Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ira Chernus:Democrat Candidates Support Indefinite Occupation of Iraq

This is an important article documenting the nearly unanimous Democratic candidates' position supporting Bush's policy of an indefinite continuation of the destruction of Iraq (and the US), and promoting instability, chaos and massive suffering in the Middle East.

Here's a critical paragraph from the Chernus article below:

So whatever "leave Iraq" might mean, no candidate of either party likely to enter the White House on January 20, 2009 can think it means letting Iraqis determine their own national policies or fate. The powers that be just wouldn't stand for that. They see themselves as the guardians of world "order." They feel a sacred obligation to maintain "stability" throughout the imperial domains, which now means most of planet Earth -- regardless of what voters may think. The Democratic front-runners know that "order" and "stability" are code words for American hegemony. They also know that voters, especially Democratic ones, see the price of hegemony in Iraq and just don't want to pay it anymore.

OK, class, what's Ira Chernus leaving out?
That's right, the theme that can't be spoken in this context: Israel's interest in dominating the Middle East by destroying the possibility of civil life and democracy in neighboring Arab and Muslim countries in order to demonize them as enemies and supporters of terrorism.
And since such realities are not allowed to be spoken (and in this case --apparently thought) many in the Left fall back on the empty, contentless theory of Empire and Imperialism. Empty, among other things, because it leaves out the mad Bush-Cheney agenda of destabilization, destruction and suffering everywhere. Why else would they continue to threaten an attack against Iran? Look at what they are doing and have done to Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, the US. How long are we going to keep up the schizophrenia of attributing all this purposeful destruction to an "endless series of miscalculations"?

A personal note. On July 25th I had rotator cuff surgery on my shoulder and so I’m doing things one-handed for awhile.

What Are the Democratic Candidates Really Saying about Iraq ?

By Ira Chernus, Tomdispatch.com. Posted July 27, 2007.

A careful look at the leading Democratic candidates for president raises serious questions about the nature of the positions they are taking on the Iraq War.

Start with the simplest, most basic fudge. Newspapers and the TV news constantly report on various plans for the "withdrawal of American troops" from Iraq, when what's being proposed is the withdrawal of American "combat troops" or "combat brigades." This isn't a matter of splitting hairs; it's the difference between a plan for full-scale withdrawal and a plan to remain in Iraq in a different military form for the long term. American combat brigades only add up to perhaps half of the troops we presently have in that country.

There is, in fact, quite a gap between withdrawal from that embattled land and the withdrawal of some American troops, while many of the rest hunker down on the enormous, all-but-permanent military bases the Pentagon has built there over the last four years -- while defending the largest embassy on the planet, now nearing completion (amid the normal woes that seem to go with American construction and "reconstruction") in Baghdad's heavily fortified but distinctly insecure Green Zone. And yet, thanks to the carefully worded statements of leading Democratic (and Republican) politicians now criticizing the Bush administration, as well as generally terrible reporting in the mainstream media, most Americans who don't make it to the fine print or who don't wander widely on the political Internet, would have no way of knowing that withdrawal isn't withdrawal at all.

Ira Chernus, Tomdispatch regular and author of Monsters To Destroy, takes a careful look at the leading Democratic candidates for president and raises a few crucial, if largely unasked, questions about the nature of the positions they are taking on the Iraq War. -- Tomdispatch Editor, Tom Engelhardt

The Democrats' Iraqi Dilemma
Questions Unasked, Answers Never Volunteered by Ira Chernus

Pity the poor Democratic candidates for president, caught between Iraq and a hard place. Every day, more and more voters decide that we must end the war and set a date to start withdrawing our troops from Iraq. Most who will vote in the Democratic primaries concluded long ago that we must leave Iraq, and they are unlikely to let anyone who disagrees with them have the party's nomination in 2008.

But what does it mean to "leave Iraq"? Here's where most of the Democratic candidates come smack up against that hard place. There is a longstanding bipartisan consensus in the foreign-policy establishment that the U.S. must control every strategically valuable region of the world -- and none more so than the oil heartlands of the planet. That's been a hard-and-fast rule of the elite for some six decades now. No matter how hard the task may be, they demand that presidents be rock-hard enough to get the job done.

So whatever "leave Iraq" might mean, no candidate of either party likely to enter the White House on January 20, 2009 can think it means letting Iraqis determine their own national policies or fate. The powers that be just wouldn't stand for that. They see themselves as the guardians of world "order." They feel a sacred obligation to maintain "stability" throughout the imperial domains, which now means most of planet Earth -- regardless of what voters may think. The Democratic front-runners know that "order" and "stability" are code words for American hegemony. They also know that voters, especially Democratic ones, see the price of hegemony in Iraq and just don't want to pay it anymore.

So the Democratic front-runners must promise voters that they will end the war -- with not too many ideologically laden ifs, ands, or buts -- while they assure the foreign-policy establishment that they will never abandon the drive for hegemony in the Middle East (or anywhere else). In other words, the candidates have to be able to talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time.

No worries, it turns out. Fluency in doublespeak is a prime qualification for high political office. On Iraq, candidates Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson don't meet that test. They tell anyone and everyone that they want "all" U.S. troops out of Iraq, but they register only 1-4% in the polls and are generally ignored in the media. The Democrats currently topping the polls, on the other hand, are proving themselves eminently qualified in doublespeak.

Clinton: "We got it right, mostly, during the Cold War"

Hillary Clinton declares forthrightly: "It is time to begin ending this war. ... Start bringing home America's troops. ... within 90 days." Troops home: It sounds clear enough. But she is always careful to avoid the crucial word all. A few months ago she told an interviewer: "We have remaining vital national security interests in Iraq…. What we can do is to almost take a line sort of north of, between Baghdad and Kirkuk, and basically put our troops into that region." A senior Pentagon officer who has briefed Clinton told NPR commentator Ted Koppel that Clinton expects U.S. troops to be in Iraq when she ends her second term in 2017.

Why all these troops? We have "very real strategic national interests in this region," Clinton explains. "I will order specialized units to engage in narrow and targeted operations against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the region. They will also provide security for U.S. troops and personnel and train and equip Iraqi security services to keep order and promote stability." There would be U.S. forces to protect the Kurds and "our efforts must also involve a regional recommitment to success in Afghanistan." Perhaps that's why Clinton has proposed "that we expand the Army by 80,000 troops, that we move faster to expand the Special Forces."

Says her deputy campaign manager Bob Nash, "She'll be as tough as any Republican on our enemies." And on our friends, he might have added, if they don't shape up. At the Take Back America conference in June the candidate drew boos when she declared that "the American military has done its job. ... They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities. ... It is the Iraqi government which has failed." It's the old innocent-Americans-blame-the-foreigners ploy.

More importantly, it's the old tough-Americans-reward-friends-who-help-America ploy. We should start withdrawing some troops, Clinton says, "to make it clear to the Iraqis that ... we're going to look out for American interests, for the region's interests." If the Iraqi government is not "striving for sustainable stability. ... we'll consider providing aid to provincial governments and reliable non-governmental organizations that are making progress."

Clinton's message to the Iraqi leaders is clear: You had your chance to join "the international community," to get with the U.S. program, and to reap the same benefits as the leaders of other oil-rich nations -- but you blew it. So, now you can fend for yourselves while we look for new, more capable allies in Iraq and keep who-knows-how-many troops there to "protect our interests" -- and increase our global clout. The draw-down in Iraq, our signal that we've given up on the al-Maliki government, "will be a first step towards restoring Americans moral and strategic leadership in the world," Clinton swears.

"America must be the world's leader," she declared last month. "We must widen the scope of our strength by leading strong alliances which can apply military force when required." And, when necessary, cut off useless puppet governments that won't let their strings be pulled often enough.

Hillary is speaking to at least three audiences: the voters at home, the foreign-policy elite, and a global elite she would have to deal with as president. Her recent fierce criticism of the way President Bush has handled Iraq, like her somewhat muddled antiwar rhetoric, is meant as a message of reassurance to voters, but also to our elite -- and as a warning to foreigners: The next President Clinton will be tough on allies as well as foes, as tough as the old cold warriors. "We got it right, mostly, during the Cold War. ... Nothing is more urgent than for us to begin again to rebuild a bipartisan consensus," she said last year in a speech that cut right to the bottom line: "American foreign policy exists to maintain our security and serve our national interests." That's what the bipartisan consensus has always believed.

Obama and Edwards: Don't Tread on Us

That seems to be what Barack Obama, another loyal member of the foreign-policy establishment, believes too. "The single most important job of any president is to protect the American people," he affirmed in a major foreign-policy statement last April. But "the threats we face. ... can no longer be contained by borders and boundaries…. The security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people." That's why the U.S. must be the "leader of the free world." It's hard to find much difference on foreign policy between Clinton and Obama, except that Barack is more likely to dress up the imperial march of U.S. interests in such old-fashioned Cold War flourishes.

That delights neoconservative guru Robert Kagan, who summed up Obama's message succinctly: "His critique is not that we've meddled too much but that we haven't meddled enough. ... To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States." To control everything and everyone, he wants "the strongest, best-equipped military in the world. ... A 21st century military to stay on the offense." That, he says, will take at least 92,000 more soldiers and Marines -- precisely the number Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has recommended to President Bush.

