Friday, June 30, 2006

Stop lying

Right-wing American morons will never admit that they have been made fools of by Bush and his media pals, as that would make them lose again to the liberals.  The worst thing is to have to admit how stupid you are, particularly to people who will never let you forget it.  As they slowly come to realize how much they’ve been had, Cletus and Britney are acknowledging their foolishness by cutting back on their consumption of crap information.  The ‘mainstream’ media corporations are having exactly the same problem as the more obviously right-wing media, for peddling exactly the same lies.  Now they are spending millions hiring consultants to tell them how to get their customers back.  Unfortunately for them, the only thing that will work is the one thing they cannot do, stop lying.

Looking for an excuse

From Haaretz.com (Mazuz is the Israeli Attorney General; my emphasis in red):

“The detention of Hamas parliamentarians in the early hours of Thursday morning had been planned several weeks ago and received approval from Mazuz on Wednesday. The same day, Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin presented Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with the list of Hamas officials slated for detention.”

In other words, Israel used the Palestinian attack on the Israeli military post as an excuse to do what it was looking for an excuse to do, arrest a democratically elected government and destroy Palestinian access to electricity.  And the world sits back and lets it happen.

Burnt Norton

Covert History covers the amazing story of ‘Don Norton’, a man who confessed, to Mae Brussell and John Judge no less, to being Lee Harvey Oswald (you can click on the pages of the Judge posting to more easily read them).  ‘Norton’ appears to be living in a place in Florida where CIA types go to retire, and has steadfastly denied the connection ever since.  It is clear that there was more than one person playing Oswald – you can’t be in two places at the same time – and ‘Norton’ may well have been one of them.  On the other hand, this may be the CIA’s version of a joke.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Opera/Firefox/Apple rant

Has anyone else noticed how bad - I mean sucks-donkey-balls bad - the new Opera 9 is? Just awful, possibly even worse than Firefox (which is slowly becoming a decent browser, but has never come close to living up to all the hype). I struggled with Opera 9 for a few days, uninstalled it and went back to 8.54 (it's like going from Hell to Heaven). Opera 8.54 is the epitome of the browser maker's art, and given the precipitous slide of Opera 9, may be the best a browser can be. Opera 9 is unresponsive - 'sticky' is the term that comes to mind, somewhat like Firefox, although Firefox is much improved - and, perhaps even worse, fails to render sites properly (like Bloglines, which I am becoming addicted to). I'm supposed to give up the elegance and sleekness of Opera 8.54 for . . . widgets?


I don't know whether the geeks who write these things realize it or not, but the vast majority of people use browsers to, um, surf the net. We don't need or want games, the weather, something to tell us whether Abe Vigoda is alive or not (on second thought, that is somewhat useful), and all this other crap which gets in the way. We just want to load and read through web pages, and dispose of them, as easily and quickly as possible, preferably using the keyboard. The nerd love of Firefox extensions is completely beyond me, particularly when any little change to the main browser renders half of them unusable (what the hell is up with that?).


While I'm ranting, has anyone else noticed that, while nobody was looking, Apple has become the Evil One. Crappy customer service, crappy production standards, iPods made in Chinese slave labor factories, going to court to protect its immoral digital rights management, an unwillingness to allow its proprietary file extensions - most notably music, but there are other examples as well - to work with anybody else's products. Arrogance everywhere. Even in their new ads, you end up cheering for the PC/Microsoft guy. As usual, good industrial design hides a lousy set of products (nerds like shiny objects). Steve Jobs is the new Bill Gates. Is it possible that Microsoft, in the absence of any other reasonable options, will save the internet?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Western Union's war against Islam

From Cryptome, quoting Ron Suskind’s new book:

“[At a meeting with FBI, CIA and Western Union at CIA headquarters.]

Lormel talked about what a good friend Western Union has been since 9/11. Nervous Phil [a pseudonym] talked a bit about what might be done going forward. Western Union had twelve thousand offices across the globe, thirteen hundred in Pakistan alone. There was no country more important in battling the terrorists.

Everyone nodded, a show of consensus, until one of the Western Union executives had something to say.

He looked at Tenet. ‘Here's my concern,’ he said. ‘If it seems that Western Union is a global front for the CIA, we'll go out of business.’

Tenet leaned forward in his chair and dropped his ace.

‘I know we're asking a lot,’ he said. ‘But this country is in a fight for its survival. What I'm asking is that you and your company be patriots.’

After that, it was all about logistics.”

and:

“Two weeks after Western Union officials met with Tenet, [head of Israel's Shin Bet] Dichter gave the United States a piece of intelligence to begin the process: the name of a supporter of Palestinian Islamic Jihad who was expected to wire money from Lebanon to a point somewhere in Israel. Early in April, Western Union's offices in Lebanon received the expected order. The Terrorism Section of the Department of Justice, on twenty-four hour call, kicked into gear. In an arrangement with the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, based in Alexandria, they issued an instantaneous  subpoena. It allowed Western Union - a U.S.-based company - to notify FBI and CIA about which location the money was being wired to, and who was picking it up. All of it occurred in minutes. Israeli intelligence officers were hailed. They raced, silently to the right Western Union office in Hebron, and then followed the PIJ courier to his safe house in the West Bank. From, there, electronic surveillance equipment quickly tracked communications to other cells in the Palestinian territories.” 

