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Thursday 7 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Bolivia - Evo Morales, South America.

A Bolivian mine worker with a stick of dynamite on his helmet attends a protest rally in La Paz

Bolivian mine worker with a stick of dynamite on his helmet attends a protest rally in La Paz     [REUTERS]


I guess we showed them! 23 April 2010

Posted by marisacat in Bolivia - Evo Morales, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, South America, WAR!.

A sleeping polar bear is pictured in this photo taken by Amos Nachoum on the icy tundra of Admiralty Inlet on the Arctic's Baffin Island

A sleeping polar bear is pictured in this photo taken by Amos Nachoum on the icy tundra of Admiralty Inlet on the Arctic’s Baffin Island [AMOS NACHOUM / BARCROFT]

Pinkie slap, 2 and 3 million we withheld… but Morales is right…

From Cochabamba Bolivia where a few years ago pitched battles were fought in the streets, opposing Bechtel, who were privatising the water…

AMY GOODMAN: President Morales, who would be brought before a climate justice tribunal?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] First, the developed countries that are not respecting the Kyoto Protocol. It’s a basic document, the Kyoto Protocol. The developed countries should responsibly implement the provisions. We would begin with the countries that have not ratified or adopted the Kyoto Protocol, such as the government of the United States. And to that effect, you also have the International Court of Justice. So this is a new organization that would grow out of this event, this world movement for the rights of Mother Earth. This world movement for the rights of Mother Earth should already bring an action, as I say, against the countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. And second, those that have ratified it, but are not implementing the Kyoto Protocol.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to President Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia.

Yesterday at the Earth Day rally, the foreign minister of Ecuador said that the US had cut two-and-a-half million dollars to Ecuador because they didn’t sign onto the Copenhagen Accord. He said he would give two-and-a-half million dollars to the United States if they signed onto the Kyoto Protocol.

Bolivia, the US cut two-and-a-half million dollars, or $3 million, because you didn’t sign onto the Copenhagen Accord. Can you explain what happened?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] The thing is that there’s permanent sabotage and blackmail from the US government. I cannot believe that a black president can have so much vengeance with an Indian president, because our grandparents and our populations, black and indigenous, have been excluded, marginalized, humiliated. [of course, that assumes there is a conscious will with Obama to do differently.  Change, ya know…]

That’s where Obama is coming from, from that experience and that suffering. And me, too. And so, it’s one who’s been discriminated against discriminating against another who’s been discriminated against, one oppressed who is oppressing another oppressed. So much blackmail, and the so much blackmail we had experienced before, and now I’m being subject to $3 million blackmail.

But it’s with great pride and humility that we’re now better off without the United States. We’re better off economically. And in terms of macroeconomic policy, we’re better off without the International Monetary Fund.

AMY GOODMAN: What was the $3 million supposed to be for, before it was cut?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Of course, for social programs, as well as environmental programs, but that’s just $3 million. In terms of fighting drug trafficking, they have the responsibility to make an investment, and that it’s not just a question of cooperation, it’s a matter of an obligation on their part. Nonetheless, they have pulled out, and we are facing drug trafficking alone—some crumb to make it seem like something, certainly. And so, for example, I had information that they were going to invest in the Millennium Development Account, like $600 million, and they withdrew all of it. And so, we worked this out with other countries. We’re talking about investment. One is not going to raise that claim about this. We are a country of dignity.

But what they do is take vengeance, intimidate. And that is why my doubt is, one who has been subjugated, one’s family has been subjugated to discrimination, is now president; how is it possible that he can discriminate against another movement that has been discriminated against? It is the peoples who will hear.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you see a change between President Bush and President Obama?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] If something is changed, it’s just the color of the president that’s changed.  …snip…

Blunt talk.

And this:

AMY GOODMAN: The proposals that have come out of this conference, this summit, can you name them and explain them, beginning with the climate justice tribunal?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] For example, the developed countries should respect the Kyoto Protocol, and that means put it into practice, the 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; and that the global temperature increase should be a maximum one-degree Centigrade; that a climate justice tribunal should be established, based in Cochabamba—and I say thank you very much to the social movements who approved this proposal that it be based here; that there should continue to be a debate or there still is a debate on having a world referendum on climate change; that the economic resources spent on defense and wars should be for life and for nature.

According to information we have, we find that the developed countries spend $1.7 trillion, supposedly for defense and international security, but that actually means in military intervention in other countries. Imagine, with $1.7 trillion for life and for nature, that would be so important. And that is the right of Mother Earth, the right to regenerate Mother Earth’s caring capacity. It’s very important.


Lily 19 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Bolivia - Evo Morales, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Viva La Revolucion!.


NYCO’s Lily…

Admittedly from their position on the floor, but the R are laughing up a storm:


All That Hard Work By Liberals This Year Is Finally Paying Off

So Joe Lieberman is keeping his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee on the say so of 42 Senate Democrats AND President Obama; his Secretary of State might be Iraq War supporter and preconditionless-summit opponent Hillary Clinton; no one will be prosecuted for waterboarding, Bush’s guy John Brennan may take over at CIA and Bush’s man Robert Gates may stay on as Defense Secretary.

I don’t know how the liberals feel, but so far the Obama administration rocks.

Obama pledged during the campaign to withdraw the remaining U.S. combat troops in 16 months, at roughly the rate of one combat brigade a month. The plan tentatively approved in Baghdad yesterday would essentially give Obama until the end of 2011 to pull out all U.S. forces, while also putting the imprimatur of the Bush administration on the idea that there needs to be an ironclad deadline for troop removal.

“It greatly eases the pressure on [Obama] to meet a fixed abstract schedule for U.S. withdrawals,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

In at least one respect, the timeline may complicate what Obama had proposed on the campaign trail: leaving a residual force in Iraq to protect U.S. officials and conduct counter-terrorism operations after the withdrawal of all combat troops. The agreement makes clear that the U.S. government would need approval from the Iraqis if a residual force is to remain beyond Dec. 31, 2011.

So other than interrogations, CIA leadership, domestic wiretapping, the Iraq withdrawal, we’re looking at dramatic wholesale changes to policies related to the war on terror…

But at least Joe Lieberman is no longer in charge of overseeing the Department of Homeland Security. Oh, wait..

via Geraghty at National Review Online.  Schnauzer land.

And, just to ram it all the way home (repeated from the end of the last thread)… slobber from one of the mouthpieces at The Atlantic (bolding is mine):

Barack Obama, a man of the left with an empiricist, pragmatic, and politically hard-hearted temperament, is poised to deliber major progressive legislation: a transformative energy economy; universal health care; labor law reform; expanded federal rights for gays; transportation and infastructure spending; expansive regulation.

The few grumbles and grumblers will probably be shunted to the side, and anger may be channeled elsewhere. The Democratic Party is as united, now, as united since it’s been since the government shutdown in the mid 1990s, and certainly as united as it ever will be.

What can you do but laugh?

Tonight on KGO, local Democratic/”liberal” talk radio, a host must have said 40 times that letting the Big Three go did not matter (how blithe we are with other peoples’ jobs) as the workers would be

-hired by other car manufacturers (really? Nummi has a lay off scheduled for January)

-hired to work via the big stimulus bill that would fund rebuilding the national infrastructure (I surely  hope so)

-and massively retrained…

hmm OK.  Must have been talking from Kansas and holding Toto. If you want to sell the position that the Big Three should not be bailed out (and I don’t think they should be) it is just massively dishonest to sell it from a lie that there will not be problems – big problems in fact, as a result.  Hosts there pushing the Bail Out, in all its various devolutions and diversions, have been just as dishonest.

