Archives: September 2006
Thu Sep 28, 2006
Pakistan signs peace deal with pro-Taliban militants
from a friend of mine:
This is an almost month-old piece from Agence France Press that I saw nowhere else. It seems to have been buried and run over by the attack on Bill Clinton for not doing more about bin Laden..
But, here is Bush RIGHT NOW - without a murmur or a whimper---- allowing a Pakistani truce with the "pro-Taliban" forces in Waziristan - where everyone agrees Bin Laden currently resides (if alive).
read more for the article.. More...
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Tue Sep 26, 2006
Hugo Chavez Sept. 20 UN Speech, the 'devil' and Luis Posada Carriles
It's been commented here (thanks slothrop) that although Hugo Chavez bashed the U.N. and refered to Bush as "The Devil" to endless oblivious criticism in the MSM (oh god I hate to use that blogger-term), on 'protocol', and Democrats eager to take the offensive in defending God and Glory, there is of course more to that in the speech. In his speech he actually said more about the fact that the United States is keeping Luis Posada Carilles from extradition to Venezuela on charges of comitting terrorism in bombing a Cuban airplane in 1976...
Is the Mainstream Media Doing it's job? Is there a discussion about this? If we are against terrorism, why don't we be AGAINST it, and if we have past or present associations to terrorists or have perhaps cultivated our own, why can't we have a reconciliation get rid ot them and move on. LET THEM Ship this guy Posada off to Venezuela to have a trial.. And actually be the good country that we say we are? Anyone talking about this? Anyone? Bueller?
But, you know why they won't do this? Public Relations. It would be a huge deal, with Venezuela gloating over Posada, and revealing his association with the CIA and other US figures, in a big drawn out media-coup. This guy was connected to tons of people, one of which daddy George H Bush had pardoned - Orlando Bosch who was suspected of killing Chillian diplomat Orlando Letier.
Another thing. Chavez has been criticized for somehow insulting the UN because he alledges that there is nothing getting done there. But, that's true. They vote on the same things every year now, just plain gridlocked with the same actors saying 'yes' and 'no'. The system is dealt so that the big nuclear weapons bearing countries have veto power. And we have John Bolton, who represents the UN-haters in this administration, who I'm sure regards the UN less than Chavez is seeming to make out.
Here's a quote from Hugo Chavez's speech regarding Luis Posada Carilles and the CIA
President Michel Bachellet recalled a few days ago… pardon, I mean a few minutes ago… the terrible murder of the former Chilean Foreign Minster Orlando Letelier. I would only add the following: the guilty parties are free. Those responsible for that deed, in which a US citizen was also killed, are North Americans of the CIA. Terrorists of the CIA.
In addition, we here in this room must remember that in a few days it will be the 30th anniversary of that murder and of the horrible terrorist attack that blew up a Cubana de Aviación airplane in mid-flight killing 73 innocent people. And where is the worst terrorist of this continent, who admitted to being the intellectual author of the airplane sabotage? He was in prison in Venezuela for some years, but he escaped with the complicity of CIA officials and the Venezuelan government of that time. Now he is here living in the US, protected by the government even though he was convicted and he confessed. The US government has a double standard and protects terrorism.
These reflections are to demonstrate that Venezuela is committed to the fight against terrorism, against violence and works together with all people who struggle for peace and for a just world.
I spoke of the Cuban airplane. Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist. He is protected here just like the corrupt fugitives who escaped Venezuela. A group of terrorists who planted bombs in embassies of various countries, murdered innocent people during the coup and kidnapped this humble servant. They were going to execute me, but God reached out his hand, along with a group of good soldiers, and the who people took to the streets. It's a miracle that I'm here. The leaders of that coup and those terrorist acts are here, protected by the US government. I accuse the US government of protecting terrorism and of giving a completely cynical speech.
read on for the entire speech.. More...
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Fri Sep 22, 2006
Declaration of Peace to Oregon Senator Gordon Smith's office
On Thursday September 21, 2006, 9 people attempted to deliver a petition to congress, The Declaration of Peace, which calls for an end to the war in Iraq, to Senator Gordon Smith's office in Portland, OR. They were stopped from entering the building by police and security, so they sat down, refusing to move until they were all allowed in.
As the building that Senator Smith has his office in is on private real estate (The Portland World Trade Center), they were able to be charged with trespassing when they sat down. So much for being able to petition our representatives.
