Saturday, March 12, 2005

Extraordinary Rendition--Chris Floyd

Extraordinary Rendition :: PEJ News :: Stories, Features, Opinion and Analysis :: Peace, Earth & Justice News:

Extraordinary Rendition

The invasion of Iraq, itself a war crime of staggering dimensions, simply extended this long-established and officially sanctioned system of brutality to a new arena. And to thousands of new victims, the overwhelming majority of whom were innocent of any crime - CF

Extraordinary Rendition
Global Eye
By Chris Floyd
The Moscow Times
March 11, '05

In the heady months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the chickenhawks of the Bush Regime were eager to flash their tough-guy cojones to the world. Led by the former prep-school cheerleader in the Oval Office,
swaggering Bushists openly bragged of 'kicking ass' with macho tactics like torture and
'extraordinary rendition.'

'We don't kick the [expletive] out of them,' one top Bush official told The Washington Post on Dec. 26, 2002. 'We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them.' In that same article, other Bush honchos boasted about withholding medical treatment from wounded prisoners; knowingly sending prisoners to be tortured in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan ('I do it with my eyes open,' said one top agent); and breaking international law as a routine part of interrogations by U.S. operatives. 'If you're not violating someone's human rights,' said an interrogation supervisor, 'you're probably not doing your job.' These freely admitted violations included beatings, hooding, exposure, sexual humiliation and the medieval barbarism of strappado: chaining a prisoner with his arms twisted twisted behind his back and suspending him from the ceiling, where the weight of his own body tears at his sockets and sinews. "

The invasion of Iraq, itself a war crime of staggering dimensions, simply extended this long-established and officially sanctioned system of brutality to a new arena. And to thousands of new victims, the overwhelming majority of whom were innocent of any crime, as the Red Cross reported. While the investigative work of Seymour Hersh and others in exposing the horrors of Abu Ghraib is indeed laudable, it should not have come as any surprise. The atrocities detailed in the revelations were identical to those the Bush Regime had openly acknowledged as standard practice just months before.

The only difference, of course, was the fact that pictures of the Abu Ghraib atrocities were also published and broadcast. Public sensibilities -- untroubled by previous verbal admissions buried deep in slabs of newsprint -- were suddenly shocked by the lurid visuals. A Republican-led Senate investigation declared that it had uncovered "even worse" pictures of torture: stomach-curdling photos and videos of bloody abuse that could stain America's name for generations. The Bush Regime braced for an election-year firestorm of scandal. Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld offered the president his resignation.

Then -- nothing happened. The outraged Republican senators never released their damning pictures. Rumsfeld kept his job. A "few bad apples" in the lower ranks were put on trial; the top figures involved in the torture system were promoted. And even though Pentagon and CIA investigators continue to document hundreds -- hundreds -- of cases of torture, abuse and outright murder in Bush's gulag, the storm has passed. Indeed, Bushists like John Yoo, one of the primary authors of the "torture memos" undergirding the gulag, see the 2004 election as a public affirmation of blood and brutality. The vote is "proof that the debate is over," Yoo told The New Yorker. "The issue is dying out."

Yet the Regime was shaken a bit by the brief tempest. Instead of macho swagger about "kicking ass" and "taking off the gloves," there are now prim assurances of legality. PR fig leaves are being artfully draped over once-bulging displays of butchness. This week, The New York Times was chosen for a high-profile leak, "revealing" that while Bush himself gave the order to "render" U.S. captives to nations that practice torture -- supposedly as a cost-saving measure -- the CIA is scrupulously ensuring that no prisoners are ever actually tortured by foreign torturers in the torture chambers where Bush has consigned them. Such prissy hand-wringing is a far cry from the old braggadocio ("I did it with my eyes open") and cynical shoulder-shrugging of December 2002, when one rendition op dismissed the very notion of CIA supervision of its foreign torture partners: "If we're not there in the room with them," he smirked, "who is to say" what goes on in the outsourced


But Bush is facing something far more dangerous than the occasional hiccup of bad PR or toothless probes by his Senate bagmen. There are now several lawsuits afoot filed by innocent survivors of the "rendition" system set up at Bush's direct order. These cases could not only expose the ugly guts of his gulag, but also produce direct evidence of criminal culpability on the part of Bush and his minions under U.S. and international law.

The Regime has responded with draconian ruthlessness to this genuine threat. In the main rendition case -- and in an unrelated lawsuit concerning officially confirmed evidence of terrorist infiltration at the FBI before 9/11 -- Bush is invoking the rarely-used, extra-constitutional "state secrets privilege." This nebulous maneuver, unanchored in law or legislation, allows the government to suppress any evidence against it merely by asserting, without proof, that disclosure of the truth might "harm national security." Evidence "protected" in this way cannot even be heard by a judge in secret -- a well-established practice used successfully in numerous other national security cases over the years. It is simply buried forever, and the case collapses.

It is almost certain that Bush's invocation of this "night-and-fog" measure will be upheld. So let us be clear about the consequences. It will mean that any crime committed by a government official -- torture, rendition, murder, state terrorism, even treason -- can be sealed in permanent darkness. The justice system itself will be "rendered" into a black hole. The victims of state crime -- American citizens as well as foreign captives -- will be left without rights, without redress, without a voice. Bush's kingdom of strappado will reign supreme.

[please see original for active links]

U.S. Decries Abuse But Defends Interrogations
Washington Post, Dec. 26, 2002

[Bush Order] Lets CIA Freely Send Suspects to Foreign Jails
New York Times, March 6, 2005

Bush Wielding Secrecy Privilege to End Lawsuits
Chicago Tribune, March 3, 2005

State Secrets Assertion: Maher Arar vs. John Ashcroft, et al
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Jan. 17, 2005

Rumsfeld Says He Twice Offered His Resignation
Seattle Times, Feb. 4, 2005

Review: Torture and Truth and The Torture Papers
The New Statesman, March 7, 2005

The Torture Papers: Full Faith and Credit of the U.S. Government
San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb. 27, 2005

Is the U.S. Losing Moral Authority on Human Rights?
Christian Science Monitor, March 7, 2005

New Interrogation Rules Set for Detainees in Iraq
New York Times, March 10, 2005

Pentagon Report Set Framework For Use of Torture
Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2004

Senators See Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos Held by Defense Department
Washington Post, May 12, 2004

GOP Leaders Oppose Release of More Abuse Photos, May 12, 2004

A Temporary Coup: Torture, War and the Corruption of Intelligence, June 14, 2004

President Authorized Interrogation
Washington Times, Dec. 20, 2004

Time for An Accounting
International Herald Tribune, Feb. 20, 2005

In Torture We Trust?
The Nation, March 31, 2003

Statement of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
U.S. House of Representatives, March 5, 2005

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Baghdad Burning...

Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

You want a rabbit?
We are relieved the Italian journalist was set free. I, personally, was very happy. Iraqis are getting abducted these days by the dozen, but it still says something else about the country when foreigners are abducted. Iraqis have a fierce sense of hospitality that can border on the obnoxious sometimes. When people come to our houses, we insist they have something to drink and then we insist they stay for whatever meal is coming- even if its four hours away. We cringe when journalists and aide workers are abducted because it gives us the sense that we’re bad hosts.

People are always wondering why they abduct journalists, and other innocents. I think its because the lines are all blurred right now. It’s difficult to tell who is who. Who is a journalist, for example, and who is foreign intelligence? Who is a mercenary and who is an aide worker? People are somewhat more reluctant to talk to foreigners than they were at the beginning.

The irony of the situation lay in the fact that Sgrena was probably safer with her abductors than she was with American troops. It didn’t come as a surprise to hear her car was fired at. Was it done on purpose? It’s hard to tell. I can’t think why they would want to execute Giuliana Sgrena and her entourage, but then on the other hand, I can’t think how it could have possibly happened that they managed to fire that many rounds at a car carrying Italian intelligence officers and a journalist (usually they save those rounds for Iraqi families in cars).

There really is no good excuse for what happened. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what the Pentagon will say short of an admission that it was either on purpose or that the soldiers who fired at the car were drunk or high on something…

I have a feeling it will be the usual excuse, “The soldiers who almost killed the journalist were really, really frightened. They’ve been under lots of pressure.” But see, Iraqis are frightened and under pressure too- we don’t go around accidentally killing people. We’re expected to be very level-headed and sane in the face of chaos.

I wager that this little incident will be shoved aside with one of those silly Pentagon apologies that don’t really sound like apologies, you know: “It was an unfortunate incident, but Sgrena shouldn’t have been in Iraq in the first place. Journalists should stay safely in their own countries and listen for our daily military statements telling them democracy is flourishing and Iraqis are happy.”

I don’t understand why Americans are so shocked with this incident. Where is the shock? That Sgrena’s car was under fire? That Americans killed an Italian security agent? After everything that occurred in Iraq- Abu Ghraib, beatings, torture, people detained for months and months, the stealing, the rape… is this latest so very shocking? Or is it shocking because the victims weren’t Iraqi?

I’m really glad she’s home safe but at the same time, the whole situation is somewhat painful. It hurts because thousands of Iraqis have died at American checkpoints or face to face with a tank or Apache and beyond the occasional subtitle on some obscure news channel, no one knows about it and no one cares. It just hurts a little bit.

