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    World News
3/16/08 - 3/312008

Monday  3/31/2008

Congress, the Bush Adminstration and Continuity of Government Planning - The Showdown By PETER DALE SCOTT  3/31/2008 Counterpunch 

McCain faces test in wooing elite donors  3/31/2008 IHT: "Even though he all but secured the Republican nomination by mid-February, McCain has so far managed to enlist only a fraction of the heavyweight bundlers of campaign contributions who helped drive President George W. Bush's two runs for the White House, an examination of McCain's fund-raising network shows. Well over half of the top fund-raisers for Bush, who raised a record $274 million for him in the 2004 primary season, stayed on the sidelines through this year's Republican nominating contests. Others wound up working for Rudolph Giuliani, who signed up the most top Bush fund-raisers, and Mitt Romney, who had about the same number as McCain."

Address by Elizabeth Garcia Carillo for Ecumenical Advocacy Days  3/31/2008 Renacientes: "As part of our advocacy efforts to stop the U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Colombia, ART hosted Elizabeth Garcia Carillo for a week of visits to key members of Congress in order to speak about the impact of the FTA on indigenous, Afro-Colombian and displaced populations. Elizabeth represents the Confederation of Tryona Peoples, and is a lawyer for the Process for Black Communities, an umbrella organization of Afro -Colombian communities and organizations."

Take Action to Stop the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The FTA is a Threat to Afro-Colombian Rights. Afro-Colombian grassroots organizations are opposed to the FTA  3/31/2008 Renacientes: "As President Bush rushes to pressure the U.S. congress for a favorable vote on the U.S.-Colombia FTA, under the guise of national security, we need you to take action and let your representative know that approving the FTA will sentence Indigenous and Afro-Colombians communities to a life of poverty and exclusion."

Racial tensions here cry out for redress – former St Vincent PM  3/31/2008 Staebroek News, Guyana: "Sir James also said he feels that at the centre of government, Guyana’s racial tension “cry out for redress”. He suggested that a directly elected president and vice president would “force both sides to contemplate harmony”, with an ethnically mixed presidential and vice presidential team. Sir James felt that Guyana’s problems of the impact of race on politics are similar to those in Trinidad and Tobago. “If both your countries had their executive president and vice president elected directly by the people is it not obvious that political parties would be forced to select candidates for these offices from the different ethnic groups?” he queried. “Would not the realities of such a power structure produce economic results which must impact on fairness in society as a whole?”, he further queried."

New Backing for Obama As Party Seeks Unity  3/31/2008 WSJ: "Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to endorse Sen. Obama Monday, according to a Democrat familiar with her plans. Meanwhile, North Carolina's seven Democratic House members are poised to endorse Sen. Obama as a group -- just one has so far -- before that state's May 6 primary, several Democrats say."

Sunday  3/30/2008

topFrance ready to take in Colombia rebels - French PM Reiterates France Will Take in Colombian Rebels in Hostage Exchange  3/30/2008 AP: "In an apparent gesture toward rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, he referred to them as "political prisoners," although Colombia says they are terrorists. France made a similar offer to take in jailed FARC members in December, but is pressing ever harder for freedom for Betancourt, who holds dual French and Colombian citizenship. She has spent more than six years as a hostage in the Colombian jungle and is reported to be gravely ill. In Bogota, Colombian presidential spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez welcomed France's offer to take in rebels, calling it "very important." Velasquez said Colombia's government will "fulfill its word" of freeing jailed rebels if the FARC releases hostages."

Iranian general played key role in Iraq cease-fire  3/30/2008 McClatchy: "Iraqi lawmakers traveled to the Iranian holy city of Qom over the weekend to win the support of the commander of Iran's Qods brigades in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to order his followers to stop military operations, members of the Iraqi parliament said."

