Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beijing Mail Art Call from William A in Brazil

Mail Art Call


Free technique and size

No returns no fees

Answer to all

all works will be displayed on the

DDL: 06/12/08


William A.

Rua do Mulungú, s/n

46830-000 Andaraí BA.



Mail Art Call


Free technique and size

No returns no fees

Answer to all

all works will be displayed on the

DDL: 06/12/08


William A.

Rua do Mulungú, s/n

46830-000 Andaraí BA.


Convocatória de arte postal


Técnica e tamanho livre

Documentação a todos

Todos trabalhos recebidos

serão postados no site:

Data final: 06/12/08


William A.

Rua do Mulungú, s/n

46830-000 Andaraí BA.


Mail Art Call


Free technique and size

No returns no fees

Answer to all

all works will be displayed on the

DDL: 06/12/08


William A.

Rua do Mulungú, s/n

46830-000 Andaraí BA.


Mike Disfarmer--4 Studio Portraits including his own

Mike Disfarmer

4 Studio Portraits including his own

One of the greatest of American photographers
also one of the most reclusive and mysterious,& though for decades he ran a busy studio in Arkansas
unknown of until twenty years after his death--
when his work--until the end done by anachronistic glass plate methods for the most part--
was found in the remains of his self designed and built studio

thank you to Petra Backonja for having first introduced me to his works and life a few summers ago
and for the hundreds and hundreds of days of looking and thinking with them since

Cloyce Cannon and Loy Cannon--Cousins

Julia Chamness and Nelli Newman

Mike Disfarmer--self-portrait

Catalogo Miguel Hernandez Poesia Experimental





(actually i started learning to read Spanish and Portuguese from sites like Boek and Mail Art and Visual Poetry Calls--you'd be amazed how much and how quickly you can learnt his way!)

if you haven't check the site out before--please do--Cesar Reglero and his friends have continually been assembling an incredible and vast array of works from around the world--nd have the best updates on events, Calls, periodicals, books, exhibtions--
and tons of great links which in turn provide more links and etc --the Borgesian labyrinthine library in virutality--

Por gentileza de Josep Sou (Comisario de la exposición) podemos ofreceros una versión electrónica del catálogo de la muestra de poesía experimental en homenaje a Miguel Hernández "Raices y Esperanzas" organizada por la Universidad MH de Elche.



Private Military Contractors Writing the News? The Pentagon's Propaganda at Its Worst


Private Military Contractors Writing the News? The Pentagon's Propaganda at Its Worst

Despite reforms, Congress hides $3.5B in defense earmarks: A Seattle Times investigation released Sunday of the 2008 defense bill has found 155 hidden earmarks worth $3.5 billion. House members broke the new rules 110 times by not disclosing who was getting the favors.


the opening of the article--go to link for rest--
War on Iraq

Private Military Contractors Writing the News? The Pentagon's Propaganda at Its Worst

By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. Posted October 17, 2008.

Months after the Pentagon pundits flap, the Department of Defense continues to hand down contracts for propaganda in Iraq and beyond.

Less than a week after the Washington Post reported that the Department of Defense will pay private contractors $300 million over the next three years to "produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to 'engage and inspire' the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government," Virginia Sen. Jim Webb wrote a strongly worded letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "I have serious reservations about the need for this expenditure in today's political and economic environment," he wrote. "Consequently, I am asking that you put these contracts on hold until the Armed Services Committee and the next administration can review the entire issue of U.S. propaganda efforts inside Iraq."

Conoce más sobre Julio Galán

Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 08:31:54 -0400
Subject: Conoce más sobre Julio Galán

Hasta el 23 de noviembre


A dos años de su fallecimiento, Julio Galán nos deja un legado artístico como una herencia para el arte mexicano que, con una propuesta sorprendente y audaz, nos ofrece un universo misterioso en esta gran muestra retrospectiva de pintura, fotografía, objetos y videos personales.


Visitas guiadas

De martes a domingo, 13:00 y 16:30 hrs.




