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Saturday, July 5, 2003.

Some of you have pointed out how the picture below is a fake. Upon investigation, it turns up it is. Some of you want me to take it down. Or change what I wrote about it. Well, I'm not going to do either, although I will admit I was duped. Why? Because it's what the US military and the Bush administration think of the Iraqis. Bush recently invited the Iraqis to kill US soldiers, thusly demonstrating that anyone who joins the military from this point forward is not only a moron, but entertains a death wish. Obviously there are thousands of "red blooded" Americans who entertain such self-debasing thoughts, and this is obvious now over the July Fourth holiday as we celebrate our "independence."

I am taking a hiatus from the site for a few days. It's simply too depressing. I will work on photographs instead. Check back in a week or so and maybe there will be some new stuff up to read. Maybe not. Right now I don't want to think about the stupidity of my fellow citizens -- large numbers who admire and support this vindictive and unelected frat boy with a mean streak a Texan mile wide.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Photo: This is what the US Navy thinks of the people of Iraq. If Iraq had an aircraft carrier (of course they don't have any) parked off Washington with sailors lined up in formation spelling out the words "Fuck America," what do you think the result would be? Iraqis would be swinging from lamp posts all across the country. Bush would have a pre-nuclear spazz. So when Iraqis kill American soldiers -- one here, three or four there every few days -- we should realize this is a natural and expected result of US hostility and occupation.

"Former regime sympathizers and criminals are behind the attacks on coalition forces in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on Capitol Hill," reports the American Forces Press Service. "The secretary also said he does not believe the activity in Iraq rises to the level of a guerrilla war." But then he's not out there presenting himself as a target for pissed of Iraqis -- or does he have a kid in the military. "Rumsfeld was specifically asked if he believed the coalition was engaged in a guerrilla war. 'I don't know that I would use the word,' he said. In many cases, the attackers are common criminals. Saddam Hussein released about 100,000 common criminals from the Iraqi prison system. 'Those people are out there; they're doing things that are unhelpful to the Iraqi people,' he said." But then resistance fighters are always characterized as criminals.

"How could they do this to us when we came to liberate them?" writes Robert Fisk. "That will become an inevitable theme in the aftermath of this attack. Guerrilla warfare, as the British know all too well, is a brutal form of conflict. It does not distinguish between 'good' occupiers and 'bad' occupiers, between Americans who shoot down the innocent and Tommy Atkins in his soft beret and his knowledge -- doesn‚t it go back to our own Bloody Sunday in 1972? -- that when you kill the innocent, you will suffer for it."

--

Reading the news is like reoccurring bad dream -- every day it seems something outrageous happens in the realm of American politics. The American people are either generally oblivious or don't care what is happening to their government. Polls now indicate they support an attack on Iran. "By 56 to 38 percent, Americans approve the use of US military to block Iran from developing nuclear arms, said a Washington Post-ABC poll... More than six in 10 Americans polled said the decision to go to war was justified even if the United States does not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." In other words, it doesn't matter if Bush is a liar, if there are no WMD in Iraq. Most Americans don't care if Bush uses the same flaccid excuse to invade another country. In short, 6 in 10 Americans are complicit in mass murder. Every day the analogy between the US public and the people of Nazi Germany grow more and more obvious.

And like all totalitarian states, the Bush junta expects everybody to toe the fascist line. "Before launching any new foreign adventures, the Bush gang has some homeland housekeeping to take care of: it is going to sweep up those pesky non-governmental organizations that are helping to turn world opinion against US bombs and brands," writes Naomi Klein. "The war on NGOs is being fought on two clear fronts. One buys the silence and complicity of mainstream humanitarian and religious groups by offering lucrative reconstruction contracts. The other marginalizes and criminalizes more independent-minded NGOs by claiming that their work is a threat to democracy. The US Agency for International Development (USaid) is in charge of handing out the carrots, while the American Enterprise Institute, the most powerful think-tank in Washington, is wielding the sticks."

I don't recall voting for the American Enterprise Institute back in 2000, when Bush hijacked the US government. But there it is -- a neo-fascist "think-tank" is essentially running US foreign policy. "The American Enterprise Institute is an NGO itself and it is supported by the most powerful corporations on the planet," Raj Patel, a policy analyst at the California-based NGO Food First, points out. "They are accountable only to their board, which includes Motorola, American Express and ExxonMobil." AEI is "Bush's outsourced brain."

The Bush neocons "would have us trade in our democracy for a corporatocracy, a form of feudal government most recently reinvented by Benito Mussolini when he recommended a 'merger of business and state interests' as a way of creating a government that would be invincibly strong. Mussolini called it fascism," writes Thom Hartmann. "In their brave new world, corporations are more suited to governance than are the unpredictable rabble called citizens. Corporations should control politics, control the commons, control health care, control our airwaves, control the 'free' market, and even control our schools."

Bush puppetmaster Karl Rove gets his political ideas from the most reprehensible elements over at AEI. "When The Washington Post published a list of the people whom Karl Rove, President George W Bush's closest advisor, regularly consults for advice outside the administration, foreign policy veterans were shocked when Michael Ledeen popped up as the only full-time international affairs analyst," writes Jim Lobe. "Michael A Ledeen, resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works closely with the better-known former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, has been a fixture of Washington's neo-conservative community for more than 20 years... He is also close to key figures in the administration, particularly Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith, whose pro-Likud politics he largely shares; Vice President Dick Cheney's powerful chief of staff, I Lewis Libby; and Elliott Abrams, the director for the Near East on the National Security Council. To that list can now apparently be added Rove, who is as close to Bush as it is possible to get... Throughout his career, Ledeen has insisted that war and violence are integral parts of human nature and derided the notion that peace can be negotiated between two nations."

