Created on Wednesday, 05 March 2008 21:11
Written by Charlie Hardy
Read more: Picturing War in South America
What If Ingird Betancourt Had Been in Ecuador Saturday?
by Charles Hardy in Caracas
Since learning of the assassination of the FARC leader,
Raul Reyes, in Ecuador Saturday morning, my mind has been spinning.
Today I have been thinking about how much easier is the work of
a photographer than that of a writer. One snaps a picture and the picture is
there; the writer has to assemble words to try to convey the same image. Even
short stories require hundreds of individual words, each carrying a variety of
meanings and interpretations. Writing is like working a jigsaw puzzle.
Photography is taking the photo on the box.
Since Saturday, I have had a
hard time sleeping through a complete night. I awake; grab a paper and pencil,
or flip a switch on my tape recorder, or run and turn on the computer. I have
started so many commentaries and have finished none. Hence the thought occurred
to me that maybe I should try to be an amateur literary photographer, sharing
snapshots of what is passing through my mind. Not looking for meaning,
necessarily, but not avoiding the feelings that seem to be keeping me awake.
Created on Wednesday, 05 March 2008 20:32
Written by Fidel Castro
Read more: Attack on Ecuador: Underestimating Rafael
The attack on Ecuador: Underestimating Rafael Correa
by Fidel Castro Ruz
remember when he visited us, months before the electoral campaign when he was thinking of running as a candidate for the Presidency of Ecuador. He had been the Minister of the Economy in the government of Alfredo Palacio, a surgeon with professional prestige who had also visited us as Vice President, before becoming the President in an unexpected situation that took place in Ecuador. He had been receptive to a program of ophthalmologic operations that we offered him as a form of cooperation. There were good relations between our two governments.
A while earlier Correa had resigned from the Ministry of the Economy. He was unhappy with what he called administrative corruption instigated by Oxy, a foreign company that explored and invested important sums of money, but was holding on to four out of every five barrels of oil that it extracted. He didnÂ´t talk about nationalization, but about taxing them heavily; these taxes would be assigned in advance to specific social investments. He had already approved the measures and a judge had declared them to be valid.
Created on Wednesday, 05 March 2008 19:38
Written by Tom Engelhardt
Read more: War is Hell, But What the Hell Does it Cost?
One Week at War in Iraq and Afghanistan for $3.5 Billion
by William D. Hartung
ar is hell -- deadly, dangerous, and expensive. But just how expensive is it?
In a recent interview, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz asserted that the costs of the Iraq war -- budgetary, economic, and societal -- could reach $5 trillion.
That's a hard number to comprehend. Figuring out how many times $5 trillion would circle the globe (if we took it all in one dollar bills) doesn't really help matters much, nor does estimating how many times we could paper over every square inch of Rhode Island with it. The fact that total war costs could buy six trillion donuts for volunteers to the Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Huckabee campaigns -- assuming a bulk discount -- is impressive in its own way, but not all that meaningful either. In fact, the Bush administration's war costs have already moved beyond the human scale of comprehension.
But what if we were to try another tack? How about breaking those soaring trillions down into smaller pieces, into mere millions and billions? How much, for instance, does one week of George Bush's wars cost?
Created on Tuesday, 04 March 2008 18:16
Written by Jim Miles
Canadaâ€™s Response to Israelâ€™s Actions in Gaza â€“ Biased, Ignorant and Ineffective
by Jim Miles
anadaâ€™s Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier issued a news release expressing his concern about the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip
It does nothing to help resolve the situation and only demonstrates that the Canadian government is only putting out more face-saving rhetoric for the international community and to placate the home crowd with platitudes about the non-existent peace process.
It is an empty statement, devoid of any real suggestions to improve the situation in Gaza.
Read more: Biased, Ignorant and Ineffective: Harper Government Responds to Gaza Atrocities
Created on Tuesday, 04 March 2008 07:18
Written by Media Lens
Attacking The Prisoners
by Media Lens
Israel has drawn international criticism for its latest series of onslaughts against the 'prison' of Gaza, the crowded home to 1.4 million Palestinians. Since last Wednesday (February 27), 112 Palestinians have died under Israeli air attacks and 'incursions' by Israeli troops. The dead include many women and children, such as four boys who had been out playing football and even babies killed in their homes.
