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FearDestroys * IndigenousRising * Pu-Launch



29 December 2005

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe
if the people tolerate the growth of private power
to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state
itself. That in its essence is fascism ownership of government
by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power."


President Franklin D. Roosevelt

1) Fear destroys what bin Laden could not
2) Tehran Times on Bolivia - Indigenous Intifada

- - Chavez film discussion forum on democracy, January 5th
3) Plutonium Launch-Protest Cape Canaveral, January 7th
4) Racing Toward Climate Disaster

Editor's Notes:


This year ends with mixed blessings. While southern hemisphere nations of America and freedom-loving people celebrate independence and democracy, especially in light of the victory in Bolivia, electing its first indigenous President in over 500 years, the turmoil in the Mid East continues by the treacherous policies of the Clinton-Bush administrations. And while NASA has yet to conduct another flyby of Earth with plutonium on board, on January 7 it is launching a rocket ship with 24 pounds of plutonium on board from Cape Canaveral. Planned are protests and prayers. The last item includes an overview of the accelerating rise in temperature and impending worsening of conditions from climate change.

Flyby News next film-discussion forum on democracy, features the film::
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
at Greenfield Community Television
393 Main Street, Greenfield, MA
January 5th, 2006 ~ 7:00 pm
For more on this and other programs, see:
Films that Make a Difference!



1) Fear destroys what bin Laden could not

Fear destroys what bin Laden could not

One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn't win after all.
He ruined the America that existed on 9/11. But he had help.

By Robert Steinback

12/27/05 "Miami Herald" -- -- If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden's attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution -- and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it -- I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.

Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat -- and expect America to be pleased by this -- I would have thought our nation's sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.

If I had been informed that our nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas -- and call such procedures necessary for the nation's security -- I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.

If someone had predicted the president's staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy -- and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy -- I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy.

That's no America I know, I would have argued. We're too strong, and we've been through too much, to be led down such a twisted path. What is there to say now?

All of these things have happened. And yet a large portion of this country appears more concerned that saying ''Happy Holidays'' could be a disguised attack on Christianity.

I evidently have a lot poorer insight regarding America's character than I once believed, because I would have expected such actions to provoke -- speaking metaphorically now -- mobs with pitchforks and torches at the White House gate. I would have expected proud defiance of anyone who would suggest that a mere terrorist threat could send this country into spasms of despair and fright so profound that we'd follow a leader who considers the law a nuisance and perfidy a privilege.

Never would I have expected this nation -- which emerged stronger from a civil war and a civil rights movement, won two world wars, endured the Depression, recovered from a disastrous campaign in Southeast Asia and still managed to lead the world in the principles of liberty -- would cower behind anyone just for promising to ``protect us.''

President Bush recently confirmed that he has authorized wiretaps against U.S. citizens on at least 30 occasions and said he'll continue doing it. His justification? He, as president -- or is that king? -- has a right to disregard any law, constitutional tenet or congressional mandate to protect the American people.

Is that America's highest goal -- preventing another terrorist attack? Are there no principles of law and liberty more important than this? Who would have remembered Patrick Henry had he written, ``What's wrong with giving up a little liberty if it protects me from death?''

Bush would have us excuse his administration's excesses in deference to the ''war on terror'' -- a war, it should be pointed out, that can never end. Terrorism is a tactic, an eventuality, not an opposition army or rogue nation. If we caught every person guilty of a terrorist act, we still wouldn't know where tomorrow's first-time terrorist will strike. Fighting terrorism is a bit like fighting infection -- even when it's beaten, you must continue the fight or it will strike again.

Are we agreeing, then, to give the king unfettered privilege to defy the law forever? It's time for every member of Congress to weigh in: Do they believe the president is above the law, or bound by it?

Bush stokes our fears, implying that the only alternative to doing things his extralegal way is to sit by fitfully waiting for terrorists to harm us. We are neither weak nor helpless. A proud, confident republic can hunt down its enemies without trampling legitimate human and constitutional rights.

Ultimately, our best defense against attack -- any attack, of any sort -- is holding fast and fearlessly to the ideals upon which this nation was built.

Bush clearly doesn't understand or respect that. Do we?

ROBERT STEINBACK - rsteinback@MiamiHerald.com

For original source for article, see:
www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/13487511.htm

also posted:
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11388.htm



2) Tehran Times on Bolivia - Indigenous Intifada

- - Chavez film discussion forum on democracy, January 5th


Tehran Times Opinion Column
Dec. 25, 2005
By Hamid Golpira

Indigenous Intifada in Bolivia

TEHRAN, Dec. 25 (MNA) -- The final results are in, and Evo Morales has received a clear majority of the vote in the Bolivian presidential election. When he is inaugurated in January, he will be the first indigenous leader to take power in Bolivia in 500 years.

The struggle against 500 years of oppression at the hands of European conquistadors and settlers was a major theme of the election campaign of Morales, who is an Aymara Indian. Morales and his party, the Movement Towards Socialism, have pledged to lift the masses of Bolivia out of poverty through opposition to the neoliberal economic model advocated by the industrialized countries.

The masses of South America are opposed to the Free Trade Area of the Americas because they know that the FTAA and other neoliberal plans for the continent will not improve their standard of living. Morales, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have given voice to the masses' opposition to neoliberalism and a U.S.-dominated FTAA and are advocating the establishment of a South American bloc.

South America is definitely taking a turn to the left. The anti-globalization forces, spearheaded by Hugo Chavez, are sweeping to power in elections across the continent. Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay all have left-leaning governments, and socialist Michelle Bachelet won almost 46 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election in Chile earlier this month and now faces a run-off in January.

Morales has said that he will nationalize the oil and natural gas industries and enforce legislation to revise the contracts with foreign multinational corporations that have actually robbed the country of its vast hydrocarbon reserves at an unacceptably low price. He also plans to rewrite the constitution in order to enshrine indigenous people's rights in the supreme law of the land.

In addition, Morales has said he will legalize the cultivation of coca, which is the raw material for the production of cocaine. The Indians of Bolivia chew the coca leaf, which is a mild stimulant, but they do not use cocaine. In response to U.S. officials' complaints that his plan would exacerbate the drug abuse problem in the United States, Morales said that the cocaine problem in the U.S. must be addressed by demand-side solutions not supply-side approaches, and he is right.

Most Latin American countries are mestizo majority, but Bolivia is over 50 percent pure-blood Indian, with the Quechua and the Aymara being the largest groups. Peru, Ecuador, and Guatemala are also indigenous majority.

Whereas the progressive movements in most of the other Latin American countries are leftist, the popular movement in Bolivia is leftist and indigenous, with the emphasis on the indigenous dimension.

However, respect for the rights of the indigenous people and commitment to redress the five centuries of wrongs against them are the common points of all the popular movements in Latin America.

In a strange twist of fate reminiscent of South America's own magical realism, the leftist Christian Liberation Theology is fading and being replaced by an indigenous movement in Latin America.

In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, "Enough is enough" is one of the slogans of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, who are also known by their Spanish acronym EZLN.

The Zapatistas, who are mostly Maya Indians, began their uprising on January 1, 1994, the day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) officially came into effect. Thus, they illustrated that it was both an indigenous and an anti-globalization uprising.

The Zapatistas are aware that they are involved in a cultural struggle.

At the Plenary of the Indigenous National Forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico on January 7, 1996, Subcomandante Marcos, one of the leaders of the Zapatistas, told the Story of the Rainbow, which an old Indian taught him in 1986.

"7 times 7 they will walk the 7 because that is how the number came out which reminds us that not everything comes in pairs and that there is always room for another," is one part of the Story of the Rainbow that he recited for the plenary participants on that day.

At the end of his speech, Marcos said, "So we need only 7 times 7 to walk the 7, to say and tell ourselves that we have finished the 7 tasks that give birth to the good world, to the one that makes us new."

The American Indians believe that history is cyclical. On October 12, 1992, the 500th anniversary of the European invasion of the Americas, Indigenous People's Day was established to replace the hated Columbus Day, which Indians have always viewed as one of the worst symbols of their oppression. Indigenous People's Day 1992 was observed all across North America and South America. It was the first time in history that all the indigenous peoples of the Americas had acted in harmony. At the time, many American Indians said that the symbolic act of unity was a sign of the beginning of the end of the 500-year cycle of oppression.

Yes, the indigenous movement has even reached North America, and it is set to become stronger.

Leonard Peltier of the American Indian Movement (AIM) has served nearly 30 years in prison in the U.S. for a crime he did not commit. He is accused of killing two FBI agents in 1975, but has always maintained his innocence. Many Indians say he is a political prisoner and has been imprisoned for being a member of AIM, a group which has always stood up for the rights of Native Americans, and because U.S. government officials wanted to punish an Indian for the deaths of the two FBI agents, even though they knew he was innocent.

Demonstrations are planned for February 6, 2006, which will be the 30th anniversary of his arrest. Something is likely to happen on February 6. The cycle of oppression is ending.

Perhaps Subcomandante Marcos best summed up the indigenous Intifada of the Americas in the EZLN communique of January 6, 1994, where he said: "Here we are, the dead of always, dead again, but now to live."

MS/HG

End
MNA
2003-2005 Mehr News Agency

www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=270137

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

- - Chavez film discussion forum on democracy, January 5th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Film Discussion Forum on Democracy - January 5th, 2006
Greenfield Community Television {Screening Room}
393 Main Street, Greenfield, MA -
Sponsored by FlybyNews.com
Contact: Jonathan Mark -
Info@flybynews.com

Film Discussion Forum on Democracy - January 5th, 2006
Greenfield Community Television {Screening Room}
393 Main Street, Greenfield, MA -
Sponsored by FlybyNews.com
Contact: Jonathan Mark -
info@flybynews.com

"THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED"
Directed and Photographed by Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain
Running time: 74 minutes {in Spanish with English subtitles}

The Film, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" will be shown at Greenfield Community Television, screening room, Thursday, January 5th, 2006 at 7:00 P.M. The film and following discussion is free and open to the public.
.
This film concerns events surrounding the short-lived coup d'etat of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela on April 12th 2002. "What had in fact taken place was the first Latin American coup of the 21st century, and the world's first media coup."

* Sometimes, a good documentary is all about being in the right place at the right time. It does not get much better for Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain, who, in late 2001 began filming a documentary about Hugo Chavez, the controversial President of Venezuela. As they worked on their documentary, events in Venezuela reached a fever pitch and the duo was able to capture on film a coup from the perspective of the Chavez government. The footage is remarkable, especially given that actual events were so clouded by propaganda on both sides. What is clear is that this was a coup orchestrated with the crucial help of the media. Without their support, it would not have been successful..

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" was first broadcast in Europe in February 2003 and since then has been aired on a variety of national TV stations including the BBC, ZDF (Germany), Arte ( France), and NPS ( Holland) as well as at numerous international film festivals. In Venezuela the film had its first airing on national TV in April 2003. For the web site on this film, see: chavezthefilm.com

"In February 2002, Chavez announced his plan to shake up the state oil company and to put his own people on the Management board. The war had begun.." Yet more than about war, this film is about popular movements and about democracy, and the communications revolution trumping corporate-tied media interests.

The organization sponsoring this event, Flyby News, has been an active news resource on the Internet since NASA's Cassini flyby of Earth in 1999. The web site features issues related to reclaiming a lost USA democracy, 9/11 investigative reports, human rights, environment, and other areas critical for life's survival in the 21st Century.

* For a review on the film, see: www.haro-online.com/movies/revolution_will_not_be_televised.html

Democracy Now! featured a report on the film on November 6th, 2003:
Why is Amnesty Not Screening a New Documentary About the Failed 2002 Coup in Venezuela?

Statement in Support of the Documentary Film by Venezuelananlysis.com and others..

Read and Sign the Petition in Support of the Film, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"


For more on this and other programs, see:
Films that Make a Difference!



3) Plutonium Launch-Protest Cape Canaveral, January 7th

JANUARY 7 PROTEST OF NEW HORIZONS
PLUTONIUM LAUNCH AT CAPE CANAVERAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space has announced a demonstration at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on January 7 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The protest will highlight opposition to NASA's planned New Horizons launch that will carry 24 pounds of radioactive plutonium on board.

NASA acknowledges in their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the New Horizons mission that there is a 1 in 300 chance of an accident resulting in release of the plutonium. In the event of such an accident the EIS states that the deadly plutonium could be carried by winds for a 60-mile radius throughout Central Florida. Clean-up costs for a plutonium accident would range from $241 million to $1.3 billion per square mile.

NASA has big plans to expand the numbers of nuclear launches in the coming years. The DoE is now planning a $300 million expansion of their laboratory in Idaho just to make more plutonium for space missions.

According to Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon, "As people in the U.S. and around the world learn about NASA's plan to launch plutonium into space they become angry with the space agency. People say we don't want our tax dollars used to launch nuclear power into space. The public understands the threat to the planet and to our children's future. NASA is destroying their credibility with the very people who pay for these missions. We might have escaped Cassini, we might escape New Horizons, but with plans to put nuclear reactors on the moon to power bases there in the coming years NASA will be launching a host of these missions. One thing we have learned is that sooner or later, space technology can fail."

The protest is being co-sponsored by the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice. For more information check the Global Network website at: www.space4peace.org

CONTACTS:

Bruce Gagnon (207) 729-0517
Maria Telesca (Florida) (321) 632-5977



4) Racing Toward Climate Disaster
Published December 28, 2005 by Inter Press Service
Racing Toward Climate Disaster
by Stephen Leahy

[EXCEPTS]

BROOKLIN, Canada - With 2005 the warmest year in modern times and new research confirming scientists' worst fears, most experts agree that urgent and innovative international action on climate change is needed.

But neither action nor urgency was in evidence earlier this month in Montreal, Canada when 189 nations spent two weeks attempting to deal with climate change. Although the United Nations sponsored-talks were widely seen as an international success, they accomplished little beyond supporting the Kyoto Protocol and an agreement for more talks.

"As usual, national self-interest dominated, but at least the whole process wasn't derailed," said Dale Marshall, a climate change policy analyst.."

Meanwhile, several climate research studies released in December show that the impacts of climate change are coming faster than predicted. This suggests that the worst case disaster scenarios may be the most likely unless there is concerted global action to reduce emissions.

Satellite photos taken this year revealed that there was 20 percent less Arctic sea ice compared to the first pictures taken in 1978, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.

The loss of ice is not too surprising given the four degrees C rise in average winter temperatures in the Arctic. However, the extent and speed with which the Arctic ice is melting is unprecedented.

And that's not just bad news for polar bears and native people of the North.

"The Arctic is a major driver for Earth's weather cycle. [The melting] we see is going to be very profound in terms of global weather change," said Ted Scambos, a research scientist at the NSIDC.

Those changes are impossible to predict with precision, but Scambos believes that the sea ice will continue to melt. The loss of sea ice appears to have triggered a major feedback loop because there is less ice and snow to reflect the sun's energy, making the region ever warmer.

"We think that these feedbacks are starting to take hold and that we're going to see an accelerated decline in sea ice," Scambos said in a release.

Warmer temperatures are also thawing the top three metres of permafrost beneath the western Siberian peatlands, creating giant lakes and swelling rivers. Permafrost is also melting in Alaska and northern Canada. A new study predicts that over half of the northern hemisphere's permafrost could thaw by 2050.

The melting of millions of square kilometres of permafrost will unleash billions of tonnes of methane, the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reported in the Dec. 17 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and will dramatically accelerate global warming. A major permafrost meltdown will have a major impact on climate, NCAR scientists said.

That "perfect storm" may come over the next two years as thousands of climate scientists finalise a series of studies and reports that will become the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate synthesis report. The IPCC's 2007 report will be the authoritative and complete assessment of climate change and its impacts.

And it's unlikely to have much in the way of good news.

For the complete article, see:
www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1228-04.htm


For FN's resource page, see:

Mounting Evidence of Global Warming!



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