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OpedNews Journalist and Six Protesters Arrested At "Army Experience Center" In Philadelphia (Updated 9/13/09)

By Linda Milazzo

UPDATED - 9/13/09: The six women, including OpedNews journalist Cheryl Biren, and one man, who has now been identified as Richard Marini of World Can't Wait, arrested yesterday at the Army Experience Center, were released early this morning, September 13, 2009. All were charged with Criminal Conspiracy and Failure to Disperse. Their arraignment is scheduled for September 23, 2009 at 11:30am (ET).

Philadelphia, PA, September 12, 2009: Six members of various anti-war groups, including World Can't Wait and Military Families Speak Out, and an OpedNews journalist, were arrested today at approximately 3:00pm (ET) at a protest organized to shut down The Army Experience Center, located in Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, PA.

U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans

U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Rick Rozoff | Stop NATO | NEW! Blog site

Toward the latter half of last month the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, "citing officials and lobbyists in Washington," revealed that the Pentagon would reevaluate planned interceptor missile deployments in Poland and a complementary missile radar site in the Czech Republic and instead shift global missile shield plans to Israel, Turkey and the Balkans [1]

"Washington is now looking for alternative locations including in the Balkans, Israel and Turkey...." [2]

The news came a week after it was reported that at the annual Space and Missile Defense Conference hosted by the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, Alabama the Chicago-based Boeing Company offered to construct a "47,500-pound interceptor that could be flown to NATO bases as needed on Boeing-built C-17 cargo planes," a "two-stage interceptor designed to be globally deployable within 24 hours...." [3]

This initiative, much as with the reports of plans to expand the American worldwide interceptor missile system to the Middle East and Southeastern Europe, has been presented as a way of alleviating Russian concerns over anti-missile components being deployed near its borders. But on the same day that Boeing announced the project for a rapid deployable missile launcher for NATO bases in Europe the First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Tomas Pojar, was quoted as asserting that a "possible U.S. mobile anti-missile shield does not threaten the U.S. plans to build a radar base on Czech soil because the system is to be a combination of fixed and mobile elements." [4]

That is, what is being presented in both instances as substitutes for U.S. and NATO missile shield deployments in Eastern Europe may in fact be added to rather than replace plans for Poland and the Czech Republic.

Obama Swiftboats Van Jones

By Linda Milazzo

I was out last evening. I tried to escape, just for a while, back to the days of (Taking) Woodstock when we who worked to end the Vietnam war did so as a united, free-spirited force. I readily admit that in today's times of racism disguised as patriotism, religious perversion, rampant ignorance, unhinged media menaces, and growing hostility amongst Americans, I yearn for that long ago era of 'peace and love.'

Enroute home after my wistful evening, I glanced at my phone and saw a Washington Post alert saying Obama's Green Jobs appointee, Van Jones, had resigned. I was shocked. I knew Jones was being assaulted by the right, but I didn't think he'd resign, and I didn't think the Obama administration would so readily sacrifice this brilliant advocate for the environment and the poor. After all, Jones is a person in the Obama administration who personifies the term "public servant." For progressives, Van Jones' appointment was, and is, Obama's tour de force gift to America of a high level appointee free of corporate entanglements who cannot and will not be bought. Jones is a man for the people in an administration where for the corporation is the norm.

G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair Scheduled To Visit Canada In October, 2009

G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair scheduled to visit Canada in October, 2009

In October G.W. Bush, Tony Blair and Dick Cheney, all accused of horrifying war crimes and crimes against humanity plan to visit Canada. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act each of these people if reported plans go ahead.

  • G. W. Bush will be, on October 22, 2009 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal PQ to deliver a lunch-time speech at an invitation-only event organized by tinePUBLIC Inc
  • Tony Blair will be the keynote speaker October 6 2009 at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guilford Hotel, Surrey BC. Blair was invited by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts
  • Dick Cheney is booked for a week of fishing at the Silver Hilton Lodge on the Babine River near Smithers BC from October 8 to 15 2009.

Canada’s Legal Duties

By ratifying the Convention against Torture and the Rome Statue for an International Court, Canada agreed not only to make the torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity crimes under Canadian law but also to participate in acting effectively to prevent and punish these crimes wherever they occur. To ensure Canada’s ability to fulfill these duties, Parliament has:

  • Passed laws enabling Canada to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity wherever the crimes occurred and whatever the nationality of the suspected perpetrators and the victims. (e.g. Criminal Code, torture provisions and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.) Under the Convention against Torture , when a person suspected of any involvement in torture enters Canada, Canada has a duty to either prosecute that person or extradite him to a state that is willing and able to prosecute.
  • Passed laws to ensure that Canada will not allow people suspected of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity and/or gross human rights abuses to enter Canada or otherwise provide a safe haven, even temporarily, for people suspected of any involvement in carrying out or acquiescing to war crimes, crimes against humanity or other gross human rights abuses. (e.g. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)

The Canadian Ministers responsible are not enforcing these laws.

Lockerbie Doubts

Lockerbie Doubts
By Laurie Pease | Consortium News | Submitted by Michael Munk |

In any kind of major transnational event, there is the historical truth, what actually happened, and the political truth, what must have happened for the nations involved to continue on as before.

Sometimes, these accounts match; other times, these “truths” are wildly divergent, which appears to be the case with the Lockerbie bombing.

On Thursday, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of planting a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103 which exploded over the hills over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, was released. The Scottish authorities said they were letting al-Megrahi go free on “compassionate grounds” because he was terminally ill from cancer.

This decision caused an uproar in the United States. Obama administration officials lodged angry protests; family members of the victims decried the move, and TV pundits joined in the lamentations. But what do they really know about the Lockerbie bombing, beyond what they’ve read in the last few days?

The truth about what happened at Lockerbie appears quite a bit more complex than the cookie-cutter version presented by the mainstream media. Several longtime observers of the al-Megrahi case have concluded that it has always been weak, at best.

According to British journalist Hugh Miles in a 2007 article for London Review of Books, many “lawyers, politicians, diplomats and relatives of Lockerbie victims now believe that the former Libyan intelligence officer is innocent.” Read more.

My Book Is Now Available from Publisher Before Stores Get It

"Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union," by David Swanson is due in stores September 1st, but the publisher has it now and you can get it straight from Seven Stories Press.

Global Depression and Regional Wars - Reviewing James Petras' New Book: Part I

Global Depression and Regional Wars - Reviewing James Petras' New Book: Part I
By Stephen Lendman

James Petras is Binghamton University, New York Professor Emeritus of Sociology. Besides his long and distinguished academic career, he's a noted figure on the left, a well-respected Latin American expert, and a longtime chronicler of the region' popular struggles. He's also a prolific author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, most recently his new one titled, "Global Depression and Regional Wars" addressing America, Latin America and the Middle East.

Part I - Global Depression

Variety's famous October 30, 1929 headline is again relevant: "Wall Street Lays an Egg," or as economist Rick Wolff puts it: "Capitalism hit the fan" following a familiar pattern of boom and bust cycles punctuated by bubbles that always burst. Petras explains it this way:

"All the idols of capitalism over the past three decades have crashed. The assumptions and presumptions, paradigms and prognosis of indefinite progress under liberal free market capitalism have been tested and have failed. We are living the end of an entire epoch (and bearing witness to) the collapse of the US and world financial system."

Grim prospects are ahead:

  • a world depression with one-fourth of the labor force unemployed;
  • global trade in free fall;
  • a proliferation of bankruptcies with General Motors a metaphor for a decaying system;
  • free-market capitalism in disrepute; and
  • "planning, public ownership, nationalization(s and other) socialist alternatives have become almost respectable" because most sacred cow "truisms" and solutions have failed.

Mr. Mousavi's Gas Embargo on Iran?

