Cindy Sheehan demonstrates in Cuba against Guantanamo Bay torture camp


Guantanamo Bay torture, cartoon

From daily The Age in Australia:

Havana

January 8, 2007

ANTI-WAR activist Cindy Sheehan has defied a US ban on travel to Cuba, flying to Havana to join protesters demanding the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terrorism suspects.

Ms Sheehan will join a march to the US naval base in eastern Cuba where about 395 suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters are being held.

The march is part of planned international protests against the prison camp on Thursday, five years after it opened with the first detainees flown in from the US-led war in Afghanistan.

Washington has faced steady criticism over Guantanamo from rights groups and foreign governments because most of the detainees have not been charged and due to reports of prisoner abuse.

Americans who travel to Cuba without special licences from the US Government can be fined thousands of dollars.

“I’m not afraid. What is most important is the inhumanity that my country is perpetrating in Guantanamo,” Ms Sheehan told reporters on arrival in Cuba.

“If I worried about reprisals I wouldn’t be doing anything … I think it is time for people to step up and try to stop this.”

The Cuban Government, which has long condemned the prison as a concentration camp run by its political enemy, has allowed the protesters to march to the security perimeter of the US enclave.

The group of 12 marchers will include former detainee Asif Iqbal, a British citizen who was released after two years with no charges.

Ms Sheehan, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, became a central figure in the US anti-war movement in 2005 after camping outside President George Bush’s Texas ranch. She has been arrested at a number of protests.

Fellow peace activist Ann Wright, a retired US colonel and diplomat who resigned over the invasion of Iraq, said: “We’re here as American citizens to say that this prison needs to be shut down.”

See also here.

Update: here.

Worldwide anti Guantanamo Bay camp demonstrations: here.

And here.

London demonstration: here.

And here.

Edinburgh demonstration: here.

Canada’s Guantanamo: here.

US rock band Audioslave concert in Cuba: here.

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39 thoughts on “Cindy Sheehan demonstrates in Cuba against Guantanamo Bay torture camp

  1. *Round Up the Usual Lawyers*
    Posted by: “hapi22″ hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:36 am (PST)

    Be very afraid.

    When we have a government that decides: “First the verdict and then the
    trial,” we are in Extremely Dangerous territory.

    The whole concept of our justice system is that NO one is presumed
    guilty, First, there is a trial and then a verdict; there is a
    presumption of innocence. It is the government’s JOB to prove guilt.

    This odious lawyer seems to think he is God or Bush is God, and they
    both “know” who is guilty and who is not — without any trial.

    We do NOT know who is guilty and who is not unless there are charges, a
    trial, evidence, testimony, and a verdict. Then we punish the guilty,
    not before.

    I can only assume the Bush Boys KNOW they cannot prove guilt in many of
    these cases and do not want to have to admit they have incarcerated some
    innocent people along with the culprits. So, now, their goal is to
    SILENCE the ones they have no proof about, so the world can never know
    the evil Bush and his gang have done.

    Be very afraid.

    Jesus said, “Whatsoever you do unto the least of these my brethren, you
    do unto me….”

    Pastor Martin Niemoller said:

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–

    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak
    out–
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me–
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    The point I make is that evil regimes ALWAYS go after society’s LEAST
    popular groups first, and then they come for YOU.

    ———————————————————-

    *Round Up the Usual Lawyers*

    The New York Times, Editorial
    January 13, 2007

    No one who has followed President Bush’s policies on detainees
    should be surprised when a member of his team scorns American notions of
    justice. But even by that low standard, the administration’s new attack
    on lawyers who dare to give those prisoners the meager representation
    permitted them is contemptible.

    Speaking this week on Federal News Radio, a Web site and AM radio
    station offering helpful hints for bureaucrats and helpful news for the
    administration, Cully Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense
    for detainee affairs, tried to rally American corporations to stop doing
    business with law firms that represent inmates of the Guantánamo
    internment camp.

    It does not seem to matter to Mr. Stimson, who is a lawyer, that a great
    many of those detainees did not deserve imprisonment, let alone the
    indefinite detention to which they are subjected as “illegal enemy
    combatants.” And forget about the fundamental American right that
    everyone should have legal counsel, even the most heinous villain.

    In his interview, reported yesterday by The Washington Post editorial
    page, Mr. Stimson rattled off some of the most respected law firms in
    the country that, after initial hesitation, have courageously respected
    that right. He called it “shocking” that they were “representing
    detainees down there” and suggested that when corporate America got word
    of this dastardly behavior, “those C.E.O.’s are going to make those law
    firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable
    firms.” He added: “We want to watch that play out.”

    When his interviewer asked who was paying these firms for the work, Mr.
    Stimson said, “It’s not clear, is it?”

    Actually, it is quite clear. Mr. Stimson surely knows that the vast
    majority of those cases are being handled for free by law firms that
    have not signed on to Mr. Bush’s post-9/11 revision of the American
    rules of justice. Still, he persisted, saying some lawyers were
    “receiving monies from who knows where.”

    The interview was a greatest-hits remix of Bush administration nonsense
    about Guantánamo, including Mr. Stimson’s message to corporate
    executives that lawyers “are representing the very terrorists who hit
    their bottom line in 2001.” The only terrorists at Guantánamo associated
    with 9/11 were transferred there recently after being held for years in
    secret C.I.A. prisons where no lawyer could enter.

    Not only do we find Mr. Stimson’s threats appalling, we differ with him
    about 9/11. The tragedy and crime of that day was that thousands of
    innocents were slaughtered — not that it hurt some companies’ profit
    margins.

    Read this at:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/13/opinion/13sat1.html?pagewanted=print