The event of the week occurred last Wednesday and I was surprised it wasn’t covered by Western press. It’s not that big a deal, but it enraged people in Baghdad and it can also give a better picture of what has been going on with our *heroic* National Guard. There was an explosion on Wednesday in Baghdad and the wounded were all taken to Yarmuk Hospital, one of the larger hospitals in Baghdad. The number of wounded were around 30- most of them National Guard. In the hospital, it was chaos- patients wounded in this latest explosion, patients from other explosions and various patients from gunshot wounds, etc. The doctors were running around everywhere, trying to be in four different places at once.

Apparently, there weren’t enough beds. Many of the wounded were in the hallways and outside of the rooms. The stories vary. One doctor told me that some of the National Guard began screaming at the doctors, telling them to ignore the civilians and tend to the wounds of the Guard. A nurse said that the National Guard who weren’t wounded began pulling civilians out of the beds and replacing them with wounded National Guard. The gist of it is generally the same; the doctors refused the idea of not treating civilians and preferring the National Guard over them and suddenly a fight broke out. The doctors threatened a strike if the National Guard began pulling the civilians out of beds.

The National Guard decided the solution to the crisis would be the following- they’d gather up some of the doctors and nurses and beat them in front of the patients. So several doctors were rounded up and attacked by several National Guard (someone said there was liberal use of electric batons and the butts of some Klashnikovs).

The doctors decided to go on strike.

It’s difficult to consider National Guardsmen as heroes with the image of them beating doctors in white gowns in ones head. It’s difficult to see them as anything other than expendable Iraqis with their main mission being securing areas and cities for Americans.

It seems that Da’awa Party’s Jaffari is going to be the Prime Minister and Talbani is going to get the decorative position of president. It has been looking like this since the elections. There is talk of giving our token Sunni Ghazi Al Yawir some high-profile position like National Assembly spokesperson. The gesture is meant to appease the Sunni masses but it isn’t going to do that because it’s not about Sunnis and Shia. It’s about occupation and Vichy governments. They all look the same to us.

What it seems policy makers in America don’t get, and what I suspect many Americans themselves *do* get, is that millions of Iraqis feel completely detached from the current people in power. If you don’t have an alliance with one of the political parties (ie under their protection or on their payroll) then it’s difficult to feel any affinity with people like Jaffari, Allawi, Talbani, etc. We watch them on television, tight-lipped and shifty-eyed after a meeting where they quarreled about Kirkuk or Sharia in the constitution and it feels like what I imagine an out-of-body experience should feel like.

In spite of elections, they still feel like puppets. But now, they are high-tech puppets. They were upgraded from your ordinary string puppets to those life-like, battery-powered, talking puppets. It’s almost like we’re doing that whole rotating president thing Bremer did in 2003 all over again. The same faces are getting tedious. The old Iraqi saying sums it up nicely, “Tireed erneb- ukhuth erneb. Tireed ghazal- ukhuth erneb.” The translation for this is, “You want a rabbit? Take a rabbit. You want a deer? Take a rabbit.”

Except we didn’t get any rabbits- we just got an assortment of snakes, weasels and hyenas.

Check out Imad Khadduri's blog- he has some great links about the Italian journalist.

- posted by river @ 2:34 PM

Paul Craig Roberts: Bush's Syrian Delusion

Paul Craig Roberts: Bush's Syrian Delusion

Bush's Syrian Delusion
Deeper Into the Quagmire
March 8, 2005

How much longer can American prestige survive the embarrassments inflicted by President Bush?

Bush's demand that Syria immediately withdraw its troops from Lebanon is a ricochet demand. If Lebanon cannot have free elections while under foreign military occupation, how, asks the rest of the world, does Iraq have free elections when it is under US military occupation?

Bush's latest guffaw-provoking gesture is the work of desperation. Every explanation and justification Bush has given for his ill-fated invasion of Iraq has proven false. There were no weapons of mass destruction. No terrorist links to Osama bin Laden. No WMD programs. The penultimate justification--to bring democracy to Iraq--fast faded when the Islamic Shi'ite winners announced that Islam would be a basis for the new Iraqi state.

The assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri permitted the Bush administration to shift attention from its Iraq failure to Syria's presence in Lebanon, just as the US invasion of Iraq shifted attention from Bush's failure to capture bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Bush hasn't sufficient troops to occupy Iraq and none to spare with which to invade Syria. But the lack of means does not stop Bush from issuing ultimatums. Bush's tough talk plays well to his supernationalist supporters at home.

Syria, of course, has its own reasons for getting out of Lebanon, and Syria's withdrawal lets Bush claim that his invasion of Iraq is spreading democracy to Lebanon. Yesterday Iraq. Today Lebanon. Tomorrow the Middle East.

This latest justification for invading Iraq was on no one's mind when the US invaded Iraq. It is likely to be as short lived as the other justifications. Throughout the Lebanese civil war from the mid 1970's until 1990 Lebanon was a collection of armed camps more numerous than those in Iraq today.

The Lebanese government invited the Syrians into Lebanon shortly after the outbreak of the civil war. Unlike the US in Iraq, the Syrians have managed to perform the role of peacekeeper in Lebanon without leveling entire cities, destroying Lebanon's infrastructure, and killing tens of thousands of civilians. (This is not to say that in 1982 the Syrian government did not brutally put down an Islamic fundamentalist uprising in the Syrian city of Hama.)

Syria has a secular Alawite government. Now that Shi'ites are taking over in Iraq, Shi'ites in Lebanon--and especially the Iranian sponsored and controlled Shi'ite Hizbullah movement--are likely to gain additional political traction as well. Today, we are witnessing the creation of precisely the Shi'ite geopolitical bloc--the "Shi'ite crescent from Iran to Lebanon"--of which King Abdullah of Jordan warned, without effect, a deluded President Bush.

Proud not to be "reality based," the Bush administration is oblivious to the situation on the ground. But reality in Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia is up close and personal. The last thing wanted by the rulers of those countries, as well as the leaders of Egypt and Pakistan, is more instability that will play into the hands of such Islamist revolutionaries as Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al Zarqawi. But instability is rising, and the rulers of those countries now fear being swept away.

Syria had absolutely nothing to gain from the assassination of former Lebanese prime Minister Hariri. In fact, the assassination was a catastrophe for the Syrian government. It is Osama bin Laden's aim, and perhaps Iran's, to destabilize Lebanon and Syria in order to draw the US in deeper. Instability serves bin Laden's revolutionary purposes and aids Iran by creating new problems for the US in the region.

Today, Syria has begun to withdraw from Lebanon not because of US and Israeli ultimatums but because of the threat of a new axis of Shi'ite power stretching from Teheran westward through southern Iraq into Lebanon, and then back into Syria itself from both Lebanon and Iraq. The secular Syrian government now sees far more danger from Iran and Islamists supported by Teheran than it does from the US. It may well be that Syria would like American protection from a rising Islamist and Iranian geostrategic revolution. The Bush administration, however, is too stupid to realize this.

The United States lacks the resources necessary to occupy the Middle East. Bush has failed to occupy Baghdad, much less Iraq. Indeed, US troops could not even occupy Fallujah, a small city of 300,000. Unable to take control of the city, the Americans destroyed it. The US cannot level every city in the Middle East.

The US invasion of Iraq has brought to power long-suppressed Shi'ite majorities and shown Islamists that secular rulers can be overthrown. Change has begun that the US cannot control, change that will exhaust American resources and will.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at:

Monday, March 07, 2005

Explosive Democracy in Lebanon

Is Lebanon walking into another nightmare?

By Robert Fisk in Beirut

03/07/05 "The Independent" - - LEBANON CONFRONTS a nightmare today. As the Syrian army begins its withdrawal from the country this morning, after mounting pressure from President George Bush - whose anger at the Syrians has been provoked by the insurgency against American troops in Iraq - there are growing signs that the Syrian retreat is reopening the sectarian divisions of the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

The first Syrian units are expected to cross the Lebanese-Syrian border at Masnaa before midday and their military redeployment should be completed by Wednesday.

To the outside world, this may seem a victory devoutly to be wished: just two weeks after the murder of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri - a prominent opponent of the Syrian presence in Lebanon - the army of Damascus is pulling out of the country it has dominated for 29 long years. At last, free elections might be held in Lebanon, further proof that - thanks to Mr Bush - democracy is breaking out across the Arab world. Iraq held elections, Saudi Arabia held local elections, President Hosni Mubarak promises a contended election for the presidency of Egypt. So why shouldn't Lebanon be happy?

Have we forgotten 150,000 dead? Have we forgotten the Western hostages? Have we forgotten the 241 Americans who died in the suicide bombing of 23 October 1983? This democracy, if it comes, will be drenched with blood - but the blood will be that of the Lebanese who live here, not that of the foreigners who wish to bestow freedom upon them.

Alas, this is a dark corner of the former Ottoman empire - whose First World War defeat allowed the French to create Lebanon out of part of Syria - which rests precariously upon an understanding between its Christian, Sunni, Shia and Druze inhabitants. All factions came together to mourn Hariri. But now, at night, most - though by no means all - the demonstrators in Martyrs' Square who have demanded a Syrian withdrawal are Christian Maronites. And yesterday, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the chairman of the Hizbollah Shia guerrilla movement, a loyal if somewhat unwilling Syrian ally which drove the Israelis out of Lebanon in 2000, called for a massive demonstration close to Martyrs' Square on Tuesday - to support the "unity and independence" of Lebanon, but also to thank the Syrians for their "protection" of Lebanon in bygone years. Nasrallah invited Christians and every other religious group to join their demonstration. But most of those present are bound to be Shias - who, like their co-religionists in Iraq - are the largest community in the country.

