Tuesday, October 02, 2007

News Dissector: October 3, 2007

NEWS DISSECTOR October 2, 2007

Anita Hill Responds to Clarence Thomas on 60 Minutes

This I would like to see:

Iran's Ferdowi University yesterday invited President Bush to travel to Iran
and "speak on campus about a range of issues, including the Holocaust, terrorism, human rights and U.S. foreign policy." The invitation "asked Bush to answer questions from students and professors 'just the same way' that Ahmadinejad took questions 'despite all the insults directed at him.'"


There is an image I can't get out of my mind. It's the image of Burmese soldiers smahing the heads of protesting monks against the wall in their monsestary. I keep seeing saffron running red. The last uprising in Burma was in 1988. Its been 17 years since Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was elected prime minister of Burma. She remains in house arrest. We can't allow this issue to recede again into the background. See new video of beatings on CNN.Com


BANGKOK, Oct 2 (IPS) - Few foreigners are as qualified to talk about the mind and the manner of Burma's dictatorship as Razali Ismail, a Malaysian diplomat who served five years as special United Nations envoy charged with facilitating political reform in that military-ruled country.

''When you are talking to the military chief there it is not a dialogue that you indulge in. In fact, you cannot expect to have a dialogue with him,'' Razali, who has traded diplomacy for a career in business, told IPS during a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur.

Attempts by foreign envoys to discuss domestic politics with Senior Gen. Than Shwe, Burma's strongman, are treated with a measure of contempt, as if it is ''an internal issue,'' he added. ''In his mind, there is a sense of intrusiveness.''

What is more, the years he spent engaged with the Burmese junta confirmed that progress marches at a retarded pace. ''It is a very slow process dealing with an authoritarian government,'' he said, reflecting on what he achieved since he began his U.N. mission in 2000.


AP: "The old soldier who leads Myanmar is called "the bulldog" — for good reason.
Pro-democracy demonstrators by the thousands may be willing to sacrifice themselves in the streets but stand little chance of success unless they — or other forces — can oust a jowly, high school dropout with delusions of royal grandeur from his post of virtually absolute power.

Senior Gen. Than Shwe has shown no willingness to step down as head of the ruling junta, compromise with protesters, or listen to international calls for reform in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

After snubbing special U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari for three days, Than Shwe finally met him Tuesday. That came only after his foreign minister told the United Nations that change "cannot be imposed from outside."

"The very fate of Burma is linked to Than Shwe, whose manic, xenophobic and superstitious character bode ill for a country that needs to pull itself into the 21st century and into the international community of democratic nations," says the Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based news magazine that maintains a "Than Shwe Watch" column.


George Monbiot writes in the Guardian:

I have stumbled across one western firm which most Burma campaigners appear to have missed. It is run by one of the world's most famous sportsmen, the golfer Gary Player. Player has made much of his ethical credentials. Next month he will host the Nelson Mandela Invitational golf tournament, whose purpose is "to make a difference in the lives of children". One of his websites shows a painting of Mr Player bathed in radiant light and surrounded by smiling children. Nelson Mandela stands behind him, lit by the same faint halo.

Golf, to most of us, looks like a harmless if mysterious activity, but in Burma it is a powerful symbol of oppression. Some of the country's courses have been built on land seized from peasant farmers, who were evicted without compensation. Golf is the sport of the generals, who conduct much of their business on the links.

Player's website shows him, in 2002, launching the "grand opening" of the golf course he designed, which turned "a 650-acre rice paddy into The Pride of Myanmar. The golfer's paradise that stands in Myanmar today is said to be living proof that miracles do happen."

I asked his company the following questions. Who owned the land on which the course was constructed? How many people were evicted in order to build it? Was forced labour used in its construction? As Player's company is based in Florida, did the design of this course break US sanctions? His media spokesman told me "The Gary Player Group has decided not to comment on any questions regarding Myanmar-Burma." It seems to me that there is a strong case for asking Nelson Mandela to remove his name from Mr Player's tournament.

Even more disturbing to me is the silence of India, Burma's trading partner, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi, the non-violent apostle who no doubt would be in the streets with the monks if he was alive.

Finally, to see an example of an American link with the junta watch Milena Kaneva's powerful film TOTAL DENIAL, shown last year at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and now updated. It tells the story of a group of gutsy Burmese peasants who sued two major oil companies building a oil pipeline through their country and benefiting from Junta enforced Slave Labor. The lawsuit was heard in California and the court ruled against UNOCAL, now Chevron. It's a gripping and well told story. See totaldenial.com for more info.


WASHINGTON - Blackwater chairman Erik Prince vigorously defended his private security company on Tuesday, rejecting charges that his staff acted like a bunch of cowboys immune to legal prosecution while protecting State Department personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CNN says, "The State Department's initial report of last month's incident in which Blackwater guards were accused of killing Iraqi civilians was written by a Blackwater contractor working in the embassy security detail, according to government and industry sources."

Jeremy Scayhill who wrote a book on Blackwater testified to Congress also, He charged: This problem is more pervasive than recognized:

While the headlines of the past week have been focused on the fatal shootings, this was by no means an isolated incident. Nor is this simply about a rogue company or rogue operators. This is about a system= of unaccountable and out of control private forces that have turned Iraq into a wild west from the very beginning of the occupation, often with the stamp of legitimacy of the US government.

NYT: Korean Leaders Meet in Pyongyang

Roh Moo-hyun is only the second South Korean president to visit since the two Koreas were divided.

And meanwhile RTE Reports" North Korea seeks removal from blacklist

North Korea has claimed the US is considering taking it off its list of
terrorism-sponsoring states. North Korean envoy Kim Kye-Gwan made the announcement as he left Beijing during a recess in six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.


It was supposedly called "OPERATION ORCHARD" and allegedly involved an Israel attack on Syria but the whole story is mired in the muck of so much misinfiormation. Allegedly North Korea was supplying Syria with nuclear materials. But were they. So far Syria has been silent, although Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu said the following,

'Last week opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu chipped away at that wall [of silence], saying Israel did in fact attack targets in Syrian territory. His top adviser, Mossad veteran Uzi Arad, told NEWSWEEK: "I do know what happened, and when it comes out it will stun everyone."' — 'Whispers of War', Newsweek, Sunday, 23 September 2007

"Stun everyone?" Not Joseph Cirincione, senior fellow and director for nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, whosees it this way:

…This story is nonsense. The Washington Post story should have been headlined "White House Officials Try to Push North Korea-Syria Connection." This is a political story, not a threat story. The mainstream media seems to have learned nothing from the run-up to war in Iraq. It is a sad commentary on how selective leaks from administration officials who have repeatedly misled the press are still treated as if they were absolute truth.

Once again, this appears to be the work of a small group of officials leaking cherry-picked, unvetted "intelligence" to key reporters in order to promote a preexisting political agenda. If this sounds like the run-up to the war in Iraq, it should. This time it appears aimed at derailing the U.S.-North Korean agreement that administration hardliners think is appeasement. Some Israelis want to thwart any dialogue between the U.S. and Syria…

And the NYT immediately jumped on the wagon and kinda "ping-ponged" themselves into phantasy heavens with catchy stories about "possible nuclear links between North Korea and Syria". It was more or less some kind of a wishing well trying to revoke some "déjà vues" about how the Iraq adventure started.


Yes, No Maybe are the three possible answers. I have shared some of the yes articles but there are no ones as well. INI's Bill Bowles has been digging around and musing on the subject,

'Despite the unending stream of stories across the months announcing that an attack on Iran is on the way, I've had my doubts, but you'd be foolish to bet that an attack on Iran won't happen.' — 'Will the US Really Bomb Iran?' A. Cockburn says no.

Others are saying that a planned visit to Iran by Putin will assure there will be numbing. Bill Bowles sees this as "softening up the public for a possible war if all else fails to achieve their objective, and secondly, they are designed to put pressure on the various political leaders of the competitors that the imperium means business.

What is important to note is that there are two realities here, one essentially for public consumption whose code words are 'war on terror', 'Islamo-fascism', nuclear weapons, 'human rights' or whatever, and the other is what goes on behind the scenes, where the real deals are done or not done.

Comment on this post...


Market Returns To Reality, Drops Because of Housing Crisis

After the Dow hit 14, 000 on Monday in a big rally, the stock market dropped yesterday as reality returned and new report showed how grim the housing situation is. Morgan Stanley axed 600 people.

MarketWatch reports oil prices up, up and away:

Oil prices of at least $100 a barrel are expected to become the norm as early as next year, as conventional supplies continue to decline and consumption in the developing world rises, CIBC chief economist Jeff Rubin said Tuesday.

"We're in a world of triple-digit oil prices for the foreseeable future," Rubin said at the CIBC 2nd Annual Industrials Conference. "Whether it's $100 or $140 a barrel … is up to debate, but the bottom line is we're in the bottom of the ninth inning of the hydrocarbon age."


Could that also be part of the explanation for other serious trends—the weakening of the dollar, and growing inflation with oil prices poised to go through the roof. Its called a "FIRE" ECONOMY. Thats an economy which ends up burning up. Don't forget that business cycles are part of it, always have been, always will be. And that means that when there are big ups, downs are sure to follow. We have seen it before and we will see it again.

Clearly there are a lot of smart people in the financial sector working overtime to stabilize the situation, and manage the crisis. There is a "plunge protection" unit in the US Treasury. But the markets tend to be more irrational with investors often becoming speculators and following a herd instinct. Its like blackbirds—when one lands, they all land.

Markets are believed to self-"correct" but that doesn't always happen which is why there is so much volatility. When an important sector like housing is in trouble, consumer confidence is down. When consumer confidence is in trouble….Just follow the chain.

Some experts say it will all come down. I hope not because the rich are well positioned to survive but the rest of us are not. I keep reading pessimistic scenarios as the national debt keeps going up and the savings rate down. That is a prescription for very scary scenarious. Check these articles out,


David M. Levitt and Bryan Keogh for Bloomberg

The world economy "is probably at its scariest point since the Depression'' as fallout from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis crimps access to credit, said Ethan Penner, a pioneer of the $600 billion commercial mortgage backed securities market in the early 1990s." We're probably at the closest point to a big meltdown, a depression type meltdown than we have been in our lives,'' said Penner, 46, now a principal at real estate fund management firm Lubert-Adler Partners LP in Philadelphia, during a speech at a Real Estate Media Inc. conference in New York.

The U.S. housing market is an "unmitigated disaster" and will take at least another 18 months to recover, as the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank respond to turmoil in credit markets, Penner said. As foreclosures rise, lenders will try to sell the properties they acquire at depressed prices, dragging the market down further, he said.

"I'll tell you how it's going to end: It's going to end with a depression, and not just a depression; not just another Great Depression; it's going to be the Greater Depression."


Comment on this post...


Anita Hill Responds to Clarence Thomas Intv on 60 Minutes


60 Minutes did not bother to get Anita Hill to respond to its loving and book-selling two segment profile last Sunday in which the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was treated with kid gloves. Part of the report touched on the charges raised by his former employee, attorney Anita Hill, but with no new interview with her or any ctitics. Now Hill has responded—but not as yet before a national TV audience.
(Thanks to Firefly for sending this.)

On Oct. 11, 1991, I testified about my experience as an employee of Clarence Thomas's at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

I stand by my testimony. Justice Thomas has every right to present himself as he wishes in his new memoir, "My Grandfather's Son." He may even be entitled to feel abused by the confirmation process that led to his appointment to the Supreme Court.

But I will not stand by silently and allow him, in his anger, to reinvent me.

