17 June, 2006

911 was an inside job? -- 9/11 BOOKS

Here is THE LIST OF ALL ENGLISH BOOKS that write about 9/11 being DONE BY U.S. MILITARY / U.S.A.Intelligence / U.S.A. Finance and blamed on Arabs.

All these books are written by illiterate disfunctional egos who are idiot-svavants. They are just clever enough to fill pages in a book, but too stupid to see that the government version is "public knowledge" (hahaha) and therefore correct!

BRAND NEW .. order now to receive them when they are published:

  • Towers of Deception by Barrie Zwicker amazon

  • Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action by David Ray Griffin amazon
  • 9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (Editors)amazon

  • Find out what the future holds for Americans

    Boyle's cheap books, 100% tangible info. Buy them from www.claritypress.com

    • Biowarfare and Terrorism by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon
    • Palestine, Palestinians & International Law by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon
    • The law of power politics by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon
    • Nuclear weapons and international law: The arms control dimension by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon
    • In re: More Than 50,000 Nuclear Weapons : Analyses of the Illegality of Nuclear Weapons Under International Law by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon
    • Destroying World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11th by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon
    • Restoration of the independent nation state of Hawaii under international law by Francis Anthony Boyle .amazon

    The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence PRAY THIS BOOK IS TRUE!!
    Bio-Warfare and Terrorism READ THIS BOOK!!!

    As I said ... here is a list of books that are about 9/11 being committed by USA terrorists (Military, Intelligence, covert operation), a.k.a. MIHOP (make it happen on purpose, as opposed to LIHOP, let it happen on purpose) By now there are a few books about the subject. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER ... (although it would be nice to sort them in the [reverse] order they came out!)

    1. Pentagate by Thierry Meyssan view Amazon info
    2. September 11 2001 The big lie by Thierry Meyssan amazon or here
    3. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA by Webster Griffin Tarpley amazon
    4. Conspiracies, Conspiracy Theories, and the Secrets of 9/11 by Mathias Broeckers amazon
    5. The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin amazon
    6. The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions by David Ray Griffin amazon
    7. Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action by David Ray Griffin amazon
    8. 9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (Editors)amazon
    9. Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies by Jim Marrs; amazon
    10. The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation And The Anatomy Of Terrorism by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed amazon
    11. The War on Freedom by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed amazon
    12. Behind the War on Terror by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed amazon
    13. 9/11 Revealed : The Unanswered Questions by Rowland Morgan, Ian Henshall amazon
    14. 9/11 101 : 101 Key Points that Everyone Should Know and Consider that Prove 9/11 was an Inside Job by Eric D. Williams amazon
    15. The Puzzle of 911 : An investigation into the events of September 11, 2001 and why the pieces don't fit together by Eric D. Williams amazon
    16. The Shadow Government: 9-11 and State Terror by Len Bracken, Andrew Smith, Kenn Thomas amazon
    17. Welcome to Terrorland : Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-up in Florida by Daniel Hopsicker amazon
    18. America's "War on Terrorism" by Michel Chossudovsky amazon
    19. Waking up from our Nightmare: The 9/11/01 Crimes in New York City by Don Paul amazon
    20. Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert .amazon
    21. Painful Questions: An Analysis of the September 11th Attack by Eric Hufschmid amazon
    22. 9/11 on Trial: The World Trade Center Collapse by Victor Thorn amazon
    23. 9-11 Descent into Tyranny by Alex Jones amazon
    24. The Wedding by Sander Hicks AMAZON
    25. The Terror Timeline : Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11--and America's Response by Paul Thompson AMAZON

    26. The Day America Died www.johnkaminski.com/


    Painful Deceptions DVD by Eric Hufschmid amazon
    Loose Change DVD amazon
    In Plane Site DVD amazon
    Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (2002) amazon
    9-11 Descent into Tyranny by Alex Jones amazon

    Not MIHOP but important to read:

    NATO's Secret Army (Contemporary Security Studies) by Daniele Ganser amazon
    Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy by Philip P. Willan amazon
    Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta amazon
    The Terror Timeline : Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11--and America's Response amazon
    Film and Television After 9/11 by Wheeler Winston Dixon amazon
    ... and much much more is here

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    posted by u2r2h at Saturday, June 17, 2006 1 comments

    15 June, 2006

    If CHOMSKY was U.S. president

    NS Interview - Chomsky
    The New Statesman Interview
    Andrew Stephen
    Monday 19th June 2006
    The New York Times calls him "arguably the most important intellectual alive", yet he has needed police guards on his own campus. Andrew Stephen discusses Iraq, Iran and Blair with a man who divides opinion like no other
    You might think the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would be well designed, but you would be wrong. I arrived to see the legendary Professor Noam Chomsky with five minutes to spare, but it then took 20 minutes of misdirections and meanderings before I finally reached MIT's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, where Chomsky has reigned supreme for 51 years.

    I arrived hot and sweaty, because I had been told by some that he did not suffer fools gladly, though others had insisted he was unfailingly courteous. People tend to have widely divergent, passionate views of Chomsky: to many he is a revered beacon of academe and politics, while critics exult in dismissing him as (take your pick) a fraud, a Zionist, an anti-Semite (he is Jewish), an off-the-chart commie, an agent of the CIA, Mossad, the KGB, MI6 and so on. The world is so split between Chomskyites and anti-Chomskyites that there is even a book called The Anti-Chomsky Reader.

    My anxieties, though, turned out to be groundless. I was greeted by a softly spoken man in a speckled green pullover who could have been a decade younger than his 77 years, and who showed immediate empathy. "It's a crazy building," he said. "Can you imagine the point of having a faculty office with angled walls where you can't even put a bookcase or blackboard?"

    Hardly a minute has passed in the last half-century, it seems, when Chomsky has not been pouring out ideas and passions. He has published more than 100 books, ranging from his seminal 1957 work on linguistics, Syntactic Structures, to this year's Failed States: the abuse of power and the assault on democracy, which deftly turns the Bush administration's description of countries such as Afghanistan on the US itself. Linguistics is hardly my field, but I had tried in advance to get a feel for just how important his academic work is. I knew that his basic theory, put exceedingly simply, is that language is not something merely picked up by children in the course of growing up, but that we all come into the world with a linguistic framework embedded in our brains. My further research faltered, though, when the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy told me his work had evolved so that the "grammaticality" of a sentence could be explained by the theorem: X-NP1-V-NP2-Y->(1)X-NP2-be+enV-by+NP1-Yx. Then a friend who has a doctorate in linguistics came to my rescue: "Chomsky redid linguistics the way Freud redid psychology," she explained in an e-mail. That was enough for me to place the man's academic standing in context.

    And so, that settled, to politics. We spoke about Iraq and Afghanistan, about Blair's Britain ("I guess if the country's going to blindly follow US orders it's going to inherit the threats that come with that"), about how Messrs Bush, Blair, Straw and others were war criminals and why America is a failed state. But we began with the story dominating the media that day: the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Chomsky was not joining in the triumphalism.

    "He was certainly a leading gangster and I don't think there's many people outside of his village in Jordan that mourn him. He's had a horrible role that was basically created by the Iraq invasion, which we can't escape responsibility for. He had a loose connection with al-Qaeda, mostly symbolic, with each trying to exploit the other. But that whole system which we call al-Qaeda is not an organisation, it's a network of networks, a lot of loosely interconnected people. What the effects [of killing al-Zarqawi] will be in the massive terrorist apparatus that's been created by the Bush-Blair invasion, one can only guess. The invasion was an enormous stimulant for terrorism, as was anticipated."

    Mastery of detail

    Chomsky's unremitting clarity and his seeming mastery of detail somehow defy interruption or argument, but they are wondrous to behold. When we talk about Bush, Blair and co being hauled before the War Crimes Tribunal, I mention Milosevic and he switches subjects without pausing. The case against the Bush administration is stronger, he insists, than that against the late Serb president. "Remember, the Milosevic Tribunal began with Kosovo, right in the middle of the US-British bombing in late '99 . . . Now if you take a look at that indictment, with a single exception, every charge was for crimes after the bombing.

    "There's a reason for that. The bombing was undertaken with the anticipation explicit [that] it was going to lead to large-scale atrocities in response. As it did. Now there were terrible atrocities, but they were after the bombings. In fact, if you look at the British parliamentary inquiry, they actually reached the astonishing conclusion that, until January 1999, most of the crimes committed in Kosovo were attributed to the KLA guerrillas.

