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By Don Paul
Following are 7 columns Don Paul wrote for the San Francisco Bay View, a newspaper weekly that mainly serves that Bay Area African-American community, and for which he has given permission to reproduce here.
The Only Real Solution Is Justice With Compassion
Published 12 September 2001
Again, this day that could lead to a truly new world order, Tuesday, September, 11, 2001, thousands of innocent people have died due to attacks from the air -- thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of hard-working, family-loving civilians, none of them witting or willing combatants in war -- all of them dead in single moments of terror that together encompassed less than two hours.
Again, the world looks on with stunned horror at the enormity and suddenness of devastation and loss.
Again, relatives of the dead and dying -- wives, husbands, daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, . . . -- wonder how they will ever recover from this nightmare of news, this wrenching rip to their innards and futures, knowing that they can never replace the ones lost.
The difference today is that the victims, the ones lost, did not live in Palestine or Israel or Iraq or Yugoslavia or Somalia or Afghanistan, Sudan or Japan -- or in Bayview Hunters Point -- they lived and worked in the commercial and military hearts of the United States.
Few who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and four American and United airliners today knew the desperation, the long and brutal history, the generations of futile struggle and false hopes, that moved their killers.
As of now, Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco, September 11, the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is reported to have claimed responsibility for the attacks. The hijackers of the crashed airliners, however, might have come from dozens of groups that are aggrieved by policies of the United States Government. In 1993 more than 60 entities said that they'd set off the bombs that almost toppled the World Trade Center towers.
Few here receive information other than through Corporate Media. Thus, few here know how Palestinians have been betrayed in the 8 years since the `Oslo Peace Accords.' Few know how Israeli settlements have bitten from Palestinean territory. Few know how Israel and its current head-of-state, Ariel Sharon, provoked the current uprising or intifada. Few know how Palestinean's official leadership has implored the United States to broker terms of a peace that could last -- one that would relieve the de facto apartheid that Israel has imposed on Palestineans since at least 1967. Few know how often Israel has resorted to missile attacks on Palestinean civilians in the past 2 months. Few know that more than 7 times more Palestineans than Israelis have died in the uprising that began last September. Few here even know that Israel receives more than 5 billion in aid from the U.S. each year.
Few here will have heard the judgment of Madeline Albright, Secretary of State for the Clinton Administration, that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S.-led sanctions since 1991 was a "reasonable" price to pay.
Few here know that the missile attack on China's Consulate in Yugoslavia during the War in Kosovo, an attack that killed three civilians, was a deliberate and brazen warning.
Few here notice the anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombs' holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, holocausts that each killed about100,000.
Changing Our Course
What happened today changes everything in terms of the material balance of forces in the world.
No object that the U.S. Government holds sacred can ever again be seen as secure. A dozen well-trained people, ready to sacrifice themselves, can do untold damage. Modern, technological society is most vulnerable.
What remains to be seen is whether the United States Government will now change its moral course.
Today even Network anchors have to acknowledge the "anger" and "bitterness" that much of the world feels toward our Government. Arab spiritual leaders speak of "the oppression, exploitation and injustice" that the United States has perpetrated.
We must now do the right thing. If we have the clarity and strength to see that our own Government's forms of mass murder -- both international and domestic -- have produced the terrible, desperate and unprecedented response of today, we have the chance to go forward to a solution.
The military retaliation that our Government's leaders are already threatening ("Make no mistake . . . We will pass this test . . . Our military stands ready . . . We will hunt down and punish the terrorists") can only escalate warfare. More boundaries will be violated, more means will be found, and thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands more of innocent people will be killed. A woman down the street where I live worries about "germ warfare -- from us and from them."
Our only real safeguard, our only way out of the minefield that belligerent arrogance has made of the world, is to stand with justice, to fight for justice, and to let "Help the poor" be our watchword.
Truth Is The Way To Peace . . . Don't Believe The Hype . . . And A Prayer For George W. Bush 19 September 2001
How can we really begin to solve the problems that led to last Tuesday's attacks?
How can we really prevent more of the warfare that kills thousands of innocent people in the U.S. and elsewhere?
In 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King nominated the Buddhist poet and monk Thich Nhat Han, exiled from his home country of Vietnam the previous year, a year of increasing war, for the Nobel Peace Prize that Dr. King had won in 1964.
Thich Nhat Han, now 75, continues to speak around the world. He says that only through suffering can a person gain understanding and compassion.
Thich Nhat Han urges the practice of "deep listening, compassionate listening, and loving speech" to penetrate the blocks of bitterness and hatred between people who have long opposed each other. Practice of his teaching has brought Israelis and Palestineans to work together for peace.
Thich Nhat Han also urges us to seek truth as the foundation for solving problems. He urges us to use each day as a step toward finding clarity, courage and compassion.
With such teaching in mind, teaching that's like that of Christ and Muhammed as well as the Buddha and many others, let's look at the terrible events of last Tuesday, September 11, events that have forced us to repeatedly view TV-fed horrors, and try to find truth, clarity, courage and compassion.
We'll have to ask hard questions. Our questions will have to go beyond the headlines and broadcasts that drum `WAR' and "War" in Corporate media.
The longer that I look at events of Tuesday, September 11, the more that global information reveals to me about them, the more doubtful the stories told by NBC (owned by General Electric), CBS (owned by Westinghouse), and ABC (owned by Capital Cities/Disney) seem to me.
Check out these questions.
Is it credible that 18 or more men could have escaped detection in boarding 4 airliners at 3 major U.S. Airports with knives and other weapons within 1 hour?
Is it credible that the planning for such precise and multiple attacks, preparation that even Network TV "experts" estimate must have taken months, could have escaped detection by and all Western intelligence-agencies? Wouldn't students with Arab surnames at flight-schools in Florida be an alert to U.S. intelligence?
Then there's the sequence of crashes. How could American Airlines Flight #57 lumber into the Pentagon, uncontested, 35 minutes after the second crash by an airliner into the World Trade Center (9:38 a.m. EST versus 9:03 a.m.)? Wouldn't the nation's air defenses be on Red Alert no later than 9:03? Shouldn't F-16s have scrambled to defend the nation's capital no later than 1 minute after 9:03?
Then there's Corporate media's immediate coverage. Why did CNN report for hours that the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine had claimed responsibility for the attacks, when CNN's only basis for the report was 1 phone-call from Abu Dhabi?
Why such a rush to judgement?