"As long-term observers of Michael Ledeen know, he has a history of sinister connections -- both American and Israeli," notes Bill White. "In 1985, Ledeen, then a 'private consultant' to the National Security Council, acted as a go between for the Israeli and American intelligence communities, facilitating Israel's role in the Iran-Contra arms scandal. Later on, it was Ledeen who got Israeli spy Johnathan Pollard his job with the Department of the Navy. And in Ledeen's 1998 book 'Universal Fascism', he admired the dictatorial methods of Benito Mussolini's predecessors. To Ledeen, the Constitution, America, and the law is not important. Ledeen is a 'new' or 'neo-' conservative -- a conservative in the pay of Israel -- and his mission to keep America as a milk cow for the Jewish state." Or, as Lyndon LaRouche told Hussein al-Nadeem last year, the AEI-influenced "policy is what Kissinger crony Michael Ledeen has aptly described as 'universal fascism': a revival, in principle, of the goals of the Nazi Waffen-SS, as Sharon's policies toward the Palestinians copy exactly the SS practices against the Warsaw Ghetto. Their strategic policies are parodies of those of the ancient Roman Empire and its legions; that is the meaning of the attack on Afghanistan and the threat to Iraq."

--

But these guys seem to be pikers when compared to the aforementioned Roman legions. "America's two 'great victories' since 11 September 2001 are unraveling," writes John Pilger. "In Afghanistan, the regime of Hamid Karzai has virtually no authority and no money, and would collapse without American guns. Al-Qaeda has not been defeated, and the Taliban are re-emerging... In Iraq, scene of the second 'great victory', there are two open secrets. The first is that the 'terrorists' now besieging the American occupation force represent an armed resistance that is almost certainly supported by the majority of Iraqis who, contrary to pre-war propaganda, opposed their enforced 'liberation.' The second secret is that there is emerging evidence of the true scale of the Anglo-American killing, pointing to the bloodbath Bush and Blair have always denied."

"Assailants launched a wave of ambushes against U.S. forces in Iraq, dropping grenades from an overpass, blowing up a vehicle with a roadside bomb and destroying a civilian SUV traveling with U.S. troops, soldiers and Iraqi police said Thursday," reports the Associated Press. "Two U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civilians were killed... Recent attacks on U.S. forces near Baghdad have been blamed on remnants of Saddam's regime or his Sunni followers, but the Majar al-Kabir attack came in the mostly Shiite south, where resentment toward Saddam Hussein's government had been strong."

Just so there's no confusion about the Vietnam dimension of Bush's Iraq occupation, John Abizaid, the Arabic-speaking US general expected to replace Gen Tommy Franks soon at the head of US Central Command, told senators on Wednesday that a large US military presence would be necessary in Iraq "for the foreseeable future," according to the Financial Times. "The deaths of dozens of US and UK troops since the end of 'major combat' has raised the pressure on the US and the UK to be more specific on the extent of the troop commitment and costs necessary to stabilize Iraq... 'The number [of troops] can go up and the number can go down,' Gen Abizaid told the Senate armed services committee. 'First and foremost, it depends on the enemy situation.'"

Since virtually all Iraqis are the "enemy" -- that is, they will resist US and Brit occupation of their country -- the situation is almost guaranteed not to get any better over time. In fact, it will get worse. In Vietnam resistance to the presence of US troops became so fierce and determined that the US was obliged to exit stage right. Of course, Bush isn't Nixon or Ford -- and Bush's cabinet makes the Nixon and Ford's advisors look like peaceniks by way of comparison -- and there's no telling what cataclysmic act the unelected one will attempt before being ejected from Iraq (and Afghanistan and, down the road, Iran). Bush's determination to make nukes appear as garden variety military munitions hangs over the situation like Damocles' sword.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Photo: "An Iraqi man shouts slogans against U.S. troops while holding a Kalashnikov during the funeral procession of Tariq Hussein Mohammed in Baghdad, Thursday, June 19, 2003. Hussein Mohammed was killed by US soldiers during a protest Wednesday by former Iraqi soldiers demanding their three months backpay. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)"

--


"You can shoot anyone," an Alpha Company commander was overheard boasting recently in the Baghdad suburb of Adhamiya, "and no one can touch you."

"Incidents pitting American soldiers against Iraqis, armed or unarmed, are now daily occurrences," reports Le Monde. "And they often turn deadly. Out of 51 soldiers who have died in Iraq since George W. Bush officially declared the end of the war on May 1, 16 have been killed during confrontations with the population or have been shot down by fedayeen. One hour after the shooting at the Republican Palace, one GI was killed and another wounded while posted in front of a service station in the southern Dora district. A car slowly drove up behind the Americans with the windows open, and someone gunned them down, then fled."

More will unfortunately die in the months ahead as Iraqis increase their hit-and-run ambushes against the US military. How long before US soldiers are completely demoralized like the Soviets were in Afghanistan and GIs in Vietnam?

--

"What we are seeing here is a fundamental reassessment of the situation in Iraq in terms of political and military stability," Daniel Goure, a Pentagon adviser at the Washington-based Lexington Institute, recently told Jim Lobe. "We have been operating on two assumptions: that once the war was over the Iraqis would rapidly move into peaceful mode, and second, that there would be a new political and economic spirit in the country. We discovered neither of these assumptions is true."


--

Meanwhile, the Bushite neocons are plotting against Iran with a little help from the CIA.

"CIA Officers and dissident Iranian agents have expended millions of dollars in recent weeks to foment trouble throughout Iran and indeed have had some success in Tehran and a number of other cities," writes Richard M. Bennett.

"In a re-run of the classic CIA-SIS campaign that successfully overthrew the regime of Prime Minister Musadeqq in 1953 and which resulted in the return of the Shah, American intelligence operations have been focused mainly on the protesting students, the police and those troops used for internal security... However, judging by the failure to complete the victories won on the battlefield in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the portents for the coming War with Iran are ominous. Both Afghanistan and Iraq now have developing major insurgencies which the US forces are showing few signs of coming to terms with and without doubt Iran will be a much harder nut to crack. The drain on US resources and lives will almost certainly be that much greater."

