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Election Education * OIL politics * Inside Unity


28 March 2005

"We have been conditioned to honor a system of values
built on contempt and disrespect for who we are
as a community of people."


-- Tyanla Vanzant

1) The Alleged Impossibility of Moving the Democrats Left
- - Fitrakis video: "Who got glitched: Election Reform Teach-in"
- - OhioElection2004.com - awesome Election-fraud Resources
2) More than Just Oil Behind War On Terror
- - The Empire Isn't In Afghanistan For The Oil!
- - Greg Palast: Harper's Baghdad Coup D'etat for Big Oil
- -‘The Long Emergency' - Cheap Gas No More
- - New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis after 9/11
- - U.S. Troops Tortured Iraqis in Mosul, Documents Show
3) A Call for Unity ~ from Inside ~ Jehan Abdur-Raheem


Editor's Notes:


The big issue in this issue has to do with unity, or will we keep responding with conditioned responses of being manipulated, divided and conquered? Item 1 is an article by David Swanson of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) [pdamerica.org] Swanson refers to ‘..a March 25th article in Socialist Worker predicting that we in PDA will not manage to move the Democratic Party to the left..' This remains a question, but thank goodness a grassroots organization is trying. In subsections, make sure you check out the resources from those still active in election reform, and investigating irregularities in the last election, especially in Ohio.

Item 2 is packed with contrasting arguments and reasons in what is behind the war on terror. It is certainly more than Oil, and includes the agenda of US military dominance. The shadows of fear, control, and greed does this crazy dance that leads to forgetting interconnections with truth, and the distortions of the mind can corrupt oneself. We are in real trouble if those half-sane can not unite effectively to demand a more sustainable direction. Item 3 offers inspiration in a recent letter from inside the belly of the beast to understanding what it takes to bringing light into a new day, Jehan Abdur-Raheem..

"All that is required for evil to triumph
is for good men to remain silent."


-- Edmund Burke



1) The Alleged Impossibility of Moving the Democrats Left

- - Fitrakis video: "Who got glitched: Election Reform Teach-in"
- - OhioElection2004.com - awesome Election-fraud Resources

- - The Alleged Impossibility of Moving the Democrats Left
By David Swanson

I think Progressive Democrats of America owes a thanks to Lance Selfa for his March 25th article in Socialist Worker predicting that we in PDA will not manage to move the Democratic Party to the left.
http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-1/536/536_07_PDA.shtml

The warning of the difficulty, and of where we can easily go wrong, is helpful.

Selfa began his article with these words: "In a recent fundraising appeal on behalf of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Global Exchange and Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin urged support for the PDA's effort to 'take over and transform the Democratic Party.' But this is only the latest in a long line of attempts to 'take over and transform the Democratic Party.' If history is any guide, the PDA's attempt will end like all the others--in failure."

But for every new development in history, history was not "any guide." New achievements are, by definition, new, and their possibility cannot be ruled out by past failures. Of course, the Democratic Party has never been what we want it to be – though at times it's been much, much closer to it. We and those who have come before us have tried to reform it and failed again and again. But the organization for which Selfa writes advocates the overthrow of capitalism, and we haven't managed that yet either. If history is "any guide," we won't.

Luckily for progressive Democrats and socialists, and for those of us who sympathize with both, there's as much wisdom in Ford and Joyce as in Santayana. We don't want to repeat historical mistakes, but we do want to awaken from history's nightmares and recognize history, ultimately, as bunk.

The right wing announced that September 11th "changed everything," and then proceeded to change quite a few things. We can, if we choose, announce that George W. Bush changed everything, or that the pathetic failure of John Kerry changed everything. These are not empirical claims. They're commitments. We make them true and give them meaning afterwards.

In reforming the Democrats, the trick, as Selfa points out, lies in maintaining a working relationship with the Democratic Party without selling out to it, without being co-opted, without falling victim to the allure of petty power. The same danger lies in working with large funding sources, of course.

I cannot predict with any certainty that PDA will manage to take over the Democratic Party for progressive popular positions, but I am convinced that PDA is going into this with its eyes wide open. PDA's approach to Democrats, even progressive Democrats, is not one of subservience but of useful pressure. A fair number of elected representatives want to move left on various issues but are reluctant to do so in the absence of public pressure. PDA intends to provide it – when they want it and when they don't.

