11/29/7 Annapolis:"Mission Accomplished; U.S. "Soft Power';"Operation Pincer"; Africom: War for Africa; War on U.S Women

Digest Commentary
U.S. urgency is driven by a deep capitalist structural and conjunctural crisis. Historically such crises have been [temporarily] resolved by restructuring capital and the world map through imperialist world war: the current imperialist global war, the bogus "war on terror", is designed to expand and secure U.S. global supremacy before fast-rising capitalist rivals China & Russia, or revolutionary anti-imperialist-zionist liberation wars bury the u.s. political - economic system. This final solution fantasy of U.S. 'manifest destiny' jibes geostrategically with its zionist proxy's 'eretz israel' agenda: these two state terrorist powers are known and despised by most of the world as enemy#1.
This geostrategic context is the only way in which the issue of oil, deliberately obfuscated and misrepresented, can be correctly understood. Not 'a war for oil' in the populist sense of oil for domestic use, but as the key to world hegemony [temporarily] because control of the world's major energy/ oil resources, mainly belonging to Arab and African nations, is the linchpin for leverage over allies and enemies.
The calculated fascist war against Arabs, Muslims, Africans, Latino immigrants, peoples and nations of color across the globe and in the belly of this beast will only be as successful as its vile racist psywar hyper-nationalist amerikan propaganda is at continuing to whip up patriotic jingoist support for the worst criminal state in modern history. Psywar and military war, soft and hard power must be opposed and resisted.

Note: U.S. imperialist crusade for global domination has long been inseparable from, and impossible without, its zionist proxy-partner
On Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews.
The United Nations General Assembly approved yesterday a proposal to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and the other Jewish, that are to become fully independent by Oct.1. The vote was 33 to 13 with two abstentions and one delegation, the Siamese, absent. The decision was primarily a result of the fact that the delegations of the United States and the Soviet Union, which were at loggerheads on every other important issue before the Assembly, stood together on partition... The Assembly disregarded last minute Arab efforts to effect a compromise... Representatives of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen, four of the six Arab member states, announced that they would not be bound by the Assembly's decision and walked determinedly out of the Assembly Hall at Flushing Meadow. The Egyptian and Lebanese delegates were silent but walked out, too. [...]

Mission accomplished
Osamah Khalil, The Electronic Intifada
29 November 2007

So it is over. The much heralded Annapolis "meeting" attended by over 50 countries and organizations has ended, and the result is a vague, non-binding agreement to begin negotiating... Instead of donning a flight suit and landing on an aircraft carrier, US President George W. Bush offered his best Bill Clinton imitation presiding over a ceremonial handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, like an approving father or Roman emperor. However, rather than remind observers of the halcyon days of September 1993, the oft repeated handshake between Israeli and Palestinian leaders leads many to paraphrase Karl Marx: "History repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce."
Indeed, a farce has been carried out in the last week of November, where the conference was symbolically and cynically timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' vote to partition Palestine. If symbolism was what the Bush administration sought in planning this conference, they were at least partially successful, as both Saudi Arabia and Syria sent high level diplomatic officials. Yet, the emptiness of those symbols and associated declarations served to only further engender cynicism among observers around the world working toward a just resolution of this conflict...

...to further entrench and institutionalize the occupation while wringing additional concessions from the Palestinians and the Arab states.
Of course that is the true goal of this "process," an amalgam of the strategies of two former Israeli Prime Ministers: Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon. After leaving office, Shamir explained why he agreed to attend the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, stating that although Israel participated in negotiations with the Palestinians, "I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years and meanwhile we would have reached a half million people in Judea and Samaria." [7] Sharon's strategy is best described by his adviser, Dov Weissglas, who explained in 2004 that the Gaza disengagement plan "supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians." This would not only "prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state" but also forestall "a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem." [8] In launching this new "peace process," the Bush Administration continues to provide Israel's ongoing colonization of Palestinian land with the requisite time to create further facts on the ground and stifle Palestinian aspirations for a viable, independent state. In order for this to be successful, Washington and Tel Aviv need a Palestinian leadership that will actively participate in such a charade in return for US funding and the title of President or Prime Minister. Abbas and his appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are perfectly suited for this role and are in the process of obtaining the necessary political, economic and military support from the US and Israel to maintain their positions against internal opponents, including Hamas and other members of Fatah.
Like the old "peace process," the new one will not end in a Palestinian state in 2008. The strategy adopted by Abbas and his cronies of relying on the United States for salvation is doomed to fail. Palestinians in the Diaspora and inside Palestine must decide what will take its place. Will they allow their century of struggle to end with permanent confinement and rule by a US-backed thugocracy, or mobilize to retake and revive their national movement? Only by reclaiming and remaking into an organization representative of all Palestinians can they determine their future. There is no alternative.

Osamah Khalil is a Palestinian-American doctoral candidate in US and Middle East History at the University of California at Berkeley, focusing on US foreign policy in the Middle East. He can be reached at okhalil@berkeley.edu.

Israeli army kills a Palestinian farmer in Rafah, death toll rises to six in 24 hours
Rami Almeghari - IMEMC
Six Palestinians, including resistance fighters, have been killed by the Israeli army in Gaza over the past 24 hours. Early on Tuesday morning, Palestinian medics pronounced the death of Ali Alsufi, a 55-year-old local farmer in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, after the Israeli soldiers opened fire at him. Witnesses said that the Israeli army has swept into the eastern Rafah city, close to the devastated Gaza international airport... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38640

Gaza fears Israeli push to smash Hamas
Donald Macintyre, Independent
Big Israeli armoured bulldozers, guarded by a stationary escort of tanks and armoured personnel carriers half-hidden in the adjacent sandbanks, were operating all along the exposed walk south on the Palestinian side of the hi-tech Erez terminal separating Gaza from Israel yesterday.

“It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both people (Palestinians and Jews) … the only solution is a Land of Israel, at least a western Land of Israel without Arabs. There is no room here for compromise … There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries … Not one village must be left, nor one Bedouin tribe.”
Yousef Weitz, director Jewish National Fund’s Land Department

Large rally in Gaza protests Annapolis
Rami Almeghari - IMEMC
Scores of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza today, in protest of the Annapolis peace summit, taking place Tuesday in the United States. The rally, the largest, since Hamas has taken over Gaza in June, was called by opposition factions, mainly the Hamas and Islamic Jihad parties. Protesters chanted slogans against the underway Washington-sponsored conference, saying ' we wont recognize Israel, we never concede the right of return, we never give up an inch of our lands'.... Dr. Ahmad Bahar, speaker of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council, told the crowds, who gathered in the vicinity of the PLC's building in Gaza city, "today, the Palestinian people tell those meeting in Annapolis that they refuse conceding their inalienable rights".
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38646

Annapolis Meeting: Institutionalization of Racism
Dr. Haidar Eid, Special to PalestineChronicle.com
.... precisely what the call for the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state means: Forget about 5 million refugees scattered all over the world as a result of the process of ethnic cleansing that accompanied the establishment of Israel; and don’t even mention the cultural and national rights of 1.3 million Palestinian "citizens" of Israel itself. According to this formulation, the Palestinians are only those who live in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Middle East conflict, in case you don’t know, will be resolved if the latter are given a flag and 3 to 4 truncated Bantustans, with a chief that we can call a president. The Annapolis meeting is NOT going to deal with the refugees’ issue, NOR will it call for an end to blatant racism exercised against "Israeli Arabs;" NOR will it call for the eradication of the apartheid wall being constructed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. So why is the Annapolis meeting being held? In order to practically change the meaning of Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by making the victim her/himself accept the status of lesser than an animal. That is the ultimate goal that Vervoordt and Bhota, and other architects of Apartheid, failed to do in 42 years. Are Bush, Olmert and Blair going to succeed? www.palestinechronicle.com/story-112007160844.htm

Al-Awda Statement On Annapolis Conference
:www. http://al-awda.org
With the upcoming US-sponsored international conference in Annapolis MD, Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, reiterates once again that a just and lasting peace can only be achieved with the return of all Palestinians to their original homes, towns, and villages, with full restitution of all of their confiscated and destroyed property, and compensation. The Palestinian Arab people, regardless of their religious affiliation, are indigenous to Palestine. Therefore, they are entitled to live anywhere in their homeland Palestine which encompasses present-day "Israel", the West Bank and Gaza Strip. No agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away these rights or any other inalienable rights can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to end the struggle for the fulfillment of all of their rights.

