
Personalize the message text on the right with
your own words, if you wish.
Click the Next Step button to send your letter
to these decision makers:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard 'Dick' B. Cheney
Your Senators
Your Representative
Go here to register your outrage:


Idriss Stelley Foundation is in critical financial crisis, please help !
ISF is in critical financial crisis, and might be forced to close
its doors in a couple of months due to lack of funds to cover
DSL, SBC and utilities, which is a disaster for our numerous
clients, since the are the only CBO providing direct services
to Victims (as well as extended failies) of police misconduct
for the whole city of SF. Any donation, big or small will help
us stay alive until we obtain our 501-c3 nonprofit Federal
Status! Checks can me made out to
ISF, ( 4921 3rd St , SF CA 94124 ). Please consider to volunteer
or apply for internship to help covering our 24HR Crisis line,
provide one on one couseling and co facilitate our support
groups, M.C a show on SF Village Voice, insure a 2hr block
of time at ISF, moderate one of our 26 websites for ISF clients !
Report Police Brutality
24HR Bilingual hotline
(415) 595-8251


Sign the petition to save Bayview Hunters Point: No more Fillmore!
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff,
As urban Black displacement grows, Bayview kicks off referendum
drive to stop Redevelopment by Randy Shaw,
Hands off Bayview Hunters Point!
An open letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Shattering the myth that our community is divided, people –
especially Black people – are lining up to sign, but we need
lots more signature gatherers. Can you commit to a few
hours with a clipboard or to passing petitions among
your co-workers, friends and family? Give us a call at
(415) 671-0789 or an email at
Now for what we’re up against: The Bay View newspaper
has been too broke to help finance the petition campaign,
very few contributions have come in and bills are overdue.
So the petition drive needs financial help … and so does
the Bay View newspaper, desperately.
The Bay View has faced many crises in the over 14 years
we’ve published it – eviction, death threats, never enough
money – yet readers have always come through, enabling
us to bounce back, tackle bigger issues and fight harder
than ever. We hate to beg, but WE NEED YOU NOW.
BAY VIEW CANNOT CONTINUE. To discuss a loan, which
we can amply collateralize, please call us at (415) 671-0789;
we’re here 24/7. Tax-deductible contributions to our
nonprofit arm, the Hurricane Relief Information Network,
are also a big help to save the hopes and the lives
of survivors who depend on the Bay View for news and resources.


Appeal for funds:
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website
Request for Support
Dahr Jamail will soon return to the Middle East to continue his
independent reporting. As usual, reporting independently is a costly
enterprise; for example, an average hotel room is $50, a fixer runs $50
per day, and phone/food average $25 per day. Dahr will report from the
Middle East for one month, and thus needs to raise $5,750 in order to
cover his plane ticket and daily operating expenses.
A rare opportunity has arisen for Dahr to cover several stories
regarding the occupation of Iraq, as well as U.S. policy in the region,
which have been entirely absent from mainstream media.
With the need for independent, unfiltered information greater than ever,
your financial support is deeply appreciated. Without donations from
readers, ongoing independent reports from Dahr are simply not possible.
All donations go directly towards covering Dahr's on the ground
operating expenses.
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


New Flash Film
From Young Ava Over At 'Peace Takes Courage'


Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition
To The Concerned Citizen of The World:


Legal update on Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case
Excerpts from a letter written by Robert R. Bryan, the lead attorney
for death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
...On July 20, 2006, we filed the Brief of Appellee and Cross
Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal, in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia.


Today in Palestine!
For up to date information on Israeli's brutal attack on
human rights and freedom in Palestine and Lebanon go to:


For a great car magnet--a black ribbon with the words, "Bring
the troops home now!" written in red, and it also comes in a
lapel pin!--go to:
(Put out by A.N.S.W.E.R.)


Essential reading for understanding the development of Zionism
and Israel in the service of British and USA imperialism.
The full text of the book can be found for free at:


For those of you who don't know who Lynne Stewart is, go to and get acquainted with Lynne and her
cause. Lynne is a criminal defense attorney who is being persecuted
for representing people charged with heinous crimes. It is a bedrock
of our legal system that every criminal defendant has a right to a
lawyer. Persecuting Lynne is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate
all criminal defense attorneys in this country so they will stop
representing unpopular people. If this happens, the fascist takeover
of this nation will be complete. We urge you all to go the website,
familiarize yourselves with Lynne and her battle for justice


Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos
Who are the Cuban Five?
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving
four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly
convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero,
Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing
espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were
involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups,
in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
The Five’s actions were never directed at the U.S. government.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any
weapons while in the United States.
The Cuban Five’s mission was to stop terrorism
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based
in Miami have engaged in countless terrorist activities against
Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization
of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. More than 3,000 Cubans
have died as a result of these terrorists’ attacks.

2 Life Sentences

Life Sentence

Life Sentence

19 Years

15 Years

Free The Cuban Five Held Unjustly In The U.S.!


Eyewitness Account from Oaxaca
A website is now being circulated that has up-to-date info
and video that can be downloaded of the police action and
developments in Oaxaca. For those who have not seen it
elsewhere, the website is:




Iraq Body Count
For current totals, see our database page.


The Cost of War
[Over three-hundred-billion so]


"The Democrats always promise to help workers, and the don't!
The Republicans always promise to help business, and the do!"
- Mort Sahl

"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata

Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center
Go to:
to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545


Great Counter-Recruitment Website



Last summer the U.S. Border Patrol arrested Shanti Sellz and
Daniel Strauss, both 23-year-old volunteers assisting immigrants
on the border, for medically evacuating 3 people in critical
condition from the Arizona desert.

Criminalization for aiding undocumented immigrants already
exists on the books in the state of Arizona. Daniel and Shanti
are targeted to be its first victims. Their arrest and subsequent
prosecution for providing humanitarian aid could result in
a 15-year prison sentence. Any Congressional compromise
with the Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) may include these
harmful criminalization provisions. Fight back NOW!

Help stop the criminalization of undocumented immigrants
and those who support them!

For more information call 415-821- 9683.
For information on the Daniel and Shanti Defense Campaign,


According to "Minimum Wage History" at "

"Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. "The 8 dollar per hour Whole Foods employees
are being paid $1.12 less than the 1968 minimum wage.

"A federal minimum wage was first set in 1938. The graph shows
both nominal (red) and real (blue) minimum wage values. Nominal
values range from 25 cents per hour in 1938 to the current $5.15/hr.
The greatest percentage jump in the minimum wage was in 1950,
when it nearly doubled. The graph adjusts these wages to 2005
dollars (blue line) to show the real value of the minimum wage.
Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. Note how the real dollar minimum wage rises and
falls. This is because it gets periodically adjusted by Congress.
The period 1997-2006, is the longest period during which the
minimum wage has not been adjusted. States have departed from
the federal minimum wage. Washington has the highest minimum
wage in the country at $7.63 as of January 1, 2006. Oregon is next
at $7.50. Cities, too, have set minimum wages. Santa Fe, New
Mexico has a minimum wage of $9.50, which is more than double
the state minimum wage at $4.35."




Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
Also, the law is up before Congress again in 2007.
See this article from USA Today:
Bipartisan panel to study No Child Left Behind
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
February 13, 2006


The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies


Bill of Rights


Contact: Betsy Leondar-Wright, (617) 423-2148 x113,
(781) 704-4039 (cell)
Embargoed to 12:01 am, Wednesday, August 30, 2006
An embargoed PDF version of the report is now available
to journalists on the web:
Please note the change in the embargo date to August 30.

2) UAW Local 292 Suspends Democratic Union Elections
by Todd M. Jordan
August 22, 2006

3) Violent Civil Unrest Tightens Hold on a Mexican City
August 24, 2006

4) Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of War Crimes
August 24, 2006

5) Fidel Castro recovers free of workload: brother
By Anthony Boadle
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; 5:57 PM

6) "God doesn't belong to the PAN!"
"AMLO deserves a miracle"
"No Pasaran!"
Mexico Approaches the Combustion Point
August 23, 2006

7) The following is the text of a letter to Commandante Fidel
Castro from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
as published in the Final Call Newspaper, Vol 25 No. 45.
August 14, 2006

8) Who Started Terrorism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?

9) "The World Just Sat By," An Interview with Dahr Jamail
By: Christopher Brown
August 23, 2006
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

10) The Liquid Bomb Hoax: The Larger Implications
James Petras
August 2006

11) Open Letter to James Petras re his article, "The Liquid Bomb
Hoax: The Larger Implications," by Bonnie Weinstein.

12) The Czars’ Reefer Madness
August 26, 2006


Contact: Betsy Leondar-Wright, (617) 423-2148 x113,
(781) 704-4039 (cell)
Embargoed to 12:01 am, Wednesday, August 30, 2006
An embargoed PDF version of the report is now available
to journalists on the web:
Please note the change in the embargo date to August 30.

CEOs in the defense and oil industries have been able to translate
war and rising oil prices into personal jackpots, according to
a new report from theInstitute for Policy Studies and United for
a Fair Economy, "Executive Excess 2006."

OIL BARONS: With Americans now paying over $3 per gallon,
petroleum profiteers are raking in nearly three times the pay
of CEOs in comparably sized businesses. In 2005, the top
15 U.S. oil CEOs got a 50% raise since 2004. They now average
$32.7 million, compared with $11.6 million for all
CEOs of large U.S. firms.

Executive pay at U.S.-based oil companies also far outpaced
pay at oil companies based outside the United States.
BP and Royal Dutch Shell paid their CEOs only one-eighth
what their U.S. counterparts collected just
$5.6 and $4.1 million in 2005, respectively even though
both companies operate in the same global marketplace
as their U.S.-based competitors.

CEO William Greehey of Valero Energy took home the oil industry's
biggest executive pay rewards in 2005, pocketing $95.2 million.
The average construction worker at an energy company
would have to work 4,279 years to equal what Greehey collected last year.

DEFENSE CONTRACTORS: Since the "War on Terror" began, CEOs
at the top 34 military contractors have enjoyed average paychecks
that are double the compensation they received in the four
years leading up to 9/11.

The new "Executive Excess" report surveys all publicly held U.S.
corporations among the top 100 defense contractors that had a
t least 10 percent of revenues in defense.

These 34 CEOs combined have pocketed almost
a billion dollars since 9/11 enough to employ more than
a million Iraqis for a year to rebuild their country.

In 2005, defense industry CEOs walked off with 44 times
more pay than military generals with 20 years experience,
and 308 times more than Army privates.

United Technologies CEO George David led the pack with over
$200 million in pay since 9/11, despite investigations into the
quality of the company's Black Hawk helicopters.

CEO Jay Gellert of Health Net saw the biggest personal pay
raise after 9/11, a 1,134% leap over the preceding four years.
The company owes its earnings growth to American taxpayers,
who may not realize they pick up a hefty share
of cost overruns in the privatized military health care system.

"Americans across the political spectrum should be outraged
by the sight of executives cashing in on war windfalls,"
says report co-author Sarah Anderson. "Unfortunately,
partisan politics has stopped Congress from
effectively overseeing this war contracting free-for-all."

Since 1990, the overall CEO-worker pay gap in the United
States has grown from 107-to-1 to last year's 411-to-1.
Minimum wage workers have lost 9 percent after inflation
in the same 15 years. If the minimum wage had risen
at the same pace as CEO pay, it would now stand at
$22.61 per hour, over four times the current $5.15.

"Executive Excess 2006" also challenges the current
reform agenda for addressing excessive CEO pay in oil
and defense as well as throughout the American economy.
That agenda, reflected in new SEC rules released at the end
of July, emphasizes requiring corporate boards to fully disclose
all the revenue streams perks and pensions included
that go into contemporary executive pay.

But disclosure alone, notes report co-author Chuck Collins,
won't restore fairness to the nation's executive suites.

"Transparency has been ineffective in curtailing CEO pay," says Collins.
"The root problem is an imbalance of power. We need to give more
clout to other stakeholders, such as requiring shareholder approval
of executive pay and retirement packages, as is now done in Britain."

Authored by Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins,
and Eric Benjamin, and edited by Sam Pizzigati, "Executive
Excess 2006" is the 13th annual CEO pay study by the
Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.

The Institute for Policy Studies is an independent center
for progressive research and education in Washington, DC.

United for a Fair Economy is a national organization based
in Boston that spotlights growing economic inequality.

An embargoed PDF version of the report is now available
to journalists on the web:
Please note the change in the embargo date to August 30.

For hard copies or to set up interviews with the co-authors, call
617-423-2148 x113 or e-mail


Betsy Leondar-Wright
Communications Director, United for a Fair Economy
(617) 423-2148 x113
29 Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108


2) UAW Local 292 Suspends Democratic Union Elections
by Todd M. Jordan
August 22, 2006

President George W. Bush has suspended all U.S. elections in
November in order to save money for the United States of America.
All elected officials including Governors, Mayors, City Council and
Senators will be appointed by the President. What if this was on
the front page of the USA Today? Well, that is what has happened
to the membership of UAW Local 292, but it wasn't the US
government or Bush who made the announcement, it was
our so-called "democratic" union.

The local UAW president and shop chairman with the help
of their caucus has suspended all union elections and will
hand pick people for all union positions at local 292. As those
currently in office transfer to General Motors or take the Special
Attrition Program they will personally select their replacements.
After years of previous betrayals and failures it should come
as no surprise to the membership.