Any Muslim using Western Union to send money is supporting the American-Israeli war against Islam.

Bilderberg jumps the shark

Is it just me, or has all the talk about the Bilderbergs become silly?  Twenty years ago, they may have been a little more important, and slightly conspiratorial.  Now, they have become somewhat of a joke.  Not only is the meeting no longer any kind of secret, but the press, at least in Canada, covered the meeting as if it was the most newsworthy event happening in Canada (probably because it was the most newsworthy event happening in Canada !).  The Ottawa Citizen had pictures of the attendees, obviously taken with a long lens at the airport or the hotel, spread across most of its front page.  Paris Hilton’s love life is more secret than the Bilderberg conference.

The list of attendees has become so large that it is impossible to have a truly secret meeting.  How are Richard Perle and David Rockefeller supposed to have a conversation about what kind of rifle to use to blow Hugo Chavez’ head clean off when they are surrounded with swarms of two-bit politicians and bureaucrats?

The Bilderberg conference has degenerated into a meeting where semi-important people get to feel fully important by being invited to hob nob with a few really powerful people.  It is a way for people whose self-worth depends on serving important people to pad their resumes.  Its only real purpose now is to serve as the debutante’s ball for future extreme right-wing politicians, who are shown around the group to ensure that they are not covert commie pinko fags, and are worthy of being installed as the next political leaders. 

Fascination with the likes of the Bilderbergers is a manifestation of one of the two main types of conspiracy theory.  It has long been the most common form of conspiracy theory, the idea that the whole world is run by an identifiable cabal – aristocrats, Jews, Freemasons, Illuminati, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers.  The idea arose at the same time that democracy started to take over politics, and it was based on the assumption that the elite groups would conspire behind the scenes to regain control of lost power.  The Big Conspiracy helped to explain why power in the people seemed not to make things any better, and seemed not to reduce the power and wealth of the aristocracy. 

This type of conspiracy theory is largely nonsense, and obviously nonsense, and does a lot of harm to what I consider to be real conspiracy theory, which is the simple idea that political crimes are the same as any other crime, and should be investigated using normal forensic methods, and punished using the regular justice system.  Real conspiracy theory might not lead to a new utopia, but it would go a long way to ensuring that democratic political systems work the way they are supposed to, and that the interests of the average person aren’t lost behind the interests of the corporadoes and warmongers.  Focusing on the likes of the Bilderbergers distracts our attention from the real task at hand, and gives ammunition to those who would try to stop us from using methods available to us now to improve the world.

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Parsing Truthout

From Truthout:

“Our primary sources for this report are career federal law enforcement and federal government officials speaking on condition of anonymity.”

We know that the career federal government official is Joseph Wilson.  Who is the career federal law enforcement official?  From Sam Smith’s semi-sympathetic posting on Jason Leopold (my emphasis in red):

“He is still having problems such as his recent report that Karl Rove had been indicted. Maybe his source was wrong, maybe he was being used for reasons not yet clear (such as helping the prosecutors turn Rove) and perhaps there is more to come.”

This makes sense.  Despite dragging him back and forth to the Grand Jury, Fitzgerald was obviously getting nowhere with Rove.  Did Fitzgerald’s people fear that Rove wasn’t taking their threats seriously enough?  By planting the story with the only source gullible enough to run with it, and by passing the same information to Wilson to create the appearance of dual sourcing, Fitzgerald’s office made it seem that there was credible evidence that an indictment was imminent.  The idea would be to use this to force Rove to give up somebody else.  The story got mangled in the telling, and Rove never worried about it anyway, as he knew Fitzgerald could never convict him, and he knew he had Bush’s pardon in his back pocket should the worst come to worst.  Nevertheless, the idea that this was a trick from Fitzgerald’s office makes sense, and that sourcing would explain why Truthout still cannot believe it has been had.

Fitzgerald took the pressure off himself early on by nailing Libby, but he has wasted so much time and energy with Rove that the optics of his position will mean he will need another indictment before he gives up.  My guess is one of the usual names:  Hadley, Hannah, Fleitz or Bolton.  Bolton might be a good guess, as his insanity appears to be spinning out of control (is he off his meds?), and the old-school Republicans, for whom Fitzgerald works, would like to find an excuse to get him out of a position where he can further destroy the reputation of the United States.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The case against Karl

Amid all the ongoing bluster concerning Fitzgerald and Rove, including the newest extreme delusion that the confusion instigated by Truthout relates somehow to the fact that Fitzgerald has forced Rove to turn on Cheney – keep dreaming! – we seem to have lost sight of the fact that Rove isn’t under threat of indictment because Fitzgerald had no chance of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Rove committed a crime.  Rove’s problem appears to relate to his failure to mention Cooper in his appearances before the Grand Jury.  Rove could be indicted for obstruction of justice or perjury, but Fitzgerald would have a hell-of-a-time proving it.  All Rove has to say is that he forgot.  It happened months before; Rove is a terribly busy guy (saving Americans from the terrorists!); Rove speaks to hundreds of people a week; Cooper was new to the Washington beat, not one of Rove’s regular journalist pals, and not a forceful or memorable personality; and Rove mentioned other names equally or more embarrassing to the White House case.  Rove has probably demonstrated to Fitzgerald in his Grand Jury appearances that he will be an excellent and engaging witness in his own defense.  How does Fitzgerald prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Rove didn’t just forget?  Given the importance of Rove in American politics, and the fact that an indictment would remove Rove from the upcoming election cycles, it would be an abuse of Fitzgerald’s power as a prosecutor to go after Rove if Fitzgerald feels he doesn’t have a reasonable prospect of winning.

