Monday, March 31, 2003

More massacre news:

  1. Even before the massacre is won, people are starting to question the American strategy of the Occupation of Iraq. The brutality of the 'shock and awe', coupled with shelling of Basra and two missile attacks on residential areas in Baghdad, seem to mean that the American strategy is to make the Iraqi civilians and other Muslims as angry with the United States as possible. When the Occupation of the Crusaders begins, the retaliation will lead to many deaths amongst the soldiers enforcing the enslavement, as well as increased terrorist attacks against Americans worldwide. The Americans intend to instal retired general Jay Garner as Occupier-in-Chief. Garner is a man particularly associated with Israel and Zionism, took a trip to Israel sponsored by the infamous pro-Israeli group JINSA (JINSA is even sensitive that the connection has been noticed), was one of a group of generals who signed a JINSA-sponsored statement blaming Palestinians for the violence in Israel and saying that a "strong Israel is an asset that American military planners and political leaders can rely on", headed a division of L-3 Communications specializing in missile-defense systems, some of whose products are being used in the attack on Iraq, and appears to have been selected for his extreme lack of suitability for the role (they must have had to restrain themselves from appointing Ariel Sharon!). It is completely obvious that the American strategy is to do everything possible to encourage: 1) Iraqi resistance to the Occupation of the Crusaders, so increasingly heavy oppression against the Iraqi slaves can be justified; and 2) increased terrorist attacks against America, to provide an excuse for future wars (Iran, Syria, etc.), and increased fascist security state oppression of the American people (Patriot Act II, Patriot Act III, Patriot Act IV, etc.).

  2. The Americans have consistently boasted that their new generation of 'smart' weapons will make it possible to minimize civilian casualities. Unfortunately, American missiles seem to be hitting everywhere but their intended targets: Iran, Kuwait, a neighborhood near Basra, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. It's the gang who couldn't shoot straight.

  3. Robert Fisk's serial and lot numbers for the missile fragment found in a market in Baghdad have been identified as an American missile, so the rather pathetic attempt to blame the two market place holocausts on Iraqi missiles has been proven to be yet another American lie (here is the lie here, which has turned into quite a ripping yarn). Survivors of the Shu'ale attack heard an airplane pass over, which apparently fired the missile right into a crowded Baghdad street during daytime. This is pretty good journalism for Fisk, who has the advantage of actually being in Baghdad (not to mention being about the best journalist there is). Needless to say, the warbloggers aren't taking this too well, as they got 'fisked' by Fisk.

  4. Here are some more picture galleries of the outrages being committed by the Americans and British.

  5. One of the biggest differences between this massacre and the Gulf War is that the whole Arab world can see the atrocities commited by the Crusaders on satellite television almost as they are being committed. In fact, because of the extrordinary self-censorship of the disgusting American media, the average person living in the Middle East is far, far, far better informed than almost any American. The mythology that the United States might not be evil has been permanently swept away - the whole world can now see that the American government is utterly without morals.

  6. The United States is using depleted uranium weapons, and may be using napalm. Now, there are reports that it may be using cluster bombs. Note that they are using these weapons in Najaf, which is one of the holiest cities in Islam. If they use the chemical and nuclear weapons they're itching to use, they'll have covered most of the inhumane weapons available to modern psychos.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

The Americans are trying to say that the attack on the Shu'ale neighborhhod in Baghdad, and the attack on the Shaab neighborhood, were due to stray Iraqi missiles. Tony seems to be the messenger for this story (actually, the first story was that it was a stray or even intentionally targeted Iraqi missile that hit Shaab, but the story has been reformulated so that they now claim that stray Iraqi missiles hit both neighborhoods). Robert Fisk is pointing out that the people at the scene in Shu'ale heard the plane, and the coding on the fragments is in Western style, not in Arabic. He even has the serial and lot numbers, in case they want to check it (I bet we don't hear anything about that). Patrick Graham reports: "This bomb was designed to kill, not destroy buildings." Could the story that it was an errant Iraqi missile be another American lie to cover up the fact that the Americans are now specifically targeting civilians by attacking markets?
It appears that unless something miraculous occurs, the United States has four choices in capturing Baghdad:

  1. It can continue the 'shock and awe' bombing, until the city is largely flattened.

  2. It can completely destroy the city and leave it permanently uninhabitable using its nuclear weapons.

  3. It can commence what amounts to a medieval siege, cutting off all food and water until the population collapses.

  4. It can commence door-to-door street fighting.

The first two options, while certainly within the moral capabilities of the psychopaths who run the United States, would probably not be politically acceptable. Even under the almost complete information blockade being enforced by the American media, news that a city of five million people has been utterly destroyed is bound to leak out (I like how this journalist refers to CNN as 'The Pentagon's Bitch' - I think Tony Blair has the title of 'Bush's Bitch' all sewn up). That probably leaves us with the siege or the door-to-door fighting. It appears that the siege might be used first to weaken the city, followed by the fighting. Rumsfeld, who increasingly appears to have the unfortunate combination of self-certainty and incompetence, has already floated this idea. Again, however, I don't see the forced starvation or water deprivation of a city of five million people going over well with the American public, who still have a completely undeserved view of themselves as being inately good. A long siege also leaves the 'coalition' forces open to attacks from the rear by the various tribal and guerilla fighters that the Iraqis have available to them. When it comes right down to it, eventually the 'coalition' is going to have to fight in close, unfamiliar quarters in Baghdad, and it is quite likely that they will take serious losses, and may even lose (remember, and the military certainly knows, that the Americans lose when they hit an indeterminate but magical number of deaths - 3,000? 5,000? 10,000? - at which point all political support for the war immediately disappears). It appears to be time for the American and even British military to stand up to their stupid political bosses. These bosses are still basing strategy on three factors:

  1. That 'shock and awe' would work.

  2. That Saddam would make exactly the same mistakes he made in Gulf War I, and leave his military assets exposed to air attack in the desert.

  3. That the people of Iraq would rise up against Saddam and welcome their 'liberators'.

All of these have been proven to be completely wrong. To show how deeply crazy Rumsfeld is, he is still tying the idea of a siege to the idea that this will make the people of Baghdad rise up against Saddam, when it will obviously have the opposite effect. The military leaders have to know that the U. S. military can't afford to start this battle of Baghdad and not win, and it can't afford the massive losses that the military will face in door-to-door fighting. They also have to know that the politicians telling them what to do (micromanaging, in fact), have not the slightest idea of what they are doing, and are leading the U. S. and British militaries to a disaster that they may never recover from. So what should they do? They should go to someone like Cheney, or even Bush himself, and tell him that they will no longer follow the orders of Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Perle-etc., but that they do not want to publicly defy political orders. Some sort of face-saving deal could be arranged for a cease-fire, followed by the arrival of some sort of strong UN force of weapons inspectors. The 'coalition' could then withdraw, claiming that they did not want to fight to liberate those who did not want to be liberated, but that they had substantially disarmed Saddam and these new inspectors would ensure that Saddam was no longer a threat. The American political situation would be taken care of by putting all the blame on Rumsfeld, etc. (even though, of course, Cheney is at least equally culpable), and they might even find a way to charge him with dereliction of duty or treason for failing to heed the warnings of the war games or any experts who attempted to give advice (Blair would have to take the dive for the British). Bush and Cheney would claim they were misled, but that they stepped in to save the country and its relations with the Muslim world. Sometimes even generals have to frag their superiors, if their superiors obviously are going to lead them to disaster, but they can enforce change without upsetting political appearances. This scenario may seem crazy, but is it crazier than having the United States and Britain lay a medieval siege on a city of five million people in full view of the whole world, followed by the deaths of thousands of 'coalition' forces (and tens of thousands of Iraqis), with absolutely no guarantee that the whole thing might not end up in total defeat?
In a now infamous column, Ann Coulter, referring to Muslims, wrote:

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Well, they've invaded Iraq, and have at least attempted to kill Saddam. What about the conversion to Christianity?:

"Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population."

