Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cheney thumbs nose at rule of law, US citizenry

The Dick Cheney “Memoir” In My Life...I was a chickenhawk!”

By Rashard Zanders, MN – Shameless. Vile. Vulgar. These are just some of the kinder words that come to mind when I read excerpts from the former vice-president – a “man” who on five separate occasions deferred the opportunity to serve his country in time of war. A man who decades later would become the Secretary of Defense despite his lack of Semper Fi with those who did actually fight, serve and die. What Cheney's memoir manages to do is reveal once and for all that often times the road to war is paved most ardently by chickenhawks like himself.

And he is deserving of the term. He is both cowardly and hypocritical. Here is a politicrat who strongly supports (and profits from) wars and other military interventions, yet he “actively avoided military service” when he was of an age to do so. But that's not the worst of it. The worst part is that this blowhard now wants all the world to deem him some kind of great fighter against terrorism. It seems the point of his manuscript is to laud himself as a great military mind, an architect of a war precipitated largely as a false-flag event designed to limit American civil liberties, bankrupt our economy, and enslave us all under a corporate-military industrial complex.

But the term war wimp also equally applies to one of the most powerful chickenhawks to attain the second highest political office in the United States. Not only is/was Dick Cheney all too willing to advocate for others to go off, fight and maybe die at war, while avoiding the whole nasty business himself. You'd think that the media would be inclined to limit war wimp/chickenhawk howls, but he is given celebrity status in a mainstream media that turned its duties away from investigating myriad alleged war crimes perpetrated by the Bush/ administration.*

The war crimes angle is what separates Cheney from one's perception of the average war wimp/chicken hawk. A normal chickenhawk advocates sending others off to wars they would never literally be caught dead in. The Cheney/Bush administration did that plus invaded Iraq, which was not linked to the attacks on US soil on 9/11, and then lied about the reasons for the Iraq invasion, never finding alleged weapons of mass destruction. Need more detailed proofs? As long ago as May 2004 Thom Stephens and John Philo wrote an article called, “The War Crimes of Bush, Cheney and Company,” an open letter to Rep. John Conyers to lead efforts to appoint a special counsel to investigate the US executive branch of government and their co-conspirators:

“The subject matter of this proposed investigation is the conduct of the so-called "war on terrorism," and the illegal and catastrophic US war of aggression against Iraq. Specifically, we believe that these individuals and others conspired to commit war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and to cover up their wrongdoing in connection with these crimes. These crimes include systematic violations of fundamental human rights guaranteed by the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Convention on Torture, the Alien Tort Claims Act, lying to Congress and to other federal officials, and violations of other laws, treaties and obligations, including internal regulations of the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice.”

Bill van Auken wrote for the Socialist World Website in May 2008 concerning a 370 page US Justice Department Inspector General's report that revealed the Federal Bureau of Investigation had officially created a “War Crimes” file that detailed human rights abuses/violations witnessed during interrogations at Guantanomo Bay prison camp operated by the US offshore in Cuba. The Bureau was soon ordered by the administration to cease writing the reports. Auken goes on to write that his site, along with other human rights groups “has long insisted that the actions of the Bush administration—the launching of wars of aggression, assassinations, the abduction and detention of civilians without trial and, most repugnant of all, torture—constitute war crimes under any legitimate interpretation of longstanding international statutes and treaties.

See also:

Pinochet Cheney (Pinochet being a verb in this case)

And then today August 31, 2011 Dick Polman's column ( ) was picked up by several news outlets and highlights the disdain the former VP fostered for prominent members of his and Bush's war room, and the growing schism Cheney's memoir has wedged between former teammates in his administration, particularly against former defense secreatary and Joint Chiefs Chair Colin Powel and his top aide, Lawrence Wilkerson (actual soldiers). Titled “Colin Powell, collateral damage” Cheney's book takes many swipes at Powell for “undermining” President Bush.

In recent days Powell and Wilkerson have both lashed back dramatically, with Wilkerson pledging that he would like to testify against the former VP if he were ever “Pinocheted”, that being a reference to Chile waiting for an entire generation to revisit the human rights abuses of former dictator, US ally and puppet Augustus Pinochet and persecuting him well into his nineties. Wilkerson's choice of words especially resonated with me because it was my own father, unseen by my eyes since I was seven years old, who was the US State Departments' scapegoat in 1973 when evidence first began to circulate the the US was directly and indirectly responsible for the assassination of Pinochet's democratically-elected socialist predecessor Salvador Allende, murdered on 9/11 of that year in a coup that would not have happened without US involvement. From the artilce: “Yet there is a strong and plausible case showing that the U.S. was not involved in the military's coup. Administration officials issued unqualified denials of U.S. complicity—perhaps suspect in light of recent revelations about, say, the secret bombing of Cambodia in 1969 and 1970. There were equally strong denials from leaders of the junta that their coup had outside help. Most tellingly, the CIA called the Centaur plan a hoax.
U.S. intelligence sources contended that the documents outlining the purported plot were circulated in Mexico by one Richard Alexander Zander, 31, an ex-convict and accused kidnaper who fled the U.S. last month while on parole from McNeil Island federal penitentiary in Washington State, where he had served time for transporting stolen goods. A U.S. court has issued a warrant for his arrest as a fugitive from justice.” (,9171,942702,00.html

Since then US involvement in the destabilization of a democratically elected socialist government as since been confirmed multiple times over.

