liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

John Chuckman writes

about the recurring patterns in history: Hitler's Shadow and the Coming Storm.
Bush's obtuse "Doctrine" concerning pre-emptive attacks on those regarded as threats is an exact mimicry of Hitler's attitude towards Russia.

Hitler's way of explaining to Germans his vision for gaining resources and the economies of scale to assure Germany's future greatness was the word "lebensraum." He hoped to duplicate the economic advantages of America's size through a single great stroke in Russia.
Bush's invasion was supported by a more modern and limited notion of lebensraum. Generally over the last half century of America's world ascendancy, force is no longer used to extend the lands under direct American rule.

There are minor exceptions, but directly ruling large additional portions of the world would be costly, inefficient, and often counterproductive. America's homeland long ago reached a size adequate to guarantee it many future economic advantages. Locals may rule abroad so long as they do not question American policies and privileges. Force is used to intimidate or eliminate those who disagree.

I detect an underlying anti-semitic thread, but he isn't overt about it other than to say that attacking Iraq was intended, among other things, to neutralize Israel's most dangerous enemy.


I saw something so laughably extreme last night on the internet that I am compelled to think of it as a fabrication. It was at She talks about how the neocons are Nazi-wannabes who have joined in with the Special Forces and Psyops to brainwash or blackmail the top brass into an army of mob-style hitmen and "dirty" warriors. Her film, which will be discussed in greater detail in the future on this blog, seems to be associated with Erik Hufschmid, the producer of several 9/11 "conspiracy" works.

Monday, July 25, 2005

On "Freedom"

Chalmers Johnson writes, in Blowback,
The American military at the end of the century is becoming an autonomous system.... Although the military still tries to invoke the public's support for a force made up of fellow citizens, this force is increasingly separated from civilian interests and devoted to military ones....

As their size and prominence grow over time, the armed forces of an empire tend to displace other instruments of foreign policy implementation. What also grows is militarism, "a vast array of customs, interests, prestige, actions and thought associated with armies and wars and yet transcending true military purpose"--and certainly a reasonable description of the American military ethos today.* [Calleo, David, P. Beyond American Hegemony: The Future of the Western Alliance, (New York: Basic Books, 1987), p. 142.]

I remember during the early seventies when the Vietnam War ended and the debate about whether or not to discontinue the draft played across the Sunday morning talkshows and the editorial pages of newspapers. Warnings were sounded, but not heeded. The Pentagon wanted a smaller army. It was the wiser, older, WWII and Korea crowd of veterans and brass who cautioned that a volunteer army would give rise to a "military caste" with separate interests from the rest of the civilian population.

As the brewing conflict between Congress and the Administration shows, the Pentagon is controlling --not only foreign policy, which it has driven since World War II-- but domestic policy and economic policy, as well.

The United States is now a platform for the United States military. Like Mr. Hyde, the Pentagon has "usurped the very offices of life" in the American body politic.

The gathering of intelligence forces within Homeland Security and the military branches to the demise of the CIA is only one loathsome expression of this painful reality. And, with the terrorist bombings in London 2 weeks ago, Egypt over the weekend, and, above all 9/11, there is the persistent fear -- not of terrorists, but of our own Special Forces carrying out acts of terror against the free peoples of the world and disguising them as acts of agression by foreigners or extremists.

I suspect, too, that the military intelligence forces are even now preparing for the eventuality of popular dicontent with the Pentagon and devising events, actions, or disasters that will so shape public opinion as to shield the Pentagon's multifaceted designs from clear public scrutiny and comprehension, like a giant parasite that threatens to consume our very life, identity and existence as a culture, as a free country.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Civilian Failure to Control the Military

Vicki Allen reported yesterday in a Reuter's article entitled, White House Threatens Veto On Detainee Policies, that the White House doesn't want the Senate
to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere.
The article quoted a "White House Statement" as saying that
"If legislation is presented that would restrict the president's authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice," the bill could be vetoed.
Apparently, three Republican Senators, McCain, Graham and Warner, have all told Cheney they want detainee and interrogation rules codified in amendments to the Defense bill. Furthermore, Kennedy and Levin -- both Democrats -- are looking to set up commissions to investigate detainee abuses at Guantanamo and elsewhere.

That's the good news.

The Pentagon, for their part, is quoted in the article as issuing anonymous "Talking Points" to the effect of
[T]he issue had been "thoroughly investigated" and "a new open-ended investigation" would add "nothing but political theater."

The talking points said reforms were under way, and the Pentagon "has the matter well in hand. The department and the services are doing everything possible to address this challenge."
The AP journalist, Liz Sidoti, today published another story on the issue, entitled, White House Threatens Defense Bill Veto.

In addition to the treatment of terror suspects, another Amendment to the bill, this one offered by Republican Senator John Thune, is crimping the Pentagon's goal to close bases.

According to Sidoti, Thune's amendment
would require the Pentagon to complete several operational reviews and return U.S. troops from Iraq before Congress signs off on the final version of the base-closing plan.

In its statement outlining its position on the Defense bill, the Bush Administration talked tough here, too.
In a statement, the administration said it would "strongly oppose any amendment to weaken, delay or repeal" the base-closing process and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld would recommend that the president veto any bill that includes such a provision.
Ironically, Warner, McCain and Graham don't like Thune's amendment, because it will "hold in limbo" the entire base-closing program. However, Sidoti claims that Thune's amendment has broad and bipartisan support.

Chalmers Johnson

In the Stealth Imperialism chapter of his 2000 book, Blowback, Asian scholar Chalmers Johnson says,
[C]ongressional control over military activities is by now so minimal that the Pentagon pays little attention to specifications that are displeasing.
This problem has numerous contributing causes, but no obvious solution. Johnson goes on to note that
Even should a U.S. president and Congress one day wake up to their constitutional duties and reassert authority over the Department of defense, that still might not bring JCET and similar programs under control. The Pentagon's most recent route around accountability is "privatization"... As investigative journalist Ken Silverstein has written, "With little public knowledge or debate, the government has been dispatching private companies -- most of them with tight links to the Pentagon and staffed by retired armed forces personnel -- to provide military and police training to America's foreign allies.

One reason privatization appeals to the Pentagon is that whatever these companies do becomes "proprietary information." The Pentagon does not even have to classify it; information on activities of such companies is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.


Given Chalmers Johnson's analysis of the Pentagon's prevalence in the power struggle between civilian and military authority in government -- especially in budget and foreign policy -- it will be interesting to see how this little issue plays out.

Bush may have stepped into more than a quagmire in Iraq. Because of the human rights issues that have been stirred up by the American public, not to mention the usual economic hardship refrain, the Pentagon chiefs seem to have marched President Bush into a shithole.

If anybody had any doubts that Bush was anything more than a "pretty face on the Pentagon," they may well see him unmasked before the end of Semptember. The corporate military empire will rear its ugly head before the world -- and for the first time, before the American public -- if President Bush caves in to popular support for the Amendments.

First of all, the Pentagon is never going to allow Congress to really establish controls over detainees and their interrogations. Not only would it subject them to criminal charges and obstructions, worse than the World Criminal Court, it would reveal just how out of control the armed forces have become. By "political theater," the Pentagon is referreing to a legal process laid open to the scrutiny of the American public. That is the exact spectacle they have so greatly avoided with privatization, secrecy and overseas detentions.

Second, the base closure program is essential to funding the exorbitant costs of the "war on terror." Bases are expensive and we don't need them. Furthermore, they invite public participation in the business of military affairs, which is the last barrier to world (and American) domination by the Pentagon chiefs.

Bush made the mistake of setting up Homeland Security and pumping up military intelligence and the special forces before the CIA was completely neutered. This Plame leak scandal could finish him off, and the Pentagon could sacrifice him, if they think he's unable to carry out the full militarization of government agenda.

In fact, Bush is a very weak leader. His power over Congress is at an end, even if there is a resurgence in the career of Tom DeLay. The war is a disaster, the finances of America are going down the toilet, we have no energy policy, we have no strong allies, except maybe Japan, and we're looking at probably a decade or two of terrorist blowback from the "War on Terror." Bolton is looking at an interim appointment and the Social Security program is dead in the water.

The Pentagon doesn't need Bush, or Cheney, any more. They are going to let them all go down in a bloody show of "political theater." Meanwhile, the Special Forces and the military higher-ups will get their agenda, and no one will even notice until it's way too late. We haven't noticed yet, have we?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

September 11 Victims Families Declare 9/11 Commission Report A Failure

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report. And guess what?

Dr. Peter Phillips, the founder of Project Censored, will lead a National Press Club briefing entitled "The Failure of the 9/11 Commission Report and the Mainstream Media's Disregard." The briefing will feature scores of detailed examples of the Commission's flawed findings, self-censorship, misrepresentations and conflicts of interest that call the accuracy and integrity of their entire investigation into doubt.

Time: 1:00-2:30 PM, Friday, July 22, 2005
Place: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, Washington, DC
Sponsor: DC Emergency Truth Convergence

Some of the Family Steering Committee cofounders, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken will be there to air their grievances (as usual). The widows are still ticked off that after lobbying a resistant Bush Administration to form the Commission, the gave Jamie Gorelick a list of questions. 70% of the "unanswered" questions remain unanswered, even though Gorelick told the Family Steering Committee that the questions would be the 9/11 Commission's "roadmap."

Other heavies expected to weigh in at the podium during the proceedings include Dr. David Ray Griffin, Nafeez Ahmed and Danny Schechter.

What looks new about this event is the solidification of the "911 'Truth' Movement" combining the Victims' Families with the Independent Media and Critics.

According to Convergence spokesperson Peter Phillips,
The events of September 11 not only took thousands of innocent American lives, they have been repeatedly used to justify previously unthinkable policies of domestic repression, preemptive attacks, torture, and endless war.

We know most of these policies had been championed by powerful voices within this government long before 9/11, but without these outrageous 'surprise attacks' they could have never come to pass. If the 9/11 Report is dangerously inaccurate, as more and more evidence now indicates, the nation still needs an honest investigation of what really happened and why no one has ever been held accountable. In particular, we need to know whether the behavior of officials who seem to have profited most handsomely from 9/11 and its dark wake should be looked at once again.

