Category: Politics


How will your votes be counted?

“There’s been a lot – not enough, but a lot – of hoopla recently about the fealty of the new electronic voting systems with which we’ve been gifted this election season. It is fitting to see these machines as having spread across our land like the robotic monsters of the 1897 H.G. Wells novel, The War Of The Worlds. The science fiction metaphor collapses, however, when one realizes that these invasive machines bring a lot more fiction to the voting process than they do science.”

Click here to read the complete article.

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Video The Vote

America’s Lost Highway

LIKE GEORGE W’S

WAR ON TERROR

A MOEBIUS STRIP

IS A TWO

DIMENSIONAL SURFACE

WITH ONLY ONE  FACE.

A MOEBIUS STRIP REPRESENTS INFINITY.

WHEN YOU CUT A MOEBIUS  STRIP (Afghanistan) IN HALF LENGTHWAYS 

YOU GET A DOUBLE MOEBIUS STRIP (Afghanistan + Iraq).

IF YOU CUT IT AGAIN YOU GET A TRIPLE STRIP (Afghanistan + Iraq + Iran) AND SO ON INTO INFINITY.

WHEN YOU RIDE A MOEBIUS STRIP IT’S LIKE GOING BACK TO THE BEGINNING (Vietnam) IN SPACE ON A ONE-DIMENSIONAL SURFACE: YOU MUST CONTINUE AND CONTINUE AND YOU WILL NEVER CROSS YOUR STARTING POINT AGAIN.

LIKE LIFE ITSELF IT IS A PERPETUAL RESTART, NEVER FROM THE SAME POINT.

(click on image to enlarge)

The Tet offensive by the Viet Cong and the NVA in january 1968 was the flip-over point of US involvement in the Vietnam conflict, exposing the hollowness of Pentagon claims that America was in control of the war and precipitating American withdrawal seven years later.

When ABC’s George Stephanopolous asked George Bush to comment on Tom Friedman’s column comparing the dreadful events of the past week in Iraq with those in South-East Asia 38 years ago, the Commander in Chief replied: “He may be right…” before moving on quickly to firmer ground concerning al-Qaeda’s determination to see the coalition quit.

There are indeed similarities. Both conflicts, for example, are characterised by a huge civilian death toll and a deepening public sense that America is trapped in an unwinnable situation. There are, however, huge differences, as the BBC’s Matt Frei points out.

“At this stage in the Vietnam war, America had lost about 20,000 men. Iraq has cost the US 2,772 troops at the last count. But no war, including this one, can be measured solely by the number of casualties. The key equation is the sacrifice of casualties measured against the perceived benefits of the conflict. Is it worth it?”

He concludes that public opnion will not force an exit strategy any time soon, pointing out that whilst the war is patently unpopular levels of protest are nowhere near those precipitated by the Tet offensive.

“This is the world post 9/11. We are fighting a “global war on terror”. Polls show that most Americans believe the stakes of abandoning Iraq are too high, that the US has a responsibility to try to fix the problem -“we broke it, we own it!” – and that abandoning it could fuel a regional war with even more dire consequences. So the pain threshold in Iraq is surprisingly high, especially if it’s not your child getting killed”.

Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America’s War? As Many As 655,000

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War? 2785

Cost of America’s War in Iraq? $335,445,839,575

Voting against Global War On Humanity

The nine documents below point to an extremely high probability that the Bush administration will use tactical nuclear weapons in its planned offensive against Iran.

The outcome of the November election will be the deciding factor in whether Bush goes to war before he leaves office.

Nuclear Posture Review 2001,(exerpts): “Nuclear weapons… provide credible military options to deter a wide range of threats, including WMD and large-scale conventional military force …U.S. military forces themselves, including nuclear forces will now be used to dissuade adversaries from undertaking military programs or operations that could threaten U.S. interests or those of allies and friends… Composed of both non-nuclear systems and nuclear weapons, the strike element of the New Triad can provide greater flexibility in the design and conduct of miltary campaigns to defeat opponents decisively… Nuclear weapons could be employed against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack, (for example, deep underground bunkers or bio-weapon facilities)… North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya are among the countries that could be involved in immediate, potential, or unexpected contingencies.”

Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, 2005: “Geographic combatant commanders may request Presidential approval for use of nuclear weapons… To demonstrate US intent and capability to use nuclear weapons to deter adversary use of WMD”

Conditions under which nuclear weapons may be used: “For rapid and favorable war termination on US terms.”

National Security Strategy, 2006: “…the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively… using all elements of national power…Safe, credible and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role…”

National Military Strategy to Combat WMD, 2006: “Offensive operations may include kinetic (both conventional and nuclear)… to deter or defeat a WMD threat…”

Linton Brooks, NNSA Director, to Congress, 2004: “The Nuclear Posture Review represented a radical departure from the past and the most fundamental rethinking of the roles and purposes of nuclear weapons in almost a quarter-century… Instead of treating nuclear weapons in isolation, it considered them as an integrated component of American military power…To provide a practical means to implement this new, integrated aproach, the President established a new Strategic Command, with responsibility for global strike – both nuclear and non-nuclear …”

Gen. Cartwright, StratCom head, to Congress, 2005: “…We are active participants in all three legs of The New Triad: offensive nuclear and non-nuclear strike, … The New Triad concept will enable more precisely tailored global strike operations. With a full spectrum of nuclear, conventional and non-kinetic options available, regional combatant commanders will be enabled to achieve specific local effects against high value targets in the context of the strategic objective…”

Earth-penetrating nuclear weapons, FAS report: “The United States has one type of nuclear earth penetrator, the B61-11 bomb, which was accepted into the stockpile in September 2001” (Congressional Research Service)

National Research Council report: “in remote, lightly populated areas, casualties can range from as few as hundreds at low weapon yields to hundreds of thousands at high yields and with unfavorable winds”

“The Bush administration has radically redefined America’s nuclear use policy: US nuclear weapons are no longer regarded as qualitatively different from conventional weapons. Many actions of the administration in recent years strongly suggest that an imminent US nuclear use is being planned for, and this was confirmed by Bush’s explicit refusal to rule out a US nuclear strike against Iran. We have all been put on notice. The fact that North Korea is now a nuclear country does not change the agenda – quite the contrary.”

Click here to read Voting against nuclear war with Iran, by Jorge Hirsch

“Don’t Go” by Wulf Zendik

Ho Chang rests his rifle across a branch and focuses its sights on the American infantryman. Ho Chang is fourteen years old. He is a guerrilla fighter, a skilled assassin, a sniper. Concealed high in a tree — a tree that a short time ago he climbed in play — he reaches and methodically plucks a leaf from his line of fire. Killing is his single remaining pleasure.…

Don’t Go

Ho Chang is a fanatic. He became a fanatic six months earlier while watching his mother, father, and beloved sister run screaming from the pyre of curling flame and smoke that had been their home. He watched his loved ones, each a wild torch, stumbling crazily through the village and finally sprawling laying in the dust, eyeless hairless black smoking hulks that twitched and emitted sounds not human. In the terrible racking sobbing agony of his grief the boy knelt beside the charred remains of his family and pleaded that he too might die… Their hut had been struck by an American bomb….

Don’t Go

The American infantryman, Private Eugene Roberts, is in his first day of combat. Always a peaceful boy and raised in the quiet suburbs of Los Angeles, Private Roberts had never been involved in physical conflict until today. Today he has killed three people. A few hours earlier his squad was fired on from a dense thicket by a number of the enemy. The boy beside him suddenly stopped and turned, a puzzled expression on his face and a small red oozing hole in his forehead….

Don’t Go

Private Roberts, in a blurred rage of revenge, followed his combat training. Running, zigzagging, firing from the hip, he charged the thicket with his squad. A flurry of shouts, of confusion and violent hand-to-hand combat resulted in Private Roberts shooting two uniformed boys and pulling his bayonet from deep in the breast of a third, a slim uniformed enemy — a girl enemy, a girl younger than he. Their eyes had locked… His in young blue-irised horror… hers in brown graceful long-lashed acceptance that glazed to death while he watched and whimpered…..