Forgive my digression but it seemed apt to mention Pinochet/Allende' and my dad's involvement because the above quote is all I got from him for a legacy: sensitivity to repetitive US government malfeasance that has become the norm rather than the exception. And a war wimp/chickenhawk as malevolent to the rule of law, human rights and civil decency as Dick Cheney has been, reflects poorly on the US. I doubt that the current President, who is distant cousins to both Bush and Cheney, has the will to restore the American brand in the eyes of the rest of the world, its own citizens, and the warriors who either via draft or volunteerism, served their nation with integrity. A virtue that the former bombastic braggart we call former VP Dick Cheney has in scant supply, if any. Let's hope that the courage displayed by former aide Wilkerson snowballs into an avalanche that the mainstream media can no longer ignore.

(Rashard Zanders is a freelance writer, editor, musician and adult basic education teacher living somewhere in the Midwest with two cats)

Israeli columnist fired for speaking out for Palestinians' right to resist

Damn, even Powell's people thought Cheney a nazi...

....a chickenhawk nazi

Monday, August 22, 2011

Obama: Our self-inflicted wound

BEST Theory or rather, “Black Electoral Success Theory” supposed in the aftermath of the Civil Rights struggle, that the US electoral system, and the proliferation of African American candidates and elected officials, would provide Blacks a path to economic and social parity with mainstream society: “You don't need the bullet when you've got the ballot.” President Obama is the latest example of the failure of the this hypothesis, and validates Audre Lourde's maxim that "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" .

How did it get to be that in 2011 the wealth, health and education chasms between African Americans and their national peers become so vast, so gaping that Black family income is 20 times LESS than whites? How is this possible after over four decades of electoral successes nationwide in urban, congressional and state politics? The disparities which continue to be a part of Black life in contrast to the lives of other ethnic groups calls call into question the viability of this electoral system, and more importantly, issues of our place, or lack thereof, in this society despite our contributions edifying it.

One could argue that this President inherited the economic turmoil, wars, and class divisions exacerbated by the previous Bush/Cheney Administration; one could argue that this president faced and obstructionist Congress ensconced in overt/covert ideology that would never let a Black man succeed at the presidency of the United States of America; or one could argue that this president's policies haven't had time to take hold and he needs another four years to set the house in order. But you'd be wrong.

This president is the one who surrounded himself with the same, business as usual characters to run our finances and our treasury; Geitner and Bernanke are of the system of bankers and financial experts that caused our global economic catastrophe in the first place. That should have been a warning sign right there.

Other red flags were raised during the Bush/Cheney administration, when then Senator Obama along with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the congress they led offered no articles of impeachment against an administration that had lied the nation into war, looted the treasury, remains reasonably suspicious of complicity in 9/11, to list just a few very investigatable/impeachable offenses against the American public. Impeachment is one of the best processes we have to protect against political abuse by the elite, and that trio threw that very necessary option, like the public one NOT in Obama's health care plan, under the bus.

And now, In the pre-election fury leading up to 2012, the president must contend with a new beerhall pautch in the form of a “Tea Party” that is largely of his (and Reid and Pelosi's ) making. By failing the call the criminal adminsitration that ran this country down the drain on the carpet, the Dems now find themselves on that very carpet....see Obama in August 2008.

It was the candidate Obama who put on the vest of social democracy, and spewed out the rhetoric of hope and change; not the throngs who lined the streets to fill auditoriums to hear his message. Obama used the language and ideas of a civil rights struggle he now seems resentful to be reminded of. Which points to a conundrumof historic proportions for the community Obama professes to be of. The malaise flowing through this president's electoral base emanates from the source, not our political naitivity.

Rashard Zanders

Monday, August 15, 2011

See...Marx WAS right!

As a critic of capitalism he was dead on!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Black Agenda Report: The Obama Catastrophe

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford:

"After two and a half years of waging war against the Left half of his own party, while seeking a “Grand Consensus” with the GOP, President Obama has finally set “in motion a rolling implosion of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society.” The final vote on the debt ceiling measure – actually a ruse to impose savage cuts in social spending – saw a substantial portion of the Congressional Black Caucus put the president’s prestige above their constituents’ vital interests. Ninety-five House Democrats, including 15 Black Caucus members, “voted for the certainty of losing trillions of dollars for tens of millions of needy citizens, rather than risk the possibility of unknown financial dislocations.”