Taxi to the Dark Side Wins Oscar

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Writer/Director Alex Gibney with producer Eva Orner

The Oscar nominated documentary film on the US government and its torture policies that I was raving about won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature last Sunday night.

ALEX GIBNEY: Thank you very much, Academy. Here’s to all doc filmmakers. And truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I’d make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, that simply wasn’t possible. This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us: Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a Navy interrogator, who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let’s hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light. Thank you very much.

I think winning the Oscar was great but previously I had mentioned how The Discovery Channel was accused of political censorship of the film. Well, it turned out great that HBO decided to buy out the television rights to the film and hopefully will air it in September.

Congratulations, Alex Gibney! A brilliant film maker and a great Peaceful Warrior!

Latest Polls: Bush Approval Rating at 19%

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“Among all Americans, 19% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president…”

Click here to see the complete poll.

The poll conducted by Manchester, NH based, American Research Group shows that Bush’s approval ratings have dropped to a historic new low – 19%. It is even lower among Americans registered to vote.

According to the poll, a total of 78% of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 47% say the national economy is in a recession. A total of 42% of Americans, however, say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, which is the highest level for this question in the past year.

The president’s dabbling in the Middle East’s highly complex political scene has left him with absolutely no reputation to save. But there is a place he can try to save his last shreds of dignity: Africa.

The Mother Continent (I was born there) has seen her share of conquistadors and colonialists raping and pillaging the continent, so what is one more? Bush’s recent visit to Africa was what I see as a publicity stunt to try and save the little following he has had and to prevent his Presidency being crowned the worst in history.

I wonder what that 19% of Americans who approve of the Bush Administration policies even today are thinking? More importantly – how is McCain on his way to becoming the Republican nominee? Every Republican I know hates Bush and believes McCain policies are going to be the same and much worse.

The Folly of Attacking Iran: Lessons from History

Americans are often a people who look to the future and quickly forget what the past has to teach. This book shows the peril of not learning from the history of efforts to overthrow foreign governments.

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All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup And The Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer is an enlightening book that I just finished reading. It is a riveting account of how the CIA, led by the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, orchestrated the 1953 coup in Iran that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran and replaced him with the Shah. The policy of deposing leaders that the US doesn’t approve of throughout the years has had aftershocks that are felt even today.


This is a 5 minute video that features author Stephen Kinzer who discusses the folly of attacking Iran. This is particularly relevant today as the US fervently and furiously is beating its drums in anticipation for a war with Iran.

In the beginning of the 20th century, oil was discovered in Iran and the British company Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (today known as British Petroleum or BP) made a deal to pump out the oil and sell it. It held the monopoly of Iran’s oil, which at the time, was the largest oil reserve in the world.

Up until the 1950s the British company was pumping oil and giving the Iranians a mere 16% of the profits, while using the rest to maintain the British Empire’s military machine to oppress its colonies throughout the world. This continued until the 1950s when Iranians finally got sick of the being ripped off. The oil from Iranian soil was being sucked out and sold off by a single British company and leaving nothing for Iran.

In 1951, Mohammad Mossadegh became the first democratically elected Prime Minister and Iran’s parliament unanimously decided to nationalize the oil company. They believed that the profits from oil from Iranian soil should be used to benefit the Iranian nation and its people, and not help in aiding the British Empire’s repression around the globe.

This naturally enraged the British government. How dare anyone challenge the British Empire? They decided to first attack Iran, overthrow the government of Mossadegh and take over the country (I know, it sounds all too familiar) and approached the USA for assistance. But the USA under President Harry Truman wouldn’t support an invasion or overthrow of a democratically elected foreign government. He said that was not the job of the CIA. Then in November 1952 Dwight Eisenhower got elected and policy changed. The British sought his help and he sent Near East Director of the CIA – Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA) to execute the coup d’etat that overthrew Mossadegh.

Mossadegh was sentenced to three years in prison followed by house arrest for life. In his place the US helped install the pro-American Shah of Iran.

Iran was a democracy in 1953 until the US and UK intelligence orchestrated the coup d’etat that toppled Mohammad Mossadegh. The pro-US Shah of Iran, Raza Shah Pahlavi turned out to be a cruel dictator and a tyrant. His rule was heavily reliant on the scraps that the US threw in the form of foreign aid and arms.