In the portion of his book that addresses my role in the Senate hearing into his nomination, Justice Thomas offers a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears that Republican senators made about me when I testified before the Judiciary Committee — that I was a "combative left-winger" who was "touchy" and prone to overreacting to "slights." A number of independent authors have shown those attacks to be baseless. What's more, their reports draw on the experiences of others who were familiar with Mr. Thomas's behavior, and who came forward after the hearings. It's no longer my word against his.

Justice Thomas's characterization of me is also hobbled by blatant
inconsistencies. He claims, for instance, that I was a mediocre employee who had a job in the federal government only because he had "given it" to me. He ignores the reality: I was fully qualified to work in the government, having graduated from Yale Law School (his alma mater, which he calls one of the finest in the country), and passed the District of Columbia Bar exam, one of the toughest in the nation.

In 1981, when Mr. Thomas approached me about working for him, I was an associate in good standing at a Washington law firm. In 1991, the partner in charge of associate development informed Mr. Thomas's mentor, Senator John Danforth of Missouri, that any assertions to the contrary were untrue. Yet, Mr. Thomas insists that I was "asked to leave" the firm.

It's worth noting, too, that Mr. Thomas hired me not once, but twice while he was in the Reagan administration — first at the Department of Education and then at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After two years of working directly for him, I left Washington and returned home to Oklahoma to begin my teaching career.

In a particularly nasty blow, Justice Thomas attacked my religious
conviction, telling "60 Minutes" this weekend, "She was not the demure, religious, conservative person that they portrayed." Perhaps he conveniently forgot that he wrote a letter of recommendation for me to work at the law school at Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa. I remained at that evangelical Christian university for three years, until the law school was sold to Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., another Christian college. Along with other faculty members, I was asked to consider a position there, but I decided to remain near my family in Oklahoma.

Regrettably, since 1991, I have repeatedly seen this kind of character attack on women and men who complain of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. In efforts to assail their accusers' credibility, detractors routinely diminish people's professional contributions. Often the accused is a supervisor, in a position to describe the complaining employee's work as "mediocre" or the employee as incompetent. Those accused of inappropriate behavior also often portray the individuals who complain as bizarre caricatures of themselves — oversensitive, even fanatical, and often immoral — even though they enjoy good and productive working relationships with their colleagues.

Finally, when attacks on the accusers' credibility fail, those accused of workplace improprieties downgrade the level of harm that may have occurred. When sensing that others will believe their accusers' versions of events, Individuals confronted with their own bad behavior try to reduce legitimate concerns to the level of mere words or "slights" that should be dismissed without discussion.

Fortunately, we have made progress since 1991. Today, when employees complaint of abuse in the workplace, investigators and judges are more likely
to examine all the evidence and less likely to simply accept as true the word of those in power. But that could change. Our legal system will suffer if a sitting justice's vitriolic pursuit of personal vindication discourages others from standing up for their rights.

The question of whether Clarence Thomas belongs on the Supreme Court is no longer on the table — it was settled by the Senate back in 1991. But questions remain about how we will resolve the kinds of issues my testimony exposed. My belief is that in the past 16 years we have come closer to making the resolution of these issues an honest search for the truth, which, after all, is at the core of all legal inquiry. My hope is that Justice Thomas's latest fusillade will not divert us from that path.

Anita Hill, a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at
Brandeis University, is a visiting scholar at the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College.


Jury Awards $11.6 Million to Former Knicks Executive

A jury ruled today that Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas sexually harassed a former team executive and that Madison Square Garden fired her in retaliation for her complaints.

Maybe Hill should have sued.


NEW DELHI: While welcoming the modernization that has come as a result of globalization and competition, editors from Asian countries are apprehensive about the freedoms they enjoy in an era where a few conglomerates and media magnates are trying to take over the entire media space.

Speaking at a discussion after the presentation of a paper at a meet over the weekend, the editors also wondered if the standards had improved with a larger number of newspapers virtually turning into tabloids.


I reported on that story of the woman who died in custody in an Arizona Airport. The police there are being criticized sharply in the NY press. Mark Crispin Miller shared this letter he received:

Just a basic Google search turns up a significant amount of information about how the two major Phoenix area law enforcement agencies view inmate rights and the treatment of citizens during arrests. And the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department is beyond belief — they returned to the use of chain gangs and brag about feeding inmates on 45 cents per day! There is apparently a very disturbing culture in place at both these Phoenix area police agencies.

While Phoenix Police denied the use of a Taser on Mrs. Gotbaum a 2004 article on the Phoenix Police Department indicated that during that year it had purchased enough of the newer model X-26 Taser units to equip virtually all of its officers. And other
articles per Google indicated that Phoenix PD also had one of the highest usage of Taser units in the nation.

Jeff Adams
Berkeley, CA


Check out my piece on Fox News and Bill O'Reilly today and also the weekly newsletter I write on credit and loan issues on the stopthesqueeze.org website.

Share your comments by writing, dissector@mediachannel.org

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was kidnapped on August 12

October 2, 2007

Half-Hour for Haiti: Join the Big Push For Debt Relief for Haiti!

Update: Sorry we missed September’s Half-Hour alerts. As many of you know, human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was kidnapped on August 12. We held off on alerts because the kidnapping initially appeared to be for economic reasons, and we were advised that action alerts could be counterproductive. But Lovinsky has now been missing for seven weeks, and Lovinsky’s family and his organization, the September 30th Foundation, have been raising the public profile of the case. We are working on an alert for Lovinsky that we will send out towards the end of the week. For more information about Lovinsky, his disappearance, and taking action to save Lovinsky's life, see our website, www.HaitiJustice.org.

In the meantime, we need to carry on Lovinsky’s work, including the cancellation of Haiti’s multilateral debt, which will divert $57 million this year from Haiti’s elected government to wealthy banks that were established to fight poverty.

Thanks to everyone who fought for debt cancellation this summer by engaging their representatives during the August Congressional recess.

This week is the next big push. The Jubilee USA Network is sponsoring the Cancel Debt Fast from September 6 to October 18. Rev. David Duncombe of White Salmon, Washington, is spending the whole time on Capitol Hill, fasting and persuading members of Congress to pass the Jubilee Act, which would cancel unjust debt for Haiti and 66 other countries. For updates on the fast events, see Jubilee USA’s Blog the Debt.

This week is Haiti Week for the Cancel Debt Fast. On Thursday, Jubilee USA, Partners in Health, TransAfrica Forum, the Center for Economic and Policy Research , Haiti Reborn, and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti are sponsoring a Congressional briefing on H. Res. 241, the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution, with the help of Rep. Maxine Waters (Thursday 10/4, 3:30 PM, Rayburn 2105). The panelists will explain the impact of the diversion of resources to pay Haiti’s debt, to the healthcare system and the overall economy. They will also explain why it is important to pass H.Res. 241, as well as the Jubilee Act: the Haiti Debt Relief Act was introduced earlier and is further along in obtaining co-sponsors. Haiti also deserves special treatment because it lags behind other countries, because it was excluded from earlier debt relief efforts for political reasons.

Colonial Echoes in Burma

China is having to deal with calls to influence a close ally, the Myanmar strongmen, to stop their repression -- which reminds of the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, and distracts the Chinese Party leaders from preparations for the 17th Party Congress.

Colonial Jousting in Myanmar
by Peter Kwong

The unfolding events in Myanmar have been distracting Chinese Communist Party leaders from a most urgent business: planning for the 17th Party Congress, which is to convene in two weeks. This would normally be a critical period of tense last minute factional jockeying for appointments of next generation top-tier leaders. But as the world helplessly watches the military crackdown in Yangon, China’s elders instead find themselves under pressure by western nations to do something about stopping suppression in Myanmar, China’s close ally.

Already stung by human rights activists’ calls for the boycott of next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing on account of their failure to pressure Sudanese government -- another close ally -- to end the massacre in Darfur, Chinese leaders are eager to oblige. A bloody finale in Myanmar could turn into a complete public relations disaster.

But here is their quandary: How can they tell Burmese generals not to fend off a popular revolt, when they themselves were the perpetrators of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre when facing a similar people’s movement? And, if the monks of Yangon were to overthrow Burmese hard-fisted government through peaceful protests, how to prevent the contagion from effecting Chinese people? After all, the cry for democracy that led to the last wave of people’s movements in Asia during the 1980s and brought down authoritarian regimes in South Korea and the Philippines was what had inspired the Chinese students to organize the fateful Tiananmen Square protests.

It is no surprise then that Chinese media have hardly covered the events in Myanmar. Chinese Yahoo and Google have both joined in the suppression of the news. A few bloggers have managed to confuse the censors by manipulating key words. “Since the Burmese are demonstrating just like our 19(8)(9), we should support them,” wrote one, in a message that pretty much sums up the mood in China’s blogosphere, while the mainstream media outlets focus on the ceremonies held nationwide to commemorate the birth of Confucius.

In a move to appease international pressure, Chinese government has abandoned its standard “non-interference in internal affairs” defense to urge that “all parties in Myanmar exercise restraint through negotiation and peaceful means in order to restore stability.” One wonders what restraint they want the peacefully demonstrating monks to exercise? And what do they mean by stability? It was the catchphrase of the Chinese Communist Party during and after its bloody crackdown on protesters in 1989. Currently, as China prepares for the Party Congress, “stability” in Beijing means a lockdown: News media have been warned to stay away from sensitive issues; individual petitioners from the provinces are being stopped from coming to Beijing with their grievances; university scholars and think-tank experts have been told not to speak to the media. Internet police have not only closed tens of thousands of interactive websites that allow visitors to post opinions, but also the internet data centers (IDCs) that host them, and even Internet Service Providers. This is the “stability” that Chinese government and Communist Party need to successfully stage the 17th Congress whose theme is the “construction of a harmonious society.”

When it comes to Myanmar, however, the Chinese government is primarily mindful that undue pressure on the military junta could jeopardize its access to Myanmar’s rich natural gas deposits (the world’s tenth largest) and timber. Its present access is the result of a long cultivated relationship with Myanmar’s military rulers. China’s interests in Myanmar are geopolitical as well. China is building a $2 billion oil pipeline from Myanmar’s coast on the Bay of Bengal to Yunnan Province in southwest China. The pipeline will allow oil from the Middle East to reach China without having to pass through the Malacca Strait. Chinese projects in Myanmar are part of a larger national economic plan to make Yunan Province the regional center of trade and commerce for entire Southeast Asia, embracing the ex-socialist states of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The downfall of Myanmar’s military junta could only be acceptable to the Chinese if its successor regime were friendly. Under Aung San Suu Kyi, the Oxford graduated rightful winner of Burma’s democratic election annulled in 1990, the Chinese believe that the country would be leaning toward the United States, Japan, Australia and Britain -- the nations that were cut from access to Burma’s rich resources by the military coup in 1988. Myanmar is in fact a target of intense international competition for its natural resources. India, too, has been courting the regime’s favor and has likewise shied away from condemning the Yangon regime.

What we are witnessing is the old 19th century game of colonial competition veiled in the 21st century pro-democracy rhetoric. In this game, however, China is at a disadvantage -- wanting to maintain influence in Myanmar, while not offending the supporters of its people’s aspirations for democracy. There’s a Chinese proverb that sums up this predicament: “Chewing on a bitter lotus root, not daring to complain.”

Peter Kwong, a professor of Asian American studies at Hunter College, is co-author of Chinese America: The Untold Story of America's Oldest New Community.

Copyright © 2007 Peter Kwong

Released: 03 October 2007
Word Count: 817

For rights and permissions, contact:

rights@agenceglobal.com, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.212.731.0757

Agence Global
1.212.731.0757 (main)
1.336.286.6606 (billing)
1.336.686.9002 (rights & permissions)

Agence Global is the exclusive syndication agency for The Nation, Le Monde diplomatique, as well as expert commentary by Richard Bulliet, Mark Hertsgaard, Rami G. Khouri, Peter Kwong,Tom Porteous, Patrick Seale and Immanuel Wallerstein.