Last Saturday alone saw the deaths of 60 Palestinians under Israeli attacks. Three Israelis have died - one a civilian killed during a rocket attack by Hamas last Wednesday and, since then, two Israeli soldiers.
Read more: Attica on the Levant: Attacking the Prisoners
Created on Monday, 03 March 2008 20:06
Written by William Blum
How could they have known?
by William Blum
It wasn't on Oprah or Fox News.
Read more: How could they have known?
Hillary Clinton and many other members of Congress claim that their support of the invasion of Iraq was based on faulty intelligence reports. How could they dispute the research and analysis of all those experts, so well trained and experienced in their fields?
Well, apart from the fact that American intelligence agencies and their reports were by no means of one opinion (one well-publicized CIA paper, for example, predicted all manner of devastating consequences which could result from an invasion and occupation) ... 
Apart from the fact that there were several public statements, including some on American TV, from Saddam Hussein's deputy prime minister, and other statements made by Iraqi scientists to American media and to American intelligence that Iraq no longer had any weapons of mass destruction ... 
Apart from the fact that UN nuclear inspectors had determined before the war that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program ... 
Apart from the fact that Colin Powell, speaking in February 2001 of US sanctions on Iraq, said: "And frankly they have worked. He [Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
Apart from all that, this question must be asked: What did the millions of Americans who marched against the war before it began know that all those members of Congress didn't know? At a minimum, they knew that nothing the Bush administration had told them came anywhere close to justifying dropping bombs on the innocent people of Iraq. They also knew that nothing the Bush administration had told them could be trusted. All it took to reach this advanced stage of awareness was not being born yesterday.
Created on Monday, 03 March 2008 01:12
Written by Charlie Hardy
KOSOVO, VENEZUELA, BOLIVIA, ECUADOR, ETC.
by Charles Hardy
Read more: Kosovo Cowboys and Caracas
watched four teenagers burst out laughing as they read the headline, â€œU.S. mistakenly kills nine civilians.â€ It was a great example of a gross understatement. There was nothing new in this â€œnewsâ€ article about the U.S.â€™s war in Iraq: simply the tip of an iceberg of dead civilians.
I wonder how those same teenagers would have reacted two weeks earlier (February 19) to the headline that the U.S. supported the independence of Kosovo?
Created on Sunday, 02 March 2008 16:36
Written by Tom Engelhardt
The Monster Must Die! Clemenstein, or the Post-Modern Prometheus
by Robert Lipsyte
he genius of Roger Clemens lies in the fact that he created the
monster of himself. He is both Dr. Clemenstein, inventor of a more
powerful man, and Clemenstein, the age-defying result, an ogre who
defines ur-masculinity today.
Read more: Frankenstein or Prometheus? The Monster Must Die!
He is a big, white Republican who makes
his own rules, lies, cheats, and mixes family values and intimidation.
Roger Clemens also manipulated and sacrificed associates to accomplish
his mission. He was able to do this not only because scientific
additions made him bigger and stronger, but because subtractions
enabled him to believe in the preeminence of the creature he had
become. The drugs went in and the soul came out.
We will see him go down.
Created on Sunday, 02 March 2008 15:29
Written by Gilad Atzmon
Send Them To Gaza: a Short Piece about Gimmicks and Education
Read more: Gaza: Hitler's Last Victims
by Gilad Atzmon
avid Cameron, the Tory leader, struggles these days. He faces demands for an apology, after he called government funding for school visits to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz a "gimmick".
Cameron accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government in a speech on Friday of being "obsessed with short-term gimmicks", including a recommendation to schools to make "trips to Poland".
The British government announced this month it would give 4.65 million pounds to the Holocaust Educational Trust set up in 1988 to educate young people about the Holocaust.
Created on Sunday, 02 March 2008 15:08
Written by Jim Miles
Canada, NATO, and Nuclear Terror
by Jim Miles
Each year I take several sabbatical retreats into wilderness country, to find the calmness and serenity that the thin veneer of civilized life cannot provide.
The wilderness may be wild and completely without Disneyesque happy endings, but it is not so savage as the atrocities that humanity visits upon itself in the name of various fine sounding philosophies and moralities.
Foolishly - after having spent a week without electronic input of any kind, a series of days of myself playing within the natural background that should be everyoneâ€™s heritage - I return to this civilization expecting it to somehow miraculously be better than when I turned away from it.
Read more: Canada, NATO, and Nuclear Terror