How was it that Oliver North -- he the architect of missiles-to-Iran-for-weapons-to-Contras (Contras who in turn brought cocaine into U.S. ghettos and thus set off the 1980s' explosion of sickening Crack) -- flew into New York City and became a Network TV commentater on the day of the crashes?
The cumulative weight of these questions, facts and coincidences reminds me of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the cover-up of probable truths about that killing. More than half a dozen people have separately said to me since last Wednesday: "There's something fishy in all of this."
I think the best protection we have now, the best antidote we have to vengeful hysteria among a sadly underinformed public, is to consider and investigate as fully as we can the possibility that at least one part of the U.S. Government at least allowed the atttacks of September 11.
Who And What Stand To Gain From "The Terror"?
Let's look now at who and what stand to most benefit from effects after the attacks. "Follow the money," said "Deep Throat" during Watergate. Nikolai Lenin said the same thing as to causes of World War I.
Big Oil and fascistic repression in this nation stand to gain a great deal now.
The price of a barrel of crude oil has already jumped more than $5 on world markets. We know that George W. Bush's Cabinet is thick with ties to oil-and-gas Corporations.
Other economic interests are relieved of pressures by the attacks. Strategic metals were in a tailspin due to the downturn in production of computers -- now their main exchange, COMEX, is gone with World Trade Center.
In fact, the entire prospect of blaming Republicans for a Recession/Depression is now gone from from the news.
At the same time, protest against the Corporate neo-colonialism that's called "globalization" is now sidetracked. Unions in the AFL-CIO have dropped their participation in protests against the IMF/World Bank that were scheduled for the last week of September in Washington, DC. Any dissent is imperiled by the "necessary" repression of civil liberties for which Government officials, led by the President, are now calling.
George W. Bush's approval rating has jumped to 89% in Corporate polls. Congress has given him $40 billion and more war-making power than any President has wielded since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
We should therefore recall prior pretexts for `WAR' by the United States. We should indeed "Remember Pearl Harbor" -- and remember our Government's foreknowledge of Japanese attacks (see the books Infamy and Day of Deceit). We should remember the sinking of the Maine in 1898 that let Hearst newspapers demand the Spanish-American War. We should remember the sinking of the Lusitania that got the U.S. into World War I and thus protected J.P. Morgan from tens of millions of German debts. We should remember the illusory " `Gulf of Tonkin Incident' " in 1964 let the U.S. go full-bore into Vietnam.
We should, in short, be very careful about what we believe. We should be watchful about defending our own hard-won freedoms and rights. In the middle 1980s Oliver North and others in the U.S. Government, many of them confidants of then Vice-President George Bush, planned `Operation Rex.' `Operation Rex' would have swept 400,000 potential `dissidents' in the U.S. into concentration-camps.
Dissident now means me. It may also mean you.
Justice and Peace
George W. Bush has told the nation that we must "hunt down, find and whip terrorism" in order to "do future generations a favor" and "rid the world of evil."
What would the military campaign that George W. Bush promises mean to us in the U.S. and to the rest of the world? Would it mean bombing Afghanistan, the presumed refuge of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile who's the presumed "mastermind" of a "terror network" that's presumed responsible for the September 11 attacks (though Afghanistan and bin Laden deny any connection to the attacks). Would it mean invading Afghanistan?
The campaign that George W. Bush promises would kill thousands or tens of thousands or hundred of thousands more of innocent civilians. It would subject the U.S. public to further terror. Supplies of water, oil, gas and even air here are vulnerable to attacks far easier to accomplish than the crashing of an airliner into the Pentagon. Around the world outrage at massive U.S. bombing -- outrage not only from followers of Islam -- would surge up to topple Governments. All but a few of us would suffer unimaginably.
Injustice is the source of terrorism, whether terror is used to enforce injustice (the bombing of Lebanon, the bombing of M.O.V.E.) or to resist injustice (Israelis against Britain, Palestineans against Israelis). Efforts to replace basises of injustice with basises for justice are therefore the only possible "end" to terrorism. Equity is the only worthy basis for peace. Justice can be the only lasting solution.
We need to ask further questions about our immediate peril. Our questions must be hard and material. Should the U.S. re-engage in the "peace process" between Israel and Palestine? Should Israel return the West Bank to Palestineans? Should Arab nations guarantee Israel sovereignty in a Treaty that the United States backs? Should the U.S. recommit to the Kyoto Protocols to reduce global warming? Should it continue to honor, not renege on, 1972's ABM Treaty? Do African-Americans deserve just compensation (reparations) for their ancestors' 300 or more years of slavery that enriched elites in much of the Western Hemisphere? Do Native Americans deserve just compensation?
Answering such questions could lead to a truly new world order.
We must hope that George W. Bush is strong enough to ask and answer such questions. We may know that he came to the Presidency through tactics that particularly took the vote from African-Americans and Jewish-Americans. We may know that he's always profited from privilege. We may see him as insecure from being overshadowed by his father and younger brother. We may know that he's worried about passing tests. We may find his world-view simplistic at best.
We must nevertheless listen deeply to what there is in George W. Bush, I suggest, even as we ask hard questions about him. If we can see what moves him -- what capabilities and incapacities, what conceptions and misconceptions, drive him -- we may better understand how we came to September 11 and its aftermath.
Last night I woke up with worries around 4:00 a.m. You may have too. A line came to me that felt like a gift from the Creator. Truth is the way to peace, it said. Truth is the way to peace within each one of us and truth is the way to satisfaction between ourselves, I heard. Truth is the way to peace between States.
Let us hope that George W. Bush pauses and looks for truth: truths about himself, this nation and the world. At the same time, let us do everything we can to bring the greatest material power on Earth to courage, clarity and compassion.
Thus we can respect the lives lost so pitiably last Tuesday -- imagine being smashed and smothered under rubble -- lives perhaps given so that we may face realities -- and the many more lives lost before last Tuesday. (Don Paul works with Marie Harrison, Malik Rahim, Alma Lark, Duc Nim and others in Housing Is a Human Right. He thanks you all for the e-mails. firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Fight Against, Not For, Another Rich Man's War
26 September 2001
Can't Fool The Youth
Hey, "thug life." You, stuck in "the game" or inescapably close to it -- all of you brave and able brothers who must hang out on corners with nothing but something criminal to do for your survival -- who must live in Developments whose buildings might change but whose opportunties don't -- let me speak directly to you.