I am only hopeful that things are so very bad that Obama (and his legions of Age of Obama O-bots) will have to do SOMETHING for the people… but I have no fucking clue what.  And I know for certain the people are not first in line.

They just are not.



Not to get too excited here…

JUAN GONZALEZ: Mr. President, I’d like to ask you, in previous visits, we’ve talked about the long struggle to craft a new constitution for Bolivia. And our understanding now is it’s finally been crafted and that it will go to a referendum in January. What are your expectations on this referendum? And what does the new constitution signify for Bolivia?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] I feel a great optimism, because we suffered a lot of discrimination, and they have called me monkey, animal, not capable of anything. And I don’t think that they have treated [President-elect] Obama the same way they treated Morales, by the opposition. Because I feel this optimism, I think we are going to succeed with the new constitution that will guarantee a united Bolivia, with guarantees for the people and a plural national state with everybody—black, white, mixed breeds, indigenous people—they are going to be united. And the law is going to include a plurality for people. It will guarantee private property, collective communal property, and also state property that belongs to the people, such as the state companies, such as the hydrocarbon industry.

But also, the new constitution will allow the Bolivian state—rather, that we are not going to allow any settlement of any military base on Bolivian soil. We will not. And we also renounce to declaring war against any of our neighbors, because war is not good for any country in any part of the world.

And the most important thing is that public services—water, telephone, energy, electricity—this is a human right. And so, it has to be a public service and not a private business.

Yes, we can talk about a lot of social achievements and civil liberties, and so on and so forth, and equality between men and women, but according some experts, this new constitution is one of the most advanced constitutions socially.

And for the first time in Bolivian history—200 years of republican life, we’ve had—this draft law will be either approved or rejected by the people, by Bolivians. We had twenty different constitutions, but just a few, a few families, a few politicians were ruling. And they didn’t take into consideration the Bolivian people. We will have a referendum, and it will be either rejected or approved, but it will be with awareness through the vote and not through violence, as it happened before with the fascist and racist groups.

I’d call that transition with great great possibility for change.


UPDATE, 12:27 pm

Mother of God… what an unending joke pundit land, and thus the American political landscape, is:

19 Nov 2008 02:09 pm

Goldberg Loves Clinton At State

He gets all excitable:

”Her uncommon understanding of the Middle East could truly revive peacemaking.”

It is an inspired idea for all sorts of reasons – both in terms of domestic politics and in assembling simply the best team Obama can get to tackle the deepest crisis this country has faced since the 1970s.

IMPEACH! – they won’t – DE FUND THE WARS! – they won’t – Then: WITHHOLD THE VOTE! 16 July 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Beirut, Bolivia - Evo Morales, Brazil - Lula, Chile - Bachelet, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Russ Feingold, South America, The Battle for New Orleans, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!.

A partial repost from September 24, 2006, the week Morales, Chavez, Lula, Bachelet and Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN:

    Budapest protests this past week. Protestor stands against the
    water volleys from the police.
[AP photo via BBC]

Full text [English version] of the Evo Morales speech at the UNWe Need Partners, Not Bosses.  The last few grafs:

[F]inally president, the indigenous peoples, the poor come especially from a culture of life and not a culture of war, and this millennium will really have to be to defend live, to save humanity and if we want to save humanity we have the obligation to save the planet. The indigenous peoples live in harmony with mother earth, and not only in reciprocity, in solidarity, with human beings.

We feel greatly that the politics of hegemonist competitions are destroying the planet. I feel that all countries, social forces, international organisms are important, let us begin to debate truthfully, in order to save the planet, to save humanity.

This new millennium, the millennium that we find ourselves in needs to be a millennium of life, not of war, a millennium of people and not of empire, a millennium of justice and equality and that any economic policy needs to be orientated towards ending, of at least lessening these so-called asymmetric differences between one country and another country, those social inequalities.

We are not trying to implement policies that allow the economic humiliation or economic looting; when they cannot loot according to the norms, they use troops.

I want to ask with great respect, that it is important to withdraw troops from Iraq if we want to respect human rights, it is important to withdraw economic policies that allow the concentration of capital in only a few hands.

And for this, I feel president, that these events should be historical in order to change the world and to change economic models, interventionalist policies. Above all else we want them to be times that allow us to defend and save humanity


Danny Schechter at News Dissector has a bang up series of links and snips dated the 16th… he can be irritating (and people write to him and say so) he can be sloppy with links and sometimes not link, so a few excerpts to follow, it is jampacked…

Start with the worst:

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) – The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. “hunter-killer” drones, in aviation history’s first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.

That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected “soon,” says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? “We’re still working that,” Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.

The Reaper’s first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it.

“With more Reapers, I could send manned airplanes home,” North said.




Danny linked to and excerpted the from  DAHR JAMAIL’S LATEST DISPATCH:


When President George W. Bush announced the formation of a military command for Africa (AFRICOM) this past February, it came as no surprise to the Heritage Foundation. The powerful right-wing organization designed it.
The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973 by ultra-conservatives Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors and funded by such right-wing mainstays as the Scaife Foundation, has a strong presence in the Bush Administration. While not as influential as the older and richer American Enterprise Institute, it has a higher profile when it comes to Africa policy.

Back in October 2003, James Jay Carafano and Nile Gardner of the Heritage Foundation laid out a blueprint for how to use military power to dominate that vast continent.

”Creating an African Command,” write the two analysts in a Heritage Foundation study entitled U.S. Military Assistance for Africa: A Better Solution, “would go a long way toward turning the Bush Administration’s well aimed strategic priorities for Africa into a reality.”

While the Bush Administration says the purpose of AFRICOM will be humanitarian aid and “security cooperation,” not “war fighting,” says Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.

The Heritage analysts were a tad blunter about the application of military power:

“Pre-emptive strikes are justified on grounds of self-defenseAmerica must not be afraid to employ its forces decisively when vital national interests are threatened.”

Carafano and Gardner are also quite clear what those “vital interests” are: “The United States is likely to draw 25 percent of its oil from West Africa by 2015, surpassing the volume imported from the Persian Gulf.”

IMPEACH: The plan is to spin as much of the world to war as they can – what else does it look like?. ”THEY” is both parties.

WITHHOLD THE VOTE:  They won’t de-fund!




Last from Danny, is from Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive:


Bush’s Manual for Containing Protest

By Matt Rothschild in the Progressive:

After a myriad of stories about people being excluded from events where the President is speaking, now we know that the White House had a policy manual on just how to do so.

Called the “Presidential Advance Manual,” this 103-page document from the Office of Presidential Advance lays out the parameters for how to handle protesters at events.

”Always be prepared for demonstrators,” says the document, which is dated October 2002 and which the ACLU released as part of a new lawsuit. 

In a section entitled “Preventing Demonstrators,” the document says: “All Presidential events must be ticketed or accessed by a name list. This is the best method for preventing demonstrators. People who are obviously going to try to disrupt the event can be denied entrance at least to the VIP area between the stage and the main camera platform. … It is important to have your volunteers at a checkpoint before the Magnetometers in order to stop a demonstrator from getting into the event. Look for signs they may be carrying, and if need be, have volunteers check for folded cloth signs that demonstrators may be bringing.”

In another section, entitled “Preparing for Demonstrators,” the document makes clear that the intention is to deprive protesters of the right to be seen or heard by the President: “As always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route.”

The document also recommends drowning out protesters or blocking their signs by using what it calls “rally squads.” It states: “These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform.

If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!).

