Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Where's the accountability?







There's confusiong this week regarding Ba'athism as a result of one outlet publishing rabid ravings of a Chalabi. But there's also an easy walk through provided on this week's The Progressive Radio Show where Matthew Rothschild speaks with Sami Rasouli of Muslim Peacemakers Team in Iraq.

Sami Rasouli: And by the way, Ba'ath means the Arab renasance or a new born Arab and that political party as philosophy and set of values and objectives were founded --was founded by a Christian Syrian philospher scholar named Michel Aflaq in 1947. Main objective of the Ba'ath to unite all Arab countries. 22 countries become just like United States of America, United States of Arabia. That was a wonderful thing to think of of it. And the people were according to the Ba'ath philosophy, they live in a social system and free -- free from outsider's intervention

Matthew Rothschild: But that's not how the regime turned out though?

Sami Rasouli: Well the objectives yes. The objectives, I mean, the-the Ba'ath was -- attracted actually lots of young people. Started in Syria, moved to Iraq, then right now at the moment the Syrian government is run -- embracing that party, Baath political party and also there are Bathis in the parliaments of Lebanon, Jordan, Sudan and the Ba'ath Party is active in Mauritania and other Arab countries excpet in Iraq. In Iraq if you run for political office, public office like the next election in March, in Iraq, you have to submit an affidavit that prove that you are not Ba'ahti you did not work with the previous regime. So there is a harsh actually ban on exercising the Baath as a political party in Iraq today and that goes back when Paul Bremer, the second civil administrator -- American administrator, who run the country after Saddam Hussein fall, he set one of the 100 orders, besides disbanding the army, the order was the de-Ba'athifcation that slaughtered a lot of Iraqis.

Matthew Rothschild: Do you think it's a mistake to ban the Ba'ath Party?

Sami Rasouli: Oh, yeah, because many people embraced that political party willing and others, no, they were forced. But the big dilemma that the Iraqi people are suffering today, 1/5 of the population got displaced and mostly was the educated paople. Now this is just for education, Taliban means the educated people. So the educated people of Iraq -- 1/5 of the popultiaton, one million people were driven first they were kidnapped, imprionsed, killed with many, many, many, I mean 650 Iraqi scientists were assassinated by the Mossad these Israeli intelligence agency in the last six and a half years and this is available as information go Google the State Dept and the Pentagon They don't shy away about it because those scientiest they know about it and the so they are so dangerous and they were not recruitable so they got assassinated. Now many --

Matthew Rothschild: Well that's the first I've heard of that. You're sure about that?

Sami Rasouli: Right you can find that easily, hundreds of articles about this. The Oil experts that were part of those people, the Iraqi educated people, got displaced out of Iraq, in Jordan and Syria and beyond, they left the country the country now has a big vaccum and it became a dead end where the Iraqi oil became privatized.

Matthew Rothschild: Well, and, how is that, that has just begun and for a long time/ I mean, I had a bumper sticker on my car that said: "The Iraq War Is Terrorism For Oil" or something when the war started and now it looks like, low and behold the oil companies are getting in.

Sami Rasouli: On June 30th, the Iraqi government made a big noise sending 100s dancers and musicians on the street to celebrate what? The US forces left the cities and stayed on their bases, military based. and Malii told the Iraqis we just got -- we took the right step towrads our indepencncy our soverntiy so let's be happy and celeertate but he didn't tell the Iraqi pople the other thing that was happening on the very same day, June 30th giant oil company represenatives attended the celebration, another celebiration of submitting their bids to get their shares of the Iraqi treasures Iraqi government silently, secretly auctioned off the Iraqi wealth, the Iraqi oil. And now we know one of the three letters that Ray McGoven when he was asked about the Iraq War, He said it was about three letters O-I--L. O it's about Oil, I it's about Israel, L it's about location or logistics.

Sami Rasouli is with Muslim Peacemakers Team in Iraq and also a part of the Reconciliation Project. In terms of the 630 Iraqi scientists, Al Jazeera reported "Mossad murdered 530 Iraqi scientists. The Plight of Iraqi Acadmics" May 9, 2006. December 10, 2007, Press TV counted 530 in their "Mossad mission: Murder Iraqi scholars." James Petras' article noting the reports can be found at Al Jazeera and the Palestine Chronicles. And it made the Marxism mailing list. Philip Sherwell (Telegraph of London) reported that Mossad was targeting Iran's scientists (Feb. 16, 2009) and quoted an unnamed source saying it would be like what they did in Iraq. December 3, 2005, David Hoskins (Workers World) reported:

Osama Abed Al-Majeed, the president of the Department for Research and Development at the Iraqi Ministry for Higher Education, has accused the Israeli secret service, Mossad, of perpetuating the violence against Iraqi scientists. A June 2005 report by the Palestine Information Center claims that Mossad, in cooperation with U.S. military forces, was responsible for the assassination of 530 Iraqi scientists and professors in the seven months prior to the report's publication.
Mossad unquestionably has the motive and means to assassinate leading Iraqi intel lectuals. The Israeli intelligence agency contains a Special Operations Division called Metsada which is tasked with conducting assassinations, sabotage and paramilitary projects. Israel has a long history of interference in Iraq, going back to the 1981 bombing of a nuclear energy plant that stood 15 miles outside Baghdad that just before that attack had voluntarily undergone inspection by the Inter national Atomic Energy Agency.
Regardless of who is responsible for the killing of Iraqi scientists and academics, it is clear that the U.S. and Britain, as the leading occupying powers, have the responsibility for the precarious situation in which these intellectuals are forced to live.