The article goes on to say that these two organizations ". . . have been at the heart of controversial evangelical denunciations of Islam . . . ." (see here). The title of the article (which is also here with a different title and hyperlinks; for another article, see here) is "Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy". Christianizing the Enemy!! Do these people have even the tiniest idea of how this is going to be received in Iraq and the rest of the Islamic world? The whole attack on Iraq is going to be seen, not without some justification, as an excuse for the wholesale forced conversion of Muslims to Christianity.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

The massacre, continued:

  1. Some people believe that one of the main reasons for the ignominious defeat of the Americans in Vietnam was the over-reliance on one particular piece of technology, the helicopter. Helicopters are very popular with American military strategists, not because they help to win wars, but because they are so easily destroyed and cost many millions of dollars to replace (and it's so much fun to play God, zipping along to the imaginary strains of Wagner while using your machine guns on civilians). In the corrupt military procurement system, these factors are considered to be advantages, as more money can be extracted from the taxpayers to go to the military-industrial complex. Helicopters can be felled by the technology available to peasants (the Vietnamese found they could entangle the rotors, and hunting rifles seem to work well too), drop like a rock with few survivors when they fall, and are particularly unsuited to conditions where there is a lot of sand, like Iraq (or Iran - remember Jimmy Carter's failed hostage rescue mission; some conspiracy theorists believe that the military intentionally sabotaged that operation by using helicopters it knew were likely to fail in order to embarrass Carter and ensure the election of the more military procurement-friendly Reagan). Use of helicopters means lots of dead Americans and a constant drain on the U. S. treasury, both of which eventually add up to defeat. This crony-capitalist chickenhawk 'war' is being micromanaged by people whose first goal is enriching their military contractor friends, and whose secondary goal is winning.

  2. The War Street Journal has got its panties in a knot over the fact that Saddam is allegedly massing his military resources around historically important architectural sites, as if this were some kind of war crime. I hate to have to keep returning to the obvious, but this isn't a traditional war, it is an Anglo-American massacre. The attack on Iraq has not the tiniest justification in international law or morality. Saddam can, and should, do everything he can to stop the Crusaders from enslaving his country and stealing its assets. If the Americans destroy world-historically important archeological sites because of their greed and evil, the moral opprobrium of the world will forever lie on the United States, not on Saddam.

  3. Here is a list of some of the media lies on the attack on Iraq (and a good analysis of some of the lies here). The BBC has admitted its complete incompetence ("heralding the fall of Umm Qasr at least nine times" - HA!), but it is infinitely better than any American source. Claims about Iraqi weapons have been particularly bungled, leading me to the inescapable conclusion that this is not just utter incompetence, but active media participation in the Pentagon propaganda effort.

  4. The Americans have killed another 50 or so Iraqis in another 'accidental' attack on Baghdad (in a neighborhood called 'Shula'). It is quite apparent that these are not accidents (here is a report on the previous incident in a neighborhood called 'Shaab'). Intentionally bombing civilians may be an attempt to soften up Baghdad in anticipation of the American battle to capture it, or it may be a symbol of the frustration of the Crusaders who express their emotions by proving they can still kill, or it may just be another attempt to stir up the Muslim world to provoke more terrorism and thus more excuses for American colonialist wars. In any event, the American leadership is completely insane.

  5. Two quotes from an article by Stephen Zunes:

    " . . . the Bush Administration is already attempting to inoculate itself from criticism by claiming that Saddam Hussein is using 'human shields,' though virtually all the Iraqi civilians killed so far have been ordinary people in or near their homes."


    "The Pentagon claims that such civilian casualties are 'unavoidable.' This, however, is patently false. Civilian casualties are unavoidable only if the war is unavoidable. This war was not unavoidable. As a result, such efforts to relieve the United States from moral responsibility will likely fall on deaf ears."

  6. If the Americans want to commit a massacre, they have to accept the consequences of their immorality. Because this war is both immoral and illegal, the Americans are responsible for both their own war crimes and any war crimes committed by the Iraqis in trying to defend themselves. I keep harping on this point, but it needs to be repeated as most American arguments about this 'war' are based on the assumption that it is not both immoral and illegal.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Yet more on the massacre:

  1. The best story of the day concerns the distribution of food and water humanitarian aid at Basra. The Americans and British wanted to make the distribution into a photo op, showing grateful Iraqis receiving life-giving sustenance from the blessed crusaders (these photo ops are intended to humiliate the Iraqis, and the Iraqis understand this). Unfortunately, the people of Basra refused to play along, and in fact seemed angry. What caused these ingrates to treat the wonderful American and British liberators so shamefully? Well, there are two problems in Basra. The water system has been rendered inoperative for a number of days thanks to 'coalition' bombing destruction of the electrical supply, causing the people of Basra to actually travel outside of the city in a desperate search for water. The problem is not helped by the fact that the liberators have insufficient bottled water. The second problem, and this is the hilarious one, has to do with food and medicine. I quote the excellent Russian analysis:

    "During the past seven days of the war the US Navy detained all ships in the Persian Gulf going to Iraq under the US 'Oil for Food' program. Since yesterday all these ships are being unloaded in Kuwait. Unloaded food is being delivered by the US military to Iraq and is being distributed as 'American humanitarian aid' and as a part of the 'rebuilding Iraq' program"

    The people of Basra were being supplied with aid under the 'oil-for-food' program of the United Nations. What the 'coalition' did, presumably in order to soften up the resistance of the people of Basra, was to blockade this aid for a week. Then, and this is the good part, when they wanted a photo op, they released the same aid, but labelled as coming from Kuwait. So the Iraqis could see they were being offered humanitarian aid by their liberators that was the same food and medicne that these liberators had intentionally deprived them of for a week. No wonder they were't so grateful.

  2. Remember how the British said that the Iraqis in Basra were violently attacking the Saddam forces in Basra in a popular uprising? A lie (the British are now saying it was 'largely exaggerated', which is a bit rich seeing as it was their story). Could the British have created the story to cover up their own atrocities? Or was it just seeing what they had convinced themselves they would see?

  3. Remember when Tony Blair alleged that Iraqi soldiers had executed two British prisoners or war? Guess what? Another lie, or at least a fabulation with no 'absolute evidence'.

  4. The Guardian has an excellent summary of some of the many lies told about the 'war' (see also here).

  5. Robert Fisk continues to embarrass his embedded 'journalist' colleagues by showing how real war reporting is done. He has excellent comments on how Basra is still outside British control, notwithstanding the violent war crimes committed by the British in bombing the people of Basra.

  6. John Negroponte, the American ambassador to the United Nations, walked out of the United Nations debate on the Iraqi massacre after Iraq's ambassador accused the United States of trying to exterminate the Iraqi people. Of course, Negroponte is perfectly correct. The United States does not want to exterminate the Iraqi people. It wants to keep them alive to work as slaves in the American- and Israeli-owned businesses it intends to set up after the massacre is over. These foul slanders against the humanitarian Americans must stop.

  7. Iraq is claiming that nearly 700 American and British troops have been killed in the past seven days of fighting. The Americans are admitting to about a twentieth of that. So there are either a lot of dead British soldiers lying around, or someone is lying. I wonder who is closer to the truth.

  8. Tam Dalyell, a man who has served as a Labour Member of Parliament for 41 (!) years, has written that Tony Blair "should be branded as a war criminal and sent to The Hague." I fully believe that this will happen someday (but British courts should be able to handle it). The whole article is worth reading.

  9. The Russians are still providing the best war analysis. Note that the 'coalition' may be making strategic mistakes. The British have still not secured Basra, and the supposedly already surrendered Iraqi 51st Infantry Division is still fighting. Also note:

    "Information coming from northern regions of Iraq indicates that most of the Kurdish leaders chose not to participate in the US war against Iraq. The primary reason for that is the mistrust of the Kurds toward the US."

    I might add, a justified mistrust, as the Americans are almost certainly going to betray the Kurds in favor of the Turks.