Think it will not be that way if Hillary goes in?, along WITH Obama – as Anna Quindlen is already calling on Hillary to do (and as Glen Ford at BAR has said since February, is the plan)


They won’t be listening to polite pleas…


Madman has a post up at LSF:

Remember all of those nasty winger judges the Vichy Donks couldn’t filibuster? Remember the civil liberties they couldn’t fight for, women’s issues and worker’s issues they ran away from? Remember the war they wouldn’t stop, wouldn’t slow down, still won’t de-fund? Remember the Gang of 14, the SEVEN Donklephants that cozied up to the ‘Thugs to prevent even the HINT of a filibuster?

The OLD Donklephants … the Dixiecrat version, used to filibuster all the time to preserve Jim Crow. Oh, and lest you think that there is much difference between the current Donklephant and the ole’ Dixiecrat, think hard about how much fight they’ve put into protecting the vote. Maybe they don’t say “colored” out loud where we can hear them, but they don’t care about black people any more, or poor people in general, than Bush does, let alone more than they did back before LBJ told them they should (as he was undermining it all sending men off to kill poor yellow people).

Anyway, that invertebrate known as the senior Senator from Illinois is upset because the theofascist authoritarian corporatist …. ummmm … rightward-half-of-our-one-political-party is actually practicing politics and using the rules of the Senate to fight for it’s base’s priorities! SHAME ON THEM!


DE FUND THE CONGRESSWithhold the Vote!

They will still be sitting on the US taxpayer paid for toilets as the years roll by: 



            They won’t do it:  WITHHOLD THE VOTE

Winter Solstice Open Thread… ;) 19 December 2006

Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, Bolivia - Evo Morales, Brazil - Lula, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, South America, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.

Snowboarder on the Zugspitz, Germany's highest peak [spiegel.de]

From Spiegel.de

[A]ccording to a recent European climate study, winter sports lovers are suffering from the warmest Alpine temperatures in some 1,300 years. The unseasonable temperatures have forced ski resorts to offer hiking holidays and bears to seek out new, colder hideaways for their winter hibernation.

The Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera reported over the weekend that from Piemont to Venice, “only 50 percent of the slopes are skiable.” Some Italian ski slope and cable car operators have asked the government to declare a state of emergency and compensate them for their lost business. Evidently, not many ski bums were keen to trade in their snowboards for hiking boots.  [snip]


UPDATE, 11:30 am

As we seem to be in Europe… Who is IOZ builds off the  Anne Applebaum column in the Wapo:

[E]urope is rightfully skeptical of military solutions, and despite long talk of a unified European security force, there’s no European constituency pushing for an American-style interventionist military to bestride the globe enforcing some sort of social-democratic-values hegemony. This, of course, is what Applebaum means when she says no one “here” believes that Europe “is going to replace the United States anytime soon.”

In their failure to take over our failures are they damned.  […]

The West, in this formulation, is as fanciful a political entity as the rightwinger’s fearful caliphate (from Borneo to Bilbao and back again!). What possible “unified policy . . . and joint strategy” can emerge? What possible good would a war fought under the NATO banner–that seems to be what Applebaum is really advocating–do that a war fought under the American banner is not doing? What, precisely, is a “resurgent Iran.” The last time Iran surged, so to speak, the Safavids were running a pseudo-Sufi empire and the powers of Europe were busy giving smallpox to the native population of North America.  [snip]

Where do these sloppy columnists, opinion writers, editorialists come from?  And there are so many of them.  They spawn, rather spontaneously obviously…

In other non-noooz, Biden is on C-Span endlessly talking…  The relentless and endless Road to the White House series (gonna be a dull two years if no one breaks the scripts)…  Can no one pull the plug on the evident uselessness of public political conversation (or whatever it is) in America?


Too good not to repeat… 😉 

posted without further comment (none needed)…

[A]nyone who has ever spent any degree of time as a prominent blogger knows full well that there are a lengthy and strict series of accountability norms and mechanisms that political bloggers must obey, or else be ostracized and face irrelevance. Here are just a few of the ways in which bloggers are held accountable:  [snip]


UPDATE, 2:55 pm… 😉

Moving right along here… from Stop Me Before I Vote Again with a well placed kick from the left.. 🙂


There’s a wonderfully comic kaffeeklatsch of self-important thumbsucking over at TPM Cafe about this “concert of democracies” scheme that recently floated out of the Woodrow Wilson school of international affairs, at Princeton, midwifed by ten pages’ worth of professors, think-tankers, Pentagonians, and the odd journalist. They’re all such mighty thinkers, these folks, and the noise of little mental wheels spinning is enough to deafen you. 

The Princeton document weighs in at a hefty 96 pages, and it is written in a slightly more sprightly style than the average Foreign Affairs article — perhaps one of the odd journalists lent a hand on the wordsmithing. Still, it’s pretty soporific. Fortunately, the TPM Cafe popularizers have broken it down into digestible little amuse-bouche nibbles, suitable to the attention spans of the Netroots […]

In short, what we have here is a thoroughly Wilsonian project — wonderful, really, how institutions like Princeton University and the Democratic Party can maintain such a remarkable level of consistency in their patterns of thought and behavior across the chances and changes of almost a century. The 96-page doorstopper even manages a stylistic echo of Wilson’s own smarmy grandiloquence:  [snip]

A lovely ramble… the SMBIVA version that is…


hmmm Tony Snow used “contretemps” this morning at the WH presser…  Oh… surely he is effete?  He must be!  He used it to deny there is division in the WH between JCs and “WH advisors”….  as in “the president is not involved in a contretemps“…  

That would be over Iraq, the war in Iraq… btw.  IF the president can remember… so busy they are with Christmas and Hanukah parties… and how many red 8.5K Oscar de la Rentas can dance on the head of a WH doorknob.

I am not keeping up, I don’t know the latest on Barney…


UPDATE, 3:30 pm

 Oh oh.  En garde!  Defensive moves required to avoid being rained upon:  Open Umbrellas Immediately!.  Incoming front of heavy sleet and rain.. with slush underfoot to soon appear…

Major fall out to come from select Blahhgers:  Cheney is called to testify for defense in CIA leak case…

Whew… so far just ”called”.  That means much speculation for weeks – if not months – as to what that really means!

Washington – Vice President Dick Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the CIA leak case, an attorney for Cheney’s former chief of staff told a federal judge Tuesday.

    “We’re calling the vice president,” attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who is charged with perjury and obstruction.

    Early last week, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said he did not expect the White House to resist if Cheney or other administration officials are called to testify in Libby’s trial, expected to begin in January. [snip]


UPDATE, 4:30 pm

Oooo Don’t miss Chomsky on Democracy NOW!, Amy excerpts from a recent talk he gave in Boston.  The early snips are on the ISG but the more interesting is the later snips on S America (from where Chomsky has just returned):

NOAM CHOMSKY: I’ll start with last weekend. Important city in South America, Cochabamba, with quite a history. There was a meeting last weekend in Cochabamba in Bolivia of all the South American leaders. It was a very important meeting. One index of its importance is that it was unreported, virtually unreported apart from the wire services. So every editor knew about it. Since I suspect you didn’t read that wire service report, I’ll read you a few things from it to indicate why it was so important.

In last Saturday, the South American leaders agreed to create a high-level commission to study the idea of forming a continent-wide community similar to the European Union. This is the presidents and envoys of all the nations, and there was the two-day summit of what’s called the South American Community of Nations, hosted by Evo Morales in Cochabamba, the president of Bolivia.

