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    World News
11/1/07 - 11/31/2007

Friday  11/30/2007

Blowback From Moscow by Patrick J. Buchanan  11/30/2007 AntiWar: "Putin is referring to the time of the "oligarchs" of the Yeltsin era, who looted Russia when its state assets were sold off at fire-sale prices. Putin is also accusing his opponents of attempting to use the Western-devised tactics of mass street protests to bring down his government. "Now that they have learned some things from Western specialists and tried them in the neighboring republics, they are going to try them on our streets." Putin is talking here about the "color-coded" revolutions that the U.S. and NATO embassies, the National Endowment for Democracy, and allied foundations and front groups engineered in Ukraine and Georgia. Governments tilting toward Moscow were dumped over and pro-Western regimes installed – to bid for membership in NATO and the European Union."

Venezuelan Government Uncovers Video of Opposition Destabilization Plan  11/30/2007 Global Research: "destabilization for Sunday's referendum at a press conference on Thursday. In the video, opposition leaders call on their supporters to reject the results of the referendum and to take part in nation-wide protests to overturn the constitutional reform. Two opposition leaders are being investigated for inciting violence and calling on supporters to break the law."

CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela  11/30/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "The document confirms that psychological operations are the CIA's best and most effective weapon to date against Venezuela, and it will continue its efforts to influence international public opinion regarding President Chavez and the situation in the country. Operation Tenaza is a very alarming plan that aims to destabilize Venezuela and overthrow (again) its legitimate and democratic (and very popularly support) president. The plan will fail, primarily because it has been discovered, but it must be denounced around the world as an unacceptable violation of Venezuela's sovereignty."

Wednesday  11/28/2007

topRisk of Deceptions in Venezuelan Referendum, CEPR Warns  11/28/2007 Center for Economic and Policy Research: "There is a significant risk that fraudulent polls and other deceptions will be used to challenge the results of Venezuela's referendum, if proposed constitutional reforms are approved this Sunday, according to Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) economist and Co-Director Mark Weisbrot. "The international media has not always exercised due diligence in its reporting on polling data and elections in Venezuela," said Weisbrot, who has authored papers on previous elections there. "This opens up the possibility for the use of fake polling, as was done in the last (2004) referendum, to cast doubt on the results if the proposed constitutional reforms are approved," he said."

Counterattack as Fateful Referendum Looms - CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces  11/28/2007 Counterpunch: "The memo then recommends that Operation Pincer (OP) [Operación Tenaza] be operationalized. OP involves a two-pronged strategy of impeding the referendum, rejecting the outcome at the same time as calling for a 'no' vote. The run up to the referendum includes running phony polls, attacking electoral officials and running propaganda through the private media accusing the government of fraud and calling for a 'no' vote. Contradictions, the report emphasizes, are of no matter. The CIA-Embassy reports internal division and recriminations among the opponents of the amendments including several defections from their 'umbrella group'. The key and most dangerous threats to democracy raised by the Embassy memo point to their success in mobilizing the private university students (backed by top administrators) to attack key government buildings including the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council. The Embassy is especially full of praise for the ex-Maoist 'Red Flag' group for its violent street fighting activity. Ironically, small Trotskyist sects and their trade unionists join the ex-Maoists in opposing the constitutional amendments. The Embassy, while discarding their 'Marxist rhetoric', perceives their opposition as fitting in with their overall strategy."

With Help From Cuba, Haiti Tries A Switch To Compact Fluorescent Lights  11/28/2007 Haiti Analysis 

Venezuelan Opposition Protesters Shoot Chavez Supporter  11/28/2007 Venezuela Analysis: ""There were four of us, trying to carry our friend to the community, but they surrounded us throwing bottles. I took the opportunity to move him [Oliveros] because they were going to hit him with a bottle in the face and I moved him so it did not hit him in the face. He had one bullet in the leg, a man from the local community was going to carry him, but in this moment they shot him twice in the back and this is when he fell to the ground." "We pleaded with them for the life of our friend that was lying bloody on the ground, to please allow us the opportunity to pick him up and they responded that now they were coming for us, that they were coming for me," Borges added."

Tuesday  11/27/2007

topOperación Tenaza: Informe confidencial de la CIA devela plan de saboteo al referéndum del 2 de diciembre  11/27/2007 Aporrea 

Arizona's 'Cokeheads' the National Guard  11/27/2007 NarcoNews: "There were so many Arizona National Guardsmen eager to run cocaine from the border of Arizona and Mexico to Tucson and Phoenix, that the FBI had to shut down its sting, Operation Lively Green. While those soldiers were being sentenced in recent months in Tucson, the Arizona National Guard announced its soldiers would be commanding an armed drone in Iraq by remote control from Tucson."

U.S. Companies Behind Anti-Reform Propaganda in Venezuela  11/27/2007 Venezuela Analysis 

Friday  11/23/2007

topThe Man Who Didn't Talk  11/23/2007 Playboy: "Bob Woodward, my former colleague at the Washington Post, once warned me in a collegial way that the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a journalistic "black hole," and so it is. The JFK story is literally a dark core of cultural energy that can swallow your time and sanity. At the same time, the black hole of Kennedy's assassination exercises a gravitational pull on the American imagination that cannot be ignored."

