31 January, 2008

Iraq Reconcstruction - near Zero

Asia Times

Jan 30, 2008

The George W Bush-sponsored Iraqi "surge" is now one year old. The US$11 billion-a-month (and counting) Iraqi/Afghan joint quagmire keeps adding to the US government's staggering over $9 trillion debt (it was "only" $5.6 trillion when Bush took power in early 2001).

On the ground in Iraq, the state of the union - Bush's legacy - translates into a completely shattered nation with up to 70% unemployment, a 70% inflation rate, less than six hours of electricity a day and virtually no reconstruction, although White House-connected multinationals have bagged more than $50 billion in competition-free contracts so far. The gleaming reconstruction success stories of course are the Vatican-sized US Embassy in Baghdad - the largest in the world - and the scores of US military bases.

Facts on the ground also attest the "surge" achieved no "political reconciliation" whatsoever in Iraq - regardless of a relentless US corporate media propaganda drive, fed by the Pentagon, to proclaim it a success. The new law to reverse de-Ba'athification - approved by a half-empty Parliament and immediately condemned by Sunni and secular parties as well as former Ba'athists themselves - will only exacerbate sectarian hatred.

What the "surge" has facilitated instead is the total balkanization of Baghdad . as well as the whole of Iraq. There are now at least 5 million Iraqis among refugees and the internally displaced - apart from competing statistics numbering what certainly amounts to hundreds of thousands of dead civilians. So of course there is less violence; there's hardly any people left to be ethnically cleansed.

Everywhere in Iraq there are myriad signs of balkanization - not only in blast wall/partitioned Baghdad. In the Shi'ite south, the big prize is Basra, disputed by at least three militias. The Sadrists - the voice of the streets - are against regional autonomy; the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC)- which controls security - wants Basra as the key node of a southern Shi'iteistan; and the Fadhila party - which control the governorate - wants an autonomous Basra.

In the north, the big prize is oil-rich Kirkuk province, disputed by Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Turkmen; the referendum on Kirkuk has been postponed indefinitely, as everyone knows it will unleash a bloodbath. In al-Anbar province, Sunni Arab tribes bide their time collaborating with the US and controlling the exits to Syria and Jordan while preparing for the inevitable settling of scores with Shi'ites in Baghdad.

Obama and Hillary vs Iraqis

Meanwhile, in the Democratic party presidential race, Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war on Iraq, viciously battles Kennedy clan-supported Barack Obama, who opposed the war, followed at a distance by John "can a white man be president" Edwards, who apologized for his initial support for the war. Obama, Edwards and Clinton basically agree, with some nuance, the "surge" was a fluke.

They have all pledged to end the war if elected. But Edwards is the only pre-candidate who has explicitly called for an immediate US troop withdrawal - up to 50,000, with nearly all of the remaining out within a maximum of 10 months. Edwards insisted Iraqi troops would be trained "outside of Iraq" and no troops would be left to "guard US bases".

For their part, both Clinton and Obama believe substantial numbers of troops must remain in Iraq to "protect US bases" and "to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq". This essentially means the occupation grinding on. Both never said exactly how many troops would be needed: they could be as many as 75,000. Both have steadfastly refused to end the "mission" before 2013.

It's hard to envision an "occupation out" Obama when among his chief advisers one finds former president Jimmy Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski - the "grand chessboard" ideologue who always preached American domination of Eurasia - and former Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross, who always fought for Israel's dominance of the "mini-chessboard", the Middle East.

So far Obama has not given any signs he would try to counter the logic of global US military hegemony conditioned by control of oil; that's why the US is in Iraq and Africa, that's the reason for so much hostility towards Venezuela, Iran and Russia. As for Clinton - with the constant references to "vital national security interests" - there's no evidence this twin-headed presidency would differ from Bush in wanting to install a puppet, pliable, perennial, anti-Iranian, peppered-with-US-military-bases regime in Iraq.

But more than US presidential candidates stumbling on how to position themselves about Iraq, what really matters is what Iraqis themselves think. According to Asia Times Online sources in Baghdad, apart from the three provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan, more than 75% of Sunnis and Shi'ites alike are certain Washington wants to set up permanent military bases; this roughly equals the bulk of the population in favor of continued attacks against US troops.

Furthermore, Sunni Arabs as a whole as well as the Sadrists are united in infinite suspicion of the key Bush-mandated "benchmark": the eventual approval by the Iraqi Parliament of a new oil law which would in fact de-nationalize the Iraqi oil industry and open it to Big Oil. Iraqi public opinion as a whole is also suspicious of what the Bush administration wants to extract from the cornered, battered Nuri al-Maliki government: full immunity from Iraqi law not only for US troops but for US civilian contractors as well. The empire seems to be oblivious to history: that was exactly one of ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's most popular reasons to dethrone the Shah of Iran in 1979.

Too many fish in the sea

It's impossible to overestimate the widespread anger in Baghdad, among Sunnis and Shi'ites alike, for what has essentially been the balkanization of the city as negotiated by US commanders with a rash of militias; the occupiers after all are only one more militia among many, although better equipped. Now there are insistent rumors - again - in Baghdad that the occupation, allied with the government-sanctioned Badr Organization - is preparing an anti-Sadrist blitzkrieg in oil-rich Basra.

The daily horror in Iraq has all but been erased from US corporate media narrative. But in Baghdad, now virtually a Shi'ite city like Shiraz, Salafi-jihadi suicide bombers continue to attack Shi'ite markets or funerals - especially in mixed neighborhoods, even those only across the Tigris from the Green Zone. Sectarian militias - although theoretical allies of the occupation, paid in US dollars in cash - continue to pursue their own ethnic cleansing agenda. And the "surge" continues to privilege air strikes which inevitably produce scores of civilian "collateral damage".

The Sunni Arab resistance continues to be the "fish" offered protection by the "sea" of the civilian population. All during the "surge", the Sunni Arab guerrillas always kept moving - from west Baghdad to Diyala, Salahuddin, Nineveh and Kirkuk provinces and even to the northern part of Babil province. After the collapse of fuel imports from Turkey used to drive the Iraqi power grid, Baghdad and other Iraqi major cities are most of the time mired in darkness. Fuel shortages are the norm. In addition, the Sunni Arab resistance makes sure sabotage of electricity towers and stations remains endemic.

Contrary to Iraqi government propaganda, only very few among the at least 1 million Iraqis exiled in Syria since the beginning of the "surge" - mostly white-collar middle class - have come back. They are Sunni and Shi'ite alike. People - mostly Sunni - are still fleeing the country. The Shi'ite urban middle class fears there will inevitably be a push by the Sunni Arab resistance - supported and financed by the ultra-wealthy Sunni Gulf monarchies - to "recapture" Baghdad. This includes of course the hundreds of thousands of Baghdad Sunnis forced to abandon their city because of the "surge".

As for the Sadrists, they are convinced the 80,000-strong Sunni Arab "Awakening Councils" - al-Sahwah, in Arabic - gathered in Anbar province are de facto militias biding their time and practicing for the big push. It's fair to assume thousands still keep tight connections with the Salafi-jihadis (including most of all al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers) they are now supposedly fighting.

Considering the sectarian record of the US-backed Maliki government - which, as well as the Sadrists, considers the Awakening Councils as US-financed Sunni militias - there's no chance they will be incorporated into the Iraqi army or police.

One of the Awakening Council leaders, Abu Marouf, a Saddam Hussein "security officer" before the 2003 invasion and then a commander of the influential Sunni Arab guerrilla group the 1920 Revolutionary Brigades, all but admitted to The Independent's Patrick Cockburn the consequences will be dire if they are not seen to be part of the so-called "reconciliation" process. All this amounts to a certainty: a new battle of Baghdad is all but inevitable, and could happen in 2008.

Occupied of the world, unite

As the occupation/quagmire slouches towards its fifth year, it's obvious the US cannot possibly "win" the Iraqi war - either on a military or political level - as Republican presidential pre-candidate John McCain insists. Sources in Baghdad tell Asia Times Online if not in 2008, by 2009 the post-"surge" Sunni Arab resistance is set to unleash a new national, anti-sectarian, anti-religion-linked-to-politics offensive bound to seal what an overwhelming majority of Iraqis consider the "ideological and cultural" US defeat.

Already now a crucial Sunni-Shi'ite nationalist 12-party coalition is emerging - oblivious to US designs and divorced from the US-backed parties in power (the Shi'ite SIIC and Da'wa and the two main Kurdish parties - the Kurdish Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party ). They have already established a consensus in three key themes: no privatization of the Iraqi oil industry, either via the new oil law or via dodgy deals signed by the Kurds; no breakup of Iraq via a Kurdish state (which implies no Kurdish takeover of Kirkuk); and an end to the civil war.
The 12-party coalition includes almost all Sunni parties, the Sadrists, the Fadhila party, a dissidence of Da'awa and the independents in the Iraqi Parliament. And they want as many factions as possible of the Sunni Arab resistance on board - including the crucial tribal leaders of Awakening.

The ultimate success of this coalition in great measure should be attributed to negotiations led by Muqtada al-Sadr. The Sadrists are betting on parliamentary elections in 2009, when they sense they may reach a non-sectarian, nationalist-based majority to form a government. This would definitely bury Iraq's Defense Minister Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassim's recent estimate that a "significant" number of US troops would have to remain in Iraq at least for another 10 years, until 2018.

Even barring a possible Dr Strangelove-like attack on Iran, Bush is set to leave to Obama or Clinton, apart from a nearly $10 trillion black hole, a lost war in Afghanistan, total chaos in Pakistan, an open wound in Gaza, a virtual civil war in Lebanon and the heart of darkness of Iraq.

Both Obama - still unwilling to defend progressive ideas on progressive grounds - and drowning-in-platitudes Clinton owe it to US and world public opinion to start detailing, in "the fierce urgency of now", how they realistically plan to confront such a state of (dis)union.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007). He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

Asia Times Online Ltd.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JA30Ak01.html

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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, January 31, 2008 0 comments links to this post

Japanese legislators' 9/11 statements

Below are two messages I sent to a listserv of the American Society of International Law in which I participate, which is read by academics, students, and private, government,and military lawyers in the United States and abroad. More accurately, it's a report to that listserv, which is not limited to ASIL members, and to one New York Times reporter who has been writing about the CIA tapes.

