Daily Archives: September 30, 2008

Robert Fisk’s World: Bush rescues Wall Street but leaves his soldiers to die in Iraq

It was a weird week to be in the United States. On Tuesday, secretary of the treasury Henry Paulson told us that “this is all about the American taxpayer – that’s all we care about”. But when I flipped the page on my morning paper, I came across the latest gloomy statistic which Americans should care more about. “As of Wednesday evening, 4,162 US service members and 11 Defence Department civilians had been identified as having died in the Iraq war.” By grotesque mischance, $700bn – the cost of George Bush’s Wall Street rescue cash – is about the same figure as the same President has squandered on his preposterous war in Iraq, the war we have now apparently “won” thanks to the “surge” – for which, read “escalation” – in Baghdad. The fact that the fall in casualties coincides with the near-completion of the Shia ethnic cleansing of Sunni Muslims is not part of the story.

Indeed, a strange narrative is now being built into the daily history of America. First we won the war in Afghanistan by overthrowing the evil, terrorist-protecting misogynist Islamist crazies called the Taliban, setting up a democratic government under the exotically dressed Hamid Karzai. Then we rushed off to Iraq and overthrew the evil, terrorist-protecting, nuclear-weaponised, secular Baathist crazies under Saddam, setting up a democratic government under the pro-Iranian Shia Nouri al-Maliki. Mission accomplished. Then, after 250,000 Iraqi deaths – or half a million or a million, who cares? – we rushed back to Kabul and Kandahar to win the war all over again in Afghanistan. The conflict now embraces our old chums in Pakistan, the Saudi-financed, American-financed Interservices Intelligence Agency whose Taliban friends – now attacked by our brave troops inside Pakistani sovereign territory – again control half of Afghanistan.

We are, in fact, now fighting a war in what I call Irakistan. It’s hopeless; it’s a mess; it’s shameful; it’s unethical and it’s unwinnable and no wonder the Wall Street meltdown was greeted with such relief by Messrs Obama and McCain. They couldn’t suspend their campaigns to discuss the greatest military crisis in America’s history since Vietnam – but for Wall Street, no problem. The American taxpayer – “that’s all we care about”. Mercifully for the presidential candidates, they don’t have to debate the hell-disaster of Iraq any more, nor US-Israeli relations, nor Exxon or Chevron or BP-Mobil or Shell. George Bush’s titanic if mythical battle between good and evil has transmogrified into the conflict between good taxpayers and evil bankers. Phew! No entanglement in the lives and deaths of the people of the Middle East. Until the elections – barring another 9/11 – they are yesterday’s men and women.

But truth lurks in the strangest of airports. I’m chewing my way though a plate of spiced but heavy-boned chicken wings – final proof of why chickens can’t fly – at John Wayne airport in Orange County (take a trip down the escalator and you can actually see a larger-than-life statue of the “Duke”), and up on the screen behind the bar pops Obama himself. The word “Change” flashes on the logo and the guy on my left shakes his head. “I got a brother who’s just come back from Afghanistan,” he says. “He’s been fighting there but says there’s no infrastructure so there can be no victory. There’s nothing to build on. We’re not wanted.” At California’s San Jose University, a guy comes up and asks me to sign my new book for him. “Write ‘To Sergeant ‘D’,” he says with a sigh. “That’s what they call me. Two tours in Iraq, just heading out to Afghanistan.” And he rolls his eyes and I wish him safe home afterwards.

Of course, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no longer gets a look into the debate. McCain’s visit to the Middle East and Obama’s visit to the Middle East – in which they outdid each other in fawning to the Israeli lobby (Obama’s own contribution surely earning him membership of the Knesset if not entry to the White House) – are safely in the past. Without any discussion, Israeli and US officials held a three-day security-technology forum in Washington this month which coincided with an equally undebated decision by the dying Bush administration to give a further $330m in three separate arms deals for Israel, including 28,000 M72A7 66mm light anti-armour weapons and 1,000 GBU-9 small diameter bombs from Boeing. Twenty-five Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets are likely to be approved before the election. The Israeli-American talks were described as “the most senior bilateral high-technology dialogue ever between the two allies”. Nothing to write home about, of course.

Almost equally unreported in major US papers – save by the good old Washington Report – was a potential scandal in good old Los Angeles to which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently returned after a $225,000 junket to Israel with three council members and other city officials (along with families, kids, etc). The purpose? To launch new agreements for security at Los Angeles international airport. Council members waffled away on cellphones and walked out of the chamber when protesters claimed that the council was negotiating with a foreign power before seeking bids from American security services. One of the protesters asked if the idea of handing LAX’s security to the Israelis was such a good idea when Israeli firms were operating security at Boston Logan and Newark on 9/11 when a rather sinister bunch of Arabs passed through en route to their international crimes against humanity.

But who cares? 9/11? Come again? What’s that got to do with the American taxpayer?


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Colegas y amigos de las radios Comunitarias y Universitarias

Reciban un fraternal saludo de parte del “Colectivo Alternativa Latinoamericana”, organizadores del ya conocido “Encuentro de Radios Comunitarias de Canadá” , por este medio los invitamos cordialmente a participar como cada año en este nuestro 15o.Aniversario “Encuentro de Radios Comunitarias y Universitarias de Canadá”, que por ser el numero quince tan significativo en nuestros paises latinos es aun mas Especial.

Queremos bailar nuestro primer vals con ustedes, los companeros solidarios de este medio alternativo; La Maratón Radiofónica se realizará como se acostumbra en los estudios de CFRU 93.3 FM. Ubicados en el Campus de la Universidad de Guelph, los días 11 y 12 de Octubre en el horario de;

Sábado 11, de 6 de la tarde a 12 de la noche
Domingo 12, de 6 de la mañana a 12 de la noche

“24 horas de Programación En Español”.

Como en años anteriores ustedes pueden participar en vivo o enviando sus participaciones grabadas en un CD de 60 minutos, mencionando que esta participando en el Quinceavo Encuentro Radiofónico en Español de Canadá.

El tema de este año “El papel de los Medios Alternativos de Comunicacion en estos momentos de criminalizacion a la libertad de expresion y los derechos humanos en latinoamerica ”

Si desea ser parte de este evento, favor de confirmar su participación antes del dia 5 de Octubre sugiriendo la hora en que desea participar. Si su participación es Grabada, favor de enviar su material antes del 1 de Octubre, para asignarle espacio.

Para más información comunicarse con Sergio Pochon (519) 6013661,

o envia un E-mail a


El Evento será transmitido para las regiones de Wellington y Waterloo, por las siguientes frecuencias:

93.3 FM
Canal 948 de su cable digital

Y para el resto del mundo a través del Internet en el sitio

Web de CFRU 93.3 FM


Sergio Pochón
Alternativa Latinoamericana Colectivo

Hilda Venegas Negrete
Abogada Penalista
Perito Criminalista.



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