Richard Perle has now tendered his resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. This is being described as some kind of victory for government ethics, as it was his influence peddling, or at least the perception of his influence peddling, which led to his being forced by public pressure to resign. But Perle is to remain as a member of the board. Perle's conflict of interest problem isn't that he was chairman, it was that he was on a board giving advice on possible Defense Department plans, including procurement plans, at the same time as he was in active in military contracting businesses. He has ties to companies doing business with the Defense Department, which is the very Department that his Board is advising. He has to remove himself completely from the Defense Policy Board. Otherwise, this partial resignation is just another Bush Administration trick. I wonder if Seymour Hersh is still "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist."

Thursday, March 27, 2003

More tales of the massacre:

  1. The Russians are still giving the best reports:

    "Near Basra the British forces in essence are laying a Middle Ages-style siege of a city with the population of two million. Artillery fire has destroyed most of the city's life-supporting infrastructure and artillery is used continuously against the positions of the defending units."

    So when you read about the wonderful exertions of the coalition to provide humanitarian aid (even enlisting Flipper in the effort), remember that the humanitarian aid is needed because of the 'Middle Ages-style siege', and the 'Middle Ages-style siege' was required because the British were not up to the task of defeating this city which supposedly hates Saddam. The Iraqis, without food or water, are nevertheless attacking the British delivering their 'humanitarian' aid. Do you think that might give the British a hint that they are not regarded as 'liberators'?

  2. More from the Russians:

    ". . . the coalition forces have so far failed to capture a single sizable town in Iraq. Only by the end of the sixth day the British marine infantry was able to establish tentative control over the tiny town of Umm Qasr. During the hours of darkness all movement around the town is stopped and the occupying troops withdraw to defensive positions. Constant exchanges of fire take place throughout the town. Out of more than 1,500-strong local garrison the British managed to capture only 150 Iraqis. The rest has either withdrew toward Basra or changed into civilian clothes and resorted to partisan actions."

    So they still haven't captured Umm Qasr.

  3. I'd like to raise the issue of the rules of war again. The Americans seem fixated on the fact that the Iraqis aren't fighting fair, fighting out of hospitals, blending back into the civilian population, etc. But do they have to? This war is after all universally derided as immoral and illegal under international law. The Iraqis are defending themselves from what is essentially a lawless group of bandits who are attempting to steal their country. Why should they have to fight fairly? Why should the 'coalition' be treated in international law as being anything more than thieves? Just because it is two big countries committing the outrages doesn't change the nature of what they really are. This isn't a war.

  4. Have you noticed that what the Iraqis say in press conferences is essentially true, even those things which are mocked by the U. S. press because they conflict with the American stories which turn out to be lies, but everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, said by the Americans is a lie (I'm not exaggerating - EVERYTHING)?

  5. More pictures of the civilizing influence of America.

  6. The Americans claimed they captured 8,000 Iraqis. Another lie. How can you possibly claim you've captured soldiers unless you've taken at least some care to ensure they don't walk away? But walk away they did. The funniest thing is that they are now blaming this lie on a nasty Iraqi trick, which poor old Rumsfeld thinks is another violation of the rules of war which apparently only apply to the Iraqis.

  7. From

    "At the Pentagon briefing on Saturday afternoon, a reporter asked General Stanley McChrystal and Pentagon Spokesperson Victoria Clark about a report by General Franks that the US was currently holding 1,000-2,000 Iraqi prisoners. 'What happened to the other Iraqis who surrendered?' General McChrystal mumbled, and then said 'They must have run off.'"

    You have to wonder whether this is a war or a child's game.

  8. Speaking of the rules of war, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the Americans dropped two missiles on a poor suburb of Baghdad with no obvious strategic importance, and not near any obvious military targets, killing at least 14 Iraqi civilians. How does that advance the war cause of the 'coalition'? Just think how much fun it will be for the American soldiers to guard that part of town during the Occupation.

  9. The American ambassador to Canada had the audacity to question Canada's refusal to support the Americans in the slaughter, and made not-so-veiled threats that this would result in economic repercussions for Canada. Needless to say, this didn't go over well. The governing Liberal Party caucus actually debated whether the ambassador should be expelled (my personal opinion is that he should have been on the next plane out). Although doubts are being raised based on an audio recording, a Canadian Senator in a debate on the issue in the Canadian Senate is reported by Hansard to have said "Screw the Americans". I hope he did say it. Wayne Gretsky, ex-hockey player who is essentially a god in Canada, said he supported the war and was rewarded by having his statue (!) in Edmonton adorned with the sign 'U$ Lackey'. Bush is supposed to visit Canada in early May, but that would be a foolish thing to do unless he wants to be embarrassed. It's getting to the point where Americans are going to have to wear pins and t-shirts pretending to be Canadians when they visit Canada!

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Yet more on the massacre of the American mythology Iraqi people:

  1. Do you think this massacre would be happening if the Americans and British regarded the Iraqis as white people? In other words, would they attempt to massacre and terrify a country comprised mainly of white people in order to steal the assets of the country and enslave the population? The British call them 'wogs', and the Americans have the particularly evocative term, reaching back into American history, of 'sand niggers'. The whole point is that you can treat these people worse than you would treat animals only if you consider them to be subhuman. The people in the next countries on the hit list - Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba - all suffer from the same problem of being insufficiently pale.

  2. Much has been made in the American press about how Michael Moore's clever anti-war Academy Award acceptance speech was booed by the crowd at the Oscars. The truth, as always, is quite different, and the whole appearance of lack of support appears to be a studio trick. Moore's speech is the first time any public dissent has been shown in the oligarchical U. S. media (and they showed it only as they had no choice, and cut him off as soon as they could).

  3. One of the arguments that American gun fetishists use is that widespread personal ownership of firearms somehow prevents government tyranny. I note that just about everybody in Iraq seems to be armed (that American helicopter was apparently shot down with one shot by a peasant using an old hunting rifle - do you think the military contractors who supplied that helicopter will receive any punishment for charging millions of dollars for such an obviously useless piece of crap that has allowed its passengers to become POW's?). So does this extremely widespread ownership of guns prove that ownership of guns does not save a people from tyranny? Or, contrary to what we've been constantly told, do Iraqis not consider Saddam to be a tyrant?

  4. The media seems to have no trouble finding Iraqis who are still under the rule of Saddam and who don't seem to mind being identified and stating that they don't like Saddam. This again doesn't jibe with the idea that Iraqis are all quaking in fear of being tortured to death by the evil dictator. Could it be that the average Iraqi knows that he or she isn't in any danger as long as he or she avoids actively trying to overthrow the regime? Is it possible that Iraqis have more real freedom now than they will under the regime that their 'liberators' have planned for them? Is it possible that knowledge of this is behind the surprising - to the Americans at least - resistance of the Iraqis? Could it be that the wonderful story of how Americans just want to give Iraqis the gift of American democracy and save them from tyranny is another huge lie? I have read some Americans expressing concern for the wellbeing of the fellow who apparently is blogging from Baghdad, as if his comments will land him in an Iraqi prison. He, on the other hand, doesn't obviously censor himself at all, and is rightly more concerned about being blown to bits by one of the bombs of his 'liberators'.

  5. I think that a British group should take that picture of the Iraqi girl who has had her foot blown off, enlarge it, mount it on a poster, and ensure that for the rest of his pathetic life Tony Blair can never go outside of his house without constantly seeing it (for more pictures see here). I'd suggest the same treatment for George Bush, except 1) the Secret Service would probably kill anyone who tried it; and 2) George Bush would probably just find the picture funny.

  6. The Americans have nothing to worry about the safety of their POW's. Particularly as at least one of them is a woman, we've gotten a hint of American orientalist fears of what these swarthy men might do. The Iraqis, unlike the Americans, are too poor and powerless to afford to lie to themselves. They know they will eventually be enslaved or slaughtered by the Americans. I imagine they are trying to prove to their captives just how nice they can be, in the hopes they won't be too badly hurt when the crusaders arrive.

