Was Flight 93 shot down because it was going to crash into a nuclear reactor and is the U. S. junta being coy about it because danger to nuclear reactors is inconsistent with their plans to make lots and lots of money building new nuclear reactors?
This is an excellent analysis of how the current oil war relates to the peculiar relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. It is not over-simplifying things to see all these actions - the Gulf War, the U. S. support of Israel and Egypt, the current oil war - as means to the end of propping up the U. S. client regime that rules Saudi Arabia. The irony will come in if it turns out that parts of this client regime turned on their protector and instigated the terror attacks.
Since there is a media black-out on news from Afghanistan, two questions come to mind: 1) just how many innocent civilians have the Americans murdered thus far in Oil War II?; and 2) just how well (or poorly) are the American troops doing in Afghanistan?
I don't know what to make of this thesis that the attempted Russian coup of ten years ago was prompted by KGB embarrassment connected with its assassination of a Bulgarian writer. For one thing, even if the KGB involvement were revealed, why should the KGB be embarrassed? They've been accused of far worse, and would probably take pride in their handiwork. The alleged KGB-M16 connection is wierd, and also does not explain why the KGB would be forced to precipitate a coup in Russia. The oddest thing about the coup is that almost all the coup plotters have been entirely forgiven, and are now well regarded in Russia.
Some of the anti-globalist protest leaders are concerned that the recent terrorist attacks have so changed the political climate that protest will no longer be possible or effective. This doesn't strike me as much of a problem, for it seems that globalism itself is dead or dying. The current oil war (it should be called 'Oil War II') is going to last for years and years, and will throw all Islamic countries, and many others, into tumult. In most of the third world, multinational corporations will no longer be able to guarantee the safety of either their plants or employees, will not be able to obtain insurance, and will be forced to move their manufacturing back to first world countries. Any businesses associated with America (the 'Great Satan') will be forced to close down (the end of many fast food chains in much of the world). Meetings of bureaucrats and politicians to discuss 'free' trade will be impossible due to terrorist threats. People will become instinctively protectionist as they try to shelter behind national borders. The anti-globalists needn't worry as there will be nothing left to protest.
The United States is dropping bombs on civilians in Afghanistan because it asserts that one man, bin Laden, is responsible for the terrorist bombings and is 'harbored' by the Taliban who rule Afghanistan. The U. S. has produced no proof that bin Laden had anything to do with the terrorism, and neglects to mention that it helped to install him and the Taliban in Afghanistan and that it is currently allied with bin Laden's associates in Kosovo/Macedonia. The war appears to be intended to replace the Taliban with a new regime friendly to U. S. oil interests, to provide an excuse for massive increases in defence and intelligence spending with a concurrent increase in the deficit which will be fixed by reducing social spending, and to provide a massive fear of terror which will enable massive restrictions on civil liberties for American citizens. The goals of the war are intentionally vague (to 'root out' terrorism) to allow for permanent war (and permanent increases in defence spending and restrictions on civil liberties) and war wherever U. S. geopolitical interests lie (the open-endedness effectively exempts the U. S. from all international laws and understandings concerning warfare). The long-term result of all this is that certain people in the United States and elsewhere will become even more obscenely rich, at the cost of the end of domestic peace and prosperity in the U. S. Tens of thousands of Americans will be killed, along with millions of the swarthy types (and bin Laden will spend the rest of his life in a compound in Saudi Arabia, and will die at the age of 96). The American dollar will finally be replaced as the world reserve currency by the Euro, and the financial centre of the world will shift to London and/or Frankfurt. The end of the American dollar as de facto reserve currency will mean that years of U. S. trade deficits will finally be felt in the American economy. Terrorists will start to attack and disable the main middle eastern oil fields, particularly in Saudi Arabia, and extreme fundamentalist regimes will take over in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and elsewhere. The collapse of the U. S. economy coupled with continual terrorist attacks will lead to domestic unrest among the U. S. poor which will be repressed by even more restrictions on civil liberties. In order to stimulate the economy and provide a 'trickle-down effect' , taxes on the hugely rich will be reduced to zero, and what government spending that doesn't go to the military will be used to build huge prisons to house those involved in domestic unrest. The next election will probably have to be 'postponed' for national security reasons and to save the Supreme Court any futher embarassment (elections will be unnecessary anyway as Fox will report polls showing Bush's popularity at 100%). Is all this too pessimistic?
Mike Harris is resigning as Premier of Ontario. In his time as Premier he has destroyed the health-care system and the school system, done all he could to wreck the environment and punish poor people, weakened the government so much that it is unable to properly monitor public health, and, just for kicks, may have even killed an Indian. Is it any wonder that peoplelovehimsomuch?
Seymour Hersh, who appears to be often used as a disseminator of propaganda for the American oligarchs, is presenting embarassing details about the corruption and general perfidity of the current Saudi regime. This is rather silly, as the Saudi leaders have always been corrupt and the oil companies have used this corruption to continue their monopoly hold on the oil industry. I have to assume that the Saudi sheikhs have gotten greedy, and are threatening the interests of the multinational oil companies. This article is either a warning to them to lay off, or is the beginning of a propanda campaign to lead to the American replacement of the current Saudi regime with one more agreeable to oligarch interests.
Commentators are already complaining about the peace protesters, just as their fathers complained about the Vietnam war protesters and their grandfathers complained about the civil rights movement. Is there a gene which makes you a toady for the establishment?
It would be hilarious to get Osmana bin Laden in a court room and have him testify as to his relationships with 1) the CIA, 2) the Pakistani military and government, 3) the Saudi government, and 4) the Bush family. This is why he won't be captured alive.
More questions: 1) how is it that they found the paper passports of the terrorists in the New York rubble, but not the metal black boxes?; 2) what happened to reports of other errant planes on September 11 (particularly one over Colorado)?; 3) did they or did they not shoot down the plane in Pennsylvania?; 4) how did they get this war started so quickly (remember that the Gulf War took months to start)?; 5) is there any truth to the rather implausible stories of all the phone calls made from the hijacked planes?
This article by Stan Goff is written in deepest conspiracy mode, but raises so many questions about the actions and motives of the current American junta that you just have to wonder . . . 1) just what was going on when Bush got the news whispered in his ear in Florida, made one of his most simian faces, and carried on pretending to be able to read to schoolchildren as if nothing had happened?; 2) how are we supposed to believe that the pilots of these planes crashed the planes perfectly in each case, having learned to fly on a combination of Cessna training and video games?; 3) how was it that nothing was done to stop the planes headed for New York and Washington given that there seemed to be lots of time to intercept them?; 4) why would you start a war in Afghanistan almost guaranteed to set off conflagrations you won't be able to stop in Saudi Arabia (which supplies a huge proportion of American oil) and Pakistan (where crazed fanatics could end up controlling a government that has nuclear bombs)?
Is the fall of the Roman empire a guide to understanding the fall of the American empire? One of the problems of being the sole empire is that you don't have the option to take a reasonable, cautious approach to attack. Since you are expected to immediately counter-attack and win, failure to act precipitously is regarded as a weakness and in fact may encourage further attacks. On the other hand, fighting back in a foolish way starts an empire down the long road to destruction. I have felt that much of the sadness about the terrorism is a reflection of the knowledge that the empire is starting to come apart. For all the evil things that empires do they also represent the high points of human civilization, and we all feel a sadness and a personal loss to see them go. I wonder if we will see a burst of creativity as was seen in the Mannerist movement at the end of the Italian renaissance when artists like Michaelangelo expressed their personal feelings about the end of empire in their art.
Some members of Bush's cabinet flew on commercial flights to prove to the American people how safe they felt flying to be. Unfortunately, the head of security for the Federal Aviation Administration was ordered to place air marshalls on these flights, air marshalls which he felt should have been assigned to flights where he felt the risk of terrorist attack was greater. He has therefore decided to quit. Of course, what Bush's brave cabinet members have managed to demonstrate is that they are convinced that it is absolutely not safe to fly on U. S. commercial flights.
