MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
"They made a wasteland and called it Peace"-Tacitus, Roman historian
" The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, ,remorseless, but few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."
Playwright Harold Pinter's Nobel acceptance speech 7 Dec., 2005
As we face the New Year, best we take a good look backwards so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past. First: Iraq: With just over 1000 days since Bush Jr. attacked Baghdad, we have little to brag about. Saddam's country is a military desolation with over 100,000 Iraqis killed and ten times that number injured. Falujah, where thousands of buildings, both commercial and homes, have been reduced to rubble with raw sewage in the streets, little or no electric power, dirty water to drink, over 70% unemployed and of the 330,000 original inhabitants, reports say that less than half have of its survivors returned. Many of the smaller cities, such as those near the border with Syria have also been gutted, as our military are employing those 2000 lb. "block buster" bombs with more frequency. These monsters leave holes 30 ft deep, 70 feet wide and sent deadly fragments over 3000 feet in all directions as they explode. The civilian death toll has been enormous. US military deaths as of Dec. 20th were 2156, with well over 15,000 wounded. There have been 246 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
While Washington brags about "democratization" of Saddam's people, let's remember that a good share of those now gaining political power are old enemies of Saddam's who have been expanding their ties with Washington for years. Most voters in this recent election had no idea for whom they were casting ballots.
Just how the fractious religious and ethnic groups will handle their oncoming contests for both political power and shares of the oil wealth is anybody's guess. Iraq may well end up as a truncated federal republic with Kurds in the north, Shiites in the east and south, and Sunnis central and west. The sooner we declare victory and get our troops out the better. Iraq's oil output, which Bush Jr. said would pay for his war, has been so effectively reduced hat American taxpayers are paying to import OPEC oil for Iraqi use.
As for Afghanistan this country, impoverished by two wars is a wasteland. President Karzai, once UNICAL's lobbyist in Washington, has formed a cabinet of friends, as well as old tribal enemies. The just-elected parliament includes a number of women. The Country's economy has returned to the opium crop, once successfully outlawed by the Taliban, and the whorehouses closed by that religious group are again in business. None of the city streets, even in Kabul, are safe at night. The economy is in shambles and Afghans lack paved roads, potable water, sewage facilities, schools, hospitals and even a postal service.
Clinton's Operation Enduring Freedom and his global war on terror which was launched on Oct. 7, 2001, targeted far more than al Qaeda training camps and facilities. Taliban government and Afghan refugee accounts of the numbers of civilians killed or wounded in the bombing during Operation Enduring Freedom, suggest a total of more than 5000 killed and 10,000 wounded, while more than 1 million Afghans fleeing east across the border into Pakistan, to join the 2 million countrymen who had previously fled during the Soviet occupation. Today, with Pakistan overwhelmed with its rural earthquake refugees, these Afghanistan refugees are surviving hand to mouth on United Nations and Red Cross and Red Crescent efforts. The US has 18,000 troops in Afghanistan as well as Special Forces still fighting the Taliban in the south and east along the border with Pakistan.
Americans have all but forgotten Clinton's Balkan Wars and his part in the destructive fragmentation of the Yugoslav Federation. Some may recall that infamous Rambouillet accord, the US/NATO "peace plan" presented TO Milosevic and Yugoslav negotiators as an ULTIMATUM. A "take it or leave it" proposition as Secretary of State, Albright then emphasized. There were, in fact, no negotiations. No sovereign, independent state could have signed the Rambouillet agreement in which the NATO command was were given total dictatorial power. Milosevic's rejection of this impossible "Accord" lead to the already-planned 78-day bombing destruction of Serbia and its entire infrastructure. As Jeff Elkins points out: "The corrupt Clinton regime launched a brutal bombing campaign followed by the subsequent occupation of Kosovo; pitting mighty NATO against tiny Serbia, a country that posed no threat whatsoever to the supposedly Defensive Alliance." (When Thieves Fall Out-10/30/2005 )
It has since been discovered that detailed planning for the massive, 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia, hidden by the Clinton Administration, had actually begun in June and 1998, and that further rehearsals took place in August and September 1998, six months before the Rambouille "Accord" (Richard Becker International Action Center)
Serbs today are experiencing an economic as well as a social tragedy. Once the most prosperous of the Yugoslav Federation peoples with a model Socialized economy, the NATO bombing destroyed all this. Highways, bridges across the Danube, factories, oil refineries, hospitals, universities, schools, libraries, and the largest auto-manufacturing plant in the Balkans with over 44,000 workers, all reduced to rubble in 78 days.
The Danube, a commercial waterway for more than five nations was blocked for months after the bombing by debris, sunken boats, destroyed bridges and massive oil and chemical pollution. All fish and water life disappeared.
Under pressure from the US and EU powers, foreign firms bought out the government-run businesses of the Serbs at give-away prices. Serbian pension plans were robbed by the west and wages dropped to near-starvation levels. Belgrade which had been a model of European living with over 125 newspapers and many radio and TV stations has been deprived of its vitality and its once prosperous commercial and artistic activity. Another example of western military-commercial colonialism.
The ongoing occupation of Serbian Kosovo by NATO forces has only extended the Serbian tragedy. Albanian KLA militias, supported by Washington since the 500,000 Albanians in the US paid for Senator Dole's failed presidential campaign, are still killing Serbs in Kosovo, destroying their old cathedrals (over 300 so far) and fighting for separation from Serbia as NATO forces stand by. The famously-rich Trepka Mining facility, whose billions in ore deposits were shared by the Yugoslav Federation peoples is now in the hands of Western companies which are stealing its billions in true economic colonial style.
We can't leave 2005 without taking a look at Haiti, our Caribbean neighbor, whose president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was, in April, 2004 kidnapped from his presidential palace by US forces and forced into exile. This report from the Assoc. Press wire on March 2nd, 2004 best tells the story:
"BANGUI, Central African Republic - " Claims by ousted Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide
that US officials forced him from power have upset his hosts in the Central African Republic, who will press the exiled president about his plans to move on into permanent exile.
Aristide, who resigned Sunday and arrived in the African country on a flight arranged by the US government, said he was forced to leave by the American military - a claim dismissed by Secretary of State Colin Powell and others in the Bush administrationÉCivil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who arranged the AP phone interview with Aristide, said Congress should investigate whetherÉ the CIA, had a role in the two-week rebellion that led to Aristide's exile.
Bush telephoned French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday to praise "the excellent French-American cooperation in Haiti" and to "thank France for its action."
Today, Aristide is still in exile in South Africa. And according to recent reports from Haiti via our local radio station KPFA, the UN "Peacekeeping" forces in Haiti's capital, Porte au Prince, are in bed with the militias antagonistic to Aristide who are murdering members of Aristide's Lavalas Party in the Capital's slums. France, Washington and Canada, (with its French connections) are responsible for ousting Aristide whose political agenda of universal health care, living wages for Haiti's workers and other social programs was found unpalatable by these western colonial powers. Colin Powell lied for his white slave-masters as usual.
As we review this tragedies that Washington has produced, is it any surprise that on In February 2003, 14th thru 16th, in over 800 cities around the world, a total of 10,246, 590, activists assembled to protest Bush Jr.'s pre-emptive war against Iraq?
*The prefix small is used to distinguish Smallpox, from Syphilis, the Great Pox, which swept Europe in the 15th Century, killing millions
Coastal Post Home Page