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The Bush-Obama Doctrine: A 12-Step Program for Seizing Control

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Patting Ourselves on the Back

Shortly before Christmas, President Obama called Yemen President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to congratulate his success in their recent air strikes.  On the surface, this would seem odd, since Obama was the one who ordered the deployment of the U.S. missiles and drones that successfully blew apart upwards of 80 to 100 human beings, many of them collateral damage, as they’re called  — the innocent men, women and children who were killed during the pre-Christmas blitzes. Odder, still, are the mixed messages that came from the White House in the wake of the air strikes. In one breath, we were told that President Obama ordered the  bombings (which is, yes, every bit as odd as if some foreign president were to order air strikes on U.S citizens to retaliate for our leaders’ terrorist acts). In the next breath, we were told that America could neither confirm nor deny a U.S. role in the air strikes. “We are not going to get into any details at this point,” one US official said.

Odd.

But if you consider the source for a moment, it begins to make better sense.

The Strange Case of Doctor Obama and Mr. Bush

There are two Americas, you see. One is the idealized America. This is the America that created the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; the America that finally found the gumption, even if it was an act of self-preservation, to put an end to slavery. This is the America that initiated the New Deal during the Great Depression; the America that — 45 years ago this week — waged a War on Poverty and created programs such as Medicare and Head Start and, for a while, made progress in dismantling the cycle of illiteracy, poverty and oppression; the America that passed the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts; the America that created national parks and has at times, despite opposition, persevered to protect the environment. This is the America that drafts historic documents professing our aspirations to the democratic ideal that all men are created equal, endowed with certain unalienable Rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the America that voters overwhelming voted for in the fall of 2008.

The other America, our alter ego, is not quite the stuff of lofty, historic documents but, instead, weaves history from the shadows. Our alter ego is, for lack of a better word, the real America. This is the America that was secreted to North American shores with the Puritans and unleashed onto the Salem witch hunts; the America that justified the industry of kidnapping and selling human beings into slavery; this is the America that turned a blind eye to the Red Shirts and to Jim Crow law; this is the America that stonewalled anti-lynching laws; the America that violently fought to preserve slavery then, 100 years later, violently fought to preserve segregation; this is the America that replaced slave code with black code with Jim Crow with racial code; the America that dismantled Johnson’s War on Poverty and told us that greed and ostentatiousness were sterling qualities, if not inalienable Rights. This is the America that touts the values of democracy, then overthrows democratically elected leaders so that we may install corrupt dictators of our choosing; the America that sleeps in the shadows with Pol Pot, Pinochet, Rios Mont,  Noriega, Sadaam Hussein and Osama bin Laden; the America that simultaneously demonizes, yet arms, trains and funds war criminals from Israel to Afghanistan and Colombia; the America that trades arms, drugs and money to bankroll our crimes against humanity, then pretends under oath to not recall these deeds.

On special occasions, our alter ego parades its idealized twin, vociferously waving flags and extolling the virtues of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our Declaration of Independence, while secretly loathing and warring against both the spirit and letter of the law contained within these documents.

When politicians such as Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin talk about the “real America,” this is the one to which they are referring — our alter ego — the America of Westwood Pegler, Joseph McCarthy, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove; the secret America of Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr. and Sr. This is the America that believes that the ends (money, oil, gas, gold, diamonds, titanium, etc.) justify the means (death squads, torture, extraordinary rendition, buying corrupt leaders, dealing in drugs, funding and arming terrorists, genocide, covert wars, and bending & breaking the spirit and the letter of the law). This is the America of Dick Cheney. Turns out, this is also — much to the dismay of the American voters — the America of Barack Obama.

Given the source, then, Obama’s congratulatory call to Yemen President is not really so odd. The mixed messages coming from the White House are understandable, given the inherent difficulty of keeping the facts straight on those occasions when necessity summons our alter from the shadows to perform front and center on the world stage. Americans will surely forgive Obama, too, for his lack of recall on who actually ordered the bombings. After all, we are engaged in a (call it what you will) war on terror, which means anything goes.

Bonfire of the Panties

According to the official version of the story, our best intelligence tells us that there are “credible threats” being waged against our interests in Yemen. As proof, we need look no further than the outrage being expressed by the Yemen people over the bombings, followed in quick succession by the underpants bomber. The official version, however, has neatly ignored three other facts that have been alleged to be part of the story: (1) that a well-dressed Indian man tried to assist the underpants bomber to board the plane without a passport in Amsterdam, (2) that one, possibly two men videotaped the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, and (3) that a second man from this same flight was arrested at the airport after being fingered by bomb-sniffing dogs, while waiting in the room with the other passengers who had been sequestered for questioning in Detroit.

Regardless of the facts, it is clear to anyone watching the news or listening to our president that Yemen is — as accused — a hotbed of al Qaeda danger, intent on attacking American “interests” in the area.

What has not been made clear is the exact nature of our “interests” in the area. Sure, we have embassies there. And these embassies have been the target of threats for decades now. Why the sudden impetus for a pre-emptive strike on the people of Yemen? It can’t be oil. After all, as the media has repeatedly and painstakingly tutored us over the past week or so, Yemen is slated to run out of oil in 10 years. This proves that the recent air strikes and the underpants bomber are not, as the more skeptical among us have become conditioned to automatically suspect, another war for oil.  Therefore, it must indeed be true: Yemen has replaced Afghanistan (and, later, Iraq) as the new world hub of terrorist activity.