In serious contention for Dumbest Washington Consensus for September is the idea of cutting off Iran's gas imports to pressure Iran to stop enriching uranium. A majority of Representatives and Senators have signed on to legislation that seeks to block Iran's gas imports, a top legislative priority for the so-called "Israel Lobby." But it's a stupid idea. Let us count the ways.

One: there is no indication that Russia and China will go along with it. Even Europe is split, Reuters reports. Turkey is also likely to be unenthusiastic - a country that has good relations with Iran, has a long border with Iran, and is currently on the UN Security Council. A U.S.-sponsored gas embargo on Iran isn't likely to have much impact if Russia, China, Turkey and half of Europe aren't cooperating - after all, it's not the U.S. that's exporting gas to Iran - unless it is imposed by force.

Remains of First U.S. Gulf War Casualty Found

Michael Munk commented on the news article below:

Americans forget that Iraq turned out to be telling the truth when it insisted against US claims that it had no WMDs. Now, finally, another US claim turns out the be false and confirms Iraq was again telling the truth: The attacking US pilot was indeed killed when his plane was shot down and he was NOT held prisoner.

Remains of first U.S. Gulf War casualty found
By Jim Wolf | Reuters via Yahoo! News | August 3, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The remains of a U.S. Navy pilot have been found and positively identified, more than 18 years after he was shot down over Iraq and became the first U.S. casualty of the first Gulf War, the U.S. Defense Department said on Sunday.

The Pentagon's announcement resolved questions about the fate of Captain Michael Scott Speicher, who some believed had survived his shoot-down and been taken prisoner by Iraq.

Bone fragments and skeletal remains were recovered in the desert last week by U.S. Marines stationed in Iraq's Anbar province, thanks to a tip from an Iraqi citizen, the department said. It said they were identified as Speicher's by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Speicher's F/A-18 Hornet fighter was shot down over west-central Iraq on January 17, 1991, the first night of the first Gulf War, which eventually drove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

An official Navy history identified Speicher as the first American casualty of the conflict. Some reports had emerged that Speicher, 33 when he was downed, might have survived and become a captive of Saddam.

On January 11, 2001, Speicher's status was changed from killed in action to missing in action.

The U.S. intelligence community had concluded that Baghdad could account for Speicher's fate but was concealing information, according to an unclassified summary of its findings released in March 2001.

Then-president George W. Bush, in a September 12, 2002, speech to the U.N. General Assembly, had cited Speicher's possible detention as part of his case for post-September 11 action against Iraq, along with allegations that Saddam was developing banned weapons of mass destruction and was sponsoring terrorism.

The Iraqi government had maintained from the start that Speicher died in the crash, although his remains had gone unrecovered, fueling conspiracy theories.

The Iraqi who told Marines about the remains said he knew of two Iraqi citizens who recalled a U.S. jet crashing in the desert. One said he had been present when Speicher was found dead at the site and buried there by Bedouin tribesmen. The Iraqis led the Marines to the crash site. Read more.

Naomi Klein and the Boycott Movement

Naomi Klein and the Boycott Movement
Rebecca Vilkomerson | Jewish Peace News

"I come to you with humility that I didn't heed the call sooner. It was purely because of cowardice."

Naomi Klein's recently completed visit to Israel had a galvanizing effect on the "boycott from within" movement here, which has endorsed the Palestinian call for BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions].* Her public meetings, in Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Haifa, and Jaffa drew hundreds of people to hear her clear-eyed analysis of why it is time for a full boycott of Israel until the occupation ends, Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel have full and equal rights, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees is fully realized under international law.

Obama Orders Review Of Alleged Slayings Of Taliban In Bush Era

Obama orders review of alleged slayings of Taliban in Bush era | CNN

President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

"The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention," Obama told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president's visit to Ghana. The full interview will air 10 p.m. Monday.

"So what I've asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we'll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up," Obama said.

The inquiry stems from the deaths of at least 1,000 Taliban prisoners who had surrendered to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001.