The definition of Israel as a "Jewish state", granting exclusive rights to citizenship and land to any Jew from anywhere in the world, while denying the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine their fundamental rights, is part and parcel of the racism inherent in the colonialist Zionist ideology which underlies the policies and laws of the settler state of "Israel". Any sacrifice of any part of our land and culture will represent a blow to the entire Arab peoples and the lands of West Asia and Africa.

The US government subsidizes Israel's injustices with billions of dollars annually. Any Palestinian and other Arab participating in accommodation with the Zionist and US regimes in order to promote normalization and put an end to the Palestinian liberation struggle, stand exposed naked before the world as traitors to our people.

Until all Palestinians exercise their right to return and self determination, Al-Awda calls on all its members and supporters to redouble their efforts, working for and demanding:

1. An end to all US political, military and economic aid to "Israel"
2. The divestment of all public and private entities from all Zionist corporations, and American corporations with subsidiaries operating within "Israel"
3. An end to the investment of Labor Union members' pension funds in "Israel"
4. The boycott of all "Israeli" products
The 60 year commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba will take place in May 2008. Al-Awda's 6th Annual International Convention will take place in Anaheim, California, May 16-18, 2008. The convention will be dedicated to renewing our struggle to return and to reclaim our land no
matter what deals are made in Annapolis.

Until Return
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda.org
WWW: http://al-awda.org

Settlers respond to Annapolis statements with new settlements
Efrat Weiss, Ynet.news
The Ne’emanei Eretz Israel movement announced Thursday that it plans to establish three new outposts in the West Bank during Hanukkah and return to five outposts it had already created in Sukkot. "The gravest thing about the Annapolis peace conference' is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's barefaced talk of a Palestinian state. This is our answer to the prime minister's plan, which I believe must first break the spirit of the settlers before it can work, and that is why it will never be successful (...) " Anyplace in Israel where we do not reside in, is home to terrorists," said Weiss....

Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
The leaders of five of the largest Palestinian political organizations participating in a conference organized by Hamas on Friday, unanimously that the Annapolis conference is a set up, aimed to target and liquidate the Palestinian resistance. Furthermore the participants in the Gaza conference stated that the Annapolis conference is,"one of the platforms intended for liquidating the Palestinian righteous cause". The Annapolis conference will further distance the Palestinian liberation to be imposed a foreign agenda,on the Palestinian people.

The Gaza conference on Friday also stated, that Mahmoud Abbas is not legally authorized to delegate any formal decisions, or represent the Palestinian people at the Annapolis meeting. Abbas is committing the " unforgivable treason"- he is ready to accept any condition imposed on him."...

The Annapolis conference is being held in time of the siege, imposed on Palestinians on the Gaza Strip, by its architect - and the host of the Annapolis meeting, the United States and its alley the Israel oppressor and occupant, in the time and in the light of inter-Palestinian disunion and regrouping.The Annapolis conference was designed to exclude the participation of 78% or more, of officially elected, and appointed representative for a major part of the Palestinians society. The democratic juridical rights of millions of Palestinians has been violated, the rights to speak or vote - make decisions in subjects that might shape a vital impact on the future destiny of Palestine - the Palestinian peoples Liberation - the destiny about life or death.

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian schoolgirls with axes
Saed Bannoura - IMEMC
In the West Bank city of Hebron Monday morning, Israeli settlers armed with axes came after the students of the Qurtuba School for girls. The settlers broke water pipes, menaced children, blocked the path to the school, and tried to set the school on fire. The school's principal, Reem Ash-Shareef, reported that this is not the first time Israeli settlers have attacked the school...that attacks are frequent, and students on their way to school are menaced by Israeli settlers on a daily basis. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38631

Holocaust Denial, American Style
Mark Weisbrot, AlterNet
...another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people killed is more than one million. The estimate of more than one million violent deaths in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths since the US invasion... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38478

A U.S. GOP Jewish group is testing for reactions to a potential Israeli strike on Iran

Look Who's Downplaying Iran's Nuclear Threat
Leon Hadar
... neoconservatives are already making this kind of argument. Podhoretz, who is serving as a foreign policy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, said that Ahmadinejad is "like Hitler" who wants to replace the international system with "the religio-political culture of Islamofascism." And Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), invoking the same Ahmadinejad-is-Hitler analogy, recalled that, "During the run up to World War II, Europe failed to heed the warnings" about the threat that Nazi Germany posed to the world. But Podhoretz and company could have difficulties presenting a case for going to war against Iran in order to protect Israel—both Israel's foreign minister and a former head of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, have suggested that if Iran does acquire nuclear weapons, Israel would deal with it by deterring Iran. Not attacking it. Indeed, according to a report published in Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions with other top Israeli officials that in her opinion Iranian nuclear weapons "do not pose an existential threat to Israel" (Ha'aretz, "Livni behind Closed Doors," October 25, 2007). In their report, which received very little attention in the United States, Gidi Weitz and Na'ama Lanski noted that "Livni also criticized the exaggerated use that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb," claiming that he was "attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears." Mmm ... sound familiar?
That Israeli hawks Livni and Halevy seem to be projecting a more realpolitik approach toward Iran than Bush and Cheney, not to mention Republican frontrunner Giuliani's Podhoretz-led team of foreign policy advisers, is not unexpected. There is no doubt that many Israelis had hoped that the United States would attack and perhaps destroy Iran's nuclear military installations—not because they are concerned about its threat to the existence of Israel, but because they are aware that a nuclear Iran would be able to challenge Israel's military supremacy in the Middle East. But there is now a growing recognition among Israeli officials that the Americans don't have the capability to decimate Iran's nuclear military sites and that a U.S. strike against Iran would, in all probability, lead to a U.S.-Iran military confrontation that could ignite a bloody regional war involving Hezbollah and Syria.
At the end of the day, the costs of such a war to Israelis would be higher than for the Americans, who could always go back home to the United States, where Podhoretz and his chicken-hawks would continue pushing for war from the safety of their offices. http://rightweb.irc-online.org/rw/4743

Gaza: the Final Solution in Slow Motion
Agustin VELLOSO, Translated by Ernesto Piramo
....For many months ill Palestinians have been dying needlessly because many other trucks have not been authorized to transport medicines or even any other basic products - to the prison into which Gaza has been transformed. The martyr children Mohammad Turk, Mohammad Helow and Shaban Lulu, are only three of the hundreds of Palestinians that have died in the last so many months as a result of the Israeli and international blockade. Shifa'a hospital staff in Gaza City pointed out September 5, 2006 that the three boys had died because of renal complications that could not be treated as they had run out of the necessary medicines. The Emergency General Director of the Ministry of Health warned at the time of the imminent danger of death faced by more than six hundred children suffering from renal deficiencies. Since then, actually since Israel occupied Palestine for the first time, it has been very plain that Palestinian children, old people, women and men face the very present danger of losing their land, their houses, their way of life and even life itself, for no other reason other than they are not Jews... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38417

Israeli army forcibly evacuate at least 200 Palestinians from Kherbet Qessa
Ameen Abu Wardeh - IMEMC
At least 200 Palestinian residents of Kherbet Qessa in the Hebron district were left homeless after being forcibly evacuated by the Israeli army in order to establish the annexation wall in their place. On October,29, 2007 Israeli military expelled 200 Palestinians from their homes in Kherbet Qessa, a town established in the fifties and largely inhabited by refugees who came from Beit Jebreen village. An illegal Israeli checkpoint called Tarqumia checkpoint was established near the town. Residents of the town had lived in tents and caves and earned there living from livestock.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38716

no mincing words here about who's boss...
U.S. demands Israel crack down on illegal Iranian pistachio imports
Associated Press
American officials are urging Israel to crack down on Iranian pistachio nut imports which are reaching Israel via Turkey despite a ban on Iranian imports into Israel. U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum said in a meeting with Israeli officials in Rome on Monday that the pistachio imports must stop, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday (...) "As a proud native of the golden state (California), I think Israelis should eat American pistachios, not Iranian ones," said Stewart Tuttle, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv...

