Friday, March 31, 2006

More proof of a conspiracy

In all the malarkey we’re hearing from the apologists for the Israel Lobby about the Mearsheimer and Walt paper, it should not be forgotten that the idea that the war was fought for Israel isn’t somebody’s wild thesis submitted with no proof whatsoever.  We can prove it.  Without the slightest doubt.  David Wurmser, Cheney’s chief Middle East advisor, and Douglas Feith, the guy in charge of ‘stovepiping’ the intelligence using the Office of Special Plans in order to fool American officialdom with phony intelligence and hide the real intelligence, were both involved in the ‘Clean Break’ paper.  That paper, written for Netanyahu, states:

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq - an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right - as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

I guess you could think it is a complete coincidence that people involved in advising an extreme right-wing Israeli leader by providing specific policy advice, advice which Israel couldn’t possibly carry out itself, end up in high positions in the American government, with the exact steps in the advice suddenly becoming American foreign and military policy, involving deceit and deception in the American government engineered by one of the advisers.  You could think it is a coincidence.  But then you’d be a fool.  I note that steps involving Lebanon and Syria – Syria is the real target – have also become part of American public policy (contrary to what I’ve read on the internet, Iran plays almost no role in the paper).  Coincidences everywhere!

Justin Raimondo catches Max Boot in a huge mistake.  Boot argues that the Lobby must be fiction as the chair occupied by Walt is endowed by Robert and Renee Belfer, Jewish philanthropists who are also supporters of Israel.  Boot argues quite convincingly that if the Lobby were really so powerful, it would never have allowed the paper to be published.  The New York Sun reports:

“Harvard, the observer said, had received ‘several calls’ from ‘pro-Israel donors’ expressing concern about the Walt-Mearsheimer paper. One of the angered contributors is said to be the donor who underwrote the chair occupied by Dean Walt, Robert Belfer. Mr. Belfer, a 1958 graduate of Harvard Law School, endowed a faculty chair as part of a $7.5 million gift to the Kennedy School in 1997. In addition to bearing the title of academic dean of the Kennedy School, Mr. Walt is also the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Politics.

According to the observer, ‘Since the furor, Bob Belfer has called expressing his deep concerns and asked that Stephen not use his professorship title in publicity related to the article.’

Reached yesterday by phone in Florida, Mr. Belfer declined to comment on the situation.”

The ‘deep concerns’ of Bob Belfer prove, on Boot’s own logic, the power of the Israel Lobby.  In fact, Mearsheimer and Walt had a great deal of trouble getting their ideas published in the United States.  The Lobby is so busy figuring how to fool Americans into murdering Muslims, that they can’t watch everything, and Mearsheimer and Walt managed to sneak one by.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Peter Waldron et al

There is a l-o-n-g history of Americans using missionaries for covert political purposes (see the huge book, “Thy Will Be Done”).  Recent examples include Michael Meiring (more here) and Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo.  The most recent one is Peter Waldron in Uganda.  To get a taste for the wild company these people keep, a few words on Meiring:

“Philippine police discovered that Meiring, the NSC amputee, had run with
neo-nazis and Islamic radicals alike, including the Abu Sayyaf and other
radical fronts. His key contact in Nevada was financier James Rowe of
Nevada, an executive producer for Wild Rose Productions, an independent
documentary production company in New Green Valley, near Las Vegas. Rowe, in
turn, ran with white supremacists and tax rebels in Nevada, also neo-nazis
in the United States and Germany. Another of Meiring's contacts back home
was Chuck Ager, an ultracon mining engineer in Colorado. Another was Nina
North (possibly an alias), a CIA operative who took over ‘back door’
financial transactions in black market gold formerly conducted by Oliver
North. Another was Filipino-American Bob Gould, a tax protester from
Hayward, California in league with Fred Obado, leader of the Kodar Kiram
terrorist cell, son of Sultan Jumalul Kiram.”

It’s like a short history of conspiracy theory all in one guy.

 

Shocking new evidence

The ‘shocking new evidence’ and ‘major breakthrough’ in the Hariri assassination investigation is that the investigators now have transcripts of telephone calls between Lebanon and Syria, including a call between a Lebanese official and a Syrian official in which the Lebanese official informed the Syrian official of the death of Hariri.  A few comments:

    1. Why wouldn’t a Lebanese official inform a Syrian official about such a development?  How does it lead to an assumption of guilt?
    2. This may prove Syrian innocence.  Why would they need a call if they did it?
    3. The British knew about the assassination investigation and held on to the transcript of the call until now.  What’s up with that?  Were they afraid that they would show the Syrians that all their phones are bugged?  Is it now so important to frame Syria that they are prepared to give up their phone surveillance operation?

Note the last paragraph of the article, the Return of Mehlis!

Quick guide to hostage rescue in Iraq

Quick guide to hostage rescue in Iraq:

  • go to Baghdad
  • ask around to find the head of the organized crime ring that has your hostage in custody
  • pay him more than the CIA or the Mossad did.

He will then arrange for the captors to disappear and will tell you the address where to find the hostage.

Sheikh Yassin's picture

Dahr Jamail assembles a lot of evidence regarding the Israeli assistance to the United States in attacking the Iraqi people.  Jamail writes:

“I remember seeing photos of Sheikh Yassin in several areas of Baghdad and Abu Ghraib while both entering and exiting Fallujah on April 9 and 10, during the US attack on the city. The photos of the slain Hamas leader were pasted on the sides of cars, trucks, roadside food stalls and even some houses.”

Sheikh Yassin was the leader of Hamas murdered by Israel on March 22, 2004 as part of its program of targeted assassinations (the current democratically elected leaders of Hamas are also under vague Israeli threats of similar treatment).  Just because Americans are the most ill-informed people on the planet – thanks to their corrupt, lazy and stupid media – doesn’t mean that Israeli actions don’t directly affect the response of  people in the Middle East to Americans.  Iraqis accurately see the attack against them and against Islam as being part of a coordinated Israeli-American strategy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blueprints

Be careful of discussion of Osama reading building blueprints.  It’s disinformation.  The October 2001 Osama claimed Muslims would never do such a thing, and he had nothing to do with September 11.  Later Osama’s tried to show how much hand’s-on control they had over the scheme, including inspecting the blueprints.

I need to consider how much ‘al Qaeda’ had to do with September 11.  The most radical theory is that ‘al Qaeda’ had nothing to do with it!

Chomsky shills for the Lobby

Here’s Chomsky shilling for the Israel Lobby.  His argument is essentially that American support for Israel is like American support of a whole line of causes, all of which are in aid of American Empire building.  Therefore, the real motivating factor is American Empire, and not Lobby interests.  This argument is silly, and completely without content, because it proves too much.  What if the United States had supported the Arabs rather than Israel, a much more obvious strategy for the interests of Americans and the Empire?  Then Chomsky would be writing how that pro-Arab strategy was in aid of the American elites and their Empire!  Had Americans supported Arabs and not Israel the American Empire would be much, much, much more powerful than it is now (at this very moment, it is about to collapse).  The Empire thesis supports any set of possible American actions, and so is completely without content.

Chomsky seems to think it is important that Israel is occasionally - very, very occasionally – forced to back down by American officials from its most outrageous crimes against humanity or actions against American interests.  This proves nothing as long as the primary ethnic cleansing goal of the Lobby continues unabated, which it does. The fact that the Lobby may have been useful to the Empire twenty years ago is completely irrelevant to a post-Cold War world.  Chomsky is smart enough to know this, so we have to assume he’s spinning for the Lobby.  Another icon has ruined his reputation, all for Greater Israel.  It’s sad.  Despite all his great work, he’ll go down in history as a shill for evil.

