Medals like this carry hidden weight. Don't wear swimming!!!
When the July issue of Vanity Fair floated across my desk containing a loving portrait of Sean Penn written by his close personal friend and travel companion, Douglas Brinkley, the accompanying pictures (Penn shoulder to shoulder with U.S. Army Lt. General Ken Keen, Assistant Alison Thompson eschewing World War I nurse’s costume for flower child attire adorned with adorable young Haitians, young white NGO’ers earnestly peering at their shiny Mac Powerbooks) made me wonder. Are they already filming the movie of themselves? I mean, as Brinkley points out, the set has been dressed, right?
“…a white, 60-by-20-foot wedding tent from the Dominican Republic…a crude roof over a patchwork of wooden floorboards, which he helped cobble together by hand…two rusty blade fans whirring to keep things cool…a single bulb – its lampshade fashioned from Chef Boyardee boxes – illuminating a long wooden table of bird-dropping white. A forlorn bookshelf held a collection of dog-eared U.N.-regulation guides, accordian files, and browning bananas. Down the length of one wall ran a corkboard lined with maps from the U.S. geological Survey: an army cartographer had handsomely re-christened one, changing the name from Pétionville to Pennville. A calico cat named Guadalupe wandered among a collection of stethoscopes, tool kits, syringes, morphine, a photocopy machine – and a stash of Greek wine and Jack Daniel’s – giving the quarters the patina of M*A*S*H, with a touch of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Ezili Dantò, of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), has done a masterful job of deconstructing the motivations and the actors behind Penn’s Bosnian/U.S.American NGO, JP/HRO. Dantò is fair, above all, giving Penn credit where credit is due, and calling out the rest of the nonsense by its proper name. See Sean Penn and Wyclef Jean: Hollywood, Hip Hop and Haiti, excerpt below:
We’ve gone into cartoon land. The sideshow eclipses the living, breathing, suffering Haiti people enduring over 6-nightmarish years of US/US occupation and slaughters and NGO pillage never covered by the mainstream media. The election carnival is just beginning and has reduced, for the moment, the worst disaster in recorded human history to what actor Sean Penn has to say about hip hop rapper Wyclef Jean’s run to sit at the crumbled National Palace in Haiti! Elections under occupation? Neither are saying – krik, not a word, about that!
People say Cubans are hot-tempered but Machetera doesn’t believe it. Not when she sees the current Cuban foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, in action.
Following the recent U.N. vote, where the entire world (save the two countries totally on the U.S. dole – Israel and Palau – and not counting the other two abstentions, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands) condemned the United States of America again for its ongoing genocidal blockade against Cuba, and where the completely miscast U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice (Susan, Vermont is calling!) weighed in with a nasty speech against Cuba lifted lock stock and barrel from the rhetoric of the Bush administration, Rodriguez spoke to the Associated Press:
Rodriguez told AP he was “a little bit surprised” by the vehemence of Rice’s initial comments, saying he knew and respected her and held her in high esteem.
“She is an articulate person, a decent and well-meaning person, like president Obama,” he said. “And we respect both of them for that.”
This just proves that Machetera could never have been a diplomat. Continue reading
Consolation Prize (Amended)*- Español
By Atilio A. Boron
English translation: Machetera
In an astonishing decision, the Norwegian Nobel Committee put an end to seven months of searching among the 205 nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize and conferred it upon Barack Obama. Piedad Córdoba, the brave Colombian senator whose efforts in search of peace for her violence-ridden country largely deserved to be rewarded with the Nobel Prize was tossed to the wayside so that it might be granted to the American president. It is not a minor surprise to know that Obama’s nomination was submitted to the Norwegian Committee two months after his inauguration. What did he do in such a short period of time on behalf of the world peace? He delivered gentle speeches and made rather nebulous exhortations to end violent confrontations. The Colombian senator, on the other hand, has spent the last ten years in a tireless effort to put an end to armed struggle and to pacify her country. She put her own body and her actions on the line. But the Norwegian Committee did not share this appreciation and Piedad was once again passed over. A woman, black, leftist, and Latin American: too many flaws and defects for the cautious members of the Committee, always politically correct, forever sanctimonious, who only by mistake would it confer the prize upon a public figure whose struggles for peace were unacceptable to the empire. The Dalai Lama is acceptable; Piedad Córdoba is not. For him, the Prize; for her, the cold shoulder. Continue reading
Posted in Idiocy, New World, Old World, The Coming Latin American War, Things I couldn't make up if I tried
Tagged a trillion dollars for war, alvaro uribe, aquavit, barack obama, blockade of Cuba, Cuban Five, death and destruction machine, fourth fleet, henry kissinger, realpolitik, robert higgs
…for his role in the Honduran coup d’etat. It wasn’t all Otto Reich, he wants you to know!
