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The Georgian conflict over South Ossetia is spiraling into a contest between the US and Russia over control of the Black Sea region and the eastern Mediterranean.
The US Vice President Dick Cheney will stop over in Georgia, the Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Italy during a trip starting Sept. 2. President Bush “felt it was important to have the vice president consult with allies in the region on our common security interests,” said the White House spokesman Monday, Aug. 25.
These steps were Washington’s response to a rapid volley of decisions in Moscow: one was taken by the Russian Navy chief, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky - as disclosed earlier by DEBKAfile - to place its warships bound for Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartus under the command of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol.
What to do with Pakistan? In the week the jig was up finally for the wily and wilful Pervez Musharraf, most of America's leading foreign policy experts were stumped on a key element of George Bush's so-called "war on terror".
The specialists, more than 100 of them, conclude that under the Musharraf-Bush axis, Pakistan went from bad to worse. They say the US has failed to manage a conflict zone, which a greater number of them than in a similar survey a year ago now judge to have had a negative impact on American national security.
This iReport is a question for the Digg Dialogg interview with Nancy Pelosi. Think it ought to be asked? Cast your vote on Digg.com by clicking here or http://digg.com/dialogg/Nancy_Pelosi_1?t=18151050#c18151050 .
Here's what you can do to get this question asked of Speaker Pelosi.
- Watch it and click the link to cast your vote. This campaign ends this Wednesday, 8/27, so please do it now.
- Use the "Email this page" link at the bottom to email it to others, or send them this link: http://digg.com/dialogg/Nancy_Pelosi_1?t=18151050#c18151050 - and ask them to send it on, too.
- Remember that this thing is judged on the number of Diggs, so please Digg, Digg, Digg!
- And by the way, who ever thought we, as citizens and constituents, would have to resort to this gamesmanship to get an answer out of an elected official on such high crimes and misdemeanors?
- One more thing: If you haven't yet signed Rep. Kucinich's petition aimed at a "Million and More" signatures supporting impeachment to present to Speaker Pelosi on September 10th, please drop by http://www.kucinich.us/ to sign and forward to others, too.
by Linda Milazzo
At the very core of patriotism is the desire to preserve and enhance democracy. For true patriots - those who take their love of nation beyond the confines of their cushy sofas and wide screen TVs - there are no limits to their efforts to hold leaders accountable to uphold the Constitution and safeguard its inherent freedoms. Thus, for the past three days that I've been in Denver - in the hotbed of this mecca of "this is what democracy looks like," I've witnessed the GOOD and the NOT so good.
The GOOD are the thousands of Americans who have traveled from every part of this country to engage in actions to spread their personal messages of democracy: peace above conflict, government's responsibility to provide for its citizens, and an immediate stop to the constant rape of our resources and our once fine name by those who base success on the depth of their fortunes rather than the depth of their humanity.
Kevin Rose of Digg.com wrote to introduce the new "Digg Dialogg":
We want to give the Digg community an opportunity to pose questions to some of the individuals and leaders of the moment (sans editors), who are taking action to change the world in cool ways. To do this, we’re launching a new program called “Digg Dialogg.” The concept is simple – we identify a featured guest that you will be able to submit questions to (text or video) which the Digg community Diggs up or down. We’ll pose the top questions to the guest during a live interview. Featured guests will represent thought leaders and tastemakers across diverse topics including technology luminaries, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, musicians and filmmakers.
The Defense Department is looking for an "energetic and imaginative executive" to run its newly formed Defense Media Activity, according to an advertisement on the agency's Web site.
The executive would earn as much as $172,200 a year overseeing DMA, which since its establishment in January combines formerly separate Pentagon media organizations, such as the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, the Stars and Stripes newspaper, and the Pentagon Channel on television. It also includes the DefenseLink Web site and the military services' Web sites, the Bloggers Roundtable, and the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine magazines.
The Russian Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to recognise the independence of two breakaway Georgian regions, while President Dmitry Medvedev linked the Georgia conflict to tensions over another separatist region.
Both houses of Russia's Parliament convened for emergency sessions to consider their stance on the future status of the two disputed regions in Georgia.