--

"Wide-ranging powers to enable the police to run the Internet and the rest of Britain's information superhighway in the event of a terrorist attack will be unveiled this week," writes the Times Online. "The Civil Contingencies Bill will seek to modernize Britain's response to national emergencies by protecting the country from attacks on the infrastructure including the 'electronic network' and the water, electricity and telephone systems... Airlines, the transport network, town halls and the postal service could also come under police direction in the event of a national disaster... Senior officers will have powers to enlist any member of the public to help civil defense staff. They will be able to commandeer equipment and buildings, for which the owners will receive financial compensation... However, in a move designed to allay fears that the bill could pave the way for regional police states, ministers have decided against giving the police powers to run the BBC."

Gee, that's big of them.

The Nazis used the Reichstag fire to do basically the same thing. In America, we're working up to the same thing. Of course, Bush doesn't have to take over the press since it already operates as the Bush Ministry of Disinformation. Of course, there's a lot of press freedom over the Internet -- and that's why the fascists in Britain are targeting it. Sooner or later Bush and Ashcroft will get around to doing the same here.

Meanwhile, speaking of the Reichstag fire...

"This unelected regime -- Hitler also came to power with a minority of votes -- has used the terrible tragedies of September 11 in much the way the Nazis jumped on the Reichstag fire," writes Harvey Wasserman. "Bush has failed to capture or try 9/11's alleged perpetrators. But he's used the tragedy to push an extreme rightist agenda aimed at crushing civil liberties, silencing all opposition, fattening a war machine, and arrogating the right to unilaterally attack other countries without tangible provocation."

"The Reichstag Fire Syndrome occurs whenever a democracy is destroyed by creating a law-and-order crisis and offering as a 'solution' the abdication of civil liberties and state's rights to a powerful but unaccountable central dictator," writes Norman D. Livergood. "The men of wealth who put the tyrant into power are then able to reap obscene war profits.

"But even given the pathetic cowards that comprise our Congress, a body of law as unconstitutional as PATRIOT II will need a boost to be enacted," warns Lee Robinson. "That boost will most likely come in the form of another Reichstag Fire-World Trade Center attack taking place on American soil. To serve its political purpose this one should have strong overtones of domestic 'terrorists' working in consort with international 'terrorists'. Frightened people will then allow themselves to be the subjects of frightening new laws. And the rest will be history. Again."

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Photo: Bush wants you to believe these Iranians have gone in the street because they want the freedom to cruise McDonalds and watch MTV. The reality of the situation is quite different than Bush and his cabal of neocon cannibals would have you believe. In fact, these students are opposed to the multinational/globalist future Bush has in mind for them -- and, in fact, that's why they went into the street.

--

"British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons program," reports the Evening Standard.

Let's see... that would put us toward the end of the election campaign next year. Considering the economy, Bush may need to be a "war president" in order to win the election, although the bankrupt Democrats have absolutely no ideas or prospects of capturing the Oval Office next year. Moreover, the neocons realize they have to move fast in order to complete their fascistic objectives before they are sent packing back to their warmongering "think tanks" and foundations in the unlikely event Bush is defeated or impeached (admittedly a remote prospect).

"Growing protests against the clerical regime of the ayatollahs has suddenly made Iran more unstable in the past few weeks. President Bush has welcomed the protests, though some fear they will make the country even more unmanageable. But one of the Pentagon's most hardline advisers, Richard Perle, has said that the demonstrations could undermine the rule of the clerics, which would be the best way of disarming Iran. Michael Ledeen, his colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank close to the White House, has gone further."

Apparently, the arrogance of these demented Straussian neo-fascists knows no bounds (Ledeen is well-known for his advocacy of "universal fascism" and Machiavellian politics). Imagine the result if Iran sent agents to rabble-rouse Muslims in the United States and organized them to overthrow the US government.

"Washington also blames the ayatollahs in Tehran for giving financial backing and training to a hardline organization, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), founded by Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr al Hakim. He has just returned to Iraq. The ayatollah is blamed for the Shi'ite violence against British and American forces in Basra and in the Shi'ite heartlands of central and southern Iraq."

No mention here of the US State Department courting SCIRI last year. "In June, the State Department held the first official talks in Washington with the Shiite-based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). SCIRI, which is just one of a number of organizations based among Iraq’s Shiite majority, has connections to Iran where its leader Muhammad Baqir Hakim resides," writes Peter Symonds. According to Marc Perleman, Ahmed al-Bayati, a SCIRI representative, "met not only with the State Department but also with White House and Pentagon officials and possibly with intelligence officials."

Of course, the Bush Ministry of Propaganda -- aka Fox News -- will never mention this little curious bit of information to the American people... or should I call them "sheeple" since they are so easily fooled by this nearly transparent nonsense?

"A British intelligence official said that any campaign against Iran would not be a ground war like the one in Iraq. The Americans will use different tactics, said the intelligence officer. 'It is getting quite scary.'"

No doubt, in the weeks ahead, we will find how exactly how "scary" these unexplained tactics are.

--

The BBC recently ran an international poll indicating what nations hold the most bellicose attitudes when it comes to invading other countries and killing their people: the United States, Britain, and Israel.

"Thirty-seven per cent thought it right to invade [Iraq] -- including 54% of the UK response, 74% of the US response and 79% of the Israeli sample."

According to other nations outside the sway of the demented warlord neocons and the psycho Likudites, the US is more dangerous than the terrorists it rallies against. "Asked who is the more dangerous to world peace and stability, the United States was rated higher than al-Qaeda by respondents in both Jordan (71%) and Indonesia (66%). America was also rated more dangerous than two countries considered as 'rogue states' by Washington... It was rated more dangerous than Iran, by people in Jordan, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea and Brazil, and more dangerous than Syria by respondents all the countries, except for Australia, Israel and the United States."

--

Apparently, the Bushites believe Lugar's idea to kill Palestinians is a good idea with promise.

