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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Friday, September 3, 2010

3 September - 'Fighting Terrorism' is a Meme for Theft

Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mural by Elih...Image via Wikipedia

Terrorism: I am a Muslim; I am a victim of terrorism

"What do these people have to talk about Islam as a source of terrorism? And how could they accuse Muslims of terrorism, while they themselves are major exporters of terrorism? Can those who use torture, assassination, corruption and wars as their declared method of occupying one Muslim country after another and killing millions of innocent Muslims accuse those who defend freedom, dignity and sovereignty of terrorism?...The phrase which should be promoted on Arabic-language TV channels should be “I am a Muslim, I am a victim of terrorism”. As to our enemies, the stigma of terrorism, war, Judaization, settlement building, home demolishing, assassination and other crimes will haunt them throughout history, because they are the makers of terrorism regardless of their religion.

Afghanistan: North Atlantic Military Bloc's Ten-Year War in South Asia

In October NATO will conduct a regional training course on border security in Azerbaijan for Central Asian and other countries. According to a news source in Azerbaijan, currently "training is carried out with the involvement of Iraqi and Afghan border guards...at the State Border Service’s base."...The war in Afghanistan provides long-range integrated combat training for global NATO and a foundation for the U.S. to build a far-reaching military network unprecedented in scope.

The conflict represents the longest continuous combat operations in the history of the United States and Afghanistan alike. With the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the only time in its existence activating its Article 5 mutual military assistance clause in September 2001 and thus entering the Afghan fray, European nations that had not been at war since the Second World War are now engaged in an endless combat mission. 

The North Atlantic military bloc has assumed the role of an international, expeditionary, increasingly more multifaceted and politicized armed intervention force, a status that will be formalized this November at its summit in Portugal when its first 21st century Strategic Concept is adopted. 

The time when NATO could pretend that the International Security Assistance Force was a peacekeeping and reconstruction initiative is long over, the pretext drowned in the blood of Afghan civilians. 

 Attack in Tajikistan Highlights Fears of Militancy

The New York Times

Don't think Fox News is the only outfit using misleading headers to pervert 'reporting'  by first affecting perceptions

Although Tajikistan has been relatively calm for some time, the government has regularly raised the specter of Islamist extremism, often, government critics say, as an excuse to crack down on opponents of President Rakhmon. 

 On the Road to Political Power and Theocracy

Sara Diamond

Since 1975, leaders of the Christian Right have built one organization after another, with the avowed purpose of winning state power, i.e. the power to influence, if not dictate, public policy. Leaders of the Christian Right worked hand-in-glove with the Reagan and Bush administrations to wage murderous wars on civilians in Central America and southern Africa.

 The stated agenda of the Christian Right in 1994 was to help deliver the Senate and Congress to the Republicans-and to credibly claim credit for doing just that. Each time around, the Christian Right is doing a better job of getting its people to the polls. In the 1992 presidential election, about 18 percent of the voters were self-identified white evangelicals. The figure for the 1990 midterm election was 15 percent. 

Average people active in the Christian Right genuinely feel that the country is going to hell in a hand basket, which is true. The problem is that through a long process of ideological formation most have arrived at a distorted view of their own best interests. They look at the stagnant economy and see "illegal aliens," not runaway capitalism, which they generally support. They look at teenage delinquency and then blame teachers' unions instead of the consumer culture that trains young people to shop and not think.
What people in the Christian Right want is pretty basic. They want laws to outlaw abortion, which they consider a form of infanticide. They want to change the tax code to encourage married mothers to stay home and raise good kids. They want queers to get back in the closet and pretend not to exist. They want high quality schools; they think the public schools are failing not for lack of resources but because kids can't pray or read Genesis in biology class.
The Christian Right wants these and related things so badly that they organized to win the political power necessary to change the direction of public policy. Early on, the Republican Party realized that it could become the majority party by hitching its sails to the evangelical mass movement.

 The Christian Coalition's hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists are the same people who harass women's health clinics and spread lies about homosexuality. The right's elite-oriented and mass-based contingents are autonomous but mutually dependent on each other. To call them names like "radicals" or "fascists" will not stop them. To understand them and organize against them just might. 


Teaching Tyranny

Ten Percent - Rick B.

Georgetown University has recently announced that former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe will be named a “distinguished scholar in the practice of global leadership,” and will soon begin giving seminars at the university’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS). Uribe has said it is a “great honor” for him, and that his “greatest wish and happiness is to contribute in the continuous emergence of future leaders.”
Action details here.
  • More than 3 million Colombians (out of a population of about 40 million) have been forced to flee their homes, giving Colombia the second-largest population of internally displaced persons in the world after Sudan.
  • More than 70 members of the Colombian Congress are under criminal investigation or have been convicted for allegedly collaborating with the paramilitaries. Nearly all these congresspersons are members of President Uribe’s coalition in Congress, and the Uribe administration repeatedly undermined the investigations and discredited the Supreme Court justices who started them.
  • Colombia has the highest rate of killings of trade unionists in the world. A clandestine gravesite of 2,000 non-identified bodies was recently discovered directly beside a military base in La Macarena, in central Colombia. When the news became public, Uribe flew to the Macarena and said publicly that accusing the armed forces of human rights abuses was a tactic used by the guerrilla. These comments put the lives of those victims who spoke at the event in grave danger.

 Davis Case Reignites Death Penalty Debate

Amnesty International figures calculate that, since 1973, more than 130 death row inmates have been released after wrongful convictions. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has borrowed $64 million to build a new death row.

 State risks $2 billion in unpaid bills if budget stalemate contines

We can avoid or reduce additional financial pressure on our schools, community colleges and private businesses that provide state services if a budget is enacted in a timely manner.

 London: land of a thousand cuts?

 Dave Hill blog - Guardian UK

Here's the start of a report from Regeneration and Renewal:
The Department for Transport has ruled out providing a £7 million contribution towards the costs of building a new London Overground station in south London considered key to a proposed 2,000 home development around Millwall's New Den football ground.

An image of border harmony

Old family photo memorializes a time of vibrant connection

 ( I lived on the border across from Calais, Maine in my teens. I mused at people who took the name of the French Cal-ay and pronounced it Callous....  

Riding my Bultaco Metralla motorcycle through U.S. Customs got a quick "Shut that damned noise off!" or "Get that thing out of here!" as - although it met noise regulations and was not modified from stock - the tuned exhaust could sound like a chain saw meant to cut down a California Redwood...especially ridden like the sportbike it was. That reverberated deafeningly in the semi-enclosed brick and concrete passage through the Port. 

A carload of high-schoolers would often go across together just on a ride, thinking nothing of it...until the time we realized a passenger had emigrated from Hungary at age 2. Instant security risk. Idiots. The guards were o.k., though. The driver's father worked in Canadian Customs and since the 'Hungarian' was a 'local' like us...no problem...didn't even take 2 minutes to get straight...with an admonition for him  to carry 'papers' next go round. )

Settlements in West Bank Are Clouding Peace Talks

( Not half as much as not inviting representatives of the prisoners, rather than the puppet posed as being such )

Depositors Panic Over Bank Crisis in Afghanistan

The bank’s troubles — and the corruption associated with them — are posing a direct challenge to the country’s fledgling financial system, which was built under American guidance after the collapse* of the Taliban government in 2001. Kabul Bank, which counts a brother of President Karzai among its politically connected shareholders, illustrates the intertwining of political and economic interests in Afghanistan. Afghan and American regulators said the bank’s political connections had shielded it from scrutiny until now. 

( * So That's what happened ! And I thought the U.S. had destroyed the locally chosen government  because it was too inconvenient to show in court that charges against Saudi prince Osama bin Laden were substantiated with something besides Spin. How could I make such a mistake ? )

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