Air Force Officer Suspended for Criticizing Bush  3/30/2008 Truth Out: published 6/02

Air Force officer disciplined for saying Bush allowed September 11 attacks  3/30/2008 World Socialist: published 6/02 - "Universally ignored by the press, however, was that the officer was not merely expressing a personal opinion. He was in a position to have direct knowledge of contacts between the US military and some of the hijackers in the period before the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. Lieutenant Colonel Butler, who wrote in a letter to the editor of the Monterey County Herald charging that “Bush knew about the impending attacks,” was vice chancellor for student affairs at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California—a US military facility that one or more of the hijackers reportedly attended during the 1990s."

Saturday  3/29/2008

topSheila Jackson Lee booed at Democratic convention  3/29/2008 KHOU: "Raw video of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee's speech at a local Democratic senatorial district convention in Houston Saturday in which she was booed by the crowd, many of whom are in her district. Her speech was interrupted a couple of times as the crowd voiced its displeasure with her backing Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama."

Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border  3/29/2008 Novosti: ""The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched. He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost." He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future."

Friday  3/28/2008

topVenezuela: Afro-Venezuela: The San Juan Cultural Festival, Reality Tour, Global Exchange, June 21, 2008 - July 01, 2008  3/28/2008 Global Exchange: with members of the Afro-Venezuelan Network

US gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record  3/28/2008 Guardian: "The Pentagon entrusted a 22-year-old previously arrested for domestic violence and having a forged driving licence to be the main supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces at the height of the battle against the Taliban, it was reported yesterday. AEY, essentially a one-man operation based in an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Florida, was awarded a contract worth $300m (£150m) to supply the Afghan army and police in January last year. But as the New York Times reported in a lengthy investigation, AEY's president, Efraim Diversoli, 22, supplied stock that was 40 years old and rotting packing material." [Another Cuban American caper?]

Venezuela bombs drug runways near Colombia border  3/28/2008 Reuters: "Traffickers often use illegal runaways to land aircraft packed with drugs en route to the United States or Europe. The army plans to destroy dozens of border runways in coming days. Chavez says U.S. accusations about his country's drugs record are untrue and aimed at discrediting him. Although he refuses to sign an anti-drug cooperation agreement with Washington, Venezuela frequently extradites Colombians accused of drug crimes to the United States."

Thursday  3/27/2008

topI INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF AFRODESCENTS WOMEN AND AFROVENEZUELAN FAMILY  3/27/2008 Red Afrovenezolana: "In this context, afrodescendents families are still marked by the consequences of the terrible process of domination that submitted millions of men and women with the European insertion to the coasts of subsaharian Africa and subsequently, the transfer of Africans men and women to the American continent through the Slave Trade that imprisoned then as if it was an inherent condition. This historical process has been transmitted for a long time to diverse generations, excluding a lot of their cultural, economic, spiritual, social and political contribution to the development and of the Americas and the Caribbean. In our society we still have the established idea of a supposed “inferiority” imposed by a dominant social system, which has marked the conscience of afrodescendents and not-afrodescendents, maintaining thus a society where racism, racial discrimination and endorracism are intermingled silently, to become an obstacle of the development and enjoyment of the full rights of men and women, these last resulting the most affected in the three dimensions of a class, racist and sexist system. Nevertheless, the afrodescendent family has contributed in the construction of more human relations through the inherited values, customs, traditions and ancient knowledge. The Network of Afrovenezuelans Organizations and the Cumbe of Afrodescendents Women, opens an space with this meeting in the need to favor an analysis and debate of the situation of afrodescendent families in Venezuela, Latin America and the Caribbean, designing alternatives and discussions on the ways of conducting an appropriate development to improve life quality and question an exclusive sociopolitical system. In times of revolution, the real participatory democracy is consolidated only once inclusion of all society sectors is realized and the enjoyment of equity of opportunities and conditions."