The leaders — reading just now –agreed to form a study group to look at the possibility of creating a continent-wide union and even a South American parliament. The result, according to the — I’m reading from the AP report — the result left fiery Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, long an agitator for the region, taking a greater role on the world stage, pleased, but impatient — normal stance. They went on. It goes on to say that the discussion over South American unity will continue later this month, when MERCOSUR, South American trading bloc, has its regular meeting that will include leaders from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. [snip]

NC enumerated a few of the high points from the meeting, then goes on:

[T]his is the first time since the Spanish conquests, 500 years, that there has been real moves towards integration in South America. The countries have been very separated from one another. And integration is going to be a prerequisite for authentic independence. I mean, there have been — I’m sure you know — attempts at independence, but they’ve been crushed, often very violently, partly because of lack of regional support, because there was very little regional cooperation, so you can pick them off one by one.

That’s what happened since the 1960s. The Kennedy administration orchestrated a coup in Brazil, the first of which happened right after the assassination was already planned. It was the first of a series of falling dominoes. Neo-Nazi-style national security states spread across the hemisphere. Chile was one of them, but only one finally ended up with reaching Central America, with Reagan’s terrorist wars in the 1980s, which devastated Central America, similar things happening in the Caribbean. But that was sort of a one-by-one operation of destroying one country after another. And it had the expected domino effect. [some dominoes are OK – Might as well laugh… – Mcat]

It’s the worst plague of repression in the history of Latin America since the original conquests, which were horrendous. It’s only beginning to be understood how horrendous they were. [snip]

He goes on to call South America the most exciting place on earth, just now, due to the changes bubbling up.  And then after referencing Haiti recent elections, comes this rather consummate comment on the US:

[I]n fact, in our elections, the issues are unknown. There’s careful efforts to make sure that the issues are unknown to the public, for good reasons. There’s a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy. So you have to keep away from issues and concentrate on imagery and delusions and so on. The elections are run by the same industries that sell toothpaste on television. You don’t expect to get information from a television ad. You don’t expect to get information about a candidate from debates, advertisements and the other paraphernalia that goes along with what are called elections here.

There’s a lot of fuss on the left about election irregularities, like, you know, the voting machines were tampered with, they didn’t count the votes right, and so on. That’s all accurate and of some importance, but of far more importance is the fact that elections just don’t take place, not in any meaningful sense of the term “election.” And so, it doesn’t matter all that much, if there was some tampering. I suspect that’s why the population doesn’t get much exercised over it. The concern over stolen elections and vote tampering, and so on, is mostly an elite affair. Most of the country didn’t seem to care very much. “OK, so the election was stolen.” I mean, if you’re flipping a coin to select a king or something, it doesn’t matter much if the coin is biased. That seems to be the way most people feel about it. And there’s some justification. [snip]

It is long and there is more than the snips… 😉


UPDATE, 8:10 pm…

Blood soup, humans as croutons.

Analogies come to mind: the Bulge, Stalingrad, the Battle of Algiers. It will be total war with all the likelihood of excesses and mass casualties that come with total war.


UPDATE, 9:30 pm

Jonathan Cook in Electronic Intifada:

Do America and Israel want the Middle East engulfed in civil war?

[A]ll of these outcomes in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq could have been foreseen — and almost certainly were. More than that, it looks increasingly like the growing tensions and carnage were planned. Rather than an absence of Western intervention being the problem, the violence and fragmentation of these societies seems to be precisely the goal of the intervention.

Evidence has emerged in Britain that suggests such was the case in Iraq. Testimony given by a senior British official to the 2004 Butler inquiry investigating intelligence blunders in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq was belatedly published last week, after attempts by the Foreign Office to hush it up.

Carne Ross, a diplomat who helped to negotiate several UN security council resolutions on Iraq, told the inquiry that British and US officials knew very well that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs and that bringing him down would lead to chaos.  [snip]

There follows a rhetorical back and forth, a series of “whys”, “why chaos” as a plan, etc., drawing along anyone who thinks there are any rules left… Then some hard grit:

[L]ast week the Israeli website Ynet interviewed Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli citizen and co-founder of MEMRI, a service translating Arab leaders’ speeches that is widely suspected of having ties with Israel’s security services. She is also the wife of David Wurmser, a senior neocon adviser to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Meyrav Wurmser revealed that the American Administration had publicly dragged its feet during Israel’s assault on Lebanon because it was waiting for Israel to expand its attack to Syria.

“The anger [in the White House] is over the fact that Israel did not fight against the Syrians … The neocons are responsible for the fact that Israel got a lot of time and space … They believed that Israel should be allowed to win. A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hizbullah. It was obvious that it is impossible to fight directly against Iran, but the thought was that its [Iran’s] strategic and important ally [Syria] should be hit.”

Wurmser continued: “It is difficult for Iran to export its Shiite revolution without joining Syria, which is the last nationalistic Arab country. If Israel had hit Syria, it would have been such a harsh blow for Iran that it would have weakened it and [changed] the strategic map in the Middle East.” [snip]

Another who should move to Israel (fully) and sit shiva for America.  To be blunt.

[T]he reason is that a chaotic and feuding Middle East, although it would be a disaster in the view of most informed observers, appears to be greatly desired by Israel and its neocon allies. They believe that the whole Middle East can be run successfully the way Israel has run its Palestinian populations inside the occupied territories, where religious and secular divisions have been accentuated, and inside Israel itself, where for many decades Arab citizens were “de-Palestinianised” and turned into identity-starved and quiescent Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin.

That conclusion may look foolhardy, but then again so does the White House’s view that it is engaged in a “clash of civilisations” which it can win with a “war on terror”.

All states are capable of acting in an irrational or self-destructive manner, but Israel and its supporters may be more vulnerable to this failing than most. That is because Israelis’ perception of their region and their future has been grossly distorted by the official state ideology, Zionism, with its belief in Israel’s inalienable right to preserve itself as an ethnic state; its confused messianic assumptions, strange for a secular ideology, about Jews returning to a land promised by God; and its contempt for, and refusal to understand, everything Arab or Muslim.

If we expect rational behaviour from Israel or its neocon allies, more fool us.

Yes… more fool us.


And why oh why do people who think themselves “liberal” reveal a yearning for Reagan?  In any form?  He was no unifying event in America. Certainly no healer.  We are still under his yoke (and that of his kitchen cabinet *, others of the same ilk), in my opinion.  Certainly many of his horrors simply rose up and joined with Bush…

* bit of a whiff off that link, but it came up quick and had the info I wanted.


UPDATE, 4:45 am Wednesday

Chris Hedges is up in Truth Dig, on Israel, apartheid, the Palestinians… and the US:

[]Israel, with no restraints from Washington, despite the Iraq Study Group report recommendations that the peace process be resurrected from the dead, has been given the moral license by the Bush administration to carry out what is euphemistically in Israel called “transfer” and what in other parts of the world is called ethnic cleansing. 

Faced with a demographic time bomb, knowing that by 2020 Jews will make up only 40 to 46 percent of the overall population of Israel, the architects of transfer, who once held the equivalent status in Israeli society of the Ku Klux Klan, have wormed their way into positions of power in the Israeli government. 

Washington and Israel, I suspect, know the cost of this repression.  But it is beginning to appear as though they accept it—as the price for ridding themselves of the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has installed in his Cabinet a politician who openly calls for the expulsion of the some 1.3 million Israeli Arabs who live inside Israel. Avigdor Lieberman’s “Israel Is Our Home” Party, part of Olmert’s governing coalition, proposes involuntary transfer in a region populated mostly by Arab citizens of Israel, shifting those people to a future Palestinian state that would include Gaza, parts of the West Bank and a small slice of northern Israel. All Israeli Arabs who continued to reside in the territory of transfer would automatically lose their Israeli citizenship unless they took a loyalty oath to the state and its Jewish symbols.  The inclusion of Lieberman, the David Duke of Israel, into the Cabinet is an indication to most Palestinians that the worst is yet to come.  [snip]

For all who flipped out over the title of Jimmy’s book (amazing to me that Conyers called the title ”inappropriate” and told Jimmy it should be changed) Hedges entitles his, Worse than Apartheid.