    "So later they added charges [against Milosevic] about the Balkans, but it wasn't going to be an easy case to make. The worst crime was Srebrenica but, unfortunately for the International Tribunal, there was an intensive investigation by the Dutch government, which was primarily responsible - their troops were there - and what they concluded was that not only did Milosevic not order it, but he had no knowledge of it. And he was horrified when he heard about it. So it was going to be pretty hard to make that charge stick."

    And Saddam Hussein? "Saddam Hussein is, of course, a leading monster, but he is being charged right now with crimes he committed in 1982 - with having killed about 150 Shiites after an assassination attempt in 1982. Well, 1982 is a pretty important year in US-Iraqi relations. That's the year in which Ronald Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states supporting terrorism, so that the US would be able to provide their friend Saddam with large-scale aid. Donald Rumsfeld had to [go to] Iraq to tie up the agreement. That included the means to develop weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, and so on.

    "A large point of that was to punish Iran. The weapons that were provided by the United States and Britain and Germany and Russia and France and plenty of others were supporting Iraq's aggression. The US and Britain and those others were supporting it, so why aren't they in the dock next to Saddam Hussein?"

    I mentioned the hanging by Iraq of my then colleague on the Observer, Farzad Bazoft - and my feelings when a deputation of US senators went to Baghdad soon afterwards to see Saddam, and one of them told him that his regime's main problem with the west was media perception. Chomsky did not miss a beat. "That was April 1990, a few months before the invasion of Kuwait. It was a high-level senatorial commission led by Robert Dole, who was the next presidential candidate for the Republicans, to convey President Bush's greetings and to assure him that the United States had their best wishes for him and that he should not pay attention to the carping in the media because we have this free-press thing here . . . They were grovelling, and that was a couple of months before the invasion [of Kuwait]."

    It's worse in Britain, he says. "Jack Straw, in 2002, was wailing about Saddam Hussein's atrocities - and right before that he turned down an application for asylum from an Iraqi dissident who had escaped the torture chambers. And he turned it down with a letter saying that [the man] could be sure that if he went back to Iraq he would be treated properly by their justice system." He likes the description of Blair's Britain, he tells me, as pillion rider on the American motorcycle.

    And Afghanistan? "I think Afghanistan, if we look at it, is one of the most grotesque acts of modern history. There's a lot of reinvented fables about it. But the war was undertaken explicitly on 7 October [2001] with Bush's announcement that unless the Taliban handed over to the United States people who the US suspected - not knew, but suspected - were involved in 9/11, then the US would bomb the people of Afghanistan.

    "Admiral Boyce, I think it was, the British commander, then announced a change in the war aims after about three weeks of bombing. He said that the bombing of Afghanistan would continue - I wish I could remember the exact words, but it was something like 'until the people of Afghanistan overthrow their government'. They bombed Afghanistan with the knowledge that there were about five million people, according to their estimates, who were at serious risk of starvation."

    So he believes that the attacks on Afghanistan were worse than those on Iraq? "Every crime is distinct. I mean, is it worse than invading South Vietnam in 1962? Is it worse than the Russian invasion of Afghanistan?"

    Understand the crimes

    Which brings us back to war-crimes trials. Did he seriously envisage Bush and Blair in handcuffs at The Hague? No: charging them would be symbolic. "What was important about the Nuremberg trials was not that they hung however many people it was, but that the German population were given the proper means to understand what the crimes were. I want their crimes to be fully understood, to be in elementary school textbooks, and ensure that those of our countries which tolerated these crimes should look themselves in the eye."

    Then we move on to Iran, and Chomsky's methodical deconstruction of US and British policies there. In American eyes, he says, there's only one event in US-Iranian history in the past half-century. "That's 1979, when Iranians committed a crime: they threw out a tyrant installed by a US-British military coup, and they took hostages. And they had to be punished.

    "Well, did anything else happen in the last half-century or so? Yes. The US and Britain overthrew the parliamentary government, installed a brutal tyrant, supported him right through the years of torture and violence. As soon as he was overthrown they turned to supporting Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians - many with chemical weapons provided by the US and others. Right after that they imposed sanctions which have crushed the population.

    "That means that for over 50 years the US and Britain have been torturing the people of Iran." Yet they remain defiant, Chomsky says, and for that they have to be punished. "Starting in the summer of 2003, two interesting things happened. First, all of a sudden, the reason for invading Iraq was not weapons of mass destruction. It was to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East and the world . . . But the other thing that happened which has been little noticed is that there was already the beginning of building up a government media campaign about Iranian nuclear weapons.

    "And as Bush's popularity declined, the intensity of this campaign increased. Maybe it's just coincidence, but I don't think so. In fact, the Iranian alleged nuclear weapons are now providing a pretext which will be used for a permanent US presence in Iraq. They're building the biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad which towers over everything, they're building military bases. Is that because they intend to get out and leave Iraq to itself? No. If you're staying in Iraq you have to have a reason. Well, the reason will be that you have to defend the world against Iran."

    Admiration and hatred

    By now Chomsky's assistant is knocking on the door and leaving it ajar, a signal that time is nearly up with the man the New York Times has called "arguably the most important intellectual alive today". The leading monitor of academic journals says he is the most cited authority in the world today: yet that blend of admiration and hatred, of reverence and revulsion, runs as powerfully as ever through the US bloodstream when his name comes up.

    Stanford's Professor Paul Robinson wrote in the New York Review of Books that Chomsky has a "maddeningly simple-minded view of the world", while Marxist-turned-neo-con pundit David Horowitz, co-editor of The Anti-Chomsky Reader, describes him as the "ayatollah of anti-Americanism". Chomsky even figured on the list of targets of Theodore Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, and he is frequently given police protection, even on the MIT campus, though he insists he does not seek it.

    He says, however, that when he takes his grandson to a baseball game he enjoys being part of mainstream America: "It's my country," he told me, with what I thought was just a hint of defensiveness. His latest book, though, defines his country as a failure. There are three main criteria for failed states, he says: unwillingness or inability to protect its citizens from violence, insistence that they are not answerable to international law or to any external consensus, and failure to implement true democracy.

    The Bush administration, he believes, "has got no interest, or very little interest" in protecting American citizens from terrorism - containers coming into US ports, for example, are not inspected properly - "but the most serious threats are literal threats to survival, the threats of nuclear war and of environmental destruction". And Bush is not protecting Americans against those either.

    Showing scant respect for international law or external consensus, too, has a pedigree in the US going back over almost two centuries of expansionism. "There's a lot of outrage about the Bush Doctrine, but what about the Clinton Doctrine? It said that the United States has the right to undertake unilateral use of force to protect key markets, resources and investments."

    The third crucial sign of America's failure, he says, is that "there's a huge gap between public opinion and public policy. Both political parties are well to the right of the population on a host of major issues, and the elections that are run are carefully designed so that issues do not arise."

    But Americans still voted overwhelmingly for either Bush or Kerry in 2004, didn't they? "I don't know if you watched the presidential debates. I didn't but my wife [they have been married since 1949] did. She has a college PhD and taught for 25 years at Harvard and is presumably capable of following arguments. She literally couldn't tell where the candidates stood on issues, and people didn't because the elections are designed that way." By whom? "The public relations industry, because they sell candidates the same way they sell toothpaste or lifestyle drugs." Who are their masters? "Their masters are concentrations of private capital which invest in control of the state. That funds the elections, that designs the framework."

    That was all very well. But if we could wave a magic wand what would be the first thing President Chomsky would do? "I would set up a War Crimes Tribunal for my own crimes, because if I take on that position [I would need] to deal with the institutional structure and the culture, the intellectual culture. The culture has to be cured."

    The clearly much-practised assistant has knocked three times now, but Chomsky moves on to the "Fissban" treaty, "which would place the production of fissile materials under some kind of international control, so that then anybody could get access to them for nuclear power but nobody could use them for nuclear weapons. Unless that treaty is passed, the species will almost certainly destroy itself."

    The US, he explains, is willing to have a treaty "as long as it's not verifiable". The matter came to a vote in a UN committee in November 2004 and the result was 147-1 in favour, with two abstentions, he says. "The one was, of course, the United States. The abstentions were Israel, which reflects that they have to vote for the US - and the other was Britain. So it's more important [for the Blair government] to be a spear-carrier than to save the species from destruction."

    Pillion passenger

    And so we had come full circle, back to Britain the pillion passenger. By the time the assistant knocked a fourth time, I was starting to leave. In the corridor outside I spotted a board crammed with squiggles and formulae every bit as impenetrable as that encyclopaedic explanation of Chomsky's work. It was precisely because he can plumb such academic depths, I mused as I wended my way back across the Charles river to Boston, that nobody should blithely dismiss Chomsky's political views as those of a crackpot.