The new Scientology

I find it amusing how similar to a religion controlled demolition has become for many people.  Think about it.  You are the world’s expert on controlled demolition.  Your job is to take down two buildings much, much taller than any building ever demolished, and land them perfectly on their bases more accurately than any controlled demolition that has ever happened.  You have to do this by doing a massive amount of work on every floor of two constantly occupied buildings, without anybody seeing anything

One person claims that one tower was shut down for a weekend.  Despite the fact that there must have been hundreds or even thousands of people in the towers that weekend, no other person can confirm this.  It is preposterous anyway.  This type of building has multiple electrical systems, and is never shut down.  The kind of tenants who lease these buildings expect and demand access 24/7, 365 days of the year.  Anyone who thinks you could shut down a tower (and what about the other one?) for a full weekend has never worked in this kind of building. 

Oh, the added degree of difficulty for the demolition expert is that all his planted cutting charges, rigged to go off serially floor by floor with split-second precision, are going to be subjected to being hit by two large aircraft arriving at some vaguely determined middle floor, with absolutely no way to determine what effect this will have on the control systems for the demolition.  Absurd.  Find a new religion.  Scientology is looking for addled people.

The Chomsky/Blankfort Polemic and the philosophy of conspiracy theory

This interview (or here or here), by Silvia Cattori of  Jeffrey Blankfort, is the single most important thing to read about the pernicious influence of the Israel Lobby on American policies.  I need to write more about this, but Blankfort touches on the basic philosophical debate between conspiracy theory, which focuses on what actually happens in the world (and really needs more respect and a philosophical structure), and doctrinaire Marxism, which ties to fit every issue into the Procrustean bed of class analysis.  Why Marxism, which has been disproved in every possible way in praxis is still so compelling in theory to so many people is one of the great mysteries of our times.  I’ve got nothing against class analysis – it’s certainly the single most useful way to analyze many political and social issues – but the idea that it is the only permissible way to analyze what happens in the world is, in a word, moronic.  Why would anyone think that any big issue can only be dealt with by one privileged form of analysis?  Chomsky’s blindness to the truth – he also has a huge problem with conspiracy theory generally, including all the theory about the JFK assassination – comes from the fact he is still a Marxist at heart.  Many influential thinkers who developed their ideas in the 1940’s and 1950’s and 1960’s have the same problem.

This debate is now being framed around the issue of the attack on Iraq.  The Marxists and their fellow-travelers, most of whom don’t even realize who they are traveling with (!), claim that we cannot blame Israel for the attack.  The attack had to be caused by the class interests of the most powerful American elites, who are now manipulating facts to put the blame on poor, innocent Israel.  We hear lots of talk about oil, geopolitics and the American Empire, even though the only real evidence of actual causation has nothing to do with any of these factors.  We have to throw away theory which leads us astray.  More later.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Demolition control

Controlled demolition continues to be the most popular of the September 11 conspiracy theories.  Cannonfire considers the collapse of WTC7, and is not impressed by the arguments made by the conspiracy theorists.  Of course, many of the same arguments are made with respect to the two towers.  I think it might be possible to distinguish the collapse of WTC7, based on the fact that it collapsed in an obviously different way from the collapses of the towers.  WTC7 fell in a way which looks like a controlled demolition.  Diesel fuel or not, there is still no reason for WTC7 to collapse, particularly as there is no reason to believe that the protective insulation was knocked off the girders.  The insulation is there to prevent a fire from weakening the steel, and its removal by the plane crashes led to the collapse of the towers.  What knocked the insulation off the steel in WTC7?

Given the spooky tenant list of WTC7, I wonder whether it is possible that WTC7 was ‘pulled’ as part of a pre-existing protocol which had nothing whatsoever to do with September 11.  It may have been felt that it would be dangerous to allow fireman and fire inspectors to wander around in WTC7.  For example, there may have been a fear that spies of various kinds might take the opportunity of the confusion to pick something up.  What if some government organization had floors of cells to hold innocent American citizens after the Orwellian crack-down?  There are some things you just don’t want outsiders to see.  WTC7 might have been pre-installed with charges for the purpose of taking it down should there be any need for outsiders to enter sensitive areas, the idea being that it is better to destroy everything rather than run the risk of secrets falling into the wrong hands.  The tenants may have been tenants there on the understanding that information in the building was protected in that way (leading to an understanding attitude towards the placing of the explosive charges).  The fact that the Official Story is having trouble with WTC7, after having no trouble explaining the tower collapses, may mean that there is more to the collapse of WTC7 than we are supposed to hear.

One of the arguments made about the collapse of the two towers is that they fell so fast – as fast as free-fall or even faster (! - someone alert Galileo!) – that there needed to be explosive charges involved.  This theory is one of those that proves too much.  In order for the controlled demolition to knock out the joint supports in a way which would satisfy the 9–11 skeptics, there would have had to be cutting charges placed on nearly every floor all the way up the building.  Since the buildings were finished, and had interior walls, the installers of the explosives would have had to remove the walls, remove the insulation, place the charges in various places symmetrically around the core of each tower, on almost every floor of a continually occupied building, without anyone seeing anything.  The explosions had to be timed perfectly to go off floor by floor and they had to be certain that the timing of the explosions would not be affected by the fact that planes were going to be crashing somewhere into the buildings.  Not just impossible.  Preposterous. 

Monday, March 27, 2006

Turkey and Iran

I keep reading that American officials are hanging around Turkey, arranging for Turkish participation in the attack on Iran.  This doesn’t make any sense.  If Iran is attacked – and I still think there is no chance of that happening, but all the talk about it has successfully kept the price of oil up – the goal will be Iraq-style ‘regime change’, followed closely by an Iraq-style, Israel-mandated break-up of the country into pieces.  The north will naturally be broken off to join the new Greater Kurdistan being formed in northern Iraq. A similar break-up of Syria will lead to eastern Syria joining Kurdistan as well.  At that point, the pressures for eastern Turkey to join the new Greater Kurdistan will be enormous.  Suddenly Turkey, which likes being a rectangular country, will be square.  Since the inevitable conclusion of an attack on Iran is the destruction of modern Turkey, I don’t think we’ll be seeing too much Turkish help for any attack on Iran.  In fact, what we’re seeing is an improvement in Turkish-Iranian relations as they face a common set of enemies. 

Saturday, March 25, 2006

From security clearances to state-controlled press

SusanG interviews Daniel Ellsberg for the Daily Kos, and Daniel Ellsberg puts two and two together to draw some logical, if frightening, conclusions concerning American journalism (questions are in bold; the Bernstein article is about CIA control of American journalism in the mid-70’s; my emphasis is in red):

What do you think of the Judith Miller episode?

Their performance on the whole Judith Miller question from start to finish was just awful.

Now it was something I talked to you before about. Let me put it down on paper. Did you look at the Carl Bernstein piece?

Yes.

Over 200 reporters, according to Bernstein, had signed secrecy agreements with the CIA. There were a number of individuals who did really work to put stories in that they wanted, to publish stuff they wanted. I believe that's what they were saying about Joe Alsop and Stewart Alsop, that they were essentially assets of the CIA, which means they would put out CIA line. Not because they were literal employees, but because they were friends with people in the CIA.”

and:

“… Judith Miller said, I had a security clearance. Now I think she was telling the truth. They said, no, it was just a simple non-disclosure agreement or some misunderstanding, I think that's the cover story. She had a clearance. What would that mean?

It means that she's trusted by these people as one of the team. They're not giving it to her under threat, they're giving it to her because they trust her to carry this out. Wonderful self-esteem there and the feeling of being an insider, and your fellows don't have that. It means you will now get information that people who don't have that clearance will not get. You'll get it in part because you're trusted and because you have something to lose, they'll take it away. If you violate it, you won't get that stuff anymore. You infer from that that you will get information that others don't get because you'll be trusted not to print it unless they tell you it's all right.