Despite the membership not knowing about the vote ahead
of time over a dozen concerned members were able to
mobilize in a very short period of time and stood strong
against the outright attack on our UAW International Constitution
on August 17, 2006 by the Camp-Anthony caucus. Those who
were lucky to even find out about this vote witnessed this
betrayal firsthand. If they agree or not with the vote, democracy
did in fact die with a 70-15 pass. Let us recognize though,
that quite a few union officials voted more than once. Some
of them voted at the first, second, and even the third shift
meeting so this vote is not completely correct.

Regardless, had the membership been informed it would
have been different results no matter how many times they
voted. But, that was their strategy, to keep you out of the
union hall so the vote would pass. Everyone knows the
vast majority of union meetings consist of only the appointed
and elected officials. The Administration knew about the
motion ahead of time, it was even submitted by one of
their own. There was time to let the membership in the
factory know, if they really wanted them to know. As for
retirees, they were not allowed to vote even though the
administrative branch that represents them is effected.
One retiree who tried to vote against the motion was
quickly verbally abused and removed from the vote
by the Vice President.

Regrettably, the good ol'boys and their old guard denied
any amendment or real discussion from the opposition
by applying even more undemocratic actions to the
situation. Had the membership who posed opposition
to the motion been allowed to speak without union
officials committing parliamentary violations, attacks
and political tricks it would have been different.

It's Not About Democracy, It's About Control And Power

Let us look at the facts without the distortions of career
union politicians controlling the union meeting. Let us
examine the destruction of our democratic right to have
union elections and vote. Let us examine this violation
to our UAW constitution in order to as they say, "save our local".

Is this not a democracy? Do our votes really mean so
little to this caucus in power? Was not the UAW founded
on democracy for all members? What happened to one
member, one voice? Was not the UAW founded on equality
and the right to vote? It's no wonder this administration
caucus worked diligently to fight back our resolution in
May that would give us one member, one vote for all
union positions including appointed and International.
Hell, they want all positions appointed! That much is now
obvious as democracy and solidarity are hollow words
to this administration.

Many of us understand that it is the only way for them
to retain power and place whoever "plays the game",
sucks up and basically does whatever they say just to
get an office. Ah yes, that golden ticket! Ask yourselves
if it is also to keep new hires from getting involved and
opposition from gaining offices. It's undemocratic regardless
of any excuse or reason they present. This situation is exactly
why our UAW constitution was created in the first place.
This rogue leadership destroys our future every second
they can get if it will get them more money or more power.
They say that Region 3 approves of this, but they could
not prove it. So, if they did contact the Region then they
had plenty of extra time to inform ALL the membership
of the vote.

I once had a brother who is inspiring to be an elected union
official tell me a few months ago that, "No matter what,
I stick with my UAW." I wonder what he thinks about his
statement to me today after going against our constitution,
a.k.a. "my UAW". Maybe he really meant to say, I stick with
"whoever is power".

We are told that this undemocratic motion is about the
money. So where was the financial report? How convenient
it was not given out. Can you remember the last time they
missed a financial report at a union meeting? It's a very rare
occasion. Even if it was about money then so be it, democracy
isn't free and it isn't cheap. The price of the democratic right
to vote, the very core of every union member's rights is worth
every penny of our dues money. Any conscious union member
will know that it is not about money, it's about retaining power
and keeping people they don't like from running for a union
position. They are cowards who must break our own constitution
to keep out the people they don't like out of office. This is simply
an easy way to appoint their friends, loyal supporters and family
members. Everything else is smoke and mirrors!

If you think I'm wrong then why did they deny several perfectly
legal amendments including one that would have outlined abuse?
Instead, they simply began refusing to call on us and outright
violated the Robert's Rules of Order several times to get the
motion passed. My favorite tactic of theirs is to talk everyone
to death and drag on and on having various cronies called
on when the tension and dissent starts to hit them. It's a great
way to calm down the room and encourage a submissive
environment. Often people leave because of time constraints.
It's all a shame, it's politics at the expense of the membership.
The motion even though it passed is grounds for appeal since
it violates our constitution. If anyone has 2 or 3 years to waste
go for it but, remember the Public Review Board is appointed
by the UAW international. Go figure.

See, the UAW bureaucracy can spend hundreds of millions to
line their own pockets and make $200 - $300 thousands
a year in salaries with our dues money but, they can't provide
money for basic fundamental union elections. The UAW can
transfer hundreds of millions from our strike fund for
organizing but, they can't provide money to the membership
they already "represent".

Believe their tricky political games, trust in their lies, or see
the truth for what it is, the truth. No matter what you decide,
democracy and our UAW constitution has been broken,
violated and tossed in our faces. No single excuse they
make can cover up this fact. The old saying is, "When
good (wo)men do nothing, evil (wo)men prevail."

Politicians are just that, politicians. It's their desire to stay
in office by any means. It is why politics is "dirty business".
The union is no different than other politics. At local 292 we
have a handful of liars and professional trade union politicians
who know all the tricks and are experts at the game. Everything
else is part of their game. They will always tell you exactly what
you want to hear even if they outright lie to your face. It is the
nature of the beast to lie, cheat, and steal. Truth and integrity
is their worse enemy. It's why they hate, lie about and attack
members who speak out.

Caucus Is Misleading The Membership

Take for example our shop chairman. At this same meeting
when speaking to new hires he said "the membership voted
for the two-tier agreement in 2003." This is a political move
on his part often used on the shop floor to redirect questions
from the facts. See, the truth is we didn't vote on the two-tier
agreement. In fact we voted on a "to be negotiated" possible
memorandum of understanding that wasn't agreed on until
the following year. When the contract in 2003 was presented
there was no information or meetings on the two-tier
memorandum of understanding. In fact, they worked very
hard to slide it in and keep it under the radar. They denied
the membership access to details and when we filed an appeal
the UAW 2 years later responded that all two-tier members are
a "Null Class" which means the constitution of equal pay for
equal work doesn't apply to new hires. You can look it up and
see yourselves.

To make matters worse, General Motors and Delphi votes had
been combined in 2003. What this meant was even if all of the
Delphi membership voted "No" against the two-tier it would
not have mattered because GM workers who were not given
information either out numbered us 2-1 in votes. And let us
not forget the nice sign on bonus and retirement perks they
gave away to help push the contract through. The devil is
in the details.

Or how about this lesson in politics. A joint representative
puts forth a resolution for the UAW Constitutional Convention
that basically states if an elected or appointed official violates
the UAW Constitution they should be removed from office.
This same appointed official and all those who voted for it then
ironically vote to violate our constitution on August 17, 2006
mentioned above. Least we not forget they also voted in 2004
to two-tier our own union hall staff. This administration is
no better than Steve Miller and Delphi.

Do not believe the venomous words from this failed caucus
we have in power at local 292, research the truth yourselves.
When they say you will not get fired if you strike with higher
sinority ask that union official were their solidarity was when
they sacrificed your pay and benefits. Take time and look up
what the UAW did to the Accuride workers in the 1990s or at
Caterpillar. The truth is out there and they can't cover up all
their tracks when people start to fight back.

They had an excuse for everything to stack up the new generation
of pork chopper candidates and isolated new hires all the while
claming to support them. They are a mini-Delphi who only care
about their own retirement and personal gain. The truth will set
you free. Even if you the reader see it now or see it later, you will
see it one day. The administrative caucus and their cronies say
many things about me so you the reader won't listen, they have
for years. One day though, you the reader will look back and you
will see the truth of what really happened at Delphi. They can't
cover up their tracks forever.

Long live real worker solidarity and true union democracy. May
all the fighters of injustices answer their calling and put their
swords to the throat of business unionism.


3) Violent Civil Unrest Tightens Hold on a Mexican City
August 24, 2006

OAXACA, Mexico, Aug. 23 — For three months, civil unrest has
gripped this lovely colonial city like a hound with a rabbit, leaving
two people dead, crippling the tourist industry and shuttering schools.

The original cause of the strife — a teachers’ strike for better pay —
has become lost in the escalating violence and the revolutionary
demands of the protesters, who now demand that Gov. Ulises
Ruiz step down.

The teachers’ union has been joined by scores of social organizations,
some of them with leftist philosophies.

They have shut down highways, taken over five radio stations,
burned more than a dozen buses, blocked off the city’s historic
square, seized government offices, destroyed the stage for
an annual cultural fair and barricaded tourists in their hotels.
The state government has lost control of the center of the city,
including its own offices, and is working out of improvised
quarters with cellphones. Though each side has asked for
federal intervention, President Vicente Fox has refused to
send in troops. He has dispatched negotiators from the
Interior and Labor Ministries, who have been unsuccessful
in resolving the conflict.

On the national level, Mexico has been engulfed in a political
crisis since the leftist presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel
López Obrador, narrowly lost the July 2 election, according
to an official tally. He has accused his conservative rival,
Felipe Calderón, of fraud and mounted similar protests
in Mexico City, taking over the central square.

Though the conflict here started well before the election,
it has added to the country’s overall angst, feeding fears that
left-wing groups will use Mr. López Obrador’s movement
to foment unrest, with heavy-handed counterattacks
by people in power.

Governor Ruiz, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party,
which long ruled this state with a iron hand, has accused
local leaders of Mr. López Obrador’s party, the Party
of the Democratic Revolution, of taking part in the
protests, adding yet another layer of politics to the

Early on Tuesday, police officers in a convoy that had
been sent to clear blocked streets opened fire on
a radio station that the protesters had seized. In the
gunfire, Lorenzo San Pablo Cervantes, 52, an architect
who worked for the state, was killed, the police said.
It is unclear whether he was a bystander or was
supporting the strikers.

The protesters seized about a dozen radio stations
on Monday afternoon after unidentified gunmen
destroyed the broadcasting equipment of Channel 9,
a public television and radio station the strikers and
their allies commandeered early this month to spread
their version of events, the authorities said.

The state attorney general, Lizbeth Caña, said someone
had fired at the officers from roofs near the station,
starting the gunfight. But witnesses said the police
had opened fire twice without provocation.

“They are the ones who brought arms, and we had
nothing but rocks,” said Manuel Díaz, 40, a teacher,
who was keeping a tense guard on Wednesday with an
ax handle outside the radio station where the shooting
had occurred. “Ruiz talks out of both sides of his mouth.
On the television he calls on us to negotiate. But in the
streets at night, he tries to kill us.”

On Aug. 10, Eleuterio José Jiménez Colmenares, 50, an
auto mechanic and the husband of a teacher, was shot
and killed during a march to support the strike as he
chased youths who had thrown rocks at marchers.

Enrique Rueda Pacheco, the leader of the 70,000-member
teachers’ union, said the deaths, and Mr. Ruiz’s use of
tear gas and riot police in an attempt to dislodge the
protesters from the city center on June 14, had made
it impossible for the teachers to accept anything less
than his resignation. Their demands for more pay are
no longer the primary issue, Mr. Rueda Pacheco said.

“The fundamental problem has been the lack of interest
of the state and federal governments,” he said in an interview.
“They bet the teachers would just go away.”

Miguel Ángel Concha, a spokesman for Governor Ruiz, said
the state lacks the money to meet the teachers’ salary demands.
The teachers had asked for a pay package that would have cost
$150 million, while the state’s final offer in June was about $8.5
million. The teachers also have asked for about a dozen
improvements, including new books and more classrooms,
for a state school system that serves hundreds of thousands
of students.

Mr. Ruiz’s aides acknowledged that the government made
an enormous error on June 14 when it used force, angering
many teachers who were used to an annual strike and
a resulting pay increase. An unconfirmed rumor that
a woman and two children had died in the attack because
of tear gas has become gospel among the protesters,
though no bodies have been found.

Beyond the salary dispute, however, are old political rivalries.
Mr. Ruiz narrowly won election over a leftist candidate in 2004,
and many of the teachers and other protesters view his victory
as illegitimate. They also accuse his police force of at least
35 political killings of civilians, which the government strongly
denies. Finally, Mr. Ruiz vowed to end the yearly teachers’
strikes that previous governors had routinely settled
by granting raises.

Ms. Caña, the attorney general, charges that groups seeking
to overthrow the government have infiltrated the union.
“These people are saying ‘Hit me, so I can denounce you
for hitting me,’ ” she said. “They are generating instability
and chaos.”

On Tuesday night, demonstrators gathered in the Zócalo,
the central square, to watch a documentary made by protesters
on televisions they had set up. The film accuses Mr. Ruiz not
only of killing scores of his political enemies, but of being
a pawn for global capitalism.

Now, the once jewel-like center of Oaxaca is a mess.
Protesters have stolen buses and used pickup trucks
to block streets, along with rocks, barbed wire and ropes.
Graffiti declaring Mr. Ruiz an assassin defaces most of the
buildings. Tents and tarps shelter protesters, who burn tires
and garbage at night, keeping an eye out for the police.
The city’s once-prosperous tourism industry is gasping
for air. More than 1,000 hotel workers have been laid off,
and tourists have canceled reservations well into 2007.
The hotel and motel association estimates that the industry
has lost $150 million in the last three months, not to mention
the embarrassing cancellation of the Guelaguetza
cultural festival here.

“No one has won anything here,” said Fredy Alcántara, the
president of the association. “No one has come out ahead.”
The federal government must intervene, he said, adding,
“We are desperate.”


4) Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of War Crimes
August 24, 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 23 — Amnesty International accused Israel
on Wednesday of war crimes in its monthlong battle with Hezbollah,
saying its bombing campaign amounted to indiscriminate attacks
on Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and population.

