"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”" ~~~~Samuel P. Huntington

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

'The Baby And The Baath Water' - A Multi-Media History Of The West's Involvement In Syria & The Region Via The CIA Infiltrated Baath Party

(Including information about Saddam Hussein's involvement with the Baath-CIA coup of 1963 in Iraq which deposed Abd al-Karim Qasim. That's right... Saddam Hussein, the "insane dictator", began his rise to power thanks to the CIA and US State Department.)


Adam Curtis

Thursday, 16 June 2011

What is happening in Syria feels like one of the last gasps of the age of the military dictators. An old way of running the world is still desperately trying to cling to power, but the underlying feeling in the west is that somehow Assad's archaic and cruel military rule will inevitably collapse and Syrians will move forward into a democratic age.

That may, or may not, happen, but what is extraordinary is that we have been here before.

Between 1947 and 1949 an odd group of idealists and hard realists in the American government set out to intervene in Syria. Their aim was to liberate the Syrian people from a corrupt autocratic elite - and allow true democracy to flourish. They did this because they were convinced that "the Syrian people are naturally democratic" and that all that was neccessary was to get rid of the elites - and a new world of "peace and progress" would inevitably emerge.

What resulted was a disaster, and the consequences of that disaster then led, through a weird series of bloody twists and turns, to the rise to power of the Assad family and the widescale repression in Syria today.

I thought I would tell that story.

Change The Players - Miles Copeland

In 1968 a CIA agent called Miles Copeland (Ed. Conspiracy Buffs Note: His son is Stewart Copeland drummer for the well-known band "The Police".) wrote a book called 'The Game of Nations' that revealed what went on in 1947.

Back then Copeland was part of a mangement consulting team in Washington who were working out how America should contain the threat of communism in the Middle East, now the old European Empires had gone. This was before the CIA existed, and Copeland describes how they got together an odd group of diplomats, secret agents left over from the war, advertising men from Madison Avenue, and "pipe-smoking owls" (which is what intellectuals were called in those days).

Copeland describes an impassioned lecturer telling this group that their aim should be to change the leadership in the countries in the Middle East:
"Politicians in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt seem to have been elected into power, but what elections! The winners were all candidates of foreign powers, old land-owners who tell their tenants and villagers how to vote, or rich crooks who can buy their votes. But peoples of these countries are intelligent, and they have a natural bent for politics. If there is a part of the world which is crying for the democratic process the Arab World is it."
They decided to start with Syria. Compared to what was to come, it was all very sweet and innocent...

In Full

Author Adam Curtis also produced the excellent three part documentary "The Power Of Nightmares" for the BBC.

The documentary explains the roots of the Muslim Brotherhood, now much in the news due to the Egyptian revolt earlier this year, al-Qaeda, the Neoconservatives of the United States and elsewhere, and their common philosophical roots derived from a grossly dysfunctional 'reading' of Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss' works and teachings. There was an Egyptian national in Leo Strauss' lecture hall, and he returned home to Egypt with the same world view and vision as Elliot Abrahms Fred Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, and other public figures who now have the ear of the American political Right and all to often, the confidences of sitting US presidents.

From the introduction:
This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today.

From the introduction to Part 1:
"Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today's nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful."
The documentary is available at Internet Archive at two links:

The documentary presented in a player-on-page with a number of video formats available for download here.

Here is the link to the landing page for an ISO file ready to burn to DVD.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breaking: Santa Cruz California Lawyer Ed Frey Jailed For Protesting Anti-Homeless Laws Has Bail Reduced From $50,000 - $110

"Leave no brother or sister behind enemy lines..." ~~POCC (Prisoners of Conscience Committee).
Breaking News June 24 2011:

Santa Cruz California lawyer Ed Frey jailed for protesting anti-homeless laws has had his bail (to allow for post-conviction appeals) reduced from $50,000 to $110.

Also, other charges against co-defendant Gary Johnson have been dropped (21 counts). Johnson is still imprisoned for six months (6/28/2011 - Gary Johnson released on bail pending appeal.) on a single protest conviction. [More]

Backgrounder Here

Friday, June 24, 2011

Half The World's Refugees Are Running From US Instigated Wars

It was simpler in the old days:
‎‎"I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes." -- Winston Churchill 1920 (speaking of the Iraqis, Kurds, and other 'dusky natives' of the region)
Refugees on the run from US wars
[Clickthrough ThinkProgress]
"MY COUNTRY is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" ~~Martin Luther King Jr.
...and endangering citizens by causing them to flee from wars made for extractive resources but persecuted under false pretenses qualifies as one of the most callous forms of violence as it affects everyone from old people to infants. They are also the most likely to die as displaced persons.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thoughts On The 2012 Democratic Convention... Simply Stated:

Too bad about Charlotte. Seems like a real nice place.
(Unlike the armpit of California known as Los Angeles)

[The whole half hour video is here.]

The push began in 1968...