Either that, or its the gas.

According to a 2007 issue of the Oil and Gas Journal, Yemen’s proven natural gas reserves totaled 16.90 trillion cubic feet.  Construction began in 2005 to build the $4.1 billion plant to liquefy the natural gas for shipment, with Hunt Oil (part of the Bush-Cheney rat pack) holding a 17.2% stake in the project and poised to share with Asia two-thirds, or 4.5 million tons of Yemen’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports per year. The first LNG shipments reportedly left Yemen within the last 2 months. Also integral to U.S. “interests” in Yemen is, of course, its location (location, location) on the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, through which the U.S. must pass to ferry its loot.

The Yemen LNG deal is similar, albeit not nearly as lucrative as the LNG deal tentatively struck in Iraq via the 2008 “‘Heads of Agreement” with Shell, (aka “the Shell gas agreement rip-off”), set to be finalized after the Iraqi elections in early 2010. This agreement would give Dick Cheney’s partners in crime at Shell full control of all the Iraqi gas wealth in the south for 25 years. Add to this whatever other progress the Cheney rat pack has made with privatizing Iraqi gas and oil, plus the various PSAs, PSCs, TSAs and other acronyms that now form the jewels in America’s crown in the wake of our heroic battle with al Qaeda in Iraq, and you have what George W. Bush might call, “Mission Accomplished.”

Our pipe dreams in Afghanistan are a bit more complex and yet to be fully hammered out, but the tentative arrangement is to send a surge some 30,000 troops who will be deployed at strategic locations along the pipeline in time for the TAPI construction start sometime in late 2010 or early 2011.

Regardless of the ends, the means are more or less the same, no matter what the country — Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen. The blueprint works something like this:

The Bush-Obama Doctrine (or, A 12-Step Program for Seizing Control of  a Country’s Assets)

  1. Determine what you want from the country (e.g. control of oil, gas and other minerals, and/or control of pipelines and shipping lanes).
  2. Build a case for a war on terror.
  3. If there is no terrorist group in the country, just make something up. Your paid AIPAC counterterrorism experts can help you with this by fabricating evidence of  terrorism and terrorist plots. Alternately, you can create a terrorist/insurgent/rebel presence by  staging a pre-emptive, covert war, which will not only destabilize the government, but will cause a spike in violence that can be blamed, rightly or not, on al Qaeda. (NOTE: Sometimes a terrorist attack — either “real” or thwarted — can help to rally a stubborn American public into supporting a war. Here, your pals at the CIA and the aforementioned counterterrorism experts at SITE, IntelCenter and MEMRI will be invaluable, as they can raise false flags faster than you can say, “underpants,” plus manufacture the necessary evidence, such as fake audios, videos and intercepted terrorist communications to substantiate the terrorist attacks and/or threats).
  4. Direct your media to report 24-7 on the official story, giving them ample fodder for speculation and fearongering. Stick to your story no matter what. And don’t worry if your facts don’t add up, or if the only leaks you can provide are from White House sources and military officials who are “only authorized to speak on the condition of anonymity.” As Dick Cheney proved, when it comes to terrorism, people are so easily scared, that they will view any threat of a terrorist plot as credible, no matter how flimsy the set-up.
  5. Ignore people who complain that the facts don’ t match up. If witnesses come forward and dispute the official story(as the Haskells and others did with the underpants bomber story), either forbid them to talk, (in the interest of national security) or ignore them. This way, no one will listen to them but the alternative and “fringe” media, which will brand these witnesses as crackpots or conspiracy theorists.
  6. Pat yourselves on the back as you watch Congress and the American people — as if on cue — begin waving flags, thumping Bibles and demanding war.
  7. Escalate the existing war, meting out both clandestine and overt efforts as Congressional funding and oil/gas-field strategy dictate.
  8. When international humanitarian and civil rights groups express outrage at the massive human suffering (genocide, ethnic cleansing, violence, brutality, murder, rape, starvation, disease, etc.) we’ve inflicted on the innocent citizens of the country, either blame it on the terrorist/insurgents/rebels, or declare the accusations to be nothing but a bunch of liberal propaganda lies. If Amnesty International or any of your other enemies accuses you of war crimes, label them naive terrorist appeasers.
  9. Grease the requisite palms to foster the creation of a specialized NGO humanitariaGn relief agency, and/or utilize some of the existing Christian relief agencies (such as Save the Children,  CARE and others who similarly funded by the defense industry) to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the country. The promise of protection, food, shelter and medical care to a brutalized population of sick, starving, scared, homeless people is an excellent tool for coercing  cooperation and compliance. Too, these relief agencies are very efficient at re-directing their contributions into the “right” pockets.
  10. When the citizens in the attacked country fight back (aka “playing right into your hands”) label them terrorists, insurgents and/or rebels, which will neatly vindicate your justifications for going to war in the first place.
  11. Escalate the war to crush the terrorists/insurgents/rebels.
  12. Repeat steps 10 and 11 until you’ve achieved your goal (see Step 1).

