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Monthly Archives: March, 2004

Liberal Talk Radio:

AirAmerica launches today

Here’s their schedule:
  • 6 a.m.-9 a.m. — “Morning Sedition”
    Marc Maron, Sue Ellicott and Mark Riley
  • 9 a.m.-Noon — “Unfiltered”
    Lizz Winstead, Chuck D and Rachel Maddow
  • Noon-3 p.m. — “The O’Franken Factor”
    Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher
  • 3 p.m.-7 p.m. — “The Randi Rhodes Show
    Randi’s website provides daily links
    that can be used to fact check all
    claims she makes during her program.
  • 7 p.m.-8 p.m. — “So What Else is News”
    Marty Kaplan
  • 8 p.m.-11 p.m. — “The Majority Report”
    Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder

The weekend lineup includes Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mike Papatanio’s “Champions of Justice,” as well as some best-of compilations and other shows to be announced.

Here’s how to get them:
     On the radio:
  • New York – WLIB 1190 AM
  • Los Angeles – KBLA 1580 AM
    (Reaches San Diego)
  • Chicago – WNTD 950 AM
  • Portland, OR – KPOJ 620 AM
  • Inland Empire, CA- KCAA 1050 AM
  • Minneapolis MN – WMNN 1330 AM
  • XM Satellite Radio – Channel 167

San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia are coming soon.

     On the Internet:

Note that the RealPlayer stream is getting maxxed out currently (good for AirAmerica, they are working on the problem), and so these other feeds can get around that problem. Also, RealPlayer seems to have a problem if you are trying to listen to two streams at once (e.g., Franken and Thom Hartmann, on during the same time slot), but the Liquid Compass stream allows this.

Listen in. These web streams work fine even with dial-up (though I wouldn’t try the multiple stream trick without a high speed connection).

No one wins here.

The steadily deteriorating security situation in the Falluja area, west of Baghdad, has become so dangerous that no American soldiers or Iraqi security staff responded to the attack against the contractors. [Just read: “The four Americans killed in Fallujah were civilians who worked for a private company named Blackwater Security Consulting based in Moyock, North Carolina.”]

There are a number of police stations in Falluja and a base of more than 4,000 marines nearby. But even while the two vehicles burned, sending plumes of inky smoke over the closed shops of the city, there were no ambulances, no fire engines and no security.

Instead, Falluja’s streets were thick with men and boys and chaos.”

There’s nothing to celebrate, no one to blame or counterattack. This is simply a terrible manifestation — a collision — of exploitation and resentment, fear and distress. None of these people needed to put into this situation. This is a complete degradation of humanity, and I want people to see that this is a crisis to which we are all bound.

from Major Barbara’s Arms and The Man:

“More than 15,000 contractors work in Iraq — about one for every 10 U.S. soldiers, {the Brookings Institution’s Peter} Singer estimated. “More than $20 billion, one-third of the U.S. Army’s operating budget in Iraq and Afghanistan, goes toward contractors, he said.

“”They are playing a whole range of mission-critical roles,” Singer said. “That’s in spite of our doctrine which says you don’t turn over mission-critical roles to private contractors.”

“The Pentagon does not track the exact number of contractors or their casualties. Singer estimates at least 30 have been killed in Iraq, and about 180 have been wounded. That total does not include missionaries or contractors handling reconstruction projects.

“They are very clearly going after civilian contractors, and today is absolutely tragic,” said Singer. “It’s chilling.”

US chose to ignore Rwandan genocide

President Bill Clinton’s administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.

Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.

Intelligence reports obtained using the US Freedom of Information Act show the cabinet and almost certainly the president had been told of a planned “final solution to eliminate all Tutsis” before the slaughter reached its peak.

It took Hutu death squads three months from April 6 to murder an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus and at each stage accurate, detailed reports were reaching Washington’s top policymakers.

Terrorism is such a good business that nobody really wants to eradicate it.