The fighters were in the custody of troops led by Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a prominent Afghan warlord who has served as chief of staff of the country's post-Taliban army. Read more.

Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia

Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia
Largest ground combat operation since the Vietnam War.
by Rick Rozoff | Global Research CA

The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia - Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 US Marines, attack helicopters and tanks and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther's Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults - in the Afghan province of Helmand.

The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.

Aboard the Spirit of Humanity and an Interview with Cynthia McKinney

Click here to view an outstanding video of the Israeli assault on the Spirit of Humanity and an interview with Former Congressional Representative Cynthia McKinney.

Colonizing Iraq: The Obama Doctrine?

Tomgram: Michael Schwartz, Twenty-First-Century Colonialism in Iraq

One of the earliest metaphors President George W. Bush and some of his top officials wielded in their post-invasion salad days in Iraq involved bicycles. The question was: Should we take the "training wheels" off the Iraqi bike (of democracy)? Then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for example, commented smugly on the way getting Iraq "straightened out" was like teaching your kid to ride a bike:

"They're learning, and you're running down the street holding on to the back of the seat. You know that if you take your hand off they could fall, so you take a finger off and then two fingers, and pretty soon you're just barely touching it. You can't know when you're running down the street how many steps you're going to have to take. We can't know that, but we're off to a good start."

That image (about as patronizingly colonial as they come) of the little pedaling Iraqi child with an American parent running close behind, was abandoned when around the first corner, as it turned out, was an insurgent with an rocket-propelled grenade. Many years and many disasters later, though, Americans, whether in the Obama administration, the Washington punditocracy, or the media are still almost incapable of not being patronizing when it comes to Iraq. Take a typical recent piece of "news analysis" in the New York Times by a perfectly sharp journalist, Alissa J. Rubin. It was headlined in print "America's New Role in Iraq Prompts a Search for Means of Influence" and focused, in part, on Vice President Joe Biden's recent trip there supposedly to "assuage" Iraqi feelings that they are being "moved to the bottom shelf."

Rubin writes (and this sort of thing has been written countless times before) that the Americans are now in search of a "new tone" for their dealings in that country. (In the Bush years, this was often called -- in another strange imperial metaphor -- "putting an Iraqi face" on things.) "They have," she comments, "a reputation for being heavy-handed, for telling Iraqis what to do rather than asking what they want." But of course, as the piece makes clear, whatever his tone, Biden arrived in Iraq to tell Iraqis what they should do -- or as she puts it, to try to "solve" the "troubles... that stymied three previous ambassadors and President George W. Bush": continuing sectarian animosities, the passage of an Iraqi oil law, and the Kurdish problem.

These, it seems, are still our burden and we really can't imagine it any other way. As the Iraqis quoted in Rubin's piece make clear, the dominant role played by the U.S. is resented by the occupied -- especially the elite -- who have contempt for the occupiers, even if they find it hard to imagine life without them.

I mention this only because the tone of American writing and thought on Iraq has always been tinged with what Michael Schwartz, TomDispatch regular and author of a superb study, War Without End: The Iraq War in Context, says is a deeper colonial urge, one that unfortunately may not be fading, even as discussion of a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq grows. (Catch a TomDispatch audio interview with Schwartz by clicking here.) Tom

Colonizing Iraq
The Obama Doctrine?

By Michael Schwartz

Here's how reporters Steven Lee Myers and Marc Santora of the New York Times described the highly touted American withdrawal from Iraq's cities last week:

"Much of the complicated work of dismantling and removing millions of dollars of equipment from the combat outposts in the city has been done during the dark of night. Gen. Ray Odierno, the overall American commander in Iraq, has ordered that an increasing number of basic operations -- transport and re-supply convoys, for example -- take place at night, when fewer Iraqis are likely to see that the American withdrawal is not total."

Iraq Airspace 'Off Limits' For Israeli Attack On Iran

Iraq airspace 'off limits' for Israeli attack on Iran | Press TV

Amid reemerging speculations of an Israeli sneak attack on Iran, Baghdad warns Tel Aviv against using Iraqi airspace to carry out its military plans against Tehran.