It is a semi-rough thread, but there was this comment. 


Korb and Bergman are up in the American Prospect

[T]he neoconservative architects of the war claim that those who oppose increasing the number of troops do not understand the implications of failure in Iraq. But they have it backwards.

Those who opposed the war from the outset understood the difficulty and scope of the task at hand, while the war’s architects are the ones only now coming to grips with the catastrophic implications of a possible civil and regional war.

Kagan’s plan reflects the same intellectual failings and operates along the same assumptions (especially, putting too much faith in limitless efficacy of U.S. military power) that were responsible for the United States invading with too few troops and without a realistic plan in the first place.  [snip]

There is this as well.  But let’s not pussy foot around as so many political and military writers do … it is what the US wants:

[A]dditionally, this operation would severely undercut the Maliki government. Sending additional troops would be the equivalent of a no-confidence vote in that government and the Iraqi security forces, and could lead to the government’s collapse. Many of Maliki’s backers vehemently oppose any U.S. troop increase and would blame Maliki for failing to stop it. Opinion polls show that Iraqis want us out. Increasing our troop presence would only bolster the view that U.S. forces intend to remain as permanent occupiers. [snip]


UPDATE, 6:33 am Wednesday…

In 25 minutes or so Bush will have a presser and apparently take a few questions (AP man!, as he addressed the first reporter called on recenttly). 

I have to say this is a very good week for Bush to discuss the military, “growing” the fodder forces (Army and Marines) and what ever else his black heart decides to gift us with…  No, it is.  Stop for a minute and think of Miss Tara, blonde flower of the South (and working it to death, NYC spun her tiny head) dependent on the largesse of Mr Trump (what a pair!).  And three white guys who went up the mountain, apparently unprepared in what they carried with them for a deadly winter excursion on a very tough peak.  I hear not a single use of “responsibility” for any of the lot of them…

 Farley from TAPPED.  Where do these soft slides get started?

Unlike the post-Vietnam era, there is no Red Army for the U.S. Army to face down, and thus no clear rationale for large land forces. Of course, a similar argument could be made for large naval forces, but the Navy budget includes the Marine Corps and the USN can both project force ashore and protect sea lanes.

Exhaustion is like bile rising from the recesses.  Clue in, please, to all the talk of the ”Long War”… It is not just Max Boot, blithering for the Long War right now on C-Span…it is also the Democrats.


7:04 am:

Oh don’t look now, but George is speaking to us from the “Indian Treaty Room” in the Eisenhower Executive Bldg.  In case you missed the narrative for years, his comments are all Terra Terra Terra. 

7:07 am:

He just told us to go shopping.


UPDATE, 11:22 am Wednesday…

[I] would imply that there were people like this online, but then I would be engaging in the strawmen tactics I often decry. Even if I wasn’t doing that, and I named names among bloggers who were unfair to Reid because he made one unfortunate comment, then I would be abusing my podium to make less powerful members of the netroots and blogosphere look bad. And I suppose, if it were not for the outcry, Reid would not have made such a clear statement on his opposition to escalation in Iraq. Or, maybe there was a way to encourage him to do that without acting an an utterly hysterical manner that only fueled the MSM buzz on the subject.

Since I am not going to talk about any of that, my original statement on this entire episode stands: now that we are in the majority, we need to move past endless parsing of the words our leaders say, and focus instead on the policies they intend to pursue. [snip snap]

 Let me say:  pickup a towel and apply behind the ears.  It may help.

Other than that, I’d add the petty Dem party thugdom in BlahgSnot land is truly boring.  There is some significant push back in the thread (it is a genuinely stupid posting, to be blunt)… and some cute tension between Boyz.  More Towels!  To Aisle 10!  Ring for a Blog Maid!

Sure I am laughing… 🙂


Who survives? 25 September 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, Bolivia - Evo Morales, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War.


No, I mean really.  None of this ends anytime soon. 

I heard Bill burble about democracy in the ME, parroting Bush.  At some point in the famous Fox display.  Same interview where he mindlessly lauds the three Republicans – some passing fancy he claims they have with the Constitution – or so he wants us to think.  Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights.  

Hillary had harsher words this week for Chavez then she has ever had for Bush.  Any Bush…

I heard Rajiv Chandrasekaran say on Cspan “we cannot leave” we are “holding the line”.  Does he notice all the blood dripping I wonder.  He must.

But I also heard, months ago, Shadid of the Wapo say – on some C-Span panel – that he felt pride in the power of his government (he might have said “country”, not certain) when the Saddam statue came down.  Honestly, that one did stun me.  Sickened me too.

 Before the war, I was careful to catch a Friedman appearance on Oprah.  I had a feeling that wretch would say something worth my bothering – if only to impress the ladies…  And he did, said we’d be in Iraq for ”at least 20 years”. Not a surprise, if one had been applying the German or Korean or Japanese or or or or or model.  But it was news to the Oprah crowd.   Their mouths sagged open. 

Then, last summer, I heard Hackett parse the war as tightly as any pol.  Out here in SF to gather money, he said he “saw no evidence of any permanent bases”.

We are far gone.  The two reporters are saner than most.  And Bill and HIllary think they deserve to reign.

Quagmire is absolutely everywhere. No one, no one in any leadership position is willing to talk to the American people.  Not really.

    April 4 2003 -Taking Baghdad Intl Airport

Some wonderful links in comments lately. Arcturus links to posts on Habeas Corpus at his site, Constellations

Talk about a return to the Middle Ages.

While the Senate openly removes habeas protections for anyone designated an “enemy combatant,” the backdoor assault on the Great Writ that began with the 1996 “Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act” (AEDPA) continues apace, with Arizona’s John Kyl (who aspires to the Senate judiciary chair) again leading the charge. This isn’t likely to be spelled out in the pages of the NY Times.

Arcturus links to the Justice Project

Habeas Protection Campaign

Members of Congress continue to work behind closed doors to pass legislation designed to eliminate federal review of criminal cases. The provisions, which are opposed by a broad array of organizations and individuals, would effectively repeal the “Great Writ” of habeas corpus, leading to more errors and unfairness in the criminal justice system. The legislation would also undercut the few safeguards that currently exist and likely increase the risk that innocent people will remain in prison, or even be executed.

When Habeas goes, in my small opinion, the nation will be gone.  Everything I have read for two years has a low and quiet drum beat (to me) – they want to make US citizenship conditional, something available for review. They moved very easily from arguments about “enemy combatants” (bad enough, we should cling like mad to the Geneva Conventions) to now reducing basic rights of citizenship, drawing at the same well.  Fewer rights for everyone.  And, frankly, everyone guilty.  That is my uneducated reading of where we are headed.

From the Habeas Protection link above:

Now, the DOD Authorization bill — the purpose of which is to provide resources for forces in Afghanistan and Iraq — is being weighed down and slowed by controversial and wrong-headed crime legislation that has otherwise been unable to garner majority support in both houses of Congress. Members of both parties who have fought on principle to resist these regressive changes to habeas should continue to do so and not be made to appear anti-patriotic when they rightfully object to this unnecessarily bloated DOD bill.

Regular order — which assures that both Chambers of Congress have a fair opportunity to consider the legislation — has been skirted; indeed, the texts of some of the added measures has not been seen by many members and their staff nor by the public — there is only one proper course of action — remove the non-germane matters from the bill. 