  2. Subject: Worldwide Protests to Demand End of US Guantanamo Prison

    > Amnesty International Press release
    > 11.01.2007

    > On the fifth anniversary of the Guantánamo Bay detention
    > centre, millions of Amnesty International members and supporters are
    > mobilizing around the world in a series of demonstrations and
    > activities calling for the US authorities to close the prison camp
    > once and for all.
    > As detentions at the US Naval Base move into their sixth year, the
    > organization also called for all detainees to be given a fair trial
    > without further delay or to be released. Demonstrations and other
    > events are being held in cities across the world in more than 20
    > countries from Washington DC to Tokyo and from Tel Aviv to London,
    > Tunis, Madrid and Asunción.
    > “No individual can be placed outside the protection of the rule
    > of law, and no government can hold itself above the rule of law. The
    > US government must end this travesty of justice,” said Amnesty
    > International’s Secretary General Irene Khan.
    > “Equally, it is not enough for world leaders to express concern about
    > Guantánamo and carry on business as usual with the USA. The
    > international community must actively press the USA to close
    > Guantánamo and restore respect for international law.”
    > “With every passing day, the cruelty of this indefinite detention
    > regime ratchets up another notch,” said Ms. Khan. “Guantánamo
    > has come to symbolize the hollowness of the US government’s
    > promise that respect for human dignity and the rule of law would lie
    > at the heart of its response to the attacks of 11 September 2001.
    > Torture, humiliation, discrimination, bypassing of the courts and
    > disregard for treaty obligations, with almost total impunity, are all
    > now among the entries in the Guantánamo logbook.”
    > The first of more than 750 detainees of some 45 nationalities who
    > have been taken to the base arrived on 11 January 2002. Detainees
    > have included children as young as 13, people who were simply in the
    > wrong place at the wrong time, and scores of individuals handed over
    > to the USA from Pakistan or Afghanistan in return for bounties of
    > thousands of dollars.
    > Five years on, nearly 400 people are held in Guantánamo. None
    > has been tried. None has appeared in court and all are unlawfully
    > held. None of them know for how long they will be there, itself a
    > form of psychological abuse in addition to the physical abuse
    > detainees have been subjected to. By association, their families too
    > are subjected to the cruelty of this virtually incommunicado island
    > incarceration.
    > The US authorities have branded the detainees as “enemy combatants”
    > in a global conflict. That the world is seen as the “battlefield” is
    > illustrated by the fact that those held in Guantánamo have
    > included individuals picked up in Gambia, Bosnia, Mauritania, Egypt,
    > Indonesia, and Thailand as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    > The CIA is known to have operated an interrogation facility at
    > Guantánamo, although the agency’s activities remain
    > shrouded in secrecy. Amnesty International has raised allegations
    > with the US authorities that agents of other countries, including
    > China and Libya, have been in the base and participated in
    > ill-treatment.
    > Some of the detainees have been held in CIA-run secret prisons in
    > other parts of the world before being transported to
    > Guantánamo.
    > “Guantánamo is a central hub in the web of secret prison sites
    > and renditions which has been spun around the world by the USA with
    > the complicity of other governments including in Europe, the Middle
    > East and North Africa,” Ms Khan said. “It is high time the USA and
    > its partners in crime ended this web of secrecy and abuse.”
    > “Far from strengthening security, these practices have weakened human
    > rights and the rule of law, which are the best antidote to
    > insecurity, and have undermined the moral authority of the USA to
    > speak on other human rights issues such as Darfur.”
    > The US government has not only ignored international human rights
    > standards, it has also blocked judicial oversight by its own courts.
    > Last October, President Bush signed into law the Military Commissions
    > Act which strips the US courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus
    > appeals from foreign detainees held as “enemy combatants”, including
    > in Guantánamo. Habeas corpus is a fundamental safeguard
    > against arbitrary detention and torture. Amnesty International is
    > campaigning for restoration of habeas corpus and repeal or
    > substantial amendment of the Military Commissions Act.


    > HREA – http://www.hrea.org
    >
    > Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) is an international
    > non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the
    > training of activists and professionals; the development of educational
    > materials and programming; and community-building through on-line
    > technologies.

  3. *Law fiurms that represent Gitmo prisoners…*
    Posted by: “hapi22″ hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:37 pm (PST)

    Things come full circle …

    ———————————————————-

    *Law firms that represent Gitmo prisoners …*

    by Josh Marshall
    Talking Points Memo
    Jan. 14, 2007

    Charles Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee
    affairs, says there should be a boycott of law firms defending Gitmo
    detainees. Too bad one of those firms, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
    Garrison is representing Scooter Libby in his trial that starts Monday.

    Guess Scooter won’t be honoring the boycott.

    Read this WITH LINKS at:

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/011913.php

  4. *The Imperial Presidency*
    Posted by: “hapi22″ hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg

    Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:03 pm (PST)

    Definitely worth reading.

    ———————————————————-

    *The Imperial Presidency*

    by Dahlia Lithwick
    The Washington Post
    January 14, 2007

    Why is the United States poised to try Jose Padilla as a dangerous
    terrorist, long after it has become clear that he was just the wrong
    Muslim in the wrong airport on the wrong day?

    Why is Washington still holding hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay,
    Cuba, long after years of interrogation and abuse have established that
    few, if any, of them are the deadly terrorists they have been held out
    to be?

    [NOTE FROM ME: Approx. 350 Guantanamo prisoners have been
    released and approx. another 350 remain in prison there.]

    And why is President Bush still issuing grandiose and provocative
    signing statements, the latest of which claims that the executive branch
    has the power to open mail when it sees fit?

    I once believed that the common thread here is presidential blindness —
    an extreme executive-branch myopia that leads the chief executive to
    believe that these futile measures are integral to combating terrorism;
    a self-delusion that precludes Bush and his advisers from recognizing
    that Padilla is a chump and Guantanamo Bay is just a holding pen for a
    jumble of innocent or half-guilty wretches.

    [NOTE FROM ME: In the early days after Guantanamo was opened
    to house these prisoners, Rumsfeld declared they “are the
    worst of the worst.” Of course, we all now know that was NOT
    true … many if not most of them had been rounded up
    willy-nilly OR sold to the US military by rival warlords in
    Afghanistan to get rid of their enemies — and make some money
    doing it.]

    But it has finally become clear that the goal of these efforts isn’t to
    win the war against terrorism; indeed, nothing about Padilla, Guantanamo
    Bay or signing statements moves the country an inch closer to
    eradicating terrorism. The object is a larger one: expanding executive
    power, for its own sake.

    Two scrupulously reported pieces on the Padilla case are illuminating.
    On Jan. 3, Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio interviewed Mark
    Corallo, who was spokesman for then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft,
    about the behind-the-scenes decision-making in the Padilla case — a
    case that has lolled through the federal courts for years. According to
    Totenberg, when the Supreme Court sent Padilla’s case back to the lower
    federal courts on technical grounds in 2004, the Bush administration’s
    sole concern was preserving its constitutional claim that it could hold
    citizens as enemy combatants. “Justice Department officials warned that
    if the case went back to the Supreme Court, the administration would
    almost certainly lose,” she reports, which is why Padilla was dragged
    back to the lower courts. Her sources further confirmed that “key
    players in the Defense Department and Vice President Cheney’s office
    insisted that the power to detain Americans as enemy combatants had to
    be preserved.”

    [NOTE FROM ME: Heil Hitler, er, Cheney.]

    Deborah Sontag’s story on Padilla in the Jan. 4 New York Times makes the
    same point: He was moved from military custody to criminal court only as
    “a legal maneuver that kept the issue of his detention without charges
    out of the Supreme Court.” This is why the White House moved Padilla
    from the [military] brig to the high court to the federal courts and
    back to a Florida trial court: They were shopping for the best place to
    enshrine the right to detain him indefinitely. Their claims about
    Padilla’s dirty bomb, known to be FALSE, were a means of advancing their
    claims about executive power. When confronted with the possibility of
    losing on those claims, they pulled him back to the criminal courts so
    as not to lose powers they’d already won.

    This need to preserve new legal ground also explains the continued
    operation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Last week marked
    the fifth anniversary of the camp that — as then-Defense Secretary
    Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in 2002 — houses only “the worst of the
    worst.” Now that more than half of them have been released (the best of
    the worst?) and even though only about 80 will ever see trials, the camp
    remains open. Why? Civil rights groups worldwide and even close U.S.
    allies such as Denmark, England and Germany clamor for its closure.

    But Guantanamo Bay stays open for the same reason that Padilla stays on
    trial. Having claimed the right to label enemy combatants and detain
    them indefinitely without charges, the Bush administration cannot
    retreat from that position without ceding ground. The president is as
    much a prisoner of Guantanamo Bay as the detainees are.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Well, not exactly. Bush gets to eat steaks and
    travel freely. The same cannot be said of the Gitmo
    prisoners.]

