Friday, December 15, 2006

Black Agenda Report, Pinochet, Amy Goodman

First off, regarding Wenesday's entry, when I was talking with Kat about it she mentioned all the warm e-mails Maria, Francisco and Miguel had received for the newsletter -- which they hadn't mentioned to me. I stated that I enjoyed it but, had I spoken with Kat about the newsletter before blogging Wednesday, I would've made a point to include that point.

Second, apologies to Carl. Black Agenda Report is now linked to on my list of sites/blog roll. It was a case of meaning to but not having the time. C.I. called me about that yesterday and left a message (I was doing the group session). C.I. said, "You don't have to do it tonight." I knew that. But I also knew I would forget about it if I didn't do it right away. C.I. and Cedric did it right away. The rest of us had notes to ourselves to link to it but hadn't gotten around to acting on our notes. Since I've just added it last night, let me talk a little bit about Black Agenda Report. I like Bruce Dixon's radio commentaries. Those have moved over to the new site. In addition, you have his writing, Glen Ford's and Margaret Kimberley's plus various other writers whose names I will grow to know, I'm sure. They are a once week site (they're an online magazine) and they post their new content each Thursday.

Black Agenda Report is not a site for people who want their lollypops and don't mind handing them over when a playground bully tries to boss them around. What I'm saying is, Dixon, Ford and Kimberley call it what it is. This isn't a site for squeamish people who get nervous if Tim Russert's brow furrows when a guest slightly strays from the talking point.

I'm not remembering the three ever having pieces that disagreed with one another, but if it was an issue that was important to them, they would most likely post three articles with conflicting viewpoints because the only "agenda" at Black Agenda Report is to call it the way they see it.

When the three disappeared from the former site I was wondering what was going on? Like most people in the community, I do count on Margaret Kimberley's weekly breakdown. Ford and Dixon have done strong things as well but it may be an editorial or a feature or "Bruce's Beat." Kimberley's "Freedom Rider" was an established forum that I honestly expected to be there. At first, I assumed she was working on something else, like a book or another writing project, but as week after week passed at the old site and there was no "Freedom Rider," I started to worry, like many in the community, that something had happened to her.

It's great to have the three as a resource again -- looking at the supposed obvious and showing you a new angle. I really did enjoy their work at the other site and I'm glad to know the team ("core three"?) have continued their work at their new site.

Now Amy Goodman's latest column is on Pinochet and I grabbed Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices Of A People's History Of The United States off the bookcase last night thinking I'd have time to read over the section and highlight. I didn't. I'm at Rebecca's, by the way. Mike and I are here this weekend, I'll be here all next weekend and we'll both be here the weekend after.

So, since I didn't have time to read over and don't now (Rebecca was taking a nap when we arrived so Mike and I are trying to do our entries quickly and have them finished by the time she wakes up), I'll just note this from page 506:

Following the September 4 elections, the United States government adopted a policy of economic pressure direct against Chile and in this connection sought to enlist the influence of [Harold] Geneen [ITT Chairman of the Board] on other American businessmen. Specifically, the State Department was directed by the 40 Committee to contact American businesses having interests in Chile to see if they could be induced to take actions in accord with the American government's policy of economic pressure on Chile. On September 29, the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division of the CIA met with a representative of ITT [International Telephone and Telegraph, Inc.]. The CIA official sought to have ITT involved in a more active way in Chile. According to CIA documents, ITT took note of the CIA presentation on economic warfare but did not actively respond to it.
One institution in Chile which was used in a general anti-Allende effort was the newspaper chain EL MERCURIO. Both the United States government and ITT were funneling money into the hands of individuals associated with the paper. That funding continued after Allende was in office.

Now the point of that was to note the reality that, indeed, there are plots. The CIA and big business were in bed together (Allende had talked of nationalizing industries such as telephone service.) As Rosemary (Mia Farrow) says in Rosemary's Baby, "There are plots against people."