And Madman drew on one of the comments from NYCO:

( New York ) On Monday, September 18, President Evo Morales Ayma and Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca of Bolivia met with Native American leaders on the Bolivian President’s first day in New York City . The President, Foreign Minister and his delegation were in New York for the opening of the General Assembly.

The meeting was organized at the request of the President and facilitated by the American Indian Law Alliance, a New York City Indigenous non-governmental organization, along with the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN. Tonya Gonnella Frichner (Onondaga), President of the American Indian Law Alliance, moderated the meeting. She opened the discussion with a brief history on some Native nations’ historical and modern relationships with the American government and the struggle of North American Native peoples. [snip]

 to write a post.

[H]ere at the end of this latest cycle of time, on the cusp of great change and dangerous upheaval, what lessons can we find from this meeting, and from the growing movements calling for change, for more opportunities for the poor, the oppressed and the suffering around the world?

Well, first lets throw away any of the “noble savage” tropes that are all-too-often slathered over the top of meetings like these, declarations like these. Indigenous people are only people, after all, subject to the same jealousies and corruptions as anybody else. Instead, lets look at the ideas that form the mythical basis for so many so-called “pagan” or “primitive” cultures, ideas that are being carried forward by leaders like those above. What so many of these cultures hold to be true, hold in common, is the idea of CONNECTEDNESS. The Lakota phrase for this belief is Mitakuye Oyasin, “for all my relations” or “we are all related”. [snip]

And this via Danny Schechter, from the Toronto Sun (Information Clearing House):

In the late 1980s, I was the first western journalist allowed into the world’s most dreaded prison, Moscow’s sinister Lubyanka. […]

I still shudder recalling Lubyanka’s underground cells, grim interrogation rooms, and execution cellars where tens of thousands were tortured and shot. […]

Prisoners taken in the dead of night to Lubyanka were systematically beaten for days with rubber hoses and clubs. There were special cold rooms where prisoners could be frozen to near death. Sleep deprivation was a favourite and most effective Cheka technique. So was near-drowning in water fouled with urine and feces.

I recall these past horrors because of what this column has long called the gradual “Sovietization” of the United States. This shameful week, it became clear Canada is also afflicted.

We have seen America’s president and vice president, sworn to uphold the Constitution, advocating some of the same interrogation techniques the KGB used at the Lubyanka. They apparently believe beating, freezing, sleep deprivation and near-drowning are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. So did Stalin.

The White House insisted that anyoneincluding Americans — could be kidnapped and tried in camera using “evidence” obtained by torturing other suspects. Bush & Co. deny the U.S. uses torture but reject the basic law of habeaus corpus and U.S. laws against the evil practice.

The UN says Bush’s plans violate international law and the Geneva Conventions.

This week’s tentative agreement between Bush and Congress may somewhat limit torture, but exempts U.S. officials from having to observe the Geneva Convention.

I happened to see this at News Dissector, it may be old news but it had slipped by me:

“Big Brother is not only watching you – now he’s barking orders too. Britain’s first ‘talking’ CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.”

www.rinf.com  … they probably travel with a handy set of thumb screws to increase the public shaming. 


And this, from Tuston, fits right in.  It has always felt to me they are walling us in (as well):


August 24, 2006

Given the Homeland Security Department’s history of waste and spiraling costs in past procurements, Congress plans to keep a close watch as the department brings the private sector in to help secure 7,500 miles of the nation’s borders.

Larry Halloran, deputy staff director for the House Government Reform Committee, said Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., is concerned about the vagueness of the Secure Border Initiative solicitation and doubts the department’s ability to handle the $2 billion procurement.

“When you have a complex procurement under way to integrate fences, sensors, UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], and other technology, it takes a procurement capacity we haven’t seen yet,” Halloran said.

Homeland Security must choose among five companies — Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Ericsson — vying to supply technology and services under the SBInet program, bidders said.

Mucho bucks to be made.  I watched some of the hearings two weeks ago of the House Government Reform Sub Committe, issues of Iraq were on the table that day.

Jokers.  Pity the money isn’t funny. I wish Americans could grow up and realise our nationalised health care, the one we will never, never, ever get, is riding in warships and missiles and F-16s, 18s, 22s and so on, literally around the world. 

Arms dealer, dealer in wars.

A snip from a comment of Deepest Throat:

I can no longer call Laredo home, it is not my town, not a town that now resembles one metropolitan detention center. Sad thing is, I don’t think the people there realize they are voluntarily allowing themselves to be detained. When SBI fully takes effect and the walls that will kill off the border towns, it will be at that time they will realize they are the detainees.

And links at the comment to a series of articles on The Wall (and who profits) we likely will build (all that money, you know) 

      Border Patrol, seen from the Mexico side


UPDATE, 6:15 pm

You may have noticed around the blogs, discussion of the different NewsWeek  covers for Europe /Asia / Latin America vs US for the October 2 issue.

Truth out has the text that is being carried in Europe for the Losing Afghanistan story.

Some critics point to a jarring mismatch between Bush’s rhetoric and the scant attention paid to Afghanistan. Jim Dobbins, Bush’s former special envoy to Kabul – he also led the Clinton administration’s rebuilding efforts in Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti and Somalia – calls Afghanistan the “most under-resourced nation-building effort in history.” Former Bush reconstruction coordinator Carlos Pascual, who retired in December 2005, does not dispute this assessment. He says the State Department has “maybe 20 to 30 percent” of the people it needs. Even Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, fretted last week that for five years the administration and Congress have failed to create a powerful nation-building czar, despite their enthusiasm for regime change. “We have a long way to go,” he said.

So.  Ya think the Dems could make some of that stick? 2002… 2004… another chance heading over the hill… soon to ride into the sunset of history…  

Will they try? Because this, no fucking question, is W’s own mess. 

I am very unclear that Bill’s display on FOX did all that much. Got him some face time, finger pointing, bluster, ink, etc., w/r/t a big gnawing issue… Or, let’s be frank, did re-election (however you get there in this political climate, is how you get there) make it all moot – and old? … in the calcified mind of the public, I mean. 

I did see it in full over the week end… and caught the patch, repair, knit and sew roundtable with Wallace, Hume, Liasson and Juan WIlliams.  Enh.

So what is Bill doing so damned cosy with Rupert?  All questions are fair.  Love and war.

Ben-Veniste was on CNN with Wolf for a few revelations.  Points for trying, but we are so muddled. 

BLITZER: So you the asked the president in the Oval Office — and the vice president — why didn’t you go after the Taliban in those eight months before 9/11 after he was president. What did he say?

BEN-VENISTE: Well, now that it was established that al Qaeda was responsible for the Cole bombing and the president was briefed in January of 2001, soon after he took office, by George Tenet, head of the CIA, telling him of the finding that al Qaeda was responsible, and I said, “Well, why wouldn’t you go after the Taliban in order to get them to kick bin Laden out of Afghanistan?”

Maybe, just maybe, who knows — we don’t know the answer to that question — but maybe that could have affected the 9/11 plot.

BLITZER: What did he say?

BEN-VENISTE: He said that no one had told him that we had made that threat. And I found that very discouraging and surprising.

Honestly the “rally the troops” spin from Jay Carson (who was at Bill’s right hand for Soul Food Harlem, Day Trippers Meet the Man) has a whiff.  It is a snip included in a later CNN replaying of the Ben-Veniste, not a transcript up yet… 

So now they will wake up and fight?  I still believe the collective Democratic strangle (did we triangulate to death?) comes from the top.

Bill Kristol.  Hmm. 


