Knosha

Archive for October 2008

Pinochet and the U.S.

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There has been some recent buzzing about McCain’s 1985 visit with Chilean president Pinochet.  See, John Dinges’s report that broke the story.  Shady relations between the U.S. and Pinochet go a lot deeper than McCain’s visit.

At The National Security Archive, are some very interesting documents related to Pinochet.  The doc’s were declassified during the Clinton administration, as well as  audio of Nixon and White House press secretary, Ron Zeigler referring to Ambassador Edward Korry being given the “green light” to “do everything short of a Dominican Republic-type action” to prevent democratically elected Allende from assuming the presidency in Chile.

Included in the declassified texts are numerous comments from Henry Kissinger, in which he repeatedly insists on U.S. support for Pinochet despite awareness of severe human rights violations under the dictator’s regime.

Suspicions remain that the U.S. contributed in some fashion to the military coup which lead to president Allende’s death and Pinochet’s return to power as a brutal dictator.  Related documents remain classified.

Written by annnee

October 30, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Freedom Squelch

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There have recently been some noteworthy reports of police in the U.S. infringing upon the rights of dissidents and reporters.  One such report comes from a blogger at Znet.  The post draws attention to preemptive arrests of protest leaders in an apparent effort to thwart protesters exercising their right to voice dissent.

Democracy Now reports the arrest of a camera operator who had been recording a peaceful protest.  The journalist was violently assaulted by the officer and his camera confiscated.

Democracy Now is not only reporting the unwarrented arrests of journalists, but was directly involved when producers of the news program were arrested as well as journalist Amy Goodman.  An interview with Goodman can be found at NPR’s On the Media.  This is not Amy Goodman’s first time to experience abuse as a journalist.  In 1991 she and journalist Allan Narin were documenting a peaceful protest in East Timor when the Indonesian military opened fire on the protesters slaughtering close to 300 Timorese and beating Goodman and Narin.

Written by Aaron Nee

October 30, 2008 at 1:51 am

We’re all Georgians?

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In response to the conflict between Georgia and Russia in South Ossentia, McCain stated on behalf of the U.S. “today, we are all Georgians,” but perhaps we should not be so quick to declare solidarity with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Investigations by Human Rights Watch and eyewitness accounts reveal war crimes committed by Georgian forces in South Ossetia.  Mounting evidence suggests civilians were targeted in the Georgian attack.  Accusations include accounts of Georgian tanks firing into an apartment block, then firing on fleeing civilians.

The BBC’s Tim Whewell speaks with Ossentian victims.

For commentary on the Georgian/Russian conflict in South Ossentia, see Edward S. Herman’s article.

Written by Aaron Nee

October 29, 2008 at 6:14 am

How much change?

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The Iraq war has been a significant factor in this year’s election.  Obama has been happy to point out time and again that he was opposed to the Iraq invasion from the outset, but if his Senior Working Group on National Security is any indication of what an Obama administration will look like, there is a lot left unchanged.

See the following report by Pepe Escobar at The Real News Network.

The second installment to Pepe’s report can be seen here.

Written by Aaron Nee

October 29, 2008 at 1:19 am

Trickle where? economics

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The Wall Street Journal reports that a study of 30 nations has found inequality to have increased over the last twenty years.  Despite strong economic growth over the 20 years the study was conducted, the middle-income earners are falling behind while the wealthy continue to amass more riches.  Bellow are two salient quotes from the article.

“The U.S. has the highest inequality and poverty rates in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000, the report said. France saw inequalities fall as poorer workers are better paid.”

“In the U.S., the richest 10% earn an average of $93,000 — the highest level in the OECD. The poorest 10% earn an average of $5,800 — about 20% lower than the OECD average.”

Written by Aaron Nee

October 28, 2008 at 12:44 am