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On Waking Sleeping Giants

By Dave Lindorff

During my six-year sojourn in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, one of the things I came away with was a sense of how generally un-nationalistic and non-patriotic the Chinese people were.

Caught up in the struggle first to simply survive and then, in the mid-90s, to try and grab onto the moving train that was China’s new Great Leap into Capitalism, average mainland Chinese, whether out in the remote farmlands of western Anhui Province or in the rundown house lining the hutongs of Shanghai or Beijing, had no time for patriotic displays or nationalistic concerns.

When Chinese Communist Party leaders in Beijing would beat the drum of nationalism over Taiwanese independence efforts in the 1990s, it evoked mostly yawns among average Chinese people, and in fact, to Beijing’s embarrassment, a popular computer game featured a war-game in which Taiwan defeated the People’s Liberation Army.

Listen to the General on Iraq (No, not Petraeus!)

By Dave Lindorff

“It gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of the Senate are aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran.”
--Lt. Gen. (ret.) William Odom

In a couple days, Americans will be deluged with effusive, praise-filled stories in what passes for news organizations, print and electronic, in the US, quoting Gen. David Petraeus on the glories of his and President Bush’s brilliant so-called "surge" strategy in Iraq.

There will be little critical comment on his report, which will claim that the surge is working but that Iraqi’s “need to do more” to take advantage of the surge in stability to create a stable government in Baghdad.

Thoughts on April 4

By Dave Lindorff

For the first 18 years of my life, my birthdays were purely celebratory occasions, but since 1968, the day has always come tinged with a shadow. April 4 is the day Martin Luther King was shot.

I actually learned about King’s death, appropriately, in police custody, and had to think about its implications locked in a jail cell.

I was a freshman at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and had been given an assignment in my philosophy class to write a paper on Henry Thoreau’s influence on Mahatma Gandhi, and of course through him on Martin Luther King. Being 18 at the time, and it being spring, I decided I should write the paper not at school, but at Walden Pond in Massachusetts.

Bush's "Defining Moments"--In Iraq, and Back Home in D.C.

By Dave Lindorff

Bush may not be the greatest of wordsmiths, but he certainly nailed it when he said that the battle in Basra, in which the puppet governent of Nuri al-Maliki and the Iraqi military were attacking the entrenched Mahdi Brigades of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr for control of Iraq’s crucial port city, was a “defining moment” in the five-years-and-running Iraq conflict.

That battle, which saw al-Maliki fly down to the presidential palace in the country’s second largest city to direct the army’s fight, only to be spirited away by an American air rescue team when he was in danger of being captured or killed, is indeed a defining moment.

Hillary Under Fire

By Dave Lindorff

So Hillary Clinton, her campaign sagging as it becomes clearer and clearer that she’s not going to get the Democratic nomination unless she can destroy her opponent, insists she would have quit Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago after hearing the allegedly “hateful” words of its pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

News of Rapid Glacial Melting Raises a Big Question for Presidential Candidates

By Dave Lindorff

Okay. Enough about race.

We've got a bigger problem here than how to get along with each other, as important as that may be, and that's how to make sure that any of us--or our children and grandchildren--are around in another hundred years.

4000 US Dead in Iraq: Maybe What We Need is a National Spittoon in D.C.

By Dave Lindorff

Well, the toll of wasted American lives in Iraq has hit 4000. But hey, who’s counting?

Certainly not the folks in the White House and the Pentagon, and certainly not John McCain, the prospective Republican nominee for president, who thinks the war is going just dandy.

Truth On CNN! Pundits Defend Obama! Anderson Cooper Is Perplexed! (As Usual)

In this seemingly endless presidential campaign, parsed through the drama and hyperbole of media, it is a rare and welcome occasion when reason and honesty eclipse tantrums and untruths. It is particularly rare when pundits buck the popular trend and speak truth to corporate power. Such an occasion, or mitzvah as some might say, occurred on March 20th (2008) on CNN, when veteran political analyst David Gergen, renowned reporter and author Carl Bernstein, and CNN commentator Roland Martin, shredded the race card and taught a lesson in truth to neophyte Anderson Cooper.

For the past several days, Anderson Cooper, an unseasoned political observer, has been pushing the race card as far as possible on all things Barack Obama. It's not that Cooper is any worse at assailing Obama than his counterparts at Fox, MSNBC and conservative talk radio. It's just that Cooper as a political anchor, is sorely unskilled. He's fine traversing the planet, reporting from rugged terrain. He loves pitting himself against nature -- be it a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or drought. He's terrific in stories on wildlife, and daring in the throes of war. But a savvy political anchor he is not. Nor is he a host much concerned with the ramifications of his remarks. Sadly, CNN in this election cycle, is nearly as treacherous as Fox. But on one brilliant evening in March, three media pundits put Cooper in his place by refusing to derail Barack Obama.