"White House chief of staff Andrew Card yesterday said 'it is too early' to rule out the use of U.S. troops as peacekeepers in Israel and a future Palestinian state, the Manchester Union Leader reported on Wednesday," says Drudge.

"Card was in New Hampshire yesterday to speak to Republican activists and to receive a distinguished citizens award from the Daniel Webster Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Card's remarks come as Israeli and Palestinian leaders try to rescue President Bush's road map to peace from a deadly week last week. On Sunday, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said American participation in a peacekeeping force is possible... 'I don't want to prejudge as to what kind of a solution will be best,' Card said when asked about Lugar's remarks. The administration, he said, is committed to the peace process. 'It's too early to say,' he said when pressed if the administration has ruled out U.S. troops as peacekeepers. 'You have to let the process work, you have to get to a situation where there's a climate of security without attack so the partners can truly negotiate.'"

If the Bushites were "committed to the peace process," they would demand Israel dismantle its settlements in the occupied territories, stop killing Palestinian children, stop economically strangulating the Palestinian people, and agree on the right of return. As it now stands, Lugar simply wants to unleash American soldiers to kill Hamas -- the terrorist organization funded by Israel -- and other Palestinian radicals. You can bet they won't be shooting crazed settlers who routinely murder Palestinians and destroy their property (or steal their land).

"The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee [Lugar] said that U.S. forces may have to help root out terrorism in the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," says rightwing nut case Rush Limbaugh. "He singled out Hamas. Everybody knew this was going to happen. When this Road Map to Peace meeting took place -- with Israel, Egypt, America, Jordan and the new Palestinian PM saying 'yes' to peace -- these Hamas guys balked. They don't want 'peace.' They want every last Jew dead or pushed into the sea."

Limbaugh, of course, is a Stepford zombie for the Zionists who not only control Congress, but drive Bushite foreign policy. The Likudites will never allow a Palestinian state to exist -- maybe an impoverished series of disconnected Bantustans but never a state. In fact, Hamas was nurtured by Israel for the express purpose of wrecking any sincere movement toward peace and a two state solution to the conflict.

"The objectives of Hamas dovetail with those of the Likud, no settlement at all costs," writes Paul Joseph Watson. "Whenever the prospect of a workable peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians arises, Hamas or one of their offshoots blows a bus, restaurant or a hotel to pieces. This gives Israel the justification needed to scupper any agreement and further entrench their occupation of disputed lands. All the outsider sees is carnage, death and a mainstream media that spins the issue so that these atrocities somehow represent the wishes of the Palestinian people."

"Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years," notes Richard Sale.

--

Bush and crew are attempting to pull a fast one over on us in regard to the Iranian demonstrations. According to Payvand's Iran News, the demonstrations held last week in Tehran were in opposition to privatization. "Demonstrations were held at Tehran University dormitory on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in protest against a plan to privatize the universities... Minister of Science and Technology unveiled a plan to privatize universities requiring the students to pay tuition fees causing dismay among the students who could not afford to. The Constitution has envisaged free education for the public and the government is responsible for running the administration of universities and provide fund for them in addition to benefits for the students."

"Our policy is to encourage people to demonstrate for their views," Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters during a visit to Cambodia.

Oh, I see. Collin Powell is against the privatization of Iranian universities, too?

"I appreciate those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran," said Dubya recently. "They need to know America stands squarely by their side. And I would urge the Iranian administration to treat them with the utmost of respect."

"If multinational interests are served, then no amount of popular unrest, nor vote rigging -- not even civil war -- will serve as credible evidence that a 'democracy' is a sham. If corporate interests aren't served, no amount of civil accord, prosperity, and popular support qualifies the government as 'democratic,'" writes Richard K. Moore.

"A serious and explicit purpose of our foreign policy [is] the encouragement of a hospitable climate for investment in foreign nations," Dwight Eisenhower noted a few decades ago.


Monday, June 16, 2003

Photo: "A helicopter patrols as a U.S. soldier mans a machine gun during a raid at Khaldiyah, 70 kms (40 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq (news - web sites), Monday June 16, 2003. Hundreds of U.S. troops backed by tanks and helicopters raided several cities and villages on the second day of 'Operation Desert Scorpion', arresting suspected militia leaders and seizing illegal weapons. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)"

More like "Operation Futile," since the Iraqis will never give up resisting the presence of American soldiers in their country. Vietnam revisited, anyone?

--

Spent five days hiking and relaxing in southern Utah and Taos, New Mexico. I only tuned in the news twice. Of course, there's a whole lot of catching up to do...

As the unelected one vacationed with the rich in Kennebunkport, Operation Destabilize Iran moved forward. As "pro-democracy" protestors went in the streets in Tehran, Bush said, "This is the beginning of people expressing themselves toward a free Iran which I think is positive." Of course, when protestors went in the streets in America in opposition to Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq, he termed millions of Americans as little more than a "focus group."

"Well, a regime change that comes through the democratic processes of Iran, through the students and the young people taking charge -- now, how all that comes about, I don't know," Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Bush Ministry of Disinformation, otherwise known as Fox News, on Sunday.

I guess Lugar doesn't know a whole lot about the CIA and the long and sordid history of US involvement in over-throwing governments, even democratically elected governments, as it did in Iran back in the early 50s.

Lugar also told Fox the US should attack Hamas, the Israeli funded terrorists organization. If we are to believe Lugar, the Israelis are incapable of dealing with Hamas themselves, even though they receive billions in military aid from the US every year.

"Lugar said such a force could be used to quell Israeli and Palestinian disputes, 'and, maybe even more important, to root out the terrorism that is at the heart of the problem,'" Fox reported. In other words, Lugar wants to help Israel attack the Palestinians, many of who see no alternative to Israeli occupation of their land and the systematic destruction of their culture and political organizations than armed resistance. Obviously, Lugar believes US soldiers should help the Zionist state kill rock throwing pre-teens. "It may not be just Hamas but clearly Hamas is right in the gunsights," Lugar said. Clearly, it's the entire Palestinian people in the gunsights. "But clearly, if force is required ultimately to root out terrorism, it is possible there would be American participation."