And of course, thousands of Lebanese now fear that when the Syrians do leave, they may be asked to pay a price for this: that in the absence of these "sisterly" Syrian soldiers, civil conflict might suddenly - mysteriously - return to Lebanon.

On Saturday night, a few dozen members of the Lebanese Baath Party turned up in the Christian Sassine Square area of Beirut and two shots were fired in the air. The Lebanese army quickly suppressed this apparently pro-Syrian demonstration (no arrests were made). Was this because their leader happens to be the Lebanese - and equally pro-Syrian - minister of Labour?

How swiftly a Middle Eastern country which had become a bedrock of financial stability and security - even for thousands of new Western tourists - can fall into the abyss. Within 24 hours of Hariri's murder, hundreds of Saudi landowners were closing down their properties in Lebanon - after paying their condolences to Hariri.

The Central Bank has announced that the Lebanese pound is secure; but it has spent almost $ 2bn (repeat: billion) to support the pound, at 1,500 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar, in the past fortnight - and Lebanon has a $ 32bn public debt which only Hariri's international reputation might have

salvaged. Then there came Syrian President Bashar Assad's speech to the parliament in Damascus on Saturday evening in which he referred to those Lebanese who were loyal to Syria and those who were on "shifting sands".

Did the latter include Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader and erstwhile Syrian ally, who suddenly departed for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on Saturday, and who personally told me that he was probably next on Syria's hit list after Hariri?

A UN team is investigating Hariri's death - Hizbollah's Nasrallah gave them his full support yesterday - and the Lebanese government insist it has searched every nook and cranny for evidence of the culprits. Problem: three more bodies have been discovered at the scene of the bombing in the two weeks since the attack. Hungry cats and the stench of death revealed two of them; which doesn't say much for the detective work of the government authorities so keen to solve the murder.

President Assad said that 63 per cent of Syria's army in Lebanon had been withdrawn since the year 2000 and that the "international media" had paid no attention to this. He was right. Nasrallah, in his press conference in Beirut yesterday, said that American demands for the withdrawal of the Syrians and the disarmament of the Hizbollah itself were "a photocopy" of Israel's plans for Lebanon. He, too, was right.

But here is the real problem. The Syrians and Hizbollah say that Syrian forces are withdrawing from Lebanon under the terms of the inter-Arab 1989 Taif agreement which ended the civil war here.

This called for a Syrian withdrawal from Beirut - already accomplished by the Syrian army but not by its intelligence services - to the Mdeirej ridge in the mountains east of Beirut, and then to the Bekaa Valley and, after talks with the Lebanese and Syrian governments, to Syria itself.

UN Security Council Resolution 1559 calls for pretty much the same - but also for the disarmament of the Hizbollah guerrilla movement in southern Lebanon, which still attacks the Israelis in the Shebaa farms area, which belonged to Lebanon under French mandate law but which the Israelis have occupied since 1967.

Thus on Tuesday, the Hizbollah will be supporting Taif - because it called for national unity and arranged for an orderly Syrian withdrawal - but didn't mention the disarmament of the guerrillas. The Hizbollah will be against their own disarmament. They will be against UN resolution 1559. And they will be only 500 yards from the Hariri demonstrations.

The Hariri protesters, who at the least deserve to know who killed a man who wanted to rebuild Lebanon and who never had a militia - in other words, he never had blood on his hands - will stage yet another demonstration tomorrow, from the crater of the bomb which killed him, to his grave before the ugly mosque he built in central Beirut.

But yet again, Lebanon risks becoming a battlefield for the wars of non- Lebanese.

For 30 years, America has tolerated - even supported - Syria's military presence in Lebanon. In 1976, both the Israelis and the Americans wanted Syrian troops in Lebanon - because they would be able to "control" the 300,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon - but now Mr Bush's real concern is Syria's supposed support for the insurgency in Iraq.

The irony is extraordinary: 140,000 American troops occupy Iraq - we shall leave the Israeli occupation forces in Palestinian lands out of this equation - while their President demands the withdrawal of
14,000 Syrian troops from Lebanon.

Democracy indeed!

Dead Women Too Tell No Tales: The Unlikely Survival of Giuliana Sgrena

The Benefit of the Dumb
Jeff Wells, Rigorous Intuition
"It can't be just said that it was just an accident.
We can't accept this, it is not possible." - Giuliana Sgrena.

Blessed is the state that hides its most egregious crimes behind the smokescreen of incompetance.

Consider the attempted assassination of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena.

Pier Scolari, Sgrena's partner, saidyesterday "either this was an ambush, as I think, or we are dealing with imbeciles or terrorized kids who shoot at anyone." <
x.html >

Since the latter has already been tragically demonstrated many times over in Iraq (graphically evidenced here:
vestigating-incident.html ), it makes an almost plausible explanation of what befell Sgrena's car, and a consoling fable to those who still balk at the notion that the United States has deliberately targetted journalists in Iraq. Which may very well be why the attempt on her life was made in this fashion.

Much of the world, and certainly much of Italy, has no qualms about assessing the contrary claims and evidence, and finding for intention. Most Americans, who lack a curious press in all but the most regrettable sense, will swallow their military's explanation, priding themselves on the fact that President Bush has promised an investigation, and presume the Italians were barrelling through a checkpoint. What did they expect, for Pete's sake? They had it coming.

The official line says that Sgrena's car ran a checkpoint at high speed <
x.html >.

But "it wasn't a checkpoint," saysSgrena <
.ri0&refer=europe >, and they weren't shot by sentries. It was "a patrol that started shooting after pointing some lights in our direction...we didn't understand where the shots came from.''
The car was only 700 metres from the airport, "which means that they had passed all checkpoints," adds Scolari < >.

The military contends it was uninformed about the progress of the negotions for her release, and was unaware Sgrena was on her way. But "the Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Scolari says.

The US has the troops first firing warning shots, then shooting into the engine block to stop the vehicle. The Italians say they were hit by hundreds of bullets. The Observerreports up to 400 rounds struck their car "from an armoured vehicle <,6903,14
31436,00.html >. Rather than calling immediately for assistance for the wounded Italians, the soldiers' first move was to confiscate their weapons and mobile phones and they were prevented from resuming contact with Rome for more than an hour." Sgrena's car, the US claims, is now "lost," and cannot be inspected.)

And what should we think of this: if the US forces regarded the vehicle as a threat, why did its driver escape unscathed? The only fatality was secret service agent Nicola Calipari, who "was killed as he threw his body across Sgrena."
He died instantly, struck in the temple.

Before the invasion began, Kate Adie, then of the BBC, reported < >she had been told by a Pentagon official that any [satellite] uplinks by journalists would be fired on" by US aircraft. The message couldn't be clearer: Embed or die.

Robert Fisk, had this to say in April, 2003, about the deaths of several colleagues <
mID=3419 >:

First the Americans killed the correspondent of al-Jazeera yesterday and wounded his cameraman. Then, within four hours, they attacked the Reuters television bureau in Baghdad, killing one of its cameramen and a cameraman for Spain's Tele 5 channel and wounding four other members of the Reuters staff.
Back in 2001, the United States fired a cruise missile at al-Jazeera's office in Kabul – from which tapes of Osama bin Laden had been broadcast around the world. No explanation was ever given for this extraordinary attack on the night before the city's "liberation"; the Kabul correspondent, Taiseer Alouni, was unhurt. By the strange coincidence of journalism, Mr Alouni was in the Baghdad office yesterday to endure the USAF's second attack on al-Jazeera.

Far more disturbing, however, is the fact that the al-Jazeera network – the freest Arab television station, which has incurred the fury of both the Americans and the Iraqi authorities for its live coverage of the war – gave the Pentagon the co-ordinates of its Baghdad office two months ago and received assurances that the bureau would not be attacked.

The year 2004 was the bloodiest on record for journalists, with much thanks to US forces in Iraq. How many of those deaths can incompetence explain? And when does Eason Jordan get back his job <
/11/esn_res.html >?

George W Bush makes the perfect empty suit to shoulder the case for ineptitude. Since such a man is titular Commander in Chief, it's no great stretch to imbue the US military with his characteristic imbecility. But that would be to presume a couple of things true, which I think are not: that Bush truly commands, and that chaos and ruin are never the intended result of US policy.

It may feel good to call Bush and his team miserable failures, yet they've stolen two presidential elections and a midterm, have dug into Iraq and the Caspian basin, and are looting the Treasury without obstruction. They may be failures in our eyes, but we're judging them on the terms of our values, while theirs can appear to us upside down. And we need to regard more than the surface of things, to make sense of their actions, and how they judge success.

For instance, the Bush White House is clearly bankrupting America: is that by accident, or design? Does it demonstrate incompent management, or is it the intentional manufacture of a crisis, to crash the system and create a larcenous Year Zero?

What makes us feel better, and which is more likely true: that they don't know what they're doing, or they do?