In July 2006, Fakhri Al Qaisi ("assistant dean of the College of Dentistry") told Basil Adas (Gulf News) that, "The assassinations are linked to Israeli Mossad." Adas reported, "He claimed that the Iraqi National Congress Party began abducting physicians and university professors after the US occupation, a time when assassinations increased dramatically and that the party was backed by the Mossad."

Matthew Rothschild devotes The Progressive Review this week to the issue of Iraq. And it can be done. And it used to be done. Which brings us to KPFA's self-serving [PDF format warning] "KPFA State of the Station 2009." Pledge drives? It's never-ending begging at KPFA these days -- if you've missed it, you haven't been listening. Pledge drive over? Keep hitting up the listeners at the top of the hour. If you just listened, you'd get the impression that (a) KPFA needs money and (b) it wants to raise money. Reality: It needs money. If it wanted to improve the station's financial health the answer's in the paper. No, not in "This is how we get young males to listen to us!" In fact, that crap's so damn pathetic you begin to grasp why KPFA's listenership has CRATERED. Give them an audience and KPFA will run the audience off.

Travel with us through the report: "In 2004, KPFA's overall listenership reached a peak, paralleling the trend of public radio as a whole, in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq." Why would that be the peak? Because of the Iraq War, the report tells you. The report continues, "Times of reaction and war have traditionally increased listenership to Pacifica stations. The fact that we have not broken any lasting new ground in the past eight years is cause for real concern."

Indeed it damn well is. Equally true, PAY ATTENTION KPFA, the fall in listeners coincides with KPFA's drop in war coverage. The Iraq War has not ended. The Iraq War, when it was covered, brought KPFA record high listenership for the decade and what the hell did KPFA do with that?

Not a damn thing. KPFA's Flashpoints Radio, trivia note, began how? Covering the first Gulf War. In 2003 and 2004, while KPFA was pulling in a record number of listeners, what show did they create to cover the Iraq War? Not one damn show.

Not one damn show.

And when confronted, management would insist it could be covered by the various programs. As we all know, that was either optimistic thinking or a flat out lie. Here's what happened, the end of 2004 (which is when the ratings start to droop -- a factor that is left out of the 'official report'), KPFA drops Iraq to subordinate position. The Iraq War is no longer an issue itself, mind you, it is now a reason: A reason to vote for John Kerry. KPFA lost listeners doing that because it wasn't NPR. See, NPR covers the news. You may not like how they cover it, you may. But NPR isn't telling you who to vote for.

Having failed to use the Iraq War to elect John Kerry president of the United States, KPFA (and the rest of Pacifica) lost interest in Iraq. This is December 2004, January 2005, etc. It's not until Cindy Sheehan stages Camp Casey that Iraq becomes an 'issue' for KPFA. And, no surprise, KPFA's interest was just in time to push the 2006 mid-term elections.

Today the Iraq War doesn't exist on KPFA except for one program, we'll get to it in a minute. You can hear Kris Welch embarrass herself (how sad that this is how the broadcast career ends) doing her bulls**t broadcasts each Thursday and Friday which are nothing but grief therapy for Democrats which end with a group hug and a pledge to forever vote Democrat -- and that crap you can hear all over KPFA. You just can't hear a damn thing that matters.

KPFA walked away from its mission. It refused to provide information and instead worked on get out the vote. That is not Pacifica Radio's function. And that nonsense alienated people who weren't Democrats (Socialists, Greens, Communists, independents, disenchanted Republicans, swing voters, non-voters, etc.) and alienates even Democrats today as they hear Kris Welch and various other liars on the airwaves insisting that Bush did this and Bush did that even though Barack Obama is the President. They're such liars, no one takes them seriously. KPFA is supposed to lead. Not lead in minimizing or lowering expectations.

KPFA failed. The management failed. The first thing you do, if you're KPFA, when the US launches a war, is launch a program to cover it. Anytime Pacifica's done that, the ratings have been there. Anytime. And the funds have been there because it was an alternative to the rah-rah war of the MSM. But they failed. And they continue to fail because the Iraq War continues and the Afghanistan War continues. They could give you Mitch jerking off daily while moaning "Barack! Barack" and call it [Dear Penthouse Forum] Letters From Washington. They've failed to grasp why Pacifica ever mattered, they've confused electoral politics with Lew Hill's mission statement and, in doing so, they've driven off all the listeners they gained in 2004.

