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Showing posts from February, 2007

The Enlightenment of Resistance

Manuel Valenzuela

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Exorcising Our Demons

Into the infancy of the 21st century has humanity somehow managed to reach, despite our insatiable addiction for violence and suffering that has for millennia been both endemic and devastating, in spite of the continued tribalism, now called the nation state, that fosters competition, ignorance, fear, hatred and war among the peoples of the world, even with the hierarchical need among peoples to perpetually follow corrupt, immoral and warmongering leadership that continues to lay ruin the vast potential within us and notwithstanding the locust-like hunger of six billion primates whose consumptions and needs for resources are raping and pillaging Earth at unsustainable levels, thus accelerating our inevitable implosion.

Into the early years of the 21st century does humanity find itself in, in the present seeing our past, in our future seeing the present, refusing to learn from the sands of time and the chronicles of those…

Stop the War

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Oily truth emerges in Iraq

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Juan Gonzalez

Throughout nearly four years of the daily mayhem and carnage in Iraq, President Bush and his aides in the White House have scoffed at even the slightest suggestion that the U.S. military occupation has anything to do with oil.

The President presumably would have us all believe that if Iraq had the world’s second-largest supply of bananas instead of petroleum, American troops would still be there.

Now comes new evidence of the big prize in Iraq that rarely gets mentioned at White House briefings.

A proposed new Iraqi oil and gas law began circulating last week among that country’s top government leaders and was quickly leaked to various Internet sites - before it has even been presented to the Iraqi parliament.

Under the proposed law, Iraq’s immense oil reserves would not simply be opened to foreign oil exploration, as many had expected. Amazingly, executives from those companies would actually be given seats on a new Federal Oil and Gas Council th…

737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire

Monday, February 19th, 2007

With more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet and military bases spread across each continent, it’s time to face up to the fact that our American democracy has spawned a global empire.

The following is excerpted from Chalmers Johnson’s new book, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic” (Metropolitan Books).

Chalmers Johnson

Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America’s version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial “footprint” and the militarism that grows with it.

It is not easy, however, to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records available to the public on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department’s annual inventories from 2002 to 2005 of real property it owns around the world, the Base St…

US ratchets up ‘psy-ops’ against Tehran

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Mahan Abedin

Psychological warfare is fast emerging as the key component of the conflict between Iran and the United States. It is being used extensively by the latter to influence Iranian behaviour in Iraq and secure a climb down by the Islamic Republic in the intricate negotiations over the country’s controversial nuclear programme.

As the Iranians analyse and react to this carefully crafted psychological warfare campaign, they run the risk of miscalculating broader developments in the region. The most important of these is Saudi Arabia’s new pro-active foreign policy. In this climate of heightened tensions and widespread misunderstanding it is easy for the Iranians to dismiss Saudi diplomacy as yet another plank of America’s psychological warfare against the Islamic Republic. Miscalculations of this kind can have drastic long-term consequences for Iranian interests in the Middle East.

war of Words

Psychological warfare has been a feature of Iranian-US relatio…

RFID chips shrink to powder size

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Yuri Kageyama

Tiny computer chips used for tracking food, tickets and other items are getting even smaller. Hitachi Ltd., a Japanese electronics maker, recently showed off radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips that are just 0.002 inches by 0.002 inches and look like bits of powder. They’re thin enough to be embedded in a piece of paper, company spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi said Thursday.

RFID tags store data, but they need to be brought near special reading devices that beam energy to the chips, which then send information back to the readers.

The technology is already widely used to track and identify items, such as monitoring the distribution of food products or guarding against forgery of concert tickets.

Shown to the public for the first time earlier this month, the new chip is an improvement on its predecessor from Hitachi - the Mu-chip, which at 0.4 millimeters by 0.4 millimeters, looks about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

The…

‘Big Brother’ clocks in at the Royal Mail

Abigail Townsend

The Royal Mail, which earlier this month revealed an 86 per cent plunge in profits, is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds installing television screens in every delivery and sorting office in the country.

Management will use the screens to convey information and updates on the company’s performance to staff, including speeches by chief executive Adam Crozier and chairman Allan Leighton - prompting wags inside the state-controlled postal group to dub it “Allan Leighton Direct” and to compare it to George Orwell’s Big Brother.

A Royal Mail spokesman declined to comment on the cost of the new communication system, but insiders believe it will set the business back considerably. The TVs are understood to be 42-inch Fujitsu screens, which retail for around £2,000 each.

The Royal Mail will be able to negotiate a discount but it is still buying a considerable amount: at least one will be installed in every site, including 1,400 delivery offices, the 470 post offices the gr…

Egyptian blogger sentenced to jail

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

An Alexandria court has convicted an Egyptian blogger for insulting both Islam and the Egyptian president, sentencing him to four years in jail over his writings on the internet.

During the trial, an Egyptian imam allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy and taken to Egypt, showed up to speak to the media, breaking his release conditions.

Known as Abu Omar, the former Milan-based imam on Thursday told reporters that he was tortured in an Egyptian prison and that he wants to return to Italy.

He showed the cameras scars he said were from torture in Egyptian jails and said he will resort to the Italian government to help him.

Al Jazeera’s correspondent, Amr El-Khaky reported: “Abu Omar also pleaded to both the Egyptian and American presidents to release all political prisoners”, including US prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Later on Thursday, Abdel Karim Nabil Suleiman, the first blogger to stand trial in Egypt for his internet writings, was sentenced to four…