Monday, December 21, 2009

20th Anniversary of U.S. Invasion of Panama

December 20, 2009 marked the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 invasion of Panama by 24,000 Pentagon troops.

In The U.S. Invasion of Panama: The Truth Behind Operation `Just Cause,’ an Independent Commission of Inquiry described what happened in Panama during the Pentagon’s 1989 invasion:

“Thousands of Panamanians were killed and wounded during the invasion. The bulk of these casualties were civilians. Estimates of the numbers killed range from over 1,000 to as many as 4,000. A precise figure is hard to arrive at because the U.S. government has carried out a deliberate and systematic cover-up of the numbers killed…

“During the invasion U.S. troops carried out the destruction of the offices of almost every political organization and newspaper known to oppose U.S. policy. The U.S. invasion force destroyed Panama’s National Radio and another radio station, Sistema Radial De Onda Popular. Two television stations, Channel 2 and 5, were also taken over by U.S. troops. The newspaper La Republica, which reported on the extensive death and destruction caused by the invasion, was ransacked and looted by U.S. troops. La Republica publisher Escolastico `Fuelela’ Calvo was arrested and taken by U.S. troops to Fort Clayton…”

The Independent Commission of Inquiry project directors, Gavriella Gemma and Teresa Gutierrez, also noted that as of 1991 there was “not one hearing or congressional investigation into this monstrous event, even though it violated…the U.S. Constitution” and described the role the Big Media played in manipulating U.S. public opinion to support the Pentagon’s invasion of Panama in 1989:

“The media, every television station, every major newspaper participated in a virtual orgy of applause while covering up what was really taking place in Panama. One less experienced anchorman attempting an analysis was summarily shut up while on the air…”

(Downtown 12/21/94)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

25 Years Since Bhopal, India Disaster

The "Poison In The Air" protest folk song was written shortly after the late 1984 disaster at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, 25 years ago". Since that time, Union Carbide was purchased by Dow Chemical in 2001; and in the 21st-century there’s an International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal which is still fighting for justice for the victims of U.S. corporate greed in India. Coincidentally, a member of the Dow board of directors in recent years, Jacqueline Barton, apparently also used to sit on the board of trustees of Barnard College (whose board of trustees currently includes Columbia University President and Washington Post Company/Newsweek media conglomerate board member Lee Bollinger).

Poison In The Air

There’s poison in the air
Right near the factory!”
And children start to die
And mothers start to scream
And fathers start to weep
And workers start to shout:
“The Union Carbide plant—
Its gas is pouring out!”

It came to India
To use the cheap labor
And thousands it did kill
When its poison gas did pour
“Safety, it costs too much”
The bankers all did say
And the silent spring of death
Won’t affect the USA.

The pesticide for insects
Murdered people now instead
The methyl isocyanate
From the storage tank it fled
Morgan Guaranty Director Brown
And Chase Manhattan Director Ferguson
Directed Union Carbide
To use the cheapest gas.

Each day another horror
Or a new atrocity
There is no regulation
As they destroy the air we breathe
Today they poisoned India
Tomorrow it may be your city
A monument to profit
A tribute to corporate greed.

To listen to some other protest folk songs, you can check out the “Columbia Songs for a Democratic Society” music site at the following link:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Black Youth Jobless Rate Jumps to 49.4 Percent Under Obama

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American youth between 16 and 19 years of age under the Democratic Obama Regime jumped from 41.3 to 49.4 percent between October and November 2009; while the unemployment rate for African-American male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 16.9 percent in November 2009, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 11.7 percent in November 2009, while the unemployment rate for all African-American workers—male, female and youth—was still 15.6 percent..

In November 2009, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Hispanic or Latino male workers over 20 years of age was still 11.6 percent. For all Hispanic or Latino workers over 16 years of age (which takes into account the 34.7 percent “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino youth and the 10.6 rate for Latino female workers over 20 years of age), the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate was still 12.7 percent in November 2009.

For white male workers in the United States over 20 years of age, the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate was still 9.8 percent in November 2009, while the rate for white female workers over 20 years of age remained at 7.4 percent. The official unemployment rate for white youth between 16 and 19 years of age was still 23 percent in November 2009.

The “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Asian-American workers was 7.3 percent in November 2009. But the official “seasonally adjusted” national jobless rate for all U.S. workers was still 10 percent in November 2009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 4, 2009 press release:

“…In November, employment fell in construction, manufacturing and information…

“…The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose by 293,000 to 5.9 million. The percentage of unemployed persons jobless for 27 weeks or more increased by 2.7 percentage points to 38.3 percent…

“The number of people working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in November at 9.2 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job…

“About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in November, an increase of 376,000 from a year earlier…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey…

“Among the marginally attached, there were 861,000 discouraged workers in November, up from 608,000 a year earlier…Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them…

“Construction employment declined by 27,000 over the month…In November, construction job losses were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors…

“Manufacturing employment fell by 41,000 in November…

“Employment in the information industry fell by 17,000 in November. About half of the job loss occurred in its telecommunications component (-9,000)…”

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is Obama-Bush War In Afghanistan Illegal?

Most people in the United States, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Europe and in the rest of the world want all U.S. military forces to be quickly withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2010. Yet the Democratic Obama Administration recently announced that it was sending over 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

But, according to the 2004 book Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace by Chris Johnson and Jolyon Leslie, when the Pentagon began to bomb Afghanistan under the Republican Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Powell-Condoleezza Rice Administation in October 2001, "there was no explicit agreement under international law for the USA to go to war."

The same book also recalled:

"The US air attack on Afghanistan began on 7 October 2001, with an initial focus on targets in the major cities...Some 400 civilians were killed in the first week of bombing, and this toll increased tenfold over the following three months of the campaign...

"By the end of October 2001...there was a switch in strategy to carpet-bombing of frontlines...Sub-atomic bombs were dropped on Taliban frontlines in the Shamali plains north of Kabul...In addition, a quarter of a million deadly bomblets were scattered from the cluster bombs that the USA dropped throughout the country...

"...Afghanistan potentially offered advantages over all the alternative pipeline routes..."

Ironically, when President Obama was an undergraduate student at Columbia College in the early 1980s, he apparently was a student of a Columbia University professor named Zbigniew Brzezinski--who later became one of his foreign policy advisers when President Obama was campaigning for his White House job in 2008.

Coincidentally, former Columbia University Professor and former Carter White House National Security Adviser Brzezinski confessed in an interview that appeared in the January 15, 1998 issue of the French newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur:

"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the mujaheddin began...after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan...But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul."