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Shock, Awe, & Kucinich * History's Darkest Visions



22 March 2003

"We are going to be in such a fix when this war is over, or before this war is over. Our grandchildren's grandchildren are going to be paying for this war. I look at our future as, I'm sorry, being very, very dark."

- Walter Cronkite, March 19, 2003



1) "Shock and Awe" - Kucinich Responds
- - kucinich4presidend list serve feedback
- - Man With a Plan - changes in our administration
2) When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
- - by Thom Hartmann
3) Cheney's Warped Perspective on the Need to Attack Iraq
- - by Scott Ritter
4) Into the Darkness
- - by William Rivers Pitt


Editor's Notes:

Shock and Awe has begun -- one thing is for sure -- people are being misled to what it is all about. Congressman Dennis Kucinich is making statements each day on the current crisis. Following his statement in item 1, are feedback and ideas to get involved in a campaign to replace the current regime in the US with someone representing a democracy and the founding principles and ideals of its Constitution. Item 2 is a clear warming of history in an article by Thom Hartmann. Item 3 is from Scott Ritter, detailing the lies connected with "Cheney's Warped Perspective on the Need to Attack Iraq." Item 4 is a poignant article by William Rivers Pitt, "Into the Darkness." Please keep the actions for peace flowing.. Help us with your actions to get ahead of the curve of domination and destruction to what is good about humanity.

Keep the faith - Get rid of the corrupt leaders!




1) "Shock and Awe" - Kucinich Responds
- - kucinich4presidend list serve feedback
- - Man With a Plan - changes in our administration

"Shock and Awe" - Kucinich Responds

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who leads opposition in the House to the war in Iraq, issued [Fri, 21 Mar 2003] the following statement on the 'shock and awe' air campaign:

"Today is a sad day, the United States has begun its 'shock and awe' air campaign against Iraq. By all accounts this attack will rain thousands of bombs down on a heavily populated area."

"The 'shock and awe' air campaign is a horrific acceleration of the United States' unprovoked attack against Iraq. This air campaign is designed to aim the full might of the United States military apparatus at the center of a civilian population."

"Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the coalition service men and women serving in the region and with the innocent Iraqi civilians. We must end this unjustified war."

Congressman Kucinich will issue daily statements on the war in Iraq.

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To read Congressman Dennis Kucinich other statements in March/February 2003, see:
http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/oh10_kucinich/~list.html

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To learn more visit the official web site for Dennis Kucinich for US President in 2004:
http://www.kucinich.us

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kucinich4presidend list serve feedback

The following is a response to a presentation by Dennis Kucinich in Kentucky in an email over the kucinich4president@yahoogroups.com list serve:


> Hello, I first heard Kucinich speak when he came to Lexington, Kentucky's Kentucky Theatre. This experience provided for the most hopefully, positive moment that I have had in a long time. Before last Saturday I had never heard the name Kucinich and for the past week I have told so many people about how amazing he is. He speaks true to a dream that I have had for a long time about a peaceful nation. How do we get his name out more, I just only hope it is possible for us to promote his campaign more so that he has a chance to win the election. Is there any way that I can help???? I don't have money to give, I am merely a poor college student but I want to help in some way. Also, let me tell you a story about what happened when he came to speak on Saturday. It was at the end of his speech and we were all about to go outside and participate in a peace rally and march, and my boyfriend walks up to the stage where Kucinich was speaking with a number of people. It just so happened that that Monday was Saint Patrick's day and my boyfriend was turning 30 years old. He was wearing his lucky Saint Patrick's day shirt that he has had for about 11 years now. The shirt is the official Rugby with four leaf clover on it. Anyway, he is a poor college student as well, and he wanted to help out Kucinich in some way so he walks up to the stage and offers him his lucky shirt, Kucinich right away takes off his suit jacket and puts on the shirt and wears the shirt for the rest of the day!!! What a wonderful person!!! I just hope that the shirt provides him with some kind of luck during the campaign!!

> Anyway, in light of the bombs dropping today, today it was a sad sad day! Thank you so much for having this group, I was so pleased to find it on the groups list!

Heather

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For information on this list serve, visit:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kucinich4president/

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To contribute, volunteer, and learn more from the Kucinich campaign, see:
http://www.kucinich.us

Help make Peace on Earth Happen - the other alternative is plain darkness.

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Please note - You can also help by encouraging other institutions, universities, and organizations to bring Dennis Kucinich to your area, and to provide his campaign with financial support!

Another suggestion is in supporting a documentary video on Dennis in the works, see item 2 at following URL:
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1047762100,84797,

AND, we highly recommend NOW your viewing and showing the Frank Dorrel video called:

"What I've Learned About US Foreign Policy: The War Against the Third World."

The information in this 2-hour video is vital for US citizens to realize the purpose of the Kucinich campaign in reclaiming democracy in the US, and it only costs $10! The idea is to spread this video everywhere in the US and beyond.

Flyby News is sponsoring this video and discussions at the Common Ground in Brattleboro, VT. Tuesday 25 March 2003 beginning at 6:00 P.M..

To order this video send $10 to:
Frank Dorrel - P.O. Box 3261; Culver City, CA 90231-3261.
For more information, see: http://www.addictedtowar.com/dorrel.html

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Man With a Plan - changes in our administration

For another recent interview article of Dennis Kucinich
Published in a San Francisco Bay Area alternative paper),
see "Man With a Plan: Congressman Dennis Kucinich
is looking to make a few changes in our administration"
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/03.13.03/peace-0311.html

The following are key points from this interview:

Kucinich

"..we know that there has been no proof that Iraq was connected to the event of 9-11, and we know that Iraq did not attack our country. No credible information has been brought forward that suggests that Iraq was responsible for al Qaida's role in 9-11, nor is there any evidence that Iraq had anything to do with the anthrax attack on our country. . . .

It's important for people to look for alternative resources when the major media may not be presenting information which is at variance with the message of the day at the White House. .


.. We need to work to regain those civil liberties that have been ceded to a government which is determined to stay at war and therefore keep this nation on alert. The Patriot Act ought to be repealed. We cannot achieve security in our society through having a government dedicated to war. The attack on Iraq will increase the jeopardy for our own citizens. We need a different response to the challenge of terrorism, which is to enforce the law using good, old-fashioned police and detective work, and wherever that can't work, using the international community to take coordinated action towards peaceful resolution.

The Patriot Act was a step in the direction of establishing a type of government that is really foreign to everything that America stands for. This will be an issue in the 2004 election.

For the complete article, see:
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/03.13.03/peace-0311.html




2) When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
- - by Thom Hartmann

[Excerpt]

First published - March 16, 2003 - by Common Dreams

When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
by Thom Hartmann

The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world.

It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)

But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world. His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.

Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.

"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.

Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere, even printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.

Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained. Legislators would later say they hadn't had time to read the bill before voting on it.

Immediately after passage of the anti-terrorism act, his federal police agencies stepped up their program of arresting suspicious persons and holding them without access to lawyers or courts. In the first year only a few hundred were interred, and those who objected were largely ignored by the mainstream press, which was afraid to offend and thus lose access to a leader with such high popularity ratings. Citizens who protested the leader in public - and there were many - quickly found themselves confronting the newly empowered police's batons, gas, and jail cells, or fenced off in protest zones safely out of earshot of the leader's public speeches. (In the meantime, he was taking almost daily lessons in public speaking, learning to control his tonality, gestures, and facial expressions. He became a very competent orator.)

Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. He wanted to stir a "racial pride" among his countrymen, so, instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as "The Homeland," a phrase publicly promoted in the introduction to a 1934 speech recorded in Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph Of The Will." As hoped, people's hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was "the" homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands. We are the "true people," he suggested, the only ones worthy of our nation's concern; if bombs fall on others, or human rights are violated in other nations and it makes our lives better, it's of little concern to us.