Like my prior messages questioning the official story about 9/11, these messages have been met with polite silence. I brought Scott Shane of the New York Times into the discussion by the third message below, dated December 21, which was well-received by the list.

I've argued several times on the list that the deeper implication of the below article on the alleged KSM confessions is that there is no reliable evidence for the official story of 9/11. None of the professors or lawyers on the list, including the author, have acknowledged that deeper implication.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2007/03/true-confessions-tale-of-khali...

Kean and Hamilton conceded the same in their January 2, 2008 article in the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/opinion/02kean.html

Finally, I thought, maybe this simple and obvious point of law and common sense would be acknowledged. Nothing yet.

I suppose I'm speaking out of school by posting these here, but this is not merely an academic issue. I've made my point, and am through with their parlor room discussions about whether torture and war crimes are unlawful, when 9/11 as the premise for torture and the "war on terror" goes unexamined. I would say the same to the ACLU, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, and all the other groups that take the unproven official story at face value. This was inexcusable to begin with, as shown by the proposal of ASIL's president Ann-Maire Slaughter for an international tribunal mentioned below. It is even more inexcusable after all the serious questions that have been raised about the official story. And now that the chairs of the 9/11 Commission have conceded that their report was based on unverified "evidence," I would call this silence by lawyers, academics, and human rights groups to border on complicity in this fraud.

This is insane, really, because all these academics and human rights groups are talking about the proper balance between "liberty" and "security." If crimes are not properly investigated, there is no security.

I submit this in this spirit of making a record as Matthew Naus proposed here:

http://911blogger.com/node/13584

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date Sat, 26 Jan 2008
Subject Japanese opposition party asks whether 9/11 was crime or war

Below is a link to a video I think everyone should watch. First, some
context. I'm Ccing Scott Shane because he asked me what I meant by "the
underlying crimes of 9/11." I thought it was clear that the 9/11
attacks were treated as criminal acts by our government, just looking at
the prosecution of Moussaoui.

I'm also sending this to Mr. Shane because I'm surprised the New York
Times didn't mention it in this or a separate article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/world/asia/12japan.html?_r=1&fta=y&ore...

On January 10, a Japanese legislator Yukihisa Fujita, during debate
about extension of Japanese refueling support for U.S. military vessels
in the Indian Ocean, asked cabinet ministers about 9/11 as ther premise
for the war on terror, and also whether the government considers 9/11 a
crime or act of war. He asked the government whether they had done
their own investigation, given that 9/11 was not only the starting
point, origin or premise (gen-ten) for the war on terror, but also given
that Japanese citizens died in the attacks.

His party, the Democratic Party of Japan, is not a fringe party but is
the largest opposition party and .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_of_Japan

This party is proposing an alternative counter-terrorism bill which
focuses on development aid for Afghanistan. Fujita's remarks are also
in the context of this counter-proposal.

http://www.dpj.or.jp/english/news/071225/01.html

http://www.dpj.or.jp/english/news/080115/03.html

As you can see from the above website, Fujita's party is not standing
behind what he said, at least in English and as far as I can see, in
Japanese either. His remarks were ridiculed in a national magazine, and
I imagine the party is happy to distance themselves.

But he said it, and all this was broadcast live nationally on NHK.

Whatever you think of questions about 9/11, it is significant that these
questions were asked in Japan's parliament, and pretty sad that our
press has not reported on it, if simply because of the importance of
Japan to our economy. Japanese refueling support is reportedly more
symbolic than militarily significant, but Japan is an important ally, or 51st
state if you wish, and the American people should know about this.

I've been waiting on a good translation, being too busy and lazy to do
one myself.

The subtitles in this video are excellent. I lived in Japan 9 years and
have a masters in law from Kobe University, and can say the translation
is accurate. They scroll quickly, unfortunately, but are complete and
accurate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOF_pXW84io

This is just Part 1, and I can't vouch for the rest yet. I imagine they
are good also. Fujita goes on to raise questions about the facts of
9/11, using visual aids that are pretty self-explanatory. Part 1 is the
most important part, and the part most relevant to international law.

9/11: crime or war? Whether crime or war, what level of investigation
should a government do and provide its people and other governments?
What level of investigation should the international community expect
before legitimizing or assisting use of military force?

These questions are particularly timely given that the chairs of the
9/11 Commission have recently stated, in so many words, that their
report is not based on reliable evidence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/opinion/02kean.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Here is a full transcript in Japanese:

http://www.y-fujita.com/katsudou/20080110.php

Best,

Dwight Van Winkle

-----------------------------------------------------
Date Sun, 27 Jan 2008
Subject Re: Japanese opposition party asks whether 9/11 was crime or war

Re: Japanese opposition party asks whether 9/11 was crime or war

Oddly, the U.S. press, including the New York Times, and the European
press have often quoted Yukihisa Fujita.

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?hl=en&tab=wn&ned=us&q=%22yukihisa+f...

Not this time:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&tab=wn&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&q=yukihisa-fuji...

An Italian version of Fujita's presentation to the Japanese Diet is also
available, apparently based on the English version I sent earlier:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGaUcErLXC0

French and Spanish translations are also available, but from what I can
read they are based on an early English translation that was good but
incomplete.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article154482.html

http://www.voltairenet.org/article154639.html

Here's a German version - I gave some input to the translator on his
English version and it looks like my advice was taken.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pALs03KPhTM

I of course cannot vouch for any of these translations other than the
English. My point in posting these is to show the international interest
in this event.

This story unfortunately appeared in the U.S. press in a letter to the
editor by a former lecturer at the University of Wisconson that was not
rehired because of his controversial views on 9/11:

http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/letters/269331

His statement that Fujita "asked whether the Japanese police could
arrest George W. Bush for his complicity in 9/11" is false and
apparently based on an early article at a "conspiracy theory" website of
Alex Jones. It's too bad that the American press with resources and
journalistic standards did not report on this, with proper translation.

Mr. Fujita's only reference to President Bush was simple and reasonable:
given that 9/11 is a crime in which Japanese citizens died, and is also
the premise for Japanese participation in the "war on terror," should
the Japanese government rely only on statements by President Bush and
others that Al Qaeda and only Al Qaeda are responsible, or should the
Japanese government do a thorough investigation of its own.

Of course, if an international tribunal had been established, as the
president of the American Society of International Law recommended early
on, these questions might not have been raised six years later.

Anne Marie Slaughter, "Al-Qaeda Should Be Tried Before the World"; The
New York Times, November 17, 2001.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C00E4D7153BF934A25752C1A...

It's interesting that Professor Slaughter says in this article that the
defendants are "most likely Muslims." The United States had been
bombing Afghanistan for five weeks when this article was published, yet
Professor Slaughter could not say unequivocally that Muslims were
responsible for 9/11? I would be curious to know what she has learned
since then, especially since she invoked "Al Qaeda" in an April 2003
article in the Washington Post justifying the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

http://www.princeton.edu/~slaughtr/Commentary/WPChancetoReshapeUN.pdf

It seems to me that Elias Davidsson asks some quite reasonable questions
about 9/11 and international law:

http://www.aldeilis.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&i...

These questions are similar to the issues raised in the Japanese Diet by
Yukihisa Fujita.

I would think lawyers and journalists would finally have some questions
about 9/11 after the chairs of the 9/11 Commission essentially stated
that they had no reliable basis for their report:

"Stonewalled by the C.I.A.," Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, NY Times,
1/2/2008.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/opinion/02kean.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

This is not the first time "stonewalling" on 9/11 was questioned:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/31/opinion/main581252.shtml

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,113513,00.html

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE6DD133BF930A15752C1A...

Professor D'Amato's article on Khalid Sheik Mohammed also raises some
interesting questions, especially in light of CIA claims to have
destroyed tapes. Am I reading too much into this article?

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2007/03/true-confessions-tale-of-khali...

By the way, Kevin Barrett also appears to have relied on a poor
translation of the remarks of former Italian president Francisco
Cossiga, though this mistake is not as serious. A rough translation and
link to the Italian is at this end of this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Cossiga

Cossiga has an interesting history, having resigned the presidency after
disclosing his involvement in setting up Operation Gladio, discussed
here:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE3DB173CF93BA15750C0A...

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE6D71F3BF930A25751C1A...

The second article has an interesting quote from that time:

"The problem with the President," said the Republican Party leader,
Giorgio La Malfa, "is that he talks too much and is still talking too
much."

At least one researcher, Swiss researcher Daniele Ganser, believes there
was more to Operation Gladio than reported in the New York Times.

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/secret_warfare_and_natos_stay_behind_armi...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension

The State Department disputes this, saying it is based on Soviet
disinformation:

http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive/2006/Jan/20-127177.html

It's apparently undisputed that neo-fascists were behind many so-called
"false flag" bombings in Italy first blamed on leftists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Italy_(1970s-1980s)

Allegations of "false attacks" by Columbian military officers have been
reported recently:

http://www.soaw.org/article.php?id=205

http://www.elpais.com.co/historico/oct132006/NAL/falsotentad.html

http://www.procuraduria.gov.co/html/noticias_2006/noticias_368.htm

Regardless of the truth about Operation Gladio and the "strategia della
tensione)," Danser's article below raises a reasonable question: whether
there is a blind spot in Western academia and journalism, not
recognizing the existence of secret and violent networks within one's
own society, while easily seeing it in "the other," especially the
radical Islamic community.

http://www.psa.ac.uk/journals/pdf/5/2005/Ganser.pdf

The idea that if you question whether Al Qaeda did 9/11, then you are
saying "Bush did it" is dangerously simplistic. At some level, it
doesn't matter who did it, it matters how it was used. That point is
cogently argued here, in article that cites Jordan Paust:

http://www.electricpolitics.com/2008/01/there_is_no_war_on_terror.html

The Nation recently published an article stating that "Team Bush's
latest tactic is to play up a thirteen-year-old accusation that Iran was
responsible for the notorious Buenos Aires bombing that destroyed the
city's Jewish Community Center, known as AMIA, killing eighty-six and
injuring 300, in 1994." The author questions whether Iranian
involvement has been proven, and states that "the Bush Administration's
manipulation of the Argentine bombing case is perfectly in line with its
long practice of using distorting and manufactured evidence to build a
case against its geopolitical enemies."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080204/porter

One could draw from this example a question as to whether geopolitical
motives might lead a government to not properly investigate a crime or
to rely on false leads. Seymour Hersch reported in the New Yorker that
false leads were planted on 9/11:

"Many of the investigators believe that some of the initial clues that
were uncovered about the terrorists' identities and preparations, such
as flight manuals, were meant to be found. A former high-level
intelligence official told me, 'Whatever trail was left was left
deliberately—for the F.B.I. to chase.'"

http://cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Hersch_OCT_01.htm

I'm not sure how it could be more clear that it is only rational to
question the official story of 9/11.

