Saturday, March 08, 2008

Remember the lies that led us into war in Iraq? . . .
Remember the lies that led us into war in Viet Nam? . . .
And many other places. . .


'Do not believe the official story from the rich and powerful, and their mainstream news media, at least until it is independently and verifiably proven to be true.
In the meantime, expect the truth to be the opposite of what they say!'

The current crisis in Latin America is just another proof of the wisdom of this advice!

Latin American Crisis
"Made in the USA"

By Bill Van Auken

. . . One would never guess that Washington had any role in the bloody events on the Colombian-Ecuadoran border. The Bush administration portrays itself-and is largely portrayed by a compliant media-as a selfless champion of democratic values and faithful ally of the people's of the southern hemisphere. . .

The facts, however, tell another, far uglier story. The three Andean nations have been brought to the brink of war by a brutal and cold-blooded political assassination carried out to further the interests of US imperialism at the expense of the Colombian people and the population of the entire region. . . .

This ruthless attack was staged not to ward off some pending terrorist attack. On the contrary, it was designed as a “preemptive strike” against a negotiated release of hostages held by the FARC, among them a former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, who holds joint Colombian-French citizenship and has been held prisoner by the FARC for six years. . . .

In the final analysis, this episode in the “global war on terrorism,” which has brought three South American nations to the brink of armed conflict, is the product of a filthy political murder carried out to defend the strategic and profit interests of US capitalism.

It is a reminder that “Murder, Inc.”—as the CIA became known during the 1960s and 1970s, when it organized numerous assassinations and assassination attempts, along with right-wing coups and dirty wars—is still very much in business in Latin America.

Full story:

$300 Million From Chavez To Farc A Fake
Here's the written evidence

By Greg Palast

This past weekend, Colombia invaded Ecuador, killed a guerrilla chief in the jungle, opened his laptop - and what did the Colombians find? A message to Hugo Chavez that he sent the FARC guerrillas $300 million - which they're using to obtain uranium to make a dirty bomb!

That’s what George Bush tells us, but what is the truth?! . . . .

Can we trust our Presidents-to-be?

The current man in the Oval Office, George Bush, simply can’t help himself: an outlaw invasion by a right-wing death-squad promoter is just fine with him.

But guess who couldn’t wait to parrot the Bush line? Hillary Clinton, still explaining that her vote to invade Iraq was not a vote to invade Iraq, issued a statement nearly identical to Bush’s, blessing the invasion of Ecuador as Colombia’s “right to defend itself.” And she added, “Hugo Chávez must stop these provoking actions.” Huh?

I assumed that Barack Obama wouldn’t jump on this landmine – especially after he was blasted as a foreign policy amateur for suggesting he would invade across Pakistan’s border to hunt terrorists.

It’s embarrassing that Barack repeated Hillary’s line nearly verbatim, announcing, “the Colombian government has every right to defend itself.” . . .

. . . John McCain weighed in with his own idiocies, announcing that, “Hugo Chavez is establish[ing] a dictatorship,” presumably because, unlike George Bush, Chavez counts all the votes in Venezuelan elections.

But now our story gets tricky and icky.

The wise media critic Jeff Cohen told me to watch for the press naming McCain as a foreign policy expert and labeling the Democrats as amateurs. Sure enough, the New York Times, on the news pages Wednesday, called McCain, “a national security pro.”

McCain is the “pro” who said the war in Iraq would cost nearly nothing in lives or treasury dollars.

But, on the Colombian invasion of Ecuador, McCain said, “I hope that tensions will be relaxed, President Chavez will remove those troops from the borders - as well as the Ecuadorians - and relations continue to improve between the two.”

It’s not quite English, but it’s definitely not Bush. And weirdly, it’s definitely not Obama and Clinton cheerleading Colombia’s war on Ecuador.

Democrats, are you listening? The only thing worse than the media attacking Obama and Clinton as amateurs is the Democratic candidates’ frightening desire to prove them right.

Read the TRUE story!:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Old Revolutionaries of Vietnam


Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 4, February 24-March 1, 2008

A fascinating insight into Viet Nam's past and present.
Worth reading it carefully, every word!