Here's how it happened:

Vermont Vets Risk All for the Truth

by Dan DeWalt
“I can’t go back in time and take back what I’ve done… At one point I was a monster, and I created hate and destruction amongst many people. I am sorry for doing so and I will never turn back into the monster I

Five Years of a Disastrous War and the Bills are Coming Due

By Dave Lindorff

It’s appropriate that on this week of the fifth anniversary of the criminal US invasion of Iraq, we are also seeing several other things: the death toll of American troops in that doomed adventure is rising past 4000, the economy is sliding into a recession which could be deep and long, and the financial markets are teetering on the edge of a possibly historic collapse.

The conjunction of all of these dire things is no coincidence.

Corporate Media Ignored Winter Soldier. Senators Biden & Kerry - Will YOU??

Corporate owned networks and cable TV are private for profit enterprises driven by MONEY -- not by truth. Network and cable "news" is private for profit infotainment driven by MONEY -- not by truth. Delivering truth and educating viewers are not the goals of corporate media. Increasing viewership, attracting advertisers, and cronyism are. Even when reporting the invasion of Iraq, corporate media mitigates or inflames the story to advance its selfish goals.

Censorship and the Anemic State of Political Discourse in America

By Dave Lindorff

When I lived in China in the early 1990s, there were things that you could not discuss. One was Tibet. Another was Taiwan, "referred to in my daughter's public elementary school in Shanghai as "China's largest island." Another was the 1989 massacre of students and workers in Beijing. I used to be grateful at the time that I was an American and that back home, we could talk about anything.

Except that in a way we can't. Not in public discourse, anyhow.

It's the "Oh Shit!" Moment on Iran

By Dave Lindorff

Every horror movie has that "Oh Shit!" moment, when the hero or heroes are huddled in some creepy hideout, and suddenly something happens that tells you that the monster is just around the corner, or just about to attack. In "Jurassic Park" it was the pulsing ripples in a cup of water, heralding the arrival of a T-Rex. In "Jaws" it was the deep base music, letting you know that a monstrous shark was about to attack.

The Presidential Assasination Attempt That Didn't Bark

Huh:

An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.

Spitzer Bust Provides a Warning Regarding NSA Spying

By Dave Lindorff

I have no sympathy for New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the hot-shot prosecutor of call-girl operations who was hoist on his own petard, as it were. I mean, what a jerk! And aside from the hypocrisy, what a fine message he was sending to his three teenage daughters about the role of women.

Having said that, Spitzer's bust should give pause to those in Congress who are ready to hand President Bush a free pass to continue his six-year campaign of warrantless spying on Americans.

Is Spitzer Being Targeted By The Anti-Abortion Right?

Isn't it odd that just when New York Governor Elliott Spitzer has introduced the RHAPP Bill -- the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act -- which guarantees women the right to choose or refuse birth control and abortion, he is simultaneously the subject of a highly publicized sex sting that threatens to destroy his career and possibly send him to prison?

America: Lying Politicians, Gullible Voters and the Long Slide Ahead

By Dave Lindorff

Well, fellow Americans, we are finally going to get our just rewards.

That “Almighty Dollar” you used to hear about is heading straight towards the scrap heap of junk currencies (think Ruble, Rupee, Lira, Escudo).

Iraq War To Cost $12B A Month In 2008

Iraq War To Cost $12B A Month In 2008
Book Projects War's Cost In 2017 To Be $1.7T To $2.7T

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show.

In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book.

Racist KellyAnne Conway Sends Obama To THE BACK OF THE BUS

On last night's Larry King Live show (Friday, March 7th), Republican strategist and owner of The Polling Company, KellyAnne Conway, stated that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were

"arguing about whether she should let him SIT ON THE BACK OF THE BUS of her presidential ticket."

Even by CNN standards, with its ample chicanery and spin, Conway's remark was brutal. Larry King's nightly program, usually more schmooze than news, was plunged to a Limbaugh-like low. Gratefully, Democratic strategist and Obama supporter, Jamal Simmons, was on hand to challenge Conway. Taking the high road, Simmons said:

"Larry, we have to address that. We have to address that. This BACK OF THE BUS comment is really beyond the pale. I think Senator Clinton, whatever our disagreements are between the two candidates, Senator Clinton has never done or said anything that would imply that she would rather have Barack Obama sit in the back of her campaign bus."

A Manchurian Candidate in the White House?

By Dave Lindorff

With a viral campaign underway via email, right-wing radio, and on the street suggesting that Barack Obama is a black “Manchurian Candidate,” secretly trained as a Muslim fanatic who will insinuate himself into the White House, thence to undermine all that we hold dear, perhaps it is time to look at the Manchurian Candidate we already have in the White House, who, together with his handler over in Blair House, has pretty much done all the damage already.