My guess is very strongly that Judith Miller did have such a clearance and did have a background check and it meant that she was entitled to get information authoritatively that others were not entitled to get on the understanding that she has a lot to lose - namely a clearance - and not just the one source, but from a lot of sources. It gives her entrée. Take somebody who likes Judith Miller and would tell her all these things, he would tell her various background things. He liked Miller, he's an old friend of hers. That doesn't mean he could take her into a room and tell a subordinate or tell somebody else to show her a piece of paper. He couldn't do that. He'd be putting his neck on the line.

If she has a clearance, he could take her to a meeting, to a place, to anybody, and say, "This woman is okay, she's cleared."

I thought right away: Judith Miller, Judith Miller. She's one of Bernstein's people here. And remember, he says it was one of their most carefully guarded secrets that they had, that they kept the Church Committee from putting out. They gave them stuff on assassination instead; that was less scary.

In every case, Bernstein said, where a journalist had such an agreement, it was known to their boss - to their editor or publisher or both. So I infer from that that probably Bill Keller - possibly not - or Howell Raines, but certainly the publisher, Sulzberger, did know. Now let's go one step further. Bernstein quotes somebody at the CIA as saying, "Our greatest asset is the New York Times." All right.

My guess would be that much more likely than not that Judith Miller had clearance and I would infer from that there's a good possibility, one-third (I really think it's more than half) that the current publisher has a security clearance. Now you could say, the simple reaction to that could be well, all right, you know, he's in the news business for foreign affairs it might be good for him to be able to learn some secrets. But if you know the system, even without saying, "this is absolutely outrageous and horrible and intolerable" - you don't have to go that far - there are some real problems with that. And it has to do with a formal acceptance of being on the team. It goes beyond having lunch with these people and having the same social set. It's really very like being part of the government. I'm not saying it's clearly an instrument of the government all the time, but it might be an instrument of the government part of the time.

That's one thing for radicals to say as they do that they're all on the same team. But I'm sorry, I would not be happy to have it proved that the New York Times, which is the first thing I read every morning is, after all, a government newspaper. And obviously there are limitations to that because there's no question that they do put out from time to time things that the government does not want out. I can say that I know that better than most.”

The obvious difference from the 1970’s is that the part of the American government controlling the press is now the Pentagon and not (only) the CIA.  One could, of course, discuss whether Ellsberg’s theory on government control of the New York Times is itself an attempt to hide the fact that Miller and Sulzberger were really acting for Israeli interests, thus landing us back in the same old debate.

Proof of a conspiracy

The Kennedy School of Government removed its logo from Walt/Mearsheimer paper and made more prominent a disclaimer stating that the views expressed belong only to the authors.  From The Harvard Crimson (the Sun article is here):

“Yesterday’s issue of The New York Sun reported that an ‘observer’ familiar with Harvard said that the University had received calls from ‘pro-Israel donors’ concerned about the KSG paper. One of the calls, the source told The Sun, was from Robert Belfer, a former Enron director who endowed Walt’s professorship when he donated $7.5 million to the Kennedy School’s Center for Science and International Affairs in 1997.

‘Since the furor, Bob Belfer has called expressing his deep concerns and asked that Stephen not use his professorship title in publicity related to the article,’ the source told The Sun.”

As Rozwadow at Daily Kos notes:

“No need for comment.  In succesfully getting Harvard, with its billions in endowment, to repudiate a tenured professor's study, they prove the study's thesis.”

The problem, and it is an immense one, isn’t with American Jews, whose sole problem is that they remain quiet while others purport to speak for them (with some praise-worthy exceptions), but with a tiny group of American Jewish plutocrats. And I mean tiny.  We’re talking less than a hundred big political donors, probably less than twenty-five.  They have large amounts of money to give, mostly come from the American media and entertainment industries (and thus control their own spin), and most importantly, donate their money based on only one issue, requiring the recipients of their donations to take a pure Likudnik approach on the Middle East.  Their donations are actually more corrupting to the Democrats than to the Republicans, as the Democrats are much more dependent on this particular source of money, and this dependence explains the bizarre Democrat approach to Israel, the Iraq war, and the Middle East.  The crazy views of a handful of plutocrats are not only destructive to American interests, they are destructive to Israeli interests and wider Jewish interests.

By the way, did you notice that Dershowitz’ attack on the paper is an incompetent use of much the same methodology that Norman Finkelstein used so devastatingly against Dershowitz himself?

 

Friday, March 24, 2006

The next popular war

Since September 11 there has been ongoing speculation that the Bush Administration would counter one crisis or another by triggering another terrorist attack on American soil.  The Republicans are in a particular funk at the moment, and with elections coming up, the idea that another attack might occur is difficult to resist.

On the other hand, Bush now bases his entire Presidency on the illusion that he is the guy to protect Americans from terrorism.  It will be difficult to blame the next attack on Clinton.  After the Dubai ports fiasco and other questions about American port security, the responsibility for a new attack might turn right back at Bush.  Another attack blamed on another Middle Eastern country that the United States is talking about attacking follows a fairly obvious pattern.  The average American is dumber than a can of paint – a significant proportion of Americans, and an overwhelming majority of the soldiers in Iraq, still think Saddam had something to do with September 11! – but even Americans might start to wonder about the Bush Administration going to the same well again.  Some might even wonder why a country like Iran, which seems to be in the cross hairs, would do something with no strategic military significance but which would surely lead to immediate reprisal, and total nuclear destruction. 

The Pentagon is moving its chess pieces around the world to prepare for a war with China.  Despite all the talk about the ‘long war’ / ‘war on terror’, the Pentagon is voting with its pocketbook and buying things that would not be useful to fight the ‘long war’, but are directed specifically at fighting a war with China. China and the United States seem headed to a conflict over energy, with American plans to seal up the world’s hydrocarbons under total American control running straight into understandable Chinese concerns about energy security.  Chinese internal harmony is fragile, and depends on the plan of increasing prosperity through increasing industrialization, a plan that would be ruined by an energy crisis or even the threat of an energy crisis.  We are seeing the beginnings of the energy conflict in American resistance to Iranian gas supply to China.  Newly announced pipeline notwithstanding, Russia would prefer to send its energy to Europe, and the Chinese leaders must be starting to feel the noose tighten.

Although the war would be about oil and gas, it would probably be nominally about Taiwan.  Support for Taiwan comes right after support for Israel in the neocon play book, and either side can find some casus belli based on Taiwan without breaking into a sweat.  The advantages for the Republicans are enormous.  Besides a permanent place in power, just think of the size of all the corrupt military contracts!  A war the size of a China war would lead to just the type of fascist military organization in the United States that neocons like Ledeen drool over.  A big added advantage for the United States is that a victory over China would wipe out most of its deficit problem.  That fact alone, and the fact there seems to be no other way out of the upcoming American financial crisis, makes the war seem inevitable.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

From Haaretz (my emphasis), a comment from Akiva Eldar:

“The combination of an initiative aimed against Hamas - a party that is officially defined as a ‘terror organization’ - and a Congressional election year should have insured that for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), passing a law limiting the aid to the Hamas government and associated bodies would be as easy as cutting through butter with a knife. And now, to the great surprise of the heads of the strongest pro-Israel lobby in Washington, nearly two months after they planted the proposal for the law with their obedient servants in both the House and the Senate, and two weeks after they sent out 2,000 activists to assault Capitol Hill, the proposal is still stuck deep in the pipeline.

Thus far about 150 members the House of Representatives have signed the proposal, about 70 short of the required number. On the weekend, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that AIPAC had distributed to its activists a panicked bulletin warning them that if the missing votes are not recruited by next Wednesday, the initiative will be lost.

An aide to a member of Congress told the Jewish weekly Forward that apparently the penny has finally dropped for the elected representatives of the American public. They have started to realize that the constant harassment of Arabs is liable to damage American interests in the Middle East, especially in Iraq.

It is possible that he, like many of his colleagues in the power centers of Washington, has read a new study on the pro-Israel lobby published by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Two professors, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard, dared to put in writing things that are often heard in closed rooms now that the U.S. has sunk into the Iraqi swamp. The group of neo-conservatives that pushed President George W. Bush into this swamp has become the punching bag of U.S. academia and media, and it was only a question of time before it became Israel's turn to pay the price of the battle waged by Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and their colleagues in the pro-Israel lobby and its allies on the Christian right.

The start of the trial of the two AIPAC men accused of handing secret information over to Israel looks like the perfect timing for the publication of one of the most critical documents ever written at a first-rank academic institution about U.S. policy toward Israel (the main points of the article appear on The London Review of Books' Web site). The authors argue that the American support for Israel was one of the main reasons for the Al-Qaida terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

‘There is no question,’ they write, ‘that many Al-Qaida leaders, including Bin Laden, are motivated by Israel's presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians.’

They note that American public opinion polls and research institutes show that the one-sided policy toward Israel is attracting fire against the United States on the Arab street and helping fanatics like Bin Laden to recruit activists. The researchers argue that Israel is detrimentally dragging the United States into a struggle against Iran. Moreover, they state that the nuclear weaponry in Israel's hands is one of the reasons that Iran, like other countries in the region, also wants to equip itself with a bomb. In their opinion, the American threat to depose the governments of those states increases nuclear appetites.

The two do not refrain from mentioning that Israel consistently bites the American hand that feeds it - usually, contrary to U.S. interests. With its one hand, Israel is establishing settlements, contrary to the wishes of the Untied States, and with the other it is smiting the Palestinians and tearing up American peace plans one after the other.

Once the pictures of American soldiers dying in Baghdad and of hungry Palestinian children in Gaza schools obliterate the pictures of the Israeli children killed in buses in Jerusalem and the Qassams in Sderot, the new government in Israel may well discover a different America.”

It’s too bad Americans have to read the truth about the United States from an Israeli newspaper.

How much is a Palestinian child worth?

From jews sans frontieres, the Israeli government has finally set the official bounty amount for dead Palestinian children.  How else would you read an official government payment to a soldier for forcing him to go through the inconvenience of an investigation for having shot a child?  Needless to say, nothing was done about the atrocity other than going through the motions of a whitewash hearing.  This is just more of the easy racism which forms the basis of Israel, the same easy racism that allows Israeli officials to refer to the forced starvation of the Palestinians in Gaza as a ‘diet’.  The underlying idea that the Palestinians are untermenschen is a necessary precondition of die Endlösung of the Palestinian Question. 

But note how well the Israelis have learned from the Nazis.  "It's like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won't die."  That’s the trick. The Nazis didn’t show enough restraint.  The Israelis have learned well.  By murdering their children one by one, paying bounties to the murderers, depriving them of (almost) all food, encircling them with walls and then stealing the land captured by the walls (remember how six months ago you were a vicious anti-Semite if you claimed Israel was going to do this, and that the wall was just for ‘security’, and Olmert is now announcing that Israel is indeed going to steal all the lands captured by the wall?), cutting them off from their agricultural lands and water supplies, forcing them to endure checkpoint harassment and delays, and caging them in the bantustans, the idea is to gradually make life so intolerable for the Palestinians that they will ‘voluntarily’ leave, thus achieving Nazi results without the PR problems that the Nazis had.  The key to modern ethnic cleansing is to do it systematically, but slowly and quietly, limiting the overt acts of violence to the minimum required to do the job.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Absurd Dershowitz

The Zionist counterattack against the Walt-Mearsheimer paper on the Israel Lobby has already begun. There are so many things to say I don't know where to begin, so I thought I'd focus today on one simple point. From the worst newspaper in the United States, the New York Sun:

"A professor at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz, whom the authors call an 'apologist' for Israel, said he found much of the paper to be 'trash.' He said, 'It could have been written by Pat Buchanan, by David Duke, Noam Chomsky, and some of the less intelligent members of Hamas. An intelligent member of Hamas would not have made these mistakes.'
Those mistakes for Mr. Dershowitz include, for example, the assertion that 'There is no question, for example, that many Al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, are motivated by Israel's presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians,' which Mr. Dershowitz says 'is just absurd.'"

Absurd? From bin Laden's late September 2001 interview (or here or here), one of the last things we've heard from him which can be regarded as authentic (my emphasis):

"I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel. There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya and Bosnia? Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims."

From an interview from May 1998 (my emphasis):

"America has no religion that can deter her from exterminating whole peoples. Your position against Muslims in Palestine is despicable and disgraceful. America has no shame. ... We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets, and this is what the fatwah says ... . The fatwah is general (comprehensive) and it includes all those who participate in, or help the Jewish occupiers in killing Muslims."

From an interview, probably the last authentic one - later interviews have 'bin Laden' taking credit for September 11, something the real bin Laden never did - from October 2001 (my emphasis):

"Q: Sheikh, I see that most of your answers are about Palestine and the Palestinian cause. In the beginning, your focus on killing the unfaithful and the Jews ... and you specified then that the Americans should be sent out of the Arabian Peninsula. Now you're turning your attention to Palestine first and the Arabian Peninsula second. What's your comment?
BIN LADEN: Jihad is a duty to liberate Al-Aqsa, and to help the powerless in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon and in every Muslim country. There is no doubt that the liberation of the Arabian Peninsula from infidels is a duty as well. But it is not right to say that Osama put the Palestinian issue first. I have given speeches in which I encourage Muslims to boycott America economically. I said Americans take our money and give it to Israel to kill our children in Palestine. I established a front a few years ago named The Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders. Sometimes we find the right elements to push for one cause more than the other. Last year's blessed intifada helped us to push more for the Palestinian issue. This push helps the other cause. Attacking America helps the cause of Palestine and vice versa. No conflict between the two; on the contrary, one serves the other."

and (my emphasis):

"We are in a decisive battle with the Jews and those who support them from the crusaders and the Zionists. We won't hesitate to kill the Israelis who occupied our land and kill our children and women day and night. And every person who will side with them should blame themselves only. Now how we will get out of the tunnel, that is the [unintelligible] of the other side. We were attacked, and our duty is to remove this attack. As far as the Jews are concerned, the prophet has announced that we will fight them under this name, on this land. America forced itself and its people in this [unintelligible] more than 53 years ago. It recognized Israel and supported its creation financially. In 1973, under Nixon, it supported Israel with men, weapons and ammunition from Washington all the way to Tel Aviv. This support helped change the course of history. It is the Muslim's duty to fight. ..."

It has always been completely clear that one of the main complaints of bin Laden has been the American and Israeli war against the Palestinians. Another major complaint has been infidel occupation of Islamic holy places, including Jerusalem. There is no possible way that anyone aware of bin Laden's attitudes can fail to notice that he is obsessed with the plight of the Palestinians, and obsessed with Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. It is Dershowitz who is absurd.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Return of the aluminum tube monster

Michael Gordon co-wrote, with Judith Miller, the infamous aluminum tube article in the New York Times, the article which formed much of the basis for the PR spin by the Bush Administration, particularly Dick Cheney, to lead to the attack on Iraq. Gordon is now flogging a book he wrote on the very war his misleading article helped to cause! It's enough to make you sick.


In order to sell more of his blood-soaked books, Gordon allowed himself to be interviewed by Amy Goodman, who came fully prepared, and nailed Gordon to the wall. Note the belligerence in Gordon, who comes across as the world's biggest asshole. Gordon twists and turns, and raises every red herring in the book, but admits that there were strong dissenting opinions in the U. S. government about the use of the tubes, and yet wrote the article without even the slightest hint that Saddam could have had any reason for having the tubes except making nuclear weapons of mass destruction. In particular, there was absolutely no reference to Energy Department and State Department views which differed from the Bush war-mongering view. The official Miller/Gordon response seems to be that no one would talk to them about these dissenting views, but it appears certain that they simply didn't ask anyone other than the Bush Administration sources. Washington itself was full of people who could have set the matter straight, definitively, at the time the article was published (for an excellent account of how scientifically bad the aluminum tubes story was, see James Moore). The article was written based entirely on anonymous American government sources, needless to say only those who supported what amounted to the main plank of the Bush Administration case for war, and came at exactly the time that the Bush Administration had decided to start its PR campaign (right after the summer for, as Andy Card pointed out, you don't sell a new product like the attack on Iraq in the summer).


John R. MacArthur describes the Gordon-Miller article:

"In a disgraceful piece of stenography, Michael Gordon and Judith Miller
inflated an administration leak into something resembling imminent Armageddon:
'More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass
destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked
on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration
officials said today.'

The key to this A-bomb program was the attempted
purchase of 'specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe
were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.' Mysteriously,
none of those tubes had reached Iraq, but 'American officials' wouldn't say why,
'citing the sensitivity of the intelligence.'

Gordon and Miller were
mostly careful to attribute their information to anonymous 'administration
officials,' but at one point they couldn't restrain themselves and crossed the
line into commentary. After nodding to administration 'critics' who favored
containment of Hussein, they wrote this astonishing paragraph:

'Still,
Mr. Hussein's dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with
what defectors described in interviews as Iraq's push to improve and expand
Baghdad's chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United
States to the brink of war.'"


Judith Miller has borne the brunt of the justified criticisms of the campaign of deceit waged by the Times to fool Americans into a disastrous, illegal, and immoral - not to mention expensive to the tune of a trillion or two dollars - war, but Gordon shouldn't be allowed to get off scot-free. In particular, it would be a shame if he were to make one thin dime off a book on a war which he played a major role in causing.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The mechanics of a conspiracy

A criticism of the thesis of the importance of the Israel Lobby is that it looks too much like the Czarist ‘Learned Elders of Zion’ fable, or too much like the world Jewish conspiracy thesis believed by crazy people like Jack London, H. G. Wells, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, or Céline (no, not Dion!).  Of course, the difference between the old conspiracy theories and the new Israel Lobby theory is that we actually have hard evidence of the mechanics of the current conspiracy.  We know about AIPAC and its remarkable financial control over American politicians, we know about the espionage scandal, we know about JINSA, we know about the neocons and the lies that led to the attack on Iraq, we know about the Christian evangelist control over the White House and its connections to Israeli colonialism, we know about the hard lobbying going on now with respect to Syria and Iran. This isn’t anybody’s conspiracy theory.  This is conspiracy fact.

I mentioned the recent telephone lobbying to the Canadian Prime Minister made with respect to Hamas.  The result was absolutely remarkable.  The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister - who happens to be the second most important man in the party and the probable eventual leader once Harper wears out his welcome - who went to a lot of trouble to fashion a reasonable compromise, was publicly humiliated and the hardest of hard-line stances with respect to Hamas and the Palestinians – the Israeli ‘diet’ plan – was put in place.  All on the basis of one documented telephone call!  This isn’t a conspiracy; this is a fact.  Not only that, but the call put such a fear in Harper that he essentially banned his Ministers from talking to the press.  Canada now has only one Minister, the Prime Minister.  The Prime Minister’s Office was always too powerful, but this is getting ridiculous.  All on the basis of the fear induced by one telephone call!

The Lobby and its apologists will put up a lot of smoke and mirrors in an attempt to hide the truth, so it is important to document the actual mechanics of the world-wide conspiracy for Israeli colonialism.  It is not just political, but covers every aspect of human culture that could possibly harm the Project for Greater Israel.  From an article by Philip Weiss, “Rachel Corrie: Too Hot for New York”, on the mothballing of the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie by the New York Theater Workshop:

“Just whom was the Workshop consulting in its deliberations? It has steadfastly refused to say. In the New York Observer, Nicola mentioned ‘Jewish friends.’ Dodgson says that in discussions with the Royal Court, Workshop staffers brought up the Anti-Defamation League and the mayor's office as entities they were concerned about. (Abe Foxman of the ADL visited London in 2005 and denounced the play in the New York Sun as offensive to Jewish ‘sensitivities.’) By one account, the fatal blow was dealt when the global PR firm Ruder Finn (which has an office in Israel) said it couldn't represent the play.”

and:

“Questions about pressure from Jewish leaders morph quickly into questions about funding. Ellen Stewart, the legendary director of the theatrical group La MaMa E.T.C., which is across East 4th Street from the Workshop, speculates that the trouble began with its ‘very affluent’ board. Rachel's father, Craig Corrie, echoes her. ‘Do an investigation, follow the money.’ I called six board members and got no response. (About a third appear to be Jewish, as am I.) This is of course a charged issue. The writer Alisa Solomon, who was appalled by the postponement, nonetheless warns, ‘There's something a little too familiar about the image of Jews pulling the puppet strings behind the scenes.’

Perhaps. But Nicola's statement about a back channel to Jewish leaders suggests the presence of a cultural lobby that parallels the vaunted pro-Israel lobby in think tanks and Congress. I doubt we will find out whether the Workshop's decision was ‘internally generated,’ as Kushner contends, or more orchestrated, as I suspect. What the episode has demonstrated is a climate of fear. Not of physical harm, but of loss of opportunities. ‘The silence results from fear and intimidation,’ says Cindy Corrie. ‘I don't see what else. And it harms not only Palestinians. I believe, from the bottom of my heart, it harms Israelis and it harms us.’”

I’ll have more to say about the international political and cultural conspiracy.  The Israel Lobby in the United States is just one part, albeit the most important part.  We need to fully document the extent and mechanics of the conspiracy in order to rebut the usual attack that this is all just another anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.  A small group with a lot of money that devotes itself completely to one cause can do a lot of harm.

The Lobby as a necessary cause of Evil

One of the criticisms of the thesis that the Israel Lobby has a disproportionate influence over American politics is that it ignores the context that the American Empire might have its own reasons for doing the things that the Likudniks and their American agents lobby for American politicians to do.  It’s a truism that the Americans have their own colonial interests in the Middle East, and of course these interests play a huge role in American government decisions.  American politicians have to make their decisions in a cloud of various interest groups.  Balancing everyone’s desires must sometimes seem impossible, but a momentous decision like the Iraq war would need a lot of different people and interested parties to sign on to make it fly.  All that means, however, is that the Israeli Lobby is not a sufficient cause of a decision like the Iraq war, or American policies towards Hamas, or American tacit acceptance of Israeli usurpation of Palestinian lands.  All critics of the Lobby have to prove is that it is a necessary cause of these American political decisions.  In other words, criticism of the Lobby is valid and powerful as long as the decisions would not have been made but for the actions of the Lobby.  The Lobby fought hard for the Iraq war.  Were it not for the Lobby, Bush would not have been able to attack Iraq as he would not have been able to muster sufficient Congressional support.  The Lobby’s amazing ties to the majority of American Congressmen made the war on Iraq possible.  But for the actions of the Lobby, the war would not have happened.  Of course, it is also fair to say that but for the massive lie-making and PR spinning efforts by the Lobby’s agents in the White House, the Jewish neocons, the war would also not have been possible.  Thus, the Lobby can be blamed for the war, as well as for many other bad American political decisions. 