In full, from Indybay Media, this open letter from Dennis Bernstein of KPFA's Flashpoints Radio:
Open Letter to KPFA General Manager, Lemlem Rijio and the KPFA community
by repost from D. Bernstein Thursday Dec 31st, 2009 12:37 PM
Dennis Bernstein replies to a letter sent by KPFA General Manager Lemlem Rijio to the staff list concerning the cuts to Flashpoints
Open Letter to KPFA General Manager, Lemlem Rijio and the KPFA community of Listeners /And A Bold Proposal By Dennis Bernstein, Executive Producer, Flashpoints On December 30th [Response to Rijio letter of 12/30, KPFA Staff: KPFA Open Letter on Budget Reductions, which is not copied here due to a confidentiality notice] KPFA GM, Lemlem Rijio addressed the KPFA Pacifica community in an open letter . . about the current financial crunch at KPFA. While the crunch is real, I would of course disagree with several statements made in the letter by MS Rijio. But let me just shed light on one point, in which she directly addresses Flashpoints, and then I'd like to offer a bold proposal to Management and workers at KPFA, to step up and stand strong for Free Speech Radio. Ms Rijio states in her open letter: "At the current staffing level (after cuts to all programs), Flashpoints has more staffing per hour than all other public affairs programs at KPFA." Really? Under current management, Flashpoints has lost fifty percent of its budget, leaving the show with 80 paid hours for staffing. Currently KPFA news has well over 200 paid hours for staffing, five times the plant space as Flashpoints, and their own broadcast studio. They also have full access to Free speech Radio News which is a major contributor to the news cast. According to the official budget figures for fiscal 2005/2006, the news department budget went up over $50,000 dollars under current management, while the Flashpoints budget was cut. Administration went up over $30,000 dollars in the same period. The trend continued, as MS Rijio expressed her priorities clearly, by continuing to cut (and censor) Flashpoints, while increasing the budgets for the morning show and the news and administration. Statement of Fact: The Flashpoints budget has been slashed in half under current management. Question: Have the budgets for the morning show and the KPFA news gone up or down under the same management? Question: Did current management bust the budget, and are they now using the bust as an excuse to get rid of, or at least marginalize a radical edgy show like Flashpoints? MY Challenge: Ms Rijio writes in her open letter, "program teams, were given the opportunity to voluntarily spread the cuts among themselves, and some staff voluntarily reduced their hours to lessen the impact on their co-workers." Well here's my response to my boss: OK I will volunteer to go on an unpaid six months leave, and work for free, starting immediately if six of my brothers and sisters at the top of the KPFA pay scale will do the same. That would be say the two top managers, and 4 senior members of CWA (let's make room for the next generation). One more thing, it is my understanding that several people were given major increases in their hours, even while others were being cut. Those hours should immediately be returned back to the hour pool and given back to the people who were just laid off. If you agree to this action, in support of KPFA,the people's radio station, Ms Rijio, then I think that it will go a long way to getting us over the financial hump, without hobbling Flashpoints and Hard Knock Radio, which have been hit hardest by the crunch, and which are born under the banner of Pacifica founder, Lew Hill. In closing, Ms Rijio, I do admire your decision to bring this conversation out into the light of day, with your open letter to the KPFA community. I look forward to this frank open dialogue on how to keep KPFA Free Speech, non-corporate radio strong and viable into the 21st Century. In Struggle, Dennis Bernstein Executive Producer, Flashpoints, CWA/KPFA member, dbernstein [at] igc.org

Today Flashpoints Radio is the only KPFA program aware that the Iraq War did not end in January 2008 when Barack Obama was sworn in as the new president of the United States so we'll note Dennis' letter in full. KPFA has failed. The management needs to turn in their resignations. They've destroyed the station and they refused to deliver a program on Iraq all these years even though the Iraq War was the only thing, THE ONLY THING, that increased their ratings in the entire decade. (And we can go into pledges and what brought in the dollars -- not noted in the 'report' released but noted in a lengthier report.) KPFA and Pacifica need to get it together real damn quick. For Pacifica coverage from last night, see Marcia's "Hey KPFA, where are the women?," Ann's "The Morning Show's sexism is showing," Ruth's "A sexist broadcast from Women's Media Center," Kat's "Comic, Flashpoints, year end" and Elaine's "The Infantile Norman Solomon."

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"

"Iraq Inquiry (aka The Damned Don't Cry)"

"Refugees, deaths, oil -- it's Iraq"

"I think 'antisemitism' is too mild a word for it"

"The Morning Show's sexism is showing"

"Memory Lane"

"did it air?"

"A sexist broadcast from Women's Media Center"

"Comic, Flashpoints, year end"

"Hey KPFA, where are the women?"

"Comedy teams"

"The Infantile Norman Solomon"

"Patrick Martin, Isaiah, Third "

"We'll have what he's smoking"


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