I made this movie with my little Nikon camera, and thought I'd upload it to youtube.com. It's a couple shots of the people sitting down in front of the elevators to the building with security and police barring their way. Singing, then getting arrested. There was a flower vendor 15 feet away from the sit-in people that gave roses to everyone, and drew a sign on her cart 'stop funding war' - it's at the end. Ordinarilly I don't like chants, songs, and usually am the one cringing at rallys or marches everytime someone starts a sing-along of John Lennon's 'Imagine' or 'Give Peace A Chance', but I thought this use of 'Frère Jacques / Are You Sleeping' was actually kinda good:
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Tue Sep 19, 2006
Laser them protesters!
Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs
September 12, 2006, CNN/Associated Press
Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday. The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne. "If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. Nonlethal weapons generally can weaken people if they are hit with the beam. Some of the weapons can emit short, intense energy pulses that also can be effective in disabling some electronic devices.
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Statement by the Committee of Relatives of the Victims of the Cubana Flight Blown up off Barbados
I recieved this via email:
Statement by the Committee of Relatives of the Victims of the Cubana Flight Blown up off Barbados
On September 11, 2001, millions of people all over the world watched in awe at the abominable acts of terrorism committed against the people of the United States.
We, relatives of the victims in the bombing of a Cubana plane off Barbados, were shaken to see the TV images of such a loathsome crime; the pain and the sorrow that have accompanied us for almost three decades were multiplied, as we saw a re-enactment of our own painful experience on new innocent victims.
Our loved ones were deprived of sharing transcendental moments in our lives; they cannot be revived. The only way to honor their memory and put an end to the stigma of terrorism is by making those responsible for such acts, feel the weight of justice.
In September of 1976, the US Government learned in advance of the preparations for the sabotage of a Cuban civilian plane; they alerted no-one, and did nothing to prevent the terrorist act.
On October 6, 2006, it will be thirty years since that abominable crime against innocent passengers traveling in the Cubana plane. In that terrorist act 73 people were killed; of them 57 were Cuban citizens. To date, the relatives of the victims of that treacherous terrorist act, the Cuban people and the international community are still waiting for justice to be done.
Unlike the relatives of the victims of September 11, who do not know the "dark whereabouts" of Bin Laden, we do know where the assassins of our families are, who protects them and who offers them refuge.
The terrorists who assassinated our families are in the United States. One of them, Orlando Bosh, walks freely through the streets of Miami. Frequently, he boasts to the press that he does not feel the slightest twinge nor remorse and that if he had to do it to another civilian airplane in flight, he would do it again.
The other notorious international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who is currently detained in a US immigration detention center, said with total cynicism and contempt for life to a leading US newspaper in 1998, that his terrorist acts and murders did not prevent him from sleeping like a baby.
Today, we are closer than ever to witnessing an affront to the real war against terrorism, the memory of our loved ones and the victims of the 9/11 attacks. We were outraged and shocked to learn that Attorney Norbert Garney suggested that the Federal Judge Philips Martinez release self-confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles from jail. This happened at a time when the US people and the whole world were commemorating the fifth anniversary of the attacks on the WTC.
The arguments presented by the Attorney came as no surprise to us. The US General Attorney has decided not to produce the countless pieces of evidence in the possession of the US government which reveal the true terrorist nature of Luis Posada Carriles. Today the US has decided not to act, just as they did not act thirty years ago and sit idly by to witness the mid-air explosion of a Cuban civilian plane. Posada, meanwhile, expects to be rewarded with his freedom.
President George W. Bush said on April 27, 2005: "if you harbor a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, if you try to hide a terrorist, you, yourself, are just as guilty as the terrorist." Then we ask ourselves: What are Orlando Bosh and Posada Carriles? And, who protects them? They are the worst type of terrorists and they are protected by the US government.
We, relatives of the victims of the sabotage to a civilian airliner in midair, demand that the Bush administration obey their own laws and international treaties, of which they are signatories. We demand them to honor the memory of the 9/11 victims.
We are not going to give up on our determination that the terrorists appear in court. We are not going to give up on our determination to reject the US government’s hypocrisy and double standards, which defend the supposed existence of a good and a bad terrorism. No one should doubt that we will make the unjust tremble, until Justice is done.
Committee of Relatives of the Victims of the Cubana Flight Blown up Off Barbados.
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Sat Sep 16, 2006
Watch this Video
9/11: Press for Truth on Google Video.
Make the time for this. DO IT.
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Mon Sep 11, 2006
uhg. Today is September 11th, 5 years later.
I talked to a reporter a couple days ago on the subject of 9/11. I'm sort of wishing I hadn't - It's just kind of queasy to not know what kind of story he's writing, whether it will be inane.. a shallow tribute to a horrifying day that killed my brother, and of course have deeply affected family and his friends.. I basically ranted on the phone for about an hour to the reporter, he probably thought I was a little crazy, just a laundry list of boilerplate stuff, I've forgotten how to even talk about it - I think I've absorbed so many other peoples ideas about it that I have to think abit to know what my genuine feelings are. It's been awhile. I had to think hard to remember that it really was the concept of reconciliation that I wanted people to embrace in response to 9/11.
Could we have responded in a way to 9/11 that would truely change the world for the long term by backing up the values that we say we stand for for?. We have felt the senselessness of war and terrorism to know what death like this does to a family, whatever we call it, whomever is comitting it. Is there any other way? Are 'We' right and 'They' are always wrong? If we believe in the concept of America, why are we looking the other way when the CIA places stories in foreign (and domestic) press, we are engaging in torture and secret prisions, lies to get to war (not too many wars have been started without a pack of lies as justification), spying on people who care enough about their country to get involved in organizations opposing our countries policies (uh, like, a real functioning democracy?)
It has been non-US people who have talked to me about their experience of visiiting the US and feeling something.. very revolutionary about the mixing of ideas and lifestyles, cultures, something that has affected a change in culture of the world and something to be admired (I say this, but I'm sick of this boosterism because so many other places in the world do seem so much more civilized) But, if we go the way of the fundementalists (the american kind or the islamic kind or the new age kind or the jewish kind or the intelectual kind or...) well you know where I'm going.
I visited a holocaust memorial the other day - I was stuck by a phrase used in the writing on it where it attributed the rise of the Nazi's to the German public's 'massive indifference.' I think this is strange because it invites us to not engage the times, ask the questions 'WHY' were they massively indifferent? I was also thinking about 9/11 memorials in general, and the memorialization of tragic days like this, how they are crafted to serve a purpose - establish victimhood. History is written by the victors, and I'm very afraid that people who feel themselves justified in victimhood tend not to look at the whole context. They 'Hated our Freedom.' I'm afraid that the nationalistic flag waving and the 'remember the alamo' aspect of 9/11 will be a whitewash for future generations to think in very simplistic ways, that it really is become the zeitgiest that our government says it it. I'm afraid that the tide has turned in the Iraq war, and that the people want the troops home, NOT because they have turned anti-war on principle, or they've figured out that unilateral U.S. policy is morally wrong as well as making us less safe in the long run, but really merely because they don't like losing. If it was going great, most people would be happy to believe in the nationalist myth. The Pentagon and the whole defense apparatus would be happy to have us believe lies, just as long as the captains of the military industrial arms industry are rotating in and out of the Pentagon and Congress works together to approve pork-barrel military spending (i'm talking about useless multibillion dollar projects not caring for our soldiers), and the whole corrupt system that supposedly is keeping us all safe and sound with their missles (how many thousands of nuclear intercontinental missles do we have?), our missles that can shoot down their missles (Star Wars, SDI or whatever they are calling it these days), all this stuff is going to make us less safe than if we would have just sat down and gone the path of not just non-proliferation. We invoke the fear of the other, but hello there isn't anyone left out there to fight us and our $480 billion dollar defense (more than that when you add in the payments on debt of past military debt and the VA hospitals). China spends how much on their defense? I read that they don't even have a navy big enough to invade Taiwan.. yes, a big army, but with low tech weapons. Instead of competing with the US militarily they've put their money back into the country.
This day comes and goes every year, and although I should be busy writing opinion-editorials and doing something that matters to at least contradict whatever utter bullshit is being churned out, or to at least get the satisfaction of getting my own bullshit out, I just can't do it.. I'm.. just.. tired of it. Truth be told I hate the consiousness of 9/11 that I have - the aspects of thinking through all the opinions about the resulting war on terror leaves me shellshocked, and hoping that I am not obsessed with this day and addicted to the pain, addicted to attention. I have said before that it is a bittersweet knowledge - bitter in that I have felt grief and felt like my heart has weighed 1000 pounds and sweet in that I have met people who have felt the same way and a strange peace that is at it's core a spiritual feeling I think.