Acércate a la obra de Julio Galán a través de la mirada de especialistas, artistas y críticos de arte y descubre por qué su obra rebasó las fronteras de nuestro país.



El lugar de Julio Galán en el contexto reciente de la pintura



Mtro. Erik Castillo, investigador y curador.

Mtro. Edgardo Ganado Kim, historiador, curador y galerista

Mtro. Daniel Lezama, artista plástico

Moderador: Mtro. Ery Cámara investigador y curador


Sábado 11 de Octubre 13:00 hrs.



Tres miradas desde la investigación



Mtro. Carlos-Blas Galindo, director del Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información de Artes Plásticas / CENIDIAP -  INBA.

Mtro. Luis Rius Caso, investigador y crítico de arte del Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información de Artes Plásticas / CENIDIAP - INBA.

Moderadora: Mtra. Silvia Cherem, periodista.


Sábado 25 de Octubre 13:00 hrs.



Del Conde- Pellizzi. Diálogo sobre Julio Galán.



Dra. Teresa del Conde, miembro de la Academia de las Artes, investigadora del IIE de la UNAM  y crítica de arte.

Mtro. Franceso Pelizzi, editor: RES- Antropology and Aesthetics Peabody Museums Harvard University.

Moderador: Mtro. Francisco Reyes Palma, investigador y crítico de arte.


Jueves 30 de Octubre 17:00 hrs.


Actividad gratuita con boleto de acceso al museo.



Visitas guiadas a los murales de Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Ramón Alva de la Canal, Fermín Revueltas, Fernando Leal y Jean Charlot.


Martes a domingo, 12:30 y 16:00 hrs.

Actividad gratuita presentando boleto de acceso al museo 

$ 45.00 público general
$22.50 estudiantes y maestros con credencial vigente

Entrada libre para niños menos de 12 años y personas de la tercera edad; martes público general


Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso

Justo Sierra16, Centro Histórico

Informes y reservaciones: 5789 25 05/ 5702 6378 / 5702 2505


Coordinación de Servicios Pedagógicos
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Justo Sierra # 16,
Centro Histórico,
C.P. 06020, México, D.F.,
Tel/fax: 5789-2505

Convocatoria Violencia de Género - Call Against Gender Violence

from Clemente Padin:

"Civilization" Cannibalization or Hope of Others' Futures-- Sameh Habeeb : The Children of Gaza: Weaned on Fear and Trauma

For the past few years now greatly increasing International attention has been brought to bear on the traumatization of children throughout the entire world.
Among the places the most affected for a long time now has been the Gaza Strip, which since the Israeli Siege began over a year and half ago, has seen the traumatization of children, already at a very dangerous extreme, carried even further.

One of the most extreme effects of the traumatization of children through long periods of time, over several generations, as in Gaza and the West Bank and huge areas of Africa, Cambodia and Central and South Latin America, and the Middle East, "former USSR," Chechnya, "former Yugoslavija," is that it produces also further generations of persons for whom the most desperate of acts, including what is called "terrorism," seem only natural, logical, in the context of a world without a future and in which nothing exists at all but violence.

Rather than recognizing this situation, the States and covert organizations involved in creating the trauma continue to increase its levels throughout all aspects of the populations which are forced to submit to it minute by minute day by day, without end.

The increase in trauma provides an increase in desperation and "terrorist" resistance--which is responded to with ever greater levels of violence and "justification."

In short, the powers whose policies these acts are, are using trauma as a new form of weapon--rather than offering hope, offer despair and provoke resistance, and one may loudly justify the killing of yet more people until, perhaps, none at all are left, or else all that are left are forced to feel forever.

One extremely cynical aspect of this tactic that has been enacted in Gaza has been the refusal to allow 600 scholarship students to leave their prison and study abroad. To discourage the creation of a future generation which is educated and wants to create an actual livable place, with doctors, engineers, nurses, school teachers, technicians and skilled trades person is the bluntest way possible to tell a people--there will be NO FUTURE FOR YOU.

Even when the USA awarded 7 Fellowships to Palestinian students, the students were refused the right to travel from Gaza. This sends a signal to the young that no matter what they will not be allowed to work and study for the future they would like to create for their families and themselves. The cynicism of this is apparent: for those continually denied hope, denied a future, , there will be some who will choose another path, and so, provoke the wrath of the Occupiers down upon the entire emprisoned population.

One of the purposes of trauma then, is not simply to extinguish the mental life of a person in any healthy way, but to give rise also to as much as possible the reactions of "sick persons" who need to be kept as they are, locked up, prisoners for life, with the actual life expectancy growing shorter by the day.

These same methods, though in less "sophisticated" and "technological" form, appear increasingly throughout the world as a war on the future, starting with the youngest and most defenseless, in order to give cause for the extinction of persons driven to act "beyond the pale of civilization."

In many areas of the USA similar effects with similar results have been increasing in number among ever younger members of the population that is herded into ghettos, labor camps, prisons, the "Justice system" and the collapsing infrastructures of large swathes of the urban USA as well as the rural.

In effect, the Future is being held prisoner, murdered, thrown into camps, becoming what has become to be called the "warehousing" of populations deemed for whatever reason, "no longer part of the civilized world."

In the USA to this day, the long terms effects of centuries of extreme traumatization of the American Indian, Black people, peoples of Color from Latin America and Asia, can be see in action daily.

And who are these "Civilized" beings that such an immense destruction and waste is being carried out to protect, preserve and enrich?
What kind of "Civilization" is that?

Growing fat on the cannibilization of others' children--
extending life by devouring the lives and futures of others?

Who would want to belong to it? This "Civilization"--
(And here a mad scramble begins!!--

Palestine Think Tank Digest

Sameh Habeeb - The Children of Gaza: Weaned on Fear and Trauma

Posted: 17 Oct 2008 01:08 PM CDT

Gaza Strip, Palestine - Severe terror and traumas are de facto storms for children in the occupied territories, especially those who exist in the Gaza Strip.

The ongoing Israeli military operations and violent retaliation induce psychological maladies and wretched conditions. The recent CEASEFIRE in Gaza allows a temporary rest but not the cure for their fears and nightmares.

The summer of 2007 was a start of a mayhem for a poor Bedouin family of Sahar. Sahar Owaidat, 6, remains in state of shock or perhaps is exhibiting symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder ever since Israeli soldiers stormed her home and brutally beat her father and siblings while she and the rest of the family members helplessly observed.

In all cultures, the Father of the family represents safety and security to the family. The Israeli soldiers routinely rob Palestinian fathers of their role.
Sahar fixed her large eyes upon me and informed me, "I asked my mum to hug me and keep me safe. I was scared when I heard the voice of my Dad moaning and screaming. I saw the blood covering our house and many ghosts tried to snatch me. In the corner of the room, three soldiers were beating my younger brother Emad. I cried and cried and cried until my mum awakened me. I am afraid to sleep because they keep coming back."

Tears filled my eyes, but Sahar's were blank and empty as she recounted that night one year ago when the Israeli army repeatedly invaded the area where she lived. The family informed that the Israeli soldiers had burst into their house, arrested all the brothers and beat them in front of the family.

Sahar said, "I wanted to go to my kindergarten and I prepared my pens and papers. I went to sleep but I could not, I heard a sound of close shootings. Then the tanks came over and I heard the voice and hurried to my mum. I saw all my siblings and Dad beside her. She hugged me and I cried a lot."

On the day of which Sahar speaks of, after three grueling hours of military operations, the soldiers powerfully and angrily burst into some neighboring houses. The house of Sahar's family was just one of many homes where male family members were detained by Israeli forces. While many were released after 48 hours, Sahar's brother Samer was not.

Samer was sent to court and sentenced for 5 years convicted of engaging in "military actions."

Later in summer 2008, the army got back to cause more panic and fear for children. The Israeli army has bulldozed the agricultural land of the Owaidat family and multitudes of their olive trees that sustained the family were uprooted.

