Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 8th, 2008

First Harper, Then Berlusconi…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2008

Are there any right-wing allies of his that Bush hasn’t insulted this week?

Hey, Shrub! Maybe you could insult Uribe next for the trifecta!


Posted in Bush, international, Republicans acting badly, wrong way to go about it, WTF? | Comments Off on First Harper, Then Berlusconi…

The Hostages Speak

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2008

A story that’s currently getting big play in the US media is this condemnation of FARC by Marc Gonsalves, one of the two military contractors who had been held by FARC up until last week.

Interestingly, fellow former hostage Ingrid Betancourt’s publicly thanking Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez for his long-standing efforts on the hostages’ behalf is not getting any US media play that I know of. In fact, the only place I’ve seen it is here:

As Ingrid Betancourt emerged after six-and-a-half years – sunken and shrivelled but radiant with courage – one of the first people she thanked was Hugo Chavez. What? If you follow the news coverage, you have been told that the Venezuelan President supports the Farc thugs who have been holding her hostage. He paid them $300m to keep killing and to buy uranium for a dirty bomb, in a rare break from dismantling democracy at home and dealing drugs. So how can this moment of dissonance be explained?

Yes: you have been lied to – about one of the most exciting and original experiments in economic redistribution and direct democracy anywhere on earth. And the reason is crude: crude oil. The ability of democracy and freedom to spread to poor countries may depend on whether we can unscramble these propaganda fictions.


On 1 March, the Colombian government invaded Ecuador and blew up a Farc training camp. A few hours later, it announced it had found a pristine laptop in the rubble, and had already rummaged through the 39.5 million pages of Microsoft Word documents it contained to find cast-iron “proof” that Chavez was backing the Farc. Ingrid’s sister, Astrid Betancourt, says it is plainly fake. The camp had been totally burned to pieces and the computers had clearly, she says, been “in the hands of the Colombian government for a very long time”. Far from fuelling the guerrillas, Chavez has repeatedly pleaded with the Farc to disarm. He managed to negotiate the release of two high-profile hostages – hence Betancourt’s swift thanks. He said: “The time of guns has passed. Guerilla warfare is history.”

So what now? Now they claim he is a drug dealer, he funds Hezbollah, he is insane. Sometimes they even stumble on some of the real non-fiction reasons to criticise Chavez and use them as propaganda tools. (See our Open House blog later today for a discussion of this). As the world’s oil supplies dry up, the desire to control Venezuela’s pools will only increase. The US government is already funding separatist movements in Zulia province, along the border with Colombia, where Venezuela’s largest oilfields lie. They hope they can break away this whiter-skinned, anti-Chavez province and then drink deep of the petrol there.

By the way, Greg Palast debunked the “$300 million” nonsense back in March, yet I haven’t seen any US mainstream corporate media acknowledgement of this.

Posted in anti-truth, Chavez, Colombia, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking, Oil, terrorism, Venezuela | 1 Comment »

Study: Gay Troops Don’t Hurt Unit Cohesion

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2008

From the AP’s Anne Flaherty:

Congress should repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.

The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton’s policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation.

“Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion,” the officers states.

To support its contention, the panel points to the British and Israeli militaries, where it says gay people serve openly without hurting the effectiveness of combat operations.

Cue the wingnuts howling in 5…4…3…2…1…

Posted in gay rights, military | 4 Comments »

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