The thing is we all die. Some peope die in nursing homes, some people die in car crashes or cancer or disease or falling down the stairs, or murdered. Hopefully we'll die a peaceful death after a long life in which there are many friends and family. But the fact is we all die, and we all will attend many funerals of people we know. And it won't make sense at all.
Here's what I think: more Americans need a giant helping of death. I mean to be familiar with it in the normal everyday human way, because we all die. Deal with it in an honest way, not like an video game or wry black comedy way, but the humanity. Does your new car matter, now that you know you are going to die? How about that Xbox? All the trivial ways that we treat each other.. We may as well do something with this information and work for something that matters, and that thing that matters is helping other people. Even if you were the last person on the planet talking about reconciliation or disarmament because it was the right thing to do, the only thing to do.
I want to remember my brother separate from the images on TV and the narrative of the War-On-Terror and the politics and the pundits, the war-machine, the do-gooders, the liars, the public relations spin machine infected reality. I want to remember my brother, but my unquiet mind dredges up a picture of George Bush with a little limp flag in his hand at some 9/11 'rememberance' ceremony with a nationalist war overtones and his name scrolling by on the big videoscreen along with the other 3000 victims.
But in the end, I guess I'm just pissed off.
That's why I'll be getting lost today, out into nature, listen to some birds chirp and hopefully the sun will be out and warm my body. and hopefully I won't even see any bumpersitcker platitudes, nor hopefully indulge in it - it's so easy for me to fall back on that as a topic of conversation. It's a ruse that takes me away from where I want to be..
I'll let myself remember my brother in a way hopefully that has nothing to do with everything that has come after his death. I'm going to start by being.. nice to people (ahem). Like he was to me, genuine when I feel myself growing more and more cynical. I just haven't been feeling so full of compassion lately, but I'm goign to try. Damnit. Kind of like how when Mom says 'put a smile on your face and that's how you'll feel.' These things that Mom tells me are basically true.
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media framing of 9/11
A reporter called my younger brother, and being a grad-school smartie, he wrote an exchange with a reporter looking for a 9/11 angle on the subject of 'episodic vrs. thematic framing'.. (it's in reverse order so read from the bottom up).
-----Original Message----- From: xxxx, Anne [mailto:xxxx] Sent: Fri 9/8/2006 3:54 PM To: xxxx, Ryan M (UMC-Student) Subject: RE: Newspaper Interview Request -- Sept. 11 5th anniversary
I really appreciated your response. It provoked in me one of those painful but treasured moments of clarity. What you wrote of is something I live with everyday. Reporters constantly battle that exact conflict, and as you've experienced, often lose. I chafe under the restrictions of my profession, but I respect the regulations that create the episodic vs. thematic because if they didn't exist, we'd all turn into talking heads.
Unfortunately, that restriction often leaves us at the mercy of liars, left with little more to battle them than reporting what people think. Everyday I wish I could find the opening, the skill to enter into a world of ultimate truth that I am convinced great reporters do. Though I've heard many veteran reporters say it only comes once in a lifetime.
I hope you don't think I am just making excuses. I feel embarrassed because my interview request was based in laziness, in a lack of time to devote to brainstorming and an inability to come up with one of the millions of ideas that you wrote of. I still am fighting to find something that isn't a man-on-the-street piece or a repetition of the same "episodic framing."
I have half an hour to come up with something.
I'm sorry to disappoint you. I'm putting your email up in my cubicle as a daily reminder of my true responsibility as a journalist.
Thanks for everything. Annie
-----Original Message----- From: xxxx, Ryan M (UMC-Student) [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 12:33 AM To: Nelson, Anne Subject: RE: Newspaper Interview Request -- Sept. 11 5th anniversary
Thanks for getting in touch. I've already turned down a few reporters who have asked the same question, even one who is a friend. The reason is that I've been burned too many times by journalists with the best of intentions.