Israel and Sex Trafficking
The Fanonite
Dubai is of course not the only place in the Middle East famous for sex-trafficking; it faces stiff competition from Israel. BBC reports, in 2006 'the United Nations named Israel as one of the main destinations in the world for trafficked women; it has also consistently appeared as an offender in the annual US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (Tip) report.’... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38585

France and Israel enjoy 'honeymoon'
"We have the impression that we have gone back before 1967," when Franco-Israeli relations soured, notably over an arms embargo due to the Israeli-Arab war that year said Sarkozy spokesman: http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/france/21928

Sarkozy’s US visit ‘very successful’
For the first time, the president of CRIF, the umbrella group of Jewish organizations, has accompanied a French President during his 36-hour official visit to the United States last week. http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/france/21651

Atrocity Reporting
Lenin's Tomb
The cruelty of Western states is reported with breath-taking equanimity. Take this, for example. Marie Colvin of The Times describes Hamas ruling Gaza "through fear" with "impressive" armouries, including the sorts of measly weaponry used by insurgents against the Megadeath Occupation of Mesopotamia. The article describes the growing "isolation" of the Hamas government there: Gaza is growing more and more isolated. Israel controls the borders, land and sea, and has closed the crossings since June. Food prices have rocketed, unemployment is at 70% because no materials can be imported and nothing can be exported. Israel cut fuel supplies last month and has said it will cut electricity supplies from Sunday. In the latest sign of its total international isolation, Hamas, although democratically elected in 2006, has been excluded from the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday. What the reporter is describing here are unconscionable war crimes. The starving of the Palestinian population as punishment for having elected the wrong people, the economic blockade, the cutting off of fuel supplies and electricity - all of which we have seen many times - are criminal acts designed to torture the Palestinian population into submission...
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38588

How to Control the Story, Pentagon-style: Name them. Maim them. Kill them
Dahr Jamail
From the beginning of the American occupation in Iraq, air strikes and attacks by the U.S. military have only killed "militants," "criminals," "suspected insurgents," "IED [Improvised Explosive Device] emplacers," "anti-American fighters," "terrorists," "military age males," "armed men," "extremists," or "al-Qaeda." The pattern for reporting on such attacks has remained the same from the early years of the occupation to today. Take a helicopter attack on October 23rd of this year near the village of Djila, north of Samarra. The U.S. military claimed it had killed 11 among "a group of men planting a roadside bomb." Only later did a military spokesperson acknowledge that at least six of the dead were civilians. Local residents claimed that those killed were farmers, that there were children among them, and that the number of dead was greater than 11.
Continue reading here

In French Suburbs, Same Rage, New Tactics
“We have heard promise after promise, but nothing has been done in the suburbs since the last riots, nothing,” said François Pupponi, the Socialist mayor of Sarcelles, which has been struck by the violence, in an interview. “The suburbs are like tinderboxes. You have people in terrible social circumstances, plus all the rage, plus all the hate, plus all the rumors, and all you need is one spark to set them on fire."...His [Sarkozy's] most notable initiative in dealing with youth crime has been punitive: the passage of a law last July that required a minimum sentence for repeat offenders and in many cases allowed minors between 16 and 18 years old to be tried and sentenced as adults.... his outspoken junior minister charged with drawing up a policy for the suburbs, has been holding town hall meetings throughout France in preparation for what is to be a “Marshall Plan” for the suburbs....The crash was reminiscent of the electrocution deaths in another Paris suburb in October 2005 of two teenagers, who, according to some accounts, were running away from police. That event set off the worst civil unrest in France in four decades, plunging the country into what Mr. Chirac called “a profound malaise.” ... At that time, Mr. Sarkozy alienated large numbers of inhabitants in the troubled ethnic pockets of France, but afterward reverted to a low-key approach, which he has maintained ever since. During his presidential campaign, he stayed away from the troubled suburbs, aware that his presence could inflame public opinion against him. But Mr. Sarkozy, still reeling from huge transit strikes and student protests throughout France this month, is unlikely to use the current unrest as a vehicle to turn introspective or vent his rage too loudly at those he once called “scum.” In 2005, he vowed to clean out young troublemakers from one Paris suburb with a Kärcher, the brand name of a high-powered hose used to wash off graffiti; when he pledged in another suburb that year to rid poor suburban neighborhoods of their “scum,” he was pelted with bottles and rocks. [...]

More rioting rocks the Paris suburbs
... A senior police union official warned that "urban guerrillas" had joined the unrest, saying the violence was worse than during three weeks of rioting that raged around French cities in 2005, when firearms were rarely used... Despite the renewed violence, France's prime minister said the situation was calmer than the two previous nights. About 1,000 officers patrolled trouble spots in and around Villiers-le-Bel on Tuesday, he said. The government was striving to keep violence from spreading in what was shaping up as a stern test for new President Nicolas Sarkozy. The unrest showed anger still smolders in France's poor neighborhoods, where many Arabs, blacks and other minorities live largely isolated from the rest of society.
The trigger was the deaths Sunday of two minority teens when their motor scooter collided with a police car in Villiers-le-Bel, a blue-collar town on Paris' northern edge. Residents claimed the officers left without helping the teens. Prosecutor Marie-Therese de Givry denied that, saying police stayed on the scene until firefighters arrived. Rioting and arson quickly erupted after the crash. The violence worsened Monday night as it spread from Villiers-le-Bel to other impoverished suburbs north of the French capital... Eight people were convicted Tuesday in fast-track trials and sentenced to 3-10 months in prison, the regional government said... Patrice Ribeiro of the Synergie police union said rioters this time included "genuine urban guerrillas" ...Police said 82 officers were injured Monday night, 10 by buckshot and pellets. Four were seriously wounded. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/341393_france28.html

IRAQ: Holocaust Denial, American Style
Mark Weisbrot, AlterNet
...another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people killed is more than one million. The estimate of more than one million violent deaths in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths since the US invasion... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38478

"We Are Living Through Another Hiroshima," Iraq Doctor Says
Sherwood Ross , Op Ed
...Scherrer writes, "In 1991 the DU ammunition was mainly used against Iraqi tanks in the desert near Basra, while in the present war DU is being used all over Iraq, even in densely populated areas including the heart of Baghdad, Mosul, Tikrit and other cities." He adds that, based on IAEA estimates and his previous research, "the death toll may surpass a million deaths over the next few years, with more to follow!" Scherrer notes, incidentally, the UN’s Human Rights Commission back in 1996 declared DU a weapon of mass destruction(WMD) and that those who use it are guilty of a crime against humanity. Among its users: the first President Bush, President Bill Clinton, who irradiated the Balkans, and the current occupant of the White House (....) Al-Ali, who is also a member of England’s Royal Society of Physicians, is quoted in Feb. 5, 2001, "CounterPunch" as stating, "The desert dust carries death. Our studies indicate that more than 40% of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima."...Dr. Zenad Mohammed, employed in the maternity department of the Basra teaching hospital, said in the three-months beginning in August, 1998, 10 babies were born with no heads, eight with abnormally large heads and six with deformed limbs...
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38464

Lest We Forget
Anwaar Hussain
As November 2007 draws to a close, it will be full three years since American forces razed the Iraqi city of Fallujah to ground. It was in November 2004 that George Bush’s forces played havoc with that city and its unfortunate inhabitants in the name of God. While the American media chose to remain blind to the utter horror of it all, busy as it was with keeping a close watch over the life and death of Terri Schindler Schiavo, Dr. Hafidh al-Dulaimi, the head of "the Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah citizens" reported the destruction that American troops inflicted on Fallujah. According to the report, there were some 7000 totally destroyed, or nearly totally destroyed, homes in all districts of Fallujah. 8400 stores, workshops, clinics, warehouses, etc. were completely destroyed. 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries were demolished. 59 kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and technical colleges were flattened. 13 government buildings leveled. Four libraries, that housed thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts and books, were gutted completely. The number of human beings slaughtered in those buildings, of course, is any body’s guess....Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38717

see, it's all about "partnership", not genocide...
Iraq’s government will “embrace a long-term U.S. troop presence in return for U.S. security guarantees [referred to in another business as a protection racket] as part of a strategic partnership... an enduring relationship in military, economic and political terms.”

IRAQ: No trace found for thousands of manuscripts U.S. troops discovered in 2003
Mohammed Dhaher, Azzaman
Thousands of manuscripts have disappeared among them priceless copies of the Holy Koran, an Iraqi librarian said. The librarian, who wanted his name kept secret, said the manuscripts were "expropriated" by a U.S.-led force shortly after the 2003 invasion of Baghdad. The former government had moved the manuscripts from the national library shelves to a cellar close to the Umm al-Teboul mosque in Baghdad for fear of damage or theft. The librarian said the troops removed the manuscripts from the cellar but there is no trace of them... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38402

A How-To Manual for Psychological Torture
Isolation Torture Routine at Guatánamo
On November 7th of this year, a major 2003 Guantanamo Standard Operating Procedures [SOP] manual was posted on the wikileaks web site. Ignored by most major sources for nearly a week, Wired and the Miami Herald picked it up the following Wednesday [the Herald amplified their reporting the next day. Reuters, has picked up on the leak Thursday and the New York Times on Friday. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38447

President Bush offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying the general "hasn't crossed the line" and "truly is somebody who believes in democracy."

US to spend $97 mn to equip Pakistan's Frontier Corps :
Even as an official review of US aid to Islamabad is underway following imposition of emergency rule in the country, the Pentagon wants to nearly double the funding to train and equip a Pakistani paramilitary force. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/145537.html
Salvador Option Comes to Pakistan
The Fanonite
Presumably encouraged by the wonderful results from Iraq, where death squads reign by night even as rotting corpses terrorize streets by days, the United States is now considering grafting the Salvador Option — policy to arm factions to fight proxy wars on American behalf, a la death squads in Central America and, more recently, Iraq — to Pakistan.
New York Times reports,
A new and classified American military proposal outlines an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, American military officials said.
If adopted, the proposal would join elements of a shift in strategy that would also be likely to expand the presence of American military trainers in Pakistan, directly finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective and pay militias that agreed to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists [SIC] ...
American officials acknowledge those failures, but say that the renewed emphasis on recruiting allies among the tribal militias and investing more heavily in the Frontier Corps reflect the depth of American concern about the need to address Islamic extremism in Pakistan. The new counterinsurgency campaign is also a vivid example of the American military’s asserting a bigger role in a part of Pakistan that the Central Intelligence Agency has overseen almost exclusively since Sept. 11. Small numbers of United States military personnel have served as advisers to the Pakistani Army in the tribal areas, giving planning advice and helping to integrate American intelligence, said one senior American officer with long service in the region.
Historically, American Special Forces have gone into foreign countries to work with local militaries to improve the security of those countries in ways that help American interests. Under this new approach, the number of advisers would increase, officials said. American officials said these security improvements complemented a package of assistance from the Agency for International Development and the State Department for the seven districts of the tribal areas that amounted to $750 million over five years, and would involve work in education, health and other sectors. The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is also assisting the Frontier Corps with financing for counternarcotics work.

Some details of the security improvements have been reported by The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. But the classified proposal to enlist tribal leaders is new.

"The D.O.D. is about to start funding the Frontier Corps," one military official said, referring to the Department of Defense. "We have only got a portion of that requested but it is enough to start." Until now, the Frontier Corps has not received American military financing because the corps technically falls under the Pakistani Interior Ministry, a nonmilitary agency that the Pentagon ordinarily does not deal with. But American officials say the Frontier Corps is in the long term the most suitable force to combat an insurgency. The force, which since 2001 has increasingly been under the day-to-day command of Pakistani Army units, is now being expanded and trained by American advisers, diplomats said. The training of the Frontier Corps remains a concern for some. NATO and American soldiers in Afghanistan have often blamed the Frontier Corps for aiding and abetting Taliban insurgents mounting cross-border attacks. "It’s going to take years to turn them into a professional force," said one Western military official. "Is it worth it now? At the same time, military officials fear the assistance to develop a counterinsurgency force is too little, too late. "The advantage is already in the enemy hands," one Western military official said. Local Taliban and foreign fighters in Waziristan have managed to regroup since negotiating peace deals with the government in 2005 and 2006, and last year they were able to fight all through the winter, he said. Militants have now emerged in force in the Swat area, a scenic tourist region that is a considerable distance inland from the tribal areas on the border.
The planning at the Special Operations Command intensified after Adm. Eric T. Olson, a member of the Navy Seals who is the new head of the command, met with General Musharraf and Pakistani military leaders in August to discuss how the military could increase cooperation in Pakistan’s fight against the extremists. [ pressure on Musharraf always works apparently]A spokesman for the command, Kenneth McGraw, would not comment on any briefing paper that had been circulated for review. He said Friday that after Admiral Olson returned from his trip, he "energized the staff to look for ways to develop opportunities for future cooperation. A senior Defense Department official said that Admiral Olson had prepared a memorandum on how Special Operations forces could assist the Pakistani military in the counterinsurgency, and shared that document with several senior Pentagon officials. Four senior defense or counterterrorism officials confirmed that planning was under way at the command headquarters....
The briefing said United States forces would not be involved in any conventional combat in Pakistan. But several senior military and Pentagon officials said elements of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite counterterrorism unit, might be involved in strikes against senior militant leaders under specific conditions...A group of Pakistan experts convened in March by the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that empowering tribal leaders could be an effective strategy to counter the rising influence of Islamic religious leaders and to weaken Al Qaeda. But a report on the session found that such successes "would be difficult to achieve, particularly in the north (Bajaur) and south (North and South Waziristan)." One person who had been brief on the proposal cautioned that whether a significant number of tribal leaders would join an American-backed effort carried out by Pakistani forces was "the $64,000 question. NYT Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, and Carlotta Gall from Islamabad, Pakistan. posted by fanonite.org/2007/11/20/salvador-option-comes-to-pakistan/

Top Ten Reasons to Suspect "Save Darfur" is a PR Scam to Justify US Military Intervention in Africa
by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
The star-studded hue and cry to "Save Darfur" and "stop the genocide" has gained enormous traction in U.S. media along with bipartisan support in Congress and the White House. But the Congo, with ten to twenty times as many African dead over the same period is not called a "genocide" and passes almost unnoticed. Sudan sits atop lakes of oil. It has large supplies of uranium, and other minerals, significant water resources, and a strategic location near still more African oil and resources. The unasked question is whether [SIC] the nation's Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite are using claims of genocide, and appeals for "humanitarian intervention" to grease the way for the next oil and resource wars on the African continent.

