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Archive for May 2nd, 2009

“O.I.L.” August 19, 2007

In a television interview with Tucker Carlson on MSNBC, McGovern said: “I‘ve been using the acronym O.I.L. for many — for two years now: O for oil; I for Israel; and L for logistics, logistics being the permanent — now we say “enduring” — military bases that the U.S. wants to keep in Iraq.”

McGovern testified at a Democratic National Headquarters forum in 2005 that had been convened by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) of the House Judiciary Committee on the Downing Street Memo.

The Washington Post reported that, in his testimony, McGovern “declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration ‘neocons’ so ‘the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world.’ He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. ‘Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation,’ McGovern said. Genuine criticism of official Israeli policy is often portrayed as if it were anti-Semite bigotry: ‘The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.’”

McGovern described the incident with former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey in an article in CounterPunch:

I thought of the debate I had on Iraq with arch-neoconservative and former CIA Director James Woolsey on PBS’ Charlie Rose Show on August 20, when I broke the taboo on mentioning Israel and was immediately branded “anti-Semitic” by Woolsey. Reflecting later on his accusation, it seemed almost OK since it was so blatantly ad hominem. And his attack was all the more transparent, coming from the self-described “anchor of the Presbyterian wing of JINSA” — the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a strong advocate of war to eliminate all perceived enemies of Israel — like Iraq.

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Steele: Americans don’t trust the GOP because we were ‘getting high’ ‘drinking that Potomac River water.’

Think Progress-  By Amanda Terkel at 12:54 pm

Yesterday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele spoke to his party faithful in LaCrosse, WI. Steele tried to claim that moderates were welcome to his “big table” party, but said that in order to join him for dinner, they had to first silence their own opinions and agree with him and other far-right Republicans:

All you moderates out there, y’all come. I mean, that’s the message,” Steele said at a news conference. “The message of this party is this is a big table for everyone to have a seat. I have a place setting with your name on the front.

Understand that when you come into someone’s house, you’re not looking to change it. You come in because that’s the place you want to be.

Steele also talked about why the GOP had fallen out of favor with the American public. It’s not that the country is “less conservative,” he said. “It’s that our credibility with them is shot. It’s that we left them along the side of the road on our way to drinking that Potomac River water, getting high on power and influence and forgetting how we got where we are.”

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    By Michael Haas | Information Clearing House, May 1, 2009

    Torture has received the most attention among the many war crimes of the Bush administration. But those who support Bush’s pursuit of the “war on terror” have not been impressed by recriminations over torture. Worse than torture are the murders of at least 50 prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo, but again the hard-hearted are unimpressed when those whom they perceive as terrorists receive illegal extrajudicial capital punishment.

    The case for abusing children, however, is more difficult to support. The best kept secret of the Bush’s war crimes is that thousands of children have been imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise denied rights under the Geneva Conventions and related international agreements. Yet both Congress and the media have strangely failed to identify the very existence of child prisoners as a war crime. In the Islamic world, however, there is no such silence. Indeed, the prophet Mohammed was the first to counsel warriors not to harm innocent children.

    The first example of war crimes against children, which are well documented, occurred during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, when the children’s hospital in Kabul was bombed, its patients thereby murdered, contrary to the Red Cross Convention of 1864. Other children were killed as “collateral damage” during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, contrary to the Geneva Convention ban on indiscriminate killing in wartime, though numbers of dead are unknown. During spring 2004, during the assault on Falluja, Iraq, some 300 children, including peaceful demonstrators, were killed. Their dead bodies were filmed live on al-Jazeera Television throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

    Continued >>

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    I seldom cross-post from Reconstitution, but this is important enough that I would like to get it as much attention as I can give it.

    Many of us have been screaming for YEARS that we are killing people in the name of “free” trade, and the pollution and deprivation it visits upon the underdeveloped world. It appears that maybe some of that is coming back to visit us, with a vengeance.

    One of my main criticisms of “free” trade as practiced by American corporatists is the willful blind-eye we turn to what these corporations do to the countries they offshore our jobs to. They willfully subcontract work to firms that are more or less (and sometimes EXACTLY, as in the case of KBR) slaveholders. But there is so much more that “free” trade brings to other countries, in the form of toxic pollution that would never be tolerated in most Western countries (except for Texas, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alabama, of course.)

    The President promised to address the environmental tsunami that NAFTA turned loose on Mexico, and then he backed off, after some pressure from American corporatists who are interested in nothing but profits. Without a doubt, some of those who pressured the President happen to be corporate “factory” farmers, who can find dealing with the waste that animal husbandry produces to be difficult, to say the least. In Mexico, of course, they’ve never had to worry about any of that; they’ve turned vast swaths of Mexico into toxic wastelands, without regard for either the population near where they set up shop, or the environment.

    Do you suppose that maybe NOW, the President might consider actually keeping that promise?

    Sewage-filled lagoons at a pig farm in eastern Mexico – a product of the North American free trade deal – are suspected of creating ground zero conditions for swine flu in this country.

    Environmentalists argue lax regulations in the factory farming that boomed in Mexico right after the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and the U.S. are making people sick – and not just with swine flu.

    “You might call this the `NAFTA flu,’” said Rick Arnold, co-ordinator of Common Frontiers, a Canadian coalition focusing on Latin America and issues of economic integration.

    He argues multinationals are getting away with dire conditions not allowed north of the border.

    Environmental groups three years ago began protesting against operations at the Carroll Farms in Veracruz, jointly operated by U.S. pork giant Smithfield Farms.

    The first confirmed case of swine flu originated with a 5-year-old boy from the town of La Gloria, near the farm. He recovered.

    Medical officials have not pinpointed where the outbreak began.

    And from its Virginia headquarters, Smithfield officials insist there is no evidence linking their operations to the disease.

    Smithfield Farms, the world’s largest pork producer with $12 billion in annual sales, opened Carroll Farms in 1994, calling it a “joint venture.

    At home, the company was fined $12.6 million (U.S.) in 1997 after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed it was dumping raw pig sewage into a river flowing into Chesapeake Bay.

    The health ministry, which earlier said 168 people were believed killed by swine flu in Mexico, yesterday would confirm only 12 of those deaths as being from swine flu and would not say how many more cases were suspected.

    The air in Mexico City, once called the “most polluted” by the World Health Organization, is loaded with human fecal matter, gases, dust and other toxic materials.

    “The pollution affects our eyes, throats and lungs,” said Dr. Erendira Gallardo Lobera, a general practitioner. She said the Mexican government should take stronger measures to ensure residents of the capital aren’t breathing in rat and dog feces with their oxygen.

    For 30 years, the proponents of “free” trade have been extolling its many wonders. Among those wonders are a steady slide in Western living standards, small farmers in much of the developing world driven to suicide, slavery, pollution… and now, brand new (and lethal) diseases.

    What’s not to LOVE about “free” trade?

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