I first wrote (also here) about this issue because it appeared to me that Democrat delusions about the Grand Jury – and an unhealthy obsession with Rove – were actually playing into the hands of the White House.  The way this story refuses to die – largely if not entirely the fault of Truthout, which should be ashamed of its actions in this matter, starting with the fact that it decided, for no obvious reason, to make itself a large part of the story - proves that things have become even worse.  At the end of the day on November 7, there will still be no indictments against either Rove or Cheney, and no Democrat control of either the House or the Senate.  Will that be enough to force Democrat supporters to stop counting on Fitzgerald to bail them out of their political woes?  I doubt it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Was Louis Bloomfield in Winnipeg on February 13, 1964?

Jim Yar has dug up a possible reason for Louis Mortimer Bloomfield to be in Winnipeg at the time of the Winnipeg Airport Incident.  For some reason, Library and Archives Canada doesn’t want to release Bloomfield’s papers (“Restricted by creator/donor”).  Depending on how much you want to believe, you can connect Bloomfield to just about everything conspiratorial, including British wartime intelligence, the formation of Israel, the assassination of JFK, and the Bush Crime Family.

Nakba Revisionism

Holocaust Revisionism is a crime in many places.  Denying the reality of the Holocaust, or even quibbling about its details as established by the official Zionist historians, can land you in jail.  Why isn’t there a crime of Nakba Revisionism?

The Nakba is the forced exodus of Palestinians from their homeland caused by violence and threats of violence by Jews who were, in effect, clearing land for the new state of Israel (an idea that may have come from Stalin). As part of the general mythology of Israel, the fact of the Nakba was almost entirely hidden from Official Western History until relatively recently.  There is now absolutely no doubt that it occurred, and no excuse for claiming that it didn’t occur.  Anyone who claims that the birth of Israel was without sin, or says something like “a land without people for a people without land”, is a Nakba Revisionist. 

Of course, there is no comparison between the evils committed by Holocaust Revisionists and Nakba Revisionists. The Holocaust is ancient history,  and quibbles about its details have very little effect on the world today.  On the other hand, the Nakba represents an ongoing crime against humanity, and one that has never been ameliorated by even a gesture of restitution.  While the Nakba refers specifically to the events of 1948 and perhaps the few subsequent years, Nakba Revisionists repeat the lies that enable the ongoing horrors of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians to continue.  Nakba Revisionism is much worse than Holocaust Revisionism.  Why aren’t Nakba Revisionists, or anyone who uses Israeli mythology to enable the illegal ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, on trial?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mystery death of the week

Aviation/aerospace reporter Michael A. Dornheim has died in what looks like a very mysterious automobile accident.  Sploid summarizes the oddness.  He had met friends at a restaurant, and had told them which road he was going to take home.  Then he disappeared for nine days, when his car was spotted by a police helicopter crashed in a ravine off another road.  The accident must have occurred moments after he left the restaurant, and thus moments after he made a point of saying he would be taking a different road.  Sploid:

“Beyond the mystery of why Dornheim's car crashed on a road he had no intention of driving on, police are baffled by the crash itself.

California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tong said he and his fellow officers were ‘scratching their heads’ over how the editor's car got in the ravine at all.

‘He navigated the turns just fine, and then, in a straightaway, for whatever reason, he went off the cliff,’ Tang told the Los Angeles Times.

‘Not a rock was disturbed. Not even the brush was disturbed.’

As for how the crash scene was missed for more than a week - a helicopter pilot finally spotted the Honda on Monday - the CHP says there was nothing to indicate a car had gone off the road beyond ‘a slight rubber scuff mark on one of the guardrails,’ the Times reported.”

Since they are going to leave the car jammed into the ravine, it won’t reveal any forensics, including whether it actually left the scuff mark which is supposed to indicate where it left the road.

Dornheim’s last article was on research being conducted by DARPA on robotic satellite servicing.  The religious freaks at NASA – the world’s best funded cult – think that non-human space research is some kind of sin, which is why they resist the sensible replacing of human astronauts by machines.  Instead, they keep sending up space-shuttle cannon fodder.  They are so crazy about this that they would prefer to see the Hubble telescope turn into space junk rather than send robots up to fix it.  The fear is that robots will prove so safe and effective that it will no longer be necessary to use human astronauts, thus ending the Cult of NASA.  Is it possible Dornheim rubbed some religious nut at NASA the wrong way?   Or did he uncover something else that he was not supposed to know?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Israeli spy rings in Lebanon and the Hariri assassination

It is very complicated, but you can begin to see paradoxical patterns emerging in Lebanon as set out in the postings of t_desco at Syriacomment.com.   There is a Palestinian refugee camp called Ain al-Hilweh on the outskirts of Sidon.  An Islamist leader named Sheikh Jamal Khattab, who allegedly has ideas similar to bin Laden’s, lives there.  The Sheikh’s mosque, the al-Nour mosque, has quite a history (from Syriacomment.com):

“The Ain Hilweh camp, and in particular the al-Nour mosque, is home to several Sunni extremist groups:

Usbat al-Ansar, which is believed to have received funding from bin Laden and al-Zarqawi and was among the first eleven international terror groups listed in President Bush's executive order of September 23, 2001; its even more radical splinter groups Usbat al-Nour and Jund al-Sham, which has claimed at least four bombings following the assassination of Hariri (three explosions in Christian neighborhoods and an attack on Iqlim al-Kharub); and the Dinniyeh group, formerly known as Takfir wa al-Hijra, founded by Bassam Ahmad Kanj, who had fought alongside bin Laden in Afghanistan and was killed in an uprising against the Lebanese army in the mountains of Dinniyeh in January 2000. Some of the rebels escaped to Ain Al-Hilweh and found shelter in al-Nour mosque, among them Ahmed Salim Mikati, who was detained in September 2004 when a car bomb attack on the Italian embassy in Beirut was foiled. Together with another al-Qa'ida operative, Ismail Mohammed al-Khatib, Mikati had also planned to attack the Ukrainian Consulate General and Lebanese Government offices in central Beirut.”

Ahmed Abu Adas, the student who took responsibility for the assassination of Rafik Hariri (and thus, possibly falsely, put the blame on an unknown terrorist group), allegedly met with Sheikh Abu Obeida  (aka Badee – or Badih - Hamadeh, and now captured and executed), an associate of Sheikh Jamal Khattab, in Ain al-Hilweh.  Mehlis himself points out that Ahmed Abu Adas had been employed at a computer shop in the summer of 2004, which was owned in part by Sheikh Ahmed Al-Sani, who was a member of the Ahmed Miqati and Ismaíl Al-Khatib network, the network sheltering in Sheikh Jamal Khattab’s mosque.

Mehlis said that Khaled Midhat Taha, a Palestinian, had escorted suspected suicide bomber Ahmad Abu Adas to Syria two weeks before the Hariri assassination.  This connection was noted by Mehlis presumably as part of Mehlis’ efforts to implicate Syria.  However, Khaled Midhat Taha appears to be related to Sheikh Abdullah Hallaq, founder of the Islamic Struggle Movement. The Islamic Struggle Movement is now led by none other than Sheikh Jamal Khattab.

The Sheikh’s brother, Hussein Khattab, has been identified as the leader of one Israeli spy ring operating in Lebanon (the other was led by Mahmoud Rafeh, who, unlike Khattab, has been captured).   Rafeh has admitted responsibility for a number of assassinations in Lebanon that have commonly been ascribed to the Mossad (some of these assassinations appear to relate directly to removing people whose testimony could have been embarrassing to Ariel Sharon).

It is starting to look more and more likely that the assassination of Hariri, blamed by the Israelamericans on Syria, is just another in this long line of Israeli assassinations that have occurred in Lebanon.  The other aspect to this, which may have September 11 implications, is how easily the Mossad operates in the world of what appears to be radical Islamist terrorist groups. 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Phalcon hits the fan

One of Chomsky’s weakest arguments against the Lobby thesis concerns the supposed blocking by the United States of the supply by Israel to China of secret American military technology.  I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but a recent crash of a military plane in China is going to bring the issue right back into focus.  This should be a huge political issue in the United States, as it shows that the American complaining about the supply of Phalcon to China, and the hyped Israeli compliance with the American complaints, was another lie intended to hide the fact that the Lobby is able to force the United States to acquiesce in the loss of its most important military secrets to its only remaining plausible military enemy, as long as Israel gains some benefit. 

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oddities about the Toronto 'terrorists'

Oddities about the Toronto 'terrorists':

  1. From the Globe and Mail:

    "As the summer of 2005 turned to fall, it is alleged that Mr. Ahmed increasingly drew upon a fellow suspect, Zakaria Amara. According to the dossier, he sent him to Cochrane, Ont., to scout out a possible location for a training camp.

    It is alleged that Mr. Amara was spotted approaching government offices in the far Northern Ontario community. Someone claims to have heard him fire off two shots with a shotgun.

    Police allege he returned back to brief the emir on his travels. In the end, the location was not suitable. A community closer to Toronto was chosen."


    Not suitable. I'll say! By road, Cochrane is 720 kilometers (almost 450 miles) from Toronto. Driving from Toronto, Cochrane is literally at the end of the road (there are no roads north of Cochrane). I wonder what Mr. Amara was doing "approaching government offices".

  2. Again, from the Globe:

    "It is alleged that Mr. Amara was seen hatching plans to buy a detonator and researching bomb construction in public libraries. From the beginning, the bomb was said to be big: 1.5 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, according to police, mixed with several litres of nitric acid to get the explosion going.

    Police monitor large purchases of such substances. But what if a lot of people make individual purchases? The Crown alleges a plot manifested itself with 200 business cards that would allow suspects to approach suppliers individually and acquire smaller batches. The Crown says the e-mail address had a memorable ring: Studentfarmers@hotmail.com.

    Then there was a change of plan. The Crown alleges Mr. Amara brought in another Mississauga man, Shareef Abdelhaleem, to assist with buying thousands of dollars worth of fertilizer.

    According to the Crown information, a police agent was on the opposite end of a payment of $2,000. After that point, the operatives are alleged to have rented a house and industrial storage unit."


    Since obtaining the fertilizer is the weak point of the plot, why did they go from a safe way of obtaining it, obviously well thought out in light of the risks, to buying the fertilizer in such a dangerous way? Without the fertilizer purchase, the government has no case.

