From whence shines that Bat Signal?

iran bat signalIt’s a droll cartoon, calling Twitter to the rescue. But I believe MARSDEN got the metropolis wrong. It’s Paris, London or Amsterdam, and French and English diplomats are in an Iranian court today because Tehran suspects the Green Revolutionists are being stirred up from points international.

The telecommunications companies could clear this up, if they weren’t themselves eager to reform Iran’s economy to favor capitalism unfettered by Islamic morality.

The US antiwar community in particular is split on whether to play along with the charade. Secular freedoms are good, but are there real verifiable indications that Iran’s populace wants them? On the one side, the Campaign for Peace and Democracy is cracking the whip to keep the usual pacifists in line. They’ve issued talking points to refute criticisms that the CPD effort in Pax Americana disguised.

Here are their straw questions:

1. Was the June 12, 2009 election fair?

2. Isn’t it true that the Guardian Council is indirectly elected by the Iranian people?

3. Was there fraud, and was it on a scale to alter the outcome?

4. Didn’t a poll conducted by U.S.-based organizations conclude that Ahmadinejad won the election?

5. Didn’t Ahmadinejad get lots of votes from conservative religious Iranians among the rural population and the urban poor? Might not these votes have been enough to overwhelm his opponents?

6. Hasn’t the U.S. (and Israel) been interfering in Iran and promoting regime change, including by means of supporting all sorts of “pro-democracy” groups?

7. Has the Western media been biased against the Iranian government?

8. Is Mousavi a leftist? A neoliberal? What is the relation between Mousavi and the demonstrators in the streets?

9. Is Ahmadinejad good for world anti-imperialism?

10. Is Ahmadinejad more progressive than his opponents in terms of social and economic policy? Is he a champion of the Iranian poor?

11. What do we want the U.S. government to do about the current situation in Iran?

12. What should we do about the current situation in Iran?

13. Is it right to advocate a different form of government in Iran?

The response to question one is amusing:

1. Was the June 12, 2009 election fair?

Even if every vote was counted fairly, this was not a fair election. 475 people wished to run for president, but the un-elected Guardian Council, which vets all candidates for supposed conformity to Islamic principles, rejected all but 4.

Free elections also require free press, free expression, and freedom to organize, all of which have been severely curtailed.”

Now, can they say the exact same thing about US elections? But they haven’t, nor have the CPD addressed Peace and Democracy issues anywhere but Iran.

Taking the admittedly lonely side is the Monthly Review, where academic Edward Herman can easily parry the CPD’s rationalizations.

Didn’t it used to be illegal to spend government monies to propagandize the American public? Someone wants a war with Iran, and their using do-gooder grass-roots to sell it.

Will El Salvador get its very own Barack Obama, too?

nacela esperanzaFour months after the US elections, El Salvador goes to the polls also, and Salvadorans will most likely also vote into office the Salvadoran Barack Obama, Mauricio Funes. …See! They even have the same program, if you can call talking vaguely about ‘CHANGE’ a program at all?

Here is Funes about his plans for his country…

‘Given the current international context, we do not aspire to build socialism in El Salvador. What we hope to build is a more dynamic and competitive economy, placing ourselves in the international playing field in a highly globalized and competitive world. We hope to have a stronger and more dynamic economy than what has been built up until now.’
(from El Salvador: The UDW Interview with FMLN Presidential Candidate Mauricio Funes- Part I)

Yawn, this is once again ‘change’ that one can hardly begin to believe much in. Funes will be about as inspiring as Lula in Brazil and Ortega in Nicaragua, it does appear. Or about as much a thrill as Obama will seem to us all, after a couple years into his presidency.

Good luck, El Salvador. You’ll need it almost as much as we will in the US. It is sad to see the FMLN sunk down to this state after so many years.