It's time to shove.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich Explains What's Wrong With The U.S. Economy In Under Two Minutes

Courtesy of MoveOn

The Super Rich wrote America a note of appreciation a while back. Read It.

In the meantime, CrimethInc, and your Auntie want you to know:
Crises like this are part of the protection racket that keeps them in business.
Economic crises are not natural disasters. They are brought about by the actions of bankers, officials, and developers, not to mention ordinary folks struggling to get by in a world we didn’t choose. They appear beyond our control, but they are not inescapable facts of life.

For all the talk of collapse, capitalism itself is as healthy as ever. The fundamental relationships remain unchanged: employers and employees, politicians and voters, police and policed. Our masters may loan us cars or houses to pacify us, but we still lack control over our own lives.

Crises like this are part of the protection racket that keeps them in business.
Business As Usual, CrimethInc[Click the image for a full size PDF format poster]
They profit on the industries that heat up the earth’s atmosphere, and when hurricanes destroy our neighborhoods they replace them with condominiums and sell us energy-saving light bulbs.

They profit on the invasions that secure more resources for the economy, and also on the occupations in which our friends and relatives die.

They profited from the subprime mortgages that contributed to the latest disaster, and now they’re profiting from the bailout... In Full

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Santa Cruz California Lawyer Ed Frey & Houseless Defendant Imprisoned Six Months For Sleep Protest

Breaking News June 24 2011:
Santa Cruz California lawyer Ed Frey jailed for protesting anti-homeless laws has had his bail (to allow for post-conviction appeals) reduced from $50,000 to $110. Other charges against co-defendant Gary Johnson dropped (21 counts). Johnson is still imprisoned for six months on a single protest conviction [More]
"Leave no brother or sister behind enemy lines..." ~~POCC (Prisoners of Conscience Committee).
A protest is scheduled for Monday, June 13th 2011, on the Santa Cruz California County Courthouse steps beginning at 7:30AM and continuing until....

Let's start with a brief summary of events.

Camping Crime June 2010
[Above: Pseudo-Legal Camping (to spend money) Cinema 9 Theater]
Note that sleeping in plain sight, even on your own property, is illegal in Santa Cruz.

[Above: Pseudo-Illegal Camping (to protest city policies) @ SC County Courthouse]

The PeaceCamp 2010 protest and sleep-in responding to the unavailability of shelter space for the droves unemployed and homeless people in Santa Cruz California began on the steps of the Santa Cruz County Court House on July 4 last year, eventually moved to Santa Cruz City Hall, and continued 24/7/365 until October 2, with the admonition by lawyer and organizer of the event Ed Frey's words:
"the struggle is now moving into the courts"
In the Cabale News Service report for August 09 2010, yours truly wrote:

Sorry occifer! we don't have relatives in Oklahoma Kansas Georgia Tennessee like the po' folk did in the 30s.

Santa Cruz California Peacecamp2010 has been under siege over the weekend with dozens of Misdemeanor citations written and almost a dozen arrests. The camp's lawyer, Ed Frey, and other participants have been arrested for refusal to cooperate and sign the tickets, claiming the law they are being cited for is unconstitutional and invalid.

One man is on hunger strike and remains incarcerated until a Tuesday hearing.

One person was overheard telling the sheriffs involved in the raid: "Someone just got hit by a drunk driver... because you were here enforcing this unconstitutional law instead of patrolling the highways on Saturday night."

This correspondent saw the officer's shoulders rise with tension and one can only hope his 'dop kit' contains antacid.

The protest revolves around the apparent unconstitutionality of a total ban on sleeping outdoors, covered with a blanket, or in any manner, between the hours of 11pm and 8am anywhere within the city limits.

HOWEVER, to avoid testing the city of Santa Cruz' 'camping ban' ordinances, the law the arrestees are being cited for is California State Penal Code 647(e).

It is understood from sources that the Santa Cruz police department has refused to cooperate with the Santa Cruz Sheriffs in citing under their own 'ordinance' (not 'law'... 'ordinance').

California State Penal Code 647(e) is applicable to anyone...
...Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it."
This State Code implies that it's illegal to bed down (or perhaps even rest by the side of the road) anywhere in the state without domicile (housing) or a welcoming place to stay (the meaning of 'lodging' itself).

Put simply... without 'some place to go', it's apparently illegal to be "(any) place" in the state for any length of time (because one MUST rest or sleep).

[Santa Cruz lawyer Ed Frey forced to cooperate with arrest process]

arresting-ed-frey_7_8-7-10.jpgIt is a 'law' that should date back to slavery days when California was a 'free' state attempting to control the influx of escaped 'Nigras'. This law is eerily close to the "Vagrancy Laws" overturned or sun-setted since the 40s, except in the South where laws like this were used into the 1960s to control the movement of the African American U.S. citizens.

Funny thing... (but I'm not laughing) you'd think this law was probably last used extensively in California during the GREAT DEPRESSION of the 1930s, but in reality this law was added to the state's law books over the last few years...