The Owaidat family includes four girls and five boys who like their neighbors live in constant fear and are traumatized by the shelling and invasions from the Israeli army ever since the disengagement in 2005.

The mother told me, "Sahar changed that day she witnessed the savage storming into our home. She became introverted and she now suffers from involuntary urination and nightmares. Her two young siblings also have the same symptoms."

The current focus in Gaza is directed to humanitarian needs such as food and water and the absence of psychotherapy in Gaza is reaping a generation of children weaned on fear and trauma.

Sahar ended my visit with her pleading, "I want to go to my kindergarten and I don't want to see those ghosts again. Please, if you see them tell them I'm afraid. Don't let them come again."

People of conscience wonder what would happen if another people attacked the USA in the manner that Israel has attacked the indigenous people of the land these last sixty years: stealing and destroying their land, bombing their homes, killing their children and families, depriving them of the basic needs to live and robbing them of human dignity.

Would Americans passively allow such abuse of their families for 60 years?
Or would they revolt and retaliate with violence?
Or, perhaps, the good people of America would launch a massive movement for peace, resolution and reconciliation based on international law and equal human rights for all people?

Contact me:
Samah A. Habeeb, B.A.
Photojournalist & Peace Activist
Humanitarian, Child Relief Worker
Gaza Strip, Palestine
Mob: 00972599306096
Tel: 0097282802825
Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook: Sameh A. Habeeb
Daily Photos:

Video Report: Locked in the Hebron Ghetto


Palestine Think Tank Digest

Locked in the Hebron Ghetto

Posted: 18 Oct 2008 02:42 AM CD 0);">

Israeli soldiers in Hebron refuse to let Palestinians return to their homes. Volunteers with the Christian Peacemaker Team try to intervene, but they and the Palestinians are threatened with arrest. An Israeli soldier loads and cocks his automatic weapon to threaten unarmed civilians.

Friday, October 17, 2008

NSA Spying on Military and International Aid Workers -- ACLU Files FOIA

NSA Spying on Military and International Aid Workers -- ACLU Files FOIA

Last week, ABC News reported that NSA officials have intercepted, listened to and passed around the phone calls of hundreds of innocent U.S. citizens working overseas -- including soldiers, journalists and human rights workers from organizations like the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders -- even after it was clear that the calls were not in any way related to national security. NSA officials regularly passed around salacious calls such as the private "phone sex" calls of military officers calling home, according to the report.

This week, the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests demanding that the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Justice Department disclose any policies and procedures pertaining to how the NSA protects Americans' privacy rights when it collects, stores and disseminates private U.S. communications. The NSA has not released a public version of its procedures for protecting the privacy of U.S. communications since 1993.

"The American public needs to know whether the NSA's procedures are sufficiently protective of our privacy rights," said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "Unfortunately, there is often no meaningful court oversight of the NSA's surveillance activities, and the NSA is left to police itself."

In July 2008, Congress enacted the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), giving the NSA unprecedented power to spy on Americans without warrants. The law was passed over the strong objections of not only the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, but many members of Congress and the American public. The FISA Amendments Act permits dragnet, suspicionless surveillance of Americans' international communications -- precisely the kind of invasive and ineffective monitoring that was reported last week.

The ACLU filed a landmark lawsuit to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the new wiretapping law, arguing that the law violates the Fourth Amendment by giving the government virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls. The case was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations.

"The FAA shows the danger of Congress choosing to legislate before it investigates," said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "We now know that whistleblowers approached the Senate Judiciary Committee last year with claims of NSA malfeasance and that efforts to bring them to light went nowhere. Congress should have been much more aggressive while investigating those allegations. If it had, the FISA Amendments Act may have had the safeguards needed to prevent this kind of abuse in the future. As it stands now, the privacy rights of Americans are as protected as any given NSA analyst allows them to be."

>>Read more about NSA surveillance gone amok on the ACLU’s blog.

>>Learn more information about the ACLU's ongoing FAA lawsuit.