“Many of the violations examined in this report are war crimes that
give rise to individual criminal responsibility,” Amnesty International,
the London-based human rights group, said in a report on the Israeli
campaign. “They include directly attacking civilian objects and carrying
out indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks.”

“During more than four weeks of ground and aerial bombardment
by the Israeli armed forces, the country’s infrastructure suffered
destruction on a catastrophic scale,” the report said, contending
this was “an integral part of the military strategy.”

“Israeli forces pounded buildings into the ground,” the report went on,
“reducing entire neighborhoods to rubble and turning villages
and towns into ghost towns as their inhabitants fled the

“Main roads, bridges and petrol stations were blown to bits. Entire
families were killed in airstrikes on their homes or in their vehicles
while fleeing the aerial assaults on their villages. Scores lay buried
beneath the rubble of their houses for weeks, as the Red Cross and
other rescue workers were prevented from accessing the areas
by continuing Israeli strikes.”

Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry,
categorically rejected the claim that Israel had “acted outside
international norms or international legality concerning the
rules of war.” Unlike Hezbollah, he said, Israel did not target
the civilian population, nor did it indiscriminately target
Lebanese civilian infrastructure.

He added: “Our job was made very difficult by the fact that
Hezbollah adopted a deliberate policy of positioning itself
inside civilian areas and breaking the first fundamental
distinction under the rules of war, by deliberately
endangering civilians. Under the rules of war, you are
legally entitled to target infrastructure that your enemy
is exploiting for its military campaign.”

Citing a variety of sources, the Amnesty International
report said Israel’s air force had carried out more than
7,000 air attacks, while the navy had fired 2,500 shells.
The human toll, according to Lebanese government statistics,
was estimated at 1,183 deaths, mostly civilians, about
a third of them children; 4,054 wounded; and 970,000
people displaced, out of a population of a little under
four million.

“Statements from the Israeli military officials seem to
confirm that the destruction of the infrastructure was
indeed a goal of the military campaign,” the report said.
It said that “in village after village the pattern was similar:
the streets, especially main streets, were scarred with
artillery craters along their length. In some cases, cluster
bomb impacts were identified.”

“Houses were singled out for precision-guided missile
attacks and were destroyed, totally or partially, as a result,”
the report said. “Business premises such as supermarkets
or food stores and auto service stations and petrol stations
were targeted.

“With the electricity cut off and food and other supplies not
coming into the villages, the destruction of supermarkets
and petrol stations played a crucial role in forcing local
residents to leave.”

The Amnesty International report said the widespread
destruction of apartments, houses, electricity and water
services, roads, bridges, factories and ports, in addition
to several statements by Israeli officials, suggested
a policy of punishing the Lebanese government and
the civilian population in an effort to get them to turn
against Hezbollah.

“The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive
destruction of public works, power systems, civilian
homes and industry was a deliberate and integral part
of the military strategy rather than collateral damage,”
the report said.

It also noted a statement from the Israeli military chief
of staff, Lt. Gen Dan Halutz, calling Hezbollah a “cancer”
that Lebanon must get rid of “because if they don’t, their
country will pay a very high price.”

The Amnesty International report came as a number of
international aid and human rights agencies used the
current lull in fighting to assess the damage.

The United Nations Development Program said the attacks
had obliterated most of the progress Lebanon had made
in recovering from the devastation of the civil war years.
“Fifteen years of work have been wiped out in a month,”
Jean Fabre, a spokesman for the organization in Geneva,
told reporters.

Another urgent issue, aid groups say, is the number of
unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs littering the
southern villages. Tekimiti Gilbert, the operations chief
of a United Nations mine removal team, told reporters
in Tyre: “Up to now there are at least 170 cluster bomb
strikes in south Lebanon. It’s a huge problem. There are
obvious dangers with people, children, cars. People are
tripping over these things.”

United Nations officials say at least five children have
been killed by picking up the bomblets scattered about
by the cluster bombs.

Despite the cease-fire, southern Lebanon remained
tense on Wednesday. Three Lebanese soldiers were
killed trying to defuse a rocket that had not exploded.
An Israeli soldier was killed and two others wounded
when, according to the Israeli military, they walked over
a minefield that Israel had previously buried.

The Israeli military also said it had fired artillery rounds
from the disputed territory of Shabaa Farms to the Lebanese
village of Shabaa. There were no reports of casualties.

Greg Myre contributed reporting from Jerusalem for this article.


5) Fidel Castro recovers free of workload: brother
By Anthony Boadle
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; 5:57 PM

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban leader Fidel Castro is relaxing for the
first time in his life as he recovers from intestinal surgery free of
his excessive workload, his older brother, Ramon Castro, said on

Castro handed over the reins of power to his younger sibling Raul
Castro on July 31 after undergoing emergency surgery to stop
intestinal bleeding attributed by the Cuban authorities to his
workaholic pace.

"He is better. The problem was resolved quickly," Ramon Castro told
Reuters. "He is relaxed, resting."

Ramon Castro, the farmer in the family who has kept out of politics,
said Fidel Castro was enjoying some downtime since ceding the
presidency provisionally to his younger brother.

"He is happy because he is free. For the first time in his life he
has handed over the job to Raul," Ramon Castro said.

Castro's illness has forced him to abandon his legendary pace of
activity that included lengthy speeches, all-night meetings and the
overseeing of most aspects of Cuban government and society.

Details of Castro's illness and the operation he underwent are a
closely guarded state secret and rumors had been rife he might even
have died until Cuba released photographs and video of Castro around
his 80th birthday on August 13.

The images showed the bedridden leader alert and joking with his main
ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In his first public statement published on Friday, Raul Castro said
the country was absolutely calm, although he added that the armed
forces and tens of thousands of reservists were mobilized in the
crucial hours after the hand-over of power was announced to face the
threat of a U.S. invasion.

Cuba watchers say the transfer of power was done smoothly but it is
not certain whether Fidel Castro will be able to resume full
government functions in one of the world's last communist countries.


Asked whether his brother would attend the summit of the Nonaligned
Movement that Cuba will host from September 11 to 16, Ramon Castro,
who will be 82 in October, said, "Sure, he is already feeling like a

Ramon Castro spoke after lunching with Florida cattleman John Parke
Wright IV, who last year shipped breeding cattle to Cuba under an
exception granted for agriculture in the U.S. embargo imposed on Cuba
shortly after Castro's 1959 revolution.

The Naples, Florida-based businessman whose family sold cattle to
Cuba from the 1850s until the U.S. trade ban, said relations between
U.S. farmers and Cuba "are doing great" but would benefit if the
embargo was lifted fully.

Raul Castro, 75, said on Friday that Cuba was prepared to discuss
improved relations with the United States if Washington agreed not to
interfere in the island.

The administration of President George W. Bush, which has labeled the
hand-over of power from one Castro brother to another as an
unacceptable "dynastic succession," has tightened enforcement of the
sanctions in recent years and stepped up pressure for a transition to
multiparty democracy.


6) "God doesn't belong to the PAN!"
"AMLO deserves a miracle"
"No Pasaran!"
Mexico Approaches the Combustion Point
August 23, 2006

Mexico City.

The Congress of the country is ringed by two-meter tall grilled metal
barriers soldered together apparently to thwart a suicide car bomb
attack. Behind this metal wall, 3000 vizored, kevlar-wearing robocops --
the Federal Preventative Police (PFP, a police force drawn from the
army) -- and members of the elite Estado Mayor or Presidential military
command, form a second line of defense. Armed with tear gas launchers,
water cannons, and reportedly light tanks, this Praetorian Guard has
been assigned to protect law and order and the institutions of the
republic against left-wing mobs that threaten to storm the Legislative
Palace -- or so the President informs his fellow citizens in repeated
messages transmitted on national television.

No, the President's name is not Pinochet and this military tableau is
not being mounted in the usual banana republic or some African satrap.
This is Mexico, a paragon of democracy (dixit George Bush), Washington'
third trading partner, and the eighth leading petroleum producer on the
planet, seven weeks after the fraud-marred July 2 presidential election
of which, at this writing, no winner has been officially declared. One
of the elite military units assigned to seal off congress is indeed
titled the July 2 brigade.

MEXICO ON A KNIFEBLADE headlines the British Guardian, but the typically
short-term-memory-loss U.S. print media seems to have forgotten about
the imbroglio just south of its borders. Nonetheless, the phone rings
and it's New York telling me they just got a call from their man on the
border and Homeland Security is beefing up its forces around Laredo in
anticipation of upheaval further south. The phone rings again and it's
California telling me they just heard on Air America that U.S. Navy
patrols were being dispatched to safeguard Mexican oil platforms in the
Gulf. The left-wing daily here, La Jornada, runs a citizen-snapped photo
of army convoys arriving carrying soldiers disguised as farmers and
young toughs. Rumors race through the seven mile-long encampment
installed by supporters of leftist presidential challenger Andres Manuel
Lopez Obrador (AMLO) three weeks ago who have tied up big city traffic
and enraged the motorist class here, that PFP robocops will attack
before dawn. The campers stay up all night huddled around bum fires
prepared to defend their tent cities.

The moment reminds many Mexicans of the tense weeks in September and
October 1968 when 12 days before the Olympic Games were to be
inaugurated here, President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz ordered the military to
massacre striking students in a downtown plaza not far from where AMLO's
people are now camped out. 300 were killed in the Plaza of Three
Cultures, their bodies incinerated at Military Camp #1 in western Mexico
City. The Tlatelolco massacre was a watershed in social conflict here
and the similarities are sinister. In fact, Lopez Obrador has taken to
comparing outgoing President Vicente Fox with Diaz Ordaz.

Fox will go to congress September 1 to deliver his final State of the
Union address. The new legislature will be convened the same day. The
country may or may not have a new president by that day. In anticipation
of this show-down, on August 14, newly-elected senators and deputies
from the three parties that comprise AMLO's Coalition for the Good of
All attempted to encamp on the sidewalk in front of the legislative
palace only to be rousted and clobbered bloody by the President's

With 160 representatives, the Coalition forms just a quarter of the 628
members of the new congress but they will be a loud minority during
Fox's "Informe". Since the 1988 "presidenciales" were stolen from
Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, founder of AMLO's Party of the Democratic
Revolution, PRD legislators have routinely interrupted the president
during this authoritarian ritual in orchestrated outbursts that have
sometimes degenerated into partisan fisticuffs.

The first to challenge the Imperial Presidency was Porfirio Munoz Ledo,
a hoary political warhorse, who in 1988 thrust a finger at President
Miguel De la Madrid, accusing him of overseeing the theft of the
election from Cardenas. Munoz Ledo's J'Accuse stunned the political
class. He was slugged and pummeled by members of De la Madrid's
long-ruling PRI when he tried to escape the chamber. Munoz Ledo now
stands at AMLO's side.

But perhaps the most comical moment in the annals of acting out during
the Informe, came in 1996 when a brash PRI deputy donned a Babe the
Valiant Pig mask and positioned himself directly under the podium from
which President Ernesto Zedillo was addressing the state of the nation,
and wiggled insouciant signs with slogans that said things like 'EAT THE
RICH!" Like Munoz Ledo, Marco Rascon was physically attacked, his mask
ripped off like he was a losing wrestler by a corrupt railroad union
official who in turn was hammer locked by a pseudo-leftist senator, Irma
"La Tigresa" Serrano, a one-time ranchero singer and in fact, the former
very close friend of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.

This September 1, if martial law is not declared and the new congress
dissolved before it is even installed, the PRD delegation, which will no
doubt be strip-searched by the Estado Mayor for incriminating banners,
is sworn to create a monumental ruckus, shredding the tarnished decorum
of this once-solemn event forever to protest Fox's endorsement of
electoral larceny. Some solons say they may go naked.

But no matter what kind of uproar develops, one can be secure that it
will not be shown on national television as the cameras of Mexico's
two-headed television monstrosity â_" Televisa and TV Azteca â_" will
stay trained on the President as he tries to mouth the stereotypical
clichés that is always the stuff and fluff of this otherwise
stultifying séance. The images of the chaos on the floor of congress
will not be passed along to the Great Unwashed.

There is a reptilian feel to Mexico seven weeks after a discredited
Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) cemented Lopez Obrador into a second
place coffin by awarding the presidency to right-winger Felipe Calderon
by a mere 243,000 votes out of a total 42,000,000 cast. Both Calderon
and IFE czar Luis Carlos Ugalde (Calderon was best man at Ugalde's
wedding) make these little beady reptile eyes as they slither across
national screens.

Those screens have been the scenes of some of the slimiest and most
sordid political intrigue of late. One of the lizard kings who is
fleetingly featured on Televisa primetime is an imprisoned Argentinean
construction tycoon, Carlos Ahumada, who in 2004 conspired with Fox,
Calderon's PAN, and Televisa to frame AMLO on corruption charges and
take him out of the presidential election."El Peje" (for a gar-like fish
from the swamps of Lopez Obrador's native Tabasco) was then leading the
pack by 18 points.

Charged by Lopez Obrador, then the mayor of this megalopolis, with
defrauding Mexico City out of millions, Ahumada had taken his revenge by
filming PRD honchos when they came to his office to pick up boodles of
political cash. Although the filthy lucre was perfectly legal under
Mexico's milquetoast campaign financing laws, the pick-ups looked awful
on national television. AMLO's former personal secretary was caught
stuffing wads of low denomination bills into his suit coat pockets as if
he were on Saturday Night Live.

Ahumada subsequently turned the tapes over to the leprous,
cigar-chomping leader of Fox's PAN party in the Senate, Diego Fernandez
de Cevallos ("El Jefe Diego") who in turn had them delivered to a
green-haired clown, Brozo, who was then reading the morning news on
Televisa. Then the Argentine blackmailer fled to Cuba in a private
plane. Televisa would air the incriminating videos day and night for

Apprehended in Veradero after his lover Robles was shadowed to that
socialist beachfront, Ahumada spilled the beans to Cuban authorities:
Interior Secretary Santiago Creel, who was then AMLO's lead rival for
the presidency, had cooked up the plot with the connivance of reviled
former president Carlos Salinas, Lopez Obrador's most venomous foe, the
then attorney general, and Fox himself, to remove AMLO from the race.

The Mexican government did not ask for extradition and Ahumada's
deportation from Cuba was not seen as a friendly gesture. Within a
month, diplomatic relations between Mexico and Cuba were broken off and
ambassadors summoned home. The construction tycoon has been imprisoned
in Mexico City ever since he was booted out of Cuba and was last heard
from when he had his rogue cop chauffer shoot up the family SUV, a
charade both Fox and Televisa tried to pin on AMLO. Ahumada had
suggested he was about to release two more incriminating videos. These
dubious events took place on June 6, the day of a crucial presidential
debate between AMLO and Calderon.

Then last week, Ahumada abruptly resurfaced, or at least his videotaped
confession to Cuban authorities did. Filmed through prison bars, he lays
out the plot step by step. Yes, he affirms, the deal was fixed up to cut
AMLO's legs out from under him and advance the fortunes of the
right-wing candidate who turned out to be Felipe Calderon and not the
bumbling Creel. The conspiracy backfired badly as his supporters rallied
around him and Lopez Obrador's ratings soared.

The origins of the confession tape, leaked to top-rung reporter Carmen
Aristegui, was obscure. Had Fidel dispatched it from his sick bed to
bolster Lopez Obrador's claims of victory as the PAN and the snake-eyed
Televisa evening anchor Joaquin Lopez Dorriga hissed? The air grew
serpentine with theories. There was even one school that speculated
Calderon himself had been the source in a scheme to distance himself
from Fox (there had always been bad feelings between them) and Creel,
now the leader of the PAN faction in congress.

AMLO advanced a variant of this explanation: the specter of Ahumada had
been resuscitated to divert attention from the evidence of generalized
fraud the Coalition had submitted to the TRIFE and the panel's impending
verdict that Calderon had won the election.

Perhaps the most nagging question in this snakepit of uncertainty is
what happened during the partial recount of less than 10per cent of the
130,000 ballot boxes ordered by the TRIFE to test the legitimacy of the
IFE's results. Although the recount concluded on August 13, the judges
have released no numbers and are not obligated to do so. Their only
responsibility is to certify the validity of the election.

Although AMLO's reps in the counting rooms came up with gobs of evidence
-- violated ballot boxes, stolen or stuffed ballots, altered tally
sheets and other bizarre anomalies -- only the left-wing daily La
Jornada saw fit to mention them. The silence of the Mexican media and
their accomplices in the international press in respect to the Great
Fraud is deafening, although they manage to fill their rags with ample
attacks on Lopez Obrador for tying up Mexico City traffic.

According to AMLO's people, 119,000 ballots in the sample recount cannot
be substantiated in about 3500 casillas, 58,000 more votes were cast
than the number of voters on the voting list. In nearly 4000 other
casillas, 61,000 ballots allocated to election officials cannot be
accounted for. The annulment of the casillas in which these alterations
occurred would put Lopez Obrador in striking distance of Calderon and in
a better world, would obligate the TRIFE to order a total recount.

But given the cheesy state of the Mexican judiciary this is not apt to
happen. One of the judges who will decide the fate of democracy in
Mexico is a former client of El Jefe Diego for whom the PANista senator
won millions from the Mexico City government in a crooked land deal.

Meanwhile, thousands continue to camp out in a hard rain for a third
week on the streets of Mexico City awaiting the court's decision. They
have taken to erecting shrines and altars and are praying for divine
intervention. Hundreds pilgrimage out to the shrine of the Virgin of
Guadalupe, some crawling on their knees, to ask the Brown Madonna to
work her miracle. "God doesn't belong to the PAN!" they chant as they
trudge up the great avenue that leads to the Basilica. "AMLO deserves a
miracle" Esther Ortiz, a 70 year-old great grandmother comments to a
reporter as she kneels to pray before the gilded altar.

At the Metropolitan Cathedral on one flank of the Zocalo, a young
worshipper interrupts Cardinal Norberto Rivera and is quickly hustled
off the premises by his Eminence's bouncers. The following Sunday, the
Cathedral's great doors are under heavy surveillance, and churchgoers
screened for telltale signs of devotion to Lopez Obrador. Hundreds of
AMLO's supporters mill about in front of the ancient temple shouting
"voto por voto" and that Cardinal Rivera is a pederast.

AMLO as demi-god is one motif of this religious pageant being played out
at what was once the heart of the Aztec theocracy, the island of
Tenochtitlan. The ruins of the twin temples of the fierce Aztec war god
Huitzilopochtli and Tlahuac, the god of the rain, are adjacent to the
National Palace against which AMLO's stage is set. Lopez Obrador sleeps
each night in a tent close by.

Many hearts were ripped out smoking on these old stones and fed to such
hungry gods before the Crusaders showed up bearing the body and blood of
Jesus Christ.

AMLO is accused by right-wing "intellectuals" (Enrique Krauze and the
gringo apologist George Grayson) of entertaining a Messiah complex.
Indeed, he is up there every day on the big screen, his craggy features,
salt and pepper hair, raspy voice and defiantly jutted jaw bearing more
of a passable resemblance to a younger George C. Scott rather than The
Crucified One. AMLO's devotees come every evening at seven, shoehorned
between the big tents that fill the Zocalo, rain or shine. Last Monday,
I stood with a few thousand diehards in a biblical downpour, thunder and
lightening shattering the heavens above. "Llueve y llueve y el pueblo no
se mueve" they chanted joyously, "it rains and rains and the people do
not move."

The evolution of these incantations is fascinating. At first, the
standard slogan of "Voto Por Voto, Casilla por Casilla!" was
automatically invoked whenever Lopez Obrador stepped to the microphone.
"You are not alone!" and "Presidente!" had their moment. "Fraude!" is
still popular but in these last days, "No Pasaran!" -- they shall not
pass, the cry of the defenders of Madrid as Franco's fascist hordes
banged on the doors of Madrid, 1936 -- has flourished.

In this context, "No Pasaran!" means "we will not let Felipe Calderon
pass to the presidency." AMLO, who holds out little hope that the TRIFE
will decide in his favor, devotes more time now to organizing the
resistance to the imposition of Calderon upon the Aztec nation. Article
39 of the Mexican constitution, he reminds partisans, grants the people
the right to change their government if that government does not
represent them. To this end, he is summoning a million delegates up to
the Zocalo for a National Democratic Convention on Mexican Independence
Day September 16, a date usually reserved for a major military parade.

Aside from the logistical impossibility of putting a million citizens in
this Tiennemens-sized plaza, how this gargantuan political extravaganza
is going to be financed is cloudy. Right now, it seems like small
children donating their piggy banks is the main mode of fund-raising.
Because AMLO's people distrust the banks, all of which financed
Calderon's vicious TV ad campaign, a giant piggy bank has been raised in
the Zocalo to receive the contributions of the faithful.

Dreaming is also a fundraiser. 10,000 raised their voices in song this
past Sunday as part of a huge chorus assembled under the dome of the
Monument to the Revolution to perform a cantata based on the words of
Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi. This too is a form of civil
resistance, Lopez Obrador commended his followers.

The first National Democratic Convention took place behind rebel lines
in the state of Aguascalientes in 1914 at the apogee of the Mexican
Revolution when the forces of Francisco Villa and his Army of the North
first joined forces with Zapata's Liberating Army of the Southern
Revolution. The second National Democratic Revolution took place 80
years later in 1994, in a clearing in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas
when the Zapatista Army of National Liberation wedded itself to the
civil society in an uprising that rocked Mexico all throughout the '90s.
Eclipsed by events, the EZLN and its quixotic spokesperson Subcomandante
Marcos have disappeared from the political map in the wake of the
fraudulent election.

What this third National Democratic Convention is all about is now being
debated in PRD ruling circles and down at the grassroots. Minimally, a
plan of organized resistance that will dog Felipe Calderon for the next
six years, severely hampering his ability to rule will evolve from this
mammoth conclave. The declaration of a government in resistance headed
by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is one consideration. The National
Democratic Convention could also result in the creation of a new party
to replace a worn-out PRD now thoroughly infiltrated by cast-offs from
the PRI.

The Party of the Democratic Revolution has always functioned best as an
opposition party. With notable exceptions (AMLO was one), when the PRD
becomes government, it collapses into corruption, internecine bickering,
and behaves just as arrogantly as the PAN and the PRI. No Pasaran?

Seven weeks after the July 2 electoral debacle, Mexico finds itself at a
dangerously combustible conjunction ("coyuntura") in which the tiny
white elite here is about to impose its will upon a largely brown and
impoverished populous to whom the political parties and process grow
more irrelevant each day. "No Pasaran!" the people cry out but to whom
and what they are alluding to remains to be defined.

John Ross's ZAPATISTAS! Making Another World Possible: Chronicles of
Resistance 2000-2006 will be published by Nation Books this October.
Ross will travel the Left Coast this fall with both ZAPATISTAS! and a
new chapbook of poetry BOMBA! and is still looking for possible venues.
Send suggestions to


7) The following is the text of a letter to Commandante Fidel
Castro from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
as published in the Final Call Newspaper, Vol 25 No. 45.
August 14, 2006

Commandante Fidel Castro
Leader of the Cuban Revolution

As-Salaam Alaikum. (Peace Be Unto You)

Dear Commandante Castro,

On behalf of my family, the members of the Nation of Islam and
myself, we pray that Allah (God) will grant you a full and speedy
recovery that you may resume your duty to the people of Cuba
and the world. Also, on behalf of my family, the members of the
Nation of Islam and myself, we wish you a happy belated birthday,
and we pray that Allah (God) will bless you with many, many more.

Dear Commandante Castro, the idea of servicing the needs of the
people rather than the idea of gaining material wealth is the essence
of the revolution. This idea of service is the driving force in the
Cuban Revolution that represents the seminal stage of what religious
people of Christianity, Judaism and Islam call the Kingdom of God.
I firmly believe that Allah (God) has chosen you and the Cuban
people to begin this process of servicing human needs, thus
setting the stage for all people of goodwill to emulate this mode
of service to others. Jesus said, "He who would be the greatest
among you let him be your servant." In this regard, you are one
of the greatest leaders to emerge in the 20th Century, setting the
foundation of a true example of service for all who will lead in
the 21st Century.

In closing, you and the revolution you inspired have angered many
people of wealth and status who have enriched themselves at the
expense of the poor. I believe this is why Jesus told the people
of His day: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of
a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."

Please remember what I said to you in our last meeting, that
there is no such thing as death for Fidel Castro, for you are an
idea whose time has arrived; and that idea is deep in the souls
of most of the Cuban people and now in the hearts of many
throughout the world. This idea will continue to grow and
you will continue to grow with it from beyond the grave.

May Allah (God) continue to shower His Blessings on you
and those who help you in the service of others.

Sincerely, and with much love and great respect,

I Am Your Brother and Servant,
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Servant to the Lost-Found
Nation of Islam in the West

See also: News Web Presentation:
March 27, 2006 Press Conference in Havana, Cuba (Video)


8) Who Started Terrorism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?

Bombs in Cafes: first used by Zionists in Palestine
on March 17th, 1937 in Jaffa.

Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine
Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937.

Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists
on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa.

Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists
on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem.

Bombing of Foreign Embassies: first used by Zionists
on October 1st, 1946 in Rome (against the British).

Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists
on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah.

Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947
against British targets in UK.

(for documentation, consult The Arab Women's Information
Committee and The Institute for Palestine Studies, Who Are
the Terrorists? Aspects of Zionist and Israeli Terrorism,
(Beirut: Insitute for Palestine Studies, 1972).


9) "The World Just Sat By," An Interview with Dahr Jamail
By: Christopher Brown
August 23, 2006
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

/Dahr Jamail is an award-winning, independent journalist who reported
live from Baghdad for eight months beginning in 2003. He is considered
one of the best sources on the War in Iraq. Recently, he returned to The
Middle East, to Syria. While in Damascus, the conflict between Israel
and Hizbollah began. Jamail left immediately for Beirut and sent daily
dispatches from his Iraq-dispatches website. I received the chance to
speak to Jamail about what he saw during this 34-day conflict in the
middle East./

*Christopher Brown:* Dahr Jamail, it seems that in the media, this whole
conflict’s narrative started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli
soldiers and killed several others, when in fact this was not the case.
Can you speak about this?

*Dahr Jamail:* Yes it’s very clear and it’s quite well documented that
there were meetings between Cheney and Netenyahu out in California over
a year in advance of this. Also, other documented truth we could look to
would be The Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Anyone can get
online, go to that website and read their plans for the Middle East and
it states very clearly there as well as in another document called a
clean break, a similar document to the PNAC where they talk about
redrawing the lines in the Middle East and how they are going to go
about it. Iraq is the first step, the next step will be Lebanon; and
then the next step Iran, and then after that Syria. It is mentioned and
well documented in those sources that Israel would be going into Lebanon.

