Saturday, September 09, 2006

MNN Vampires Strike Back: "One Dead Indian" blood & gore

This is a wonderful, impassioned article by the outspoken and witty Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News:


MNN. Sept. 7, 2006. Why are CTV and APTN showing the film, “One Dead Indian” over and over again? This film is about the Ontario Provincial Police OPP attack on the Stoney Point people who were defending their land, known as “Ipperwash”. Dudley George was shot and killed in cold blood.

When they sit and watch this, who are the Canadians identifying with? Many would be with the Indigenous People, some would be neutral and a few would see the viewpoint of the cops. Then there is the lunatic fringe and some of the ordinary people who had no previous interest in Indigenous issues. These two groups would be drawn in subconsciously. They are the ones the establishment wants to reach and influence. These people who might end up watching this because they’re looking for a good action flick.

When people watch the bull fights, after seeing a few bulls ritually executed with blood flying all over the place and the matadors taking bows for the murders, the crowd screams for more blood. There is no therapeutic value in any of this.

Why aren’t they trying to stop the arousing of anti-Indian feelings? Reasonable and rational thinking about constructive ways to deal with Indigenous people and our grievances should get equal time on television, in the movies and on the media.

Canadians have been conditioned all along to see Indigenous People as the lowest rung on their hierarchical ladder. To this day they’re being taught that people who live in the natural world are “primitive”. We have been “spun” as someone they can look down and trample on to make them feel superior.

Look at the 500 Indian women who have disappeared. The police won’t do an investigation. Was this because they think they’re primitive? What about the Indigenous boys who were left out in the snow to freeze to death? The cops put them there. Only when the Indigenous People made an outcry was something done. The cops shot J.J. Harper on the streets of Winnipeg. The subsequent film gives a sympathetic view of the police officer who killed him. There were discussions about how to cover this up right in the film. After it was shown nationally, no Parliamentarians were outraged nor did they condemn such a depiction. During the Oka Mohawk Crisis of 1990 two old men were stoned to death which was shown over and over again on national news to get people used to how to treat “Indians”.

“One Dead Indian” depicts us as a problem. The viewers are being conditioned to think that the solution is to kill off all of us. They want to see us suffer and bleed. They’re being conditioned to see us as natural targets. For their fulfillment and to set us up for the corporate/government agenda, movie makers are being given millions of dollars of government funds to make gory bloody films about Indians. Never are they shown how we can sit together as equals and discuss our legitimate relationship.

During the 1920’s and 30’s Germany put out propaganda depicting Jews in caricature. German people were conditioned to accept the “final solution” which was to exterminate a race.

When people see Indians being shot, abused, beaten up and killed often enough, it makes them want to see more Indian blood. This is the old Cowboys and Indians movies paradigm.

About six months ago the New York Times did a scathing article on the Mohawks of Akwesasne, which was publicized all over the world. Their main message was that we are criminals and deserve the bad treatment we are getting and going to get more of. Akwesasne, they say, is a haven for criminals and that Mohawks are part of “organized crime”. The U.S. is trying to get people to think that our warriors are “terrorists”. Who planted the story? It’s part of the continual assault against us. It’s meant to justify whatever they do to us in their genocidal quest.

A lot of the initiatives against us seem to be coming from the United States. Why are they doing this? It’s because Indigenous People stand in the way of their exploitation of our resources. Don’t forget, most of the companies operating in Canada today are U.S. owned and controlled. They’re the same corporate giants that control the U.S. government. They’ve obviously taken control of some parts of the Canadian government.

The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) came to Canada to work with the OPP. How long have they been here? Maybe for 20 years! Our people catching them was hardly mentioned in the corporate media. It would have been a scandal to Canada a few decades ago. This has got to be one of the biggest outcomes of the Six Nations land reclamation issue. We found out who our enemies are, that Canadian institutions are just puppets for corporate America. Who has been organizing the attacks on us? Is it a U.S. procedure that has been put in place by people in Canada who’ve been bought off or manipulated?

Could this be similar to what happened back in 1812? This is when Tecumseh and General Brock beat back the American general who declared they were taking over Canada, “Your choice is to join with us or enslavement!” This was the first time the U.S. ever invaded foreign soil. Invasions of this kind are a continuing theme in Canada-US relations. It’s obviously happening again? This time what’s shockingly different is that Canadians seem to neither notice nor care. It’s being done through control of the economy and by infiltrating the police and governmental institutions. This is how the U.S. has already marched into Canada and no one even knows. The ruthlessness of the U.S. towards Indigenous People will frighten Canadians so they will be too scared to resist the takeover.

What are the politicians and their corporate bosses getting the Canadian public ready for? They have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. They appear to be getting ready to invade Iran. The new “passport control” is probably going to end up as a “bait and switch” operation. People will get so upset about the passports, they’ll accept the ‘smart cards’ that allow control without even noticing how much freedom they’re losing.

The U.S. is the only nation in the history of the world that dropped nuclear bombs against another nation. They are blood thirsty and brag about it when they teach history, especially their ruthless takeover of Turtle Island from the Indigenous People.

In the recent covert operations against the Six Nations land reclamation, nothing goes back onto the police forces, even though they’re behind it. Their tactic is using (un)ordinary people to do their dirty work, such as the skinheads, faschists, KKK, the Brown Shirts and the heavily state funded Caledonia Citizens Alliance to attack the Indigenous people. These groups might all have died out had they not been called back into service and funded by the state. Just what is the justification in using tax money to finance hate groups like these?

“One Dead Indian” satiates the appetite for Indian blood for this portion of the public. It’s part of their indoctrination. This is similar to the frenzy of sharks when blood is thrown among them, called “chumming the water”. The sharks can smell the blood from miles away. They speed towards it./ It drives them crazy. They eat everything except each other. Then they need more and more blood. They’re driven to attack again and again.

The ancestors of the non-natives on Turtle Island did kill off 99% of the Indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere. These people today are their descendants. They’re being indoctrinated to release their self-control through video games and violent films where multitudes of people are violently killed.

The police and army are trained to shoot at targets that are replicas of their enemies. In Saskatchewn the police were caught shooting at a replica of an Indigenous woman. It’s meant to stir up their hatred for the targeted people.

How do we protect ourselves? Making people realize they have been set up as tools to eliminate the descent within their society of totalitarianism.

This is how the U.S. prepares their society for war against helpless people around the world. They use their military hardware to shoot innocent people as practice to exercise their dominance over other human beings.

At first some of the soldiers say they do not like what they are ordered to do. However, these young soldiers are trained to be sadists and are trigger happy. They go to war as nonchalantly as kids go to video arcades at the mall. To them going to Iraq is like going to a local garbage dump and shooting rats. They begin to enjoy menacing and killing defenseless people. After a while they can’t control themselves. Don’t forget, they’ve been given carte blanche to kill people without impunity. Remember the public inquiry on the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War when the soldiers went on a murderous rampage killing countless innocent women and children?

Today on Turtle Island we are being used as their guinea pigs. The so-called super master race (billionaires of the world) feels they can abuse and kill those of other skin colors and languages whom they have determined to be inferior to them.

During the Oka Crisis of 1990, Canada brought over Col. Musgrave who had developed the strategies for the British in their conflict against the Irish. In a newspaper article, he bragged that he could break down the Mohawks in three weeks. They started flying jets and choppers over us all night long so we could not sleep, shot and detonated concussion bombs and flares, held back food and then gave it to us, spread fear among the public by showing threatening videos on television about all the warheads we had, spread lies and propaganda and shut lights and water off and on. It didn’t work. In fact, it backfired! Some of the soldiers involved had nervous breakdowns.

Their masters are experimenting on those they consider to be inferior and whose life isn’t worth anything to them. In fact, getting rid of us would be very beneficial to them. Then they would complete their illegal theft of our land.

“One Dead Indian” shows us hundreds of menacing cops “goose stepping” into Ipperwash, banging in unison on their shields. This reminds us of the Gestapo in movies about Nazi Germany where they marched into the Jewish areas of the cities. They must be getting the public ready for a total police state. A few former OPP officers are absolutely disgusted with the direction their force has gone.

Martial already exists in Indian country. As long as we behave according to their dictates, we don’t see the cops. As soon as we step out of line we see the armed forces showing up in droves. Why can Canada and other colonial nations that are squatting on Indigenous territory defend their so-called “sovereignty”? If we try to defend our human rights and our sovereignty against their brutality, we are called “terrorists” and criminalized.

Like the vampires, once they start drinking blood, they can only stay alive by drinking more blood. These corporate and government vampires are trying to suck the blood out of the people who are preaching peace to the world.

Canadians, you’re next!

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News

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Afghanistan Needs Food, Not Bombs: Send Zucchinis to War Minister Gordon O'Connor Today!

Please forward far and wide!

Afghanistan Needs Food, not Bombs: Send a Zucchini today to Canada's War Minister (no postage required--details below, including sample letter and address)

This post includes:




address of War Minister Gordon O'Connor and sample letter)



This week, in a much under-reported story, the European-based Senlis Council released a report that stated children are starving in Afghanistan.

Foreign military expenditures in that country outpace development and reconstruction spending by 900% (much as the Canadian military budget outpaces the housing budget by over 900%!)

Indeed, $82.5 billion (U.S. funds) have been spent on military operations in Afghanistan since 2002 compared with just $7.3 billion on development.

The report states that "five years after the 2001 US-led invasion, a humanitarian crisis of starvation and poverty has gripped the south of the country and the US- and UK-led failed counter-narcotics and military policies are responsible...makeshift, unregistered refugee camps of starving children, civilians displaced by counter-narcotics eradication and bombing campaigns can be found on the doorstep of new US and UK multi-million dollar military camps." (see full Senlis press release below)

The United Nations World Food Programme has been forced to cancel plans to provide more than 2.5 million Afghans with urgent food aid. Unless these needs are met, this will have dire consequences for millions of Afghans.


We are most often told that the main reason the Canadian military is in Afghanistan is to help the Afghan people. Many Afghan people are starving. It is time to send massive amounts of food aid, not massive amounts of bullets and bombs.

The Power of A Symbol

Politicians are often unable to grasp the meaning of words, and require symbols to help them out. We have seen in the past few years stunning examples of Homes not Bombs campaigns that have succeeded in employing the noble zucchini in the cause of peace. We have argued that successive war ministers' confused sexual desires to launch phallic-shaped missiles would be more safely directed if phallic-shaped zucchinis were sent instead.

Surely it can be no coincidence that:

1. Homes not Bombs repeatedly presented Peace Zucchinis to then War Minister Art Eggleton in an effort to get Canada out of star wars; his government rejected overt participation in the Bush space warfare scheme.

2. Homes not Bombs presented Peace Zucchinis to then War Minister John McCallum in late January, 2003, with the demand that Canada not join the war against Iraq. His government did not formally join that invasion, and McCallum enjoyed a good stir-fry.

3. Homes not Bombs spearheaded the campaign to send empty pens to then "Public Safety" Minister Anne McLellan, the idea being her desk would fill up with so many ink-less pens that when CSIS came knocking for her to sign a secret trial security certificate, she wouldn't be able to find a pen that actually worked. Needless to say, McLellan never signed a security certificate!

4. Homes not Bombs precursor Banana Republics United, a 1980s open conspiracy, played a major role in a campaign to send bananas to then-U.S. Ambassador Paul Robinson, who treated Canada much like said banana republic. Needless to say, he eventually split.

There is clearly a pattern here that cannot be ignored.

Perhaps the most famous example of a culinary symbol in the cause of peace is described by David Albert in People Power: Applying Non-violence Theory:

"In the mid 1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a "Feed Thine Enemy" campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly no rice was ever sent to China.

"What non-violent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider US options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing active interest in having the US feed the Chinese, he certainly wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them."


So now it is time to make sure War Minister Gordon O'Connor gets the picture. Postage free, you can mail a zucchini and a note urging that O'Connor feed, not bomb, the people of Afghanistan (sample letter follows).

Can you imagine the War Minister's office deluged with zucchinis? He can't help but charter a plane and start loading them personally!)

We would like to keep a running tally, so please email when you have lovingly wrapped your zucchini in an envelope and sent it postage-free to the following address:

Gordon O'Connor, MP, War Minister
157 East Block
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. O'Connor,

Please forward the enclosed zucchini to the people of Afghanistan with the next plane headed that way. It would be far better to send this phallic symbol than the phallic symbols - missiles and mortar rounds - that you are currently sending.

As you must be aware, there is a humanitarian crisis, especially in the southern region of Afghanistan, where thousands of Canadian troops are deployed. That crisis is one of extreme poverty and hunger, and cannot be alleviated with guns, aerial bombardment, house raids, arbitrary detention, and mistreatment of detainees.

The respected Senlis Council recently noted that 900% more has been spent on the military build-up than on development in Afghanistan.

The United Nations World Food Programme has been forced to cancel plans to provide more than 2.5 million Afghans with urgent food aid. Unless these needs are met, this will have dire consequences for millions of Afghans.

I urge you to bring Canada's troops home and to seek dialogue and peaceful solutions to the crisis in Afghanistan. The billions you are spending to fight there would be far better spent on peaceful conflict resolution and meeting the pressing social needs of the Afghan people.

You often refer to those you are fighting as your enemy. While "enemy thinking" is an unacceptable world view that inevitably leads to violence, I remind you of the Biblical reference in Romans 12:20, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him."

The Afghan people are not our enemy. But they are hungry. It's time for food, not bombs.



Five years after their removal from power: The Taliban are back

Taliban Frontline now cuts half-way through Afghanistan

US and UK led failed counter-narcotics policies are responsible

Humanitarian crisis hits southern Afghanistan - extreme poverty, drought and hundreds of thousands starving in south

LONDON - The Taliban have regained control over the southern half of Afghanistan and their frontline is advancing daily, warned The Senlis Council on the release of an evaluation report of the reconstruction of Afghanistan marking the five year anniversary of 9/11. The Report is based on extensive field research in the critical provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Herat and Nangarhar.

The Taliban frontline now cuts half-way through the country, encompassing all of the southern provinces. Senlis Afghanistan reports that five years after the 2001 US-led invasion, a humanitarian crisis of starvation and poverty has gripped the south of the country and that the US and UK-led failed counter-narcotics and military policies are responsible. The subsequent rising levels of extreme poverty have created increasing support for the Taliban, who have responded to the needs of the local population.

Taliban's return to power is a direct consequence of the flawed approach that the US-led international community has taken in Afghanistan since 2001.

"When you first came here we were so glad to see you. Now we have lived with you in our country for five years and we see you tell a lot of lies and make a lot of false promises," says a former Mujaheedin commander from Kandahar quoted in the Report.

The US-led nation-building efforts have failed because of ineffective and inflammatory military and counter narcotics policies. At the same time there has been a dramatic under-funding of aid and development programs.

"Huge amounts of money have been spent on large and costly military operations, but after five years southern Afghanistan is once more a battlefield for the control of the country," said Emmanuel Reinert, Executive Director of The Senlis Council. "At the same time Afghans are starving. The US has lost control in Afghanistan and has in many ways undercut the new democracy in Afghanistan. I think we can call that a
failure, and one with dire consequences which should concern us all. The US policies in Afghanistan have re-created the safe-haven for terrorism that the 2001 invasion aimed to destroy."

Emergency Food Aid needed now: "Children are dying here"

Due to lack of funding from the international community the Afghan Government and the United Nation's World Food Programme are unable to address Afghanistan's hunger crisis. Despite appeals for aid funds, the US-led international community has continued to direct the majority of aid funds towards military and security operations.

"The United Nations World Food Programme has been forced to cancel plans to provide more than 2.5 million Afghans with urgent food aid," said Reinert. "Unless these needs are met, this will have dire consequences for millions of Afghans."

Hunger and the insurgency: Hunger Leads to Anger

"Five years after 9/11, Afghanistan is still one of the poorest countries in the world and there is a hunger crisis in the fragile Southern part of the country," said Reinert. "Remarkably this vital fact seems to have been overlooked in funding and prioritisation of the foreign policy, military, counter narcotics and reconstruction plans.

Relieving poverty, which should have been the main priority, has not received the attention it so desperately needed. Consequently the international community has lost the battle for the hearts and mind of the Afghan people.

The Report reveals that makeshift, unregistered refugee camps of starving children, civilians displaced by counter narcotics eradication and bombing campaigns can be found on the doorstep of new US and UK multi million dollar military camps.

"I took my child to the graveyard, my child died of hunger. There are children dying here," said a man in one of these camps in Kandahar Province.

"Hunger leads to anger," said Reinert. "Farmers who have had their poppy crop eradicated by the US and UK led eradication campaign now see their children facing starvation."

These camps also accommodate families who have left their home due to violence and fighting. Some are there because their homes have been destroyed by coalition forces' interventions in the 'war on terror' and the current heightened counter-insurgency operations.

A man in a camp in Lashkar Gah is quoted in the Report as saying, "After the bombing I moved to Lashkar GahŠI am afraid and terrified." There have been no official camps established to provide for civilians who left their villages due to US bombing campaigns.

Hunger has led to anger against the rich foreign community the Afghans see in their country. This and the crop eradication policies provide a perfect breeding ground for the Taliban propaganda against the foreign presence in Afghanistan.

US and UK-led failed counter-narcotics policies are responsible for the hunger crisis and the return of the Taliban

By triggering both anger and a hunger crisis in southern Afghanistan, US and UK-led counter-narcotics policies are directly responsible for the breakdown in security and the return of the Taliban.

"Forced poppy crop eradication is an anti-poor policy," said Reinert. "Poppy cultivation means survival for thousands of Afghans. By destroying entire communities' livelihoods, without any alternative plan for how the farmers would feed their families, the current eradication programmes are pushing farmers straight back into the arms of the Taliban."

A worker in Kandahar city is quoted as saying "In the villages, they had their crops destroyed, there is no water, no jobs, nothing to do - isn't it fair that they go and join the Taliban? Wouldn't you do the same thing?"

The Wrong priorities since 2001

"Prioritising the 'war on terror' over the 'war on poverty' has recreated the exact situation it was intended to remove in southern Afghanistan," said Reinert. "Right from 2001, the US-led international community's priorities for Afghanistan were not in line with those of the Afghan population. It is a classic military error: they did not properly identify the enemy."

An Afghan commander in Kandahar province is quoted as saying "The foreigners came here and said they would help the poor people and improve the economic situation, and they only spend money on their military operations. The poor people are poorer now than when the Taliban were the government. We don't trust them anymore. We would be fools to continue to believe their lies."

Military expenditure outpaces development and reconstruction spending by 900% - the wrong priority

82.5 billion USD has been spent on military operations in Afghanistan since 2002 compared to just 7.3 billion USD on development.

Focus on poverty relief and development could have created a solid foundation on which to re-build Afghanistan. Instead, the focus on "securing" Afghanistan with aggressive military tactics has led the Afghan population to mistrust the reasons for the large international military presence in their country.

The large numbers of civilian casualties and deaths have also fuelled resentment and mistrust of the international military presence.

"We have a saying about you now: Your blood is blood, our blood is just water to you," the Report notes a former Mujaheedin commander from Kandahar as saying.

There were 104 civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the month of July alone.

Faced with the return of the Taliban, the US and the international community must immediately reassess entire approach in Afghanistan

"Emergency poverty relief must now be the top priority," said Reinert. "Only then can we talk of nation-building and reconstruction. A complete overhaul of the failed counter-narcotics strategies is urgently needed. We must try and win back the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. The Taliban are advancing north every day. This should concern us all."

Research for the Report was carried out throughout Afghanistan in the spring and summer of 2006 by Senlis Afghanistan teams of Afghan and international researchers.

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New York Times Rewrites Iraq War History

Action Alert

New York Times Rewrites Iraq War History
To Bush—and Times—WMDs were not just a 'possibility'


In a New York Times article (9/6/06) on George W. Bush's September 5 speech concerning terrorism and Iraq, reporters David Sanger and John O'Neil included a striking revision of Bush's reasoning for going to war:

The possibility that Saddam Hussein might develop 'weapons of mass destruction' and pass them to terrorists was the prime reason Mr. Bush gave in 2003 for ordering the invasion of Iraq.

Of course, the drive to war rested firmly on Bush's repeated and emphatic claim that Hussein had already developed WMDs, which he possessed and was prepared to use—a bogus claim that the mainstream media, led by the Times' own Judith Miller, largely accepted as an article of faith and bolstered with credulous reports based on faulty information. (See Extra!, 7-8/03.)

Bush's charges that Iraq concealed chemical and biological weapons were unequivocal. "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons," Bush told the U.N. (9/12/02).

"The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons," Bush said in a speech in Cincinnati (10/7/02). "We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," Bush said in a March 17, 2003 address to the nation.

The New York Times' editorial page unskeptically accepted these claims and incorporated them into the paper's own arguments. In a September 18, 2002 editorial, the paper declared:

What really counts in this the destruction of Iraq's unconventional weapons and the dismantling of its program to develop nuclear arms.... What makes Iraq the subject of intense concern, as Mr. Bush noted, is Mr. Hussein's defiance of the Security Council's longstanding instructions to dismantle Baghdad's nuclear weapons program and to eliminate all its biological and chemical weapons and the materials used to make them.

After the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution on inspectors returning to Iraq, the Times editorialized (11/9/02):

The unwavering goal is to disarm Iraq, enforcing a string of previous Security Council resolutions that Baghdad has contemptuously ignored. The cost of letting that happen has been diminished authority for the United Nations and a growing danger that Iraq's unconventional weapons will be used in war or passed on to terrorists. Mr. Bush has galvanized the Security Council to declare that its orders must now be obeyed and those dangers eliminated.

When the inspectors returned, the paper stated (12/6/02), "Iraq has to get rid of its biological and chemical arms and missiles and the means to make them, and abandon its efforts to develop nuclear weapons." When the inspectors failed to find any evidence of banned weapons, the Times insisted (2/15/03): "The Security Council doesn't need to sit through more months of inconclusive reports. It needs full and immediate Iraqi disarmament. It needs to say so, backed by the threat of military force."

As the invasion approached, the editorialists endorsed (3/13/03) British Prime Minister Tony Blair's six-point ultimatum to Iraq as the "last hope of forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm voluntarily." The first point: "Mr. Hussein would have to acknowledge that he has hidden unconventional weapons and pledge to stop producing or concealing such weapons."

The New York Times' revision of the record, maintaining that Bush only presented Iraqi WMDs as a "possibility," threatens to erase one of the most significant chapters of recent history, in effect clearing the Bush administration—and the Times—of their role in misleading the country into war.

ACTION: Tell the New York Times to correct the record on the Bush administration's prime reason for invading Iraq.

