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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:11 AM
Original message
Argentina remembers terrorist attack.
Monday, 19 July 2004

Monday, 19 July

Argentina remembers terrorist attack.

Thousands of people gathered this Sunday in downtown Buenos Aires to remember the tenth anniversary of the 1994 bombing of an Argentine Jewish community center, AMIA, that killed 85 and left 360 maimed or injured

Argentine president Nestor Kirchner and First Lady Senator Cristina Fernndez together with several cabinet ministers were among the crowd that assembled in the same place where a new AMIA building stands in the heart of Buenos Aires Jewish quarter.

The ceremony was conducted by members of the Argentine Jewish community and a delegation from the American Jewish Congress that came for the commemoration.

Jewish organizations and next of kin of the victims asked President Kirchner to insist with the investigation of the bloody attack that remains unsolved. They also accused former president Carlos Menem (1989-1999), Argentinas intelligence service (SIDE) and former Federal Judge Juan Jose Galeano who had the case, for involvement in judicial irregularities including paybacks and cover up operations.


10th anniversary of Jewish center blast marked by anger over probe

By Daniel A. Grech
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Published on: 07/18/04

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina Echoing the bomb blast of precisely 10 years earlier, a siren sounded down the narrow streets of downtown Buenos Aires at 9:53 a.m. Sunday. And as with the terrorist attack, the sound was followed by sobs.

But Sunday's rally was not so much a commemoration of the 85 fallen in the AMIA Jewish community center bombing as a denunciation of the uncaught killers and those who allegedly let them get away.

Despite the suspected involvement of the extremist group Hezbollah in the blast, the principal target Sunday was Carlos Menem. The former Argentine president never held a Cabinet meeting to discuss the investigation and on the day of the blast sent condolences to Israel's prime minister, even though half of the victims were not Jewish.

The mere mention of Menem on Sunday prompted derisive whistles from the crowd, conservatively estimated at 8,000 people. "Menem the delinquent is the guilty one," Degtiar insisted.
(Free registration required)


Bushes connection to the corrupt previous Argentinian President, Carlos Menem:
Bush Friend Arrested for Illegal Arms Trafficking
by Ana Simo

JUNE 7, 2001. A long-time friend of former U.S. President George H. Bush was arrested today on charges of illegal arms trafficking. If found guilty, he could face a jail term of up to ten years. Only a phone call from the new Bush White House might spare him the indignity, he thinks. But the phones aren't ringing.

The friend in trouble is the former President of Argentina, Carlos Menem, a golfing partner and business benefactor of the elder Bush. He is suspected of having illegally sold 6,500 tons of arms to Croatia and Ecuador between 1991 and 1995, in violation of international arms embargoes. Menem, who was put under house arrest today by a Buenos Aires federal judge, said in his defense last weekend that the U.S. knew all about the arms sales.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher gave Menem the cold shoulder on Monday. He was unaware, he said, of any action by the U.S. government entailing approval or encouragement of Argentinean arms sales to Croatia. Given how profitable the Menem connection has been for the Bushes, one might imagine Boucher was frostily putting interests of state ahead of the Bush family, until you realize that, with a Bush in the White House, they are essentially one and the same.

In 1988, a few months before Menem was elected for his first term, George W. Bush, the then oilman son of a sitting U.S. President, had tried to pressure the administration of outgoing President Ral Alfonsn to favor Enron, the Houston-based company, over other, more qualified bidders to build a gas pipeline in Argentina. He was unsuccessful, but the Bushes hit it off with the high-rolling, big-spending Menem from the start. One of Menem's first acts as President was to give Enron a $300-million sweetheart deal on the pipeline project.


Bushes & Carlos Menem:
Don't Cry for Bush, Argentina
George W. may not recall the names of world leaders, but when it comes to foreign affairs, he knows the value of his own family's name.

By Louis Dubose and Carmen Coiro

Texans watched with interest last winter as Governor George W. Bush was home-schooled on international affairs by former Secretary of State George Shultz and other veterans of his father's foreign-policy team. Even Carl Bildt, the former prime minister of Sweden, was brought in for a tutorial at the governor's mansion, in the hope that his recent U.N. experience in the Balkans could help Bush understand that Kosovars are not "Kosavarians" and that Greeks are not "Grecians."

But no one had to prepare a prompt card to remind him who stepped down as president of Argentina in December. Shortly before Bush announced his own campaign for president, he had received a visit from Carlos Saul Menem, the right-wing leader of Argentina for the past decade. The two men retired to an Austin country club, where they were joined by Bush's father. Governor Bush had the flu, so he contented himself with riding along as the former president and Menem played a round of golf.

