March 20, 2017

Issue 01 – January 2009

By In Volume 6 2009

Recommended Reads

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

 

The End of the 19th Century
By Eric Larsen


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Imposing lyrical epic about a Midwestern family’s journey through time and space.

Up Close: A Mother’s View
By Fiona Yaron-Field


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
A touching and meditative memoir of a mother and her disabled daughter told through pictures and commentary.

Secrets Revealed
By Sheshena Pledger


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Gritty crime noir tale about a notorious crime family’s feud with its biggest rival.

A Case of Wild Justice
By Yvonne Jerrold


www.yvonnejerrold.com
(Fiction)
An intriguing story about a group of senior citizens who fight back against crime and vandalism in their neighborhood by becoming human booby traps.

What Can We Do Next? The
Adventures of Lexi and Lolly

By Toula Magi


www.ToulaMagi.com
(Fiction)
Delightful children’s story about the adventures of a little girl and her imaginary friend.

The Survivors
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced sci-fi adventure about the crew of a space cruiser that lands on a distant planet inhabited by savage humanoids.

Lizard’s Lair
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The novella prequel to the sci-fi adventure, The Survivors.

My Angels Are Come
By Art Stump


www.clumsyducks.com
(Nonfiction)
Insightful and candid day-to-day journal of how the author dealt with and survived prostate cancer.

Ghost Tango
By Janeen Ledford


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Intriguing account of a female teacher in a male prison for violent felons.

The Declaration of White Independence: The Founding Documents of Transudationism
By Kyle McDermott


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Controversial examination of race, religion, and spiritual evolution.

Awaken and Arise!
By Arthur Earl Jones, Ph.D.


www.planetaryascension.net
(Autobiography)
Fascinating, mystical life journey devoted to spirituality, self-discovery and planetary ascension.

One Time in Paris
By Wade Stevenson


www.amazon.com
(Memoir)
&nbsp An engaging and passionate account of a young man’s adventures and romances in 1960s Paris.

The Eye of Icarus
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.publishersdrive.com
(Science Fiction)
Exciting story of an ambitious young officer who embarks on his first space mission that sets off a chain of events that not only changes his life but much of the universe
as well.

Prodigal of the Pecos
By C.E. Edmonson


www.pecosbooks.com
(Fiction)
Gritty Western tale about a man who returns home after many years to find the land of his birth embroiled in a bitter and deadly
land war.

Dolphins Under My Bed
By Sandra Clayton


www.dolphinsundermybed.com
(Nonfiction)
Inspirational memoir of how two baby boomers transform their lives by quitting their jobs and living on a sailboat.

Hermetica
By Paul Kiritsis


www.paulkiritsis.com
(Poetry)
Thought provoking collection of personal myths, legends, and poems centered on Egyptian and classical mythology.

Stolen Fields
By Jean Boggio


www.jeanboggio.com
(Nonfiction)
Riveting account of a family that held out against the government’s eminent domain takeover of their farm and how it shattered their American Dream.

Eleven Roses

By Alexander Hernandez
www.myspace.com/elevenroses
(Fiction)
Passion-filled story about a high-powered attorney who is forced to make a decision between a successful career and the woman
he loves.

What the Hell Is a Liberal?

By David Truskoff
www.erols.com/suttonbear
(Nonfiction)
Hard-hitting and insightful assortment of progressive essays and observations about politics and life.

The Trail

By Natalia Prentice
www.natalia-prentice.com/buy.html
(Fiction)
Thrilling, fast-paced tale about a young financial journalist who leaves Wall Street only to get sucked into a web of violence and intrigue set up by the world’s wealthiest power brokers.

The Shadow Factory
By Paul West


lumenbooks@earthlink.net
(Memoir)
An illuminating account of a stroke victim’s experience with global aphasia told through the perception of his own aphasic mind.

Soaring Soul
By Sonja D. Szimon


www.RaiderPublishing.com
(Nonfiction)
Personal meditation on life’s meaning and attaining spiritual perfection.

A Cross Estate
By William Thomas Kinsella


www.publishamerica.com
(Fiction)
Heartfelt story of a young man who follows his parents’ wishes instead of his own dreams, which lead him to the Twin Towers and 9/11.  Read Review

 

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.