This basically sent a message to the region’s leaders that America doesn’t support democracy in the Middle East and as long as Britain and America get their oil – it doesn’t matter who rules or how the country is ruled. America will support and aid tyrants, oppressors, dictators and ever murderous thugs (i.e. Saddam) as long as they have access to oil. It is evident that this is still the foreign policy of the USA even today. (Look up the 2000 coup of Venezuela that deposed Hugo Chavez for a few days – there’s a reason why he hates Bush).

The Shah’s harsh and oppressive rule brought about an anti-American backlash that led to the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran which toppled the Shah and turned the country into an Islamic Republic.

This is what happens when you wage a war on democracy. Today this policy of attacking nations that pose no threat to us, incinerating their citizens with “daisy cutters” and carpet bombing civilians with depleted uranium, occupying their nations, torturing their citizens who resist, locking them up in Guantanamo Bay (illegally US-occupied part of Cuba) and installing a puppet government has to go – these are not American values.

Iran has made a number of attempts to reach out and engage in a dialogue with the USA and would probably respond better to talks than threats of violence.

Americans, make a note – history has a lot of lessons to offer, it is foolish to ignore them.

Is America a Police State?

Anyone who dares to question the Bush government’s warmongering will be severely dealt with.

Watching this video brings back the nightmares of South Africa during the Apartheid rule.

This is how Israel humiliates and destroys any Palestinian voice calling for justice.

Is this really happening in America? the country that is supposed to be the model for global democracy?

This video is a breakdown of what happened in Seattle when the Police attacked the crowd with chemical weapons without provocation or reason.

They use video footage from the Police cameras themselves to demonstrate the point that the Police indeed incite riots and attack crowds for no reason.

Ron Paul gave this speech titled “Is America a Police state?” to Congress on June 27, 2002. Here are some excerpts:

The principal tool for sustaining a police state, even the most militant, is always economic control and punishment by denying disobedient citizens such things as jobs or places to live, and by levying fines and imprisonment. The military is more often used in the transition phase to a totalitarian state. Maintenance for long periods is usually accomplished through economic controls on commercial transactions, the use of all property, and political dissent. Peaceful control through these efforts can be achieved without storm troopers on our street corners.

Terror and fear are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The changes, they are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary, such as those that occur in times of a declared war. Under these conditions, most citizens believe that once the war is won, the restrictions on their liberties will be reversed. For the most part, however, after a declared war is over, the return to normalcy is never complete. In an undeclared war, without a precise enemy and therefore no precise ending, returning to normalcy can prove illusory.

When the government keeps detailed records on every move we make and we either need advance permission for everything we do or are penalized for not knowing what the rules are, America will be declared a police state. Personal privacy for law-abiding citizens will be a thing of the past. Enforcement of laws against economic and political crimes will exceed that of violent crimes (just look at what’s coming under the new FEC law). War will be the prerogative of the administration. Civil liberties will be suspended for suspects, and their prosecution will not be carried out by an independent judiciary. In a police state, this becomes common practice rather than a rare incident.

Discovery Channel Accused of Political Censorship

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Just over a week ago I posted about the Oscar nominated documentary film by Alex Gibney – Taxi to the Dark Side.

Well, turns out The Discovery Channel bought the U.S. television distribution rights for “Taxi to the Dark Side” after it won the top prize at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

They assured Gibney that they were committed to the film and into broadcasting it.

Now apparently they have changed their minds. They are dropping plans to broadcast the film because they feel it is “too controversial”.

Since they bought the rights to the movie and won’t air it anymore they will not allow anyone else to air it either.

Click here to listen, watch or read the transcript of the interview.

Just great….we can get tortured by mind-numbing “reality TV” and forcefully shoved with “news” every time Britney takes a piss but this documentary which is shows the truth, is educational and informative is “too controversial”?

I guess we wouldn’t want the American people to be pulled away from their beloved American Idol and Paris Hilton and actually watch shows that are factual, educational and informative. No – let’s keep the American people in the dark about how their government tortures and kills innocent people.