"The End of America "-- Film of Naomi Wolf's book to Air On Tuesday, October 21, film will premiere online

The End of America

From the ACLU newsletter 17 October 2008

The End of America, a new documentary from award-winning filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (The Trials of Darryl Hunt, The Devil Came on Horseback), based on Naomi Wolf’s 2007 book of the same name, details the ten steps a country takes when it slides from an open to a closed society. It’s an historical look at trends in once-functioning democracies from modern history that are being repeated in our country today. It gives any reader (or viewer of the lecture or film) a much-needed history lesson and constitutional refresher. Most importantly, it puts the recent, gradual loss of civil liberties in the U.S. in a historical context. The average American might not be alarmed at AT&T selling our private information to the Bush administration, but when this action is seen as part of a larger series of erosions and events, a pattern emerges with unfortunate consequences that become disturbingly clear.

On Tuesday, October 21, the film will premiere online via SnagFilms and will include a special introduction from ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. The film in its entirety and Anthony's remarks will be available to watch on for free.

Following our virtual premiere on the 21st, Rights / Camera / Action will continue to host a "multiplex" on Snag with civil liberties related films on an ongoing basis.

Stay tuned for the new official site of Rights / Camera / Action -- to launch Tuesday, October 21 -- which will have more information on The End of America (including exclusive footage from its premiere at the Hamptons Film Festival tonight) and other important civil liberties films and exciting new projects.

Sean Burn: The Dying ov the Money

"Torturing Democracy": Video and Links

National Security Archive Update, October 17, 2008
Washington Broadcast Set for "Torturing Democracy"

Reviewers rate new documentary "compelling," "impressive," "top-shelf"

Guantanamo interrogation draft picked by as "Hot Document"

For more information contact:
Thomas Blanton/Ilyse Veron - 202/994-7000

Washington, DC, October 17, 2008 - The new documentary film on the Bush administration's interrogation and detention policies, "Torturing Democracy," will air on Washington D.C.'s WETA-TV tonight at 10 p.m.

Produced and written by eight-time Emmy winner and National Security Archive fellow Sherry Jones, the documentary has drawn major online buzz as well as New York Times coverage of PBS's failure to find a national scheduling spot for the film before President Bush leaves office in January 2009.

Reviewers have described the film as a "compelling example of video story-telling" that "delivers impressively on a promise to connect the dots in an investigation of interrogations of prisoners in U.S. custody." selected a key revelation in the film as the Slate "Hot Document" this week - a previously unpublished December 2002 draft of "standard operating procedure" at Guantanamo which shows that interrogators there adopted their techniques directly from the survival training (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape or SERE) given to American troops so they could resist the worst of Communist gulag treatment.

The companion Web site for the film, , features key documents, a detailed timeline, the full annotated transcript of the show, and lengthy transcripts of major interviews carried out for the film. Hosted by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Web site will ultimately include a complete "Torture Archive" of primary sources.

Stream the entire film and read related documents online at:


in a charcoal charredcold way for Shurilla, Sean Bonney & M. Bow de l'Aire

for mark shurilla & sean bonney & mr bow de l'aire

"i have taken mud
& of it made gold"
ch. baudelaire

BLOWBACK: 27 September 2001 Revisited--Chalmers Johnson in The Nation 15/10/01


By Chalmers Johnson

This article appeared in the October 15, 2001 edition of The Nation.

September 27, 2001

For Americans who can bear to think about it, those tragic pictures from New York of women holding up photos of their husbands, sons and daughters and asking if anyone knows anything about them look familiar. They are similar to scenes we have seen from Buenos Aires and Santiago. There, too, starting in the 1970s, women held up photos of their loved ones, asking for information. Since it was far too dangerous then to say aloud what they thought had happened to them--that they had been tortured and murdered by US-backed military juntas--the women coined a new word for them, los desaparecidos--"the disappeareds." Our government has never been honest about its own role in the 1973 overthrow of the elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile or its backing, through "Operation Condor," of what the State Department has recently called "extrajudicial killings" in Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. But we now have several thousand of our own disappeareds, and we are badly mistaken if we think that we in the United States are entirely blameless for what happened to them.

