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U.S. Aggression towards Venezuela: The Rise of Black Propaganda and Dirty War Tactics (Again) 3/30/2005 Venezuela Analysis: "The Bush Administration, through its Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and her spokesmen, its Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his spokesmen, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Porter Goss, has made clear that Venezuela is a target for Washington this year.
This time around, the strategy is clear: turn President Chávez into an international pariah in the world media and justify an intervention to save democracy. Even more transparent are the mechanisms utilized to implement the strategy. Since early January 2005, major U.S. publications and television stations, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Fox News Network and CSNBC, to name a few, have published or broadcast well over 60 articles and programs regurgitating State Department accusations that President Chávez presents a “negative force in the region,” is a “threat to democracy,” a “semi-dictator,” or that the Venezuela Government provides refuge and collaborates with “terrorist” groups, such as the Colombian FARC and ELN."
U.N. Votes Unanimously to Send Peacekeepers to Sudan 3/24/2005 AP
Bert Williams Wore Blackface in 1905, and in 2005, it’s our Young Men Who Wear Masks 3/24/2005 Black America Web
Check Cashers Target Blacks, Poor 3/23/2005 Pacific News
RON DANIELS: Hundreds gather to remember Malcolm 3/20/2005 Black America
Oldest Black bank sold to white group 3/20/2005 Richmond Free Press
Resurgent Russia challenges US 3/18/2005 Asia Times: "By effectively controlling international oil prices, Russia could undermine US economic growth. More importantly, Russia could encourage the devaluation of the dollar by redenominating its substantial energy trade with Europe from dollars into euros. Redenomination, which is supported by both Russia and the European Union, would force Europe's central banks to rebalance their foreign exchange reserves in favor of the euro.
Rather than establishing economic and geopolitical hegemony around the world, the "war on terrorism" is making the US increasingly vulnerable to a sharp economic recession delivered to Washington by Moscow. The Bush administration should consider this when formulating plans to expand US power into Russia's traditional sphere of influence or to undermine Iran's government. Without this consideration, Washington risks an economic war."
Secret U.S. Plans for Iraqi Oil 3/17/2005 Alternet: by Greg Palast
Dismay at Wolfowitz's nomination 3/17/2005 BBC: "There has been a cool response to President Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to be the next head of the World Bank, a key development agency.
Mr Wolfowitz, 61, currently US Deputy Defence Secretary, has a reputation as a "neo-conservative" hawk and was a key architect of the Iraq war."
Former CIA Agent Affirms Possibility of Chavez’s Assassination in Venezuela 3/17/2005 HOV: "In an interview on Miami’s Spanish-language channel 22, the former CIA agent Felix Rodriguez said that the U.S. government has plans to “bring about a change in Venezuela.” When pressed as to what type of plans these might be, Rodriguez responded that the Bush administration “could do it with a military strike, with a plane.”
The former CIA agent’s comments were made last week, on Thursday, during the talk show of a well-known supporter of the anti-Castro movement, Maria Elvira Salazar. Rodriguez affirmed during the program, “According to information I have about what is happening in Venezuela, it is possible that at some moment they [the Bush administration] will see itself obliged, for national security reasons and because of problems they have in Colombia, to implement a series of measures that will bring about a change in Venezuela.”
The moderator, not satisfied with his vague answer, asked Rodriguez what kind of measures these might be and he responded, “They could be economic measures and at some point they could be military measures.” He then added, “If at some point they are going to do it, they will do it openly.” As an example, Rodriguez gave the Reagan administration’s strike against Khadafi, whose residence was bombed and whose adoptive daughter was killed in the process."
What do you mean 'we,' white man? 3/16/2005 SF Bay View: "The Army's wartime recruiting challenge is aggravated by a sharp drop in black enlistments in the last four years, which internal Army and Defense Department polls trace to an unpopular war in Iraq and concerns among blacks with Bush administration policies. The Army strains to meet recruiting goals in part because black volunteers have fallen 41 percent - from 23.5 percent of recruits in fiscal 2000 down steadily to 13.9 percent in the first four months of fiscal 2005."
Newsletter #9 3/15/2005 CARIBBEAN AMERICAN CHILDREN FOUNDATION: "Since our last newsletter in August 2004, in which we decided to focus all of our efforts on the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences in Santiago de Cuba, we are pleased to inform you, that we were able to send large quantities of critical donations that have addressed our concerns.
We continue to receive increased amount of donations from educational, health institutions and individuals, who have grasped the magnitude and implications of this program, which will graduate its first 67 Haitians physicians this summer!"