 

Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.

 

Links For Independent Writers & Publishers

• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers
• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers
• Press Release Services: Submit Press Release, Online Distribution Services.
• LitPitch: Place to read books online for free and for authors to pitch book ideas and get feedback.
• Bookwired.com: Author/reader resource for book reviews and news
• WriteLinks.com: Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Books-in-Print.com: Registry of electronic publications
• Bowker.com: Major book and publishing data
• PubEasy.com: E-commerce site for global bookselling
• Published.com: Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.
• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events
• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores
• Business.com: Site listing book distributors and wholesalers
• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers
• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony
• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features
• Book Sense.com: Family of bookseller Web sites
• Nospine.com: Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Bookcrossing.com: Global book club & reading group
• Newradiance.com: Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

 

Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• MoveOn.org: Influential democracy in action group
• The Nation.com: “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Op/EdNews.com: “Progressive news and essays.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• Buzzflash.com: Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications
• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.
• Brad Blog: Up-to-date progressive news & opinions.
• Radio Power Network: Listener supported, independent radio streaming progressive music and culture from around the world.
• NPR.org: National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Paine.com: Alternative news and essays
• Mother Jones.com: Alternative and environmental news
• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics
• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues
• TvNewsLies.org: A compendium of TV news lies
• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America
• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media
• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information
• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism
• PFAW.org: People for the American Way

 

 

 

Afghanistan, Another
Untold Story

By Michael Parenti

Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan. Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something about recent Afghani history and the role played by the United States.

Less than a month after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, US leaders began an all-out aerial assault upon Afghanistan, the country purportedly harboring Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist organization. More than twenty years earlier, in 1980, the United States intervened to stop a Soviet “invasion” of that country. Even some leading progressive writers, who normally take a more critical view of US policy abroad, treated the US intervention against the Soviet-supported government as “a good thing.” The actual story is not such a good thing.

Some Real History
Since feudal times the landholding system in Afghanistan had remained unchanged, with more than 75 percent of the land owned by big landlords who comprised only 3 percent of the rural population. In the mid-1960s, democratic revolutionary elements coalesced to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 1973, the king was deposed, but the government that replaced him proved to be autocratic, corrupt, and unpopular. It in turn was forced out in 1978 after a massive demonstration in front of the presidential palace, and after the army intervened on the side of the demonstrators.

The military officers who took charge invited the PDP to form a new government under the leadership of Noor Mohammed Taraki, a poet and novelist. This is how a Marxist-led coalition of national democratic forces came into office. “It was a totally indigenous happening. Not even the CIA blamed the USSR for it,” writes John Ryan, a retired professor at the University of Winnipeg, who was conducting an agricultural research project in Afghanistan at about that time.

The Taraki government proceeded to legalize labor unions, and set up a minimum wage, a progressive income tax, a literacy campaign, and programs that gave ordinary people greater access to health care, housing, and public sanitation. Fledgling peasant cooperatives were started and price reductions on some key foods were imposed.

The government also continued a campaign begun by the king to emancipate women from their age-old tribal bondage. It provided public education for girls and for the children of various tribes.

A report in the San Francisco Chronicle (17 November 2001) noted that under the Taraki regime Kabul had been “a cosmopolitan city. Artists and hippies flocked to the capital. Women studied agriculture, engineering and business at the city’s university. Afghan women held government jobs–in the 1980s, there were seven female members of parliament. Women drove cars, traveled and went on dates. Fifty percent of university students were women.”

The Taraki government moved to eradicate the cultivation of opium poppy. Until then Afghanistan had been producing more than 70 percent of the opium needed for the world’s heroin supply. The government also abolished all debts owed by farmers, and began developing a major land reform program. Ryan believes that it was a “genuinely popular government and people looked forward to the future with great hope.”

But serious opposition arose from several quarters. The feudal landlords opposed the land reform program that infringed on their holdings. And tribesmen and fundamentalist mullahs vehemently opposed the government’s dedication to gender equality and the education of women and children.

Because of its egalitarian and collectivist economic policies the Taraki government also incurred the opposition of the US national security state. Almost immediately after the PDP coalition came to power, the CIA, assisted by Saudi and Pakistani military, launched a large scale intervention into Afghanistan on the side of the ousted feudal lords, reactionary tribal chieftains, mullahs, and opium traffickers.