"Ask Kissinger about Pinochet's regime" (Amy Goodman, Seattle Post-Intelligencer):
On Sept. 11, 2001, as the planes hit the towers of the World Trade Center, on our daily broadcast of "Democracy Now!,"
we were looking at the connection between terrorism and Sept. 11, 1973. It was on that day that the democratically elected government of Chilean President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a violent coup, and the forces of Pinochet rose to power. The coup was supported by the U.S. government. Henry Kissinger, national security adviser and U.S. secretary of state, summed up the policy this way:
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."
As Pinochet seized power, first among the dead was the president himself, Allende. Then there were the thousands rounded up. Among them was Victor Jara, the legendary Chilean folk singer. Jara was beaten, tortured, then executed. His body was dumped on a Santiago street and found by his wife in the morgue.
Charles Horman was a U.S. journalist working in Chile. He, too, disappeared in those days following the coup. His body was found buried in a cement wall. His story was immortalized in the Academy Award-winning Constantin Costa-Gavras film "Missing." His widow, Joyce Horman, sued not only Pinochet for the death of her husband but also Kissinger and others at the U.S. State Department.
Pinochet's reign of terrorism extended beyond Chile's borders. On Sept. 21, 1976, the former foreign minister of Chile, Orlando Letelier, and his American colleague, Ronni Moffit, died in a car bombing, not in Chile, but on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.

