The Friends of California Libre...

11 November 2006

Today Is Your Armistice from the War on Terror

Greetings, friends,
Let me apologize first...some of the illustrations in the last screed seem to have been "coopted" by the photos of Bebe and Julieta Venegas...well, that's girl power for you.

Last weekend I drove up to the Bay Area for one night, paying a visit to my friends hidden in the Santa Cruz Mountains and then the lovely municipal offices of the city of San Jose...sophisticated at that. It was one of those warm fall days, perfect for hard driving. The first time we did it, in the Seventies, it was a long boring trip...now only 50 miles separate the great metropolitan sprawl of California's urban centers; clusters of new houses, like beehives or moss on trees, cling to the north side of King City and the south side of Paso Robles, leaving only the upper reaches of the Salinas River still unpopulated by hoards of Californians. On the way up I stopped to pay an homage to Edie Sedgwick, buried next to her mother in the tiny town of Ballard, which to my surprise had transformed from hicks in the sticks to million-dollar homes shoe-horned between new vineyards...some blatantly advertising "AS SEEN IN 'SIDEWAYS'". If only I'd known, I would have boycotted that movie...Santa Ynez is now absolutely fabulous, and like so much of the state, the rednecks eating lunch with their hunting knives are being pushed out by shabby chic couples fresh from selling their mansion in the OC. If any of you are still dreaming of your shack in a shithole by the sea, you will have to look north of Mendocino...I'll bet Fort Bragg ain't been gentrified yet.

Edie Sedgwick's grave was nicely decorated for Halloween, and sadly we get to do the same for Jack Palance:
Oscar-winner Jack Palance dies at 87
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061111/ts_nm/palance_dc_4

Although they keep dredging up "City Slickers", my personal memories of Jack will always revolve around his performance in "Justine" ("And so our quest goes on...and on and on and on and on!") and "Craze" ("You little fool! I remember when you were in Hyde Park blowing the queens!")

Anyway, my trip to the "liberal" Bay Area was truly an omen:
Democrats Sweep US Congress in Election Triumph
Agence France-Presse
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110906L.shtml
Democrats Oust GOP in Governing Six States
By Kirk Johnson
The New York Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110806O.shtml
End of the Neo-Cons
By David Olive
The Toronto Star
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110606J.shtml

Yes, friends, after 6 years of the mad Christians gone amok, even most of the Bible-thumpers realized that their "friends" in the Republican Party were really a bunch of buggering, kiddie porn lovin' greed freaks, and sat this election out while good freedom lovin' Americans cooked George W. Bush a turkey made out of shit for Thanksgiving. He reacted, predictably, by chopping off his right hand:
Bush Says Rumsfeld Stepping Down
NBC, MSNBC and news services
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110806X.shtml

The hilarious thing is that Bush had decided to fire Rumsfeld BEFORE the election, which had he actually announced it might have reduced his party's calamitous losses. But he truly is a moron of an epic scale. Instead he makes himself look even weaker in the face of tepid Democratic control. For 2008 we're going to push a Constitutional amendment to have the candidates take an IQ test...and watch our Fed government crumble. In the meantime, the idiots remain in charge and the globe is in peril.
Dead N.C. candidate easily wins election
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061111/ap_on_fe_st/dead_candidate
Dead woman wins election in US
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061108/
od_afp/usvoteoffbeat_061108233829

Wiser people than me have noted that the "October Surprise" this year, giving Saddam Hussein the noose, could actually be applied to all of his "enablers" in the US:
Rumsfeld and Hussein: Partners in Crime
By David Swanson
t r u t h o u t Perspective
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110606E.shtml
War Crimes Suit Prepared Against Rumsfeld
Democracy Now!
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111006O.shtml

As Bill Maher noted, when the Germans accuse you of war crimes, they speak with authority and experience. Rummy better watch out.

