Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fly and die

I wrote about the assassination of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib. Indonesian police continue to investigate. There is a good analysis here. The matter appears to turn on unsavory ties between Indonesian intelligence and the management of the airline Garuda Indonesia. Murdering your passengers can't be good for business.

Monday, March 28, 2005

AIPAC Pollard Iran

Now that the AIPAC Two are being prepared to take the rap for whatever it is the FBI thinks AIPAC has done, the whole matter will be swept under the rug and the apparent complete control of Israel over American politics will be allowed to continue in its normal course. We will never know what information the FBI was able to present to the Grand Jury, and will never know even the tip of the iceberg of AIPAC shenanigans. But we can speculate.

One of the difficulties in guessing what AIPAC might have done is that recent past history has proven that it is impossible for Israeli spies to create any consternation whatsoever in official Washington. They can drive white vans wherever they want, hang around military installations and power plants to their heart's content, set up hundreds (?) of fake moving companies to do God knows what, send 'art students' to every office in the country, including into the offices of the DEA, conduct industrial espionage, film rural Oklahoma, fill all the shopping malls with agents selling cheap children's toys, assist in the Israeli manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs, follow the alleged 19 9-11 hijackers around all over the country without saying boo about it to the U. S. government, and even film and cheer the destruction of the World Trade Center, all without the tiniest concern from American officials. The worst that happens is that the spies are quietly - very quietly - deported. So what is left that AIPAC could have done that would provoke the FBI to investigate?

The two word answer is: Jonathan Pollard. If you are an Israeli spy you can do just about anything, but you can't do what Jonathan Pollard did. That's the apple you can't eat, or you are thrown out of the Garden of Eden. Pollard and his Israeli handlers sent important American strategic secrets to a real American enemy, in this case Russia, in return for emigration favors from the Russians. The American Powers That Be remain so furious about this that Clinton was not allowed to pardon Pollard - they had to settle for the consolation prize of Marc Rich - and even the Israel-lovin' Bush Administration has been able to resist the unrelenting Israeli pressure to let him go. Of course, the issue of Pollard has become symbolic for Israel. The Israelis know that if they can pry Pollard free they will then officially own the United States. As the Israelis chose to play power politics over this issue, Pollard remains in jail.

If AIPAC did something so wrong it would lead to a Grand Jury, it would have had to have been a Pollard-level crime, i. e., turning strategically important American secrets over to a real enemy. The Americans treat the whole world as an enemy these days, but the only real enemies are China and the Axis of Evil. While we can't rule China out, particularly as Israel is clearly moving to make China its new best friend after the United States ruins itself helping the Zionists build Greater Israel, I think it is more likely that the enemy in question is in the Axis of Evil. Iran is the most likely subject. What could the Israelis offer Iran, and what could Iran offer in return?

The Americans have admitted that their intelligence in Iran is terrible, as the Iranians manage to find and execute all their agents. The obvious reason for this is that the Iranians are getting information on who these agents are. Do you think it possible that AIPAC was caught assisting Israel in betraying American spy networks in Iran? The Iranians could offer in return to free captured Israeli spies. The deal would essentially be to destroy American spies and the American ability to gather intelligence in return for the lives of Israeli spies and the continued ability of Israel to gather intelligence. I'm obviously just guessing, but my guess tracks the cover story printed in the Jerusalem Post, that the information in the 'entrapment' related to the lives of Israeli spies in Kurdistan (a cover story important enough that they decided to admit they had agents in Kurdistan, something they had previously denied). If this is indeed a spy story, Iran is the most likely country being spied upon, particularly as both Israel and the United States want to know where to bomb. Betraying an American spy network in a country considered to be a real enemy would be a Pollard-type crime, and at a Pollard-level of importance. It would be enough to get AIPAC into some serious trouble. Does Israel already own the United States to the extent it can pull AIPAC out of trouble?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Americans messing around in the Philippines

Police in the Philippines detonated one or two small bombs, or possibly parts of bombs, depending who you believe, found outside the Spanish embassy in Makati City. Boring. Much more interesting are the comments made at the end of the article in The Philippine Star:

"Major Gen. Raul Relano, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, earlier said renegade MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] commanders, many of whom still refuse to recognize the leadership of MILF chairman Al-Haj Murad, could be conniving with the JI [Jemaah Islamiyah] and the Abu Sayyaf without the knowledge of their superiors. Murad succeeded the MILF's founding chairman, the late Hashim Salamat.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), on the other hand, said the United States' warning that the Philippines is under threat of 'multiple' terrorist attacks was merely a 'publicity spin.'

CPP spokesman Gregorio Rosal claimed that American covert operatives reportedly based in the country are apparently planning to stage 'terrorist attacks in the Philippines that it would blame on other threat groups.'

The objective of this plot is to 'justify the escalation of US military intervention in the country,' he added.

Rosal said it was not 'farfetched' that the US military's alleged 'dirty tricks department' now plans to bomb certain areas of the country 'through its agents and contacts within the Abu Sayyaf.'

The Abu Sayyaf's founders were 'CIA-trained' in the 1980s and that 'instances of collusion' among the US, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Abu Sayyaf 'now abound,' he added. The CPP, together with its armed wing, the New People's Army, has been tagged by Washington since 2002 as an 'international terrorist organization.'

Rosal said his group strongly believes that US covert operatives were actually behind the spate of bombings in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

He cited the case of Michael Meiring, an agent of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who was arrested in a Davao City hotel in 2002 after a bomb he was preparing accidentally exploded.

Rosal said Meiring was never investigated and was 'whisked off to the US by American and Philippine intelligence units.'"

More info:

  1. the CIA and the training of Abu Sayyaf (another Afghanistan story);

  2. did the Americans create Jemaah Islamiyah too?;

  3. the United States and terror in the Philippines; and

  4. the bizarre story of Michael Meiring.

Friday, March 25, 2005


A bit more on Depleted Uranium and September 11:

  1. I have noted that the holes left in the Pentagon are exactly the size and shape and placement of holes left in buildings that have suffered hits from cruise missiles.

  2. The reason that Depleted Uranium is so popular with missile engineers is that it has a tremendous ability to penetrate its target. It goes through metal or concrete relatively easily because it actually burns its way through, rather than relying on having to force through using its momentum (it is a 'spontaneous pyrophoric material'). That explains why the holes are so small and neat. The Depleted Uranium burns itself out in the process, leaving no visible remains, but a cloud of toxic dust.

  3. One noticeable aspect of a hit by a Depleted Uranium missile is a white flash. Such a flash can be seen on stills of the Pentagon crash released from a supposed surveillance video.

  4. One of the mysteries of September 11 is why supposed pilot Hani Hanjour, who had had trouble flying a Cessna two weeks before, decided to make an almost 270 degree turn around the Pentagon in order to hit it on the south-west wall. Not only did he greatly increase the difficulty of his flight, but he left himself unnecessarily open to some kind of anti-aircraft Pentagon defense. Since he was flying down the Potomac River anyway, why didn't he just fly directly into the north wall of the Pentagon (depicted on the right side of this picture or this picture, with a nice approach right over the Pentagon Athletic Center), which was literally directly in front of him as he came down the river?

  5. The missile that hit the Pentagon did not strike at a 90 degree angle, but came in more obliquely. If you draw a line from the Pentagon at the angle of the hit straight back into Virginia, you eventually cross the northern part of . . . Quantico U. S. Marine Corps Base, an excellent place from which to launch a trailer-mounted cruise missile (Fort Belvoir is also a possibility).

