Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The forgotten 9/11 of Chile

What’s common between Richard Nixon’s plot to overthrow the government of Chile in 1973 and Al-Qaeda’s plot to blow up the World Trade Center in 2001? Answer: Both of these outrageously criminal conspiracies were brutally executed on September 11.

Today, the world sees 9/11 as the most direct reference to the sinister events two years ago that killed almost 3,000 people in the most well-crafted terrorist design of all times. Few, however, know that 9/11 also refers to the day in 1973 on which the Chilean armed forces, backed and helped by the United States, launched air and ground strikes against the presidential palace, killing Dr. Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president, that morning. What followed was a well-orchestrated destruction of Chile’s democratic machinery doctored by the Nixon government of the United States; a reign of terror, killing, torturing, exiling, and executing tens of thousands of peaceful Chileans. Chile burned under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet for 17 years, four years longer than Hitler.

George Bush’s Republican predecessor in 1970, Richard Nixon, skillfully manipulated his government’s covert power in systematically destroying Chile’s democracy, which had elected a president in an election, freer and fairer than the 2000 US vote. Chileans watched their democracy go up in flames. Their military with full support from Washington proceeded to wipe out their ancient bicameral legislature, independent judiciary, elected local and regional bodies, free trade unions and media and their broad-based civil liberties.

Not surprisingly, Washington has never admitted its actual role in the coup itself. According to a national security source, the Chilean Navy had coordinated with the US armada to hold maneuvers off the coast at precisely the time planned for their putsch. US military spy ships intercepted communiqués from Chilean military bases and forwarded them to the tyrants. The mutinous general and admirals would then be able to send sufficient force to repress those units whose messages indicated loyalty to the elected government, and thus avoid civil war.

Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted in April of 2003 that it is not a part of American history that we're proud of. Powell attributed the US role in the destabilization of Chile from 1970-73 (some of which is documented in Volume 7 of the 1975 Church Senate Select Committee report on US Intelligence) to the Cold War. This refers to Allende's political sin of allowing the Chilean Communist Party as one of the five political groupings inside his Popular Unity coalition.

In fact, for over a century, US policy makers have consistently plotted to overthrow disobedient regimes like Allende's socialist coalition in Chile. US forces occupied Nicaragua and Haiti for some 20 years each in the early 20th Century after tossing out governments in those countries that refused insufficient obeisance to Washington. Similarly, in Cuba under the terms of the US-imposed Platt Amendment, American forces occupied that island on several occasions (1906-9, 1912 and 1917-22).

Between 1900 and 1910, US troops went into Colombia, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Panama, mainly to put down revolutionary movements. These troop landings refer only to military actions in this hemisphere. During the same decade, Presidents deployed US troops in China (1900), Syria (1903), Korea (1904-5) and Morocco (1904).

But the 1973 Chile coup took the proverbial cake for blatant imperial illegality. Just days after Allende's September 1970 electoral victory, Secretary of State Kissinger and President Nixon plotted in the Oval Office to correct the destiny of Chileans who had foolishly elected the wrong man as president. For three years following Allende's electoral triumph, the CIA plotted violence, economic sabotage and psychological warfare against his government because it did not fall into line behind Washington dictates: not allow Communists to enter a government; not expropriate, even with compensation, US property; follow free market economics; eschew all relations with Castro's Cuba and never vote against the United States in any international forum.

As then CIA Director Richard Helms testified to the Church Committee, Nixon wanted a major effort to prevent Allende's accession to power. Nixon also ordered, as Helms' notes indicate, that Chile's economy should be squeezed until it screamed.

The CIA failed to stop Allende's inauguration, although in October 1970 it hired mercenaries to assassinate Chile's Army Chief General Rene Schneider since he opposed a military coup.
Nixon and Kissinger intended to save Chile, as they told Helms, meaning that they saw the elected socialist and quintessential Parliamentarian, Allende, as no different from the Soviet Communists. Although Moscow gave no significant aid to Allende, the Nixon-Kissinger ideological dogma nevertheless proved sufficient to motivate the CIA in its course of coup-fomenting or outright terrorism.

Did a memory lapse lead George W. Bush to nominate the terrorist Kissinger who withdrew his name some days later -- to investigate the 9/11/01 terrorism, or did some White House savant think that since Kissinger was a real-life practicing terrorist, he would have the kind of knowledge and experience to lead a probe in the subject?

Indeed, refer again to CIA Chief Helms' notes taken from his September 1970 conversation in the Oval Office with Nixon and Kissinger where he received his orders to overthrow the government of Chile. Not concerned risks involved, Helms had written. $10,000,000 available, more if necessary. A similar conversation could have taken place somewhere in Saudi Arabia two years before 9/11/01, with Osama bin Laden talking with his fiends about risks and costs involved for hijacking jumbo jets and flying them into the twin towers and Pentagon.

Suppose, I ask myself, I had lost my father or brother in the Moneda Palace in 1973! You can't sue Kissinger or even pursue justice abroad. US military and political officials, Bush insists, must retain immunity from prosecution outside the United States, thus protecting the terrorists in his Administration and those violent ghosts from regimes past.

In this very born-again nation, with people making pilgrimages to the recently removed Ten Commandments monument in Alabama and piety dripping from the fundamentalist lips of the political leaders, it seems odd that few can remember the words that follow the opening phrase of the Christian adage: Do unto others.

Video courtesy Google videos.
Excerpts from zmag.org.

I hate Latinos

Accounting for about 15% of all Americans, the 42-million Latinos living in the United States are the largest growing population group in the country. However, despite this growth, their contributions to the American society, sports, culture, media, business, and politics remain increasingly significant. Ever wondered what they get in return from the so-called “elite” White society? Here’s an excerpt from a post made on the subject on a popular web-forum:

The word "hate" implies passion and fervid emotion towards the object it is pointed to. I don't "hate" Hispanics. I do, however, feel disdain. I lived in South Texas (a.k.a. little Mexico) and was a productive, tax-paying citizen. It was so nice to see Mexicans (which you are) at the store pulling out their Lonestar Card (food stamps) from their Gucci purse, dressed up like sluts for their husbands (that were probably out with "their" mistresses at the time). They (the Mexican trash) abused the government system, took advantage of our health care system by getting it for free (while I paid insurance premiums to see my doctor and paid for my medicines), lived in Section 8 housing for literally dollars a month (while I paid hard-earned money, a lot, to live comfortably in my home) to spit out a child a year from their womb for me to pay for as well.

You are proud of your heritage? Your kind is bringing down our standard of living to your low level. Middle class America is dwindling down to near non-existence thanks to you and your breed. How can I make a better living for myself and my children when I am too busy paying for benefits for "your" people? The argument that white people use Medicaid and food stamps is true. They do. I've seen it with my own two eyes and those people make me ashamed. Why? They're usually hand in hand with Negroes and Mexicans or they've got a half-breed child in a stroller, complete with a gold bracelet around its dimpled wrist.

Go back to Mexico, love your culture there. Or at least, from what I've seen, revel in the lack of pride in your culture and go try to earn a dollar doing nothing or selling what you've stolen from someone else. THAT's the real Mexican.

And here’s a Latino’s response to the above racial slur:

Oh no, I am not cool with that slut comment at all. I see women of all races dress like sluts, which does not include me. You talk about Mexican trash, but it'd be just as easy to talk about white trash. Have I started talking like that? No. My family (and me included) worked very hard to get to where we are, and your stereotypes don't help one bit. What do you mean about the 'real Mexican' being a criminal low-life? We're typically law-abiding. People can't do anything about the racial background that they're born into. What would you have done if you were born Mexican? Do you think that God asks people what they want to be before they're born? No, He doesn't. We just are what we are. What am I? American, all the way. I'm studying to be an RN, by the way, and I am earning As and Bs in my classes. You know that we're not going to be expelled from America, and that there won't be a race war. How are we affecting your standard of living? You get what you work for, and I don't support giveaways for lazy parasites either. Most Mexicans (a.k.a., Mexican Americans) are hard working people that deserve respect.