Greg Palast suggests election theft theft

Steal back your voteOne fifth of all Colorado voters have already been purged from the rolls. The Republican Secretary of State Donetta Davidson who accomplished this now heads the US Elections Assistance Commission where she purged the report which examined voter fraud.
But why be discouraged by GOP election fixing? Greg Palast has accompanied his upcoming Rollingstone expose with a comic book STEAL BACK YOUR VOTE.
1. Don’t mail in your ballot. 2. Vote early. 3. Register and re-register.
4. Do not accept a Provisional Ballot. 5. Assist voters in swing states.
6. Go to the polls with friends. 7. Prepare for: No Vote Left Behind!

Greg Palast explains:

For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that officially, three-fourths of a million absentee ballots were never counted last time, on the weakest of technical excuses. And you won’t even know it. Furthermore, tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them—in which case you’re out of luck. In most states, new voters must now include a photocopy of your ID. Which is, like, nuts. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal” myself.

Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” or you’re on a challenge list. By Election Day, there’s little to do but hold up the line.

Think you’re registered to vote? Think again. With all this purg’n going on, you could be x’d out and you won’t know it. Check online at Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman and your mommy. Contact the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rock the Vote, and your local party organization, and commit to a couple of days of door-to-door registration, especially in minority neighborhoods or at social service agency offices. And if you’ve served the time, you can sign: in almost every state, ex-cons can vote.

In 2008, they’ll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, especially to Hispanic voters. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that will likely not get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication from poll judges on the spot; demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if possible. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. If you’ve taken Step 1 above and voted early, you have Election Day free to be a poll watcher. Run into trouble —you’ve been caged or purged or challenged—call Election Protection at 1-(866) OUR-VOTE. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of “suspect” voters. Be firm, but no biting.

The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door—to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union (if you’re not in a union, why not?) or to the troublemakers I’ve already listed here and on our site. This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but I know of no other method more effective for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that has seized the White House.

Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, says, make a date to ‘Arrive with Five.’ And keep this comic book in your holster – with our 800 numbers and your photo ID in your hand. And Bobby, make sure your ID says, “Robert Kennedy JUNIOR” or your vote is toast.

I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who’s wrongly declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: “Count the votes.” You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink. Democracy requires vigilance The Day After. That’s when you check in at one more time.

How did London’s new Dubya-like clown mayor get elected?

Boris JohnsonLondon, Great Britain has just recently elected a new Dubya-like clown for mayor. How did this city go from having a relatively liberal mayor like Ken Livingston, to a neo-con stooge for its highest office? The answer has some sad lessons for the US, a country that is once again desperately trying to throw its most corrupt corporate clowns out of DC. But will they return once again, just as has been the case in the past?

Sadly, the answer is YES they will return. Why is that? The answer once again is pretty simple to figure out. Just like in Britain, when a population allows another group of marginally less corrupt corporate clowns in, the worst do get back in after a short while. And in Britain, just like in the US, the corporate world totally controls the main electoral options. There simply is no electoral choice of worth.

The Hindu has a great analysis of what happened in London’s election that allowed a Tory fool to get back in as mayor there. See Extreme swings for a great analysis of how the “two party system” works in Great Britain. Yeah, I know that there are now actually three main parties, like in Mexico, but still the similarities with the US Tweedle Dee- Tweedle Dum con are chilling.

So we may well be back to having a Clintonite figure get elected into the presidency once again, but it will only be prep for returning the worst of the worst corrupt corporate Klan back later. You can bet on that. The Democrats are what make the Republicans possible, and until we get fed up as a people with both of these gangs, we will just get more of both of them in the future. Ugh, what an ugly world.

You really have to work to make it better, and just ‘voting’ in elections run by the corporate world, just will not produce any real change.

A soulless candidate- Barack Obama

Anybody but McCain? Why? …McCain is liable to collapse The Empire and that would be a good thing. Still, it is rather bad politically to push for collapse of one’s own nation even if it might benefit the rest of the world. So we turn to Barack Obama and see what the man offers up to us for our possible votes? Would we be doing better to vote for Obama or cast a vote for one of the marginalized non-candidates instead? Or to not even ‘vote’?

OK, so we agree that McCain is a bad vote, right? To vote for McCain is to vote for Incompetent Imperialism, Incompetent Empire, to vote for an Empire without future. But what are we voting for if we vote for Barack Obama? Obama himself offers up the answer, but is it really the case, this ‘CHANGE’ he talks about?

We have some recent history to offer US some insight to this question. We have the 12 years of Reagan-Bush and the arrival of the Clinton team offering up the same mantra of ‘hope’. Clinton promised us something different than the Reagan Era but instead gave us only a minor and insipidly weak gap time between Reaganism and Dubya. In fact, he was prep for getting us to Dubya.

So along comes the new ‘Blacker’ version of Clintonism which is Barack Obama, and we have to have some parameters and guidelines to evaluate him with. These parameters must at least include race, sex, labor, immigration, health environment, and war. What is Obama planning for us in these areas of policy? What is this ‘CHANGE’ he talks about? Sadly, he only seems to be talking changing the incompetence level of the Dubya clique in governing The Empire.

Of the issues noted above, the question of war is by far the most dominant and important one. Bush gave us war, McCain is a continuation of that, but is Obama a negation of what the other 2 stand for concerning war and peace? Or is Barack Obama a soulless candidate who promises change, yet will do the exact same imperialist aggressions in a stealth manner?

The key to evaluating Barack Obama’s positions of war and peace can be summed up in the name of one country- IRAN. Sadly, the news is bad. Barack Obama has clearly signed himself and the Democratic Party as a whole on to a planned war with this country Iran. He has signed himself up to an extension of the Iraq war into yet more neighboring lands!

Let’s face it, the time to speak out against this planned US-Israeli aggression is now, not tomorrow. Barack Obama has done quite the opposite though. Barack Obama has made it entirely clear that he supports going to war with Iran and Syria, and thereby spreading even further the bloodshed to inside Lebanon, too.

He is a man without soul, a liar and a con, when he talks about bringing us a change from Bush’s foreign policy. He now leads the element of the Democratic Party that has totally acquiesced to the neo-con game plan. And they want war with Iran.

What we will get with Barack Obama, is a new administration with an improved international public image, that will then carry out the Dick Cheney agenda in the Middle East. This is just not a good vote or a good way to spend one’s activist energies, spreading the word to vote for such a soulless creature. We will get more war.

Sad to say, that leaves us with voting for one foe the marginalized candidates (Nader, McKinney, etc.), or just not voting in an election rigged from the beginning to not give us any real choices. We do not have a functioning democracy in the US. We do not have a democracy unless the people can have a voice in the government, and not just the corporate world running the entire show.

Barack Obama is a dead end. Or worse yet, like Clinton before, Obama is just a further bridge to increase the stranglehold of the Far Right on our nation’s affairs. He will do nothing to breakdown the Right’s total current control over power in America. Vote for him at your own risk then. Vote for him if you are into self-delusion?

The Republican crowd votes for what they want and get it. The Democratic party voters seem to doom themselves to always chasing a pot of gold to be found at the end of a delusional rainbow. What is to be gained by this?

Tortured election

The presidential elections will decide if The Empire continues to openly advocate and use torture against POWs or not. All the 3 candidates support continuing the occupations of Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan in one form or another, and they all agree on starting a future war against Iran and any of its allies still around.

None of our 3 pre-arranged choices has any compunctions about allowing Israel to tear up Lebanon yet once again, or allowing them to continue their slow moving genocide of the Palestinians, or allowing them to bomb away against Syria without condemnation or opposition. But the use of torture? That makes the US look kind of bad, doesn’t it? That’s where there is some slight disagreement between the 3. See Chris Floyd’s blog, Empire Burlesque, and read his commentary The Torture Election to see an interesting take on the meaning of the 2008 US elections.

Goodbye, Jerry, Paul, and Tony

They were all here with us so long, and now they have gone away. In the next year yet more of them will go away, too, and the corporate media will be ablaze with shouts about the glory of it all. Yet nothing has changed, nor will real change come with the US elections. The banality of corruption and decay of the US Empire will continue, with resistance mainly confined to the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin America, and Somalia. We will go on shopping, though the price of gasoline will be a little higher. Short term local forecast?

More cloudy weather with gradually rising temperatures ahead. Local pressure confined mainly to a few individuals resisting as they can.

Unfree unfair elections

Ask a Democrat when you have the chance, to what do they owe their sense of optimism about the upcoming elections? Do they think they can beat Diebold and GOP election administrators this time around?

Really, what went wrong in November 2004, and before that 2000? What could the Democrats do differently this time to win? (If not dismantling black box voting?)

Mexico’s popular candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expected a clean win in this summer’s election. But the voting machines came up dead even, and then tilted toward the bad guy by a smudge. Sorry Charlie. The Mexican public suspects foul play.
Millions of Mexicans are protesting in the street, asking for a recount of the election.
Do the Democrats imagine that they will be able to rally a disenfranchised American public?
  Mexico City protest

Except for Robert Kennedy Jr, a good many ostracized experts, and a growing progressive cognoscenti, few voices in the Democratic Party are even addressing the issue of crooked US elections. When will Democratic candidates and party leaders concede that previous elections have been stolen? How are Democrats to win if they face rigged results?

Instead Democratic Party members are urging us to concentrate on grassroot fund drives.

What kind of idiots do they take us for? To condemn them less cynically, what kind of idots are they? Or, less insulting, are they in collusion with the GOP?

Local Democratic organizers expect the rank and file to do their utmost this time, to walk the streets for the candidates, to contribute their money and their hope. The party is expecting all of us to place our hope in middle-of-the-road issues, nothing too radical for the sake of having a broader appeal in the next election.

Without electronic voting reform, I don’t think we have a chance in the next election. And I think DC Democrats are advocating centrist objectives to keep pertinent issues from the public discourse.

And it looks to me like Democrats are preparing to tell us, after lots of grassroots work, at the close of another lost election, that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The Colorado Springs 2005 bid committe

The Colorado Springs 2005 hosting bid to host the upcoming U.S. war crimes trials has been officially accepted by INTERNATIONAL WAR CRIME TRIALS .US! We now approach phase II. We must continue to raise awareness for the trials and widen the circle of Colorado Springs citizens who support the calls for reconcilliation to international law.

How can we bring the International War Crimes Trials to Colorado Springs? The advent of hosting war crime trials will be a reality if John Kerry wins the US elections in November 2004.

Kerry has already expressed his intention to make the United States a signatory to the International Criminal Court, at which point the indictments can begin.
President Bush has stated that his objections to ratifying the ICC were to protect American soldiers from facing charges in international courts. But this reason is disingeneous because the prosecution of common soldiers is not the purpose of the ICC.
It is not the intent of the ICC to prosecute regular crimes of war in those cases which already fall under the jurisdiction of military tribunals or domestic courts. As we can see from the ABU GHRAIB cases, the US government has every intention to prosecute the common soldiers it holds responsible for those abuses.

The unique capability of the International Criminal Court is to indict heads of state and otherwise unassailable diplomats, functionaries, administrators and conspirators.
Preparations have already begun with the IWCT to document the charges, gather the evidence, and prepare the briefs. Efforts are well underway in Japan, Greece, Turkey and Belgium to organize the extra-judicial tribunals to supplement the ICC staffs.

Colorado Springs must act as early as possible to offer our city as a potential US host to the trials!

The first objective of the COS2005 bid project is to make the concept of international law more tangible in American minds. Today when someone hears a protester denounce President Bush as a war criminal, it sounds like so much rhetoric.

But the charge is more than an opinion or an academic argument. The war of aggression which the U. S. pursued against Iraq is a war crime by any number of international laws. As a result there is an inevitable legal action coming against the U. S. for waging an illegal war. International law is not hyperbole.
Criticisms between presidential candidates might be political, but charges of war crimes are out of everyone’s hands. No one is exempt from prosecution for war crimes, and there are no statutes of limitation.

The concept of impending war crime trials thus become an election issue. Can we consider re-electing leaders who are guilty of war crimes, chiefly, the war crime of “crimes against the peace?”
An American voter might hesitate to endorse someone who they can imagine will go down in history as having been the bad guy in the black hat. We believe most people aspire to be law-abiding god-fearing citizens, of America, and of the world community as well.

Reprinted from