Or fester like a sore…

Once upon a time, Barack Obama conjured dreams of our forefathers, of the men upon whose shoulders he stood. He spoke to the American dream — to that idealized notion of a country and a people who aspire to do good things, to live up to that democratic ideal that all men are created equal, endowed with certain unalienable Rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the America that voted Obama into office, and this is the America that will suffer the repercussions of his turncoat presidency. But it was, for a time, a lovely dream, wasn’t it?

America simply cannot continue on this path. The need to drastically change our energy policy is no longer a debatable proposition. It is not a question of whether, but how; not a question of if, but when. For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time. Barack Obama, May 2007

Our cause is just, our resolve unshaken.Barack Obama, speaking in early December, 2009, on his decision to deploy a surge in Afghanistan

America will forgive Obama for omitting words such as liquefied natural gas, profit sharing agreements, TAPI, pipelines, death squads, mercenary armies, torture, war crimes, or extraordinary renditions to CIA black sites in Yemen in his Nobel Peace Prize speech and in his recent statements on Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ll forgive him, too, for neglecting to mention crimes against humanity in the soaring rhetoric of his lovely speeches. After all, we are embroiled in a war on terror. This is no time to quibble over semantics.

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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FOR A CLOSER LOOK:

American Everyman Blog – An informative compendium of well-researched information contained in 3 articles from the author’s “Understanding the Panty Bomber Mythology” series:

Library of Congress (Federal Research Division) Country Profile: Yemen, August 2008 (see page 11 for info on Yemen’s proven natural gas reserves plus info on 2/3 split (4.5 million tons per year) slated to be exported to the U.S. and Asia beginning in 2009)

The Public Record: Halliburton, KBR Plead Guilty to Cheney-Era Bribery Charges (February 2009) Article detailing the bribes paid by Cheney-Halliburton-KBR and Shell to the notoriously corrupt Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and some of his subordinates to win a lucrative construction contract for a natural gas liquefaction plant.

Voltaire.net’Nigerian Terrorist Patsy Yet Another CIA Ploy in US-backed Buildup of al Qaeda in Yemen Civil War’ (includes video)

Voltaire.net – Interview with Webster Tarpley : “The War on terror is a myth” Webster Tarpley’s analysis of U.S. imperialism and the events since 9-11, including Obama’s war on Pakistan and on the geopolitical relationships between the U.S., Russia, Iran, Pakistan and China.

Voltaire.netAfricom’s Covert War in Sudan: Under the Guise of Humanitarian Intervention (by Keith Harmon Snow)

Canarypapers: The U.S. War Machines Leaves an Ugly Slick of Oil & Blood Takes a closer lo0k at Africom and the coincidence of alleged al Qaeda activity near the shipping channels, mineral mines and oil/gas fields where, for years now, the clandestine U.S. wars on terror have been reaping lucrative deals for the Cheney rat pack.

Radio Free Europe: U.S. Airport Terminal Closed Over Security Alert U.S. authorities temporarily closed a terminal at the Newark, New Jersey, airport in the eastern United States after a man walked through a screening checkpoint exit into the secure side of the terminal without apparently undergoing a security check. (RHETORICAL QUESTION ON THE ABOVE ARTICLE: Are we to believe that a man simply walked past security at the screening checkpoint? Does any one who’s been to an airport in recent years actually believe this story?)

Salon: Cruise Missile Attacks in Yemen by Glenn Greenwald

LA Times: Yemen Dismisses al Qaeda Threat as “Exaggerated”

St. Pete for Peace: This site has a host of links detailing Obama’s statements, stances and “accomplishments” throughout his political career

Telegraph UK: Abu Ghraib abuse photos ‘show rape’ – Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

Washington Post: U.S. announces more security aid to Yemen; Britain to host meeting on nation Typical media article that parrots the official story.

ThinkProgress: Hersh: Cheney ‘Left A Stay Behind’ In Obama’s Government, Can ‘Still Control Policy Up To A Point’ Article on Seymour Hersh interview with Terry Gross (NPR). Quote from interview:

“They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind that you can continue to contacts with, to do sabotage, whatever you want to do. Cheney’s left a stay behind. He’s got people in a lot of agencies that still tell him what’s going on. Particularly in defense, obviously. Also in the NSA, there’s still people that talk to him. He still knows what’s going on.”

Asia Times: Big Oil’s ‘secret’ out of Iraq’s closet Article that untangles the web of lucrative oil, gas and pipelines deals that have emerged from the U.S. wars on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan

Dennis Kucinich interview in which he proposes to restore the constitutionally mandated role of Congress in declaring (or not) war.

Lastly, consider these words — any of which would not sound at all odd coming from the mouth of Barack Obama:

Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that. It won’t be a World War III…. It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil. It has nothing to do with the religion…. People say ‘Where’s the smoking gun?’ Well, we don’t want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction. With a weapon of mass destruction you’re not talking about 300 people or 3,000 people being killed, but 30,000 or a hundred thousand.”” — excerpts from Donald Rumsfeld’s CBS interview in November 2002 (4 months before the start of the Iraq war) explaining both the brevity of the impending war, along with the insistence that the impending pre-emptive strikes were about weapons of mass destruction, period. Not oil.