Some may think this is nutty and irresponsible, as does University of
Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse:

http://badgerherald.com/oped/2008/01/25/a_cowardly_display.php

I don't know Ann Althouse, and assume she does not lack "intelligence,
judgment, and trustworthiness." I suspect that instead she suffers from
the blind spot discussed by Ganser. But as a lawyer, in a country
brimming over with lawyers, I never cease to be amazed at how seldom
standards of evidence, even minimal standards of evidence, are applied
to claims of our government.

And what of our press? Justice Hugo Black said in New York Times Co. v.
United States:

"The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The
Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press
would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was
protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the
people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose
deception in government."

I wish this were censorship. It is much worse, I am afraid.

Best,

Dwight Van Winkle

--------------------------------------------------
The below message is how this started with Scott Shane of the New York Times. He later wrote back and said he did not understand what I meant by "the underlying crimes of 9/11," since he though we were talking about potential crimes by American government employees, not crimes by Al Qaeda. I was surprised to receive this, because I thought it was well-known that the summaries of these interrogations prepared by the CIA had been used in the prosecution of Moussaoui, and self-evident that 9/11 was a crime and interrogations were potential evidence of these crimes. As heinious as torture is, I think the bigger issue is that the torture, whether it occurred or not, is being used as justification for not holding criminal prosecutions.

Date Fri, 21 Dec 2007 9:01 AM
Subject Re: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/13/washington/13inquire.html

Dear Mr. Shane,

Thank you for writing back. I'm sure you are busy now and appreciate
you taking the time.

This evidence relates not only to torture, but let's not forget, to
prosecutions for the underlying crimes of 9/11. Hence my deep concern for what legal
scholars think of the government's actions.

This may be quibbling, but your article states "most legal scholars,"
which suggests both that you had taken a representative sample and that
some scholars took the other position. Now you are saying that no one
took the other position, and asking me to find my own legal scholar. I
understand that you do not want to name sources without permission, and
that you have space constraints, but it would be helpful for readers to
know who is saying what. I would not be surprised to hear recent Office
of Legal Counsel lawyers take that position, not to say that your sample
included or was limited to such lawyers.

That said, what should be done is different from what would be done. I
would not be surprised if most scholars agreed, though I wonder whether
they take that position as a legal or practical opinion. Also, you may
have been referring only to charges related to the crime, not the cover
up. Gonzales' possible involvement in the coverup as White House
counsel might create a conflict of interest for the Justice Department
because he later became Attorney General. I also wonder whether legal
scholars and former Justice officials believe that a special counsel
should be or needs to be appointed.

I'm no expert. As I stated, I am forwarding your response to the ASIL
listserv, read by many lawyers and law professors who may have a
different opinion than those you interviewed. This is blind carbon copy
to you, with a link to your contact page should anyone want to contact
you.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/scott_shane
/index.html

Best regards,

Dwight Van Winkle

[Response from Shane omitted]

> Dear Mr. Shane: In this article,
> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/13/washington/13inquire.html you state:
> "Most legal scholars say that even under a future administration, the
> Justice Department would not seek charges against C.I.A. officers for
> actions the department itself had approved." Could you please tell me
> which legal scholars you interviewed in order to form this conclusion?
> Which legal scholars said that the Justice Department would not seek
> charges against C.I.A. officers for actions the department itself had
> approved, and which legal scholars said that they would or might? I want
> to report your answer to an electronic discussion forum of the American
> Society of International Law, and so am carbon copying this inquiry to
> that list. I am just a participant in that forum and not a member of the
> American Society of International Law, and speak only for myself. Thank
> you. Sincerely, Dwight Van Winkle Attorney, Seattle Cc: American Society
> of International Law Forum lists
> erv


=============

I think this story has clout!
This topic needs publicity!


Suggestion:

make a flyer with 3 photos of the JapSenate thing
with 10 respectful sentences in simple english
and "google KEYWORD KEYWORD 911" on the bottom

and:

- This was sent to all members of congress
- I will contact you again on 1st may 2008.
- I will ask you for a statement.
- I will publish all statements (or lack of) on my web-log (BLOG)

then fax it to all members of congress

SEE ALSO http://u2r2h.blogspot.com/2008/01/911-truth-japanese-style-plus-pilger.html
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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, January 31, 2008 0 comments links to this post

30 January, 2008

Chomsky - Gaza - Jailbreak

Insight: Human spirit cannot be subdued (by Ramzy Baroud)

IN A RADIO INTERVIEW prior to the US invasion of Iraq, David Barsamian asked Noam Chomsky what ordinary Americans could do to stop the war. Chomsky answered, .In some parts of the world people never ask, .what can we do?. They simply do it..

For someone who was born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza, Chomsky.s seemingly oblique response required no further elucidation.

When Gazens recently stormed the strip.s sealed border with Egypt, Chomsky.s comment returned to mind, along with memories of the still relevant . and haunting . past.

In 1989, the Bureej refugee camp was experiencing a strict military curfew, as punishment for the killing of one Israeli soldier. The soldier.s car had broken down in front of the camp while he was on his way home to a Jewish settlement. Bureej had previously lost hundreds of its people to the Israeli army and killing the soldier was an unsurprising act of retaliation.

In the weeks that followed, scores of Palestinians in Bureej were murdered and hundreds of homes were demolished. The killing spree generated little media coverage in Israel.

I lived with my family in an adjacent refugee camp, Nuseirat, at the time. Characterised by extreme poverty, it was a natural home for much of the Palestinian resistance movement. Our house was located a few feet away from what was known as the .Graveyard of the Martyrs.. It was an area of high elevation that the local children often used to watch the movement of Israeli tanks as they began their daily incursion into the camp. We whistled or yelled every time we spotted the soldiers, and used sign language to communicate as we hid behind the simple graves.

Although watching, yelling and whistling were the only means of response at our disposal, they were far from safe. My friends Ala, Raed, Wael and others were all killed in these daily encounters

During Bureej.s most lethal curfew yet, the sound of explosions coming from the doomed camp reached us at Nuseirat. The people of my camp became engulfed in endless discussions which were neither factional nor theoretical. People were being brutally murdered, injured or impoverished, while the Red Cross was blocked access to the camp. Something had to be done.

And all of a sudden it was. Not as a result of any polemic endorsed by intellectuals or .action calls. initiated at conferences, but as an unstructured, spur-of-the-moment act undertaken by a few women in my refugee camp. They simply started a march into Bureej, and were soon joined by other women, children and men.

Within an hour, thousands of refugees made their way into the besieged neighbouring camp. .What.s the worst they could do?. a neighbour asked, trying to collect his courage before joining the march. .The soldiers will not be able to kill more than a hundred before we overpower them..

Israeli soldiers stood dumbfounded before the chanting multitudes. While many marchers were wounded only one was killed. The soldiers eventually retreated to their barricades. UN vehicles and Red Cross ambulances sheltered themselves amidst the crowd and together they broke the siege.

I still remember the scene of Bureej residents first opening the shutters of their windows, then carefully cracking their doors, stepping out of their homes in a state of disbelief breaking into joy. My memory . of the chants, the tears, the dead being rushed to be buried, the wounded hauled on the many hands that came to the rescue, the strangers sharing food and good wishes -reaffirms the event as one of the greatest acts of human solidarity I have witnessed.

The scene was to be repeated time and again, during the first and Second Palestinian Uprising: ordinary people carrying out what seemed like an ordinary act in response to extraordinary injustice.

The father who lost his son to free Bureej told the crowd: .I am happy that my son died so that many more could live..

Later than day, our refugee camp fell under a most strict military curfew, to relive Bureej.s recent nightmare. We were neither surprised nor regretful. We had known the right thing to do and .we simply did it..

Now Palestinian women, once more, have led Palestinian civil society in a most meaningful and rewarding way. Just when Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak was being congratulated for successfully starving Palestinians in Gaza to submission, ordinary women led a march to break the tight siege imposed on Gaza.

On Tuesday, January 22, they descended on the Gaza-Egypt border and what followed was a moment of pride and shame: pride for those ever-dignified people refusing to surrender, and shame that the so-called international community allowed the humiliation of an entire people to the extent that forced hungry mothers to brave batons, tear gas and military police in order to perform such basic acts as buying food, medicine and milk.

The next day, the courage of these women inspired the same audacity that the original batch of women in my refugee camp inspired nearly twenty years ago. Nearly half of the Gaza Strip population crossed the border in a collective push for mere survival. And when people march in unison, there is no worldly force, however deadly, that can block their way.

This .largest jailbreak in history., as one commentator described it, will be carved in Palestinian and world memory for years to come. In some circles it will be endlessly analysed, but for Palestinians in Gaza, it is beyond rationalisation: it simply had to be done.

Armies can be defeated but human spirit cannot be subdued. Gaza.s act of collective courage is one of the greatest acts of civil disobedience of our time, akin to civil rights marches in America during the 1960.s, South Africa.s anti-Apartheid struggle, and more recently the protests in Burma.

Palestinian people have succeeded where politics and thousands of international appeals have failed. They took matters into their own hands and they prevailed. While this is hardly the end of Gaza.s suffering, it.s a reminder that people.s power to act is just too significant to be overlooked.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/commentary/commentaryother.asp?file=januarycommentary692008.xml

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posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, January 30, 2008 0 comments links to this post

28 January, 2008

Bush/Cheney impeachment NOW!

We must impeach Cheney first so he doesn't become President and then get Bush.

These two men are more dangerous than Hitler could have ever been. They are destroying this country in ways the average person cannot see and they are doing it right in front of our faces.Now that you have awakened to the Clinton rhetoric and mean-spirited campaign techniques, open your eyes to the government now in charge because they are sneaking in the back door while we were not looking with other atrocities to go along with the ones they have already accomplished. Take a look:http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=1C069D94-3048-5C12-0008145013ED2D03 - take a look at this "spy bill" that the dems are allowing Bush to spy on Americans without warrants. Gee whiz, hasn't he been "big brother" enough already?

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/bush-cheney-drugs.html - take a look at the "drug money" which Haliburton  achieved success under Cheney's tenure as CEO. And you wonder why drugs are even more available to your youngsters while nobody of interest is being arrested or tried for bringing them into the country. You must know that "high crimes" are initiated in "high places", don't you?

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/ - another impeachment process for the Bush/Cheney lies which started this hateful war in the first place.

http://www.stewweb.com/9-11WTCBush-CheneyTreason.htm - by the way, you can't even copy the address of this site, you have to physically type it in, which I did. This site has some very controversial information, but the 9/11 disaster is what should interest you because it has been proven that it was caused not by terrorist, but by Bush/Cheney. Please read it and investigate for yourself. Take a special look at the Octopus-Bush-Crime Family Flow Chart. It's definitely interesting to say the least.

http://www.mikehersh.com/Bush_and_Cheney_
Block_911_Investigation_.shtml - see how Bush-Cheney is blocking a 9/11 investigation and ask yourself "what are they hiding?"

http://www.geocities.com/kidhistory/bcr911.htm - If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars. - Andreas von Bülow, former German governmment minister, author of "Die CIA und der 11. September."

http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?ChannelID=73 - a very detailed description of the 9/11 theories and structural damage. A must read.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U_GISl3aAA - 9/11 video about the cover stories that hit the TV immediately.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZekosYOmXc&feature=related - what happened to flight 93? No debris was there other than dirt and ash. What happened to the people?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7cvjBViV7g - video showing bombs exploding from the towers.

If we don't investigate our government more thoroughly, we will be allowing murderers to escape. Bush/Cheney killed our songs, daughters, mothers, fathers and all the people murdered in the towers. How can we allow them to get away with this. Every 9/11 surviving family should sue the government, to bring this vicious crime out in the open.

WAKE UP AMERICA!

http://www.usalone.net/cgi-bin/oen.cgi?qnum=3440


The "Winter Soldier Investigation" was a media event sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War intended to publicize war crimes and atrocities by the United States Armed Forces and their allies in the Vietnam War. The VVAW challenged the morality and conduct of the war by showing the direct relationship between military policies and war crimes in Vietnam. The three-day gathering of 109 veterans and 16 civilians took place in Detroit, Michigan, from January 31-February 2, 1971. Discharged servicemen from each branch of military service, as well as civilian contractors, medical personnel and academics, all gave testimony about war crimes they had committed or witnessed during the years of 1963-1970.[1][2][3]

With the exception of Pacifica Radio, the event was not covered extensively outside Detroit. However, several journalists and film crews recorded the event, and a documentary film called Winter Soldier was released in 1972. A complete transcript was later entered into the Congressional Record. The Winter Soldier hearings were followed in April and May 1973 by the Fulbright Hearings, convened by Senator J. William Fulbright, chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Prompted by numerous investigations into war crimes and allegations of war crimes, such as the Russell Tribunal, National Veterans Inquiry and Citizens Commission of Inquiry (CCI), the Vietnam Veterans Against the War wanted to have a large scale public hearing. With the courts martial for the My Lai Massacre making front page news, and the recent disclosure by members of the CIA's Phoenix Program of its record of alleged human rights violations, the VVAW was determined to expose a broad pattern of war crimes in Vietnam. The Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI) was intended to prove that incidents like My Lai were not isolated and rare occurrences, but were instead the frequent and predictable result of official American war policy.

The purpose of the Winter Soldier Investigation was to show that American policies in Vietnam had led to war crimes. In the words of one participant veteran, Donald Dzagulones,

"We gathered not to sensationalize our service but to decry the travesty that was Lt. William Calley's trial for the My Lai Massacre. The U.S. had established the principle of culpability with the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. Following those principles, we held that if Calley were responsible, so were his superiors up the chain of command . even to the president. The causes of My Lai and the brutality of the Vietnam War were rooted in the policies of our government as executed by our military commanders."

The name "Winter Soldier Investigation" was proposed by Mark Lane,[14] and was derived from Thomas Paine's first Crisis paper, written in December 1776.

When future Senator John Kerry, then a decorated Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve (Inactive), later spoke before a Senate Committee, he explained,

"We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out."[3]


PLANNING

The collecting of testimony from veterans had begun under the auspice of the Citizens Commission of Inquiry the previous year, and it took almost two months of on-site planning in Detroit to organize the conference. Detroit was proposed by Fonda because of its central location in the American heartland, and the "blue-collar" social status of most of the residents. The steering committee set up a collective in a house on the industrial east side of Detroit with the help of Catholic antiwar activists; and five clergymen of different denominations, including the director of missions for the Detroit Metropolitan Council of Churches, offered housing for the witnesses.

The program consisted primarily of testimony, with 109 Vietnam veterans to appear on panels arranged by unit so they could corroborate each other's reports. Grouping these veterans by unit would also help to establish that events and practices to which they testified were unit-wide policy, and not just random and rare occurrences. Several civilian experts who had been to Vietnam were also to speak during this event. Arrangements had been made to include the testimony of several expatriated Vietnamese students residing in Canada, but they were denied visas to the United States by the Canadian government.[citation needed]

Organizers also investigated the legal implications of veterans publicly admitting to criminal acts which they had witnessed or participated in. With legal advice from the Center for Constitutional Rights, the organizers were assured that the armed forces could not charge or try veterans for crimes committed while they were on active duty.[15] The veterans giving testimony were also instructed not to reveal the specific names of others involved in war crimes. The goal of these hearings was not to indict individual soldiers, but instead to expose the frequency of criminal behavior and its relationship to U.S. war policy.[16]

Verification of participants' credibility

The organizers of the Winter Soldier Investigation took several steps to guarantee the validity of the participants.

Each veteran's authenticity was checked before the hearings by the investigation event organizers, and subsequently by reporters and Pentagon officials. In addition, they also gave specific details about their units and the locations where the events had occurred. Those who wanted to testify were carefully screened by the officers of VVAW, and care was taken to verify the service records and testimony of the veterans. After the severe criticism of the accuracy of Mark Lane's book about atrocities a month before the event, the organizers of the Winter Soldier Investigation made the credibility of the participants a top priority. All veterans participating in Winter Soldier were required to bring their discharge papers (DD-214's) and IDs.[17]

In this connection, the identifying military affiliation of each veteran testifying, including in almost all cases, the dates of service, appears on the roster for each panel that was included with the testimony in the Congressional Record [4]

As noted in VVAW records, each veteran's authenticity and testimony were checked after the hearings by Nixon's "plumbers." Charles Colson was assigned the task. In a confidential "Plan to Counteract Viet Nam Veterans Against the War", Colson wrote, "The men that participated in the pseudo-atrocity hearings in Detroit will be checked to ascertain if they are genuine combat veterans." At one point, the Nixon team suggested in a memo about VVAW, "Several of their regional coordinators are former Kennedy supporters." [18] VVAW was also targeted by the FBI for observation as a possible dissident organization.

Although military documentation was provided, some media organizations such as the Detroit News made further inquiries into the hearings by questioning the authenticity of the testifying veterans. Discharge papers were examined; military records were checked against the Pentagon records; after all their digging, not one fraudulent veteran was found.[19]

Several months after the Winter Soldier Investigation, NBC News reported on an incident with VVAW executive and Winter Soldier co-organizer Al Hubbard. Hubbard lied about being an officer during a Meet the Press television interview, and was confronted about it shortly afterward. Journalist William Overend states he had met Hubbard and he had been introduced as being a former Air Force captain. Overend learned Hubbard was only an E-5 Staff Sergeant when Hubbard had apologized on the Today Show a few days later, for exaggerating his rank. NBC's Frank Jordan recalls, "He was convinced no one would listen to a black man who was also an enlisted man." Hubbard did not testify at Winter Soldier, but detractors of the WSI frequently raise Hubbard's fabrication in attempts to generate doubt.

Fritz Efaw, a Chapter Representative of VVAW, stated: "The claims that the WSI hearings contained falsified testimony from men who were not veterans is an old one, and it's definitely false. The testimony was startling even at the time it took place: startling to the general public, startling to the military and the Nixon administration, and startling to those who participated because each of them knew a piece of the story, but the hearings brought a great many of them together for the first time and provided a venue in which they could be heard for the first time. It's hardly surprising that those on the other side would set out almost immediately to discredit them."

Seven years after the hearings, writer Guenter Lewy claimed in his book, America in Vietnam, that allegations against Marines were investigated by the Naval Investigative Service. Lewy wrote that the report stated that some veterans contacted by the NIS did not attend the WSI hearing in Detroit or had never been to Detroit, and many refused to be interviewed. However, government officials today cannot verify the report's existence, and no other historian has seen it.[5] Lewy later said that he could not recall if he had actually seen the alleged report or simply been told of its contents.[6] [7]

See the text of this excerpt from Guenter Lewy's book, America in Vietnam, in wikiquote

In addition, the Army found the allegations made by 46 veterans at the hearings to merit further inquiry, and were able to identify 43 of the complainants. The Army's CID investigators attempted to contact 41 of the people who testified; of the 36 they were able to locate, 31 submitted to interviews. [8]

One participant, Jamie Henry, had reported the massacre he described at the hearings [9] to the Army, which investigated and subsequently confirmed the story. However, the details of the investigation were not made public until 2006, when the Los Angeles Times published the declassified information [10].

Winter Soldier panels

Opening statement excerpt

In an opening statement at the beginning of the three day hearing, William Crandall stated:

...We went to preserve the peace and our testimony will show that we have set all of Indochina aflame. We went to defend the Vietnamese people and our testimony will show that we are committing genocide against them. We went to fight for freedom and our testimony will show that we have turned Vietnam into a series of concentration camps.

We went to guarantee the right of self-determination to the people of South Vietnam and our testimony will show that we are forcing a corrupt and dictatorial government upon them. We went to work toward the brotherhood of man and our testimony will show that our strategy and tactics are permeated with racism. We went to protect America and our testimony will show why our country is being torn apart by what we are doing in Vietnam...

It has often been remarked but seldom remembered that war itself is a crime. Yet a war crime is more and other than war. It is an atrocity beyond the usual barbaric bounds of war. It is legal definition growing out of custom and tradition supported by every civilized nation in the world including our own. It is an act beyond the pale of acceptable actions even in war. Deliberate killing or torturing of prisoners of war is a war crime. Deliberate destruction without military purpose of civilian communities is a war crime. The use of certain arms and armaments and of gas is a war crime. The forcible relocation of population for any purpose is a war crime. All of these crimes have been committed by the U.S. Government over the past ten years in Indochina. An estimated one million South Vietnamese civilians have been killed because of these war crimes. A good portion of the reported 700,000 National Liberation Front and North Vietnamese soldiers killed have died as a result of these war crimes and no one knows how many North Vietnamese civilians, Cambodian civilians, and Laotian civilians have died as a result of these war crimes.

But we intend to tell more. We intend to tell who it was that gave us those orders; that created that policy; that set that standard of war bordering on full and final genocide. We intend to demonstrate that My Lai was no unusual occurrence, other than, perhaps, the number of victims killed all in one place, all at one time, all by one platoon of us. We intend to show that the policies of Americal Division which inevitably resulted in My Lai were the policies of other Army and Marine Divisions as well. We intend to show that war crimes in Vietnam did not start in March, 1968, or in the village of Son My or with one Lt. William Calley. We intend to indict those really responsible for My Lai, for Vietnam, for attempted genocide ... You who hear or read our testimony will be able to conclude for yourselves who is responsible. We are here to bear witness not against America, but against those policy makers who are perverting America.

Senator Hatfield urges Congress, State Department and Defense Department to act

On Monday, April 5, 1971, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon made the following address on the Senate Floor:

Mr. President, the moral sensitivity of the Nation has been aroused by the conviction of Lt. William Calley. More clearly than before, this incident has focused the fundamental moral questions that our Nation must confront regarding our conduct in Indochina.

The Department of Defense said in its recent statement relating to the Calley conviction:

The Department of the Army has had a moral and legal obligation to adopt a continuing policy of investigating fully all substantive allegations or violations of the laws of war involving American personnel. Every allegation of misconduct on the battlefield -- regardless of the rank or position of the person purportedly responsible -- must be thoroughly explored.

There has recently been brought to my attention testimony relating to the policy and conduct of American forces in Indochina which has grave and very serious implications. The testimony is given by honorably discharged veterans who had served in Vietnam, and was conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Three days of testimony were conducted in Detroit, Mich. on January 31, February 1, and 2 of this year. This group, which represents 11,000 veterans, plans to send several thousand to Washington the week of April 19 to petition Congress for full congressional hearings.

I, of course, have no way of ascertaining the veracity of all the testimony given, and I am not in agreement with certain of the statements and judgments made by those who testified. However, I believe that the allegations made by these Americans, who served their country in Vietnam, are so serious and so grave that they demand the full study by the appropriate committees of Congress as well as by the executive branch.

The testimony and allegations raised by the experience of these veterans includes charges regarding: the torture and murder of suspects and prisoners of war captured by Americans and South Vietnamese forces; the wanton killing of innocent, unarmed civilians; the brutalization and rape of Vietnamese women in the villages; military policies which enabled indiscriminate bombing and the random firing of artillery into villages which resulted in the burning to death of women, children and old people; the widespread defoliation of lands of forests; the use of various types of gases; the mutilation of enemy bodies, and others.

A recurrent theme running throughout the testimony is that of institutionalized racist attitudes of the military in their training of the men who are sent to Vietnam--training which has indoctrinated them to think of all Vietnamese as "gooks" and subhuman.

Further, the thrust of the allegations made in the 3-day testimony is that such actions were the consequence of reasonable and known policy adopted by our military commanders and that the knowledge of incidents resulting from these policies was widely shared.

Several of the allegations made in this testimony would place the United States in violation of the Geneva Convention and other international agreements relating to the conduct of war which have been ratified by our Government.

Therefore, the necessity for investigating fully these alleged actions, and all evidence that bears on our actions in Indochina and the international agreements we have ratified cannot be overstated.

* Therefore, first I ask unanimous consent that the testimony presented by over 100 honorably discharged veterans in Detroit be placed in the Congressional Record. I realize that the testimony is very lengthy, but its full force and content must be made available so that it can be read and judged on its own merits.

* Second, I will transmit this testimony to the Department of Defense and the Department of State and urge, in accord with its stated policy, that the evidence and allegations it contains be fully investigated.

* Third, I urge the appropriate committees of the Congress to conduct hearings on the policies governing the use of military force in Indochina and their relation to international agreements our country has ratified.

* Fourth, I recommend consideration be given to forming a special commission that would investigate in full these matters and would provide a forum to assess the moral consequences of our involvement in Indochina to us as a Nation and a people.

We as a Nation must find the proper way to honestly confront the moral consequences of our actions, and to corporately turn ourselves from the thinking and the policy that has degraded our moral posture and to recognize that out of contrition and self-examination can come a genuine rebirth of the ideas we hold as a people.

The testimony that follows and the steps I have advocated are presented with this hope. I ask unanimous consent to have the testimony printed in the Extensions of Remarks.

Guenter Lewy on the Winter Soldier Investigation, America in Vietnam

From pages 316-317

"Another organization active in airing charges of American atrocities in Vietnam was the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), which was founded in 1967; by 1970 it was said to have 600 members. From 31 January to 2 February 1971, the VVAW, with financial backing from actress Janes Fonda, convened a hearing, known as the Winter Soldier Investigation, in the city of Detroit. More than 100 veterans and 16 civilians testified at this hearing about "war crimes which they either committed or witnessed"; some of them had given similar testimony at the CCI inquiry in Washington. The allegations included using prisoners for target practice and subjecting them to a variety of grisly tortures to extract information, cutting off the ears of dead VCs, throwing VC suspects out of helicopters, burning villages, gang rapes of women, packing the vagina of a North Vietnamese nurse full of grease with a grease gun, and the like."

"Among the persons assisting the VVAW in organizing and preparing this hearing was Mark Lane, author of a book attacking the Warren Commission probe of the Kennedy Assassination and more recently of "Conversations with Americans", a book of interviews with Vietnam veterans about war crimes. On 22 December 1970 Lane's book had received a highly critical review in the "New York Times Book Review" by Neil Sheehan, who was able to show that some of the alleged "witnesses" of Lane's war crimes had never even served in Vietnam while others had not been in the combat situations they described in horrid detail. Writing in the "Saturday Review" a few days later, James Reston, Jr., called "Conversations with Americans" "a hodgepodge of hearsay" which ignored "a soldiers talent for embellishment" and a "disreputable book." To prevent the Detroit hearing from being tainted by such irregularities, all of the veterans testifying fully identified the units in which they had served and provided geographical descriptions of where the alleged atrocities had taken place."

"Yet the appearance of exactitude was deceptive. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon was impressed by the charges made by the veterans and inserted the transcript of the Detroit hearing into the "Congressional Record." Furthermore, he asked the commandant of the Marine Corps to investigate the numerous allegations of wrongdoing made against the Marine in particular. The results of this investigation, carried out by the Naval Investigative Service, are interesting and revealing. Many of the veterans, though assured that they would not be questioned about atrocities they might have committed personally, refused to be interviewed. One of the active members of the VVAW told investigators that the leadership had directed the entire membership not to cooperate with military authorities. A black Marine who agreed to be interviewed was unable to provide details of the outrages he had described at the hearing, but he called the Vietnam War "one huge atrocity" and "a racist plot." He admitted that the question of atrocities had not occurred to him while he was in Vietnam, and that he had been assisted in the preparation of his testimony by a member of the Nation of Islam. But the most damaging finding consisted of the sworn statements of several veterans, corroborated by witnesses, that they had in fact not attended the hearing in Detroit. One of them had never been to Detroit in all his life. He did not know, he stated, who might have used his name."

"Incidents similar to some of those described at the VVAW hearing undoubtedly did occur. We know that hamlets were destroyed, prisoners tortured, and corpses mutilated. Yet these incidents either (as in the destruction of hamlets) did not violate the law of war or took place in breach of existing regulations. In either case, they were not, as alleged, part of a "criminal policy." The VVAW's use of fake witnesses and the failure to cooperate with military authorities and to provide crucial details of the incidents further cast serious doubt on the professed desire to serve the causes of justice and humanity. It is more likely that this inquiry, like others earlier and later, had primarily political motives and goals."

As noted by author Gerald Nicosia in his history of the Vietnam veterans movement Home to War,

Winter Soldier heralded a significant change of opinion in the American public toward the Vietnam veterans -- not only in terms of a new willingness to hear their side of things, but also in the amount of respect and credibility they were accorded. Over a dozen members of Congress endorsed the hearings. South Dakota Senator George S. McGovern, who would challenge Richard Nixon in the 1972 Presidential race, and Congressman John Conyers, Jr., of Michigan called for full Congressional investigations into charges leveled by the veterans at Winter Soldier; and Berkeley's radical black Congressman Ronald Dellums offered the veterans office space in Washington, where they could repeat their charges within a stone's throw of the House Armed Forces Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Perhaps most striking about Winter Soldier was the great humility of all involved. These men, who deserved to be honored for the courage it took to bare their pain and to assume responsibility for actions their country had asked them to perform -- even as they had already been honored (at least minimally, with medals and citations) for risking their lives in the performance of those deeds -- now came before the world in an attitude of profound apology. On the last night of Winter Soldier, several carloads of veterans drove across the border to Windsor, Canada, to meet with a delegation of Vietnamese students in exile, who had been denied visas by the Canadian government to come to Detroit for the hearings. These American veterans signed their own symbolic "people's peace treaty" with the Vietnamese there. As Jan Barry recalls, the gesture was intended as a means of embracing the people they had harmed, of asking forgiveness for those they had killed.

Despite the leftist orientation of many of its sponsors, Winter Soldier did not come off as an attack on the United States. What the veterans insisted over and over was that America knew better than to do the things it was doing in Vietnam. They pointed out that search-and-destroy missions, free-fire zones, the relocation of people into strategic hamlets (which were enclosed by barbed-wire, and hardly more congenial than a concentration camp), defoliation of agricultural land, and B-52 pattern-bombing raids against undefended villages and populated areas (which refused to distinguish between combatants and civilians) were all in violation of codes and treaties which the United States had previously signed or accepted: the Rules of Land Warfare, the Geneva Conventions and Accords, and the Nuremberg Charter.