With Russian troops still inside Georgia and tensions heightened by the arrival in a Georgian port of a US warship carrying aid, Russia's two Parliament chambers approved a resolution calling on Mr Medvedev formally to recognise the two regions.
Only the president can officially recognise a foreign state and so far, there has been no response to the vote from the Kremlin.
Reinventing the Evil Empire
by Stephen Lendman
For the West, everything changed but stayed the same, hard-wired and in place. Things just lay dormant in the shadows during the Yeltsin years, certain to reemerge once a more resolute Russian leader took over. If not Vladimir Putin, someone else little different.
Russia is back, proud and reassertive, and not about to roll over for America. Especially in Eurasia. For Washington, it's back to the future, the new Cold War, and reinventing the Evil Empire, but this time for greater stakes and with much larger threats to world peace. Conservatives lost their influence. Neocons are weakened but still dominant. The Israeli Lobby and Christian Right drive them. Conflict is preferred over diplomacy, and most Democrats go along to look tough on "terrorism." Notably their standard-bearer, vying with McCain to be toughest.
JP Commentary: Bush's Gitmo Guilt (3 minutes)
Try to contain your shock.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION - "RELAY LOBBYING" IN D.C.
On September 8th the House is back in session - maybe for the last time this year. Democrats.com, AfterDowningStreet.org, Veterans For Peace, and the National Impeachment Network invite as many people as possible to come to D.C. and help us lobby congressional members for impeachment. We hope to have "relay" teams in place so there are always organizers present up through at least September 24th or when Congress adjourns for the year. In addition, there will be scheduled events that you won't want to miss.
We want to pull out all the stops, but we need your help. Please email Sophie de Vries at firstname.lastname@example.org for details or leave a message at (415)789-8469. If you've never met with congress members before, not to worry. There will be plenty of support and some training beforehand.
Let's all pull together and make this work. Your contribution to this effort is invaluable. Relay for the Rule of Law and the Republic!
Lies and Criminality About Justice Department and Georgia -- So?
By Bernard Weiner | The Crisis Papers
This is an essay about the consequences of lies and law-breaking emanating from the top levels of government. We'll get to Russia's Putin and Georgia's Saakashvili below. First:
How can you tell when the Busheviks in America are telling lies or trying to hide the truth? One could resort to the old saw "When their lips are moving," but sometimes these guys inadvertently spill the beans. Remember Bush's own accidental truth-bomb when he said his role as president is to "catapult the propaganda"?
The neoconned Bush Regime and the Israeli-occupied American media are heading the innocent world toward nuclear war.
Back in the Reagan years the National Endowment for Democracy was created as a cold war tool. Today the NED is a neocon-controlled agent for US world hegemony. Its main function is to pour US money and election-rigging into former constituent parts of the Soviet Union in order to ring Russia with American puppet states.
Q: Before you ended your quixotic bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in January and continued on as a congressman from Cleveland, did you believe you could really be president?
A: No one runs unless they think they can.
Q: But you’re a vegan. Do you think America is ready to elect a non-beef-eating president?
A: I think America is ready for a president with a blood pressure of 90 over 60 who could beat most people half his age in a sprint.
Q: I see you are scheduled to speak at the convention on Tuesday, at the Pepsi Center, which sounds like the name of a soda plant. Why is it called that?
A: My guess is that Pepsi probably bought the naming rights. Naming rights are another thing my subcommittee — the Domestic Policy Subcommittee — is looking into.
Q: What is the point of having a convention when the candidate has been preselected? Isn’t it just an excuse for a party?
A: This is a great opportunity for Democrats to come together, to indicate our solidarity on providing jobs; helping people save their homes; health care for all; retirement security.
Q: Is it hard to come together with people you have sharp disagreements with?
A: When it comes to uniting for the American people, that’s what we do. That is what we have always done. Democrats are famous for their ability to come together.
Q: I never thought of you as such a booster.
A: I am not a booster by any means. But Barack Obama is our candidate. We have to be practical about this.
Q: You’ve met with opposition from Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for continuing to push for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
A: The process of democracy is a slow process, and it’s important that I do what I know to be the right thing.