New York Times
Byron Calame, Public Editor
Phone: (212) 556-7652

FAIR Turns 20

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Sheldon Rampton on The Path to 9/11, Wayne Barrett on Giuliani and 9/11 (9/8/06-9/14/06)



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This documentary exposes how shared interests between American political elites, Israeli public relations efforts, and the corporate media distort coverage and understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Featured interviews include FAIR associate Seth Ackerman, Hanan Ashrawi, Noam Chomsky, Hussein Ibish, and Alisa Solomon. The 2 disc DVD set includes the 80 minute feature plus 8 hours of additional interviews, news clips, and short films.


Feel free to respond to FAIR ( ). We can't reply to everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate documented examples of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of your correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to

9/11 Anniversary

9/11 Anniversary

Five years after the September 11 attacks, FAIR's radio show CounterSpin takes a look at media myths of the events versus reality. First up, "The Path to 9/11," an ABC docudrama scheduled to air on September 10th and 11th, is being billed by ABC as "an objective telling of the events of 9/11." But early reports suggest it's a right-wing take on events that pleases White House supporters while mangling recent history and laying the blame for 9/11 on the Clinton administration. CounterSpin speaks with Sheldon Rampton, research director of the Center for Media and Democracy, about the show—and why Disney-owned ABC would air such a politically partisan program.

Also on the show: "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend," goes the famous movie line, and that could describe media's treatment of former New York city mayor Rudolph Giuliani's much-vaunted performance during the World Trade Center attack five years ago. The troubling truth, according to a new book, is that the story that Giuliani has told—and that the press has repeated—about September 11th and his actions that day doesn't square with actual events. We talk with Wayne Barrett, co-author of the new book Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, about the reality behind the distorted picture of Giuliani's actions that day.

Listen to the show online.

CounterSpin can be heard on more than 125 noncommercial stations across the United States and Canada—find your station here.

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CounterSpin, hosted by Janine Jackson, Steve Rendall and Peter Hart, provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what the mainstream media might have missed in their own coverage. Combining lively discussion and a thoughtful media critique, CounterSpin is unlike any other show on the dial.

CounterSpin exposes and highlights biased and inaccurate news; censored stories; sexism, racism and homophobia in the news; the power of corporate influence; gaffes and goofs by leading TV pundits; TV news' narrow political spectrum; attacks on free speech; and more.

Update from the Grand River, Sept. 7, 2006

This is Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill's September 7 update from the Grand River.

Good Morning from Grand River. The sun has just peaked over the tree line and the world is looking beautiful and serene. Inside my house everyone is busy getting ready for school and work. Bus schedules are getting used to and the need of school fee's for art, drama, science, music etc. is being discussed while lunches are being prepared. That little glance outside is a gentle reminder, and helps bring about the balance inside of me, for the sometime chaos we feel in life. But that is the type of chaos we would never do without. The simplist things in life that might at times feel like chaos, but they are exactly what and who makes this life worthwhile. Our children, and the time that we get to spend with them. The time that while we may think we're teaching them all the valuable lessons in life, they are in fact teaching us. As I watch them go off to school and think about the sacrifices even they are making for the future of our people, I am filled with pride but also sorrow. How much of 'our' time has been taken away for meetings and interviews and time spent on site. In the end when we talk about it, we can all agree that we would have it no other way.

Yes, school is back in and all of the concerns about the school nearest the reclamation site have been voiced, from parents who feel threatened by our presence, to others who claim the terrorism and violence has put the fear of life into their children. But when the school bell rings, and the silence echoes through the site and school yard, i have to wonder what exactly is there to fear. I was always told the only thing to fear, is fear itself..........and of course the boogey man. I never once thought that I was going to be the boogey man! The fact of the matter is, the boogey man is being created in the minds of a few who, like when we were children, let their imaginations get the better of them, start telling their friends the made up stories in their head, they in turn tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on until pretty soon the story is has now become quite a tale and is presented as factual and posted on their blog site. What makes it worse, is people also report to newspapers as if it were facts and rather than check it out or try to verify it, the papers run it! We had our side table talks interrupted on Tuesday because the minister was 'scrummed' with gossip about the school yard fence that was being built having been halted because the workers were threatened by the people on the site. But action on the site spoke a different story. The workers were busy cementing in the posts, police were on hand watching the work progress, and our security went over to verify that none of the workers had been bothered and to make sure everything was ok. The newspaper who printed the story about work being stopped obviously didn't go and gather the facts, they printed what was going to sell their papers. And that has been what we've been dealing with since the reclamation began. No matter how we try to get the truth from our perspective out there, we are overwhelmed with gossip, rumours and fairy tales about how the poor people of Caledonia have had enough of the noise, lights and visibility of those 'terrorists' or 'occupiers' at the site. Gossip and rumours. These are the things that hamper our daily lives. But it is also what has plagued the actual Truth about the reclamation from being printed, and unfortunately, it is also what that the three panel of judges will be looking at when it is determined whether or not the appeal should be granted. And that my friends, is exactly what is being counted on. If the judges squash the appeal because of whats being printed, then the negotiation process has in effect been stopped, and it is only a matter of time before the opp or whatever armed force is ordered to remove us from our land.

I want to take a minute to share a bit of what hasn't been printed and what is really going on. Last Thursday, Ministers Ramsay and Prentice released a joint letter, through the media, to Chief Alan MacNaughton and our Confederacy Council demanding that the atv's stop, the noise stop, the fireworks stop and the lights stop at the site. It was a political tactic to gain votes, but it was also a tactic to give the impression to the rest of the world watching that this is actually what is happening on the site, continuously! First of all, the men and women's council at Kanonhstaton have already reduced patrols, have been respectful of neighbours, have pretty much respected and addressed every concern that is brought to our attention by the OPP or the provincial and federal reps at the negotiating table and we do so immediately. We have counselled over many issues, and have even had to ask some of our own people who have violated that peace to remove themselves from the site. We are doing our best to conduct ourselves in accordance of the Kaienerekowah. But what happens when our concerns are put to the other side. Who brings those people to task? Since the release of the ministers letter which in effect threatens the peaceful negotiation process on Thursday, we have been on a continual yellow alert. Friday night we received a telephone call from the OPP advising us that two busloads of non-supporters were headed our way from Hamilton. Caledonia residents were shooting off fireworks randomly, and people began gathering at the Canadian Tire plaza and Tim Hortons again. Saturday night it was pretty much the same with a report of 40 or more carloads of people threatening similar action. An Onkwehonweh couple who stopped in at Tim Hortons for an evening cup of tea which they were trying to enjoy in their vehicle, had a woman with a video camera in their face presumably to get 'evidence' that they were somehow threatening their lives by being there, and another Onkwehonweh woman who was trying to enjoy a meal in Ancaster overheard a conversation of another non-native party who mentioned 'give me 15 good men and there won't be an Indian problem and I have my alibi because my wife will verify that I was home all evening'. Around the same time, the Globe and Mail runs a story in which Caledonia resident Steven Tong was quoted as saying that he has his gun out with the safety off, ready to use it on the protestors at the site. Meantime, Mayor Trainer is on national televsion stating that two women from Haldimand Township come into her office making a similar statement about the use of weapons if the government isn't going to remove the people from the site, they will. Exactly who is threatening the safety of the people not only on the site, but also the children that they claim to be protecting and the people in their neighbourhood. And again, who is taking these people to task for their threats. The threat of violence is real, but it is not coming from the people on the site. The ministers who jointly made the demands of our confederacy council had better take a look in their own backyard and get that message out to their own people including MP's such as Toby Barrett who I understand was right amongst the people who were gathering on the week-end to take matters into their own hands.