Here are two excerpts from Sgrena's work, which may speak to motive. First, a July, 2004 interview with a woman tortured in Abu Ghraib:

I asked her if she was held on her own all the time. 'No. It was then that they put me in a cell with other women, two women per cell. There were thirteen women, mainly wives of men belonging to the previous regime, and seven children. There was even the wife of Sabah Merza, one of Saddam's guards in the 1970s, who kept her hands plunged in ice to soothe the pain caused by the torture that had been inflicted on her. Another woman was in really bad shape: they'd kept hurling her against the wall. Another had been locked in a tiny cage for six days and couldn't even move. One of the prisoners had been forced to walk on all fours and her knees and elbows were in a terrible state. Another woman had been forced to separate faeces from urine, using her own hands. The soldiers frequently forced us to drink water from the toilet bowl. A woman of sixty, who had said she was a virgin, was continually threatened with rape.'

Did you know of cases of rape? 'Yes, but I'm not going to go into that. In our society, it's something you don't talk about.' How old were the women prisoners? 'Between forty and sixty years of age.' And what about children, how were they treated? 'We heard them screaming. They were tortured too. Mostly dogs were set on them.'

And last November, in Fallujah:

"We buried them, but we could not identify them because they were charred from the napalm bombs used by the Americans." People from Saqlawiya village, near Falluja, told al Jazeera television, based in Qatar, that they helped bury 73 bodies of women and children completely charred, all in the same grave. The sad story of common graves, which started at Saddam’s times, is not yet finished. Nobody could confirm if napalm bombs have been used in Falluja, but other bodies found last year after the fierce battle at Baghdad airport were also completely charred and some thought of nuclear bombs. No independent source could verify the facts, since all the news arrived until now are those spread by journalists embedded with the American troops, who would only allow British and American media to enrol with them. But the villagers who fled in the last few days spoke of many bodies which had not been buried: it was too dangerous to collect the corpses during the battle.

As she was released, Sgrena's captors - whoever they were - warned her to take care, because "there are Americans who don't want you to go back." < >

An independent foreign journalist, witness to numerous war crimes, writing for a communist paper. Would the killers and heirs of killers of nuns, Kennedys and Kings blink an eye at targetting such a person?

Sgrena's ambush was a colossal mistake, only because she survived it.

:: Article nr. 10190 sent on 07-mar-2005 06:01 ECT

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The Americas Taliban

The Americas Taliban

"Wherever they establish their domain, they impose strict rules on daily life and customs: the haircuts of the young people, the closing times of the bars and clubs, and above all, they control and harass the women."

The Other Colombia, the One of Hope
Militarism and Social Movements
Weekend Edition
March 5 / 6, 2005

"Half of the country is in the hands of the paras," Paula says by the candlelight in a bar in La Candelaria, the historic old town of Bogotá that has been declared a World Heritage Site. "Wherever they establish their domain, they impose strict rules on daily life and customs: the haircuts of the young people, the closing times of the bars and clubs, and above all, they control and harass the women." Paula works for an environmental organization and she cannot hide her anguish over a country that she and many other Colombians feel is slipping out of their hands. Daniel, a university professor, more calmly adds, "Here there was a war and the paramilitaries won. The paramilitaries are not only auxiliaries of the state, but they are also the embodiment of a societal project that hopes to wipe out the social advances and conquests of more than a century."

Both assertions, at first glance, appear exaggerated. Friday night, La Candelaria is full of young students from the private universities that abound in the area who flock to the many bars that dot this beautiful neighborhood of narrow, cobblestone streets and old colonial houses. The night seems peaceful with nothing to reveal that the country is at war and, as my hosts claim, controlled by the military. But upon leaving the bar, we see uniformed patrols entering the nightspots, asking for documentation or simply observing the clientele. Back at the hotel, we turn on the television to a program about the Colombian armed forces, with beautiful young women extolling the virtues of the military's social work.

As the days pass, my initial doubts about militarization disappear. Bogotá is a city bristling with olive-green uniforms. The military presence is an unavoidable part of daily life. At the main entrance of the National University, for example, several armored vehicles serve to remind the students that at any moment the soldiers may enter to restore "order." This kind of supervision constitutes systematic control of the very pores of social life. And with it, according to all reports, fear is converted into a way of life, with no end in sight.

If the military presence is suffocating in the big city, in the rural areas it is even stronger and, above all, more indiscriminate. The war and violence in Colombia revolve on a central axis: land. Territorial control is the reason for a conflict that has already lasted half a century. It began in 1948, when liberal leader and popular mayor Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated. He was detested by the Colombian oligarchy, one of the most unyielding in the world. With time and global changes, the fight for land as a means of production is being replaced with the defense of territory as a space to nurture identities, people's histories, and natural riches. Additionally, Colombia has been converted into an essential piece of the regional, geopolitical chess game, for its ports on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, for its proximity to Panama and the world's most important maritime route, and for its extensive border with Venezuela, a country that is in the sights of the White House.

Winning the War

Álvaro Uribe was elected president of the war. A half century of civil violence (since the Bogotazo of 1948, a spontaneous popular insurrection after the assassination of Gaitán) and 20 years of failed peace processes have generated deep skepticism in a population that is tired of politicians and their electoral promises.

War is destroying the social fabric of the country: Almost 3 million displaced persons, 8,000 homicides annually for socio-political reasons, 3,500 detentions a year, and hundreds of forced disappearances. These are the tragic results of a conflict that appears interminable. In all, Colombia has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with some 27,000 homicides a year. (1) The state appears incapable of offering security and justice in a situation of deteriorating institutions. This panorama explains the reasons why the population feels fear and chose security in 2002, electing Álvaro Uribe, who was promoted by the paramilitary sector, on a hard-line platform of ending the war. The ruinous situation dates back decades. In 1978, then-President Turbay Ayala (1978-1982) expanded the Statute of Security, which gave the armed forces judicial functions and opened the doors to the systematic violation of human rights. The Constitution of 1991 eliminated the state of siege with which the country had been governed for one century, but it instituted a state of shock.

Colombia lives in a permanent contradiction between constructing democratic order or authoritarian order. The wide-ranging violence and the election of Uribe tipped the balance toward the second option. The neoliberal model, generator of exclusion and social marginalization, and the policies of the government of U.S. President George W. Bush, among them the "Plan Colombia," do nothing more than strengthen authoritarianism. The present Colombian administration decided to cut social spending in order to finance the war. The methods adopted by Uribe clearly show this orientation: the creation of a net of civilian informers of up to a million people to help the armed forces; security fronts in neighborhoods and businesses; tied to this a network of taxi and other drivers to ensure security on streets and highways; and the establishment of a Day of Reward that pays citizens who in the previous week helped the law stop acts of terrorism and capture those responsible. Moreover, the government has increased the personnel in the armed forces by 30,000 and in the police force by 10,000. Plus, it has created 120,000 "peasant soldiers." It has also set up Zones of Rehabilitation and Consolidation under the direction of the military in which civil liberties, such as the right of assembly and mobilization, are restricted.

At the same time that this promotes the dismantling of the public apparatus, it is generating situations of legal informality that favor indiscretion in the use of force. The scheme encourages the reorganization of society using the army as a model. Analyst María Teresa Uribe maintains that it is an attempt to "model society along the lines of a militia and convert the citizen into a combatant with duties and obligations in the scenes of war." With this vigilante society, "trust between neighbors, old loyalties of solidarity and the threads of cordiality break, dissolve, atomize; and in this context of mutual suspicion, collective action, public deliberation, and social organization decline. It ends with silence prevailing and with the withdrawal of individuals into the private and domestic sphere." (2)

Guerrillas, Paramilitaries, Drug Trafficking

The previous description, although correct, does not cover the whole problem. The war happens on stages determined by geography and history's idiosyncrasies. Colombia's fragmented territory is divided by three branches of the Andean mountain range. It is crisscrossed by jungles and mountains, forests of permanent fog, deep valleys, and inaccessible regions. The Colombian state, which was formed by the gradual integration of territories, populations, and social groups, never was able to control all of this territory. It never was a modern state, and today the principal economic and social problem of the country is the concentration of land, which generated an agrarian problem that was never resolved. In sum, there never was a true state in Colombia or anything like agrarian reform or a redistribution of the land, which makes Colombia different from many other South American countries.

The enormous power of the national and regional elites, woven over a stratified social base and the marginalization of the majority of farmers, produced two complementary facts: the fragmentation of the presence of the state and the weakness of the mechanisms of social regulation. This was compensated for with a wider movement of permanent colonization, with the expulsion of the "excess" population of farmers toward the margins of agricultural borders and, more recently, toward the periphery of the big cities. "In these zones the organization of social life is left to the free play of the people and social groups, due to the absence of state regulation and the lack of relations with the national society." (3)

In these areas the guerilla was born. It is the continuation-certainly amplified and more systematic-of a duality of powers inherited from colonial times: The isolated territories were populated by marginalized groups, mestizos reluctant to bow to the control of the clergy, whites without land, blacks and mulattos fleeing from the mines. These are regions that are the exact opposite face of the elitist cities, which are governed as the feudal territory of the dominant groups. Daniel Pécaut, one of the most knowledgeable analysts of Colombia, maintains that the state conserves its own oligarchic and exclusive features. For that matter, so does the culture of the Colombian elites.