Saudi Arabia is led by one of the most corrupt oligarchies in the world. It is supposed to be a great ally of the United States. However, it appears that at least part of the Saudi royal family strongly supports the most fundamentalist of the Islamic terrorist groups. Is this a method to partially direct the wrath of these groups away from Saudi Arabia? Is the royal family itself so sprawling and diverse that some of them don't care if the regime is violently toppled? Is the stated position of some of the fundamentalists, that they want to oust the current regime, a lie meant for Western consumption? No one seems to know.
I don't understand why El-Al is immune from terrorism. Even air marshalls and proper inspection of baggage would not stop a group of determined suicide-terrorists. Could it be that El-Al is immune from terrorism due to an 'understanding' between the terrorist cells and the Mossad that the Mossad won't pursue and destroy the terrorist cells provided that the cells avoid actions involving El-Al?
One of the lies Americans seem to believe is that these wars are required to allow Americans unlimited access to cheap oil. The price of oil is determined by the market. The purpose of these wars is not to keep the price of oil down (in fact, a good argument can be made that they are intended to keep the price of oil up). The purpose of these wars is to ensure that a select group of companies maintain a monopoly hold on the oil business. It makes no difference to the price of oil if the profits from it go to Unocal or to a company owned by the people of Afghanistan.
See how quickly the United States finds itself happy to support a Palestinian state when it finds it needs the support of Arab countries. No wonder Sharon is angry. U. S. support for Israel is no stronger than the extent to which the existence of Israel supports U. S. oil interests.
The United States has a long and sordid history of trying to manipulate politics in the Islamic world to achieve U. S. goals, only to lose control of the situation (a handy list of some of this manipulation is provided in this article). This article provides a good overview of recent and continuing (in Macedonia) CIA use and abuse of Islamic fundamentalism in the Balkans. Now the U. S. is attacking Islamic fundamentalism because the terror used by the CIA in other places in the world goes awry and hits the U. S. It is nothing short of bizarre that the United States is fighting a war against Afghanistan on the basis of the thesis that the rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban, harbour the terrorist mastermind, bin Ladan, when bin Laden was effectively put in his position by the CIA and the CIA at this very moment is using people associated with bin Laden to achieve U. S. geopolitical goals in the Balkans. The argument that this war is a clash of civilizations, the liberal West versus the medieval Islamic fundamentalists, loses all of its force when you realize that much of the fundamentalism exists because it has been used over the past 50 years as a tool of American foreign policy.
The Americans are dropping humanitarian aid onto minefields. Desperate, starving Afghanis will be killed or maimed trying to reach the food. You have to give the American war planners credit: they get to bask in the glory of their love of the citizens of Afghanistan while accomplishing as much human suffering as if they planted the mines themselves.
The CIA has traditionally picked stupid young men seeking adventure to do its dirty work. These 'agents' can be discarded when they become an embarassment. Such a one is Osama. He played a role for them, both a physical role in fighting Russia and a thespian role in representing wild-eyed Islamic fundamentalism. The CIA has created his legend and he now believes it. He is proud to be thought of as the boss of terrorism, the mastermind. He's full of bravado but not quite smart enough to realize that he is being used. Conveniently, he is located in Afghanistan, and therefore rooting him out allows the U. S. to achieve its geopolitical (i. e., oil) goals. The Pakistani army, the Saudi ruling family, the Egyptian army and members in the ruling elites in various Arab states are all deeply involved in supporting terror, but for various reasons it is not convenient to attack these groups, so the Afghanis get to pay the price for living in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Northern Alliance (or, as they prefer to be called, 'United Front') warns us to watch out for 'Paki knavery'. While the source is somewhat suspect, the nefarious roles in the recent terrorism of old ally Saudi Arabia and new ally Pakistan makes the whole ideological basis for the war very suspect. If the United States were really interested in dealing with terrorism, it would be going after those people in the Saudi government and in the Pakistani military who are really behind terrorism, not some people living in caves in Afghanistan.
The 'humanitarian aid' being dropped on Afganistan is so ridiculouslyinsufficient that it is clearly intended as part of the domestic propaganda war in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is meant to prove that the war is in aid of the Afghan people, rather than in aid of the oil companies. The most interesting issue in the early stages of the attack is why Britain is taking such a prominent role. I have to assume that the people who instruct Tony Blair on what to do have, or have been promised, a juicy piece of the action in any oil business to be done in the newly 'liberated' Afghanistan (and of course the British arms industry will also do very well).