Now also other things we could look at is this is simply what occurred
by the Hizbollah’s operation in early July, as the pretext is simply a
fabrication. Because in reality these types of skirmishes on the border
between Israel and Hizbollah, were a regular occurrence. Hizbollah had
fired rockets into Israel; they had attacked Israeli troops before. So
why did they wait for this particular time to launch this massive
collective punishment war of aggression against Lebanon? There are
several factors that all point really clearly that this was a policy
that they were waiting to enact and simply waiting for the right pretext
to justify what they did.

*CB:* As the conflict mounted in the region, we here in the West
received information in regards to Israeli suffering by rockets fired by
Hizbollah and interviews with many innocent Israelis who had to hide out
in bomb shelters. But only rarely did we get any first hand accounts
about innocent Lebanese victims and they’re troubles. Could you speak
more on the corporate media’s lack of fairness and accuracy regarding
this conflict?

*DJ:* Yes that is a really good point. The media coverage of this war of
aggression by Israel against Lebanon, I would say, is almost as bad as
the media coverage that is happening in Palestine, in Gaza, and the West
Bank. Where it’s so incredibly biased. I would go so far as to say that
the coverage of this war was even worse than the corporate media
coverage that I’d seen of the US invasion of Iraq. It is off the charts
in terms of its bias and omissions in things along those lines and we
can cite example after example. For example, all the assumptions, the
heavily biased assumptions, Western corporate media makes that Hizbollah
is a terrorist organization. Well, they’re only referred to as a
terrorist organization by the US, Israel, and the UK. Whereas in all of
the Middle East, including in Lebanon, a country where they have their
base, they are seen as a legitimate political party, a grassroots
organization that employs over a quarter of a million people fully
engaged in infrastructure projects like hospitals, schools and social
welfare programs.

And now after the Israeli aggression against Lebanon, Hizbollah enjoys
over 90% support from the people of Lebanon, which is really off the
charts compared to the number prior to this invasion, which was around
40 or 50%. That means that now, and this of course is not being
broadcast in the corporate media, Hizbollah is enjoying the majority
support of the Christians, The Druze, and Sunni Arabs. Whereas prior to
this there was only a minority support from these groups.

Then we can just look at the coverage of the casualties; I bring up
Hizbollah being referred to as a terrorist organization over and over in
the corporate media. When we simply look at the statistics. We have over
1,300 Lebanese killed by the Israeli war of aggression, over 90% of
those civilians. And then we look at the other side where roughly 150
Israelis died over 50% of those were soldiers. So just looking at that
statistic alone, whose is the terrorist organization, or more
specifically who is the terrorist state?

And now, throughout the Middle East, Israel is being seen as the
terrorist state rather than Hizbollah being in any way as a terrorist
organization. And now, even in Lebanon, Hizbollah is being seen as the
rightful defenders of Lebanon against Israeli aggression. And this is
being underscored again with Israel breaking the ceasefire agreement by
the UN when they launched a commando raid into the Bekka Valley, which
was fought off by Hizbollah. Israel lost at least one soldier.

But, nevertheless, Israel, once again, broke the truce agreement; the UN
resolution that they initially had been quite happy with; a resolution
that even prompted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to call President
Bush, after the UN resolution was penned up and backed by the US, and
thank him for keeping Israeli interests in mind.

But that clearly wasn’t good enough for Israel. We’ve seen time and time
again Israel doesn’t have any regard for international law. And how is
this being portrayed in the coverage? Where is the talk of war crimes?
Where is the talk of the Geneva Conventions being broken time and time
again by Israel when they’ve hit civilians; they’ve hit medical
infrastructure, they’ve hit the ambulances and really don’t even try to
hide this. Where is that in the coverage of this conflict?

*CB:* You mentioned the casualties of the Lebanese people. Although
Hizbollah controls the South, Israel’s bombing campaign extended far
into the North of the country as well. Could you talk about what you saw
on the ground while covering this conflict?

*DJ:* Yes. There are two really important points. The first is; this
wasn’t just an attack on Southern Lebanon and Southern Beirut where
Hizbollah is known to have the majority of its support, but it was the
collective punishment of the entire country. Really, something that just
amazed me in Lebanon watching the entire country being bombed into
pre-industry while the World just sat by and the UN and European
countries just sat and watched and really didn’t do anything to stop
them from carrying out this war crime.

We’re talking about the Northern Border being hit; the city of Byblos
being hit which is a predominately Christian city; the cities up in the
mountains, which are the Christian and Druze areas of Lebanon being hit
repeatedly; over 70 bridges being bombed; over 80 roads being bombed;
milk factories, pharmaceutical plants, paper factories all being bombed;
total collective punishment. Where all of Lebanon’s ports as well as
airports were bombed, electrical structure all of this being bombed.
Every one of these a violation of the Geneva Convention, and every one
of these fits the definition of collective punishment.

And then if we look at the targeting, the deliberate targeting, of
civilians I was really horrified to see pretty quickly, from reporting
from Lebanon, that this deliberate targeting of civilians and medical
infrastructure, it wasn’t something that was happening here and there. I
quickly saw that this was a pattern: The pattern was that people would
try to huddle in their homes from Israeli bombs, and if they were lucky
enough not to have their homes bombed, Israeli warplanes were leafleting
villages telling people to leave. Then when they got in they’re cars to
leave; while flying white surrender flags, holding pillowcases or sheets
out the windows so as not too be bombed, they were being hit.

And then when the Lebanese red cross or the Lebanese Civil Defense
ambulances tried to reach these people, they were being bombed. And then
often times, secondary ambulances were sent help the first ambulances
that were hit, they to were being bombed, this is something that I can
speak to after interviewing people in Qana the day after the massacre
there that killed 37 children and 24 other adults, who were very much
elderly people.

That attack occurred at 1am, and the Lebanese Red Cross, from the nearby
city of Tyre, who tried to reach them, got the first call at 5am and
dispatched two ambulances, they were nearly bombed and had to turn back.
So they waited until about 7am and tried again, and they were nearly
bombed again and were kept away from Qana and had to turn back.

And they weren’t allowed to reach Qana until 9am. So because of them
being kept away, which were the exact words used by the Red Cross people
that I interviewed; people who were in those ambulances who said; 'We
were kept away by the Israeli military. And if we had been allowed to
reach there when we first received the call, maybe we could have saved
the lives of a few more people.’

And this was the type of story I ran into repeatedly from those
civilians and Red Cross workers. They felt they were being attacked
deliberately, civilians home were being destroyed; they were outraged;
'Why are they hitting civilians? If they want to attack Hizbollah, okay.
But why are they hitting civilians?’ and this is what I was hearing the
entire time I was there.

*CB:* The US and Israel constantly stated that Syria and Iran needed to
stop sending weapons to Hizbollah. And the corporate media picked up
this refrain. But there was no mention from any Western country, or
Middle Eastern country for the US to stop sending munitions to Israel.
What are your thoughts on this?

*DJ:* This double standard and this bias, and I would go so far as to
call it this hypocritical racism, I think this falls under the
"coverage" of this war; why weren’t media outlets asking the question;
'Well if Israel and the US are accusing Iran and Syria of supplying
Hizbollah, then what position are they in to do so?’

They are the ones who are supplying Israel with their fighter jets.
Israel has the second largest fleet of F-16s on the planet second only
behind the US. Israel has been the single largest recipient of US
foreign aid since the early 1970s every single year. Right now, they are
receiving over 2 billion dollars, and possible over 3 billion dollars
every single year, either in grants, direct aid, or military hardware in
the form of: F-16s, cluster bombs, jet fuel, tanks, laser guided
weapons, white phosphorus weapons, all this was used very extensively in
Southern Lebanon, and sometimes even in Southern Beirut.

The hypocrisy is really hard to understand. No media outlets in the
West, none of the major ones that I know of, have ever criticized the US
for supplying this unbridled financial, political and economic support
for Israel. While certainly Hizbollah is using rockets from Iran, and is
probably getting other aid from Syria as well. But the bottom line is
that Israel is getting direct military aid unquestioned from the US as
well as helpful political and diplomatic aid from the EU by their
silence. And none of this is ever questioned.

*CB:* You speak about the silence that permeated World leaders and their
governments had about Israel’s onslaught upon the Lebanese people. Why
was it that the folks in Congress here in the US condoned Israel’s right
to defend itself but never spoke of Lebanon having the same right after
it became clear that this was not about rescuing two soldiers, but more
about bombing all of Lebanon?

Where was the outcry of the disproportionate use of force from Congress
concerning Israel actions?

*DJ:* Well I think this is when we have to look squarely at the fact
that the US government and most of the US media is so heavily influenced
by Jewish lobby groups like AIPAC. And it’s long past time that people
in this country look squarely at this and see that their politicians are
essentially owned by these Jewish lobby groups. This is not my opinion,
this is fact.

Anyone can get online, do a little bit of research and pull up US
politicians and which lobby groups they’re taking campaign contributions
from and I challenge anyone to find more than a handful of politicians,
and I mean single digits, who have not taken some aid from Jewish lobby
groups. And we are talking about Republicans and Democrats alike.
Everyone is being financed by them and therefore everyone is beholden to
them and the lobbyists pull the right strings the politicians move in
the right direction.

And those directions are in complete compliance with whatever the wishes
of the State of Israel might be at the time. And that’s why, during the
first week of this war in Lebanon, that there was something like a
moment of silence in the US Congress. Where all the politicians stood up
and had a moment of silence for poor little Israel. Poor little Israel,
the only nuclear power in the Middle East; poor little Israel, with the
fourth most powerful army in the World, only second to that
technologically the United States it’s supplier, its Grandparent if you
will, as far as military support.

And this is the problem: that we have a government that will not act in
the best interests of the United States. They act, instead in this
entangled relationship of: What are the best interests of the State of
Israel? And that trumps anything else, even following international law;
even following the best policy for the United States, as opposed to
what’s the best policy for Israel. And if the United States gets
entangled in this mess and loses standing in the eyes of the World
powers by its unbridled alliance for Israel, then that’s okay.

And that is what is going on and that is where light has to be shown and
has to be criticized heavily and we need massive reform there. And of
course the calls that will come out will be: 'well that’s anti-Semitic,
that’s anti-Israel.’ Well, we just need to be prepared for that, those
will come.

And it’s not anti-Semitic because in reality this alliance of violence
is detrimental to both the security of the US and Israel. This policy
we’re watching is complete insanity and at the end of the day it is
really going to jeopardize the existence of the State of Israel, not
Iran, not Lebanon, not Hizbollah, not Hamas but this lunatic policy of
this unbridled, this complete disregard for international law, this in
the end is going to jeopardize the existence to the State of Israel far
more than any perceived threat that could exist. And any US politician
that doesn’t agree with that, and act appropriately, and make
appropriate changes, they probably shouldn’t be in office.

*CB:* At the beginning of the war, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and
Defense Minister Amir Peretz enjoyed approval ratings in the 90s from
the Israeli public. But since it’s conclusion, those ratings have
dropped to below 50% for both men.

Reserve soldiers sent a letter to Olmert questioning the purpose of this
war. Other soldiers acknowledge that Hizbollah resistance fighters
fought bravely in the face of superior fire power.

Faced, with very low approval ratings and an upcoming mid term election
in November, President Bush claimed victory for the State of Israel. Is
the US public buying any of this, or is Bush and Co., merely grasping at

*DJ:* Well, we have to look at the actions and what happens on the
ground as opposed to rhetoric and the propaganda coming out of the US
and Israeli governments, especially regarding this situation. And if we
simply look at the facts; Israel stated goals for this war against
Lebanon were:

1. To pressure the Lebanese people and the Lebanese government to turn
against Hizbollah. To disarm them and push them away from the border
with Israel. That was one stated goal. Clearly a dismal failure over 90%
of the Lebanese and most of the Lebanese government support Hizbollah
now more than ever before. And certainly have no intention of disarming
them or moving them away from the border with Israel.

2. To disarm Hizbollah and that, of course, did not happen and the UN
appears unlikely to make strides in that direction and that of course
means that most people in Lebanon don’t want Hizbollah to disarm either.
This is probably the only thing keeping Israel from occupying Southern
Lebanon at this point.

3. To have they’re prisoners released. And they are no closer to having
that happen then they were before they started dropping bombs over
Lebanon from North to South and East to West.

If anyone is stupid enough to look at those killed by each side as an
indication of who won, that is really going to be misleading. Because
clearly Israel killed over 1,000 civilians in Lebanon as if that is some
sort of a victory. But if we look at that statistic, over 50% of the
people that Hizbollah killed in South Lebanon were Israeli combat
soldiers, not civilians. I think that is the more important statistic.

And really the most important indicator we should probably look at is
perception in the Middle East and around the World as to who won this.
And I think that one of the solid indicators of who people think won
this is what was cited in the Israeli press; less than 50% of Israelis
approve of the job Olmert is doing where less than two weeks ago his
approval rating was around 90%.

That shows that even the people of Israel are very much aware of the
fact that Israel lost this war; they did not come close to achieving
their directive; and instead they have turned everyone in the Middle
East against them; they have shown the true face of Israel; that it’s a
State that is willing to sponsor terrorism to kill civilians on a
massive scale, and still not achieve it’s goals.