Like Hillary, Barack would remove all "combat brigades" from Iraq, but keep U.S. troops there "for a more extended period of time" -- even "redeploy additional troops to Northern Iraq" -- to support the Kurds, train Iraqi forces, fight al Qaeda, "reassure allies in the Gulf," "send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria," and "prevent chaos in the wider region." "Most importantly, some of these troops could be redeployed to Afghanistan…. to stop Afghanistan from backsliding toward instability."

Barack also agrees with Hillary that the Iraqi government needs a good scolding "to pressure the Iraqi leadership to finally come to a political agreement between the warring factions that can create some sense of stability…. Only through this phased redeployment can we send a clear message to the Iraqi factions that the U.S. is not going to hold together this country indefinitely. ... No more coddling, no more equivocation."

But Obama offers a carrot as well as a stick to the Iraqis: "The redeployment could be temporarily suspended if the parties in Iraq reach an effective political arrangement that stabilizes the situation and they offer us a clear and compelling rationale for maintaining certain troop levels. ... The United States would not be maintaining pe rmanent military bases in Iraq." What, however, does "perma nent" mean when language is being used so subtly? It's a question that needs an answer, but no one asks it -- and no answer is volunteered.

John Edwards offers variations on the same themes. He wants a continuing U.S. troop presence "to prevent a genocide, deter a regional spillover of the civil war, and prevent an Al Qaeda safe haven." But he goes further than either Obama or Clinton in spelling out that we "will also need some presence in Baghdad, inside the Green Zone, to protect the American Embassy and other personnel."

Around the world, Edwards would use military force for "deterring and responding to aggressors, making sure that weak and failing states do not threaten our interests, and ... maintaining our strategic advantage against major competitor states that could do us harm and otherwise threaten our interests." His distinctive touch is to stress coordinated military and civilian efforts for "stabilizing states with weak governments. ... I would put stabilization first." "Stabilization" is yet another establishment code word for insuring U.S. control, as Edwards certainly knows. His ultimate aim, he says, is to ensure that the U.S. will "lead and shape the world."

Running for the Imperial Presidency

The top Democrats agree that we must leave significant numbers of U.S. troops in Iraq, not only for selfish reasons, but because we Americans are so altruistic. We want to prevent chaos and bring order and stabilization to that country -- as if U.S. troops were not already creating chaos and instability there every day. But among the foreign policy elite, the U.S. is always a force for order, "helping" naturally chaotic foreigners achieve "stability." For the elite, it's axiomatic that the global "stability" that keeps us secure and prosperous is also a boon for the people we "stabilize." For this to happen in Iraq, time must be bought with partial "withdrawal" plans. (It matters little how many foreigners we kill in the process, as long as U.S. casualties are reduced enough to appease public opinion at home.) This is not open to question; most of the time, it's not something that even crosses anyone's mind to question.

Well, perhaps it's time we started asking such questions. A lost war should be the occasion for a great public debate on the policies and the geopolitical assumptions that led to the war. Americans blew that opportunity after the Vietnam War. Instead of a genuine debate, we had a few years of apathy, verging on amnesia, toward foreign affairs followed by the Reagan revolution, whose disastrous effects in matters foreign (and domestic) still plague us. Now, we have another precious -- and preciously bought -- opportunity to raise fundamental issues about foreign policy. But in the mainstream, all we are getting is a false substitute for real public debate.

With an election looming, the Democrats portray themselves as the polar opposite of the Republicans. They blame the Iraq fiasco entirely on Bush and the neocons, conveniently overlooking all the support Bush got from the Democratic elite before his military venture went sour. They talk as if the only issue that matters is whether or not we begin to withdraw some troops from Iraq sometime next year. The media report this debate in excruciating detail, with no larger context at all. So most Americans think this is the only debate there is, or could be.

The other debate about Iraq -- the one that may matter more in the long run -- is the one going on in the private chambers of the policymakers about what messages they should send, not so much to enemies as to allies. Bush, Cheney, and their supporters say the most important message is a reassuring one: "When the U.S. starts a fight, it stays in until it wins. You can count on us." For key Democrats, including congressional leaders and major candidates for the imperial Presidency, the primary message is a warning: "U.S. support for friendly governments and factions is not an open-ended blank check. If you are not producing, we'll find someone else who can."

The two sides are hashing this one out in a sometimes strident, sometimes relatively chummy manner. The outcome will undoubtedly make a real difference, especially to the people of Iraq, but it's still only a dispute about tactics, never about goals, which have been agreed upon in advance.

Yet it's those long-range goals of the bipartisan consensus that add up to the seven-decade-old drive for imperial hegemony, which got us into Vietnam, Iraq, and wherever we fight the next large, disastrous war. It's those goals that should be addressed. Someone has to question that drive. And what better moment to do it than now, in the midst of another failed war? Unfortunately, the leading Democratic candidates aren't about to take up the task. I guess it must be up to us.

Copyright 2007 Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of Monsters To Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin. He can be contacted at chernus@colorado.edu


Friday, July 20, 2007

Gary Leupp: Cheney the monster attacking Iran plus Bleier: Withdrawing from Iraq will not be so easy

Gary Leupp bravely and correctly calls out Cheney as "a crazed monster... inflicting incalculable suffering on the Middle East." Is Leupp suggesting that Cheney suffers from a pathological or sociopathic drive to inflict massive pain and suffering? If so, he's stating exactly my view. (The interesting question is to what extent do those who support the Iraq war qua war -- and not simply to support their party or their president -- suffer from the same pathology? I wonder if those who support the war to advance Israel's aims can be said to be doing so for more rational reasons, i.e., to advance their political aims, and thus are not necessarily sociopathic in quite the same way as are Bush and Cheney et al.)

I suspect Leupp is wrong to deem Bush a religious fanatic. I don't think so. Rather, Bush suffers from the same destructive pathology as Cheney. Bush is shrewd enough to understand that he needs people like Rove and Cheney in order to implement the destruction.

Leupp also bravely calls out the "horribly influential" AIPAC. The confusing part of his article comes when he suggests impeachment as a solution when it's the "horrifically influential," AIPAC that is preventing a withdrawal from Iraq, not to mention tamping down any spark of impeachment in Congress.

Speaking of withdrawal from Iraq which of course is necessary immediately, there's a problem today which we didn't face in the 1974 Vietnam withdrawal, and once again the problem is Israel on top of which sits the Bush-Cheney regime.

First, if it were possible to force Bush to oversee a withdrawal from Iraq during his constitutional term of office, he would do it with maximum pain to all sides, insuring an intensification of civil and sectarian strife, and an even more complete destruction of the infrastructure and of civil society and he would do what he could to ensure as much Israeli and quisling control as possible.

In a hint of how deeply problematical is our future, if either Hillary or Guiliani succeeds Bush in January 2009, they are both committed like Bush to an indefinite occupation of Iraq, nor is it clear which of the two would be less likely to start a war with Iran if that had not yet happened. Much the same if not exactly the same is the case with Obama or Edwards. The one thing I would give the Democrats is that they wouldn't necessarily INTEND the continued destruction of Iraq, but the result would be the same --similar to Truman's destruction of Korea, especially North Korea.



July 16, 2007

Impeachment or War?
Cheney Urges Bush to Strike Iran

"Cheney Pushes Bush to Act on Iran." That's the headline of a very frightening article by Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in the London Guardian. Sub-heads:

· Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out

· President 'not prepared to leave conflict unresolved'

What a nightmare Dick Cheney is visiting on our planet! Isn't it time we awaken to the fact that he's a crazed monster egging on a vain, cruel, delusional religious fanatic of a president as he inflicts incalculable suffering on the Middle East, sacrificing American blood and treasure in the process? Of course many of us have awakened to that fact, one reason why 54% of us want to see Cheney impeached. Yet he's still there, operating in his highly secretive fashion, gaining rather than losing influence according to MacAskill and Borger.

"The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months," they write. They cite a "well-placed source in Washington" as stating "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo." The source also states, "The balance has tilted [ towards the advocates of an attack on Iran]. There is cause for concern."

Surely that concern is felt among the highest ranks of the military as well as the average citizen whom polls indicate feels no enthusiasm for the planned assault. But Congress has cooperated fully by passing every bill or resolution against Iran backed by the horrifically influential AIPAC lobby. Recall how Nancy Pelosi omitted a requirement for Congressional authorization of any Iran attack from legislation at the Lobby's behest?

The prospect of yet another war-based-on-lies boggles the rational mind. But according to the Guardian, there was a meeting between Bush, Cheney, and Pentagon and State Department officials on Iran last month, and Bush sided with Cheney when the latter "expressed frustration at the lack of progress" on Iran. That is to say, lack of progress in moving ahead with the bombing of Iran. Undersecretary of State Nick Burns, the key State Department official responsible for Iran and an advocate of negotiation, indicated at the meeting that diplomatic talks with Iran would probably continue beyond the end of Bush's term. For Bush and Cheney that is unacceptable, especially because they don't believe the next administration will have the guts to bomb.

Patrick Cronin, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies suggested to the Guardian that Israel is calling the shots. "If Israel is adamant it will attack, the US will have to take decisive action. The choices are: tell Israel no, let Israel do the job, or do the job yourself." According to the Washington source, the administration is "reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway."

The handwriting is on the wall here. All these reports from unnamed sources about Iranian support for Iraqi "insurgents" of this or that faction. The display with much fanfare of captured weapons in Iraq identified as of Iranian manufacture. All these confident allusions to a nuclear weapons program Iran denies exists, for which the IAEA finds no evidence. All these assertions that Iran plans to cause a second Holocaust through a nuclear attack on Israel. Norman Podhoretz's Wall Street Journal op-ed piece praying for the U.S. to bomb Iran. John McCain's crooning "Bomb-bomb-bomb Iran." The disinformation, distortion, even vilification of Iran in popular culture. The propaganda barrage is reminiscent of that which preceded the criminal invasion of Iraq.

The uniform support for keeping an attack "on the table" among nearly all presidential candidates. The incessant arm-twisting of governments to back sanctions on Iran. The abuse of the IAEA, forced by a majority vote to find Iran "in non-compliance" with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The huge naval buildup in the Persian Gulf. The provocative arrest of Iranian diplomats in Iraq, protested by the Iraqi puppet government itself. The demand that Iran renounce its legal right to enrich uranium---a demand designed to be rejected and to constitute a pretext for regime change. The handwriting is written in big conspicuous letters on the wall.

That doesn't mean the attack cannot be stopped. How to do so? By not giving Cheney/Bush the remainder of their term. If 54% want Cheney impeached, he should be impeached. NOW, before he's allowed to further terrorize the world. Cheney impeachment hearings will weaken Bush and increase the percentage of Americans (now 45%) favoring the president's own impeachment. All that is required here is political will in a Congress that has seen its approval rating plummet due largely to its failure to stop the administration's war. Those wishing to reverse that have an easy option: vote to impeach. And while you're at it, vote to insist on Congress's exclusive power according to the Constitution to declare war.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Village Voice and JB: Iran attack very much alive

It's really hard to add anything to the important commentaries below other than to emphasize that Cheney, aptly termed the Darksider by the New Yorker and a million others, usually gets his way on these big ticket items: war, destruction and endless suffering.

I'm still skeptical about Bush-Cheney orchestrating another big or little 9/11 mostly because there are much less risky ways of managing the attack on Iran. The attack on Iran is the next 9/11.

See the Dover Bitch blog for a really good look from the inside on the recent 97-0 Senate vote effectively ok'ing any Bush attack on Iran -- Lieberman's (and Bush -Cheney et al's) wet dream. .

Dover B's article omits the reason that the Democrats felt compelled to allow such a vote and their fear of raising their hands against it: AIPAC.

It's amazing, or simply a sign of the times that intelligent people, Lieberman included, can so cavalierly give up their own security and the welfare of their children and grandchildren to the greater purpose of starting a war with an enemy of Israel. They are so blind that they don't see that this is not only bad for Arabs, not to mention the rest of the world, but bad for Israel as well.



Jeff wrote:

Should there be an Israeli attack on Iran, which has always been more of a possibility than one launched by the US, the current situation in Iraq will appear like a garden party, albeit a grisly one, in retrospect, with the possibilities of a wide spread Middle East war likely to be the outcome with a major disruption of the regional oil supply and a crisis in the world's economy a by-product. It should be clear that the prospect for such a scenario would not even be on the table were it not for the constant drumbeat over the past two years by the Jewish Zionist lobby in the US and only that lobby, spearheaded by its neocon strike force. Given the power of the lobby over the US Congress as well as the White House, we can expect loud applause from both Houses of Congress as well as the leadership of both political parties as well as from their leading presidential candidates should Israel attack. This will, of course, understandably inflame the already existing anti-American sentiment around the globe and make US institutions as well as its citizens targets for retaliation. What better time than that for the administration, in the spirit of Operations Northwoods, the sinking of the USS Maine, and quite likely, 9-11, to launch a smaller version of 9-11 or series of such events around the country in order to justify the imposition of martial law? I have been skeptical of such a scenario up to now, but as the administrations of both Bush and Olmert have seen the bottom fall out of their popularity ratings and consequently neither have anything to lose, and while the lobby has been behaving as if it is on steroids while the Congress is on valium, this disaster may well await the world.-JB


Village Voice
The Bush Beat «by Ward Harkavy |
A Different 'Gut Feeling': Israel Attacking Iran

It always pays to be suspicious when a U.S. official ramps up fear, but Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff's "gut feeling" remark about an Al Qaeda attack on the U.S. this summer sparks a different suspicion — and a similar sinking feeling: Israel is about to launch a unilateral strike on Iran.

It's not a cinch, but that queasy feeling is building. Seymour Hersh wrote long ago (in his January 2005 "The Coming Wars") about such a Pentagon-induced nightmare. But now that Iraq is a total disaster, the warhawks are stepping up the drumbeat to attack Iran — either by the U.S. or Israel, even arguing that Iran has in effect already declared war on the U.S. by aiding rebels in Iraq.

One of Israel's top officials says he's got the go-ahead from NATO's U.S. and European officials to attack Iran. Chertoff, aware of a longstanding, fierce debate in the White House over attacking Iran, admits a "gut feeling," saying it's about Al Qaeda but probably feeling queasier about what an attack on Iran would do to inflame terrorists. Condoleezza Rice, said to be an opponent of a U.S. attack on Iran, suddenly cancels a visit to Israel. For the warhawks, that keeps her out of harm's way and blunts her attempts to talk with both Muslims and Jews. Israel couldn't very well attack Iran while hosting the U.S. secretary of state.

For all you conspiracy theorists out there — and those of you who pooh-pooh this as simply conspiracy theorizing — here are some of the building blocks of that suspicion:

• July 2: Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Israel/Connecticut) tells the Hartford Courant that "the fact is that the Iranian government has by its actions declared war on us." Lieberman doesn't speak for the entire U.S. government, obviously, but he does speak for a substantial number of powerful warhawks in and out of the White House. Lieberman adds:

"The United States government has a responsibility to use all instruments at its disposal to stop these terrorist attacks against our soldiers and allies in Iraq, including keeping open the possibility of using military force against the terrorist infrastructure inside Iran."
• July 10: Israel's minister of strategic affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, says Europe and the U.S. have given tacit approval for Israel to unilaterally attack Iran's nuclear plants. From Israel Today:

"If we start military operations against Iran alone, then Europe and the US will support us," Lieberman told [Israeli] Army Radio following a meeting earlier in the week with NATO and European Union officials.

Lieberman said the Western powers acknowledged the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat to the Jewish state, but said that ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are "going to prevent the leaders of countries in Europe and America from deciding on the use of force to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities," even if diplomacy ultimately fails.

The message Avigdor Lieberman said the NATO and EU officials conveyed to him is that Israel should "prevent the threat herself."
That's not as far-fetched as it sounds. As conservative anti-war talking head Philip Giraldi notes on the same day as Avigdor Lieberman's comments:

It is widely believed that Vice President Dick Cheney and his national security adviser David Wurmser have deliberately limited the playing field because they have no desire to engage Iran amicably and are instead fixated on regime change in Tehran as the only acceptable solution to the "Persian problem." Cheney has been ably seconded by fellow hawk Elliot Abrams at the National Security Council, who has been working to undercut Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's efforts to avoid a war. Wurmser, meanwhile, has been advising the like-minded at the American Enterprise Institute that Cheney does not believe in negotiations and has promised that the Bush Administration will deal with Iran militarily before its term of office ends.

The Cheney-Wurmser-Abrams axis is opposed to Administration figures like Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the intelligence agency chiefs, all of whom are reluctant to do a replay of Iraq in Iran. The Iraq Studies Group (ISG) recommended engaging Iran and all other local players including Syria to help stabilize Iraq and the broader Persian Gulf region. It also recommended taking serious steps to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As "serious steps" would consist of Washington pressuring Israel, the ISG report has been coolly received by the White House and with intense hostility by certain Congressmen who are closely tied to Israel.
• July 10: Chertoff tells the Chicago Tribune's editorial writers:

I believe we're entering a period this summer of increased risk. We've seen a lot more public statements from Al Qaeda. There are a lot of reasons to speculate about that but one reason that occurs to me is that they're feeling more comfortable and raising expectations. In the last August, and in prior summers, we've had attacks against the West, which suggests that summer seems to be appealing to them. I think we do see increased activity in South Asia, so we do worry about whether they are rebuilding their capabilities. We've struck at them and degraded them, but they rebuild. All these things have given me kind of a gut feeling that we are in a period of increased vulnerability.
• July 12: Rice hastily cancels her trip to Israel and the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories, as the U.N. and many others refer to it).