A whole slew of our favorite creeps is now on the ropes; my favorite is Richard Pombo, the only Republican we removed in California, who richly earned his reward:
http://saynotopombo.blogspot.com/

We also may not see much of Captain Kangaroo pretty soon:
Bolton May Not Return as UN Envoy
By Dafna Linzer
The Washington Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111006A.shtml
** Ambassador Bolton 'next casualty' **
John Bolton, the controversial US ambassador to the UN, may be the second casualty of the Republicans' mid-term defeat.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/americas/6134734.stm >

Like I wrote earlier, the Christians sat this one out; in 2004 they were getting out the vote, but for the last week their primary television network, TBN, has been doing a "Praise-a-thon" to raise dough. Who are they going to spend it on now? Religious Democrats? Why not, at least they aren't picking up on methhead street hustlers or underage Congressional pages. They passed all the anti-gay marriage amendments they wanted, except in Arizona (more Libertarian than Christian right); Arizona also kicked out Republicans in the urban congressional districts of Phoenix and Tucson, which gives this legacy Arizonan and his dead relatives some smug satisfaction.
Evangelical Haggard Claims He Was Molested By Republican Congressman

On other issues, the Christians found little traction:
Ballot Measure Losses Jolt the Religious Right
MSNBC
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110906P.shtml
South Dakotans Reject Tough Abortion Ban
By David Crary
The Associated Press
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110806Q.shtml

Remember, friends, this is just Chapter One in your First Day in Heaven. 1992 it's not, and we're still deeply enmeshed in an unprecedented massacre, not so much a "war on terror" as a war OF terror:
62,006 - The Number Killed in the "War on Terror"
By David Randall and Emily Gosden
The Independent UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091006A.shtml
Study Claims Iraq's "Excess" Death Toll Has Reached 655,000
By David Brown
The Washington Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/101106L.shtml

The rat bastards, to my amazement, challenge the numbers but not the fact that they have fucked the US and Iraq in the name of their revenge and their greed!
Bush Accepts Iraq-Vietnam War Comparison
By Mark Tran
Guardian Unlimited UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/101906B.shtml
Bush Cites Oil As Reason to Stay in Iraq
By Peter Baker
The Washington Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110506Z.shtml

But like the Japanese at Iwo Jima, the Republicans are going to hole up in a cave and let the whole country get obliterate, NO MATTER WHAT, nyah nyah:
Rice: Democrats Won't End Iraq Mission
By William C. Mann
The Associated Press
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111006B.shtml

The elections and the truth, tsk, are against them:
We've lost battle for Baghdad, US admits
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1926809,00.html
-------
President concedes war may be at turning point; Mounting death toll brings comparison with Vietnam
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
The Guardian
A day after George Bush conceded for the first time that America may have reached the equivalent of a Tet offensive in Iraq, the Pentagon yesterday admitted defeat in its strategy of securing Baghdad.
General Concedes Failure in Baghdad
By Anna Badkhen
The San Francisco Chronicle
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102006E.shtml

And not a cheap fuck-up, either...for comparison, Vietnam cost between $200 and 500 billion, about $600 to 1,500 billion in year 2000 bucks. World War II cost about $2.1 trillion...that means we are going to pay the SAME AMOUNT we used to defeat two industrial giants, the Germans and the Japanese, and STILL LOSE:
Iraq War Will Cost More Than $2 Trillion
By Linda Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz
The Milken Institute Review
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110506A.shtml

Now that they've won, the Democrats are starting to say the unsayable; the foreign policy wonk, Senator Biden of Delaware, proposes the obvious; to return Iraq to it's pre-British state, in other words, three states:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6166796

Here's a voice from the past:
The Way Out of War: A Blueprint for Leaving Iraq Now
By George S. McGovern and William R. Polk
Harper's Magazine
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110906C.shtml

Either way, voluntarily or in a body bag, all Americans are coming home from Iraq, and tourism won't be safe for us until the 22nd century. C'est la vie, at least the Iraqis think it's funny:
An Iraqi television show,
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/24/news/comedy.php

Our pals in Israel are also beating the dead horse of their military policies, fighting terror with terror:
IDF Commander: We fired More Than a Million Cluster Bombs in Lebanon
By Meron Rappaport
Haaretz.com
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091206C.shtml
Israel Admits Phosphorous Bombs Used in Lebanon
By Helen McCormack
The Independent UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102306C.shtml