In other words, killing Iraqis is not enough for these rabid rightwing nut cases and supporters of Zionist murder schemes -- now US soldiers must kill Palestinians as well.

"It is not clear how many Iraqis were killed [in Operation Peninsula Strike in central Iraq]. On Friday a US spokesman said 27 Iraqis had been killed after a group of fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades at a tank, although officers on the ground gave a much lower figure. The Americans counter-attacked with Bradley fighting vehicles and Apache helicopters. Although there have been very few guerrilla attacks, US troops are responding to any perceived threat by immediate use of their overwhelming firepower," writes Patrick Cockburn for the UK Independent.

Sounds like Vietnam.

"The official American reports of the search operation chillingly resemble those issued at the height of the Vietnam war, with all the dead described as enemy combatants."

--

And for those who live through the Bush version of "liberation," there's the neocon plan for Iraq. "Rather than rebuilding, the country is treated as a blank slate on which the Washington's neo-liberals can design their dream economy: fully privatized, foreign-owned and open for business," writes M Abdul Hafiz. "The United States' Agency for International Development has already invited US multi-nationals to bid on anything from rebuilding roads and bridges to distributing textbooks. The length of time these contracts will last remains unspecified. So pervasive is its scope. There is a real chance that the reconstruction turn into privatization in disguise."

Of course, this is hardly anything new -- it's what multinational corporations have done for years in the Third World with the assistance of the US government, the IMF, and the World Bank. "Wealthy countries and the World Bank are forcing the privatization of public services and natural resources in Africa and elsewhere as a condition for development assistance," notes the Halifax Initiative. "Impoverished countries are required to turn their public services and natural resources over to private owners. If they want the aid money, they have to sell off their oil, gas, mining, electricity, telecommunications, transportation and water companies.

Not long ago, these international "supply-side" gangsters got their way through bribery and corruption. "If corruption is growing throughout the world, it is largely a result of the rapid privatization (and associated practices of contracting-out and concessions) of public enterprises worldwide," Sue Hawley wrote in 2000. "This process has been pushed by western creditors and governments and carried out in such as way as to allow multinational companies to operate with increased impunity."

Now the idea seems to be that a "blank slate" must be created -- i.e., bomb 'em back to a pre-industrial condition -- and the Third World must be rebuilt from scratch for the benefit of western investors and multinational corporations. "The investors are already openly predicting that once privatization takes root in Iraq -- Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait will all be forced to compete by privatizing their oil," Hafiz notes. "Pretty soon US may have bombed its way in a whole new free trade zone... A people starved and sickened by sanction, then pulverized by war is going to emerge from the trauma to find that their country had been sold out from under them. They will also discover that their new-found 'freedom' -- for which so many of their loved ones perished -- comes pre-shackled by irreversible economic decision that were made in board rooms while the bombs were still falling."

--

Finally, Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency that it will not allow "tougher, short-notice inspections of suspected nuclear sites," according to the BBC. Bush yes man, ElBaradei, "said Tehran's co-operation would enable the IAEA 'to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature' of the country's nuclear program."

In other words, anybody who develops a nuclear program -- except the US, Europeans, and Israel -- will use slap together a passel of nukes and start killing people en masse. This is hypocrisy with a capital "H" of course, since the US is the only nation to have nuked anybody, mostly innocent civilians.

Iran has all the right in the world to develop nukes considering Israel has about 400 of them and Bush is not calling for Israel to give them up, let alone declare them.


Wednesay, June 11, 2003

Taking some time off from the weblog. Regular posts will resume next week. Please check back on Tuesday, June 17.

 

Sunday, June 8, 2003

Photo: Here's what happens when you violate a traffic law in Baghdad. Imagine this happening in America. How long would it be before you called for the overthrow of the government if soldiers pointed automatic weapons in your face for making an illegal turn? How long do you think the Iraqis will put up with this before they begin resistance in earnest?

--

"Officials of the U.S.-led coalition authority said yesterday they expect the drafting of a new Iraqi constitution to get under way within weeks, even as they cautioned that Iraq is not yet ready for a full-scale democracy," reports the Washington Times. "Aspiring Iraqi political leaders have disagreed with the coalition approach with increasing vehemence, saying that Iraqis are indeed ready to begin producing a constitution and a government of their own. They would like to see American troops and U.S. and British civilian overseers withdraw as quickly as possible."

No chance. The Bushite "creative" destructionists never intended to "liberate" the Iraqis and allow them to set up their own government. It was simply a facade designed for PR purposes, another Bush administration lie. These folks don't believe in democracy -- not in Iraq or anywhere else.

"If Bush really cared about Mideast democracy, he's had two years to do something about U.S.-sponsored dictatorships like Egypt and Pakistan, or medieval autocracies such as Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and America's Gulf protectorates," writes Eric Margolis. "Bush's war is not about democracy, weapons of mass destruction, human rights, or terrorism. It has two main motivations. First, the Manifest Destiny crowd in Washington, led by VP Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld... Their intention is perfectly clear: 1) prevent any nation ever challenging U.S. global hegemony; 2) dominate oil. The aggression against Iraq is not about oil per se, it is about control of oil... The second driving force is Israel's far-right Likud government, many of whose ideas have come to dominate Bush administration policy and US media commentary on the Mideast."

Iraq was a warm-up, a test run for the real target of the Bush Likudites -- Iran. "But for all the propaganda about wicked Saddam, Iraq is not the main objective for the small but powerful coterie of Pentagon hardliners driving the Bush administration's national security policy," writes Margolis elsewhere. "Nor is it for their intellectual and emotional peers in Israel's right-wing Likud party. The real target of the coming war is Iran, which Israel views as its principal and most dangerous enemy. Iraq merely serves as a pretext to whip America into a war frenzy and to justify insertion of large numbers of US troops into Mesopotamia."

"Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donnie Rumsfeld, Richard Armitage, Elliot Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad and other up and coming War Criminals are anxious to set things right with Iran," writes John Stanton. "It is Iran's turn to be subjected to the 21st Century version of Nazi Germany's Blitzkrieg, that being the murderous American Shock and Awe campaign created by leading War Criminal Harlan Ullman... Between April of 2003 and November 2004, the US, UK and Israel will accelerate instability operations in Iran and engage in global disinformation campaigns to belittle the political and military leadership there... Iran now finds itself pinned on all sides by pro-US, UK forces. Operation Liberate Iran will take place using the same strategy and tactics employed in the Massacre of Iraq. Iran has few options. One, is the acceleration of their nuclear program and a successful test or demonstration of a nuclear device."

This is why the Bushites are hot to trot on the Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK) terrorists. "Senior Pentagon officials are proposing widespread covert operations against the government in Iran, hoping that dissident groups will mount a coup before the regime acquires a nuclear weapon," the UK Telegraph reports. "There are some who see the overthrow of the regime as the only way to deal with the danger of Iran possessing a nuclear weapon," said one government official with close links to the White House. "But there's not going to be another war. The idea is to destabilize from inside. No one's talking about invading anywhere."

Not yet, anyway.

"After Saddam Hussein‚s regime has been toppled, do not expect the current administration to make any serious attempt at establishing a democratic government," predicts John Griffiths. "Democratic governments are far too difficult to control by foreign interests. The uncertainties of the democratic process are very often not compatible with corporate timetables. As has been done in Afghanistan, in Iraq (and later in Iran) the Bush administration will encourage a state of controllable semi-chaos in each country. Ethnic minorities must never be given independence because they would be far too cohesive. Rival factions and even some factions overtly hostile to the occupation will be allowed to remain at large. This serves the dual purpose of preventing the establishment of a popular democratic government and provides on-going justification for an American military presence. Minor firefights and skirmishes in the countryside will also divert media attention from corporate activities."

But that imposed chaos will not be easy in Iran. "Iranians are more nationalistic than Iraqis and less divided along ethnic and religious lines," writes Cameron Kamran. "Moreover, they have a long history, stretching back to the Tobacco Revolt of 1890, of uniting to oppose foreign intervention. We must remember the Iranian revolution was waged by a coalition of opposition groups united not by religious devotion but by their intense opposition to the autocracy of the shah."

Iran will not be a cakewalk. On the domestic front, Bush is coming under increasingly intense fire for the obvious lies he spun as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq. The not so covert war against the government of Iran by the MEK will be a failure and direct US military intervention will be required -- and chances are Congress will not write another blank check for invasion, that is not without the appropriate excuse. Iran's attempts to build a nuclear weapons program will probably not scare Congress into backing another invasion, nor will the illusory threat of al-Qaeda cozying up to the mullahs. Something more ominous will need to emerge in the weeks ahead.

Saturday, June 7, 2003

It's now clear the International Atomic Energy Agency is a whore and its pimp is the Bushite neocons. On June 6 the IAEA released a report indicated the evil Iranians are building nuclear facilities "that could give it a variety of technological options for the production of nuclear weapons," warns the Gray Lady of Propaganda, otherwise known as the ethically challenged New York Times. " The disclosure of plans for the reactor -- a type often associated with production of plutonium for nuclear weapons programs -- could compound existing worries in Western capitals about Iranian intentions." In other words, the diabolical mullahs of Iran want nukes and they can't be trusted not to use them. Never mind that the only nuclear power in the Middle East is Israel and the Iranians have good reason to fear the Israelis, who make no secret of their desire to get rid of the present government and install one of their liking in Teheran.

"With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World's 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal," notes John Steinbach. "Possessing chemical and biological weapons, an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East."

Of course, you will never read about this in the New York Times.

The IAEA General Conference has placed Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat on its agenda since at least 1998. "Whereas all Arab States have acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Israel continues to defy the international community by refusing to become a party to the Treaty or to place all its installations under the Agency's comprehensive safeguards, thus upsetting the balance needed to achieve peace in the region and exposing the region to nuclear danger," writes the IAEA. "Israel's possession of nuclear weapons is likely to lead to a destructive nuclear arms race in the region, especially when Israel's nuclear installations remain outside any international control."

"The report by the IAEA follows a visit by senior officials of the U.N. agency, including Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, in February to two facilities in central Iran, identified last year by an Iranian exile group as being part of a nuclear weapons effort," reports VOA. "We think the report, and Iran's programs themselves, are deeply troubling, and need to be studied carefully by all members, and then we need to look at it seriously together," said the State Department's Richard Boucher. "Iran's clandestine nuclear program represents a serious challenge to regional stability, the entire international community, and to the global non-proliferation regime."

In other words, the US will ignore what the IAEA said about Israel's nukes and concentrate on Iran, the next target on the Bush hit list. Moreover, for the following reasons, the US does not want any discussion of Israel's nukes.

"One other purpose of Israeli nuclear weapons, not often stated, but obvious, is their 'use' on the United States. America does not want Israel's nuclear profile raised," writes Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army. "They have been used in the past to ensure America does not desert Israel under increased Arab, or oil embargo, pressure and have forced the United States to support Israel diplomatically against the Soviet Union. Israel used their existence to guarantee a continuing supply of American conventional weapons, a policy likely to continue."

„Our armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third," writes Martin Van Crevel. "Israel has the capability of hitting most European capitals with nuclear weapons. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that this will happen before Israel goes under."

"Perhaps with a dedicated and credible deterrence, the Europeans selling weapons [to the Arabs] will make some effort, along with American Arabists, to have the Arab nations stand down their plans which call for the destruction of Israel and its replacement by an Islamic State," notes Masada2000. "Perhaps the supplying nations, in their greed for future sales and the protection of the oil fields, will make an effort to dampen the Jihad (Holy War) enthusiasms of their Arab clients. However, should the Arabs decide to launch their final Jihad against the Jewish State, it's only fair that these weapons' supplying nations also 'Share the Pain.'" In other words, Israel will nuke them.