Which brings me to a request from Kanonhstaton. We're asking all of you who are supporting the PEACEful negotiation process, to bombard all of your MP's offices, the Ministers' offices, the Prime Minsters office, the lead negotiators Jane Stewart and Barbara McDougal, and any and all government offices including the Governor General and the Queen, with letters demanding that these threats of violence by Caledonia citizens and their supporters be addressed, and that Canada uphold their responsibilities to the Treaties that have been handed them through the Crown. The reclamation of our land and all of the fraudulent land transfers and sales of Onkwehonweh land will only be addressed if the people of Canada and all of our world wide support demand that Canada take responsibility for its' actions. We didn't create the situation, we are only trying to rectify it, for our children and future generations. We have taken action and have re-claimed land that is rightfully ours. We are there in Peace, and have been since February 28th. Now that the Crown has finally recognized and agreed that the land at Kanonhstaton is in fact on the table and needs to be addressed, they also need to hear from their constituents that so too is the honour of the Crown. Will Canada allow the hatred and violent displays of racisim of its citizens to continue and possibly create another Ipperwash, or will it use the lessons of the past to ensure that the violence stops and admit to their citizens that it is through their own actions and abuse of assumed power that we are in this situation today.

In Peace, Love and Light,


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Getting Away with Murder: Canadian Mining & Oil

Volunteers needed for public action! Also public event at OISE Monday September 11th!

Along with a wide group of Toronto Civil Society Groups, GlobalAware needs your help! We are trying to persuade the Government to regulate Canadian mining, oil and gas companies overseas and you can help. We need volunteers for a human billboard action that includes walking with our mobile photo exhibit as well as distributing flyers and enabling petition sign ups.


Monday, September 11, 5:30 - 6:30pm
In front of OISE building, 252 Bloor Street West

Tuesday, September 12, 5:00 - 6:00pm
In front of Radisson Hotel, 249 Queen's Quay West

Wednesday, September 13, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
In front of the Centre for Social Justice, 489 College Street

If you can participate please send an email and let me know!!

Otherwise you should also checkout the event on Monday!! Free films, photo exhibit and a panel discussion; details and lots of further information follow.

Free Event- Monday September 11, 2006
1:00 pm to 9 pm
OISE / University of Toronto

Rooms 2-213 and 2-214
Ontario Institute in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto 252
Bloor Street West, near St. George subway stop
For more info: Bern Jagunos 416-231-7680 ext 4077 or Jim Davis 416-463-5312 ext 238


REGULATE CANADIAN MINING, OIL AND GAS COMPANIES OVERSEAS Parallel events to roundtable on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Sector in Developing Countries.

GlobalAware Photo Exhibit - Room 2-213 1pm to 6pm Canadian mining oil and gas operations in Ecuador, Ghana, Peru, Philippines and Venezuela

Screening of Short Documentary Films - Room 2-213 2pm to 6;30 pm

2:00 pm - Sipakapa No se Vende/Sipakapa is Not for Sale (60 min, Glamis Gold,
> Guatemala) 3:10 pm - All That Glitters (28 min, TVI Pacific in the
> Philippines) 4:00 pm - U.A.I.L. Go Back (22 min. Alcan in India) 4:40
> pm - Between Midnight and the Rooster's Crow (60 min, EnCana Corp. in
> Ecuador) 5:50 pm - Dongo Kundu (20 Min, Tiomin Resources in Kenya)
> 6:20 pm - Gold, Gold Look who is Benefiting (20 min, Bonte Gold Mines,
> Folden Star Resources in Ghana)

> Presentation and Discussion with Featured Speakers Room 2-214 6:30 pm
> to 9 pm
> . Chair: Bern Jagunos
> . Introduction: Carlos Torres (Chile)
> . Tin Maung Htoo (Burma)
> . Wanyee Kinuthia / Tigi Obanda (Kenya)
> . Ulises Garcia (Peru)
> . Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines)
> Free Event- Monday September 11, 2006
> 1:00 pm to 9 pm
> OISE / University of Toronto
> Rooms 2-213 and 2-214
> Ontario Institute in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto 252
> Bloor Street West, near St. George subway stop

> For more info: Bern Jagunos 416-231-7680 ext 4077 or Jim Davis
> 416-463-5312 ext 238

Endorsed by a network of Toronto based organizations for corporate responsibility on the occasion of the Canadian government's September 12-14 roundtable meeting on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Sector in Developing Countries.



Canadian mining, oil and gas companies have been implicated in well-documented cases of human rights violations and environmental disasters abroad. These violations by Canadian companies include toxic dumping, the destruction of protected areas, forcible displacement of indigenous peoples, and threats and intimidation of local communities.

This is not a case of a few bad apples: Canadian extractive companies have been implicated in human rights abuses and environmental disasters in more than thirty countries.

The Government offers both political assistance and financial support to Canadian extractive companies that operate abroad. Yet the Government has no regulatory mechanisms to ensure that these companies observe international human rights and environmental standards - standards that have been adopted by Canada.

The voluntary approach to corporate accountability championed by the Canadian Government is problematic for several reasons. Most voluntary codes lack independent monitoring and verification systems, complaints tools and enforcement mechanisms. Moreover, the voluntary approach excludes binding mechanisms to hold companies accountable when there is evidence of environmental and/or human rights violations
associated with their overseas activities.


The Government should:

. Require Canadian companies operating internationally to meet clearly defined corporate accountability, international human rights and environmental standards, as a precondition for both financial and political assistance.

. Develop legislation to hold Canadian companies and their directors accountable in Canada when found complicit in human rights abuses and environmental destruction abroad.

. Develop robust Canadian-based monitoring, verification and compliance mechanisms to ensure that Canadian companies operating internationally meet clearly defined corporate accountability, international human rights and environmental standards.

. Promote the inclusion of human rights standards in World Bank policies and condition private sector lending on compliance with international human rights.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged to do this book meme by JJ at Unrepentant Old Hippie and Scout at Harper-Valley. So, here it goes:

A book that changed my life:
"Jonathan Livingston Seagull", (I think the author was Richard Bach). It is about a seagull breaking free from the constraints of his flock, enabling him to soar above the clouds and find freedom. I don't remember the details now, but at the time, I found it uplifting and 'freeing'.

UPDATE: In the comments to this post, Bill Muskoka reminded me about the author of this memorable book. It was Richard Bach. How could I have forgotten? And as Bill added, this excellent writer also wrote "Illusions: The Adventures of A Reluctant Messiah"; "One"; "The Bridge Across Forever"; and others. (The one I recall reading among these was "The Bridge Across Forever", also a wonderful book.) Thanks, Bill!

A book I've read more than once:
This is a difficult one, for I read many books more than once. I put them on my shelves and re-read them time and again. Hmmm... to find one, let's see... I guess perhaps the little book I pick up the most often would be "Earth Prayers, from Around the World [365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honouring the Earth]", edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon. It is a gem-filled little book that I read in my garden or while sipping tea or coffee at one of my favourite local outdoor spots. I also tend to carry it around with me to read while waiting in my doctor's or dentists office.

A book I'd want on a desert island:
I guess that would have to be my John Steinbeck collection, including such paeans to the human spirit as "The Painted Pony", "The Winter of Our Discontent", "The Pearl", and others. Steinbeck is my favourite American writer. I'd also be tempted to take with me another tome, "Great Short Stories of the World", which include stories by some of the world's greatest writers: Gorky, Balzac, Dickens, Zola, Cervantes, Pushkin, Jokai, Kisfaludi, and others, representing all corners of the globe from the Americas to Europe, Persia, Iceland, the Balkans, and more. Yes, I'd likely take this book along as well. I never could travel light! :)

A book that made me laugh:
"The World According to Garp", but I can't remember the author.