If we were to allow our enemies to prevail in Iraq, the violence that is now declining would accelerate — and Iraq would descend into chaos….  Out of such chaos in Iraq, the terrorist movement could emerge emboldened — with new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America. An emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq’s oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations. — George W. Bush March 2008

For us to walk away from Iraq I think would have at least that bad an effect, probably worse, because if al Qaeda were to take over big parts of Iraq, among other things, they would acquire control of a significant oil resource. Iraq has almost 100 billion barrel reserves, producing 2.5-3 million barrels of oil a day. If you take a terrorist organization like al Qaeda and give it that kind of revenue, there’s no telling the amount of trouble they could get into.– Dick Cheney April 2008

The United States pursues no claim on Iraq’s territory or resources.Barack Obama, February 2009

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God’s Calling to Sarah Palin: A Pipeline to the Rapture

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QUESTIONS: What’s this I hear about Sarah Palin’s religion — is it as scary as it sounds? And is this really any of our business?  

ANSWERS: Yes, and yes. As a rule, when a governor believes that she is on a mission from God (her state having been prophesied to be the refuge state during the end times) and that it is God’s will for her to drill for oil and gas to meet the needs of the apocalypse, it’s both scary and our business to know about it, particularly when that politician may be contemplating the presidency.  

Sarah is a Pentecostal and belongs to the Wasilla Bible Church, said to be less extreme than her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. Both churches follow a literal translation of the Bible. Their views include the belief that church and state work together toward one destiny, which is to serve God’s purpose. As such, politicians — from mayors, to governors, to the president of the United States — are representatives of God, not the people.  Wasilla Bible Church draws 800-1000 worshippers each Sunday. Among their ministries are the Jews for Jesus program (which advocates converting Jews to Christianity, see video, below) and the Focus on Family conference (which promotes, among other things, curing or, as they prefer to call it, ‘overcoming’ homosexuality through the Love Won Out program). 

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 BELOW is a video produced by the Wasilla Assembly of God for “The Masters Commission of Wasilla,” a group to whom Sarah Palin delivered a speech (see separate videos, further down below, to see Sarah’s speech to this group). The video, below, is a movie trailer to a longer recruitment film for the The Masters Commission of Wasilla. A deeper look at this group can be found at the Masters Commission website, here. According to the video, below (0:46) “Masters Commision is one of the keys in God’s plans for Alaska, the United States and the entire world…. You will walk away changed.”

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BELOW, Governor Sarah Palin speaks at her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, before the Master Commission Students. Following are a few pertinent quotes from her speech.  

(2:06) Here, Sarah calls on the congregation to pray for the $30 billion gas pipeline in Alaska: 

God’s will has to be done in unifying  people and companies to get that gas-line built, so pray for that.

(3:47) Here, Sarah calls for prayer over the soldiers being sent by our national leaders to Iraq, as they fulfill “a task that is from God”: 

Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan, and that that plan is Gods’ plan.

(6:16) Here, Sarah speaks on the role of Alaska’s oil and gas in the prophecy: 

And this is what I want to pray over you guys, too, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory,  may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him and that spirit of revelation also including a spirit of prophecy that God’s gonna tell you what is going on, and what is going to go on, and you guys are gonna have that within you, and it’s just  going to bubble up, and bubble over, and it’s gonna pour out thoroughout the State of Alaska — again, good, good things in store for the State of Alaska. Let us pray for God’s will to be done here, for all of your destinies to be met in this state. There’s been so many words over the State of Alaska —  we being the head, not the tail — and I see things now in the works, it seems like things are — that’s coming to fruition — that things are percolating, that things are coming along, and — just praying for an outpouring of God’s spirit here, for that revival to be here in Alaska.

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BELOW, in Part 2 of the above speech, both the current and former pastors of the Wasilla Assembly of God join Sarah in speaking on the prophecy and God’s will in the State of Alaska, believed by the church to be one of the “refuge states” during the last days. Following are pertinent quotes from the video.

(1: 05) Here, the pastor offers comments on (former pastor) Paul Reilly’s prayer for Sarah — an answered prayer, whereby Sarah was made governor, so that she could “do this next step”: 

This is awesome, making a prophetic declaration and then unfolds the kingdom of god. You know, and so there’s the prophetic call. 

(1:25) Here, the pastor continues speaking on prophecy, Alaska and Sarah Palin, as he declares it God’s will to tap into the natural resources of Alaska, with the belief that Alaska is one of the “refuge states,” where hundreds of thousands will flock during the last days.

I want you to please pray for Sarah, for Governor Sarah– there were some things about the natural resources, about the state, there were some things that God wants to tap into to be a refuge for the lower 48 –and I believe that Alaska’s one of the refuge states, come on you guys, in the last days, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to the state to seek refuge, and the church has to be ready to minister to them. Amen? So could you pray for our governor and what she’s requested?

 
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by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers

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Sarah Palin for Vice President: Credentials, schmedentials

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Pay no mind, Ms. Palin, to those who would question your credentials. As  John McCain and the entire Republican party would say: Credentials, schmediantials. Who need credentials when you’re a maverick?  And if the past eight years are any indication, they’re probably right.