  6. An entrepreneurial law firm might want to set up some kind of survey to determine whether surviving Pentagon employees and rescue and clean-up workers suffer from an unusually high level of diseases associated with exposure to Depleted Uranium dust.

  7. I don't have much to say about the rather silly debunking effort of Popular Mechanics (Popular Mechanics? How low can you go? I guess the Weekly World News wouldn't print such drivel) except:

    • I've been over this before and won't repeat myself, but there is only one possible hole in the wall before it collapsed, something you can determine by lining up pictures of the vehicles in front of the Pentagon from various angles, and that hole is no more than twenty feet wide;

    • the wing could not possibly have touched the ground, as the ground is pristine; and

    • the fact that the Powers That Be find it necessary to attempt a debunking exercise, no matter how lame, means that they're getting nervous, and follows a pattern we've seen in all recent American conspiracies from JFK on down.

  8. Construction of the Pentagon began on September 11, 1941.

Don't think this issue is over. It's just getting started!

The magic plane theory

Mark Manning is an American documentary film maker who is one of the first people with knowledge of what happened in Falluja. He reports on such things as the use of depleted uranium and chemical weapons on Falluja, the sham Iraqi elections, and the fact that the United States can never win the war in Iraq. What struck me were interesting captions to two of his pictures:

"Manning inspects a room where a 5-year-old Iraqi boy was killed in his sleep by an incoming shell. Manning said the shell penetrated through four concrete walls - without obliterating them - before arriving at its final destination. This, he said, indicated the shell's tip was packed with depleted uranium. The boy in the foreground was in the room with his brother when the attack occurred."


"This hole shows where a depleted uranium shell passed through, Manning said, 'burning' holes through walls rather than knocking them down outright. Manning said so much depleted uranium's been deployed in Falluja and Iraq that the whole nation will be afflicted with radiation poisoning."

Reminds me of the neatly-edged holes in the Pentagon on September 11. Although many airplanes have depleted uranium in them, including in the nose cone, the Boeing 757 does not. It's particularly interesting that the plane apparently went right through the building starting with a neat little entrance hole - note the burning white car and the truck obscured by smoke, which like the wall, survived having the wings of the plane collapse and be dragged into the hole with hardly a scratch - and then made an equally neat exit hole, as if the building itself had very little effect on its wall-cutting ability (I've been going on about the entrance hole for a while now, but haven't thought much about the miraculous exit hole). Then, like the rest of the plane, this magical hole cutter just disappeared. We've graduated from the magic bullet theory to the magic plane theory.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sgrena's car

The United States promised 'full cooperation' to Italian authorities in their investigation of the attack on the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena to the Baghdad airport. Apparently, 'full cooperation' doesn't include allowing the Italian investigators to actually see the car in which she was being driven, as the Pentagon has barred two Italian policemen from examining the car. This is the respect the Americans show their ally Italy, whose citizens are dying in the place of Americans in the illegal and immoral American occupation of Iraq. Of course, the Americans can't show the Italians the car, as the bullet holes in it would clearly demonstrate that it was not the subject of some unfortunate checkpoint misunderstanding, with bullets flying everywhere from terrified American soldiers, but a carefully planned and executed ambush engineered to kill only one person, Giuliana Sgrena. The bullets were fired to stop the movement of the car, allowing the sniper one clean shot at the intended target.

Some feel that the real target (or here) of the assassination was actually Nicola Calipari, but I think that is unlikely. The Americans have had many chances to kill Calipari, and would have had many more. The killing occurred at the last possible moment they had to kill Sgrena before she was flying back to Italy. Calipari must have sized up the situation and understood immediately that it was an ambush directed at his passenger, and jumped in front of her out of instinctive motives of morality and duty, thus taking the bullet intended for her. At earlier checkpoints the Americans no doubt saw where Sgrena was seated, and thus radioed their sniper to direct his shot at the passenger seated in the middle of the back seat. The shot was perfect, but the sniper could not have counted on Calipari moving in front of the shot. The Italians should respond to the obvious insult of not being allowed to see the car by pulling out all their troops immediately.

The saga of Bobby Fischer

The saga of Bobby Fischer has ended where all all sagas should end, in Iceland. While the terrible rumor that the neocons wanted him to make his blood into matzos for Passover is undoubtedly a lie created by the Russian secret service, it is difficult to come up with a rational reason for the bizarre efforts of the American government to bring Fischer to justice for breaking an obscure American edict issued fifteen years ago, for playing a freakin' chess game, when no American administration had apparently cared about it in the interim. Fischer's real crime was of course making some outspoken, if true, statements in the wake of September 11 about the United States and Israel and their unholy alliance against Islam.

The Japanese have behaved abominably in the whole affair, acting as the stooges of the worst of the American neocons in efforts to free Jenkins by serving up Fischer. Not only did the Japanese treat one of the greatest chess players of all time like a diplomatic football, they imprisoned him like a common criminal, and treated him with brutality. In the end, they were thwarted by Fischer's superior strategy. They were forced into claiming that they were only strictly following their own legal procedures, and were not just the American stooges they appeared to be. They were then forced to admit they would have to return Fischer to any country he was a citizen of, no doubt believing that no country would have the courage to issue citizenship to Fischer. Due to the heroic efforts of Iceland - by the way, have you ever heard anything bad said about Iceland? - in granting citizenship to Fischer in the face of tremendous American pressure, the Japanese were finally forced, in order to 'save face' (not that they have any left to save), to do the right thing they should have done in the first place and send him somewhere other than the United States.

Bobby Fischer's friend John Bosnitch said:

"Bobby won his freedom by appealing to the independent people of Iceland to remember and protect an old friend. The Icelanders have responded in a manner that to them is merely normal but which to the rest of the world constitutes nothing less than outstanding bravery."

Fischer, continuing his tradition of honesty, said on the plane to his new home (all his chess records should be amended to note they were obtained by a citizen of Iceland):

"The United States is an illegitimate country . . . just like the bandit state of Israel - the Jews have no right to be there, it belongs to the Palestinians. That country, the United States, belongs to the red man, the American Indian . . . It's actually a shame to be a so-called American because everybody living there is . . . an invader."

The general response these days to the truth is to call the truth-sayer insane, when Fischer, who lives his life the way he wants to, seems to me to be one of the rare sane and free people in the world.

Just as in the case of Syria and Lebanon, where collaborative efforts of world leaders at least temporarily saved Syria and Lebanon from the predations of neocon schemers, this world effort to save Bobby Fischer from American imprisonment proves once again that the neocons can be beaten. Despite having the full strength of the United States behind them, they have two weaknesses. First, they're stupid. Secondly, they think they're smart. To show how ridiculous and vindictive they are, the Americans are now going after Fischer for money laundering. Money laundering? You see, Fischer played his chess games in Yugoslavia thus breaking American law. Therefore, the payment to him for the games was an illegal act, and Fischer's paying this money to someone else constitutes money laundering! The real reason for this obvious miscarriage of justice is that they think money laundering is an extradictable offence. Those mazos just aren't going to taste right till they get their hands on him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bush and democracy

Responses to the laughable idea that the United States, and in particular, George Bush, is responsible for bringing democracy to the Middle East:

  1. Dilip Hiro:

    "The United States flaunts the banner of democracy in the Middle East only when that advances its economic, military, or strategic interests. The history of the past six decades shows that whenever there has been conflict between furthering democracy in the region and advancing American national interests, U.S. administrations have invariably opted for the latter course. Furthermore, when free and fair elections in the Middle East have produced results that run contrary to Washington's strategic interests, it has either ignored them or tried to block the recurrence of such events."

  2. Tony Karon:

    "Most of the archaic autocracies of the Arab world are actually long-time U.S. client regimes. And while we should all hail the fact that people are voting, the tendency in Washington is to ignore what they're actually voting for."


    "If Arab autocrats have been hesitant in backing their U.S. patron's Mideast policies, that's only because their own citizenry is implacably hostile to the same policies. Mubarak's greatest challenge, if Egypt were a genuine democracy, wouldn't come from the liberal democrats of the Ayman Nour variety, but from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The same is probably true in Syria. It's not out of a desire to follow the U.S. example, but because of the desire to repudiate it and the self-serving local elites it has long sustained, that much of the Arab world is now demanding its democratic rights."

  3. Juan Cole:

    ". . . the Bush administration is widely seen in the region as hypocritical, backing Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and of the Golan Heights (the latter belonging to Syria) while pressuring Syria about its troops in Lebanon, into which Kissinger had invited Damascus years ago. Bush would be on stronger ground as a champion of liberty if he helped liberate the Palestinians from military occupation and creeping Israeli colonization, and if he brokered the return of the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms to Damascus in return for peace between Syria and Israel. The end of Israeli occupation of the territory of neighbors would deprive the radical Shiite party in Lebanon, Hezbollah, of its ability to mobilize Lebanese youth against this injustice. Without decisive action on the Arab-Israeli front, Bush risks having his democratization rhetoric viewed as a mere stalking horse for neo-imperial domination."

  4. Again Juan Cole, on the intentionally unworkable Iraqi constitutional provisions gifted to the Iraqi people by the liberating Americans:

    "The US spiked the Iraqi parliamentary process by putting in a provision that a government has to be formed with a 2/3s majority. This provision is a neo-colonial imposition on Iraq. The Iraqi public was never asked about it. And, it is predictably producing gridlock, as the UIA is forced to try to accommodate a party that should be in the opposition in the British system, the Kurdistan Alliance."

  5. Pepe Escobar (referring to the 2005 Transparency International (TI) report on corruption, and to Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq):

    "Bremer's CPA imposed myriad laws over Iyad Allawi's transitional government. Washington controls almost every excruciating detail of Iraq's economy: that's how the 'new' Iraqi administration was conceived by the neo-conservatives. The Ministry of Energy is in effect American-controlled. American-paid officials control all the key administrative positions in each relevant Iraqi ministry. Their mandate lasts for five years. Gung-ho privatization has not even started in full - and it will make a mockery of all the warnings included in the TI report.

    Hakim says that the Iraqi population wants a full American troop pullout, and no American 'permanent military bases'. He may be right, but it won't happen. A Sunni Baghdad businessman was savvy enough to note, 'We all know the Americans are building 14 military bases all over the country. And we all know they won't leave them. Does that sound like freedom to you?'"

  6. Matthew Yglesias:

    "Speaking of Iraq policy, I seem to have misset my clock radio last night and instead of the usual NPR got what I think was C-SPAN Radio where they had Marina Ottaway on. She, unlike pretty much everyone else one ever hears talking on this subject, did an admirable job of raising the elephant in the corner of American Iraq policy, the fact that near as anybody can tell the administration is still trying to finagle some kind of permanent military basing agreement in Iraq. That the administration has managed to hew consistently to this agenda without ever stating that this is one of their major policy goals is astounding, and that the American media is consistently unwilling to discuss the point is appalling. What's even more astounding about it is that one regularly hears and reads in expert commentary that we ought to 'make clear' that this isn't what we're doing. Apparently, it's impolitic to note that Bush isn't making it clear that we don't want permanent bases because we do, in fact, want permanent bases."

  7. William Blum, referring in particular to American attitudes towards Cuba, but generally commenting on the American misuse of 'democracy':

    "As numerous interventions have demonstrated, the engine of American foreign policy has been fueled, not by a devotion to democracy, but rather by the desire to: 1) make the world safe for American transnational corporations; 2) enhance the financial statements of defense contractors at home; 3) prevent the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model; 4) extend political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a 'great power'; and 5) fight a moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy."

It's necessary for progressives to have a little perspective before drinking the kool aid and following the 'wingers into sanctifying Bush and his mission to bring freedom to all. Neocon plans for the world are no different than the usual American plans for the past fifty years, which have always involved world domination hidden under a thin veneer of bringing the form, but not the reality, of democratic choice to the citizens of various American client states. The only exception to this is post-war Europe, which only received better treatment due to the paleness of its inhabitants. Bush is just another in a long line of American leaders who have tried to take over the world by blowing the smoke of 'democracy' over violent neo-colonialism.

Monday, March 21, 2005

World versus neocons

The international community did an excellent job in managing the latest neocon/Zionist crisis in Syria/Lebanon. The 'con plan was to create a reason for war against Syria if it did not withdraw its troops from Lebanon. If it did withdraw the troops, the hope was that the loss of face in the withdrawal would provoke a Syrian coup. All this is part of the long-term Israeli plan to weaken any possible opponents of Greater Israel. The world was clearly blindsided by the 'cons before their attack on Iraq. It reminds me of situations involving serial killers where we wonder how it is possible that people get in the killer's car or enter his house, when it is so clear that the killer will soon be picking out a wine to drink with the victim's liver. The fact is that we never expect absolute evil, and are always surprised by psychopaths. The 'cons used this to their advantage in Iraq. No one ever expected that they would wreck international law and go to war on the basis of a pack of obvious lies, particularly when the issue of weapons of mass destruction was clearly being well handled by the weapons inspectors. Now that the international community realizes that Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith are Hannibal Lechter, it will not be caught short again.

The world's response to the 'cons was to tell Syria to withdraw, and, more importantly, to make this appear to be a demand from many countries. Britain, Spain, Russia, France and Saudi Arabia all publicly insisted that Syria withdraw. Far from being a defeat for the Syrians, this gave the Syrian government the chance to comply without being seen as being pushed around by the Zionists, and thus the possibility of a Syrian coup was averted. We even saw the announcement that such a coup had occurred, as part of the 'con plan to replace the government of Syria by causing a coup by announcing a coup, in exactly the same way that the State Department used the Washington Post in its clumsy effort to create the coup in Venezuela by announcing that it had already occurred. The latest 'con attempt was a complete failure due to the actions of the world community in immunizing the Syrian government against a coup by deflecting the idea that the withdrawal was forced by Israel and its agents in Washington. Syria remains in full control in Lebanon, and its position is arguably stronger now than when it had troops in Lebanon. The 'cons have been soundly defeated.

The current state of affairs is summarized by Joshua Landis:

"The only real leverage 1559 offered the US was European sanctions. When Bush went to Bruxelles, he got the European powers to agree to support 1559 to the extent that it required the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon - that meant sanctions, a big club.

With Syria's withdrawal, the club is gone. Europe does not support forcing Hizbullah to disarm in the immediate future or naming it a terrorist organization, which would require Europe to move with the US to shut it down. Europe has always been reluctant to join the US in the use of sanctions against Syria. Chirac's about face following the Lahoud extension shifted the balance of the EU against Syria. Now that Syria is withdrawing, Europe is returning to its former anti-sanctions position."


"Washington must find another club. It will not forget Damascus and the Syrian regime, far from it. But 1559 and Lebanon will not be the principal weapons to use against Syria.

Everyone in Washington is now cooking up next-steps and other instruments to finish off president Bashar al-Asad. Those who want to continue the campaign against dictatorship, Baathism, the enemies of Israel, Arabism, or the 'unfree' will now have to begin to address the question of regime-change and internal Syrian politics directly, something Washington has not done up to this point. They will have to convince President Bush and his policy people that it is in US interests to attack Bashar, not for his foreign policy, for occupying Lebanon, or for troublemaking in the region, but because he treats his people 'egregiously' in the words of some Washington wonks."

It is going to be difficult for the 'cons to suggest that thousands more Americans die because the human rights record of the Syrian government isn't quite up to snuff.

And what did the Europeans get for being nice to diplomatic Bush and agreeing to pressure Syria? They got John Bolton to the UN and Paul Wolfowitz to the World Bank (it's a sad commentary on the world today that the choice for leader of the World Bank is an Irish rock singer or Wolfowitz, Bono or Bonehead). Some thanks! It is impossible to be cynical enough in dealing with the Bush regime. In order to prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands more civilians, and the further destruction of international law and world peace and security, the international community has to be ever vigilant in acting to stop the future psychopathic actions of the 'cons.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sgrena and what you have to believe

The Pentagon is investigating itself again, this time on the Sgrena attempted assassination, and, as always, will find itself to be all good. In order for the rest of us to accept the checkpoint accident theory, however, we would have to accept the following:

  1. that Sgrena and the surviving Italian secret service agents in the car managed to agree on a consistent package of lies in the moments between the shooting and the arrival of the Americans at the car;

  2. that the consistent stories of the Italians, who had no reason to lie, were lies, and the story of the Pentagon, which had a big reason to lie, was the truth;

  3. that the car in which the Italians were travelling was subject to a barrage of American fire by panicking American soldiers but suffered only minimal strategic hits (click on the row of pictures to see the car), with the main one to Nicola Calipari, as he threw himself in front of Sgrena;

  4. that the Americans were unaware of the nature of the car despite the fact that the car had already passed through American checkpoints, despite the fact that Italian authorities insist the Americans were notified, and despite the fact that it would just be common sense for an secret service agent of an American ally with a valuable cargo to notify the Americans that he was delivering the cargo to the airport (although he may have failed to explain the full nature of his passenger for fear [or here] of another American assassination of a journalist);

  5. that the checkpoint - which was just around a blind corner so that an unsuspecting driver, even driving slowly, would come upon it quickly - just happened to be set up at the last possible point the Italian car would be passing before Sgrena was on an airplane for Italy, where she would be free to tell her tales of Falluja;

  6. that John Negroponte, who couldn't take the usual helicopter because of a storm, decided to take a car ride through the extemely dangerous streets of Baghdad in order to attend a meeting at Baghdad airport, rather than cancel or postpone the meeting; and

  7. that of all the American soldiers in Baghdad available to shoot at Sgrena's car, the ones at ther airport just happened to be John Negroponte's bodyguards, lingering at a 'temporary' checkpoint long after his car had passed.

If you're ready to believe all that, I'd advise you to go out and buy a lottery ticket right now, as this must be your lucky day. The Italians, immediately on finishing their preliminary investigation, rather pointedly announced the withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq, so we know what they think. This withdrawal, since rescinded by Berlusconi under direct pressure from Bush, is the best indication of the truth. Berlusconi is desperate to remain Bush's poodle, and is willing to piss on the grave of Nicola Calipari in order to stay in the doghouse. John Negroponte, stone-cold killer, is leaving Iraq to take up his new post as Bush's new national intelligence director. Americans, not to mention everybody else, should be very afraid.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Still bombing Iraq

I think it is amazing that the United States is still dropping significant amounts of bombs on Iraq. This has somehow been lost in all the back-patting about how America has brought 'democracy' to the Iraqi people. Since there is no army in the field, you have to ask what the target of the bombs is. How is it legal under international law? This reminds me of all the thousands of bombing raids conducted by the United States and Britain before the attack on Iraq under the guise of enforcing the 'no-fly' zones, bombing raids which weren't covered by the media and thus were never a political issue and might just as well have not happened, despite the fact their main victims were civilians. The current bombing is apparently completely uninteresting to the media. From Jarrett Murphy in the Village Voice:

"One reason for this gap in reporting is there are apparently no embedded reporters with air force units or on navy aircraft carriers to notice trends in bombing. That is not a matter of policy, a Centcom officer tells the Voice: The media show little interest in working with those units. For cash-constrained news operations covering the massive story of the Iraq war, air combat is admittedly a tiny piece of the picture. But the bombs are still falling."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


You should really be reading William Engdahl:

  1. a general interview;

  2. a list (or here or here) of future American targets;

  3. the Euro versus the Dollar;

  4. the elections in the Ukraine;

  5. the real reasons for the attack on Iraq; and

  6. the coming U. S. economic collapse.

I would classify Engdahl as a conservative - if you read his book, you will see that he shares with Lyndon LaRouche a paranoid dislike of hippies! - who, unusually for a conservative these days, doesn't have his head up his ass admiring the view. His theories make sense even if you discount, as I do, the 'Peak Oil' nonsense currently being used by the oil companies to force up oil prices (just as they did in the late '70's, and Engdahl, of all people, should know better). Controlling world oil supplies makes sense even if there's lots of it, particularly if you're trying to use your military control of the oil fields to blackmail your European and Asian lenders into continuing to fund your profligate spending. I think he's right in seeing Syria as the next Bush target rather than Iran. The Israelis have been a little too ostentatious in their attacks on Iran (if they were really planning an attack, they wouldn't advertise it so much). The relationship between Israel and Iran is very hard to understand. Although Israel bombed Iran in 1981, Israel and Iran were clearly on the same side in Iran Contra, and the 'doctrine of the periphery', the idea that Israel should befriend non-Arab countries like Iran and Turkey and Ethiopia that are outside of the Arab countries surrounding Israel, means that Iran, very much unlike Syria, is a logical ally of Israel. The key factor is that Iran doesn't lie in the path of Greater Israel. The long-term wishful thinking of the Zionists seems to be to try to create an alliance with the Iran-Iraq Shi'ite block that American-Israeli tactics in Iraq seems to be trying to create.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Stolen from the Spanish mint

From The Register (my emphasis):

"The terrorists responsible for last year's Madrid bombings used at least one genuine ID document stolen from the Spanish Mint, according to a report in elconfidencial.com (Spanish language). Spain, according to UK Immigration Minister Des Browne, regards ID cards as valuable in the fight against terrorism, but this ID was one of a batch of 300 stolen from the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (FNMT), which prints banknotes, passports and IDs, in November 2002.

Around 40 of the stolen cards are still thought to be missing, says elconfidencial, quoting a report by the Spanish police's Unidad Central de Intelligencia (UCI, Central Intelligence Unit). The card was seized among the possessions of of Moroccan Jamal Ahmidan, who is accused of renting (using a fake Belgian passport) the house where the Madrid bombs were made. The ID card, for a resident alien, bore Ahmidan's picture, but the data was for another Moroccan, Othman El Gnaout, who is also accused of involvement in the attacks. Police seem to have thought initially that they were onto a major document faking network, before the trail led back to the mint."