    In fact, a thought came to me that will probably not only seem heretical to many Chomskyites but will also outrage the White House enough to get me sent to Guantanamo: what struck me was that even though Chomsky was brought up in a thoroughly Jewish household, went to Hebrew schools and camps and had what he calls a "visceral fear" of Catholics in childhood, there was something profoundly Christian about the thrust of his message to me that morning.

    He loathed violence and aggression, that was clear; yet he sought vengeance only in a symbolic sense. Though passionate, he did not seem bitter. Maybe I saw him on a good day. But if there's one virtue of the US to which Chomsky repeatedly returns it is its unique tolerance for free speech. And what better example of that could there be than to listen to a Hebrew-speaking, self-proclaimed libertarian socialist preaching the virtues of Christian pacifism in Bush's America of 2006?

    Noam Chomsky: the CV

    Born in Philadelphia in 1928, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to MIT and in 1957 publishing Syntactic Structures, which transformed linguistics. In 1965 he urged Americans not to pay taxes in protest at the Vietnam war and in 1967 published The Responsibility of Intellectuals, his critique of US foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of political debate ever since, particularly after 9/11. He married the linguist Carol Schatz in 1949; they have three children.
    This article first appeared in the New Statesman.
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    posted by u2r2h at Thursday, June 15, 2006 1 comments

    13 June, 2006


    13 June 2006 Greg Palast BuzzFlash Interview from http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/06/06/int06022.html
    Greg Palast Uncovers the 'Armed Madhouse' of the Bush Reign of Greed, Fear and Stolen Elections


    We were screaming in the streets: no blood for oil, which, of course, you know, most Americans consider a bargain – blood for oil, as long as it’s not their blood, right? But in fact, it wasn’t blood for oil. It was blood for no oil. It was blood to make sure that not too much oil would flow and bust the market. Oil had been down under Bill Clinton to eighteen bucks a barrel. Now it’s over $70 a barrel. -- Greg Palast

    * * *

    Greg Palast is such a good investigative reporter, he can’t get a job with a mainstream media outlet in the United States. That’s right, Palast is good enough for the BBC and the London Guardian and Observer, but he is too good for any paper or television station in the United States.

    You see, the mainstream press in America sees a big boulder blocking the road and there’s all sorts of arms and legs sticking out from underneath. The White House tells the media that their eyes are deceiving them and there is nothing under the boulder. They warn them not to try and move it, otherwise they might be aiding terrorists and revealing classified information. The corporate-owned big media then reports that a big boulder fell from the sky and caused no injuries. Greg Palast, however, hires an earth mover, has an iron claw pick up the boulder – and then he reports what he finds underneath.

    This makes him a pariah to the corporate barons who run the American media. They don’t want inquiring minds as journalists; they want stenographers. There’s a reason BuzzFlash has interviewed Greg Palast more than any other person. He’s not afraid to look under rocks and boulders and tell us what he sees, as he does in his new book, Armed Madhouse.

    * * *

    BuzzFlash: You don’t waste a page of this book, Greg. You open it up and you’ve got an illustrated explanation of the two plans for oil in invading Iraq.

    Greg Palast: Bush had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil. Make that, he had two, and I got them. It was not easy, let me tell you. The first plan that I found was crafted by the Neo-cons – Wolfowitz and the whole Rumsfeld gang. Their program for oil in Iraq was to sell off the oil fields. We have it in black and white. They called this privatization, which means slice, dice and sell. Of course, since Iraqis only have Iraqi currency, it wouldn’t go to Iraqis, right?

    That plan was handed to General Jay Garner, our first vice counsel there. I showed him the secret plan and he said, “Yes, that’s it.” I said, “Why didn’t you implement it?” He said basically that he told Rumsfeld to take the plan and stick it where the desert sun doesn’t rise.

    BuzzFlash: And then Garner got relieved of duty.

    Greg Palast: That night, Rumsfeld said, well, don’t unpack. You’re fired.

    BuzzFlash: Then they sent Paul Bremer.

    Greg Palast: They sent in Paul Bremer, whose sole qualification for the job was that he was managing director of Kissinger Associates. But the plan to sell off Iraq’s oil fields was blocked by something I didn’t expect – big oil, the big oil companies. They said: Listen guys, this isn’t how it’s done in the Mideast. You let the Iraqis pretend that they own the oil, and what we do is we have no-bid production sharing agreements. The key thing is to make sure – and here’s the kicker – make sure we don’t get too much oil.

    I have the actual 323-page document drafted by big oil executives in Houston, working with James Baker’s people. Remember, James Baker represents Exxon Oil Company. He also represents the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These are the guys drafting the plans – our plans for Iraq’s oil. By the way, why aren’t the Iraqis drawing up their own plan? That’s another issue. But the plan was that we don’t sell off Iraq’s oilfields. Rather they have lock-up agreements with U.S. oil companies.

    And most importantly, this plan would guarantee that Iraq does not produce beyond its OPEC quota. In other words, we want the oil, but not too much, because that would bring down the price of oil.

    In the book, I actually show the pages from these plans for Iraq, and one says the purpose is to enhance the Iraq government’s relationship with OPEC. As you can imagine, OPEC is the oil cartel which basically has its foot on the world’s economic windpipe at the moment - $70 a barrel gasoline. Three bucks a gallon at the pump is what it comes out to. We are literally in there right now to make sure that Iraq remains good members of OPEC. They were afraid that Saddam was going renegade, and he could not be trusted to play ball with OPEC, which is basically an illegal cartel controlled by Saudi Arabia and big oil.

    That was the winning plan for the oil. In other words, if you wonder why your cousin is shivering under a tank in Fallujah, it is to enhance Iraq’s relationship with OPEC. There it is, guys – black and white.

    BuzzFlash: To ensure a controlled flow of oil at a good profitable price for the oil industry.

    Greg Palast: Let’s put it this way. Iraq can pump 6 million barrels a day. As long as they are members of OPEC under Saudi control, they can only pump 3 million a day. With the oil for food program – we put a clamp on Saddam – it was 2 million a day. People misunderstand this one. We were screaming in the streets: no blood for oil, which, of course, you know, most Americans consider a bargain – blood for oil, as long as it’s not their blood, right? But in fact, it wasn’t blood for oil. It was blood for no oil. It was blood to make sure that not too much oil would flow and bust the market. Oil had been down under Bill Clinton to eighteen bucks a barrel. Now it’s over $70 a barrel.

    BuzzFlash: I think it was $73 on Friday. And with the Iranians saying that if the U.S. continues to put pressure on them, they’re going to lower their output, the price of oil may go up even more.

    Greg Palast: Right. They are playing a nice little game. The next war isn’t with Iran – it’s with Venezuela, as I explain the book.

    BuzzFlash: Because they’re the second-largest exporter to the U.S. – isn’t that right?

    Greg Palast: Let me explain. I was able to obtain a document. That’s why we have all these illustrations in the book – because I want people to actually see these things. I got a document from inside the Department of Energy, which says that Venezuela – in other words, Hugo Chavez - has more oil than Saudi Arabia, and that’s a real shake-up.

    BuzzFlash: You mean according to geological surveys?

    Greg Palast: Yes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a lot more oil than Saudi Arabia. That’s a disaster for George Bush because – and that’s why I have that chapter called “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.”

    I showed the chart to Chavez himself last month in Caracas, and he said, “That’s absolutely right. And we’re going to demand that OPEC recognize Venezuela, not Saudi Arabia, as the leader.” That’s big, bad news for the Bush House of Saud cartel because you have to understand that King Abdullah will always sell us his oil. He’ll never cut it off.

    But that’s not the most important point here. Abdullah sends back his oil earnings. After he takes his slice and gives his slice to Exxon, the remainder goes back to the United States in the form of Treasury Bill purchases. They would never lend a dime to their Muslim brothers. They just lend it back to George to fund his oil wars and his tax cuts. And that’s the game. Abdullah lends us back the petro-dollars, and we lend him the 82nd Airborne to stay in business.

    BuzzFlash: Okay, so we don’t expect to see Hugo Chavez on Bush’s ranch with him, with their pinkies intertwined, as we’ve seen Bush with the Saudi royal family.

    Greg Palast: The reason George Bush was chauffeuring King Abdullah around the Crawford ranch in his golf cart – well, first of all, because George is afraid of horses – no kidding. The second reason, though, is to make sure that he keeps giving us those petro-dollars back as loans or purchases.