See, Americans have a short attention span for detail and a large appetite for fluff. So there are many in this country who will never hear the the criticims being made against your record, beginning with your current involvement in the State of Alaska’s investigation for governatorial abuse of power, an impeachable offense. (Read here for the take, according to a fellow Alaskan). There’s good guys, and there’s bad guys in this world–you’re either with us, or you’re ag’in’ us. The GOP assures us you’re a good guy, Ms. Palin, which is a stamp of approval on your executive decision to break the law and pressure the State Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, into firing your ex-brother-in-law, trooper Mike Wooten (on charges waged by you and your sister, which have yet to be substantiated) and to then retalitate and fire Walt Monegan, on bogus charges, for not firing your ex-brother-in-law. All the while, of course, you lied about all the phone calls you and your surrogates made to Walt Monegan, during the course of pressuring him into firing your ex-brother-in-law. You lied. That is, until you found out some of the calls had been taped. I admit, it looks bad. Not to worry. As your potential-predecessor, Dick Cheney (a maverick in his own right) could tell you, when it comes to breaking the law, the ends sometimes do justify the means. And even if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, because Americans aren’t really paying attention, anyway, and even if they are, it doesn’t matter because, if the people complain, all you have to do is stare them in the eye and say, “So?”  Besides, unless the media tell us to think otherwise, the investigation into your abuse of power will have been forgotten by next week.

Americans have an even shorter attention span for elitist, ethical debates — particularly if that debate is between people, like yourself, who are simply trying to get the job done, and short-sighted tree-hugging liberals, always yelling about their global warming fairy tales, or about saving the latest animal-of-the week. It should come as no surprise, then, you’ll get no argument from most Americans over the slaughering of habituated Katmai National Park grizzly bears in Katmai Reserve, or the aerial shooting of wolves and bears in Alaska , a brutal program designed to increase moose and caribou populations for hunters — both programs which you, as governor, support. 

Nor will most Americans debate the ethics of the oil and gas drilling you’ve proposed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and throughout the sensitive lands and waterways of Alaska, no matter how much the ‘science’ says this will ruin America’s wilderness treasures and will threaten highly endangered populations of polar bears and beluga whales. Fact is, most Americans will probably cheer your refusal to release the scientific papers held in your office, sourced from both state and federal scientific analyses that concluded “two-thirds of the world’s polar bears would likely be extirpated by mid-century, due to loss of sea ice, including all those off Alaska.” After all, these darned scientific papers (see Anchorage Daily News, the Alaska Wildlife Alliance ) were threatening your drilling and pipelines. To heck with the science on threatened polar bears and beluga whales! (But, just to be safe, Ms. Palin, it’d be a good idea to keep wearing that polar bear lapel pin).

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from TIME magazine: Leaving Polar Bears Out in the Cold

In January, Sarah Palin wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece, “[polar bears] are worthy of our utmost efforts to protect them and their Arctic habitat. But adding polar bears to the nation’s list of endangered species, as some are now proposing, should not be part of those efforts.” In May, the Alaskan governor opposed the Interior Department’s listing the polar bear as threatened, and prompted the ire of environmentalists and animal rights activists. In August, Palin, who has long advocated opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, rallied her fellow Alaskan officials to sue Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, arguing that extending protection to the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act is unwarranted and will hinder Alaska’s gas industry and offshore drilling development.

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Honestly, Ms. Palin, if I didn’t know better (and I’m not so sure that I do) I’d think you’d been formally schooled in Dick Cheney’s take-the-oil-lands-by-subterfuge-from-their-cold-dead-hands strategy, along with a course in public speaking from George Bush. As your recent statements on oil, foreign policy and energy independence indicate, you are at least as well-versed as George W. Bush on topics of import: 

When I look every day, the big oil company’s building is right out there next to me, and it’s quite a reminder that we should have mutually beneficial relationships with the oil industry.

I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn’t.

I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem…

I am encouraged with [John McCain’s] evolved thinking on offshore drilling, and I think he might come along on ANWR if he sees our 2,000 acres for himself.

The GOP agenda to ramp up domestic supplies of energy is the only way that we’re going to become energy independent, the only way that we are going to become a more secure nation — and I say this, of course, looking at the situation we are in right now, at war, not knowing what the plan is to ever end the war that we’re engaged in, understanding that Americans are seeking solutions, and they are seeking resolution in this war effort, so energy supplies, being able to produce and supply domestically, is going to be a big part of that.

[And so] kind of on a personal level, when I talk about, umm, the plan for the war, you know, let’s make sure we have a plan here, and respecting McCain’s position on that.

Does this embarrass you at all? Not to worry. Running on the GOP ticket, you needn’t worry about mangling the English language and talking gibberish. It’s become a bit of a tradition over the past 8 years. Fact is, by running as a woman on the GOP ticket, you needn’t worry about much of anything at all. As a woman on the GOP ticket, you are entitled to claim that you are every bit as capable as any man, while simultaneously crying “Fowl!” if a man talks over your head. (Hillary Clinton, you’re not!) As the Republicans and the media have already made clear, Joe Biden will risk looking like a bully or an elitist if he hammers you or talks over your head on foreign policy, so he has little choice but to dummy-down the national dialogue, another thing that has become tradition over the past 8 years. 