Shame on The Discovery Channel. Write to them and let them know politely that you would like them to air “Taxi to the Dark Side”:

Click here to contact the Discovery Channel.

The Media Blackout on the Ron Paul Revolution

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It is amazing how the media totally blocked coverage of Ron Paul.

He won every Presidential debate according to the opinion polls and even Rudy Giuliani said “Ron Paul won every debate!”

He broke two fund raising records last year for raising the most money on a single day – more than any other candidate Republican or Democrat running for President – one on Guy Fawkes Day – Nov 5th ($4.2 million) and another on Boston Tea Party Day December 16th ($6.4 million – beating even Hillary’s $6.2 million record) yet none of this was ever reported on the mainstream media.

Ron Paul is the only anti-war candidate on the ballot and still his top donors are all from the US Military. Dr. Paul’s total military donations of $249 thousand are almost as much as the $260 thousand of combined donations received by the other five remaining candidates:

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080203005049&newsLang=en

Why are the people in the military supporting Ron Paul? Why is CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC all ignoring this? Is it not “newsworthy”?

None of this is ever being reported in the media. Ron Paul received less coverage (0.3% of total) in the media than Bill Clinton who’s not even running:

http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2008/02/12/mccain-clinton-and-obama-in-coverage-derby-photo-finish/

The media has made up its mind, people can’t vote for Ron Paul if they do not know about him and his views – despite majority of Americans not supporting the war – they are forced to read about only Hillary (Israeli favorite – AIPAC, the Israeli lobby donated more money to her than any other candidate) and John “Bomb Iran” McCain – the die hard pro-war candidates in the race.

More blackout information at:

http://tinwiki.org/wiki/Ron_Paul_Media_Blackout

The media can block out Ron Paul….but they will never change our minds about our support on his views and what he stands for.

The Ron Paul Revolution is here to stay, baby!

“If I may quote Trotsky of all people, this Revolution is permanent. It will not end at the Republican convention. It will not end in November. It will not end until we have won the great battle on which we have embarked. Not because of me, but because of you. Millions of Americans — and friends in many other countries — have dedicated themselves to the principles of liberty: to free enterprise, limited government, sound money, no income tax, and peace. We will not falter so long as there is one restriction on our persons, our property, our civil liberties. How much I owe you. I can never possibly repay your generous donations, hard work, whole-hearted dedication and love of freedom. How blessed I am to be associated with you.”
-Ron Paul, February 8, 2007.

God Bless Ron Paul! A True American!

Stupid Excuses to Attack Iran

The US mainstream media is yet again cheer leading as the Bush administration starts its brainwashing campaign to convince Americans into believing that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons program, despite all evidence from multiple US intelligence agencies that refute the allegations.

The Bush administration claims that once they have the nuclear weapons they will strike Israel. And as Israel’s ally we have to protect them. Even at the expense of American lives.

Just think about it. Put away your blindness and ignorance for a second and look at it from a logical point of view. Do not let the media or the government fool you again like it did when they claimed Iraq could launch a biological or chemical attack in 45 minutes.

Pretend for a second that Iran has atomic bombs. Look at this map:

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Israel is surrounded by Muslim countries. The atomic bomb would also kill Palestinians and Arabs. Israel is 20% Arab also. The radio active fallout will reach everywhere from Turkey to Iran itself which is less than 600 miles away from Israel.

This time, my fellow Americans, do not let them fool you into supporting a war with Iran. Iran poses no threat to us or Israel. Iraq war has already cost us half a trillion dollars so far and may cost much, much more. Why should we pay so much so that government “contractors” like Blackwater, Halliburton, Bechtel and others can overcharge the US government for its services? As it is there are more mercenaries than American troops.

The US economy is in shambles. Yet no one wants to address the 94% increase in foreclosures, the tanking of the dollar due to massive trade deficits, runaway government spending or discuss that there’s a recession in the country.

America is worried about Iran opening an oil bourse trading in non-dollar denominations but what happened to the good old days of US exports?

The reason the dollar was so much in demand was because American companies produced products that the rest of the world actually wanted.

Now even our American flags are “Made in China”.