And in fact now, I feel that Israel and they’re own security are in much
greater danger now than they were before conflict. This myth of Israel
having this all-powerful undefeatable military is gone. Just like what
happened to the US in Iraq. Where a few thousand people with
Kalishnakovs and RPGs can bog down the most powerful military on the
planet and are winning that war; well the same thing happened in Israel.

At the height of their ground invasion, the last 24 hours of their
ground invasion into Southern Lebanon, they lost 40 troops in 24 hours.
And they did leave Lebanon with they’re tail between their legs. And it
really just shows that this shock and awe air campaign is really useless
in a guerrilla war. They can drop tens of thousands of bombs on Southern
Lebanon and they still can’t get in there and hold one city, even six
miles into the country.

So it’s really shown they’re military is not capable of protecting their
own civilians; they are not successful at waging an invasion against
another country; and now at the end of all of it, Israeli citizens feel
that less secure now then they did before this ever occurred. And I
think that that should be the strongest indicator, especially when we
look at the stated goals of Israel at the beginning of this war.

*CB:* Currently there is a fragile cease-fire in place. Is it your
opinions that this will hold or what do you feel is in store for the future?

*DJ:* I don’t think this cease-fire will hold because of what we have
spoke of Israel encroaching into Lebanon again. At a time of they’re own
choosing and completely unprovoked. We can talk about that present
tense. Already this cease-fire has failed and at any time Israel
might…maybe even as we speak…they could be breaking this cease-fire
agreement again. And I think that’s why it will fail.

Because Israel has complete disregard for UN resolutions. We only have
to look them breeching, I’m not sure how many, UN resolutions regarding
what’s going on in the occupied territories. We need to remember that
the first one to break this cease-fire was Israel and they’re may come a
point when Hizbollah does respond and then the corporate media will
begin to place the blame squarely on Lebanon’s shoulders.

I’m going to use a crude analogy to get my point across; I use to play
basketball and I was always taught that if you ever get fouled, don’t
foul you’re opponent back.

Because the one who responds is usually the one who is going to get
caught. And I think it’s kind of the same thing here. It is critical
that Hizbollah not respond if they can at all avoid it. Because the
media is so biased and the international community is so biased; if they
do respond we could have another repeat of what we just saw now and
probably something much worse and more sustained. Because I really don’t
see Israel leaving this aside and not doing anything. They will continue
to provoke until Hizbollah responds and then we will again see an all
out war.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


10) The Liquid Bomb Hoax: The Larger Implications
James Petras
August 2006

The charges leveled by the British, US and Pakistani regimes that
they uncovered a major bomb plot directed against 9 US airlines
is based on the flimsiest of evidence, which would be thrown out
of any court, worthy of its name.

An analysis of the current state of the investigation raises
a series of questions regarding the governments' claims of
a bomb plot concocted by 24 Brits of Pakistani origin.

The arrests were followed by the search for evidence, as the
August 12, 2006 Financial Times states: "The police set about
the mammoth task of gathering evidence of the alleged terrorist
bomb plot yesterday" (FT August 12/13 2006). In other words, the
arrests and charges took place without sufficient evidence –
a peculiar method of operation – which reverses normal investigatory
procedures in which arrests follow the "monumental task of gathering
evidence". If the arrests were made without prior accumulation
of evidence – what were the bases of the arrests?

The government search of financial records and transfers turned
up no money trail despite the freezing of accounts. The police search
revealed limited amounts of savings, as one would expect from young
workers, students and employees from low-income immigrant families.

The British government, backed by Washington, claimed that the Pakistani
government's arrest of two British-Pakistanis provided "critical evidence"
in uncovering the plot and identifying the alleged terrorist. No Western
judicial hearing would accept evidence procured by the Pakistani
intelligence services that are notorious for their use of torture in
extracting 'confessions'. The Pakistani dictatorship's evidence is
based on a supposed encounter between a relative of one of the
suspects and an Al Queda operative on the Afghan border. According
to the Pakistani police, the Al Queda agent provided the relative and
thus the accused with the bomb-making information and operative
instructions. The transmission of bomb-making information does
not require a trip half-way around the world, least of all to a frontier
under military siege by US led forces on one side and the Pakistani
military on the other. Moreover it is extremely dubious that Al Queda
agents in the mountains of Afghanistan have any detailed knowledge
of specific British airline security, procedures or conditions of
operations in London. Lacking substantive evidence, Pakistani
intelligence and their British counterparts touched all the propaganda
buttons: A clandestine meeting with Al Queda, bomb-making information
exchanges on the Pakistani-Afghan border, Pakistani-Brits with Islamic
friends, family and terrorist connections in England…

US intelligence claimed and London repeated that sums of money had
been wired from Pakistan to allow the plotters to buy airline tickets.
Yet air tickets were found in only one residence (and the airline and
itinerary were not stated by the police). None of the other suspects
possessed plane tickets and some did not even have passports.
In other words, the most preliminary moves in the so-called bomb
plot had not been taken by the accused. No terrorist plot to bomb
airplanes exists when the alleged conspirators are lacking travel
funds, documents and tickets. It is not credible to argue that the
alleged conspirators depended on instructions from distant handlers
ignorant of the basic ground level conditions.

Initially the British and US authorities claimed that the explosive
device was a 'liquid bomb' – yet no liquid or non-liquid bomb was
discovered on the premises or persons of any of the accused. Nor has
any evidence been produced as to the capability of any of the suspects
in making, moving or detonating the 'liquid bomb' – a very volatile
solution if handled by unskilled operatives. No evidence has been
presented on the nature of the specific liquid bomb question, or
any spoken discussion or written documents about the liquid bomb,
which would implicate any of the suspects. No bottle, liquid or
chemical formula has been found among any of the suspects.
Nor have any of the ingredients that go into making the 'liquid bomb'
been uncovered. Nor has any evidence been presented as to where
the liquid was supposed to come from (the source) or whether it was
purchased locally or overseas.

When the liquid bomb story was ridiculed into obscurity, British
Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Peter Clark claimed that, "bomb
making equipment including chemicals and electric components
had been found" (BBC News 8/21/2006).

Once again there is no mention of what "electronic components"
and "chemicals" were found, in whose home or office and if they might
be related to non-bomb making activities. Were these so-called new
bomb-making items owned by a specific person or group of persons,
and if so were they known by the parties implicated to be part of
a bombing plot. Moreover, when and why have the authorities
switched from the liquid bombs to identifying old fashion electronic
detonators? Is there any evidence – documents or taped discussions
that link these electronic detonators and chemicals with the specific
plot to 'blow up 9 US bound airliners?'

Instead of providing relevant facts clearing up basic questions
of names, dates, weapons, and travel dates, Commissioner Clark gives
the press a laundry list of items which could be found in millions of homes
and the large number of buildings searched (69 so far). If stair climbing
earns promotions, Clark should be nominated for a Knightship.
According to Clark the police discovered more than 400 computers,
200 mobile telephones, 8,000 computer media items (items as catastrophic
as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs); police removed 6,000 gigabytes
of data from the seized computers (150 from each computer) and
a few video recordings. One presumes, in the absence of any qualitative
data demonstrating that the suspects were in fact preparing bombs
in order to destroy 9 US airliners, that Commissioner Clark is seeking
public sympathy for his minion's enormous capacity to lift and remove
electronic equipment from one site to another in up to 69 buildings.
This is a notable achievement if we are talking about a moving company
and not a high powered police investigation of an event of 'catastrophic

Some of the suspects were arrested because they have traveled to
Pakistan at the beginning of the school year holidays. British and US
authorities forget to mention that tens of thousands of Pakistani
ex-pats return to visit family at precisely that time of year.

The wise guys on Wall Street and The City of London never took the
liquid bomb plot seriously: At no point did the Market respond,
nose-dive, crash or panic. The announced plot to bomb airlines
was ignored by all Big Players on the US and London stock markets.
In fact, petrol prices dropped slightly. In contrast to 9/11 and the
Madrid and London bombings (to which this plot is compared) the
stock market 'makers' were not impressed by the governments' claims
of a 'major catastrophe'. George Bush or Tony Blair, who were
informed and discussed the 'liquid bomb plot' several days
beforehand, didn't even skip a day of their vacations, in response
to the catastrophic threat.

And each and every claim and piece of 'evidence' put forth by the
police and the Blair and Bush security authorities runs a cropper.
Some of the alleged suspects are released, and new equally paltry
'evidence' is breathlessly presented: two tape recordings of 'martyr
messages' were found in the computer of one suspect, which, we
are told, foretold a planned terrorist attack. The Clark team claimed
with great aplomb that they found one or a few martyr videotapes,
without clarifying the fact that the videos were not made by the
suspects but viewed by them. Many people the world over pay
homage to suicide martyrs to a great variety of political causes.
Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan visits a shrine dedicated to World
War Two military dead – including Kamikaze suicide pilots,
defying Chinese and Korean protests. Millions of US citizens and
politicians pay homage to the war heroes in Arlington cemetery
each year, some of whom deliberately sacrificed their lives in order
to defend their comrades, their flag and the justice of their cause.
It should be of no surprise that Asians, Muslims and others should
collect videos of anti-Israeli or anti-occupation martyrs. In none
of the above cases where people honor martyrs is there any police
attempt to link the reverent observer with future suicide bomb
plots – except if they are Muslims. Hero worship of fallen fighters
is a normal everyday phenomenon – and is certainly no evidence
that the idolaters are engaged in murderous activity.

A 'martyr message' is neither a plot, conspiracy or action – it is
only an _expression of free speech – one might add, 'internal
speech' (between the speaker and his computer) which might at
some future time become public speech. Are we to make private
dialogue a terrorist offense?

As the legal time limit expires on the holding of suspects without
charges, the British authorities released two suspects, charged
eleven and eleven others continue to be held without charges,
probably because there is no basis for proceeding further.
As the number of accused plotters thin out in England, Clark
and company have deflected attention to a world-wide plot
with links to Spain, Italy, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Apparently the logic here is that a wider net compensates
for the large holes. In the case at hand, of the eleven who
have been remanded to trial, only eight have been charged
with conspiracy to prepare acts of terrorism; the other three
are accused of 'not disclosing information' (or being
informers…of what?) and 'possessing articles useful to
a person preparing acts of terrorism' (BBC News 8/21/06).
Since no bombs have been found and no plans of action have
been revealed, we are left with the vague charge of 'conspiracy',
which can mean a hostile private discussion directed against
US and British subjects by several like-thinking individuals.
The reason that it appears that ideas and not actions are in
question is because the police have not turned up any
weapons or specific measures to enter into the locus of
attack (air tickets to board planes, passports and so on).
How can suspects be charged with failing to disclose information,
when the police lack any concrete information pertaining
to the alleged bomb plot. The fact that the police are further
diluting their charges against three more plotters is indicative
of the flimsy basis of their original arrests and public claims.
To charge a 17 year-old boy with 'possessing articles useful
to a person preparing acts of terrorism' is so open-ended as
to be laughable: Did the article have other uses for the boy
or for his family (like a box cutter). Did he 'possess' written
articles because they were informative or fascinating to
a young person?" Since he still possessed the article, he had
not passed these articles to any person making bombs. Did
he know of any specific plans to make bombs or any bomb-
makers? The charges could implicate anyone possessing and
reading a good spy novel or science fiction thriller in which
bomb making is discussed. The eleven have already pleaded
innocent; the trial will begin in due time. The government and
mass media have already convicted the accused in the electronic
and print media. Panic has been sown. Fear and hysterical
anger is present in the long security lines at airports and train
stations…Asian men quietly saying prayers are being pulled
off of airplanes and planes diverted or airports evacuated.

The bomb plot hoax has caused enormous losses (in the
hundreds of millions of dollars) to the airlines, business people,
oil companies, duty free shops, tourist agencies, resorts and
hotels, not to speak of the tremendous inconvenience and
health related problems of millions of stranded and stressed
travelers. The restrictions on lap top computers, travel bags,
accessories, special foods and liquid medicines have added
to the 'costs' of traveling.

Clearly the decision to cook up the phony bomb plot was
not motivated by economic interests, but domestic political
reasons. The Blair administration, already highly unpopular
for supporting Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was under
attack for his unconditional support for Israel's invasion of
Lebanon, his refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire and
his unstinting support for Bush's servility to US Zionist lobbies.
Even within the Labor party over a hundred backbenchers were
speaking out against his policies, while even junior cabinet
ministers such as Prescott stated that Boss Bush's foreign
policy smelled of the barnyard. Bush was not yet cornered
by his colleagues in the same way as Blair, but unpopularity
was threatening to lead his Republican party to congressional
defeat and possible loss of a majority of seats.

According to top security officials in England, Bush and Blair
were 'knowledgeable' about the investigation into a possible
'liquid bomb' plot. We know that Blair gave the go-ahead for
the arrests, even as the authorities must have told him they
lacked the evidence and at best it was premature. Some reports
from British police insiders claim that the Bush Administration
pushed Blair for early arrests and the announcement of the
'liquid bomb' plot. Security officials then launched a massive,
all-out 'terror propaganda' campaign designed to capture the
attention and support of the public with the total support
of the mass media. The security-mass media campaign
served its objective – Bush's popularity increased, Blair
avoided censure and both continued on their vacations.

The bomb plot political ploy fits the previous political pattern
of sacrificing capitalist economic interests to serve domestic
political and ideological positions. Foreign policy failures lead
to domestic political crimes, just as domestic policy crises lead
to aggressive military expansion.

