Radical media, politics and culture.


OlekNetzer writes:

"Real Causes of War Discovered"

Olek Netzer

In July 1970, on the Syrian front, the army ambulance I navigated to a UN outpost was hit and all my companions were torn to pieces. Traumatized, I could not erase the sensory experience of those moments from my inner vision, as if it were happening in the present and projected on my mind's screen again and again. I wanted to get over it, but I became convinced — perhaps obsessed — by the thought that I would not be able to go on living without coming to understand, but really understand, why it had happened.

"Doomsday Approaches:

The End of the Housing Bubble"

Mike Whitney, Counterpunch

I sold my home three weeks ago anticipating what I believe will be "Economic Armageddon" in the United States. It wasn't an easy thing to do. My wife and I have lived in the same home for 25 years, raised both of our children there, and owned the property outright without any loans or mortgage. The house was paid for in "sweat-equity", that is, by wielding a shovel day-in and day-out in my one-man landscape business. I don't say that for sympathy, but to illustrate that we played by the rules, worked hard, paid our taxes, and took advantage of the American dream of home-ownership.

All that has changed.

"Bards of the Powerful"

George Monbiot, London Guardian

Far from challenging the G8's role in Africa's poverty,
Geldof and Bono are legitimising its power.

"Hackers bombard financial networks", the Financial Times reported on Thursday. Government departments and businesses "have been bombarded with a sophisticated electronic attack for several months". It is being organised by an Asian criminal network, and is "aimed at stealing commercially and economically sensitive information". By Thursday afternoon, the story had mutated. "G8 hackers target banks and ministries", said the headline in the Evening Standard. Their purpose was "to cripple the systems as a protest before the G8 summit". The Standard advanced no evidence to justify this metamorphosis.

This is just one instance of the reams of twaddle about the dark designs of the G8 protesters codded up by the corporate press. That the same stories have been told about almost every impending public protest planned in the past thirty years and that they have invariably fallen apart under examination appears to present no impediment to their repetition. The real danger at the G8 summit is not that the protests will turn violent — the appetite for that pretty well disappeared in September 2001 — but that they will be far too polite.

Let me be more precise. The danger is that we will follow the agenda set by Bono and Bob Geldof.

"James Weinstein, 1926–2005:

Wealthy US Publisher With a Socialist Dream"

Godfrey Hodgson, London Guardian

The wealthy New York socialist, journalist and publisher James
Weinstein, who has died of brain cancer at the age of 78, was a
maverick of the American left, who liked to call himself a
"Groucho Marxist". Once a communist, he left the party in 1956,
dis-illusioned with the atrocities of Stalinism, and campaigned
for a new American socialism which he saw as returning to the
country's radical tradition that had been forced into a "long
detour" by the 1917 Russian revolution.

"US War With Iran Has Already Begun"

Scott Ritter, Al Jazeera

Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.

On 16 October 2002, President Bush told the American people that "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope that the use of force will not become necessary."

We know now that this statement was itself a lie, that the president, by late August 2002, had, in fact, signed off on the 'execute' orders authorising the US military to begin active military operations inside Iraq, and that these orders were being implemented as early as September 2002, when the US Air Force, assisted by the British Royal Air Force, began expanding its bombardment of targets inside and outside the so-called no-fly zone in Iraq.

These operations were designed to degrade Iraqi air defence and command and control capabilities. They also paved the way for the insertion of US Special Operations units, who were conducting strategic reconnaissance, and later direct action, operations against specific targets inside Iraq, prior to the 19 March 2003 commencement of hostilities.

President Bush had signed a covert finding in late spring 2002, which authorised the CIA and US Special Operations forces to dispatch clandestine units into Iraq for the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

The fact is that the Iraq war had begun by the beginning of summer 2002, if not earlier.

The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence gathering phase.

Mexico's Zapatista Rebels Put Forces On Alert

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (Reuters) — Mexico's Zapatista rebel
group, which emerged in 1994 to fight for Indian rights but has been quiet
in recent years, put its forces on alert but it was unclear what prompted
the action.
The Zapatistas, known by the Spanish-language acronym EZLN, said in a
statement on Monday they were grouping their fighters, closing down their
radio station and pulling out of villages they control.

They did not give a reason for the moves in the southern state of Chiapas
but the Defense Ministry said in a statement it had sent troops into
rebel-held territory last week and destroyed 44 marijuana plantations there.

The last time the group declared a similar "red alert" was in 1997 after
paramilitary forces killed 45 people in the village of Acteal.

Alvaro Cunhal, 91:

Led Communist Opposition to Portuguese Dictatorships

Associated Press

Alvaro Cunhal, who led Portugal's Communist Party for half a century and
became a national hero after the overthrow of the country's dictatorship,
died Monday, the party said. He was 91.

On US Troops to Haiti

Bill Fletcher, Jr.,TransAfrica Forum

Recent discussions about the pros and cons of a potential deployment of US
troops to Haiti, particularly given the support for such a movement by
so-called Interim (puppet) Prime Minister Latortue, ignore an important point:
had the opposition to democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide
not been in such a hurry to embrace undemocratic means to unseat him, Haiti
would not be looking at the disaster that it is now becoming.

Not only does the Latortue clique and the military thugs who directly overthrew
Aristide bear blame in the current situation, but so does the Bush
administration, a point that TransAfrica Forum and other friends of Haiti have
been making since the February 29, 2004 coup took place.

"Ethiopia Arrests Opposition Members After Clashes"

Katie Nguyen

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) — Ethiopian security forces rounded up some opposition members on Thursday, a day after police and troops fired into crowds killing at least 26 people in an explosion of violence sparked by election protests.

The main opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), which the government accused of inciting the protesters, said 14 members had been arrested since Wednesday's clashes, the worst bloodshed in the capital Addis Ababa in four years.

One CUD leader was also under house arrest, it said.

"Their aim is to destroy any meaningful opposition," CUD deputy chairman Berhanu Nega told Reuters.

With Addis Ababa residents still in shock over Wednesday's violence, troops patrolled deserted streets and most shops remained shut. Blue cabs that usually clog the capital's streets were nowhere to be seen on the second day of a taxi strike.

Organize for Patriotic Sunset,

New York City, June 15, 2005

The New York City Bill of Rights Defense Campaign and 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows invite you to a:

Patriot Act Organizing Meeting

Wednesday, June 15 at 6:30 PM

125 Broad St, 17th Floor

At the end of this year, sixteen sections of the Patriot Act are due to expire, or "sunset," unless Congress acts to reauthorize or expand those sections. Join the New York City Bill of Rights Defense Campaign and 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows for a meeting on stopping the expansion of the Patriot Act.

Get involved in this important civil liberties struggle!

On Wednesday, June 15 at 6:30pm we will meet to brainstorm new ideas for educating the public, the media and lawmakers about the Patriot Act. We will also discuss how to use the debate on the Patriot Act's sunsetting sections to bring attention not only to the provisions that expire, but also to the many permanent sections in the Patriot Act, as well as to other national security measures that have needlessly violated our rights and liberties.

If you are concerned about the Patriot Act's impact on our freedoms, this organizing meeting will provide you with concrete ways to impact the national debate on civil liberties and national security.

To RSVP for the meeting, send an email to
info@nycbordc.org or call 212.344.3005 x268.

For more information about the Patriot Act sunsets, log onto www.nycbordc.org

See you on the 15th!

Udi Ofer

Project Director,
Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

New York Civil Liberties Union

Directions to 125 Broad St: 1 to South Ferry; 4/5 to Bowling Green; R/W to Whitehall St; J/M/Z to Broad St; 2/3 to Wall St.


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