Spokesman Sean McCormack downplays it at his daily briefing for reporters as merely a postponement:

I want to update you on the Secretary's travel schedule. At this point, we are going to postpone the stop — the planned stops in Jerusalem and Ramallah until the end of the month. The Secretary and — Secretary Rice is going to be traveling to the region, as the President announced, in part with Secretary Gates. So she decided that it was appropriate to postpone these two stops and combine it with that trip. So we'll have more information on that trip, the dates, and the stops as we get closer to it, but I would expect that we would leave towards the end of the month and then there would be some joint travel with Secretary Gates at the very beginning of August.
At least some reporters are skeptical. One follows up with this:

Why was it appropriate to postpone those stops if she still plans to travel next week and she's going to be in Africa not that far away? Why not just go ahead and do the important work with the Israeli and the Palestinians?
McCormack's reply doesn't pass the smell test:

Well, if you look at where she is going, there is actually quite a distance from where she still plans to go to travel in the Middle East. And also, given the time in which we find ourselves, there's a lot of discussion going on concerning Iraq, there's certainly a lot of discussion, policy-wise, about the Middle East. And she thought it was appropriate to be back in Washington during this time and plus, from a logistical standpoint, it just made sense.
• July 12: U.S. intelligence chiefs meet at the White House to discuss a report that Al Qaeda is stronger now than at any time since 9/11. >From this morning's Times (U.K.):

Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Secretary, has spent days trying to play down comments that his "gut feeling" was that the US faced a heightened risk of attack this summer. . . .

Mr Chertoff emphasised yesterday that "we don’t have any specific information about an imminent or near-term attack on the homeland". However, the Times has been told that US and British intelligence services monitoring al-Qaeda networks have picked up "an increased level of chatter" in recent weeks.
Maybe so, but Chertoff could have been ratcheting up fear so that an attack on Iran would be more palatable to the masses as yet another "front" in the War of Terror. Or perhaps he was just unconsciously channeling the more ominous "chatter" from our own warhawks about an Israeli attack on Iran's nukes. Think about the poisonous cloud of radioactivity and even more terrorists that would produce.


Ghada Karmi: Academic Boycott of Israel Justified

Jeff wrote;
"Academic boycotts are not new to Britain. In 1965, a boycott campaign against apartheid South Africa was initiated by 34 universities in response to a call for solidarity by the African National Congress. After a prolonged British campaign, the boycott was adopted as policy by the AUT in 1988 and remained in place until the end of apartheid.

"The academic boycott against Israel is no different. Israel's well-documented repression of Palestinian academic life and victimization of Palestinian teachers and students is a scandal to be denounced by all those who claim to care about academic freedom. Rather than rushing to Israel's defense in a situation so perverse and immoral, all efforts should be directed toward boycotting all Israeli institutions. Only when Israel is made a pariah state, as happened with South Africa, will its people understand that they cannot trample on another people's rights without penalty."

This was published in Haaretz which is sometimes called the NY Times of Israel except, as we know, the NY Times would never publish such an article, given its role in the Zionist control of the US media.
The charge of "anti-semitism," has long been the refuge of Zionist scoundrels who have no other response to allegations and evidence of Israeli criminality than to smear the truthtellers.-JB


Weapon of the weak

By Ghada Karmi
July 14, 2007

In conflicts, boycotts are the weapons of the weak. Their chief importance lies in their ability to raise public awareness and arouse disapproval. Yet, going by the paranoid reaction to the academic boycott of Israel, it might as well have been a declaration of nuclear war. No peaceable action in recent times has provoked so much anger and hostility as this British-based boycott.

In the wake of the British University and College Union's vote at its annual general meeting on May 30 to initiate a national debate on a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, a wave of hysteria engulfed Israel and its friends. Articles appeared, before and after the vote, denouncing the UCU resolution and its initiators, and heated correspondence is still ongoing. Threats were made against members of the boycott group by pro-Israel organizations and individuals, and campaigns were mounted to defeat the boycott. Costly one-page advertisements appeared in The Times and The Guardian, carrying the names of scores of eminent signatories opposing the boycott.

Photographs of the boycott's "ringleaders," like those of wanted criminals, appeared on the front page of the major British Jewish weekly, The Jewish Chronicle, which also carried a distressed article by Britain's chief rabbi condemning the boycott as an anti-Semitic "witch hunt." The Daily Mail's Jewish columnist Melanie Phillips declared "the age of reason" over. The Jewish-American lawyer and fierce warrior for Israel Alan Dershowitz has teamed up with his British counterpart, Anthony Julius, to take legal action against British supporters of the boycott. While this would not be valid in British law, its aim is clearly to intimidate.


The fuss has not abated yet, and more battles lie ahead this autumn as pressure is exerted upon the UCU to ballot its members individually, in the hope that they will reject the motion passed by the conference.

Two major misconceptions lie at the base of this response, both deliberately fostered. The first misconception is that the boycott is aimed against individual Israeli academics, and the second, and more important, is that it is anti-Semitic.

With regard to the first misconception, the boycott in fact calls for a ban on dealings with Israeli academic institutions, for example, for not participating in joint research, conferences or other collaborative activity. In a malicious misrepresentation of this position, opponents claim that the boycott will end the free exchange of ideas with individual Israelis and encourage discrimination against them within British academia. By suppressing "free speech," goes the argument, this would end any hope of change in Israel's policies that academics could have brought about. This is an erroneous argument, and it has galvanized opposition to the boycott in Britain .

The charge of anti-Semitism follows closely on this. The allegation is that the real reason for the boycott is hatred of Jews, a new outbreak of an old gentile affliction. Nothing is more designed to provoke and mislead than this charge, which, its authors know, antagonizes all Jews and many non-Jews.

In fact, of course, the imputation of anti-Semitism is a red herring, as so often is the case when Israel is criticized, and its aim, as always, is to deflect criticism. In the case of the British boycott committee, it is particularly inapt, since most of the members are Jewish. The campaign started in 2004 with a letter that two British scholars, Hilary and Steven Rose, published in The Guardian, calling for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, in support of a similar call by Palestinian civil society organizations. These, representing a majority of Palestinian academics and other professionals, had united to form a campaign for boycotting Israel because of its repressive policies against them.

The letter in The Guardian spearheaded a growing demand for Israel to be called to account for its policies, which was soon joined by many academics in Europe and beyond. Support was particularly strong in South Africa, which had lived through a similar boycott during the apartheid era, and was especially sympathetic to the boycott's rationale and aims. Since that time, the boycott and divestment campaign against Israel has grown, resulting in the Association of University Teachers' Union voting for a boycott against two Israeli universities at its meeting in 2005. Thanks to a vigorous pro-Israel campaign against it, the decision was overturned within a month. But the issue did not go away, and resulted in the vote for the boycott two years later by the newly formed UCU, which had absorbed the AUT.

Academic boycotts are not new to Britain. In 1965, a boycott campaign against apartheid South Africa was initiated by 34 universities in response to a call for solidarity by the African National Congress. After a prolonged British campaign, the boycott was adopted as policy by the AUT in 1988 and remained in place until the end of apartheid.

The academic boycott against Israel is no different. Israel's well-documented repression of Palestinian academic life and victimization of Palestinian teachers and students is a scandal to be denounced by all those who claim to care about academic freedom. Rather than rushing to Israel's defense in a situation so perverse and immoral, all efforts should be directed toward boycotting all Israeli institutions. Only when Israel is made a pariah state, as happened with South Africa, will its people understand that they cannot trample on another people's rights without penalty.

Ghada Karmi is the author of "Married to Another Man: Israel's Dilemma in Palestine."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kurt Nimmo: Osama: Dead, again! + Bleier on 911, Continuity of Government

If Kurt Nimmo has said it once, he's said it 100 times: Osama is dead. He died a natural death shortly after 9/11. Here Nimmo reprises some of the evidence and the links. Nimmo's blog was apparently written just before the appearance of the latest Bin Laden video tape on Sunday (7.14)

One interesting question is: Since the Bush-Cheney mob planned and executed 9/11, what prevents them from organizing another one as per the latest summer round of warnings? My guess is that it's not gonna happen. As the Brits say: it was a one off. The warnings are a clue. If it were to happen, they wouldn't be warning us. Second, I think the 9/11 Truth Movement should get some credit. There are perhaps scores of millions of people now who understand what really happened and are now alerted to the extent of some of the perfidy of this government.

On another related issue, it's far from clear to me that Cheney is not plotting some way to continue past Jan 2009. It's called continuity of government. Needless to say, they would need another Pearl Harbor/911 event in order to do so. The obvious candidate is an attack against Iran which could change everything. On the other hand such an attack would have to be handled in such a way so as not to backfire against them, especially bearing in mind their low approval ratings.

On the question of continuity of government, I've always wondered why Cheney was so adamant on 9/11 that Bush not return immediately to Washington, and kept him away for the whole day. Could it be that the original plan called for martial law and a suspension of the Constitution? In that case, until the dust settled, and Cheney could figure out what would follow, it was important to keep Bush away, in part to signal that Constitutional government had not yet resumed. On this sub-theme, it would be mighty interesting to know whether Bush's televised statements from different US bases across the country were coordinated with Cheney or were signs of a power struggle between the two camps.