Iraqi lawmakers said Tuesday that any violation of Iraqi airspace for an attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure would be met with a severe reprimand, as it would be considered an attack on Iraq.

"Iraq would use all political, legal, diplomatic and security measures" to protest Israeli use of Iraqi airspace in any hypothetical attack against Iran, said Hassan al-Sanid, a member of Iraq's parliamentary committee on security and defense. Read more.

War By Other Means

By Robert C. Koehler | Tribune Media Services

While peace, which is infinitely complex, and war, which is complex only in its unintended results, are not parallel concepts, I invite all peace-minded people to think about the gap between our capacity to destroy and our capacity to heal, and then imagine, as a socio-spiritual exercise, what it would take to bridge that gap.

We live in a world where arrogance and power are concentrated to an unbelievably fine point, while responsibility is diffused into a global mist. A few fanatics can plot and wage a war, stirring up consequences infinitely beyond what they are capable of imagining, then retire, when things go bad, into a luxury tinged with disgrace.

Meanwhile, the consequences keep reverberating, as we are witnessing in Iraq right now, amid the charade of troop withdrawal and power transfer. The threat of cataclysmic civil war looms, promising to add immeasurably to the legacy of suffering and environmental damage this multi-trillion-dollar fiasco has already produced.

Allow me to make a point I don’t think anyone has yet articulated, maybe because it’s too obvious. What we lack as a species is a moral-spiritual force for healing that is the equivalent – or even one one-millionth the equivalent – of shock and awe bombing, let us say, or any of the great mechanisms of destruction we have developed over the millennia in our obsession with dominance. Indeed, warmongers in their delusion imagine that destruction is healing, that a few thousand civilian dead (who swell to a million before they’re done) are a small price to pay for the gift of democracy.

While peace, which is infinitely complex, and war, which is complex only in its unintended results, are not parallel concepts, I invite all peace-minded people to think about the gap between our capacity to destroy and our capacity to heal, and then imagine, as a socio-spiritual exercise, what it would take to bridge that gap.

Reaping the Bushes' Iranian Whirlwind

Reaping the Bushes' Iranian Whirlwind
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman | Free Press

The parallels between the stolen Iranian election of 2009 and the American of 2000 and 2004 are tragic. The histories---and futures---of the two nations are inseparable. Bound up in their tortured half-century of crime and manipulation are the few glimmers of hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.

In both countries, a right-wing fundamentalist authoritarian with open contempt for human rights and the Geneva Convention has come up a winner, with catastrophic consequences. In both countries, the blowback of two George Bushes loom large.

In the US, two "defeated" candidates---Al Gore and John Kerry---said and did nothing in the face of two stolen elections. But an unprecedented voter protection movement arose from the ashes of those defeats to assure the 2008 victory of America's first African-American president.

In Iran, the "defeated" candidate---Mir Hussein Moussavi---is fighting back, along with massive grassroots resistance. How far they get will define the Iranian future---as well as that of the Middle East.

In a fluid and unpredictable situation, here are some indisputables: Read more.

Saudis give nod to Israeli raid on Iran

By Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv and Sarah Baxter, Times

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Earlier this year Meir Dagan, Mossad’s director since 2002, held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility.

The Israeli press has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The reports were denied by Saudi officials.

“The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week.

Amnesty Details Gaza 'War Crimes'

Amnesty details Gaza 'war crimes' | BBC

Israel committed war crimes and carried out reckless attacks and acts of wanton destruction in its Gaza offensive, an independent human rights report says.

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed using high-precision weapons, while others were shot at close range, the group Amnesty International says.

Its report also calls rocket attacks by Palestinian militants war crimes and accuses Hamas of endangering civilians.

The Israeli military says its conduct was in line with international law.

Israel has attributed some civilian deaths to "professional mistakes", but has dismissed wider criticism that its attacks were indiscriminate and disproportionate.