If you have trouble with the link above, I stole it from C.I., go to the show itself and download it. The show for September 11, 2001. I'd spoken about Pinochet in a roundtable last month for the gina & krista round-robin and Billie e-mailed today saying she hoped I'd note the column that C.I. had noted and that she'd had difficulty listening at the link. So, again, if you have trouble, go to the show (link goes to the segment from the show) and download. Billie wrote that worked for her. Billie also noted that the column was available at Common Dreams. It is. But when the column started up, C.I. asked that if we linked to any, we go to a newspaper. That's not an attempt to be rude to or overlook Common Dreams -- that is because if we see a column by Goodman worth highlighting, the link to a newspaper will be more helpful in keeping the column in newspapers.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, December 15, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the Iraqi Red Crescent states it's been attacked repeatedly by the US military, the US military announces that three troops have died, the US media attempts to ignore the big Iraq story of the day,
Kyle Snyder continues speaking out and Donald the Rumsfled leaves an appointed office but he does not complete a 'tour of duty.'
Starting in England, with the big story.
Colin Brown and Andy McSmith (Independent of London) report that Carne Ross ("Britain's key negotiator at the UN") statement in the Butler inquiry (2004) that's only now been revealed and it exposes the lies behind the 'case' for war in England. AFP reports that Ross declared "at no time did HMG [Her Majesty's Government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests." Ross also declared that: "It was the commonly-held view among the officials dealing with Iraq that any threat had been effectively contained" (Al Jazeera).
Though Carne Ross' statements have been kept secret (swept under the 'national security' rug), Last month,
he did speak to the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee and note that the intel offered to the public was "manipulated." As Brown and McSmith note, the Commons Select Committee is the body that's brought the information public while an unidentified member of the Foreign Affairs committee states: "There was blood on the carpet over this. I think it's pretty clear the Foreign Office used the Official Secrets Act to suppress this evidence, by hanging it like a Sword of Damacles ovre Mr Ross, but we have called their bluff." The Irish Times declares: "British Prime Minister Tony Blair's case for attacking Iraq has been dealt a new blow with the release of once-secret evidence from a former British diplomat who dismissed the threat of weapons of mass destruction."
As the mainstream media in the US bends over backwards to note Ross' statements, many may be reminded of the Downsing Street Memos and how they were greeted with silence and then derision. AP was the excuse many hid behind with DSM -- claiming they would have run a story if AP had covered it -- if only a wire story . . . Well
AP has covered it.
Turning to peace news,
Alex Zdan (Trenton Times) notes Tuesday speech Carolyn Ho, mother of Ehren Watada, gave to the Nassau Presbyterian Church where she described how her son became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq ("In studying all the literature, he was stunned by what he saw") which included refusing to accept a "desk job" in Iraq. On last Saturday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders, Carolyn Ho explained that the refusal was for himself as well as those serving under him, "He felt the best thing he could do for his men was to remain behind and speak truth." She is asking for everyone to contact their members of Congress and put pressure on Congress to carry out their oversight role. Monday, Carolyn Ho appeared on Democracy Now! and discussed her own progress when meeting with members of Congress. Outside of Maxine Waters, not much. So those who haven't contacted their Congress members should considering doing so.
Ehren Watada, as Aaron Glantz (IPS) reported, is also the subject of subpoenaes -- the US military is attempting to compell three journalists to testify in court: Sarah Olson, Dahr Jamail, and Gregg Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin). Jason Leopold (Truthout) notes that Olson is "one of few reporters covering the anti-war movement and the voices of dissent" and that she has not decided yet how to respond to the subpoena -- Sarah Olson: "Once you involve a reporter in prosecution, you turn that reporter into the investigative arm of the government."
Another US war resister continues speaking out:
Kyle Snyder Washington's Bellingham Herald notes an appearence at the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. Last weekend, at a speaking appearance, police showed up. Snyder continues speaking out.
Watada and Snyder are part of a movement of resistance within the military that includes
Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman.
Information on this movement of war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home -- the petition will be delivered to Congress next month.
As Aileen Alfandary noted on
KPFA. this morning ( The Morning Show), two car bombs went off outside US bases in Ramadi.
Qais al-Bashir (AP) reports that Muhsin al-Kanan, a cleric who was tight with British forces, was shot dead in Basra and that a civilian was shot dead in Kut. Reuters reports that "a member of the Iraqi intelligence agency" was shot dead in Diwaniya as was an oil company guard.
Reuters cites hospital sources in Mosul having received 13 bodies today.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Red Crescent states it's the target of US forces.
Stephanie Nebehay (Reuters) reports that that the IRC states there has been "a spate of attacks on its offices over the last three years" and in the most recently, according the the IRC's vice president (Jamal Al Karbouli), about a week ago, "US forces had occupied and nearly destroyed its Falluja office, held staff for hours, and burned two cars clearly marked with its neutral symbol." CBS and AP report: "'We have flags, we have everything, we have (the) logo, so they (U.S. forces) know everything, but unfortunately they come again and attack us many times,' Al-Karbouli said. He complained that U.S. forces broke doors and windows at the Red Crescent headquarters "and they didn't find anything, and they left.'"
Today, the
US military announced: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5and one Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Thursday from woundssustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province." The US military also announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team,1st Cavalry Division, died Tuesday as a result of enemy fire while conducting operationsin Ninewa Province. Two other Soldiers were wounded and transported to a Coalition Forces medical treatment facility."
Tomorrow is the first of two 'big meets' for puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki.
KUNA reports that he "will convene another National Reconciliation Conference for political leaders from across Iraq." While he gears up for his conference, Jawad al-Bolani is in Syria apparently not overly concerned with the opinions of US Secretary of State Condi Rice. KUNA reports the Interior Minister of Iraq is there "to discuss security issues as the first Iraqi official to visit Damascus since diplomatic relations were resumed between the two neighboring countries." This comes at a time when Tareg al-Hashemi, one of Iraq's vice-presidents, is in the US and criticizing Bully Boy's 'plan' Al Jazeera quotes him saying: "Imagine one day waking up and finding out that your nation's leaders had completely dismantled all police and military. As a result, there is no one policeman, or state, or federal law enforcement agent, or even one national guard or any soldier to protect you from criminal elements, or terrorists. It will be total chaos. Then imagine that instead of calling back the army and security forces, the authorities in this imaginary scenario decided to form a new army and police from racist militias, some mercenaries and organized crime gangs. . . . This is exactly what has happened in Iraq."
In a
lengthy talk/performance with the Washington Post editorial board, Condi Rice attempted to buff her image a bit but mainly demonstrated (yet again) that even her fabled 'expertise' in Russia/the Soviet Union is inflated. The take away should be Rice's declaration, "I find Prime Minister Maliki a strong man." A statement so laughable it begs for a remix and one that will come back to haunt her.
In other things that should haunt, Donald the Rumsfled began a three-day farewell while most Americans wonder, "I thought he'd left already." Today it was time to 'salute' him and watch for the media that makes (at best) an idiot of itself or (at worst) spits on democracy by referring to the soon to be former US Secretary of Defense's 'tour of duty.' The Rumsfled was a civilian. Civilians are in charge of the military in the US. He did not complete a 'tour of duty' but fools and those with no respect for democracy will repeat the nonsense.
Roger Runningen and Brendan Murray (Bloomberg News) note this remark by the Bully Boy: "He spoke straight. It was easy to understand him." File it away from the future War Crimes Tribunal should Bully Boy attempt to say he was confused about what was being discussed.


kyle snyder