The capitol press corps trailed along, dutifully recording the governor's cordial relationship with a visiting head of state. Unknown to the assembled reporters, however, was the story of how Bush and his family became immersed in Argentine politics. The little-known tale begins with George W. making a phone call to secure a $300-million deal for a U.S. pipeline company -- a deal that provoked a political firestorm in Argentina, drawing scrutiny from legislators and a special prosecutor. The episode marked one of George W.'s first ventures into foreign affairs, demonstrating the fundamental rule by which the Texas governor and his family conduct business: Always know that the Bush name is a marketable commodity.

Bush first made his presence felt in Argentina in 1988, shortly after his father was elected president. At the time, the junior Bush's political career was just beginning -- and the political career of Ral Alfonsn, who was approaching the end of his term as president of Argentina, was ending. Alfonsn had returned his country to civilian rule, prosecuted those responsible for human rights abuses during Argentina's rule by a military junta, and struggled to manage an economy that seemed to defy management. Determined to complete one major private-sector industrial program, he pushed for the development of a "gasoducto" that would connect Argentine gas fields with domestic and foreign markets. And he appointed his minister of public works, Rodolfo Terragno, to oversee the pipeline project.

Bush, Menem

comment | Posted January 17, 2002

Enron and the Bushes
by David Corn

When George W. Bush was first running for governor of Texas, Washington editor David Corn took a look at Bush family activities on behalf of Enron in Argentina--itself now suffering the results of untamed financial markets. We reprint this November 21, 1994, article to show how Enron's connections with the Bushes stretch not just to Washington but around the world.
--The Editors

It was then, Terragno says, that he received the unexpected call from George W. Bush, who introduced himself as the son of the Vice President. (The elder Bush was then campaigning for the presidency.) George W., Terragno maintains, told the minister that he was keen to have Argentina proceed with the pipeline, especially if it signed Enron for the deal. "He tried to exert some influence to get that project for Enron," Terragno asserts. "He assumed that the fact he was the son of the President would exert influence.... I felt pressured. It was not proper for him to make that kind of call."

George W. did not detail his relationship with the pipeline project or with Enron, according to Terragno. The Argentine did not know that Enron and the Bush set are cozy. President Bush is an old friend of Kenneth Lay, Enron head for the past ten years and a major fundraiser for President Bush. After the 1992 election left Secretary of State (and Bush pal) James Baker jobless, he signed as a consultant for Enron. An article by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker last year disclosed that Neil Bush, another presidential son (the one cited by federal regulators for conflict-of-interest violations regarding a failed savings and loan), had attempted to do business with Enron in Kuwait. The Enron company and the family of its top officers have donated at least $100,000 to George W. Bush's gubernatorial campaign.

Shortly after Terragno's conversation with George W., more Bush-related pressure descended on him, the former minister claims. Terragno says he was paid a visit by the US Ambassador to Argentina, Theodore Gildred. A wealthy California developer appointed ambassador by President Reagan, Gildred was always pushing Terragno to do business with US companies. This occasion, Terragno notes, was slightly different, for Gildred cited George W. Bush's support for the Enron project as one reason Terragno should back it. "It was a subtle, vague message," Terragno says, "that could help us with our relationship to the United States."

Terragno did not OK the project, and the Alfonsn administration came to an end in 1989. Enron was luckier with the next one. The pipeline was approved by the administration of President Carlos Sal Menem, leader of the Peronist Party and a friend of President Bush. (The day after Menem was inaugurated, Neil Bush played a highly publicized game of tennis in Buenos Aires with Menem.) Argentine legislators complained that Menem cleared the pipeline project for development before economic feasibility studies were prepared.


Bush Praises Sun Myung Moon as 'Man of Vision'
07:10 Nov 25, 1996 EST
(Reuter) -

Bush was staying at Argentine President Carlos Menem's official Olivos residence, and there was a place reserved at the top table for Menem. But Menem, who met Moon secretly last year, snubbed him this time on the advice of foreign policy and religious policy aides.

El ex presidente argentino Carlos Menem y la ex Miss Universo chilena Cecilia Bolocco contrajeron matrimonio en una ceremonia realizada en la nortea ciudad argentina de La Rioja. La pareja se cas en la residencia del gobernador de la provincia de La Rioja, bajo una carpa que alberg a casi 200 invitados a la boda, entre ellos dirigentes polticos cercanos al ex mandatario, adems de familiares.
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SheBop Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's just amazing to me
that it has been 10 years.

Time flies and all that ...

The balance of your articles only show how little Jewish lives mean anywhere in the world. I'm sorry the 10th anniversary news item couldn't have just stood alone ... with the others in a separate thread.

Thank you, anyway, for the sad reminder.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. A sad day, indeed.
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