UPDATE, 9:20 pm

ooo.  Quite important, I think.  Let us see what can be made of it, in California and without.  Just saw this over at SMBIVA:

From The Note:

In a pair of speeches on Tuesday, Democrat Phil Angelides plans to say that on his first day as governor he would call for all California National Guardsmen to return to the Golden State.If implemented, the Angelides proposal would almost certainly provoke a legal challenge. [snip]

This works for me.  However, there is little real indication that national Dems – and locals too – really support Angelides.  So, my guess is this is too challenging for the noodle-kneed Democrats.

I think it is a great ploy tho.  And should be pushed, hard.  IIRC California has lost the most in Iraq of any state.  And at least in my area, the local press and TV news have covered issues for the NG in Iraq from the very beginning.  Families were breaking up, homes being lost, small business shut and so on from the very first year of the war.

    CA NG on the GGB

Just heard on the news that in the latest round of HLS monies:

Port of San Francisco, 0.  Port of Oakland, 0.  Port of Stockton, 0.  Only Port of Richmond got anything.  A very palty 1 million.  Maybe we should just apply directly to the Chinese.

And a clip of George Clooney on a stage with Arnold.  Cute.  Both of them telling us that ”some things transcend party”.  They are pushing Darfur.  Ah yes.  Death and destruction far far away.  Just as PR advisors told Bill Gates, focus the foundation outside America.  Don’t get caught criticising America.

Don’t want to do that.  Might take courage.


Sunday Open Thread… 24 September 2006

Posted by marisacat in Bolivia - Evo Morales, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, South America, Viva La Revolucion!.

Budapest protests this past week. Protestor stands against the
water volleys from the police.
[AP photo via BBC]

Full text [English version] of the Evo Morales speech at the UNWe Need Partners, Not Bosses.  The last few grafs:

[F]inally president, the indigenous peoples, the poor come especially from a culture of life and not a culture of war, and this millennium will really have to be to defend live, to save humanity and if we want to save humanity we have the obligation to save the planet. The indigenous peoples live in harmony with mother earth, and not only in reciprocity, in solidarity, with human beings.

We feel greatly that the politics of hegemonist competitions are destroying the planet. I feel that all countries, social forces, international organisms are important, let us begin to debate truthfully, in order to save the planet, to save humanity.

This new millennium, the millennium that we find ourselves in needs to be a millennium of life, not of war, a millennium of people and not of empire, a millennium of justice and equality and that any economic policy needs to be orientated towards ending, of at least lessening these so-called asymmetric differences between one country and another country, those social inequalities.

We are not trying to implement policies that allow the economic humiliation or economic looting; when they cannot loot according to the norms, they use troops.

I want to ask with great respect, that it is important to withdraw troops from Iraq if we want to respect human rights, it is important to withdraw economic policies that allow the concentration of capital in only a few hands.

And for this, I feel president, that these events should be historical in order to change the world and to change economic models, interventionalist policies. Above all else we want them to be times that allow us to defend and save humanity

Full text of speech of Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad:  No Nation Should Have Superiority Over Another.

And I will pull some info forward from the last thread… NYCee mentioned that C-Span 2 is re running – at 12 Noon ET today – Chomsky on his now NO. 1 of the top 100 books at Amazon book, Hegemony or Survival… 😉

Other than that… Bloomberg says economy is fading as an election issue for the Dems.  Cannot be all true (and who are they dialing to get these answers?)… but my!! those gas prices are speeding downward. The article is peppered with poll numbers run 9/16 – 19.

Luckily the Dems can run against Chavez. Or Ahmadinedjad. 

That should work.  And Bill can still be Bar and Poppy Bush’s 5th son.  Dorr’s extra brother.  I know i am repetitious but the glued together aspect of the Bushes and the Clintons drives me bats.

On the other hand, California could be a leading indicator.  During the week I caught sight of the percentages that real estate is falling in the Bay Area counties.  Stunning.  Double digits everywhere.

   Code Pink on the Golden Gate Bridge this week...

The anti-war group Code Pink marches from both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge Thursday morning in protest against the war in Iraq, fouling the morning commute. At right, Kat McNulty, one of about 100 peaceful demonstrators, flashes a peace sign to passers-by.

I have no idea how they “fouled” the commute.  Not from the films I saw of the march.  They did have “No War” signs, smallish ones, pinned to themselves, and those were removed by troupers.  I suppose fear drivers would be reading.  And phoning.  And multitasking inside the car.  And whatever else…

Catch your breath… 19 September 2006

Posted by marisacat in Bolivia - Evo Morales, Subcomandante Marcos, Viva La Revolucion!.

catch it and hold it still in your hand, listen to what rises beyond El Norte:


The following is drawn from the text of a speech given on December 24 at the  “In Defense of Humanity” conference.

Our Struggle is Against US ImperialismI Believe Only in the Power of the People


What happened these past days in Bolivia was a great revolt by those who have been oppressed for more than 500 years. The will of the people was imposed this September and October, and has begun to overcome the empire’s cannons. We have lived for so many years through the confrontation of two cultures: the culture of life represented by the indigenous people, and the culture of death represented by West. When we the indigenous people–together with the workers and even the businessmen of our country–fight for life and justice, the State responds with its “democratic rule of law.”

Cochabamba 1999 battle over water, against Bechtel

What does the “rule of law” mean for indigenous people? For the poor, the marginalized, the excluded, the “rule of law” means the targeted assassinations and collective massacres that we have endured. Not just this September and October, but for many years, in which they have tried to impose policies of hunger and poverty on the Bolivian people. Above all, the “rule of law” means the accusations that we, the Quechuas, Aymaras and Guaranties of Bolivia keep hearing from our governments: that we are narcos, that we are anarchists. This uprising of the Bolivian people has been not only about gas and hydrocarbons, but an intersection of many issues: discrimination, marginalization , and most importantly, the failure of neoliberalism. […]

And I want to tell you, companeras and companeros, how we have built the consciousness of the Bolivian people from the bottom up. How quickly the Bolivian people have reacted, have said–as Subcomandate Marcos says–ya basta!, enough policies of hunger and misery.

From the BBC, Subcomandante Marcos, the rebel leader of what Naomi Klein calls a “dreaming revolution” emerges:

Mexico’s Zapatista rebels are emerging once again from their jungle hiding place in the south of the country.

The Zapatistas are embarking on a six-month tour of Mexico’s 31 states as an “alternative project” to the presidential elections.

Chiapas Mexico 2003

Another Calendar: That of Resistance

Place: Mountains of the Mexican southeast. Date: January of 2003. Hour: Dawn. Climate: Cold, rainy, tense. Altitude: Various meters above sea level. Visibility: Without a flashlight you can’t see a bloody thing. […]

If it is true, as, in fact, it is, that life first walked as liquid in the caves that abound in indigenous lands, that the caves were and are the womb which the first gods gave to themselves in order to birth themselves and to make themselves, and that the grottoes are but the hollows left by the flowering of life in the land, as cicatrices, then it is within the land where we can read, in addition to the past, the paths which shall take us to tomorrow.

In this January, the creator couple, Cosana and Xonaxi, embraced the womb of the earth, and they soothed it, in order to turn it into fertile sown fields. Not only so that the rebel struggle which is collective – because that is the only way it can be rebel – might be renewed, but also so the dream might be born with the color of those of us whom are the color of the earth.

Silent history now. And what is silent is always greater than that which speaks. Silence…”

scarlet macaw

Above, a storm greets the macaw’s determined flight with lightning…

Below, Monte Albán remains, with its arrow building breaking the monotony of the entire ceremonial complex, warning that there are pieces missing, preventing us from understanding what we are seeing. As if to remind us that what is missing is greater and more marvelous than what we are seeing.