The Bush Doctrine in Somalia: Yet Another Success
Kris Petersen, harmonicminor.com
Over 500,000 people have now fled Mogadishu and its seems safe to assume that the Bush doctrine is alive and well in Somalia. With the Islamofascists overthrown and the bloodshed intensifying, America has added yet another success to its long list of accomplishments in spreading freedom and democracy. Somalis may yet throw candy to the U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops, but there’s just one hitch: the Islamist forces overthrown last year by the U.S.-backed Ethiopian army are regaining their strength and are likely to reassert their power if Ethiopia’s own domestic rebellion intensifies.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38429

War clouds in the Horn of Africa
By Yohannes Woldemariam and Okbazghi Yohannes*
November 10, 2007 — As we collect our thoughts and reflect about what a future war could possibly mean to the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia, dark rumors of war are rampant in the African Horn... a fresh war now could spell disaster of tragic proportions for both countries, but especially for Eritrea. It appears that Ethiopia is determined to take advantage of the desperate internal Eritrean conditions. The recent assessment of the International Crisis Group (ICJ) is apt here: “It would not be surprising if Addis Ababa believes an effort in the near future to stage a coup in Asmara and use force against an Eritrean government that has few friends would also be tolerated in Washington.” http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=5136&l=1
... This feverish Ethiopian preparation for aggression on Eritrea has a crucial international dimension, supplied by...the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Jendayi Frazer crusade to orchestrate an international demonization of the Eritrean leader and his regime as part of a coordinated effort to facilitate aggression. In Ms. Frazer’s vernacular, the Eritrean regime is a sponsor of transnational terrorism, and the answer must be “regime change”... If the rumors are credible, Meles’s understanding of the signals from Washington could be one of the factors that have precipitated the current crisis and the frantic preparation for war as well.... There should be no mistake that the reason for another war between Eritrea and Ethiopia is not that Eritrea has suddenly become a state sponsor of transnational terrorism, but the fact that Ethiopia desperately needs a pretext to create a material foundation for its de facto rejection of the Hague decision on the border issue....
In an ironic way, Meles and his cronies have proved to be diligent students of the Bush Administration’s postmodern preemption doctrine, regardless of whether it violates the conventional norms of international politics and the fundamental principles of international law or it offends a basic sense of justice. The difficulty for both the Bush Administration and Meles is the fact that both international law and the practice of international diplomacy support Eritrea’s position.
...power politics as the spring water of American foreign diplomacy. States are either with the United States or against the United States; based on the services they provide to perpetuate American global dominance. States that complement American effort to project its power are to be rewarded and nurtured regardless of their internal particulars in terms of whether they are violators of international law or perpetrators of domestic crimes. Conversely, states that contradict American strategic interest are to be demonized as “rogue” or state sponsors of transnational terrorism....
the US Administration is acting unlawfully to obstruct the demarcation of the boundary in accordance with the "final and binding" decisions of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission....
We, too, desperately yearn for regime change in Eritrea, but not one initiated, financed and directed by outside forces with the so-called Eritrean opposition providing enabling services. For a long time now, the Eritrean people have been subjected to total internal terror. And now they face a perpetual threat of external terror in the form of Ethiopian aggression and possible reoccupation. Those who parade themselves as Eritrean opposition and yet seek the sponsorship of Washington and Addis Abeba to bring about regime change in Eritrea can only subject the Eritrean people to more horrors of external intervention. Iraq and Somalia are immediate examples. What Eritrea desperately yearns for today are not neo Challabists who ignominiously seek power for its own sake on the back of foreign sponsors, but principled patriots who accept the Weberian synthesis of visionary ethics and the ethics of responsibility to provide authentic national leadership. In so far as our own informed observation goes, the members of the so-called opposition who have associated themselves with the Meles regime and seek redemption from their external sponsors are equally dangerous.... there is a simple rule of thumb that distinguishes between genuine patriots and fly by night opportunists who seek a shortcut to power through foreign agency. In Eritrea’s current reality, accepting advice, support and money from the Meles regime with his vested interests in Eritrea’s disintegration is a political kiss of death. Anyone who solicits such funds or claims to be a safe conduit for such funds to "genuine democrats" is by definition, not a true democrat. The bottom line: Eritreans must oppose an externally initiated and supported regime change of any kind...
Giving orders, issuing public demands and pronouncements, reneging on world court decisions and declaring arbitrary expectations are not prudent. In the Horn of Africa, U.S. double standards and disregard for international law can only plunge Eritrea and Ethiopia into unimaginable destruction.
*The writers are both professors of international relations and can be reached @ yohannes99@hotmail.com

Instigated War Brings Mass Death To Somalia
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The United States remains, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world," through its own wars of aggression and by fomenting and manipulating conflicts that kill millions. It is also the most cynical power on the planet, crying crocodile tears over the carnage in Darfur (in which the U.S. is complicit) while simultaneously unleashing wholesale death in Somalia. Half a million Africans face starvation and disease as a direct result of U.S. instigation of the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia - an extension of Bush's "war on terror" and the underlying quest for Africa's wealth. United Nations officials now describe Somalia as the worst humanitarian crisis on the continent - more dire than Darfur. Read more... http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&...

another deadly "void" created by imperialist domination is the pretext for extending U.S. AFRICOM under guise of "peacekeeping/humanitarian aid"
As Somali Crisis Swells, Experts See a Void in Aid
...The United States tried to come to the rescue in 1992, sending thousands of soldiers to Somalia to assist with humanitarian operations...But American troops abruptly pulled out after Somali militiamen shot down two Black Hawk helicopters in Mogadishu in October 1993... After that, the United States — and much of the rest of the world — basically turned its back on Somalia. But in the summer of 2006, the world started paying attention again after a grass-roots Islamist movement emerged from the clan chaos and seized control of much of the country. The United States and Ethiopia, Somalia’s neighbor and rival, quickly labeled the Islamists a threat and accused them of harboring terrorists from Al Qaeda...American military commanders funneled key satellite imagery to Ethiopian troops as they rolled across the Somali border; American planes bombed fleeing Islamists. One American official said the operation was considered an antiterrorism success... The transitional government arrived in Mogadishu at the end of December. It has struggled ever since against an insurgency that is a mix of Islamist fighters, rival clans and profiteers... United Nations officials said the recent round of plagues, natural and man-made, coupled with the residual chaos that has consumed Somalia for more than a decade, have put the country on the brink of famine. In the worst-hit areas, like Afgooye, recent surveys indicate the malnutrition rate is 19 percent, compared with about 13 percent in Darfur; 15 percent is considered the emergency threshold.... The African Union promised to send 8,000 peacekeepers to help. But because of the focus on building a 26,000-strong force for Darfur, only 1,600 Ugandans have arrived....most Western diplomats agree that unless the transitional government reaches out to Islamist elements and becomes more inclusive, it will fail — like the 13 transitional governments that came before it. “This government doesn’t control one inch of territory from the Kenyan border up to Mogadishu,” said a Western diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing diplomatic protocol. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the warlord turned transitional president, recently forced out the prime minister and is looking to replace him with a leader who can bridge clan divides. “This is basically the last chance,” the Western diplomat said...
[please refer to earlier digest issues for in-depth analyses on post -911 stepped up role of U.S. imperialist agenda on the African continent :
http://www.burbankdigest.com/ ]

Putin says Russia will not tolerate NATO military build up:
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia would not ignore NATO's military build up near its borders and would provide an adequate response to any "muscle-flexing." http://en.rian.ru/russia/20071120/88831563.html

Putin, drawing on resurgent nationalist sentiment ahead of Sunday's poll, said Russia must maintain its defenses to discourage others from "poking their snotty noses" in its affairs.http://snipurl.com/1ucap

Iran's path to greatness through defiance of West
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the country would gain "a greatness 100 times more precious than nuclear energy," if it withstands pressure from the West over its nuclear program. "Confronting those who speak in the language of aggression... is more important than the possession of know-how in the nuclear sphere," he said at a rally at Ardebil, a city in the north east of Iran. http://en.rian.ru/world/20071121/88986125.html

Israel doomed to collapse
"It is impossible that the Zionist regime will survive. Collapse is in the nature of this regime because it has been created on aggression, lying, oppression and crime," Ahmadinejad said after a Cabinet meeting, according to state-run television.