Friday, March 17, 2006

Goofball Iraq predictions

Here is a funny collection from FAIR of predictions made by various journalists and writers about the Iraq war.  Why would you give any credibility to any of these buffoons on any subject?  I mean that quite seriously.  Every one of these goofs should be inscribed on a permanent list.  If they say it is going to be a sunny day, bring an umbrella.

The Dubai ports and American security

I’ve been hard on Stephen Zunes in the past, but this article on the Dubai ports kerfuffle hits many of the right notes.  I laughed at this line:

“With the exception of Israel, no Middle Eastern county purchases as many U.S. goods and services as the UAE.”

I laughed because, distinctly unlike Israel, the UAE purchases American goods with its own money, instead of money given to it by the United States!

The best thing about the resolution of the issue, besides the fact that Arab central banks are finally going to start to move their reserves from dollars to euros, is that the operations will end up being bought by some American contractor like Halliburton with no particular expertise on the subject, who will proceed to give the same shoddy, overpriced service that we have seen on example in Iraq.  Unlike Dubai, which had an interest in doing a good job and being as careful as possible about terrorism, the work will no doubt end up being subcontracted to guys like Tony Soprano, who will be happy to sell access to the ports to anybody, including any terrorist, ready to pay the price.  American xenophobia and racism is clearly going to lead to less security for Americans, which is as it should be.

The Israel Lobby's Canadian branch office

From the comments section, a comment from Man From Atlan, which I’m sure you won’t see anywhere else, but which needs to be seen:

“Robert Pritchard, Star CEO took venture capitalist Gerald Schwartz for a get together around the Star newsroom shortly after the paper published an article about uber Zionists like Schwartz getting together to influence Canadian foreign policy.
This was enough to indicate the Star's editorial policy, which once was pro-Palestinian rights, had shifted to a more nebulous 'neutrality'.
This was followed by lotsa articles about female imams, radical muslims, and banning Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
Then when Schwartz's spouse Heather Reisman took "Muslim Lesbian" and frequent Star columnist Irshad Manji to the 2005 Bilderberg meeting it became clear: The Star had become Zionist Central, and the only one with balls there was Antonia Zerbisias.
Still, in a market of 500,000 Muslims, the Star's getting its comeuppance: profits are down 22%”

Pritchard is a mega-jerk who likes to suck up to power and appears to have aspirations to be Prime Minister of Canada one day (heaven forbid!).  Schwartz has oddles of dough which he likes to spend on politicians.  You can see how easy it is for this kind of manipulation to work.  Zerbisias’ blog is here

As an aside, I note that Schwartz bought his wife Reisman the Canadian ‘big box’ bookstore chain Chapters, which has destroyed independent book stores in Canada, along with much of Canadian book publishing, and Reisman is proceeding to turn Chapters into what amounts to the world’s largest chain of candle stores (who needs books anyway?).  She apparently can’t figure out how to make money selling books. 

The Canadian dedication to ‘neutrality’ in the Middle East, forced by the Canadian branch of the Lobby, has taken Canada to the point where it now votes on UN Resolutions concerning Israel against the rest of the world and along with Israel, the U. S., and those embarrassing South Sea islands that are bribed to vote along.  The Lobby has made Canada into a South Sea island!  The issue of the influence of the Lobby came up with the Hamas issue, when the Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter MacKay, attempted to take a moderate approach and carefully worked out a deal with the Russians so that Canada could continue to aid the Palestinians.  This is the kind of behind-the-scenes technical diplomacy that Foreign Affairs Canada still excels at, and doesn't get enough credit for (other recent examples are key roles in the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Agreement, and, of course, the Ottawa Convention on land mines). The Lobby immediately phoned the Prime Minister directly, and the Foreign Affairs Minister was forced to eat crow when Canada immediately took a hard-line stance against Hamas.  The mechanism of the Lobby is a little less slick and institutionalized than it is in the United States, but it is just as effective. 

To save the world, we must all work together to stop the Lobby! 

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The single biggest threat to the world

You should read this comprehensive article, “The Israel Lobby” by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.  Unless something drastic happens soon, this tiny group of American Jewish plutocrats, and the staffs of lobbyists they have working for them, are going to lead us all into World War Three.  American policies towards the Middle East fostered by the Lobby will inevitably eventually push hard against the energy security of Asia, and when China sees there is no way out the shit will hit the fan (good article here on how the American stupidity of using nuclear politics to cause conflict between India and Pakistan ties in to the clumsy attempts to stop Asian access to Iranian gas, which of course is a policy dictated by the Lobby). 

The funny thing is that the policies the Lobby forces on the United States don’t even really benefit Israel.  It has become a pure power thing for them, as they flatter themselves seeing how much they can push American politicians around.  The choices are becoming quite stark:  either what amounts to a kind of civil war in American politics, or World War Three.

Weldon's second thoughts

Curt Weldon was eventually going to have to back off from his claims that the Pentagon had a picture of Mohamed Atta identifying him as being in Brooklyn in late 1999 or early 2000. Since Atta couldn't be in two places at the same time, and we know he was in Germany until May 2000, revelations about Atta being in Brooklyn would blow the Official Story of 9–11 sky high. As I have already described, it would mean that the hijacker-terrorist couldn't be the student in Germany tied to an al Qaeda cell, and it would mean we know absolutely nothing about the background of the terrorist. We would specifically have no reason to believe he was affiliated with any Islamist extremist organization (particularly so as the pork-eating, gambling, drinking, whore-mongering Atta wasn't exactly a primo candidate for Islamic heaven). Weldon now says that he is not sure the chart had a picture of Atta, and that he has been relying on the memory of an intelligence analyst who helped produce it. Of course, more than one person saw the picture, and defense contractor J.D. Smith recognized Atta's picture on the chart by his distinctive cheekbones. Weldon had previously indicated that the picture stood out because lawyers had put yellow stickies over it, an odd thing to do if the picture didn't exist. The reason they put the stickies over it, and the whole basis for Weldon's original comments, was that they were using legal technicalities to thwart the Pentagon's efforts to prevent a terrorist attack. The legal technicalitites were based on the fact that Atta's green-card status protected him from further investigation, which of course meant that they had to know who Atta was, know he had a green card, and know that the picture they were covering with stickies was a picture of Atta.


It is apparently time to make fun of Weldon, who has had a history of making wild accusations, as this particular accusation is just too dangerous, undermining all at once the complete basis for the 'war on terror'/'long war' which is the sole remaining support for the failing Bush Administration.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More agents-provocateurs in Iraq

There are yet more agents-provocateurs shenanigans in Iraq, including an American ‘security contractor’ caught driving alone in Tikrit during the daytime curfew with explosives in his car.  Hit men have used children to carry their guns both to and away from the crime scene, so the shooters aren’t caught ‘holding’ by the police.  Having a private contractor deliver the explosives to the place of the provocation avoids the problem faced by the British military who were caught in Basra dressed as Arabs with a vehicle full of explosives.  You just have to keep the private explosive delivery service separate from the military explosive planting operations.

Valerie Plame as James Bond

First, they said Plame was doing some vague covert operations, but of great importance for American national security.  They they said she was working out of Turkey, successfully preventing the Bush Administration from sneaking weapons of mass destruction into Iraq.  Then they said she was actually working to prevent Iran’s nuclear program.  The most recent attempt is to claim she was working to stop the Khan-Pakistani nuclear bomb salesroom.  I fully expect next to hear that she was spotted in Caracas, with a large false mustache, stopping the Venezuelan nuclear program.

Actually, she almost certainly was not doing any of these things.  Her name had been blown by Ames, and was in the hands of the Russians and the Cubans.  With just the name, any intelligence agency can follow through the whole nexus using readily available information.  Dana Priest, who seems to know more about this story than anyone, has recently said that it is his understanding that the damage from Plame’s blown cover “was not great”.