Kurt Nimmo writes:
Osama: More Bounty, More Baloney
Saturday July 14th 2007, 10:50 am

It is politics as usual. In order to hype the “war on terror” angle over what is perceived as a floundering effort in Iraq—in fact, the effort in Iraq is a smashing (no pun intended) success, as it has destroyed the country—the “U.S. Senate on Friday voted to double the bounty on Osama bin Laden to $50 million and require President George W. Bush to refocus on capturing him after reports al Qaeda is gaining strength,” according to Reuters. “By a vote of 87-1, the Senate set the reward for the killing or capture, or information leading to the capture, of the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.”

Of course, there is no evidence Osama bin Laden had anything to do with nine eleven and the government refuses to provide any, beyond pointing to a handful of obviously faked video and audio tapes.

Moreover, as the Arab and Asian media reported years ago, Osama bin Laden died in December, 2001, in Afghanistan. “A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa’da organization, stating that bin Laden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora,” al-Wafd, an Egyptian newspaper, reported on December 26, 2001.

It should be recalled that even the neocon-infested Bush administration admitted on January 18, 2002, that bin Laden “needs dialysis every three days,” as reported by CNN, and “that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout,” according to an unnamed U.S. official. As any doctor will tell you, hemodialysis, or renal dialysis, “is something that really is reserved for patients in end-stage renal failure. That means their kidneys have just completely shut down,” as Dr. Sanjay Gupta notes. It is, to say the least, absurd to believe “al-Qaeda” would be able to keep a dying Osama on a complicated dialysis machine in a cave situated in a remote mountainous area of one of the most backward countries in the world. It is not, as the above quoted Bush factotum indicates, an “issue,” it is rather an impossibility.

In October, 2002, a London-based Arab news magazine published Osama’s last will and testament. “He did write the will as someone saying good-bye,” Hani Nakshabandi of the Arab news magazine Al Majalla told CNN. “He said one of the magazine’s reporters obtained the four-page document, said to be signed by the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network and dated December 14, 2001, in Afghanistan…. In the document, which was translated for CNN, the writer expresses disappointment with the Taliban, who harbored him in Afghanistan, speaks of betrayal, and urges his children to shun al Qaeda.”

Naturally, this story soon found its way to the memory hole, as it does not jive with the plan to demonize Osama, a plan alive and well, unlike Bin Laden, and kicking around the U.S. Senate nearly six years after Osama departed the mortal coil to be with 72 virgins in heaven. It is interesting Osama warned his “children to shun al Qaeda,” good advice as the organization, named after a database of mujahideen mercenaries and patsies, is a CIA-ISI contrivance.

“My last advice is to the mujahedeen everywhere,” declares Osama’s will. “Take a breather and put aside for the time being, fighting the Jews and the Crusades, and instead devote your efforts to purifying your groups from the agents and the cowards and those impostors who claim to be scholars amongst you.” In short, “al-Qaeda,” according to its purported leader, was rife with fake jihadists, poseurs, spooks, and informers, as should be expected of a bogus terror organization created by the CIA.

Finally, to underscore the fact Osama is dead, last July the CIA “closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants,” the New York Times reported. No sense wasting precious resources hunting for a dead man, even if the hunt was a front all along.

“Top U.S. intelligence officials informed the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee this week that inhabitants of remote northwestern Pakistan, where bin Laden is believed to be holed up, have proved impervious to the financial rewards already on offer from the U.S. government,” Reuters continues. “The U.S. government says it has spent more than $62 million in a ‘rewards for justice’ program for various information that has helped prevent attacks or prosecute those responsible for attacks.”

Of course, the impoverished dirt farmers of northwestern Pakistan are “impervious to the financial rewards” because Osama is long dead and buried, not in Pakistan but over the border in Afghanistan.

But never mind. None of this matters. It is simply more propaganda designed to scare witless American adults and small children, as the Senate, once again, tells us “al Qaeda is gaining strength,” not unlike Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein, the stuff of two minute hate sessions on Fox News and CNN. In fact, the spooks are burning the midnight oil, cranking out “al-Sahab” propaganda tapes (the “al-Qaeda” supposed “propaganda unit” has issued 62 “messages” in just over six months this year), in order that terrorism remain front and center, never mind that the latest events attributed to “al-Qaeda,” namely the lame “attack” on the Glasgow airport, are so inept as to be entirely laughable, that is to say they would be laughable if not for the fact such cartoonish antics are used to slowly rob us of our liberty and lock us up in a high-tech police state.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

John Kroth: Whatever AIPAC Wants AIPAC Gets

Why is Bush known as the worst president in US history? Because it's clear that his policies at home and abroad are destructive. The only question is whether the destruction, as in the destruction of the former country of Iraq is purposely intended or is an undesired result of an "endless series of miscalculations?" One might think the answer would be all too obvious. And here we have AIPAC, not to mention grassroots Zionists and supporters of Israel, refusing to support an immediate withdrawal. Seymour Hersh hinted at the syndrome in the title of his book (but ignored the issue in his book) The Sampson Option. AIPAC and supporters of Israel who struggle to maintain an indefinite occupation of Iraq prefer support of Israel over and above their own survival, and the survival of a livable world for their children.


Jeff wrote:
Another new voice from academia speaking important truth about AIPAC and the Zionist lobby. No wonder the lobby and its Campus Watch are worried. They have been doing what is described here for decades with scarcely a peep from those purporting to support Palestinian rights (and there is still not a peep about the subject from the misleading organizations of the anti-war movement. How come?-JB


July 10, 2007
"Whatever AIPAC Wants, AIPAC Gets"
Democratic Defectors and the Israel Lobby


In November, the American electorate repudiated Bush's Iraq debacle and established Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate promising to bring this "flawed policy wrapped in illusion" to a decisive end. Bush vetoed their withdrawal timetable, but voters urged their leaders to hold the line and not be bullied. In the end, though, 37 Democratic senators capitulated and gratuitously gave the President his $100 billion no-strings- attached blank check . . . enough money to pay tuition and fees for 1.3 million college students for four solid years!

Deep disappointment set in. Cindy Sheehan, the liberal icon, was so demoralized she resigned and returned to private life. In June, a CNN poll reported that "respect for Congress" plummeted to the lowest level "ever recorded."

Bloggers called them "traitor Democrats", and the descriptor is apropos. At the time of the vote, sixty-two percent of the American people favored a time-table for a withdrawal, but, more significantly, "seventy percent" of Democrats were so inclined. Voting against this burgeoning tide of anger betrayed the will of the people and party that put these Democrats in office.

Curiously, all of the traitor democrats were huge career recipients of funds from the Israeli lobby. If we took ten Democratic apostates and compared them to ten Democrats who stood by the voters, pro-Israeli PAC contributions were "ten times" greater for the turncoats than those who stayed with their constituencies ($322,000 versus $34,000 on average).

To be specific: Carl Levin, outspoken critic of the war and, we thought, a loyal supporter of the new regime to end it, defected and blithely turned his back on his Michigan support base. Despite his strident anti-war rhetoric, the Grand Rapids Independent reports Levin has supported Bush all the way "consistently funding the war and not introducing any meaningful legislation to bring it closer to an end." Practically unknown to his constituents, Levin is one of the largest beneficiaries of Pro-Israeli PAC funds collecting $600,000 in career contributions according to the Washington Report on Mideast Affairs.

Barbara Boxer, Denis Kucinich, and Earl Blaumenauer, all opponents of the war, collectively got $73,000, but turncoat-democrats, Dan Durbin, Max Baucus, and Frank Lautenberg scooped up in excess of a million plus untold benes like travel funds.

What comes out in the wash is the best PAC money can buy: Three months before we invaded Iraq, a New York Times poll showed only 30 percent of the American people favored an all-out invasion, but the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) did, and it prevailed. Hardly a sprinkling of Americans favored the "surge", a meager fourteen percent, but AIPAC did, and the surge is surging as we speak. Fewer than thirty percent of Democrats supported that no-strings-budget, but AIPAC did, and the conclusion plays out another hackneyed chorus of "Whatever AIPAC wants, AIPAC gets."

In 1992, the director of the Israeli lobby, David Steiner, was surreptitiously recorded bragging about playing a role in selecting the Secretary of State and what he got for Israel: "Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don't even know about!" When the tape was made public, Steiner resigned, but it underscored the incredible power, access, and influence this lobby has.

Two professors, Mearsheimer and Walt, recently insinuated that American democracy has been suborned by the Israeli lobby, echoing Senator Fulbright's 1989 indictment that AIPAC had usurped the electoral process and could "elect or defeat nearly any congressman or senator that they wish." Such observations do not fall on deaf ears. Over half the senate and a third of the congress obediently attended the AIPAC annual convention (versus less than a dozen visiting the NAACP's event). Non-attendance can suggest a lawmaker might be soft on terrorism, or, god forbid, anti-Semitic.

Anti-war idealists might think that soon this American war crime, the shock-and-awe carnage, the torture, and the renditions are coming to an end, but the agenda of AIPAC seems bent on keeping American armies in the Middle East as an Israeli first line of defense for the indefinite future. Their major attack dog, Joe Lieberman, recently gave a hint on Face the Nation as to might be next: " military strikes" against Iran. . . all apparently to guarantee that Israel will remain the only nuclear power in the Middle East.