Are we really living in a free world? Is this the same land which was discovered and colonized by immigrants in a steady process spanning several centuries? Is this not a nation built by the illegal immigrants from Europe over the graves of millions of native Indians? Are we supposed to be the unofficial protectors of liberty and democracy in the whole world? Or are we just another society of double-standard hypocrites? Think again.

Cited from: StormFront.org.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

L. A. stands for Los Angeles: What does Los Angeles stand for?

Contrary to the popular belief that the original name of Los Angeles was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciuncula, scholars have determined from official documents of Governor de Neve, Commandant General de la Croix and Viceroy Bucareli that the settlement was simply named El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Ángeles.

In the late 18th Century, Felipe de Neve, Spanish Governor of California, established a pueblo along the River Los Ángeles north of the Mission San Gabriel to counter encroachments by Russia in the north and Britain from the sea. The pueblo would also help to supply rations to Spain’s military garrisons (presidios) in California. The site Governor de Neve had in mind was a site earlier commended by Father Juan Crespi, a Franciscan priest who, more than a decade earlier, accompanied the Gaspar de Portola expedition - first European land expedition through California.

Before the recruitment of settlers even began, Governor de Neve immediately went to work drawing up detailed plans for the new pueblo. The efforts to recruit settlers, however, were much more challenging. Despite incentives of money, land and livestock, it was difficult to find promising and willing candidates. At the time, what we today know today as Southern California was remote and desolate – not the sort of opportunity most people considered attractive. Rumors circulated, somewhat truthful, that soldiers serving in the region did not get paid. Furthermore, getting there was arduous and dangerous. Yet months of searching that extended into Sonora, Sinaloa and Culiacan eventually led to the recruitment of twelve families.

From about August through September 1781, Governor de Neve, the settlers (11 men, 11 women and 22 children - one family never made it to Los Angeles), along with soldiers, mission priests and a few Indians, set out for the last leg of the journey to arrive at the site of the new pueblo alongside the Los Ángeles River. Governor de Neve recorded the date, September 4, 1781, as the official date of establishment of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Ángeles or Los Angeles.

Though, some other, unverifiable sources misquote the full name as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciuncula, which is wrong. However, here's what it actually means:

El Pueblo The town

de of

Nuestra Señora Our Lady

la Reina the Queen

de Los Ángeles of the Angels

de Porciuncula of (River) Porciuncula

Governor de Neve’s statue stands today in the Plaza of Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Source: Mexican Los Ángeles by Antonio Rios Bustamante, Floricanto Press, 1992.

Tapas: The Latino answer to dim sum

The original tapas were the slices of bread that sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. But soon, enterprising bartenders were putting small snacks on the bread, and the lowly tapa (tapar: to cover) became as important as the sherry.

Tapas is a generic name for a wide variety of appetizers in Latino cuisine. In southern Spain, they come mostly to accompany a drink before lunch or dinner. Mostly, tapas come warm such as puntillitas (Andalusian battered, fried baby squid). Others are cold, such as mixed olives and cheese.

Tapas evolved over time to incorporate ingredients and influences from many different cultures and countries. Olives were brought into the east coast by the Roman invaders. Later, they were introduced to the south by the Moors in the 8th century, along with almonds, citrus fruits and fragrant spices. The Moorish influence remains today, especially in Andalusia. The discovery of the New World brought in tomatoes, sweet and chili peppers (capsicums), corn, beans and potatoes. These were readily accepted and easily grown in Spain's micro-climates.