A top official within the Taraki government was Hafizulla Amin, believed by many to have been recruited by the CIA during the several years he spent in the United States as a student. In September 1979, Amin seized state power in an armed coup. He executed Taraki, halted the reforms, and murdered, jailed, or exiled thousands of Taraki supporters as he moved toward establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state. But within two months, he was overthrown by PDP remnants including elements within the military.

It should be noted that all this happened before the Soviet military intervention. National security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski publicly admitted–months before Soviet troops entered the country–that the Carter administration was providing huge sums to Muslim extremists to subvert the reformist government. Part of that effort involved brutal attacks by the CIA-backed mujahideen against schools and teachers in rural areas.

In late 1979, the seriously besieged PDP government asked Moscow to send a contingent of troops to help ward off the mujahideen (Islamic guerrilla fighters) and foreign mercenaries, all recruited, financed, and well-armed by the CIA. The Soviets already had been sending aid for projects in mining, education, agriculture, and public health. Deploying troops represented a commitment of a more serious and politically dangerous sort. It took repeated requests from Kabul before Moscow agreed to intervene militarily.

Jihad and Taliban, CIA Style
The Soviet intervention was a golden opportunity for the CIA to transform the tribal resistance into a holy war, an Islamic jihad to expel the godless communists from Afghanistan. Over the years the United States and Saudi Arabia expended about $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan. The CIA and its allies recruited, supplied, and trained almost 100,000 radical mujahideen from forty Muslim countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself. Among those who answered the call was Saudi-born millionaire right-winger Osama bin Laden and his cohorts.

After a long and unsuccessful war, the Soviets evacuated the country in February 1989. It is generally thought that the PDP Marxist government collapsed immediately after the Soviet departure. Actually, it retained enough popular support to fight on for another three years, outlasting the Soviet Union itself by a year.

Upon taking over Afghanistan, the mujahideen fell to fighting among themselves. They ravaged the cities, terrorized civilian populations, looted, staged mass executions, closed schools, raped thousands of women and girls, and reduced half of Kabul to rubble. In 2001 Amnesty International reported that the mujahideen used sexual assault as “a method of intimidating vanquished populations and rewarding soldiers.'”

Ruling the country gangster-style and looking for lucrative sources of income, the tribes ordered farmers to plant opium poppy. The Pakistani ISI, a close junior partner to the CIA, set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA’s arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland became the biggest producer of heroin in the world.

Largely created and funded by the CIA, the mujahideen mercenaries now took on a life of their own. Hundreds of them returned home to Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir to carry on terrorist attacks in Allah’s name against the purveyors of secular “corruption.”

In Afghanistan itself, by 1995 an extremist strain of Sunni Islam called the Taliban—heavily funded and advised by the ISI and the CIA and with the support of Islamic political parties in Pakistan—fought its way to power, taking over most of the country, luring many tribal chiefs into its fold with threats and bribes.

The Taliban promised to end the factional fighting and banditry that was the mujahideen trademark. Suspected murderers and spies were executed monthly in the sports stadium, and those accused of thievery had the offending hand sliced off. The Taliban condemned forms of “immorality” that included premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality. They also outlawed all music, theater, libraries, literature, secular education, and much scientific research.

The Taliban unleashed a religious reign of terror, imposing an even stricter interpretation of Muslim law than used by most of the Kabul clergy. All men were required to wear untrimmed beards and women had to wear the burqa which covered them from head to toe, including their faces. Persons who were slow to comply were dealt swift and severe punishment by the Ministry of Virtue. A woman who fled an abusive home or charged spousal abuse would herself be severely whipped by the theocratic authorities. Women were outlawed from social life, deprived of most forms of medical care, barred from all levels of education, and any opportunity to work outside the home. Women who were deemed “immoral” were stoned to death or buried alive.

None of this was of much concern to leaders in Washington who got along famously with the Taliban. As recently as 1999, the US government was paying the entire annual salary of every single Taliban government official. Not until October 2001, when President George W. Bush had to rally public opinion behind his bombing campaign in Afghanistan did he denounce the Taliban’s oppression of women. His wife, Laura Bush, emerged overnight as a full-blown feminist to deliver a public address detailing some of the abuses committed against Afghan women.

