What entitlement! I hit the gas, power off to my destination. No one asks me whether the trip is serious or banal, necessary or foolish, conscious or impulsive. I just go, ripping up the miles as though they were daydreams. The engine purrs. My name is Everyman, and I have the power of gods.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not addicted or anything. I can get off oil whenever I want to. On the other hand, I may be willing to sacrifice 740,000 acres of pristine boreal forest in Northern Canada — part of one of the largest intact ecosystems left on the planet — along with, oh, 166 million birds, and all the remaining caribou inAlberta, before I do.
I am proud to call Ray McGovern a friend. He is a retired senior member of the CIA, and was so valued as an analyst that he used to give the US President his daily intelligence briefing. Ray and I both had senior government service careers, in the course of which you make personal friendships that last, hopefully as long as you do. So sometimes we both get told things from the inside of government.
As Ray sets out on the US Gaza peace flotilla ship, he has been warned in the starkest of terms that the Obama administration will do nothing to protect their US flagged vessel, or the US citizens on board, against attack by the Israelis.
Walking like an Egyptian pharaoh more than an Egyptian, during Hillary Clinton’s talk on free speech on Tuesday at George Washington University, she allowed the arrest and brutalization of a silent protester, Ray McGovern, who since his retirement from the CIA has been actively protesting war. The university’s newspaper, GW Hatchet, reported Clinton’s words:
“What happened in Egypt and what happened in Iran, which this week is once again using violence against protesters seeking basic freedoms, was about a great deal more than the Internet,” Clinton said. “In each case people protested because of deep frustrations with the political and economic division of their lives.”
“Aid officials in Haiti complained of the lack of co-ordination between the UN, the US and aid agencies and were enraged when the airport was closed on Saturday so that Mrs Clinton could visit.”
Aid agencies and donor countries accused the US military of giving its own aircraft priority. Outside the airport, aid and rescue workers protested that nobody seemed to be in charge as looting and lawlessness rose sharply on the streets of Port-au-Prince.
Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) complained that it had had five aircraft carrying medical supplies and doctors diverted to the Dominican Republic since Saturday, and thatthe earliest landing slot it could secure at Port-au-Prince for a relief aircraft supposed to leave today was January 26.
The June 28 military coup that overthrew the legitimate government of Honduras was a shock. When the Central American wars of the 1980s finally ended, the region seemed on a path toward electoral democracy at last. The military’s ouster of President Zelaya, followed by the suspension of civil liberties and repression of non-violent protests, looks like a return to the bad old days when coups were the rule and real elections the rare exception.
V-Day Congo Director and acclaimed women’s rights activist Christine Schuler Deschryver met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday, August 11 in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Clinton’s trip to Congo was reported as extraordinary for a Secretary of State as she brought a sharp focus to the ongoing sexual atrocities against women in the DRC, as well as worldwide attention. Continue reading →