Truth is, you needn’t worry about anything you’ve ever done, or anything you ever will do, because you, Sarah Palin, are a friend to big oil. In a country addicted to oil, you are what’s called, in AA rooms across American, a drunkard’s dream. So long as you keep us supplied, we’ll keep your dirty little secrets. We won’t dwell overlong on your original support for Ted Stevens infamous $398 million “bridge to nowhere” behemoth of a pork-barrel project. Instead, we’ll focus on your later opposition to the bridge. And we won’t argue the GOP’s orwellian claim that you fight big oil, even as it takes only two words “Palin + oil” to google the truth that you are in bed with big oil. And to make sure the folks in Alaska don’t mind, you’re giving them $1200 bonuses, not unlike the recent Bush bonus plan, designed to shut us up. After all, you’re a maverick. Anything goes. As a maverick, you are entitled to say one thing, then do another. You are entitled to do the exact opposite of what you say you are doing, then turn around the next day and do what said you’d never do. Anything goes. That’s the beauty of being a maverick.

And just because you’re unqualified to the job, doesn’t mean you can’t be a maverick. Some of our most famous mavericks were also the most profoundly unqualified to the job. Just look at George Bush. Besides, John McCain can bring you up to snuff in no time, tutoring you in the finer points, according to John McCain’s world view, of constitutional law and political science, U.S. and foreign policy, international diplomacy, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere (including knowing the difference between a Sunni and a Shia), along with the basics of how to manage a $2.9 trillion budget, which should be a snap to an ex-beauty queen with a degree in journalism, who’s spent the past 20 months governing a state with a population the size of Charlotte, NC. — qualifications which, according to the GOP and the media, exceed those of a four-year U.S. Senator with a Harvard law degree, who served as President for the Harvard Law Review, and who taught constitutional law for 12 years, and served 6-years in the Illinois State Senate. 

Fact is, Ms. Palin — if the past 8 years are any indication — your lack of qualifications may actually be your greatest asset. See, we live in a time when Americans tend to look down their noses at politicians elitists who engage in intelligent, thoughtful discourse. We don’t cotton to folks who tout ideals like like careful deliberation and diplomacy appeasement. What Americans want is something easy to grasp — and the more entertaining, the better. Substance matters little and, here, you have a real edge over Obama-Biden. Tell us how there’s nothing wrong with America that couldn’t be fixed with prayer in schools. Tell American women they don’t need Roe v. Wade. Tell us it’s part of god’s plan for a 16-year old victim of incest to carry her father’s child to term. Tell us how a mother of five can have it all: juggle a 12-hour work day, while simultaneously carrying a platform for family values, without sacrificing the special needs of a 4-month old infant. Show us your beauty pageant photos juxtaposed next to the footage of you firing off an assault rifle. Keep wearing that polar bear lapel pin. Tell us, Ms. Palin, how you shoot the moose and grind its flesh into mooseburgers, and you’ll have us eating out of your pretty little hands.

Will John McCain’s latest trophy be America’s VP Darling Sweetheart?
(1) Ex-beauty queen, Sarah Palin, Miss Wasilla 1984!  (2) Trophy candidate, Sarah Palin, poses beside her own trophy, the carcass of a slaughtered grizzly bear; (3) Proud caribou hunter, Sarah Palin, encourages her freshly slaughtered trophy to smile for the camera. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Sarah Palin for Vice-President: Credentials, Schmedentials” — by Mantis Katz, for canarypapers.com

See also: Here it is, Sarah Palin: A Job Description for Vice President

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ON DICK CHENEY’S STAGE, ALL THE WORLD’S A PUPPET

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And the puppet master, holding all the strings, decides when to effect a nod, a stoop, a crook, the twisting of the arm that will compel entire governments to dance. 

The recent hostage release of Ingrid Betancourt and 14 others from Colombia’s FARC rebels is not necessarily what it seems. To better understand the facts surrounding her kidnapping, her captors, and those behind the scenes who fought (or didn’t) to free her, you first have to understand that what happened to Ingrid Betancourt is not an isolated incident. Her experience is part of a global epidemic of corruption, victimizing whole populations and individuals, alike. Second, you have to understand that much of what our mainstream U.S. media reports on these tragedies is propaganda — a motley mix of partial truths, sins of omission, inexcusable ignorance, and outright lies — all intended to deceive us into believing that the Bush-Cheney Administration and their puppets are the good guys in the “war on terror.”
 
Whenever I read an international headline about whole populations being systematically oppressed, robbed, raped, kidnapped, tortured or murdered, I know that, somewhere in the equation, I’ll nearly always find the United States of America. If I consult the mainstream U.S. media for information, I’ll find that we are heroes, the good guys, working in some capacity to aid the oppressed. If I consult alternative and international media I’ll invariably find that we are, in fact, the bad guys, paying off other bad guys to do bad things to people. From here, I never have to scratch too far below the surface to find oil.
 
Most Americans are clueless to what the U.S. is doing inside their own country, much less inside other countries. (Editor’s note: I admit that I am often equally clueless, as I am continually surpised to discover. For example, just this week, I discovered that, since December 2006, the U.S. has been at war in Somalia, having armed the the Ethopians in yet another “war on terror” for oil, which has resulted in genocide on the scale of Darfur. I guess our media overlooked this in their discussions of Cindy’s credit card spending, Michelle’s proud-of-America gaffe, Madonna’s latest publicity stunt, and who’s got the bigger flag pin, Obama or McCain.) In a nutshell, we are warmongering, both openly and covertly, to gain control of the world’s oil supply. To this end, we buy, overthrow and blackmail other governments — from rogue regimes to even our closest, best allies — to comply with us. Using both oil and the international banking system as commodities of coercion — combined with the threat of labeling dissenters as terrorist appeasers — Bush-Cheney have so far been successful in staunching all credible opposition to our illegal wars.
 
Colombia is but one such place. The evils we’ve committed there did not begin with Bush-Cheney, or even the Clinton Administration. It’s that our global war for oil has grown more sophisticated over the past two decades. We now hire corporations to fight our wars.
 
Side-stepping legal, constitutional channels to war, the Bush-Cheney Administration evades scrutiny from the U.S. Congress, the U.S. citizenry and much of the international community by hiring its own private militaries from U.S. corporations who specialize in the war machine –mercenaries, as they were called in the old days — to staff their covert wars. Knowing that these wars are illegal under our U.S. Constitution; knowing that they violate the Nuremberg Principles; knowing that they are illegal under U.N. treaties and conventions; knowing that, as such, these wars would never gain congressional approval, outright, our government hires, on the taxpayer’s dime, mercenaries to conduct dirty wars in dark places.
 
These wars, not really so different from the war in Iraq, are always conducted under false flags: stopping drug trafficking, peacekeeping missions, or fighting terrorism/rogue regimes. This is how Bush-Cheney get official Congressional approval for funding their private militia, although it would be a lie to say that our lawmakers were doing anything but turning their own blind eyes to reality, whether from political pressure or for financial gain, as the corporations that staff our wars are also among the most powerful lobbyists in Washington. Whenever you hear of our government doing business with private contractors such as Halliburton, DynCorp, MPRI, Blackwater, United Technologies, Vinnell, SAIC, General Electric, Logicon/Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, and Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) think: “mercenary.” (That is, if you can get past some of these corporations’ putrid dealings in the human sex trade of women and children).
 
By the same token, when you read about genocide in Darfur, think “oil.” When you hear of any U.S. government involvement in Africa — be it Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Somalia — think “oil.” As a matter-of-fact, think “oil” anytime you read of a U.S. government involvement anywhere in the world: Abu Dhabi , Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghistan, Think “oil” when you recall the role of Clinton (and now Bush-Cheney) in Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and the Balkans. Think “oil” when you consider the Bush-Cheney “wars on terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq. Think “oil” when you hear of the Clinton/Bush efforts to stop drug trafficking in Colombia (a rip-roaring success, costing U.S. tax payers billions, while — to this day — Colombia supplies about 90% of the cocaine consumed in the U.S.) Think “oil” when you hear Bush-Cheney’s saber-rattling to go to war in Iran. And when you read about the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, and countless others in Colombia, think “oil.” Think this sounds too far-fetched to be true? Think again.
 
Or, better yet, read and become an informed citizen, instead of one of the button-eyed puppets our government relies upon to swallow their fiction about their wars. Ask questions, even as you know that the important questions will go unanswered. Know that Bush-Cheney will summarily excuse and dismiss any inquiry or investigation into their illegal activities by pleading “national security” or “state secrets” or “executive privilege.” Read alternative and international news to see what our government is up to, then protest this administration with everything you own, because what happened to Ingrid Betancourt could happen to you, or to someone you love.

Wherever you find vulnerable populations of people being systematically oppressed, robbed, raped, kidnapped, tortured or murdered, either the U.S. is funding the effort, or we simply don’t care.

Recent U.S. history stands as evidence: Unless oil interests are involved, our government turns a blind eye to the politics of a region, no matter how great the human suffering. If oil is involved, however, we will either allow the brutalization to continue (covertly aiding those who brutalize their citizens, fortifying our ties, while weakening the country) or will spare no effort and no cost to “save” a country with good old U.S. democracy, which always necessitates U.S. occupation of their country (read that: puppet regime). Is it a fledgling democracy or rogue regime? Only our government can say, and their interpretation can change overnight, depending on how well a country follows the Bush-Cheney script for oil. This same arbitrary allegiance applies to those individuals caught in the crossfire– be they prisoners of war, or mercenaries working for the U.S. government in Colombia, who have been kidnapped, held hostage, tortured and/or murdered: these individuals are of no interest to our government. This is why Bush-Cheney have paid, at best, only a token interest in their release. Like the British Empire, once described by Prime Minister Palmerston:  

The U.S. has “neither permanent friends, nor permanent enemies, only permanent interests.”

History has recorded these “permanent interests” playing out all over the world, notably Iraq over the past 20 years, as U.S. allegiance flip-flopped according to Saddam Hussein’s role in our oil strategy. The same is true in Colombia, a country already divided by 40 years of civil war. Having installed a puppet-regime base in Colombia, the U.S. focus is now (as in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region) toward expansionism in Latin America, toward weakening and overthrowing bordering countries of strategic oil field or pipeline interest.

Our Latin American focus is now on Venezuela and Ecuador — which Bush accuses of having terrorist influences — with both countries bordering Colombia and, coincidentally, of strategic, vital interest to the U.S. oil mandate. To you will always find before a war in any country (e.g. Iraq & Iran) Bush-Cheney are working to demonize the government with a flimsy smear campaign , alternately calling them terrorists or terrorist appeasers, who offer aid to the FARC guerrillas in Colombia — an accusation denied by both countries. Demonizing rulers and countries is necessary, of course, to justify our attacks on them — such as the April 2002, U.S.-backed military coup against democratically-elected Venezuelan president, Hugh Chavez. While the coup was short-lived, Chavez being restored to power within 48 hours, it sent a clear warning to other Latin American countries of what is to come. More recently, in March 2008, the U.S. sent armed forces into Ecuador –to the condemnation of Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan president, Chavez, continues to be demonized by Bush-Cheney as a rogue leader and a terrorist appeaser who, according to Bush, “squanders” their oil wealth, leaving his people to “face food shortages.” Quite an irony, when you look at the conditions in the U.S. today, and compare them to Venezuela where — since coming to power in 1998 — the Chavez government has increased public spending dramatically, directing billions of dollars of oil revenue towards social programs that provide free education and health care to the poor, as well as providing low cost oil and unconditional aid to Latin American and Caribbean countries.

When Bush accuses Venezuela of squandering their oil, what he really means is that Venezuela is not following the Bush-Cheney script for compliance with U.S. oil interests… 

…Unlike the Uribe regime in Colombia, which does follow the script; unlike Colombia, where all sides have been corrupted, due in great part to the U.S., which plays all sides, including the drug traffickers, from whom our government extracts both money and drugs. We fund whichever sides suit our purposes of the moment, be they the Colombian government, the military our own mercenaries, or our “enemies” — the paramilitary death squads, the guerrillas, the drug lords. The only “good guys” left in Colombia are the powerless citizens, whose daily lives are terrorized by the lawlessness and greed of the powers-that-be, in their warring for oil and drugs, with the U.S. pulling all the strings. This was the corruption that Ingrid Betancourt fought for 8 years before her run for the presidency and her subsequent kidnapping. This is the sort of corruption that many in the U.S. are fighting, within our own government. As she, herself, said shortly before her kidnapping in 2002:

“All our big leaders have been killed in Colombia, all of them, they have been assassinated. So the challenge is to be alive till the end of the elections.”

Sadly, there are many of us in America who increasingly feel the same way about our own country. The dismantling of our U.S. Constitution over the past 7 years has been aided and abetted by our own Congress, as our laws have been re-written by the very corporations that serve as foot-soldiers in the Bush-Cheney wars for oil. The majority of our representatives and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have either been bought and paid for by these corporations, or they’re just too damned afraid to speak out. To those rare dissenters — the courageous representatives on Capitol Hill who have maintained the patriotic integrity of their sworn dutes — the costs can be enormous to their careers, their campaigns and their reputations. Adding insult to injury, any one on Capitol Hill who votes against the Bush-Cheney agenda will find their integrity smeared with the same brush as any rogue leader: terrorist appeaser.

Is it any wonder, then, that many in this country find a clearer reflection of reality in the discussions of so-called conspiracy theorists than in the official news delivered by our media and our government? Is it any wonder then that, lacking the protection of our Constitution or our lawmakers, some in this country feel as powerless as any citizen in the jungles of Colombia, when we read our own government’s “contingency plans” for martial law in the U.S., via the Defense Authorization Act of 2007, the REX 84 plan, Operation Garden Plot , the Civilian Inmate Labor Program, PDD 51 H.R. 1955 and the myriad Executive Orders associated with these plans? Is it any wonder that some of us in America actually fear our own government? That some of our own politicians almost fear our government, as they’re barred access  to the facts?

Should Bush-Cheney’s PDD 51 come to fruition this fall, our country would not be so different from the Colombia described by Ingrid Betancourt. Only, in the U.S., our corrupt executive branch would be the pathogens to the infection, as described by Betancourt’s husband, Juan Carlos LeCompte:

The guerrillas, the paramilitary, the violence in Colombia… are like the fever a person gets because of an infection. The infection is what causes the fever. The real infection Colombia has that must be cut out of the country is corruption. Corruption is the infection. If you get rid of the corruption, you get rid of the fever. You get rid of the violence.

Of course, our Congress had a golden opportunity to clean our country of these pathogens that have delivered an epidemic of terror around the globe, but Congress turned away from it. Was it greed or fear that prompted our Congress to table impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney for war crimes and treason? Perhaps one day the history books will make these truths known. For now, most of the facts — past, present and future — can only be gathered piecemeal, drawn together by a willingness of the human mind to suspend incredulity that our government, that any government, could be guilty of the atrocities the U.S. has committed in the name of oil.