    Having gone nose to nose with Congress over his authority to craft
    stripped-down courts, guaranteed to produce guilty verdicts, Bush cannot
    call off the trials. The endgame in the war against terrorism isn’t
    holding the line against terrorists. It’s holding the line on
    hard-fought claims to limitless presidential authority.

    Enter these signing statements. The most recent of the
    all-but-meaningless postscripts Bush tacks onto legislation gives him
    the power to “authorize a search of mail in an emergency” to “protect
    human life and safety” and for “foreign intelligence collection.” There
    is some debate about whether the president has that power already, but
    it misses the point. The purpose of these signing statements is to plant
    a flag on the moon — one more way for the chief executive to stake out
    the furthest corners in the field of his desired powers.

    Last spring, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer profiled David Addington,
    Cheney’s chief of staff and legal adviser. Addington’s worldview in
    brief: a single-minded devotion to something called the New Paradigm, a
    constitutional theory of virtually limitless executive power, wherein
    “the President, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority to disregard
    virtually all previously known legal boundaries, if national security
    demands it,” Mayer describes.

    Bush administration insiders told Mayer that Addington and Cheney had
    been “laying the groundwork” for a vast expansion of presidential power
    long BEFORE 9/11. And in 2002, the vice president told ABC News that
    the presidency was “weaker today as an institution because of the unwise
    compromises that have been made over the last 30 to 35 years.”
    Rebuilding that presidency has been their goal for decades.

    The image of Addington scrutinizing “every bill before President Bush
    signs it, searching for any language that might impinge on Presidential
    power,” as Mayer puts it, can be amusing, sort of like the mother of the
    bride obsessing over a tricky seating chart. But this zeal to restore an
    all-powerful presidency traps the Bush administration in its own worst
    legal sinkholes. This newfound authority — to maintain a disastrous
    Guantanamo Bay, to stage rights-free tribunals and to hold detainees
    forever — is the kind of power that Richard M. Nixon could have only
    dreamed about, and cannot be let go.

    In a heartbreaking letter from Guantanamo Bay last week, published in
    the Los Angeles Times, inmate Jumah al-Dossari writes: “The purpose of
    Guantanamo is to destroy people, and I have been destroyed.” I fear he
    is wrong. The destruction of Dossari, Padilla, Zacarias Moussaoui,
    Yasser Esam Hamdi and some of our most basic civil liberties was never a
    purpose or a goal — it was a byproduct. The true purpose is more
    abstract and more tragic: to establish a clunky post-Watergate dream of
    an imperial presidency, whatever the human cost may be.

    – – – – – – – – —
    dahlia.lithwick@hotmail.com

    Dahlia Lithwick covers legal affairs for Slate, the online magazine at
    http://www.slate.com.

    Read this at:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/12/AR2007011201952.html

  5. Posted by: “Corey” cpmondello@yahoo.com cpmondello
    Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:57 pm (PST)

    So all those movies, documentaries, books and school classes where I was told about how awful other countries were for detaining people, against thier will, when they have done nothing wrong are now to include the USA?

    *********

    Guantanamo Detainees Can’t Challenge Their Cases in U.S. Courts, Appellate Panel Rules

    A divided judicial panel ruled this morning that hundreds of foreign nationals detained for as long as five years at a military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not have rights to challenge their indefinite imprisonment through the U.S. court system.
    In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that Congress’s 2006 Military Commissions Act firmly blocked detainees from trying to appeal the president’s decision to hold them without charges and without any promise of release.

    Full story;

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/20/AR2007022000490.html?sub=AR

  6. Cuban Oil Exports threaten U.S. Embargo
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon@earthlink.net redwoodsaurus
    Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:46 am (PST)
    Cuban Oil Exports Threaten U.S.
    Embargo

    The Canadian energy company Sheritt International plans to
    export Cuban oil for the first time, a move that could
    complicate U.S. efforts to enforce the trade embargo against
    the communist nation.

    Sheritt, in a joint venture with the Cuban government, has
    been drilling for oil in Cuba for more than 10 years, and
    production now provides almost half of the country’s
    petroleum needs, according to the Miami Herald. Refined
    products from Venezuela account for the rest.

    Meanwhile domestic demand for crude has dropped because
    Cuba is increasingly using diesel generators for electricity
    production.

    A U.S. Geological Survey report has estimated that petroleum
    reserves in the North Cuba Basin could total 4.6 billion
    barrels.

    Cuba’s state oil company has signed a deal with China’s
    Sinopec to explore for oil, and drilling is currently underway
    in waters just 60 miles off the coast of Florida.

    “Inevitably wherever this crude oil is processed in the
    Caribbean region, there is a high probability that its
    byproducts will find their way into the U.S. market,” oil expert
    Jorge Pinon, a senior researcher at the Institute for Cuban
    and Cuban-American Affairs at the University of Miami, told
    the Herald.

    The American trade embargo bans U.S. companies from
    doing business in Cuba, with exceptions for food and
    medicine.

    Last year two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation to
    allow American oil and gas companies to bid on Cuban
    contracts. But the bill went nowhere, but it could be
    reintroduced in the new Democratic-controlled Congress.

  7. Philip Agee

    2007-03-16

    (ZNet)

    U.S., Latin America Trends

    Anyone following the news in recent times cannot be unaware of the wave of progressive change sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean. For many lonely years Cuba held high the torch through its exemplary programs to provide universal health care and education, both gratis, along with world class cultural, sports and scientific achievements.

    Although you won_t find a Cuban today who says things are perfect, far from it, probably all would agree that compared with pre-revolutionary Cuba there is a world of improvement. All this they did against every effort by the United States to isolate them as an unacceptable example of independence and self-determination, using every dirty method including infiltration, sabotage, terrorism, assassination, economic and biological warfare and incessant lies in the cooperating media of many countries. I know these methods too well, having been a CIA officer in Latin America in the 1960_s. Altogether nearly 3500 Cubans have died from terrorist acts, and more than 2000 are permanently disabled. No country has suffered terrorism as long and consistently as Cuba.

    All through the years, beginning even before taking power in 1959, the Cuban revolution has needed to have intelligence collection capabilities in the U.S. for defensive purposes. Such was the fully justified mission of the Cuban Five, jailed since 1998 with long sentences after conviction for various crimes in Miami where they had no chance for a fair trial. Their sights were exclusively set on criminal terrorist planning in Miami for operations against Cuba, activities ignored by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. They neither sought nor received any classified U.S. government information. Their cases are still on appeal, and will be for years to come, but their completely biased convictions rank with the legal lynching in the 1920’s of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the anarchist immigrants, as among the most shameful injustices in U.S. history. Freedom for the Cuban Five should be the cause of everyone for whom fairness, human rights and justice are important, both in the United States and around the world, joining in the activities of the 300 Free the Five solidarity committees in 90 countries.

    Current U.S. policy with its means and goals can be found in the nearly 500-page 2004 report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba together with an update published in 2006 that has a secret annex. A fundamental goal, the same in 2007 as I remember it was in 1959, is isolation of Cuba to keep this bad example from spreading, and the current policy if successful, would mean no less than Cuban annexation to the U.S. and complete dependence, in fact if not in law, as Cubans rightfully claim. Other fundamental goals from 1959 are still, nearly 50 years later, to foment an internal political opposition and to cause economic hardship in Cuba leading to desperation, hunger and despair. It is no exaggeration to call these goals genocidal.