Since we are anxious to get this crucial challenge to the American public and world at large, we are extending a special invitation to the independent media community and foreign journalists, who have a far better track record of investigating governmental deceit and exposing official treachery than the US corporate media.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tight Spot

I felt safe riding my bicycle around Harlem last Wednesday night. I had a meeting at 7 o'clock on W. 126th Street. I rode up there from East Midtown, locked my Gary Fisher to a sign post, and emerged an hour later to pedal home in care free leisure and security.

How times have changed. Nobody accosted me, nobody threatened me. I didn't even witness any fights.

I didn't see any gangs.

Are all the bad guys locked up already? Criminal Justice data for NY State is not currently available on the Citizens' Guide web page.

The Feds claim they have 185,000+ inmates.

As long as nobody complains, the police can just lock up anybody who jaywalks and America will be safer and safer for "law abiding citizens."

That likewise seems to be the strategy in American-occupied Iraq. Only their criminal justice system has much more of an emergency to address. It seems the police are taking extreme measures to create an enivironment of law and order from the chaos that is occupied Iraq.

According to the Times Online:
Sunni leaders said that the men whose corpses were found on Wednesday had been arrested before dawn in a series of police raids on their homes. Hours later they were found tortured, murdered and dumped in a streets in the Shia slum of Sadr City.

Looks like our troops are in a tight spot over there. I expect they'll be withdrawing to the permanent bases soon. Then the civil war between Sunni and Shia can rage away, but we'll be able to provide nominal protection for the government and the oil supply.

Someday, I may even be able to ride my bike around Baghdad or Fallujah and not worry about "terrorism."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Email to Rumsfeld re CAFTA

Rumsfeld published an op-ed piece in the Miami Herald last Friday. I read about it in Sara Stillman's blog on Huffington Post. I sent him an email today in reply.
I am urging my Representatives to vote "No" on the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

I read your piece in the Miami Herald, and I hope you exercise enough fairness and openmindedness to reconsider your position.

While expanded trade can benefit everybody if done thoughtfully, this flawed agreement puts the profits of large U.S. corporations ahead of protection for workers, the safety of communities and poor farmers in Central America.

According to the advocacy group Human Rights Watch, "[CAFTA] fails to require compliance with even the most basic internationally recognized labor rights norms and specifically fails to protect women workers against discrimination." This could have far-reaching implications for American workers as corporations open up shop in countries with low wages and poor labor rights laws.

Expanded trade could swell economies and assist impoverished workers, but not under this CAFTA.

Your unqualified disparagement of Cuba and Venezuela in the editorial are disturbing words from an officer of your stature in a country as influential as ours. Surely as a spokesperson for the armed forces of the world's key democracy, you can be a little less dismissive and exclusionary in your posture towards governments with different philosophies and practices.

In particular, your reference to "Marxist radicalism" (probably in connection with Sandinistan Nicaragua) does not distinguish between economic and political systems.

As you know, Marxism is funadamentally a socialist ECONOMIC structure, but it can function within the POLITICAL parameters of a democratic process. By the same token, traditional, Adam Smith capitalism is an ECONOMIC structure, too, but in the global economy, governments may practice laissez-faire capitalism while exercising tyranny and non-democratic autocracy POLITICALLY.

As long as ordinary people are economically disempowered, they will be politically marginalized. This is the real threat to "hemispheric security." The military has no value other than as protector of the people and the guardians of liberty. As soon as hemispheric security is used as an excuse to deprive the poor of opportunity and political power, then the military has lost its usefulness.

Don't oppose human progress, Mr. Secretary. Please oppose this corporate race to the bottom. I look forward to hearing how you will continue to address this important issue.


Mr. Florindo Troncelliti
255 W. 108th Street 7B1
New York, NY 10025

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

grim dawn glimmers

A faint light is starting to trickle into the consciousness of Americans from the foreign and underground presses, as in this article.

As we come to see clearly and consciously what we have wrought with our "freedom" we will have to face the depravity of our nature and the bankruptcy of our values. We will be known as the society of fat people who bankrupted ourselves and the world while using up the energy supply and destroying the atmosphere. We preached freedom and practiced torture, insisted on democratic reforms by others while rigging elections ourselves. We flaunted our holier-than-thou "war on terror" while devastating defenseless villages, cities and civilians with "shock and awe" high tech military assaults.

"But the terrorists! The terrorists!" we cry. Did it occur to anybody that maybe there's a terrorist whose benefiting here at home more than any of the terrorists abroad?

"... And No One Turned To Heed"

Thomas Hardy's obscure poem, The Singing Woman is a fitting source of the title of this entry.

Few will note that Second WTC Janitor Comes Forward With Eye-Witness Testimony Of ’Bomb-Like’ Explosion in North Tower, an article by Greg Szymanski, has blown another hole in the jet-fuel-fire-only collapse theory on 9/11.

As witnesses and experts from architects to firemen to janitors line up to testify to bloggers and reporters after being snubbed by the 9/11 Commission, the Administration's offcial story looks like it is getting ready to "pancake," too.