Is your anger being played by TV? Are you being led into a `WAR' that can't possibly benefit you? Since September 11 images of destruction and suffering in New York City have shown relentlessly on network TV. How many times have we seen the World Trade Center towers collapse? How many weeping faces have we seen? How often have we been told that a far-off, diabolical "terror network", led by a bearded, brown-skinned someone named Osama bin Laden, is responsible for the " `Attack on America' "?
Dont' believe the hype -- if you were at all inclined to believing such hype -- relentless as it is. Images promoted by General Electric (NBC), Westinghouse (CBS), Capital Cities/Disney (ABC) and Rupert Murdoch (Fox Networks) show to the exclusion of realities that are actually more horrific.
They show instead of sick and starving Iraqi children -- more than 500,000 of whom have died in the past 10 year due to sanctions set by the United States, according to the United Nations. They show instead of two generations of Palestinean refugee-camps. They show instead of the 17,000 civilian corpses left by Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. They show instead of the desolate housing in Sunnydale and on the Shipyard side of the Hunters Point hill.
There is a major, revealing difference between the sets of images that network TV shows and does not show, a difference crucial to us all. After two weeks the U.S.Government and Corporate media still can't specify an organizing source for the September 11 attacks -- they can't even identify for sure who the hijackers were, much less connect Osama bin Laden to them. Regarding the horrors that are not shown, however, foreign and domestic, there are indisputable, obvious sources: policies of the United States Government.
When God Means Oil
Over the past two weeks this column has urged justice as the only solution to inequities that produce mass violence. It's urged George W. Bush to find courage, clarity and compassion in himself so that he might effect a true peace. At the same time it's pointed out huge holes in the official stories told by our Government and its echoing media.
Now it's clear that George W. Bush intends war. His Address to more than 500 clapping Congresspersons last Thursday promised "a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have seen." He said: "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." He said: "The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us."
He said all such stuff even as the United States remains the overwhelming leader in State terror worldwide, sponsoring dictatorships in every Hemisphere, and as he suggested new, sweeping measures to curtail civil liberties here.
He said all such stuff after ordering the executions of more people -- most of them people of color -- than any Governor in history.
He said all such stuff after stealing the Presidency through denying African-Americans and Jewish-Americans their votes and twisting the Supreme Court to value his interests above the nation's laws.
With the September 11 attacks George W. Bush has been rescued from a position of fundamental illegitimacy, from global protests, and from a recession that had already cost 1 million jobs in the 8 months since he took office. His Administration now has a green light to go anywhere and do anything it wants in the service of its `lengthy campaign' against any `terror' it chooses to name. With the September 11 attacks George W. Bush and his father have gotten the war that his Cabinet can be seen as designed to serve. Big Oil and military-industrial contractors will be the long-term beneficiaries of this open-ended "new Cold War." $180 billion is set as the sum for immediate expenditures. Everyday people's needs, freedoms, perceptions and our shared environment will be the ongoing victims.
Afghanistan is named as the first target. Why Afghanistan? Afghanistan is said to `harbor' Osama bin Laden, September 11's supposed `mastermind' , though the only evidence so far offered of his connection to the shifting gallery of hijackers is someone shaking hands with someone in Kuala Lumpur.
Why else Afghanistan? Afghanistan is the route for a pipeline from Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea's oil riches -- estimated to be worth as much as $4 trillion -- that will go through Pakistan and to the Arabian Sea. Western oil-corporations have long pushed for such a pipeline, one that would avoid routes through Iran or Russia. To U.S.-oil-corporation interests (Unocal is the principal one in Turkmenistan), typical, flunky rulers in Afghanistan would be preferable to the current Taliban.
You can see the picture. Youth especially can see the picture. The first play is Afghanistan. George W. Bush's "war", one for which he too says God is only on "our" side, serves the same interests as his father's Gulf War. As in 1967 ("The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" -- Dr. Martin Luther King) and as in 1999 ("The biggest gangsta in the world is the United States" -- Minister Louis Farrakhan), so goes 2001.
Speak To Millions
Next Saturday's Town Hall meeting at Milton Meyers gym (195 Kiska Road), 3:00 TO 6:00 p.m., will be broadcast on KPFA, 94.1 f.m. KPFA's 59,000 watts and its affiliated stations reach millions in northern and central California. Its programming is carried worldwide via the Internet.
This Town Hall is a great chance for the community to be heard. In particular the record of neglect since the Navy abandoned its Shipyard in 1974 needs to be told. The 1990s saw a subversion of grassroots efforts at self-help (Ujamaa and others), withdrawals of funds worse than neglect, that set off bitterness and bloodshed still not resolved. So come on, young people, `thug life" and others, and let the world hear what you know, what you're thinking and how you're feeling.
"I want to rule my destiny" -- Buju Banton, "Destiny", Inna Heights.
Watch Out For The Second Wave Of `Terror'
10 October 2001
In September this column pointed out who and what stand to benefit from the 9/11 atrocities that killed thousands of everyday people at the World Trade Center and elsewhere in the
Big Oil and State repression appear to be the immediate and long-term beneficiaries of those atrocities.
Now, on this first day (October 7, 2001) of B-2 bombers and Tomahawk missiles striking Afghanistan, I recall warnings by United States Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over the prior 10 days. Ashcroft and Rumsfeld said that we here should expect a second wave of `terrorist attacks' inside the United States. They said that our Government was particulary worried about biochemical warfare. Last December -- just after the Supreme Court allowed George W. Bush to become President -- Vice-President Dick Cheney said that the Administration faced three major threats: 1) a recession; 2) terrorist attacks on domestic targets; and 3)biochemical warfare.
We're already suffering from the first two of Cheney's predictions.
Now, I think, we must ask who and what could possibly benefit from loosing lethal biochemcial agents on civilians in the U.S. -- from using any number of scenarios to gas to death hundreds or thousands of innocent people -- from an act or acts of mass murder that might be far more outrageous than September 11's?
Who would benefit from the ensuing hysteria would be those who want to increase our post-9/11 `Homeland Security'. Who would benefit would be those who want to stifle the questions and dissent that have arisen among us since 9/11.
Who would benefit would be those who want no opposition to a long and costly war -- a "new Cold War" -- that profits the purveyors of oil and weapons to the world.
Who would benefit would be those who want to themselves use biochemical weapons in Afghanistan's forbidding terrain. Who and what would benefit would be the Bush Administration and many of the Corporations that principally fund the Republican and Democrat Parties.