So if you think you voted, or are planning to vote, to bring the troops home and end this national embarrassment, some fool's gold waiting for you at the end of that rainbow.

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology in California and author of Conspiracy in Camelot: the complete history of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He may be reached at anya@sj.znet.com

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mike Whitney: Media censors Putin on Bush's terrorism

Another important brilliancy from Mike Whitney. We can't fault the Putin/Whitney diagnosis of Bush as the world's chief terrorist, yes, comparable to Hitler in his eagerness to embark on unprovoked aggression. My only demur is the last paragraph where Whitney seems to endorse Putin as a democrat. We can guess that Putin was joking, but Whitney seems to be serious.



Putin’s Censored Press Conference:

The transcript you weren’t supposed to see

By Mike Whitney

06/10/07 "ICH" --- - On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an hour and a half-long press conference which was attended by many members of the world media. The contents of that meeting---in which Putin answered all questions concerning nuclear proliferation, human rights, Kosovo, democracy and the present confrontation with the United States over missile defense in Europe---have been completely censored by the press. Apart from one brief excerpt which appeared in a Washington Post editorial, (and which was used to criticize Putin) the press conference has been scrubbed from the public record. It never happened. (Read the entire press conference archived here )

Putin’s performance was a tour de force. He fielded all of the questions however misleading or insulting. He was candid and statesmanlike and demonstrated a good understanding of all the main issues.

The meeting gave Putin a chance to give his side of the story in the growing debate over missile defense in Eastern Europe. He offered a brief account of the deteriorating state of US-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War, and particularly from 9-11 to present. Since September 11, the Bush administration has carried out an aggressive strategy to surround Russia with military bases, install missiles on its borders, topple allied regimes in Central Asia, and incite political upheaval in Moscow through US-backed “pro-democracy” groups. These openly hostile actions have convinced many Russian hard-liners that the administration is going forward with the neocon plan for “regime change” in Moscow and fragmentation of the Russian Federation. Putin’s testimony suggests that the hardliners are probably right.

The Bush administration’s belligerent foreign policy has backed the Kremlin into a corner and forced Putin to take retaliatory measures. He has no other choice.

If we want to understand why relations between Russia are quickly reaching the boiling-point; we only need to review the main developments since the end of the Cold War. Political analyst Pat Buchanan gives a good rundown of these in his article “Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”

Buchanan says:

“Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an understanding we would not move NATO eastward, we exploited our moment. Not only did we bring Poland into NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on Mother Russia's front porch. Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in Ukraine and Georgia in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin.

Second, America backed a pipeline to deliver Caspian Sea oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, to bypass Russia.

Third, though Putin gave us a green light to use bases in the old Soviet republics for the liberation of Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on making those bases in Central Asia permanent.

Fourth, though Bush sold missile defense as directed at rogue states like North Korea, we now learn we are going to put anti-missile systems into Eastern Europe. And against whom are they directed?

Fifth, through the National Endowment for Democracy, its GOP and Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think tanks, foundations, and "human rights" institutes such as Freedom House, headed by ex-CIA director James Woolsey, we have been fomenting regime change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, and Russia herself.

U.S.-backed revolutions have succeeded in Serbia, Ukraine, and Georgia, but failed in Belarus. Moscow has now legislated restrictions on the foreign agencies that it sees, not without justification, as subversive of pro-Moscow regimes.

Sixth, America conducted 78 days of bombing of Serbia for the crime of fighting to hold on to her rebellious province, Kosovo, and for refusing to grant NATO marching rights through her territory to take over that province. Mother Russia has always had a maternal interest in the Orthodox states of the Balkans.

These are Putin's grievances. Does he not have a small point?”

Yes--as Buchanan opines---Putin does have a point, which is why his press conference was suppressed. The media would rather demonize Putin, than allow him to make his case to the public. (The same is true of other world leaders who choose to use their vast resources to improve the lives of their own citizens rather that hand them over to the transnational oil giants; such as, Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez) Even so, NATO has not yet endorsed the neocon missile defense plan and, according to recent surveys, public opinion in Poland and the Czech Republic is overwhelmingly against it.

Unsurprisingly, the Bush administration is going ahead regardless of the controversy.

Putin cannot allow the United States to deploy its missile defense system to Eastern Europe. The system poses a direct threat to Russia’s national security. If Putin planned to deploy a similar system in Cuba or Mexico, the Bush administration would immediately invoke the Monroe Doctrine and threaten to remove it by force. No one doubts this. And no one should doubt that Putin is equally determined to protect his own country’s interests in the same way. We can expect that Russia will now aim its missiles at European targets and rework its foreign policy in a way that compels the US to abandon its current plans.

The media has tried to minimize the dangers of the proposed system. The Washington Post even characterized it as “a small missile defense system” which has set off “waves of paranoia about domestic and foreign opponents”.

Nonsense. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As Putin said at the press conference, “Once the missile defense system is put in place IT WILL WORK AUTOMATICALLY WITH THE ENTIRE NUCLEAR CAPABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES. It will be an integral part of the US nuclear capability.

“For the first time in history---and I want to emphasize this---there are elements of the US nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the whole configuration of international security…..Of course, we have to respond to that.”

Putin is right. The “so-called” defense system is actually an expansion (and integration) of America’s existing nuclear weapons system which will now function as one unit. The dangers of this should be obvious.

The Bush administration is maneuvering in a way that will allow it to achieve what Nuclear weapons specialist, Francis A. Boyle, calls the “longstanding US policy of nuclear first-strike against Russia”.

In Boyle’s article “US Missiles in Europe: Beyond Deterrence to First Strike Threat” he states:

“By means of a US first strike about 99%+ of Russian nuclear forces would be taken out. Namely, the United States Government believes that with the deployment of a facially successful first strike capability, they can move beyond deterrence and into "compellence."… This has been analyzed ad nauseam in the professional literature. But especially by one of Harvard's premier warmongers in chief, Thomas Schelling --winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics granted by the Bank of Sweden-- who developed the term "compellence" and distinguished it from "deterrence." …The USG is breaking out of a "deterrence" posture and moving into a "compellence" posture. (Global Research 6-6-07)

That’s right. The real goal is to force Moscow to conform to Washington’s “diktats” or face the prospect of “first-strike” annihilation. That’s why Putin has expressed growing concern over the administration’s dropping out of the ABM Treaty and the development of a new regime of low yield, bunker-busting nuclear weapons. The “hawks” who surround Bush have abandoned the “deterrence” policy of the past, and now believe that a nuclear war can be “won” by the United States. This is madness and it needs to be taken seriously.

The Bush administration sees itself as a main player in Central Asia and the Middle East---controlling vital resources and pipeline corridors throughout the region. That means Russia’s influence will have to be diminished. Boris Yeltsin was the perfect leader for the neoconservative master-plan (which is why the right-wingers Praised him when he died) Russia disintegrated under Yeltsin. He oversaw the dismantling of the state, the plundering of its resources and state-owned assets, and the restructuring of its economy according to the tenets of neoliberalism.

No wonder the neocons loved him.

Under Putin, Russia has regained its economic footing, its regional influence and its international prestige. The economy is booming, the ruble has stabilized, the standard of living has risen, and Moscow has strengthened alliances with its neighbors. This new-found Russian prosperity poses a real challenge to Bush’s plans.

Two actions in particular have changed the Russian-US relationship from tepid to openly hostile. The first was when Putin announced that Russia’s four largest oil fields would not be open to foreign development. (Russia has been consolidating its oil wealth under state-run Gazprom) And, second, when the Russian Treasury began to convert Russia’s dollar reserves into gold and rubles. Both of these are regarded as high-crimes by US corporate chieftains and western elites. Their response was swift.

John Edwards and Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force which concocted the basic pretext for an all-out assault on the Putin. This is where the idea that Putin is “rolling back democracy” began; it’s a feeble excuse for political antagonism. In their article “Russia’s Wrong Direction”, Edwards and Kemp state that a “strategic partnership” with Russia is no longer possible. They note that the government has become increasingly “authoritarian” and that the society is growing less “open and pluralistic”. Blah, blah, blah. No one in the Washington really cares about democracy. (Just look at our “good friends” in Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan) What they’re afraid of is Putin ditching the dollar and controlling his own oil. That’s what counts. Bush also wants Putin to support sanctions against Iran and rubber stamp a Security Council resolution to separate Kosovo form Serbia. (Since when does the UN have the right to redraw national borders? Was the creation of Israel such a stunning success that the Security Council wants to try its luck again?)

Putin does not accept the “unipolar” world model. As he said in Munich, the unipolar world refers to “a world in which there is one master, one sovereign---- one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. At the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.… What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization.”

He added:

“Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centers of tension. Judge for yourselves---wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished. More are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!

Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts.

We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?

In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate. And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasise this – no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race.

I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security.”

How can anyone dispute Putin’s analysis?

“Unilateral and illegitimate military actions”, the “uncontained hyper-use of force”, the “disdain for the basic principles of international law”, and most importantly; “No one feels safe!”