Stolen? From a mint? There's a reason not many things get stolen from mints. We are to believe that the authorities only discovered this 'theft' when they worked backwards from the fact that an alleged terrorist had one of these ID cards. Since he had one, the intelligence agency determined that there must have been a theft. Looked at objectively, the much more obvious conclusion is that a government insider supplied the 'terrorists' with the ID cards.

Killers and Contexts

Scroll down (the part you scroll through is also interesting) here for the theory by David McGowan that at least one of the alleged killings by the recently-captured BTK Strangler, that of the Otero family, was some kind of official assassination, and the concept of the BTK Strangler as serial killer was created in order to cover up the real reason for the crime. In fact, McGowan goes farther in stating that "another motivation for the CIA/FBI's creation of the serial killer mythos is to provide a handy way for the state to disguise politically motivated assassinations as random, motiveless killings."

My favorite serial killer is the Zodiac, the murderer and taunting letter writer who operated in the San Francisco area in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The best web site on the Zodiac is here. This site and this site are also interesting, but are marred by fixations on unlikely suspects (the most unlikely suspect of all is Ted Kaczynski, but recent thinking that another Ted, Ted Bundy, might have been involved are intriguing). The best discussion board by far is here. None of the killings by the Zodiac were obviously political, but by creating a near panic in the San Francisco area they certainly increased the importance of the police (and also inspired the neo-fascist - but fun - 'Dirty Harry' movies and their accompanying mentality: 'Feelin' lucky punk?').

An odd angle in the JonBenet Ramsey murder was that her father, John Ramsey, was president of Access Graphics, and the kidnappers asked for a ransom almost exactly equal to the amount of his bonus from Access Graphics. John Ramsey even speculated that the attack might have been directed at Access Graphics. Access Graphics at the time was owned by Lockheed Martin, but has since been sold to GE Capital Services. Although Access Graphics is a computer distribution company, there have been many rumors about it floating around the internet, including that it was involved in highly classified Pentagon contracts, which might explain why Lockheed Martin was interested in it. The JonBenet murder may have to be considered in an entirely new context.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Odd kidnappers

From an article by Michael Leonardi on the attempted assassination of Giuliana Sgrena:

"Who was this group of hostage takers called former Saddam loyalists and criminals by the Italian media? They were the first to release the news of their abduction and subsequent video of Sgrena's plea for help to the international press agents from the Associated Press as opposed to Al Jazeerah and the usual channels such news releases and videos had gone through previously."


". . . why would a legitimate part of the Iraqi resistance not want witness to the atrocities of the occupation by a sympathetic journalist? I have often met Muslims and Arabs here in Rome who, after discovering that I am American, quickly point to Fallujah as the primary example of American war atrocities. Fallujah is a story I know well from international media accounts by primarily non-embedded journalists."


"Sgrena's account of her captors' behaviour describes an odd group. She talks of her confrontational attitude toward them during the early days of her captivity. She would ask 'But why did you kidnap me, I am against the war?' To which her captors would respond, 'Yes, because you go out and speak to the people. We would never kidnap a journalist that remains closed in a hotel and because you say you're against the war, you could be a spy.' Sgrena describes her captors as seeming 'quite a religious group, in continuous prayer over the Koran.' But she then tells of the captor that seemed most religious congratulating her on the day of her release by shaking her hand, 'a behaviour quite unusual for an Islamic fundamentalist.' She goes onto detail how one of her captors came to her surprised and excited on the day of her release because the T.V. was showing European cities with large photos of Sgrena and also of Totti (the captain of the Rome soccer team). 'He declared he was a fan of the Rome soccer team and was shocked that his favourite player went to play with 'Liberate Giuliana' on his T-shirt.' Funny that after holding a Roman hostage for over a month, he never mentioned he was a fan prior to the day of her release."

Here is an article (or here) on Islam and shaking hands with women. Here is Sgrena's account of her ordeal. I think we're entitled to wonder who these kidnappers really were and who they were working for.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Gorilla in the Room

There is a brand-new blog called The Gorilla in the Room on the influence of radical right-wing Israelis on current American politics, and it looks like it is going to be very good. Check out the posting on the composition of the infamous Office of Special Plans, the group tasked by the neocons to go around traditional American intelligence to produce the basis - now proven to be entirely lies - to justify the attack on Iraq. In particular, read the biography of Michael Makovsky. It's unbelievable that an obvious agent for the most insane part of the Israeli settler movement had been installed by Douglas Feith as part of his team to create the lies used to force the United States into the ruinous attack on Iraq. It's important to remember that many of these same people will be working on the lying basis for the break-up of Lebanon and the coming American attacks on Syria and Iran. Will they be allowed to get away with this again?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

John Negroponte, hit man

The Bush-lovin' Italian government wants (or here) Giuliana Sgrena to shut up about what happened to her in Iraq, and she has apparently taken the hint, and now claims that she does not believe the Americans were trying to kill her. I don't blame her for this, as we don't need this issue to blunt the effect of the reporting she will be doing regarding what took place in Falluja. We are able to draw our own conclusions on what happened to her:

  1. Sgrena said:

    "A soldier opened the door on the right-hand side. When he saw us, I had the impression that he was upset. I seem to remember him saying, 'Oh shit!' And when more turned up in an armoured car, I had the sensation that they were unhappy about what had happened."

    From that, we are to believe that the shooting was an accident. What if the soldier who opened the door said 'Oh shit!' when he realized they had shot the wrong person?

  2. From the Associated Press (or here):

    "U.S. troops who mistakenly killed an Italian intelligence agent last week on the road to Baghdad's international airport were part of extra security provided by the U.S. Army to protect U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, a U.S. official said Thursday.

    Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was killed Friday when U.S. troops opened fire on a car carrying him and Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had just been freed from insurgents.

    'The mobile patrol was there to enhance security because Ambassador Negroponte was expected through,' U.S. Embassy spokesman Robert Callahan said, confirming reports in Italian media. The newspaper La Repubblica reported Wednesday that the checkpoint had been 'set up to protect the passage of Ambassador Negroponte.'"

    In case you're wondering what the American Ambassador to Iraq was doing driving around the dangerous roads of Baghdad when he could be flying, there is an attempt at a vague explanation:

    "Senior U.S. officials such as the ambassador, who is by far seen as the most important American in Iraq, normally travel by helicopter to avoid roadside bombs and insurgent attacks along the airport road, which are frequent. But U.S. officials in Iraq often vary travel routes and methods so as not to be predictable."

    You'll note that the explanation makes no sense. Would you expose yourself to gunfire on the ground just to avoid being 'predictable'?

  3. The Official Story has been elaborated to explain that Negroponte was traveling by road because a storm made flying impossible. If you believe that, you have to swallow the story about the supposed temporary checkpoint that fired on Sgrena's car. Negroponte was traveling to a dinner appointment at 7:30, so must have passed the area before 7:30. Sgrena's car was shot at 8:55. What was a 'temporary' checkpoint set up supposedly just to facilitate the passage of Negroponte's convoy doing still in place an hour and a half later? As an American embassy official explained:

    "A mobile one is one set up for a purpose and goes away."

    Negroponte supposedly made the return trip by helicopter.

  4. Based on evidence of where the ambush occurred, the fact the car appears to have been blocked by an American tank, and the precise bullet holes inconsistent with the massive amount of wild shooting that is claimed to have occurred, one can conclude that the attack on Sgrena's car was a professional hit.

  5. An Italian general was the liaison with the American military. He informed them (or here) that an Italian national traveling with two officials would need access to the airport, but apparently did not know the purpose of the mission. Although he did not know the description of the car, the Americans had that description after it passed the first checkpoint. It is very implausible to think that the Americans weren't fully aware of what was going on.