    Yet, U.S. economic warfare of nearly 50 years against Cuba hasn”t worked even though the Cubans who keep book estimate its cost at more than $80 billion. After the Cuban economy’s free fall in the early 1990’s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it began to recover in 1995. By 2005 growth was 11.8% and in 2006 it was 12.5%, the highest in Latin America. Some sectors have surpassed their development levels of the late 80’s, before the collapse, and others are nearly back. Cuba’s exports of services, nickel, pharmaceutical and other products are booming, and try as it may, the U.S. has not been able to stop this.

    In the end U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba have also totally failed. In September 2006 Cuba was elected, for the second time, to lead the Non-Aligned Movement of 118 countries, and two months later, for the 15th consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba, this time 183 to 4. In 2007 Cuba has diplomatic or consular relations with 182 countries. Havana meanwhile is the site of seemingly endless international conferences on every imaginable theme with thousands of people from around the world attending. And not least, Cuba in recent years has been hosting more than 2 million foreign tourists annually at its world-class resorts. Far from isolating Cuba, the U.S. has isolated itself.

    More than 30,000 Cuban doctors and health workers are saving lives and preventing disease in 69 countries, many in the most remote and difficult areas where few or no local doctors will go. Meanwhile 30,000 young foreigners from dozens of countries are studying medicine in Cuba on full scholarships. All were selected from areas lacking doctors, and all are committed to return to these areas in their home countries to practice.

    In education the Cuban literacy program known as “Yes I can” has been adopted in nearly 30 countries on five continents where thousands more Cuban volunteers are teaching. Through this program, in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Creole, Quechua and Aymara, some 2 million people have learned to read and write, most of whom continue their education afterwards through a variety of other programs.

    Thanks to these international assistance programs, Cuban prestige and influence, and international solidarity with Cuba, have never been greater. It was to defend these worthy programs that the five Cubans, unjustly convicted, went to Miami in the 1990’s.

    Then in 1999 came Hugo Chavez, the U.S.’s latest worst nightmare in the region, admittedly following the Cuban example in Venezuela, with its enormous income from petroleum, to establish what he calls a Socialism for the 21st Century with a foreign policy of regional integration under his innovative Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, excluding the United States altogether. The program is already underway through institutions such as Mercosur in trade, Petrocaribe, Petroandino and Petrosur in the energy sector, the Banco del Sur in finance, and Telesur in electronic media.

    Another program under ALBA is Operación Milagro (Operation Miracle) for offering free eye surgery to people unable to afford it for cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes and other vision problems. It began in 2004 as a joint Cuban-Venezuelan effort to bring Venezuelans by air to Cuba cost free for operations. Within two years 28 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were participating, and operations restoring sight numbered 485,000 of whom 290,000 were Venezuelans. Jet liners loaded with patients come and go from Havana everyday, but by early 2007 thirteen modern eye clinics were being built in Venezuela, and several had already performed thousands of operations there. Other clinics were being established in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti, all with Cuban planning and staffing. The ten-year goal of Operación Milagro is to restore sight to 6 million people of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the program is expanding to Africa.

    The Cuban example of so many years, and now Venezuela, have also recently inspired the peoples of Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Nicaragua to elect progressive leaders. Most have rejected the 1990_s “Washington Consensus” and the neo-liberal model along with determined U.S. efforts to establish a hemispheric free trade zone. All are developing grassroots social and economic programs, each in its own way, aimed at improving the quality of life for all, especially the long-excluded majorities of their populations where this injustice prevailed. Although achievements in Cuba continue to shine, the torch of revolution in the region has effectively passed from the towering figure of Fidel, ailing at eighty, to Chavez, a military man and teacher inspired by Simón Bolívar and José Martí.

    Reflecting on these new hopes for hundreds of millions in such a vast region, one cannot avoid recalling the old professor, Próspero, addressing his class for the last time in Ariel, the classic essay by José Enrique Rodó, still read by students in Latin America. In borrowing from The Tempest, and urging his students to follow the soaring spirit of virtue and good, represented by Ariel, and to reject the crass materialism of the U.S. personified by Calibán, Próspero drew a contrast between Latin American idealism and the United States that is as valid today as in 1900 when the essay first appeared.

    While Latin America is fast moving in progressive directions, almost unimaginable less than ten years ago, in contrast the United States, at least since the Reagan era, has been moving step by step toward a Fascism for the 21st Century. And the pace has quickened in the last six years of Republican government under George W. Bush with passage of the Patriot Act under emergency circumstances just after the attacks on the Twin Towers in September 2001, and then adoption in 2006 of the Military Commissions Act, both with substantial support from Congressional Democrats. Other legislation supports this trend.

    The U.S. Federal Government now has legal powers to secretly monitor one_s communications, whether by telephone, ordinary mail, e-mail, or fax, plus your bank accounts, credit cards, the web sites you visit, and the books you buy or read in libraries. Torture, secret prisons, kidnapping, and jailing indefinitely without trial or recourse to courts through habeas corpus—all are now legal. So is “extraordinary rendition” whereby U.S. captives are delivered to other governments where they will likely be tortured and possibly assassinated. Investigations by the European Parliament have identified around 1200 secret CIA flights carrying these people through European airports to secret prisons. To qualify for this treatment, anyone in the world, U.S. citizens and any others, only need be designated by the government as an “illegal enemy combatant” whose only definition is someone who has “purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.” Hostilities or a hostile act can be interpreted as almost anything that opposes U.S. policies, from a speech expressing solidarity with Cuba to a picket line protesting the war in Iraq. If an “enemy combatant” ever gets a trial, it will not be by a jury of peers but by a U.S. military court that can use hearsay and evidence obtained under torture.

    These powers reminiscent of the Nazi regime are not just a global U.S Sword of Damocles waiting to fall on perceived enemies. The full range of repression has been going on since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 with plenty of evidence coming from the prisons and concentration camps of Bagram, Abu Graib and Guantánamo as well as from testimony of various released innocents swept up in the process. It is an on-going worldwide application of fascist power in a non-defined, nebulous “war on terrorism” that has no end or geographical limits. Since September 2001 the Bush government has given one specious reason after another for what it believes are the motives of Islamic terrorism, never admitting that it is a reaction and resistance to U.S. imperial policies, starting with U.S. support for Israel’s continued occupation and colonization of Arab lands and Israel’s refusal to return to its borders before the Six-Day War in 1967.

    By 2006 the U.S. had designated some 17,000 people around the world as “enemy combatants,” according to press reports. Combine this repression with gargantuan contracts to private U.S. firms, as in Iraqi security and “reconstruction,” along with forcing the Iraqi government, always with eyes on the prize, to contract highly prejudicial 30-year “production sharing agreements” to American and British oil majors, excluded from Iraq before the invasion, plus historic lows in trade union power, and you have the marriage of government and corporate power that Mussolini, who invented the word in 1919, described as the essence of fascism. The one bright spot are the recent indictments of 13 CIA people in Germany and 26 others in Italy for kidnapping and other violations of their laws. They will never be brought to trial, of course, but the indictments are refreshing developments.

