Monthly Archives: April, 2003

Navy Set to Leave Vieques After 60 Years

On the eve of the U.S. Navy’s departure from the Puerto Rican island they used for bombing exercises, residents celebrated and activists laid claim to the property. The Navy is handing over 15,000 acres of land on the eastern end of Vieques to federal authorities. After an extensive cleanup, the property will become a wildlife refuge.

“We are here today to mark the beginning of a new era in peace and prosperity for Vieques,” Gov. Sila Calderon said Wednesday to the thunder of applause. “It is a moment of great joy, for we have achieved our dream.”

About Those Iraqi Intelligence Documents

Were They Planted?

After the United States and Britain were shown to be providing bogus and plagiarized “intelligence” documents to the UN Security Council that supposedly “proved” Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program, the world’s media is now being fed a steady stream of captured Iraqi “intelligence” documents from the rubble of Iraq’s Mukhabarat intelligence headquarters.

The problem with these documents is that they are being provided by the U.S. military to a few reporters working for a very suspect newspaper, London’s Daily Telegraph (affectionately known as the Daily Torygraph” by those who understand the paper’s right-wing slant).

Army guide offers Iraq do’s, don’ts

From the “they’re gonna welcome us with open arms” folks:

“The Arab” is noisy, exceedingly polite, evasive, honorable to the core, thin-skinned and a whole lot else. At least that’s according to A Soldier’s Guide to the Republic of Iraq, a booklet prepared by the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and distributed to prepare troops for Iraq.

If U.S. soldiers, who are now acting more like peacekeepers than warriors, happen to consult the guide, they will find an odd compendium of stereotypes and gross generalizations presented as absolute fact.

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil

The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq’s northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia – a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.

The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel’s energy bill drastically – probably by more than 25 per cent – since the country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.

US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has been discussed. One former senior CIA official said: ‘It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel’s energy supply as well as that of the United States.

Rolling Back the 20th Century

If there is only one thing you read today, this should be it. A must read.

George W. Bush, properly understood, represents the third and most powerful wave in the right’s long-running assault on the governing order created by twentieth-century liberalism. The first wave was Ronald Reagan, whose election in 1980 allowed movement conservatives finally to attain governing power (their flame was first lit by Barry Goldwater back in 1964). Reagan unfurled many bold ideological banners for right-wing reform and established the political viability of enacting regressive tax cuts, but he accomplished very little reordering of government, much less shrinking of it. The second wave was Newt Gingrich, whose capture of the House majority in 1994 gave Republicans control of Congress for the first time in two generations. Despite some landmark victories like welfare reform, Gingrich flamed out quickly, a zealous revolutionary ineffective as legislative leader.

George Bush II may be as shallow as he appears, but his presidency represents a far more formidable challenge than either Reagan or Gingrich. His potential does not emanate from an amiable personality (Al Gore, remember, outpolled him in 2000) or even the sky-high ratings generated by 9/11 and war. Bush’s governing strength is anchored in the long, hard-driving movement of the right that now owns all three branches of the federal government. Its unified ranks allow him to govern aggressively, despite slender GOP majorities in the House and Senate and the public’s general indifference to the right’s domestic program.

The movement’s grand ambition–one can no longer say grandiose–is to roll back the twentieth century, quite literally. That is, defenestrate the federal government and reduce its scale and powers to a level well below what it was before the New Deal’s centralization. With that accomplished, movement conservatives envision a restored society in which the prevailing values and power relationships resemble the America that existed around 1900, when William McKinley was President. Governing authority and resources are dispersed from Washington, returned to local levels and also to individuals and private institutions, most notably corporations and religious organizations. The primacy of private property rights is re-established over the shared public priorities expressed in government regulation. Above all, private wealth–both enterprises and individuals with higher incomes–are permanently insulated from the progressive claims of the graduated income tax.


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