“Two and a half years into the ‘war on terror’ it is apparent that the winners are the terrorists — while Al Qaeda’s finances are still intact, the US is running the highest budget deficit in history. What can be done? Start by treating terrorism for what it is: a global business. Force our Muslim allies to act immediately to curb terror funding and concentrate our efforts to hunt terror money in our countries, even if that implies putting under investigation the strongholds of Western capitalism: Wall Street, the City of London and the thousand offshore centres linked to them.”

–Loretta Napoleoni is an economist who has worked for banks and international organizations in Europe and the US. She developed the idea to research and write a book on the economics of terrorism while interviewing the leaders of the Red Brigades. Napoleoni’s latest book, published September 2003, is Modern Jihad: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks

On April 19, I added:

“Despite the war on terror, the US government has turned a blind eye when big business has supported the enemy, according to the Sierra Club.”

Twenty-first Century Gunboat Diplomacy

Today, gunboat diplomacy seems like a phrase from some antiquated imperial past (despite our thirteen aircraft carrier task forces that travel the world making “friendly” house calls from time to time). But if you stop thinking about literal gunboats and try to imagine how we carry out “armed diplomacy” — and, as we all know, under the Bush administration the Pentagon has taken over much that might once have been labeled “diplomacy” — then you can begin to conjure up our own twenty-first century version of gunboat diplomacy. But first, you have to consider exactly what the “platforms” are upon which we “export force,” upon which we mount our “cannons.”

What should immediately come to mind are our military bases, liberally scattered like so many vast immobile vessels over the lands of the Earth. This has been especially true since the neocons of the Bush administration grabbed the reins of power at the Pentagon and set about reconceiving basing policy globally; set about, that is, creating more “mobile” versions of the military base, ever more stripped down for action, ever closer to what they’ve come to call the “arc of instability,” a vast swath of lands extending from the former Yugoslavia and the former SSRs of Eastern Europe down deep into Northern Africa and all the way to the Chinese border. These are areas that represent, not surprisingly, the future energy heartland of the planet. What the Pentagon refers to as its “lily pads” strategy is meant to encircle and nail down control of this vast set of interlocking regions — the thought being that, if the occasion arises, the American frogs can leap agilely from one prepositioned pad to another, knocking off the “flies” as they go. [more]

‘Dead zones’ in world’s oceans are growing, say alarmed UN scientists

There are nearly 150 dead zones across the globe, they are increasing, and they pose as big a threat to fish stocks as over-fishing, the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) said in its Global Environment Outlook Year Book 2003, released at a meeting of environment ministers in Korea.

Palestinian Citizens of Israel call for equality on Land Day

Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have marked the 28th anniversary of Land Day with renewed demands for equality and an end to Israel’s occupation.

Land Day marks the 1976 Israeli killing of six Palestinians in northern Israel as they protested the confiscation of large swathes of Arab land.

The Arab community in Israel has always been subjected to de-facto discrimination since the creation of Israel in 1948. They are in many respects subjected to the same discrimination and brutal treatment experienced by their brethren across the Green Line since 1967.

This includes excessive land confiscation, rampant home demolitions, violent repression of peaceful demonstrations and arbitrary arrests. According to the Israeli Arab Centre Musawa, the Israeli authorities demolished as many as 340 Arab homes throughout Israel in 2003 and another 72 in the Negev region and 269 in the Triangle and Galilee regions.

A few weeks ago, Israeli planes sprayed large areas of Arab crops with pesticide, a recurrent measure aimed at driving farmers away from their land.

Fighting Rages For a Second Day in Uzbekistan

Gun battles and bombings continued for a third straight day in the Uzbek capital Tashkent. [For background see the EurasiaNet insight archive]. The broad scope of the violence, the full extent of which is difficult to determine due to government press restrictions, suggests that the episode may be a home-grown insurgency, rather than a strike by international terrorists. Casualty figures for the clashes on March 30 were not immediately available, but it is clear that there are significant casualties among both insurgents and state security forces, along with civilians caught in the crossfire.

The government has claimed that Islamic radicals, with international terrorist connections, are behind the violence. Radical groups operating in Uzbekistan, including Hizb-ut-Tahrir, have not claimed responsibility. Scattered bits of information coming to light raise questions about an international terrorist connection, lending credence to the notion that the violence is a popular reaction to government repression.

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