Not mentioned here is the fact Israel wanted to sell AWACS to the Chinese. "The sale had been in the works since 1996 and proceeded smoothly until fall 1999, when reports surfaced that the Pentagon objected to the sale of such sophisticated technology to China," FAS reported. "Israeli officials at first refused consider the American request to cancel the sale. It took more than half a year of intense pressure, including unofficial sanctions and threats to further withhold certain types of U.S. technology, before Israel was forced to abandon the sale."

"The Pentagon has claimed since the mid-1980's that Israel simply copies or reverse engineers secret US defense technology and then exports it -- even on occasion, its is whispered, to Russia," observes Eric S. Margolis. "Until now, Israel's influential friends on Capitol Hill managed to downplay or cover up these serious charges."

Israel also sold arms to Iran. "Although secrecy is the first principle in the netherworld of arms trading, details of several subsequent major Israeli arms sales to Iran have come to light," reports Jane Hunter. "In 1981, Ya'acov Nimrodi, an intimate of leaders across the Israeli political spectrum, sold the Iranian defense ministry $135,842,000 worth of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles, 155 mm. mortars, ammunition, and other weapons through his Tel Aviv-based company, International Desalination Equipment, Ltd... The US government has avoided dealing head-on in public with the Israeli government over this issue."

So when will Martin Van Crevel demand Tel Aviv be nuked?

Incidentally, tomorrow is the 36th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Do you think the New York Times will be running a front page article to remind us how the Israelis are double-dealing murderers?

--

Meanwhile, the Bushites are stepping up their efforts to destabilize Iran.

"According to the Washington Times, Pentagon officials have been meeting quietly with Mahmud Ali Chehregani, who heads the Southern Azerbaijan National Awakeness Movement (SANAM, also known by the acronym GAMOH). SANAM operates inside Iran, in the Iranian province of Azerbaijan -- a region separate from the country of Azerbaijan, the former Soviet republic on Iran's northern border. Defense officials emphasized their meetings were not aimed at supporting or encouraging a change in Iran's government, according to the Times. It is hard to believe such an assertion."

It sure is.

Moreover, the Bushites are courting some pretty unsavory types in their effort to overturn the government of Iran. "Iranian opposition groups seeking Washington's help to oust the country's Islamic theocracy could be as dangerous as the regime they want overturned, say Middle East experts who urge lawmakers to think twice before funding exiles in the United States," reports Fox. "In fact, one opposition group busy lobbying Capitol Hill serves as an umbrella to an organization listed on the State Department‚s list of terrorist groups, and until Operation Iraqi Freedom began, was sheltered by none other than ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein."

But then Fox should know Saddam was Uncle Sham's boy -- brought to power by the CIA -- and al-Qaeda was organized and funded by the CIA in the 1980s.

"Some lawmakers have suggested aiding the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which has been lobbying intensely on and off Capitol Hill for support in overthrowing the fundamentalist regime in Iran. But NCRI faces serious questions about its legitimacy. One of its member groups is the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran, also known as the Mujahedin e-Khalq. MEK is listed on the State Department‚s official list of terrorist organizations, and has been blamed for supporting the U.S. embassy takeover and overthrow of the Shah in 1979."

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

"US Army combat engineers using bulldozers, backhoes and loaders dug through a rubble-filled crater on Tuesday in an effort to determine whether Saddam Hussein died in an airstrike on the house where he was believed to be hiding," writes the Sydney Morning Herald. "It was not immediately clear what sparked the sudden new interest in finding his remains."

Let's see... they either have nothing better to do or they want to demonstrate to the Iraqis that Saddam is dead and resistance is futile. Believe it or not, there's a lot of Iraqis who think Saddam will mount attacks on the US and Brits and take back the country.

"An intelligence report received by the American Central Intelligence Agency has disclosed on the authority of their secret sources that the deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is still alive and has formed a new secret leadership in preparation for waging a Vietnam-style guerrilla war against American forces to be launched next 17 July with 40,000 fighters," the Free Arab Voice reported late last month. "The UAE newspaper 'al-Bayan' reported on the authority of information that has reached 'al-Watan al-'Arabi' that Saddam Hussein has designated 17 July of this year as the date on which the great jihad will begin. In addition to the symbolic significance of this date, preparations should be completed by that time."

--

"We're [in Iraq] to kick ass and we don't want folks to think they can get away with murder, so let them think the Marines are prepared to top 'em all if they step out of line," Lt. Col Erik Grobowski of the Marines told the Telegraph.

Ah, yes. Hearts and minds.

"Lt Col Zangas [civil affairs officer with the Marines], 43, who studied journalism at college, would rather his underlings exercise their new-found freedom on rather more simple and helpful items such as an amnesty call for arms to be handed into the military, an edited version of the Koran, an information bulletin on the harvest season and a warning that the military will be destroying unexploded ordnance at the airfield tonight."

Oh, I'm sure the Muslims in Iraq are tickled about the idea of "editing" their holy book. Imagine Muslims traveling to the so-called Bible-belt in the US and demanding the New Testament be edited. They'd be run out of town on a rail -- or killed outright and dumped in a ravine somewhere.

--

"By next Monday, if we don't have results [concerning the joblessness of Iraqi military officers], we will form a new Iraqi army, called the Armed Front Against the Occupation," Maj. Assam Hussein Il Naem, who said he represents about 160 officer, told the Christian Science Monitor. "New attacks against the occupiers will be governed by us. We know we will have the approval of the Iraqi people."

"We are demonstrating now because the Americans didn't fulfill what they promised in the pamphlets they dropped on the ground before the war," said Brig. Amer Abdul Ameer, "I will be the first to carry out military attacks on the Americans."