There are more writings on the PeaceCamp 2010 protests in the August 06 2010, August 09 2010, August 12 2010, and August 25 2010 editions of the Cabale News Service Report. Also see the PeaceCamp 2010 tag @ Becky Johnson's One Woman Talking for more extensive reports, documents, and details, and this posting at Santa Cruz IndyMedia, where you can see the hatred exhibited by certain elements of the community, typically representing the business community rather than the average Santa Cruz citizen, towards their disenfranchised neighbors.

Now, to the issue at hand...

Becky Johnson, host of the blog "One Woman Talking" attended the trial of the PeaceCamp Six and it's aftermath.

She writes:

(Santa Cruz California lawyer Ed Frey to Judge John Gallagher, Santa Cruz County Superior Court:)
"Where did you get the authority to claim the definition of illegal lodging included sleeping? It's not in the law itself. Opposing counsel cited two authorities, neither of which addressed sleeping as a criminal act. The defendants last August had no access to a definition of "lodging." The sheriff's who enforced it had no guidelines or definition to determine what "lodging" was. Only when we get to trial do we find that you, yourself provide that definition to the jury. Where did you get that definition? On what authority did you base it?"

"And how were the defendants last August supposed to know what "lodging" is? You, yourself said it is equivalent to sleeping. But where did you get that?"

"I got it from a dictionary," Gallagher admitted, so softly his words were barely audible. "And the defendants were warned first that they were illegally lodging."
PeaceCamp Notice_scrn
[Click for larger image]
JURY FOREMAN: Personally I found it pretty crappy that it was clear that they were citing people as soon as they fell asleep. That was the one thing they were really going after.
Frey was adamant about pressing this point. He had filed a motion to dismiss based on vagueness of PC 647 (e) at a January 21st hearing this year. At that hearing, DA Sara Dabkowski argued that a definition was not necessary since "everyone knows what "lodging" means. It is a common word that puts people on notice that they can't lodge, can't live, can't stay the night, can't sleep somewhere, can't set up roots somewhere if they don't have permission. So it's not unconstitutionally vague on its face as written." (A complete transcript of that hearing can be found here.)

Yet at trial, and against the objections of the defense, Judge John Gallagher introduced his own definition of "lodging".
Indeed, Gallagher's language, which he claims came from a dictionary, contains suspect language. He used the term "settled in" as an indication of illegal behavior.

There is legal precedent for this language. Article 13 of Indiana's 1851 Constitution stated
"No Negro or Mulatto shall come into, or settle in, the State, after the adoption of this Constitution."
While PC 647 (e) does not prohibit blacks from coming into the State, it does condemn to jail any person found within the State boundaries who does not have some form of permission to to sleep, live, or spend the night. That means any person in the State of California can be arrested on sight if they can't prove they have permission to "live" somewhere.

This sounds little different than article 13 of the Indiana State Constitution of 1851.

Just substitute the word "homeless" for "Negro."


But the County of Santa Cruz, the County Sheriffs, City police, and the judges at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse have all decided that sleeping is a criminal act. They have decided that depriving homeless people of any right to sleep, any ability to sleep on either public or private property is the cornerstone of their policy to criminalize homelessness. And the jails are full of homeless people.
"I instructed correctly at trial that sleeping is part of the definition of lodging. And you can be punished for that conduct."
DA DABKOWSKI moved on to the sentencing phase.
"We are asking for 400 hours of community service from Mr. Frey. People who worked at the County Building said they feared for their safety when they had to walk by people."
Frey argued,
"We were expressing ourselves. The first amendment is the most valid right we have. 400 hours of labor for expressing ourselves? That's outrageous. I didn't even know there was a "lodging" law. We were there to protest the Sleeping Ban of the City. We were speaking on behalf of the poorest of the poor. 400 hours is outrageous. I won't serve them."
"Then I sentence you to 6 months in County Jail,"
Gallagher announced, the maximum sentence possible under 647 (e). Frey asked to be released long enough so he could file an appeal.
"Okay. $50,000 bail!"
"I can't find it in any of the laws that were cited that you can't sleep. Go home tonight and sleep if you can, and let my words ring in your ears."
Then Gallagher turned to Gary Johnson, who is homeless.
"Do you accept 400 hours of community service?"

"I have more of a problem with the 3 years probation clause "obey all laws." I have to sleep. I can't go three years without sleeping."

"Are you turning down the conditions?"

"It's not that I won't. I can't. I have to sleep. I have to sleep tonight. Where can I go and legally sleep in the State of California?"

"Do you accept the 400 hours of Community service?"

"As a citizen and a patriot, I cannot."

"Okay. Then 6 months in the County Jail for you too. Report to jail next Friday at 3PM."

"But I have to sleep TONIGHT."

"Okay. You can sleep in jail. You will be remanded into custody at the end of this hearing."
Gary Johnson and Ed Frey were handcuffed and led off to jail by County Sheriff's. A protest is scheduled for Monday, June 13th, on the County Courthouse steps beginning at 7:30AM and continuing until....

In Full @ Becky Johnson's One Woman Talking

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