If anything positive can be said about the Taliban, it is that they did put a stop to much of the looting, raping, and random killings that the mujahideen had practiced on a regular basis. In 2000 Taliban authorities also eradicated the cultivation of opium poppy throughout the areas under their control, an effort judged by the United Nations International Drug Control Program to have been nearly totally successful. With the Taliban overthrown and a Western-selected mujahideen government reinstalled in Kabul by December 2001, opium poppy production in Afghanistan increased dramatically.

The years of war that have followed have taken tens of thousands of Afghani lives. Along with those killed by Cruise missiles, Stealth bombers, Tomahawks, daisy cutters, and land mines are those who continue to die of hunger, cold, lack of shelter, and lack of water.

The Holy Crusade for Oil and Gas
While claiming to be fighting terrorism, US leaders have found other compelling but less advertised reasons for plunging deeper into Afghanistan. The Central Asian region is rich in oil and gas reserves. A decade before 9/11, Time magazine (18 March 1991) reported that US policy elites were contemplating a military presence in Central Asia. The discovery of vast oil and gas reserves in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan provided the lure, while the dissolution of the USSR removed the one major barrier against pursuing an aggressive interventionist policy in that part of the world. Read More

Featured Book

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Controversial political thriller about a band of democratic rebels and their attempt to overthrow the corporate fascist shadow government in the USA…Read Reviews

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Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2008)

OR Book of the year 2008

 

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The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
By Vincent Bugliosi


A powerful and convincing case against George W. Bush and his inner circle of advisors for the murder of over 4,0000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2008)

OR Book of the Year 2008

 

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The Naked Earth
By Jonathan Adam DeCoteau


Exciting and insightful story about an Iraqi-American photographer who seeks redemption after he commits a brutal crime against his fellow man in Basra.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2007)

OR Book of the year 2007

 

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Fooled Again
By Mark Crispin Miller


Every American should read this well-documented and comprehensive account of the nationwide election fraud that handed George W. Bush a second presidential election.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2007)

OR Book of the Year 2007

 

amazon.com
Dream of the Dragon Pool
A Daoist Quest

By Albert A. Dalia


An unforgettable tale about China’s best-loved poet-adventurer that blends magic, myth, and occult powers with
fast-paced action.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2006)

OR Book of the year 2006

 

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Your Daily Walk with the Great
Minds of the Past and Present

By Richard A. Singer Jr.


A terrific inspirational guide to personal transformation and spiritual development that uses quotes of famous people and insightful advice for every day of the year.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2006)

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Hollywood and Sunset
By Luke Salisbury


Witty and well written story about a writer from the East who takes a life-altering tour of 1916 Hollywood– in the company of D.W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, and Howard Gaye, an actor who likes to dress up as Jesus Christ.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2005)

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Bush on the Couch
By Justin A. Frank, M.D.


A compelling and insightful look into George W. Bush’s psyche, and how his deep-seeded fears, insecurities, and megalomania have undermined the safety of our country.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2005)

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Clearing Customs
By Martha Egan


A sinister, yet amusing tale of an ex-hippie owner of a small, struggling Latin American imports store who joins with her friends to fight corrupt custom officials whose harassment threatens to put her out of business.

 

Books of the Year
(Nonfiction 2004)

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The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti


Award-winning author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion of the people.

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The War on Freedom
By Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed


Riveting and well-researched expose of how and why America was attacked on 9/11, including information about faked terrorism and mass media manipulation by the Bush administration.

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Crossing the Rubicon
By Michael Ruppert


Hard-hitting, iconoclastic editor/publisher of “From the Wilderness” strips the power elite to the bone and takes a shocking look at the decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil.

 

Books of the Year
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Candle in a Dark Time
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Compelling, emotionally charged story of how a Danish woman risks her life to save Jews from Nazis during World War II.

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My Life: A Story
By Jesus Christ

By Christopher Miller


Innovative and provocative story of the life of Jesus Christ told as a first person narrative.

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The Others at Monticello
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Award-winning historical novel that explores the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slaves, especially Sally Hemings and her children.

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