  7. Just how many times now has it been definitively announced that Basra has been captured? Are we in double digits yet? How many times has it been announced that Umm Qasr has been captured? When will the American military and media stop this constant lying? What's really scary is that if the Americans don't start winning soon, they'll have to make up some excuse to use their nuclear weapons.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

More thoughts on the ongoing massacre of the Iraqi people:

  1. Donald Rumsfeld expressed outrage that the televising of the American POW's was a breach of the Geneva Convention (while of course Fox and other U. S. media had done exactly the same thing to Iraqi POW's - I guess Rumsfeld is advocating a war crimes trial for Rupert Murdoch!). But what of the Geneva Convention? When the Americans picked up Afghan peasants who were fighting to defend their land against invaders, they labelled them Taliban and claimed they could be detained as 'enemy combatants'. This is a term invented by U. S. military lawyers to circumvent the Geneva Convention. Most of these men are still in detention in Cuba, with absolutely no propect of release, and the main reason they aren't released is that to release them would be for the perfect Americans to admit they made a mistake. Many are so greatly in despair that they are attemting to commit suicide. So does the Geneva Convention apply to the American POW's? After all, every single reputable expert in international law regards this 'war' as illegal under international law. Perhaps these Americans are just 'enemy combatants'. Perhaps they are completely outside the Geneva Convention, and can be treated as spies or franc-tireurs. Perhaps the Iraqis should just take them to an area of Baghdad that has just been subject to an attack of 'shock and awe', arm the Iraqis with small knives, and let them decide what to do with their 'liberators'. Of course, this would also be an outrage, and all prisoners should obtain the full Geneva Convention protections. This kind of problem is what the Americans created when they arrogantly decided not to apply the Geneva Convention to the Afghan prisoners (some even predicted that there would be a problem).

  2. It is absolutely no surprise that the main threat to the British is American 'friendly fire'. Tony Blair is responsible for putting his troops in harm's way.

  3. The Americans are facing extremely stiff resistance from people in areas that have been thought to be vehemently against Saddam. It is becoming increasingly apparent that even those Iraqis who appear to welcome their 'liberation' are just doing so to ensure their short-term well-being in the face of the arms of the American crusaders. Just imagine what the attitude of the people in areas which generally support Saddam will be. The kicker is of course that the Americans are going to have to lord over these same people for years, with the conquered growing more and more enraged with each passing year. The American soldiers who will have to keep the Iraqis enslaved will be picked off one by one.

  4. Robert Fisk, the man who according to the warbloggers is a completely uninformed coward who doesn't know the least thing about the Middle East, is ironically in Baghdad obtaining information from the scene and living under the onslaught of the 'shock and awe' missiles that the warbloggers love so much (would that any of the warbloggers had the tiniest percentage of Fisk's courage or intelligence). These precision weapons are landing on the houses in a quiet residential neighborhood. Fisk quotes Taha Yassin Ramadan, the Vice-President of Iraq: "They are trying to assassinate President Hussein. What kind of state tries to assassinate another country's leader then says it is fighting a war on terror?" It's not a bad question.

  5. Referring to the same (? - it may be another speech by Ramadan) speech by Taha Yassin Ramadan, in which he said that captured enemy soldiers whould soon be shown on Iraqi television, and to another report that seven U. S. and British aircraft had been shot down, U. S. Marines Captain Stewart Upton, a spokesman at the Qatar command headquarters of U. S. and British forces in the Gulf, said: "We categorically deny both, that they shot down any coalition aircraft or took coalition prisoners of war. More lies from the Iraqis." We now know the Iraqis do have prisoners of war (one of the captured soldiers said he had been 'only following orders' - wrong Nuremberg answer!). So who was lying?

  6. The Americans continue to be flummoxed by the amusing problem that they have. They could easily win this war if they just levelled the country, but they would be destroying the assets, including the slave-labor workforce, which is the whole point of the war. So they have to actually fight on the ground. The highly vaunted American troops are rather pathetic - it they were only 100 times more powerful than the Iraqis, rather than 10,000 times, the Iraqis would beat them easily. The rest of the world, including places like North Korea and China, must be gaining a lot of confidence watching this debacle. Any state with reasonable air defenses can beat the Americans.

  7. The best information site by far on the massacre in Iraq continues to be the Russian 'Agression against IRAQ' site (see also here).

  8. The latest story is that Iran may be next on the list to be enslaved and have its oil stolen, right after Iraq is wrapped up. Before the monsters in the Bush junta are finished, I swear the whole world is going to be on fire.

  9. Here are some great pictures of what every single American is morally responsible for (more pictures here, and an especially sickening one here). Here is a quote with which I completely agree (from an oustanding article):

    "Let there be no doubt about this. Even those courageous American souls who protest for peace are willing to admit their complicity in this matter, for it is this segment of the American population that realizes it has been inattention to the improper and destructive behavior of its own government that has led to this current danger that the entire world must now confront, or be raped and vandalized by a gunslinging Texan with his shaky, dry-drunk finger on the nuclear trigger."

    The complicity of every American in these crimes isn't a function of the current Administration or its dirty immorality. It is a function of at least forty years of lying about the nature of the American government and American society. Time after time, after the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, after the Vietnam War, after Watergate, after Iran-Contra, even in the last mid-term elections, Americans have been given chances to put things right, and each time they have chosen to bury their heads in the sand and hide behind the usual platitudes about how great America is. Well, it isn't. It is a completely immoral country led by monsters. I ask again - when are Americans actually going to do something about this? Until they do, each Iraqi death haunts the soul of each American.

Monday, March 24, 2003

A few more thoughts on the massacre of the Iraqi people:

  1. In reflecting on what I wrote yesterday about all the American soldiers being war criminals, I realize that I was way off base. In order for them to be war criminals, there has to be a war. Although the Iraqis are putting up brave resistance in defending themselves, this is no war. It is a massacre. It is the international equivalent to a thug hitting an old woman over the head with a brick in order to kill her and steal her purse. The American soldiers aren't just war criminals. Every last one of them is a cold-blooded murderer.

  2. It is even worse than that. The American strategy is to bomb civilians so mercilessly that the survivors are reduced to psychological rubble. At the same time, the Americans are being scrupulous about not destroying the infrastructure of the country. This type of blitzkrieg psychological warfare has rarely worked as it has relatively little effect on the war fighting capacity of a country. The reason for 'shock and awe' against Baghdad is not to end the war quickly but to make it clear to the Iraqi civilians that they must become slaves to the plans of the junta. The bombing is meant to preserve the capital assets that the Americans are stealing, while ensuring that the Iraqi people, another asset, are sufficently cowed so that they will work for the capitalists of the junta without resistance. The junta clearly intends to maximize the profit on their new Iraqi capital with what amounts to slave labor. 'Shock and awe' isn't a military strategy - it is an economic strategy. Every American soldier is completely complicit in this evil plan.

  3. Every story we've received from the war, from the capture of various places in Iraq, to the supposed happy Iraqis greeting the American liberators, to the supposed surrender of various Iraqi army units, has turned out to be a lie. The 'coalition' can't seem to cleanly win even the smallest battles (see the story of Umm Qasr, a site that was announced as having been captured a number of days ago). Just as people started to ask the rather obvious question of why Saddam isn't using the weapons of mass destruction that is the basis for this war, the Americans miraculously stumble upon a huge Iraqi chemical weapons factory. I have a few comments:

    • The Americans have already been caught lying about a supposed Iraqi chemical weapons factory that turned out to be a bakery. The American record on mislabelling factories for propaganda purposes isn't very good (remember the infamous Sudanese pharmaceutical plant?).

    • How can the Americans instantly tell that this plant produces chemical weapons?

    • The site is supposed to be 100 acres big. Did the American satellites not see it? If they did, why didn't they tell the U. N. weapons inspectors about it so it could be properly investigated? The inspectors were in that city but didn't see anything suspicious.

    • From how it has been described, this plant appears to be a bunch of shacks spread out in the desert, an unlikely place for sophisticated chemistry. Why would Saddam build it near the Kuwaiti border and then leave it to be easily discovered by the Americans?

    • The Americans now appear to be backing off the claims that they found a chemical weapons factory. Watch carefully to see how Bush and other members of the junta will continue to talk as if they did find such a factory, just as they have successfully managed to convince the majority of the American public of the immaginary Saddam-al Qaeda link simply by continuing to talk about it as if it were true.

    • The find was "first reported by a journalist from the Jerusalem Post traveling with the Army" (emphasis added). Are we looking at Israeli propaganda?