FARC, created in 1966, emerged from groups of farmers armed to defend the liberal communities that emerged during la Violencia. (4) Rather than seeking nearly impossible ideological agreement, they sought territorial affinities. The guerilla was consolidated in the zones of colonization, where the peasants needed to protect themselves from the state and the landowners, and where the geography offered refuge. Afterward, the cultural changes of the 1970s, the criminalization of peasant protest, the birth of the powerful urban movements (workers and students), and the radicalization of the middle class contributed to the birth of other rebel groups (ELN, EPL, and M-19). Currently, FARC counts some 20,000 combatants and the ELN has some 4,000. The other groups disarmed throughout the 1990s.

The paramilitary groups (of 10,000 to 20,000 members) were born out of the civil "self-defense" groups, legally created by the army at the end of the 1960s to serve as backup to counterinsurgency operations. Amnesty International and Americas Watch have thoroughly documented the close relationship between the paramilitaries and the security forces of the state, as have the United Nations and the Organization of American States. They all attribute the immense majority of human rights violations in Colombia to the paramilitary groups and they characterize them as imposing terror in the zones that they control.

But things do not stop here. The paramilitaries are tightly tied to the big landowners (their "social cradle") and to drug trafficking, sectors whose limits are also hard to define. While the army handed out the weapons to the paramilitary forces, it was the owners of coffee plantations and cattle farmers who organized them, choosing to confront the FARC on their own ground, with the formation of groups of drug-addicted peasants. Their targets were not only the guerillas, but also the union leaders, professors, journalists, defenders of human rights, and politicians of the left. With the years, the rise of drug trafficking has modified this situation. The Americas Watch 1990 report states that the drug traffickers have become big landowners, and as such, have begun to share the right-wing politics of the traditional landowners and directors of some of the most notorious paramilitary groups. (5)

The diverse "private armies" ended up coming together as the United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC) during the 1990s. Economically and militarily powerful, they contributed to choosing a president who is considered a loyal friend, in addition to the numerous legislators who back them. On July 15, 2003 the government and the AUC signed an agreement for demobilization. It has been two years since they announced a ceasefire, yet in 2004 they were responsible for the death or disappearance of 1,300 people, or more than 70% of all of the politically motivated homicides in the country not related to combat. (6) Demobilization talks are continuing in Santa Fé de Ralito. While the government defends the demobilization of AUC and says it is submitting to justice, the paramilitaries have rejected this possibility. One of the greatest difficulties is that many of the paramilitary leaders can be extradited to the United States, where they would be judged for drug trafficking.

Three Phases of Plan Colombia

Plan Colombia is useful for militarization of the country, but also, in a striking way, for the consolidation of paramilitarism as a social and political alternative. Some analysts distinguish three phases of the process of consolidation and expansion, based on the declarations of the paramilitary leaders themselves. An imperative reference is the experience of the Magdalena Medio, one of the strategic zones of the country where the ultra-right was able to uproot enclaves of guerillas and the union movement (as it has in the oil city of Barrancabermeja).

The first phase is about "liberating" by means of war or terror "large zones of subversion and its popular bases of support, imposing the process of land concentration, the modernization of roads, of services, and of infrastructure, the development of capital and the new hierarchical structure, and the authority in the social and political organization of the region." The second phase is about "bringing wealth to the region" by generating jobs, handing over land, different kinds of productive projects, technical assistance, and credit. This looks good on paper, but "the new inhabitants who occupy the old liberated zones are not those who were uprooted by violence; it is a new population (poor people brought from other regions), loyal to the 'patroncito' who rapidly organized them, formed their base groups. This is the paramilitary self-defense." The third phase is consolidation, when the conditions are ripe for the expansion of multinational capitalism and the modernizing state. (7)

The objectives of Plan Colombia are present in each one of the three stages: Although 80% of the resources appear to be dedicated to the war and the strengthening of the military apparatus, important parts of the budget are dedicated to plans to improve the infrastructure, health, education, and alternative development (see Plan Colombia). In this sense, it is important to conceive of Plan Colombia as an integral, long-range project to "open" the entire region to the control of the multinationals and the United States. That is why analysts frequently point out that Plan Colombia is a way of "preparing the turf" for the imposition of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). (8)

In fact, in some regions such as in Magdelena Medio, parts of the resources of the Plan Colombia fell into the hands of the paramilitaries' nongovernmental organizations that manage the plan's social funds. At the same time, with the imposition of strict control over daily life, the project of domination allows "the revival of paternalism of the old landlords without the minimum social obligations of the past." (9) In Barrancabermeja, a paramilitary laboratory, "they prohibited the kids from wearing long hair, earrings, and bracelets. They closed the gay bars, and the beauty parlors of homosexual men were transferred to women. They killed one homosexual man, and then they cut off his penis and put it in the mouth of the dead body." Also, they established a curfew for minors and obligatory schooling until age 17. They limited the hours for public establishments and imposed sanctions and punishments on those who disobey. The report from various human rights organizations about the Magdalena Medio notes: "On a side street in any of the neighborhoods of Barrancabermeja and Puerto Wilches, one can see boys with machete in hand, cleaning the public areas as part of their punishment. In other cases they are forced to wear signs that say that they are thieves, prostitutes, etc." Reaching the end of the report, I find that the anguish of my hosts in Bogotá, Paula and Daniel, is more than justified.

Difficult Work of Social Movements

How can one create a social movement in a militarized society, one in which the spaces for public action are closed, and where the activists and leaders are killed or systematically kidnapped? And, above all, how can civil society avoid reproducing militarism in the process? For those seeking demilitarization, there is no question that all actors in the conflict violate human rights, including the guerillas. In Colombia, Pécaut points out, "Violence is not only a series of happenings, it is the eruption of a new modality of politics." That is to say that politics since 1948 or even earlier represents violence. (11) The depths of the violence in Colombia are such that not only does it impregnate all manifestations of the political and social, rather it constitutes them.

Nevertheless, some models exist for escaping the logic of polarization through the creation of demilitarized zones off limits to the different actors in the conflict: guerillas, paramilitaries, and army. It is not something simple, since violent elements break in to destroy, assassinate, sequester, and torture. What's more, these areas have been considered at some time or other by all the actors in the conflict as zones of real or potential "enemies." Nonetheless, these models provide an option to the temptation to respond to the violence with violence or the temptation to abandon the land, an even more frequent desire. Luis Angel Saavedra, director of Inredh, a human rights organization in Quito, maintains that "Plan Colombia is a part of a greater strategy to control the social movements of Latin America, and the resources of this part of the world." (12) He argues that similar plans for military control were undertaken in all of the countries of the Andean region with the pretext of coca eradication, because they are the sites where the peace movements are most active. From this follows the urgent necessity of finding alternatives to militarism, which always favors those who dominate.

The second problem is the lack of a real social movement of national proportions able to demonstrate itself as an alternative to the conflict. A good part of the experiences for peace are local initiatives, with the notable exception of the indigenous movement that only represents 2% of the Colombian population but has a large geographic area of influence. The Regional Indigenous Council of the Cauca (CRIC) forms part of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), which unites all the ethnicities of the country. As an outcome of hundreds of years of resistance, the indigenous peoples obtained recognition of territories, called "indigenous havens." There are 712 in the country and they occupy 30% of the Colombian territory. The Constitution of 1991 recognizes collective rights and the Indian people's territories. But they are being threatened by what they call a "new invasion." The pressure is on to eliminate Article 329 of the Constitution, which recognizes the inalienable character of indigenous territories, in order to implement the FTAA.

The indigenous peoples of the Cauca are resisting the war by their decision not to participate in the conflict. They do it as a community and collectively, based on their cosmology, in an unarmed and non-violent way. They maintain that they are experiencing the new invasion as a consequence of globalization. The first and fundamental step is the defense of territory, from people as well as from cultural, social, and economic threats. They are trying to maintain diversity in the means of production, rescuing and strengthening traditional ways of cultivating the earth, conserving seeds to prevent the disappearance of crops--everything contrary to the intentions of the FTAA. They postulate territorial organization as "a perfectly viable way for the general population to resist the war." (13)

They resist being uprooted and hold onto their land. They preserve their own languages as a way to defy cultural homogenization. They value and fortify traditional knowledge of healing and all that affects the territory and the population. Their communities have organized "Indian guards," unarmed commune members with ancestral canes of authority or chontas, who protect residents. The guard "depends exclusively on the community, which in big assemblies decided to reorganize it, establishing rules of control, criteria and requisites for its members."(14) Guards carry out no police functions, and all commune members have to take their turns at being guards. They have set up meeting places for inhabitants to gather when an armed conflict breaks out between the guerrilla and the paramilitaries or the army. They sound alarms for the community at times of danger. Without resorting to violence, the guards have recovered people kidnapped by armed groups. They maintain that the system of guards can be utilized by other sectors of the population to resist the war, too.

Besides the indigenous communities in Colombia, other population groups around the country, and especially in rural areas, have declared their territory war-free, demanding that the armed groups leave. San José de Apartadó, in the north of the country, is the first of these communities of peace. Created in 1997, it maintains its stance despite the aggressions of armed groups from the left and the right. In only seven years the small community suffered more than 360 human rights violations and more than 144 assassinations, perpetrated by the actors of the conflicts.