If any good comes out of the terrorism, perhaps it would be an education for some Americans as to the psychopathic nature of U. S. foreign affairs from the unnecessary atomic bombing of Japan in 1945 up to the present day. Some people are now saying that it is unfair to mention these things at this time. If not now, at a time when there is at least a limited audience, when? People like Chomsky have been talking about these issues for years, and are absolutely, completely and totally ignored. The enormity of the terror might be just enough to force some Americans to ask themselves just what the hell is going on. (Unfortunately, the oil jones of the multinational corporations means there is no chance that the American oligarchs will do the right thing.)
The other argument is that the fundamentalists are violent, freedom-hating, democracy-hating, woman-hating nuts, and nothing the U. S. could do (e. g., stop bombing Iraq, stop supporting repression of Palestinians, withdraw troops from Islamic holy lands, etc.) would make any difference. This argument resembles much wartime propaganda in that it depicts a sub-human, crazy enemy. The fact is that a small number of people in each society are fundamentalist religious psychos. These people plot and plan and fulminate, but require a certain political culture in order to have enough power to do real harm. If the culture is put under great stress (stress could be caused by being bombed every day or living in refugee camps or in poverty in a country with huge riches that only a few selected by the American oligarchs share in) the psychos start to obtain money and political support and to attract acolytes (some of these acolytes come from parts of the population that aren't necessarily subject to the worst conditions - interestingly, you can see the same pattern in the biographies of many early Christian martyrs). Most people, however, aren't crazy, violent, or fundamentalist. The 'clash of civilizations' argument is just a CIA fantasy, created to provide a replacement for the cold war (though I must admit that I am sometimes attracted to a Quigley-type argument that environmental stress can tend some cultures to take on ideas of militarism or patriarchy). In the current Hitchens versus the-rest-of-the-left debate, Hitchens seems to have opted for the general wartime propaganda clash-of-civilizations side, rather than the more nuanced view that the fundamentalists obtain some power to act due to stress imposed on their culture, at least some of which stress has been caused by the U. S. (it's particularly rich when American commentators make the point that the only Islamic state that is a democracy is Turkey, when achieving such a slate of dictators friendly to U. S. oil interests has been one of the tenets of post-war U. S. foreign relations). The more nuanced view would mean that you don't make an act of terrorism into a world war, with its concomitant vast amount of suffering imposed on the innocent, but simply ferret out the psychos, and start to take steps to relieve the stress which allows them to act.
Ronald Reagan, supporter of the Taliban. 'The resistance of the Afghan freedom fighters is an example to all the world of the invincibility of the ideals we in this country hold most dear, the ideals of freedom and independence.'
So let me get this straight: The best pal of the U. S. in the new war against terrorism is Tony Blair (although Tony Blair's worst terrorist nightmare, the IRA, receives massive funding from supporters in the United States, and almost all the terrorist groups have offices in, and run their funding through, London). Another big pal is Vladimir Putin (although some say the CIA has been helping the same terrorist groups as are connected with bin Laden in their holy war against Russia in Chechnya). The United States supports both sides in the war in Macedonia (although one side, the Albanians, are also allied with bin Laden's pals). The United States is also pals with Saudi Arabia (although some of the family that rules Saudi Arabia also supports radical Islamic fundamentalist groups and the bin Laden family is super-friends with the Saudi rulers). Finally, the United States is also suddenly great pals with Pakistan (although Pakistan continues to support Islamic fundamentalist terrorist operations in India, and Pakistan's military intelligence unit, the ISI, is the primary supporter of the Taliban in Afganistan). Everything is clear to me now.
The U. S. controlled press has now decided that Bush has found his stride and is up to the challenge. Why? For no reason other than he was able to read the speech that his handlers wrote for him. Someone has translated his speech to Congress from Chimp into English.
The Diaspora, Debt, and Dollarization: Unraveling Lebanon’s Resilience to a
Sovereign Debt Crisis
There are no official statistics on the numbers of Lebanese who have
emigrated and are working abroad, nor on the immense sums of money they
transfer to ...