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The most successful tyranny
is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one
that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it
seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the
sense that there is an outside.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--
Faith of consciousness is freedom
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." [Cassiopaea, 09-28-02]
February 27, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
Newsweek's Iraq Report Falls on Deaf EarsYou gotta hand it to America's mass media: When war hangs in the balance, they sure know how to bury a story. After devoting thousands of network hours and oceans of ink to stories about "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, major U.S. news outlets did little but yawn in the days after the March 3 issue of Newsweek published an exclusive report on the subject – a piece headlined "The Defector's Secrets."
It's hard to imagine how any journalist on the war beat could read the article's lead without doing a double take: "Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein's inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them." The article was written by Newsweek national security correspondent John Barry, who has been with the magazine since 1985. After following the Iraq weapons story for a dozen years, he draws on in-depth knowledge – in stark contrast to the stenographic approach taken by most journalists on the beat, who seem content to relay the pronouncements coming out of Washington and the United Nations. "I think the whole issue of Iraq's weaponry has become steadily more impacted and complicated over the years," Barry told me in a Feb. 26 interview. People often have trouble making sense out of the "twists and turns of the arguments." And, Barry added, what's reported as "fact" provided by the U.S. government or the U.N. is in many cases mere "supposition."
Now, it's time for us to ask some loud questions about the U.S. media echo chamber. Such as: Is there anybody awake in there? Barry's potentially explosive story notes that "Kamel was Saddam Hussein's son-in-law and had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs." Making use of written documentation that Newsweek has verified as authentic, the article reports: "Kamel's revelations about the destruction of Iraq's WMD stocks were hushed up by the U.N. inspectors, sources say, for two reasons. Saddam did not know how much Kamel had revealed, and the inspectors hoped to bluff Saddam into disclosing still more. And Iraq has never shown the documentation to support Kamel's story. Still, the defector's tale raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist."
The Newsweek story came off the press on Sunday, Feb. 23. The next day, a would-be authoritative source – the Central Intelligence Agency – explained that it just wasn't so. "It is incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue," declared CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. For good measure, on the same day, a Reuters article quoted an unnamed "British government source" eager to contradict Newsweek's documented account of what Kamel had said. "We've checked back and he didn't say this," the source contended. "He said just the opposite, that the WMD program was alive and kicking." Under the unwritten rules of American media coverage, such denials tend to end the matter when the president and Congress have already decided that war is necessary.
It's not as if Kamel ranks as a nobody in media circles. Journalists and U.S. officials are fond of recounting that Saddam Hussein made sure he was quickly killed after the defector returned to Iraq following six months of voluntary exile. "Until now, Kamel has best been known for exposing Iraq's deceptions about how far its pre-Gulf War biological weapons programs had advanced," media analyst Seth Ackerman points out. He adds that Newsweek's story "is particularly noteworthy because hawks in the Bush administration have frequently referred to the Kamel episode as evidence that U.N. inspectors are incapable of disarming Iraq on their own." Ackerman cites a speech Dick Cheney made last August, when the vice president said that what occurred with Kamel "should serve as a reminder to all that we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself."
Accounts of Kamel's debriefing as a defector and his subsequent demise have often served to illustrate the dishonesty and brutality of Iraq's government. But now that other information has emerged about what he had to say, the fellow seems to be quite a bit less newsworthy.
A Coalition of the Coerced The White House has repeatedly claimed that it has assembled an anonymous number of allies to wage a war on Iraq, even without U.N. support. But who are these nations and why are they backing the U.S.? The Institute for Policy Studies has released a new study that shows just how the U.S. is using its economic and military muscle to coerce each member of the so-called "coalition of the willing." The authors, Middle East expert Phyllis Bennis, IPS Director John Cavanagh, and IPS Fellow Sarah Anderson, have compiled a list of 34 countries who belong to what is more appropriately described as a "coalition of the coerced" -- most of whom were recruited through bullying and bribes.
According to the study, leverage used by the White House includes military aid, training, membership in NATO, and in the case of Germany -- the threat to withdraw U.S. military bases. Economic pressure has been effective with countries dependent on development aid, negotiating "free trade" agreements, or raising tarrifs on countries like Mexico that depend on the U.S. market for 80 percent of its export sales. According to Bennis, "It's hardly a new phenomenon for the U.S. to use bribes and threats to get its way in the UN. What's new this time around is the breathtaking scale of those pressures -- because this time around, global public opinion has weighed in, and every government leaning Washington's way faces massive opposition at home."