In August, San José de Apartadó opened the Peasant University of the Resistance, receiving support from 15 other communities. In December of 2004, the community held the Second Meeting of Communities of Civil Resistance, "inspired by life and solidarity as an answer to the actions of death that the Colombian state uses against the communities." It is true that the communities of peace movement is small for the size of the challenges, but to have maintained itself and expanded in the past seven years, the most violent years of the war, spells hope.

Apart from the urban mobilizations against the war, Plan Colombia, and the FTAA was the outstanding indigenous "Minga for Life, Autonomy, Liberty, Justice, and Happiness," which was celebrated this past Sept. 13. La minga (a collective work in the indigenous language) was a mobilization of 60,000 Indians of the Cauca (south) that convened in Cali for three days.

Organized by the CRIC, la minga was not directed at the government. It featured no platform of vindications. Rather it was directed toward the people, who were called upon to defend life against the war and to oppose the free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States. The large mobilization managed to create a demilitarized zone for three days. It opened with the rescue of the Indian mayor of Toribío, kidnapped by the FARC. The members of the indigenous guard arrived en masse, overwhelmed the troops of the armed group and liberated the mayor together with his delegation.

The indigenous people showed that it is possible to pry open cracks in a militarized society, if it's clear that you don't fight war with more war. Or, as the indigenous women of the south say, fight to undermine "the dominant logics of eliminating the other," because "in the logics of life, there is no other, rather the constant flow that does not eliminate but creates." They denounce the logic of destruction, saying it is only for the oppressors or the oppressed, because "the ends and the means cannot be separated." (15) They believe that the transformations are made from the bottom up and from the inside out, from the local to the global and from the singular to the universal. That's what helped them break the barriers of militarism and indifference. Daniel, the professor from Bogotá, was in Cali that Wednesday in September when thousands of Indians crossed the elegant commercial streets in the second-largest city in Colombia. "It was exciting," he confesses, "to see the rest of the population's reception of the Indians. The people were applauding and others were crying. This is the other Colombia, the one of hope."

Raúl Zibechi is a member of Editorial Council of the weekly Brecha de Montevideo, teacher and research of social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina , and adviser to social groups. He is a monthly contributor to the IRC's Americas Program.


Acosta, Alfredo (2004) "Resistencia indígena ante unanueva invasión," en La resistencia civil. Estrategias de acción y protección en los contextos de guerra y globalización, PIUCP, Bogotá.

Americas Watch (1991) La 'guerra' contra las drogas en Colombia, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá.

Amnistía Internacional (2004) Colombia: un laboratorio de guerra. Represión y violencia en Arauca.

Caldón, José Domingo "Pueblos indígenas y resistencia a la guerra," en La resistencia civil, ob. cit.

González, Fernán 2004 "Una mirada de largo plazo sobre la violencia en Colombia," en revista Bajo el volcán, Puebla, No. 7.

Loingsigh, Gearóid (2002) La estrategia integral de paramilitarismo en el Magdalena Medio de Colombia, en

Pécaut, Daniel (1987) Orden y violencia: Colombia 1930-1954, Siglo XXI, Bogotá.

Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (2004) Reelección: el embrujo continúa. Segundo año de gobierno de Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Bogotá, 2004.

Unidad Indígena (2004) periódico de la ONIC, No. 119, Bogotá, septiembre.

Salgado Ruiz, Henry (2004) "Plan Colombia: ¿Guerra contra las drogas o contra las poblaciones amazónicas?," en Bajo el volcán, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Puebla, No. 7.

Sarmiento, Libardo (1996) Un modelo piloto de modernización autoritaria en Colombia, CREDHOS, Barrancabermeja.

Uribe, María Teresa, "El republicanismo patriótico," en Reelección: el embrujo continúa, ob. cit.

Zuluaga Nieto, Jaime (2003) "Colombia: entre la democracia y el autoritarismo," revista OSAL No. 9, Buenos Aires, enero.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Not One Drop of Oil Promises Chavez

Not One Drop of Oil Promises Chavez

Venezuela's Chavez Says U.S. Plotting His Murder

NEW DELHI - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday he had evidence that the United States was planning to assassinate him, an allegation the U.S. government earlier dismissed as "wild."

"We have enough evidence ... If anything happens to me, the person responsible will be the president of the United States," Chavez told reporters in New Delhi. He did not elaborate.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, standing left, addresses a gathering in Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 5, 2005. Chavez said Saturday a report by Iraq's health ministry claimed that US forces in Iraq had used mustard gas and nerve gas during their assault on the town of Fallujah last year. In the backdrop is a map of Venezuela. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

The exchange of accusations between the left-wing Chavez and U.S. officials has reached fever pitch in recent weeks, raising questions whether the multibillion-dollar energy relationship between Washington and one of its top oil suppliers is at risk.

Chavez said on Feb. 20 the United States was plotting to kill him, and his foreign minister said three days later that U.S. accusations against Chavez were a sign of an impending attack. Washington dismissed what it termed Chavez's "wild charges."

U.S. officials portray the former paratrooper, a virulent critic of President Bush, as an authoritarian menace. Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has singled out self-proclaimed socialist Chavez as a "destabilizing influence" in Latin America.

They have also renewed charges that Chavez, a firebrand nationalist, shelters Colombian Marxist rebels and recently criticized Venezuelan purchases of Russian automatic rifles.

Chavez said in New Delhi he had no quarrel with the people of United States, only with its government. He cited U.S. action in Iraq and said the U.S. government was a threat to the entire world.

Venezuela's relations with the United States have been strained since leftist Chavez was elected in 1998. He has bolstered ties with anti-U.S. countries such as Cuba and alleged Washington was involved in a failed coup against him in 2002.

Many analysts see the rhetoric aimed at domestic political audiences and do not believe it heralds any imminent diplomatic or commercial rift. ALthough Chavez is exploring new oil markets like China, U.S. oil companies continue to negotiate major investments in Venezuela.

On Friday, Chavez said his country would not stop supplying oil to the United States unless "the U.S. government gets a little bit crazy and tries to hurt us."

© 2005 Reuters Ltd

Fed Up With Ed: A Tardy Change of the Guard

Greenspan: Why Is Anyone Still Listening to This Partisan Hack?
Dave Lindorff
March 2, '05

Any Democrat who still offers praise for Alan Greenspan after his latest propaganda supporting the Bush attack on Social Security should be dumped by the party and voters alike.

Greenspan has always been a Republican agent at the Federal Reserve, even in the Clinton years, but his support for private Social Security funds, and his latest warning that cuts in benefits for retirees need to be considered are both scientifically unjustified and unsupported, and politically craven, especially coming from a man who himself is already collecting the maximum Social Security benefit and who stands to walk away with a $100,000/year federal pension on top of that when he finally retires as Reserve Board chairman.

Democrats in Congress have largely gone along with the charade that the reserve board chairman is above politics and that his deliberately chimerical statements on interest rates and fiscal and monetary policy are received wisdom.

In fact, Greenspan contributed mightily to the collapse of the stock market following the popping of the Internet bubble, by failing to act to limit stock speculation in the mid and late 1990s--something he could have easily done without even touching interest rates, by simply increasing margin requirements on investors.

His pronouncements on the financial stability of the Social Security system are no more prescient or sound than his economic forecasting skills, which have been repeatedly found wanting.

It is probably worth remembering that when Greenspan left his private career as owner of a pension management firm, Townsend Greenspan, and went into government service, he left a company run into the ground because of his poor investment advice and market forecasting abilities. By the time he left, Townsend Greenspan had lost all its clients, who had all sought more capable advisers with better records.

American workers should remember all this when they read news reports quoting Greenspan as saying that the Social Security system cannot be expected to pay promised benefits to future retirees.

Tom Reeves: The Haitian People Won't Give Up

Reeves: The Haitian People Won't Give Up
Weekend Edition
March 5 / 6, 2005

The Haitian People Won't Give Up
Disguised Coup, Hidden Abuses

February 28, 2005, marked one year since the U.S. removed at gun point the democratically-elected President of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide Those who read or listen to almost any U.S. or Canadian media assume that Aristide was a dictator who lost his popularity due to corruption and human rights abuses. Even many "progressive" organizations in the U.S. mouth these same complaints. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Paul Farmer, the internationally renowned physician whose clinic in Haiti treats thousands of AIDS patients, told me, "Everybody knows that Aristide was bad. Everybody, that is, except the Haitian poor - 85 per cent of the population."

Most of Haiti's poorest people continue to demand Aristide's return. On this first anniversary of the coup, thousands poured out of Bel Aire, the slum behind the Presidential Palace in Port au Prince, shouting "Arrest us all," and "Aristide or death." Journalists present and the spokesman for the UN MINUSTAH force say it was a completely peaceful march. The Miami Herald reporter on the scene broke ranks with those who usually cover Haiti for that newspaper and who regularly blame all violence on Aristide supporters. He said (March 1) that the Haitian National Police opened fire on singing, chanting men, women and children, killing at least two, and wounding many more. In fact, a total of five deaths and twenty wounded were later verified. The Brazilian officer representing MINUSTAH, Carlos Chagas Braga, told him, "When things like this happen, we are in a bad situation. Everything was going peacefully. We are supposed to support the police. We cannot fire at them." Later, Brazilian General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, the head of MINUSTAH, denounced this and other similar Haitian police killings as poisoning the atmosphere for reconciliation which MINUSTAH was working hard to creae. (See CounterPunch on February 28 for first-hand coverage by U.S. Attorney Bill Quigley.)