Adding it all up, it appears that John Negroponte became aware that Giuliana Sgrena was leaving Iraq with dangerous information about what American forces had been up to in committing war crimes in Falluja. Negroponte's experience in Honduras gave him a certain expertise in covering up human rights violations, and he ordered his own personal bodyguard to assassinate Sgrena in a staged incident which was supposed to look like the usual problem at an American checkpoint in Iraq. The almost complete lack of damage to the car is inconsistent with the wild firing that is supposed to have happened, unless the Americans were intending to miss. The one shot that was supposed to count was the sniper shot to Sgrena, but that bullet was taken by Nicola Calipari. Had the shot hit Sgrena, we would never have heard about any of the details as the only witness who would have talked would be dead. It would simply be another unfortunate checkpoint incident, the Pentagon would have apologized, and all would soon be forgotten. No wonder the soldier said 'Oh shit!' To John Negroponte's many skills we can now add a new one: hit man.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The next Prime Minister of Israel

Hasan Abu Nimah does the math based on the population figures contained in the State Department's Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004 (we can laugh at the hypocrisy of this report, but the part on Israel and the Occupied Territories is simply amazing, and Americans should be proud of at least one part of their government). The Jewish population in Historic Palestine is 5.2 million; the Palestinian population is at least 5.3 million (the numbers are all in the report and you can add them up). The demographic bomb hanging over Israel has exploded. Based on George Bush's great love of democracy, a free election should now be held in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The next Prime Minister of Israel: Mahmoud Abbas.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Israel's official 'outposts'

The Israeli government itself has been behind the systematic campaign to build the most distant - not to mention the most destructive to the peace process - settlements in the West Bank. From the Christian Science Monitor:

"Illegal settler outposts that are consolidating Israel's grip on the West Bank are not pirate operations by hard-line settlers. They are established, maintained, and expanded with the backing of the Israeli government.

That charge, which cuts to the heart of one of the more loaded issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is no longer made only by dovish Israelis or Palestinians. It's now the official finding of a report commissioned by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which was released Wednesday."

The Israeli housing ministry, immigrant agency, energy ministry, education ministry and army have provided funds and infrastructure required to build the so-called 'outposts', and the roads to them were paid for by the government (all the settlements are illegal under international law, but the outposts are those settlements illegal even under Israeli law).

You may think I'm awfully hard on Israel, but I have always assumed that its principal problem was its insane settler movement coupled with a political system which gives inordinate power to small single-issue groups. I've always assumed that the large majority of the population were prisoners of this political system, and would deplore the actions of the settlers. I've always assumed that these settlements were entirely the work of these settler groups. The revelation that the Israeli government itself is behind these completely destructive settlements is probably the most profoundly disturbing information out of Israel in some time. It means that significant numbers of 'mainstream' politicians and bureaucrats are secretly encouraging the craziest of the settlers in a program that not only demonstrates extraordinary bad faith, but can only lead to the destruction of Israel itself, not to mention some terrible conflagration in the Middle East. It means that the whole Israeli government and large portions of Israeli society, not just the settlers and the most right-wing politicians, are implicated in the Program to create Greater Israel, and the 'road map', not to mention any chance for real peace, is finished. It's finished not because of any specific actions taken by Sharon's government. It's finished because everybody, including the mythical 'left', is profoundly invested in the Program, and has absolutely no interest in peace. The entire peace process is a lie, and a lie that damns the whole of Israel.

The investigator who discovered this secret program was unable to determine the extent of the problem, because the bureaucrats attempted to hide the information. It is so extensive and involved so many agencies that it must have involved an extraordinary number of politicians and bureaucrats, not one of whom saw fit to say anything about it. This has been going on for ten years, and involved careful hands-on work by Sharon himself, picking locations for the maximum strategic effect. Those who make the 'case' for Israel will no doubt argue that these revelations prove how honest and open Israel really is (as opposed to those awful Arab societies). This is nonsense. The only reason we're hearing about this story now is that it is convenient for Sharon to have some ammunition to temporarily remove some of the most distant outposts, as part of his tactics to keep the main settlement blocks and then slowly squeeze the Palestinians out of the remainder of the land. Once he has solidified his hold on the main settlement blocks, no doubt the plan is to return the distant settlements to put further pressure on whatever Palestinians remain. The tactical plans of Sharon are simply part of the mainstream process of the Israeli government. Israel is clearly doomed, and unless the world puts a stop - now! - to the Project of building Greater Israel, the whole Middle East, and the entire world economy, is also doomed.

The mythical Israeli left is already setting up its excuses to ignore this, claiming that they cannot attack Sharon as long as the Gaza withdrawal process is ongoing. Of course, these revelations demonstrate that the mythical left is as implicated in the Project as Sharon, but are simply less honest about it. The Project is big; it takes a whole country, everybody working together, sometimes in secret, to pull it off.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Zundel revisionism

A letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail by Drew Duncan concerning Ernst Zundel:

"Ernst Zundel did not come to Canada in 1958; he did not spend two years in a Toronto jail; and he was not deported to Germany - it never happened."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Israeli impersonation

Lt. Col. Erez Wiener, IDF division operations chief for the West Bank, in an interview given to Defense Daily, as quoted in Defensetech.org, discussing 'impersonation units' deployed by Israel:

"Of the 2,200 arrests Israelis made in the West Bank last year, about 1,500 were conducted by special operation forces (SOF), including 366 by a special Arab impersonation unit, he explained. These specially selected and trained personnel have demonstrated the ability to completely blend into the opposing population for intelligence and operational purposes.

The unit would be a component of a much wider military and intelligence campaign designed to create an infrastructure for human intelligence gathering and rapid dissemination, he said. 'You must be able to get the kind of timely information, like '[a terrorist] is planning on detonating a bomb at that intersection right there the next time one of your vehicles passes.''"

How then do you know whether any 'terrorist' attack is a real Palestinian attack or an IDF action as part of the ongoing Israeli propaganda war against the Palestinians? Wouldn't it be prudent to at least question those attacks which appear to hurt the Palestinian cause?

The heroic death of Nicola Calipari

Had everything gone as planned, an American sniper would have assassinated Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena with one shot, following the sniper's code of 'one shot, one kill'. The only independent witness to what happened would then be dead, as both her guardian, the heroic Nicola Calipari, the driver of the car, and the other two passengers were Italian secret service agents, thus worked for Berlusconi, and would be unable to say anything (on other accounts, the driver may have been an Iraqi, but he could easily be disposed of). The Americans obviously could have killed everyone in the car by simply blowing it up, but it would then have been impossible to claim that this was just another mistake made by a panicking speeding driver at a checkpoint. By firing lots of rounds, but with only one shot killing anybody, it is clear that either the Americans are terrible shots, or all the flying ammo was simply a ruse to hide the only shot that mattered, the one that would kill the person with the information on what happened in the chemical warfare attacks on Falluja. All the Americans, except for the sniper, were shooting to miss. The sniper had her lined up, only to be foiled by the heroic sacrifice of Nicola Calipari. Ironic that the neocons are stymied by a combination of altruism and duty, things they cannot possibly comprehend

All the American accounts I've read about this incident, including by those on the left, conclude that the Pentagon would never do such a thing as engage in this kind of assassination. This strikes me as being remarkable naive, but I guess you can believe what you want. The only independent witness who is speaking is Sgrena herself, and she is claiming that the basis for the Pentagon account is a lie. The Italians were not speeding, there was no checkpoint, there was no warning given, and the Americans almost certainly knew who was in the car. Rather than help the wounded obtain help, the Americans delayed and cut off cellphone communication. It's a clear choice: either she is lying, or the Pentagon officials are lying, and she has no motive to lie while they do.