    Protection of terrorists who serve U.S. interests is still another feature of American Fascism of the 21st Century. There are many examples, especially among Cuban exiles, but two stand out from the others: Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. Both have long, well-documented pedigrees as international terrorists, but one of their joint crimes was historic: the first bombing in flight of a civilian airliner in the Western Hemisphere. It was Cubana flight 455 that on October 6th, 1976 exploded just after takeoff from Barbados killing all 73 people on board.

    Bosch and Carriles, both of whose CIA careers began around 1960, planned the bombing in Caracas and provided the explosives to two Venezuelans recruited by Posada. These two were discovered, convicted, and sentenced to long prison terms. Not so with Bosch and Posada who were protected by then-Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez who has his own history of working with the CIA. Although they were both arrested and tried separately in Venezuelan courts as the intellectual authors of the crime, neither was convicted.

    Bosch was found not guilty and released in 1988, returned to Miami but was arrested for an old parole violation. The Justice Department then ordered his deportation as an “undesirable” and as “the most dangerous terrorist” of the Western Hemisphere. But Jeb Bush, son of then-President Bush, persuaded his father in 1990 to quash Bosch_s deportation order. Since then Bosch has lived freely in Miami where he gives television interviews in which he makes every effort to justify terrorism against Cuba.

    For his part Posada_s trial in Venezuela never ended because in 1985 he escaped from prison, fled the country, and soon turned up in El Salvador working in the CIA_s Contra terrorist operation against Nicaragua. When this ended he stayed underground in Central America and from the early 1990_s organized more terrorist operations against Cuba. In 2005 he was arrested in Miami for illegal entry to the U.S., and although he admitted to the New York Times to terrorist bombings of hotels and other tourist facilities in Cuba, in one of which an Italian tourist died, he has only been indicted for lying to the FBI and in his request for naturalization. The Bush administration refuses to certify him as a terrorist so that he can be tried as such, at the same time ignoring Venezuela’s extradition request as a fugitive from justice, alleging absurdly that he might be tortured there. His treatment suggests that he will eventually be pardoned by Bush, perhaps on Christmas Eve of 2008 just before leaving the White House, just as his father on Christmas Eve of 1992 pardoned former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger and various CIA officers for crimes in the 1980_s Iran-Contra scandal, thus precluding their trials scheduled to begin the following month.

    One need not dwell on the obvious. The conviction of the Miami Cuban Five for their anti-terrorist efforts, in contrast with the official protection of terrorists like Bosch and Posada, speaks volumes on the U.S. as the pre-eminent state sponsor of international terrorism.

    The major disguise used to cloak this U.S. program of worldwide aggression from the 1980_s to the present has been “promotion of democracy,” a hypocritical claim used ad nauseum by Presidents, Secretaries of State and others that has never fooled anyone. It has always been clear that the “democracy promotion” programs of the National Endowment for Democracy, the State Department, the Agency for International Development and associated foundations and agencies are nothing more that attempts to foment and strengthen internal political forces in countries around the world that will be under U.S. control and will protect and cater to U.S. interests. Their origins are in the CIA’s political operations starting in the 1940_s, and they have included the overthrow of democratically elected governments and the institution of unspeakable repression as in Brazil in 1964 and Chile in 1973 to name only two of many examples.

    To be sure there has been, and is, important and worthy resistance in the U.S. to this developing fascism both within Congress and among private organizations and individuals. But it has been mostly isolated attempts of a defensive and rear-guard nature, with little mention in the corporate media. Bills have been introduced in Congress to ease or end the economic blockade of Cuba, to amend the worst of the repressive laws, even to impeach Bush and Cheney, but they seem unlikely ever to prevail or become law. The two parties, actually competing branches of a one-party state, have simply adopted ever more extreme measures to maintain their monopoly of power.

    Even the judicial system, once perhaps the last hope for enforcing the Constitution, has been riddled with neo-conservatives who ignore it. Take only the appeal of the Miami conviction by the Cuban Five. The original three appellate judges of Atlanta_s 11th Circuit issued a compelling 93-page unanimous decision upholding the defense position that no fair trial of self-admitted Cuban agents was possible in Miami_s prevailing anti-Cuban atmosphere and that the trial venue should have been moved. Nevertheless the other 10 judges of the Circuit voted to hear another appeal en banc and then unanimously overturned the first decision with only two of the original three judges voting against (the third had retired). That 10 of the 13 Circuit Court judges would uphold Miami as a place where Cuban agents could get a fair trial is a good example of how morally and intellectually corrupt the federal judiciary has become.

    So these are grim days indeed for the United States and by extension for its allies, starting with its junior partner, the U.K., and extending through NATO. There have been other periods of shameful repression in the U.S., like the years following World War I, but never with a global reach like this.

    Predictably U.S. prestige around the world, what there ever was of it, has disappeared, replaced by contempt and scorn. Testimony to this is the repudiation of Bush and what he stands for expressed by so many thousands in the streets protesting his presence as he currently travels around Latin America attempting to lure five countries away from regional integration. What a contrast with the enlightened, idealistic, and progressive social and political movements now flowering in Latin America!

    Havana, March 2007

    notes:
    Philip Agee, 72, was a CIA secret operations officer in Latin American from 1960 to 1969. He is the author of the best-selling Inside the Company: CIA Diary (Penguin Books, 1975) plus other books and articles. Deported in 1977 by the U.K and four other NATO countries, he has lived since 1978 with his wife in Hamburg, Germany. He travels frequently to Cuba and South America for solidarity and business activities, and in 2000 he started an online travel service to Cuba: http://www.cubalinda.com.

  8. I have one small comment…Sheehan is an idiot being manipulated by extremest like Jesse Jackson to do their dirty work by stirring up crap.

  9. Hi Patricia Chamlee, your comment is so small that you forgot about any proof for your accusations. Where is the proof that Cindy Sheehan is an ‘idiot’?

    Where is the proof that Cindy Sheehan is manipulated by Jesse Jackson; rather than that her motivation is, eg, the fact that her soldier son was sent to a senseless death, like so many others, in Bush’s oil war in Iraq?

    Where is the proof that Jesse Jackson is ‘extremest’ (your spelling)?

    And what do you think about the torture and imprisonment without trial at Guantanamo Bay?

  10. Hi “dog person”, before a cat asylum would let you take a cat home, they would probably ask for some proof, yes.

    Likewise, if Mel Gibson makes the anti-Semitic remark that, supposedly, “Jews are to blame for all wars”, it is reasonable to ask for proof for that statement [there isn’t]. The same with unproven allegations about Cindy Sheehan, etc.

  11. Nobel Prize Recipients Petition US Supreme Court on behalf of “Cuban Five”

    Supporters worldwide, including ten Nobel Prize winners who have championed human rights, have submitted amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs imploring the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Miami convictions of five Cuban government agents, the so-called “Cuban Five.”

    The United States indicted the five Cubans in Miami in 1998. The indictment focused on the charge that they were unregistered Cuban agents and had infiltrated various anti-Castro organizations in South Florida.

    The United Nations Human Rights Commission has condemned the Miami trial of the Cuban agents, marking the first and only time in history that that body has condemned a U.S. judicial proceeding. Citing a “climate of bias and prejudice” in Miami, the Commission’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions concluded that the “trial did not take place in the climate of objectivity and impartiality that is required to conform to the standards of a fair trial.”

