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Democrat! Grassroots and the Party, 1964 and 2008

A New Moment?
The Grassroots and the Party, 1964 and 2008
by Laura Flanders
The swirl of the primary season is intoxicating and the media love it. If the ratings records set by the recent political debates are any indication, the ongoing primary battle may yet save cable TV.
"Super Tuesday" -- the night that was supposed to wrap everything up -- didn't (for either party). Clearly, this extended nomination contest is getting people excited, but will that excitement translate into substantive change -- for Democrats in particular? The past offers some hard-knocks lessons worth thinking about.

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Bill C-3 Sails Through the House

Bill C-3 Sails Through the House
by C. L. Cook 
These are odious days to be a Canadian: The country fighting a shooting war halfway around the world for reasons few paying for the killing understand, the long tradition of peacemaking and peacekeeping a distant memory; political parties on both sides of the aisle of the House of Commons sharing in common the desire to continue Canada down a course determined from beyond the border; more military, more fighting, more killing; ruled over by an imperious minority government that thumbs its nose at the citizenry, confident the "opposition" will nary oppose; citizens turned over to torturers, war resisters and political refugees refused sanctuary and sent packing; wars on crime and drugs brought home to accompany those fought far away; no comment made on war crimes committed by allies, though their victims be Canadian; and now the passing breezily through the Parliament of Bill C-3, or the so-called Security Certificates, a newly improved 'Anti-terror' bill that would deny Canadians the presumption of innocence, an open trial, the right to know one's accusers and to equal access to evidence presented against you; just as its predecessor terror legislation, quashed last year by the Supreme Court of Canada as unconstitutional, did.
That bit of bad fish is due thrown out for good at month's end, an excuse the Liberals have been quick to claim countenances their leader's tactical retreat on the notion of universal Justice in favour of political expediency.

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Bringing Terror to the Election Table

Injecting 'Terror' into Campaign 2008
by Robert Parry
As Campaign 2008 reaches a critical point, George W. Bush’s top intelligence officials are raising new alarms about a revitalized al-Qaeda recruiting Westerners, possibly including Americans, to carry out terror attacks inside the United States.

At a Feb. 5 hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bush’s Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said al-Qaeda was refining “the last key aspect of its ability to attack the U.S.” by training Western recruits, who could blend in with American society and carry out attacks on U.S. targets.

In a later interview with the New York Times, an unnamed “senior intelligence official” added that these Westerners – “most likely including American citizens” – were undergoing training at al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, though the official added there was no evidence that the operatives had yet reached the United States. [NYT, Feb. 6, 2008]

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Why There is no "Hope" for "Change"

MoveOn’s Obama Endorsement
by Joshua Frank
MoveOn is mobilizing. The “antiwar” group’s Political Action members across the country voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Democratic candidacy of Barack Obama last week.
MoveOn claims to have 1.7 million members in states that vote in Tuesday’s primaries. “[Our] endorsement means a fresh infusion of people-power for Obama in the critical days before Super Tuesday,” read the organization’s press release. “MoveOn will immediately connect thousands of progressive activists into the Obama” volunteer operation.
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Criminal Intent: America's Air War over Baghdad

Criminal Intent: Behind the Latest Baghdad Bombing        
by Chris Floyd     
If the latest mass-murdering market bombing in Iraq was indeed caused by using two women with Down syndrome (or otherwise mentally impaired) as the bomb carriers, then it was a particularly heinous act. (Of course, all terrorist attacks -- such as dropping 40,000 pounds of bombs in just 10 minutes on the Iraqi town of Arab Jabour, as American forces did last month -- are heinous, inhuman war crimes.)

But given the extensive, relentless "psychological operations" that the Pentagon runs in Iraq (and against the American people), and given the vast number of brazen lies and false stories that have long flooded the media throughout the "war on terror" -- and given that the gang in charge of Washington now is essentially the same one that used a professional PR firm to peddle the "Iraqis pulling babies from incubators" story to help sell the first Gulf War -- the reports about the identities and mental states of the alleged suicide bombers in Baghdad's al-Ghazl pet market should be taken with several truckloads of salt, until such time as they can be verified by independent sources.

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NATO's Quagmiristan

NATO's Afghan Quagmire
by Patrick Seale
NATO -- the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- is the world’s most powerful military alliance. It has two million men under its command, a thousand helicopters and countless other military resources. Yet it is facing failure, if not actual defeat, in Afghanistan. Why?

The answer is simple. The Afghan war was misconceived from the very start. It was decided in rage and haste by Washington, without proper thought or planning, in response to al-Qaida’s 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

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Mad Money: Creative Destruction

MEDIA ALERT: 'Creative Destruction' - The Madness of the Global Economy
by Media Lens
Watching the corporate media report the 'financial crisis' is instructive. From the perspective of power, it is important that a steadying hand is applied to the tiller of news and commentary on the crisis, and the global economy itself.

And so columnist Martin Wolf took a 'measured' view in the Financial Times. There have been 100 "significant" banking crises in the past thirty years, he noted, making them almost routine. Authorities have had to intervene to "rescue" the US financial system from four crises over that period: the developing country debt and also the "savings and loan" crises of the 1980s; the commercial property crisis of the early 1990s; and now the subprime and credit crisis of 2007-08.
As Wolf observed correctly of the banking sector: "No industry has a comparable talent for privatising gains and socialising losses."

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Womanhood and Hillary Clinton

Womanhood, Hillary Clinton, and Structural Change
by Laura Flanders
I wish I felt what Robin Morgan feels. "Our President Ourselves!" she cheers, in a rousing pitch for Hillary Clinton.
"We need to rise in furious energy -- as we did when courageous Anita Hill was so vilely treated in the US Senate, as we did when desperate Rosie Jimenez was butchered by an illegal abortion, as we did and do for women globally who are condemned for trying to break through."

Morgan asks, "Why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the centuries, even millennia of struggle that got us this far, as black Americans women and men are justly proud of their struggles?"

I wish I felt her poet's passion for Clinton as a player in the global women's movement, but I don't. Indeed, I'm reminded that there are parts to be proud of in this movement of ours, and less attractive parts, of which Hillary Clinton, I'm sad to say, constantly reminds me.

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The American Economic Death Spiral

Why the United States Really Has Gone Broke
by Chalmers Johnson
The military adventurers in the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups thought that they were the “smartest guys in the room” -- the title of Alex Gibney’s prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron.
The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.

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Agreements in Baghdad

Lethal Agreements in Baghdad
by Layla Anwar
Oh, please listen to this puppet with his three day unshaved beard and his silver ring from Qum. Listen to what the puppet has to say about "Al-Qaeda."
"It is time to launch a decisive battle against terrorism. The battle that our armed forces will launch will destroy terrorism and the criminal gangs and outlaws in Nineveh." And he adds; "so we can get rid of terrorism and the remnants of the former (Saddam Hussein) regime..."

In another statement, the puppet said "I swear on the blood (of the victims), we will achieve all our goals in securing a stable Iraq. We will continue to ... crush the terrorists and target their strongholds..."

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Gitmo Child Trial to Go Ahead?

Pretrial hearing set for Omar Khadr
Lawyers to seek child soldier ruling
by CBC News
Lawyers for Omar Khadr will ask the U.S. military to drop charges faced by the young Canadian as they attend a pretrial hearing at the Guantanamo Naval Base on Monday.

They have maintained that Khadr, the only Canadian being held at the military detention facility in Cuba, should go free because trying him for crimes he allegedly committed as a minor contravenes international law.

Khadr, 23, has been in custody at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. He was arrested at age 15, following a shootout in Afghanistan.

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