Friday, November 30, 2007

Bush and his war machine 11-30-2007

30, November 2007 Bush and his war machine

It is hard to imagine that the neo-cons of the Bush Administration have completely failed to comprehend the gravity of their ill-conceived Iraq adventure. These pro-life crusaders have unleashed a reign of terror on the Iraqis resulting in over 1 million civilian casualties and created the largest refugee problem in the world with 3 million fleeing to neighboring Syria and Jordan. Over 3 million Iraqis are internally displaced refugees.  
American body bags continue to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base completely hidden from the American public and the media have largely abandoned their role as independent watchdogs. Veteran hospitals are stretched to the limit trying to cope with the broken bodies of US soldiers returning home facing a grim future of a government that has shown callous disregard for their pain and suffering.
The scripted propaganda speeches which launched our nation into a disastrous occupation in Iraq are now being used to launch aerial bombing attack on neighboring Iran. Buoyed by his ‘successful war in Iraq’, the Bush war machine has asked the Pentagon to draw plans for an attack on Iran. Bereft of ground troops, a massive aerial attack is planned to rein death and terror on the Iranian people. According to investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh’s, latest article in the New Yorker magazine, the war rational has shifted from WMD’s (largely rejected by an increasingly skeptical public) to Iran’s alleged role in Iraq. Thus, the WMD threat has been repackaged as a counterterrorism threat. On the domestic front, President Bush continues his crusade against the most vulnerable population, young poor children, by denying them of much needed health care. On global issues Bush and his supporters continue to ignore the dire warnings of catastrophic climate changes. A group of eminent British scientists are warning that global warning will result in the extinction in of half of the earth’s species in the few centuries. I urge readers to break their long silence and demand accountability from our misguided leaders. We must insist that the U.S. charter a new course based on truth, peace and justice and not on militarism.  

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Middle East Conference 11-29-2007

29, November 2007 Middle East Conference
The much touted Annapolis Middle East Peace Conference will without doubt turn out to be a complete sham designed to offer the Bush Administration an empty photo-op devoid of any meaningful substance. Predictably, Israel has already said it will delay talks on core issues, including the status of Jerusalem, the borders of a Palestinian state, the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the fate of Palestinian refugees. 

Also, off the agenda is the imprisonment of over 10,000 Palestinian prisoners, including many women and children. Hamas, the democratically elected ‘People’s Party’, has been barred from attending.

Aided by our tax dollars, the enormous repression of Palestinians will no doubt continue with the ongoing construction of the apartheid wall and thousands of barriers and police checkpoints that ‘Swiss Cheese’ the West Bank into tiny cantons. Meanwhile, Israel assured of unconditional US support, continues its unrelenting cruel treatment towards the Palestinians cutting off basic food, electricity and fuel supplies. In a stunning op ed article in the New York Times, Leslie Gelb revealed that every US administration since 1967 has privately favored returning almost all of the territory to the Palestinians for the purposes of creating a separate Palestinian state, notwithstanding public statements to the contrary. Finally, critically acclaimed authors, Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar (Lords of the Land) shed much needed light on the dark history of Palestinian suffering.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

McClellan & Valerie Plame 11-27-2007

27, November 2007 Scott McClellan & Valerie Plame
Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary, has now offered damning testimony to incriminate his former boss, President Bush’s direct involvement in the betrayal of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA operative.  With characteristic disdain for the truth, President Bush had promised to fire those responsible for revealing the identity of Valerie Plame. McClellan’s offers corroborating evidence to warrant impeachment of President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and vigorous investigation of Karl Rove and other senior White House officials. 
McClellan’s public statement leaves little doubt on the identity of the guilty parties - "I had unknowingly passed along false information, and five of the highest ranking officials in the administration "were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself." 

It is now up to Congress to perform its oversight duties by initiating hearings and subpoena Scott McClellan. It is encouraging to learn that Senator Dodd has called for an immediate investigation. We must demand that Attorney General Mukasey follow through on his confirmation hearing promise to act independently of the White House. I ask Indo-Americans to hold Congress’s feet to the fire and demand swift action to restore our nation to one with respect for the rule of law.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pakistan 11-17-2007

17, November 2007 Pakistan
The political crisis in Pakistan continues to worsen. A reign of terror has been unleashed by Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Thousands of brave citizens have taken to the streets to voice their vigorous opposition to the imposition of martial law.  All the pillars of democracy, the Constitution, free speech, the right of assembly, have been summarily suspended. All the top judges have been dismissed and thousands of human rights activists and lawyers have been arrested and jailed. 

The U.S. strategy of lending support to former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, (ousted on corruption charges) has failed. An attempt to window dress the military regime with a fig leaf of democracy and mollify the growing opposition has all but failed. 

Pakistan has received over 10 billion dollars of US aid since 1999 ostensibly to ‘fight terror’, but channeled much of the funds to stifle dissent and maintain a repressive military regime.  This latest debacle makes a complete mockery of our government’s claim to promote democracy.  It is time for our citizens to establish solidarity with the voiceless Pakistanis yearning to be free from the iron boots of their repressive military dictator and demand an immediate halt to US military aid. Failure to do so will fuel seething resentment against the U.S. and stoke the fires of Islamic fundamentalism.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TORTURE 11-14-2007

14, November 2007 TORTURE
‘Citizen’ Rumsfeld barely escaped the clutches of the law after four human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the former U.S. secretary of defense for “ordering and authorizing torture” of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

Rumsfeld was whisked away from the U.S. Embassy in Paris following a meeting sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine. Since Rumsfeld resigned, the veil of immunity has been lifted which exposes him to war crimes. This should send a strong message to the other Bush administration officials who may face similar war crimes if they ever trespass outside the protection of the U.S, once they leave office. 

The criminal complaint filed before the Paris prosecutor was brought under the 1984 Convention Against Torture ratified by the U.S, and France. Document paper trails and government memos recently published in the New York Times directly implicates Rumsfeld and other White House and Pentagon officials. Included in the written testimony is the damning testimony of Janis Karpinski, a former high-ranking U.S. army officer at the U.S. run U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Major General Miller, was Rumsfeld’s point man who crafted the grotesque interrogation methods which have brought such shame and dishonor to our nation. Unless we raise our collective voices to a deafening roar, ‘King George’ will continue to ignore Congress and the will of the people.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blackwater 11-6-2007

6, November 2007 Blackwater
The growing penchant for using private contractors such as Blackwater to fight proxy wars is extremely disturbing. As a deep revulsion continues to grow against the war in Iraq, the use of mercenaries could well subvert the will of the people and would be a direct threat to our fragile democracy. The attempted theft of Iraq’s oil resources under the guise of ushering in the ‘fresh breeze of democracy’ has created a genocidal conflict exacerbated by the presence of soldiers of fortune Granted immunity from prosecution in Iraq by the now disgraced Paul Bremer, the former US czar of Iraq, these mercenaries have been responsible for scores of civilian fatalities and thus intensified the rage against US occupation forces. 

Tragically, Congress continues to bankroll these ‘for profit’ soldiers of fortune from Blackwater and at least 25 other private military corporations. According to R.J. Hillhouse’s website,, the U.S, spends $42 billion  annually on private intelligence contractors amounting to 70 percent of the U.S. intelligent budget.  What is particularly galling is the practice of hiring these foreign companies to serve as law enforcement officers in U.S. cities.  For example, Blackwater and ISI—Instinctive Shooting International (veterans of Israeli military, police and intelligence operations) were used to ‘police’ New Orleans following the Katrina disaster.