  3. Depending on which account you read, the 'terrorists' had a unique form of target while training in the woods. They used either photographs (CBS) or statues (the Globe) of Hindu gods! A bunch of young Muslim men from Toronto wandering around the Ontario wilderness firing at Hindu gods. It sounds like a Monty Python sketch. I know Hindu-Muslim relations aren't great, and that it would be relatively easy to buy such targets in Toronto, but it still doesn't make much sense. Well, until you consider that Chand, the Canadian army reservist, and fairly recent convert to Islam, who converted under the influence of friends with whom he played basketball (!), and became ultra-devout and evangelical, and allegedly made a big deal of wanting to behead the Canadian Prime Minister, was a convert from Hinduism. Did Chand supply the targets? If so, did he also supply the guns?

Zarqawi's photo

Via Spitting Image, the best posting on the targeted assassination of the myth the Americans like to call Zarqawi.  By the way, were the Americans so desperate to ensure that they didn’t take him alive that they didn’t even try the old-fashioned trick of surrounding the house?  Or did the Most Powerful Army in the WorldTM not feel up to the task of facing a little shoot-out?  In order to make lemonade out of the lemons of the collateral damage (dead women and children; but at least they weren’t picnicking on a beach; addendum: it is telling that the American media will tell you the story behind the picture, but won’t show you the picture – gotta keep those Jewish advertisers happy), the Pentagon is crowing about its great technological achievement in killing people so precisely.  This is supposed to be brand new, but it seems to me they were making similar claims about how ‘smart’ their bombs were before the ‘shock and awe’ dropped on Baghdad.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Canada's Strassmeir?

YayaCanada.com has noted that one of the Toronto 17 has an odd background:

“Let's keep an eye on Steven Vikash Chand.  Somebody was a ringleader, and possibly set up the others, and I don't think it was Qayyum Abdul Jamal.
     This story will appeal to Montreal Planet editor Ron Saba who is worried that the Canadian military is behind the false "Jewish badges" story about Iran in the National Post. Chris Wattie, who wrote the story is a Canadian military reservist.
     Nobody in their right mind can possibly accept this terrorist plot at face value.  Note that Chand converted to Islam after his military service.  He's also responsible for the wildest threat of all - the beheading of the Prime Minister.”

It is alleged that part of the plot was to take over the Parliament Buildings and behead Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  However good an idea that seems on the surface, it would never work, as Harper would just grow a new head.  It was Chand, connected to the military and a late convert to Islam, who contributed that particular piece of over-the-top nonsense.  Could Chand be Canada’s Andy Strassmeir?

The RCMP obviously had an inside guy in the ‘conspiracy’, and this person is either unidentified or is one of the seventeen.  If it is Chand, watch for charges against him to disappear somewhere down the line. The RCMP apparently thought that the beheading story would add to its case, but instead it is so silly that it just emphasizes that the crux of the background to the ‘conspiracy’ consists of games of paintball and wild boasts on the internet.  It was entirely the fertilizer that made the case.  If it should turn out that the fertilizer part of the story is the work of an RCMP informant, the entire case falls apart.

Almost all of the problems in the United States now are caused by too much influence of the Pentagon on the course of American politics.  It would be a real shame if Canada were to go down that same road.  It is very easy for military types to capture politicians, particularly right-wing law-and-order politicians of the type who are now running Canada.

Next week, the Supreme Court of Canada is finally getting around to considering the laws enacted after September 11, including the (obviously unconstitutional) ability of the prosecution to detain indefinitely without charge non-citizens suspected of having terrorist ties and try them for deportation without disclosing the case against them.  We have to see the timing of the arrests of the Toronto 17 in light of the timing of the Supreme Court deliberations.  The Canadian security establishment wants to keep all its weapons, regardless of whether they are constitutional or not.

Rich's reputation

There is the transcript of an interview at Court TV Online with A. Craig Copetas which provides a nice, quick summary of the crimes and life of Marc Rich.  If Xstrata fails in its bid to acquire Falconbridge, it will be yet another transaction lost entirely due to Xstrata’s mysterious connections to Rich’s lousy reputation.  You would think the other shareholders of Xstrata might want to do something about this.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Israeli plan

Perhaps the main lie of Zionism is that the plight of the Palestinians is the unintended consequence of Israeli efforts to defend itself against Palestinian violence, violence that is entirely rooted in the fact that the Palestinians have never been able to accept the existence of Israel.  In fact, everything that has happened in the Occupied Territories has been part of an Israeli plan.  If you are so inclined, you could call the plan, and efforts of Israeli apologists to conceal it, a conspiracy.  From Alexander Cockburn (who notes that he was effectively a very early victim of the Lobby):

“. . . I published a long interview in the Voice in 1980 with the late Israel Shahak, the intrepid professor from Hebrew University.

It's slightly eerie now to look at what Shahak was saying back then and at the accuracy of his analysis and predictions: ‘The basic trends were established in '74 and '75, including settler organizations, mystical ideology, and the great financial support of the United States to Israel. Between summer '74 and summer '75 the key decisions were taken, and from that time it's a straight line.’ Among these decisions, said Shahak, was ‘to keep the occupied territories of Palestine,’ a detailed development of much older designs consummated in 1967.