The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001, did not "attack America," as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy. Employing the strategy of the weak, they killed innocent bystanders who then became enemies only because they had already become victims. Terrorism by definition strikes at the innocent in order to draw attention to the sins of the invulnerable. The United States deploys such overwhelming military force globally that for its militarized opponents only an "asymmetric strategy," in the jargon of the Pentagon, has any chance of success. When it does succeed, as it did spectacularly on September 11, it renders our massive military machine worthless: The terrorists offer it no targets. On the day of the disaster, President George W. Bush told the American people that we were attacked because we are "a beacon for freedom" and because the attackers were "evil." In his address to Congress on September 20, he said, "This is civilization's fight." This attempt to define difficult-to-grasp events as only a conflict over abstract values--as a "clash of civilizations," in current post-cold war American jargon--is not only disingenuous but also a way of evading responsibility for the "blowback" that America's imperial projects have generated.

"Blowback" is a CIA term first used in March 1954 in a recently declassified report on the 1953 operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government's international activities that have been kept secret from the American people. The CIA's fears that there might ultimately be some blowback from its egregious interference in the affairs of Iran were well founded. Installing the Shah in power brought twenty-five years of tyranny and repression to the Iranian people and elicited the Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution. The staff of the American embassy in Teheran was held hostage for more than a year. This misguided "covert operation" of the US government helped convince many capable people throughout the Islamic world that the United States was an implacable enemy.

The pattern has become all too familiar. Osama bin Laden, the leading suspect as mastermind behind the carnage of September 11, is no more (or less) "evil" than his fellow creations of our CIA: Manuel Noriega, former commander of the Panama Defense Forces until George Bush père in late 1989 invaded his country and kidnapped him, or Iraq's Saddam Hussein, whom we armed and backed so long as he was at war with Khomeini's Iran and whose people we have bombed and starved for a decade in an incompetent effort to get rid of him. These men were once listed as "assets" of our clandestine services organization.

Osama bin Laden joined our call for resistance to the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and accepted our military training and equipment along with countless other mujahedeen "freedom fighters." It was only after the Russians bombed Afghanistan back into the stone age and suffered a Vietnam-like defeat, and we turned our backs on the death and destruction we had helped cause, that he turned against us. The last straw as far as bin Laden was concerned was that, after the Gulf War, we based "infidel" American troops in Saudi Arabia to prop up its decadent, fiercely authoritarian regime. Ever since, bin Laden has been attempting to bring the things the CIA taught him home to the teachers. On September 11, he appears to have returned to his deadly project with a vengeance.

There are today, ten years after the demise of the Soviet Union, some 800 Defense Department installations located in other countries. The people of the United States make up perhaps 4 percent of the world's population but consume 40 percent of its resources. They exercise hegemony over the world directly through overwhelming military might and indirectly through secretive organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. Though largely dominated by the US government, these are formally international organizations and therefore beyond Congressional oversight.

As the American-inspired process of "globalization" inexorably enlarges the gap between the rich and the poor, a popular movement against it has gained strength, advancing from its first demonstrations in Seattle in 1999 through protests in Washington, DC; Melbourne; Prague; Seoul; Nice; Barcelona; Quebec City; Göteborg; and on to its violent confrontations in Genoa earlier this year. Ironically, though American leaders are deaf to the desires of the protesters, the Defense Department has actually adopted the movement's main premise--that current global economic arrangements mean more wealth for the "West" and more misery for the "rest"--as a reason why the United States should place weapons in space. The US Space Command's pamphlet "Vision for 2020" argues that "the globalization of the world economy will also continue, with a widening between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots,'" and that we have a mission to "dominate the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investments" in an increasingly dangerous and implicitly anti-American world. Unfortunately, while the eyes of military planners were firmly focused on the "control and domination" of space and "denying other countries access to space," a very different kind of space was suddenly occupied.