Sgrena had been kidnapped by another one of these mysterious groups that seems to like to target those people who support their cause (kidnapping foreign pacifists just benefits the Americans, so you really have to wonder about many of these incidents). It appears this was a kidnapping for money, with the kidnappers taking the highest amount offered. Before they let her go, they warned her that the Americans wanted to see her dead ("the Americans don't want you to go back"). How would they know that? Presumably because the Americans offered them so many dollars to have her returned dead. Fortunately for her, the Italians offered more to have her returned alive.

It is illegal and immoral to use incendiaries on civilians, and there is increasing anecdotal evidence that the Pentagon did just that in the assault on Falluja. It starts to get a little tiresome to hear the same quibbling about what the Pentagon would or wouldn't do, given cluster bombs, DU, 'shock and awe' bombing of civilians, and the general attack on Falluja itself. The human rights standards of the Pentagon - and thus of the United States - are so incredibly low that it is impossible to give them the benefit of the doubt on anything. It is also odd that the Pentagon has clearly been blocking access of journalists to interview civilians in Falluja - the reason Sgrena was so important is that she is one of the first to be able to do so - and that there are claims that American soldiers have been taking steps to 'sanitize' the city by removing evidence. We also know that after an initial outraged lie denying Pentagon use of napalm in the attack on Iraq, Pentagon officials eventually admitted that they did use a napalm-like substance, but it was not technically 'napalm' so their lies were not technically lies. You really can't believe anything they say. Let's face it: the Pentagon was 'going medieval' on Falluja, both as a punishment for its failure to kowtow to Empire and as a warning to others, and they were attacking Falluja without restraints. Napalm or other incendaires would have fit right in. So would killing anyone who might be 'unembedded' long enough to discover the truth.

There was much made of the fact that the Israelis were going to be teaching the Americans their techniques on how to deal with insurgents. I don't know about that, but the Americans are clearly using Israeli torture techniques used by the Israelis against the Palestinians, and have also been using Israeli-style collective punishment. The 'sanitization' of Falluja is the same as IDF's removal of evidence of the massacre at Jenin, where the town was closed to international journalists for a few days so the worst evidence could be hidden. Shooting journalists is just like the Israeli shooting of journalists and international human rights monitors, and the entire Sgrena incident is just another Israeli-style 'targeted assassination'. The Israelification of the United States continues.

The Americans have lost - yes, lost! - the car. They don't know where it is. 'Nuff said!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Tsunami aid tsunami

Will the tsunami aid end up bankrupting some of the countries which receive it while enriching construction companies and suppliers owned by the rich from the donor countries? John Perkins, who ought to know, thinks it is a very real danger. When you hear about 'aid', you would normally think of grants, but most aid takes the form of loans. Like the loans from a loan shark, the rates start low, but inevitably get rolled over at much higher rates, with interest being charged on interest. Soon you have to give your whole economy to the international banksters just for the privilege of being allowed to continue to owe them money. Once the IMF gets its hooks into you, you're fucked.

Venezuelan land reform

Seth DeLong on the sensible, fair, restrained, necessary, and long overdue land reform in Venezuela. If you get your information on this subject from the disgusting American media, you would think Chavez was like Stalin going after the Kulaks. I remain convinced that the only reason the Bush Administration continues to attack Chavez - and I have no doubt they would kill him if they thought they could get away with it - is the terrible example he is setting for the rest of the world. If poor people, including poor people in the United States, ever figure out that Chavez-style reforms are a real possibility, watch out!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Competitive suicides

In what appears to be the new style, Yuri Kravchenko, former interior minister of the Ukraine, committed suicide by shooting himself two times in the head. Gary Webb also managed this feat, but I hope prospective suicides don't start to take this as some kind of dare, thinking that the old one-shot suicide is somehow passé. It could turn ugly, with people attempting three- or even four-shot suicides. Suicide is not a competition! Hunter Thompson managed to beat everybody, managing to shoot himself in the head with a non-functioning gun that produced no sound of a gun shot.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Israeli and American hypocrisy

From Ynetnews (my emphasis in bold):

"Syria must fully withdraw from Lebanon because a U.N. Security Council resolution demands so, Jordanian Foreign Minister Hani Mulki said Saturday.

Syria cannot ignore resolution 1559's existence because all U.N. decisions must be executed, he said following a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, the first meeting in Israel in four years between such senior officials.

In response, Shalom said over a year ago he ordered the Foreign Ministry to begin diplomatic steps towards the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

'At the time it seemed unsubstantial and impossible,' he said. 'However, I'm happy to say it now looks more tangible than ever.'

However, despite this, Shalom said he believes the road ahead is long and it is up to the international community to continue its pressure on Syria, to stop its support of terror and withdraw its troops from Lebanon.

'The international community, parts of the Arab world and Israel, of course, all demand that resolution 1559 be fully implemented,' he said.

This would allow free and democratic elections in Lebanon, allowing the Lebanese people to choose their own representatives to establish an independent country, he said.

'Perhaps in the future we will be able to see the direction the nation has taken, towards a greater understanding and a possible peace with Israel,' he said."

As has been pointed out by many others, it takes real chutzpah for Israel to demand that another country comply with a UN Resolution concerning the withdrawal of occupying troops. The Syrian occupying troops don't engage in massacres of civilians, shoot children and international observers in the face, prevent the inhabitants from having any real life by the imposition of arbitrary and cruel checkpoints, continue to kill people while supposedly under a ceasefire, bulldoze houses over grandmothers, and lob tank shells into groups of schoolchildren. You can also note from Shalom's words that the recent American PR campaign is merely the continuation of an Israeli campaign begun 'over a year ago'.

If that wasn't amusing enough, here's George Bush (my emphasis in bold; Bush continues to speek like a character in a cartoon with comedic problms with the language):

"Syria, Syrian troops, Syria's intelligence services, must get out of Lebanon now. The world is beginning to speak with one voice. We want that democracy in Lebanon to succeed, and we know it cannot succeed so long as she is occupied by a foreign power and that power is Syria."

So the elections in Iraq, which we know were completely controlled by the Pentagon, were a brilliant success, but elections cannot succeed in Lebanon because of the presence of Syrian troops. This despite the fact that Syria was invited in and has been constantly reducing troop levels, and that Syrian troops keep an extremely low profile, avoid civilian casualties, confine themselves to rural areas in a part of the country, and have been in place without incident for over ten years.

The question that interests me? How are the Americans going to do it? How are they going to start another war on another sovereign country that poses no threat to the United States based on this flimsiest and most hypocritical of excuses? Syria has no links to al Qaeda, no weapons of mass destruction that could possibly harm the United States, no nukes or even a nuclear program. Neither Syria nor Lebanon is of any real importance to the United States. How many more hundred billion dollars and thousands of American deaths - not to mention tens of thousands of Syrian deaths - is catering to the Likudniks worth? The attack on Iraq was for Israel, and the attack on Syria will be entirely for Israel (not to mention the attack on Iran), but at least the Bush Administration was able to make some lies convincing to the majority of the American people. After the bitter experience of Iraq, what kind of whopper will they have to come up with for Syria? The only possibility is another staged terrorist attack, this time with 15 of the 19 terrorists using stolen Syrian identities.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Syria is doomed

Syria is doomed. From Oden Yinon in 1982 (his emphasis):

"The Western front, which on the surface appears more problematic, is in fact less complicated than the Eastern front, in which most of the events that make the headlines have been taking place recently. Lebanon's total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi'ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today."

