“This morning, the Bechtel Corporation will sign an agreement dropping its $50 million legal case against the people of Cochabamba (Bolivia) for kicking Bechtel out in the 2000 water revolt” said Shultz. “Instead of the fortune it demanded, Bechtel will fly home with a token settlement of two shiny Bolivian coins worth a total of thirty cents. One of the biggest, most powerful corporations on Earth has been defeated by an army of concerned citizens all over the world.”
Today is infamous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s 90th birthday. This is not the great news. The great news is that he didn’t have the big birthday party he was planning – with artists, military bands and lots of expensive food. Yesterday, judge Montiglio ordered his (at home) arrest, so the party was called off.
Pinochet is accused of more than 300 crimes. He is responsible for the killing of some 1000 people – including democratic elected Salvador Allende – in Chile and abroad and the theft of millions of dollars from Chilean state.
Happy birthday, Mi General!
(Just a thought: where should George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney spend their last years?)
Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, flew into Gulfport, Mississippi, Thursday. While he was speaking to reporters, his news conference was interrupted:
DICK CHENEY: I was talking to the mayor in those areas —
BYSTANDER: Go f*** yourself, Mr. Cheney.
DICK CHENEY: We have got to figure out what to do with all of the debris.
BYSTANDER: Go f*** yourself.
REPORTER: Are you getting a lot of that, Mr. Vice President?
CHENEY: That’s the first time I’ve heard it…
It’s good seeing people expressing their feelings, especially when talking directly to somebody like U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, a “former” CEO in Halliburton, a company that is making good profits out of Katrina.
Kellogg Brown & Root – a subsidiary of Halliburton – just received $12 million to rebuild a naval station in Gulfport. It is also getting another extra $5 million to fix another one, and is assessing the damages of the pumps and infrastructure in New Orleans.
Halliburton stocks are hitting a 52-week high, because of Hurricane Katrina. Good for the angry bystander.
A Pentagon General told BBC “If we lose America, we lose the war, ” and this seems to be happening already. Ralph Begleiter is a professor at the University of Delaware. Some time this year he brought the US Defence Department to court in order to force it to publish pictures of coffins coming home from Iraq.
The Pentagon then published 700 pictures, and this – together with the increasing number of deaths and a lot of resistance from victims’ families – had a big impact in American public opinion about the Iraq war. As American soldiers’ casualties have reached 1850, American public support for the war has dropped to about 40%.
Thanks again to BBC news for the information and picture.
“We hope the [British] Army will have more involvement next year and a float as well,” said Claire Turner.
She was not talking about the British participation in the invasion of Iraq. She is the director of the gay pride festival in Manchester, UK.
About 10 uniformed soldiers paraded and manned a recruitment stall. The ban on homosexuals in the armed forces was lifted in January 2000, but it wasn’t until last year, when some 20 RAF soldiers manned a float featuring a plane cockpit, that the first armed service joined a gay pride festival.
“They’re showing that they welcome gay people and the Army is something gay people can be interested in,” said Turner. This is very different from the situation of their gay American colleagues. In the U.S., gay soldiers – some of whom have served for many years – have been sent home because, apparently due to their gayness, they might hesitate at crucial moments.
We welcome soldiers at gay parades, and we welcome the armies’ tolerance.