Monthly Archives: June, 2004

Powell Arrives in Sudan

The last time a US secretary of State visited Sudan was 1978, when Jimmy Carter’s envoy, Cyrus Vance, stopped to refuel his plane.

But in a sign of Sudan’s growing significance, Colin Powell arrived Tuesday for a high-profile two-day visit. The trip is the latest evidence of a major shift in US policy toward the Muslim-led state that once harbored Osama bin Laden.

Israel: Court Orders Security Wall Rerouted

For more than two years, Israeli has been constructing a wall that runs through the West Bank and around Jerusalem. Israeli authorities say the wall is defensive and is needed to prevent terrorists, weapons, and explosives from infiltrating Israel. But almost 90 percent of the wall’s planned route traverses Palestinian land inside the West Bank, and the Palestinians call it a land grab. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled today that part of the wall violates the human rights of Palestinians and must be rerouted.

It is very rare for the Israeli Supreme Court to rule in any way in favor of Palestinian rights; this decision underscores just how devious and wrong the wall, in its current form, is

Iraq is worse off than before the war began, GAO reports

In a few key areas – electricity, the judicial system and overall security – the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released Tuesday. [more]

The Power of the People, by Howard Zinn

If you ever get depressed, if you ever start to feel hopeless, just remember: The United States is just 4 percent of the world’s population. I know we have all those guns and nuclear weapons and all those cell phones. But the truth is that the power of the people when it is organized overcomes whatever concentrations of money and military might there are.

We have seen this in history again and again, where governments that seemed all powerful, untouchable, that seemed to have total control of the country, suddenly you wake up one morning and the head of the government is on a plane fleeing the country, fleeing the Philippines with shoes. I admit it, every once in a while I have this fantasy. . . . I’m willing to chip in for the airfare.

There are wonderful signs of resistance all over the world, resistance to authority, resistance to governments, resistance to war. It makes me feel good when I pick up the paper and I see that seventeen Israeli pilots are refusing to fly missions any more.

You forget what power people have. Did you see that picture of that woman from Nigeria who was going to be stoned to death because of a sexual escapade? There was a worldwide protest against that, and the Nigerian government had to back down. People forget how powerful protest is, and how actually vulnerable these presumably powerful entities really are when people get together. We’ve seen this happen again and again in places where the all-powerful government wakes up in the morning and there are a million people in the streets, and that’s it. [more]

Moore Gives It To CBS

. . . via the great BartCop, from which I also find the transcript to an exchange I heard part of earlier on liberal radio:

Moore Gives It To CBS

An exerpt:

Storm: “So this is satire and not documentary? We shouldn’t see this as…”


Moore: “It’s a satirical documentary.”

     Storm: “Some have said propaganda, do you buy that? Op-ed?”

     Moore: “No, I consider the CBS Evening News propaganda. What I do is…”

     Storm: “We’ll move beyond on that.”

     Moore: “Why? Let’s not move beyond that. Seriously.”

     Storm: “No, let’s talk about your movie.”

     Moore: “But why don’t we talk about the Evening News on this network and the other networks that didn’t do the job they should have done at the beginning of this war?”

     Storm: “You know what?”

     Moore: “Demanded the evidence, ask the hard questions-”

     Storm: “Okay.”

     Moore: “-we may not of even gone into this war had these networks done their job. I mean, it was a great disservice to the American people because we depend on people who work here and        the other networks to go after those in power and say ‘Hey, wait a minute. You want to send our kids off to war, we want to know where those weapons of mass destruction are. Let’s see     the proof. Let’s see the proof that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.’”


Storm: “But-”


   Moore: “There was no proof and everybody just got embedded and everybody rolled over and everybody knows that now.”

     Storm: “Michael, the one thing that journalists try to do is to present both sides of the story.    And it could be argued that you did not do that in this movie.”

     Moore: “I certainly didn’t. I presented my side…”

     Storm: “You presented your side of the story.”

     Moore: “Because my side, that’s the side of millions of Americans, (the majority) rarely gets told. This is just a humble plea on my behalf and not to you personally, Hannah. But I’m just saying to journalists in general that instead of   working so hard to tell both sides of the story, why don’t you just tell that one side, which is the administration,      why don’t you ask them the hard questions-”

     Storm: “Which I think is something that we all try to do.”

     Moore: “Well, I think it was a lot of cheerleading going on at the beginning of this war-”

     Storm: “Alright.”

     Moore: “A lot of cheerleading and it didn’t do the public any good to have journalists standing in front    of the camera going ‘whoop-dee-do, let’s all go to war’. And, and it’s not their kids going to war.       It’s not the children of the news executives going to war-”

     Storm: “Michael, why don’t you do you next movie about networks news, okay? Because this movie…”

     Moore: “I know, I think I should do that movie.”

     Storm: “…because this movie is an attack on the president and his policies.”

     Moore: “Well, and it also points out how the networks failed us at the beginning of this war and didn’t do their job.”

Let the record show…

An unannounced five-minute, “furtive” ceremony, two days early, on half an hour’s notice, in a “nondescript room” in the new Iraqi prime minister’s office, under a blanket of security, with snipers on adjoining rooftops in the heavily fortified Green Zone, “before only a handful of Iraqi and U.S. officials and journalists.” A few quick, polite lies (L. Paul Bremer III: “I have confidence that the Iraqi government is ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead”), a few seconds of polite clapping by the attendees. That was it. Sovereignty transferred. The end.

Other than L. Paul Bremer, not a significant American official was in sight, even though the President, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State were all in Turkey, not 90 minutes away. There were no representatives from other governments. No flags. No bands. No cheering crowds. No marching troops. No hoopla. Nothing at all. And two hours later, Bremer, the erstwhile viceroy of Baghdad, his suits and desert boots packed away, was on a C-130 out of the country.

dispatched by Tom

Abducted Marine Had Deserted the Military

The officer said Corporal Hassoun, a 24-year-old Marine linguist who was born in Lebanon, was shaken up after he saw one of his sergeants blown apart by a mortar shell.

“It was very disturbing to him,” the officer said. “He wanted to go home and quit the game, but since he was relatively early in his deployment, that was not going to happen anytime soon. So he talked to some folks on base he befriended, because they were all fellow Muslims, and they helped sneak him off. Once off, instead of helping him get home, they turned him over to the bad guys.”

“It’s all we know right now,” the officer added.

Sudan: The Untold Story

Thirty thousand people have died over the last year and a half in Darfur, Sudan. Even in a best-case scenario, 300,000 more Sudanese will die over the summer.

Have you heard?

Maybe you have. The New York Times has given more than 10,000 words to stories that mention Darfur since May 23, says Lexis-Nexus.

In the same period, the paper has devoted at least 17,000 words to stories mentioning Paris Hilton.

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