To be removed from this advisory list, add another editor to this list, or redirect this message to another editor, please reply or send e-mail to: advisory@agenceglobal.com

Released: 03 October 2007
Word Count: 817
Rights & Permissions Contact: Agence Global, 1.336.686.9002, rights@agenceglobal.com

American War Resister Arrested in Canada

416 598 1222

October 2, 2007
"We will deport him soon," say Nelson Police

War Resister Robin Long has been arrested by the Nelson B.C. Police who intend to take him to Vancouver and hand him over to the US authorities at the border nearby. He was seized as he walked along a street. He is now detained in the local jail. Robin was not allowed to receive visits from friends; however he was able to call his spouse. She says that he is calm and hopeful that he will soon be released.

Robin Long comes from Boise, Idaho. He joined the U.S. Army but soon found that its demands were in conflict with his principles. He left the Army and came to Canada in 2005, where he met his spouse, Renee. They have a Canadian born son aged 15 months. Anyone who has met Robin knows him to be a man of peace, with a strong concern for the environment and to the land.

The Nelson Police also arrested war resister Kyle Snyder last winter and held him until they were informed that there was no charge against him. It appears that the Nelson Police Force has made arresting US war resisters a top priority. We call on the citizens of Nelson to hold their police accountable for these actions.

The War Resisters Support Campaign is urging all or friends and supporters to CALL THE NELSON POLICE AT 250-354-3919 AND TELL THEM TO RELEASE ROBIN LONG. We urge you as well to contact your local Member of Parliament and ask her or him to help release Robin.

Robin has done nothing wrong. The charges against him are technical immigration matters which arose because he did not receive a letter sent to him, and thus did not know that he had been called in for an appointment at Canada Immigration in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Naturally if he had received the letter he would have complied with it, as he has done with all previous requests and demands.

Currently two other war resisters, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada against the negative decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board. As with Robin, the IRB refused to allow them to raise the issue of the illegality of the US invasion of Iraq, thus making it impossible for them to bring forward a major reason for their decision to seek refuge in Canada.

Robin Long's lawyer, Jeffry House says: "It is totally up to the Supreme Court to decide on this. It is not fair that people should be removed as if the Supreme Court had ruled on this. No US war resister should be removed until the Supreme Court decides."

War Resisters Support Campaign

A Q and A For The People Of A Forsaken Republic

A Q and A For The People Of A Forsaken Republic:
Addressing the origins of the Who's-Your-Daddy Nation
by Phil Rockstroh

"We must become the change we want to see."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"In any case, I hate all Iranians."
-Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary to
Defense Secretary, Robert Gates

How many times do we, the people of the US, have to go around on this queasy-making merry-go-round of propaganda and militarism before we shout -- enough! -- then shutdown the whole cut-rate carnival and run the scheming carnies who operate it out of town? It is imperative the nation's citizens begin to apprehend the patterns present in this ceaseless cycle of official deceit and collective pathology. This republic, or any other, cannot survive, inhabited by a populace with such a slow learning curve.

Over the last three decades, the authoritarian right has risen to create the nation they have been longing for since their humbling by the Watergate scandal. After being subdued and humiliated by the mechanisms of a free republic, the right has turned the tables -- and subdued and humiliated the republic. If the trend continues, all but unchallenged and unabated, we might as well replace the torch held aloft by Lady Liberty with a taser.

How could it come to this? How did so many US citizens grow so apathetic, oblivious, if not flat-out hostile to the tenets of a free republic?

The authoritarianism inherent to the structure of multi-conglomerate corporatism is antithetical to the concept of the rights and liberties of the individual. Most individuals -- bound by a corporation's secrecy-prone, hierarchical values -- will, over time, lose the ability to display free thinking, engage in civic discourse, and even be able to envisage the notion of freedom.

This is true, from the florescent light-flooded aisles of Wal*Mart to the insular executive offices of Haliburton to the sound stages of CNN and Fox News. Under the prevailing order, reality, for the laboring class of the corporate state, has become debt slavery; in contrast, the simulacrum of reality, in which, the striver class exists, is a milieu defined by obsessive careerism. Under the hegemony of corporatism, freedom might as well be fairy dust. It only exists in an imaginary land, not the places one arrives by way of one's morning and evening commute.

In addition, economically, by way of decades of financial chicanery, perpetrated by the nation's
business and political elite, we are eating our seed crop, and the consequences of this harvest of deceit have left the people of the US, intellectually and spiritually malnourished.

As a result, many attempt to sate the keening emptiness and mitigate the chronic unease by gorging themselves on the Junk Food Jesus of End Time mythology, which is a belief system wherein corporeal events and actions (personal and collective) have no lasting consequence because even the human body is to be cast aside, like a junk food wrapper, when the cosmic CEO decides to make the earth a part of his heavenly franchise.

Accordingly, the corporate state requires modes of being that evince obliviousness and obedience (the defining traits of the US consumer) on the part of the majority of the populace. Ergo, the rise of both Christian consumerists and the vast apparatus of the right-wing propaganda matrix that dominates news cycles via the electronic mass media.

All coming to pass, as George W. Bush -- the reigning mascot of this fantasyland of infantile omnipotence and instant gratification -- is rocked to sleep by his handlers cooing preposterous tales of how history will place him in the pantheon of those men whose greatness was unrecognized by the shallow and petty minds of their own era.

When, in fact, Bush, whose ruinous wars of aggression, deficit-ballooning tax breaks for the wealthy, and policies of crony capitalism (that enabled the economy-decimating, easy credit banking scams of the present) displays the character traits of a man ridden with severe psychological trauma; his attempts to tamp down immense inner turmoil, by means of his grandiose bearing, his absolute certitude regarding his own infallibility, and his bullying behavior, have resulted in an exteriorizing of his pathologies on a global scale, and this is playing out ugly, for all concerned.

Why do the people of the nation (for the most part) slouch, slack-jawed and passive, before this assault upon their collective integrity and personal dignity?

For generations, the ephemeral dazzle of pop culture paternalism and tabloid Manichaeism, as confabulated by advertising and public relations hacks and corporate news courtesans, has overwhelmed gravitas, history, even self-awareness. As all the while, shallow opportunists have been elevated to the status of pundits, experts and sages. Withal, the present system generously rewards those individuals who have mastered the art of impersonating human traits and responses in utterly contrived environments. As a whole, the majority of the populi have come to garner information about the world at large, and, worse, their own self-image, from a medium where phoniness is a treasured commodity, while authentic human traits and responses are banished to a beggar's road.

Is it any wonder that the media types who thrive in these artificial settings have come to define
authenticity as being only those attributes that appear authentic on television? Apropos, if you ask these "media personalities" about the shortcomings and corruption of the present system, they will plead the careerist's Nuremberg Defense ... of only being a stormtrooper obeisant to the "bottom line."

Fantasy alert: One would hope that if one were to descend down a ladder constructed of these layers upon layers of bottom lines, one would arrive in a Hell reserved for those possessed with such shameless cupidity.

Reality redux: Yet as much as the human heart might yearn for such outcomes, there will never arrive the terrible majesty and bitter reckoning of anything resembling Judgement Day, heralded by celestial trumpets and legions of naked and cowering sinners; instead, in human affairs, there arises dire exigencies that can no longer be ignored nor explained away. The arrival of such a moment for the US is nearly at hand.

When a nation manifests a mixture of mass ignorance and official mendacity, in combination with uncheck power emanating from an insular and arrogant elite, a golden age of peace and plenty is as possible as holding a tea dance in a tsunami. As sure as a village of desperate fools who devour their seed crop, a nation that refuses universal health care to its children -- yet rushes to the aid of its parasitic class of wealthy "speculators" and "investors" from the consequences of their own greed-besotted, fiscal debacles -- is doomed.

This is the classic pattern of collective immolation experienced by a nation when power and privilege is increasingly consolidated in fewer and fewer hands. In essence, this is the key to the conundrum paralyzing the leadership of the Democratic Party: In a culture in which an individual's worth is determined by the degree one can be exploited by the corrupt interests that control both the private and public sector, the public at large has little value to the political establishment ... That is: other than, every few years, being bamboozled for their votes in the sham spectacles known as the US electoral process, a scam mostly financed, hence controlled, by the aforementioned big money interests.

In sum, this is the reason the Democratic Party feels little allegiance to their base. In turn, the
political classes themselves are only of value to the big money corporate elite, because, by their delivery of staggering amounts of pork, massive tax cuts, and the passage of desired anti-regulatory legislation, they serve as their errand boys.

Moreover, the corporate control of congress is a microcosm of US society as a whole. Accordingly, the increasingly corporatized, ever more submissive people of the US should be termed, the Who's-Your-Daddy Nation.

Yet, since life does not exist in stasis, within this hierarchy of deceivers and dupes, we will gnaw at one another's ankles until the whole pathetic pyramid collapses.

All around us, we can feel the shoddy structure starting to sway and buckle. Axiomatically, the value of the dollar is collapsing like the smooth facade of a con man called-out by a group of wised-up marks. At present, in the wake of the bust in the housing market, repo men are retracing the tracks of real estate grifters who fleeced legions of wishful thinkers who brought the American dream and now only possess the misery of debt slavery.

One would think the time for insurrection has arrived -- that, at long last, an awakened and enraged public would rise up and foreclose on these reprobates and ne'er-do-wells squatting in the White House and skulking through Congress. The power and privilege of the corporately controlled elite of Washington should be repossessed like the Lexises of Atlanta real estate agents and the oversized pickup trucks of Tucson contractors, confiscated in the wake of the collapse of the housing market. Foreclosure signs and repossession notices should festoon the whole of official Washington.

Turn about would be fair play. Since, the rise of Reaganism, the financial sector has been engaged in selling off the assets of the nation's public sector to the highest bidders. It is amazing that, at this point, this klavern of kleptocrats haven't yet torn from the walls and absconded with all the copper plumbing fixtures and fittings on Capitol Hill.

Is a turnaround possible?

If we wake-up and smell the jackboot. From the miasma of right-wing media propaganda, to the proliferation of predatory capitalism, to the corruption and cupidity of the prison industrial complex, to the pandemic of police brutality and the trampling of the rights of the accused, to perennial civilian shooting sprees, to the muzzling of descent, to the rise of the national surveillance state, to the use and acceptance of torture as state policy, to the adoption of an unlawful, immoral foreign policy doctrine that promotes policies of perpetual war, one is forced to conclude that bullying, and deferring to bullies, has become the dominate mode of being in the US.

Remedy: In order to turn this trend around, the people of the US must begin to acquire the anti-authoritarian traits of empathy and engagement. The gaining of empathy alleviates the pathological need to be a bully, while social and political engagement mitigates feelings of powerlessness that authoritarian bully-boys, such as Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, et al., exploit.

In short, remedial human lessons for the US population, in general, and for the corporate and political classes, in particular.

Let us start the process by having a period of grief and repentance for the death and suffering that our government, in our name, has inflicted on the people of Iraq. This should be done as the US begins the process of a complete military withdrawal from their decimated nation, and the bestowing of economic reparations upon the millions of Iraqis who have suffered under the brutal machinations and murderous mayhem unloosed by our country's contemptible invasion and occupation.

To do so, might save the people of our next target,Iran (as well as ourselves) a world of grief.

Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic,
gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher
bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at

Visit Phil's website, http://philrockstroh.com

Death of the Republic


By Jack Random


Those who pretend to care about democracy and are willing to send other people’s offspring to war defending it, ought to learn something about what democracy is. Those who believe, as our Supreme Court does, that democracy is protecting the rights of corporations to buy the will of our political leaders have sacrificed forever any claim to the democratic ideal.

Talk to the rightwing ideologues for any length of time and they will invariably narrow their eyes, raise the corner of their lips into a sarcastic snarl, and inform us that our system of government is not in fact a democracy; it is a republic – as if that title had any relationship to the party of the right.

What is a republic, we reply, if not a representative democracy?

Some will press on with their semi-idiotic argument but most will tighten their snarl and move on to their other favorite talking points.

The Democrats are the party of gay marriage and illegal immigrants.

What is a democracy, we reply, if not a sacred vow to protect and defend the rights of minorities and those who are unable to defend their own rights?

Most at this juncture, will abandon the democratic pretense and assert the overriding principles of biblical texts, placing them firmly in the camp of theocrats and therefore diametrically opposed to all things democratic.

They will turn to tortured Old Testament phrases to defend the rights of the unborn against the abomination of abortion.

We grow uncomfortable for we do not wish to defend the act of abortion – an act we would all prefer to become extinct – but we will not abandon the woman who confronts the most trying dilemma of her life. The choice to abort a fetus should be well informed by unbiased and competent professionals. The woman should fully understand the long-term difficulties of such a decision but once those requisites are met, the woman’s right to make a reasoned choice is as basic as the right to vote.

I would not deny any individual’s right to vote even if I believe in my heart of hearts that the power of the ballot may be used to ill effect, even to destroy nations and bring a reign of terror on an innocent world for generations to come.

To believe in democracy requires tolerance for opposing views and fighting to protect the right of opposing to views to free expression.

To believe in democracy is an agreement to be governed by the will of the majority as long as the majority respects the rights of the minority.

As our most enlightened founders forewarned, democracy can be a dangerous weapon. It can be the instrument of great wrong. We should never forget that Hitler’s Third Reich won control of the German government through democratic means. Neither should we forget that an elected government can betray the essence of the democratic ideal.

Whether our current government was duly elected is debatable if not dubious but we should have no doubt that it has employed anti-democratic means to achieve and preserve its grip on the reins of power.

They have placed on the Supreme Court individuals so cynical they have denied the fundamental right to vote (Bush V. Gore 2000).

They have worked tirelessly to defraud two elections with race-based disenfranchisement and digital manipulation of voting machines (Ohio 2004).

They have denied Habeas Corpus, the founding principle of modern law in western civilization (the case of Jose Padilla).

They have ignored mandates of Congress (the NSA Warrantless Eavesdropping Scandal) and refused to acknowledge Congressional oversight.

They have supported a military dictatorship (General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan) while condemning a thrice-elected democratic leader (Hugo Chavez of Venezuela) as a tyrant.

They have undermined and betrayed their own puppet government in Iraq by placing it under the authority of occupation forces and refusing to acknowledge any sovereign authority (the Blackwater USA Mercenary Killers case).

Against the expressed will of the peoples of the world, in the name of democracy, they have pushed the world to the brink of perpetual war.

In signing statements and assertions of executive privilege, they have claimed imperial powers that no president has dared claim in the post Civil War era.

In short, this is the most anti-democratic elected government since the Third Reich.

Some may decry this lament as partisan but it is hardly that for what this White House has accomplished for corporate governance could not have been achieved without the willful compliance of both parties.

When the Democrats gained control of Congress in the election of 2006, they became partners in every endeavor the executive branch is pursuing. Have they rolled back the tax cuts for the filthy rich? Have they shut down Guantanamo Bay? Have they decommissioned NAFTA, CAFTA and the “globalization” scheme to dismantle the rights of labor? Have they reasserted government regulation on oil, energy and pharmaceutical corporations? Have they started a Marshall Plan for New Orleans? Have they christened a new era of renewable energy? Have they prevented a single soldier from dying in Iraq or Afghanistan?

The Democratic betrayal of democracy rivals anything the Bush administration has done. They possess the authority and the mandate to stop the president on every front but they prefer to play games of protocol.

They have decided that the best course of action is none at all. They will pretend that their hands are tied, that the power of the purse does not extend to war or comprehensive health care or New Orleans or energy or foreign policy when in fact it extends to all policies, foreign and domestic.

If Congress continues on the course of assumed impotence, the responsibility falls to the people to find a third option that will rescue the democratic ideal from perpetual decay.

Every time we vote, every ballot we hold in our hands has an alternative to the major party candidates. Whether they call themselves Libertarians, Greens or Independents, we should think of them as the ultimate defenders of American democracy.

Until we exercise that third option in sufficient numbers, both Democrats and Republicans will be comfortable betraying us and our interests in deference to their corporate sponsors.

Wake up, America: In a democracy, the power resides in the people. Use it.



On Fascism, Imitation Anti-Semites and Burma

The Anti-Empire Report
On Fascism, Imitation Anti-Semites and Burma

by William Blum / October 2nd, 2007

If not now, when? If not here, where? If not you, who?

I used to give thought to what historical time and place I would like to have lived in. Europe in the 1930s was usually my first choice. As the war clouds darkened, I’d be surrounded by intrigue, spies omnipresent, matters of life and death pressing down, the opportunity to be courageous and principled. I pictured myself helping desperate people escape to America. It was real Hollywood stuff; think “Casablanca”. And when the Spanish Republic fell to Franco and his fascist forces, aided by the German and Italian fascists (while the United States and Britain stood aside, when not actually aiding the fascists), everything in my imaginary scenario would have heightened — the fate of Europe hung in the balance. Then the Nazis marched into Austria, then Czechoslovakia, then Poland … one could have devoted one’s life to working against all this, trying to hold back the fascist tide; what could be more thrilling, more noble?

Miracle of miracles, miracle of time machines, I’m actually living in this imagined period, watching as the Bush fascists march into Afghanistan, bombing it into a “failed state”; then Iraq: death, destruction, and utterly ruined lives for 24 million human beings; threatening more of the same endless night of hell for the people of Iran; overthrowing Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti; bombing helpless refugees in Somalia; relentless attempts to destabilize and punish Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Gaza, and other non-believers in the empire’s god-given mission. Sadly, my most common reaction to this real-life scenario, daily in fact, is less heroic and more feeling scared or depressed; not for myself personally but for our one and only world. The news every day, which I consume in large portions, slashes away at my joie de vivre; it’s not just the horror stories of American military power run amok abroad and the injustices of the ever-expanding police state at home, but all the lies and stupidity which drive me up the wall. I’m constantly changing stations, turning the TV or radio off, turning the newspaper page, to escape the words of the King of Lies and the King of Stupidity — those two twisted creatures who happen to occupy the same humanoid body — and a hundred minions.

Nonetheless, I must tell you, comrades, that at the same time, our contemporary period also brings out in me a measure of what I imagined for my 1930s life. Our present world is in just as great peril, even more so when one considers the impending environmental catastrophe (which the King of Capitalism refuses to confront lest it harm the profits of those who lavish him with royal bribes). The Bush fascist tide must be stopped.

Usually when I’m asked “But what can we do?”, my reply is something along the lines of: Inasmuch as I can not see violent revolution succeeding in the United States (something deep inside tells me that we couldn’t quite match the government’s firepower, not to mention their viciousness), I can offer no solution to stopping the imperial beast other than: Educate yourself and as many others as you can, increasing the number of those in the opposition until it reaches a critical mass, at which point … I can’t predict the form the explosion will take.

I’m afraid that this advice, whatever historical correctness it may embody, is not terribly inspiring. However, I’ve assembled four wise men to add their thoughts, hopefully raising the inspiration level. Let’s call them the “patron saints of lost causes”.

I.F. Stone: “The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing — for the sheer fun and joy of it — to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.”

Howard Zinn: “People think there must be some magical tactic, beyond the traditional ones — protests, demonstrations, vigils, civil disobedience — but there is no magical panacea, only persistence.”

Noam Chomsky: “There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change — and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future.”

Sam Smith: “Those who think history has left us helpless should recall the abolitionist of 1830, the feminist of 1870, the labor organizer of 1890, and the gay or lesbian writer of 1910. They, like us, did not get to choose their time in history but they, like us, did get to choose what they did with it. Knowing what we know now about how these things turned out, but also knowing how long it took, would we have been abolitionists in 1830, or feminists in 1870, and so on?”

Anti-Semitism — Don’t settle for imitations

“The cleanliness of this people, moral and otherwise, I must say, is a point in itself. By their very exterior you could tell that these were no lovers of water, and, to your distress, you often knew it with your eyes closed. … Added to this, there was their unclean dress and their generally unheroic appearance. … Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it? … nine tenths of all literary filth, artistic trash, and theatrical idiocy can be set to the account of a people … a people under whose parasitism the whole of honest humanity is suffering, today more than ever: the Jews.”

Now who can be the author of such abominable anti-semitism? a) Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon; b) John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy; c) Osama bin Laden; d) Jimmy Carter; e) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran; f) Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry.

Each one has been condemned as anti-Semitic. Are you having a problem deciding?

Oh, excuse me, I forgot one — g) Adolf Hitler. [1] Does that make it easier? I’ll bet some of you were thinking it must have been Ahmadinejad.

The Webster’s Dictionary defines “anti-Semite” as “One who discriminates against or is hostile to or prejudiced against Jews.” Notice that the state of Israel is not mentioned.

The next time a critic of Israeli policies is labeled “anti-semitic” think of this definition, think of Adolf’s charming way of putting it, then closely examine what the accused has actually said or written.

It may, however, be past the time for such a rational, intellectual pursuit; ultra-heated polarization reigns supreme with anything concerning the Middle East, particularly Israel.

In March, at a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, one of the speakers, an American “Christian Zionist,” asserted: “It is 1938, Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.” The audience responded with a standing ovation, one of seven for his talk. [2]

Then, in May, former Israeli Prime-Minister and current Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs. … [While Ahmadinejad] denies the Holocaust he is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state.” [3]

Not to be outdone in semi-hysterical propaganda, Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, has compared an Iranian nuclear bomb to a “flying concentration camp.” [4]

So why hasn’t Iran at least started its holocaust by killing or throwing into concentration camps its own Jews, an estimated 30,000 in number? These are Iranian Jews who have representation in Parliament and who have been free for many years to emigrate to Israel but have chosen not to do so.

For your further apocalyptic enjoyment here are a couple more of Zionism’s finest envoys speaking about Iran. Former Speaker of the House in the US Congress, Newt Gingrich: “Three nuclear weapons is a second Holocaust. We have enemies who are quite explicit in their desire to destroy us. They say it publicly, on television, on Web sites. [They are] fully as determined as Nazi Germany, more determined than the Soviet Union, and these enemies will kill us the first chance they get.” [5]

And Norman Podhoretz, leading neo-conservative editor of Commentary magazine, in an article entitled “The Case for Bombing Iran”: “Like Hitler, [Ahmadinejad] is a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism. … The plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force — any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938.” [6]

Though so often condemned, Hitler actually arrived at a number of very perceptive insights into how the world worked. One of them was this:

“The great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil … therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big.” [7]

Ahmadinejad arrived in New York September 24 to address the United Nations. At Columbia University he was introduced by the school’s president as a man who appeared to lack “intellectual courage”, had a “fanatical mindset”, and may be “astonishingly undereducated.” [8] How many people in the audience, I wonder, looked around to see where George W. was sitting.