Red Eyes, Green Teeth and Saliva…Millions of people around the world marched in anti-war demonstrations, all saying that war is not a solution, not in Iraq’s case. Yet somebody in the US administration is beating the drums of war and refusing to hear the voices of wisdom around the world, somebody who has dual loyalties and a different plan all together, somebody who sees this war as act one in a bigger play. The American administration has been trying to build a case against the Iraqi regime highlighting its human rights record and its violation of UN resolutions. But what is appalling about American policy is that everything that they have accused the Iraqi regime of doing has been the hallmark of all Israeli administrations since its foundation. Occupation, killings, illegal detention, assassinations, civilian transfers, annexation of land, destruction of land and property, imprisonment without trial, torture, mass killings (Deir Yassin, Subra-Shatila, Jenin and Qana are the known cases) economic terror, murder of civilians, UN representatives and medical workers.
This impressive record has the blessing of the US government, which supplies Israel with military, economic, political and intelligence aid. US monetary aid to Israel totals $135 billion, an appalling figure considering the number of Israeli citizens (6 million). What is to follow is a grandiose plan to restructure the entire Middle East, its political systems, values and geography. These visions come from Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and others who put Israel’s interests above everything else.
People of this dubious caliber nonetheless go on blathering about reforms, freedom, and liberalization in the Middle East. God knows that the region needs it, as so many Arab and Muslim intellectuals as well as ordinary people have been saying for so long. But who appointed these characters as spokesmen for progress? And what gives them the right to pontificate in so shameless a manner when there are already so many injustices and abuses in their own country to be fixed? Richard Perle is about as unqualified an individual as it is imaginable to be on the subjects of freedom and democracy, having been an election consultant to Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing administration from 1996-99, a time when he advised the extremist Israelis to cancel any and all peace plans, to annex the West Bank and Gaza, and to exile as many Palestinians as possible. Now this man is talking about introducing democracy to the Middle East and getting away with it, without the faintest objection from any of the media folk who give him airtime on global television.
The Palestinian land today is witnessing mass famine; there is a health crisis of unimaginable proportions; there are civilians dying at an average of 20 people a week; the economy has been destroyed; hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are jobless, and cannot study or move about as curfews and at least 300 barricades impede their regular lives. Homes are blown up or bulldozed on a regular basis. And all of it is done with US equipment, US political support and US financing. Bush has declared that Sharon — a war criminal and a mass murderer by any standard — is a man of peace. That is like spitting on the graves of innocent Palestinians. If there is a moral argument for Saddam’s removal, there is a stronger one for the removal of Ariel Sharon.
You're Not Crazy, The World Is Falling Apart Yes, there's good reason to be confused. Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's nephew refuses to be drafted while his uncle all but threatens to attack Belgium for its OK to prosecute Ariel Sharon for war crimes when he leaves office. NATO is, or will soon be, dead. France, Germany and Russia are sponsoring a Security Council resolution to prevent what France has called "an illegitimate war". Turkey, with 85% of its people opposing the invasion, is extorting the U.S. blind as budget deficit projections leave orbit. Ari Fleischer is hysterically laughed out of the White House Press room by reporters after insisting with a straight face that George W. Bush would never bribe another country for a vote. Americans are renaming French fries as Liberty fries while the larger powers Germany and Russia - who make France's stance credible - stand back and let France take both the heat - et la gloire!
Aside from the tense laughter over words we have real threats. In Colombia, FARC guerillas shoot down a CIA contract plane; kill one occupant and hold three others hostage while President Bush uses statutory authority to send 150 more Green Berets to follow the 70 he just sent. North Korea is having the time of its life cutting business deals with China and Seoul while using its possibly one nuclear weapon to make the U.S. divert bombers and elements of the 1st Air Cavalry away from the Gulf. In the Philippines Abu Sayyaf rebels prompt the U.S. to commit 1,700 more troops to take an active role in the fighting. And the U.S. is now sending 10,000 troops to the Dominican Republic for a training exercise that looks much more like preparation for intervention in either Venezuela or Colombia.
The Lilliputians know how to deal with Gulliver and Gulliver is having a real hard time.