Wednesday  11/21/2007

topCancer Terrorists Unmasked  11/21/2007 Counterpunch: "The Secret History of the War on Cancer is a multi-layered treasure trove of a shadow history leading from Hypocrates to Ramazinni to Nazi Germany, which ironically was the first country to ban smoking in public places. The Nazis were simply implementing the work of a spectacular 1936 conference in Brussels on the environmental causes of cancer. Yes, it turns out that a great deal was known environmental and workplace causes of cancer but ignored by most of the industrial world. In her investigations Davis was shocked to learn about this International Congress of Scientific and Social Campaign against Cancer, where 200 of the world's top scientists convened. She calls it a "a veritable Manhattan Project on cancer." "Many of your late relatives and mine might still be with us if the things these eminent women and men of science knew about the causes of cancer in 1936 had entered mainstream medical practice," writes Davis."

Group claiming 2004 election fraud asks Dann to investigate  11/21/2007 Plain Dealer, Cleveland 

Tuesday  11/20/2007

topWhat The Heck is the Sibel Edmonds Case Anyway? And Why Should You Care About It?  11/20/2007 Brad Blog 

Monday  11/19/2007

topShining Path's Resurgence in Peru  11/19/2007 PINR: "As military offensives in Colombia continue to crack down on the F.A.R.C. guerrilla movement, coca fields appear to be moving from Colombian territory to neighboring countries, including Peru. A major fear of the Peruvian government is that there may be a rapprochement between the Shining Path and F.A.R.C., with drug trafficking across the border becoming the axis of this narco-alliance. For years, there have been reports that F.A.R.C. patrols cross the Putumayo River, the natural border between Peru and Colombia, and penetrate deep into the Peruvian jungle in Loreto region, presumably to meet with coca growers, drug traffickers and, most likely, with Shining Path members. Furthermore, it is well documented that Shining Path has turned to drug trafficking as a stable source of funds. It is believed that as many as 150 hectares of coca (a key ingredient of cocaine) are cultivated by Shining Path on the left bank of the valley of the Ene River."

Saturday  11/17/2007

topCut Israel Off  11/17/2007 AntiWar: "It is not just the Muslim world that hates our pro-Israel foreign policy, for sound reasons that it is unjust and cruel. Europeans and others around the world are contemptuous of America's slavelike obedience to a small foreign power. It has gotten to the point that to be seen as an ally of the United States is viewed negatively. The Arab and Muslim people, with the exception of al-Qaeda, don't hate America or Americans. It is the pro-Israel foreign policy and, of course, our invasions of two Muslim countries that they hate. Virtually all of the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda generated in this country has its source in the Israeli lobby and in Israel itself. Thanks to the unconstitutional largess of the cowardly Congress, Israel is a rich country and one of the world's leading military powers. It doesn't need American aid. It is time to quit dancing to the tune of a lobby with dual loyalties and to pursue America's interests. Americans are being betrayed by their own politicians, and it's time to treat those scoundrels with the contempt they deserve."

Saudi minister warns of dollar collapse  11/17/2007 The Business, London: "In an embarrassing blunder at the meeting in Riyadh, ministers' microphones were not cut off during a key closed meeting, and Prince Al-Faisal was heard saying: "My feeling is that the mere mention that the Opec countries are studying the issue of the dollar is itself going to have an impact that endangers the interests of the countries. "There will be journalists who will seize on this point and we don't want the dollar to collapse instead of doing something good for Opec." ...Iran and Venezuela have argued that the meeting's final communique should voice concern about the level of the dollar, which has recently fallen to new record lows against the euro. They are pushing for oil to be denominated against a basket of currencies."

Hugo Chávez, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero et le roi d’Espagne  11/17/2007 VoltaireNet: "Au-delà de son caractère anecdotique, l’altercation survenue lors du XVIIe Sommet ibéro-américain révèle la probable implication du roi d’Éspagne, Juan Carlos de Borbón, dans la tentative de coup d’État organisée par les États-Unis contre le président régulièrement élu du Venezuela, en 2002. En tous cas, elle manifeste une arrogance anachronique des puissances occidentales."

Friday  11/16/2007

topGuyana Claims Venezuela Blew Up Dredges  11/16/2007 AP: "Guyana rushed troops and police to its western border Friday after Venezuelan soldiers allegedly blew up two Guyanese gold-mining dredges on a river near the frontier, the foreign ministry said. According to the Guyanese military and reports reaching the capital, Venezuelan troops used helicopters and C-4 explosives to destroy the two river dredges Thursday. No one was injured. Venezuelan Ambassador Dario Morandy was summoned to meet with Guyanese Foreign Minister Rudy Insanally on Friday, but no details of their discussion were immediately released. Venezuelan Foreign Ministry officials said there was no official comment on the matter. Guyanese troops, police and land surveyors were to investigate whether the incident took place on the Wenamu River between the two countries or on the Cuyuni River in Guyana's territory."