  4. One of the main problems with the American mythology of this war concerns the resistance of the Iraqi people. The Americans are supposed to be liberators, not conquerors (the symbolic planting of the American flag, which was hastily removed, tells the real story). Why then are Iraqi civilians, living in the south of Iraq and subject to harsh treatment by Saddam, putting up so much resistence? Because they would rather die than become slaves of the American empire?

  5. There are pictures of dead Iraqi soldiers holding white flags. I don't know what actually happened, but every Iraqi has presumably also seen these pictures and will now be convinced that the Americans are not taking prisoners. Therefore, they might as well fight to the death.

  6. The Americans are losing soldiers by falling for strategic tricks that could have been learned by studying the battles of the ancient Greeks (or Assyrians, for that matter). Did the American military planners sleep through their courses at West Point? Or are they so arrogant of their power that they believe they won't face any resistance? Do they believe their own propaganda?

  7. The television news coverage of this war isn't even good enough to be a joke. It is simply one Pentagon lie piled on another. Remember how the concept of 'embedded' journalists was supposed to lead to new high standards in war coverage? Just another lie. The best antidote to the lies appears to be from the Russians (this guy is also doing a as good a job he can with the mendacious American sources).

  8. Some questions that the 'newly-liberated' Iraqis ask are:

    "Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?"

    What does the American soldier who is asked if the Israelis are coming next answer? 'Yes, after Americans have finished fighting and killing and dying to steal your country, the Israelis will be along to steal your water and set up huge slave-labor factories to work you to death.' Does that answer the question?

Sunday, March 23, 2003

A few more comments about the massacre of the Iraqi people:

  1. Americans ought to make March 21 a national holiday, as the beginning of "shock and awe" on March 21, 2003 represents the end of the American experiment that began in 1776. Americans are all now baptised as terrorists. Just think of the horror that each American is now personally responsible for. This isn't even an unintended consequence - the Bush junta wants to win this massacre by scaring people so badly that they psychologically collapse. The long-term effects of this on the children should produce a nice big crop of future terrorists, and whatever they do to the United States won't begin to repay what is being done to them. They'll also know exactly who to attack (the U. S., Britain, Australia).

  2. Since there is no doubt that this is an illegal and immoral war, and every American soldier is bound by the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, every single American (and British and Australian) soldier participating in this massacre is a war criminal, absolutely equally as culpable as any Nazi concentration camp guard. This only sounds odd because the enormity of what is going on hasn't yet sunk in (I think most Americans just see it as another television show, and it almost appears that the 'shock and awe' attack occurred as people were complaining that the show wasn't interesting enough; I wonder if they'll hold back the attacks so as not to interfere with the ratings of the Academy Awards).

  3. There are at least two separate reports that the Americans are dropping napalm. The Americans deny it (see bottom of the Herald article), but it is an odd mistake to make twice. I know that American apologists will rush to say that napalm is a legal weapon, but its use, if it was used, is just futher proof of how far the U. S. has descended morally.

  4. The Americans have made a big deal about how humanitarian this massacre will be due to the accuracy with which the bombs and missiles can be targeted. Well, so far they've been so accurate that some of their missiles missed so badly that they may have landed in Iran. Since the Iranians seem not to want to make a big issue out of this, I think it unlikely that they are lying about it. Of course, like the 'accidental' bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, this may actually be an intentional mistake.

  5. Here's a prediction: within twenty years every British cabinet minister who hasn't resigned and is still alive will be prosecuted in a British court for war crimes and crimes against humanity for approving British participation in this massacre, and all will be found guilty and sentenced to long jail terms. It doesn't matter how quickly this war is over - success in this massacre will simply be the precedent for the Bush junta to continue on its series of illegal colonialist wars. Given how awful all this is going to look in twenty years, given the changes that occur in politics, and given the rapid changes in consciousness about the use of criminal law against war crimes, I don't think this is a risky prediction. Blair will be jailed first, followed by the evil Lord Goldsmith for his mendacious legal opinion which allowed Blair to go ahead with the massacre, and the pusillanimous Clare Short.

  6. Richard Perle and others are gloating over the idea that the reaction of the United Nations to the crisis created by the American massacre plans has destroyed the effectiveness of the United Nations. I disagree completely. The United Nations, and in particular the small nations which the U. S. was trying to bully into approving the massacre, held up against all the pressure that the failing hegemon could muster. Neocon punks like Perle are trying to depict the recent events as the will of a few small countries thwarting a just war, when of course it was the consciences of the leaders of these small countries which reflected the general will of every country in the world, including the decent majority in the United States who currectly suffer under the dictatorship of the junta. Had the United Nations approved a patently illegal and immoral war, it would have rendered itself completely useless. Someday, if the junta has fixed enough voting machines that it thinks it can win, the Americans will hold another election. At some point, violently or otherwise, Americans will come to their senses and replace the junta. With sane people running the United States again, Americans will be glad that the U. N. did the right thing.

  7. The junta is completely impervious to world or American popular opinion. There is a fixed group of about 15-25 % of the American electorate who apparently have completely lost their minds in a miasma of xenophobia, jingoism, militarism, racism, gun fetishism, hypocritical puritanism, anti-intellectualism, patriarchy (with their essential hatred of women starting to manifest itself more and more), and beliefs in 19th century dog-eat-dog 'free enterprise' and nutty apocalyptic evangelical religion. The existence of this group, which has been carefully cultivated with years of bad education and propaganda, constitutes the essential American problem. With absolutely no information except what lies they can get from Rush Limbaugh and Fox, they are prepared to vote as a bloc for any Bush-type politicians, and their aggressive stupidity drowns out any other voices. If you couple that bloc with fixed voting machines, a fixed (by which I mean castrated) opposition in the Democrats, and a useful third party to split the votes of the sane, Bush has no reason to listen to public opinion. He must just laugh at the war protests. So what will it take to restore sanity to the world? Is the 'shock and awe' that is required the simultaneous destruction of all obvious American assets outside the United States? Or will there need to be a new American Revolution?

Friday, March 21, 2003

This is a very interesting article on Richard Perle's possible conflict of interest regarding Global Crossing. Perle has been retained by Global Crossing in order to assist in overcoming Defense Department resistance to its proposed sale to a partly Chinese-owned joint venture, a sale which may have American security implications. Perle is chairman of the Defense Policy Board, and is thus subject to conflict of interest rules that prohibit him from using his public office for private gain. The Global Crossing bankruptcy court has to review and approve such a sale, as well as the agreement that Perle has with Global Crossing, so we know details of his agreement. Perle is to be paid $725,000 by the Global Crossing, including $600,000 if the government approves its sale to the joint venture. Some things stand out:

  1. Perle and his lawyers were preparing to file an affidavit dated March 7 and a legal notice dated March 20 that said he was uniquely qualified to advise Global Crossing on the matter because of his job as head of the Defense Policy Board. After a reporter raised questions about the propriety of Perle using his position on behalf of a client, Perle and his lawyers said the references to his job should not have been in the legal papers and would be deleted before they were filed in the bankruptcy proceeding. What would have happened if the reporter had not raised the issue? Should the bankruptcy judge not approve Perle, as he has now given no reason why Global Crossing is getting fair value for the amount of money they are paying him? Is it within the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy judge to use some kind of equitable principle to refuse to approve Perle's involvement because to approve it would be to have the court countenance possible breach of federal conflict of interest rules?

  2. Note the four stories that are produced to explain the affidavit:

    • The first story is that "he had not noticed the language in the affidavit and that it was an erroneous reference because the Defense Policy Board has nothing to do with reviewing the sale of American companies to foreign investors." Therefore he is suggesting that he signs affidavits he hasn't read.

    • The second story is that "he remembered that the language concerning the Defense Review Board had appeared in an earlier draft of the affidavit and that he had struck it out because it was incorrect." Therefore, he never signed the affidavit in question.

    • After consulting with a company lawyer, the third story is that he had taken the offending language out of the draft affidavit, but someone else had failed to take the language out of the document, and he signed it without noticing that the change hadn't been made. This third story is at least coherent, but of course is in direct conflict with the first story, which expressly said he hadn't noticed the offending language, and with the second story, which expressly said that the affidavit hadn't been signed by him.