Gradually, through the 1980s, very often in the translations from the Hebrew language press that Shahak used to send, the contours of the Israeli plan emerged, like the keel and ribs and timbers of an old ship: a road system that would bypass Palestinian towns and villages and link the Jewish settlements and military posts; ever-expanding clusters of settlements; a master plan for control of the whole region's water.”

and: 

“ . . . even in the testimonies that did get published here, what was missing was any acknowledgement of the long-term plan to wipe the record clean of all troublesome U.N. resolutions, crush Palestinian national aspirations, steal their land and water, cram them into ever smaller enclaves, ultimately balkanize them with the Wall, which was on the drawing board many years ago. Indeed to write about any sort of master plan was to incur further torrents of abuse for one's supposedly ‘paranoid’ fantasies about Israel' bad faith, with much pious invocation of the ‘peace process’.

But successive Israeli governments did have a long-term plan. No matter who was in power, the roads got built, the water stolen, the olive and fruit trees cut down (a million) the houses knocked over (12,000), the settlements imposed (300) the shameless protestations of good faith issued to the US press (beyond computation).

As the new millennium shambled forward, surely it became impossible to believe any Israeli claim to be bargaining, or even to wish to bargain in good faith. By now the ‘facts of the ground’ in Israel and the territories were as sharply in focus as one of Dali's surrealist paintings.”

and:

“The end of the story? I'd say the basic strategy is what it was in 1948: population transfer, to be achieved by making life so awful for Palestinians that most of them will depart, leaving a few bankrupt ghettoes behind as memorials to all those foolish hopes of a sovereign Palestinian state.”

The quantity of official forgetfulness about Israel is simply amazing.  The most recent example is the wall.  Critics of the wall claimed that it was just another land grab, and were called every variation of the term ‘anti-Semite’ or even worse, by Israel apologists, who loudly claimed that it was just intended for Israeli security.  Not that many months later, Israel announced that it was in fact permanently annexing the enclosed lands, and everybody seemed to forget the entire course of the earlier debate, including all the name-calling against people who were simply trying to point out the truth about a major injustice.  That’s why you have to ignore the name-calling:  it is the main weapon of those trying to impose the Israeli long-term plan on the Palestinians.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Paintball 17

From the – ahem, but statements against interest, even by liars, are admissible – National Post (as found in the CanWest papers; the story is hidden behind a subscription wall; my emphasis in red):

Members of an alleged homegrown terror cell knew they were under the watchful eye of Canada's spy agency for at least two years, CanWest News Service has learned.

Photographs of the individuals now charged with terrorism offences were first flashed throughout Toronto's Muslim community as early as two years ago by officials with the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency - and so there was little surprise among friends and acquaintances that police swept down on the 12 men and five youths Friday night and Saturday morning. The only surprise was that it took so long, said the director of a Muslim group.

‘All the faces that are being shown to me I've been shown before,’ said Omar Kalair, founder and director of United Muslims, a moderate community group based in Mississauga.

Police investigators have suggested this group posed an imminent threat to national security, but there are questions being raised about how dangerous the group could have been if CSIS had known about it and was watching it so closely for so long.

and:

“. . . instead of being comforted that an alleged terror threat has been averted, Mr. Kalair said community members feel resentful at the media spectacle that has been orchestrated, and said some feel investigators have ‘ballooned’ the danger of the threat.

He said the community is left with ‘a lot of questions ... regarding how this played out.’

Why do it now? Why wasn't this reined in before without all of this media blitz.

‘In the end, when I walk down the street people are looking at me," he said. "My personal viewpoint is that these guys should have been reined in a year ago.’”

Every summer, young Canadian men head for the woods to drink beer and shoot guns at things.  Except (perhaps) for the beer, young Muslim Canadian men do the same thing.  Once you are labeled a ‘terrorist’, all the innocent stupidities turn into something sinister.  There is a history in this area of rushing to judgment based on the wild imaginations of police and the media. 

It is becoming obvious that CSIS found a hot-headed leader, and took its time to cultivate the leader and his ‘cell’, probably through guidance from an insider informant who carefully developed all most the radical ideas, up to and including the RCMP-supplied fertilizer.  The reason CSIS didn’t act more quickly is that it needed to build up the group to the extent where it could use it to form the basis for requests for more money and power.  It is completely ridiculous to believe that the group wasn’t aware that it was being watched, since the Muslim community was completely aware.  What kind of group carries on its activities knowing it is being watched by the police?  The kind of group that knows it is doing nothing wrong.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More on the Toronto 17

The Official Story on the 17 arrested ‘terrorists’ in Toronto shifted from no mention of a police sting operation, to a report by the Toronto Star, which seems to have all the sources on this matter, that the supply of the tons of fertilizer was a RCMP sting, to a denial that it was a sting.  The Official Story is now the heroic one that the RCMP intercepted the shipment and replaced the dangerous fertilizer with an non-dangerous substance.  Obviously, some bigwig at the RCMP realized that the sting story would be used by lawyers for the defendants, and ordered that a safer story be spread.  Rapid changes in the Official Story is a sure sign of official shenanigans.

CSIS has an unfortunate history of  using informants.  In the late 80’s, the terrorist threat du jour was extreme right-wing terrorism.  CSIS hired a man named Grant Bristow to infiltrate right-wing groups.  He did such a good job that he almost ended up as the leader, and how far he went in fitting in with his extremist pals is till the subject of controversy.  Unfortunately for CSIS, there were no right-wing extremist groups to speak of in Canada prior to Bristow.  There were a few loud-mouths with no money and essentially no followers.  Some of the money supplied by CSIS was used to fund the main group, the Heritage Front.  CSIS was therefore the founder of right-wing extremism in Canada! 