How Dry We Are - A Question No One Wants to Raise About Drought  11/16/2007 Common Dreams: "And then what exactly can we expect? If the southeastern drought is already off the charts in Georgia, then, whether it’s 80 days or 800 days, isn’t there a possibility that Atlanta may one day in the not-so-distant future be without water? And what then?"

Chávez’s Vision Shares Wealth and Centers Power  11/16/2007 NYT 

Cambio constitucional encuentra apoyo en indígenas venezolanos  11/16/2007 Prensa Latina 

Race War and Nation in Caribbean Gran Colombia, Cartagena, 1810–1832  11/16/2007 The American Historical Review: by Marixa Lasso, Panama - "This lack of attention derived in large part from the notion that racial equality was empty rhetoric that served the needs of elites to attract the black population to their side during the struggles. That belief was seemingly borne out by the fact that slavery remained legal in most of Spanish America until the 1850s. Adding insult to injury, nationalist declarations of racial equality allowed the elite to maintain informal patterns of discrimination by impeding the formation of racially based political associations, which were declared unnecessary, divisive, and unpatriotic.12 3 A close analysis of this period, however, reveals that the ideal of racial equality was not just facile rhetoric. The literature on the intellectual and electoral history of the Spanish American wars of independence has shown that the political changes were the result of serious intellectual and political debates and were perceived by the protagonists as a momentous transformation that challenged entrenched cultural traditions and social hierarchies.13 The works of Alfonso Múnera, Peter Guardino, and Peter Blanchard have also taught us that Afro-Latin Americans were not mere "cannon fodder"; they participated in and influenced the political debates about citizenship in the revolutionary period, sometimes pushing the elites to acquiesce to radical measures they had not initially contemplated."

A warning sign?  11/16/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "In the lead up to last year’s presidential elections some pipe bombs were set off near military bases and at the Central University of Venezuela. As I wrote in my blog post yesterday “Whilst there is much to be optimistic about given the beginning of the campaign [in favour of the reform], this also means that Venezuela has entered into a new more dangerous phase. I think even the opposition know they will lose, but they also know that perhaps more is at stake now than in any other electoral process until now. This means they will try everything – including acts of violence and terrorism – to try and impede the referendum going ahead”."

Thursday  11/15/2007

topSpain: The Monarchy's clash with Socialism  11/15/2007 Global Research: ""On August the 1st 1969, Time magazine quoted Generalissimo Francisco Franco saying; "Conscious of my responsibility before God and history and taking into account the qualities to be found in the person of Prince Juan Carlos of Borbón, who has been perfectly trained to take up the high mission to which he might be called, I have decided to propose him to the nation as my successor." With this statement began the formal relationship between Spain's present king and the country's fascist dictator." ...In regards to Aznar, it is important to highlight his membership in the Frente de Estudiantes Sindicalistas (FES), a student branch of the Falange Española Independiente (FEI), and part of the official party charged with developing the ideology for Franco's regime once the war had ended. It is also important to emphasize the fact that throughout his career, Aznar has never denounced the Franco regime and when democracy was reintroduced in Spain in 1978, he opposed the new constitution. Aznar's loyalty to Franco was further made clear when he denounced the municipal government of Guernika - best known as the scene of one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe - for wanting to change the name of their main street from "Avenida del General Franco" to "Avenida de la Libertad". In regards to the King of Spain, it is important to note that his grandfather King Alfonso XIII left Spain on April 14th, 1931, when the dictatorship of the aristocrat and military official Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja whom he had supported, came to an end and the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed. Then in 1936 the Civil war broke out, and it was not until years later after millions of Spanish people had suffered through the war and a brutal dictatorship, that in 1969 General Franco officially designated a heir and gave the title of Prince of Spain to Juan Carlos, the current king of Spain. Therefore reintroducing the monarchy through a young prince he had personally groomed, who in his investiture in the Cortes kneeling at Franco's left swore his loyalty "to his Excellency the Chief of State and fidelity to the principles of the National Movement, and the fundamental laws of the Kingdom." "

Despite outcry, Chavez plan likely to pass  11/15/2007 LA Times: "Surveys by two independent pollsters show that only a third of Venezuelans support the changes, which have been criticized as a ploy to increase socialization and militarization of the country, and further concentrate power in Chavez's hands. The pollsters, Alfredo Keller of Keller & Associates and Luis Vicente Leon of Datanalisis, each say that at this point, the proposal still is likely to pass Dec. 2 because a low turnout among the highly fragmented opposition would probably favor Chavez, a fierce and vocal critic of the United States. Although falling steadily over the last two years, Chavez's approval rating among voters remains solid at about 57%, Keller said. Large numbers of Chavez opponents have abstained in recent balloting, including Chavez's landslide reelection last year. Many are convinced that the polling is rigged in Chavez's favor, although international monitors have never found meaningful instances of fraud."

Hundreds March to Support Megan Williams  11/15/2007 NNPA: "In the aftermath of the successful national march and rally against hate crimes and racism last weekend, attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, president of the Black Lawyers for Justice, says the next step will be to pressure the U.S. Justice Dept. to level federal hate crime charges against the six white suspects in the Megan Williams alleged rape/torture case. Shabazz says U.S. Attorney Charles Miller told him in a recent meeting that the federal prosecutor was directed not to file charges in the case, not even for alleged civil rights violations, by his superiors in Washington."

U.S. Media Bias and Recent Student Violence in Venezuela  11/15/2007 Znet: "After last Wednesday¹s peaceful protest, many students headed back to UCV campus. Here is where things get complicated. According to Chávez supporters, eyewitnesses, and videotape recorded by the community TV station, Catia TV, opposition students, mainly from neighboring privates Universities, chased down a group of pro- Chávez students putting up signs in favor of the reform. The pro-Chavez group found refuge in the faculty of Social Work, which is known to be a Chávez friendly zone, and where it was also reported that another group of pro-Chavez students were meeting. The opposition students surrounded the faculty, armed with weapons, rocks, and gas masks shouting, ³We will lynch you all.² According to reports, opposition students fired weapons, threw rocks at the students inside the building, and lit fire to the entrance. Chávez supporters present that day affirm that the motorcyclists televised to the world as sinister gunmen, arrived on the scene as part of a rescue mission to help their companions trapped inside the building by the rabid opposition outside. They argue that this was necessary because the Venezuelan army or police force are, by law, not allowed to enter the grounds of the University. To this day, the entire truth is not known about the events at the UCV last Wednesday, but the inability of the international press to report an unbiased account calls into question their journalist integrity. The consequences of this could lead to further violence in Venezuela."

Wednesday  11/14/2007

topThe Assassination of Hugo Chavez  11/14/2007 Greg Palast: "Before The Lord spoke unto Pat Robertson and told him to endorse Rudy Giuliani, family man, for President, the Reverend got a message that higher powers wanted him to arrange a hit on another President: “Hugo Chavez thinks we’re trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.” Robertson has a tough time separating Church and Hate. But when the vicious vicar declared it was time to take out the President of Venezuela, he was simply channeling the wishes of the Supreme Authority, Dick Cheney."

Tuesday  11/13/2007

topPlaying the Nationalist Card - Chavez Blasts the Spanish King  11/13/2007 Counterpunch 

Monday  11/12/2007

topVenezuela: Before I lay me down to work…  11/12/2007 Miguelucho: "Finally, on the recent smackdown of King Juan Carlos vs. Hugo Chavez. I invariably applaud any instance of an elderly person being sassy, and above all I think the King has the right to say whatever he pleases, because he's really awesome for his role in voluntarily surrendering absolute power and ending Fascist rule in Spain. I think all he did qualifies him easily as the most heroic and noble monarch in world history. Still, I think it is slightly annoying, like most U.S. media coverage of Chavez, in that not once has anyone pointed out that, well, technically, ex-President Aznar, like his dad and grampa, was officially a member of the Fascist party. As president of Spain, he even chastised the town of Guernica for changing the name of the town square from General Franco Plaza to Liberty Plaza. How petty of them, still holding a grudge over getting massacred by the Luftwaffe! Anyhoo, even though someone stops formally being a Fascist after the Fascist dictatorship is deposed and the Fascist party ceases to formally exist, and then joins the new party formed by all the former Fascists, I think it still is reasonably fair to call that person a Fascist."

Behind the King's Rebuke to Chávez  11/12/2007 Time: "Back in Caracas today, Chávez is conveniently leaving the comments of Zapatero, who is supposed to be one of his leftist kindred spirits, out of the discussion. "What Zapatero said must have really bothered Chávez," says Venezuelan author and Chávez biographer Alberto Barrera. "It broke with the leftist fundamentalism on Latin America that he demands all his allies follow." And it pointed up a fact about Chávez's revolution that chavistas are too reluctant to acknowledge. Venezuela, with its vast oil wealth, can afford to indulge socialism and eschew foreign investment; but most other Latin American nations can't. Their economic growth still depends on the kind of capital that global competitors like China and India are raking in, but which Latin America seems unable or unwilling to garner. The chavistas rightly argue that the distribution of capitalism's fruits has been grossly unequal in Latin America — which is a large reason why leftists like Chávez have been swept into power in recent years. But the region needs that investment nonetheless — and even leftists like Zapatero sound impatient with the region's mediocre performance."

Congressman José Serrano's Speech on U.S. policy Towards Latin America  11/12/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "But my concern, and my reason for speaking on a resolution today, a resolution which was introduced primarily by Democrats, and I know this is not something we usually do, speak against members of our own party, but we can all be nervous about a situation because on both sides of the aisle people are marching forward to war with Iran. So, now we link these other countries. What does that mean? Does that mean that we now have an excuse to go and try military action against Bolivia? against Argentina? against Ecuador? against Venezuela? Is it because, indeed, they’ve earned the right, if you will, of having us react that way, or is it because we’re using Iran as an excuse to deal with other things we wanted to deal with in the first place, which is getting at these folks. And so, I go back to my initial statement, that the same lobby group that has been directing our policy towards Cuba and preventing us from making changes in that policy, that same group has been intelligent enough, enabled enough to now direct our attention towards Latin American leftist leaders because they’re friendly to Cuba, and what best way to get at them? To link them to Iran, the ugly country for us right now."

Mexican insurgents cause record $80 per barrel crude oil price - Al-Queda's goal to collapse the US. economy appears on track  11/12/2007 Voz de Azatlan: published 9/12/07

Sunday  11/11/2007

topThe uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced  11/11/2007 Daily Mail: "American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board. By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier. According to senior Nato officials the incident caused consternation in the U.S. Navy. The Americans had no idea China's fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat. One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik" - a reference to the Soviet Union's first orbiting satellite in 1957 which marked the start of the space age."

The Jena 6 Case  11/11/2007 Malcolm X Grassroots Movement 

An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President  11/11/2007 Randall Robinson: Robinson site has information about book tours, interviews, reviews. To obtain a copy of Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President see

Saturday  11/10/2007

topSpanish King Tells Chavez to "Shut Up"  11/10/2007 AP: "Chavez, who called President Bush the "devil" on the floor of the United Nations last year, triggered the exchange by repeatedly referring to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist." Aznar, a conservative who was an ally of Bush as prime minister, "is a fascist," Chavez said in a speech at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human." Spain's current socialist prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, responded during his own allotted time by urging Chavez to be more diplomatic in his words and respect other leaders despite political differences. "Former President Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people," he said, eliciting applause from the gathered heads of state. Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, but his microphone was off. Spanish King Juan Carlos, seated next to Zapatero, angrily turned to Chavez and said, "Why don't you shut up?" The Venezuelan leader did not immediately respond, but later used time ceded to him by his close ally Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to answer Zapatero's speech. "I do not offend by telling the truth," he said. "The Venezuelan government reserves the right to respond to any aggression, anywhere, in any space and in any manner." "

(VIDEO) Juan Carlos de Borbón, rey de España -más no de Venezuela-perdió los estribos y gritó: "¡¿Por qué no te callas?  11/10/2007 Aporrea: "El rey Juan Carlos, desesperado ante la vehemencia de Hugo Chávez al desenmascarar a su cachorro Aznar como fascista y cómplice en el Golpe de Estado en Venezuela, clamó diciendo "¿por qué no te callas?". Este hecho, venido del rey de la “nobleza” española, delfín dilecto del asesino Francisco Franco, abre el juego político internacional y deja al gran capital en paños menores."

Spooks refuse to toe Cheney's line on Iran  11/10/2007 Iraq War: "The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program. The aim is to make the document more supportive of Vice President Dick Cheney's militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts provided by participants in the NIE process to two former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers."

Report Back From Haiti: Building Democracy from the Grassroots  11/10/2007 Malcolm X Grassroots Movement: "This summer, members of the Haiti Action Committee, along with Dr. Akinyele Umoja of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, traveled to Haiti. We met with grassroots activists, political prisoners and human rights workers. We heard the continuing calls for the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. We saw close-up the resistance to the U.S./U.N. occupation."

ICE's Julie Myers is latest actor in Great American Minstrel Show  11/10/2007 NarcoNews: "Myers, the leader of a federal law enforcement agency that has some 15,000 employees, was part of a three-member panel at the Halloween event that was assigned the holiday task of doling out awards for the best costumes. Some 50 to 75 people were at the Halloween gala, according to press reports, so the competition was fierce. But apparently, in Myer’s mind, one of the winners was a clear-cut choice. That individual played off the law enforcement theme of the gathering by donning a striped prison outfit as a costume. His originality was only outdone by his creativity. In a clever allusion to the century’s old history of slavery and its more recent Jim Crow cousin, the ICE employee also sported a dreadlock wig and blackface. Myer’s was so overwhelmed with the sheer brilliance of this individual’s attire that she and two other individuals on the judging panel selected this white employee’s Halloween getup for the most original costume award. Caught up in the excitement of the moment, Myers also sought to memorialize the moment by posing for a photo shoot with the blackfaced reveler."

Friday  11/9/2007

topNew UN envoy sees long Haiti mission  11/9/2007 AP: "Hedi Annabi, in his first interview since assuming control of a 7,800-member U.N. force and hundreds of international staff in Haiti, told The Associated Press that the U.N. mission has made great strides, but will not seek to leave the volatile country anytime soon. "The security situation is extremely fragile. And if we were to downsize dramatically there would be a vacuum that would be immediately backfilled by the same people that were there when we got started," said Annabi, sitting in his office in the hills above Port-au-Prince. When asked how long that might take, Annabi said: "You don't create a security force, a police force, in two or three years. ... It takes 10, 15, 20 years.""

US releases nine Iranians in Iraq  11/9/2007 BBC: "Two of those freed on Friday were among five Iranian officials detained by US forces in an "intelligence-driven raid" on an office in the same building as the Iranian consulate in the Kurdish city of Irbil in January. Their detention has been the subject of intense protests by the Iranian government and lobbying by Iraqi authorities."

Giant oil field discovered in Brazil  11/9/2007 Iraq War: "A massive oil and gas deposit has been discovered in Brazil, and could make the Latin American country one of the world’s leading hydrocarbon producers, the government-controlled Petrobras energy holding said on Thursday. In February, Russian energy giant Gazprom signed an agreement on hydrocarbon cooperation with Brazil. Gazprom has also shown interest in joining a transcontinental gas pipeline project set to go through Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. Tupi's total estimate would almost match that of Norway's 8.5 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, according to an estimate by BP Plc."

Mohawks, Border Delegation, inflamed over arrest of Indigenous Peoples  11/9/2007 NarcoNews: "Indigenous delegates to the border on Tohono O'odham Nation land were outraged by the federal agents, hovering customs helicopter, profiteering contractors, federal spy tower, federal "cage" detention center and watching the arrest of a group of Indigenous Peoples, mostly women and children, by the US Border Patrol on an Indian Nation. "We saw it all firsthand in America," said Bill Means, cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council on Nov. 8, in an Indigenous delegation to the border here, south of Sells, to document the human rights abuses for a report to the United Nations. "Now we are going to take this wall down," Means said, after viewing the construction of a border vehicle barrier by contractors and National Guard on Tohono O'odham land. Speaking a few hours later to the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas II in San Xavier, Means called for solidarity of Indigenous Peoples throughout the world to halt the arrests of Indigenous Peoples who are walking north in search of a better life, and to bring down the US/Mexico border wall."

Opposition Violence at Venezuelan University - What Really Happened  11/9/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "A member of Hands Off Venezuela was present at the University when the violence broke out. He reports that the gunmen who originally opened fire stopped him on his way through the UCV to the Bolivarian University nearby. He reports that the two gunmen on the motorbike did not look like students, but were more likely thugs hired for the occasion and that they were shouting anti-Chavez slogans and boasting of having shot at Chavistas. Even news agencies now are reporting that Bolivarian armed men arrived at the UCV after the opposition students had sieged 150 people inside the building of the School of Social Work to help those sieged gain safe passage out."

Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Instigating Student Violence  11/9/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "The US State Department criticized Wednesday's violent events at a press conference on Thursday. Upon being questioned by reporters, State Department Spokesperson Sean McCormack labeled the events in Caracas "an appalling act." "It's just an appalling act, and just another indication of the kind of atmosphere that you're seeing in Venezuela," he said, although he admitted that they do not know who is responsible, or who fired the shots. McCormack emphasized that violence had occurred against "peaceful protesters" who were expressing themselves against the proposed constitutional reform. But the Venezuelan foreign minister rejected the claim and assured that the event at the university was "a vile attack" on a group of students that was meeting and organizing peacefully in support of the constitutional reform. Maduro accused both the US government and major media such as CNN of misrepresenting the events."

Thursday  11/8/2007

topGunfire Erupts at Venezuela University  11/8/2007 AP: "Masked gunmen opened fire on students returning from a march in which tens of thousands of Venezuelans denounced President Hugo Chavez's attempts to expand his power through constitutional changes. Officials said at least eight people were injured Wednesday, including one by gunfire, at the Central University of Venezuela, or UCV — the country's largest university. Students protested in at least six other cities, and several turned violent with rock-throwing youths clashing with police shooting plastic bullets at demonstrators. Photographers for The Associated Press saw at least four gunmen — their faces covered by ski masks or T-shirts — firing handguns at the anti-Chavez crowd at the UCV. Terrified students ran through the campus as ambulances arrived. Antonio Rivero, director of Venezuela's Civil Defense agency, told Union Radio that at least eight people were injured, including one by gunfire, and that no one had been killed. Earlier, Rivero said he had been informed that one person had died in the violence. The violence broke out after an estimated 80,000 anti-Chavez demonstrators — led by university students — marched peacefully to the Supreme Court to protest constitutional changes that would greatly expand Chavez's power if voters agree to the changes in December. Unrest, if it continues, could mar a Dec. 2 referendum on the controversial reforms."

Wednesday  11/7/2007

topEx-Military Chief Challenges Chavez  11/7/2007 AP: "A heated falling out between President Hugo Chavez and his former military chief has revealed divisions within the military that analysts say are a constant concern for the Venezuelan leader. Former Defense Minister Raul Baduel, a longtime friend of Chavez, surprised many this week when he condemned constitutional reforms proposed by Chavez as a virtual "coup," urging voters to reject them in a national referendum tentatively set for Dec. 2. He said Tuesday he isn't ruling out a run for office. Among Chavez's 69 proposed amendments are measures to abolish presidential term limits and lengthen terms from six to seven years, and to strip the Central Bank of autonomy. Baduel warned the reforms would "seize power away from the people," and urged citizens — and soldiers — to study them carefully. "The military is divided," said Steve Ellner, a political science professor at Venezuela's University of the East. "There's an anti-Chavez faction, there's an institutionalist faction ... and there's a pro-Chavez faction." Yet, he said, the armed forces remain cohesive and a strengthened pro-Chavez faction appears to block any chance of insurrection — in contrast to 2002, when Chavez overcame a short-lived coup with help from Baduel and other loyalists."

Congress and the Israel Lobby - The Politics of Servility  11/7/2007 Counterpunch 

Hundreds rally for Gracia ‘BG’ Beaugris, 19, murdered by Miami police  11/7/2007 SF Bay View 

Tuesday  11/6/2007

topVoter Intimidation May Plague Election Day 2007  11/6/2007 Alternet: "Tough new voter identification laws, fervent anti-immigrant rhetoric, officials who won't follow federal election law, challenges to college student voter registrations, electronic voting machine failures -- these are problems that voting rights groups and Democrats will be monitoring as a handful of states vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6."