AFRODESCENDIENTES: RETOS DEL 2007 Por Jesús Chucho García  3/27/2008 Red Afrovenezolana: "Es trascendental que en la Rfeorma constitucional se reconszac en el preambulo la constribusión afrodescendientes en el proceso histroico venezolano y abrir un capitulo sobre afrodescendientes destacando el reconocieminto a las tierras comunales, cultura, conocimientso ancestrales, educación, para que todo ello tenga repercusion en las leyes organicas. La propuesta de la creacion por Decreto Presidencial del Consejo Nacional de Educación y Cultura Afrodescendientes (el decreto esta en el despacho del presidente), Reforzar los equipos de educacion afrovenezolana (ambas propeusta estan en manos del nuevos Minsitro de Educación Adan Chavez), incluirnos en el levantamientso de indicadorse estadisticos sociales de esa compañia anonima capitalista, casi neoliberal, llamada INstituto Nacional de Estadistica ante al cual llevamos ocho años haciendole esta petición."

I'm not a Campaign Manager, but I play one on this blog..  3/27/2008 The Nappy Diatribe, Vibe 

Wednesday  3/26/2008

topAcross Iraq, battles erupt with Mahdi Army  3/26/2008 CS Monitor: "The cease-fire is over; we have been told to fight the Americans," said one Mahdi Army militiaman, who was reached by telephone in Sadr City. This same man, when interviewed in January, had stated that he was abiding by the cease-fire and that he was keeping busy running his cellular phone store. ...On Tuesday, Rear Adm. Greg Smith, spokesman for US-led multinational forces in Iraq, blamed the elite Quds units of Iran's Revolutionary Guards for supplying the 22 107-mm and 122-mm rockets that hit the heavily fortified area of Baghdad that is home to the US Embassy. "We believe the violence is being instigated by members of special groups that are beholden to the Iranian Quds Force and not Sadr.... Although we are concerned, we know that very few Iraqis want a return to the violence they experienced before the surge," he says. "

Showing Faith in Discretion  3/26/2008 LA Times: published 9/02 - "The Fellowship does not solicit money. A handful of wealthy backers, including Detroit lawyer and GOP donor Michael Timmis, Denver oilman Jerome A. Lewis and former Maryland investor Paul N. Temple, support the Fellowship with personal contributions. Private foundations they control also contribute hundreds of thousands yearly to the International Foundation, tax records show. Other money has come through word of mouth, stock bequests, and donations from friends, estates and even foreign governments including Taiwan, which Coe said sends about $10,000 a year to the Fellowship. He said the ambassador usually delivers the check in person."

Reunión con Asistente de Congresista Meeks. Presentación del Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia. Bogotá  3/26/2008 Renacientes: "Los afrocolombianos somos el 26% del total de la población colombiana, aunque los datos del DANE, después de un censo mal aplicado, afirman que somos el 10.6%. Los siguientes puntos dan cuenta de la situación actual de nuestra población."

Hillary's Minister Problem  3/26/2008 The Atlantic 

Tuesday  3/25/2008

topWestern Antarctic Ice Chunk Collapses  3/25/2008 AP: "A chunk of Antarctic ice nine times the size of Manhattan has suddenly collapsed, putting an even larger glacial area at risk. Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 220-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica. British scientist David Vaughan says it's the result of global warming."

Monday  3/24/2008

topEva Golinger's Bush v. Chavez - The Coming War on Venezuela  3/24/2008 Counterpunch: "Perhaps most frightening on the domestic front is the strategic transformation that such U.S. funding has undergone. Specifically, such funding has increasingly begun to target what had previously been considered core Chavista constituencies, such as the nation's Afro and Indigenous populations (77-78). What Golinger doesn't emphasize is the fact that this has occurred alongside a concerted effort by opposition political parties, notably the NED-funded Primero Justicia, to penetrate the poorest and most dangerous Venezuelan barrios, like Petare in eastern Caracas."

Peruvian leaders cry foul as Chávez exports healthcare  3/24/2008 Guardian: "400,000 Latin Americans take up free surgery offer."

Bush versus Chávez - Washington's War on Venezuela  3/24/2008 Monthly Review: by Eva Golinger. This site contains appendices, many from classified documents, for Golinger's book.