VENEZUELA: u.s. 'regime change' operation
CIA: Operation Pincer/Operación Tenaza
November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations in Venezuela.
The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the head of the CIA, Michael Hayden. The memo was entitled ‘Advancing to the Last Phase of Operation Pincer’ and updates the activity by a CIA unit with the acronym ‘HUMINT’ (Human Intelligence) which is engaged in clandestine action to destabilize the forth-coming referendum and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government. The Embassy-CIA’s polls concede that 57% of the voters approved of the constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez but also predicted a 60% abstention. Operation Pincer (OP) or [Operación Tenaza]

u.s. will not leave a corner of the world unturned until it is stopped by the people everywhere as in Iraq
Bolivia opposition calls for strike
Regional opposition leaders have called for a general strike in six Bolivian provinces to protest against planned constitutional reforms that would give more powers to Evo Morales, the country's president. http://snipurl.com/1ucb5

Left-liberals protecting their class and race privilege positions in the face of sharpening capitalist crisis is old history...
The Dismantling of Yugoslavia: A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention (and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse)
Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power (Cambridge University Press, 1981), The Real Terror Network (South End Press, 1982), and, with Noam Chomsky, The Political Economy of Human Rights (South End Press, 1979), and Manufacturing Consent (Pantheon, 2002).
David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Notes | Glossary | Timeline

The breakup of Yugoslavia provided the fodder for what may have been the most misrepresented series of major events over the past twenty years. The journalistic and historical narratives that were imposed upon these wars have systematically distorted their nature, and were deeply prejudicial, downplaying the external factors that drove Yugoslavia’s breakup while selectively exaggerating and misrepresenting the internal factors. Perhaps no civil wars—and Yugoslavia suffered multiple civil wars across several theaters, at least two of which remain unresolved—have ever been harvested as cynically by foreign powers to establish legal precedents and new categories of international duties and norms. Nor have any other civil wars been turned into such a proving ground for the related notions of “humanitarian intervention” and the “right [or responsibility] to protect.” Yugoslavia’s conflicts were not so much mediated by foreign powers as they were inflamed and exploited by them to advance policy goals. The result was a tsunami of lies and misrepresentations in whose wake the world is still reeling.

Photos today from Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering
Censored Blog

Malcom Lagauche
...Within two years, most of the proud Wampanoag Indians were massacred. A nation that included more than 30,000 people with highly-organized governments and social structures, became a shabby band of no more than 2,000 Indians at the end of the war. They were ordered into slavery. Until this day, they have never recovered. The descendants of the Wampanoags of the 17th century live today in southeastern Massachusetts and most live in poverty. Metacomet was killed by the Puritans who paid an Indian informant to spy on him and report his location. His body parts were put on public display throughout the region. Within six decades of landing at Plymouth Rock, the whites had forever destroyed a culture that had inhabited the area for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Mayflower...

Malcom Lagauche
In my last column, I wrote about the annihilation of the Wampanoag Indian tribe after they helped the Pilgrims survive in a hostile environment in Massachusetts. Many of the actions perpetrated by the descendants of the Pilgrims against the Natives were similar, if not identical, to those used by the U.S. against Iraq more than three centuries later. We saw the same ethnocentrism and bigotry released in 1991 repeated in 2003 with the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq by the U.S. However, there are more precedents from antiquity that mirror those actions....
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38599

Censored Indigenous Peoples' border testimony, a challenge to newspapers
By Brenda Norrell
SAN XAVIER, TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION (Arizona) -- So far, all of the mainstream newspapers have censored the powerful testimony at the
Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas. There's no excuse for this, since all of the testimony is available online on audio at:
www.earthcycles.net/ . It couldn't be easier to write about, even for armchair journalists. They can even copy the powerful written testimony of the Mohawk Women Title Holders from the statement, and copy the final report, bot online at the Censored Blog. Perhaps the recorded audio testimony of Mike Wilson, Tohono O'odham, Kahentinetha Horn, Mohawk, and Margo Tamez, Lipan Apache, to mention just three, is too powerful and controversial for newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. The Censored Blog will even provide photos of the speakers at no charge to any media with a serious interest in reporting the truth. It is far easier for the mainstream media to be caught up in the xenophobia and racism, duped by fear and false spins, and take a formula approach to reporting on the borders.

It is far easier for editors and writers to avoid the fact that traditional Indian people and spiritual leaders in the United States and Canada say their elected tribal councils and band councils are "puppet governments," fashioned after the governments of the invaders. Those puppet councils were designed in the early Twentieth Century to sign energy leases and are now co-opted by Homeland Security and the Border Patrol to oppress Indigenous Peoples at the border, according to Native people.

At the same time, private prison corporations and the gate builders and gate keepers are making fortunes. Those are not just US corporations either at the border. Israel's defense contractor Elbit Systems (among the builders of the Apartheid Wall in Palestine) was subcontracted by Boeing to construc security at the US/Mexico border. The Wackenhut buses waiting to be filled with migrants at the border are owned by G4S Global Security, in England and Denmark. All the while, Blackwater is at the border, hired guns waiting for a contract.

Meanwhile, some of the mainstream media has finally realized that all federal laws, including those protecting American Indian burial places and those protecting endangered species, have been voided at th US/Mexico border to build the border wall. Homeland Security, using the Real ID Act, has overruled federal law and US courts, deeming itself more powerful than the US laws or US courts. Now, that the Lipan Apache elderly and women in Texas are under attack by Homeland Security, the Border Patrol and other federal agents, maybe
the censorship by the media and complicity of the border wall builder will be shaken.

There are, however, heroes to celebrate, many were at the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas.
Censored blog: http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Federal Law Causes Big Rise in Cost of Birth Control
Young women are paying higher prices for prescription contraceptives because of a change in federal law.... The increases have meant that some students using popular birth control pills and other products are paying three and four times as much as they did several months ago. The higher prices have also affected about 400 community health centers nationwide used by poor women. The change is due to a provision in a federal law that ended a practice by which drug manufacturers provided prescription contraception to the health centers at deeply discounted rates. The centers then passed along the savings to students and others. Some Democratic lawmakers in Washington are pressing for new legislation by year’s end that would reverse the provision, which they say was inadvertently included in a law intended to reduce Medicaid abuse. In the meantime, health care and reproductive rights advocates are warning that some young women are no longer receiving the contraception they did in the past.
Some college clinics have reported sudden drops in the numbers of contraceptives sold; students have reported switching to less expensive contraceptives or considering alternatives like the so-called morning-after pill; and some clinics, including one at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., have stopped stocking some prescription contraceptives, saying they are too expensive....
Not everyone is troubled by the price increases. Some people said they wondered why college students, many of whom manage to afford daily doses of coffee from Starbucks and downloads from iTunes, should have been given such discounted birth control to begin with, and why drug companies should be granted such a captive audience of students. Others said low-priced, easy-to-attain contraception might encourage a false sense of security about sex.
“From our perspective, this does bring to light a public health concern, but for a different reason,” said Kimberly Martinez, the executive director of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, which advocates abstinence from sex until marriage. “These young women are relying on this contraception to protect them. But contraception isn’t 100 percent — for pregnancy or for disease.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/health/22contraceptives.html?th&emc=th

Fetus death can be murder
...Wednesday's ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals rejected an appeal by Terence Lawrence, who said his right to due process was violated because he was prosecuted for two murders for killing a woman and her 4- to 6-week-old fetus. The court ruled unanimously that state laws declaring a fetus an individual with protections do not conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling that protects a woman's right to an abortion.
"The Supreme Court has emphasized that states may protect human life not only once the fetus has reached viability but 'from the outset of the pregnancy,'" the court said. "The Legislature is free to protect the lives of those whom it considers to be human beings."...