Because when we see what we are now seeing, vainglorious Monte Albán, we futilely seek continuity. In reality, we are only seeing a photograph, one instant, an image of a clock which stopped running on a particular date.

Monte Alban Oaxaca

But it is a discontinuous clock. Only for the powerful is history an upward line, where their today is always the pinnacle. For those below, history is a question which can only be answered by looking backwards and forwards, thus creating new questions.

And so we must question what is in front of us. Ask, for example, who is absent but yet nonetheless made possible the presence of images of gods, caciques and priests.

Ask who is silent when these ruins speak.

gila monster

There are not a few stelai in Monte Alban. They mark calendars which are not yet understood. But let us not forget that they present the calendars of those who held power in those times, and those calendars did not envisage the date in which the rebellion from below would bring down that world. Like an earthquake, the discontent of that time shook the entire social structure, and, while leaving the buildings standing, it did away with a world which was removed from everyone’s reality.

Since ancient times, the governing elites have been fashioning calendars according to the political world, which is nothing but the world which excludes the majority. And the disparity between those calendars and those of lives below, is what provokes the earthquakes in which our history abounds.

For every stele which the power sculpts in its palaces, another stele rises from below. And, if those stelai are not visible, it is because they are not made of stone, but of flesh, blood and bone, and, being the color of the earth, they are still part of the cavern in which the future is ripening.

Those buildings which, like plumes, crown the Hill of the Tiger, do not belong to those who raised and maintained them with their effort and wisdom.

“Monumental architecture, in instances such as Monte Alban and other sites of Mesoamerican cultural interest, was a response to the need for a space dedicated to ceremonies, which corresponded to the organizational demands of a priestly social class with a much higher status than that of the average agricultural population. And so the buildings of Monte Alban, from their first period, were used for reinforcing the political system based in religious worship and for maintaining the ruling class in power. The populace in the villages and towns were charged with supplying all the consumer goods for that class, as well as with providing labor for constructing the buildings and for their continuous maintenance. Another obligation was that of providing all the supplies necessary for carrying out the ceremonies and the indispensable human material for those ceremonies.”   (Robles García, Nelly. Monte Alban. Codees Editores).

jaguar, panthera onca

It was the powerful who enjoyed the work of those of below, the work which raised these buildings, these buildings which are less surprising than the arrogance which destroyed them. Because Monte Alban, as often happens in those spaces where power resides, collapsed from rebellion from below, which was, in turn, provoked by the indifference of those who governed.

The Spanish conquistadors’ two-fold lesson of Monte Alban (the advanced development of a culture and the neglect caused by government arrogance) passed unnoticed.

For the Spanish crown of the 16th century, as for the neoliberalism of the beginning of the 21st century, the only culture is the one which they dominate.

Then the indigenous lands were nothing but an abundant source of labor for the Spanish powers, as they are now for savage capitalism. Under the Spanish power, condemned to barbaric forced labor in the mines, almost 90% of the indigenous population of Oaxaca disappeared. But their suffering continued underground, and rebellion was forged in the grottoes, rebellion which today nourishes the color of the earth. […]

great horned owl

But the powerful do not only purchase history in order to possess it, but also in order to prevent its being read as it should be, that is, looking ahead.

The history of above continues saying “were” to those who still are. It does so because up there the only thing that matters is the exchange of those who are in power. And so time ends for the powerful only when another power replaces it.

Below, however, time continues to flow.

By responding to the unknown posited by the historic past, those below decipher crooked lines, ups and downs, valleys, hills and hollows. That is how they know that history is nothing more than a jigsaw puzzle which excludes them as primary actor, reserving for them only the role of victim.

hyacinth macaw

The piece which is missing in national history is the one which completes the false image of the uniqueness of possible worlds, the current one, but rather the one which includes everyone in its true reach: the constant struggle between those who are attempting the end of times, and those who know that the last word will be built through resistance, sometimes in silence, far from the media and the centers of Power.

La Paz January 28, student protest rally [Reuters]

Only in that way is it possible to understand that the current world is neither the best nor the only one possible, nor that other worlds are not merely possible, but, above all, that those new worlds are better and are necessary. As long as that does not happen, history will remain nothing but an anarchic collection of dates, places and different colored vanities.

The grandeur of Monte Alban will not be completed with the discovery of more temples, tombs and treasures, nor even through the exact reconstruction of its undeniable splendor.

Monte Alban will be complete – and along with that, it will be part of the real history of our country – when it is understood that the ones who made it possible, who raised and maintained it, and whose rebellion undermined the arrogance that inhabited it, are still living and struggling, not so that Monte Alban and its power will be renewed and history will make an impossible backward turn, but for the recognition of the fact that the world will not be complete unless it includes everyone in the future.

The indigenous movement in which zapatismo is inscribed is not trying to return to the past, nor to maintain the unfair pyramid of society, just changing the skin color of the one who mandates and rules from above.

quezalcoatl as plumed serpent

The struggle of the Indian peoples of Mexico is not pointing backwards. In a linear world, where above is considered eternal and below inevitable, the Indian peoples of Mexico are breaking with that line and pointing towards something which is yet to be deciphered, but which is already new and better.

Whoever comes from below and from so far away in time, has, most certainly, burdens and problems. But these were imposed on him by those who made wealth their gods and alibis. And, in addition, those who come from such a long way can see a great distance, and there is another world in that distant point which their heart divines, a new world, a better one, a necessary one, one where all worlds fit…

If, in their long and stupid march, the neoliberals say “there is no culture other than ours,” below, with the underground Mexico which resists and struggles, the Indian peoples of Oaxaca are warning: “There are other grottoes like ours.”

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Insurgente Marcos, who often signs off reminding that the heart beats on the left. And it does. It does.

La Paz indigenous communities protest October 2001

Evo, again:

I believe only in the power of the people. That was my experience in my own region, a single province–the importance of local power. And now, with all that has happened in Bolivia, I have seen the importance of the power of a whole people, of a whole nation. For those of us who believe it important to defend humanity, the best contribution we can make is to help create that popular power. This happens when we check our personal interests with those of the group. Sometimes, we commit to the social movements in order to win power. We need to be led by the people, not use or manipulate them.

Zapatista mural, ESRAZ Rebel Autonomous Secondary School


[a repost, this first appeared January 3, 2006 at mediagirl.org]

Evo! Evo! Evo! 2 May 2006

Posted by marisacat in Bolivia - Evo Morales, South America, Viva La Revolucion!.
1 comment so far

 evo morales

  Evo Morales nationalizes gas and petroleum reserves

Daniel Merli and Yara Aquino
Reporters – Agência Brasil
Brasília –

With the words,"Considering that, through historical struggles at the cost of much bloodshed, the people have won the right to control our hydrocarbon riches…" president Evo Morales decreed the nationalization of Bolivia's oil and gas reserves, yesterday, May Day.

Morales was acting in compliance with the results of a national referundum of July, 2004, in which the population voted to return ownership of the country's reserves to the state. Under the terms of the nationalization decree, all foreign operators in the country have 180 days to comply with the new rules; the most important of which is that the Bolivian state-run firm, Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), is to has complete control over commercialization and will "define domestic and export conditions, volume and prices."In the 1990s, Bolivia's then-president, Hugo Banzer, began privatizing the sector. Three foreign companies took over petroleum and gas production. They were: the British BP, the Spanish Repsol and state-run Petrobras of Brazil.

This is not the first time Bolivia has nationalized its petroleum sector. In 1937 in confiscated the assets of Standard Oil. And in 1969 it confiscated the assets of Gulf Oil. In a speech celebrating the nationalization, Morales called his May Day decree the "third, definitive nationalization."

Translation: Allen Bennett