Playing on this new nationalism, and exploiting a disagreement with the French over his increasing militarism, he argued that any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He thus withdrew his country from the League Of Nations in October, 1933, and then negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Anthony Eden of The United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.

His propaganda minister orchestrated a campaign to ensure the people that he was a deeply religious man and that his motivations were rooted in Christianity. He even proclaimed the need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation, what he called a "New Christianity." Every man in his rapidly growing army wore a belt buckle that declared "Gott Mit Uns" - God Is With Us - and most of them fervently believed it was true.

Within a year of the terrorist attack, the nation's leader determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, particularly those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist and communist sympathizers, and various troublesome "intellectuals" and "liberals." He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the homeland, consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single leader.

He appointed one of his most trusted associates to be leader of this new agency, the Central Security Office for the homeland, and gave it a role in the government equal to the other major departments.

His assistant who dealt with the press noted that, since the terrorist attack, "Radio and press are at out disposal." Those voices questioning the legitimacy of their nation's leader, or raising questions about his checkered past, had by now faded from the public's recollection as his central security office began advertising a program encouraging people to phone in tips about suspicious neighbors. This program was so successful that the names of some of the people "denounced" were soon being broadcast on radio stations. Those denounced often included opposition politicians and celebrities who dared speak out - a favorite target of his regime and the media he now controlled through intimidation and ownership by corporate allies.

To consolidate his power, he concluded that government alone wasn't enough. He reached out to industry and forged an alliance, bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. A flood of government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against the Middle Eastern ancestry terrorists lurking within the homeland, and to prepare for wars overseas. He encouraged large corporations friendly to him to acquire media outlets and other industrial concerns across the nation, particularly those previously owned by suspicious people of Middle Eastern ancestry. He built powerful alliances with industry; one corporate ally got the lucrative contract worth millions to build the first large-scale detention center for enemies of the state. Soon more would follow. Industry flourished.

But after an interval of peace following the terrorist attack, voices of dissent again arose within and without the government. Students had started an active program opposing him (later known as the White Rose Society), and leaders of nearby nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric. He needed a diversion, something to direct people away from the corporate cronyism being exposed in his own government, questions of his possibly illegitimate rise to power, and the oft-voiced concerns of civil libertarians about the people being held in detention without due process or access to attorneys or family. . .


. . . As we conclude this review of history, there are a few milestones worth remembering.

February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."

Most Americans remember his office for the security of the homeland, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: the SS.

We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.

Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the German democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German corporations and his policy of using war as a tool to keep power: "fas-cism (fbsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States alike. Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.

Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war. America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests.


To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again ours.

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Thom Hartmann lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, and is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight."

This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, [ http://www.thomhartmann.com ] but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.

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The complete article is posted:
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0316-08.htm




3) Cheney's Warped Perspective on the Need to Attack Iraq
- - by Scott Ritter

Published September 10, 2002 in the Chicago Tribune

It was a tour de force in terms of storytelling--the vice president of the United States speaking before an enthralled audience at the Veterans for Foreign Wars national convention last month in Nashville. Vice President Dick Cheney took full advantage of his bully pulpit to reinforce the case for war against Iraq, which hinged on Saddam Hussein's alleged continued possession of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, all outlawed since 1991 by a United Nations Security Council resolution).

"The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents," Cheney told the audience. "And they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago."

On what basis did Cheney substantiate his assertion?

"We've gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors," he grimly noted, "including Saddam's own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam's direction."

And so the tale began. "During the spring of 1995, the weapons inspectors were actually on the verge of declaring that Hussein's programs to develop chemical weapons and longer-range ballistic missiles had been fully accounted for and shut down," Cheney told the veterans. "Then Saddam's son-in-law [Hussein Kamal] suddenly defected and began sharing information. Within days the inspectors were led to an Iraqi chicken farm. Hidden there were boxes of documents and lots of evidence regarding Iraq's most secret weapons programs."