    And Chavez told me, “I’m just not going to do it.” In fact, knowing that I’d be reporting on BBC International News, Chavez said, “I’ll drop the price of oil to fifty bucks - knock off a third – a buck a gallon off your gas tank charges. But I've got to have a deal with George Bush.” He wants no more assassination plots and a stabilization of the oil market, which the Saudis absolutely hate, because the Saudis crank up the price so that we choke, and then about every six to eight years, they dump the price to wipe out any alternatives, whether it’s solar power or Chavez’s oil, which is heavy crude, which is expensive to get at.

    In other words, Abdullah plays his game of jerking the market way up and way down. That’s how the Saudis keep control of the oil market. Chavez says, I’m not playing that game. I’m not giving George Venezuela’s oil money. In fact, Chavez withdrew $20 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve and lent it to Argentina, Ecuador and other Latin American countries. When you start withdrawing your money from the Federal Reserve and giving it out, instead, to Latin America, you basically are getting a date with a bullet.

    BuzzFlash: Two more quick questions about the oil situation, and then we’ve got to get to the stolen elections issue. There is also speculation that Iran or Chavez might shift to the Euro instead of the dollar as being the currency for oil.

    Greg Palast: That one I checked out. It doesn’t float, because it was George Bush himself who is trying to push the Euro up. Bush has been trying to push the Euro big time.

    BuzzFlash: Why is that?

    Greg Palast: Because he’s trying to devalue the dollar. When we talk about revaluing the Chinese currency, you mean devaluing the dollar. Very, very important to Bush to dump the dollar. His cronies are trying to evacuate the United States financially, and that’s what privatization of Social Security is about as well. It’s about getting dollars out of this country, and so we devalue the dollar. That devalues the debt held by these guys. It raises our interest. It kills our pension funds and our economy is slowly dying off.

    BuzzFlash: Why do they want to do that?

    Greg Palast: There are a few reasons. One, higher interest rates as well as high oil rates have completely demolished the auto industry. General Motors is heading right into bankruptcy. High oil rates have also demolished the airline industry while enriching the oil companies, and the high interest rates have enriched the banks.

    That means basically the Democratic stronghold industries - the last unionized industries in America, which are auto and airlines – are going down. In other words, "Mission Accomplished." Money is flowing into Houston. We pay three bucks a gallon for gas, and they collect it. Mission accomplished. Oil’s at $70 a barrel. Mission accomplished. The dollar’s down, and we are exporting a quarter trillion dollars a year to China in cash, so we could import their manufactured goods. That’s mission accomplished. The idea is that American capital is fleeing this country.

    BuzzFlash: And that’s good for Bush supporters like Wal-Mart, who basically are the largest U.S. business employing workers in China.

    Greg Palast: In fact, one thing you’ll find in the book is that Wal-Mart has 700 factories that they effectively control in China – at least – and zero in the United States.

    BuzzFlash: One more question on oil. In essence, we look at the war in Iraq, and saber-rattling in Iran, and see it as a Bush failure. Our soldiers are dying in a macabre fiasco. It’s a civil war there. From the perspective of the oil companies, however, it’s been a big success. They’re making out literally like bandits.

    Greg Palast: Exactly. If you thought that we went into Iraq to get that oil, then we failed. But the oil companies are not in the business of finding oil. They’re in the business of finding profits, and they make profits by not finding oil – by locking up these fields.

    The history of Iraq is a history of locking up their fields so they don’t produce. So it is mission accomplished. You have to understand - Exxon-Mobil Corporation, the number one, lifetime, career giver to George W. Bush after Enron - is making $10 billion clear profit every three months. We haven’t seen cash like that since the pharaohs. This is mission accomplished.

    You can read the documents. Remember, I actually talked to the oil company executives, the CEO of Shell Oil, and I talked to the inside people working with Baker and his Exxon crew in drafting the oilfield plans for Iraq. If you go through the plans, if you talk to these guys - this is mission accomplished. Yes, kids are dying. But it’s not George Bush’s kids, who are of military age. A "war president" got himself a war. They didn’t screw up, okay? And he got re-elected – that is, close enough to swipe it. And by the way, I did that wired, just so you know. They said that I never spoke to them, and then I said, “What part of the audiotape is fabricated?” Just so you know how I get this stuff.

    BuzzFlash: Now let’s quickly move to the scheme to steal ’08. We first met you, Greg, in 2002 when BuzzFlash and MakeThemAccountable.com sponsored an event here in Chicago that you spoke at. It was absolutely jammed, and this was when you issued the first edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

    You were the first to zero in on the role of the infamous ChoicePoint data collection firm in purging the Florida voting rolls in 2000 of eligible and ineligible Democratic voters alike. You had a fantastic slide presentation, very detailed, about how they accomplished this violation of voting rights.

    Greg Palast: Here's what happened, in a nutshell, for those who don’t remember. For BBC Television, I discovered that before the election, Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris scrubbed tens of thousands of black voters off the voter rolls. They called them felons when their only crime was voting while black. That gave little George the White House.

    I reported that for BBC, and I couldn’t get that on the air in America for anything. It was completely blacked out until basically Michael Moore brought it up later. You couldn’t talk about the theft of the 2000 election. It was a lockup fest. In 2004, they did it again, and it was bigger and wider and sneakier and stinkier and nastier.

    Again, it’s very important to me that I show you the documents, show you the goods, show you the information, so you can see the actual data and proof. And it wasn’t, by the way, just Ohio. Don’t kid yourself. I’m glad that Bobby Kennedy – terrific guy – has now endorsed the idea that it was stolen in Ohio, but it wasn’t just Ohio.

    It was Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa, and on and on. 3.6 million votes were cast and never counted in the 2004 election – 3.6 million. This isn’t Greg Palast getting the info from a black helicopter. This is Greg Palast and our team going through the computer files of the election information agency – and, by the way, the computer files of the Republican National Committee, which is one of the most enjoyable parts of the investigation because some schmuck at the RNC wrote some e-mails, in which they were discussing exactly how to jigger the election. We were able to suck that down through a fake web site.

    BuzzFlash: As we saw in New Hampshire – this is in a way a big “gotcha” - people went to jail for it. In the 2002 election, there was a phone-jamming case in New Hampshire where they jammed the lines of a union to prevent them from getting out the vote for the Democratic candidate for the senate. And people have gone to jail for this, including the person who was the former head of the Bush campaign for the northeast. The RNC paid his legal defense, which was well over a million dollars. You couldn’t get any more proof – and here you had a litigated case – of the Republican Party being involved in the – in felony suppression of vote by legal verdict. There were direct connections through phone calls to the RNC, and some indication even to Rove.

    Greg Palast: Right.

    BuzzFlash: So it’s a wide swath of voter suppression, theft, and illegal disenfranchisement that the Republicans have been engaged in. You were the first to really detail the ChoicePoint role and all the varied ways they stole the Florida vote – not just ChoicePoint, but that was the key. If it weren’t for ChoicePoint, Gore would have run away with it.

    Greg Palast: That’s right.

    BuzzFlash: Then we have the 2004 election, and we have a more subtle combination of suppression of the vote, use of electronic voting machines to miscalculate the vote and so forth. Now in your book upi say, “Watch out for 2008.” Why do Americans not understand the threat here? It's only after Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. brings it up in Rolling Stone that some people suddenly say, whoa, someone who’s really got credibility brought it up. Hey, maybe it is serious.

    Greg Palast: Remember that I wrote a story for the British Guardian paper, actually in the column. I took over George Orwell’s column. And I put on the top of the BBC Nightly News – “Kerry Won” - okay? Then I had to explain to a European, Asian and Latin American audience that Kerry won. He got the most votes. But they’re going to inaugurate George Bush again. This is in 2004.

    But how do I know Kerry won? The whole BBC team did an incredible investigation, and we found 3.6 million votes cast but not counted. It was called "spoilage" - and that’s everything from hanging chads to paper ballots that have extra marks, and are junked and thrown away – you name it.

    But it’s not just anyone’s ballot that doesn’t count. Whose votes are they? We did a precinct-by-precinct analysis of whose votes were thrown away. If you are in a black majority precinct, the chance that your vote will be thrown in the electoral dumpster is 900% higher than if you’re in a white precinct. If you are Hispanic - 500% higher than if you’re in a white precinct. This also includes something called "rejected provisional ballots," a whole new gimmick. A million people were shunted to back-of-the-bus ballots called provisional ballots. And over half a million of those were never counted – never counted. And who made the decision not to count them? The Secretaries of State, like the Secretary of State of Ohio, who is also the head of the Bush reelection campaign.

    Whose votes are thrown out? It’s black voters and poor voters. That’s why the Armed Madhouse subtitle says “Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.” Vote theft is class war by other means. Not everyone’s vote gets thrown out. In fact, do the arithmetic nationwide. 54% of the votes in the electoral dumpster are cast by black voters. Another third cast by Hispanic voters? Something like only one in five lost votes is cast by white voters, and those are the poor white voters. The electoral dumpster is filled with basically a Democratic pile of uncounted votes. That’s how they did it. And they’re planning to do a better job of not counting those votes in 2008. It’s the non-count of the vote – it’s not the count – that picks our president.

    BuzzFlash: In the meantime, we have midterm elections coming up. What is going to happen there in 2006?

    Greg Palast: It will only get worse, because they’ve added a new gimmick. Part of the way they knock out voters is using databases. That’s how they did it in Florida. They manipulated databases to wrongly tag people as unqualified voters. In 2004, we found something called "caging lists" of tens of thousands – and we know it had to really be hundreds of thousands – of voters, almost every one of them an African-American voter, targeted for challenge by the Republican Party – the first mass challenge of voters since the Jim Crow era. We found these illegal lists – these caging lists.

    That pumped up the number of uncounted votes enormously – again, black votes. In 2006 and 2008, they’re targeting the Hispanic demographic, because they’re going to steal it in New Mexico, in Utah, in Colorado, in Arizona, and Nevada. That’s where they’re going to be stealing the votes. And they’re targeting the Native American vote as well, which is a big demographic in the West. How are they doing it? They’re starting this new game of voter ID and national ID cards. They’re creating tremendous databases to come up with "gotcha rules" that are going to tag people as ineligible voters – so-called "suspect" voters. This is what they did in 2004, completely unreported in the U.S. press.

    BuzzFlash: Is ChoicePoint playing a big role in this?

    Greg Palast: You betcha, because where are they getting these databases? The answer is the war on terror. People keep talking about how they are attacking our civil liberties by keeping these big databases on Americans. What are they for? They’re not to keep you safe from al-Qaeda. There’s not a war on terror. It’s a war on democracy.

    ChoicePoint is the biggest data mining outfit – it basically has the biggest data mine in the United States – at minimum, 16 billion records on Americans. It’s illegal for the U.S. government to keep those records, but ChoicePoint as a private company can. Then the U.S. government simply dips into the data mine and pulls out the nuggets it wants. We saw this in 2000, with them falsely attacking people as felons.

    In 2004, completely unreported in the U.S. press, but big news from our BBC investigation -- and it’s in Madhouse -- are the caging lists, in which again we know hundreds of thousands of people were tagged as having so-called suspect addresses. Suspect addresses, in case you’re wondering, causing people to lose their vote, included page after page after page of black soldiers sent overseas, so that their home address was now suspect.

    If they've got the databases, they’ve got the election. And they’re getting the databases from the war on terror and the war on immigrants. 3.6 million votes were cast and not counted last time. Look for 5 million in 2008.

    BuzzFlash: Is ChoicePoint being subcontracted by the NSA?

    Greg Palast: I can’t even tell you what they have. Remember, these contracts are secret. We’re not supposed to know. I happen to have in the book the foreign intelligence gathering contract of ChoicePoint. But you’re not even supposed to know it exists. I know that they have immigration contracts. I know that they have foreign intelligence-gathering contracts. I know that they have U.S. DNA-gathering contracts for the FBI.

    BuzzFlash: We have a sinking suspicion that ChoicePoint and other dating mining firms are doing the NSA’s dirty work. Then the Bush Administration can claim that the NSA is not spying on Americans, because technically it’s the subcontractors who are doing the spying!

    Well, Greg, thank you, once again. We wish there were fewer cockroaches under the rocks you pick up, but it appears with the Bush Administration, the roaches increase faster than the number of rocks you can look under.

    Greg Palast: Thanks, it’s always a pleasure to talk with BuzzFlash.


    Interview conducted by Mark Karlin.

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    posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, June 13, 2006 0 comments

    11 June, 2006



    Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Paperback)

    Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams (Paperback)

    David Graeber, (wikipediaInfo) ... intrepid anthropologist and anarchist, talks about the magical battles and spiritual jujitsu of Madagascar, the trials of being a political dissident, and the emerging "Anarchist Century."

    Q: Are you an anthropologist that.s an anarchist or an
    anarchist that happens to be an anthropologist?

    David Graeber: I guess it depends on what kind of day it
    is. In a way, both. I guess I considered myself an
    anarchist for most of my life, but then I.ve been
    interested in anthropology for most of my life, too. I
    imagine they came from the same impulse which was this
    sort of belief that there.s got to be something better
    than this. An interest in human possibilities.

    Q: Much of your anthropological work was done in
    Madagascar. Why did you choose Madagascar for your
    doctoral thesis?

    David Graeber: That.s an interesting question. I wasn.t
    originally thinking of studying Madagascar when I went
    to graduate school. I was sort of vaguely thinking
    somewhere in Indonesia. There seemed to be various
    practical reasons that that wasn.t such a good idea.
    Polynesia was also an option but I decided not to go
    there because I didn.t want to eat yams everyday. I
    don.t really like yams.

    Then my advisor mentioned I should take a look at
    Madagascar, so I started reading about it. I started
    reading folk tales, actually. I wanted to get an idea of
    what people were like there. What I found was they.re
    incredibly subversive. There.s all these stories about
    people playing tricks on God. It just seemed like these
    were people whose attitude I would appreciate.

    Q: What does that mean that they were playing tricks on

    David Graeber: I could tell you a Malagasy folktale but
    it would take awhile!

    Q: Well, actually the Malagasy are quite fascinating!
    Their focus on the afterlife as opposed to focusing on
    the present life. What did you encounter in terms of
    that belief? Did you see it really infiltrating their
    daily lives?

    David Graeber: It.s everywhere. It.s omnipresent.
    Wherever you are, and where I was, there were tombs
    everywhere. In fact, people.s houses were made of mud
    brick. Only houses of the dead could be made of stone.
    They had these stone tombs and some were beautiful and
    shiny and some were old and broken down. Almost nowhere
    where you go in the countryside was there not a tomb in
    sight somewhere. So you.re just surrounded by memories
    wherever you go all the time. History is sort of in the
    ground, in the landscape. It.s interesting though,
    because in a way it.s very oppressive. Ancestors are
    constantly trying to hold you down.

    Q: Tell me about famadihana.

    David Graeber: Famadihana are rituals where you remove
    your ancestor's bodies from the stone tombs in which
    they are buried and wrap them in new cloth. It's unique
    to highland Madagascar: I'm not sure there's anyplace
    else in the world where people take all the bodies out
    of tombs every five or seven years like that. The
    curious thing I found though was that while everyone
    spoke of these rituals as memorials, as ways of honoring
    and remembering the ancestral dead, they were at the
    same time ways of escaping and even destroying them.
    Because the bodies are very dry, mummified almost, but
    when you dance with them, tie on their new silk mantles
    (with cords, and you pull very hard!) you basically
    pulverize them and ultimately start merging them
    together and consolidating them so that some at least
    can be forgotten. You are reinventing and re-editing and
    reworking your history in the most tangible, physical
    way. And at the same time, it's also a celebration, at
    the end you lock them in their tombs again, and have a
    huge feast, play music, celebrate your freedom as it
    were from memory. Even though without those memories,
    you would be nothing.

    Q: I read that you.re main study was on the descendents
    of noble families versus the descendents of their

    David Graeber: I was in this community called Betafo,
    pronounced (Bey-ta-fu). It.s about half divided between
    those whose descendents were noble, and half of them
    were descendents of their former slaves. Any noble
    village is always surrounded by a series of moats and at
    the center of the moats there.s the tomb of the noble
    ancestor. If the descendents of slaves so much as touch
    it, guns go off inside, they say.

    Q: Oh my, guns!

    David Graeber: However, overlooking to the northeast
    they have the tomb of this ancestor who.s sort of the
    most important ancestor of the slaves. They claim he
    actually wasn.t a slave, he was a wandering astrologer
    and magician whom they tried to enslave and they ended
    up locked in this seven year magical battle involving
    each other.s rice crops. Essentially he won because of
    the weather.

    Q: Who controls the weather?

    David Graeber: The descendents of slaves. They are all
    mediums and so forth. Now, all of this is happening at a
    time when the state has largely abandoned them. Nobody
    is governing them. The people are governing themselves.
    So, they had a little problem with that. Somebody ran
    off with an entire storage kit full of rice belonging to
    a prominent elder. The elder decided, enough is enough.
    We need to have a collective ordeal.