But shhh:
Don't mention the war: Israel seeks image makeover
"After decades of battling to win foreign support for its two-fisted policies against Arab foes, Israel is trying a new approach with a campaign aimed at creating a less warlike and more welcoming national image."
http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/
10/26/dont_mention_the_war_israel_seeks_image_makeover?p1=email_to_a_friend

Oops:
Hamas Chief: Truce With Israel Is Over
By Ibrahim Barzak
The Associated Press
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110806G.shtml

Yep, even the weasels think the War on Terror is just about a draw:
"Arrogant" US Has Failed, Says Spin Doctor
By Jonathan Steele
The Guardian UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102306N.shtml

And now comes the real war, the war between countries who just realized that the US doesn't really have much of an army any more:
The World Enters the Dangerous Era of American Impotence
By Renaud Girard
Le Figaro
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102506H.shtml
Pentagon Gives Gloomy Iraq Report
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090106S.shtml
Sectarian violence is spreading in Iraq and the security problems have become more complex than at any time since the US invasion in 2003, the Pentagon said Friday.
Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat
By Mark Mazzetti
The New York Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092406Z.shtml

Maybe in Colombia the girls can stop their boyfriends from killing each other, like the Lysistrata:
Colombian Gangsters Face Sex Ban
BBC News
http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/091406WA.shtml

But that ain't gonna work in a theocratic nightmare:
Deal on a Constitution for Iraq Is Teetering
By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Abdul Razzaq Al-Saiedi
The New York Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091106L.shtml
I No Longer Have Power to Save Iraq from Civil War, Warns Shia Leader
By Gethin Chamberlain and Aqeel Hussein
The Telegraph UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090306B.shtml

Regardless of the nonsense:
Bush: Iraq Has Not Fallen Into Civil War
The Associated Press
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090206A.shtml
to access the sent link:
A Drunk Driving a Hummer a Mile Wide by Bill Bonner*

Senator Biden has the right idea, and we can show some intelligence by helping the UN correct the bad decisions made after World War I:
Iraqi Parliament to Debate Federal Break-Up
By Jay Deshmukh
Agence France-Presse
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090506C.shtml
Shiites Push Laws to Define How to Divide Iraqi Regions
By Richard A. Opple Jr.
The New York Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090706M.shtml

Autonomy is the name of the game:
Most Iraqis Favor Immediate US Pullout, Polls Show
By Amit R. Paley
The Washington Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092706S.shtml
Poll: Iraqis Back Attacks on US Troops
By Barry Schweid
The Associated Press
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092806C.shtml

That's the lesson of the 21st century; you can't keep them down (forever). Someday there WILL be a Kurdistan, regardless of Iran or Turkey; there WILL be a Chechnya, a unified Ireland, a Basque nation, a Catalunya, a Kashmir. Even the great United Kingdom is fractioning along its ancient borders into England, Wales and Scotland. Wherever colonial borders survive, like the Middle East and Africa, there is strife and it will continue until the borders are drawn around like peoples.

The real causes for the Iraq War and many to come are much more ancient than even national borders:
The 10 Most Brazen War Profiteers
By Charlie Cray
AlterNet
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090506I.shtml

Yeah, all that money. Where did that $2 trillion go? In World War II it built infrastructure across the globe, hundreds of ships, thousands of tanks, millions of guns. Dozens of cities were completely destroyed. In the Iraq War, that $2 trillion went straight back to the United States, into somebody's bank account.

The other motivation was revenge, and those two motives could still give us another war by 2008, if the Democrats aren't wary:
The Bushes and the Truth About Iran
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092106J.shtml
Bush War III: Going to War to Save His Own Ass
By Dave Lindorff
t r u t h o u t Perspective
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092706B.shtml
Bush's Failed Policy of Kill, Kill, Kill
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/100606L.shtml
The March to War: Naval Build-Up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/100406B.shtml
Men allegedly get revenge on ostrich
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061110/ap_on_fe_st/ostrich_killing

But now even the most loyal cadres of our crippled military are crying uncle:
CIA "Refused to Operate" Secret Jails
By Guy Dinmore
Financial Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092106A.shtml
Revolt of the Generals
By Richard J. Whalen
The Nation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/093006X.shtml
Troops Polled Say Armed Forces Stretched Too Thin Overseas
By Jerome L. Sherman
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/100506D.shtml