Álvaro Uribe, Lord of the Shadows... and of Los Pinos  3/24/2008 NarcoNews: "Exiled in Miami, she declared last year to the newspaper El País that “the narco-state Escobar dreamed of in Colombia is more real than ever.” According to her, “drug traffickers prospered in Colombia not because they were geniuses, but because presidents were sold very cheaply.” Virginia Vallejo claims that Pablo Escobar idolized Álvaro Uribe. When the man who is now president was director of Civil Aviation, he granted dozens of licenses for runways and hundreds of permits for planes and helicopters, on which the drug trade’s infrastructure was built. “Pablo used to say,” she told the Spanish newspaper, “that if it weren’t for that blessed little boy, we would have to swim to Miami to get drugs to the gringos.” She confessed to the Spanish news agency EFE that Justice Minister Carlos Holguín represents the Cali Cartel’s share in the colombian government, and that presidential advisor José Obdulio Garviria is Pablo Escobar’s cousin."

Letter calls official Spitzer story into question  3/24/2008 Raw Story: "Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, in the Wall Street Journal, avers that the Times' explanation of Spitzer's 'capture' after a bank flagged his transactions doesn't entirely ring true to career prosecutors. "There is no hard evidence that Eliot Spitzer was targeted for investigation, but the story of how he was caught does not ring entirely true to many experienced former prosecutors and current criminal lawyers," Dershowitz wrote. "The New York Times reported that the revelations began with a routine tax inquiry by revenue agents 'conducting a routine examination of suspicious financial transactions reported to them by banks.' This investigation allegedly found 'several unusual movements of cash involving the Governor of New York.' But the movement of the amounts of cash required to pay prostitutes, even high-priced prostitutes over a long period of time, does not commonly generate a full-scale investigation." "We are talking about thousands, not millions, of dollars. We are also talking about a man who is a multimillionaire with numerous investments and purchases," he added. "The idea that federal investigators would focus on a few transactions to corporations -- that were not themselves under investigation -- raises as many questions as answers."

Sunday  3/23/2008

topA 154 años de la abolición de la esclavitud deuda continua - Colectivo Red Afrovenezolana  3/23/2008 AfroCubaWeb 

Context of 'July 11, 1991: Arrest Reveals Links between Pakistani Government, A. Q. Khan Network, and BCCI'  3/23/2008 Cooperative Research History Commons 

Context of 'June 8-August 10, 2006: FBI Shows Brief Interest in Catching BCCI Figure Linked to Bin Laden'  3/23/2008 Cooperative Research History Commons 

Did U.S. Mercenaries Bomb the FARC Encampment in Ecuador?  3/23/2008 Global Research: "As diplomatic and military fallout from the March 1 Colombian raid into Ecuador escalate regional tensions, allegations from Ecuadorean sources link the unprovoked attack to the U.S. Manta airbase and charge the American mercenary firm DynCorp with piloting the planes that killed FARC commander Raúl Reyes and 24 others."

Ooni, Oyinlola Grace Ifa Conference At Harvard  3/23/2008 Guardian, UK: "The Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty Alayeluwa Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II; Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and 10 other kings from Osun State were part of the dignitaries present at the ongoing Ifa Divination conference organised at Harvard University by Professor Jacob Olupona. Contributions for the conference came not only from Harvard University, but also from Osun State."

U.S. Pushed Allies on Iraq, Diplomat Writes - Chilean Envoy to U.N. Recounts Threats of Retaliation in Run-Up to Invasion  3/23/2008 WaPo: "In the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration threatened trade reprisals against friendly countries who withheld their support, spied on its allies, and pressed for the recall of U.N. envoys that resisted U.S. pressure to endorse the war, according to an upcoming book by a top Chilean diplomat."

