September 23, 2006

„Devilš in the Details:
Chavez, Limbaugh and Hypocrisy over Name-Calling
by Jeff Cohen  

Across the U.S. political and media spectrum, there was wide agreement yesterday: Name-calling and personal attacks are bad for national and global dialogue. Prompting the unity were Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez‚ comments that President Bush was the devil incarnate, „El Diablo.š

Among those exercised (and exorcized) about Chavez‚ name-calling were some of the loudest name-callers in American media today -- including Rush Limbaugh and other rightwing talk hosts. Limbaugh tried to equate Chavez‚ remarks with the alleged Bush-bashing that comes from top U.S. Democrats. In case you‚ve forgotten, it was Limbaugh who ridiculed Chelsea Clinton, then 13, as the „White House dog.š more...

September 22, 2006

Reclaiming The Issues: "Keep George Out Of Jail"
by Thom Hartmann  

The Republicans are trying to keep George W. Bush out of jail. So far, the media and the Democrats haven't done much to stop them.

On the surface, it seems the Republicans are having a debate about "wiretapping terrorists" and "harsh interrogation of prisoners." These frames about the current "rebellion" by McCain, Graham, Warner, et al, are today embraced by both the Republican Party and the mainstream media.

But the real issue is whether Republicans in Congress will trade the principles of democracy and the rule of law to keep George W. Bush and several of his colleagues out of jail, or whether they'll uphold the rule of law and American democracy while abandoning him to face the consequences of his illegal acts.

On June 29, 2006, in the Hamden Case, the US Supreme Court ruled that Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration had violated the Geneva Convention and other international treaties with regard to the treatment and prosecution of detainees in the so-called "war on terror."

The logic of the decision could subject Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, and Rumsfeld - along with those down the chain of command who followed their orders - to prosecution as war criminals both in the United States and internationally. If they violated Common Article 3 and others of the Geneva Conventions, they could be subject to lengthy imprisonment in the US for violating US laws, as well as being brought before the United Nation's International Court of Justice at The Hague, the same as Slobodan Milosevic. more...

September 21, 2006

The Disastrous Rule of a Mayberry Machiavelli
By Sidney Blumenthal
Bush ran as a moderate, tacked right and governed ineffectually -- before 9/11. Since then he has become the most radical American president in history, and arguably the worst.

The following is [from] an excerpt from How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime (Princeton University Press, 2006).

No one predicted just how radical a president George W. Bush would be. Neither his opponents, nor the reporters covering him, nor his closest campaign aides suggested that he would be the most willfully radical president in American history. more...

*****NEW ARTICLE*****

Rise Up Against the Empire
President Hugo Chavez, Address to the United Nations

Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it.

Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'" [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.] "It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet.

The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads. I had considered reading from this book, but, for the sake of time," [flips through the pages, which are numerous] "I will just leave it as a recommendation.

It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure Madame [President] you are familiar with it. It appears in English, in Russian, in Arabic, in German. I think that the first people who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their threat is right in their own house.

The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house.

"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today.

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world. more...

September 20, 2006

Straight talk from soldiers, veterans and their family members tells what is missing from the sales pitches presented by recruiters and the military's marketing efforts.

*****NEW ARTICLE*****

We're Not Going To Iran
Robert Dreyfuss

Robert Dreyfuss is the author of  Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2005). Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone. He can be reached through his website:

Looking small and humbled on the big stage, trying to appear at once defiant and reasonable, President Bush yesterday addressed the United Nations General Assembly with few arrows in his quiver. Never before has the United States had so few allies, never before has an American president appeared before the world body so utterly bereft of credibility. The sprawling wreckage of American foreign policy was figuratively strewn across the room as Bush spoke. And when he addressed the central diplomatic question of the dayųnamely, what to do about Iran‚s quest for nuclear technology and its likely plans to build a bombųthe president appeared naked and unarmed.

After three years of bluster, after three years of menacing Iran with military options ever „on the table,š after three long years of declaring forcefully that Iran will never gain access to nuclear technology, the president‚s stunningly mild-mannered comments on the topic yesterdayų„we‚re working toward a diplomatic solution to this crisisšųmay be a sign that the corner has been turned on Iran. It may be a sign that once and for all that the realists have won, that the international community has triumphed, that the opposition of Russia and China to sanctions on Iran has been victorious, and that Western Europe‚s far more level-headed approach to Iran has pre more...

September 19, 2006

Sabihuddin Ahmed: For my people, climate change is a matter of life and death

For most people in the West, climate change threatens their lifestyles. For the people of Bangladesh, climate change threatens their very lives.

The impact is being felt now. The mangrove swamps are dying because the sea level is rising and the salt water is poisoning them. People are being displaced because of rising sea levels, caused in part by the dramatic melting of the Arctic icecaps, caused in turn by climate change.

Even if the Kyoto protocol were fully implemented immediately, or even if not a single gram of carbon dioxide were emitted anywhere in the world again, we already have a planet that is damaged and in which climate has been altered.

In Bangladesh the future has arrived; we have environmental refugees, because our country is unusually vulnerable to climate change. Some 70 per cent of the country consists of flood plains, and most is less than 6m above sea level. If there is a 1 per cent increase in average global temperatures, we will lose about 10 per cent of our land. That is a huge problem for Bangladesh. more...

September 18, 2006

November Prognostication
Republicans Sweep

In the last week, there have been millions of words expended on the subject of the mass murders that occurred on the ninth day of September in 2001, most of it emotional pornography of the lowest sort. It's been five years since a small group of fanatical assassins got together and perpetrated the ugliest crime in American history, excepting possibly Thomas Kinckaid's gallery-opening franchise scheme. Roughly three thousand people died that day when passenger jets were highjacked and flown into buildings in Washington and Manhattan. Everybody knows this. The most powerful folks in America at that time announced that '9/11 changed everything' (the crime is called 9/11 because that is its birthday). I said to myself, "No, it didn't", and for the first and only time on any subject, I was wrong. 9/11 did change everything, although not in the way I thought they meant. For one thing, the Democrats ceased to be a political party.

I will now make my predictions for the 2006 elections. There have been dozens of predictions made by all sorts of clever-boots Washington Watchers, mostly showing a rout on the Republican side, with them losing control of the Senate and possibly even the House, although which house they don't say. I'm guessing the House of Representatives, because unlike most houses, it is capitalized. The general mood is that Republicans can't hold on to power because they are hated by everybody except the looniest of the loons on the extreme 'bring on the apocalypse' right-wing fringe (a group comprising some 35% of Americans, which is why I have taken to carrying my passport, a Derringer, a Canadian phrase book, and a thousand dollars in gold coin wherever I go). I disagree with the general mood. more...

September 17, 2006

False Reports on Iran a Replay of Run-Up to Iraq War?
By E&P (Editor & Publisher)Staff

A report today by veteran McClatchy (formerly Knight Ridder) reporters John Walcott and Warren P. Strobel warns that some of the same type of shaky intelligence that proved false in the run up to the Iraq war may be rearing its head again in regard to Iran.

"U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials say Bush political appointees and hard-liners on Capitol Hill have tried recently to portray Iran's nuclear program as more advanced than it is and to exaggerate Tehran's role in Hezbollah's attack on Israel in mid-July," they write..

"President Bush, who addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, has said he prefers diplomacy to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but he hasn't ruled out using military force. Several former U.S. defense officials who maintain close ties to the Pentagon say they've been told that plans for airstrikes - if Bush deems them necessary - are being updated." more...
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