It really is quite amazing the BBC ran this report as it later put in extra duty to turn the entire event on its head and blame the Russians. So obvious are the outright lies and twisting of facts, the neocon propaganda outfit Sky News — owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, sort of a UK version of Faux News — “used the footage of Tskhinvali, which was literally ruined as a result of Georgia’s attacks, to make reports about the situation in the town of Gori, which the Russian aviation supposedly bombed,” according to Pravda. “The footage aired by the British TV channel was preceded with a picture of a road sign displaying the name of the town – Gori – written in Georgian and English languages. The report also said that a Sky News correspondent was reporting from the Georgian town.” Disgusting, although we can of course expect no less, as the point is to demonize Russia no matter the cost or the affront to reality.--Text courtesy of Kurt Nimmo, InfoWars.com
WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday that his visit to Georgia, Ukraine and Poland, at Sen. John McCain's behest, persuaded him that the United States and its allies must take tough steps to prevent further Russian military aggression against its smaller neighbors.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, called on NATO to "stop war-gaming on tables in Brussels" and to begin military exercises in Europe to show its commitment to protecting member nations.
"I found a Russia on the move, a Russia that is trying to intimidate its neighbors who are Democratic in nature," Graham said. "This (Georgia) conflict is not about a border dispute. It's about the desire by Russia to send a signal to its democratic neighbors that Russia is a dominant power."
The photo left is a make shift hospital in a school basement in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia after Georgia's military attack that killed around 2,000 people on August 7.
The media in the U.S. are now using the Russian response to Georgia's attack to justify the deployment of "missile defense" systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Like many corporate media outlets across the country the Portland Press Herald today editorializes, "Where once displeasing Moscow would seem a strong argument against deployment, now there's reason to create a negative consequence for Russia's behavior.....for now, missile defense has a purpose -- if not strategically, then at least diplomatically."
So as we search for the reasons why Washington and Georgia would launch such an attack, knowing just how Russia would have to respond, we find another piece of the puzzle.
I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama. I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate “seed corn.” And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.
In doggedly pursuing impeachment of members of the Bush administration, U.S. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich is one of few in Congress willing to speak truth to power.
Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently proposed 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush charging that he manufactured a false case for going to war against Iraq. The measure also claims Bush failed to provide troops with vehicle armor; illegally detained both foreign nationals and Americans; condoned torture; mishandled the government's response to Hurricane Katrina; and undermined efforts to address global warning. Quickly, the articles were relegated to the Judiciary Committee where they most likely will die.
Protections Set for Antiabortion Health Workers
Opponents Denounce Proposed Regulation Allowing Federal Officials to Pull Funding
By Rob Stein | Washington Post
The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to implement a controversial regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs.
The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds.
A two-year-old letter by Vice President Dick Cheney that pushed a controversial Alaska natural-gas pipeline bill is getting renewed scrutiny because of recently disclosed evidence in the Justice Department's corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens. In a conversation secretly tape-recorded by the FBI on June 25, 2006, Stevens discussed ways to get a pipeline bill through the Alaska Legislature with Bill Allen, an oil-services executive accused of providing the senator with about $250,000 in undisclosed financial benefits. According to a Justice motion, Stevens told Allen, "I'm gonna try to see if I can get some bigwigs from back here and say, 'Look...you gotta get this done'." Two days later, Cheney wrote a letter to the Alaska Legislature urging members to "promptly enact" a bill to build the pipeline. The letter was considered unusual because the White House rarely contacts state lawmakers about pending legislative matters. It also angered state Democrats, who accused Cheney of pushing oil-company interests. The former executive director of Cheney's energy task force had gone to work as a lobbyist for British Petroleum, one of three firms slated to build the pipeline.
By Dave Lindorff
If the direr warnings about the US economy and the general state of the world are correct, maybe we should be glad that Obama’s presidential campaign is in failure mode (see Loserville).
Two terms of the Bush/Cheney administration have pretty much destroyed the dollar, wrecked the US industrial base, emasculated the US military, undermined public faith in the legal system, wrecked the educational system, bankrupted working people, fired up many labor unions, bankrupted the government and threatened the retirement and Medicare systems.
Do we really want to now hand this mess over to a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress?