The Friends of California Libre...

25 August 2004

Blow Up Your Volvo and Kiss the Middle East Goodbye

Greetings, friends,
Fortunately, I am pleased to report to my comrades from Berkeley that the Micah Garen recently taken captive (and released) in Iraq is indeed the same Micah who lived with us in Barrington Hall. There was not enough time to ask you to do whatever your faith or religion permits to pray for his safe return...he was released safely earlier this week. Some of you may have known Micah better than I (I just remember the money he printed up with his face on it) and I would encourage you to visit their website and offer support:

This is an interesting article which says much about the work Micah is doing in Iraq, and how the citizens there took it:
Sadr Aides Appeal for Release of Journalist
By John J. Goldman The Los Angeles Times
Micah Garen, who was kidnapped in Iraq, was recording the looting and recovery of artifacts.

Meanwhile, the opposition to this conflict, no matter how it ends (because everything ends for the best, right?) continues... Here's an indictment of the US (and others) for war crimes by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, which will be publicly read tomorrow (Thursday) near Columbus Circle (thanks, Dana and Aunt Nona):

Still, I'm starting to suffer from the dreaded "burn-out"...much as I'm intrigued by the idea of someday visiting the historic ruins and modern cities of Egypt, Libya, Israel, Arabia, the Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, I'm asking the question yet again...why can't we just let these people sort out their own problems? They're not unsophisticated; they maintained what passed for civilization for hundreds of years while Europe festered in the Dark Ages. Can't we just kiss the whole Middle East goodbye for a while?

Their wonderful respect for freedom of speech:
Kuwait Bans 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
By Diana EliasThe Associated Press

Treatment of prisoners:
Ordered to Just Walk Away By Mike Francis The Oregonian
Baghdad - The national guardsman peering through the long-range scope of his rifle was startled by what he saw unfolding in the walled compound below.

But our insatiable need for that black, sticky goop is pushing us...and I mean ALL of us, unless you've gotten rid of your car and cut your electrical lines...into bed with the most brutal dictatorships left on Planet Earth:
Oil Driving U.S. Move On Sudan By Kibisu Kabatesi All Africa, Nairobi

And, my European friends, this ball is not just in our court, but yours as well:
The Forgotten Crisis
By Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.

Still, we need to pay attention to the crises before they start...and Kurdistan is the next one...the Turks (our allies) won't sit idly by if this happens:
There Will Be a Kurdistan!
By Chris Kutschera Le Nouvel Observateur Hébdomadaire
"We've accepted a roadmap."

I can guarantee that the other Iraqis, or what's left of them, will be happy to see us go:
Iraqi Footballers' Fury at Bush BBC

And if George W. Bush is reelected, you WILL see us probe for weakness against the most heavily-armed, most anti-American (in government) and most pro-American (in citizens) nation in the Middle East:
Headline: Unease builds with rise of Iran
Date: August 4, 2004
"WASHINGTON -- Before the US military marched to Baghdad to take out Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqi and Iranian exiles warned the US government of an unintended consequence the coming war in Iraq couldbring: the rise of Iran."
U.S. Unease Grows as Iraqi Chaos Bolsters Iranian Position
By Farah Stockman The Boston Globe

A nuclear conflict could be just around the bend:
Report: Israel ready for pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facility
Check this! CFR warns israel not to bomb iran
Somebody has just sent you the following article from The Forward:
U.S. Fears Israeli Strike Against Iran
By Ori Nir
WASHINGTON With Iran warning that it will "overthrow the entire Zionist entity" if Israel strikes its nuclear facilities, American officials are seeking assurances that Jerusalem has no plans to launch a unilateral strike, the Forward has learned.

Recently a Bush administration official who deals with security affairs told the Forward that the administration is trying to obtain information regarding Israel's intentions. Israeli sources said that the administration is seeking assurances that Jerusalem will not act unilaterally against Iran. It is not clear if such assurances have in fact been given to the administration.

and: - U.S. Grants Protection for Anti-Tehran Group in Iraq
U.S. Sees No Basis to Prosecute Iranian Opposition 'Terror' Group Being Held in Iraq
By Douglas Jehl The New York Times
Click here to read this story online:
Headline: Reporters on the Job*
You're Where? Staff writer Scott Peterson first ran into the Iranian rebels, the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO), in Baghdad in 1996, when they used to hang around the press center.The MKO still makes contact with Scott from time to time. The most memorable, he says, was after the Monitor published a lengthy story late last year, that included detailed interviews with former MKO operatives in Tehran.

PREPARE for the future, my friends, because it is pressing upon you:
World Creeping Closer to 'Oil Shock' By David Olive Toronto Star, Canada
Energy crisis could loom, experts say. Politics, corporate moves are factors.

And finally, something completely different:
Red Sprites and Blue Jets
This site is primarily a description of the University of Alaska research "into middle and upper atmospheric optical and electrical phenomena." It provides a description and images of red sprites and blue jets ("upper atmospheric optical phenomena associated with thunderstorms that have only recently been documented using low light level television technology"), a bibliography, and links to related information. From a professor of physics at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Vive le screed!

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