Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"It's never up to an administration... It all depends upon what people force them to do."

Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's commentaries which will be more in depth than anything I'll offer. (My finger's healing but it's still a pain to type around.)

"Thousands Protest Condoleezza Rice in Greece" (Democracy Now!):
In Greece, thousands of demonstrators tried to march earlier today to the U.S. embassy in Athens to protest a visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Police dressed in riot gear fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators. On Monday, protesters managed to hoist a giant poster reading "Condoleezza Rice Go Home" from the central Athens Music Hall, next to the U.S. embassy. Two years ago Rice's predecessor Colin Powell had to cancel a visit to Athens in order to avoid mass protests.

Your actions will follow you around. Actions have consquences. It always amazes me that certain on the right scream (falsely) over and over that 'the liberals live in a consequences-free world.' That's false. But has this adminstration ever demonstrated that they grasp that actions have consequences?

The tone comes from above and all the fretting over oral sex (Cokie Roberts bemoaning what will we tell the children) was nonsense. You tell them about the facts of life or you tell them, "That's not an appropriate topic" (depending upon how you're raising them). But these actions do have consequences. Children grasp lying. That's very basic to growing up. So the Cokies would do well to (stealing from C.I.) clutch the pearls and cry, "How do we tell our children!"

The thing is, no one will have to. Everyone can grasp what a lie is.

"Report Criticizes U.S.-led Reconstruction of Iraq" (Democracy Now!):
A new report has determined the U.S.-led reconstruction of Iraq has largely been a failure. Nearly $60 billion has been spent but Iraq is still producing less oil, has less electricity and less water than before invasion. The authors of the report, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the slow pace is largely due to bad planning and poor execution on the part of the Bush administration.

Money to blow on a pipeline (that's now apparently a pipe dream) but nothing could be done to improve the water. Potable water is still not an issue for the administration (US). Electricity comes and goes. It's not up to pre-invasion level. Three years later, we've accomplished none of the "goals." But some souls say, "We have to continue the occupation! Think of the Iraqis!" Who's thinking of the Iraqis? It's time for them to have self-rule. The war's illegal, the occupation is illegal. Nothing has come of it but a breeding ground for the cycle of violence and new markets for the United States.

"New York Teens Sue Rumsfeld Over Recruiting Database" (Democracy Now!):
Six New York teenagers have sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld alleging that the Pentagon has illegally created a massive student database to help identify college and high school students as young as 16 to target for military recruiting. The database includes an array of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the six teenagers by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

That's part of what it takes. These and other actions are the only thing that will check the administration. It's time to bring democracy back to the United States. (It never was "exported" to Iraq.) Read "On the Dangers of an Unchecked Bully Boy."

Condi's booing is necessary. It should happen everywhere. After she leaves the administration, if she avoids criminal charges, she should still be haunted the same way Henry Kissinger is (even though the mainstream media acts like it doesn't happen).

"Antonia Juhasz on The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time" (Democracy Now!):
AMY GOODMAN: In our next segment we're going to talk about the protest in this country, but I wanted to ask you about Henry Kissinger and his role in this.
ANTONIA JUHASZ: Well, Henry Kissinger is a fascinating character in all realms. He has been fascinating for me to follow, because in that chapter that you talked about, "Turning Toward Iraq," I look at U.S. business interests and how they aggressively pursued a greater U.S. relationship with Iraq.
Henry Kissinger founded Kissinger Associates the same year that Ronald Reagan opened up for first time economic relationships between the United States and Iraq. Reagan was the hottest pursuer, until George Bush, Sr. came onto the team and really pushed for better relationships was Saddam Hussein. But Kissinger and Associates was a lead advice --providing advice to multinational corporations on how to operate abroad, and one of the lead advocates of enhancing the U.S. economic relationship with Iraq.
Then, one of his managing directors, L. Paul Bremer, left Kissinger and Associates and went to found his own crisis management company, which essentially advised multinational corporations on how to operate under the horrible consequences of corporate globalization policies. He wrote a wonderful paper where he said, you know, the policies of corporate globalization create inequality, increase the cost of services, creates hostilities, so corporations, you really need to buy my insurance, because that's the only way to protect yourself against these policies. And then he went on and implemented those policies in Iraq.
But Kissinger aggressively lobbied, as well, for the second Iraq war and wrote some blistering op-eds, in particular, arguing for the need to invade. And I would imagine, although the records of Kissinger Associates are remarkably secret, that he is now working to help advance the interests of his companies.
But one of the things that has happened is that while U.S. companies have received billions of dollars for the reconstruction, the environment in Iraq is not safe. It’s not what the Bush administration had hoped for three years in, and so the companies are sort of waiting on the edges, just like the oil companies are waiting on the edges, to take advantage of this new economic environment. While they wait, however, the U.S. Middle East Free Trade Area advances, and that's where the trillions of dollars are already starting to flow.