Amnesty says some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the 22-day Israeli offensive between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009, which agrees broadly with Palestinian figures. Read more.

'US Forces Attempt To Hijack Iranian Oil Field'

'US forces attempt to hijack Iranian oil field'

American forces have attempted to take over an Iranian oil field near the country's western border with Iraq, a security official says.

“US forces backed by tanks entered the Mousian area of the Dehloran County, laying around 100 meters of pipeline in Iranian territory," the source, talking on condition of anonymity, said Monday. Read more.

Iraqi Oil Unions Argue Against Opening Oil Fields to Foreign Corporations

Michael Eisenscher, National Coordinator, U.S. Labor Against the War writes:

Below is a translation of the attached Arabic language communication from the Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq (IFOU) regarding the announced plan of the Oil Ministry to open bidding to foreign corporations and award 20 year contracts for development of Iraqi oil fields.

The IFOU argues that opening bidding in this manner violates the Iraqi constitution and several laws that govern development policy. The note that the decision of the Minister of Oil to proceed with the awarding of contracts goes against the expert opinion and advice of management of the Southern Oil Company and other government officials, and is being done without the required impact reports.

PART 4: FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of bin Laden Role

PART 4: FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of bin Laden Role
By Gareth Porter | IPS News

On Jul. 11, 1995, he had written an "Open Letter" to King Fahd advocating a campaign of guerilla attacks to drive U.S. military forces out of the Kingdom.

Bin Laden’s al Qaeda organisation began carrying out that campaign later that same year. On Nov. 13, 1995 a car bomb destroyed the Office of the Programme Manager of the Saudi National Guard (OPM SANG) in Riyadh, killing five U.S. airmen and wounding 34.

The confessions of the four jihadists from the Afghan War to the bombing, which were broadcast on Saudi television, said they had been inspired by Osama bin Laden, and one of them referred to a camp in Afghanistan which was associated with bin Laden.

"It was a backhanded reference to bin Laden," says veteran FBI agent Dan Coleman.

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh immediately requested that the FBI be allowed to interrogate the suspects as soon as their arrests were announced in April. But the Saudis never responded to the request, and on May 31, the embassy was informed only an hour and half before that the four suspects would be beheaded. Read more.

Full-Spectrum Idiocy: GOP and Chavez on Iran

Full-Spectrum Idiocy: GOP and Chavez on Iran
by Norman Solomon | Common

When approaching Iran, the Republican Party line and the Hugo Chavez line are running in opposite directions -- but parallel. The leadership of GOP reaction and the leadership of Bolivarian revolution have bought into the convenient delusion that long-suffering Iranian people require assistance from the U.S. government to resist the regime in Tehran.

Inside Iran, advocates for reform and human rights have long pleaded for the U.S. government to keep out of Iranian affairs. After the CIA organized the coup that overthrew Iran’s democracy in 1953, Washington kept the Shah in power for a quarter century. When I was in Tehran four years ago, during the election that made Mahmoud Ahmadinejad president, what human rights activists most wanted President Bush to do was shut up.

But Bush played to the same kind of peanut gallery that is now applauding the likes of Sen. John McCain. The Bush White House denigrated the 2005 election just before the balloting began -- to the delight of the hardest-line Iranian fundamentalists. The ultra-righteous Bush rhetoric gave a significant boost to Ahmadinejad’s campaign.

Denunciations and threats from Washington are the last thing that Iran’s reform advocates want. And Iranians certainly don’t need encouragement from Uncle Sam to do what they can to bring about democratic change. Read more.

Investigating Khobar Towers: How a Saudi Deception Protected bin Laden, Part 1

Investigating Khobar Towers: How a Saudi Deception Protected bin Laden
A five part series on Inter Press Service

Part 1: Al Qaeda Excluded from the Suspects List
By Gareth Porter*

WASHINGTON, Jun 22 (IPS) - On Jun. 25, 1996, a massive truck bomb exploded at a building in the Khobar Towers complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which housed U.S. Air Force personnel, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding 372.