It’s a damned shame, but the sad fact of the matter is that Plame wasn’t important to American security interests.  The neocons, who didn’t care one way or the other, got lucky in the fact that the person Wilson happened to be married to wasn’t very important.  What Cheney and the boys did was wrong, but overstating Plame’s importance will just eventually play into their hands, when they are able to reveal, at the right tactical time, that she wasn’t James Bond.

 

Clarification

Remember all that stuff about the Globe and Mail lying in an anti-Hamas editorial?  The Globe, perhaps learning from the slimy politicians it covers, completely stonewalled when asked about the issue.  Antonia Zerbisias of the Toronto Star wrote about it, and now the Star itself has come out with a ‘Clarification’ in which it ‘regrets’ Zerbisias’ wording.  If you ever wondered how powerful the Zionists are in Canada, this ‘clarifies’ the issue.  Needless to say, the Globe gets away with lying.

Electricity hits three-year low in Iraq

A lot can happen in a month.  From an Associated Press article from February 20 entitled “Slowly, U.S. effort gives Iraq electricity”:

“ Glistening in Iraq's barren southern salt plains, a natural-gas-driven power station has come on line.

 
It's generating sorely needed electricity for war-weary Iraqis and demonstrating that much-maligned U.S.-led reconstruction efforts are beginning to bear fruit.

 
U.S. officials said Sunday that increasing Iraq's electricity-generating capacity through facilities such as the 250-megawatt plant near Basra is crucial to American efforts to encourage Iraqis to turn their backs on the insurgency.”

The rest of the article depicts American efforts in a completely positive light.  Then, on March 13, the same Associated Press comes out with an article entitled “Electricity hits three-year low in Iraq”:

“Electricity output has dipped to its lowest point in three years in Iraq, where the desert sun is rising toward another broiling summer and U.S. engineers are winding down their rebuilding of the crippled power grid.

The Iraqis, in fact, may have to turn to neighboring Iran to help bail them out of their energy crisis - if not this summer, then in years to come.”

The rest of the article goes on with the same “USA, USA, USA” cheer as in the first one, but is a little more realistic.  Get this:

“. . . Army Corps of Engineers officers regard their Restore Iraq Electricity project as one of the great feats in corps history, along with the building of the Panama Canal a century ago.”

Actually, it reminds me more of their work on the New Orleans levees.  Here is an example of their excellence (my emphasis):

“But some believe the Americans also made a critical mistake by installing gas-turbine generators rather than building or overhauling more of the oil-fueled, steam-run plants.

Iraq doesn't have pipelines to deliver natural gas from its oil fields, so plant operators resort to low-grade oil to run the gas-combustion engines, reducing power output by up to 50 percent and potentially damaging the machinery.”

Since the reconstruction money is all gone, much of it diverted to fight the insurgency (an insurgency worsened by the obvious lack of concern of the Americans for the Iraqi people, as symbolized by the electricity situation), things will now not improve, and will probably continue to deteriorate.  The lack of electricity was the single most obvious legacy of the American occupation, but is now matched, in terms of the struggle of day-to-day living, by the complete lack of personal security.  It is impossible for anyone to continue to argue that the United States has ever had any concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people, no matter how much the Bush Administration and its shills claim to the contrary.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bradlee maybe's Armitage

From the Washington Post (my italics):

“Vanity Fair is reporting that former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee says it is reasonable to assume former State Department official Richard L. Armitage is likely the source who revealed CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward.

In an article to be published in the magazine today, Bradlee is quoted as saying: "That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption." Armitage was deputy secretary of state in President Bush's first term.

In an interview yesterday, Bradlee said he does know the identity of Woodward's source and does not recall making that precise statement to a Vanity Fair reporter.”

Just what are we supposed to make of this?  It is even weirder when you consider that Bradlee, still riding his Watergate fame, is Mr. Washington Post, and you’d think his own paper might be able to pry something out of him rather than more bafflegab.  If you add to that the extraordinary way that Woodward has involved himself in the Libby-Plame story, you really have to wonder what the Washington Post is up to.

Moussaoui and Kafka

The Kafkaesque case of  Zacarias Moussaoui has taken a further turn into absurdity with apparent intentional efforts by the prosecution to scupper their own case.  The judge gave express – and very easy to follow – instructions to the federal lawyers to avoid tampering with their own witnesses, specifically ordering them to avoid exposing the witnesses to trial testimony.  In spite of that, one of the federal lawyers - note: actually an attorney for the Transportation Security Administration, and not on the prosecution team itself, but presumably allowed by the prosecution to interact with its witnesses - sent a joint email to the prosecution’s FAA witnesses, coaching them on how to deal with defense cross-examination based on the transcript of the proceedings of the first day of the trial.  The lawyers can’t possibly be that dumb, so this must be an intentional attempt to end their own trial.  U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she had "never seen such an egregious violation of a rule on witnesses .”  She is now considering whether to throw out the prosecution’s request for the death penalty, leaving Moussaoui with life imprisonment.

It is fairly clear that the prosecution fears that Moussaoui’s answer to the federal case, which turns on his failure to warn officials about the upcoming 9–11 attack, will be to raise a number of disturbing questions that have never before been properly considered.  Why did the FBI not seek a FISA warrant to examine Moussaoui’s computer, despite the fact that local officials had requested it, and FISA warrants were, at the time, always given?  Why was the Department of Justice response based on the fact that they would not be able to obtain such a warrant, when they had to know that was a lie?  This issue takes on added significance when you consider the attitude of the Bush Administration to illegal surveillance without even trying to obtain FISA warrants.  What the hell was the FAA up to on the morning of September 11?  Why did an FAA official make a systematic effort to destroy evidence later that morning?  Why would a cold call from an unknown nut like Moussaoui result in the prevention of the attack, when express warnings from practically every major government in the world about an imminent upcoming attack were completely ignored?

Moussaoui ended up pleading guilty to the original charges because he never would have had a fair trial had he persisted in claiming he was not guilty.  The government was going to declare him an ‘enemy combatant’, and either never try him (holding him in permanent legal limbo), or summarily execute him after some secret military hearing.  Once he gets as far as the sentencing trial, the government uses evidence that Moussaoui could have used in his defense at the main trial – evidence that Moussaoui’s only possible fault was not giving warnings that you can be certain would have been ignored, all with the odd taint of requiring him to incriminate himself, and with the overriding idea that he could be executed for the crime of keeping his mouth shut - in order to claim he should be put to death.  The final move, worthy of The Trial, is for the government to tank its own case in order that the defense of Moussaoui not raise issues issues of guilt that point, not at the defendant, but at the Bush Administration which is instructing the prosecution attorneys. 

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Milosevic as a cautionary example

Milosevic is dead. He feared he was being poisoned, but he was an old, sick man, and he may have died of heart disease. In any event, the Western Powers behind the victors' justice show trial to which he was being subjected don't come out of this looking good. Either they poisoned him, or, knowing he was ill, they denied him necessary medical care causing his death. The reason to kill him was to avoid having to hear his testimony that all of the things he did were done with the express consent of the same Western Powers behind the show trial. At Dayton, Milosevic was the man 'you could do business with', and they did business with him, including sanctioning the things for which he was being tried, up to the point when it became more convenient to break up Serbia.


Saddam, or the guy they have playing Saddam, is in exactly the same position. He was sponsored by the Western Powers when it was convenient to use a strong and united Iraq for various purposes, including attacking Iran, and cut adrift when it was decided that the Western Powers would prefer a divided Iraq.


