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Bonaparte Blair & Co

November 4th, 2009

by Gilad Atzmon

Gordon Brown urged European Socialist leaders last week to appoint Tony Blair as the European President. “Get real”, he told them, “This is a unique opportunity to get a strong progressive politician to be the president.”

Brown is obviously correct, nothing could be more refreshing, innovative ‘real’ and ‘progressive’ than assigning the job to a man who has more blood on his hands than any other person in Europe. It may also be right to argue that there is just one living person on this planet with more blood on his hands than Blair. That man dwells in Texas, his name is George and actually unlike our Bonaparte figure, he keeps relatively quiet. Unlike George, our Boney is craving for recognition, he cannot live without a crown or an official title. Someone should remind Boney that he already made it into history, he can really take a break. With more than one million fatalities in Iraq, he is not far behind Hitler and Stalin.

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Speech of Malalai Joya: No nation can liberate another

November 4th, 2009

Malalai Joya

The worst massacre in Afghanistan from September 11 to now happened during the presidency of Obama.

Malalai Joya is known around the world as a courageous opponent of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the corrupt regime presided over by President Hamid Karzai--and the Taliban and other conservative Islamist forces battling U.S. and Afghan government troops.

An uncompromising fighter for women's rights, Joya was elected to parliament in 2005, where she denounced the presence of representatives who she called "warlords" and "war criminals." In 2007, she was suspended on the grounds that she had "insulted" fellow members. An international solidarity campaign has rallied support for her.

Joya has been the target of assassination attempts and must travel in Afghanistan with armed bodyguards, wearing a burqa as a disguise. She has written a new book about her life, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.

As the first stop on a speaking tour of the U.S., Malalai Joya was the featured speaker on a panel discussion at the Northeast Socialist Conference in New York City on October 23. Introducing her were several American opponents of the U.S. war on Afghanistan, including Iraq Veterans Against the War member Mathis Chiroux. Here, we print edited excerpts from Joya's speech.

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Wall Street money rains on Schumer

November 4th, 2009

Victoria McGrane & Lisa Lerer

Wall Street has showered nearly $11 million on the Senate since the beginning of the year, and more than 15 percent of it has gone to a single senator: Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.

Schumer’s $1.65 million take from the financial services industry is nearly twice that of any other senator's — and more than five times what the industry gave to any single Republican senator.

While the industry has scaled back its political spending in the wake of last year’s economic collapse, data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that it’s still investing heavily in the Senate, where it’s likely to have its best shot at stopping — or at least shaping — the crackdown on Wall Street that President Barack Obama has proposed.

And it’s clearly looking to Democrats to do it. ―Of the $10.6 million the industry has given to sitting senators this year, more than $7.7 million has gone to Democrats. Schumer got his $1.65 million; his New York colleague Kirsten Gillibrand took in $886,000; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada received $814,000; Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut scored $603,000; Colorado freshman Michael Bennet got $401,000; and Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas— who will have a big say on the derivatives portion of regulatory reform — got $336,000.

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House Resolution Designates Venezuela a State Sponsor of Terrorism

November 4th, 2009

by Stephen Lendman

At a time of growing US poverty, hunger, homelessness, and despair, imperial wars without end, and the Obama administration even worse than its predecessor, Venezuela:

-- is a model participatory democracy;

-- holds free, fair and open elections;

-- respects the rule of law, civil liberties, and human rights;

-- doesn't intimidate its neighbors;

-- uses its resources responsibly for the people;

-- provides essential social services for the needy;

-- champions judicial fairness and the rule of law;

-- has a model free and open media;

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How Foreign Lobbies and Elites 'Bought' the US

November 4th, 2009

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

FASCISM is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology defined by a corporatist economic ideology enforced by a dictatorial regime which, in turn, is supported by a symbiotic business/corporate community.