But who could be capable of such a horrible and cynical act? Who could stomach the faces and cries of victims' surviving families? Who could be so cold? Could they be followers of a religion that bans the killing of anyone except in battle? Or could they be those who brought us Contragate, Watergate, and Wars in Vietnam and elsewhere? Could they be descendants of those imperialists whose contest for profits brought us the killing of tens of millions in World War I and World War II?
Some of these tens of millions of victims, we remember, were also gassed to death in trenches.
Bush War II: Blood for Oil Redux
Since September 11 we've learned a great deal that contradicts the stories that the Big 6 Networks tell. We know now that from mid-August onward many warnings were delivered to the CIA about imminent attacks on huge targets in New York City and D.C. We read that executives of supranational financial firms with many floors of offices in the World Trade Center (Goldman, Sachs and Morgan, Stanley for two) were warned. We read that ordinary protections by Air Controllers and NORAD went awry on September 11, allowing the crashes to happen. We read that the U.S. shut down 500 Arab Websites on the day before September 11.
We have more grounds for doubts about the credibility of reports about events of that shocking day.
We've also learned more about Afghanistan, the country that the U.S. and Great Britain have just begun to bomb. We the Public are told that the West's campaign is to "rid the world of terrorism" by capturing Osama bin Laden, "dead or alive", and punishing Afghanistan's Taliban Government, though both bin Laden and the Taliban were funded allies of the U.S. not later than 2 years ago and no proof has yet been shown to we the Public that ties bin Laden or the Taliban to the 9/11 attacks. Why should this one person and this one poor, distant country deserve so much firepower? Why -- when the death and destruction visited on Afghanistan will inflame Muslims around the world to further hatred and retaliation against the U.S.?
We've found that Afghanistan contains prizes that could be worth trillions of dollars to two of the biggest businesses on Earth: those that deal in fossil fuels (oil and gas) and those that deal in opiate narcotics (heroin).
According to the Statistical Review of World Energy, Central Asia and the Middle East have reserves of 800 billion barrels of crude petroleum and its equivalent in natural gas (versus the 160 billion barrels that are estimated to remain in the rest of the world). These regions are strongholds of Islamic fundamentalism. Reserves in the Caspian Sea and nearby are the major new find of the past 10 years in oil-exploration. Western Corporations want a pipeline east, one that avoids Russia, Iran and the Bosporus, one that offers a short route to sales in Asia that are expected to increase by 10 billion barrels per year (versus a 1 billion-per-year increase in Europe, according to the United States Department of Energy). Unocal (Union 76) was the chief partner in the Central Asian Oil Pipeline and the Central Asian Gas Pipeline. Both of these Pipelines were to run east through Turkmenistan, one nation that borders the Caspian Sea, then south through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. In December 1998, four months after U.S. missiles first struck Afghanistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden, Unocal pulled out of both projects, citing `instability' in Afghanistan due to the Taliban.
As to opium, the source of heroin, Central Asia produces 3/4 of the world's supply, its 4600 metric tons per year worth $100 billion to $200 billion, about 1/3 of the $500 billion that's the annual profit from narcotics in the world, according to an excellent article by Michael Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and at the Centre for Reseach of Globalization, posted on the Internet on September 12.
On October 6 an article by Ranjit Devrah in the Hong Kong-based Asia Times began with this paragraph: `Just as the Gulf War in 1991 was all about oil, the new conflict in South and Central Asia is no less about access to the region's abundant petroleum resources, according to Indian analysts.
The article continued: "`US influence and military presence in Afghanistan and the Central Asian states, not unlike that over the oil-rich Gulf states, would be a major strategic gain,' said V R Raghavan, a strategic analyst and former general in the Indian army."
From the information we know now, information not likely to soon be on Network TV, we can also see a great deal more to beware and to resist about this second Bush War. Go well.
Fourth Reich Rising Bombs, Oil, Drugs, Stocks and Banks 24 October 2001
That Corporations now rule Governments is felt by many people.
bombs, made by and for Corporations, are blowing up helpless civilians in faraway places again.
We can also now see the underlying reality that Governments serve the interests of Chevron around the Caspian Sea just as Governments serve Chevron in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Some people think that this is how things should be. "The business of America is business." They favor completion of the "New World Order" that the first President Bush promised us more than 10 years ago.
Benito Mussolini was one who thought so. The Fascist dictator of Italy and ally of Adolf Hitler during the 1930s thought so much of businesses' dominance that he called his nation `the Corporate State.' TIME Magazine, NBC radio, and Henry Ford all praised Mussolini's and Hitler's new model of a Nation-State. Even during World War II General Motors, General Electric, Standard Oil, the Chase Bank, International Telephone and Telegraph, and the investment-bank of Brown Brothers Harriman partnered with businesses in Fascist Germany and Italy. I. G.Farben, manufacturer of Bayer commercial products, was among the largest of such German businesses.
These partners helped to kill tens of millions in World War II.
Now the United States and its Western allies are entering into a new war, devastating the crucial nation of Afghanistan, forcing the flight of thousands of refugees, enraging millions of Muslims, bombing those they purport to save, against the "terrorist" Osama bin Laden and the Taliban Government that "harbors" him.
Propaganda unprecedented in my lifetime surrounds us. `America Strikes Back' -- every Network's screen shows the Red-White-and-Blue. James Brown, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Clint Black and Faith Hill perform to benefit the victims of September 11. Many echo George W. Bush's calls for "unity." Four everyday workers in the already are dead from exposure to anthrax spores delivered via letter. The Stars and Stripes and citizens' fears increase.
One certainty grows clear, however, from scanning the complex of connections, the events from the 1930s forward that have led to horrific profiteering, the cast of the elite whose privileges and machinations go back generations, the astounding partnerships of now that you soon will see: this new war is an old one.
This war is not for freedom. This war is not not for justice. This war is for the rich and fearful. This war is for Corporate interests. This war is for the stuff of modern, hidden fascists' dreams -- the dreams of George W. Bush, his father, both their Cabinets, and their supporters in and outside Government.
Those Darn Coincidences
Bear with me through some history, please.
You will remember Brown Brothers Harriman from the collaborators with Nazi Germany that are listed above. A Senior Partner in this investment-bank was Prescott Bush, father of George Herbert Walker Bush and grandfather of somebody's President. After World War II Prescott Bush and Banker's Trust helped I. G. Farben executives (see above) and other Nazis retain their assets. Worldwide cartels in aluminum (Alcoa one partner), oil and synthetic rubber (Standard Oil of New Jersey one partner), and pharmaceuticals were thus protected.