In effect, the veterans were asking America to listen to its own much-touted morality, and to begin to practice what it had spent two centuries preaching. At the same time, though, the veterans were careful to point out that the war crimes the United States was committing in Vietnam did not stem from the misconduct of individual soldiers -- which the government had tried to establish by scapegoating Calley and a handful of his fellow officers -- but resulted rather "from conscious military policies... designed by the military brass, National Security Council, and major universities and corporate institutions, and passed down through the chain of command for conversion into Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) in the field.

While no one involved with the Winter Soldier Investigation, and subsequent Senate hearings, ever accused "all" servicemen of misconduct - it was made evident the problem had grown beyond "isolated incident" status. The problem was perceived by the participants as epidemic, and was seen as ignored and even condoned by leaders at all levels in the military and government. Winter Soldier was the culmination of efforts to bring national attention to this situation, and to expedite the end of America's participation in the Vietnam conflict.


Testimony given during the three day event covered both broad policy concerns, such as the use of chemical agents, indiscriminate bombing, and free-fire zones as well as more specific and unusual war crime incidents, including rape, torture and desecration of the dead. The testifying veterans were usually grouped by branch of military service, and geographic location of service. Before launching into their detailed testimony, each gave a brief statement of personal information including rank, division, unit, length of service and a summary of what their testimony would cover. While only 109 veterans gave testimony, over 700 veterans attended the hearing. Excerpts from the testimony transcripts:

Stephen Craig: "...My testimony covers the maltreatment of prisoners, the suspects actually, and a convoy running down an old woman with no reason at all..."
Rusty Sachs: "...my testimony concerns the leveling of villages for no valid reason, throwing Viet Cong suspects from the aircraft after binding them and gagging them with copper wire..."
Scott Camil: "...My testimony involves burning of villages with civilians in them, the cutting off of ears, cutting off of heads, torturing of prisoners, calling in of artillery on villages for games, corpsmen killing wounded prisoners..."
Kenneth Campbell: "...My testimony will consist of eyewitnessing and participating in the calling in of artillery on undefended villages, mutilation of bodies, killing of civilians, mistreatment of civilians..."
Fred Nienke: "...My testimony includes killing of non-combatants, destruction of Vietnamese property and livestock, use of chemical agents and the use of torture in interpreting prisoners..."

After giving their brief initial statements, a moderator had each of them elaborate upon their testimony, and then the press and observers were given time to ask questions of the veterans.

The previously secret two-week U.S. penetration into Laos in February, 1969, which was part of Operation Dewey canyon (primarily taking place in South Vietnam at the time), became a controversial subject at this event since the Pentagon had only days before denied that any American troops had crossed the Laotian border and carried out military operations. Five veterans from the Third Marine regiment who had returned from the war were present at the WSI and refuted the claims of the Pentagon. They described their secret operations in Laos and also revealed that they were given meticulous orders to hide the fact that they were American including, but not limited to, the removal of identification from uniforms and switching to Russian arms that were typically used by the NVA. They were also ordered to deny all knowledge of involvement of American troops in Laos. A Marine Corps spokesman persisted in issuing a statement at the WSI saying, "no platoons or any large number of Marines ever crossed the border." This quickly prompted investigations by American media such as the "Detroit Free Press," "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" and the "Boston Globe" which were successful in turning up testimonies from other veterans that they had crossed into Laos throughout a 16 month period extending through all of 1971, well past the enactment of the Cooper-Church Amendment forbidding such actions (Cooper Church came into effect in January 1971). The 1969 operation was committed by a company commander and was subsequently authorized by General Creighton Abrams, commander of all US forces in Vietnam. The reason given for moving his company into Laos was to combat the North Vietnamese Army and protect his men, later claiming "The political implications of going into Laos were pretty unimportant to me then." [14] Investigations also revealed that the Laos operations extended beyond the Marines as helicopter pilots from the 101st Airborne admitted participation in the American co-ordinated secret operation called Prairie Fire (helicopter pilots were not forbidden under Cooper-Church). [15]


Mainstream media all but ignored the Winter Soldier Investigation. The East Coast papers refused to cover the hearings, other than a New York Times story a week later. The local field reporter for the Times, Jerry M. Flint, commented with disinterest, "this stuff happens in all wars." In a February 7, 1971 article he wrote that "much of what they said had been reported or televised before, even from Vietnam. What was different here was the number of veterans present." Several of the VVAW representatives speculated that there was an "official censorship blackout," and they would express this theory later in their newsletter.

A few articles that were sympathetic to the veterans appeared in lesser-known publications, and Pacifica Radio, known for its left-wing perspective, gave the event considerable coverage. The CBS television crew that showed up were impressed, but only three minutes made it to the nightly news on the first night . three minutes that were "mostly irrelevant to the subject," according to VVAW. [16]

The Detroit Free Press printed several stories about the event, including comments from the military. This included confirmation by the Pentagon that WSI participants investigated by reporters were indeed Vietnam veterans. The Pentagons denials of large scale U.S. activity in Laos was reported as well, until reporters learned from several marines not involved with WSI that operations in Laos had been conducted.

The words of the participants have been permanently recorded in the Congressional Record.[22] Portions of the testimony, as well as some photos of the event, appear in a book produced by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and John Kerry entitled The New Soldier.

In addition, film footage of the event, as well as some pre-event and post-event footage, and commentary can be found in Winter Soldier: A film / Winterfilm Collective in association with Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Winterfilm, Inc., 1972.

* Film version: 1972, B&W, 16mm, 93min.
* Videotape: 1992, B&W with some color, 110 or 130 minutes
* The Winterfilm Collective consisted of: Fred Aranow, Nancy Baker, Joe Bangert, Rhetta Barron, Robert Fiore, David Gillis, David Grubin, Jeff Holstein, Barbara Jarvis, Al Kaupas, Barbara Kopple, Mark Lenix, Michael Lesser, Nancy Miller, Lee Osborne, Lucy Massie Phenix, Roger Phenix, Benay Rubenstein, Michael Weil.

A documentary film of the event, called Winter Soldier, was first released in February, 1972 at the Cinema 2 theater in the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, New York. In May, 1972 it was reviewed at the Berlin and Cannes Film Festivals.[23][24] Due to the disturbing nature of the subject matter about an ongoing war, it got little distribution and support at that time and had been archived by its creators, collectively called the Winterfilm Collective.[25] [26][27] In September, 2005, it was re-released across the U.S. in small art house theatres. Most of the media reviews have regarded the film positively, with some calling it a "powerful" and "emotional" record of the era. [17]

Despite significant fund raising efforts by supporters of the VVAW, the cost of the Winter Soldier Investigation event financially bankrupted the organization. Organizers of the event hoped to recoup some of their expenditures through the above mentioned book, film and recording deals. Orders were taken at the event for copies of the film footage, which was to be made available for $300.

In 2005, a website wintersoldierfilm.com was established to spread information about this documentary and to spread information about further showings of the film (in the United States). [18]

http://lists.village.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Resources/Primary/Winter_Soldier/WS_entry.html
# Winter Soldier Investigation Testimony Full Congressional Record of Testimony online

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posted by u2r2h at Monday, January 28, 2008 1 comments links to this post

26 January, 2008

Michael Parenti - U.S. foreign policy not bungling

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=parenti

Quote:
Michael Parenti, one of North Americas leading radical writers on US imperialism and interventionalism, fascism, democracy and the media, spoke to several hundred people at St Andrews Wesley Church in Vancouver

Dr Parenti has taught political science at a number of coleges and universites in the United States and other countries. He has written 250+ major magazine articles and 15 books, and is frequently heard on public and alternative radio

Thats the introduction to the first of the the two Parenti lectures featured on this google video link

Heres his entry on Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Parenti

Parenti on audio:

Superpatriotism
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti-Superpatriotism

The Hidden Ideology of the Mass Media
http://mp3.lpi.org.uk/resistancemp3/the-hidden-ideology-of-mass-media.mp3

The Political Uses of Religion
http://mp3.lpi.org.uk/resistancemp3/the-political-uses-of-religion.mp3

The costs of empire at home and abroad
http://media.putfile.com/Costs-of-Empire

Slavery from Aristotle to George Bush
http://mp3.lpi.org.uk/resistancemp3/slavery-from-aristotle-to-george-bush.mp3

How I became an activist
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---How-I-became-an-activist

Conspiracy
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Conspiracy

The Role of the Entertainment Media (brilliant)
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---entertainment-media

The Sword and the Dollar
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---sword-and-the-dollar

Academic Freedom
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Academic-Freedom

Land of Idols
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Land-of-Idols

Fascism
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Facsism

Yugoslavia Part 1
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Yugoslavia-Part-1

Yugoslavia Part 2
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Yugoslavia-Part-2

Human Nature & Politics
http://media.putfile.com/Parenti---Human-Nature


Michael Parenti (born 1933) is an American political scientist, historian, and media critic.

Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and has taught at several universities, colleges, and other institutions. He is the author of twenty books and many more articles. His works have been translated into at least eighteen languages.[1] Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad. His book, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, A People's History of Ancient Rome,[2] was selected as a Book of the Year for 2004[3] by Online Review of Books and Current Affairs.[4] He is the father of author and The Nation magazine contributor Christian Parenti.