Welch Whitewash: We Still Don't Know What That Aug. 30 Nuke Incident Was About

By Dave Lindorff

A new report on the August 30 incident in which six nuclear-armed advanced cruise missiles were effectively “lost” for 36 hours, during which time they were, against all regulations, flown in launch position mounted on a pylon on the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress, from Minot AFB in North Dakota across the continental US to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, has left unanswered some critical questions about the event.

McCain and the Lobbyist: Missing the Story of the Miss

By Dave Lindorff

All the attention in the breaking story about John McCain's 2000 relationship with a blonde young telecom lobbiest has been focussed on the question of whether or not they were "doing it."

As George Stephanopoulos claimed on ABC, the importance of the story depends upon whether McCain is shown to have had a "relationship" with the lobbiest, Vicki Iseman.

But really, who cares whether they were shacking up on the campaign trail? McCain, after all, already double-timed his starter wife and dumped her for a trophy wife, the statuesque and wealthy beer industry heiress Cindy Hensley, so it's not as though he is campaigning on a strong pro-family platform.

Portland ME Holds 1st Bi-Partisan Event on Constitutional Issues Resulting from Bush-Cheney Misadministration

Our Constitution In Crisis
What Does A Broken Democracy Look Like & How Do We Fix It?
Announcing a Public Forum With Maine’s 1st Congressional District Candidates

PORTLAND, ME - February 18 - The future of the U.S. Constitution and the role of Congress will be discussed by the Candidates for Congress vying to replace Tom Allen representing Maine’s First Congressional District. John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, will set the stage at the forum by addressing the constitutional issues that have been created during the current Bush-Cheney Administration. The forum will be held on Tuesday evening, February 26, at 7 PM at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 425 Congress Street in Portland. The public is invited and will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Bush/Cheney Adminstration Takes Us for Idiots

By Dave Lindorff

Anybody who thinks that the government is telling the truth about the plan to shoot down a dead spy satellite--that it's all about protecting us, and not about testing an anti-satellite weapon--has to be really stupid.

And stupid is what the Bush administration and the Pentagon apparently think we are.

They're claiming they need to shoot this thing down because it's got a tank with 1000 pounds of hydrazine, a fuel used for maneuvering satellites while in orbit which is said to be as toxic as chlorine if breathed.

Bush's Protect America Bill Bull

By Dave Lindorff,

President Bush has turned to the cheapest lies in an effort to protect himself from being exposed as a criminal in the ongoing campaign to have the National Security Agency spy at will on Americans.

Claiming—without a scintilla of evidence to back him up—that there are people planning a “much worse attack” than 9-11 on America, he says he must not only have free rein to unleash the NSA

Obama and Progressive Change

By Dave Lindorff

I don’t want to overstate the case for Barack Obama, who has been fairly circumspect about his intentions if elected. While saying he is against the Iraq War, he has not acted very forcefully to help bring it to an end. And he certainly has not called for any downsizing of America’s bloated military budget or any end to its imperialist foreign policy—absolutely essential if there is to be any progressive change of consequence in the US.

Cannon Beach OR City Council Passes Bush-Cheney Impeachment Resolution; Posthumously Honors Gainor Minott

Cannon Beach split on whether Bush and Cheney must go
Impeachment resolution passes 3-2 as neighbors work to comply with last wishes of resident Minott
By PAMELA ROBEL | The Daily Astorian

CANNON BEACH - In a split vote on Super Tuesday, during the regular meeting of the Cannon Beach City Council, a resolution was passed to impeach President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The call for impeachment began with the last wishes of Cannon Beach resident Gainor Minott, who asked Rex and Diane Amos to pursue an impeachment of the president and the vice president. The Amoses collected 227 signatures from residents of Cannon Beach to present to the council in support of a call for impeachment. Minott died in September.

To Hell with the Chief!

By Dave Lindorff

What is all this nonsense about us electing a “commander in chief”?

Okay, I mean we all know it’s President Bush’s favorite title. He thrills to being a “war president,” and loves strutting around in front of guys in uniform and getting saluted. But really, what is this all about?

The Constitution says that the President is the commander in chief of the army and the navy, and of the militia if it is called to national service. But that is really just for the sake of having a civilian at the top of the food chain.

MARIA SHRIVER ENDORSES BARACK OBAMA!

In an unscheduled rally appearance at the University of California-Los Angeles' (UCLA) Pauley Pavillion, California's First Lady, Maria Shirver, surrounded by her cousin Caroline Kennedy, best friend Oprah Winfrey, and co-political spouse, Michelle Obama, publicly announced her endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States. With today's endorsement, Shriver now joins a long list of her Kennedy relatives who are endorsing Barack Obama.

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