Friday, November 30, 2007

Mohammed the Bear

Picture credit

Breitbart and the AP report (11-30-07):

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) - Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of a British teacher Friday and demanded her execution for insulting Islam by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Sudan's Islamic government, which has long whipped up anti-Western, Muslim hard-line sentiment at home, was balancing between fueling outrage over the case of Gillian Gibbons and containing it.

The government does not want to seriously damage ties with Britain, but the show of anger underlines its stance that Sudanese oppose Western interference, lawyers and political foes said. The uproar comes as the U.N. is accusing Sudan of dragging its feet on the deployment of peacekeepers in the war-torn Darfur region.

Many in the protesting crowd shouted "Kill her! Kill her by firing squad!" [full text]

Monday, November 26, 2007

Newsweek Hires Karl Rove!

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"---Puck (from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Act III, scene ii); Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Newsweek has hired Karl Rove, the embattled former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff for President Bush, to be a Newsweek contributor.

In his first article, "How to Beat Hillary (Next) November" (11-26-07), Mr. Rove gives some free campaign advice to the future GOP nominee.

On the contentious issue of the war in Iraq, Mr. Rove advises:

Be strong on Iraq. Democrats have bet on failure. That's looking to be an increasingly bad wager, given the remarkable progress seen recently in Iraq. If the question is who will get out quicker, the answer is Hillary. The Republican candidate wants to recast the question to: who will lead America to victory in a vital battleground in the War on Terror? There will be contentious fights over funding the troops and over intelligence-gathering right after the parties settle on their candidates. Both battles will help the Republican candidate demonstrate who will be stronger in winning the new struggle of the 21st century.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tim Giago: Courageously Speaking Truth in the Face of Violence

"I wrote articles questioning the leadership and the tactics of AIM [American Indian Movement] 27 years ago and have written several articles since then. For my efforts my newspaper had its windows blasted out and an attempt was made to burn my building to the ground in 1982 and my life and that of my family was threatened. My articles questioned the continued violence and confrontations between the different factions on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It took the courage of Oglala tribal president Joe American Horse, standing up on the council floor to defend my newspaper, that finally brought the assaults upon the Lakota Times to an end.

As it was then and it is now, my only purpose in writing about AIM, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Government and the FBI in those days was in an effort to seek out truth and justice."---Tim Giago

A series of articles about the involvement of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the mid-December 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash, the February 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee at Pine Ridge Indian reservation, and other contentious issues have been posted at the Woodland Indians Forum. At this writing, there are four posts on the topic of Mr. Giago's article.

The first post is a 9-4-07 article by Tim Giago called "AIM Responsible for Anna Mae's Death," which was originally published here. Mr. Giago is an Oglala Lakota who grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I first wrote about Mr. Giago here.

Mr. Giago's article is attacked by "Friends of Leonard Peltier" (8-31-07) and by Bill Means (9-6-07) in the second and third posts.

Mr. Giago responds eloquently to Bill Means in the fourth post, which was originally published here on 9-10-07:

Ordinarily I do not respond to attacks upon my column unless the attacks are laced with untruths. A response to my column about the American Indian Movement and its involvement in the death of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash by Bill Means does deserve a response.

A member of AIM, Arlo Looking Cloud, was convicted as a participant in the death of Anna Mae. This is a fact. Most of the items in my column about events leading up to her death and after are well documented in the court records of the Looking Cloud trial. Anyone wishing to have access to those court documents will find them readily available.

John “Boy” Graham will eventually be extradited from Canada and he will stand trial for Anna Mae’s murder. Bill Means will then have the opportunity to defend AIM in a court of law and as he suggests, “AIM will stand before any court and compare our record with the FBI.” The trial will determine the righteousness of his comment.

Means also claims, “Over eighty Oglala tribal members were killed by the ‘goons’ between 1973 and 1976 and no one was ever charged and many of these deaths were not investigated. The only reason these people were killed is because they were identified as AIM members.” I have a lot of respect for Bill Means, but this statement is not true and is one of the main focal points of AIM’s distortion of the facts.

When I was the editor of the Indian Country Today, we published a list of every member of the Oglala Lakota tribe killed from 1973 to 1976. Only a couple of the deaths were questionable. Nearly every death was related to domestic violence, suicide, accidents or killings while the perpetrator was intoxicated. Every death was thoroughly investigated by the Oglala Tribal Police and the FBI. In most of the cases the killers were identified, tried and convicted. This information is also readily available to anyone interested in obtaining it.

Although undermanned and under funded, the Oglala Public Safety Commission has done an excellent job in their efforts to maintain law and order on the Pine Ridge Reservation since the occupation of Wounded Knee.

...I believe that the occupation of Wounded Knee by AIM in 1973 was wrong. For some to call it the “Liberation of Wounded Knee” is patently ridiculous. An entire village, trading post and a church were completely destroyed. Nearly 30 families were left homeless. No one, not AIM or the tribal government, has made an effort to rebuild the homes that were destroyed and members of the Wounded Knee community have pleaded and begged for 34 years to get the help so that they can move home.

The occupation of Wounded Knee did nothing to elevate the lives of the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation. In fact, the violence and appearance of lawlessness had just the opposite effect. Many programs earmarked for the reservation were canceled and several businesses wishing to build on the reservation withdrew their applications. Seven years after the occupation the Pine Ridge Reservation earned the dubious distinction by the U. S. Census Bureau of being declared the “Poorest County in America.”

The trial of John “Boy” Graham will, in all likelihood, reveal many more moments in the history of AIM that will not be appealing. The trial will probably take place in the federal courthouse in Rapid City, SD in 2008.

I wrote articles questioning the leadership and the tactics of AIM 27 years ago and have written several articles since then. For my efforts my newspaper had its windows blasted out and an attempt was made to burn my building to the ground in 1982 and my life and that of my family was threatened. My articles questioned the continued violence and confrontations between the different factions on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It took the courage of Oglala tribal president Joe American Horse, standing up on the council floor to defend my newspaper, that finally brought the assaults upon the Lakota Times to an end.

As it was then and it is now, my only purpose in writing about AIM, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Government and the FBI in those days was in an effort to seek out truth and justice.

I notice that Mr. Bill Means writes:

There was never any "observation by Bruce Ellison or Candy Hamilton" that anyone was ever held captive at my home in Rosebud, SD. Check the records of the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud.

I read an account on the Internet of what purports to be the testimony of Candy Hamilton at the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud. It does seem to me---provided this is an honest transcript---that Candy Hamilton does testify that Anna Mae was at Bill Means' home.

I also have written about Candy Hamilton because Ward Churchill claims that she told him that FBI-backed "goons" had killed 342 Indians, not 80 as Bill Means claims in his article.

Churchill wrote in the Summer 1985 issue of the Covert Action Information Bulletin:

[I]n the post-Wounded Knee context of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation, independent researcher Candy Hamilton established that at least 342 AIM members and supporters were killed by roving death squads aligned with and supported by the FBI. (The death squads called themselves GOONs, "Guardians of the Oglala Nation.") This was between 1973 and 1976 alone.

Of course, Ward Churchill has been fired from the University of Colorado for his dishonest research, so I don't know if Candy Hamilton really made the claim that Ward Churchill attributes to her in his 1985 article in the Covert Action Information Bulletin.

I have read that this Covert Action Information Bulletin was associated with the Soviet-era KGB, the Cuban intelligence, and with a man named Phil Agee, who was fired from the CIA and ended up as a communist propagandist in Cuba.

The documents in the Mitrokhin Archive demonstrate that the purpose of this C.A.I.B was to discredit the CIA and FBI. It sure seems to me that communist intelligence agencies wouldn't care about solving the problems of American Indians; they would only have an interest in exploiting or even creating tensions within Indian communities and between Indians and law enforcement.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Poem for Thanksgiving: "Ode to Autumn" by John Keats

Ode To Autumn
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Happy Thanksgiving to All America!

Picture credit and White House Thanksgiving photo site: President Bush and children pet the White House Turkeys "May" and "Flower" in the White House Rose Garden.

Here is a site about the pardoning of "May" and "Flower." That ogre Dick Cheney wanted to name them "Lunch" and "Dinner," but he didn't have the votes! You can watch the President pardon these birds on a video link on the right at this site.

The President promises: "They'll be shortly flown to Disney World, where they will serve as Honorary Grand Marshals for the Thanksgiving Day Parade."

The one in my refrigerator will not be so fortunate!

Here is the official White House Thanksgiving site for 2007! The site has many reflections on how this holiday has evolved over the years and what it means for our nation.

The President and his family will feast on a traditional Thanksgiving menu at Camp David.

Here is the President's Thanksgiving greeting from Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia. President Bush tells us, "Berkeley also claims to be the site of America's first official Thanksgiving." It's a pretty interesting story, but I am still partial to the Plymouth Plantation story.

Historical information about the history of the more famous Plymouth Thanksgiving story can be found here. The History Channel has provided an interesting account of the history of America's Thanksgiving holiday. The only account written at the time of the 1621 Plymouth Thanksgiving was Edward Winslow's December 1621 letter:

"Our Corne did proue well, & God be praysed, we had a good increase of Indian Corne, and our Barly indifferent good, but our Pease not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sowne, they came vp very well, and blossomed, but the Sunne parched them in the blossome; our harvest being gotten in, our Governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a more speciall manner reioyce together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst vs, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoyt, with some nintie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed fiue Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed upon our Governour, and upon the Captaine, and others. And although it be not alwayes so plentifull, as it was at this time with vs, yet by the goodneses of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Edward Winslow, Plymouth, in New England, this 11th of December, 1621. in A RELATION OR Iournal of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plimoth in NEW ENGLAND, by certaine English Aduenturers both Merchants and others. LONDON, Printed for Iohn Bellamie, 1622. pp. 60-61.

[See this interesting site called "Primary Sources for the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving" and the homepage called "The True Thanksgiving Story."]

Wikipedia also has an overview of the most famous history of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation.

Wikipedia describes the history of Bradford's manuscript:

In the years following his death, the manuscript was referenced by several New England historians, including Bradford's nephew Nathaniel Morton who published New England's Memorial in 1669. After remaining in the hands of the Bradford family for nearly a century, the manuscript passed to the Reverend Thomas Prince who used it in his writing of Chronological History in 1736.

After Prince's death, the manuscript was left in the tower of the Old South Church of Boston. During the Revolutionary War, British troops occupied the church and the manuscript was lost for another century. In the 1850s, it was discovered in the Bishop of London's library at Fulham Palace, and was published in print in 1856. Formal proposals to return the manuscript were not successful until the 1897 initiative of the Hon. George Hoar, United States Senator from Massachusetts, supported by the Pilgrim Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the New England Society of New York. The Bradford journal was presented to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is on deposit in the State Library in the State House in Boston. In 1912, the Massachusetts Historical Society published a "final" authorized version of the text.

Giving Thanks for all our blessings has a long history in America. Here is President Bush's official proclamation of Thanksgiving Day, 2007:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Joseph H. Trimbach's Book "American Indian Mafia" Awaits Final touches

In Sepember 2007, the retired FBI official, Joseph H. Trimbach, told an organization of retired FBI agents that his long-awaited book about the American Indian Movement (AIM) would soon be available. The book is titled American Indian Mafia: An FBI Agent’s True Story About Wounded Knee, Leonard Peltier, and the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Mr. Trimbach told the retired FBI agents:

To those of you ordered my book, AMERICAN INDIAN MAFIA, please accept my apologies for this extended delay. We had to wait for our endorsers’ responses and now wait for indexing. We did receive very favorable comments from Judge Webster and Oliver North as well as from prominent Native American journalists. I expect to mail out the books by the end of October, maybe sooner. Regards, Joe Trimbach ‘56-’79.

Search "Trimbach" [or click here] on this site for more information about this book.

It is impressive that Mr. Trimbach's book is commented on by Judge William H. Webster. As his Wikipedia entry notes:

[Judge Webster] was a former federal judge who ascended to the CIA after his successful coups against the New York mafia families while director of the FBI under President Jimmy Carter. Judge Webster is the only American to serve as both Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

I am very happy for Mr. Trimbach that he is finally going to be able to tell his side of the story about the AIM to the American people.

It is quite an honor to have prominent Native American journalists, a well-known political commentator such as Oliver North, and a public servant such as Judge Webster comment on Mr. Trimbach's book. I feel reaassured to know that Native American journalists, political commentators, and honorable public servants like Judge Webster and Mr. Trimbach are speaking out to defend the truth and protecting the freedoms all Americans enjoy.

Thank you, Mr. Trimbach!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Vladimir Putin Plans to Continue at the Helm of Russia!

Picture credit: "Demonstrations in support of a third term for President Vladimir Putin were held across Russia, including Chechnya, on October 24. As Kommersant noted on October 25, while both the Kremlin and the pro-Kremlin United Russia party claimed the demonstrations were spontaneous actions "from below," members of Russia's political opposition claim they were organized "from above" by United Russia."

I have mentioned before on my blog that observers such as the American journalist David Satter, the late Alexander Litvinenko, and the late Anna Politkovskaya believe that Russia's President Putin was behind the Russian apartment bombings. These observers have contended that the 1999 bombings, which were blamed on the Chechens, provided a pretext for the Second Chechen War and that the anger over the bombings catpulted Putin to power.

It is hard to know the truth, but Polikovskaya and Litvinenko were horribly murdered, and both claimed that Putin was behind these bombings. Readers can learn more about these two individuals by searching their last names on this blog. Both had also published books detailing their views. David Satter published an April 30, 2002 article in the National Review about the apartment bombings called "The Shadow of Ryazan." David Satter has a site with articles at the Hoover Institution and at the Hudson Institute, but his articles are complete and free at the Hudson Institute.

I asked a retired government employee who had served in the former Soviet Union if he thought that Putin would actually blow up the homes of his own people, and this individual said that Putin would be capable of that.

Now the Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor reports on Russian media speculation that President Vladimir Putin is planning to continue at the helm of the Russian state by "exploiting loopholes in Russia’s constitution and electoral laws."

The Eurasia Daily Monitor reports:

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave the strongest hint to date that he plans on remaining at the helm of the ship of state following the end of his second and final constitutionally mandated term next May. Putin, who will head the federal list of
candidates for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party in the December 2 State Duma elections, told workers in Krasnoyarsk on November 13: “If the people vote for United Russia, whose list I lead, it means that they trust me and, in turn, means that I will have the moral right to hold those in the Duma and the Cabinet responsible for the implementation of the objectives that have been identified so far.” Putin added: “In what form will I do this? I will refrain for now from providing a direct answer. But various possibilities exist” (Moscow Times, November 14). [full text]

One of President Putin's American cheerleaders is a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, the infamous David Duke. This odious white supremacist Duke has even written an article lauding Putin and defaming Jews. The article is called "Why Putin is Under Attack." Duke claims that Putin is being attacked because of the Jews.

David Duke received his Ph.D. from a Ukrainian University that promotes anti-Semitism and has written a book called Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question. This book has been published in Russia where
Politkovskaya's and Litvinenko's books are banned.

Some readers may think that only in "backward" places like the Ukraine do university professors teach hatred, but actually some professors and universities in America also promote anti-Semitism.

Until he was fired for his dishonest scholarship, the fake Indian ex-Professor Ward Churchill used his bully pulpit at the University of Colorado to spew hatred and to defend murderous dictators and terrorists.

Just as in Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany, Ward Churchill accuses his critics of being part of a big conspiracy; and his cynical hate-mongering is masked as progressive, enlightened, "scientific" scholarship in an attempt to fool gullible people.

The plagiarist, historical fabricator, and fake Indian Ward Churchill even "jokingly" claims that American mothers should "snuff" their babies and themselves because they are damaging the ecology of the Earth. What kind of science is that? Churchill talks about American mothers and babies the way that Hitler talked about the Jewish vermin who were supposedly infecting Germany and plotting to take over the world.

In Ukraine and Russia, anti-Semitic campaigns have historically been very dangerous for Jews, but the regime's main pupose has always been to exploit old, ignorant prejudices in order to manipulate and repress the non-Jewish majority.

The most famous anti-semitic work in modern times is a forgery called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The provenance of this forgery has been debated, but there is little doubt, based on analysis of the text, that it was falsely attributed to Jews who were purportedly potting world domination. Even today this old forgery is recycled to unsophisticated audiences in order to fan anti-Semitism.

Sometimes spies or political operators circulate disinformation in the form of false documents calculated to discredit their enemies. For example, Dan Rather was tricked into promoting forged, word-processed documents about President Bush's Vietnam-era service in the Texas National Guard. During the Vietnam War, the Texas National Guard only had typewriters. This scandal became known as "Rathergate."

Many people were also tricked by Ward Churchill's fabricated history of the Mandan genocide as well as by his fabricated claim that the FBI backed death-squads murdered 342 Indians at Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

I think Churchill based his fabricated anti-FBI conspiracy
on the true story of the Osage Indian Murders, one of the first big cases that the Bureau of Investigation, the forerunner of the FBI, solved. Here are FBI documents about the Osage Indian Murders.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day November 11, 2007

In Flanders Field
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
---Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
This Veterans Day, Vice President Cheney gave the speech at Arlington National Cemetery. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a link to Veterans Day speakers and speeches from 1954-2007. More general information is provided here.

Over at the Vietnam Memorial, Colin Powell is about to give his address.

I always remember my dad on Veterans Day. He served in post-war Germany in the early 1950s and in the Army Reserves until his mid-40s when he retired as a Colonel.

As a young child in post-War Germany, I saw the rows of barbed wire and the watch towers that imprisoned the people of Eastern Europe. About 40 years later, in 1991, I was in Czechoslovakia and saw that the watch towers were tipped-over and the barbed wire was being rolled up.

I understood even as a small child that when rulers imprison entire nations that there must be a really big problem.

Wikipedia comments about the history of this national holiday:

Veterans Day is an American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

Veterans Day is largely intended to thank veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to United States national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.

President Putin's successor May Be Mr. Sergey Evgenevich Naryshkin

Dr. Evgenii Novikov, a former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), defected to the United States in 1988.

Dr. Novikov is an expert on Islam and on the Persian Gulf region who has written an eyepopping article about Osama Bin Laden's side-kick Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "A Russian Agent at the Right Hand of Bin Laden?"

I reported the late Alexander Litvinenko's scuttlebutt about Zawahiri's rumored Russian connection here, here, and here.

In an August 2007 article called "Putin's Political Strategy and the Rise of Sergei Naryshkin," Dr. Novikov describes "the process of transformation of the Soviet political system, which started in 1985, with Gorbachev's perestroika."

Dr. Novikov explains that during these grim years, thousands of new businessmen "who emerged from the former Komsomol leaders, nomenklatura, gray economy entrepreneurs, or criminal businessmen" were assassinated because they "had the temerity to imagine that they were independent owners of their businesses." Few of these murders were ever solved since the investigators came from the same agencies as the killers.

Dr. Novikov predicts that the next President of Russia may be Sergei Naryshkin, a former officer in the KGB's external intelligence service; however, Vladimir Putin will continue to be the real ruler of Russia. Dr. Novikov predicts that Valdimir Putin "will be elected as the General Secretary of the United Russia Party, and like the CPSU General Secretary in Soviet times, he will effectively outrank the Russian President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, or Attorney General in the emerging Russian political system."

In a closing note, Dr. Novikov observes, "a traditional authoritarian model of political being restored in Russia, and the Russian people (masses) are happy with it." [full text]

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Br'er Wardo Meets the Tar-Baby!

Br'er Rabbit and Tar-Baby

Wikipedia explains:

"Tar-Baby was a doll made of tar and turpentine, used to entrap Br'er Rabbit in the second of the Uncle Remus stories. The more that Br'er Rabbit fought the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he became. In contemporary usage a tar baby refers to any "sticky situation" that is only aggravated by efforts to solve it...The [Tar-Baby] story was originally published in Harper's Weekly by Robert Roosevelt; years later Joel Chandler Harris wrote of the tar baby in his Uncle Remus stories. A similar tale from African folklore in Ghana has the trickster Anansi in the role of Br'er Rabbit."

The brilliant Professor Thomas F. Brown has published a second article about Ward Churchill's academic misconduct in the upcoming issue of Plagiary (Volume 2--Number 7). Dr. Brown's new article is called "Ward Churchill's Twelve Excuses for Plagiarism."

The article is well-argued, logical, and hilarious; it makes the obvious point that Churchill's twelve excuses would not be accepted by teachers and professors if young students tried to use them:

"But Professor, when I plagiarized Janie's term paper, I did mention her in the footnotes!"

According to Dr. Brown's new article, the overweening Wardo actually informed investigative reporters that plagiarism was a firing offense and challenged anyone to find problems with his work. And they did.

Churchill's purile efforts to extricate himself from his difficulties just made matters worse for him. It's like watching Br'er Rabbit fighting with Tar-Baby. Br'er Ward was no match for the really smart journalists and professors who took him on.

Evidently Churchill never learned that once people start lying that sooner or later they will trip over their own lies and damn themselves out of their own mouths.

I have written about Dr. Brown's Ward-Busters on a number of posts.

Dr. Brown wrote about Ward Churchill's fabrications in a 2006 issue of Plagiary. That article is called "Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? Fabrication and Falsification in Ward Churchill's Genocide Rhetoric."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Italy's New Red Brigades View Mosques as "Propellers of Protest"

Lorenzo Vidino and Andrea Morigi of the Jamestown Foundation have written an interesting article for the Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor. The article is called "Italy's Left-Wing Terrorists Flirt with Radical Islamists."

These far-left Italian militants, like that other lunatic the Maoist MIM, support the Islamists because they see the communist movement as temporarily weakened.

[Sometimes, the delusional Maoist MIM reminds me of that other little snot-nosed narcissist/revolutionary Adolf Hitler. Before he blew his brains out, Hitler expressed the unintentionally ironic view that the German people were a bunch of losers who "didn't deserve him."]

In an article titled "On converting to Islam: the invisible schism in the international communist movement," the Maoist MIM expresses similar disgust with those "phoney," bought-off, couch-potato Western communists and his admiration for "oppressed and exploited" Islamist imperialists like Osama Bin Laden and his Saudi moneybags:

The people of Islam are already on the move as oppressed and exploited people. The Taliban member on average is less utopian than the average phony communist globally pretending that Euro-Amerikan workers are exploited and still about to rise up at any minute. The Taliban knows about war against imperialism concretely, while the Western so-called "working class" knows about the couch.

The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor notes that Italian communists are expressing the the same disenchantment with the "temporary" weakness of the communist movement and see the Islamists as "propellers of protest" and as the "new proletariat" who are advancing the anti-imperialist struggle:

Last February, in the quiet of a secluded northern Italian country house, three Italian far left militants brainstormed, unaware that counter-terrorism officials were listening to their every word. The men were known members of the so-called "New Red Brigades," discussing new strategies for the group. Alfredo Davanzo, the ideologue of the group who had just returned from France using a forged passport, spoke about the need to overcome the organization's isolation, caused by its secrecy and the waves of arrests it had suffered (ironically, the three would be arrested the following Monday). The group, said the men, should find new venues for their recruitment efforts and pointed to Italian mosques, described as "propellers of protests and struggles," as one of the most obvious choices (Corriere della Sera, July 30). The conversation is just another indication of what Italian intelligence officials have warned about for the last few years: some of the most militant segments of the Italian extreme left have displayed an increasing interest in and admiration for radical Islam. What has been only purely moral support up to now could possibly develop into a dangerous cooperation [1]...

In keeping with the traditional position of the extreme left on the Arab-Israeli conflict, La Voce [the magazine of Paris-based Italian militants linked to the New Red Brigades] describes how the "Palestinian popular masses" of the second intifada are making "the heroism of the Red Army, the fighters of Stalingrad, the participants to the Long March and the Vietnamese re-live" in their effort to dismantle "the racist and theocratic state of the Zionists and the imperialists." Unsurprisingly, similar views are expressed about U.S. and Italian efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The novelty of La Voce lies in its view of the various factions of the "Palestinian resistance." Traditionally, the Red Brigades had always politically (and, in some cases, materially) supported Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine due to ideological similarities. In contrast, La Voce breaks from this position and harshly criticizes Fatah as sellouts whose concessions in Oslo have forced the Palestinian people into "a state of semi-slavery."

Moreover, La Voce openly expresses its support for various Islamist groups, breaking the ideological barrier that separates a Marxist group and a religiously-inspired movement. Displaying a bizarre description of Hamas, La Voce calls it an organization "fighting for a democratic Palestine, free of discriminations based on race, religion or nationality," ignoring Hamas' openly declared foremost goal to create a strict Islamic state in Palestine. Further, La Voce describes Hamas and Hezbollah, together with the "Islamic resistance in Afghanistan and Somalia," as the main exponents of the "democratic and anti-imperialist revolution taking place in Arab and Muslim countries." The "imperialist bourgeoisie" is threatened by "the positive and progressive role of these organizations, their democratic and anti-imperialist spirit." Similarly, La Voce states that "Muslim revolutionary priests" are being arrested in Europe on the pretext of the war on terrorism only because the "imperialist bourgeoisie" wants to silence Islam, which is the religion of the new proletariat.

This Marxist-dominated worldview prevents the militants behind La Voce from making a realistic assessment of the nature of organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah. Yet, the endorsement of these organizations is not absolute, but conditioned on the current status of the communist movement. La Voce states that Islamist groups have managed to "take the lead of the revolution" against imperialism only because of the inability of the communist movement to do so. "The leading role of the reactionary [Islamic] clerics," writes La Voce, "is an effect of the decay of the communist movement and will disappear when the latter will resurge." Therefore, the Islamist movement is useful in keeping the pressure on the imperialists while the communist movement is undergoing a phase of weakness, but this reliance will naturally disappear when the latter, natural leader of the global revolution will re-gain its strength and will be able to "lead the next wave of the proletarian revolution." [full text]


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Al-Jazeera's Surprising Claims about Airstrike on Syria

I posted some news reports here and here about a 9-6-07 bombing raid by Israel on what is alleged to have been a Syrian nuclear facility.

The Jerusalem Post (11-2-07) is now quoting an article in Al-Jazeera that claims:

The September 6 raid over Syria was carried out by the US Air Force, the Al-Jazeera Web site reported Friday. The Web site quoted Israeli and Arab sources as saying that two US jets armed with tactical nuclear weapons carried out an attack on a suspected nuclear site under construction.

The sources were quoted as saying that Israeli F-15 and F-16 jets provided cover for the US planes.

The sources added that each US plane carried one tactical nuclear weapon and that the site was hit by one bomb and was totally destroyed. [full text]

Israel Insider (11-2-07) is also reporting the same story and includes a link to the Al Jazeera story.

Israel Insider observes:

The September 6 raid over Syria was in fact carried out by the US Air Force, Al-Jazeera's Web site reported in Arabic Friday, quoting unnamed Israeli and Arab sources as saying that two strategic US jets armed with tactical nuclear weapons executed the attack on a nuclear site under construction.

The sources were quoted as saying that Israeli F-15 and F-16 jets only provided cover for the US fighter-bombers, which carried one tactical nuclear weapon apiece. The site was hit by one bomb and totally destroyed. The use of nukes might account for the fact that the suspected plant was effectively erased from the earth, with few if any traces remaining, according to satellite photos...

It is now generally believed that the target of the September 6 raid was a partly constructed nuclear reactor in Dayr-a-Sawr in notheastern Syria. On October 17, Syria denied that one of its representatives to the United Nations told a panel that an Israeli air strike hit a Syrian nuclear facility and added that "such facilities do not exist in Syria."

If the facilities were wiped out by Israelis or Americans, that statement would be correct, in the present tense. However, a A UN document released by the press office paraphrased an unnamed Syrian representative as saying that a nuclear facility was indeed hit by the raid. The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA later claimed that media reports, apparently based on a UN press release, misquoted the Syrian diplomat.

If the Al-Jazeera report is true, it would be the first use of nuclear weapons in the world for a non-test purpose since the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. [full text]

America, Israel, and the Arab countries have not said much officially about this air strike. Only Syria and North Korea have complained.

Perhaps this story is just an attempt to explain why there might be radiation at the bombed site. Still, it is interesting that Israeli media are reporting this story.

The Washington Post (11-5-07) comments that pressures are growing for some official account of the airstrike. The Post does not mention Al-Jazeera's allegation about the use of a tactical nuclear weapon.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ayman al-Zawahri Threatens "Crusader Base" Libya

The Counterterrorism Blog reports that Bin Laden's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has called for attacks on Western interests in North Africa and for the overthrow of the leaders of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

On 11-3-07, Zawahiri denounced Libya's leader Moammar Gadafi as an "enemy of Islam" and threatened terrorist attacks against Western interests in Libya because of Libya's improved relations with America. The AP reports (11-3-07) that Zawahiri attacked Gadafi in an audiotape released Saturday:

In the 28-minute audio tape called "Unity of the Ranks," Ayman al-Zawahri also announced that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was joining ranks with al-Qaida. [Note--Counterterrorism Blog reports on the LIFG's long-standing relationship with Al Qaeda here. A dossier about the LIFG can be found here.]

"The Islamic nation is witnessing a blessed step ... The brothers are escalating the confrontation against the enemies of Islam: Gadhafi and his masters, the Washington crusaders," al-Zawahri said in the audio tape. The recording could not be independently verified, but it appeared on a Web site commonly used by insurgents and carried the logo of al-Qaida's media production house, as-Sahab.

The recording also carried a message from Abu Laith al-Libi, a Libyan al-Qaida commander in Afghanistan who accused Gadhafi of decades of tyranny.

"He is the tyranny of Libya and is dragging the country to the swamp," al-Libi said in the recording that also featured old video footage of him walking with other masked gunmen.

"After long years, he (Gadhafi) discovered suddenly that America is not an enemy ... and is turning Libya into another crusader base," said al-Libi, who has appeared in several recent al-Qaida videos. [full text]