Did you listen to yesterday's Cover to Cover? On KPFA Denny Smithson interviewed Jane Fonda. (I actually listened to alternate stream, I belive the mono, because I wanted to be sure the stream didn't fall out due to too many listeners -- the "yesterday's . . ." link takes you to an archived broadcast that you can listen to -- no cost, free of charge.) That was my first time listening and I was really impressed with Denny Smithson's style and his questions. You ended up with a real conversation and that's not always the case. (I'm not referring to Pacifica. I am referring to book tours.) I think if you've had a question, chances are it was covered. (Unless it was a film question, but there wasn't time for everything -- the show is a half-hour long. Though Fonda did note that she plans to make more films. As someone who enjoyed her performance in Monster-In-Law, that excites me. Since the film was a hit, I'll assume others are excited as well.) There's so much in her life to cover, so much that is inspiring. I think it was a wonderful interview (with credit for that going to Smithson and Fonda). It touched on Henry Fonda, the importance of self-esteem for young adults, her religious experience, the writing of the book and, most of all, activism.

Iraq was covered as well.

"Democracy Now! Antonia Juhasz, Nepal, The Peace Patriots; Maureen Farrell" (The Common Ills):
Iraq snapshot.
While Bully Boy uses current oil prices to push "the appearance of a gas shortage to push for the drilling" in ANWAR (as
Sandra Lupien noted), chaos and violence continues in Iraq. Yesterday, in Baghdad, eight bombs went off and CNN puts the toll at "at least eight people died and 90 others were injured." Today? First, not a roadside bomb, but one inside a "minibus" exploded in Baghdad leading to at least two deaths and at least five wounded, according to Reuters. Also in Baghdad, the Associated Press notes that two more corpses have been found (with signs of torture). Reuters reports that Ibrahim al-Hindawi, "a senior judge in Baghdad," has been kidnapped by gunmen. Still in Baghdad, along with the bomb in the minibus, two roadsides bombs did go off -- at least three Iraqis were wounded. A "car bomb" in Baghdad resulted in at least four Iraqi police officers being wounded.
Police officers were targeted elsewhere as well. In Tal Qasir,
four were killed during an attack on a police station, and "near Kirkuk," two Iraqi soldiers and a police officer were killed. Another Iraqi soldier was killed on "the main road between Tikrit and Kirkuk" -- the oil blaze, for those following (obviously the New York Times isn't).
At least
three American soldiers were wounded when a roadside bobm went off in Haqlaniyah. And if you check the current tally, you'll see we're not that far away from another milestone: 2390 dead from the illegal 'cake walk.' This as Borzou Daraghi reports for the Los Angels Times that American ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad (the US ambassador to Iraq) has declared that America "must, perhaps reluctantly, accept" that US forces will continue to occupy Iraq for . . . "Long stay" is the the term that pops up in the headline. Permanent bases and the lust for the emerging markets would seem to indicate the need for a stronger term.

"Peace Quotes" (Cover to Cover with Denny Smithson, KPFA, 4-24-06):
It's never up to an administration . . . It all depends upon what people force them to do.

Jane Fonda