Category Archives: Political News

14 identifying characteristics of fascism

For those of you who think it can’t happen here I reprint the 14 identifying characteristics of fascism by Laurence W. Britt

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

Feds Probe Blackwater Weapons Smuggling

Associated Press  |  September 22, 2007

Feds Probe Blackwater Weapons Smuggling

WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the investigation with help from Pentagon and State Department auditors, who have concluded there is enough evidence to file charges, the officials told The Associated Press. Blackwater is based in Moyock, N.C.

A spokeswoman for Blackwater did not return calls seeking comment Friday. The U.S. attorney for the eastern district of North Carolina, George Holding, declined to comment, as did Pentagon and State Department spokesmen.

Officials with knowledge of the case said it is active, although at an early stage. They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, which has heightened since 11 Iraqis were killed Sunday in a shooting involving Blackwater contractors protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Baghdad.

The officials could not say whether the investigation would result in indictments, how many Blackwater employees are involved or if the company itself, which has won hundreds of millions of dollars in government security contracts since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, is under scrutiny.

Blackwater Atrocities

Mercenaries paid with our tax dollars opened fire on Iraqi civilians recently. They killed 8 people and shot 13 more.
           
“They are untouchable,” one private soldier told the Los Angeles Times. “They’ve shot up other private security contractors, Iraqi military, police and civilians.”1
Now the Iraqi government has had enough, and has ordered Blackwater to stop work in the country. This morning the Iraqi Prime Minister demanded the U.S. use someone else to guard their VIP’s.2 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has promised an investigation, but that’s not enough.

          http://act.truemajorityaction.org/o/2/t/50/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=24Most of Blackwater’s work is guarding officials from the State Department. They are among the most high-profile mercenaries working in Iraq, but hardly the only ones. An astounding 120,000 “private security contractors” are in Iraq, 48,000 of them working as combat soldiers.3 They get paid far more than real soldiers, their deaths are not included in the official casualty counts, and they are essentially accountable to no one, according to state department officials.

This is still America. We can’t hire mercenaries to fire on civilians with no accountability.

Tell Sec. Rice to put an end to it, and follow the Iraqi government’s demand that Blackwater leave the country.

Bush and History don't mix

Guest article from HumptyDumpty was pushed

George Bush and other Iraq War supporters have argued that if we withdraw from Iraq the result will be like the killing fields of Cambodia — an odd comparison considering that the US has direct responsibility for that holocaust. Here are the facts:* The killing fields were real. The genocide against their own people was committed by the Khmer Rouge.* The Vietnamese — the Communist Vietnamese — were the people who went in and put a stop to it.* The United States then supported the Khmer Rouge.

Here’s how that came to happen.

The United States got involved in the war in Vietnam in an attempt to keep South Vietnam from going communist. Which it would have if nationwide elections had been held as promised.

Cambodia is next to Vietnam. It was ruled by Prince Sihanouk. He attempted to be neutral. Both sides abused that neutrality.

The North Vietnamese send arms, support and men through Cambodia on the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” to go around South Vietnamese and American forces. They also used Cambodian ports.

Life without civil liberties

Dear friend,
If you sent an email in 2003, there’s a good chance your government grabbed a copy of it. That’s because in 2003, the National Security Agency set up a secret, 24-by-48 foot room in a  downtown San Francisco telecommunications building to tap into one of the nation’s largest Internet data hubs and illegally retrieve millions of emails and other communications.(1) This is not a conspiracy theory; according to the sworn affidavit of an AT&T technician, this actually happened.

Tomorrow a federal court will hear two lawsuits against the NSA’s unconstitutional “special project.” The arguments will be long and drawn out, but in a sense our own Congress has already made it moot — just before leaving on vacation they voted to make the administration’s spying programs legal.(2)

Congress will re-consider that legal protection in just six months, so we need to show them NOW that this is not the behavior we will accept. No more secret rooms siphoning off our e-mails and telephone calls.

     Tell Congress to take back their permission for warrantless spying on Americans
    
     http://act.truemajorityaction.org/o/2/t/1/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=1185

800 gather to mourn peace activist Oda

A memorial service was held Saturday for award-winning writer and peace activist Makoto Oda, who died of stomach cancer on July 30 at age 75.

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe, novelist and playwright Hisashi Inoue, critic Shuichi Kato, and Takako Doi, a former leader of the Social Democratic Party, were among 800 people who gathered at the Aoyama Sogisho funeral hall in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

Later, about 500 mourners marched to a nearby subway station carrying banners declaring, “We will take on your wishes for anti-war movements” and singing “We Shall Overcome,” a protest song popular in the 1960s.

At the memorial service, philosopher Shunsuke Tsurumi compared Oda’s influence on events to that of John Manjiro, who served as an important bridge between Japan and the United States as Japan opened its doors to the world toward the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Oda formed the Beheiren, an anti-war citizens group, in 1965 with other activists, including Tsurumi, to protest the Vietnam War.

Make Love Not War in San Francisco

PRESS Release:
Thursday, April 17,2003
Make Love Not War in San Francisco
from the Butterfly Gardeners Association

Musicians for Peace

On a bright Spring day on a San Francisco nude beach, the latest Baring Witness peace action took place, with over 100 men and women lying naked in the sand to form the words Make Love Not War.

The participants gathered on Baker Beach, near the Golden Gate Bridge as beach-goers and National Park police looked on. After an inspirational ceremony in a circle, the organizers, Alan Moore and Nicole Savage, arranged the men and women into the letters as several photographers and videographers recorded the event.

Moore organized the event with Nicole Savage to occur on Saturday, April 19 to mark the one month anniversary of the US incursion and start of the war in Iraq. Nicole’s website at sfheart.com was the first to chronicle the
‘Naked4Peace’ events that Baring Witnes began.

The organizers said that while the war in Iraq is winding down, there is still a need to head off future military action around the world. Other participants said that the world’s violent history has reached a point where the only sustainable, survivable future is one in which peaceful solutions to political differences are found.

Is the draft about to be reinstated?

The US is running out of soldiers. Last April the military extended the tours of duty for active-duty soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from 12 months to 15 months while calling many other troops back after 9 or 10 months stateside. The soldiers had been furloughed with the promise of a year stay at home. The current surge in Iraq has further depleted the strategic reserves of the US armed forces. Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 17, 2007 said, “We have a strategy right now that is outstripping the means to execute it,”

Volunteers are no longer sufficient to maintain the numbers necessary to continue fighting the war in Iraq and insure the continued protection of American citizens. Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an international relations professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, said, “For the first time since Vietnam, we are caught with no strategic reserve. We simply do not have a strategic fallback position for the crisis that will come inevitably,” There are only two ways to increase the size of the military – improved recruitment including increased financial incentives or reinstating the draft.

I can think of two reasons recruitment will not have a significant impact.

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