Former Intel Officer: The US Considered Her a Military Target - Targeting Guiliana 3/15/2005 Counterpunch: "Thus, the wrong questions are being asked. It is reasonable to assume that 1) satellite and aircraft intelligence (photographic and electronic) intelligence was being collected in real time and 2) that my contemporary counterpart in Iraq was monitoring this intelligence and vehicular traffic (and possibly the conversations within such vehicles) within a radius of several kilometers around the airport if not the entire city. Anomalies would be reported immediately to those in command. The question, then, becomes what communication occurred between those in command and those who fired upon Sgrena's vehicle.
I also believe that a clear motivation for preventing Sgrena from telling her story is quite evident. Let us recall that the first target in the second attack upon the city of Fallujah was al-Fallujah General Hospital. Why? It was the reporting of enormous civilian casualties from this hospital that compelled the US to halt its attack. In other words, the control of information from Fallujah as to consequences of the US assault, particularly with regard to civilians, became a critical element in the military operation.
Now, in a report by Iraq's health ministry we are learning that the US used mustard, nerve gas and napalm in the manner of Saddam against the civilian population of Fallujah. Sgrena, herself, has provided photographic evidence of the use of cluster bombs and the wounding of children there."
Ethiopia tries to woo its emigrants home 3/13/2005 Washington Post
Time to fix riot's wrongs 3/13/2005 NY Daily News: "If the high court agrees to take on the Tulsa case, laid out in a petition filed last week by lawyers - led by Harvard's Charles Ogletree - the justices might see that Tulsa is a whole different matter.
The 1921 Tulsa race riot began when police arrested a black youth for allegedly assaulting a white woman, a charge later dismissed. A crowd of whites gathered outside the courthouse where the youth was jailed, and there was a rumor that he would be lynched.
According to the state's 2001 report, men from Greenwood armed themselves and went to the courthouse to defend the youth. A gunfight erupted, and the outnumbered blacks retreated to Greenwood. A white mob followed them and burned the neighborhood."
The New York Times, a Massacre, and Bush's Deputy National Security Adviser 3/9/2005 David Corn
Second longest-serving House member says he fears for the American democracy 3/9/2005 Raw Story: "In an interview with RAW STORY Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) detailed concerns on a broad array of issues, including discredited White House reporter Jeff Gannon, remarks by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and voting reform.
In summary, Rep. Conyers expressed concern at what he perceives to be a systematic erosion of due process throughout government. He asserted this departure from the “protection that the government provides people” should be a “wake up call” to those who cherish democracy in the United States."
Religion kept US married to Vietman conflict 3/6/2005 Taipei Times: "In order to support this analysis, which goes against the Marxist view that the motives for almost everything are economic, Jacobs looks at the diplomatic exchanges between top American statesmen of the 1950s and their representatives in southeast Asia. He also looks at some key books that succeeded in shaping American public opinion about the region in that distant era. All these sources emphasized the religious nature of the struggle.
This might be of merely academic interest were it not for the quite extraordinary parallels with the situation today. In 2005, we see once again a heavy American presence in a distant land with strong religious reasons given for that involvement. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are all reported to hold apocalyptic views about the cosmic battle in which they are involved."
Church and state: The importance of separation 3/3/2005 Progreso Weekly: "“Despite the Bush administration's crackdown on exiles' trips back to Cuba, there are still ways to travel to the island without restriction,” the story began. “One seems to be increasingly popular: Go as a santero.” A santero is a follower of Santería, a religion brought to Cuba by the earliest African slaves… One thing is clear: by challenging the legality of religious pilgrimages, Díaz-Balart and the Treasury Department are opening a Pandora's box they may not be able to close. An attempt at religious persecution – and that is how this action will be perceived by many – can turn into a hornet's nest in less time than it takes to say “pogrom.” It is a weapon that can backfire."
The Coming End of the American Superpower By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS 3/1/2005 Counterpunch
Chávez to Bush: Back off 2/24/2005 Progreso Weekly: "We were startled on Sunday when we read Hugo Chávez's statement that he would blame George W. Bush for any attempt on his life, "whether it's successful or not." We were even more surprised when The Miami Herald downplayed the Venezuelan president's revelation, yet stressed his warning that, in the event of an assassination attempt, Venezuela would halt its supply of crude oil to the United States…. What did Chávez say that wasn't reported in The Herald? We are indebted to several news agencies, Venezuelan newspapers and the informative website Venezuelanalysis.com for the partial transcripts of the Venezuelan leader's words.