A book that made me cry:
There were many, but perhaps the one that comes to my mind now is Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina".

**In these last two answers, I have to concur with JJ:

A book I wish had been written:
"All Lies All The Time: The Truth About The Bush Administration" (Colin Powell)

A book I wish had never been written:
the "Left Behind" series.

**Thanks, JJ!

Books I'm currently reading:
"It's the Crude, Dude - War, Big Oil, and the Fight for the Planet", by Linda McQuaig. This is a fast-paced book and a real eye-opener. With her keen eye, grim wit, and down to earth style, Canadian journalist and best-selling author Linda McQuaig's perceptive inquiry into the world's energy systems strips away layers of deceit, racism, sordid manipulation violence and aggression. She tells about the ruthless rise of Big Oil and the wars being fought over control of the 'black gold' that made some obscenely rich and others desparately poor. To better understand today's global situation, this book is a must-read.

Books I've been meaning to read:
"The End of Victory Culture", by Tom Engelhardt; "The End of Iraq", by Peter Galbraith; "All You Can Eat: Greed, Lust and the New Capitalism", by Linda McQuaig; "God Without Religion", by Sankara Saranam; and many more books that are on my list. (I am an eclectic reader, and interested in reading about a wide variety of topics.)

What turned me on to fiction:
Folk tales and epic poetry I read as a little girl back in 'The Old Country'. I started reading at the age of 5 and never stopped. I will read anything, if there's nothing else available at the time. Like JJ, to me coffee break without reading=HELL. :) Thanks again, JJ!

Tag 5 others for this meme: Sorry guys, you know I'm only doing this because you strike me as interesting people!

1) Bill Muskoka Thoughts Shared

2) Q - North of Center

3) Austin - Wild Dog Road

4) Bazz - Oi! Thump!

5) The Gazetteer

More Truth about Canada in Afghanistan

September 6, 2006

Canada in Afghanistan: Ten More Under-reported Facts

On March 16, 2006, volunteers with the Media Alliance for New Activism (MANA), a Canadian network of independent and critical media, produced an e-mail fact sheet: “Canada in Afghanistan: Top Ten Under-reported Facts.”

The Original Top Ten:

FACT #1:
Jean Chretien & Canadian Corporations Involved in Trans-Afghan Pipeline
FACT #2: Gordon O'Connor, Defence Minister, Is Former Military Lobbyist
FACT #3:
Current Afghan Parliament Includes Warlords and Drug Lords
FACT #4: Afghan Warlords Considered Bigger Threat Than Taliban
FACT #5: Afghan Women Face Repression Despite Removal Of Taliban
FACT #6: Elected Afghan Woman Faces Death Threats For Speaking Out
FACT #7: Since the U.S.-led War, Afghanistan Is Increasingly Hooked on Heroin
FACT #8: U.S. And Coalition Forces Using Excessive Force & Arbitrary Detention
FACT #9:
Canada Complicit In Violation of Human Rights For 'War On Terror'
FACT #10: U.S. Finds More Oil and Gas Reserves After 4-Year Search

Available at:

As the crisis and violence continues, we have produced this follow-up e-mail to be distributed by those concerned with truth and accuracy, and context and history, in reporting about Canada’s role in Afghanistan.



FACT #11:
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Withdrew from Afghanistan; Criticized Coalition
FACT #12:
“Military Humanitarianism” Undermining Aid Work
FACT #13: Canada Redefining Military Combat As Aid
FACT #14: U.S.-Backed Afghan President Karzai Criticizes Coalition Forces
FACT #15:
Canadian Forces Involved in Friendly-Fire Incidents and Attacks on Civilians
FACT #16:
UN Warns of Soaring Afghan Opium and Potential Narco-State
FACT #17: Canada, NATO quietly talking with Taliban, as Pakistan Signs Deal
FACT #18:
Taliban Now Stronger; Fighting As Fierce As 2001
FACT #19: 190 Canadian Companies Exporting to Afghanistan, Yet
Poverty Pervasive
FACT #20: Warlords and Rights Abusers: The Terror Canada Supports



>From 2004:

“With a deep feeling of sadness and anger, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announces today the closure of all medical programs in Afghanistan. MSF is taking this decision in the aftermath of the killing of five MSF aid workers in a deliberate attack on June 2, 2004, when a clearly marked MSF vehicle was ambushed in the northwestern province of Badghis. Five of our colleagues were mercilessly shot in the attack. This targeted killing of five of its aid workers is unprecedented in the history of MSF, which has been delivering medical humanitarian assistance in some of the most violent conflicts around the world over the last 30 years.”

-- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Press Release, July 28, 2004
Available at:

“The violence directed against humanitarian aid workers has come in a context in which the United States-backed coalition has consistently sought to use humanitarian aid to build support for its military and political ambitions. MSF denounces the coalition's attempts to co-opt humanitarian aid and use it to "win hearts and minds." By doing so, providing aid is no longer seen as an impartial and neutral act, endangering the lives of humanitarian volunteers and jeopardizing the aid to people in need. Only recently, on May 12, 2004, MSF publicly condemned the distribution of leaflets by the coalition forces in southern Afghanistan in which the population was informed that providing information about the Taliban and al Qaeda was necessary if
they wanted the delivery of aid to continue.”

-- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Press Release, July 28, 2004
Available at:

“MSF, a neutral group which depends primarily on private donations, has a reputation for sending medical staff into troublespots regarded by other agencies as too dangerous. This is its first pullout from any country since being founded 33 years ago. The organisation, which worked in Afghanistan through the Soviet occupation, the civil war and the Taliban, said yesterday [July 28, 2004] that the US-led coalition put aid workers at risk by blurring the line between military and humanitarian operations.”

-- The Guardian, July 29, 2004
Available at:,,1271197,00.html

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Afghanistan: Opium and Depleted Uranium

Afghanistan is good news for drug dealers. A recent report in the Associated Press says that opium production there is at a record high, up by more than 40 per cent from last year. Afghanistan produces about 90 per cent of the world's heroin courtesy of Uncle Sam and vassal countries like Canada and Britain. This despite hundreds of millions of dollars being poured into counter narcotics.

by Jerry West

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tomgram: 9/11, "An explosion out of The Towering Inferno"

[Note to Tomdispatch readers: As an experiment in I'm-not-quite-sure-what, I've just begun blogging at the Nation magazine website's group blog, The Notion. Check out my first entry. It's a good place to be, rubbing e-shoulders with Katrina vanden Heuvel, Jon Weiner, William Grieder and many others. I'll probably continue to do this a couple of times a week.

The following piece is my attempt to reconsider the American response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 on this fifth anniversary week. It will appear in the upcoming issue of the Nation and is posted here thanks to the kindness of that magazine's editors. A final plug: If you want to dig a little more deeply into the world that prepared us to respond as we did that September week, you might pick up a copy of my history of American triumphalism and the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. Tom]

9/11 in a Movie-Made World

By Tom Engelhardt

[This article, which will appear in the September 25 issue of the Nation (on the newsstands this week), is posted here with the kind permission of the editors of that magazine.]

We knew it was coming. Not, as conspiracy theorists imagine, just a few top officials among us, but all of us -- and not for weeks or months, but for more than half a century before September 11, 2001.

That's why, for all the shock, it was, in a sense, so familiar. Americans were already imagining versions of September 11 soon after the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. That event set the American imagination boiling. Within weeks of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as scholar Paul Boyer has shown, all the familiar signs of nuclear fear were already in place -- newspapers were drawing concentric circles of atomic destruction outward from fantasy Ground Zeroes in American cities, and magazines were offering visions of our country as a vaporized wasteland, while imagining millions of American dead.

And then, suddenly, one clear morning it seemed to arrive -- by air, complete with images of the destruction of the mightiest monuments to our power, and (just as previously experienced) as an onscreen spectacle. At one point that day, it could be viewed on more than thirty channels, including some never previously involved with breaking news, and most of the country was watching.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Dahr Jamail: Interview With Ray McGovern, Part 3

During the Veterans for Peace National Convention in Seattle, Dahr Jamail conducted an interview with Ray McGovern. McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. In the final installment of this interview series, McGovern discusses links between US/Israeli policy, the need for change if there is to be true security for either country, the Bush administration's use of torture, and the likelihood of a US attack on Iran.

Read Dahr Jamail's interview here (Truthout).

To read this directly at Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches website, please visit:

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

Robert Koehler: 'Comic Book Patriotism'

With the NDP's position on no extension in the mandate for our troops in Afghanistan and bringing the two adversaries to the peace table, already the questioning of one's patriotism is being flung around, similar to the USA. The two main adversaries in Afghanistan were already engaged in a civil war long before 9/11. In this context, it is all the more interesting and timely to read Robert Koehler's article, "Comic Book Patriotism". Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago based journalist, national syndicated writer and editor at Tribune Media Services.

Comic-book Patriotism
Remember when we murdered Iran's democracy? Remember 9/11?

Tribune Media Services

September 7, 2006

“You, sir, should be horsewhipped.”

Nothing like a little intimidation to liven up my ongoing meditation on a just society. To be threatened with e-mail violence by a Marine Corps major (ret.) steeped in righteousness — wow, how deliciously personal and unfair. What a lovely mixture of bile and adrenaline it sets to bubbling. What a temptation it creates to respond in kind.

Instead, I’ve decided to make this conversation — about violence, ignorance, idealism — public. This is bigger than both of us, sir.

I stand accused, for writing a column defending a young Marine deserter who fled apparent criminal abuse at the hands of fellow Marines (returning Iraq vets who acted as though they were haunted by the demons of PTSD), of “disrupting the good order and discipline” of the Corps, and of an almost treasonous failure, judging by the tone of the letter and the proposed punishment, to appreciate how good I’ve got it: “It is the likes of men . . . you belittle and criticize that provide you with the privilege of the free speech you so eagerly abuse.”


Read Robert Koehler's full article here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Iraq Dispatches: U.S. Losing Control Fast

This is the latest dispatch from my friend, independent journalist Dahr Jamail, about the disastrous U.S. war on Iraq and the increasingly worsening situation. The U.S. forces seem to have no clear policy in the face of the sustained resistance, and are losing control in many areas.

U.S. Losing Control Fast

*Inter Press Service*

Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

*RAMADI, Sep 5 (IPS) - The U.S. military has lost control over the volatile al-Anbar province, Iraqi police and residents say.*

The area to the west of Baghdad includes Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns that have seen the worst of military occupation, and the strongest resistance.

Despite massive military operations which destroyed most of Fallujah and much of cities like Haditha and al-Qa'im in Ramadi, real control of the city now seems to be in the hands of local resistance.

In losing control of this province, the U.S. would have lost control over much of Iraq.

"We are talking about nearly a third of the area of Iraq," Ahmed Salman, a historian from Fallujah told IPS. "Al-Anbar borders Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and the resistance there will never stop as long as there are American soldiers on the ground."

Salman said the U.S. military is working against itself. "Their actions ruin their goal because they use these huge, violent military operations which kill so many civilians, and make it impossible to calm down the people of al-Anbar."

The resistance seems in control of the province now. "No government official can do anything without contacting the resistance first," Abu Ghalib, a government official in Ramadi told IPS.

"Even the governor used to take their approval for everything. When he stopped doing so, they issued a death sentence against him, and now he cannot move without American protection."

Recent weeks have brought countless attacks on U.S. troops in Haditha, Ramadi, Fallujah and on the Baghdad-Amman highway. Several armoured vehicles have been destroyed, and dozens of U.S. soldiers killed in the al-Anbar province, according to both Iraqi witnesses and the U.S. Department of Defence.

Long stretches of the 550km Baghdad-Amman highway which crosses al-Anbar are now controlled by resistance groups. Other parts are targeted by highway looters.

"If we import any supplies for the U.S. Army or Iraqi government, the fighters will take it from us and sell it in the local market," trader Hayder al-Mussawi said. "And if we import for the local market, the robbers will take it."

Eyewitnesses in Ramadi say many of the attacks are taking place within their city. They say that the U.S. military recently asked citizens in al-Anbar to stop targeting them, and promised to withdraw to their bases in Haditha and Habaniyah (near Fallujah) soon, leaving the cities for Iraqi security forces to patrol.

"I do not think that is possible," retired Iraqi police Brigadier-General Kahtan al-Dulaimi from Ramadi told IPS. "I believe no local unit could stand the severe resistance of al-Anbar, and it will be the last province to be handed over to Iraqi security forces."

According to the group Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, 964 coalition soldiers have been killed in al-Anbar, more than in any other Iraqi province.. Baghdad is second, with 665 coalition deaths.

Residents of Ramadi told IPS that the U.S. military has knocked down several buildings near the government centre in the city, the capital of the province.

In an apparent move to secure their offices, U.S. Army and Marine engineers have started to level a half-kilometre stretch of low-rise buildings opposite the centre. Abandoned buildings in this area have been used repeatedly to launch attacks on the government complex.

"They are trying to create a separation area between the offices of the puppet government and the buildings the resistance are using to attack them," a Ramadi resident said. "But now the Americans are making us all angry because they are destroying our city."

U.S. troops have acknowledged their own difficulties in doing this. "We're used to taking down walls, doors and windows, but eight city blocks is something new to us," Marine 1st Lt. Ben Klay, 24, said in the U.S. Department of Defence newspaper Stars and Stripes.

In nearby Fallujah, residents are reporting daily clashes between Iraqi-U.S. security forces and the resistance.

"The local police force which used to be out of the conflict are now being attacked," said a resident who gave his name as Abu Mohammed. "Hundreds of local policemen have quit the force after seeing that they are considered a legitimate target by fighters.."

The U.S. forces seem to have no clear policy in the face of the sustained resistance.

"The U.S. Army seems so confused in handling the security situation in Anbar," said historian Salman. "Attacks are conducted from al-Qa'im on the Syrian border to Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad, all the way through Haditha, Hit, Ramadi and Fallujah on a daily basis."

He added: "A contributing factor to the instability of the province is the endless misery of the civilians who live with no services, no infrastructure, random shootings and so many wrongful detentions."

According to the new Pentagon quarterly report on Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq, Iraqi casualties rose 51 percent in recent months. The report says Sunni-based insurgency is "potent and viable."

The report says that in a period since the establishment of the new Iraqi government, between May 20 and Aug. 11 this year, the average number of weekly attacks rose to nearly 800, almost double the number of the attacks in early 2004.

Casualties among Iraqi civilians and security forces averaged nearly 120 a day during the period, up from 80 a day reported in the previous quarterly report. Two years ago they were averaging roughly 30 a day.

On Aug. 31 the Pentagon announced that it is increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 140,000, which is 13,000 more than the number five weeks ago.

At least 65 U.S. soldiers were killed in August, with 36 of the deaths reported in al-Anbar. That brought the total number killed to at least 2,642.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the DahrJamailIraq website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

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Tomgram: Rosner and Markowitz, 9/11 as the First Katrina Moment

Normally, when we consider the events of September 11, 2001, we don't think of them as a "Katrina moment," but public-health specialists David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, authors of the just published Are We Ready? Public Health Since 9/11, know better. Amid Bush administration ineptitude and incompetence before -- and on -- that day, there was at least one shining story of on-the-spot, efficient government: the public-health system in New York City. Though few noticed (until Katrina arrived four years later), the administration started to undermine and sabotage that system almost immediately. It's a sorry tale that not only points toward New Orleans, 2005, but toward a deeper pathology in this country. Without a terrorist in sight, the infrastructure that made this into a can-do nation has been given the sort of once-over that certain terrorist organizations might indeed admire.

Just last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country a "D" for "its overall infrastructure conditions, estimating that it would take $1.6 trillion over five years to fix the problem." The "problem," put bluntly, is that the country's basic operating systems are eroding fast and this administration, by all evidence, couldn't care less. So when, on this fifth anniversary week, we look back on the horrendous attacks of 9/11, we should think of what the supposedly national-security consciousness Bush administration has really done to undermine not only the safety, but possibly the long-term viability of this can-do country. Maybe it's time that we gave the Republicans of Bush's Washington the name they actually deserve -- the Republicants. Tom

9/11: Katrina Started at Ground Zero

By David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz

Nothing else worked that day. The President was flying haplessly around the country looking distinctly unpresidential; the Vice President was in a bunkered panic. The military couldn't scramble armed jets and anything else that could go wrong did. But one thing worked, and it worked splendidly -- the New York City, as well as federal, public-health system.

While the World Trade Center was burning fiercely and about to become a vast cloud of toxic smoke and ash, public health officials were already mobilizing. Within hours, hospitals had readied themselves to receive the injured; hundreds of ambulances were lined up along the West Side Highway awaiting word to race to the scene; the city's public health department had opened its headquarters to receive hundreds of people stricken by smoke inhalation, heart attacks, or just pure terror; the Department of Health had already begun providing gas masks and other protective equipment to doctors, evacuation personnel, and first responders of all sorts. From bandages and surgical tools to antibiotics and radiation-detection equipment, the federal Centers for Disease Control readied immense plane-loads of emergency supplies, ferrying them up to New York's LaGuardia Airport aboard some of the few planes allowed to fly in the days after September 11th.

Despite the general panic and the staggering levels of destruction, even seemingly inconsequential or long-range potential health problems were attended to: Restaurants were broken into to empty thousands of pounds of rotting food from electricity-less refrigerators, counters tops, and refrigeration rooms; vermin infestations were averted; puddles were treated to stop mosquitoes from breeding so that West Nile virus would not affect the thousands of police, fire, and other search-and-rescue personnel working at Ground Zero.

In the face of a great and unexpected catastrophe, this is the way it was supposed to be -- and (for those who care to be nostalgic) after 5 years of the Bush administration's Global War on Terror, not the way it's ever likely to be again. One of the great ironies of 9/11 will pass unnoticed in the various memorials and remembrances now descending upon us: In the wake of the attacks, as the Bush administration claimed it was gearing up to protect us against any further such moments by pouring money into the Pentagon and the new Department of Homeland Security, its officials were also reorienting, privatizing, militarizing, and beginning to functionally dismantle the very public health system that made the catastrophe of 9/11 so much less disastrous than it might have been.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Peace in Lebanon, but U.S. prepares for war on Iran

Darrell Rankin, an anti-war colleague, wrote this compelling piece in Peoples' Voice about U.S. preparations for war on Iran. He urges the anti-war movement to prepare for new mobilizations to block another senseless, disastrous war.

It is reprinted here with Darrell's kind permission.

Peace in Lebanon, but U.S. prepares for war on Iran

By Darrell Rankin, People's Voice, Sept. 1, 2006

AFTER A MONTH of criminal 'shock and awe' bombings and a stalled ground war by Israel in Lebanon, U.S. President Bush and the Israeli government accepted what could be a temporary peace arrangement in the U.N. Security Council on August 11.

Despite powerful antiwar protests and anti-imperialist resistance, it is increasingly clear that the cease fire must be used to prepare for greater unity and actions to block more dangerous imperialist aims.

Tens of thousands of Canadians protested against supporters of Israeli war crimes such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As the war continued, the Communist Party of Canada called for Harper's resignation and all opposition parties started to reflect the popular opposition to Harper.

Israel planned the war for at least two years with the full approval of the U.S. Launched to demolish any hope for ending its occupation of Palestinian territories and to advance U.S. strategic aims in the Middle East, the war has backfired.

The war gave popular forces courage and energy throughout the world to resist imperialism and realize justice. Calls are growing for a boycott of the racist, expansionist state of Israel. More people are becoming aware of the broader imperialist danger.

The war and Israel's butchery in the occupied territory of Gaza may be a prelude to a far 'greater' war - a massive U.S. onslaught against Iran and possibly Syria with the ill-conceived aim of crushing all resistance in a reshaped "new" Middle East, looting the oil resources and bolstering U.S. imperialist hegemony.

This is a futile and extremely dangerous strategy that would mark a further turn in foreign policy to fascist-like solutions for the serious impasses of U.S. imperialism, adding to pressures for reactionary crackdowns in the U.S. and its allies.

A growing chorus of commentators, intelligence experts, U.S. military officers, the Israeli government and 'sources' close to the Bush administration declare that the imminent target is Iran, viewed by U.S. imperialism and Israel alike as the main obstacle and backer of resistance forces in the region.

The far-right Bush administration agreed to a ceasefire in the following circumstances: a fierce and united resistance in Lebanon that won support among anti-imperialist forces everywhere and made proU.S. regimes more unpopular; signs of a growing Israeli opposition to the war; growing calls for a ceasefire (Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement of one hundred countries, some NATO countries, and massive protests around the world, including 100,000 people in London).

Without a doubt, Lebanon's resistance forces are being celebrated throughout the country and beyond for defeating the Israeli ground invasion, which until August 8 went no further than three kilometers. The victory was paid for by resistance fighters, by hundreds of civilians who died from Israeli air and artillery massacres, and by those who will die prematurely from a destroyed economy and from Israeli cluster bombs that now cover much of South Lebanon.

But it is not clear that Bush was forced to accept a ceasefire. Rather, U.S. imperialism led by the far-right Bush administration can equally justify the ceasefire as a convenient pause before attacking Iran. U.S. forces are now on alert and ready to destroy over 10,000 targets in Iran almost simultaneously.

A leading commentator, Seymour Hersh, writes that "some officers serving the (U.S.) Joint Chiefs of Staff remain deeply concerned that the (Bush) Administration will have a far more positive assessment of (Israel's) air campaign than they should." (New Yorker, August 21).

With absolutely no evidence and complete hypocrisy, the U.S. and Israel, which have thousands of nuclear weapons, are accusing Iran of intentions to develop and use nuclear weapons. Iran insists it aims only to develop nuclear power, a right enjoyed by all members of the United Nations.

Iran is widely expected to reject a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding that it abandon its nuclear programs by August 31. If Iran ignores the resolution, the Security Council could impose sanctions, which would be completely unjustified and contrary to the U.N. Charter and other basic principles of international law.

In short, imperialism would have once again influenced the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions that could be as deadly as those endured by Iraq from 1991 to 2003. France, China or Russia may veto such sanctions.

The danger is that the U.S. will consider any 'failure' by the U.N. to act against Iran as a green light for a preemptive war and regime change.

This struggle is also increasingly linked to the defence of democratic freedoms. In one shocking development, some Zionist organizations in Canada have demanded police repression of anti-war demonstrations, taking the so-called 'war on terror' to new extremes.

Despite this, the anti-war movement is growing, and the CLC continues to make opposition to the Afghan debacle a priority. Every effort is needed to build on this trend, including the October 28 Canada-wide day of action against the occupation of Afghanistan.

As humanity mourns the many hundreds of dead in the latest conflict, we must prepare for new mobilizations to block the preparations by the U.S. for yet another war.

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