“If I were the president of a university, I would not have invited him. He’s a holocaust denier,” said Hillary Clinton, once again fearlessly challenging the Bush administration’s propaganda. [9]

The above is but a small sample of the hatred and anger spewed forth against Ahmadinejad for several years now. A number of people on the American left, who should know better, have joined this chorus. I therefore would like to repeat, and update, part of something I wrote in this report last December, which was entitled “Designer Monsters.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a man seemingly custom-made for the White House in its endless quest for enemies with whom to scare Congress, the American people, and the world, in order to justify the unseemly behavior of the empire. The Iranian president, we are told, has declared that he wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” He has said that “the Holocaust is a myth.” He held a conference in Iran for “Holocaust deniers.” And his government passed a new law requiring Jews to wear a yellow insignia, à la the Nazis. On top of all that, he’s aiming to build nuclear bombs, one of which would surely be aimed at Israel. What right-thinking person would not be scared by such a man?

However, like with all such designer monsters made bigger than life during the Cold War and since by Washington, the truth about Ahmadinejad is a bit more complicated. According to people who know Farsi, the Iranian leader has never said anything about “wiping Israel off the map”. In his October 29, 2005 speech, when he reportedly first made the remark, the word “map” does not even appear. According to the translation of Juan Cole, American professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, Ahmadinejad said that “the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” His remark, said Cole, “does not imply military action or killing anyone at all”[10], which of course is what would make the remark sound threatening.

At the December 2006 conference in Teheran (”Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision”), the Iranian president said: “The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon, the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom.” [11] Obviously, the man is not calling for any kind of violent attack upon Israel, for the dissolution of the Soviet Union took place peacefully.

Moreover, in June 2006, subsequent to Ahmadinejad’s controversial speech, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated: “We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state.” [12]

As for the Holocaust myth, I have yet to read or hear words from Ahmadinejad saying simply, clearly, unambiguously, and unequivocally that he thinks that what we know as the Holocaust never happened. He has instead commented about the peculiarity and injustice of a Holocaust which took place in Europe resulting in a state for the Jews in the Middle East instead of in Europe. Why are the Palestinians paying a price for a German crime? he asks. He argues that Israel and the United States have exploited the memory of the Holocaust for their own purposes. And he wonders about the accuracy of the number of Jews — six million — allegedly killed in the Holocaust, as have many other people of all political stripes, including Holocaust survivors like Italian author Primo Levi. (The much publicized World War One atrocities which turned out to be false made the public very skeptical of the Holocaust claims for a long time after World War Two.) Ahmadinejad further asks why European researchers have been imprisoned for questioning certain details about the Holocaust.

Which of this deserves to be labeled “Holocaust denial”?

The conference gave a platform to various points of view, including six members of Jews United Against Zionism, at least two of whom were rabbis. One was Ahron Cohen, from London, who declared: “There is no doubt whatsoever, that during World War 2 there developed a terrible and catastrophic policy and action of genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against the Jewish People.” He also said that “the Zionists make a great issue of the Holocaust in order to further their illegitimate philosophy and aims,” indicating as well that the figure of six million Jewish victims is debatable. The other rabbi was Moshe David Weiss, who told the delegates: “We don’t want to deny the killing of Jews in World War II, but Zionists have given much higher figures for how many people were killed. They have used the Holocaust as a device to justify their oppression.” His group rejects the creation of Israel on the grounds that it violates Jewish religious law in that a Jewish state can’t exist until the return of the Messiah. [13]

Another speaker was Shiraz Dossa, professor of political science at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada. In an interview after the conference, he described himself as an anti-imperialist and an admirer of Noam Chomsky, and said that he “was invited because of my expertise as a scholar in the German-Jewish area, as well as my studies in the Holocaust. … I have nothing to do with Holocaust denial, not at all.” His talk, he said, was “about the war on terrorism, and how the Holocaust plays into it. … There was no pressure at all to say anything, and people there had different views.” [14]

Clearly, the conference — which the White House called “an affront to the entire civilized world” [15] — was not set up to be a forum for people to deny that the Holocaust literally never took place at all.

As to the yellow star story of May 2006 — that was a complete fabrication by a prominent Iranian-American neo-conservative author, Amir Taheri.

Ahmadinejad, however, is partly to blame for his predicament. When asked directly about the Holocaust and other controversial matters he usually declines to give explicit answers of “yes” or “no”. I interpret this as his prideful refusal to accede to the wishes of what he regards as a hostile Western interviewer asking hostile questions. The Iranian president is also in the habit of prefacing certain remarks with “Even if the Holocaust happened … “, a rhetorical device we all use in argument and discussion, but one which can not help but reinforce the doubts people have about his views. However, when Ahmadinejad himself asks, as he often has, “Why should the Palestinians have to pay for something that happened in Europe?” he does not get a clear answer.

In any event, in the question and answer session following his talk at Columbia, the Iranian president said: “I’m not saying that it [the Holocaust] didn’t happen at all. This is not the judgment that I’m passing here.”

That should put the matter to rest. But of course it won’t. Two days later, September 26, a bill (H. R. 3675) was introduced in Congress “To prohibit Federal grants to or contracts with Columbia University”, to punish the school for inviting Ahmadinejad to speak. The bill’s first “finding” states that “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of the State of Israel, a critical ally of the United States.”

That same day, comedian Jay Leno had great fun ridiculing Ahmadinejad for denying that the Holocaust ever happened “despite all the eyewitness accounts.”

How long before the first linking of Iran with 9-11? Or has that already happened? How long before democracy and freedom bombs begin to fall upon the heads of the Iranian people? All the charges of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, along with other disinformation, are of course designed to culminate in this new crime against humanity.

I wonder, in discussing these matters, if I’m running the risk of once again being called “anti-Semitic” by some Internet readers. No one is safe from such charges these days. It should be noted that Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, was accused last year of anti-semitic behavior by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency of New York and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, important members of the Israel lobby. The accusation was based on a highly egregious out-of-context reading of some remarks by Chavez. [16] One doesn’t have to be particularly conspiracy minded to think that this was done in collusion with Bush administration officials. As the Reagan administration in 1983 flung charges of anti-Semitism against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, led by Daniel Ortega, who heads it again today. [17] Stay tuned. Daniel, watch out.

One final thought. On the Democratic Party’s failure to stand up to the Bush fascist tide. Here, from the first-person account of a German living under Hitler in the 1930s, his observation about the leading German political party, the Social Democrats, the Democratic Party of its time: The Social Democrats, he wrote, “had fought the election campaign of 1933 in a dreadfully humiliating way, chasing after the Nazi slogans and emphasizing that they were ‘also nationalist’. … In May, a month before they were finally dissolved, the Social Democratic faction in the Reichstag had unanimously expressed their confidence in Hitler and joined in the singing of the ‘Horst Wessel Song,’ the Nazi anthem. (The official parliamentary report noted: ‘Unending applause and cheers, in the house and the galleries. The Reichschancellor [Hitler] turns to the Social Democratic faction and applauds.’)” [18]


It’s not that I can’t give United States foreign policy any credit when credit is due (please send me examples of the good deeds I’ve overlooked), but the raison d’être of this report is to try to help readers understand how US foreign policy works, waking people up and making them smell the garbage. American officials are now saying all the right things in support of the protesting Burmese monks. They condemn the Burmese leaders. They have announced new sanctions against the military regime and have called upon the Security Council to consider further steps. “Americans are outraged by the situation,” said Bush at the UN last week. But we must remember that all this costs the United States nothing. There’s no oil involved. Israel has not yet accused the monks of anti-semitism. There’s no issue of terrorism involved, though the government has tried to raise the issue of “terrorism” to win Washington’s support. The monks have not made any socialist or anti-imperialist demands. There are no American bases whose removal they’ve called for. No Burmese troops have been helping the US in Iraq or Afghanistan. Neither Halliburton nor Blackwater has a presence in Burma. In short, nothing that would oblige Washington to compromise, once again, on its alleged principles.


[1] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1971, original version 1925), Vol. 1, chapter 2, pp 57-8; chapter 4, p.150.

[2] The Forward (Jewish newspaper in New York), March 16, 2007.

[3] Haaretz.com (Israeli newspaper),

[4] Ibid.

[5] The Jerusalem Post, January 23, 2007.

[6] Commentary Magazine (New York), June 2007.

[7] Mein Kampf, op. cit., Vol. 1, chapter 10, p.231.

[8] Washington Post, September 25, 2007, p.1.

[9] Washington Post, September 25, 2007, p.6.

[10] Informed Comment, Cole’s blog, May 3, 2006
For a word-by-word breakdown of Ahmadinejad’s remark, in Farsi and English, see: Global Research, January 20, 2007.

[11] Associated Press, December 12, 2006.

[12] Letter to Washington Post from M.A. Mohammadi, Press Officer, Iranian Mission to the United Nations, June 12, 2006.

[13] nkusa.org/activities/Speeches/2006Iran-ACohen.cfm; Telegraph.co.uk, article by Alex Spillius, December 13, 2006; Associated Press, December 12, 2006

[14] Globe and Mail (Toronto), December 13, 2006.

[15] Associated Press, December 12, 2006.

[16] Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

[17] Holly Sklar, Washington’s War On Nicaragua (South End Press, 1988), p.243

[18] Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler (English edition, New York, 2000), pp.130-131.

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ahmadinejad on the Road: I'll Take New York!

The roving eye

'Hitler' does New York
By Pepe Escobar

CBS reporter: But the American people, sir, believe that your country [Iran]
is a terrorist nation, exporting terrorism in the world. You must have known
that visiting the World Trade Center site would infuriate many Americans.

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad: Well, I'm amazed. How can you speak for the
whole of the American nation? You are representing the media and you're a
reporter. The American nation is made up of 300 million people. There are
different points of view over there.

The new "Hitler", at least for a while, has lodged in a prosaic midtown Manhattan hotel. Contrary to a plethora of demonizing myths, this Persian werewolf did not evade his abode to eat kids for breakfast in Central Park. Instead, he turned on a carefully calibrated public relations charm offensive. Whatever his polemical views, for a now-seasoned head of state
like Ahmadinejad to turn astonishing US disinformation on Iran, the Middle East and US foreign policy for his own advantage ended up as a string of slam-dunks.

Articulate, evasive, manipulative, the Iranian president - even lost in translation - was especially skillful in turning US corporate media's hysteria upside down consistently to paint those in the administration of President George W Bush as incorrigible warmongers. Both at the National
Press Club, via video-conference, and live at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad even had the luxury of joking about fabled Western "freedom of information" - as so many are still "trying to prevent people from talking".

He scored major points among the target audience that really matters: worldwide Muslim public opinion. Contrasting with a plethora of corrupt Arab leaders, Ahmadinejad has been carefully positioning himself as a Muslim folk hero capable of standing up to Western arrogance and defending the rights of the weak (the Palestinians). The way he deflected US ire on the enemy's own turf will only add to his standing.

At the United Nations this week, a remix of 2002 couldn't be more inevitable: it's the same soundtrack of tortuous diplomacy with the bongos and congas and special effects of war beefing up the background. By going on preemptive public relations, Ahmadinejad was clever enough not to commit the same mistake of the previous, "invisible" Hitler, Saddam Hussein.

He was also clever in preempting ear-splitting rumors of a next war: "Talk about war is basically a propaganda tool." One of his key points may not have made an impact in the US, but resonated widely around the world, and not only in the Muslim street: "We oppose the way the US government tries to rule the world"; there are "more humane methods of establishing peace". He assured that no Iranian weapons are flowing into Iraq, adding that "regional countries in the Middle East don't need outside interference".

On uranium enrichment, he repeatedly stressed that it is Iran's right, as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to conduct a "legal" and "peaceful" nuclear program. "Why should a nation depend on another?" But if the US would engage in peace talks, so would Iran: "International law is equal to everyone." As for the US and France, they "are not the world" - a
reference to both the Bush administration's and the French saber-rattling.