"I am sure that my death is being planned in Washington," Chávez said. "If I am assassinated, there is a major culprit on this planet: the president of the United States, George W. Bush."
Chávez's accusation echoed a statement made Feb. 12 by Fidel Castro, in which the Cuban president cautioned that "If Chávez is assassinated, the responsibility will lie entirely with the president of the United States."
"Fidel Castro already said it some days ago," Chávez said Sunday. "Now I shall say it. Neither Fidel Castro nor I speak nonsense. If something happens to me, I blame the president of the United States of America.""
Stories from Fallujah 2/23/2005 SF Bay View: "“One story is of a young girl who is 16 years old,” he says of one of the testimonies he videotaped recently. “She stayed for three days with the bodies of her family who were killed in their home. When the soldiers entered, she was in her home with her father, mother, 12-year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything.”
The girl managed to hide behind the refrigerator with her brother and witnessed the war crimes first-hand.
“They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head,” he said. After this her brother was enraged and ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they shot him dead.
“She continued hiding after the soldiers left and stayed with her sisters because they were bleeding, but still alive. She was too afraid to call for help because she feared the soldiers would come back and kill her as well. She stayed for three days, with no water and no food. Eventually one of the American snipers saw her and took her to the hospital,” he added before reminding me again that he had all of her testimony documented on film."
Threat of Draft Will Tame Warlike US Populace 2/17/2005 Black Commentator: "From the beginning of the aggression, there has been precious little empathy for Iraqis among American whites. A Zogby-Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll conducted in February 2003, six weeks before Shock and Awe commenced, found that 62 percent of whites and 60 percent of Hispanics supported an invasion, but only 23 percent of African Americans did. But the most revealing responses came when Zogby pollsters asked: “Would you support or oppose a war against Iraq if it meant thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties?” As we reported in BC:
"A solid majority of white men answered in the affirmative, as did more than a third of white women. Only seven percent of African Americans favored a war that would kill thousands. Hispanics lost some of their bloodlust when confronted with the prospect of mass Iraqi civilian casualties; only 16 percent are willing to support such an outcome."
Rage in wake of LAPD shooting 2/16/2005 SF Bay View
What are you doing about slavery and its legacy? Racial reconciliation is impossible without reparations 2/16/2005 SF Bay View
Spreading the virus 2/15/2005 Orcinus: "I think, thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center, it is now clearer to everyone that the Washington Times not only dallies with racists, it is, at its core (as Atrios suggests), a racist propaganda organ, being led from the top by neo-Confederates and similar kinds of right-wing extremists, its staff similarly riddled with the like-minded.
As if to erase any doubts remaining in the wake of the SPLC's devastating report, the Times recently ran a "special report" warning that immigrants were also bringing with them a fresh tide of "imported diseases""
Disease, unwanted import 2/13/2005 Washington Times: The Mooneys come up with another virulently racist report.
Freedom Of Speech -- Just Watch What You Say -- Def Poet Harrassed by FBI 2/12/2005 Youth Outlook
Blacks Decry Bush’s Deep Cuts in Health, Education and Housing 2/11/2005 Black America Web
Conspicuous by their absence: Black leaders in the GOP 2/9/2005 Final Call
The Censorship of Ward Churchill and Dancehall Reggae Music 2/8/2005 Counterpunch
Marc Cooper's Hit List: First Mumia; Now Churchill - More Liberal Trashing of Ward Churchill 2/7/2005 Counterpunch
U.S. HIV Cases Soaring Among Black Women 2/7/2005 Washington Post
Dean Opponent Bows Out of Chairman's Race 2/7/2005 AP
Ward Churchill and the Mad Dogs 2/5/2005 Counterpunch
Trial approved for officer with history of ‘use of excessive force’ 2/3/2005 NNPA
JP Morgan’s Slave Ties Disclosed, Response Offer Called ‘Insulting’ 1/30/2005 Black America Web
Bush argues his Social Security plan aids blacks 1/30/2005 Boston Globe
Democratic senators to convene aggressive policy committee hearings 1/27/2005 Raw Story
Walking for Kenneth Walker 1/26/2005 Final Call: "COLUMBUS, Ga. (FinalCall.com) - On a beautiful sunny Saturday, Jan. 15, an estimated 10,000 people marched from the Civic Center to the Government Center to hear rousing speeches and plans of action to rectify the brutal murder of another young Black man, Kenneth Walker, who was shot twice in the head as he was face down on the pavement under the boot of White cops on Interstate Highway 185 on Dec. 10, 2003. A year later, a Muscogee County grand jury failed to bring charges against the deputy sheriff who killed Mr. Walker."