PDA's support in primary elections will be for progressive candidates, whether incumbents or challengers. A progressive challenger sometimes has more strength as a Democrat than as the candidate of another party, because she or he is able to draw on the support of the party even while pulling the party away from its corrupting corporate influence. But Greens and Socialists and other party candidates may also gain PDA support. When their election advances the public good and advances both efforts to reform the Democrats and efforts to build another party, then we need to act, not stop and argue over our long-term visions. PDA will work for instant runoff voting and for fusion, the strategy that the Working Families Party is using to build progressive power.

We in PDA need socialists with us. But we also need with us many for whom "socialism" is a poorly understood and greatly feared word. Part of what is required of us is reshaping our public discourse so that majority opinions are not marginalized. The majority of Americans want single-payer health care, serious investment in education, fair and clean elections, democratic media, an aggressive response to global warming, an end to the war, fair trade policies, and numerous other policies that are not acceptable in the corporate media. When Dennis Kucinich brought up single-payer health care in a presidential candidates debate, Larry King cut him off and told him it was socialism. Well, we either need to make it not be socialism or make socialism be acceptable (or take our airwaves away from the likes of Larry King), but one way or the other we need to recognize our own status and strength as a majority.

Our strength will be greater not just if we all work together, but if we concentrate only on supporting candidates who are fully behind our platform. PDA has no intention of wasting energy on lesser evil candidates. Our work, rather, will go into developing good candidates at the local, state, and national levels, and into holding our elected officials accountable.

We'll put on coats and ties and meet with them. We'll flood their mailboxes, fax machines, and telephones. And we'll protest their actions through nonviolent civil disobedience. We'll do what it takes to take back our country from robber barons, war profiteers, and gangsters, whatever party they try to call their own. We'll succeed if you help us.

David Swanson is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America. His website is davidswanson.org
Link to this column - www.davidswanson.org/columns/alleged.htm

The Progressive Democrats of America's web site is: pdamerica.org

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- - Fitrakis video: "Who got glitched: Election Reform Teach-in"

March 27, 2005
Video pre-release - Bob Fitrakis "Who got glitched: Election Reform Teach-in"

(video pre-release #1)

Speaker: Bob Fitrakis
Recorded: 2/27 in Santa Monica, CA
Length: 12:10
Size: about 20MB

Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press and attorney (Moss vs. Bush/Cheney/Blackwell) speaks about the stolen 2004 Presidential election in Ohio. He talks about the Bush family history of stealing elections, problems in the 2004 election, legal cases surrounding the 2004 election, exit polls and much more.

This is just the first video in a series of speakers from the Election Reform Teach-in conducted in Santa Monica, CA. Within 2 weeks, videos all of the speakers will be available as a DVD and for internet broadcast at citizensact.org

Steve Brown has done a wonderful job creating these videos. You will notice that these are high quality digital videos with multiple camera angles and produced by professionals.

Broadband video in Windows Media format:
www.edwardsdavid.com/teachin/BobFitrakis.wmv

Broadband video in QuickTime format:
www.edwardsdavid.com/teachin/BobFitrakis.mov

Here is a screen-shot image if you need to post it anywhere:
www.edwardsdavid.com/images/teachin_bob_fritrakis_title-01.jpg

Over the next few weeks, pre-release videos of all of the speakers will be published to the Democratic Underground Election Forum:
www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topics&forum=203
or
http://tinyurl.com/62obf

New videos will also be posted at http://VelvetRevolusion.us

You can see the original announcement for this teach-in at this DU thread:
www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=203&topic_id=329512
or
http://tinyurl.com/427vb

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- - OhioElection2004.com - awesome Election-fraud Resources

The purpose of the web site: ohioelection2004.com is to collect, organize, and make available to investigators, scholars, and interested citizens information relating to (a) evidence and (b) legal events concerning the Ohio election of 2004, especially relating to issues of fraud, disenfranchisement, voter suppression, vote machine tampering, and recount obstruction. This web site has been prepared by Ray Beckerman, author of the blog "Ohio Election Fraud".



2) More than Just Oil Behind War On Terror

- - The Empire Isn't In Afghanistan For The Oil!
- - Greg Palast: Harper's Baghdad Coup D'etat for Big Oil
- -‘The Long Emergency' - Cheap Gas No More
- - New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis after 9/11
- - U.S. Troops Tortured Iraqis in Mosul, Documents Show

- - The Empire Isn't In Afghanistan For The Oil!
By Jared Israel

The Empire Isn't In Afghanistan For The Oil!
By Jared Israel
[Posted 17 May 2002]
URL for this article: http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/oil-1.htm

=======================================

Louie [Claude Raines]: "And what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?"

Rick [Humphrey Bogart]: "My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters."

Louie: "The waters? What waters? We're in the desert!"

Rick: "I was misinformed."

-- From the Film, 'Casablanca'

We recently published an article entitled, "U.S. Won't "Abandon" Central Asia ...Central Asians, Be Warned!" (1)
http://emperors-clothes.com/news/bbc1219.htm

The article dealt with the Senate testimony last December by US Undersecretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, Elizabeth Jones.

In her testimony, Ms. Jones mentioned Caspian Sea energy resources as one of the areas of interest to the US government regarding Central Asia.

Since posting my commentary on the report of what Elizabeth Jones said about Central Asia, we received the actual transcript of her remarks. Thus you can now read the full transcript at
http://emperors-clothes.com/news/alljones.htm

excerpt summary from the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency:

"...assistance was conditional on economic and democratic reforms and the observance of human rights. Jones outlined US priorities in the region: combating terrorism; reform; the rule of law; Caspian Sea energy resources."

Having posted the quotes from Ms. Jones, I noted that people who oppose the war against Afghanistan might see the familiar phrase, "Caspian Sea energy resources," and think, "Aha! This proves it!"

The 'it' in question is the widespread theory that "the reason for US policy in Afghanistan [and elsewhere] is oil."

The 'they-do-it-for-oil' theory relies on two assumed facts:

1) We are told that the US is running out of oil and therefore the US establishment is desperate to control the area around the oil-rich Caspian Sea; and -

2) Negotiations between the Unocal oil company and the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan to build an oil pipeline in the area were supposedly going on before September 11th. The Taliban was negotiating in bad faith or simply refused to allow a pipeline and the US government, beholden to greedy administration members connected with Unocal, and also worried about running out of oil, went to war to get Unocal its pipeline.

There are several problems with this theory.

First, there is no evidence the US had to go to war to guarantee an adequate oil supply. Fidel Castro spoke about this. Some of our readers may admire Mr. Castro and some may not but surely all will concede he is a shrewd observer. Commenting on the theory that oil was "behind" the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Castro said:

"I do not share the view that the United States' main pursuit in Afghanistan was oil. I rather see it as part of a geo-strategic concept. No one would make such a mistake simply to go after oil, least of all a country with access to any oil in the world, including all the Russian oil and gas it wishes. It would be sufficient for the U.S. to invest, to buy and to pay." (2)

- For full text of Fidel Castro's remarks, see
http://emperors-clothes.com/news/castro.htm

Mr. Castro is right. Before 9-11 the US was in a powerful position as regards Caspian basin energy resources - indeed, according to an earlier report from Secretary Jones, the main concern of the U.S. was not getting oil but using oil-development projects to orient local States in a way that favored US geopolitical interests..

In other words, rather than being interested in Central Asia "because of oil," the U.S. was interested in oil "because of Central Asia."

This follows an age-old truth: the poor seek security. The rich seek more money. But the real rulers seek power, because power gets them control of *everything* that human beings seek.

Second, the theory that the U.S. went to war because the Taliban were being intransigent regarding an oil pipeline falsely assumes the Taliban were the independent rulers of Afghanistan.

Actually the Taliban were under active control of the Pakistani army and secret police, and were funded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, both of which, especially Saudi Arabia, are part of the U.S. Empire. Indeed there is substantial evidence that the US covert apparatus supported the Taliban for a long time. or more on this, see "Congressman: U.S. Set Up Anti-Taliban to be Slaughtered'" at
http://emperors-clothes.com/misc/rohr.htm

So if the Taliban were being difficult in some important oil pipeline negotiations, why wouldn't the U.S. government simply put pressure on them to 'get with the program'? Why bomb the place to smithereens?

