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Reviewing Muqtada

Reviewing Muqtada
by Jim Miles
An excellent work, Muqtada ends off right where current events pick up with the recent Iraqi army attacks ordered by Nuri al –Maliki in southern Iraq, Basra in particular. The media view that this was purely an Iraqi effort is put into place with one of author Patrick Cockburn’s closing comments that Maliki “had limited real power” and felt “that he could not move a company of troops without American permission.” 
This morning’s news on al-Jazeera fully demonstrates American involvement with the new surge into Sadr City - the Baghdad stronghold of Muqtada’s Mehdi army – supported by American Abrams tanks and aerial bombing.

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Flushing Finally 'Mainstream' Cred

Pity the Poor Mainstream Media!
by Ernest Partridge
It is very difficult for an old liberal like me to be sympathetic about the plight of the corporate media, given the way they have behaved of late. But the simple fact of the matter is that the commercial news media have fallen into a deep financial pit, and that is both good news and bad news for the political health of our republic.

In 2005, newspaper circulation declined over the previous year by 2.6 percent, with the largest declines posted in the major newspapers. Still worse, in 2007, newspaper advertising revenue fell by 9.4 percent. As a result of this shrinkage, in 2007 2,400 journalists lost their jobs, and 15,000 have been canned in the last decade.

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Grabbing Wall St. Crime by the Horns

Investigating Wall St. Crime
by Danny Schechter
The Question: As The Feds Broaden A Mortgage Fraud Probe, Will The White Collar Perps Of Subprime Crime Ever Do Time?

New York, May 6: There is a time in the life of every writer when you find yourself fearing that you have become a robo call phone machine—repeating the same message over and over with diminishing results.

That’s how I felt after eight months of silence after labeling the credit crisis a “subcrime” scandal, lashing out at the fraudulent activity at its core and calling for the investigation and prosecution of wrong doers. Almost no media outlets accepted this way of framing the problem, although, as usual, the British press was ahead of its American cousins in putting the blame on the bankers, not the borrowers.

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Air Force Uber Alles

The Air Force Above All: Dominating the Air, Space, and Cyberspace
by William J. Astore
When I first joined the Air Force, its mission statement was straightforward: to fly and fight. The recruiting slogan was upbeat: the Air Force was "a great way of life," and the ROTC program I enrolled in was the "gateway to a great way of life."

Mission statements and slogans are easy to poke fun at and shouldn't, perhaps, be taken too seriously. That said, the people who develop them do take them seriously, which is why they can't be ignored.

Consider the Air Force's new slogan: "Air Force -- Above All."

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Reviewing the New Imperialist

Reviewing the New Imperialist
by Jim Miles
The new imperialism is part a recognition that, yes, the United States is an imperial power as accepted and supported by various neocon pundits and apologists, and part a recognition that it takes a different form than previous empires, no longer so much as colonial-settlement projects but an economically-ideologically based empire.  
There is still very much a land base to the empire with over seven hundred fifty military establishments of one form or another in over one hundred thirty countries. Yet it is the institutional structuring of global enterprises that now determines the nature and kind of empire, with a somewhat different rationale behind these structures. 

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Gitmo: America's Pride, American's Shame

Ashamed to be American
by Mickey Z.
I was reading Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, by Murat Kurnaz, when I came across a passage about Kurnaz being subjected to gruesome electric shock torture at the hands of America’s brave volunteer warriors. After passing out and being tossed back in his cell to sleep it off, Kurnaz was soon awakened by harrowing screams.

He saw two valiant American soldiers hitting a man who was lying on the ground—his head wrapped in a blanket. Five more patriotic heroes eventually joined in on the beating, hitting the man’s head with the butts of their rifles and kicking him with their heavy boots. “Then,” says Kurnaz, “they walked away, leaving him lying there.”

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Perpetual War: Descending into Madness in Iraq -- and Beyond

The Last War and the Next One
Descending into Madness in Iraq -- and Beyond
by Tom Engelhardt
The last war won't end, but in the Pentagon they're already arguing about the next one.

Let's start with that "last war" and see if we can get things straight. Just over five years ago, American troops entered Baghdad in battle mode, felling the Sunni-dominated government of dictator Saddam Hussein and declaring Iraq "liberated." In the wake of the city's fall, after widespread looting, the new American administrators dismantled the remains of Saddam's government in its hollowed out, trashed ministries; disassembled the Sunni-dominated Baathist Party which had ruled Iraq since the 1960s, sending its members home with news that there was no coming back; dismantled Saddam's 400,000 man army; and began to denationalize the economy. Soon, an insurgency of outraged Sunnis was raging against the American occupation.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Sandra Finley, Jon Elmer, J9 for Mon. May 5, 2008

This Week on Gorilla Radio
by C. L. Cook
This week, Canadian citizen, Sandra Finley going against the numbers with the Canadian census; Jon Elmer keeping watch on the Palestinian genocide; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed with all that's good going-on in and around the south island in the coming week.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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by Jack Random
When John Edwards dropped out, I went on record as standing with Obama in the race for the White House 2008.  I made that decision on the basis of his early opposition to the war in Iraq, his commitment to the environment, health care, equal opportunity, reasoned diplomacy and equitable economic policy.  

I was careful to state that my allegiance was not unconditional.  I expected the candidate to strengthen his stands against the war and global trade policies.  I chose to pin my hopes on Obama rather than Clinton because Hillary had and has an integrity problem.  Like the second coming of John McCain, Hillary’s stand on the issues depends on what time of day it is.  More accurately, it seems to depend on poll numbers and the demographics of the next primary.  

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Five Ways to Think about Iran under the Gun

The Iranian Chessboard: Five Ways to Think about Iran under the Gun
by Pepe Escobar
More than two years ago, Seymour Hersh disclosed in the New Yorker how George W. Bush was considering strategic nuclear strikes against Iran. Ever since, a campaign to demonize that country has proceeded in a relentless, Terminator-like way, applying the same techniques and semantic contortions that were so familiar in the period before the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq.

The campaign's greatest hits are widely known: "The ayatollahs" are building a Shi'ite nuclear bomb; Iranian weapons are killing American soldiers in Iraq; Iranian gunboats are provoking U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf -- Iran, in short, is the new al-Qaeda, a terror state aimed at the heart of the United States. It's idle to expect the American mainstream media to offer any tools that might put this orchestrated blitzkrieg in context.

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Feeding Moloch

Feeding Moloch: Last Barriers to War on Iran Come Down        
by Chris Floyd
Anyone who thinks the Bush Administration does not intend to attack Iran either has rocks in the head or their head in the sand. The warmongers have raised their cacophonous howling of threat and accusation against Iran to entirely new levels. Every day now, some major Administration figure makes fiery charges that Iran is directly, deliberately killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq: a clear casus belli, if it were true, which it almost certainly is not.

(That is, it a clear cause for war in the perverted logic of Establishment discourse, which ignores the fact that U.S. forces have illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, and the fact the Bush Administration itself supports the same violent sectarian Shiite factions that Iran does in Iraq, factions responsible for killing thousands of innocent people. What's more, Bush and his beloved General Petraeus are now directly paying extremist Sunni factions, including members of Al Qaeda in Iraq, who are likewise engaged in murder, repression and "ethnic cleansing," like their Bush-supported Shiite counterparts. George W. Bush and his minions and handlers have deliberately, knowingly, purposely created a slaughterhouse in Iraq, and they keep it going 24/7 with the fresh meat of murdered innocents. This is the true context of the Administration's charges against Iran: mass murderers accusing others of malevolent intent.)

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