In pre-war Germany, Hitler held a meeting with his corporate backers. He cut them all a 'deal' and, in turn, was rewarded with their enduring support and they by his LUCRATIVE DEFENSE CONTRACTS. It was I.G. Farben which manufactured Zyklon 'B' used to murder Jews, gypsies and non-Nazis in concentrations camps.

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Hamas: don't allow sham elections to take place

November 4th, 2009

By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

Anyone listening to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas these days would think the man is a paragon of democracy and liberty. Abbas, who has remained at the helm of the PA despite the expiration of his term in office, has been exhorting Palestinians to prepare for "presidential and legislative elections" which he called a "constitutional imperative."

However, a deeper look into Abbas's behaviors at home shows that the PA Chairman is not really interested in holding true, free and honest elections. After all, actions speak louder than words. Today, Abbas is presiding over a ruthless despotic regime where the level of repression is unprecedented since the start of the Israeli Occupation in 1967.

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CONGRESS'S LATEST DISGRACE - Religionists vs. UN Gaza report

November 4th, 2009

Re-reported, edited by Carolyn Bennett

Ros-Lehtinen, Berman, Burton, Ackerman - time to rein in this team of four - now, or November 2010

The Goldstone report concluded that, "while the Israeli Government sought to portray its operations as a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self-defense, the Israeli plan had been directed, at least in part, at the people of Gaza as a whole." The report pointed to the "treatment of many civilians (detained or killed while trying to surrender) as one manifestation that effective rules of engagement, standard operating procedures, instructions to the troops on the ground" had created "an environment in which regard for civilian lives and basic human dignity had been replaced with a disregard for basic international humanitarian law."

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One Flu Over the Ukraine's Nest

November 3rd, 2009

by Edgar J. Steele

What moves me today? It appears that the massive biological pandemic that I have forecast for many years, most recently specifying this Fall (that's right now, folks), has arrived in the break-away Soviet republic of Ukraine over the past week. You say you haven't heard about it yet? You will. There has been no news coverage in the West so far, so near as I can tell, but this story is too big and moving too fast to cover up much longer. I have seen a number of Internet postings on the Ukrainian epidemic and, even, a few UTube videos already. I have heard the story developing since last week from correspondents of mine in Ukraine who have been witnessing things first hand. School and public offices have all been closed. President Yuschenko has declared a state of emergency and issued a plea for international help. Reports of up to 3,000 deaths (unconfirmed) already are leaking out.

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Tortured in far-off Countries: Obama Resuming G. W. Bush's "Extraordinary Renditions"

November 3rd, 2009

Sherwood Ross

[Photo: German-Lebanese renditions victim Khaled el-Masri, who plans to sue the government in Berlin to force it to issue extradition orders against 13 American intelligence agents involved in his alleged kidnapping.]

Even though Barack Obama, the candidate, pledged to end “the practice of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries,” his FBI has been rendering kidnap victims to the U.S. The practice is still kidnapping, however; and it’s still illegal.

Unlucky victim No. 1 was Raymond Azar, 45, flown from Afghanistan to Alexandria, Va., not to a foreign country. The construction manager for Sima International, a Lebanese outfit that did work for the U.S. military, Azar said he was tortured by his abductors. He might just as well have been flow to Egypt under the Bushies.

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Reflections on Michael Moore’s Capitalism

November 3rd, 2009

Jim Miles

The thrift in me allowed me to wait until Michael Moore’s “Capitalism - A Love Story” came out on second run theatres - it was well worth the wait. The powerful effect that Moore has on his audience derives from the personal stories he relates combined with a sense of humour that highlights the bizarre nature of our capitalist society. The stories of the evictions, the factory shutdowns, the “Dead Peasants”, and the visuals of corporate towers juxtaposed against abandoned and rotting houses gives a powerful visceral message to the viewer. The statistical information flipped past the viewer in a matter of seconds, all that was needed to underline the numbers behind the emotional reality of unemployment without much of a future.

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