    Q: What are collective ordeals?

    David Graeber: The way you have collective ordeal is you
    take some water and you take an object made of gold and
    you take a little dust from outside the ancestral tomb
    and you mix it all together and everybody takes a sip.
    They line up everybody in the community and they say,
    .If I were the one who did this, may the ancestors
    strike me dead.. And then whoever the next person who
    dies is the one who did it.

    So they did this, but then there was a problem. The
    needed dust. Well, dust from what ancestral tomb?
    There.s lots of tombs, there.s different groups here.
    So, the astrologer, who.s the guy who controls the
    medicine and controls the weather, decided, .Well, we.ll
    just take a little from both.. And they did this, this
    was what I was told, this was a year before I got there,
    so I didn.t see this. But, it was the rainy season, so
    everyday it.s nice in the morning and then clouds roll
    up, and then usually it rains at night. So, they did the
    ceremony in the morning and that evening, so everybody
    tells me, there was a freak hail storm that destroyed
    only the rice of those people who had organized the
    ceremony since both ancestors were mad about being mixed
    together. And that was the point. The people realized
    that they had profound problems of getting along, here.

    So it.s really an essay, or the book is really about
    symbolic work there and people fighting over the meaning
    of history, and the long, deeply-rooted historical
    grievances, through every means except physical
    violence. But every type of symbolic violence possible.
    Nobody was actually hitting each other or doing anything
    physical, but through every other means they could be at
    war, they were.

    Q: In your bio, I read that in your dissertation
    Disastrous Ordeal of 1987: Memory and Violence in Rural

    David Graeber: Soon to be a book!

    Q: ...Soon to be a book! But your bio states that your
    dissertation is about .magic, history, and the political
    role of narratives.. I was intrigued by the magic. What
    type of magic did you experience there?

    David Graeber: Oh, any type conceivable. I often like to
    make distinctions between theological and humanistic
    cosmologies. Cosmology is where people assume the great
    powers that control the world are distant and divine
    Another way I like to think of it is that there.s a time
    of mythical origins where people have powers that we
    don.t have now. Powers of creativity-their ability to
    act on the world was profoundly different in its nature.
    So that things that were done in that time, whether it's
    the mythological age, the epic age, the heroic age, that
    cannot now be repeated.

    The interesting thing about magical cosmologies is that
    almost anything that anyone could ever do you can do now
    if you figure out how. So the assumption was that all of
    these powers are actually available if you now who knows
    how to do it and you can pay for it.

    Q: Really? So there are people that are in touch with
    the magical powers?

    David Graeber: Yeah, it.s just a matter of technical
    knowledge, it.s a matter of having the right connections
    through various ancestral spirits. But the descendents
    of slaves are the only ones who know how to do this kind
    of thing and are considered to be good at it.

    Q: I find that the people who aren.t the royalty, even
    in our American classes, are the people who do all the
    work, and would know how to do all of those things.

    David Graeber: Yeah, and there.s a very common thing
    that you see all over the world when it comes to mediums
    I like to refer to as spiritual jujitsu. That is when
    you take your weakness and turn it into a positive.

    Q: Spiritual jujitsu. I like that a lot. That.s a great

    David Graeber: It.s really common. For example, with
    people who are subordinates of others by their status.
    Slaves exist so as to be the agents of the will of
    someone else, of important people. They.re just
    following orders, they.re an extension of someone else.s
    will. And when you.re possessed by a spirit, you become
    the extension of someone else.s will completely. You are
    essentially them. But if you.re that subordinated, in
    fact you become very powerful because you are the king.
    So it.s turning your weakness into one of the greatest
    strengths possible.

    And there are large parts of Madagascar, not the part I
    was in specifically, where, for example, the west coast,
    when the French colonized Madagascar, the big thing is
    to try to co-op the leadership. So they found the royal
    family and tried to win them over, when, in fact, the
    royal family are the junior branches of the tree, the
    ancestors being more important, the older the royal
    ancestor, the more senior. And very quickly it became
    clear that the people really running things were all
    dead and they only appeared through mediums who almost
    always were old women of common or slave descent. And
    it.s not like a French colonial is going to go and visit
    with an entranced woman in a s?ance. So it was a way of
    putting power into a place where your oppressors can.t
    get at it.

    Q: This brings up some questions pertaining to your
    other side, David Graeber the Anarchist. In your article
    entitled, Anarchism, Or The Revolutionary Movement Of
    The Twenty-first Century, you begin by talking about the
    "movement of movements." What is this movement referring

    David Graeber: It's what is usually referred to in the
    press as the "anti-globalization" movement. This seems a
    silly name, since almost no one involved actually
    considers themselves opposed to globalization - in the
    sense of the effacement of borders, free movement of
    people, possessions, and ideas... Some people call it
    the "global justice movement", some people the
    "alternative globalization movement", some people call
    it the "movement of movements" because there are so many
    diverse movements within it and no single overarching
    vanguard or leadership.

    Q: The word globalization has been passed around a lot
    recently. Can you talk about the difference between
    imperial vs. genuine globalization?

    David Graeber: I always use the example of NAFTA. Since
    the US and Mexico signed NAFTA, the size of the American
    border guard has more than tripled. They put up walls
    and call it globalization. We have to bear in mind that
    just a few hundred years ago, international borders
    didn't exist at all. And even in the 1890s, things like
    passports were considered antiquated barbarisms. In a
    lot of ways we've moved backwards. Real globalization
    for me would mean a genuine effacement of borders,
    moving towards some notion of global citizenship - not
    in the sense of subordination to a single global state,
    that would be a disaster, but rather, in the sense of
    recognizing that everyone on this planet is ultimately
    part of the same community and beginning to think about
    what we all owe to one another as a result, of creating
    forms of movement and solidarity that ignore the
    apparatuses of nation-states entirely.

    Q: What are your opinions on Thomas Friedman's The World
    is Flat
    vs. John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic
    . Which view of globalization is more accurate?

    David Graeber: Don't get me started on Friedman.

    Q: Why do you call the 21st c the anarchist century?

    David Graeber: Maybe I'm an optimist. But if you look at
    the world from a long-term historical perspective, it
    just seems obvious to me that current arrangements
    cannot last. Capitalism particularly by the way.
    Everybody has a different definition but the one thing
    everyone agrees is that capitalism is based on an
    imperative of infinite growth: if a firm doesn't grow,
    it fails; if your GDP doesn't grow, you're a failed
    country.... Don't get me wrong: if you want the economic
    system that will produce the maximum number of consumer
    goods, capitalism is definitely the thing. But infinite
    growth is simply not sustainable - it wasn't when you
    only had twenty or thirty percent of the world's
    population in consumer economies, and certainly isn't
    once you have countries like India and China as equal
    players in the game. So something's going to give, and
    it probably won't take all that long, because history in
    general seems to have accelerated lately.

    Of course, we have no idea whether what comes afterwards
    will be better, or even worse. This is why I think it's
    so important we at least start talking and thinking
    about what might be better. But the moment you start
    looking at revolutionary paradigms as inherently
    legitimate, it becomes obvious that most of those that
    were popular in the 20th century are entirely
    discredited, and mostly for good reasons: anarchism is
    one of the few that stands intact. And in fact that's
    where all the creative energy is really coming out of.

    Q: What has your life been like since all of the media
    attention? I've read you've been getting chummy with the

    David Graeber: Yes, that's a common pitfall of being a
    dissident in the United States. Suddenly they develop a
    profound interest in your taxes. Other than that,
    however, I seem to have gotten off pretty easy. I
    remember during the Republican Convention, Nightline put
    out a list of the fifty most dangerous anarchists in the
    US supposedly coming into town. Half of them were
    friends of mine. What exactly was dangerous about them,
    I'm not sure - but I was actually rather hurt that I
    didn't make the list.

    Q: Which anarchist organizations do you belong to?

    David Graeber: At the moment I'm a member of the IWW
    which New York is engaged in a series of increasingly
    successful campaigns to organize Starbucks workers (we
    have three declared shops and several more pending) and
    mostly Spanish-speaking workers in restaurant supply
    shops in Brooklyn, a campaign that's moving along very
    quickly. I'm part of the broader PGA networks - that's
    the global network initiated by the Zapatistas, along
    with rural direct action groups in places Brazil and
    India, indigenous organizations, anarchist groups in
    Europe, and so on - and taking part in discussions about
    recreating something along the lines of the old Direct
    Action Network in North America. But we're really just
    starting to think about what we're going to do with

    Q: Do you think your activism has distracted you from
    your anthropological work, or has it inspired it?

    David Graeber: Oh, I think there's been an enormous
    confluence. When I first got involved in the Direct
    Action Network
    in New York, I certainly never imagined I
    was there as anything but an activist. The movement that
    I'd always wanted to exist, it seemed, suddenly did
    exist, so I just wanted to jump aboard.

    Q: What are your plans for the future? What books are
    you working on/movements are you involved with?

    David Graeber: I'm not sure. Obviously I need a new job.
    I have the year off next year to do that - and I've got
    all sorts of feelers and possibilities from the UK,
    France, and even from China, actually, but the US
    academy.... well, let's just say the academy here is
    much more conservative than they like to think. I'll see
    what happens. I was thinking of going back to Madagascar
    for a while, and maybe even to Nepal. I have invitations
    from grad students to give seminars on value theory
    everywhere from Kyoto to Michoacan. So I guess I'll be
    traveling a lot. It's kind of ironic - one reason I got
    into anthropology was because I don't come from a very
    wealthy background, but always wanted to travel. As it
    turns out, or the last twenty years or so, I've mostly
    been too broke, or too busy, to do much of that. Now
    finally I have a chance.

    I also have a whole bunch of books about to come out, -
    or at least I hope they are. The Madagascar book should
    finally be coming out next year. Also a book of essays
    on theoretical ideas coming out of new social movements
    that I coedited with Stevphen Shukaitis. Finally, I
    finished a very long ethnography of direct action which
    I just sent off to Verso, but I'm not sure how long
    that'll take to appear since it would come out maybe 600
    pages and it's almost impossible nowadays to get a book
    that long published. I'm working on a whole series of
    other projects: something about the Medieval Indian
    Ocean, something about the concept of debt, something
    about divine kings in East Africa and the notion of the
    state as a constituent war between sovereign and people,
    a theoretical piece about the relation of power and
    stupidity. If nothing else I keep myself busy.



    Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Paperback)

    Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams (Paperback)
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    posted by u2r2h at Sunday, June 11, 2006 0 comments

    09 June, 2006

    BBC news -- In a democracy, shouldn't it be shut down?

    From the Media Lens website: http://www.medialens.org

    June 9, 2006


    On June 6, we sent the following email to the BBC's Baghdad Correspondent Andrew North, World Affairs Editor John Simpson and Director of News Helen Boaden:

    Who would guess from your reports and commentary tonight (BBC1, Ten O'Clock News) that the US-UK 'coalition' had anything to do with the catastrophic loss of life in Iraq?

    Andrew North mentioned sectarian strife and insurgent attacks causing civilian and 'coalition' casualties. John Simpson talked of Lebanese-style "civil war". There was not a word about US-UK killings of civilians (Simpson hinted at the very end that this was "a war" that the 'coalition' might not be able to win). There was no mention of comments made just three days ago by Iraq's new Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to the effect that violence against civilians by 'coalition' troops was a "daily phenomenon" and that many troops "do not respect the Iraqi people. They crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on a suspicion or a hunch".

    There was not a word about the November 19, 2005 massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha, or of comments made recently by Camilo Mejia, a US infantry veteran who served briefly in the Haditha area in 2003: "I don't doubt for one moment that these things happened. They are widespread. This is the norm. These are not the exceptions."

    No mention of The New York Times' references last Sunday to "harsh Marine battle tactics" in Iraq. John Burns wrote:

    "Reporters' experiences with the Marines, even more than with the Army, show they resort quickly to using heavy artillery or laser-guided bombs when rooting out insurgents who have taken refuge among civilians, with inevitable results."

    And of course no mention that in reporting 100,000 excess Iraqi civilian deaths since the invasion, the prestigious November 2004 Lancet report observed:

    "Eighty-four percent of the [violent] deaths were reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces and 95 percent of those deaths were due to air strikes and artillery."

    How can you report the loss of life in Iraq without so much as mentioning the vast numbers of deaths caused by the occupying armies? Is it enough to tell yourselves that this is 'just Media Lens banging on again'?


    David Edwards

    The following day (June 7), we received this reply from John Simpson:

    Dear David,

    The thing that worries me most about your complaints, present and past, is their extraordinary selectivity. On two occasions last week, Tuesday and Thursday, I reported from Baghdad for the Ten O'Clock News about the killings of civilians by American forces at Haditha and Ishaki. On each occasion these reports were the lead story on the BBC. Why do you think al-Maliki said what you quoted him as saying?

    Because after we had spotlighted these two deeply disturbing cases, and they had come to the forefront of international attention, someone asked him for his response. This was it.

    I've got an unpleasant feeling that you know all this perfectly well, but pretend it hasn't happened because it doesn't fit your particular obsession -- which is that the BBC is in some way the mouthpiece of the British government. It takes an enormous act of will to believe that nowadays, and only the most prejudiced and blinkered person could possibly manage to do it -- but you're prepared to make the necessary effort. Well, you've lied about my reporting in the past, so I suppose we can't expect anything better.

    There is no question that American tactics, allied to the jumpiness and lack of training of many of their troops, have caused serious loss of life in Iraq over the past three years. There was a time when the Americans killed many more civilians than any other force. This isn't the case now: a civil war is under way, although the US and British governments don't like to see it called that, and anything between thirty and sixty people are murdered every day. No one in Iraq itself is suggesting that US forces kill that number daily at present.

    Do me a favour -- be honest. Stop trying to make everything fit your preconceptions, and try to find out what's really going on.



    We have replied (June 9):

    Dear John

    Many thanks for your email. We note, also, the "extraordinary selectivity" of your response - we have written to you several times over the last five years but have never before received an answer. Presumably you feel you are on particularly firm ground this time. And, on the face of it, you are - our email noted the absence of any reference to US-UK killings in a major BBC 1 news report on Iraqi deaths, and yet you led two BBC news programmes just last week on just that subject.

    But you cannot seriously imagine we are arguing that the BBC +never+ mentions 'coalition' killings - we know that the BBC covered the massacre at Haditha after US congressman John Murthy blew the whistle on May 17. Of course we accept that the BBC makes occasional mention of US-UK killings. The question is: to what extent, in what context, and in what depth?

    Incidentally, we do not argue that the BBC acts as "the mouthpiece of the government" - it speaks for the establishment, which has long been united in supporting violent foreign policy. The British historian Mark Curtis has observed:

    "Since 1945, rather than occasionally deviating from the promotion of peace, democracy, human rights and economic development in the Third World, British (and US) foreign policy has been systematically opposed to them, whether the Conservatives or Labour (or Republicans or Democrats) have been in power. This has had grave consequences for those on the receiving end of Western policies abroad." (Curtis, The Ambiguities of Power - British Foreign Policy Since 1945, Zed Books, 1995, p.3)

    The BBC is not about to rebel against this bloody establishment consensus - not least because it +is+ the establishment.

    Over the past five years, we have shown how the BBC does a remarkable job of obscuring Western responsibility for suffering in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. The BBC's rare mentions of US-UK crimes are presented in a context of reporting that powerfully legitimises the use of mass violence - crude realpolitik is presented as "humanitarian intervention", violent occupation as "democracy", and ruthless suppression as "maintaining law and order".

    This is not a view we have simply made up. A 2003 Cardiff University report found that the BBC had "displayed the most 'pro-war' agenda of any broadcaster" (Matt Wells, 'Study deals a blow to claims of anti-war bias in BBC news,' Guardian Unlimited, July 4, 2003). Over the three weeks of the initial conflict in Iraq, 11% of the sources quoted by the BBC were of coalition government or military origin, the highest proportion of all the main television broadcasters. The BBC also placed +least+ emphasis on Iraqi casualties, which were mentioned in just 22% of its stories about the Iraqi people. If you have any evidence that this emphasis has changed, please send it along.

    But in fact, of course, it hasn't. Thus, the BBC has made few and sceptical mentions of the November 2004 Lancet report of 100,000 excess civilian deaths since March 2003 - preferring to cite the far less credible, and much lower, Iraq Body Count study.

    In October 2005, a year after the Lancet report appeared, the BBC News website noted: "Unofficial estimates put Iraqi civilian deaths since the war at about 25,000." ('US death toll in Iraq hits 2,000,' October 26, 2005; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4376812.stm)

    When asked why this low figure was used when the 100,000 figure from the Lancet report was available, the BBC responded of the latter:

    "The figures it details are now around one year old where as those produced by Iraq Body Count are continually updated." (Email from complaints personnel, October 27, 2005)

    This was apparently not an attempt at humour.