"We Must Fight the Net"
The Pentagon's Information Operations Roadmap is blunt about the fact that an internet, with the potential for free speech, is in direct opposition to their goals. The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy "weapons system". http://snipurl.com/1u0rb
[please see earlier digest issues on 'trusted secure' computing architecture being constructed now]

YouTube, MySpace and California's D.M.V. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has forayed into video sharing in the hopes that the videos will make roads a better place to travel.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/us/22dmv.html?th&emc=th

Hushmail Warns Users of Law Enforcement Backdoor:
Hushmail, the web's leading provider of encrypted web mail, updated its explanation of its security model, confirming a THREAT LEVEL report that the company can and will eavesdrop on its users when presented with a court order, even if the targets uses the company's vaunted Java applet that does all the encryption and decryption in a browser.http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/11/hushmail-to-war.html

Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request
Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause
By Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post
Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of... suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers. In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate there is probable cause to believe a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime...The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied.
The issue is taking on greater relevance as wireless carriers are racing to offer sleek services that allow cellphone users to know with the touch of a button where their friends or families are. The companies are hoping to recoup investments they have made to meet a federal mandate to provide enhanced 911 (E911) location tracking. Sprint Nextel, for instance, boasts that its "loopt" service even sends an alert when a friend is near, "putting an end to missed connections in the mall, at the movies or around town. With Verizon's Chaperone service, parents can set up a "geofence" around, say, a few city blocks and receive an automatic text message if their child, holding the cellphone, travels outside that area.

"Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air."[...]

Software can tell whether glitches are malicious
Increasingly worried over Internet providers' behavior, a non-profit has released software that helps determine whether online glitches are innocent hiccups or evidence of deliberate traffic tampering. The San Francisco-based digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation hopes the program, released Wednesday, will help uncover "data discrimination" -- efforts by Internet providers to disrupt some uses of their services -- in addition to the cases reported separately by EFF, The Associated Press and other sources. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/341532_tbrfs29.html

Data Leak in Britain Affects 25 Million
LONDON, Nov. 21 — The British government struggled Wednesday to explain its loss of computer disks containing detailed personal information on 25 million Britons, including an unknown number of bank account identifiers, in what analysts described as potentially the most significant privacy breach of the digital era... The data went astray in October, after two computer disks that contained information on families that receive government financial benefits for children were sent out from a government tax agency unregistered, via a private delivery service. The episode is one of three this year in which the agency improperly handled its vast archive of personal data, according to an account by the chancellor of the Exchequer — including the sending of a second set of disks when the first set did not arrive.
In sheer numbers, the breach was smaller than several in the United States over the last few years. Last year, a computer and detachable hard drive with the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of 26.5 million veterans and military personnel was stolen from the home of an analyst, but recovered apparently without any harm. In 2003, a former software engineer at America Online pleaded guilty to stealing and selling 92 million user names and e-mail addresses, setting off an avalanche of up to seven billion unsolicited e-mail messages.
But the disks lost in Britain contained detailed personal information on 40 percent of the population: in addition to the bank account numbers, there were names, addresses and national insurance numbers, the British equivalent of Social Security numbers. They also held data on almost every child under 16....were only protected by a password not encrypted... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/world/europe/22data.html?th&emc=th

AP calls U.S. military case against photographer false: No ties to insurgents in Iraq found
A series of accusations by the U.S. military against an Associated Press photographer detained for 19 months in Iraq are false or meaningless, according to an AP investigation of the case made public Wednesday. Evidence and testimony collected by the AP show no support for allegations that Bilal Hussein took part in insurgent activities or bomb making, and few of the images he provided dealt directly with Iraqi insurgents. "Despite the fact that Hussein has not been interrogated since May 2006, allegations have been dropped or modified over time, and new claims added, all without any explanation," said the nearly 50-page report compiled last spring by lawyer and former federal prosecutor Paul Gardephe.
The report, along with copious exhibits and other findings, were provided to U.S. and Iraqi officials in late June but have never been publicly released by the AP [at whose behest?!]

American "justice"
Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
An Iraqi AP reporter has been in jail for 19 months. And now: The U.S. military plans to seek a criminal case in an Iraqi court against an award-winning Associated Press photographer but is refusing to disclose what evidence or accusations would be presented. And how reminiscent does this sound of other "cases" the U.S. has mounted (Wen Ho Lee, Jose Padilla, James Yee, the list goes on): The AP says various accusations were floated unofficially against Hussein and then apparently withdrawn with little explanation... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38420


Gates wants civilians to help fight terrorism
Robert Burns, AP, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/341260_gates27.html
WASHINGTON -- Defeating terrorism will require the use of more "soft power," with civilians contributing more in non-military areas such as communication, economic assistance and political development, Pentagon chief Robert Gates said Monday. Gates called for the creation of new government organizations, including a permanent group of civilian experts with a wide range of expertise who could be sent abroad on short notice as a supplement to U.S. military efforts. And he urged more involvement by university and other private experts. "We must focus our energies beyond the guns and steel of the military, beyond just our brave soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen," he said in a speech at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. "We must also focus our energies on the other elements of national power that will be so crucial in the coming years."... He said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as U.S. military involvement in the 1990s in the Balkans and in Somalia, have shown that long-term success requires more than U.S. military power. "Based on my experience serving seven presidents, as a former director of CIA and now as secretary of defense, I am here to make the case for strengthening our capacity to use 'soft' power and for better integrating it with 'hard' power," Gates said. Many have argued that the Bush administration missed opportunities early in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns to head off insurgent resistance by failing to focus on economic development, promotion of internal reconciliation, training of police forces and communication of U.S. goals.
The lesson, Gates said, is that non-traditional conflict -- against insurgents, guerrillas and terrorists -- will be the mainstay of battlefields for years to come, requiring more than military power....[...]

Intel-Centers Losing Anti-Terror Focus
WASHINGTON -- Local intelligence-sharing centers set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have had their anti-terrorism mission diluted by a focus on run-of-the-mill street crime and hazards such as hurricanes, a government report concludes... The GAO findings backed up results from a congressional report this year. "Although many of the centers initially had purely counterterrorism goals, for numerous reasons they have increasingly gravitated toward an all-crimes and even broader all-hazards approach," according to a Congressional Research Service report from June... Administration officials defended the centers and said encompassing all sorts of crimes in the intelligence dragnet is the best way to catch terrorists...To Jack Tomarchio, a senior intelligence official at the Homeland Security Department, that is not a bad thing. "In many cases, there's also a nexus between criminality and terrorism,"... Most centers are run by state police or other law enforcement agencies. Many also have representatives from a range of other agencies, including fire and public works departments and state gambling regulators. This has raised concerns about privacy as those agencies become linked to a broader intelligence-sharing network. Most of the centers also include federal officials such as analysts from the FBI and Homeland Security. Some centers are even housed with federal agencies, which can be a benefit. Minnesota's center is in the same building as the FBI, which makes it easier for local officials to access the FBI's networks. The centers potentially can tap into five separate federal databases containing case files on investigations, reports on suspicious incidents and research material on terrorist weapons and tactics. But not all the facilities are in buildings that have adequate security to access those databases... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1153ap_intelligence_centers.html?...