    The Supreme Court is likely to decide whether to grant review before its summer recess in June. The Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change, has published a summary of the current developments in this proceeding. Read the article, which includes a link to the friend-of-the-court briefs, at http://snipurl.com/cubanfive

  12. Iraq War?

    Oh yeah, that’s the thing the Dummycrats were all really upset about, until a Democrat got elected to the presidency – now it’s no longer an issue.

    Way to show the world what ideals you actually have. Go Team Dummycrat. Patriot Act is still law, both wars are still going on, torture still going on, Bush/Paulson/Obama/Geitner bailout ripoffs which you have to pay back still taking place.

    Gee, it sure is a good thing nobody wasted votes on Ron Paul or Mike Gravel – we could have had McCain elected, then the unthinkable could have happened. Then we’d still be at war, the Patriot Act would still be law, torture will still be going on and the Bush/Paulson/McCain/Random_Idiot_here ripoff would still be taking place.

    Remember, it was crazy to vote for Ron Paul or Mike Gravel, only a fool would waste his vote!!!

  13. Hi Richard Wicks, as this is a thread about Cindy Sheehan: she keeps demonstrating against war also now when a Democrat is president.

    I agree partally with your points. However, if McCain and Palin (who advocated war with Russia during the campaign) would have been elected, there might well have been nuclear catastrophe by now. While Obama has dumped Bush’s dangerous Central European missile plan.

    As for Senator Gravel, I know little about him except that he opposed the Iraq war. The problem with Ron Paul is that he oposed not just the Iraq war, but also advocated dog eat dog capitalism which would be hell for non millionaires, and theocratic oppression which would be hell for women. And captalism and patriarchy sooner or later beget … war.

  14. In case you haven’t noticed, all politicians are entirely full of shit about what they say when they are campaigning to get elected by idiots who vote in large numbers. Idiots are divided up into 2 groups. One group of idiots are Democrats and the other are Republicans. These same idiots take statements far beyond logical extremes to demonize the idiots they don’t like, but actually have a lot in common with.

    By keeping the idiots at each other’s throats, and misconstruing everything that is said by what is laughably called their leaders, the leaders can do whatever they like, by simply changing dialog and creating “issues”.

    Issues like abortion rights, gay marriage, flag burning, school prayer, national health care, etc. These issues are frequently brought up, but any changes with regard to them are superficial at best, and usually there is absolutely no change.

    The reason there is no change, is so that 1/2 the idiots can blame the other 1/2 of idiots for the issue not being resolved, when in fact, there is no desire to resolve the issues, because they aren’t issues at all, they are talking points to get the idiot faithful to continually vote for their meat puppet who is totally compromised and has the same exact ideals and goals of the candidate they are running against.

    Senator Gravel, incidentally, read in the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional record taking the chance that he would be tried for treason. The Pentagon Papers proved that previous administrations lied about an incident that brought us to war with Vietnam.

    With regard to dog eat dog capitalism, you have to realize what we have is government eats citizens instead. The trillions of dollars that has been handed over to corporate criminals on wall street, that has been paid out to Halliburton, that has been used to kill between 100,000 and a million people in Iraq, that has been spent on the war on drugs is on your head, to pay back.

    In a capitalist society, which I recognize is no utopia and is not perfect, I am not forced to pay for “services” that I do not want, like the Iraq war, bailing out criminals on wall street, and paying for hired murderers to work in Iraq called “contractors”. If I don’t pay for these things, I go to jail. Corporations don’t murder hundreds of thousands of people, governments do. This government that has lied the nation into war, and has doubled the national debt in 8 years from 5.5 trillion to 11 trillion dollars, you trust with running health care.

    This nation spends $600 billion dollars a year on the military every year, and it can’t win a war in a spitoon of a country like Iraq. Maybe, you shouldn’t trust it with health care? Why do you trust it with anything? In the last 70 years of the Social Security Trust program, it’s run a surplus, and all that surplus has been spent on all sorts of crap like, Korea, Vietnam, SDI, welfare, medicaid, the war on drugs, Iraq I, Iraq II, Operation Ajax, you name it. This money was stolen. Yet you trust it with health care?

    Well, once the country goes broke because of monetization of debt by the Federal reserve, you might rethink your trust of this corrupt, thieving, government. But I know you won’t until then, so be it.

  15. Incidentally, Paul doesn’t advocate theocratic oppression. But I’m not surprised you didn’t know this, after all, like most citizens, you have absolutely no idea what you are voting for. Your knowledge of candidates and their records are based on television news propaganda, and commercials.

    To prove my point, I know you can’t name 3 bills on which Obama and McCain voted differently on, although both were in the Senate. It’s not the Patriot Act, Obama diverged once with McCain on funding the Iraq War, but only once during primaries, and Obama has advocated bombing Iran just as McCain did.

    This nation is fucked, because people think it’s an obligation to vote, even when they are woefully incompetent to do it. There’s nothing patriotic about voting when you know more about contestants on American Idol, than you do about the people who are going to be making the laws you live under, and spending money that is borrowed for which you have to pay back. It’s just stupid.

  16. Re #15: Hi Richard, that was a very long rant.

    I will just reply to this:

    “In a capitalist society, which I recognize is no utopia and is not perfect, I am not forced to pay for “services” that I do not want, like the Iraq war”

    Well, there IS a capitalist society right now in the USA, isn’t it? And George W. Bush DID force you to pay for the Iraq war. Unless you think that capitalism is only capitalism if it conforms to the, indeed, utopias, or dystopias, of ranting Ayn Rand novels or Ron Paul campaign speeches. The myths of the “libertarian capitalism” advocates, who claim capitalism is “freedom” have never existed in practice, and never will.

    Take Milton Friedman, the adoption of whose economic quack recipes by the government of Iceland made that country into the financial basket case which it is now. The first country to apply Mr Friedman’s quackery was the murderous Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. In fact, the more dog and eat dog capitalism gets, the more it needs a repressive state, to oppress striking workers, anti war demonstrators, or other critics of capitalism.

    “bailing out criminals on wall street,”

    But aren’t they capitalists on Wall Street? As long as business goes well, they preach laissez faire and free markets. If they make a mess of the economy, then suddenly the taxpayers have to pay up for continuing their billionaire lifestyles. That is capitalism *in practice* for you, Richard. As opposed to the *theory* of Ayn Rand novels and Milton Friedman fairytales.

    “and paying for hired murderers to work in Iraq called “contractors”. If I don’t pay for these things, I go to jail. Corporations don’t murder hundreds of thousands of people, governments do.”

    Here, you contradict yourself. What are Blackwater/Xe and their colleagues who murder Iraqis, if not corporations? And what about the role of the Big Oil lobby and the military industry lobby in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.? Governments do not hang isolated in mid air. They have a base in society. In the USA today, in the capitalist class. And the recent “outsourcing” of killing Iraqis etc. and torturing, which during the Vietnam war mainly used to be done by soldiers, is a consequence of Ayn Rand/Friedman/Thatcher/Pinochet ideological influence on United States governments.

  17. Re #16: Ron Paul is what is called euphemistically, “pro life”. That means: for state oppression of women who want to control their own bodies and of doctors helping them in this. That certainly is “theocratic oppression”.