Saturday  3/22/2008

topPeru says Chavez backs domestic revolt - Peruvian Officials Accuse Chavez of Bankrolling Subversives  3/22/2008 AP 

Peru says Chavez backs domestic revolt - Peruvian Officials Accuse Venezuelan Leader Hugo Chavez of Bankrolling Subversives  3/22/2008 AP: "The arrested Peruvian militants allegedly are from the Coordinadora Continental Bolivariana, a Venezuela-based leftist movement. Authorities say its Peruvian members are mostly former militants of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, which was all but decimated in 1997 after it took hostages at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima. Peruvian officials say they arrested seven members on Feb. 29, including the group's alleged leader, Roque Gonzalez, who spent eight years in prison for kidnapping a Bolivian politician. Two more alleged members were arrested on March 17 trying to carry in $65,000 from Ecuador — money Peruvian authorities suspect is Venezuelan. But Coordinadora founder Fernando Rivero told The Associated Press in Venezuela that the group is entirely autonomous. While it supports the "revolutionary struggle" of Colombian rebels to more equitably distribute wealth, it receives no support from Venezuela, he said. Garcia calls the anti-poverty centers, which have sprung up in poor Peruvian neighborhoods over the past three years, "a rallying point for everyone who is against the democratic system and national institutions," according to the Andina state news agency."

German Intelligence Was 'Dishonest, Unprofessional and Irresponsible'  3/22/2008 Der Spiegel: "SPIEGEL: As head of the Iraq Survey Group, you led the effort to follow up on the claims made by 'Curveball,' the asylum seeker from Iraq who told German intelligence that Saddam Hussein was building mobile biological weapons laboratories. Do you remember the first time you began to doubt his story? Kay: The real shock was that the CIA had never spoken to him directly. To this day, I still don’t understand. How can you hang the most dramatic part of a case for war on an individual no American agent has ever directly debriefed?"

Did the FSB Betray Victor Bout?  3/22/2008 Nachrichten Heute: "Under the rule of the former President Vladimir, Putin Mogilevich and Bout were safe in Moscow. Now, when the President-elect Dmitry Medvedev is getting ready to do some “face-saving” in Russia, the old “kings” of the criminal underworld, serving the Kremlin as useful agents, are being dumped while new, still unknown replacements will take their place."

Ecuador warns tension with Colombia could worsen  3/22/2008 Reuters: "It would be extremely grave if it is proven that a Ecuadorean died," the left-wing president said on a radio program. "We will not let this murder go unpunished."

Colombia's Rebels Face Possibility of Implosion - Chief Threat Not Deaths, but Desertion  3/22/2008 WaPo 

Friday  3/21/2008

topStudy unlocks Latin American past  3/21/2008 BBC: "Explaining the fate of native males when the Europeans arrived, Professor Luiz-Linares said: "It is a very sad and terrible historical fact, they were basically annihilated. "Not only did the European settlers take away land and property, they also took away the women and, as much as possible, they exterminated the men."

Paramilitary Threats and Assassinations - Human Rights Takes a Beating in Colombia  3/21/2008 Counterpunch 

Hillary's Balkan Adventures, Part II  3/21/2008 Fact Checker, WaPo: "When her account was challenged by one of her traveling companions, the comedian Sinbad, she upped the ante and injected even more drama into the story. In a speech earlier this week, she talked about "landing under sniper fire" and running for safety with "our heads down." There are numerous problems with Clinton's version of events… According to Pomfret, the Tuzla airport was "one of the safest places in Bosnia" in March 1996, and "firmly under the control" of the 1st Armored Division. Far from running to an airport building with their heads down, Clinton and her party were greeted on the tarmac by smiling U.S. and Bosnian officials. An eight-year-old Moslem girl, Emina Bicakcic, read a poem in English. An Associated Press photograph of the greeting ceremony, above, shows a smiling Clinton bending down to receive a kiss."

Extrajudicial slayings on rise in Colombia  3/21/2008 LA Times 

Beach man told FBI of alleged Spitzer sexscapades  3/21/2008 Miami Herald: "Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer ''used the services of high-priced call girls'' while in Florida. The letter, dated Nov. 19, said Miami Beach resident Stone learned the information from ''a social contact in an adult-themed club.'' It offered one potentially identifying detail: the man in question hadn't taken off his calf-length black socks ``during the sex act.'' Stone, known for shutting down the 2000 presidential election recount effort in Miami-Dade County, is a longtime Spitzer nemesis whose political experience ranges from the Nixon White House to Al Sharpton's presidential campaign."