The House Votes 404 to 6 to Pass Bill that Legalizes COINTELPRO
Justin Ponkow and Troy Nkrumah
One month ago a bill passed almost unanimously in the House. This bill has received no mainstream news coverage. So it must not be that big of a deal, right? It's just a bill that will soon to go to Capitol Hill and since the Democrats are in control we are all safe from further infringements up on our civil rights, right? Well, maybe that is not totally correct since this bill is a lot more than meets the eye. But indicator number one should be the title, and indicator number two should be how fast it is moving through Congress. On October 23rd of this year, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 passed 404 to 6 in the House. This bill is proposing an expansion of Homeland Security with the objective of spying on citizens whose political or religious beliefs might lead them to commit violent acts [SIC]... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38721

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy Volume 2007, Issue No. 115
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/ Support Secrecy News: http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp
Last July, President Bush issued a broadly-worded executive order authorizing the government to seize the assets of "any person" who threatens the stability of Iraq and, more controversially, any person who provides assistance to such a person. The scope, objectives and precedents of the order -- Executive Order13,438, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" -- were examined in a new report from
the Congressional Research Service.
"The broad language of this executive order has been the subject of a degree of criticism as potentially reaching beyond insurgents in Iraq to third parties, such as U.S. citizens, who may unknowingly be providing support for the insurgency," the CRS report noted, citing prior accounts in the Washington Post, TPM Muckraker, and elsewhere. In fact, the potential application of the order appears to be technically unlimited since it includes a recursive clause that has no defined endpoint. Thus, section 1(b) of the Order states that any person who provide goods or services to a person whose actions are proscribed under section 1(a) is himself subject to section 1(a). But then, anyone who provides similar support to that person could likewise be swept up in the expansive terms of the order. And so on, without end... the application of the order will be defined by implementing regulations to be issued by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which will also prepare an initial list of blocked individuals and organizations. Those have still not been published. A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.
See "Executive Order 13,438: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who
Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," November 16, 2007: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL34254.pdf
The text of executive order 13,438 is here: http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-13438.htm

More than one in 10 people in the United States go hungry in the world's wealthiest country. http://www.alternet.org/story/68054/

Central bankers are becoming nervous that a renewed credit crunch could destabilise financial markets around the end of next month, and the US Federal Reserve has pumped an initial $8bn (£3.9bn) into the market to help ease the mounting pressure.

Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank by assets and major world financial institution will receive a $7.5 billion cash infusion from Abu Dhabi to replenish capital after record mortgage losses wiped out almost half its market value. http://snipurl.com/1ucbf

US existing home sales drop 1.2 pct, prices in record slump :
The decline was worse than economists' consensus forecast of a drop to 5.00 million units, and followed an 8.0 percent plunge in home sales in September.http://snipurl.com/1ucbk

Global stocks and the dollar plummeted on Wednesday while the yen and government bonds soared as concerns for the health of the U.S. economy stirred another massive wave of risk aversion.http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSSP7257520071121

European stocks declined to the lowest in a year, paced by exporters and banks, after crude oil approached $100 a barrel and the Federal Reserve reduced its growth forecast for the world's biggest economy. http://snipurl.com/1u0rj

The reserves of hundreds of banks are at risk, including some major banks, after a little-noticed federal court decision signaled the crisis in securitized home mortgages could spell much more trouble for financial institutions [SIC] than previously realized, even on Wall Street. http://snipurl.com/1u0rk

Goldman Sachs issued a gloomy report on the U.S. financial services sector, saying housing prices are likely to fall a lot further, write-downs will mount and some mortgage insurers and guarantors will be forced to raise capital just to survive. http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN1953742020071120

Lost in a Flood of Debt
While the media coverage has focused on the high roller who created the subprime frenzy, the hapless victims remain in the shadows, condemned to economic ruin. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/opinion/24herbert.html?th&emc=th

Kevin Stoda
I have written previously about the fact that today in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkons the number of victims of depleted uranium (DU) weapons technology is growing but that the actual numbers of victims largely remain uncounted due to political aversions in the U.S. and in allied nation states to share more data and conduct more investigations on what DU has been doing to those who have come into contact with the deadly uranium contamination created when such weapons hit or miss their targets. Finally, a British-funded study has been conducted in the United States. A report in November 18th’s Guardian reports that "23 years after a US arms plant closed, workers, and residents have cancer—and experts say their suffering shows the use of such [DU] weapons may be a war crime."... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38415

Spreading Democracy
By Gozawheena Bergacker
Deep in the bowels of a Washington DC Think Tank, a recent college graduate—selected for her unquestioning and eager embrace of their cynical ideology—labors under the watchful eye of a well-connected political strategist, creating “talking points” for the evening news. The large corporations that so generously fund the Think Tank will pleased with this latest fiction, the strategist muses as he inserts her virulent words into his email and clicks “send”. He is confident that corporate contributions will flow as long as the propaganda flows.

but a 'real party of the people' must be revolutionary to uproot the capitalist political-economic systemic roots of the horrors...
Exit on the Left
Reza Fiyouzat.
...The ruling classes in the U.S. like to call it War on Terror. Did the United States government, in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995, go on a bombing and razing campaign destroying all the states the terrorists had resided in or passed through the previous decade or two, in the process killing directly or causing the eventual death of nearly 14 million Americans, maiming and crippling another 15-20 million and displacing nearly 60 million (half of them to Mexico and Canada), while guaranteeing a medium-term future of diseases (long eradicated) spread atrociously due to the total destruction of all infrastructure in all those states? Would the American people put up with such a response by their government? So, why do they put up with its equivalent when it happens in Iraq and Afghanistan?... A problematic, yet productive, part of the answer: people ‘put up’ with the ongoing war of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan because there are no political vehicles capable of, or willing to, convert people’s political wishes into reality.
The left therefore needs to launch a clear and unambiguous attack on the ‘two party’ ruling system in the U.S. by creating a real party of the people. An absolute majority of the American people have not only no interest in the current system they get swindled by it and they know this. For things to change, they need a real political vehicle to channel their demands for social justice, for re-appropriation of taxation and representation, and for a just allocation of social goods. Without that political organization with clear strategic goals, people will inevitably be disenfranchised and neutralized as political subjects by refusing to participate in the political life of their country; or, if they chose to participate in the official setup, they are eaten up and digested by the ‘two party’ machine, which is the status quo. A political organism that can really rock the boat is one of the first steps of the only way forward.

this way, of courage, beauty and resistance, lies the only hope for humanity and the future...
Guantanamo detainees' testament to the power of the human spirit
Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak
By Jerry Mazza
This slender volume brings together 22 poems by 17 detainees, the collective
voice of some 775 men held in the US detention at Guantanamo, Cuba. According
to Department of Defense data, less than half are accused of committing any
hostile act against the US or its allies. The very circumstances of the
initial detainment of hundreds of these men are questionable, more like a
national disgrace. http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2663.shtml

by Ariel Dorfman (Afterword), Marc Falkoff (Editor), Flagg Miller (Preface)
(Hardcover)$10.95 (also used copies}
University of Iowa Press

"At last Guantanamo has found its voice."
Gore Vidal

"Poems from Guantanamo brings to light figures of concrete, individual humanity, against the fabric of cruelty woven by the 'war on terror.' The poems and poets' biographies reveal one dimension of this officially obscured narrative, from the perspective of the sufferers; the legal and literary essays provide the context which has produced--under atrocious circumstances--a poetics of human dignity."
Adrienne Rich

Book Description
Since 2002, at least 775 men have been held in the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. According to Department of Defense data, fewer than half of them are accused of committing any hostile act against the United States or its allies. In hundreds of cases, even the circumstances of their initial detainment are questionable.

This collection gives voice to the men held at Guantánamo. Available only because of the tireless efforts of pro bono attorneys who submitted each line to Pentagon scrutiny, Poems from Guantánamo brings together twenty-two poems by seventeen detainees, most still at Guantánamo, in legal limbo.

If, in the words of Audre Lorde, poetry “forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change,” these verses—some originally written in toothpaste, others scratched onto foam drinking cups with pebbles and furtively handed to attorneys—are the most basic form of the art.

I Am Sorry, My Brother
by Othman Abdulraheem Mohammad

I am sorry, my brother.
The shackles bind my hands
And iron is circling the place where I sleep.

I am sorry, my brother,
That I cannot help the elderly or the widow or the little child.

Do not weigh the death of a man as a sign of defeat.
The only shame is in betraying your ideals
And failing to stand by your beliefs.

Death Poem
by Jumah al Dossari

Take my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.

Send them to the world,
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded.

And let them bear the guilty burden before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the "protectors or peace."

Jumah al Dossari is a thirty-three-year old Bahraini who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years. He has been in solitary confinement since the end of 2003 and, according to the U.S. military, has tried to kill himself twelve times while in custody.