Parenti.s writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economy, imperialism, fascism, communism, democratic socialism, free-market orthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, religion, ancient history, modern history, historiography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalism, sexism, racism, homophobia, Venezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.[5][6][7] Perhaps his most influential book is Democracy for the Few[8], now in its eighth edition, a critical analysis of U.S. society, economy, and political institutions[9] and a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing.[10]

Parenti lectures across the United States, Canada and abroad.[11] In recent years he has addressed such subjects as "Empires: Past and Present," "US Interventionism: the Case of Iraq," "Race, Gender, and Class Power," "Ideology and History," "The Collapse of Communism," and "Terrorism and Globalization."[1]

Michael Parenti was raised in an Italian-American working-class family and neighborhood in New York City about which he has written.[12] For many years Parenti taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.[13]

In Washington, D.C, in 2003, the Caucus for a New Political Science gave him a Career Achievement Award. In 2007 he was awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee. For several years in the 1980s, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

He now serves on the board of judges for Project Censored, and on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, and Education Without Borders; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought.[14]

With respect to the US media Parenti has maintained that, while news coverage can be marred by problems of deadlines, space, and ordinary human error, much of the misleading coverage is the result of carefully honed ideological production. Reporters, he says, often exercise much skill to avoid the more important points of a story or news analysis so as not to offend anyone who wields substantial political and economic power, including their own bosses and corporate advertisers. Parenti concludes that their goal is to avoid fishing too deeply into troubled waters thereby maintaining an appearance of objectivity and moderation. Their careers, he suggests, depend in part upon their ability to equate centrist views with .objectivity,. and to stay within the prevailing ideological orthodoxy.[17]

Parenti.s treatment of entertainment media (movies and television) continues the argument that the media are not neutral and favor elitist interests. Exploring a wide range of films and programs, he has attempted to demonstrate that the entertainment media do more than entertain; they indoctrinate by propagating values in keeping with their corporate ownership and corporate advertisers.[18]

Parenti often attacks specific examples of the misleading coverage provided by the US media. In Blackshirts and Reds[19] he cites historian J. Arch Getty's figures to demonstrate the exaggeration elsewhere in the US media of the executions effected by Joseph Stalin in the Great Purge. Parenti critically reviews Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia[20] in The Demonization of Slobodan Milosevic[21], finding similar exaggeration of war crimes in the breakup of the second Yugoslavia. In Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth[22] he observes, "western news media, travel books, novels, and Hollywood films have portrayed the Tibetan theocracy as a veritable Shangri-La" then goes on to show that it was anything but.


Parenti is among those who have cited a variety of studies claiming that the 2004 presidential election was fraudulent. In an essay entitled The Stolen Election of 2004[24] he argued that modern voting technology allowed powerful corporations to manipulate the electoral results. He concluded the article by observing, about the forthcoming US election, "Given this situation, it is not likely that the GOP will lose control of Congress come November 2006. The two-party monopoly threatens to become an even worse one-party tyranny." In an updated analysis of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, he adds a postscript explaining why---despite the massive crossover reported in the polls away from the GOP.the Democrats won only a slim victory in the Congressional 2006 elections.. [25]

Parenti stresses the role of class in all societies, particularly the notionally classless US one. He extends the definition of class as a demographic trait relating to status, education, lifestyle, and income level to include the effects of social interrelationships. He observes that there can be no rich slaveholders without poor slaves, no powerful feudal lords without serfs, no corporate bosses without workers. The interrelationship is highly asymmetrical. It centers on the organized wealth of the society.[8]

Parenti also believes that there is a third factor involved in class relationships, specifically the productive resources (land, agriculture, herds, natural resources, factories, technology, etc.). The dominant group in class relationships owns or controls these economic resources. The weaker class historically has had only its labor to sell. Hence the .dominant money classes. exercise a preponderant influence over workforces, markets, major investments, consumption patterns, media, and public policies. Parenti concludes that when discussing class, class power, how it is used, for whose interests, and at whose expense must also be discussed.[26]


From the late 60s well into the 80s, Parenti was one of many radicals and socialists who questioned the validity and value of what they called .bourgeois democracy,. seeing it more as a charade to mislead the people into thinking that they were free and self-governing. By the late 80s, however, he noticeably modified his position, arguing that democracy should not be thought of as merely a subterfuge or cloak created by ruling elites, although it certainly can serve that purpose. More often, Parenti claimed, whatever modicum of democracy the people attain in any society is usually the outcome of genuine struggle for a more equitable politico-economic order. Why credit the corporate class with giving people a .bourgeois democracy,. he asks, when in fact the ruling plutocrats furiously opposed most democratic advances in U.S. history, be it the extension of the franchise or the struggle for ethnic and gender equality, more direct forms of representation, more room for dissent and free speech, greater accountability of elected officials, and more equitable socio-economic domestic programs.[8]

According to Parenti, reacting to mainstream commentators who turn every systemic vice and deficiency into a virtue, left critics of the status quo, seeing no real victories or progress in the centuries of popular struggle, have felt compelled to turn every virtue into a vice. To counter this trend, he says, people should recognize that real gains have been made, that democracy refuses to die, and both at home and abroad popular forces continue the democratic struggle, even against great odds.[27]

For Parenti, democracy has two basic dimensions, the procedural and the substantive, both of which are equally important. Procedural democracy consists of the basic political forms: free speech and assembly, the right to dissent, accountability of officeholders, the right to vote in regular and honest elections, etc. Substantive democracy consists of egalitarian socio-economic outputs that advance the well-being of the populace, protect the environment, and curb the abuses and often untrammeled powers of great wealth. Parenti quotes the German sociologist Max Weber who remarked almost a century earlier that it remains to be seen whether democracy and freedom can exist under the dominion of a highly developed capitalism.[8]

Parenti concludes that .there is no one grand, secret, power elite governing this country, but numerous coteries of corporate and governmental elites that communicate and coordinate across various policy realms. Behind their special interests are the common overall interests of the moneyed class,. which is not to say that differences never arise among these elites.

Parenti has repeatedly criticized the tendency among many who profess to be progressive to downplay the importance of class and class power as a formative force as compared to race, gender, and culture. He allows that each of these other categories of social experience have imperatives that are distinctly their own, sometimes of a life-and-death urgency. Still they should not be seen as being mutually exclusive of, or in competition with, considerations of class power in society, he argues, and should not be used as a means of evading class analysis.


Parenti believes that people's thinking about past and present developments needs to be contextualized, that is, seen in a social context of power and ideology. He gives the examples of technology and money. Both are seen as neutral entities that are inherently neither good nor bad. This may be true hypothetically, he writes, but in reality both technology and money have been developed within specific historical contexts by powerful interests that gained great advantage from their development. Almost all technology, he argues, is devoted to advancing the interests of higher circles, maximizing profits and corporate production, or in the case of government, maximizing surveillance, communication, and military striking power. New advances in technology are not neutral things. They impact upon us and our environment in ways that can advantage some and hurt others, according to Parenti. He writes similarly about money: .Like technology, money has a feedback effect of its own, advantaging the already advantaged,. liquefying wealth, making it easier to mobilize and accumulate. And with the growth of moneyed wealth comes a greater concentration and command over technology by the moneyed class.[28]

Few phenomena in the social order can operate with neutral effect even if supposedly pursued with neutral intent, according to Parenti. The national debt is a good example. Considered merely as a .problem. of excessive government spending, the national debt in fact works well for certain interests, specifically the moneyed class, Parenti claims. By 1977 he noted how the national debt brought a transfer of income from the taxpayers to the wealthy creditors, the holders of government bonds. The greater the debt, the greater the upward transfer, as the government continues to borrow money from those they should be taxing (the big money interests). Parenti concludes it is no accident that the biggest deficit spenders have been conservative presidents like Ronald Reagan and both George Bushes. The national debt is in effect a way of privatizing public spending and defunding the federal budget, Parenti argues. The bigger the debt, the less money available for domestic programs, and the more money that goes from the pockets of ordinary taxpayers to rich creditors.

Parenti.s treatment of fascism differs from that of the many writers who stress the irrational features of fascism: its state idolatry, nationalistic atavism, and leadership cult. While not denying that these are key components in the propagation of fascism.s appeal, he invites us not to overlook the .rational politico economic functions. that fascism performed. .Much of politics is the rational manipulation of irrational symbols,. he claims. The emotive appeals of fascist ideology have served a class-control function, .distracting the populace from their legitimate grievances and directing their frustrations at various scapegoats..

Most of the immense literature on the subject of fascism and Nazism focuses on who supported Hitler.s rise to power. Relatively little, Parenti writes, is said about whom the Nazis supported when they came to power. In both fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, he points out, wages were cut drastically, domestic programs were rolled back, huge subsidies were given to heavy industry, labor unions were broken, taxes on the very rich were greatly reduced or eliminated altogether, and workplace safety regulations were ignored or abolished. Fascism, he concludes, has a much overlooked politico- economic agenda; it involves something more than just goose stepping.


U.S. foreign policy is neither confused nor bungling, according to Parenti. It is quite consistently directed toward certain goals, and is largely successful. For the most part, U.S. leaders have maintained friendly relations with those governments that have opened up their countries to Western corporate investors, and have shown hostility toward those countries that have tried to use their land, labor, natural resources, and markets for their own self-development, Parenti believes. Iraq was targeted for .having committed economic nationalism,. with a state-run economy that pretty much shut out Western investors. The same holds true for Yugoslavia, he claims. Both countries were bombed and invaded, and their public economies were shattered. Parenti believes that Yugoslavia was transformed from a viable social democracy to a cluster of little right-wing mini-republics.

Parenti's beliefs led him to become head of the United States chapter of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milo.evic',[30] in which capacity he added to the criticisms of bias in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia[31][32]

Parenti also maintains that the U.S. empire feeds off the U.S. republic. The empire.s expansion abroad entails increasing costs for the republic. Ventures that are profitable for military contractors and overseas investors have to be paid in blood and taxes by the American populace. The many third world countries that are the targets of colonial intervention pay the highest price, he writes. They suffer not from underdevelopment, but from .maldevelopment,. a result of generations of overexploitation

Many on the left continue to deliver impassioned and blanket condemnations of deceased communist countries, Parenti notes. .Those of us who refused to join in the Soviet bashing were branded by left anti-communists as .Soviet apologists. and .Stalinists,. even if we disliked Stalin and his autocratic system of rule and believed there were things seriously wrong with existing Soviet society..[19]

Parenti did in fact make a number of criticisms of the Soviet Union. In 1986 he wrote: "In the USSR there exists serious problems of labor productivity, industrialization, urbanization, bureaucracy, corruption, and alcoholism. There are production and distribution bottlenecks, plan failures, consumer scarcities, criminal abuses of power, suppression of dissidents, and expressions of alienation among some of the population.