"France is a very cultured society, it would not support war." Humanitarian imperialist French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was summarily brushed aside: he needs to attain "higher maturity".

On Israel, Ahmadinejad said, "We do not recognize a regime based on discrimination, occupation and expansionism," and he said that country "last week attacked Syria and last year attacked Lebanon"; pretty much what most of the Middle East agrees with. He may have granted that the Holocaust did take place, but the world needs "more research on it". The Holocaust is not
his main point: it always serves as an intro to one of his key themes - why should the Palestinians pay the price for something that happened in Europe?

He said he wanted a "clear" answer. No one deigned to provide it.

To put in perspective the Iranian hostage crisis in the early days of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he said one would need to "go back to US intervention in Iran since 1953". His hosts preferred to change the subject. Humming non-stop in the background noise was the "wipe Israel of the map" myth. No one had the intellectual decency to point out that what he really
said, in Farsi, in a speech on October 2005 to an annual anti-Zionist conference in Iran, was that "the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time". He was doing no more than quoting the late ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - hoping that an unfair (toward Palestine) regime would be replaced by another one more equitable; he was not threatening to nuke Israel.
Warmongers anyway don't bother to check the facts.

You've got to change your evil ways

US corporate media's treatment of the new "Hitler" seemed to have been scripted by the same ghostwriter lodged in the same (White) House. On 60 Minutes, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) was firing on all cylinders for a casus belli - from "There's no doubt Iran is providing the IEDs" (improvised explosive devices, in Iraq) to "Why don't you just stop denying
that you're building a nuclear bomb?" Ahmadinejad was bemused, to say the least. CNN for its part could not resist proclaiming, "His state even sponsors terrorism ... in some cases even against US troops in Iraq."

Ahmadinejad succinctly unveiled to the Associated Press the reasons for so much warmongering - in a way that even a kid would understand: "I believe that some of the talk in this regard arises first of all from anger.

Secondly, it serves the electoral purposes domestically in this country.

Third, it serves as a cover for policy failures over Iraq."

An even more appalling measure of Western arrogance - also speaking volumes about "us" when confronted with the incomprehensible "other" - is the diatribe with which the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, chose to "greet" his guest, a head of state. Bollinger, supposedly an academic, spoke about confronting "the mind of evil". His crass behavior got him 15 minutes of fame. Were President Bush to be greeted in the same manner in any university in the developing world - and motives would abound also to qualify him as a "cruel, petty dictator" - the Pentagon would have instantly switched to let's-bomb-them-with-democracy mode.

Ahmadinejad, to his credit, played it cool. Stressing, in a quirky fashion, his "academic" credentials, he unleashed a poetic rant on "science as a divine gift" just to plunge once again into the Palestinian tragedy. He stressed how Iran "is friendly with the Jewish people" - which is a fact (at least 30,000 Jews live undisturbed in Iran). Then back to the key point: Why are the Palestinians paying the price for something they had nothing to do with? Iran has a "humanitarian proposal" to solve the problem - a referendum where Palestinians would choose their own political destiny.

In the absence of informed debate, Ahmadinejad stressed his points the way he wanted to. Iran does not need a nuclear bomb. Iran does not want to manufacture a nuclear bomb. But telling other countries what they can and cannot do is another matter entirely. He is more than aware that the nuclear dossier is "a political issue" - a question of "two or three powers who think they can monopolize science and knowledge". It's up to a sovereign Iran to decide whether it needs nuclear fuel. "Why should we need fuel from you? You don't even give us spare parts for aircraft."

He also stressed that Iran is a victim of terrorism - a reference to the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a micro-terrorist group by any other name, formerly protected by Saddam, now supported by the Bush administration; but he was also referring to destabilizing black ops by US special forces in the strategically crucial provinces of Khuzestan and Balochistan.

Ahmadinejad was not questioned in detail on internal repression, intimidation of independent journalists, what his Interior Ministry is up to, from a crackdown on women not wearing the veil properly to more sinister, unsubstantiated "collaboration with America" charges. When executions were mentioned, he quipped, "Don't you have capital punishment in the US?" - and defended them on the ground that these were drug smugglers.

Nobody questioned him on his disastrous economic policies, on the competence of his ministers, on an embryonic pact between Iran and Saudi Arabia to prevent another war in the Middle East, on the upcoming, pivotal summit of the Caspian littoral states in Tehran where Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Vladimir Putin will discuss what happens next - from technical aspects of Iran's nuclear program to Bush's warmongering impetus. Anyway, Ahmadinejad made it clear: Iran is "ready to negotiate with all countries". The same could not be said about the Bush

White House.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would have liked this UN General Assembly to discuss seriously climate change and the looming water wars. But nobody - not even diplomats - is really paying attention. It's all about Bush against the "new Hitler". Gaza is being collectively punished, and Tony "invade Iraq" Blair bleats platitudes about "peace". About 100,000 brave monks are
in the streets of Yangon defying Myanmar's military junta - and the UN is not even listening ("Bring democracy to the Burmese people," anyone?). It's just war, war, war. New Yorkers may have shown the new "Hitler" a very ugly face, but at least they should know the war remix's hard sell is not dubbed in Farsi.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is
Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007). He may be reached at


A to Zed on Burma Investors

What's behind the sudden surge in Western interest in ousting Burma/Myanmar's military regime? Could it be an attack on another source of oil for petro-hungry China? Here's some of the countries and companies invested in B/M

Last modified 29 Sep 07

In response to calls from Burma’s democracy movement, the Burma Campaign UK and other campaign groups around the world have been pressuring companies to sever business ties with Burma.

Please contact one or more of the companies on the Dirty List and ask them to cut their ties with Burma’s military government. If appropriate, tell them you will not purchase their products as long as they continue to support the regime in Burma.

Letters written in your own words are most effective. If you don’t have much time, don’t worry - just one or two paragraphs will do. Please be polite!

We would be grateful if you could send us a copy of any responses you receive.

Relevant Links:

[for full article links, please see source here - ape]

The Dirty List with company contact details

The Clean List

The Dirty List Briefing

'Dirty List' Press Releases

the dirty list


A To top

A World Away Travels - NEW
A World Away Travels is a US tour operator claiming to offer ‘adventure travel’s unique experience’. Included in this experience are four different tours to and around Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy.

Abercrombie & Kent
Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is an American holiday company with 45 offices around the world, including offices in the UK. A&K make an unwelcome return to the Dirty List. In 2003 the UK branch of A&K informed the Burma Campaign UK that A&K would no longer include Burma in its brochures or promote tourism to Burma. However, the US branch of A&K still operates tours. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Adventures Abroad
Adventures Abroad is an American travel company which operates in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. It organises and promotes holidays to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Alcatel is a French multinational specialising in communication technology. Alcatel is working closely with the regime in Burma to help it develop telecommunications such as landlines and mobile networks. The regime is the only mobile service provider in Burma, and is keen to expand the service because of high revenues and its importance to companies investing and trading with Burma, in particular, gem miners and exporters.

Andaman Club - NEW
The Andaman Club is a luxury casino/hotel complex located on Thahtay Kyun Island in Southernmost Burma. It was launched by Vikrom Isiri in 1995, who leases the land from the Burmese junta. Isiri has since gone on to become a Thai senator and the complex has provided the seed money for numerous other ventures, including Phuket Airlines.

Andaman Teak Supplies Pty Ltd - NEW
Andaman is an Australian teak supplier to the marine sector, which only uses Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Andrew Brock Travel
Andrew Brock Travel is a tour operator that organises tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities. Owner Andrew Brock has said that Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is ‘oppressing Burma’s people’.

Aquatic is a privately owned Scottish company that provides specialist services to the oil and gas industry. Aquatic has an office in Burma, through which they assist the oil and gas industry. Gas exports are the regime’s largest source of income.

Archaeological Tours - NEW
Archaeological Tours is a US tour operator specialising in archaeological and historical study tours led by distinguished scholars. Their 2006-2007 programme includes a ‘Burma In-Depth Tour’ as well as a ‘Khmer Kingdoms Tour’ which begins in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy.

Asean Explorer
Asean Explorer is a travel company that organises tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities. Asean Explorer have sent abusive emails to people asking them to end their involvement in Burma.

Asia Optical
Asia Optical is a Taiwanese company and is one of the biggest lens producers in the world. It invested $12m in Burma to build a lens factory, which opened in early 2004. Customers of Asia Optical include: Canon, Epson, Hitachi, Kodak, Konica, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and Sharp.

Audley Travel
Audley Travel is a travel company that organises tours to Burma. It also promotes holidays to Burma in national newspapers, including the Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and The Observer.

B To top

Baker Hughes - NEW
Baker Hughes is a supplier of products and services to the oil and natural gas industry. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the company operates in over 90 countries including Burma where it has offices in Yangon. Its subsidiaries- Hughes Christensen and Baker Petrolite have further offices in South East Asia designated to serve the industry in Burma. As well as supplying equipment to the oil and gas industry in Burma, Baker Hughes operate a rig count service within the country.

Bales Worldwide
Bales Worldwide is a travel company that organises tours to Burma. Although the company admits there are ‘conflicting views’ on whether tourists should visit Burma, it argues in favour of tourism.

Bamboo Travel - NEW
Bamboo Travel is a UK company which aims to deliver bespoke itineraries for tourists wishing to visit China and South East Asia. Burma is included as one of the company’s destinations. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy.

Ben Line Agencies/ EGT Holdings
Ben Line Agencies is a Scottish shipping line with offices in Burma. It operates a range of port services for companies exporting cargo from Burma. Ben Line is owned by EGT Holdings.

BJ Services
BJ Services is an American oil services company. It provides services to oil companies operating in Burma.

Britannic Garden Furniture Ltd - NEW
Britannic Garden Furniture is the West Country’s leading British manufacturer of “genuine” (Burmese) teak garden furniture. Their furniture can be found in such prestigious places as Hyde Park and the Tower of London. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Britannic Garden Furniture has said: "As for Aung San Suu Kyi, admitted her party had won the election on a very small turnout. We note that she seems to be very comfortable and well looked after in her bungalow and seems easily to communicate with the outside world. Burma's human rights, admitted, are not very good and probably fifty percent of the rest of the world are not either."

C To top

CHC Helicopter Corporation - NEW
CHC Helicopter Corporation, a Canadian company, is the world’s largest provider of helicopter services to the global offshore oil and gas industry. It has aircraft operating in more than thirty countries around the world including Burma where it has supported offshore operations of international oil companies operating in the country. CHC trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols FLY.A and FLY.B; and on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FLI.CHC.

Since its 2005 takeover of Unocal, US oil giant Chevron has been one of the joint venture partners developing the Yadana offshore gas field in Burma, which earns the military regime millions of dollars. Chevron also owns Texaco.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC)
CNOOC is China’s offshore and overseas oil company. It is involved in several gas fields in Burma. Most recently its involvement has been through its China Oilfield Services Ltd subsidiary. In 2006 it agreed a deal to provide drilling services at three onshore sites in Burma’s Arakan state, having previously secured a drilling contract from Daewoo to drill for gas offshore.

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
CNPC is China’s largest oil and gas company. It has been involved in Burma’s oil and gas industry for more than a decade, increasing its investment in 2001 through its subsidiary – Chinnery Assets. In 2004 it entered into production sharing contracts with the Myanmar Ministry of Energy for offshore exploration of oil and gas through another of its subsidiaries- China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation.

CNPC’s largest subsidiary PetroChina signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Burmese junta in 2005 for the supply of natural gas from Burma to China.