Father Gerard Jean-Juste is well-known for his work among the poor in Miami as well as Haiti. He was seized by Haitian police, wearing hoods and not identifying themselves as police, while feeding poor children in his parish last fall. He was then held in deplorable conditions without a trial for months before an international outcry helped gain his freedom in December. Father Jean-Juste was at the palace demonstration February 28. The Miami Herald quoted him as saying he saw one of his own parishioners shot. The Herald reporter said Jean-Juste has been reporting summary execution of Lavalas members for months. "This time it happened in front of me," Jean-Juste said. He might have said, this time the whole world could see ii.

Haitians and their supporters around the world held similar marches, without violence, but mostly also ignored by media: Ottawa, British Columbia, Paris, Montreal, Boston, New York, San Francisco, among others. In Ottawa, a representative of the Privy Council came out to receive a copy of a blistering human rights report that shows police trained by Canadians committed serious abuses against Lavalas activists and other residents of poor neighborhoods. Even this kind of token gesture was not to be found at any of the U.S. demonstrations. The work of Canadian Haiti solidarity activists has been much more visible and united than that in the U.S., and even the current Liberal government, which has towed the U.S. line on Haiti, has to take notice of it.

I joined a band of some fifty souls at the White House on February 28 to protest the U.S. coup and its brutal aftermath. We marched in a snowstorm, chanting "Remove Bush, Return Aristide," and "Justice for Haiti." The group included members of the Jonah House and several Catholic Workers' houses, groups of pacifists who often commit civil disobedience against unjust U.S. policies. Other participating groups included Pax Christi, EPICA an ecumenical NGO, and Black Voices for Peace. Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who had just returned from Haiti where he witnessed police intimidation of his host at a Catholic guest house, joined the other demonstrators to risk arrest by holding the protest along the fence in a space where demonstrators are usually arrested. Haitians included Eugenia Charles, of Fondasyon Mapou, who led the demonstration, and Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine of the September 30 Foundation - representing victims of repression in Haiti. It's members have been forced into hiding or exile since a massive campaign to kill and arrest Aristide's supporters began in the wake of the coup. September 30 Foundation and Fondasyon Mapou hold weekly vigils at the Haitian Embassy in Washington. For information, see

Pierre-Antoine, speaking in Creole through a bull-horn, called U.S. actions "evil," denouncing the 33rd coup in Haiti perpetrated by U.S. minions. He spoke of massacres in the days leading up to the anniversary of as many as 50 Aristide supporters in several poor Port au Prince neighborhoods. These are in addition to scores of documented police raids since September into Lavalas strongholds, accompanied by the UN "blue helmets, resulting in hundreds of deaths of Lavalas activists and innocent bystanders - always the poorest of the poor in Haiti are the ones to die. Rep. Maxine Waters, of the Congressional Black Caucus, sent a statement to the rally: "Haiti today is in total chaos. The interim government put in power by the a complete failure....Human rights violations are commonplace throughout Haiti....(M)embers of President Aristide's government have been detained illegally, including former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune...As of February 18, there were over 700 political prisoners in Haiti's jails...most...without formal charges."

Also protesting that day along the White House fence were a hundred or so disabled people, many in wheelchairs or with walkers, demanding that Bush restore cuts he has made in Federal programs for the disabled. The disabled also blocked both White House gates - actions that would usually bring arrests. Such a confrontation would have been ugly PR for the President, so both their group and ours were allowed to tread where demonstrators are usually not allowed. Strolling between the two groups were occasional tourists - a young couple who photographed themselves giving us the finger; a band of white prep school boys, one of whom asked if he could hold a sign for a moment, that said, "CIA out of Haiti." Police were everywhere, but like the tourists and the absent media, they generally ignored us all.

The United States sent marines to Haiti a year ago to force out of office a government that even they admit was legitimate and democratically elected. This was done amid brutal violence committed by former army officers and others convicted in a Haitian court, with acclaimed international supervision, of murders and other atrocities during the previous coup period in the 1990s. The self-styled "rebels" again committed massacres and rapes across the country, using weapons which have now been clearly traced to U.S. stockpiles in the Dominican Republic. The "rebels" were politically trained and financed by U.S. groups like the International Republican Institute (IRI), a foundation with major U.S. Republican politicians on its board.

The U.S. oversaw an unconstitutional process which installed the puppet regime of Gerard Latortue, a U.N. bureaucrat who lived opulently in Boca Raton, Florida. Latortue brought so many of his exile colleagues into the Cabinet, his government has been called the Boca Raton regime - which immediately began implementing the most draconian measures of "structural adjustment" demanded by its neoliberal bosses at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This meant vast cutbacks in the already impoverished education, health and other human services systems of the public sector.

Latortue acclaimed the thugs from the former army as "freedom fighters," and allowed them virtual free reign across most of the country to continue their murders and terror campaigns against Lavalas, the political party and broad movement of the poor in Haiti that was led by Aristide. Despite squabbles between the old landed and military elite and the sweat-shop owners and other business elite, Latortue allowed the former soldiers to dominate the Haitian National Police, which conducted regular sweeps of the poor neighborhoods of Port au Prince. The extreme brutality of these raids - has been well documented, including the November, 2004, report of the Center for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR) at the University of Miami. This incredible document, based on investigations by the prominent Philadelphia attorney, Thomas Griffin, and others, is the one presented at Ottawa on February 28. It leaves little doubt that a full-scale terror campaign is going on in Haiti - by the government, against the people; by the rich, against the poor; by those trained and funded by the U.S. and guarded by the U.N., and against the mass movement called Lavalas - the cleansing flood - that Aristide promised would someday bring justice for the poor of Haiti.

A U.S. funded coup-d'état. The removal of an elected President. A puppet regime of the U.S. decimating the feeble human services of the poorest country in the world. Massive human rights abuses, including assassinations, false imprisonment without trials, and targeted murders of impoverished men, women and children. With the U.N. force, MINUSTAH, headed by Brazil, finally wavering in its loyalty to the U.S. brokers who sent them there, the U.S. announced last week it will be sending more than 1,000 fresh troops to Haiti - ostensibly for "humanitarian purposes." Yet almost all Americans, including most progressives, know nothing of any of this.

Who is to blame for the lack of outcry in the U.S? Surely the mainstream media - the Associated Press, Fox, CNN and those few media services that cover Haiti at all - have been manipulated to hush up and cover up the real story in Haiti. But worse, many so-called progressive media - as well as some U.S. liberal non-governmental organizations - have either been silent, or lent their credibility to those who support the atrocities in Haiti.

One example of an academic journal with solid left credentials that has failed to cover the real story in Haiti is the NACLA Report on the Americas. Depending almost exclusively on a formerly far-left journalist, disillusioned with Aristide, now working for the Miami Herald (Jane Regan), NACLA presents its readers with a version of events in Haiti scarcely different from the Miami Herald or CNN.*

In every story she writes, Regan repeats the mantras about Aristide's corruption and human rights violations - mostly unproved and surely pale in comparison to the current outrage. In the Miami Herald and elsewhere last year, Regan, interviewed the "rebels" at their headquarters in Gonaives and Cap Haitien, during periods of some of their worst atrocities, and portrayed them merely as swaggering (rather sexy) roughnecks.

In the February 2005 NACLA Report, Regan continues what can only be called a disinformation campaign against Lavalas. She repeats the myth widely reported in the commercial Haitian media (owned by leaders of the anti-Aristide elite) and repeated without verification in the U.S. media, that Lavalas launched last fall "Operation Baghdad," initiating a series of beheadings that Regan says became the most common form of political murder in Haiti - making Haiti look like Falujah. Long before Regan's article, it had been shown clearly by well-known journalist and film-maker Kevin Pina and others reporting to Democracy Now, Flashpoints Radio and other progressive media, that Latortue himself used the term "Operation Baghdad," not Lavalas, and that the three beheaded police officers were most likely killed by another faction of the former army within the Haitian police. No other beheadings have been verified. But the damage was done, and the image was everywhere: Lavalas was equated with Al Queda, beheadings and all. This is bad enough in the corporate media - but for a prestigious and left-leaning journal like NACLA Report, it is beyond belief.

Meanwhile, Grassroots International, a Boston-based NGO that has funded grassroots groups as well as leftist intellectuals in Haiti for years, has stuck with its sponsored groups, like MPP, a large peasant organization headed by Chavannes Jean Baptiste, formerly a close associate of Aristide who was embittered when Preval was chosen over him as candidate for President in 1995. Jean-Baptiste's group, in the Central Plateau, helped usher in the "rebels" as they headed for their early successes last year - despite the fact that the former military officers, ten years before, had sacked MPP headquarters and terrorized his family and supporters. Jean Baptiste accepted a role in the neo-liberal Latortue regime. In April 2005, I spoke with leaders of the MPP base who told me that many were upset with Jean Baptiste's actions, but the organization remained under his tight, charismatic control. Yet Grassroots has continued to support Jean Baptiste's line, which implies that because Aristide was corrupt and needed to be ousted, U.S. intervention - however regretable - could not be actively opposed, and the interim government showed promise that it would bring progressive change in Haiti. Surely now, the record must show Grassroots - and even Jean-Baptiste - that the opposite is true.