Now, October 2001, we learn that Bayer of Germany, an I. G. Farben subsidiary, somehow controls rights to the only vaccine for inhalation of anthrax spores that's approved for sale in the
Bayer's drug, Cipro, costs $690 for two months' supply of it here. Generic equivalents from India would cost us $20 for the same supply.
We also know now that BioPort, a Michigan firm headed by former Admiral William J. Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Ronald Reagan, in 1998 somehow gained control of U.S. rights to the only vaccine against skin-contact with anthrax that's approved for sale in the U.S. till 2003.
(Please also know that many Doctors believe varieties of readily available penicillin to be equally effective, much cheaper antidotes to anthrax.)
George W. Bush has ordered National Guard units to protect BioPort's plant.
A major stockholder in BioPort is the Carlyle Group, a Washington, DC firm that manages more than $12 billion for investors (including $425 million from the California Public Employees' Retirement fund). Former Secretary of State James Baker III is on the Carlyle Group's staff. His former boss, George H.W. Bush, also visits heads of state on behalf of the Group, paid a fee of $80,000 to $100,000 per speech.
Oil is also big with the Carlyle Group. Baker III, the elder George Bush, and the current U.S. VIce-President, Dick Cheney, have all negotiated with Governments that surround the Caspian Sea about how Corporations can profit from oil there. Pipelines are their particular interest. The Group's Chairman, Frank Carlucci, has a resume of multiple, related interests. He was Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, Deputy Director of the CIA under Jimmy Carter, Undersecretary of HUD under Richard Nixon, and a classmate at Princeton with Donald Rumsfeld, the current Secretary of Defense and chief cheerleader for bombing Afghanistan.
Back to BioPort. Another major stockholder in this sole patent-holder for a vaccine against anthrax in the U.S. is -- brace yourselves -- the bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia. George H. W. Bush also acts as a consultant for the bin Laden family. The "terrorist" Osama, you will remember, is the most famous son of this family.
Then there are stocks. Bush family connections also figure in the suspicious purchase of a wildly high volume of "short" stocks in United and American Airlines just before September 11. To "short" a stock is to bet it will fall -- your profit will then be the amount of that stock's drop when you sell it minus your broker's commission. On September 6 and 7 "short" orders were taken for United Airlines at rates over 1000% the norm at Chicago's Board of Options Exchange, according to Michael Ruppert in his newsletter From the Wilderness. The same was true for American Airlines on September 10. The CIA monitors such transactions for signs of trouble afoot. Somehow, however, the extraordinary spikes of "shorts" against United and American didn't prompt the CIA to warn anyone we know of danger. The source of much of these "short" stock transactions was Deutsche Bank in Germany and its new subsidiary in the , Banker's Trust (see above), a firm for which the current Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, served as Vice-Chairman till 1999.
Back to oil. On September 7 Chevron and Texaco merged, creating a Corporation with more than $100 billion in assets. Among those assets are a 45% interest in the Tengiz oil-field of Kazakhstan. Exxon Mobil owns 25% of this field that's estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of oil (multiply 9 billion by $20 or $30 for revenues). Dick Cheney was on the Kazakhstan Oil Advisory Board while head of Halliburton, an oil-field supplier, before his selection as Vice-President.
On September 7, too, Jeb Bush, the younger brother or son or grand-son, signed an Executive Order in Florida that readied the National Guard for martial law there.
You may be seeing a pattern. That pattern may in turn form a picture in your thoughtful mind. To me the pattern is of privileged insider after insider profiting from events on or around September 11 while also taking steps to both suppress dissent and reap further profits from much greater violence and expropriation in the future.
That is, the pattern is one of covert fascism.
On to the Taliban. The Taliban means "students." Thus in Afghanistan there is currently a "Government of students." Although military novices, the Taliban took power in 1996 from seven factions of warlords who had fought over Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal of 1989. The Taliban have since rebuilt schools and hospitals and eliminated (according to a year 2000 United Nations Drug Control Program study) opium cultivation in their territory. They have barred the selling of women as chattels. In fact, acccording to a speech by their roving Ambassador, Sayyid Rahmatullah Hashemi, at the University of Southern California on March 10, 2001, women work in the Taliban's Ministries of Health, of Education, of the Interior, of Social Affairs, and more women than men attend the schools of Medical Science that the Taliban had re-opened in all of Afghanistan's major cities.
Such, however, of course, is somehow not the representation that Corporate media makes of the Taliban here.
Nor is the Taliban's and Unocal's (Union 76) failure to agree on a pipeline through Afghanistan much mentioned here.
Contrary information doesn't suit the Corporate State.
Real journalism reveals contradictions that upset thought-control.
We must therefore find out as much as we can of independent information.
We must resist the programming that would rob us of judgment and compassion.
The Government -- not our government -- is again bombing Hospitals, convoys of refugees, and Red Cross food-centers even as celebrities on TV here appeal for donations to "aid the victims of terror" through the American Red Cross. How is any civilian casualty -- mother, father or child -- worth more than another? How does pitting Northern Alliance warlords against the Taliban in order to return a King -- a King! -- help? How is the Corporate Government accomplishing any of the goals it tries to sell us?
Compassion is more alien to the Corporate Government than sweat is to a stone. How is it deserving of any respect? How can it be honored if it chooses to use its power so selfishly and cruelly and for ends so brutal and stupid as money for oil?
The Corporate Government wants us to buy for it and die for it and that is all.
So, folks, knowing what we do, we must go on working and fighting for justice and peace, here and everywhere.
Oh Say Can You See . . . Red-White-and-Blue S.U.V.'s The Most Enormous and Evil Scam In U.S. Ruling-Class History 12 December 2001
The leading Corporate-sponsored News these days is all about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. We can't avoid such News. It affects us even if we ignore it. It reaches all the way to the cars we drive along 3rd Street.
Stories are told daily in newspapers and on TV. They come under the headings of `America Responds' , `America Fights Back', `The War on Terrorism', and so on.
None of such News much examines why the U.S. is in Afghanistan. None of it much investigates likely aims and ends of the war there, nor probes the huge holes in official accounts. None of it dares to suggest that a multinational plot of jaw-dropping scope and cruelty, a kind of global coup, is hijacking our futures, robbing our freedoms, and hurting poor people most of all.
Since September 11 this column has tried to explore what's really going on.
Its early, inescapable conclusion (September 19) was that at least part of the U.S. Government at least allowed the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. More investigation (September 26, October 10) revealed that the Bush Adminstration and its prime Corporate sponsors were the main, economic and political beneficiaries of outcomes from the September 11 horror.
Oil -- that is, billions and trillions of dollars from oil and gas nearby the Caspian Sea and from the pipelines that would carry said oil and gas -- was revealed as a key objective behind the U.S. campaign to wipe out the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Repression of dissent, cuts to civil rights, and a new legitimacy for the Bush Administration were the big, immediate domestic gains of Government for Corporations. Finally (`Fourth Reich Rising', October 24) this column pointed out the generations-old connections (from Nazi Germany forward) between the U.S. Corporate Establishment and openly fascist partners. It showed that profits with Bush-family ties extend even to the U.S. Patents for vaccines against anthrax.
Evidence that has since emerged points to a plot more sinister and brutal than decent people can imagine.
The evidence's sources are themselves multinational and mostly Establishment. They include MS-NBC, Le Figaro in France, the Guardian and BBC in England, dailies in India, Pakistan and Spain, and a new book titled Bin Laden: The Hidden Truth. Many are cited in Michael Ruppert's e-mail newsletter From the Wilderness and on the globalcircle.net and Irish Times Websites.
Here is a timeline of facts. See what picture or pictures they form for you.
A Carpet of Gold . . . Or A Carpet of Bombs
- February-April 2001. Negotiations began between U.S. Government and Taliban representatives to revive construction of pipelines that Unocal (Union 76) had proposed 6 years earlier. The pipelines would carry oil and gas through Turkmenistan, Afghanisan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea, the shortest possible route to lucrative markets in the Far East. Last March, Laila Helms, Afghan neice of Richard Helms, he a former Director of the CIA and a former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, assisted an aide of Taliban leader Mullah Muhammed Omar, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, in meetings with the CIA in Washington. In April Secretary of State Colin Powell announced aid of $43 million to the Taliban. (The Irish Times, 11/19/01.)
- In May 2001 U..S Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet met with Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad, Pakistan. The meeting was reported to be `unusually long.' It presumably included Tenet's counterpart, Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad, head of the ISI, Pakistan's equivalent of the CIA. (The Indian SAPRA news agency, 5/22/01)
- In July 2001 Thomas Simons (former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia) met in Berlin with negotiators from the Taliban, Russian and six oil-rich nations that neighbor Afghanistan. (The Guardian, 9/22/01; the BBC, 9/18/01.)
- According to Jean-Charles Brisard, co-author of Bin Laden: The Hidden Truth: "At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the Taliban, `either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs'." Naif Naik, former Pakistani Minister for Foreign Affairs, was also present. He recalled that the discussions turned around "the formation of a government of national unity. If the Taliban had accepted this coalition, they would have immediately received international economic aid. . . . And the pipelines from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would have come." Naik also recalled "that Tom Simons, the U.S. representative at these meetings, openly threatened the Taliban and Pakistan. Simons said, `either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan convinces them to do so, or we will use another option'. The words Simons used were `a military operation,' Naik claimed." (Inter Press Service, 11/15.01.)
- On July 14, 2001 Osama bin Laden, reputed "mastermind of the al-Qaeda terror network", was in his private suite at a hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for treatment of chronic kidney infection. He met there with `a top CIA official.' Although bin Laden was subject to `execution' by the U.S. for his presumed role in the 1998 bombing of Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, his private jet left Dubai without interception by Navy planes. (Le Figaro, 10/31/01).
- July 2001. Pakistan's ISI Chief Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad had an aide wire-transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, the pilot who later became infamous as presumed leader of the September 11 hijackings/atrocities. In October 2001 Mahmud Ahmad resigned from the ISI after the FBI confirmed this crucial wire-transfer. (The Times of India, 10/11/01.)
- August 2, 2001. Christina Rocca, the State Department's Director of Asian Affairs, met with the Taliban's Ambassador to Pakistan in Islamabad, the last direct contact between U.S. Government and Taliban representatives (The Irish Times, 11/19/01.)
- August 2001. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered operatives to warn the U.S. Government "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings (MS-NBC interview with Putin, 9/15/01)
- August 2001. The New York Stock Exchange dropped more than 900 points in three weeks, prompting predictions of a Depression-like crash of the Market.
- End of August, 2001. Economic bulletins noted the 1,120,000 jobs lost in the U.S. since January and the precipitous falls of growth in all Western economies (Spanish newspaper Cinco Días, 9/5/02; speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro, 11/2/01 )
- September 3, 2001: Pakistan launched the independent Interstate Gas Company Limited (IGCL) to pursue `regional pipeline options' from Iran, Qatar, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates (The Dawn, 9/3/01).
- September 4-13, 2001. Pakistani ISI Chief Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad, benefactor of Mohammed Atta, met with State Department and CIA officials in Washington, DC. On September 13 Pakistan agreed to cooperate with the U.S. war on Afghanistan. (MS-NBC, Oct. 7, 2001)
- September 11, 2001. At 8:15 a.m. the first of four hijacked U.S. airliners diverged sharply from its flight-plan. 75 minutes later -- and 45 minutes after the first airliner crashed into the World Trade Center -- the National Command Authority scrambled jets to defend U.S. air-space. [Sources: CNN, ABC, MS-NBC, more.)
- October 9, 2001. Wendy Chamberlain, U.S. Ambassdor, visited Pakistan's Minister of Oil. The pipelines desired by Unocal and other Western Corporations are reported to be "back on the table." (The Frontier Post of Pakistan, 10/10/01).
We Can Fight Or We Can Lose
What do you see from the above timeline of facts?
I see a plot with many twists. I see one blind and brutal aim: pipelines through Afghanistan. The Bush Administration, acting for Corporations that derive their wealth from oil, tried to make the Taliban "behave as they ought to" "through inducements and threats." Their ultimate threat was the ruling-class's tried-and-true "military operation," offered last July by Thomas Simons.
Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad, former Chief of Pakistan's ISI, is a more uncertain element. Either he was working with the presumed 'ISI/Taliban/bin Laden axis', or he was setting up Afghanistan for a possible U.S.-led war from a time not later than that of CIA Director George Tenet's visit to Afghanistan last May. His dispatch of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta would fit either role. Or Mahmud Ahmad may have changed sides under extreme pressure just after the attacks of September 11.
Any of the logical scenarios that can be deduced from the evidence before us now, however, are 100% contrary to the rhetoric delivered by George W. Bush and the `goals' that his Adminstratrion uses to support `America Responds . . . The War on Terrorism.'
The plot that I now see arouses in me sadness, scorn, disgust and anger.
I feel sad for the victims first. Survivors of the more than 4000 dead in New York City and Washington, DC are living victims. They must persist without loved ones for the rest of their lives. I also feel sad for the dead who passed without the least knowledge of why they were perishing. I feel sad, too, for the the millions more who will die from U.S.-led bombing of Afghanistan and the starvation that goes with it.
Scorn is what I feel for the plot's crudity and obviousnes. Did its operatives not expect the public to connect threats with actions and actions with consequences?
Disgust is the least that's deserved for the hyprocrisy and ruthlessness of the plot's evident perpetrators: the Corporate Government of the United States.
Anger is my final and most unshakeable feeling. Seeing to the bottom of this rich man's war sets my jaw against it. This whole show -- with its tens of thousands of deaths already -- is all for possible profits from gas and oil.
Now we may all know the true enormity and evil of events on and around September 11. Our first duty is to spread the word.
The Bush Administration is not stopping. In the past 6 weeks it's seen its USA PATRIOT Act pass in the Senate and Congress, letting the Government eavesdrop on e-mail and other forms of private communication whenever it wishes. It's put forth a Bill to give $100 billion more to Corporations ($1 billion to Ford, $833 million to General Motors, $671 million to General Electric, and so forth) through repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax; another $21 billion of the giveaway would be through legalization of offshore tax-havens in the Bahamas and elsewhere). The Bush Administration now declares the need for `secret military tribunals' outside the rule and reach of any other law, defendants decided by the Government, all evidence hidden..
We're headed, in short, toward outright fascism: an outright Corporate State.
We're headed toward red-white-and-blue S.U.V.'s. Make that red-white-and-blue dog-collars. Let Rex show the flag. Add patriotic music to the patriotic display. Press red on your dog's collar for "The Stars and Stripes Forever" -- blue for "America the Beautiful" -- and of course white for "God Bless America."
Also, let's dispense with any pretense of representative Government. Let CEOs of Corporations directly make up the United States' Cabinet. Let them directly set the Federal Budget. Let Dick Cheney go back to Halliburton -- Secretary of the Defense Donald Rumsfeld back to Searle Pharaceuticals -- Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill back to Alcoa Aluminum -- and George W. Bush back to Harken Energy and the Texas Rangers.
I think, however, that another turn will soon be taken.
We know too much to have our futures hijacked. Our own communication has helped to expose this latest attempt at a global coup. We'll resist the robbery of hard-won freedoms.
We know what's urgent and necessary and we'll do it ourselves. The majority of us believe not a bit in hacks of either Corporate Party, Republicrat or Democan. We feel the real terror that surrounds us. Mothers of Bayview Hunters Point -- and of Richmond, Martinez, and, yes, Walnut Creek -- all wake up to their children coughing. We know who suffers most from norms that are themselves crimes.
We know who and what are responsible for everyday and exceptional (September 11) crimes. We have only to act -- act now for our children's future -- from what we know in our hearts.
23 December 2001
Osama The Stouter
Before getting serious with a capital B (and that stands for Biowarfare), let's have some fun. It's Christmas-time, Kwanza-time, Hanukah-time, and just past Ramadan. Let's laugh at some recent nonsense from our illegitimate Government.
Let's look back at the Osama bin Laden video that was released on December 13. "The smoking gun," this tape was called by Corporate media. It provided "the proof", Networks said, of O. b. L.'s "responsibility" for September 11's `Attack on America.' This tape showed "the worst of civilization," George W. Bush said, referring to its chortling focus, the "mastermind" of "terrorists" , the embodiment of foreign "evil", O. b. L.
The tape, however, has several probems. It offers several reasons for us to not believe in its legitimacy, either. This "smoking gun" has backfired around
Probably foremost among its flaws is that its Osama is not the same person who was Osama in tapes from last October and September.
Incredible! you may say. I urge you to compare video-stills of the faces, if you're able, through print media or Internet. The whatreallyhappened.com and rense.com Websites both have excellent images and information.
Wrong nose, the Rense.com site simply states. On this site a viewer named Sylvia writes: `I am not blind or stupid,' she writes. `The 'person' in the tape is NOT ObL. The nose is too short, the beard is too full and white and too high-up on the cheeks. The forehead is flatter and broader.'
Haroon Sulaiman from South Africa observes that the 12/13 O. b. L. appears to have been `gulping down more than his fair share of the "food aid" that is being dropped because he is obviously carrying a few more pounds, mostly in the face.'
Sulaiman also notes `that the parts of the audio that can be heard do not sound anything at all like the audio of bin Laden on the Al Jazeera broadcasts. In fact it does not even sound like the arabic spoken by an arab.'
There are further telltales.
The 12/13 Osama writes with his right hand. The FBI's file on O. b. L. says that he's left-handed. The 12/13 Osama wears a ring on his right hand. Prior footage of O. b. L. -- the bin Laden of long face and long neck -- shows no such ring. The excessive shadows on the 12/13 Osama's cheeks indicate digital manipulation.
Abdul Hameed Khan's letter to the Frontier Post of Pakistan is representative of responses. `The bin Laden video released by the US Government is a poor Hollywood production which has . . . become more of a comedy and subject of ridicule. . . . If Bush and Company can come out with nothing better than this `proof', their unjust action in Afghanistan is thoroughly exposed.'
What Does Such a Crude Fake Mean?
To me the dopeyness of the Osama the Stouter tape -- this ballyhooed fizzle of a "smoking gun" -- is even more alarming than it is funny. To me it more shows that the Bush Adminstration believes it can get away with anything and will stop at nothing.
To me it shows even more of offensive disrespect toward us, the public, and more of the terrible arrogance, desperation and stupidity by that part of the ruling class which is now driving the United States from blunders to horrors everywhere.
Before September 11 the Bush Administration and the ruling class that it represents were near exposure and embarrassment. The U.S. had lost 1.2 million jobs since January. The New York Stock Exchange had dropped 900 points in 3 weeks of August. Protests against neo-colonial "globalization" were intensifying. Investigations of Corporate and Government price-fixing were closing in.
Since 9/11 the the Bush Administration and the ruling class that it represents has gained domestic repression and tens of billions of Corporate giveaways, but its control is still precarious. For the great majority in the U.S. our economy is a worsening wreck. More than 800,000 jobs are gone from this nation in the past three months.
Costing a billion dollars a day, the war in Afghanistan has removed the Taliban from government and established U.S. military Bases there. Still, thousands of guerrilla have escaped, none of the Taliban leadership has been captured, and no version of O. b. L. has been "brought to justice." Prospects for the stability that might allow pipelines such as Unocal wants (through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea) are at least as shaky as they ever were.
Also persisting are great, gaping questions about the 9/11 attacks.
How could these attacks have happened as Government's and media's stories present them? Why were strict Federal Aviation Agency and U.S. Armed Forces' procedures toward off-course airliners ignored on 9/11? Why did no U.S. Armed Forces defend the Pentagon from the airliner that struck that building 53 minutes after the first airliner exploded into a World Trade tower?
Who died in the World Trade Center? How many died in the FBI offices there? How many in the four WTC floors occupied by the Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley investment-banking firms?
Three months later, we have yet to see anything like complete and credible accounts from Government agencies and Corporate media. Meanwhile, the information that nourishes questions flourishes through alternative media -- such as this newspaper -- in the U.S. and around the world.
Thus we can see that the Bush Administration -- already rattling on about attacking Iraq, Somalia, Iran and anywhere else that might be a good purchase for more control of oil -- may want to soon distract us with another pretext for the further war and repression that it needs. It barges on in classic Fascist fashion.
The Next Wave May Be a New Plague
In early October this column warned that a `Second Wave of "Terror" ` might come from biochemical warfare. Corporate generals Cheney (Vice-President) and Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense) have repeatedly raised this threat.
Here's why we should worry more now.
The past two months have seen a rash of deaths of scientists whose expertise is infectious diseases such as anthrax and the Ebola virus. On November 16 Harvard's Dr. Don C. Wiley disappeared in Memphis, Tennessee, his rental car abandoned on a bridge over the Mississippi. Dr. Wiley, a Professor of biochemistry and biophysics, was then described as `a national expert' on the Ebola virus. Also on 11/16, Dr. Benito Que, a cellular biologist, was found comatose in Miami, Florida. Police said Dr. Que died from "mugging," though his head exhibited no trauma. On December 12 Dr. Robert M. Schwartz was found in his fieldstone farmhouse in northern Virginia, stabbed to death. Dr. Schwartz, a widower, was a founding member of the Virginia Biotechnology Association, his expertise DNA sequencing. Also on 12/12, in Geelong, Australia, microbiologist Set Van Nguyen suffocated in an air-lock of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, his cause of death there unprecedented.
In October a plane carrying Israeli microbiologists was shot down over the Black Sea en route to Russia's biological warfare center at Novosibirsk. Media attributed the shootdown to a Ukranian missile that went hundreds of miles off-course. Soon thereafter the crash of a Swissair Corsair killed the head of Ichilov Hospital's Hematology Department and the directors of the Hebrew University School Of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Public Health Department.
Meanwhile, unstoppably fatal disseases were breaking out elsewhere.
In December Pakistan's Frontier Post stated: `The largest outbreak in history of a highly contagious disease that causes patients to bleed to death from every orifice has been confirmed on Pakistan's frontier with Afghanistan. At least 75 people have caught the disease so far and eight have died.'
This month, too, Jane's Defence Weekly of England, the world's leading authority on military hardware and operations, reported that Iran had set up 40 quarantine bases along its border with Afghanistan after `more than 100 citizens' were infected by the same disease: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever. Jane's went on: `Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever has similar effects to the ebola virus. Both viruses damage arteries, veins and other blood vessels and lead to the eventual collapse of major organs. As one doctor put it, a patient suffering from haemorrhagic fever "literally melts in front of your eyes." `
On December 21 the San Francisco Chronicle followed up on two stories. Page A5: the Ebola virus had spread from Gabon to the Republic of the Congo in west-central Africa, killing 15 people. Page A6: the body of Dr. Don. C. Wiley was found in Vidalia, Louisiana, snagged on a tree in a tributary of the Mississippi River, 320 miles south of Memphis, five weeks `after he mysteriously disappeared.'
There are precededents for the U.S. waging war with infectious diseases.
49 years ago an international committee found that the U.S. had dropped "flea-bombs" on Chinese and North Korean soldiers. By the end of the 1950s Fort Detrick in Maryland -- evident source of the Democrat- or proletarian-specific anthrax that killed four working-people in the U.S. last Fall -- had developed mosquitoes that bore yellow fever, malaria and dengue: fleas that bore plague: ticks that bore tularaemia or "rabbit fever": and flies that bore cholera, anthrax and dysentery. During the Vietnam War our Government rained Agent Orange on rice-paddies; veterans still suffer terribly from this herbicide. In the early 1970s the U.S. and anti-Castro paramilitaries landed a swine-flu virus on Cuba that killed a half-million hogs.
U.S. research has not stopped. One week before the September 11 attacks the New York Times revealed: `Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a programme of secret research on chemical and biological weapons that, some officials say, tests the limits of the global treaty banning such weapons. The projects, which have not been previously disclosed, were begun under President Clinton and have been embraced by the Bush administration, which intends to expand them.'
A tick is supposed to have borne the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever that's beginning to plague Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.
We must watch out for whatever further disease may visit us here, and we must especially watch out for whoever may be its sources.
Given all that we face, how can we respond?
"How act?" a friend asked after she read my last column and its detailing of the `plot' that's appears bent on `hijacking our futures' through a ruthless, go-anywhere-and-do-anything kind of `global coup.'
The first principle to which we must hold, I think, is resistance. We must fight back with whatever means seem to us possible and necessary. A war of disrespect, arrogance and pathological stupidity is being waged against poor people everywhere -- killing in Hunters Point as in Vieques as in Afghanistan. We must arm ourselves with information and other tools and weapons. We must spread the word about what we know. We must do our jobs and play our positions, as Davey D and Weyland Southon recently said on KPFA's "Hard Knock Radio." We are far from a marginalized minority. Many in this country and around the world are justly alarmed and angry.
We are billions, really. We must REFUSE to let this Bush Administration or any ruling class defraud or bully us away from the future that could be ours, the general prosperity that we could share, if not bent by an old, boneheaded model of exploitation, if not yoked to fossil fuels for another cruel century,
A new year is coming. Action! Direct action is the key to change and Hunters Point and the Bay View are the key to positively changing San Francisco. Shut down PG&E's plant! Occupy the Shipyard! And more!
Thanks to my fellow columnists, especially gracious in expressing sentiments over the past months -- thanks to the many who have written to me -- and thanks to Willie, Mary and Kenya for this lively newspaper.