On the day after the September 11 attack, Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia declared, "I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there's collateral damage, so be it." "Collateral damage" is another of those hateful euphemisms invented by our military to prettify its killing of the defenseless. It is the term Pentagon spokesmen use to refer to the Serb and Iraqi civilians who were killed or maimed by bombs from high-flying American warplanes in our campaigns against Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. It is the kind of word our new ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, might have used in the 1980s to explain the slaughter of peasants, Indians and church workers by American-backed right-wing death squads in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua while he was ambassador to Honduras. These activities made the Reagan years the worst decade for Central America since the Spanish conquest.

About Chalmers Johnson

Chalmers Johnson is the author of more than a dozen books, including Revolutionary Change (Stanford), Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (Holt/Owl) and, most recently, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (Metropolitan). more...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debates Still No Place for Average Joes--//-Verizon and AT&T Provided Cell Towers for McCain Ranch: From Free Press Media Daily 16 October 2008

Molly Peterson, Bloomberg News
How Six Influence 300 Million

The vast majority of media consumed by Americans, from newspapers, to television shows, to books, is owned by one of six massive media conglomerates. By reinforcing a particular message throughout its divisions, media conglomerates are able to turn opinion into fact, dilute news gathering and control the flow of information.

Tufts Observer
Big Media. Bad Idea

Ask any shareholder not named Murdoch or Redstone -- big media just isn't working. How about small media? Or at least smaller media?

Sophia Banay, Portfolio
Debates Still No Place for Average Joes

Joe the Plumber may have played a role in last night's debate, but average "Janes" and "Joes" were left on the sidelines. With the digital world at our fingertips, we the people have come to expect a seat at the table. The Commission on Presidential Debates -- the party-controlled organization that dictates debate formats -- remains reluctant, however, to offer up a chair.

Timothy Karr, Huffington Post
Debate Watchers Score Schieffer Best Moderator, Still Want More Challenges to Candidate Spin

Supporters of both Barack Obama and John McCain gave CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer a thumbs-up for his moderation of the third and final presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island. But many felt the moderator could have done more to challenge the candidates' spin with tougher follow-up questions.

Free Press
Free the Debates

A group of thinkers and activists from the left, right, and center want to see the presidential debates and the commission that organizes them fundamentally reformed.

Mother Jones
Debate Reformers Disappointed -- for Now

For Americans who've participated in this marathon presidential campaign online, the televised national debates have been painfully archaic. A broad, bipartisan group called the Open Debate Coalition are working to bring the debates into the 21st Century, making them more open and accountable to the people.

Jose Antonio Vargas, Washington Post
act now
The debates are over for this election year, but the fight to ensure open and accountable debates in the future continues. Check out what viewers had to say about each debate and learn how you can stay involved in changing future debates.
In Other News...
Verizon and AT&T Provided Cell Towers for McCain Ranch

Although Verizon abandoned efforts to build a permanent cell tower close to Sen John McCain's home in Arizona, they delivered a portable tower free of charge. AT&T followed suit the next month. Because McCain is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee which oversees the telecom industry, ethic lawyers are concerned about "special treatment."

Washington Post

Matthew Stolte Visual Poetry: New flickr set

Greetings Spiders,

Visit my new set of visual poems on flickr!


__,_._,___ v> v>

Help prevent a monumental injustice: prevent the execution of Troy Davis:

Amnesty International USA: TAKE ACTION NOW! With today's Supreme Court decision, a man with a credible claim to innocence may soon be executed.
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Dear david,

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Troy Anthony Davis' appeal. His fate is back in the hands of Georgia authorities who may seek a new execution date at any time.

The Supreme Court's decision to deny Troy Davis' petition means that no court of law will ever hold a hearing on the witnesses who have recanted their trial testimony in sworn affidavits.

Doubts about his guilt raised by these multiple witness recantations will never be resolved. An execution under such a cloud of doubt would undermine public confidence in the state's criminal justice system and would be a grave miscarriage of justice.

The state of Georgia can still do the responsible thing and prevent the execution of Troy Davis:
Take Action Now!
Troy Davis was sentenced to death despite a tainted case and serious claims of innocence. © Georgia Department of Corrections


Larry Cox
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

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