Flier gives wrong Election Day  11/6/2007 AP: "The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office was investigating the distribution of a bogus election flier that told people to vote Saturday. The flier in English and Spanish featured the county logo and was marked "Official Notice." Texas voters on Tuesday were deciding on 16 proposed constitutional amendments and a range of local issues. The faulty flier mentioned the amendments and the Fort Worth City Council District 9 race. "If the intent was to confuse people, then that was a despicable thing to do," Tarrant County Elections Administrator Steve Raborn said. The flier showed up in two predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods within District 9, officials said. Six candidates are running to represent the district in a special election."

¿Por qué miente CNN?  11/6/2007 Aporrea: "Sin embargo, la cobertura de la cadena de televisión norteamericana CNN en español, tergiversó descaradamente la noticia, acusando directamente al gobierno de utilizar a la Guardia Nacional de “reprimir” violentamente a los “estudiantes que rechazan la reforma", cuando los propios rectores dieron fe de la actuación impecable del cuerpo militar venezolano."

Venezuela to borrow $4 bln from China, pay in fuel  11/6/2007 Reuters 

Partial News Reporting or PC Bias?  11/6/2007 Seismic Talk: published in June, an example of how major media gets a story wrong - "To put the record straight. All You may have seen a news item in the last few days regarding an attack on a Chinese oilfield in Ethiopia. There have been suggestions that the Ethiopian army ran away and allowed the massacre that followed to occur. As I was there on the crew and in the camp I really want to put the record straight. If it had not been for the magnificent fight put up by the 60 Army soldiers attached to us, 20 of whom were killed and most of the rest wounded including the Lieutenant in charge who was wounded in the neck and stomach, I would not be here to send this mail."

Former Venezuelan Defense Minister Baduel Denounces Constitutional Reform  11/6/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "Baduel's statement occurred only a day after President Hugo Chavez had warned the Venezuelan people of the possibility that some high profile figures in the Bolivarian movement would "jump ship" and join the ranks of the opposition. Chavez, who phoned into current affairs TV talk show, Contragolpe, said "Baduel is betraying years of friendship" and "himself" and that he was aligning himself with the opposition and imperialism. He also revealed that he had known of Baduel's announcement two days previously. According to Chavez, the constitutional reform, which would allow him to stand for re-election, recognize new types of social and collective property, end the autonomy of the Central Bank, and give more power to grassroots communal councils, among other measures, are necessary to deepen the creation of socialism in Venezuela. He also said that Baduel's shift to the opposition in the context of the deepening struggle for socialism was good because it clarified his position. "It is not strange that when a submarine goes deeper the pressure is increased and can free a loose screw, the weak points are going to leave, and I believe it is good that they leave," said Chavez. Although Baduel claimed he was simply stating his own personal opinion, he made a particular call to the Armed Forces, to "profoundly analyze" the proposed changes to article 328, which would change the structure of the Armed Forces, saying, "it must be stopped," and that "the capacity of Venezuelan military men to analyze and think," should not be underestimated. Retired General Alberto Müller Rojas, who is a long-time advisor to Chavez on military affairs, said he considers Baduel's statement as a call for a civil rebellion, arguing that notification of a rebellion is given when you accuse the National Executive and the National Assembly of usurping constitutional power. Various reports have surfaced over the past few months of anti-Chavez and anti-reform material circulating within the military barracks, and Baduel's comments have led many to question the extent of his influence within the Venezuelan military. However, two former Defense Ministers, General Jorge Luis García Carneiro and Admiral Orlando Maniglia have categorically rejected Baduel's comments and come out in support of the reforms. According to Garcia Carneiro and Maniglia, the sentiments expressed by Baduel do not have wide support within the military."

Monday  11/5/2007

topChavez leads massive rally  11/5/2007 Al Jazeera 

More Questions Than Answers - Those Minot Nukes  11/5/2007 Counterpunch 

Sunday  11/4/2007

topThompson Adviser Has Criminal Past  11/4/2007 WaPo: "Republican presidential candidate Fred D. Thompson has been crisscrossing the country since early this summer on a private jet lent to him by a businessman and close adviser who has a criminal record for drug dealing. Thompson selected the businessman, Philip Martin, to raise seed money for his White House bid. Martin is one of four campaign co-chairmen and the head of a group called the "first day founders." Campaign aides jokingly began to refer to Martin, who has been friends with Thompson since the early 1990s, as the head of "Thompson's Airforce." Discussion PolicyDiscussion Policy CLOSEComments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post. Who's Blogging? » Links to this article Thompson's frequent flights aboard Martin's twin-engine Cessna 560 Citation have saved him more than $100,000, because until the law changed in September, campaign-finance rules allowed presidential candidates to reimburse private jet owners for just a fraction of the true cost of flights. Martin entered a plea of guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979; the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. He was charged in 1983 with violating his probation and with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which stemmed from a plan to sell $30,000 worth of the drug, and was continued on probation. Thompson's campaign said the candidate was not aware of the multiple criminal cases, for which Martin served no jail time. All are described in public court records."