Global Warming Approaching Point of No Return, Warns Leading Climate Expert 1/23/2005 Common Dreams: "He also cited alarming measurements, first reported in The Independent on Sunday, showing that levels of carbon dioxide (the main cause of global warming) have leapt abruptly over the past two years, suggesting that climate change may be accelerating out of control.
He added that, because of inertia built into the Earth's natural systems, the world was now only experiencing the result of pollution emitted in the 1960s, and much greater effects would occur as the increased pollution of later decades worked its way through. He concluded: "We are risking the ability of the human race to survive." "
African Colombians reach out to the world: ‘Stop the genocide!’ 1/19/2005 SF Bay View: "African Colombians are rebelling against the wretched conditions in Quibdo, Choco, Colombia, South America, and the government’s apparent indifference to their welfare and survival. The coca fumigation, which directly assaults the region’s cultural and biological diversity, escalates what has been described as genocide of African Colombians.
Seventy percent of Quibdo residents don’t have aqueduct services, the method used to distribute water. Eighty-seven percent don’t have sewage services. Quibdo resembles a community left behind in the 19th century, according to a Jan. 11 story in the Colombian daily newspaper, El Tiempo."
Odd happenings in Fallujah 1/19/2005 SF Bay View: "He told me he has watched the military use bulldozers to push the soil into piles and load it onto trucks to carry away. This was done in the Julan and Jimouriya quarters of the city, which is of course where the heaviest fighting occurred during the siege, as this was where resistance was the fiercest.
“At least two kilometers of soil were removed,” he explained, “exactly as they did at Baghdad Airport after the heavy battles there during the invasion and the Americans used their special weapons.”
He explained that in certain areas where the military used “special munitions,” 200 square meters of soil were being removed from each blast site."
From the Sumerians to the Zanj: The African presence in early Iraq 1/19/2005 SF Bay View: by Runoko Rashidi
THE COMING WARS
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH 1/17/2005 New Yorker: “This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah—we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.”
Villagers furious with Christian Missionaries 1/16/2005 AIN: "Rage and fury has gripped this tsunami-hit tiny Hindu village in India's southern Tamil Nadu after a group of Christian missionaries allegedly refused them aid for not agreeing to follow their religion.:
Tom Coleman perjury trial 1/15/2005 Grits for Breakfast: Coleman is the racist crooked cop who had half the town of Tulia - "Tom Coleman's sentence is 7 years, probated."
Jury Suggests Probation for Ex-Drug Agent 1/15/2005 AP: "Coleman arrested 46 people, most of them black, in the small, mostly white farming community of Tulia. He worked alone and used no audio or video surveillance, and no drugs were ever found, but 38 defendants were convicted or reached plea deals.
Gov. Rick Perry pardoned 35 of the defendants in 2003, after an investigation into the drug cases was launched amid charges they were racially motivated.
Freddie Brookins Jr., one of the people sent to prison on Coleman's word, told jurors that he was bitter about being convicted of something he didn't do.
"I missed seeing my kids grow up," said Brookins, 27, who was pardoned by the governor."
Censoring the Pope 1/13/2005 Progresso Weekly: "Both The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald seriously underreported a statement made in Rome Jan. 8 by Pope John Paul II, in which he hoped for an end to the trade embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States.
In a six-paragraph item published Jan. 9 (“The Pope worries about the embargo"), El Nuevo printed only one paragraph of the Pope's statement. The Herald did the same, in a five-paragraph brief (“Pontiff criticizes U.S. trade embargo.”)
If the Pope had asked for a continuation of the embargo, or if he had applauded the cruel measures against the Cuban family imposed by the Bush administration, both newspapers would have run the story in full, on Page One. The fact they did not in this case confirms that they are not interested in reporting developments that disagree with their own narrow political agendas."
"Fighting for the Work of the Lord" - Everybody's Talkin' About Christian Fascism 1/12/2005 Counterpunch
Health Care? Ask Cuba 1/12/2005 NYT: "Here's a wrenching fact: If the U.S. had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba's, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year.
Yes, Cuba's. Babies are less likely to survive in America, with a health care system that we think is the best in the world, than in impoverished and autocratic Cuba. According to the latest C.I.A. World Factbook, Cuba is one of 41 countries that have better infant mortality rates than the U.S.