As we marched in front of the White House, a young organizer of the disabled people's movement, came over to ask us some questions. "I thought Aristide was the dictator," he said. "I thought things were getting better in Haiti." When we provided an opposite viewpoint, his response was, "All these leftist leaders - they start out well, but they all seem either stupid or corrupt or both: Bishop, Ortega, Chavez, Aristide. Castro isn't stupid, but he's a brutal dictator. When will we see some honest leftist leaders in Latin America?"

This gets to the core of the problem with a part of the U.S. Latin American solidarity movement and its allies among progressive U.S. groups and NGOs. The North American liberal elite feels it can sit in judgment on the leaders of movements in Latin America who dare to challenge U.S. hegemony. Never mind that these leaders had the overwhelming support of the poor in their countries. Never mind that they had to play world politics and world economics in a sinister game in which the U.S. held all the cards. As Aristide once told a group of leftists in Boston, "Who can we go to for weapons in a struggle for justice? We have to play the U.S. double-game, too."

Holier-than-thou professional activists and funders in Washington and Boston can feel their hands are clean as they sit silently, or quietly cheer, the U.S. take-over. The left was thus largely powerless to speak out against another clear example of U.S. imperialism, and to link it with the rightly deplored events in Iraq. The neo-cons in Washington must be chortling with glee - much of their work is being done for them by large segments of the left.

I asked Lovinksy Pierre-Antoine, after the demonstration, his advice for those leftists who remain critical of Aristide and sit on the sidelines in the current Haitian crisis. "Tell them, you cannot pick and choose who you support in the struggle against U.S. policies. You cannot occasionally oppose the imperialism of the U.S. You must oppose every act of aggression and intervention of the U.S., wherever and under whatever circumstances." It is time for the Haiti solidarity movement and its NGO and leftist allies in the United States to take this advice, and speak with one voice against the egregious example of U.S. imperialism in Haiti.

CARICOM, the organization of Caribbean states, continues to refuse recognition of the U.S.-installed Latortue government. They and the nations of the Organization of African Unity, as well as Venezuela and Cuba, demand a full investigation of the coup. South Africa goes further to continue to give safe haven to Aristide, to honor him as the Haitian President, to demand his return to Haiti now, and to call for a truly free election next year with Lavalas participating, monitored by independent observers.

Half the United Nations recognizes that a coup took place. They demand justice for Haiti. Freedom loving people in the U.S., Canada and France should support these demands. It is their job to expose the policies of their countries and to bring the U.S., France and Canada to task for what they have done. End the human rights abuses, disarm the former military, disband the current Haitian police, and provide real U.N. protection not for the police and a crooked government, but for the people of Haiti. Return constitutional democracy (and President Aristide) to Haiti. Let the Haitian people speak, as they did before in the elections of 1990, 1995 and 2000. This time, finally respect their will.

*To give full disclosure, the NACLA Report editors asked me two years ago to write an article about Haiti, because the editors said they wanted to balance their coverage. My article was eventually published, scaled down to a few hundred words, placed at the back of the magazine, not listed in the contents, and given a title that was the opposite of my article's emphasis: "The Failings of Aristide." (NACLA, July/August 2003).

Tom Reeves is a retired Caribbean studies professor from Boston.

Berlusconi Victim of Failed Journo Assassination

Botched Sgrena Hit Does Not Bode Well for Bush and Berlusconi
Kurt Nimmo
March 06, 2005

Still having editing problems; but I highly recommend checking out Kurt's blog, Another Day in the Empire. He's one of the best I've come across. -ape

Newspapers across the United States are publishing and posting the same story by Frances D’Emilio on the shooting of Giuliana Sgrena and the murder of Nicola Calipari.

The story is entitled “Story of Italian Hostage’s Release Unclear” and it is divided between the “circumstances” surrounding Sgrena’s release and the “friendly fire incident” that killed Calipari and wounded Sgrena. D’Emilio, however, left out a few important facts, as noted by Lew Rockwell:

“Despite the universal reprinting of Pentagon press releases by the US media—the Italian car carrying the hostage and her rescuers was speeding towards the checkpoint and refused to stop despite warning shots—the foreign press reports the truth. When the USG soldiers opened fire, the car was 700 yards from the airport and had passed all checkpoints. Giuliana Sgrena had helped expose Abu Graib and other US military crimes, including massacres in Fallujah, and she has much more to say. She is hated for not being embedded and FOXified, so they opened fire. One can never rule out a snafu—this is the government, after all—but the rest of the world sees it as an attempted hit.”

Consider the following posted on the Turkish Press site:

“The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming,” Pier Scolari [Sgrena’s companion] said on leaving Rome’s Celio military hospital where Sgrena is to undergo surgery following her return home. “They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints… Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive,” he added.

Apparently, the Italians are not taking the incident lightly. According to a report posted on the Corriere della Sera site [news item in Italian], the Italian government is demanding the Department of Justice turn over the names of the soldiers involved in the attack. “The shooting could rekindle anti-war sentiment in Italy, where public opinion opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq,” writes Christiano Corvino for SwissInfo. “Italy’s center-left, which hopes to unseat Berlusconi next year in elections and to weaken his standing at local government polls next month, is campaigning on a platform of withdrawing.” Italian newspapers “warned the government against a cover-up given Berlusconi’s cozy relationship with Washington,” Media 24 reported yesterday.

Predictably, the corporate media in the United States is in the process of downplaying the fallout from this incident, viewed by many Italians as an attempt to assassinate Giuliana Sgrena. “About 100 demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy in Rome blocked traffic and one banner read: ‘USA, war criminals.’ A few dozen communist demonstrators at the U.S. Consulate in Milan handed out leaflets reading, ‘Shame on you, Bush,’” reports ABC News. In other words, just a few commies, no need to take note, move along.

“Ever since the kidnappings and beheadings of non-military personnel in Iraq began nearly 2 years ago, many observers, readers and analysts have asked why the Iraqi resistance would commit these crimes, knowing they would turn world opinion against them,” writes Les Blough of Axis of Logic. “Many ask the same questions about the mass killings of Shiites with bombs. The Iraqi resistance has nothing to gain from these atrocities and the invader/occupiers have everything to gain in the propaganda war. We know that the CIA and Mossad have been very busy in Iraq but what kind of ‘work’ are they doing?”

It is fair to say part of their “work” is killing journalists determined to tell the truth about what is happening in Iraq.

“A senior correspondent for the Communist daily, Il Manifesto in Rome, the journalist [Sgrena] has been no friend of the US invasion and occupation,” writes Arab News. “US troops have killed journalists before. Two cameramen, a Ukrainian and a Spaniard, were slain in April 2003 when a US shell was fired into the Palestine Hotel, a known base of international journalists opposite the Baghdad Sheraton. Earlier an Al-Jazeera correspondent was killed when the TV station’s local office was struck by a US missile.”


“When Sgrena was kidnapped on Feb.4 , other journalists were told by US officials that the event highlighted the danger of working outside their Green Zone-focused loop. There was also apparently grim satisfaction that a journalist who was so opposed to US policy should have become a victim of the insurgents. The conclusion of the sinister explanation must therefore be that the Americans were settling the score with a foreign commentator whose published views infuriated them.”

As Lew Rockwell notes above, all media not sufficiently “FOXified” is considered a target by Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. Recall the “firestorm” that erupted last month when Eason Jordan, head of CNN’s news division, “told a panel at a World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, that the American military had targeted journalists during operations in Iraq,” as Roderick Boyd wrote for the New York Sun. Jordan said “he knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed by American troops, but had been targeted as a matter of policy,” according to Democrat Rep. Barney Frank. For his heresy, Jordan was forced to resign soon after making the allegations, even though he attempted to backpedal.

In all the coverage by the corporate media of the Sgrena story, one crucial element is conspicuously missing: on the day she was kidnapped Giuliana Sgrena had an appointment in a Baghdad Sunni mosque with refugees from Fallujah. “During the attack on the city, eyewitnesses described horrific scenes that analysts have attributed to attacks with napalm, a poisonous cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel that has the capacity of melting human flesh and bones,” writes Joel Wendland. “Inter Press Service reported eyewitness accounts describing bombs that created mushroom clouds and explosions that caused skin to burn even when water was thrown on it. Some eyewitnesses saw indiscriminate shooting and the use of tanks to drag dead bodies to mass graves.”

Giuliana Sgrena likely has a few stories to tell that will not bode well for Bush and his sock puppet, Silvio Berlusconi. Expect these stories to surface soon after Sgrena makes her recovery.

Gorilla Radio for Monday, F7, 2005 5-6pm pst

Here's a teaser on the next show. As the blog Gods are still angry with me, go to the link for the full magilla--ape

Gorilla Radio for Monday,...

Operation Hollywood: War, rumours of war and the role of the Pentagon at the movies with David Robb.

Potters for Peace: Moulding social justice and properity for developing nations with PotPaz U.S. coordinator, Peter Chartrand

Events and Happenings with Janine Bandcroft