    That same month, Tarik Kafala, Middle East Editor of the BBC News website, wrote to one of our readers:

    "We do not usually use the Lancet's figure in standard news stories because it is so far out of line with other studies on the same issue. There are also some questions over the validity of the Lancet study in the case of measuring casualties in Iraq. The technique of sampling and extrapolating from samples has been criticised in this case because the pattern of violence in Iraq has been so uneven." (Email, October 31, 2005)

    Hard to believe, but Kafala was here writing of a study led by Johns Hopkins - one of the world's premier research organisations - and published in one of the world's most highly respected science journals.

    In September 2004, the BBC's Nicholas Witchell commented:

    "As is so often the case in this conflict it's the Iraqi civilian population which suffers the greatest loss of life - either as a result of mistakes by the Americans, or, far more frequently, of course, as a result of the bombs and the bullets of the insurgents." (Witchell, BBC 1, Six O'Clock News, September 30, 2004)

    We pointed out to Witchell that earlier that week Knight Ridder Newspapers had reported that operations by 'coalition' forces and Iraqi police were killing twice as many Iraqis - most of them civilians - as attacks by insurgents, according to statistics compiled by the Iraqi Health Ministry. As discussed in our earlier email, two months later the Lancet reported that 84 per cent of violent deaths were caused by the actions of the 'coalition'.

    Witchell's reference to "mistakes" was recently echoed by the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall, who declared solemnly:

    "There's still bitter disagreement over invading Iraq. Was it justified or a disastrous miscalculation?" (Kendall, BBC Six O'Clock News, March 20, 2006)

    But BBC apologetics of this kind long pre-date the latest phase of the US-UK assault on Iraq. In 1996, Ben Brown said of the effects of UN sanctions:

    "He [Saddam Hussein] claims UN sanctions have reduced many of his citizens to near starvation - pictures like these [of a malnourished baby and despairing mother] have been a powerful propaganda weapon for Saddam, which he'll now have to give up." (Brown, BBC News, June 20, 1996)

    We have pointed out that Saddam's claims were irrelevant - the UN, aid agencies and any number of independent experts had +confirmed+ that sanctions had reduced Iraqi citizens to near starvation. Estimates put the cost at over one million lives lost.

    In your own November 2002 Panorama special, 'Saddam - A Warning from History', (BBC1, November 3, 2002) - an outrageous nod to the title of the BBC series, 'The Nazis - A Warning From History' - you limited your comments on Western responsibility for genocide in Iraq to 16 words in one sentence. You even used the past tense:

    "They [sanctions] were indeed a savage punishment, for they chiefly hurt the ordinary people of the country."

    You watered down even these 16 words by adding on sanctions: "Saddam made sure they [the Iraqi people] suffered even more than they had to."

    More generally, Britain and America are forever portrayed by the BBC as responsible and well-intentioned - one would never guess that these are two of the great corporate societies of our world driven by a relentless quest for profits and strategic control. In a 2003 Panorama special, Matt Frei said:

    "There's no doubt that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially now to the Middle East... is now increasingly tied up with military power." (Frei, BBC1, Panorama, April 13, 2003)

    By contrast, US presidential candidate and congressman, Dennis Kucinich, wrote in March 2003:

    "Is President Bush's war in Iraq about oil? Of course it is. Sometimes, the obvious answer is the right one: Oil is a major factor in the President's march to war, just as oil is a major factor in every aspect of US policy in the Persian Gulf." (Kucinich, 'Obviously Oil,' AlterNet, March 11, 2003)

    This is utterly 'off world' commentary from the 'measured' BBC point of view.

    In March 2003, Newsnight's Kirsty Wark's observed that the declining humanitarian situation in Iraq threatened to "take the shine off" the "Shock and Awe" bombing campaign. (Wark, Newsnight, March 21, 2003)

    We were to believe that it was possible for the supreme war crime - the waging of a war of aggression - to "shine".

    Prior to the event in June 2004, the BBC never tired of insisting that the "coalition" really would "hand over power to the Iraqis". The death of a British soldier in Basra was particularly tragic, the BBC's Middle East correspondent Orla Guerin noted, because he was "the last soldier to die under the occupation". (BBC1, 13:00 News, June 28, 2004)

    And of course the BBC has consistently presented elections in occupied Iraq as "democratic", such that the Iraqi people are at last free. Of a region under military occupation, where people have been forced to have basic surgery without painkillers, and where child mortality has risen by 30% since the March 2003 invasion, Ben Brown said:

    "The people of southern Iraq know they have their freedom." (Brown, BBC1, 22:00 News, October 20, 2004)

    We could go on indefinitely. See here for further examples: http://www.medialens.org/alerts/04/041130_Protest_BBC_1.HTM

    Although you might counter that these are all quotes selected to make a particular case, the point is that there are no quotes that go the other way. With vanishingly rare exceptions, the truth of US-UK realpolitik - of control of oil, of American empire, of business-driven foreign policy, of US-UK mass murder and the commission of supreme war crimes - is unmentionable in BBC TV news reporting.

    This relentlessly biased BBC coverage has the effect of persuading the viewer that US-UK actions in Iraq are fundamentally well-intentioned, benign, even legal. This is the reassuring context in which very occasional mentions of US-UK killings are made to look like isolated, unfortunate events - an unavoidable result of the fact that 'War is hell!' And so our killing appears 'forgivable', as "blundering efforts to do good". "It is a war, after all," as Newsnight's David Sells commented in response to one of the early US atrocities that consumed 62 civilian lives in Baghdad. (Sells, Newsnight, March 28, 2003)

    But anyway, the question remains - how, in reviewing the astonishing death toll reported by the Baghdad morgue, did the BBC manage to make +no+ reference to the vast number of deaths inflicted by 'coalition' forces? BBC1's May 6 Ten O'Clock News gave the impression that the 'coalition' was an innocent, uninvolved bystander in this war. Shouldn't US-UK responsibility for deaths +always+ be mentioned when these issues are discussed? Isn't it even more damning that the BBC was completely silent on the US-UK role just days after the BBC, and the press, had covered Haditha and other horrors?

    Your comment, then, is an exact reversal of the truth - "only the most prejudiced and blinkered person" could possibly manage to believe that the BBC +doesn't+ act as a mouthpiece for powerful interests.

    It is disappointing to hear that you view us in such a dim light - that you believe we lie and deliberately distort our analysis. We believe the reason so many people, including senior journalists, respect our work is because they can see that we do +not+ lie and do not distort. For example, former New Statesman editor, Peter Wilby, has said of our new book, Guardians of Power:

    "This book - essentially a best of Media Lens compilation - is mercifully free of academic or political jargon, and is awesomely well researched. All journalists should read it, because the Davids make a case that demands to be answered." (Wilby, New Statesman, January 30, 2006)

    Guardian journalist George Monbiot wrote to us last year:

    "I know we've had disagreements in the past, but I wanted to send you a note of appreciation for your work. Your persistence seems to be paying off: it's clear that many of the country's most prominent journalists are aware of Medialens, read your bulletins and, perhaps, are beginning to feel the pressure. If, as I think you have, you have begun to force people working for newspapers and broadcasters to look over their left shoulders as well as their right, and worry about being held to account for the untruths they disseminate, then you have already performed a major service to democracy. I feel you have begun to open up a public debate on media bias, which has been a closed book in the United Kingdom for a long time." (Email to Media Lens, February 2, 2005)

    Even your own Newsnight editor, Peter Barron, has written:

    "Another organisation that tries to influence our running orders is Medialens... In fact I rather like them. David Cromwell and David Edwards, who run the site, are unfailingly polite, their points are well-argued and sometimes they're plain right." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/4426334.stm)

    Are all of these experienced journalists really being fooled by our lies and distortions? Guardians Of Power has been reviewed 19 times so far - not one reviewer has accused us of lying and distortion as you have done.

    Best wishes

    David Edwards and David Cromwell


    The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. In writing letters to journalists, we strongly urge readers to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

    Write to John Simpson
    Email: john.simpson@bbc.co.uk

    Write to Andrew North
    Email: andrew.north@bbc.co.uk

    Write to Helen Boaden, director of BBC news
    Email: HelenBoaden.Complaints@bbc.co.uk

    Please do NOT reply to the email address from which this media alert originated. Please email: editor@medialens.org instead.

    Apologies, again, to readers seeking the new Media Lens book 'Guardians of Power: The Myth Of The Liberal Media' by David Edwards and David Cromwell (Pluto Books, London). The book has sold out and is currently being reprinted by the publisher. It will be available again from June 16. For further details, including reviews, interviews and extracts, please click here:


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    posted by u2r2h at Friday, June 09, 2006 0 comments

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