In Spain, dinner is usually served between 9 and 11 in the night (sometimes as late as midnight!), leaving significant time between work and dinner. Therefore, Spaniards often go bar hopping (Spanish: Ir de tapas) and eat tapas. Since lunch is usually served between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, another common time for tapas is weekend days around noon as a means of socializing before lunch at home.

It is very common for a bar or a small local restaurant to have 8 to 12 different kinds of tapas in warming trays with glass partitions covering the food. They are often very strongly flavored with garlic, chilies or paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, saffron and sometimes in a lot of olive oil. Often, one or more of the choices is seafood (mariscos), often including anchovies, sardines or mackerel in olive oil, squid or others in a tomato based sauce, sometimes with the addition of red or green peppers or other seasoning. It is rare to see a tapas selection not include one or more types of olives, such as manzanilla or arbequina olives. One or more types of bread are usually available to eat with any of the sauce-based tapas.

In the northern Spanish city of León, in Asturias, in Extremadura, and in parts of Andalusia, you get a free tapa when you order a drink. This happens mostly in the province of Jaén, Granada, Almería, but it is not very common in the rest of Andalusia. Sometimes, especially in Northern Spain, they're also called pinchos (spelled pintxos in Basque) in the Basque Country and in some provinces like Salamanca. They're called that because many of them have a pincho (toothpick) through them. The toothpick is used to keep whatever the snack is made of from falling off the bread it has been attached to and to track the number of tapas eaten. Differently priced tapas have different shape or size toothpicks. Tapa price ranges from €1.00 to €1.50. Another name for them is banderillas (diminutive of bandera, flag), in part because some of them resemble the colorful skewers used in bullfighting.

In Andalusia, tapas can be upgraded to bigger portions, equivalent to half a dish (media ración) or a whole one (ración). This is generally more economical when a tapa is being ordered by more than one person. The portions are usually shared by diners, and a meal made up of raciones resembles a Middle Eastern mezze or Chinese dim sum.


Aceitunas Olives

Albóndigas Meatballs

Allioli Meaning Garlic and oil in Catalan, a very strong garlic paste.
The classic ingredients are only garlic, oil and salt, but the common form of it is Mayonnaise and garlic. Served on bread or with potatoes, fish, meat or grilled vegetables.

Calamares Rings of battered squid.

Carne mechada.

Cojonuda (Superb female) It is a kind of pincho. It consists of a slice of Spanish morcilla with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread. It is very common to see it in Burgos because Spanish morcilla is also called morcilla de Burgos.

Cojonudo (Superb male) It is a kind of pincho. It consists of a slice of Spanish chorizo with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread.

Chorizo al vino This is Chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine.

Croquetas These are a common sight on bar counters and in homes across Spain, served as a tapa, light lunch, or a dinner along with a salad.

Ensaladilla rusa Mixed boiled vegetables with tuna, olives and mayonnaise.

Gambas Prawns sauteed in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers).

Pincho moruno A spicy kebab-like stick, made of pork or chicken meat. Its name means Moorish Stick.

Patatas bravas Fried potato dices (sometimes part-boiled and then fried, or simply boiled) served with salsa brava, a spicy tomato sauce. Alioli is often served with it too.

Puntillitas Battered and fried baby squid.

Queso con anchoas A cheese preparation; Castilla or Manchego cured cheese with anchovies on top.

Rajo Pork meat seasoned with garlic and parsley. A variety with added paprika is called Zorza.

Solomillo a la castellana Fried pork scallops, served with an onion and/or Cabrales cheese sauce

Solomillo al whisky, or al güisqui Fried pork scallops, marinated using whisky, brandy or white wine and olive oil.

Tortilla de patatas This is also known as Tortilla española. It's a type of omelette containing fried chunks of potatoes and sometimes onion. A variety containing vegetables and chorizo (similar to frittata) is known as Tortilla paisana.

Tortillitas de camarones Battered-prawn fritters.

Tigres In Bilbao, these stuffed mussels are called tigres (tigers) because of their fieriness.