Immediately after the blast, more than 125 agents from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were ordered to the site to sift for clues and begin the investigation of who was responsible. But when two U.S. embassy officers arrived at the scene of the devastation early the next morning, they found a bulldozer beginning to dig up the entire crime scene.

Security Forces Attack Iran Protesters

Security forces attack Iran protesters | UPI

Iranian security forces clashed with hundreds of protesters in Tehran Wednesday, badly beating some and killing others, sources said.

"They were waiting for us," a source told CNN. "They all have guns and riot uniforms. It was like a mouse trap."

Witnesses reached outside the national Parliament building told The New York Times the confrontation was bloody and police used live ammunition. The protesters had defied government warnings and hundreds, perhaps thousands, descended on the square in front of parliament, the Times said.

A source told CNN about "500 thugs" with clubs came out of a mosque and attacked people, and the security forces were "beating women madly" and "killing people like hell." Read more.

Jingoism Isn't Journalism! Why I Don't Trust CNN & Corporate Media To Cover Iran

By Linda Milazzo

As a critic of media, in particular of cable/satellite "news," I'm troubled by American corporate-media, specifically CNN's near non-stop coverage of the turmoil in Iran. Not because the story isn't important. It's critically important and warrants the personal coverage it's getting from the Iranian people as they bypass corporate channels to tell their stories on facebook, youtube, flickr and twitter.

Thanks to Iran's tech-savvy society, old-time corporate media is now relegated to the position of new-media aggregator, whoring its visibility to co-opt the Iranian people's new-media messages to America and the world. Old-media, and specifically CNN, are learning the difficult lesson that with or without their vast resources and state of the art studios, the Iranians' stories will be told. And they'll be told to tens of millions more viewers than cable and satellite programs tend to reach.

Poll: Half of Israelis Back Bombing If Needed To Stop Iran Nukes

Poll: Half of Israelis back bombing if needed to stop Iran nukes | CNN

Roughly half of Israelis support bombing Iran's nuclear facilities if international efforts fail to stop the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons, according to a Hebrew University poll released Sunday.

Some 52 percent of Israelis say the country should bomb Iran's nuclear reactor, while 35 percent are against, the poll found. The margin of error in the poll of Israelis is 4.5 percentage points.

Palestinians are somewhat more evenly divided, with 43 percent saying a nuclear Iran would be good for the Arab world and 33 percent saying it would be bad, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, which conducted the poll along with Hebrew University. The margin of error for the Palestinian sample is 3 percentage points. Read more.

MUST SEE VIDEO! CODEPINK Builds A Playground In Gaza! It's All About The Children!!

By Linda Milazzo

As angry uprisings take place in Iran over the questionable "re-election" of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As innocents are murdered at every corner of this planet - indeed at EVERY CORNER - when considering those at its furthest coordinates suffering the effects of global warming brought on by human greed -- there appears on this day a message of hope that can make us ALL smile.

Regardless of ideology, the common denominator I would hope true adults will agree on is that ALL children are OURS to protect. The clear right of passage to be an adult is the knowledge that our principal obligation is to protect and serve the world's children; that ALL children are precious and should be accorded their mutual rights to safety and joy.

Iran's Green Revolution

All bets are off on the eve of the most crucial presidential election in the 30 years of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Pepe Escobar argues the campaign of reformist - actually moderate conservative - Mir-Hossein Mousavi has evolved into a green revolution; the color of Islam and also the color of hope for a less confrontational, and more competent and pragmatic administration. Mousavi's campaign - roughly the Iranian equivalent of Obama's campaign in the US - has crossed all economic, ethnic and gender barriers, and was heavily supported by Iran's very young, tech-savvy population. He has the youth vote, the women's vote and the intelligentsia vote. But President Ahmadinejad, running for a second term, has the vote that counts the most: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's - not to mention the bulk of the rural, provincial vote. The stage is set for a second round between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi.

Speaking Events

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.


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