The Militarization and Annexation of North America

Updating the Militarization and Annexation of North America
by Stephen Lendman
The title refers to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), also known as the North American Union - formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 Waco, the Militarization and Annexation of North America Texas meeting attended by George Bush, Mexico's President Vincente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. It's for a tri-national agreement, below the radar, for greater economic, political, and security integration with secret business and government working groups devising binding policies with no public knowledge or legislative debate.

In short, it's a military-backed corporate coup d'etat against the sovereignty of three nations, their populations and legislative bodies. It's a dagger through the heart of democratic freedom in all three, yet the public is largely unaware of what's happening. Last April, New Orleans hosted the last SPP summit. Ever since, progress may have stalled given the gravity of the global economic crisis and top priority need to address it. Nonetheless, what's known to date is updated below plus some related information.
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Cheney's Mission Accomplished?

Cheney's Mission Accomplished
by Juan Cole (Informed Comment)
Dick Cheney: "I guess my general sense of where we are with respect to Iraq and at the end of now, what, nearly six years, is that we've accomplished nearly everything we set out to do...."
Cheney avoids mentioning all the human suffering he has caused, on a cosmic scale, and focuses on procedural matters like elections (which he confuses with democracy-- given 2000 in this country, you can understand why). Or he lies, as when he says that Iran's influence in Iraq has been blocked. Another lie is that there was that the US was fighting "al-Qaeda" in Iraq as opposed to just Iraqis. He and Bush even claim that they made Iraqi womens' lives better.

The real question is whether anyone will have the gumption to put Cheney on trial for treason and crimes against humanity.
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Media on Iran: Gullible's (Endless) Travels

Gullible's (Endless) Travels
by Media Lens
Have journalists learnt nothing from recent history? It truly is a wonder when a reporter can assert in public, on the BBC News no less, that "Tony Blair passionately believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and posed a grave threat." (BBC1, Six O'Clock News, February 24, 2009). When BBC reporter Reeta Chakrabarti was challenged on this remarkable display of naïveté, she compounded her grievous error by responding:

"I said Mr Blair passionately believed Iraq had wmd because he has consistently said so. When challenged he has stuck to his guns." (Email posted on the Media Lens Message Board, March 2, 2009)

So when a demonstrably mendacious leader claims he "passionately believed" in a lie, the media has to take him at his word. This is the same brand of journalistic gullibility that has had such tragic consequences for the people of Iraq. This is the endless, uncritical obedience to power that boosted the warmongering agenda of London and Washington, allowing them to fit 'facts' to a pre-ordained policy of launching a war of aggression. Such an act, sold by the BBC as Blair's "passionate belief", is the supreme international crime, as judged by the 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal.

And a similar tragic fate may yet befall the people of Iran, if the corporate media portrayal of Iran as a rogue state lorded over by "ruling mullahs", desperate to get their hands on nuclear weapons, goes unchallenged.
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We Dare Not Blink: Canada's Duty to Arrest George W. Bush

We Dare Not Blink
by Ramsey Clark
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen; my congratulations and gratitude to Canada’s peace movement and its many organizations and individuals protesting the March 17th, 2009 appearance of former US President George W. Bush for a speech at a “private” lunch in Calgary.
Former U.S. Attorney General Clark calls for Bush arrest.
While the primary responsibility for addressing the Bush administration’s involvement in crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity rests with the people of the United States, because we both enabled then failed to arrest his acts, there is necessarily universal jurisdiction over such crimes if humanity is to end the scourge of war.

We dare not blink at the magnitude, diversity and pervasive impact of the known crimes committed by the Bush administration. Wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Supreme International Crime, have killed hundreds of thousands outright, wounded, sickened and malnourished many more than they have killed and sent millions as refugees to neighboring nations while rendering homeless millions more.
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Left Leaving Radio Waves

Peter B. Collins Going Off the Air
by Mark Crispin Miller
We may have to get progressive talk shows put on the Endangered Species List, now that the president has reinstated it. Otherwise there won't be any voices on the air except the voices of the right, whether "centrist" (corporate) or explictly far-right (corporate).
As Brad Friedman notes in his report on Peter B. Collins' forced departure (see here), the economic crash is threatening to finish off those last few figures who have managed somehow to resist the oligopolistic tide that has by now all but submerged the US media.

That purge, now near-complete, has actually been in the works for years. It was the purpose of the vast "de-regulation" of the media begun by Reagan back in '87 (soon after the corporate press obligingly refused to look too deeply into Iran/contra) and continued by Bill Clinton nine years later (and a fat lot of good it did him.)
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Pakistan Protest Grows, Converging on the Capital

Nawaz Sharif under House Arrest; Army on Alert; Protesters Continue to Converge on Capital
by Juan Cole (Informed Comment)
In the midst of Pakistan's ongoing political crisis, the government of President Asaf Ali Zardari sent out highly mixed signals on Saturday and Sunday.
Lawyers take to the streets protesting the Zardari regime.
His government looked like it might be backing off its more hard line measures. The government of President Zardari pledged to appeal to the courts to lift bans on political activity imposed on Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, leaders of the rival Pakistan Muslim League (N). It also allowed Geo TV to resume broadcasting (Geo had been critical of Zardari).