Geographic Patterns of Genome Admixture in Latin American Mestizos  3/21/2008 PLOS Genetics: "We observe a marked variation in ancestry both within and between mestizo populations. This variation in ancestry correlates with pre-Columbian Native population density in the areas examined and with recent patterns of demographic growth of the sites sampled. We also find evidence that the mixture at the origin of these populations involved mainly immigrant European men and Native and African women. Finally, mestizo populations show a differentiated Amerindian genetic background, consistent with a predominantly local Native ancestry. Mestizos thus still reveal the genetic imprint of the pre-Columbian Native American population diversification."

Iraqi crackdown backfires, strengthens Sadrists  3/21/2008 Reuters 

Thursday  3/20/2008

topMarguerite Laurent  3/20/2008 "...Members of the elite are now contemplating a sort of 'final solution' that amounts to little less than a strategy of open warfare - the use of foreign and domestic troops to kill off the poorest of the poor, pure and simple"

Hillary's Prayer: Hillary Clinton's Religion and Politics  3/20/2008 Mother Jones: published 9/07 - "Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has "made a fetish of being invisible," former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan."

Hannity Denies Past Association With White Supremacist But Evidence Suggests Otherwise  3/20/2008 News Hound: "Another night, another high tech lynching of Barack Obama on Hannity & Colmes. It was the usual attacks on Obama over those with whom he associates. But last night (3/19/08), Sean Hannity was confronted about his own past association with white supremacist Hal Turner. First Hannity denied knowing Turner, then he said he had long ago banned Turner from his show. While it’s probably true that Hannity banned Turner, what Hannity didn’t mention is that before Turner got banned, he was regularly welcomed on Hannity’s show, even after saying on the air that if it weren’t for the graciousness of white people, "black people would still be swinging on trees in Africa." "

African Diaspora conference focuses on common issues  3/20/2008 Twin Cities Daily Planet 

Chronology of the 4th Generation War Against Venezuela  3/20/2008 Venezuela Analysis 

Wednesday  3/19/2008

topExxonMobil loses Venezuela case  3/19/2008 Al Jazeera: "US oil giant ExxonMobil has said it will keep fighting to get billions in compensation from Venezuela after a British judge ruled against it in a case stemming from the nationalisation of a joint oil project. The judge on Tuesday suspended a previous court order that had frozen $12bn in assets belonging to Venezuela's state oil company. ExxonMobil was also ordered to make an interim payment of $765,300 to cover legal costs within 21 days."

The Iraq War Is Killing Our Economy  3/19/2008 Alternet: "But the economic consequences of Iraq run even deeper than the squandered opportunities for vital public investments. Spending on Iraq is also a job killer. Every $1 billion spent on a combination of education, healthcare, energy conservation and infrastructure investments creates between 50 and 100 percent more jobs than the same money going to Iraq. Taking the 2007 Iraq budget of $138 billion, this means that upward of 1 million jobs were lost because the Bush Administration chose the Iraq sinkhole over public investment."

Fire and Damnation Awaits Those Who Transgress Against White America’s Civic Religion  3/19/2008 Black Agenda Report: "Wright questioned white America's civic religion, its fraudulent self-image as benevolent conqueror and justified leader of the planet. Heretics of this kind are speedily cast from the public American public discourse, despite the fact most of the planet agrees with them. What does it say about the "change" Obama "brings with him" that his "multiracial coalition" seems to depend is eagerly endorsing pernicious lies rather than speaking truth to power. Who will Obama denounce, or be required to denounce next?"

US Military Option on Iran Is Back on the Table  3/19/2008 Debka, Israel: "Our military, Washington and Gulf sources report that US Vice President Dick Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran’s covert nuclear program."

New Jersey: March demands reparations for African Americans  3/19/2008 Fight Back News: published 2/08 - " “Forty acres and a mule!” and “You stole us. You sold us. You owe us.” chanted here, Feb. 23, demanding reparations for African American people. The march was sponsored by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) and the New Black Panther Party. The first chant refers to Field Order 15 issued by General W.T. Sherman in 1865. The intent was to furnish a livelihood to Black freedmen after the end of slavery. Sherman’s field order was the first attempt to give reparations to the victims of slavery. It was never successfully implemented."

Obama Campaign Removes New Black Panther Party Endorsement From Web Site  3/19/2008 Fox News: "“The page in question has been removed from our campaign Web site,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor told after inquiries about the endorsement. “It’s our policy with any content generated by a group that advocates violence.” The blogosphere was buzzing Wednesday about whether his campaign planned to remove the Panther posting. The New Black Panthers, who inherited their name from the Black Panther Party of the 1960s, had the page on the Obama campaign’s public forums that says it is backing Obama because he “represents ‘positive change’ for all of America. Obama will stir the ‘Melting Pot’ into a better ‘Molten America,’” the group says. Obama spokeswoman Tiffany Edwards said before the campaign removed the endorsement that that section of the Web site “has nothing to do with us.”"

Study: Israeli Jews becoming increasingly racist toward Arabs  3/19/2008 Haaretz 

Hillary's Nasty Pastorate  3/19/2008 The Nation: "The Family's most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington. But almost all its real work goes on behind the scenes--knitting together international networks of right-wing leaders, most of them ostensibly Christian. In the 1940s, The Family reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolf Hitler, has continued, along with ties to a whole bestiary of murderous thugs. As Sharlet reported in Harper's in 2003: During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand "Communists" killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise."

Tuesday  3/18/2008

topThe Real Eisenhower: Planning to Win Nuclear War  3/18/2008 Common Dreams: "If you are looking for a Republican president to admire, you may want to scratch Eisenhower off your list. It is a shame to give up the “man of peace” that peace activists have come to admire. But the historical record on Eisenhower’s nuclear policy is so consistent and so extensive (I’ve offered only a small sampling here) that it is hard to ignore. And we ignore it at our peril, because it was a policy that put anticommunist ideology above human life, made by a man who would “push [his] whole stack of chips into the pot” and “hit ‘em … with everything in the bucket”; who would “shoot your enemy before he shoots you”; who believed that the U.S. could “pick itself up from the floor” and win a nuclear war, even though “everybody is going crazy,” as long as “only” 25 or 30 American cities got “shellacked” and nobody got too “hysterical.”

Why the Bush Administration "Watergated" Eliot Spitzer  3/18/2008 Global Research: "The spectacular and highly bizarre release of secret FBI wiretap data to the New York Times exposing the tryst of New York state Governor, Eliot Spitzer, the now-infamous "No.9," with a luxury call-girl, had less to do with the Bush Administration’s pursuit of high moral standards for public servants. Spitzer was likely the target of a White House and Wall Street dirty tricks operation to silence one of its most dangerous and vocal critics of their handling the current financial market crisis."

Venezuela's state-run oil firm demands payment in euros  3/18/2008 Kansas City Star: "Venezuela’s state-run oil firm, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, is starting to demand payment in euros. The measure is aimed at protecting revenue from a weakening U.S. dollar, Venezuela’s oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, said Tuesday."

Venezuela 1: ExxonMobil 0  3/18/2008 New Statesman 

"A More Perfect Union"  3/18/2008 Truth Out: Barak Obama's speech on race, full text and video.

Monday  3/17/2008

topViewing 'Iraq Winter Soldier' Testimony  3/17/2008 Consortium News: "Nearing the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, veterans from that conflict -- as well as the one in Afghanistan -- gathered to give first-hand testimony of the routine brutality that is being inflicted on the people of those two countries. These new "Winter Soldier" hearings -- like their predecessors during the Vietnam War -- were shunned by the mainstream U.S. news media. But, as media critic Jeff Cohen notes in this guest essay, there were independent ways for Americans to get the story."