Bush's occupation is crumbling by the day. How long before outraged Iraqis take to the streets in numbers and begin challenging the Americans? How long would you wait if foreigners invaded your town, you didn't have electricity or clean drinking water, and your kids were suffering from cholera?

"The domestic repercussions of [the bogus WMD claims of Bush and Blair] continue in London and Washington, but the reaction in Iraq is far more ominous," writes Robert Fisk. "New graffiti on the wall of the slums of Baghdad's Sadr City (formerly Saddam City) which I saw on Wednesday tells its own story. 'Threaten the Americans with suicide killings,' it said bleakly."


--

Photo: Sean Hannity. Somebody should tell him it's time to start telling the truth about Bush's invasion.

--

Radio talkshow host and propaganda miester for the Ministry of Bush Disinformation, Sean Hannity, likes to tell his devoted listeners that the invasion of Iraq was all about freedom and liberation. In July, he will host an event at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in Jackson, New Jersey, for "the Hannity Scholarship Fund, benefiting the children of those military men and women to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country and to those also wounded during the call of duty," according to his website. "It features a live broadcast of Sean's show followed by a concert with country stars Sara Evans and the Charlie Daniels Band, Darryl Worley and with special guest, Oliver North."

I suppose it's appropriate for Hannity to have Iran-Contra criminals and rednecks who sling mud at antiwar demonstrators at his gig. Even so, Hannity should start telling the truth about the Iraq invasion -- it was about oil, stupid.

"Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war," reports the Guardian. "The US deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz... has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is 'swimming' in oil... Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defense minister said: 'Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil'... Mr Wolfowitz's frank assessment of the importance of oil could not come at a worse time for the US and UK governments, which are both facing fierce criticism at home and abroad over allegations that they exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to justify the war."

Of course, he only admitted to half of it -- the other half is Israel. But we shouldn't expect any speeches fessing up to Wolfie's dual allegiance any time soon.

In regard to the oil admission, millions of antiwar demonstrators were right on the money in their assessments. Hannity and Limbaugh and all the other Bush apologists and lie spinners were dead wrong -- the Iraq invasion had nothing to do with WMD, or freedom and "liberation," and it had everything to do with stealing oil and mercenary work for Israel.

--


Photo: Martha Stewart. Yawn. Are you distracted yet?

--

As news of Bush's desire to declare war -- or rather invasion -- on substantial parts of the world unfolds, the Neocon Propaganda Ministry (a.k.a. Fox News) wastes bandwidth and the public airwaves (well, the public once owned them, now megacorps do, even more so, thanks to Colin Powell's son) babbling about a spoiled and essentially washed up television prima donna, Martha Stewart. It appears the "domestic taste-maker" will be "indicted in an insider-trading scandal that grew from her close relationship with the disgraced head of biotech firm ImClone Systems Inc." Really, who cares? If anybody should be standing in the docket, it's Bush's buddy and Enron master criminal, Kenny Boy Lay. In fact, Bush should be answering more than a few hard questions about his own shady dealings and stock irregularities. In the old days (say when Slick Willie was president), Congress would get up in arms over a little oral sex in the Oval Office. Now? You can bomb a country into a pre-industrial condition and people want to kiss your feet.

--

"The United States is said to be developing new plans for a war in North Korean that would bypass the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas and target the leadership in Pyongyang," reports the Sydney Morning Herald. "The plan is based on the success of US-led forces in Iraq in quickly reaching the capital, Baghdad."

Oh, I see. So Bush will attempt to bribe the Korean military the same way he bribed the Republican Guard? Sorry, Dubya. I don't think it will work. If the demented neocons try to attack North Korea, there will be hell to pay -- North Korea has an estimated 11,000 pieces of artillery aimed at the South Korean capital, Seoul, only 50 kilometers from the demilitarized zone. Kim Jung-il is crazed enough to use them, too. But then, really, Bush and Crew don't care about the death of thousands of Koreans anymore than they cared about the death of average Iraqis -- or, for that matter, the duped kids of America who joined the military and will now have to pay with Gulf War Syndrome II.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, "battle-hardened troops of the US army's 3rd Infantry Division will be sent into Falluja and Habaniya, west of Baghdad. The troops, who led the invasion of Iraq and the capture of Baghdad, will be backed up by 88 Abrams tanks and 44 Bradley fighting vehicles," according to the Guardian. "They will saturate the area with checkpoints and conduct search operations, targeting Ba'ath party supporters and other militias from the towns."

Translation: everybody who lives in and around Falluja and Habaniya will be subjected to having their doors kicked in and Israeli-like checkpoints set up. How long before the suicide bombers come out of the woodwork? How many US soldiers and Iraqis will have to die before the Bushites realize the obvious -- this occupation is a disaster.

"Military intelligence officers now say they do not think the opposition is centrally coordinated [in Falluja], so they are opting for a softer 'carrot-and-stick' approach that seeks to undercut support for the guerrillas," the LA Times reports.

Regrettably, these idiots didn't learn a thing in Vietnam -- it's impossible to defeat an enemy motivated by hatred for foreigners who occupy their land. They will fight to death.

As if to make sure there's more than enough pissed off Iraqis, the Bushites will soon "hand out pink slips to nearly half a million Iraqi military and civilian personnel, exacerbating an unemployment crisis that experts say could slow the pace of postwar reconstruction," writes the LA Times. " The layoffs will mean the loss of a government paycheck for roughly 1 in 10 Iraqi workers. The Bush administration hopes to soften the blow by making cash "termination payments" to members of Saddam Hussein's armed forces, Information Ministry employees and other government workers whose services are no longer wanted. The amount of the payments had not been announced."

That's because the amount will be squat.

Do you think that will be another half million people who will fill the streets demanding the US go home? Or maybe the Bushites expect them to stay home and watch TV -- that is if they have electricity.

"Where will those people be working? Where will they go? To the grave? To the street to live?" asked Saad Hamdani, soon to be former head of the foreign affairs branch of the Information Ministry's international department.

No, a whole lot of them will fight the Americans.

 
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