Saturday  11/3/2007

topSri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti sex scandal  11/3/2007 afp: "More than 110 Sri Lankan peacekeepers serving with the UN mission in Haiti are to be sent back home over charges that they sexually exploited people, including minors, in the impoverished nation, the United Nations said on Friday. It was the latest in a series of such scandals to besmirch the world body. The accused from Sri Lanka’s 950-strong contingent in the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) “will be repatriated on disciplinary grounds on Saturday,” UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement. Nick Birnback, a spokesman for the UN department of peacekeeping operations (DPKO), said 111 soldiers and three officers would be sent home, updating an earlier figure of 108 given by Montas… This was part of a “zero tolerance” policy regarding sexual misconduct, including a “non-fraternization” rule that bars UN peacekeepers from having sex with locals. The policy was adopted after revelations in December 2004 that peacekeepers in DRC were involved in the sexual abuse of 13-year-old girls in exchange for eggs, milk or cash sums as low as one dollar."

Sarkozy accused of working for Israeli intelligence  11/3/2007 Al Ahram: "As if his marital challenges were not enough cause for concern, "Sarco the Sayan" has suddenly emerged as the most infamous accolade of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The influential French daily Le Figaro last week revealed that the French leader once worked for -- and perhaps still does, it hinted -- Israeli intelligence as a sayan (Hebrew for helper), one of the thousands of Jewish citizens of countries other than Israel who cooperate with the katsas (Mossad case-officers). A letter dispatched to French police officials late last winter -- long before the presidential election but somehow kept secret -- revealed that Sarkozy was recruited as an Israeli spy. The French police is currently investigating documents concerning Sarkozy's alleged espionage activities on behalf of Mossad, which Le Figaro claims dated as far back as 1983. According to the author of the message, in 1978, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin ordered the infiltration of the French ruling Gaullist Party, Union pour un Mouvement Populaire. Originally targeted were Patrick Balkany, Patrick Devedjian and Pierre Lellouche. In 1983, they recruited the "young and promising" Sarkozy, the "fourth man"."

Friday  11/2/2007

topShould Voting Machine Makers Be Sued Like Big Tobacco?  11/2/2007 Alternet 

Video: Sir Richard Dearlove being called a war criminal at the LSE  11/2/2007 Stop War/UK Indymedia 

We Are Change NYC Confronts Norman Podhoretz!!  11/2/2007 We Are Change NYC 

Thursday  11/1/2007

topThe Air Force Report on the Minot-Barksdale Nuclear Missile Flight  11/1/2007 Counterpunch: "Why hasn't the Air Force or the FBI investigated the 6-8 untimely deaths including three alleged suicides, one of a Minot weapons guard, one of an assistant defense secretary, and one of a captain in the super-secret Air Force Special Commando Group, as well as alleged fatal vehicle "accidents" involving four ground crew and B-52 pilots and crewmembers at Minot and Barksdale? Could any of this strange cluster of deaths have been related to the incident? The Air Force "investigation" didn't even mention these incidents, and my investigation, reported in the Oct. 24 issue of the magazine American Conservative, found that none of the police investigators or medical examiners in those incidents had even been contacted by Air Force or other federal investigators."

Disappearing Democracy in Haiti  11/1/2007 GNN: "Three years after their elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide, was overthrown by a band of U.S.-trained adventurers, Haitians continue to deal with the consequences. Violence persists, both within desperately impoverished communities and directed at those who resist the UN-supported government, with frequent raids being undertaken by UN forces on opposition strongholds like Port au Prince’s Cite Soleil. Thousands have died since Aristide was deposed, mostly under the two-year dictatorship of Gerard Latortue. A study published by The Lancet reported in 2006 that in the 22 months after Aristide’s removal, over 8,000 people died violently with over 35,000 women and girls being raped. The whole country was essentially raped, with the connivance of the UN mandated MINUSTAH security forces, leaving a trail of fear, resentment, psychological scars and, with the police now staffed by many ex-participants in the 1991 coup (which also targeted Aristide), a budding police state. It’s been quite an intervention, and it’s completely off the rails."

The United States’ new backyard  11/1/2007 Le Monde Diplomatique: "As they have multiplied, the conflicts have become interrelated. Weapons, combatants and skills move across porous frontiers, sometimes in the wake of hundreds of thousands of refugees driven into exile by the fighting. Over the past two years combat techniques pioneered in Iraq have spread to Afghanistan – the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against troop transports, and suicide bombings, which were unknown during the Soviet occupation (and which have now also spread to Algeria). This summer, in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon, hundreds of fighters, many of them foreigners who fought in Iraq, held out for more than three months against the Lebanese army. There are thousands of Arab, Pakistani and central Asian combatants now on the loose, all trained in Iraq. Others, trained by the US and Pakistan to resist the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, migrated to terrorist groups in Egypt, Algeria and elsewhere, as well as into al-Qaida. All these wars have encouraged a profitable trade: weapons handed out to the Iraqi security forces are now in the hands of Turkish criminals (7)."

"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes


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