Don’t Go

Alone now, lost from his squad, wandering aimlessly, he slogs through the lonely landscape. Dazed, oblivious, mumbling to himself, his mind has returned home… To Los Angeles, to the suburban high school he last year graduated from, to sixteen-year-old Donna who still attends the school — Donna who promised to wait, who writes long chatty lonesome letters on wide-ruled notebook paper. School days together, surfing together, high together, their clear eyes close staring inquisitive innocent learning one another, touching one another, loving one another in gentle tentative passion…..

Don’t Go

There’s others who wait: his younger brother who brags of a big brother hero in uniform. His father, veteran of an earlier war, proud of his fighting son. His mother, who successfully impersonalizes the war news and insures Eugene’s safety by prayer… perhaps a medal, perhaps a purple heart, a slight, romantic wound. His car waits parked in their suburban yard, and his surfboard — the board he decorated and glassed himself––waits stored in the garage rafters. Sometimes Mrs. Roberts goes to the garage and stands a moment looking up at the board…..

Don’t Go

Private Roberts’ head looms large, circle-framed in Ho Chang’s telescopic sights. The boy feels grim satisfaction at the imminent destruction of another American. He pauses… Deciding against a quick death, he lowers his sights on the enemy figure and slowly, skillfully squeezes the trigger… The rifle jumps, kicks solidly against his shoulder and a single violent crack of sound shatters the insect-buzzing bird-calling tropical day… The immediate absolute silence that follows hangs still and ominous on the warm heavy air….

Don’t Go

The hate-altered hollownose bullet makes a small smoldering hole in Private Roberts’ tunic, enters his side below the ribs and above the hip bone. Expanding rapidly it plows a deep hole through the abdomen. Private Roberts throws up his hands, and as a wind-up toy soldier whose spring has burst, staggers crazily wildly awkwardly. He does not fall. Stunned by the bullet’s slamming impact he fails to understand what has happened… But immediately the numbness begins to change to pain, a trail of dull pain across his belly. He looks down and in confused stupor unbelts his tunic….

Don’t Go

He stands there swaying in shock and bewildered comprehension while with fear fumbling fingers he tries to unbutton the shirt. Sweat pours over his face and his lips move trembling. The real pain hits him then. Its white hot sear is terrible. He rips frantically at the red seeping cloth — buttons fly — the shirt opens… He sees the wound from which his entrails now bulge, a wound that now sluggishly disgorges long grotesque ropes of mangled gut, of yellow dismembered quivering glands, of blue ruptured spurting arteries, of red severed nerve jumping muscles — a hanging mutilated mass of brown leaking intestine that dangles and splashes to the ground…..

Don’t Go

Private Roberts begins shaking his head in unbelieving protest. He mumbles, “No… No… Oh, God… No…” Swaying, crying, still moving his head in denial he clumsily grasps the mangled mess of maimed entrails and begins to stuff them back into himself. For a few seconds he plays the hopeless game. His legs begin to shake violently, to jump uncontrollably. They buckle….

Don’t Go

Still striving to hold his intestines within himself, Private Roberts slowly sinks to his knees. He kneels there, and his blood bleeds a clear crimson stain. He understands then the futility — dimly understands his death, as head bowed, he watches his weakened hands fall away and the bulging intestines emerge, go floating out like bright hued tentacles reaching across the void….

Don’t Go

Private Roberts’ face contorts with the last flashing emotions of his quick young life. No glory, no thoughts of country, no audience, no movie-soldier brave clenched-cigarette wisecracking death, no patriotic slogans in his fading mind. He sobs his last now, nods in final acceptance and as thousands and thousands of dying boy soldiers before him, he piteously asks for that woman who bore him and who eased each childhood pain — quietly softly he whispers, “Mom… Mother… I…” And upon the sunlit surface of a far distant native land only a red smear remains… Nineteen years of clean young promise gone. Shot to hell….