But at the same time, Zardari continued to brandish the police and the military at his opponents and their planned Monday demonstration. Zardari seems a little out of touch with political reality and with how unpopular he has been making himself, maintaining that "There is no law and order problem posed by the present protest. The long march, which will not be allowed to take place, is transitory and a one-time affair and the PPP would form its government in the Punjab in the next few days, leaving its rivals to repent." Add a comment
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Killing a Chicken to Scare the Monkeys

Is the Israeli Lobby Running Scared? Or Killing a Chicken to Scare the Monkeys
by Robert Dreyfuss
Is the Israel lobby in Washington an all-powerful force? Or is it, perhaps, running scared? Judging by the outcome of the Charles W. ("Chas") Freeman affair this week, it might seem as if the Israeli lobby is fearsome indeed. Seen more broadly, however, the controversy over Freeman could be the Israel lobby's Waterloo.

Let's recap. On February 19th, Laura Rozen reported at that Freeman had been selected by Admiral Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, to serve in a key post as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The NIC, the official in-house think tank of the intelligence community, takes input from 16 intelligence agencies and produces what are called "national intelligence estimates" on crucial topics of the day as guidance for Washington policymakers. For that job, Freeman boasted a stellar resumé: fluent in Mandarin Chinese, widely experienced in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, and an ex-assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration.

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Occupation of Iraqi Artists

The Ongoing Occupation of Iraqi Artists
by Dahr Jamail
For centuries, artists, writers, and intellectuals have been meeting in Baghdad’s teahouses over tulip-shaped glasses of sweet lemon tea, cigarettes, and shisha pipes.

A car bomb detonated near one of the oldest teahouses a year-and-a-half ago, causing massive destruction around the area. When it reopened recently, Mohammed Al-Mumain, a 59-year-old biology teacher resumed his visits there. The portly, jovial teacher brought tea for my colleague and I before settling to talk,
“The mind needs art and education. I come here because the lamp needs electricity. The lamp of my mind, like that in all of us, needs to discuss and review life continually. That feeds me. When I come here I feel like a teenager again. All that I need, the old culture along with the new, I find here.”
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Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel

Statement by Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel
by F4P
Dear Colleagues; Several F4P members are signatories to this statement, and are aware that it was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (as an op-ed). For the rest, please help this important statement get into broad circulation - pass it on to your networks (faculty, community, MPs, university presidents, unions etc.).  You may also wish to write to the Star and Globe editorials and express your dismay that they have chosen not to publish it.
Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within Canada.  The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick. 

The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel’s accountability for what many have called  war crimes in Gaza.  They state that B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.   
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Rome Is Burning - So Let's Attack Iran

The American Rome Is Burning - So Let's Attack Iran
by Eric S. Margolis
Iran has haunted every U.S. administration since the days of President Jimmy Carter. While running for president, Barack Obama proposed opening talks with Tehran and trying to end the long Cold War between the United States and Iran. Obama's sensible idea was greeted with the deepest dismay by ardent supporters of Israel and Rambo Republicans who want to see the US go to war with Iran, a nation of 70 million, and destroy its nuclear infrastructure.

Now, as the United States fights for its economic life, the Iran question and its alleged nuclear weapons program have again become an issue of major contention. Officials in the Obama administration and the media issued a blizzard of contradictory claims over Iran's alleged nuclear threat, leaving us wondering: who is really charge of U.S. foreign policy?
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How the Permanent Power Structure Is Trying to Stop Obama

by Danny Schechter (Author of Plunder)
Some things don’t change. Obama may be in the White House, shuffling between the safety of the center and the language of change (“changeguage?”), firm in his commitment to the doctrine of neo-prog pragmatism which  all too often requires the abandonment of ideas and ideals that could offend both the right and wrong people.

image: He is in office, but is he in power?

The mistake that many make is to confuse the trappings of symbolic power with the exercise of real power. Truth be told, real power is exercised mostly by unchecked private interests, lobbyists and our media. They have the power to obstruct policies, stir up controversies and orchestrate pressure to kill measures they don’t like. They are well-funded minority and work skillfully in the shadows and through highly paid PR practitioners.
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Uranium Along the Iditerod Trail

Alaska Natives protest uranium exploration on Iditarod Trail
by Brenda Norrell   
A coalition of Alaskan Indigenous Peoples, Alaskan citizens, students and community organizations are demonstrating support for students protesting Uranium activity in the traditional cultural use areas near the Arctic Inupiat community of Elim.
Alaskans from various organizations and communities gathered at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on March 7th, downtown Anchorage, to demonstrate support for the students and community of Elim. Students in Elim will be protesting uranium as dog mushers race through the Elim checkpoint 123 miles from Nome.

Funny Murray, an Inupiaq Para-professional in Elim, says that the students are leading the effort to raise awareness on the uranium’s destructive impacts to the environment, ecosystem and people.
“The Elim Students Against Uranium (ESAU) researched how uranium development can cause damage to the health of the environment, plants, animals and people. They (ESAU) are speaking up for environmental justice here in Elim, the Bering Sea and the Arctic.”

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