This sort of thing is not uncommon.  Anti-terrorist organizations need terrorist organizations in order to receive more finding.  The RCMP quite obviously worked to have the Conservatives elected in the last Canadian election, and the Conservatives ran on a law-and-order platform of increased government funding for police, prisons and spies.  The Conservatives are already taking credit for the latest arrests based on their increased funding for law-and-order,  clear nonsense as the operation started in 2004, two years before they were in government.  Nevertheless, this type of sting plays right into the hands of the law-and-order types (for discussion of motives, and the best summary of the case, see the Yayacanada.com summary, including the idea raised in the comments that the parallel British case – this was a Canadian/American/British operation - is starting to fall part), and also allows the Conservatives to appease their big brothers in Washington (the way the story was presented, with all the police lined up in a news conference in uniforms, and the over-the-top theatrics of the unnecessary and un-Canadian security, shows a clear American influence, and was intended to taint the jury pool).  It also neatly fits the general Zionist clash of civilizations theme (read this in the New York Sun!), that no one is any safer than Israel from the treat of irrational and hateful Islam.

You can see how this operation works.  The government finds a particularly loud hot head, and puts an informant in close to him.  The informant steers him to more and more radical positions, at least rhetorically.  He forms a group, which becomes the ‘terrorist cell’.  The end game is to suggest that the informant can obtain some contraband, like fertilizer, and the shipment of the fertilizer is the end of the sting.  The hot head may in fact not even be aware of the fertilizer (in this case, a younger member of the group is alleged to have purchased it), or have no bad plans for it, but he, and by extension his group, and suddenly in jail as ‘terrorists’.  Everything they own is depicted as part of a terrorist attack, and everything they have done is a ‘training exercise’.

Canada is currently murdering innocent civilians in Afghanistan, a situation recently extended by the Canadian Parliament (requiring the shameful vote of some Liberals, including Liberal leadership front-runner Igantieff, who received a hand-shake from Canadian Prime Minister Harper after the vote).  In the context of the ‘war on terror’, and the escalation of that war in Canada, a country which hasn’t intentionally entered into a campaign to kill innocent civilians in a very long time (possibly since the campaign against the Métis in the 1870’s), it is no surprise that it should be easy to establish a group of young Muslim males who are angry.  The war on terror is the cause of the problem, not the solution (note the backasswardness).

The police are making a great deal out of the fact that the new al Qaeda/Osama is the internet.  ‘Jihad’ training and organization is now blamed on the internet.  Many people predicted that capitalism would suffer under the internet, but instead it benefited greatly.  The internet was thus allowed to thrive, for a while  As we have recently seen in the lies about Iran in the National Post, the internet is posing huge problems for International Zionism.  We will no doubt start to hear increased calls for control of information.  Prepare to kiss your internet good-bye.   

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Toronto 17

It will be entertaining to watch the case against the 17 ‘terrorist’ suspects arrested by police in Toronto slowly unravel.  We’ve been down this same road before, with the post-September 11 arrest of 19 suspected terrorists in Toronto, a case which fell apart.  There is already a page of doubts on the latest arrests at YayaCanada.com.  The main crux of the official case, the fact that the ‘terrorists’ ordered a large quantity of fertilizer, has been revealed to be a police sting operation, something the police didn’t bother to mention when they crowed about the arrests.  Isn’t it just a bit odd that, in this day and age, ‘terrorists’ living in downtown Toronto would think they could get away with ordering tons of ammonium nitrate without attracting any official attention?  All the alleged terrorist equipment they had will have innocent explanations (cell phones?; soldering irons?; walkie-talkies?), with the exception of the handgun, which will probably end up leaving a net result of one minor firearms charge.  The – ahem – National Post is ready with the Zionist spin, predictably depicting this incident as part of ‘Canadian Jihad’.  CSIS, Canada’s low-rent CIA, just prior to the arrests announced that Canada is developing “home-grown terrorists”, and with a Conservative government, replete with a Christian Evangelist minister in charge of security, this is probably some sort of program to increase power for CSIS and similar incompetent government groups, as well as another excuse for Canadian troops to continue to murder Afghan civilians.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Another thought experiment

From an article on the Israel Lobby thesis by Stephen J. Sniegoski (my emphasis in red):

“It seems perfectly plain that the Israel lobby has had significant influence in shaping American foreign policy. Let us conduct a brief thought experiment. Assume that the positions of Jewish-Americans and Palestinian-Americans were reversed, and that Palestinian-Americans were disproportionately wealthy, disproportionately influential in the media and academia, and had established a powerful lobby with numerous well-funded think tanks to advance the interests of the suppressed Palestinian people. Palestinians use the term ‘Nakba’ to refer to their brutal expulsion from Israel in 1948, so let us imagine that Nakba education courses had been established in most schools and that a U.S. Nakba Memorial Museum had been created near the Mall in Washington, D.C. Of course, anyone who disputed the Palestinians' description of their suffering, attested to by eyewitness accounts, would be labeled a ‘Nakba denier’ and would suffer severe career consequences resulting from that lethal designation.