The criminal frame-up of young Muslim-South Asian British
citizens by the British security officials was specifically designed
to cover up for the failed Anglo-American invasion of Iraq and
the Anglo-American backing for Israel's destructive but failed
invasion of Lebanon. Blair's 'liquid bombers' plot' sacrificed
a multiplicity of British capitalist interests in order to retain
political offices and stave off an unceremonious early exit
from power. The costs of failed militarism are borne by
citizens and businesses.

In an analogous fashion Bush and his Zioncon and other
militarists exploited the events of 9/11 to pursue a militarist
multi-war strategy in Southwest Asia and the Middle East.
With time and scientific research, the official version of the
events of 9/11 have come under serious questioning – both
regarding the collapse of one of the towers in New York, as
well as the explosions in the Pentagon. The events of 9/11
and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq sacrificed major US
economic interests: Losses in New York, tourism, airline
industry and massive physical destruction; losses in terms
of a major increase in oil prices and instability, increasing
the costs to US, European and Asian consumers and industries.

Likewise the Israeli military invasion of Gaza and Lebanon,
backed by the US and Great Britain, were economically costly
destroying property, investments and markets, while raising
the level of mass anti-imperial opposition.

In other words, the politics of US, British and Israeli (and by
extension World Zionist) militarism has been at the expense
of strategic sectors of the civilian economy. These losses to key
economic sectors require the civilian-militarists to resort to
domestic political crimes (phony bomb plots and frame-up
trials) to distract the public from their costly and failed policies
and to tighten political control. On both counts, the civilian
militarists and the Zioncons are losing ground. The 'liquid
bomb' plot is unraveling, Israel is in turmoil, the Zioncons
are preaching to the converted, and the US is, as always,
the United States: The Democratic civilian militarist are
capitalizing on the failures of their incumbent colleagues.


11) Open Letter to James Petras re his article, "The Liquid Bomb
Hoax: The Larger Implications," by Bonnie Weinstein.

Dear James,

In your article, "The Liquid Bomb Hoax: The Larger Implications,"
you stated at the end:

"In other words, the politics of US, British and Israeli (and by
extension World Zionist) militarism has been at the expense
of strategic sectors of the civilian economy."

But in an interview in March 1995 entitled, "Jesse Helms: Setting
the Record Straight" that appeared in the Middle East Quarterly,
Helms said, "I have long believed that if the United States is going
to give money to Israel, it should be paid out of the Department
of Defense budget. My question is this: If Israel did not exist,
what would U.S. defense costs in the Middle East be? Israel is
at least the equivalent of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East.
Without Israel promoting its and America's common interests,
we would be badly off indeed."
(Jesse Helms was the senior senator from North Carolina and
the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time.)

I quote this because I think it is crucial to be crystal clear about
"the cart and the horse." Your statement implies that it's World
Zionist Militarism that has control over the U.S., and not the
other way around. Capitalism is a game of power and control
and the one with the biggest gun wins. Or at least that's the
plan and the purpose of the most powerful military force the
world has ever seen--the U.S. Military! That's why all the wealth
produced by the toiling masses of working people--citizen and
non-citizen alike--gouged out of wages and collected in taxes--
is being funneled into military and defense spending and only
the spare change is left over for all other social services and
societal needs.

The whole world is against Israel. They would be an easy target
but for the U.S. It is exactly the U.S. capitalist, imperialist interests
that Israel is designed and maintained to protect AND expand
on--U.S. Capital wants to control the whole Middle East as they
already do much of the world and its resources already.

Unfortunately, many Jewish people have been taken in by the
whole thing. Many Jewish people alive today do not know that
Jews were turned away from U.S. and European soil at the time
they were most in need of escaping fascist extermination. They
do not know that Jewish people, in their desperation, were,
in essence, coerced into going to Palestine--they had no other
choice and the Zionists played into their desperation and the U.S.
funded the whole thing.

The wealthy U.S. elite had plans, yes indeed. We are in danger
now of falling further backwards toward barbarism by blaming
a scapegoat, i.e., all Jewish people, for the crisis the world faces
today. That is why the U.S. Government even bothers to maintain
their "independence" from Israel as if it isn't in control of the
whole dynamic. Anti-Semitism is, so to speak, the U.S. elite's
"failsafe." They can step in, if necessary, and blame "World
Zionist Militarism" for the strife then officially and openly
take the helm of domination of all of the Middle East.

That is what capitalism is. It is the political, economic and
military mechanism for the ultimate domination of the
wealthiest over the masses of poor across the globe. They
rule by force of violence and they own and control not only
the bulk of the wealth and resources, they also own the most
powerful weapons of mass destruction the world has ever seen
--they are world-killers and will stop at nothing to preserve
their place of wealth, power and domination. But, and this is
a big "but", they would have no power at all if their games
of racism, sexism, classism, religious and ethnic bigotry--
all their tools to divide and conquer--didn't work.

But today, we, the masses are divided and conquered--worker
has been turned against worker. The capitalists actually
maintain a united front amongst themselves and against
we, the people of the world. They make laws that tax the
poor and reward the wealthy and we,the working people,
foot the bill.

That is why it is so crucial to expose the real root of the
problem--capitalism--not Zionism. Zionism is just another
capitalist tool of divide and conquer. And, clearly, the U.S.
capitalist regime is at the helm of world capitalism today and
they are overwhelmingly Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Born
Again rich white males--the 1948 birth of the illegal state
of Zionist Israel would not even exist without them and their
coffers and their ultimate goals.

We, the people, are only as strong as our weakest link and
our firm realization that an injury to one of us is an injury
to all. We all have common interests. We have a right to the
pursuit of happiness--to live a life of freedom, with liberty,
equality, democracy and justice for all.

End all U.S. Aid to Israel! U.S. Out of the Middle East! Stop
the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine! Bring
all the troops home now!
Money for human needs and justice for all.


Bonnie Weinstein,


12) The Czars’ Reefer Madness
August 26, 2006

Arjan Roskam, the creator of the award-winning marijuana blend
named “Arjan’s Haze,” has dozens of pictures of celebrity visitors
on the wall of his coffee shop in Amsterdam. He’s got Eminem,
Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Mike Tyson — but so far, unfortunately,
not a single White House drug czar.

The czars have preferred to criticize from afar. In the past, they’ve
called Dutch drug policy “an unmitigated disaster,” bemoaning
Amsterdam’s “stoned zombies” and its streets cluttered with
“junkies.” Anti-pot passion has only increased in the Bush
administration, which has made it a priority to combat marijuana.

More than half a million Americans are arrested annually for
possessing it. The Bush administration can’t even abide it being
used for medical purposes by the terminally ill. Why risk having
any of it fall into the hands of young people who could turn
into potheads, crack addicts and junkies?

But if America’s drug warriors came here, they would learn
something even if they didn’t sample any of the dozens of
varieties of marijuana sold legally in specially licensed coffee
shops. They could see that the patrons puffing on joints generally
don’t look any more zombielike than the crowd at an American
bar — or, for that matter, a Congressional subcommittee
listening to a lecture on the evils of marijuana.

And if they talked to Peter Cohen, a Dutch researcher who has
been studying drug use for a quarter-century, they would
discover something even more disorienting. Even though
marijuana has been widely available since the 1970’s, enough
to corrupt a couple of generations, the Netherlands has
not succumbed to reefer madness.

The Dutch generally use drugs less than Americans do,
according to national surveys in both countries (and these
surveys might understate Americans’ drug usage, since
respondents are less likely to admit illegal behavior). More
Americans than Dutch reported having tried marijuana,
cocaine and heroin. Among teenagers who’d tried marijuana,
Americans were more likely to be regular users.

In a comparison of Amsterdam with another liberal port city,
San Francisco, Cohen and other researchers found that
people in San Francisco were nearly twice as likely to have
tried marijuana. Cohen isn’t sure exactly what cultural and
economic factors account for the different usage patterns
in America and the Netherlands, but he’s confident he can
rule out one explanation.

“Drug policy is irrelevant,” says Cohen, the former director
of the Center for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam.
It’s quite logical, he says, to theorize that outlawing drugs
would have an impact, but experience shows otherwise, both
in America and in some European countries with stricter laws
than the Netherlands but no less drug use.

The good news about drugs, Cohen says, is that the differences
among countries aren’t all that important — levels of addiction
are generally low in America as well as in Europe. The bad news
is that the occasional drug fad get hyped into a crisis that leads
to bad laws.

“Prohibition does not reduce drug use, but it does have other
impacts,” he says. “It takes up an enormous amount of police
time and generates large possibilities for criminal income.”

In the Netherlands, that income goes instead to coffee-shop
owners and to the government, which exacts heavy taxes.
It also imposes strict regulations on what goes on in the coffee
shop, including who can be served (no minors) and how much
can be sold (five grams to a customer). Any unruly behavior
or public disturbances can quickly close down a shop.

To avoid problems at the Green House, Roskam has closed-
circuit cameras and a staff that urges novices to stick with small
doses, and to protect their lungs by taking hits from a vaporizer.
Unlike street buyers in America, customers know exactly what
strength they’re getting, which is especially useful for the hundreds
of people with multiple sclerosis and other ailments who use
his marijuana medicinally.

Roskam sneers at the street products in the United States,
which he considers overpriced and badly blended. But he
acknowledges there’s one feature in the American market
he can’t compete with.

“Drugs are just less interesting here,” he said. “One of my best
friends here never smoked cannabis, never wanted to even try
my products. Then when she was 32 she went to America
on holiday and smoked for the first time. I asked her why,
and she said: ‘It was more fun over there. It was illegal.’ ”


Norman Solomon | The Mythical End to the Politics of Fear

CIA Veteran Offers Grim Assessment of "War on Terror"

Veteran Protests against Iraq War

VIDEO | Dahr Jamail on Iraq and Lebanon
A Film by Geoffrey Millard and Sari Gelzer

VIDEO | Keith Olbermann: Terror and Politics in America

No Diplomacy: Bush Ensured Iran Offer Would Be Rejected

Lebanon's Month-Old Oil Slick Blankets Mediterranean Floor

Dirty Water Deals Cheat the Poor

Number of U.S. Troops in Iraq Climbs

Amnesty Urges UN to Probe Israel Strategy

Environmental, Consumer Groups in U.S. Asks Judge
for Nationwide Suspension of Drug Crop Permits

INTERVIEW: Chomsky on Lebanon and Iran (August 2006)
Written by Jim O. Madison
Thursday, 24 August 2006
In an interview posted Aug. 16 on the CounterPunch web site,
Noam Chomsky spoke extensively about Lebanon, but also
about Iran.[1] -- "[T]o the outside world," Chomky noted,
"it sounds a bit odd, to put it mildly, for the U.S. and Israel
to be warning of the 'Iranian threat' when they and they alone
are issuing threats to launch an attack, threats that are
immediate and credible, and in serious violation of
international law, and are preparing very openly for such
an attack. Whatever one thinks of Iran, no such charge
can be made in their case. It is also apparent to the world,
if not to the U.S. and Israel, that Iran has not invaded any
other countries, something that the U.S. and Israel have
done regularly." -- Asked about what will come next
in the Middle East, Chomsky replies: "I do not know
of anyone foolhardy enough to predict."

Africa Adds to Miserable Ranks of Child Workers
August 24, 2006

Afghanistan Descends Into Chaos Once Again

Bush Fulfills Few Promises to Gulf Coast

CIA's Secret UK Bank Trawl May Be Illegal

Unexploded Cluster Bombs Prompt Fear and Fury in Returning Refugees

New Orleans Summer 2006

Behind Bush's Rhetoric on Iraq: · Democracy · Oil
August 21, 2006

Radioactive Leak Reaches Nuclear Plant's Groundwater
At San Onofre, the cancer-causing tritium isn't known to infect
drinking water, but experts are checking.
By Seema Mehta and Dave McKibben
Times Staff Writer
August 18, 2006,0,3580491.story?track=mostviewed-sectionfront

Iraq war first hard look at women's level of combat post-traumatic
stress disorder
- Donna St. George, Washington Post
Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cannabis Cafes Get Nudge to Fringes of a Dutch City
August 20, 2006

Top Police Spar in London Over Muslims as ‘Victims’
Roughly 90 percent of the 30,000-plus Metropolitan Police force
is made up of white officers, but the number of nonwhite officers
in training is about 17 percent.
August 20, 2006

In British Inquiry, a Family Caught in 2 Worlds
August 20, 2006

Costly Promises
New York Gets Sobering Look at Its Pensions
August 20, 2006

FOCUS | US Names Spy Operations 'Manager' for Cuba, Venezuela
The United States has
named a special "manager" for its intelligence operations against Cuba
and Venezuela, in effect putting the two Latin American nations on a par
with "axis of evil" states confronted on multiple levels by the
administration of President George W. Bush.

VIDEO | Dahr Jamail on Iraq and Lebanon
A Film by Geoffrey Millard and Sari Gelzer
Independent reporter Dahr Jamail
speaks with Truthout's Geoffrey Millard in Seattle at the Veterans for
Peace Convention, where he was invited to speak about his time in Iraq
and, because of recent events, in Lebanon. Jamail went to Iraq because
he said the coverage by corporate news was insufficient. Jamail
presents his take on Iraq's civil war and politics, Lebanon's humanitarian
crisis, Hezbollah's increased popularity, US/Iran relations, and the peace
movement in America.