These are the irrefutable facts. Putin has simply summarized the Bush Doctrine better than anyone else.

The Bush administration has increased its frontline American bases to five thousand men on Russia’s perimeter. Is this conduct of a “trustworthy ally”?

Also, NATO has deployed forces on Russia’s borders even while Putin has continued to fulfill his treaty obligations and move troops and military equipment hundreds of miles away.

As Putin said on Tuesday: “We have removed all of our heavy weapons from the European part of Russia and put them behind the Urals” and “reduced our Armed Forces by 300,000. We have taken several other steps required by the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces Treaty in Europe (ACAF). But what have we seen in response? Eastern Europe is receiving new weapons, two new military bases are being set up in Romania and in Bulgaria, and there are two new missile launch areas -- a radar in Czech republic and missile systems in Poland. And we are asking ourselves the question: what is going on? Russia is disarming unilaterally. But if we disarm unilaterally then we would like to see our partners be willing to do the same thing in Europe. On the contrary, Europe is being pumped full of new weapons systems. And of course we cannot help but be concerned.”

(This is why Putin’s comments did not appear in the western media! They would have been too damaging to the Bush administration and their expansionist plans)

Who Destroyed the ABM?

Putin said:

“We did not initiate the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. But what response did we give when we discussed this issue with our American partners? We said that we do not have the resources and desire to establish such a system. But as professionals we both understand that a missile defense system for one side and no such a system for the other creates an illusion of security and increases the possibility of a nuclear conflict. The defense system WILL DESTROY THE STRATEGIC EQUILIBRIUM IN THE WORLD. In order to restore that balance without setting up a missile defense system we will have to create a system to overcome missile defense, which is what we are doing now.”

Putin: “AN ARMS RACE IS UNFOLDING. Was it we who withdrew from the ABM Treaty? We must react to what our partners do. We already told them two years ago, “don’t do this, you don’t need to do this. What are you doing? YOU ARE DESTROYING THE SYSTEM OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY. You must understand that you are forcing us to take retaliatory steps.” …we warned them. No, they did not listen to us. Then we heard about them developing low-yield nuclear weapons and they are continuing to develop these weapons.” We told them that “it would be better to look for other ways to fight terrorism than create low-yield nuclear weapons and lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons, and thereby put humankind on the brink of nuclear catastrophe. But they don’t listen to us. They are not looking for compromise. Their entire point of view can be summed-up in one sentence: ‘Whoever is not with us is against us.’”

Putin asks, “So what should we do?” The present predicament has brought us “the brink of disaster”.

Putin: “Some people have the illusion that you can do everything just as you want, regardless of the interests of other people. Of course it is for precisely this reason that the international situation gets worse and eventually results in an arms race as you pointed out. But we are not the instigators. We do not want it. Why would we want to divert resources to this? And we are not jeopardizing our relations with anyone. But we must respond.

Name even one step that we have taken or one action of ours designed to worsen the situation. There are none. We are not interested in that. We are interested in having a good atmosphere, environment and energy dialogue around Russia”.

So, what should Putin do? And how else can he meet his responsibilities to the Russian people without taking defensive “retaliatory” action to Bush’s act of war. By expanding its nuclear capability to Europe, all of Russia is in imminent danger, and so, Putin must decide “precisely which means will be used to destroy the installations that our experts believe represent a potential threat for the Russian Federation”. (Note that Putin NEVER THREATENS TO AIM HIS MISSILES AT EUROPEAN CITIES AS WAS REPORTED IN THE WESTERN MEDIA)

Putin has made great strides in improving life for the Russian people. That is why his public approval rating is soaring at 75%. The Russian economy has been growing by 7% a year. He’s lowered the number of people living beneath the poverty-line by more than half and will bring it down to European levels by 2010. Real incomes are growing by an astonishing 12% per year. As Putin says, “Combating poverty is one of our top priorities and we still have to do a lot to improve our pension system too because the correlation between pensions and the average wage is still lower here than in Europe.”

If only that was true in America!

Russia now has the ninth largest economy in the world and has amassed enormous gold and currency reserves--the third largest in the world. It is also one of the leading players in international energy policy with a daily-oil output which now exceeds Saudi Arabia. It is also the largest producer of natural gas in the world. Russia will only get stronger as we get deeper into the century and energy resources become scarcer.

Putin strongly objects to the idea that he is not committed to human rights or is “rolling back democracy”. He points out how truncheon-wielding police in Europe routinely use tear gas, electric-shock devices and water cannons to disperse demonstrators. Is that how the West honors human rights and civil liberties?

As for the Bush administration---Putin produced a copy of Amnesty International’s yearly report condemning the United States conduct in the war on terror. “I have a copy of Amnesty International’s report here, which includes a section on the United States,” he said. “The organization has concluded that the United States IS NOW THE PRINCIPLE VIOLATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS WORLDWIDE.”

He added, “We have a proverb in Russian, ‘Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.’”

Putin is fiercely nationalistic. He has helped to restore Russia’s self-confidence and rebuild the economy. He’s demonstrated a willingness to compromise with the Bush administration on every substantive issue, but he has been repeatedly rebuffed. The last thing he wants is a nuclear standoff with the United States. But he will do what he must to defend his people from the threat of foreign attack. The deployment of the missile defense system will require that Russia develop its own new weapons systems and change its thinking about trusting the United States. Friendship is not possible in the present climate.

As for “democracy”; Putin said it best himself:

“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am, absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone---the only one of my kind in the whole wide world. Just look at what’s happening in North America, it’s simply awful---torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without trial and investigation. Just look at what’s happening in Europe---harsh treatment of demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used first in one capital then in another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died.”

Well said, Vladimir.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Glenn Greenwald: The New York Times and Michael Gordon: Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran

In a series of blogs, Glenn Greenwald has pointed to the culpability of the NYT which has relentlessly been pushing the Zionist/neocon agenda of catastrophic war against Iran, as if Iraq is not exactly that. Since war with Iran will have a much more dramatic domestic impact, not to mention the impact on millions more lives in the Middle East, Bush and Cheney are forced to whisper and hint at their plans.
To all those who think it won't happen: I'd like to believe that, but all I see is Cheney neutralizing any possible opposing force.
At the end of his detailed (shall we say) examination of Michael Gordon's latest bit of stenography, Greenwald asks the same question we were asking in the run up to the Iraq war: why is the New York Times so brazenly and stupidly (if that's a strong enough word) pushing a war that is so clearly against its best interests -- those being peace and stability. Why are they taking the side of the most reckless, irresponsible and ruthless US government in history? It's bad enough that Bush and Cheney are psychopaths, but why is the Times doing everything it can to enable them?
The answer is that the CIA and all the security agencies and the militarists they represent including in the age of Bush, the White House, control a portion of the Times. The symbolic red flag that highlighted WH control of above the fold NYT real estate, was in the run up to the Iraq war when Cheney appeared on Meet the Press quoting that day's disinformation about Iraq's non existent WMDs in a front page NYT story.
In the current let's start a war against Iran conspiracy, not only is fanatical Zionist Michael Gordon (as I imagine he must be, just like his ex partner in disinformation, Judy Miller) involved, but so also is executive editor Bill Keller and NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger who apparently have CIA ties as have many if not all post war NYT executive editors and publishers.
Once again, the Zionists combine with the militarists when they are not the same people.
PS. At the end of his article, Greenwald notes that Gordon was apparently forced to modify his rhetoric in later editions of his story.


Glenn Greenwald

Monday July 2, 2007
Michael Gordon trains his stenographer weapons on Iran

The Bush administration's most reliable pro-surge "reporter," Michael Gordon of The New York Times, this morning filed an article -- headlined: "U.S. Ties Iranians to Iraq Attack That Killed G.I.'s" -- that might be the most war-fueling article yet with regard to Iran. Gordon's article is 23 paragraphs long, and makes some of the most inflammatory accusations against Iran imaginable (see Update II below). This is the first paragraph:

Iranian operatives helped plan a January raid in Karbala in which five American soldiers were killed, an American military spokesman in Iraq said today.
This is how the article ends:
But military officials say that there is such a long and systematic pattern of Quds Force activity in Iraq, as well as a 2005 confidential American protest to Iranian leaders regarding Iran's alleged supply of road-side bombs, that senior Iranian leaders must be aware of the Quds Force role in Iraq.
"Our intelligence reveals that the senior leadership in Iran is aware of this activity," he said. When he was asked if Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could be unaware of the activity, General Bergner said "that would be hard to imagine."

In between those two passages, one "learns" that Iran is also arming Shiite militias in Iraq though its proxy, Hezbollah, and that "Iranian officials have helped plan operations against American troops in Iraq and have had advance knowledge of specific attacks that have led to the death of American soldiers."
These are quite extraordinary claims the NYT is publishing, as they amount to an accusation that the Iranian Government, at its highest levels, is directing fatal attacks on American troops in Iraq, which constitutes, of course, an act of war. As Gordon himself points out: "In effect, American officials are charging that Iran has been engaged in a proxy war against American forces for years."

What is the basis for Gordon's story? What sources does he use to convey these incomparably serious charges? One source and one source only, the only one he seems to know -- military spokespeople, in this case Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner.

Every paragraph in this article -- literally -- does one of two things: (1) uncritically recites the U.S. military's accusations against the Iranian government, and/or (2) offers assertions from Gordon himself designed to bolster those accusations (e.g., "There is also extensive intelligence that Iran has supplied Shiite militants with the most lethal type of roadside bomb in Iraq" and "In Washington, Bush Administration officials have generally held open the possibility that the Quds Force activities might have been carried out without the knowledge of Iran's senior leaders").

I defy anyone to scour Gordon's article and point to a single difference, large or small, between its content and what a Camp Victory Press Release on this topic would say. Such a comparison requires little imagination, since it has become a clear rhetorical objective of the U.S. military to begin pinning the blame for violent attacks in Iraq not just on Iran, but on the Iranian government. Here, for instance, is one "news item"/Press Release posted yesterday by the U.S. military's Public Affairs Office:

BAGHDAD -- Coalition forces captured 27 suspected terrorists, including an alleged terrorist with ties to Iranian elements, during missions conducted across Iraq Friday as Operation Phantom Thunder continues, U.S. military officials reported.
Coalition forces detained a suspected secret cell terrorist Friday in Baghdad's Sadr City section. It is believed the suspected terrorist has close ties to Iranian terror networks and is responsible for numerous attacks on Iraqi civilians as well as on Iraqi and Coalition forces in Baghdad.

The detainee is also suspected of recruiting Iraqis to fill the ranks of Iranian terror groups operating in Iraq, officials said.

"Terrorist with ties to Iranian elements" -- "close ties to Iranian terror networks" -- "fill the rank of Iranian terror groups operating in Iraq" -- "responsible for numerous attacks on . . . Coalition forces in Baghdad." That's all in the first three paragraphs. Michael Gordon couldn't have said it better himself. Whatever else is true, and for whatever reasons, it is transparently clear that the U.S. military has made it a top priority to link the Iranian Government to attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.
It is certainly news that the U.S. military is making such accusations. But the crux of Gordon's article is not to report that -- i.e., that the U.S. military has escalated its rhetoric. The purpose of the article is to pass on the substance of those accusations uncritically, as though they are facts.

Gordon, as is his wont, does not question a single statement that he conveys, does not include a single dissenting view, does not provide a single reason to hold such assertions in doubt, does not obtain or include any responses to the accusations, does not identify any evidentiary gaps in the accusations. Instead, the article does nothing but magically transform the highly provocative yet unverified statements of military leaders into "news" on the pages of The New York Times. Again, read the article carefully -- is there even a single sentence that advances beyond the role of loyal court stenographer to Gen. Bergner?

The context here matters a great deal. We're in an extremely tense and dangerous predicament with regard to Iran. Influential political factions in the U.S. -- including high officials in the White House -- have begun expressly calling for a bombing campaign against Iran. Accusations of the type Gordon passed on this morning have the potential, for painfully obvious reasons, to be highly inflammatory in shaping public opinion and enabling the warmongering elements of the administration and its base to "justify" such an attack. Indeed, if the Supreme Leader of Iran is planning and directing fatal attacks on U.S. troops --as Gordon's article alleges -- how many people would object to a military attack against Iran?

Under those circumstances, how can the NYT possibly justify an article of this magnitude, published without an iota of skepticism, doubt, or qualification? This behavior is particularly mystifying in light of the NYT's prior concession of journalistic wrongdoing, in which it castigated itself for uncritically turning over its front page to dubious pro-war claims prior to the invasion of Iraq, including in several articles by Gordon:

But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged -- or failed to emerge.
Claiming that the highest levels of the Iranian Government are planning fatal attacks on U.S. troops is the equivalent of pre-war claims that Saddam was developing nuclear weapons and actively working with Al Qaeda. What credibility could the NYT possibly have in claiming to regret so mindlessly passing on the latter when, now, they allow and encourage Gordon to pass along the former with equally slavish mindlessness? "Journalism" of this sort is a true menace, and though it probably shouldn't be, it is still just staggering to watch it spew forth day after day.

UPDATE: It is worth noting here -- though Gordon, of course, does not -- that the now-departed Joint Chiefs Chairman, Gen. Peter Pace, created a revealing controversy several months ago when he "said [] there was no evidence the Iranian government was supplying Iraqi insurgents with highly lethal roadside bombs, apparently contradicting claims by other U.S. military and administration officials." At the time, AP noted that Pace's "remarks might raise questions on the credibility of the claims of high-level Iranian involvement, especially following the faulty U.S. intelligence that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003."
It's a good thing that Pete Pace -- like the now-replaced anti-surge Generals -- has been removed from his position and is thus no longer available to call these accusations into question. And as the not-exactly-left-wing Council of Foreign Relations pointed out back in February regarding American claims of Iranian involvement in attacks on U.S. troops, in which it quoted several experts disputing these claims and several reasons to view them with skepticism:

Enormous controversy swirls around this issue, and much of the evidence the United States cites as proof of Iranian involvement remains secret and in some cases is disputed by the Iraqi government, too. This has created an uncomfortable analogy to the period before the Iraq invasion, when secret intelligence ultimately discredited pushed the United States toward war.
The "analogy to the period before the Iraq invasion" certainly does not appear to be creating much "discomfort" for Michael Gordon and the NYT, as it is precisely any reference to the "enormous controversy" over these claims that is so conspicuously missing, as usual, from their recitation of military statements.

UPDATE II: Gordon's article has now been edited substantially, most notably to include several sentences near the beginning of the article that cast at least some doubt on the military's claims. None of these facts were included in the original version:
Previously, Iranian officials have said that the United States is fabricating evidence to back up its accusation that Iran is sending bombs and weapons into Iraq. Some critics have cast doubt on the American military statements about the penetrator bombs, saying the evidence linking them to Iran was circumstantial and inferential.
In remarks that were reported over the weekend, Iran's defense minister, Mohammad Najar, denied American claims of Iran's "military interference" in Iraq. "We have many times announced that we are ready to cooperate with the Iraqi government so to restore security and stability to that country," Mr. Najar was quoted as saying in a July 1 report by the Iranian student news agency, ISNA. It did not make clear which remarks he was responding to.

The article also now refers to the accusations from the U.S. military as "assertions by the American military spokesman." Though there are far more facts that ought to be reported here -- including the fact that such accusations have been denied not only by the Iranians, but also by the Iraqi government, various U.S. military officials and multiple foreign policy experts -- the editorial changes to Gordon's article are clearly improvements.
On a separate note, Bernhard of Moon of Alabama astutely notes that in light of Gen. Bergner's background, it is highly likely that any attempts by him to ratchet up the accusatory rhetoric toward Iran is the by-product of White House decision-making at the highest levels.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Xymphora: London and Jerusalem Bombs

Xymphora is at his best digging out recondite information. Who would have heard about an Orthodox Jewish suicide bomber (against gays) were it not for him?. He's also good at letting you draw your own conclusions, because the ones he draws so often run far afield. (Not that I'm biased or anything like that, but Xymphora still doesn't buy controlled demolition on 9/11 despite all the evidence.)
Here Xymphora digs out interesting information about the purported London bombs found in the Haymarket. But he prefers not to go near what Kurt Nimmo calls Al CIA-duh. (Check out the first of the comments to this blog.)
Oh well, as always, we're on our own.

Gay Bombs
Saturday, June 30, 2007
A few days ago, an Orthodox Jewish suicide bomber was apprehended by Israeli officials before he had a chance to set off his bomb at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade (Orthodox Jews have a problem with gays). We didn’t hear a lot about this, as Jews are always supposed to be victims, and by definition can’t be terrorists. Had he succeeded, he no doubt would have been described as the victim, and an Arab body would have been chosen to be the terrorist. Then the usual typists would have written their opinion pieces wondering what is it in the ‘Arab mind’ that makes the Palestinians so prone to suicide bombing.

It is the gay press that has noticed that one of the latest London ‘bombs’ was on the route of the Gay Pride Parade, and the other parked nearby. The parade was scheduled for the day following the parking of the two cars (although the gay press is downplaying the obvious connection, presumably not to reduce attendance). The car on the route of the parade had been seen being driven ‘erratically’. presumably so it would be noticed (it actually drove into garbage bins in front of a busy nightclub), and had gasoline inside in full view (with labeled containers in case anyone was really slow). The shrapnel was spread on the floor, where it would have had no or little effect, and the police seem to be having difficulty describing the detonator, leading me to believe there wasn’t one. These weren’t bombs, they were warnings.

Needless to say, the cars were described as bombs placed by ‘al Qaeda’, before anyone could have determined who was responsible. I’d be looking for religious fundamentalists, most likely Christian, who have orientation issues (i. e., fear of catching ‘teh gay’). ***

Ronald writes:

If you click on _teh_ you'll find:
It means homosexuality, but as perceived by someone who believes homosexuality is evil and perhaps somehow "catching." The misspelling of "the" is deliberate, designed to imply ignorance or poor communication skills.

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