In such an environment it seems hardly likely that Israel would be supported by the United States or that it would have elicited the necessary aid to develop its highly sophisticated military arsenal, which includes nuclear weapons. Few people would support the double standard on international law favorable to Israel. Israel would be expected to abide by all UN resolutions, including the Palestinian ‘right of return.’ The rights of the Palestinian people would be seen to mesh with the interests of the oil lobby. In such a situation, it is easy to imagine that Israel would be treated by the United States and the rest of the world as a pariah state and would go the way of white South Africa, with the establishment of a single Palestine of Jews and Palestinians and with Palestinians receiving reparations for the harm done them by the Zionist takeover, analogous to the reparations provided to Jews for Nazi oppression. Certainly this is a totally imaginary alternate history; but I would add that elsewhere in the world, especially where Jewish power is negligible, the population, especially the intellectual population, favors the rights of the Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Evidence for that may be found in the voting at the UN.

If the United States were willing to support Israel at the current level without the efforts of the Israel lobby, there would be no need for that lobby. As Mearsheimer and Walt point out: ‘Indeed, the mere existence of the Lobby suggests that unconditional support for Israel is not in the American national interest. If it was, one would not need an organized special interest group to bring it about. But because Israel is a strategic and moral liability, it takes relentless political pressure to keep U.S. support intact.[48] Really, it is piquant to hear members of the Israel lobby, who devote their careers to promoting Israel, proclaim their uselessness and lack of influence.”

The thought experiment – and I refer you to my own Syrian thought experiment, which I think proves conclusively that the Lobby promotes policies that do not benefit the United States but only Israel -  demonstrates how the Chomsky thesis, that support for Israel masks support for American Establishment interests, is completely, and rather obviously, backasswards.  The fact that somebody of Chomsky’s moral and intellectual stature would risk his reputation in order to provide cover for the Lobby is another demonstration of the lengths that Lobby members have to go to in order to support a program that is against the interests of both the American Establishment and the American people. 

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Zionists lose the knack of spin

What happened to the Zionists?  They engineered what is undoubtedly the greatest PR boondoggle in the history of spin.  Israel has tanks, assault helicopters, one of the world's most powerful armies, and nuclear weapons.  It uses its power and the backing of the most powerful country in the world to steal land from the Palestinians and brutally mistreat them.  Everything Israel does is completely against international law.  It is up against some twelve-year-olds throwing rocks and some poor souls whose weapon is blowing themselves up.  Yet who is the only victim?  Israel!!!  Unbelievable.

Yet, suddenly, the Zionist spinners have lost the knack.  The war in Iraq has thrown them off their game, along with the rope-a-dope Ecce-Homo strategy of the Palestinians, whose new intifada seems to consist in taking the all the brutality the Israelis can hand out, while still surviving.  The Europeans even managed, to their eternal shame, to get into the act, signing on to the Israeli 'diet' plan.  The Palestinians still survive, and can add some Euro-guilt to their arsenal.

The main weapon of the Zionists over the years has been to hide information damaging to Israel.  The billionaire Jewish owners of the major media simply order that the truth not be published, and smaller media is dealt with by the threat of advertising boycotts by Jewish-owned businesses (the threat of these boycotts is one of the biggest dirty secrets in the North American media).  The vast majority of Americans are thus completely unaware of what is actually going on in the Occupied Territories.

The Zionists were completely taken aback by the Emperor's-new-clothes revelation of the power of the Israel Lobby, as if they never thought it possible that anyone would dare mention the most obvious fact in the world.  For some baffling reason, the Zionists decided to tackle the issue head-on.  Disaster!  Chomsky wrote the stupidest thing he's ever written in a vain attempt to refute it, and Dershowitz, who must be some sort of cretin, relied on name-calling as his main argument.  People seeing the debate, who otherwise certainly would have been unaware of the original thesis, correctly determined that if the best the Zionists could do was call people names, the thesis must be correct, and if people like Chomsky and Dershowitz were prepared to make fools of themselves trying to refute it, the thesis must be important.

The most recent Zionist debacle has been the lies printed by the National Post concerning sumptuary laws in Iran.  Iran has a legislature and publishes its laws, so it should have been the easiest thing in the world to confirm the story.  Instead, the Post decided to confirm the story entirely from one main source, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (they also claim to have asked two local Iranian exiles, who 'believed' it to be true).  In the context of the fact that there is an obvious North American Zionist campaign to force a war against Iran, this isn't just a profound breach of journalistic ethics, it is practically criminal.  How did the Zionists who run the Post possibly think they were going to get away with it?

I think the Zionists are simply suffering from too much success and power.   They have controlled all the media for so long that the Post editors thought they could publish any propaganda nonsense they liked about Iran, gussy it up with images from Nazi Germany, and get away with it.  It was inconceivable to them that anyone would be in a position to challenge them.  The world has changed.  There are new outlets for the truth.  Perhaps more importantly, the hopeless war in Iraq, which Americans were fooled into due to the trickery of the Lobby, has created a fertile field in the United States for the seeds of truth to grow.  The alternative media on the internet can reveal the truth, and some outlets in the mainstream media are compelled to publish it.  The upshot is that nobody will ever be able to read anything published by the Post without considerable scepticism, if not outright bemusement, and Zionist warmongering against Iran has been revealed for what it is.  As is so often the case, too much power creates an arrogance which leads to the loss of power.