    • The fourth story is that: "An adviser involved with one of the parties in the case said tonight that Mr. Perle had not read the affidavit closely and that he had, in fact, signed it but that it would be changed before it was filed." I guess this is a return to the first story.

  3. Perle's fee was mostly contingent on the approval being granted. If Perle was only advising Global Crossing on the mechanics of getting approval by making inquiries at the Defense Department, and not lobbying for the approval by peddling his influence, why would he not just charge a fixed fee to be paid regardless of success, or simply charge for his time on an hourly rate? After all, if he is not selling his influence, why should he not be paid if the deal isn't approved? I know Washington lawyers charge a lot, but isn't $600,000 a bit rich for perhaps a couple of phone calls?

  4. I've already referred to the unfortunate optics of the Perle-Khashoggi-Zuhair meeting, and the danger for vehemently anti-terrorist warmongering Republicans of trolling for investment dollars amongst the Saudi elites. On top of all this, Perle spoke on Wednesday, March 19 in a conference call sponsored by Goldman Sachs, in which he advised participants on possible investment opportunities arising from the Iraq war, a war for which of course he was one of the main mongers. The conference's title was "Implications of an Imminent War: Iraq Now. North Korea Next?" Yikes! Perle seems to have a good business plan - encourage war and then make money off the consequences. I don't know whether this should be called 'warpreneurship' or 'Perle diving'.

There's a disturbing pattern forming here. Whether or not there are actual conflicts of interest, Perle seems determined to test the limits in a way which looks very bad. A significant number of people in the United States and elsewhere are questioning the bona fides of the current attack on Iraq, and the last thing the United States needs is the perception that war is being encouraged so that certain individuals connected with the government can feather their own nests. At the very least, Perle should resign as chairman of the Defense Policy Board.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

People still blame the Germans for allowing Hitler to do the evil that he did, and in particular for pretending not to see the Holocaust as it occurred around them. Germans at the time thought:

  • I didn't vote for him

  • most people don't support him

  • I engaged in some forms of protest

  • although the forms of protest I engaged in were mocked and derided by the government and by those in the media, I did everything I could do and I sure felt good about myself as I protested

  • if it weren't for the fact that the government would arrest and possibly kill me, I would have done more

  • I didn't see anything directly, so I wasn't sure of how bad it actually was

  • people in positions of high authority convinced me that whatever they were doing was for the best

  • I live in a civilized, democratic country, certainly the most civilized and democratic that has ever been, and my country wouldn't do evil things

  • these people were going to destroy our country, so what we had to do was just self-defense

  • why do you blame us when we're the victims?

  • there are many people in my country who support our government with a radical fervor, many of them my neighbors and relatives, and I want to get along with them or I fear their reaction should I dare to express dissent

  • anyone who expresses the least amount of dissent faces the general hatred of the public

  • anyone who expresses the least amount of dissent may lose his or her job or livelihood

  • anything I might have done wouldn't have made any difference

  • the people who are doing the work of the government are 'our troops', and must be supported in whatever they have to do on our behalf

  • the alleged victims of my government aren't fully human, and their lives aren't worth even the slightest inconvenience or risk to our lives

  • the alleged victims of my government have a false and evil religion, and my true religion gives me the right to eliminate them

  • after the sufferings we've faced, no one can dare tell us what to do

  • what my country is doing is actually for the improvement of the lives of what busybodies describe as its 'victims'

  • my country right or wrong (no, sorry, that is someone else - the Germans weren't that stupid)

  • our leaders are particularly blessed and wise, with a direct line to God, and would never do the wrong thing.

I wonder if Americans actually recognize anybody here. Of course, the Germans did not have the advantage of being able to look back on history, and could reasonably have said that they couldn't have known the evil that man is capable of. It is perhaps unfair to say that every American who isn't doing everything possible now to stop the insanity is personally morally responsible for the death of every Iraqi, but life isn't fair. There is a moral crime of the highest order being committed, and somebody is morally responsible. Who bathes in the blood of Iraqi children tonight?

Monday, March 17, 2003

Seymour Hersh has written an article on a meeting between Richard Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, infamous arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, and Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, a Saudi businessman. Khashoggi and Zuhair believe that this meeting was intended to solicit an investment by Zuhair in Perle's venture capital company, Trireme Partners, as well as to have Zuhair assemble another nine Saudi investors, each of whom would invest $10 million, and to solicit business generally from Saudi Arabia in the security contracts that comprise Trireme's proposed business. The
Saudis seem to believe that Perle was using his position close to the Bush Administration to raise an implied threat against Saudi interests in order to force the Saudis to finance Perle's own personal business (Khashoggi's comments indicate that he has no doubt that Perle was peddling influence, and seems to find American insistence on innocence as being humorous). Frankly, there does not seem to me to be any definitive evidence of influence peddling, as Perle was careful not to discuss business or money at the meeting. Perle is furious at the article, called Hersh a terrorist, and has threatened to sue him in Britain (presumably because it is easier for plaintiffs there). In response to the allegation of influence peddling, Perle stated: "Just preposterous. My views are completely unchanged about the appalling record of the Saudis in making money available to extremist groups. . . . That accusation is so monstrous - that my view is for sale - and there is not a shred of anything to support that." Here is the chain:

  1. Perle wants to solicit investments from Saudis, including Harb al-Zuhair.

  2. Harb al-Zuhair was a beneficial shareholder of a corporation called Arabian Shield Development (now called Arabian American Development Company).

  3. At the same time that Harb al-Zuhair was a director and shareholder of Arabian Shield Development, 'Mohammad Salem Ben Mahfouz, c/o National Commercial Bank', was also a beneficial shareholder. I quote from the definitive proxy statement filing with respect to the notice of annual meeting of shareholders to be held May 15, 1998 (emphasis is mine):

    "In May 1993, the Company had discussions with Chevron Chemical Company
    regarding the Company's proposal to purchase feedstock from an Aromax(R) plant
    to be built in Jubail, Saudi Arabia by Chevron Chemical and Saudi Venture
    Capital Group (SVCS). The Company and some Saudi partners, including Harb S. Al
    , Sheik Kamal Adham, Prince Talal, Sheik Fahad Al-Athel, Ghazi Sultan,
    Mohammed Salem Ben Mahfouz and Mohammed O. Al-Omair, plan to form a Saudi
    limited liability company which will build and manage a processing plant next to
    the Aromax(R) plant in Saudi Arabia."

    Both Zuhair and Mahfouz were still shareholders in Arabian American Development Company as of March 31, 2002 (or here; as a complete aside I note that Arabian American Development Company currently appears to be having a spot of bother with its auditors).

  4. National Commercial Bank was founded by Salim Ahmed bin Mahfouz, is the center of the wealth of the bin Mahfouz family (although the family may no longer have an interest in the bank), and was nearly run out of business by Salim's eldest son Khalid bin Mahfouz (on the bin Mahfouz family generally, see here! - note that Khalid claims that no member of the bin Mahfouz family is married to a member of the bin Laden family, an issue that has come up in the Kean controversy). Khalid is now more famous for allegedly being one of the main financiers of the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden (see here - I note that Khalid has started to sue those who are claiming that he has funded bin Laden). 'Mohamed Bin Mahfouz' is described as being a 'brother' of Khalid.