All of this would be valid, if it were only true. I have spoken with the CIA and British intelligence officials who debriefed Hussein Kamal after his defection and reviewed the complete transcript of UNSCOM's own session with Saddam's prodigal son-in-law.

Contrary to the myth propagated by Cheney, there were no "smoking gun" revelations made by Hussein Kamal regarding hidden Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Throughout his interview with UNSCOM, a UN special commission, Hussein Kamal reiterated his main point--that nothing was left. "All chemical weapons were destroyed," he said. "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons--biological, chemical, missile, nuclear--were destroyed. There is not a single missile left ... they [Iraq] had kept blueprints and molds for production, but all the missiles were destroyed."

Everything Hussein Kamal said about Iraq's undeclared weapons programs was confirmed, in parallel, through the ongoing analysis by UNSCOM experts of the chicken farm documentation alluded to by Cheney.

There was nothing unique, nothing that differed from the documentary evidence. The bottom line from this high-profile defector--there was nothing left, that all proscribed weapons and their programs had been eliminated, and that the worst fears of a retained Iraqi capability--a nuclear device, for instance--were without substance.

Up until the Cheney's speech, the Bush administration had been vague about its objections to the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq.

However, in speaking of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Cheney revealed some of the thinking behind the rhetoric, and in doing so exposed fundamental flaws in the factual basis supporting the reasoning of the White House. The vice president's speech was intended to help solidify the case for war against Iraq. But if the evidence cited is representative of the level of knowledge possessed by those promoting regime change in Iraq, then it is high time we as a nation demand a halt to this rush toward war.

Unfortunately, as far as the Bush administration is concerned, it seems that when it comes to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, truth is more often than not the first casualty. Consider Cheney's emphasis during his speech that " ... we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself."

I would ask Cheney to review the transcript of the debriefing of Hussein's son-in-law, and heed carefully the words he spoke to the weapons inspectors that day in August 1995. "You should not underestimate yourself." Hussein Kamal said. "You are very effective in Iraq."

Inspectors were very effective in Iraq, and would be again if given a chance to carry out their tasks. Some in the Bush administration are waking up to this fact. "The president has been clear that he believes weapons inspectors should return," Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently. "And so, as a first step, let's see what the inspectors find. Send them back in."

That, Mr. Vice President, is advise worth heeding.

Scott Ritter is the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq and the author of "Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem-- Once and For All."

Copyright 2002, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com




4) Into the Darkness
- - by William Rivers Pitt

T r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 18 March 2003

An associate of mine, a former political appointee, recently spoke to a Republican friend of his who serves in a senior position in what has become the Office of Homeland Security. He reports that this official, along with many of his colleagues across the political spectrum within the apparatus of government, are absolutely terrified of George W. Bush. According to this official, the consensus is that Bush has completely lost touch with reality, and is bringing us to a place where politics will no longer matter.

A London newspaper, the Guardian, has quoted a source close to the administration as saying, "This has been the worst diplomatic debacle of our lifetime." A senior White House official is also quoted as saying, in a voice reportedly awash with sarcasm, "There's a recognition that this has not been our finest diplomatic hour."

There is no calculating the understatement here. There was never any diplomacy involved here to begin with. This has been a disaster, and it is about to get worse by orders of magnitude.

The weapons inspectors, empowered by UN resolution 1441 to ferret out the weapons everyone is so concerned about, have packed their bags and fled Iraq. They have been betrayed by the Bush administration, by Tony Blair and by Spain, as they worked to protect us from both these weapons and from the dreadful effects of a war in the Middle East.

The inspections were working weapons were being dismantled, Hussein was under control, and no mass destruction materials were found. The fact that the hammer has come down before these inspectors were even half done with their work means, simply, that those pushing for war never wanted the inspections to work in the first place.

Welcome to the timeline. .


For the complete article by William Rivers Pitt
and excellent resource links, see:
http://truthout.org/docs_03/031903A.shtml



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