    Unlikely what you presume to know about me without knowing me, I am not a supporter of the two party system in the USA. Proportional representation, which would lead to a multi party system, would be more democratic. Though corporate power then would still be a problem (Halliburton and other oil corporations, etc.)

  18. What do you think overturning Roe versus Wade will do? Do you think it will outlaw abortion?

    It will simply remove the right of federal government to regulate it.

    This means states will be left up to make the laws. Which states do you think are going to overturn it? Is your state going to do it? What right do you have to dictate that another state should be making abortion legal if you don’t live in that state?

    Paul only is concerned with the scope of Federal government, and you didn’t know that.

    But this isn’t the point.

    The point is, because stupid people have been fighting over non issues like abortion, gay marriage, national health care, etc – the country is going to go bankrupt. This issues pale in comparison to national solvency. When 50% of Americans are unemployed, can’t find food, and aren’t able to even stay warm, you’re not going to give a crap about these stupid “issues”, and this is what we are facing because of fear from idiots about “theocratic oppression”. That’s important to you, national solvency? Well, who cares about whether you can eat or not?

    The dollar is going to collapse because the people who actually run this country, are looting it into the ground. The entire surplus of social security has been stolen, and 60 trillion dollars is needed to pay for the boomer’s retirement. The government is 12 trillion dollars in debt, and the worth of the entire stockmarket is about 12 trillion dollars today. These aren’t even things you are concerned with. No, it’s abortion, school prayer, and other completely trivial crap that you consider important, which aren’t.

  19. Federal rights over states rights, have bankrupted the nation.

    I saw the USSR collapse, I saw Argentina collapse, and now I’m going to see the United States collapse.

    Although your ideals are fine, and I don’t care about them one way or another, people like you completely neglect economics. The United States federal government, the corrupt one that is murdering people in Iraq and has stolen trillions of dollars to give to corporate and unprosecuted criminals in our financial sector, takes in less money per year than it pays out.

    When you do this, you eventually go bankrupt – don’t you?

    Why do you think the United States won’t?

    Do you really think that some woman having to go out of state to “visit an aunt” because she’s too lazy to close her legs, or too stupid to use birth control, is more important than the country surviving?

    Nobody talks about economic solvency of the nation, not even Republicans. It’s the only issue that matters. Nothing else does. Because the nation is in this moronic debate over non issues, nobody notices that the politburo has stolen every cent that every American has.

    The nation, is certainly going to go bankrupt because you think it’s so fucking important that the corrupt, inept, stealing Federal government remain in control, because you don’t trust your state government to do the right thing, because you’re too lazy to oversee your state government.

    I hope you people enjoy the grave you’ve dug, because we’re going to be lying in it for a generation.

  20. Re #21: your disrepect to women reminds me of the proverb: “If men would get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”.

    I notice that you have not reacted to #17, on capitalism needing an oppresssive state and wars like in Iraq.

    Also not on Cindy Sheehan and Guantanamo Bay torture camp, the subject of this thread.

  21. You’re changing the subject. I don’t have disrespect for women, I have disrespect for you.

    You just don’t understand we are in economic insolvency. You have no idea what the means or what it entails. You’re blubbering on about women’s rights, EVERYBODY’S RIGHTS are going to be lost when the US dollar devalues to such a point, that a gallon of gas costs more than an hourly wage.

    You just don’t realize why the Patriot Act is still law – have you read it? No, you haven’t have you? Democrats run congress they run the executive branch, they could repeal it, but they don’t – why? Don’t you realize that the Patriot Act allows the government to declare you an enemy combatant with no evidence, no judicial review and that you can go to a torture camp just like Guantanamo?

    What about the constitution you might ask? Well, that got burried a long freaking time ago. The constitution, if you ever read it, and I doubt you have, guarentees rights of people, and restricts actions of the government. Up until the 20th century when prohibition was passed, that’s all it did, and that was repealed. We needed an amendment to do that, why don’t we need an amendment in order to have federal drug laws? Abortion is based on a right to privacy – do we have that? No. There is no constitution anymore.

    What disgusts me about people like you, is that you have lots to say and have no foundation on which state it. You don’t even know what the laws are. Can you name a SINGLE BILL going through congress NOW?

    You lazy people have screwed us all.

    I want you to remember this conversation when the nation’s creditors foreclose on this nation, and you can remember that the reason you’re at that point, is because trivial BS that the federal government has absolutely no mandate to dictate was more important to you than solvency of this country – when you’re eating beans, and in a crime ridden heavily armed impoverished nation.

    And if you want to discuss this:

    > I notice that you have not reacted to #17, on capitalism
    > needing an oppresssive state and wars like in Iraq.

    No it doesn’t. This is so stupid, it’s just amazing.

    When corporations run the state, like Halliburton and Goldman Sachs, it’s called fascism, not capitalism. You think fascism is about murdering Jews and lying to the public. It’s corporate ownership of the government.

    If the government has no power to mandate things like going to war without congressional authorization so that the Ex-CEO of Halliburton can make his buddied filthy rich, there is no reason for a corporation to control a government.

    What fascism needs is a strong centralized government to extort money out of tax payers by controlling legislation, and that’s what we have. Don’t like the war in Iraq? Don’t like paying for Guantanamo? Try to stop paying for it.

    But at least the Federal government guarantees you don’t have to go to another state to have an abortion! I mean, it’s so hard to travel a few hundred miles today!!!

  22. Re #23: If, according to you, fascism is “corporate ownership of the government”, then, basically, that would make all countries usually called capitalist “fascist” (rather a much too broad definition of fascism); including the USA basically ever since it was founded.

    Corporations
    “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
    corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
    trial of strength and bid
    defiance to the laws of our country.”
    Thomas Jefferson, 1812
    Source:Liberty Quotes

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous
    to our liberties than standing armies. Already they
    have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set
    the Government at defiance. The issuing power should
    be taken from the banks and restored to the people to
    whom it properly belongs.
    Thomas Jefferson

    If the American people ever allow private banks to
    control the issue of their money, first by inflation
    and then by deflation, the banks and corporations
    that will grow up around them (around the banks),
    will deprive the people of their property until their
    children will wake up homeless on the continent
    their fathers conquered.
    Thomas Jefferson

    The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our
    Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their
    destruction… I sincerely believe that banking
    institutions are more dangerous than standing
    armies; and that the principle of spending money
    to be paid by posterity
    … is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
    Thomas Jefferson

    The word “corporazioni” in Italian fascism does not mean the same as “corporations” in US American English. It was about organizations including both bosses and workers, depriving workers of their right to form independent trade unions and the right to strike. See here. Though many liberties have been curtailed in the USA (Taft-Hartley act, etc) trade unions are not banned yet, and all strikes are not banned yet. So, no fascism (yet).

    Capitalist competition, paradoxically, begets the opposite of competition: oligopoly, monopoly, trusts, conglomerates … Enron, Halliburton, etc. And an oppressive state and wars; for oil, etc. Hard as that may be to understand for someone who takes Ayn Randite-Margaret Thatcherite-Ronald Reaganite fairytales for gospel truth.

  23. > Re #23: If, according to you, fascism is “corporate ownership of the government”,
    > then, basically, that would make all countries usually called capitalist “fascist”

    Well fucking DUH!!!

    Give the moron a prize!

    You don’t even understand what fascism is, isn’t that kind of odd?

    Do you understand what communism is, not what Marx wrote about, but what was practiced?

    I really don’t care to argue this. You’re about to see the fallout anyhow. It’s inevitable, now both the Republican and Democratic parties, for which the MORONS of this country are absolutely tied to, both do the same thing, we are already effectively have no democracy at all.

    And if you think National Health Care will pass, you’re wrong. The Iraq War isn’t going to end. Nothing is going to change. This would have been obvious to you morons if you bothered to look up the voting records of Obama and McCain which are identical in all meaningful bills they voted for.

    > Enron

    You mean the company that was invited to the White House to make energy policy under Bush and was the largest contributor to George W. Bush’s gubernatorial campaign in Texas, and for which Keith Lay stayed over at the Lincoln bedroom under Clinton for his generous campaign contribution?

    > Halliburton

    You mean Dick Cheney’s company, that was originally an oil exploration company that transformed somehow into a defense contractor, with no experience, and somehow, utterly failed at being a competent defense contractor?

    This companies wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the government, you moron. They live off from taxpayer money, nobody willing buys anything from them – you pay for them to exist, you idiot, as a taxpayer.

    I’m tired of trying to explain every company you bitch and moan about, has gotten it’s ability to do the shit they do, from the government. Capitalism didn’t steal 2 trillion dollars from taxpayers so Goldman Sachs could have record profits, the government did, under both Bush AND Obama. Capitalism didn’t start a war in Iraq, the government did. Capitalism didn’t let Enron make energy policy for the country, the government did.

    You’re so stupid, it just drives me crazy. You are so damned dumb, that the ONLY way you morons can learn is for the country to go into an economic cataclysm where you will see a black emerge, and that is a capitalist system, in an anarchy.

  24. Re #25: your abuse and four letter words show that you are not capable of rational discussion.

    Maybe, if you will have have taken the medication you forgot to take before writing comment #26, then you will realize that you have have behaved like the cyberspace equivalent of a drunk breaking into someone else’s house, screaming, swearing, smashing things up, and urinating and defecating.

  25. First, #26 is YOUR comment.

    Second, you don’t have basic understandings of economic systems. You should have learned them in grade school, and you don’t know what they are.

    Ignorance is killing this country. You think you have any idea of what is going on, and what the solutions are, but you don’t.

    This country is bankrupt, the federal government is going to go insolvent, the dollar is going to crash (even more), and there is no substantive difference between what you call Democrats and Republicans.

    I couldn’t have less respect for you chattering morons that are so full of hot air, and so lacking in substance. Bush promised to end nation building, to reduce the federal government, reduce the deficit and bring “honor and integrity” to the White House.. He ended up nation building in 2 nations, he doubled the national debt, and I don’t think I have to mention anything about the honor or integrity part, he should have been impeached.

    Obama is doing the same thing. He’s made promises he had absolutely no intention of keeping, and you can see it in his voting record right there in the senate which you will never ever look at, will you? He voted to continue funding the Iraq War EVERY TIME except once when he was in the primaries. He’s defended the Patriot Act LAW, and I know you’ve not read it – it strips Americans of their civil liberties. Do I need to bring up the deficit or debt when 2 trillion dollars has been borrowed from YOU to make Goldman Sachs get a record year?

    He’s no different. Why can’t you just admit that?

    But you will never admit it. You will keep on voting in the SAME GODDAMNED THING, until the nation is bankrupt, and finally, then, maybe, you will be forced to actually think a little about economic systems and just how corrupt our federal government has become.

    Until then, you’re an unreachable, stupid moron. It’s said that suffering is a harsh but excellent teacher. You are about to get an education that you will remember on your death bed.

    You’re so lazy, you think Party A is the cure for Party B. The solution to fascism isn’t communism, and the solution to communism isn’t fascism – and a mix of fascism and communism isn’t being a moderate nor does it allow a democracy. There’s more to politics then a simple line from left to right but because you can only count to two, and you can only see in 1 dimension, that’s all you know, and all you will ever know until you experience true hardship.

  26. Re #27: I have corrected the number in comment #26.

    At least you have shown that you are capable of writing a comment without four-letter words.

    Still, I think you take out your frustations about US politics on me, whom you know nothing about though you presume to know,

    What makes you think that I, eg, voted for Obama? Maybe I am a US citizen and live in the USA. Or I may live somewhere far away and/or have a completely different citizenship. All you know about me is that I am a netizen; that is all. If you would have read much more on this blog than just this post about Cindy Sheehan, you would have known that I have criticized Obama’s Afghanistan plans when he was just a candidate, not yet president.

    And economics are far from being an exact science like mathematics or astronomy. Often, it is ideology. That an ideologist like Milton Friedman became a professor in economics, even won a Nobel prize (really the Swedish Central Bank prize) for economics, should never have happened. A Bank of England economist has written that Mr Friedman fiddled with statistics to prove his theories.

    And “nation destroying” would be a far better description for what George W. Bush did in Iraq than “nation building”.

  27. You’re just one of the cells of the disease. Even if I could cure your ignorance, there’s more than 250 million people to go.

    I can tell you know very little about US foreign policy, and almost nothing about the Patriot Act or the bailouts – that tells me you’re US citizen or perhaps a pretty stupid Canadian. Based on your hysteria about states rights, and what you said precisely which is echoing talking points which Democrats have as much as Republicans, I can tell you’re an American, or read a lot of American “news”. You have the typical misunderstandings and ignorance about key issues about the role of the federal government and state governments. That you have no idea who Mike Gravel is that’s telling me you’re American since they don’t pay attention to the primaries at all, and your beliefs about Ron Paul echo US media, you’ve never actually read anything he’s said or looked at what he’s done in Congress.

    “Nashun Buildin'” is the same thing as nation destroying, that’s why the Republican Party was historically against it. The whole concept is to forcibly rebuild a nation in the image of the United States. It’s costly, people that live there often don’t want to do it, and it makes enemies. It sounds like a great idea to go to the Sudan and make them make peace, or to go to Vietnam to make certain they are capitalists but you can see how well that generally works.

    Most Republicans are too stupid to understand the consequences of nation building. Nation building created the Islamic Revolution with Operation Ajax. Classical conservative Republicans, actual ones, not these cardboard morons like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, know what it means. Republican voters, are just blindly loyal to their party, they would dispute my definition of it because they are stupid uneducated and believe to this day that Bush wasn’t nashun buildin’.

    Republican voters are as stupid as your average stupid Democratic voter who thinks that in a year of having a national deficit of over trillion dollars, that national health care has a snowball’s chance in the center of the sun.

  28. Re #29: that I knew little about Mike Gravel apart from him being a Democrat from Alaska and an Iraq war opponent, does not prove that I am a US citizen at all. Very probably, most people from, eg, New Zealand, Cuba, Papua New Guinea, or South Africa, would ask: Mike who?? On the other hand, if I would ask you about politicians in New Zealand, Cuba, Papua New Guinea, or South Africa, even those very well known in their own countries, you would not know, or maybe know just a little bit. And that would not be proof that you are from New Zealand, Cuba, Papua New Guinea, or South Africa.

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