China PetroChemical Corp (Sinopec)
Sinopec is China’s second largest oil company, and is listed in Hong Kong and New York. Its subsidiary – Dian-Quin-Gui Petroleum Exploration Bureau – signed a contract for oil and gas exploration with the regime in September 2004.

CNA Group Ltd - NEW
CNA is as Sesdaq listed company headquartered in Singapore. It was, in 2005, awarded a contract for the expansion of Yangon International Airport. Under the contract C.N.A. will design, supply, install and commission 24 engineering systems for the airport terminals. The project is to be completed by early 2007 but the CEO has commented “we will continue to expand our presence in the region (Myanmar).”
Crown Relocations
Crown Relocations is a Hong Kong based company with offices in the UK. It is employed by governments, corporations and non-government agencies to arrange relocation of staff when they need to work overseas. Crown has an office in Burma that facilitates the transfer of expat staff employed by foreign investors in Burma. Crown strongly defends foreign investment in Burma.

D To top

Danford Equities Corporation – NEW
Danford Equities Corporation is an Australian oil company. It signed a production sharing and exploration contract with state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise in November 2006. It covers the Yetagun East Block.

Daewoo International Corporation
Daewoo is a South Korean conglomerate with interests ranging from oil and gas, to grain, televisions and cars. It is a partner in the Bay of Bengal gas exploration project in Burma which could earn the regime hundreds of millions of dollars. Daewoo Motors also has a car assembly plant which is a joint venture with Myanmar Automobile and Diesel Industries (MADI). MADI is owned and controlled by the regime. In addition, Daewoo supplies IT services to the regime, and has timber manufacturing and clothing interests in Burma.

D.A. Watts & Sons - NEW
Based in Northamptonshire, England, D.A.Watts & Sons Ltd. is a family run business which has been established for 20 years. They have produced in excess of 3500 teak decks, and only use Burmese teak. They claim that they will continue to do so until, or unless, world politics shuts off the supply. Their decks are now installed as standard by many of Europe’s leading small craft manufacturers. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd - NEW
DBS Group Holdings Ltd is the holding company of DBS bank and is one of the largest companies in terms of market capitalisation listed on the Singapore Exchange, with total assets amounting to over S$180 billion. Included in its international banking network is a representative office in Burma.

Diethelm Keller/STA Travel
Diethelm Keller Group is a private Swiss company with a wide range of investments, including Diethelm Travel, which operates holiday tours to Burma. Diethelm boasts that it pioneered tourism to Burma. Diethelm also owns STA travel. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Dragon Travel
Dragon Travel is a travel company based in Wales that organises tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement have asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

E To top

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) Public Limited Company is a subsidiary of Thailand’s state run power utility, EGAT, formed to increase private sector involvement in electricity supply. EGAT Plc signed a Memorandum of Understanding in late 2005, with the Burmese military junta for the construction of a series of five hydro electric dams along the Salween river. The project will not only secure electricity for Thailand, but also much needed income for the SPDC.

E.O. Burton
E.O. Burton is a timber importer based in Essex. According to the Timber Trade Federation, E.O. Burton sells Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Essar Group
Essar Group is an Indian conglomerate. In 2005 its Essar Oil subsidiary signed contracts with the regime to make onshore and offshore explorations for oil and gas.

Euro Teck - NEW
Euro Teck is a French company based in Nantes which is specifically concerned with the importation and distribution of Burmese teak to France and Europe. They have a subsidiary in Burma in charge of selecting, buying and manufacturing these teak products. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

To top

Flatau Dick & Co
Flatau Dick & Co is a timber merchant based in Surrey and Liverpool. Flatau Dick & Co sells Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Focus Energy
Focus Energy is a small British oil company – registered in the Virgin Islands. Focus Energy operates and develops onshore oil fields in Burma. It began operations in 1997, and in late 2004 announced a new investment of 4 million dollars to drill new wells.

Fodor's/Random House
Fodor’s is an American publishing company that specialises in travel guides. Their South East Asia guide includes a section on Burma which helps facilitate tourism to the country. Fodor's is part of the Random House publishing group. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

G To top

Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL)
GAIL is an Indian gas company. It is a partner is the massive Shwe gas field consortium off the coast of Burma. It has a 10% stake.
Gecko’s Adventures
Gecko’s describes itself as a travel company for ‘grassroots adventures’. It is a sister company of Peregrine Adventures, which has offices in Australia and the UK. Gecko’s organises tours to Burma.

Geopetrol - NEW
Geopetrol is a private oil and gas exploration, and production, company. Through GoldPetrol, the company’s joint venture with Interra Resources, this French based firm has a participating interest in two major oil producing fields in the sub-Salin basin of Burma. It plans to undertake further development drilling to significantly increase its production.

Ginnacle Import-Export Pte Ltd - NEW
Ginnacle is a company located in Singapore involved in the sales and marketing of Burmese teak lumber, decking and furniture. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Golden Aaron Pte. Ltd - NEW
Golden Aaron Pte. Ltd. is a Singaporean oil corporation. The company is part of a consortium which in 2005 signed three production sharing contracts with state run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, to explore for oil and gas in Burma, both on and offshore. It is a project which will undoubtedly provide the Burmese junta with a large and valuable source of income. The same consortium signed similar deals in 2004.

H To top

Hapag-Lloyd is a German container shipping line and holiday cruise operator. Its container division has an office in Burma as part of its operation to export Burmese products. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises includes Burma on their cruises in Asia. Hapag-Lloyd is active in the UK container shipping market.

Hawke House Ltd - NEW
Hawke House is a family run supplier to the marine industry. Located in Gosport, England, the equipment it stocks and retails includes Burmese teak decking. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Helicopters New Zealand
Helicopters New Zealand (NZ) are a New Zealand helicopter hire company that specialises in helicopter hire for difficult environments, including the oil and gas industry. Helicopters NZ have been hired by Daewoo to work on the Shwe gas field.

Hunter Publishing/Nelles Guides
Hunter Publishing is an American publishing company that produces a guide to Burma under its Nelles Guide imprint. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Hutchison Whampoa/3 Mobile/Superdrug
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd is a Hong Kong based company with a wide range of investments around the world. In Burma it operates Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT), a major port in Burma. It describes these port terminals as “strategically positioned to facilitate and service Myanmar’s international trade.” In the UK, Hutchison owns 3 Mobile, Superdrug, three major ports – Felixstowe, Harwich International and Thamesport, and has major stakes in luxury property developments such as Royal Gate in Kensington, Belgravia Place near Sloane Square and Albion Wharf in Chelsea.

H2O Yachts - NEW
H2O Yachts are a French boatbuilding, restoration and fitting company who describe themselves as craftsmen in teak. All of their teak is sourced from Burma. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

I To top

Impact Publications
Impact Publications is an American publishing company that publishes a guide to Burma. The guide is available in several countries. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities. Impact Publications have sent abusive emails to people writing to express their concern about Impact promoting tourism to Burma.
Insight Guides
Insight Guides is an independent publishing company that produces holiday guides, including a guide to Burma that promotes tourism to the country. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Interra Resources – NEW
Singapore listed Interra Resource’s principal activities are the exploration and operation of oil fields for the production of crude petroleum. It operates in Indonesia and Burma. In Burma its subsidiary Goldwater Oil was the first foreign oil company to extract oil in Burma. It is currently engaged in oil and gas exploration and production through its jointly controlled venture with Geopetrol called Goldpetrol.

Itera Group – NEW
Itera Group is a Russian oil and gas company. In September 2006 it signed a production sharing contract for oil and gas exploration with the regime.

Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company with very close links to the regime in Burma. As the largest foreign mining investor in Burma it operates the Monywa Copper mine in a joint venture with the regime. Rail and power infrastructure in the area of the mine was built using forced labour. The mine could be earning the regime over $40 million a year.

J To top

James Latham
James Latham is a timber importer based in Hemel Hempstead, and with depots across the UK. James Latham sells approximately £50,000 of Burmese teak each year. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Jet Gold Corp
Jet Gold Corp is a Canadian mining company. Its major focus is searching for gold in Shan state in Burma.

K To top

Kajima is a Japanese construction company with contracts all over the world. Kajima has an office in Burma and has undertaken several construction contracts for the regime. In the UK, Kajima has won several PFI projects, including building schools in Camden and Ealing.

Keppel Corporation - NEW
Singapore’s Keppel Corporation is a multinational corporation with interests in three key business areas: Offshore and Marine, Property and Infrastructure. Its property wing- Keppel Land has a presence in eight Asian countries including Burma where it owns the Sedona Hotels in Yangon and Mandalay.

Kerry Logistics Group/Kuok Group
Kerry Logistics is a goods transport logistics company with branches in 12 countries, including the UK. Kerry Logistics also operates in Burma, facilitating the export of Burmese goods. Kerry Logistics is part of the Singaporean conglomerate, Kuok Group.

Kircodan Furniture
Kircodan is a Danish furniture manufacturer that sources timber from Burma. Kircodan’s furniture is sold in the UK. Timber exports are an important source of income for Burma’s dictatorship.

KOGAS – The Korea Gas Corporation – is a South Korean gas company. KOGAS is a partner is the massive Shwe gas field consortium off the coast of Burma. It has a 10% stake.

L To top

Leeward Capital Corp
Leeward Capital Corp are a Canadian mining company. They are in a joint venture with the regime to mine and export amber.

Let’s Go/Pan MacMillan
Let’s Go is an American publisher of travel guides. Pan Macmillan distributes the Let’s Go series in the UK. The Let’s Go South East Asia guide includes a section on Burma that helps to facilitate tourism to the country. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Lister/Sun Wood Industries
Lister is a garden furniture manufacturer based in Sussex. Its parent company is Sun Wood Industries in Thailand. It sources teak from Burma. Timber exports are an important source of income for the regime.
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is an Australian multinational publishing company specialising in travel guides. Lonely Planet publishes a guide to Burma which encourages tourists to visit the country. Lonely Planet also vigorously defends tourism to Burma, attempting to undermine calls by Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s democracy movement for tourists to stay away.

M To top

A.P.Møller Maersk is a Danish multinational company that specialises in shipping, but also has interests in oil & gas exploration, air transport, and supermarkets. In Burma Maersk act as a shipping agent through a company set up to act as their local representative. The agent – Win Trade Ltd – arranges exports from Burma using the regime owned Myanmar Five Star Line. Maersk are joint owners of Dansk Supermarked, Denmark’s second largest supermarket chain, which includes Netto supermarkets.

Marubeni is a Japanese company with interests ranging from oil and gas to clothing and timber. In Burma they helped finance the Monywa Copper mine developed by Ivanhoe. In the UK Marubeni develops oil and gas reserves in the North Sea.

Mekong Travel
Mekong Travel is a travel company based in Buckinghamshire which specialises in holidays to Indochina, including Burma. On their website they describe how decades of isolation as a result of military dictatorship “have preserved here many of the traditional features, physical and cultural, which have been lost in other Asian countries.”

Mel Flooring
Mel Flooring is a flooring company that sells Burmese Teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Mitsui is a Japanese conglomerate with interests ranging from metals and mining to electronic goods, insurance, clothes and chemicals. Mitsui is in a joint venture with the Burmese regime in the Mingaladon Industrial Park, which was set up to attract foreign investors to Burma.

Mitsui OSK Lines
M.O.L is a global business concerned with marine shipping and logistics in what it calls a ‘truly borderless transportation network that brings goods to market all over the world’. Yangon is one of the company’s major calling ports.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is one of Japan’s largest non-life insurers with a workforce of over 13,000 and a net income in 2006 of over 124,000 million yen. Included in its large overseas network is a representative office in Yangon.