Download Don’t Go video presentation

© 2003 Zendik Arts

“WAR IS THE INSANE DEATH DANCE OF A PARANOID SOCIETY. WOULD YOU JOIN THE DANCE?

Don’t Go is a moving and graphic anti-war tale written during the Vietnam war by Wulf Zendik.When it was first released, it was published in newspaper form by both the Los Angeles Free Press and the London International Times. It was also published as a booklet, which was distributed nationally by Doubleday Press. In New York City, radio stations played readings of it over the air on Moratorium Day, with the Doors’ “The End” behind it.

Don’t Go has been translated into 5 languages and has won several international awards. Revel and Kyro have now animated this classic, rendering its message with even more immediacy and power.

“ONCE YOUTH REFUSES TO SLAUGHTER AND BE SLAUGHTERED, HOSTILE POWERS MUST SURRENDER TO REASON AND ABANDON THIS MAD DESTRUCTION”

Click here to watch DON’T GO (Real Player. Runtime 10 mins)

Changes

David Cameron’s first conference speech as Tory leader held few surprises. It was light on policy, with no mention of Europe, immigration or the Middle East. He was, however, full of praise for several of the Blair government’s achievements, pledging to uphold those labour-instigated measures that worked. Indeed, last night some senior politicians compared his performance to early Blair conference addresses (his pitch to his party that it has to come to terms with new realities). His “best is yet to come” punchline did come suspiciously close to Labour’s 1997 “things can only get better” handle.

Click here to watch Tony Blair and David Cameron, skilfully edited on Time Trumpet, singing David Bowie’s Changes.

“God gave the savior to the German people. We have faith, deep and unshakeable faith, that he was sent to us by God to save Germany”: Hermann Goering, speaking of Hitler

“Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this”: Lt Gen William Boykin, speaking of G. W. Bush, New York Times, 17 October 2003

“A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side”: Aristotle

“If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier – just so long as I’m the dictator”: George W. Bush, 18 December 2000

“International law? I better call my lawyer; he didn’t bring that up to me”: George W. Bush, 12 December 2003

Israel’s and America’s tactics in the Phony War On Terror:

TERROR BOMBINGS; CONDUCTING A BRUTAL WAR AGAINST CIVILIANS;

TRUMPED UP EXCUSES FOR INVASIONS;

DEHUMANIZATION OF THE ENEMY;
 
UNETHICAL AND ILLEGAL ENTRIES, SEARCHES AND DETENTIONS; USE OF TORTURE;

These are exactly the same tactics the Nazis used in WW2. They lost.

Click here to read The Axis of Powers by Joel Fischer in ICH

The eleventh hour

In a few hours (October 1), British Time, it will be my birthday. It may also be the last day on earth for Mirza Tahir Hussain.

It seems appeals to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf during his presidential visit to Britain have fallen on deaf ears.

Musharraf alone has the power to commute Mirza’s sentence but he “brushed past” demonstrators in Oxford today and refused to comment on the Leeds man’s case.

At a meeting in Brussels earlier this month, Liberal Democrat Euro MP Sajjad Karim, Chair of the Friends of Pakistan group, said:

“I, and the whole of the UK Liberal Democrat delegation, have been leading a European Parliament campaign to prevent what would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

“We have garnered the support of the European Parliament President, Josep Borrell, to see to it that, after spending half his life on death row, Mirza Tahir Hussain is granted clemency. It is the eleventh hour and time is running out to end the suffering of Mirza Tahir Hussain and for his distraught family and all of us who have been working tirelessly to secure his release.”

In response President Musharaff said:

“I have received those pleas and appreciate your concern for this individual. You must understand that I have to work within the constraints of the law, but I am willing to find a solution to this case that goes over and above what the courts are able to do.”

As time runs out for Mirza those words sound increasingly hollow. If I had faith in a supernatural God I would praying to him right now to intervene and save this man.

Sadly, I have no such faith. I do, however, believe that Mirza will survive. Musharraf needs a “distraction” from a couple of “higher profile” issues at this time. Perhaps an act of clemency towards the man from Leeds will provide it? 

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