For a few years after the Second World War, we lived in a period when people actually believed there was a new era of morality in international affairs. Vestiges of this delusion still exist in the perception that we need to punish war crimes of the type allegedly - and no doubt actually - perpetrated by the likes of Milosevic and Saddam. The trials are partly the automatic exercise of international legal officials who set off like clockwork to enforce their delusions, and partly intended by the victors, in sitting metaphorically in the judges' chairs, as proof that the victors are really the good guys. Since we know the 'good guys' tell the bad guys what to do, up to the point when the 'good guys' tell lies in order to start wars to remove the bad guys, the whole thing is just a joke.


The real 'new world order' may be those countries like Venezuela - with much of South America following - and Iran, and even North Korea, who have seen what is really going on and are no longer willing to play the games dictated by the Americans and the British and their allies. There is absolutely no advantage for countries with lesser power to follow the old protocol, of being used up and then thrown away. It is much better, for democracies and dictators alike, to say 'to hell with you' and simply not engage with the victimizers.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

L-Ron at the Oscars

There is already a conspiracy theory about why Scientology-produced Crash won the Best Picture Oscar.

Two dead girls and their diaries

Both were murdered in cold blood by fascist, racist, monster governments.  Both were extremely eloquent and kept diaries.  One was murdered as part of a program of genocide; the other in trying to stop a program of genocide.  Revisionists tell us that the diary of one is actually a fraud; revisionists prevent a play based on the diaries of the other from being performed.  Some revisionism is apparently very bad, even illegal, while other revisionism is the official view of the establishment. 

Monday, March 06, 2006

Espionage, AIPAC and the First Amendment

Here is an excellent comment from Undernews on how the New York Times is trying to spin the AIPAC case – obviously a case of pure espionage - as an assault on freedom of the press, even though the defendants aren’t journalists.  Is espionage protected by the First Amendment?  The allegation is that the defendants met in secret to obtain classified American intelligence documents concerning Iran, in order to eventually pass such documents to, amongst others, an espionage agent for a foreign country.  If that kind of activity is protected by the U. S. Constitution, the concept of espionage doesn’t exist in the United States.

Daniel Pipes and moral obligation

You should read this amazing collection of opinions from Daniel Pipes on the desirability of a civil war in Iraq. From an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (also here; my emphasis):

"The moral one is a good one, but it's not a defining one. That is to say that we do want to help Iraqis. All of us want to see a free and prosperous Iraq, but it is not a moral obligation on us. Just because we got rid of Saddam Hussein doesn't mean that we are obligated to fix Iraq. I think the great achievement of the coalition was to get rid of this hideous totalitarian thug running Iraq. A danger to the Iraqis, the region and the outside world. That does not imply that we must - we can try - but it doesn't mean we must or are obligated - to fix Iraq."


Here is a pdf of an article from 1987 (found here) by the same Daniel Pipes - along with none other than Laurie Mylroie! - advocating that the United States supply that same 'hideous totalitarian thug' with arms, intelligence and economic concessions. Who the hell is Daniel Pipes to talk about moral obligations? Given the fact that a sovereign country was attacked on the basis of very tenuous legal arguments based on lies, and the fact that Saddam's status as a thug seems to depend completely on his willingness to further Israelamerican interests, the United States is completely morally and legally liable for the damage it has done. Americans had better hope the United States stays on top, for when it is no longer on top there will be demands for reparations, and it's going to be expensive.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

More ignorance

Condoleezza Rice, a woman who is surprised by everything, said (or here), following the Hamas win:

“I don't know anyone who wasn't caught off guard by its very strong showing.”

Yet a State Department poll taken days before the election indicated that Hamas was in a position to win.  Both the Palestinian Authority and the Israelis were looking for a delay in the election, but the Americans insisted on it being held as scheduled.  Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy, said:

“Either Secretary Rice was being disingenuous or else her department has a serious information-sharing problem, because (State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research) could not have done a much better job of assessing the Palestinian election than they did.”

This is another example of use by the Bush Administration of the ignorance defense.

Conflicts and power

From an outstanding interview with Professor Ilan Pappe of Haifa University (my emphasis):

“I think that neo-conservatism is mainly a product of the Cold War, and I think as happened in Israel, so in the US, a lot of people benefit economically, sociologically, politically, from a situation of conflict which begins with the producers of arms, and it ends with the people who have a hold on the decision-making apparatus in the name of national security.  And of course this was all lost in a way when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the cold war ended. And I think this group of people were looking for a new bogey man, a new threat to the national security of the US and they found it because of the very strong influence, I think, of Israel among other things, in the Arab world and the Islamic world. Of course, movements such as the Islamic Al-Qaeda did not help. They provided the pretext, and the context for even pushing these ideas even further. And what we have now is the same people, a next generation, who would do all they can to perpetuate the conflict, because they benefit from the conflict. They benefit from situations of wars, of conflicts, and so on, and I think this is what enforces their hold over the American policy making in the world at large, and in the Middle East in particular.”

We often wonder why people like Ledeen seem to be so interested in creating conflict for the sake of conflict.  One reason is that people who are aware of the timing of a conflict are in a position to make money off it.  Another reason is that this constant conflict constitutes the sole reason why these people have any power.  They create an escalating series of problems, and then have to remain in power to ‘solve’ them.  Of course, the solutions continue to lead to more conflicts.  We can understand all the the talk about Iran as another example of creating a conflict which gives these characters something to do.  While a civil war in Iraq benefits Likudniks in the American government and in Israel, it also benefits a guy like Cheney, whose only interest is in creating more power for Cheney.  The United States has fallen into a vicious cycle where the jobs of the neocons and their fellow travelers like Cheney and Rumsfeld are dependent on their cleaning up the messes they have already started.  An end to conflict would put them out of power, so we’ll never see an end to conflict. 

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The High Cabal takes a nap

I’m going to quote a large portion of  “‘No negotiations’ with Hamas a red herring” by Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, published by the Sun-Sentinel, as I very much doubt that it will remain long on the internet:

“Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's assertion that Israel will not negotiate with a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority is a red herring. The truth is that for the last two years, Israel has not been negotiating with the existing Palestinian Authority anyway.

There has been no functioning Middle East peace process for years now. Israel has instead pursued a strategy of unilateral action to redraw borders, annex Palestinian land, and impose its own version of a ‘solution’ to the conflict.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was moving one-sidedly in the occupied territories - ‘disengaging’ from Gaza, expanding settlements and the separation wall, and preparing to annex huge swaths of Palestinian land. The moves are all aimed at consolidating an expanded Israeli state, including all major West Bank settlement blocs as part of Israel, and walling off the Palestinians into a set of divided cantons.

That strategy, based on separating Israel from the Palestinians physically and economically, and negotiating only with Washington, remains unchanged since Sharon's stroke.

The Hamas victory in the Palestinians' parliamentary elections may make it easier for the Israeli government to justify acting unilaterally, even though Hamas has maintained a year-long ceasefire while Israel has continued its policy of ‘targeted assassination.’

But the reality is that Israel has claimed to have ‘no partner’ for negotiations since the end of 2001, when the Palestinian Authority was dominated by the secular Fatah.”

and:

“Two years before Israel's 2004 assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, he acknowledged ‘the main aim of the intifada is the liberation of the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and nothing more. We haven't the force to liberate all our land. It is forbidden in our religion to give up part of our land, so we can't recognize Israel at all. But we can accept a truce with them, and we can live side by side and refer all the issues to the coming generations.’

In the meantime, the U.S. must not punish an impoverished occupied population because Washington doesn't like what democracy has wrought.”

The High Cabal must be sleeping on the job.  How the hell did they allow this kind of thing to make it into an American newspaper?  What with trying to keep Summers in Harvard, repressing the Rachel Corrie play, keeping ‘Palestine’ out of the Oscars, and David Irving, they must be exhausted.