Morgan Timber
Morgan Timber is a timber importer based in Kent. In 2004 the Timber Trade Federation listed Morgan Timber as selling Burmese teak. Morgan Timber have not replied to correspondence from the Burma Campaign UK regarding its sales of Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Moss & Co
Moss Timber is a timber importer based in London. According to the Timber Trade Federation, Moss Timber sells Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Mountain Travel Sobek
Mountain Travel Sobek is an adventure travel company with offices in the US and UK. They operate tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

N To top

New Horizons Travels and Tours Ltd
New Horizons Travels and Tours is a London based company that organises holidays to Burma. They promote them through their website burmaexpeditions.com.

NHG Timber Ltd
NHG Timber is a timber importer based in London. According to the Timber Trade Federation, NHG Timber sells Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Nikko Hotels International/Japan Airlines
Nikko Hotels International, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, owns hotels all over the world. In Burma Nikko operate the Hotel Nikko Royal Lake Yangon. In the UK they own the Montcalm-Hotel Nikko London.

Nippon Oil
Japanese oil firm Nippon Oil are one of the joint venture partners developing the Yadana offshore gas field in Burma, which earns the military regime millions of dollars.

Noble Caledonia
Noble Caledonia is a British holiday cruise company offering cruises all over the world. Their brochure includes cruises on the Irrawaddy River in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

NYK Shipping
NYK is the world’s largest shipping company. It transports garment exports from Burma. Since being placed on the Dirty List in 2004 NYK has taken some welcome steps to reduce its involvement in Burma. It has stopped carrying timber exports from Burma and its American subsidiary Crystal Cruises has stopped visiting Burma. NYK has significant operations in the UK, operating out of ports across the country.

O To top

OCBC Bank is Singapore’s longest established bank, and is today one of Asia’s leading financial services groups with gross assets of S$136 billion. The group has a global network of more than 310 branches and representative offices in 15 countries including Burma.

Old Burma Tour and Trading Co - NEW
This Florida based company, with offices in Yangon, is a provider of custom made tours of Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Further, forced labour has been used to develop certain tourist facilities.

NGC Videsh
ONGC Videsh is one of the largest companies in India. It is a partner in the massive Shwe gas field consortium off the coast of Burma. It has a 20% stake.

Orient Express
Orient Express has its registered office in Bermuda, is managed from London, and is listed on the New York stock exchange. The company specialises mainly in hotels, but also offers holidays to Burma including ‘Road to Mandalay’ cruises on the Irrawaddy River. It has recently expanded its interests in Burma by taking a stake in the Pansea hotel chain – now rebranded as ‘Pansea Orient Express’ - which has a hotel in Rangoon. Pansea Orient Express is also building a new hotel in Bagan, Burma.

P To top

Parker Kislingbury
Parker Kislingbury is a timber importer based in Buckinghamshire. According to the Timber Trade Federation, Parker Kislingbury sells Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Peregrine Adventures
Peregrine Adventures is an Australian travel company with an office in London. Peregrine offers 12 day tours of Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Petronas is a Malaysian state owned oil and gas company. It has several contracts with the regime in Burma to extract and explore for oil and gas in the country.

Pettitts is a travel company based in Kent. They offer a 9 day tour of Burma. They are one of the few travel companies to mention that there are ethical problems with visiting Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

PTTEP – The PTT Exploration and Production Company, is a Thai company that is largely state owned. PTTEP owns a 25.5 % stake in the Yadana gas field in Burma, and a 19.3% stake in the Yetagun field. PTTEP is also planning to expand its operations in Burma.

Purple Dragon – NEW
Purple Dragon is a sister company of Thailand based Utopia Tours. It specialises in holidays for gays and lesbians. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

R To top

Road to Mandalay
Road to Mandalay is a travel and export company based in Burma and the UK. In Burma it operates under the name Golden Pagoda Travel. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Robbins Timber
Robbins Timber is a timber company based in Bristol. They boast that they are one of the largest UK stockists of Burmese teak. The Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma and teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Rolls-Royce is a British company that makes and services engines for civil and military aircraft, and the marine and energy sectors. (Rolls-Royce cars are made by a separate company which have a license from Rolls-Royce to use the brand for cars.) Through its Singaporean subsidiary, Rolls-Royce has a contract to supply and service aircraft engines for at least one Burmese airline. All airlines in Burma are owned by the regime or their cronies.

S To top

SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd - NEW
SapuraCrest is a leading oil and gas services provider in the Southeast Asia region, with further projects in Australia, the Middle East, and India. The company has been involved in offshore oil and gas drilling in Burma, and its operations in the country have continued through 2006.

Scansia Sdn Bhd
Scansia Sdn Bhd is a Malaysian company. Scansia Myanmar manufactures garden furniture in a plant in Rangoon. All its timber is purchased from the regime owned company Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE). The furniture is exported to the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Japan. Scansia also give 20 percent of the profits from their Burmese operations to the regime.

Schenker is a German logistics company with an office in Rangoon, through which it facilitates the export of Burmese goods. Schenker also has offices in several UK ports.

Schlumberger is a technology company which operates all over the world. Schlumberger Oilfield Services operates offshore gas rigs in Burma. It also operates oil rigs in UK waters in the North Sea.

Shangri-La Hotels
Shangri-La Hotels is a Singaporean hotel company. It operates the Traders hotel in Rangoon. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities. In the UK, Shangri-La plans to operate an opulent 5 star hotel in the proposed ‘shard of glass’ tower block at London Bridge.

Siemens are a German engineering and technology company operating all over the world. Siemens are supplying gas turbines to Total for a new platform in the Yadana gas field.

Silverbird Travel
Silverbird Travel is a London based travel company that operates tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

SBM Offshore - NEW
SBM Offshore is a Dutch company formerly known as IHC Caland. It is a management holding company of a group of international companies working as suppliers to the offshore oil and gas industry on a global basis. It owns and operates a Floating Storage and Offloading System in Burma under a long term lease contract with Petronas.

SGS Group - NEW
SGS Group, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is a global leader in the inspection, verification, testing and certification industry. It has over 34,000 employees and a presence in well over 120 countries. This includes Burma where it has a subsidiary – SGS (Myanmar) Ltd which plays a key role in the facilitation of Burma’s international trading.

Sompo Japan
Sompo Japan is a Japanese insurance company that provides insurance and reinsurance services to companies operating in Burma. Sompo Japan has offices across the world, including in the UK.

Sri Asia Tourism
Sri Asia Tourism service is a Burmese travel company offering holidays to Burma through offices in the UK and Australia.

Steppes Travel/Steppes East
Steppes East is a UK travel company offering holidays to Burma. They continue to operate tours to the country despite Nicholas A G Laing of Steppes East admitting to the Burma Campaign UK that: “Myanmar is a highly controversial subject which I have yet to fathom.” Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation is a Japanese conglomerate with extensive financial interests in the UK. Sumitomo is in a joint venture with Myanmar General and Maintenance Industries (MGMI) producing steel. MGMI is owned and controlled by the military regime.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
SMFG was established in 2002 as a holding company for the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). SMBC came into existence the preceding year through the merger of the Sakura Bank and the Sumitomo Bank. SMBC operates a representative office in Yangon and, through the services it provides, serves to facilitate trade and financial transactions in Burma.

Sutech Engineering Co Ltd - NEW
Bangkok-based Sutech Engineering Company is primarily involved in the construction and running of processing mills. In Burma it is engaged in the production and processing of sugar in conjunction with the state run Myanmar Sugarcane Enterprise and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC). In late 2006 it agreed a further joint venture with the MEC for the construction of what will be Burma’s largest sugar mill.

Suzuki’s main business is the manufacture of cars and motorbikes. In 1998 Suzuki invested $6.9 million to set up a joint venture with Myanmar Automobile & Diesel Engine Industries (MADI). MADI is controlled by the military regime. Suzuki owns 60% of the business, MADI 30% with the remaining 10% split between two Burmese companies with close government links.

Swift is a financial services co-operative company owned and controlled by many of the world’s largest banks, including Citibank, HSBC and ABN Amro. Swift hosts an electronic network that banks use to make transfers to each other. Following the imposition of financial sanctions by the United States government in August 2003 the regime faced a crisis, unable to use dollars in financial transactions. Swift came to their aid, making four Burmese banks part of its network. The regime is now able to avoid US financial sanctions by making financial transfers in Euros using Swift’s network.

T To top

Taiga Consultant Ltd
Taiga Consultant Ltd is a Canadian geological consulting firm. Taiga has an office in Burma and works closely with the regime exploring for base and precious metals.

Taisei - NEW
The Taisei Corporation is a Tokyo headquartered transnational construction and civil engineering corporation. With employees numbering nearly 10,000 and a history of involvement in over 50 countries worldwide, the corporation maintains a branch in Yangon. Their involvement there has included a leading role in the upgrade of Yangon International Airport alongside the Myanmar Construction Ministry, as well as office renovations for leading banks.

Teak Marine - NEW
Teak Marine manufactures and ships teak decks and cabin soles for luxury yachts on the North American coastline. They only use Burmese Teak. As the Burmese regime owns all teak plantations in Burma, teak sales earn the regime millions of pounds every year.

Tennyson Travel
Tennyson Travel is a UK travel company that trades under the name Visit Vietnam. As well as tours to Vietnam it also operates tours to Burma, which it advertises in national newspapers.

Total Oil
Total is in a joint venture with the military regime developing an offshore gas field in the Andaman sea. The gas is exported to Thailand through a pipeline that travels 65 kilometres through Burma. Total is one of the biggest foreign investors in Burma. Total has been taken to court by six Burmese people who were used as forced labour in the preparation of Total’s pipeline in Burma.

Trailblazer Guides
Trailblazer Guides publishes a guide to South East Asia that includes a section on Burma. This section facilitates tourism to the country. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Trans Indus Ltd
Trans Indus is a British holiday company that operates tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

Travel World Media
Travel World Media owns Elephantguide.com. Elephantguide.com is an online travel guide which includes a section facilitating tourism to Burma.

U To top

The Ultimate Travel Company/Worldwide Journeys & Expeditions
Worldwide Journeys is part of The Ultimate Travel Company. It offers tours to Burma saying there has never been a better time to visit. No mention is made of the military dictatorship.

United Overseas Bank Group - NEW
The United Overseas Bank was founded in 1935 and is today a leading bank in Singapore and a dominant player in Asia-Pacific. As of 31 December 2005, the UOB Group had total assets of S$145.1 billion and shareholders' equity of S$14.9 billion. UOB has a global network of branches, offices and subsidiaries, one such office being in Burma. UOB also has diversified interests and through its subsidiary United Overseas Land the group operates the Park Royal Yangon hotel.

Utopia Tours
Utopia Tours is a travel company based in Thailand which specialises in holidays for gays and lesbians. It advertises tours to Burma in Gay and Lesbian media in the UK. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

V To top

Voyages to Asia
Voyages to Asia is a travel company organising tours to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists not to visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and gives it legitimacy. Forced and child labour was used to develop many tourist facilities.

W To top

William Garvey Furniture
William Garvey is a furniture design and manufacturing company. It uses Burmese teak. Teak exports are an important source of revenue for the regime.
Willis Group Holdings
Willis Group Holdings is a global insurance broker. The Federation of Trade Unions – Burma reports that through its Singapore office Willis provides insurance cover for companies investing in Burma.

Worldwood is a Dutch timber company which also operate in the UK. Worldwood sources teak from Burma. Teak exports are a key source of revenue for the regime.

To top
Zarubezhneft - NEW
JSC Zarubezhneft is a Russian oil and gas company. In September 2006 it signed a production sharing contract for oil and gas exploration with the regime.