From 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm' by Perle, Feith, the Wurmsers, etc. (their emphasis, but it might just as well have been mine):

"Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by:

  • striking Syria's drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.

  • paralleling Syria's behavior by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.

  • striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper."

From 'Ending Syria's Occupation of Lebanon: The U.S. Role', a report of a group chaired by Daniel Pipes and Ziad Abdelnour, in which is buried one of the real reasons for the current events in Lebanon and Syria:

"The Middle East faces the looming problem of water shortages because of both the area's hot and arid climate and its huge population growth. Aside from Turkey (which controls the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and Iraq (through which those two rivers flow), the only Middle Eastern country blessed with a substantial supply of fresh water is Lebanon. Its high mountain ranges capture and retain impressive amounts of snow and moisture for several months, much of which eventually feeds subterranean aquifers and artesian wells. The landscape is dotted with springs, small streams, rivulets, and several sizable rivers like the Litani. Between 80 and 90 percent of Lebanon's flowing water, though, is lost for that which is not absorbed into underground storage, ends up in the sea. Assuming all of Lebanon's future water needs can be met using half of this wasted amount, harnessing and distributing the remaining half to neighboring countries like Israel, Syria, and Jordan would be a significant step in alleviating the impending regional water shortage."

Needless to say, the only neighboring country they are talking about is Israel. The point of the current kerfuffle is to break Syria and Lebanon into small, non-threatening statelets, keep the Golan Heights and whatever new Syrian land can be captured, wipe out Hezbollah, take some of southern Lebanon, and steal Lebanese water. Given the current state of American politics, they will almost certainly get away with it. As James Wolcott has noticed, the old terrorist model will be rolled out again, with Hezbollah subbing for al Qaeda - watch for increasingly insane reporting from the disgusting American media on the great danger to the U. S. 'homeland' from Hezbollah, a group predominantly concerned with charitable, educational, and political actions in Lebanon - and Syria's support of Hezbollah replacing Saddam's mythical connections to al Qaeda. The fact that the current Syrian government has waged a bitter war against Islamist fundamentalists, and even offered to help the Americans by sharing their excellent intelligence on terrorist groups - an offer, needless to say, rudely rebuffed by the Americans - won't faze the American propagandists one little bit. Syria is doomed.

Terrorism in Israel

Haaretz reports on the London conference in support of the Palestinian Authority:

". . . senior British sources said yesterday they do not accept Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's position that Palestinians must fulfill a series of obligations before implementation of the road map can begin.

The sources said that Britain wants Israel to freeze settlement construction and dismantle illegal outposts - both measures stipulated in the road map's first phase. It also does not accept any particular order for first-phase actions, such as the Palestinians' having to carry out their commitments before Israel complies to its obligations."

Israel was invited to attend this conference, but understandably couldn't find anyone in the entire country who could find the time. Meanwhile, the conveniently timed Tel Aviv bombing drew international attention away from the conference, as Israel and the U. S. continued to try to lay the blame wholly on Syria. From CNN (and follow the embedded link for more):

"On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said there will be 'no diplomatic progress' in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process unless the Palestinian Authority takes 'vigorous action' against local terrorists. (Full story)

He said then that Friday's attack was believed to have been ordered by terrorists based in Syria, but that the Palestinian Authority was still obligated to take action.

'The immediate test for the Palestinian Authority will be in vigorous action against Islamic Jihad members,' he said."

In other words, the Syrians did it - so he, or his American stooges, can presumably retaliate against the Syrians - but the Israelis don't have to comply with the terms of the 'road map' until the Palestinians do something to stop it. Talk about having your falafel and eating it too. Remember, this was an attack which occurred in Tel Aviv! So no road map compliance for Israel until the Palestinians start guarding Tel Aviv discos against attacks by Syrian bombers. The attack occurred on Friday night, in the middle of the Jewish Sabbath, a time when 'real' Jews are presumably not going to discos. Three of the five people killed were members of an Israeli army unit serving in the West Bank, described as "the best of the best, Israel's elite", apparently some kind of covert assassination unit. Odd. Many of the most prominent bombings are very odd targets, and in areas which would not be likely to affect Israeli Jews. You really have to wonder why so many of the bombings are on bus routes frequented by Arabs and poor immigrant workers. In the McChina bombing the victims were mostly illegal immigrant workers, and "Most of the victims are believed to be foreign workers, not Israelis." An extremely strange target (as was the Taba Hilton). Another target, Mike's Place in Tel Aviv, is a bar frequented almost entirely by Americans, and the attack, by two British citizens (!) who conveniently associated with international peace activists, was thus used by the Israeli propagandists to attack the international peace movement. The Dolphinarium disco bombing victims were mostly Russian immigrants. I've got questions:

  1. Why is there often no credible claiming of responsibility for terrorist attacks? The whole point of real terrorism is to achieve political goals by claiming responsibility for violence, and terrorism without the claiming of responsibility is senseless. Why would you waste precious resources and then keep quiet?

  2. In a country hyper-sensitive to the dangers of terrorism, how do these terrorists of obvious Arab ethnicity carry massive loads of explosives attached to their bodies without being noticed?

  3. Why do they fill the explosives with nails - an obvious cheap anti-personnel weapon - when the payloads are so huge they completely demolish automobiles across the street, and take all the sides and tops off buses? You don't need the extra weight of nails with that kind of payload.

  4. Why do the worst attacks always occur when Sharon needs some cover for some atrocity he has committed or is about to commit?

It would be ridiculously simple to pay a Palestinian to walk across the street near an area frequented by non-Jews, and set off a remote-control car-bomb. The results produce a dead Palestinian 'suicide bomber', and more fuel for the Zionists to continue their state terrorism against the Palestinian people in their drive towards Greater Israel.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Orange coup in Lebanon

Juan Cole puts the Lebanese 'Orange Revolution' into perspective:

". . . Al-Jazeerah is reporting that the Lebanese Opposition is now calling for the big demonstrations at Martyrs' Square to continue until all Syrian troops leave Lebanese soil.

You wonder what would happen if the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza tried the same thing re: Ariel Sharon's military occupation that they face. They'd be crushed by the jackboot (with convenient allegations that they were a front for terrorism)."

The neocons have got a good thing going with the Ukrainian model of taking over countries by using manipulated calls for 'democracy' and 'freedom'. After all, who is going to argue with the establishment of democracy? Liberals have exactly the same intellectual problem with this form of propaganda as they have with radical religious fruitcakes hiding behind the concept of liberal tolerance in order to preach their anti-liberal hatred. The entire 'Orange' ruse is staged as a massive PR campaign, using both local and international mass media to create the illusion that all the people are united in a bottom-up plea for freedom. Of course, it is all an illusion. The removal of Syrian troops will just leave Lebanon open to occupation by Israeli troops, hardly an improvement for most of the population.

The complexity and sophistication of the campaign requires a considerable amount of planning by international PR experts. We are supposed to believe the call for removal of Syrian troops arose spontaneously on the assassination of Hariri, but the nature of the staged protests and synchronized media campaign proves that the planners knew in advance of the trigger event, the death of Hariri.