If the 'Mohammed Salem Ben Mahfouz' referred to in the financial filings is the same guy as Mohamed Bin Mahfouz, the brother of Khalid (which seems likely, given that Mohammed Salem Ben Mahfouz is noted as being 'c/o National Commercial Bank', the family bank), then Zuhair was probably a business partner of the brother of a man who is allegedly one of the main financiers of bin Laden. This same Mohammed is himself one of the four trustees of the International Development Foundation, an Islamic charity which has had its assets frozen by the British Charity Commission after allegations that it has close links to bin Laden (the four trustees denied knowing Khalid, which made the British government suspicious when it learned all four of them and Khalid were brothers!). There is no reason to suspect that Harb al-Zuhair is anything less than completely honorable (and in fact came to the meeting with Perle as a man of peace), but Perle is fishing in waters that may be just two degrees of separation from Osama himself. At the very least, he is being extremely reckless about the possibility that he may be taking on investors who are funding terrorism (it would be very funny if Perle's company inadvertently ended up as an investment opportunity for bin Laden himself, who could then enjoy the fall of his enemy Saddam, knowing that his investment will be all that more profitable as the Americans sink into the quagmire of Iraqi politics). With all the world available to him, why is Perle specifically looking for Saudi money? The obvious answer is that he wants to involve influential Saudis in the company so that they can direct Saudi government business to the company. The less obvious answer is that he is attempting to involve the Saudi elites in the success of his business, which in turn is connected to the success of the American war plan for the Middle East, thus making Saudi Arabia more agreeable to American imperial plans. The irony is that al-Zuhair came to the meeting to try to talk an influential American out of the American attack on Iraq, while Perle was looking for an investment in a company whose business plan depended on an attack on Iraq!

Friday, March 14, 2003

A new day, a new American lie about Iraq. The Bush junta attempted to make a big issue about the terrible drone plane that Iraq allegedly has. Not only does Iraq have this terrible weapon, but the perfidious Hans Blix tried to cover it up in his latest report on Iraq's compliance with the inspection process (proving, of course, that he is actually in cahoots with Saddam). This was the latest huge issue proving definitively that Iraq couldn't be trusted and war was necessary. Now it turns out that the drone is some sort of pathetic prototype made out of balsa wood and duct tape. Isn't it time to conclude that if the Bush Administration or its British poodle is talking about Iraq, it is lying? The drone is just another lie to add to the list.
It is now being reported (or here or here) that an Egyptian radical, described as an al-Qaeda foot soldier who had been arrested in the raid of an al-Qaeda safehouse in the Pakistani border town of Quetta, has claimed and been paid the $25 million award that was being offered by the U.S. government for information that would lead to the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He also demanded and was paid $2 million more to cover the cost of his family moving to Great Britain. A 'Middle Eastern intelligence source' told this to Newsweek, and a 'law-enforcement official' confirmed that the United States agreed to pay the reward to an unidentified informant. Now, I've spent quite a bit of time writing about the implausible story of the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, but this is just getting silly:

  1. Are we supposed to believe that the Pakistanis and Americans arrested terrorists in an al-Qaeda safe house, and didn't bother to interrogate (i. e., torture) them, but just left the reward poster on the wall of the cell and hoped that someone would come forth with the information?

  2. Are we supposed to believe that the Americans just let an al-Qaeda operative go to Great Britain, with enough money to do serious damage in whatever terrorist group he sets up when he gets there? Of course, all they have to do is point him out to some British fundamentalists and he won't be enjoying his $27 million for too long (and isn't Great Britain a rather dumb place to escape to for a known Islamic fundamentalist?).

  3. Are we supposed to believe that $25 million wasn't quite enough, but the Americans were happy to top it up by $2 million when the al-Qaeda informant asked? I'll bet he's kicking himself that he didn't ask for an additional $4 million. I can picture the FBI agent arriving at the terrorist's door like Ed McMahon with one of those giant checks in the amount of $27,000,000.00.

  4. How much does it cost to move to Great Britain?

We know that this particular Administration can't be trusted to do anything they say they'll do. Part of the problem they had in negotiating to buy the consent of the Turks with respect to the Iraq war was that the Turks wouldn't accept American promises of aid but wanted everything in writing. I assume this $27 million malarky is intended to do two things: 1) to provide more support to the ridiculous story about the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed; and 2) to provide some proof that Americans do pay these ransoms in the hope that more informants turn on their fellow terrorists, particularly the man whose name we dare not mention. I'm not fooled and I doubt that anyone else is either.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

It is time to consider the madness of King George. George Bush is bound and determined to have his war on Iraq. We know that the people who tell Bush what to think have lots of reasons for wanting this war, reasons having to do with oil, hegemony, the position of the dollar in world markets, Israel, and the testing of new weaponry. None of these reasons has anything to do with Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, al-Qaeda, terrorism, or feelings for the Iraqi people. We've also seen analyses of Bush's personal motivations, including a desire to finish the job his father left unfinished, a desire to avenge the purported assassination attempt on his father, or his view of himself as a Christian crusader against evil. We have even seen psychotherapists weigh in. The time has come to consider whether Bush is medically crazy - does he suffer from something resembling schizophrenia? Are there voices in his head telling him that he has to kill the Iraqi people, voices which he believes are the Word of God?:

  1. Tom Shales has been the first person to make the extremely brave emperor's-new-clothes remark that Bush was on some sort of drug during his recent speech and staged 'press conference' (presumably, John AshKKKroft already has Shales' name on a cell in the Kamps). Some drugs to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia have very strong side effects, and can make the patient lethargic or dopey. I am amazed at the lack of reaction amongst the American public to the obviously drugged George Bush (some have tried to explain his bizarre behavior by suggesting he was receiving electronic prompting). If he had been working for a business, his coming to work in that drugged a state would have resulted in immediate dismissal for cause. Americans are pretending not to notice that their President appeared at an important press comference stoned out of his mind (paricularly ironic as John AshKKKroft is currently on a crusade against those who sell drug paraphenalia, and it was AshKKKroft who just before September 11 directed that funds be directed away from counter-terrorism to the war on drugs). Are people afraid to admit that the man who is supposed to save them from terrorism by leading them into a dangerous world war is so doped up as to be incoherent? Are they afraid to admit that their only leader has flipped his wig?

  2. There is a strong genetic component to schizophrenia. The Bush family is about as disfunctional as it can be, riddled with drug and alcohol abuse, and what amounts to criminal behavior (the family is often referred to as a 'crime family'). Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a major financier of Hitler in the United States, and a big supporter of eugenics (rather ironic, considering how much better the world would be if Prescott himself had been sterilized). His father was possibly involved in the CIA operations to assassinate JFK and was 'in the loop' in Iraq-Contra. The famous incident in which he vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister may have been caused by taking some sort of sedative (possibly halcion, a sedative used in the treatment of schizophrenia, or Haldol, which is an anti-psychotic drug; see some wild speculations on Senior's mental health here). Most of the rest of the family is involved in various forms of crony capitalism, including very shady dealings (Neil's experiments in the S & L scandal being the most notorious).

  3. As a child, George Bush apparently liked to put firecrackers in frogs and blow them up. While this isn't evidence of schizophrenia, such childhood cruelty against animals is often evidence of a sociopathic personality. Bush is probably a sociopath.

  4. Bush may have been able to keep his problems in check until the pressures of his job pushed him over the edge. Due to the side-effects, schizophrenics often have trouble staying on their medication, and when they go off their meds is when society has problems.

  5. Bush has a well publicized history of drug and alcohol abuse, which may have been a way of self-medicating his demons. He attributes his alleged sobriety to his being 'born again', but gives every indication that he has sublimated at least part of his insanity into a kind of vicious evangelical Christianity. He may feel that the voices he hears are the Voice of God.

  6. The famous pretzel incident, and at least one other incident which left him with bruises on his face, may be as a result of his having to be restrained or perhaps collapsing due to the effects of the anti-psychotics he is on (and some anti-psychotics can cause rashes).

  7. The handlers of Bush have bent over backwards to control his access to the press and the public. His last 'press conference' was a scripted sham, and when Bush accidentally admitted this the disgusting American press went along in covering it up. Are his handlers afraid of what he might say if he gets outside of a script?

Of course, none of the above proves that Bush is schizophrenic. But what are the answers to the following questions:

  • why does Bush persist in waging this immoral war against the wishes of the rest of the world and the majority of his own electorate, when all signs point to the fact that it will be a complete disaster and result in his being a one term President?

  • why are his handlers so careful about how Bush is presented to the public, especially when his folksy clumsiness is supposed to be one of the points endearing him to voters?

  • why does Bush constantly harp on his Christian faith as the sole explanation given for what seem to be recklessly stupid decisions?

  • why would his handlers allow Bush to appear to be stoned out of his mind at an important speech and press conference?