Even more troubling, the rate in the U.S. has worsened recently.
In every year since 1958, America's infant mortality rate improved, or at least held steady. But in 2002, it got worse: 7 babies died for each thousand live births, while that rate was 6.8 deaths the year before.
Those numbers, buried in a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, didn't get much attention. But they are part of a pattern of recent statistics dribbling out of the federal government suggesting that for those on the bottom in America, life in our new Gilded Age is getting crueler."
Civil Rights Leader James Forman Dies 1/11/2005 Washington Post: "James Forman, 76, who as executive secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the early 1960s dispatched cadres of organizers, demonstrators and Freedom Riders into the most dangerous redoubts of the Deep South, died Jan. 10 of colon cancer at Washington House, a local hospice.
At the height of the civil rights movement, Mr. Forman hammered out a role for SNCC among the so-called Big Five, the established civil rights organizations that included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Congress of Racial Equality and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. SNCC in those years was the edgier, more aggressive organization, pushing the South specifically and the nation generally toward change.
On numerous occasions, Mr. Forman himself was harassed, jailed and beaten during forays to register voters and organize protests in communities willing to use any means necessary, including terror, intimidation and murder, to resist the dismantling of the region's rigid system of apartheid."
Presidents: Bubba and Dubya—Warming Up 1/11/2005 Newsweek
Affirmative Action, Cuban Style 1/6/2005 Black Commentator: "Which brings us back to Castro's gambit. Why is he reaching out to U.S. students? What an irony that poor Cuba is training doctors for rich America, engaging in affirmative action on our behalf, and – while blockaded by U.S. ships and sanctions – spending its meager treasure to improve the health of U.S. citizens. Whether one considers this a cunning move by one of history's great chess players or an extraordinary gesture of civic generosity - or a bit of both - it should encourage us to reexamine our stalled efforts to achieve greater racial and ethnic parity in American medicine. If Castro can find diamonds in our rough, we can too."
Dangers of questioning government actions 1/6/2005 Chicago Tribune: "I have a confession to make: I still think Gary Webb had it mostly right.
I think he got the treatment that always comes to those who dare question aloud the bona fides of the establishment: First he got misrepresented--his suggestion that the CIA tolerated the contras' cocaine trading became an allegation that the agency itself was involved in the drug trade. Then he was ridiculed as a conspiracy-monger--joked one commentator, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post, "Oliver Stone, check your voice mail." In the end, Webb was rendered untouchable.
I know that I risk being marked down as something of a nut for saying I think Webb was fundamentally right. As my friend and former Commentary page columnist Salim Muwakkil said in one of his pieces on this issue: "To connect the CIA with crack--a drug with race-specific overtones--is considered a mere variation of the old theme of black genocide and is thus deemed irrational in mainstream discourse.""
Democrats Split Again Over Party's Agenda 1/2/2005 LA Times
Pipes Favors Concentration Camps
By Juan Cole 1/2/2005 Axis of Logic: "That the Revisionist-Zionist extremist Daniel Pipes has fond visions of rounding up Muslim Americans and putting them in concentration camps isn't a big surprise. That a mainstream American newspaper would publish this David-Dukeian evil is. Of course, this is also a man that President Bush appointed to a temporary vacancy at the United States Institute of Peace, after the Senate understandably balked at a regular appointment for him.
Pipes's little project requires him to attempt to justify the internment of American citizens (of Japanese ancestry) during World War II, a violation on several grounds of the Bill of Rights. I hope Asian-Americans realize that a key wing of the Republican Party, i.e. the Neoconservatives, wishes them ill.
If the American yahoos ever start putting people in concentration camps, I think we may be assured that they won't stop with the Muslims or the Asians, and Mr. Pipes will come to have reason to regret his imprudence and, frankly, his demonic implication."
ABOUT FACE 1/2/2005 Aviation Week & Space Technology: "The White House Office of Management and Budget is telling the Pentagon to slash its 2006 budget plan by $10 billion and prepare for another $10-billion cut each year for the duration of the future years' defense plan, sending military officials scrambling to comply with the last-minute financial demand."
US Muslims Fingerprinted at Border 1/1/2005 Arab News: "US Muslim organizations are calling for an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into an incident at the Canadian border where American Muslim citizens were singled out for special security checks based on their attendance at an Islamic conference. They were held until they agreed to be fingerprinted.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the incident was a disturbing example of religious profiling that would have a chilling effect on the constitutional rights of American Muslims, particularly the right to the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and the right to be “secure in their persons; against unreasonable searches.”"