And before the new 110th Congress convenes on 3 January 2007, expect plenty of shenanigans:
Bush Seeks Retroactive Immunity for Violating War Crimes Act
By Elizabeth Holtzman
The Chicago Sun-Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092706J.shtml
House OKs Expanded Wiretap Program
By Richard B. Schmitt
The Los Angeles Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092906S.shtml
A tyrannical antiterror law
The New York Times
In the name of fighting terrorism, U.S. Congress is set to pass a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in the American democracy.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/28/opinion/edterror.php
Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill
By Chris Floyd, TO UK Correspondent
t r u t h o u t Perspective
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/100206A.shtml

Our most liberal traditions have been seriously eroded since 1994:
Sentimental Education: Academia Signs Up to Track Down Dissent
By Chris Floyd, TO UK Correspondent
t r u t h o u t Report
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/101706A.shtml

And beyond the loss of an effective military, our international standing is near zero:
President Carter: Bush Has Brought US "International Disgrace"
The Associated Press
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092906T.shtml
Umberto Eco : "Nous payons toujours aujourd'hui l'effondrement de l'empire soviƩtique"
http://www.lefigaro.fr/debats/20060925.FIG000000130_
umberto_eco_nous_payons_toujours_aujourd_hui_l_
effondrement_de_l_empire_ sovietique.html?224238

No, now more than ever, the answers to world crises will emerge from Europe:
Subject: Europeans force in middle east
You can access it at the following url:
http://www.newropeans-magazine.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4491&Itemid=110

The Europeans have, after all, been fighting the real "war on terror" since the 1920s:

Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961-2003: A Brief Chronology

Brief summaries of assassinations, kidnappings, hostage abductions, hijackings, bombings, and other terrorist events around the world from 1961-2003. "This document ... is not intended to be a complete or comprehensive account of all terrorist incidents during these years, and it is not an official expression of U.S. policy." From the U.S. Department of the State, Office of the Historian.

Drunken elk terrorises Swedish schoolchildren
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061110/od_uk_nm/
oukoe_uk_sweden_elk

And a real war for the soul of a real nation is still being fought, mostly by European troops:
Troops Will Be in Afghanistan for Next 20 Years, Says Commander
By Kim Sengupta
The Independent UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/101806N.shtml
Afghanistan: "Taliban Taking Over"
By Sanjay Suri
Inter Press Service
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090706O.shtml
Afghanistan's Opium Production Jumps by Nearly 50 Percent: UN
Agence France-Presse
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090206E.shtml
Take UK troops out of Iraq, senior military told ministers
Army chiefs wanted to move forces to Afghanistan but were prevented for political reasons
Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian
Senior military officers have been pressing the government to withdraw British troops from Iraq and concentrate on what they now regard as a more worthwhile and winnable battleground in Afghanistan.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1883784,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1
-------

We have a lot of "terror" up ahead; corporate terrorism:
The Case Against Coke
By Michael Blanding
The Nation
http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/042006LB.shtml

Resource terrorism:
Environment and Terrorism: A New Report (September 2001) A Message from
Peter H. Gleick, President
An examination of environmental terrorism requires understanding motivations, identifying vulnerabilities and risks, and working on effective solutions. At a time when populations all over the world are increasing, the existing resource base (water, energy, soils, and more) is being stretched to provide for more people, and is being consumed at a faster rate. As the value and vulnerability of these resources increases, so does their attractiveness as terrorist targets.
URL: http://www.pacinst.org/reports/environment_and_terrorism/

And, natch, domestic terrorism; remember, as we learned in Oklahoma City, we Americans are pretty good at killing each other:

Columbine Documents Index

Index and full text of primary documents (writings, diagrams, and drawings) by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as released in July 2006 and related to the Columbine High School, Colorado, shootings of April 1999. The file containing close to a thousand pages of documents may be slow to download. Includes archives of news coverage (from 1999 to 2001) of the tragedy and aftermath of the shootings. From the website of the Denver Post.

Vive le screed!

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