The average schizophrenic who hears voices telling him to kill is usually quite limited in the number of deaths he can actually cause. However, when you hear these voices and you're the leader of the most powerful country on earth, the damage you can cause is tremendous. The United States is completely unequipped to deal with a problem like this. The American system relies on checks and balances between the three branches of government to function. When all branches are contolled by the same group as it is now (with the 'opposition' controlled by exactly the same people), the system falls apart. The American government functions more like a kingdom, with the President as King, but there isn't even the mechanism to appoint some kind of regent if the King should turn out to be mad (allegedly, Nixon's consumption of drugs and alcohol caused Secretary of Defence James Schlesinger and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to issue a directive to all government agencies not to obey any order given by President Nixon regarding nuclear weapons!). Cheney was actually sold to the electorate as the regent, while he is just one of the enablers using the madness to achieve the goals of the plutocrats. Of course, in this case, the madness suits all those close to the levers of power, and just makes it all that much easier to manipulate the King. Is Bush leading the United States into the Apocalypse, guided by voices?

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Here is another article on the faked Khalid Sheikh Mohammed arrest. Everybody is becoming a conspiracy theorist. The new twist is that this was faked in order to allow Pakistan to abstain from the Iraq war vote. I guess the idea is that the U. S. would let Pakistan off the hook on the vote if it could come up with a fake arrest to prove to the American people that Bush, despite all appearances to the contrary, actually was winning the war on terror. Since the United States now desperately needs that vote, I wonder if Pakistan will actually be allowed to abstain. The idea that Mohammed may have been arrested a few days before the official date is nonsense, for why then would they have to set up a fake arrest? Mohammed must either be dead, or have been arrested months before (I doubt that he has escaped, for that would set up a situation like in the movie 'Miller's Crossing', where he could effectively blackmail the ISI by threatening to turn up somewhere).
There has been quite a bit of talk that Bush can't back off war now as it would be a loss of face to move that many troops to the Middle East and have to withdraw them. I note that Chretien's weekend comments in an ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos were an attempt to provide a way out of this problem, by insisting that the U. S. doesn't need to go to war as it has already won. They laugh at this comment now, but they may yet have to fall back on it to find a graceful way out. I am afraid to say it out loud, but the current anti-war movement may have a huge historical impact above and beyond the issue at hand (this weekend's demonstrations may be tremendously important). If the British can be forced out of the war by British popular opinion (I still feel that the spineless and revolting Tony Blair is the weak link of the war cabal), it will become increasingly difficult for Spain and Australia to stay in the bloodthirsty league. The Americans may have to fight this war with their sole allies, the, er, Bulgarians (and fifteen years ago, would you have believed it if someone told you the coming alliance would be the United States and Bulgaria against the world?). What happens if world popular opinion stops a war? This kind of thing never happens. We are all supposed to believe that everything horrible that happens is inevitable, and that the average person just has to accept it. In fact, the whole basis of current economic analysis of political choices is based on the assumption that man is basically evil and selfish (something refuted by Peter Kropotkin one hundred years ago), and that fighting it (e. g., by a simple increase in the minimum wage), not only won't work, but will actually leave everyone worse off. What if people come to realize that goodness can win (I know it is difficult to believe as evil has had such a good run recently)? Remember the empowerment of Seattle, when average people realized that they could defeat evil? The only reason the evil ones win so consistently is that they have managed to create a facade of invincibility. Just one big victory for goodness could set the devils back permanently. That may be the real reason that Bush has to fight this war.
This is an excellent list of the propaganda lies used by the Bush administration in trying to sell the war to steal Iraq's oil. The essential lie is of course that the war has anything to do with threats of terrorism, al-Qaeda, weapons of mass destruction, the happiness of the Iraqi people, or anything else other than the general goals related to the conquest of Iraq set out by members of the Bush administration over the past ten years (a combination of American hegemony over the world, control of oil for American companies and American geopolitical uses, Israeli motives, the joy of using new weapons on innocent civilians, and, although not stated explicitly, possible fears of loss of dominance of the American dollar in oil markets and as a reserve currency). The lies are so extensive that it is hard to keep up with them (my favorites are the ones made by Powell that Hans Blix politely but firmly refuted in the United Nations, while Powell had to sit there and take it). Besides the list, there is the lie that Iraqi scientists were prevented by the Iraqi government from exposing sensitive information to the inspectors. We should also remember the early incident when the Iraqis allegedly bought a sizeable quantity of uranium in Turkey, which started out as over 35 pounds of weapons-grade uranium (15 kilos), but ended up actually being five ounces of something else! Remember that the Americans are planning to drop thousands of bombs on civilians. The onus is on the American government to come up with a plausible reason to do so. All we get are a pack of lies.
There is now more (or here) evidence that the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was faked. The Pakistani ISI, perhaps realizing that their lies are no longer believable, screened a tape which purports to be of the arrest. However, it was edited so that it did not show the face of the arrested men, and copies of the tape were not supplied to the press even after they were requested! This has now raised the issue that faces of other prominent supposed al-Qaeda big wigs have also not been shown or clearly shown, raising the possibility that the arrests of such people as Ramzi Bin al-Shibh and Abu Zubaydah were also faked. It is quite possible that all these arrests are part of an elaborate Pakistani-American charade to make it look like Pakistan is assisting in the war on al-Qaeda and that the Americans are having some success in rounding up terrorists. Is it possible that the Americans are loathe to allow evidence of Ramzi Bin al-Shibh to be used in the Moussaoui trial as there is no such evidence and cross-examination would uncover the web of lies?

Monday, March 10, 2003

Colleen Rowley, the FBI whistleblower who testified about the failure of the FBI to act on warnings of the 9-11 attacks, has written a letter, dated February 26 and addressed to FBI Director Mueller, concerning the complete lack of preparedness in the FBI should there be another terrorist attack, particularly given the fact that the war to steal Iraq's oil will almost certainly inspire many more terrorist attacks on the United States. It is an outstanding letter, raising questions which go far beyond the FBI and hint as to problems for the United States caused by the Iraq war, including problems which will be caused by the undiplomatic way the United States is currently dealing with the rest of the world. I want to focus on one issue. She writes:

"If, as you have said, 'the prevention of another terrorist attack remains the FBI’s top priority,' why is it that we have not attempted to interview Zacarias Moussaoui, the only suspect in U.S. custody charged with having a direct hand in the horror of 9-11? Although al-Qaeda has taken pains to compartmentalize its operations to avoid compromise by any one operative, information obtained from some al-Qaeda operatives has nonetheless proved invaluable. Moussaoui almost certainly would know of other al-Qaeda contacts, possibly in the U.S., and would also be able to alert us to the motive behind his and Mohammed Atta's interest in crop dusting."

She also writes that: "little or no apparent effort has been made to interview convicted terrorist Richard Reid, who obviously depended upon other al-Qaeda operatives in fashioning his shoe explosive." This is rather astonishing. While Moussaoui has denied involvement in 9-11, he has admitted to being a member of the organization which the U. S. government calls 'al-Qaeda'. What possible reason would the FBI have for failing to even attempt to interview Moussaoui or Reid? Here are some possible answers:

  1. The FBI is utterly incompetent.

  2. The FBI is aware that an interview would involve some cost in a plea bargain with Moussaoui, and is unwilling to give up on asking for the death penalty. If in fact Moussaoui does have information that could prevent another terrorist attack, this is a stupid position for the FBI to take. As well, there is absolutely no excuse for the FBI to avoid asking questions of the already sentenced Reid.

  3. At least in the case of Moussaoui, the FBI knows that it has no real case against Moussaoui and that he is very unlikely to know anything about terrorism or future terrorist attacks. Therefore, there is no reason to ask him any questions.

  4. The FBI knows who was really behind the 9-11 attacks and realizes that investigating al-Qaeda is pointless.

If the FBI has in custody a man who they claim was involved in the 9-11 attacks, and they have failed to even try to ask him questions with a view to stopping future attacks, one has to severly question the good faith of the FBI in pursuing the war on terrorism. If no one has bothered to ask vital questions, people all the way up to Mueller should be fired.