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Archive for April 19th, 2010

Dispatch From Guntopia

Cliff Schecter

Best-selling author, public-relations consultant, pundit, bon vivant

Posted: April 19, 2010 03:31 PM

This morning, on the 15th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City mass murder, I drove from Washington, D.C. across the 14th Street Bridge to get on the George Washington Memorial Parkway and attended an “open carry” gun rally at Fort Hunt, Virginia.

On my way, I passed the Holocaust Museum, where a deluded Neo-Nazi, in a final act of vengeance for having been born, chose to spray bullets into the flesh and bone of a security guard whose only crime was trying to earn a paycheck. Off in the distance, you could almost see the Pentagon, where John Patrick Bedell wreaked havoc after being declared mentally unfit to possess a firearm by the state of California — because he simply bought one with no questions asked at a Nevada gun show. Bedell took advantage of the gun-show loophole to shoot those serving our country at the Pentagon, because of his hatred for it.

Finally, we arrived at Fort Hunt, to see a bevy of mostly middle-aged white men compare the United States of America to Nazi Germany, the Ku Klux Klan and a slave-state (among other niceties) while carrying assault weapons and dressing like they were auditioning for the remake of Red Dawn. A highlighted speaker was Mike Vanderboegh (seen in the video just below), an Alabama militia leader who most infamously encouraged his followers to throw bricks through the windows of local Democratic Parties.

In a very different reality, Tom Mauser, whose son was gunned down in the Columbine massacre, and families of those murdered at Virginia Tech, today called on our leaders to lead on an issue where 86% of gun owners (including 69% of NRA members) agree with the rest of us, according to known liberal Frank Luntz: That we MUST close the gun show loophole. We must do more to stop criminals, terrorists and the mentally unfit from getting their hands on weapons that kill.

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by: Michael Gass, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis, April 15, 2010

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(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: GrungeTextures, Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock / U.S. Army)

On August 19, 1953, pro-Shah supporters in Iran staged a coup on the Iranian government that was planned, organized and supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British Intelligence. Iranians lived under the brutal rule of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi for the next 25 years until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Though the CIA-led coup in Iran was the first time the agency overthrew a democratically elected government, it wasn’t to be the last. In 1954, the CIA orchestrated a coup against the democratically elected president of Guatemala. In 1963, the CIA orchestrated the coup in Iraq that eventually brought Saddam Hussein and the Ba’athist Party to power. In 1973, the CIA orchestrated a coup against the democratically elected leader of Chile. In every case, those who were helped into power instituted regimes of terror and violence. These regimes prompted bloody revolutions, or worse, US-led invasions. Either way, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed due to US foreign policy.

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By William Blum, ZNet, April 17, 2010

When did it begin, all this “We take your [call/problem/question] very seriously”? With answering-machine hell? As you wait endlessly, the company or government agency assures you that they take seriously whatever reason you’re calling. What a kind and thoughtful world we live in.

The BBC reported last month that doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the United States during its fierce onslaughts of 2004 and subsequently, which left much of the city in ruins. “It was like an earthquake,” a local engineer who was running for a national assembly seat told the Washington Post in 2005. “After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was Fallujah.” Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

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