War is Hell, But What the Hell Does it Cost?

One Week at War
in Iraq and Afghanistan
for $3.5 Billion

By William D. Hartung

". . .
In a recent interview, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz asserted that the costs of the Iraq war -- budgetary, economic, and societal -- could reach $5 trillion.

. . . In fact, only 10% of it, or under $350 million per week, goes to pay and benefits for uniformed military personnel. That's less than a quarter of the weekly $1.4 billion that goes to war contractors to pay for everything from bullets to bombers. . . Much of that money is being wasted every week on the wrong kinds of equipment at exorbitant prices. . . .

The Pentagon and the State Department don't make a big point -- or really any kind of point -- out of telling us how much we're spending on gun-toting private-contract employees from companies like Blackwater and Triple Canopy, our "shadow army" in Iraq, but we can make an educated guess. For example, at the high end of the scale, individual employees of private military firms make up to 10 times what many U.S. enlisted personnel make, or as much as $7,500 per week. If even one-tenth of the 5,000 to 6,000 armed contract employees in Iraq make that much, we're talking about at least $40 million per week. If the rest make $1,000 a week -- an extremely conservative estimate -- then we have nearly $100 million per week going just to the armed cohort of private-contract employees operating there. . . .

By one reliable estimate, there are more contract employees in Iraq alone -- about 180,000 -- than there are U.S. troops. . . .

So, if $650 million or so a week is spent on people, where does the other nearly $3 billion go? It goes for goods and services, from tanks and fighter planes to fuel and food. Most of this money ends up in the hands of private companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the former Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root. . . . .

. . . it may sound like we have a fair amount of detail about the costs of a week of war. No such luck. Until the "supplemental" costs of war are subjected to the same scrutiny as the regular Pentagon budget, there will continue to be hundreds of millions of dollars unaccounted for each and every week that the wars go on. And there will be all sorts of money for pet projects that have nothing to do with fighting current conflicts. So don't just think of that $3.5 billion per week figure as a given. Think of it as $3.5 billion… and counting.

Doesn't that make you feel safer?

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Patience Is the Best Iran Policy

By Scott Ritter

". . . there is good reason to question whether or not the Security Council action represents the best policy to deal with Iran's nuclear program. . . .

The original reasoning behind the suspension of uranium enrichment was based on the IAEA's inability to establish the scope and purpose of Iran's uranium enrichment programs. The IAEA is now in a position to do so.

There is no longer any viable technical excuse for suspension, and any continued requirements for such must be judged to be political in nature. . . .

The current U.S. policy on Iran, as articulated by the Bush administration, centers its goals on the issue of regime change in Tehran; the nuclear dispute is simply used as a facilitator for isolating Iran economically and politically.

This approach pollutes the credibility of any multilateral solution to the problem of Iran's nuclear enrichment program endorsed by the United States, such as the current suspension demands of the Security Council, while making it virtually impossible for Iran to embrace any meaningful path toward moderation.

This policy suppresses the forces of moderation and reform within the civil and theocratic branches of the Iranian government and can only lead Iran and the U.S. down a path of increased friction and probable conflict.

The next presidential administration should seek to divorce the United States from any policy seen as supporting regime change inside Iran. . . .

The lifting of economic sanctions against Iran would unshackle the forces of moderation inside that nation. Given the technical and economic shortfalls inherent in the Iranian nuclear program, there is every reason to believe that Iran would gravitate toward policies that make sense economically, such as the current offers of co-enrichment and international support put forward by both Russia and the European Union.

Time, in this case, is an asset, not an enemy. Even Israel, a staunch opponent of Iran's nuclear program, concurs that Iran is years away from having a nuclear weapon.

The next president of the United States must have both the courage and the leadership to forge a new policy direction with Iran, and the patience and fortitude to allow such a policy to bear fruit.

Scott Ritter

is a former UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq

and the author of

Target Iran: The Truth Behind the White House's Plans for Regime Change (Nation Books, 2006).

To read the complete story:

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