And what is the hard evidence that the Taliban did *not* want a pipeline?

That evidence better be pretty good because it does not make sense for the Taliban to have opposed a pipeline. Pipelines bring in lots of cash. A pipeline would have decreased the Taliban's financial dependence on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. The Taliban were extremists but they weren't fools. Moreover, we have strong evidence the Taliban did *not* resist building a pipeline. Quite the contrary.

According to the Petroleum Economist of February 11, 2002, it was the Taliban which tried to get a trans-Afghan pipeline, and it was the U.S. and Unocal which jinxed the project.

Proponents of the theory that the U.S. attacked Afghanistan "because of the Afghan oil pipeline" must explain why the US establishment first took the action which made it *impossible* to build a pipeline and then attacked Afghanistan to make it *possible* to build a pipeline.

Having killed the pipeline project, if the United States establishment subsequently changed its mind and decided it wanted a pipeline built after all, and if Unocal changed its mind and decided now that it wanted to build the pipeline, why wouldn't the US simply remove the sanctions which were what was preventing investors from putting up the cash to build the pipeline?

Pipelines are vulnerable to attack, so going to war is the worst thing for building a pipeline. Nobody will invest money in building a pipeline in a country that is engulfed in war. But wars are tricky business. Once you start a war, especially in an area like Central Asia, it is difficult to say for sure when it will end. Afghanistan is a maze of difficult terrains, literally and figuratively.

Thus the Petroleum Economist notes, in its dry way, that the war is not helping the pipeline project one bit:

"But the reservations of the international investment community, wary of becoming involved in a still-volatile area, suggest enthusiasm about pipeline projects in the country may be premature."
- Petroleum Economist, see footnote (3)

I do not wish to be unkind but really, what is left of the "they-did-it-for-the-oil" theory?

It is apparently based on wrong information, asserting that the Taliban was the obstacle to an Afghan pipeline, when common sense and facts from a reliable source tell us the Taliban wanted the pipeline.

It fails to consider that war is the worst thing for pipelines.

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For the complete article, link resources, and to
subscribe to the Emperor's Clothes' articles, see:
http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/oil-1.htm

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- - Greg Palast: Harper's Baghdad Coup D'etat for Big Oil
From the April Issue of Harper's Magazine
Friday, March 25, 2005

Harper's Magazine investigation reveals how Big Oil vanquished the neo-cons - and OPEC is the winner.

"…For months, the State Department officially denied the existence of this 323-page plan for Iraq's oil …."

Some conspiracy nuts believe the Bush Administration had a secret plan to control Iraq's oil. In fact, there were TWO plans. In a joint investigation with BBC Television Newsnight, Harper's Magazine has uncovered a hidden battle over Iraq's oil. It began right after Mr. Bush took office - with a previously unreported plot to invade Iraq.

For the entire article, see:
http://gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=418&row=0

You can read the full story in the April edition of Harper's Magazine, out this week:
"OPEC ON THE MARCH: Why Iraq Still Sells Its Oil ŕ la Cartel," by Greg Palast.

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- -‘The Long Emergency' - Cheap Gas No More

"The Long Emergency"
By James Howard Kunstler
The Rolling Stone
Thursday 24 March 2005

[EXCERPTS]

What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?

A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above fifty-five dollars a barrel, which is about twenty dollars a barrel more than a year ago. The next day, the oil story was buried on page six of the New York Times business section. Apparently, the price of oil is not considered significant news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in the span of ten days. That same day, the stock market shot up more than a hundred points because, CNN said, government data showed no signs of inflation. Note to clueless nation: Call planet Earth.

..The few Americans who are even aware that there is a gathering global-energy predicament usually misunderstand the core of the argument. That argument states that we don't have to run out of oil to start having severe problems with industrial civilization and its dependent systems. We only have to slip over the all-time production peak and begin a slide down the arc of steady depletion.

For the complete article, see:
www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/7203633?rnd=1111927944936&has-player=false

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- - New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis after 9/11
By Eric Lichtblau
The New York Times
Sunday 27 March 2005

"..Now, newly released government records show previously undisclosed flights from Las Vegas and elsewhere and point to a more active role by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in aiding some of the Saudis in their departure.."

For the complete article see:

www.nytimes.com/2005/03/27/politics/27exodus.html?
also posted:
www.truthout.org/docs_2005/032705Z.shtml

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- - U.S. Troops Tortured Iraqis in Mosul, Documents Show

Published on Saturday, March 26, 2005 by Reuters
U.S. Troops Tortured Iraqis in Mosul, Documents Show
by Andrew Marshall

BAGHDAD - American soldiers tortured Iraqi prisoners at a military base in Mosul but nobody was court martialed over the abuse, U.S. army documents say.

The documents show that mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners was not confined to the Abu Ghraib jail, where abuse and sexual humiliation of inmates caused worldwide outrage last year.

For the complete article, see:
www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0326-01.htm



3) A Call for Unity ~ from Inside ~ Jehan Abdur-Raheem

[FN's editor note: The following quote and letter is from Jehan Abdur-Raheem, now in prison, and who, besides seeking his freedom, is seeking a publisher for his manuscript-novel, CAIN'S LEGACY. I was introduced to Jehan by a friend for more than thirty years, Malik Abdullah Akili. So, now, in two NY State prisons, and a Franklin County (MA) Jail one may find an issue of Flyby News in circulation.].

From Jehan Abdur-Raheem
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"To win battles you do not need weapons;
you beat the soul of the enemy."

-- Gen. George Patton

March 13,, 2005

Peace & Salutations, Brother Jonathan,

As soon as I got the response out to your last letter I received yet another, as well as a recent copy of the FLYBY ...I'm ‘feeling' the bond that we are establishing, and would like to take a minute to let you know that I acknowledge the importance of bonding with other conscious minds and brave hearts determined to improve man's lot by uplifting the level of consciousness of those with whom we share this planet. We must continue to call on everyone to join us in eliminating hatred and greed; eradicating racism and prejudice; preserving our environment and respecting other life-forms on the planet with us, and learning that crime and vic spring from poverty and ignorance.

This is a monumental undertaking,, but in truth, it is an effort that should be made naturally by all right-thinking people. Like many others, I spent many years in the darkness of negative social indoctrination, promoted by government sponsored media and institutions. Greed and the thirst for inordinate wealth was fostered, and I embraced the concepts; however,, knowledge has dispelled the myths I accepted as truth, and now I desire to share that knowledge with others, just as you obviously do, so I am pleased that we are becoming ‘comrades-in-arms'. The thing is that we avoid the traditional battlefields...there can be no victory there for us; as we are simply out-numbered and overwhelming lacking in resources. Our mission must be to defeat the ‘soul' of our enemies, and that can only be done by applying truth and logic in heavy doses. We simply have to wake people up, and encourage them to make this world the type of place it could and should be.

The FLYBY is a ‘big deal' in this battle. The written word is a powerful tool, so I salute our efforts. I m still attempting to have my own book published, but in our society, truth always takes a back seat to profit. If I succeed on any level, I'll be sure to inform you of my progress, as for now, my more immediate task is to get out of prison. Too many ‘conscious' men remain confined. Many of those who struggled in the ranks of the Panthers, the BLA, the Weathermen, and other like organization of the 60's and 70's remain incarcerated ...a virtual army of principled minds anxious to venture forth in the pursuit of ‘sanity' in a world going insane. We must find a way to open the gates for these people.

But I've gone on long enough for now.. ..In the meantime, stay strong, and keep up the fight. There can be no victory without effort. Apathy, inactivity and procrastination will only advance our defeat.

In The Struggle!
(signed)
You can write to:

Jehan Abdur-Raheem
DIN: 77A1180
Elmira Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 500
Elmira, NY 14902-0500

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Malik Abdullah-Akili
DIN: 94A5238
Collins Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 340
Collins, NY 14034-0340

For FN archives on Malik Abdullah Akili, see:
A Nation Behind Bars: the buried talents of a population

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Richard Sitcha has been moved April 2005. Here is his new address:

Sitcha, Richard
39823
DN1 (205)
Plymouth Correctional Facility
26 Long Pond Road
Plymouth, MA 02360

For more on the case of Richard Sitcha see FreeRichard.com and
Traprock Peace Center resource links for Richard Sitcha. He needs legal representation and justice.




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