Bush Administration Seeks to Declare Venezuela a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” - Rising Tensions May Be Tied to Covert Drug Operations Reported by Narco News  3/17/2008 Global Research: "In other words, the U.S. State Department is using Uribe's "dodgy dossier" as a pretext for sanctions and embargoes against the Bolivarian republic. If implemented, such restrictions would severely limit the ability of U.S. firms to do business with Caracas while making it nearly impossible for Venezuela to export oil to the United States or import vital spare parts necessary to keep the economy going."

VENEZUELA: Guns, drugs and thugs: the threat from Plan Colombia  3/17/2008 Green Left, Australia: published 17/11/93

U.S. Cocaine-Plane Invasion Spooking Latin America - Trail of Evidence Points to Major Covert Operation Targeting Venezuela  3/17/2008 NarcoNews: "Two Florida-based companies that have exported a total of at least 11 aircraft to Venezuelan buyers since 2003 are linked to four cocaine planes and what appears to be an elaborate covert intelligence operation, an ongoing Narco News investigation shows. The covert program, law enforcement sources contend, likely involves the CIA and components of Defense Department intelligence agencies, and is focused, in part, on penetrating, or even propping up, narco-trafficking groups in Venezuela. That country’s outspoken leader, Hugo Chávez, is regularly demonized by U.S. policymakers for, among other things, supposedly allowing his country to become a haven for narco-traffickers. The operation also appears to prioritize intelligence objectives over law enforcement goals, which means tons of cocaine might well be getting a free pass into the United States."

Jewish Labor Committee Attempts to Shut Down Boston Conference on Zionism  3/17/2008 New England Committee to Defend Palestine: "Zionists walked into a well-known center for left activists in Boston this week and managed, with a single complaint, to take away an already agreed-upon meeting space for an April conference on Palestine organized by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine. Around March 9, the local branch of a national group called the Jewish Labor Committee told the director of Encuentro 5 and the landlord of the building that houses Encuentro that the New England Committee to Defend Palestine is a "hate group" and demanded that it not be allowed to hold the conference in Encuentro's meeting space… Attacks like this are exactly the subject of the disputed conference… Zionist organizations like the JLC have more material and political power than perhaps at any time in the past. But this power is increasingly hollow, since it must increasingly assert itself by shutting down a discussion about that power--a discussion that is growing and moving into the mainstream. The JLC did not succeed by persuading Encuentro 5, but by threatening them through the building's owners. These are clearly threats that they have the power to carry out--a fact that proves what critics of zionism are saying. But this also demonstrates that while they have more material power than ever before, they have less ideological support than ever before. The legitimacy of the zionist project--the passive consent given to US support for "Israel"--is collapsing. That collapse must come before the serious fight over material power--a fight that is coming."

The difference between Jeremiah Wright and radical, white evangelical ministers  3/17/2008 Salon: "But the idea that America deserves terrorist attacks and other horrendous disasters has long been a frequently expressed view among the faction of white evangelical ministers to whom the Republican Party is most inextricably linked. Neither Jerry Falwell nor Pat Robertson ever retracted or denounced their view that America provoked the 9/11 attacks by doing things to anger God. John Hagee continues to believe that the City of New Orleans got what it deserved when Katrina drowned its residents and devastated the lives of thousands of Americans. And James Inhofe -- who happens to still be a Republican U.S. Senator -- blamed America for the 9/11 attacks by arguing in a 2002 Senate floor speech that "the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America" because we pressured Israel to give away parts of the West Bank."

Sunday  3/16/2008

topComunidad afroboliviana destaca su inclusión en nuevo texto constitucional  3/16/2008 ABI 

Obama's Minister Committed "Treason" But When My Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero  3/16/2008 Huffington Post: by Frank Schaeffer -- "Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton. Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation's sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father's sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our "stand" by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American."


"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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