Naturally, like Reich, he goes about telling you this in sort of a backwards kind of way. In his column that ought to be found at El Nuevo Herald, but isn’t (hmm, maybe there actually is an MI5 report floating around out there, d’ya think?…), Montaner the scribbling bomber complains that Havana is after him once again, trying to “assassinate his voice” (from your lips to God’s ears, Carlos) by circulating the completely false rumor that there is a secret report prepared by a country very close to the United States explaining how he and Reich collaborated with the putschists in Tegucigalpa. Not true! Not true in the least! He’s never even met Micheletti! Billy Joya either! (A pity Pedro Magdiel Muñoz can’t say the same.)
“Why do they lie?” says Montaner.
“Very simple: propaganda, disinformation, the “specialties” of totalitarian governments. In English, there’s a very graphic expression for a certain kind of extreme defamation: character assassination. It consists of the methodical destruction of the image of a person until they’re turned into a repugnant figure with whom nobody wants to be associated.”
Are your ears burning yet, Otto? Otto Reich and Associates? Yeah, you. Pendejos.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias had this to say following yesterday’s dog and pony “dialogue” at his house in San José.
“…I’ve said that words hurt as much as gunshots and that we should use respectful language. I am content; the truth is that no Latin American can fail to feel satisfied after contributing a grain of sand so that the Honduran people might reconcile and that there be no bloodshed.”
Actually, gunshots are quite a bit more painful than words. But maybe Arias gets his news photoshopped. Or maybe he just doesn’t read. He seemed pretty out of it at the joint press conference he did with Zelaya following the Honduran president’s surprise arrival in his country – asking to have the question repeated about whether he’d been informed beforehand about his unexpected guest.
Well, the rest of his speech is no better. Go ahead and read it (“I believe the arguments from both sides are very convincing…”) and decide for yourself if Arias is really that stupid, or whether the Nobel Peace Prize is rigged, or both. Afterwards, see the interview with the Costa Rican journalist who says Arias ain’t no mediator. Continue reading
Spanish translation by Atenea Acevedo available here.
Obama’s Non-non Interference Pledge
With apologies to Gertrude Stein.
Oh, the irony.
Today, at the “New Economic School” in Moscow, Russia, which President Obama himself pointed out was “founded with Western support,” Obama recurred to a phrase we’ve come to hear from him with some frequency: “Let me be clear.”
Now let me be clear: America cannot and should not seek to impose any system of government on any other country, nor would we presume to choose which party or individual should run a country. And we haven’t always done what we should have on that front. Even as we meet here today, America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected President of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies. We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not.
But the President’s actions are anything but clear. If people are still confused about how to “read” Obama, Machetera has a suggestion. Watch what he does, not what he says. Continue reading
Posted in A "free" press? It would be a good idea!, Coups d'etat, Honduras, Idiocy, Venezuela
Tagged bloody hands, Honduras, internews, iri, mel zelaya, ndi, ned, new economic school, president obama, regime change industrial complex
It’s a difficult job, but somebody’s got to do it.
And unlike Ernesto Hernández Busto, those of us who lack a check from Langley have to find other ways of putting food on the table. But now that Machetera’s bank account is stabilized again, she can turn her attention to things a little closer to her heart. Like reminding everyone (in case you missed it) that Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, was in Baghdad a month ago courtesy of the U.S. State Department, for talks on how to reconstruct the Iraqi information network destroyed by Iraq’s occupiers, and (conveniently) promote Twitter into the bargain. Continue reading
Posted in A "free" press? It would be a good idea!, Bolivia, Cuba, Haiti, Idiocy, internet freedom, Iran, Peru
Tagged anti-Cuban bloggers/whiners, Bagua, Dearborn Arab International Festival, Fr. Jean-Juste, jack dorsey, Pando, Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, state dept. stooges, twitter, U.N. liars, U.N. occupation of Haiti
Luckily, Machetera isn’t a frequent flier anymore. However, her recent vacation allowed her the chance to review current events at a couple of U.S. airports, and she can report that the recent airline cutbacks have definitely not improved the mood of the remaining employees, who generally behave as though thinking costs extra. Not that Machetera blames them. When Delta is charging $4.50 for a plastic bag, why not get in on the deal?
Oddly enough, the mood of the TSA employees seems to have improved in direct proportion to the decline in courtesy at the airlines. Perhaps it’s an indicator of who’s in control now.
With that in mind, Machetera calls your attention to the latest in brilliant ideas for airport security – the Fly Clear card. With this card in hand one can supposedly avoid the indignities of passing through airline security with the masses, and according to one breathless review, feel “like a rockstar.” Actually, you ought to feel like a moron, but more on that in a minute. All one needs to do if you’re not Evo Morales or Robert Johnson is show up at a designated office with two forms of ID in hand and submit to a rectal search, fingerprinting and an iris scan, fork over $128 (for one year’s worth of clearance) and voilá, you’re free to breeze through a special express aisle reserved for idiots just like yourself with a taste for fascism. If you have children under 12, they can hand over their biometric data for free. Suckers! Continue reading