Stories such as this too often focus on the personal/private while tending to leave out the political/public issues we should all be discussing and debating. Perhaps you are familiar with Shanto Iyengar's categorization of episodic and thematic framing. An episodic frame narrows in on a specific individual or event, leaving out the broader context, steering attention away from public solutions. A story drawing on an interview with me about my brother's death, my activism, and how these five years have passed for me will almost inevitably turn out episodic. James Jasper writes: "What Iyengar called "episodic framing" makes views less likely to blame public officials, or to hold them responsible for a solution." This is the ritualized news story. Thematic framing, on the other hand, highlights broader trends along with political context, steering attention toward root causes, public policy, and social responsibility. I've granted interviews too many times to too many reporters who assure me that the story will not be about ME, MY brother, MY activism, or MY life, but about the political context in which this all takes place, challenging the dominant order, only to feel disappointed, and at times exploited, when the story comes out.
Even when the individual reporter intends to write a thematic article, it is difficult to actually pull it off when the article grows from such a personal seed. And even if that wonderful thematic article is written, the only parts that get past the editor's desk are the episodic aspects which we all know sell newspapers while safely skirting the debates that threaten dominant/elite interpretations of events. I appreciate your interest in writing this story, but I am going to say no for now. If you want to write something that opens people's eyes, I urge you to approach your anniversary story from a different angle that doesn't lend itself to an episodic frame. How about looking at some of the instances of terrorism that our government supports or implements five years after our phony war on terrorism started? And/or terrorism our government has conducted in the past which we have refused to apologize for or even acknowledge five years after 9/11? There are a million articles you and other journalists could be writing related to the anniversary that would be better than a story about me.
Excuse the long essay. If I thought that you were just out to take advantage of me, to get the money-shot and go, then I would have simply told you no. But I think you truly want to write something that fosters social justice, so I beg you to do just that. If you come up with a different approach, I would love to hear your idea and would consider granting an interview, but only if I can be sure that the story will not be framed as you have described it below. I don't mean to be ornery, I just don't want to be disappointed again.
To answer your second question, I don't know of anyone else living in Mid-Missouri who were directly affected by 9/11. For what it's worth, [xxxx], who lost their son in New York, live in SW Missouri.
-----Original Message----- From: xxxx, Anne [mailto:xxxx] Sent: Thu 9/7/2006 4:29 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org; xxxx, Ryan M (UMC-Student) Subject: Newspaper Interview Request -- Sept. 11 5th anniversary
My name is [xxx]. I am a reporter for the [xxxx] Daily Tribune. I was wondering if you would be up for an interview with me for a Sept. 11th anniversary article? I would like to interview you on the loss of your brother[xxxx], your activism after his death and in general how these five years have passed for you.
I was also wondering if you knew anyone else who lives in the mid-Missouri area that has a personal connection to Sept. 11 like you?
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Mon Sep 04, 2006
what if bush was assasinated?
Don't worry, it's fiction.
Despite the mayhem since Bush's murder, most Americans had preferred to stick by Dick Cheney. His no-nonsense manner reassured, even as crises kept recurring.
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"Century of the Self"
Something to consider with "corporatism" is the rise of the modern Public Relations industry through Edward Berneys, who was Freud's nephew.
I'm going to post a link to this BBC documentary - "Century of the Self" which is about Berneys. You can download good quality video of the 4 parts to the documentary here:
or all 4 parts here in smaller wmv:
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Angola, John Stockwell, Charlie Hayden
I've been staying up late reading a very interesting book, John Stockwell's "In Search of Enemies" written in 1978, after he resigned from the CIA. In this book he tells all about the covert CIA war in Angola, funding the most violent groups, prolonging war as a policy of harassment.
He talks about a culture in the CIA of creating conflict as the way for a career case officer to progress, much liket he importance of publishing for an academic. If you don't hype the presence of an 'Enemy' in your geographic area, then you won't advance. When you transfer this to the level of humans it means more death and destruction, but sounds good on paper to the technocrat in charge of foreign policy.
Anyway, this ex-Marine Stockwell saw the situation, quit, and wrote about it.
This morning jazz musician and good Iowan (born in Shenandoah, Iowa) Charlie Hayden was on Democracy Now talking about getting arrested in right-wing Portugal in 1971 after dedicating a song to the anti-colonial black liberation movements in Angola (a colony of Portugual) while playing with Ornette Coleman. He was freed, then later harassed by the FBI here in this country.
My point? go read the book and listen or read to the interview.
Happy Labor Day (which the US should be celebrating on May 1 with the rest of the world, by the way).
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