More recently he wrote that the state owned economies of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union suffered .fatal distortions in their development. because of the years of .embargo, invasion, devastating wars, and costly arms buildup; excessive bureaucratization and poor incentive systems; lack of administrative initiative and technological innovation; and a repressive political rule that allowed little critical expression and feedback while fostering stagnation and elitism..[6]

Parenti argues that .despite the well-publicized deficiencies, crimes, and injustices, there were positive features about existing communist systems that were worth preserving, such as the free medical care and human services; affordable food, fuel, transportation, and housing; universal literacy; gains in women.s rights; free education to the highest level of one.s ability; a guaranteed right to a job; free cultural and sporting events, and the like..[6] He supported Gorbachev.s campaign of perestroika and glasnost until 1990 when it became evident to him that the Gorbachev reforms were leading to the implantation of free-market capitalism and were bringing hardships to the common people

Parenti maintains that the structural problems of free-market transnational capitalism will only worsen the living standards of people in the United States and abroad, while deepening the environmental crises. He advocates a greater measure of public ownership in the USA. Parenti asks .can socialism work? ... Is it not just a dream in theory and a nightmare in practice? Can the government produce anything of worth?.[8] He goes on to point out that it already does citing publicly owned transportation systems, utilities, banking, education, and health services that are run efficiently by the governments of the USA and various social democracies and at far less cost than their private counterparts


* The Anti-Communist Impulse, Random House, 1970.
* Trends and Tragedies in American Foreign Policy, Little, Brown, 1971.
* Ethnic and Political Attitudes, Arno, 1975.
* Democracy for the Few, First Edition circa 1974, Eighth Edition 2007.[8]
* Power and the Powerless, St. Martin's Press, 1978.
* Inventing Reality: the Politics of News Media. First edition 1986, Second Edition 1993.
* The Sword and the Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution and the Arms Race, St. Martin's, 1989.
* Make-Believe Media: the Politics of Entertainment, St. Martin's Press, 1992.
* Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America, St. Martin's, 1993.
* Against Empire, City Lights, 1995.
* Dirty Truths, City Lights Books, 1996. Includes some autobiographical essays.
* Blackshirts & Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1997.
* America Besieged, City Lights, 1998.
* History as Mystery, City Lights, 1999.
* To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, Verso, 2000.
* The Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond, City Lights, 2002.
* The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome, The New Press, 2003.[2]
* Superpatriotism, City Lights, 2004.
* The Culture Struggle, Seven Stories Press, 2006.
* Contrary Notions, City Lights Books, 2007.[6]

MORE AUDIO

Talks by Michael Parenti - MP3 format.
http://www.radio4all.net/index.php?op=search&nav=&session=&searchtext=michael+parenti

TUC Radio's Michael Parenti Archive - recordings available on CD and DVD.
http://www.tucradio.org/parenti.html

Michael Parenti Political Archive maintained by Michael Parenti
http://www.michaelparenti.org/




Parenti has written extensively on the bullshit uses of "conspiracy theory" on the left, and he has trashed people such as Chomsky and Cockburn for their refusal to see the JFK assassination for what it was. He defends Oliver Stone's movie in this clip, just as he defended it when it came out. He has defended Peter Dale Scott, Mark Lane, Jim Garrison, Jim Marrs, and a host of people dismissed by mainstream liberal intellectuals.



Parenti is one of the good guys. Read his book Dirty Truths for his thoughts on conspiracy theory.




Parenti is tearing apart the imcompetence theory that so many mainstream progressives spout.



This is key to dismantling that particular worldview in which Bush and Co are just too stupid to be successful at any operation let alone something like 911.


Any doubt as to how Parenti feels about the phrase "conspiracy theory" will be allayed by listening to this wonderful speech. He rips apart the usual left gatekeeping suspects, and says that ugly large-scale conspiracies are a part of U.S. standard operating procedure, which should be included in any institutional analysis.Any doubt as to how Parenti feels about the phrase "conspiracy theory" will be allayed by listening to this wonderful speech. He rips apart the usual left gatekeeping suspects, and says that ugly large-scale conspiracies are a part of U.S. standard operating procedure, which should be included in any institutional analysis.

{ This highly acclaimed talk demolishes the lone assassin theory that is defended by The Nation, The Progressive, Chomsky and Cockburn. Parenti examines "the gangster nature of a state" that would kill one of it's own.}

The JFK Assassination and the Gangster Nature of the State

When Oliver Stone's movie JFK opened in December 1991 a huge PR campaign was mobilized against the film. Even progressives spoke out. Noam Chomsky wrote in support of the Warren Commission's findings. In contrast Michael Parenti gave one of his highly acclaimed talks criticizing the lone assassin theory.

The bitter questions that haunted defenders and critics alike was whether government agencies of a democratic country would do such a thing as assassinate an elected President.

In this talk Michael Parenti turns to that question first. He examines, in part one, what he calls "the gangster nature of the state". In part two he goes over details of the assassination and critiques The Nation, The Progressive, Chomsky and Cockburn. He spoke in Berkeley, CA, on the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

This is one of many "standing ovations" talks by Parenti. The master for this program was lost and this appears to be the only copy of the original recording.




Here is a neat little story about 9/11 Truth which happened TODAY, 1/17/08. Today at college, I was in a packed classroom auditorium, shoulder-to-shoulder with about 60 other students. The Professor was going down the roll list asking people to introduce themselves and briefly tell a little about themselves. It finally came to be my turn. Despite some butterflies and a parched mouth, my statements came out comfortably bold and sure: "...I am an Environmental Science Major and I am also with the 9/11 Truth movement, because it has been PROVEN that explosives were used on 9/11." There were some giggles and suppressed laughter in the background, but I held my ground. The Instructor said: "Well, I may be skeptical about that." I responded, "That is great! I am glad that you are skeptical. I am also skeptical -- about the Official Story." And he trailed on with the fact that he is also somewhat skeptical about official versions, but that he would need to see evidence about the explosives on 9/11. I told him that I have the evidence right here and I will give it to him after class. (DVDs and flyers/info cards) Then the Professor continued with the rest of the class. After class, the student to my right said: "Wow! Have you seen Zeitgiest?! I have! You are right about 9/11." And I proceeded to give him some other 9/11 Truth DVDs. The student to my left said: "My Dad and I watched those DVDs which you me last semester. He was all excited and really got into the videos and how 9/11 was an inside job…." So here I had two people sitting next to me on either side who knew that 9/11 was a cover-up. There are a lot of Truthers out there. It takes being visible to bring things to the forefront. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~```` There are many times when I bring 911 up both in the classroom and just in general life's interactions. I have spoken to phone solicitors who know that it was an inside job. I have disseminated to many different telephone "help desk" personnel (such as utility companies or computer assitance). In the stores, I very often talk to the clerks or sales rep about 9/11 and give them DVDs with flyers. Drive-thrus and restaurants are also another great line of dissemination to personnel working there. Many people know, many do not know. Ha! Service personnel are 'handicapped', because they 'have to be nice'...ha! On campus, my book bag has signs "911 TRUTH" "911 Was an Inside Job" "Expose the 911 Cover-up", with a sign "FREE DVDs". Often, I bring up 911 and other issures in the classroom during classroom discussions. Generally, people are very much in a media trance of what is going on and only have that sound-bit concept of what is really happening around the world. Most people are not aware of all the False-Flag operations nor basic historical facts, much less all the current atrocities. Actually, I have a lot of little anecdotes and stories of neat successes in promoting 911 TRUTH to people. For example, one of many such stories, was the lady in the post office standing next to me. She was about 65 years old and we chatted for a little bit. I went to my car and pulled out some DVDs and flyers to give her while she was heading to her car. When I gave them to her, she lit up bright!...and started telling me all about all the false flag operations that had been going on throughout the years and she was very well educated on things. Ha! One of my earlier attempts in a classroom on its first day while waiting for the instructor to arrive: There were maybe 80 students all chatting away to each other. I stood up and loudly said in a deep booming voice: "Just so everyone knows: 911 was an inside job !" Wow! the room went silent.... In that same classroom on another day, I was talking to my neighbors about 911. A guy behind me said: "That is bullshit..." I responded: "I have DVDs right here that show the evidence. All you have to do is look." He ranted for a bit, but then another student (Luis) said with aplomb, "I will take one of those DVDs." That did it. Luis changed the tune with that statement. Other students also started asking for DVDs and information. It changed the whole tone. ...and there are other stories....



I had a minor revelation with regard to spreading The Truth - I was going to buy some bumperstickers and post them around, but they were kind of expensive (I mean if you want to do A LOT of them), and then the other day I was in Staples (it's like office depot if you're unfamiliar with it) and I saw one of those label makers and I thought wow, I could go to town on that thing. It prints out 40+ 2.5 X 4 inch labels in a minute - black and white (I believe a higher end model does color) with easy-to-use software; I just love this thing. I printed off a whole bunch of 911 Was an Inside Job! stickers with 911bloggers address, prisonplanet, and YouTube: Loose Change, got into my car and started posting them...I did some bus shelters, bank drive thrus, coffee shop drive thrus, some poles...that sort of thing. It is so cost effective and easy, I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier. And one of the things that I like the most about this idea - is that the message is static, speaks for itself, and also allows me to check up on where I've placed them to see they are stil up or taken down. If I put up one sticker (and they're pennies per and no ink involved, just put the roll in and hit print) and 10 people read it, then it was worth every bit of the cost and effort. I highly recoment to all local Truth groups - get a half-decent label printer and start plastering your home town. Fight the fight. Much respect and love to all who struggle with us in the cause. We WILL prevail!



I have a "9/11 was an Inside Job" bumper sticker on the back window of my truck. Several people have given me a toot and thumbs up. Two others chatted me up in a parking lot one time, "Totally an inside job, man, have you seen Loose Change?!" Lots of other conversations with other Truthers, and some curious open-minded individuals. Only one negative comment so far, from an elderly lady who said to me, while stopped at a red light on this past September 11th (a sunny day with our car windows open), "Shame on you! Shaaaame on you!!" Well, shame on her for living in her cocoon of ignorance.



We are certainly not alone. Not being afraid to speak out, and be the ice-breaker, is what empowers the Truth movement.


This is my first time posting on this website even though I check this site at least once daily. Thank you to TomT for what he did and continues to do in informing people. With the threats to attack Iran occurring this past summer and fearing another false flag operation, I wrote a cover letter discussing my journey to 9/11 Truth and handed out DVD's with this cover letter to people in the hospital where I work. I continue to hand out DVD's and also mail David Ray Griffin's books to family and friends in addition to having a few copies of "The New Pearl Harbor" which I loan out to people in my clinic. Just recently, one of my doctor colleagues to whom I had loaned a book and given DVDs came to my office and said to me "you're right" and proceeded to tell me that "this time yesterday, I thought you were crazy". But now he knows and I feel he will not keep this information to himself. So, to echo what others have said, little by little, inroads are being made.
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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, January 26, 2008 2 comments links to this post

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