VIDEO | Keith Olbermann: Terror and Politics in America
Keith Olbermann does a stunning
job of laying out a five year history of Bush administration Terror
Alerts that came at moments when the administration may have wanted to
change the subject.

Truce Strained as Israelis Raid Site in Lebanon
August 20, 2006

I.R.S. Hires Debt Collectors
If you owe back taxes to the federal government, the next call asking
you to pay may come not from an Internal Revenue Service officer,
but from a private debt collector.
August 20, 2006

Israel Carries Out Raid Deep Into Lebanon
August 19, 2006

Colombia’s Coca Survives U.S. Plan to Uproot It
[This article talks about the massive spraying
August 19, 2006

Review of Landmark Study Finds Fewer
Vietnam Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress
August 18, 2006

Judge Finds Wiretap Actions Violate the Law
August 18, 2006

Marines May Have Excised Evidence on 24 Iraqi Deaths
August 18, 2006

BREAKING | Judge Rules Bush's Surveillance Program Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Detroit has ruled that the Bush administration's
warrantless surveillance program violates the Constitution.

Hey Folks, Throw TO a Bone!
Thursday 17 August 2006
Wow - it's hard to get donations from our readers. The same
people help out month after month, and they're the only ones
who keep Truthout going. Help them, help us, help you. TIA!
Just click this link for our secure donation form:

VIDEO | Dahr Jamail on Iraq and Lebanon
A Film by Geoffrey Millard and Sari Gelzer
Independent reporter Dahr Jamail speaks with Truthout's
Geoffrey Millard in Seattle at the Veterans for Peace
Convention, where he was invited to speak about his
time in Iraq and, because of recent events, in Lebanon.
Jamail went to Iraq because he said the coverage by
corporate news was insufficient. Jamail presents his
take on Iraq's civil war and politics, Lebanon's humanitarian
crisis, Hezbollah's increased popularity, US/Iran relations,
and the peace movement in America.

VIDEO | Keith Olbermann: Terror and Politics in America
Keith Olbermann does a stunning job of laying out a five year
history of Bush administration Terror Alerts that came at
moments when the administration may have wanted
to change the subject.

Sarah Olson | Iraq War Vets' Support for Lt. Watada Growing
"Geoffrey Millard is a
sergeant in the Army National Guard and has no problem speaking
publicly or supporting Lieutenant Watada," writes Sarah Olson. "He says GI
resistance is a growing trend. 'American GIs are beginning to respect the
Nuremberg principles. They are resisting orders; they are going to
jail, going to Canada, and going AWOL. And they're talking about why
they're doing it.'"

Abu Ghraib Whistleblower Speaks Out
In an interview by Wil
S. Hylton, Joe Darby speaks out for the first time since exposing the
atrocities at Abu Ghraib.

Matthew Rothschild | Preparing the Battlefield for Bush's War on Iran
"The thought crossed my
mind this weekend at a wedding party, when we were discussing the
Israeli war on Lebanon: Maybe Bush's green light for this bloody war was
part of his plan to bomb Tehran," writes Matthew Rothschild.

Fire, Flood, Famine: Global Warming and Our Future
More than half of the
world's major forests will be lost if global temperatures rise by an
average of 3C or more by the end of the century. The prediction comes from
the most comprehensive analysis yet of the potential effects of
human-made global warming.

BREAKING | Judge Rules Bush's Surveillance Program Unconstitutional
A federal judge in
Detroit has ruled that the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance
program violates the Constitution.

British Arms Merchant With Passport to the Pentagon

Israeli Army Chief Sold Stocks Hours before the War

Venezuela's Revolution of Hope
August 16, 2006

Military recruiters turn to strong-arm tactics
August 15, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Military recruiters have increasingly resorted to
overly aggressive tactics and criminal activity to attract young
troops to the battlefield, congressional investigators say.
Combat conditions in Iraq, a decent job market and tough monthly
recruiting goals have made recruiters' jobs more difficult, the
Government Accountability Office said Monday.
According to data provided to the GAO, substantiated cases
of wrongdoing jumped from about 400 cases in 2004 to almost
630 in 2005. Criminal cases -- such as sexual harassment
or falsifying medical records -- more than doubled in those
years, jumping from 30 incidents to 70.
But the report warned that reports of misconduct are likely
too low because the armed services don't track such cases
and many incidents go unreported.
The Defense Department is not "in a sound position to assure
the general public that it knows the full extent to which recruiter
irregularities are occurring," the GAO found.
The military has about 14,000 recruiters on staff, and each
of them is required to enlist two applicants a month.
More than half the recruiting crimes reported in 2005 were
by the Army. The Army said last week that it is on track to
meet this year's recruiting goal of 80,000 applicants
following a severe shortage last year.
In a letter to the GAO included in the report, the Defense
Department said it agreed the services must establish
an internal system to track reports of recruiter wrongdoing.
Copyright © 2006 Detroit Free Press Inc.

Bush is crap, says Prescott
Deputy PM criticises US handling of Middle East, condemning '
cowboy' President at private meeting
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
Published: 17 August 2006

6 Native Nations, and None Have a Word for ‘Suburbia’
CALEDONIA, Ontario, Aug. 10 — Blame it on the American Revolution.
August 17, 2006

Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits
Coffee is not usually thought of as health food, but a number of
recent studies suggest that it can be a highly beneficial drink.
Researchers have found strong evidence that coffee reduces
the risk of several serious ailments, including diabetes, heart
disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
August 15, 2006

Faces, Too, Are Searched at U.S. Airports
DULLES, Va., Aug. 16 — As the man approached the airport security
checkpoint here on Wednesday, he kept picking up and putting down
his backpack, touching his fingers to his chin, rubbing some object in
his hands and finally reaching for his pack of cigarettes, even though
smoking was not allowed.
August 17, 2006

A Debt Unpaid
New York Times Editorial
Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, made headlines
a few years back when environmental activists engaged in civil
disobedience aimed at forcing the Navy to stop using it for
bombing practice. The Navy bowed to the pressure and departed
in May 2003, leaving behind 60 years worth of bomb fragments
and an untold amount of unexploded ordnance.
August 17, 2006

Hezbollah Leads Work to Rebuild, Gaining Stature
In his victory speech on Monday night, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik
Hassan Nasrallah, offered money for “decent and suitable furniture”
and a year’s rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home
in the month-long war.
August 16, 2006

Lt. Watada's Mother: My Son Needs Your Support
Carolyn Ho, mother of
conscientious objector Lt. Ehren Watada, asks for support during her
son's pre-trial hearing on Aug 17 and 18. "Whether or not he is permitted
to submit evidence supporting his refusal to deploy and his first
amendment rights remains to be seen," she says. "Nevertheless, the military
must know that the world is watching and that justice must be served."

Judge's Insurance Ruling Could Affect Hundreds of Katrina Victims
A federal judge ruled
Tuesday that an insurance company's policies do not cover damage from
wind-driven water in a decision that could affect hundreds of upcoming
cases related to property damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Mexico Poll Protests Turn Violent
For the first time,
Mexican riot police fired tear gas and used clubs to break up a protest by
supporters of presidential challenger Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Some
lawmakers were among at least 30 people injured in the scuffles outside
Congress in Mexico City.

Returning to Their Devastated Homes,
the People of Lebanon Claim Victory

US Sending 300 Newly Returned Troops Back to Iraq

Military veterans stand behind "illegal war" refuser Lt. Watada
Objector officer brings Veterans for Peace convention to its feet
By Jeff Paterson. August 12, 2006

Iraq combat vet Sgt. Ricky Clousing speaks out against illegal war
AWOL soldier returns to military after press conference
By Jeff Paterson. August 11, 2006

Veterans picnic with U.S. troops who have taken refuge in Canada at border
By Jeff Paterson. August 13, 2006

Governors Oppose Federal Control of Guard
The nation's governors, protesting what they call an unprecedented
shift in authority from the states to the federal government, will
urge Congress today to block legislation that would allow the
president to take control of National Guard forces in the event
of a natural disaster or a threat to homeland security.

Census Shows Growth of Immigrants
August 15, 2006

U.S. IMMIGRANTS: Census data find 16% rise in 5 years --
many go to new destinations
Rick Lyman, New York Times
Tuesday, August

Military’s Discharges for Being Gay Rose in ’05
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 — The Defense Department discharged
726 service members last year for being gay, up about 10 percent
from 2004, figures released by a gay rights group show.
August 15, 2006

Tracing a Trail of Destruction: Report from Lebanon, August 13, 2006
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The wounds of war were evident shortly after we crossed
the Syria-Lebanon border at 1130 in the morning on August 12. At Haissa,
about three kilometers from the Dabboussiyeh border crossing, we come
across the ruins of a bridge hit by Israeli war planes just the day
before. Villagers tell us 12 people were killed and 10 wounded, all

An Interview with Dr. Ismail Zayid, President of the Canadian Palestinian Association
Israel‚s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from 1947 to the
present has caused monumental devastation to the exiled, those hundreds of
thousands who were forced from their homes and never allowed to return.
Dr. Ismail Zayid‚s family suffered this unspeakable horror in 1967 when
their village of Beit Nuba was erased from the face of the earth by
Israeli bulldozers.

Filipinos oppose U.S. Israeli Aggression
The U.S. imperialists and their Zionist executioners are mistaken in
thinking that the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples are easy prey for they
are anything but easy pushovers. Puppet Arroyo is also mistaken in
thinking that the Filipino people will allow her to get away with her own
US-propped war of terror against them. Like the valiant resistance in
Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq, the world will eventually see the Filipino
people rise up to oust their tyrant from power.

Rogue Israeli State Protested at White House Rally
What are people of conscience suppose to do in response to the
unspeakable acts of barbarism being perpetrated daily by Israel? In
America, they can still go out on the streets and protest. This is what
happened on Sat., Aug. 12, 2006, in Washington, D.C. A rally at Lafayette
Park, near the White House, organized by Arab-Americans, protested the
relentless terror bombing of innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon by the
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). (includes JPEG image)

FOCUS | Seymour M. Hersh: Watching Lebanon
According to Seymour Hersh, President Bush and
Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced,
current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a
successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah's heavily
fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in
Lebanon could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude
to a potential American pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear
installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.

Robert Fisk: As the 6am ceasefire takes effect... the real war begins
Published: 14 August 2006

Antiwar Camp in Israel Comes Out of Bunker
The decision to expand the ground offensive galvanizes a dormant, wary
peace movement.
By Laura King
Times Staff Writer
August 11, 2006,0,6106699.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Robert Fisk: Hizbollah's iron discipline is match for military machine
Published: 11 August 2006

90 Miles and Light-Years Away
New York Times Editorial
August 10, 2006

"Toxic environment" making kids fat, study claims:
Unhealthy, addictive food is behind today's obesity
epidemic, a scientist says.

‘None of the Above’ Stricken From Ballot
August 13, 2006
NASHVILLE, Aug. 12 (AP) — A man running for governor and
the United States Senate does not have the right to use his
middle name, None of the Above, on the November ballot,
a court ruled Friday.
The candidate, David Gatchell, filed a lawsuit in Davidson County
Chancery Court after the State Election Commission voted to bar
his middle name from the ballot. The court handles lawsuits
against state agencies.
Chancellor Carol McCoy also ruled that Mr. Gatchell’s effort
to add an issue-oriented notification on the ballot was against
state law. And Ms. McCoy said the state had no constitutional
requirement to place candidates’ full names on ballots.
Mr. Gatchell, who changed his middle name from Leroy, said
he would appeal. He argued that several state candidates, like
Walt Combat Ward and Carl Twofeathers Whitaker, had been
allowed to include their nicknames on ballots, and that his
middle name was widely known.

Bush Proposes Retroactive War Crime Protection
The Bush administration
drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively
protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any
humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who
have seen the proposal. The move by the administration is the latest
effort to deal with treatment of those taken into custody in the war on

Hizballah: A Primer
Lara Deeb
July 31, 2006, 11 pages
(Lara Deeb, a cultural anthropologist, is assistant professor
of women’s studies at the University of California-Irvine. She
is author of An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety
in Shi’i Lebanon.)
Hizballah, the Lebanese Shi’i movement whose militia is
fighting the Israeli army in south Lebanon, has been cast
misleadingly in much media coverage of the ongoing war.
Much more than a militia, the movement is also a political
party that is a powerful actor in Lebanese politics and
a provider of important social services. Not a creature
of Iranian and Syrian sponsorship, Hizballah arose
to battle Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon from
1982-2000 and, more broadly, to advocate for Lebanon’s
historically disenfranchised Shi’i Muslim community.
While it has many political opponents in Lebanon,
Hizballah is very much of Lebanon -- a fact that Israel’s
military campaign is highlighting.

Feeding Ourselves: Organic Urban Gardens in Caracas, Venezuela
Written by April M. Howard
Thursday, 10 August 2006

FOCUS | Baghdad Morgue Tallies 1,815 Bodies in July
Figures compiled by the city morgue indicated Wednesday that the
number of killings in the Iraqi capital reached a new high last month,
and the US military said a new effort to bring security to Baghdad
will succeed only if Iraqis "want it to work." The Baghdad morgue
took in 1,815 bodies during July, according to the facility's assistant
manager, Abdul Razzaq al-Obeidi. The previous month's tally was
1,595. Obeidi estimated that as many as 90 percent of the total
died violent deaths.