What of Bush himself? The Washington Post tells us that U.S. embassies around the globe are inundating Washington with cables saying that the world both hates and mistrusts this "dry drunk", megalomaniac who would be laughable except for the fact that he represents a power structure as demented as he is. As if to go Tony Blair - who recently plagiarized a graduate research paper to compile his sensitive intelligence dossier on Iraq - "one better", George W. recently cited figures to support his tax cut from a report that doesn't exist. He was caught in that lie by NewsDay's James Toedtman. And retired Air Force Chief of Staff Tony McPeak is publicly saying on a Portland, Oregon TV station that Bush should admit he's made a mistake and that, as far as Iraq is concerned, "I regard the nuclear threat as zero. I regard the connection between Saddam and al-Qaida as less than zero." As The Sydney Herald tells us that 114 countries are urging the United States to back down from the invasion, Capitol Hill Blue is reporting that senior Bush advisors are quietly trying to find a way out of war with Iraq now that they have realized that it is a no-win situation.
"What's happening? We don't get it!"
would if you had been listening to what we have been saying for
eighteen months. Peak Oil is here. The world is starting to run
out. There is no more oil to find and what's left can't be put into
your gas tank or our power generating stations quickly. Global
production capacity is stretched like a rubber band about to break
and the slightest hiccup in world oil production will crash the
global economy like a Styrofoam cup under an elephant's foot at a
Rave party. Don't believe me? Well then perhaps recent warnings by
Goldman Sachs and James Baker might. Those warnings, and an
incredibly precise economic analysis by Marshall Auerback,
published by The Prudent Bear
Worse, countries like India and Pakistan have announced a version of panic buying to build up their reserves before the war. This places a further strain on production capacity. With the invasion, if the Iraqi supply is interrupted for just a month then the markets will see the light and there will be a capitulation sell-off on Wall Street that might take the Dow down to 4000. Ten million could be unemployed inside of six months. U.S. reserves are at 27 year lows and the administration is prepared to open up our Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) which can sustain the US for about 75 days. Tap into the SPR and what do you think prices will do? And if prices double or triple what do you think will happen to your job? Your checkbook?
Gas prices have not yet begun to rise. This is what FTW has been saying since October of 2001. There may soon come a day when we will all look back on $2 gas the way I look back on the 28 cent premium gas I bought in 1969. Now think for a moment what happens if the U.S. backs down, as I think it should. 36% of all the proven recoverable reserves in the world are in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Not all oil reserves are recoverable. Only lunatics believe that wells, pipelines and refineries are already in place and paid for in the smaller fields that have not been developed. A perceived American power vacuum would unleash a polite, at first, but ultimately frantic, scramble for Saudi and Iraqi oil in the full knowledge that whoever loses out will be the first civilization to collapse; the first of many.
Yes, it all makes perfect
Iraq to Destroy Al-Samoud Missiles, Iraq will destroy its Al- Samoud-2 missiles as ordered by the United Nations, Egypt's state-owned news agency reported, citing Baghdad-based Iraqi government officials. Iraq will announce later today that it will destroy the missiles, the Iraqi officials said, according to the Middle East News Agency. Iraq's agreement to destroy the missiles is to avoid giving a pretext for a U.S.-led war on Iraq, the officials said. The UN has said that the missiles violate Security Council resolutions because they have the capacity to travel more than the 150 kilometers (93 miles) allowed for defensive purposes. Comment: There ya go, no reason for war, what will the Bush warmongers cook up next as a pretext?
Baghdad says US has put pressure on Blix Iraq reacted with frustration and anger after the latest report by Hans Blix, the UN's chief weapons inspector, accused Baghdad of offering "very limited'' co-operation on disarmament. Senior officials claimed Mr Blix was acting under pressure from the United States. A few days earlier he had described Iraqi co-operation as "substantive''. Mr Blix's report, confirmed by UN sources, says: "Iraq could have made greater efforts to find any remaining proscribed items or provide credible evidence showing the absence of such items. The result, in terms of disarmament, has been very limited so far. The destruction of missiles, which is an important operation, has not yet begun." A senior Iraqi foreign ministry official said: "Just two days ago Mr Blix was saying that we were being positive, and there were steps which need to be explored. So why this now? This is American pressure. We know that before he spoke to the United Nations last time he was called in by Condoleezza Rice [the US National Security Adviser]. He must be under constant pressure from the Americans who just want a war." Read more
A Security Council on the Run With its vaguely worded "second resolution" proposal for the UN Security Council, the United States is showing contempt for the UN and laying down a humiliating dare to any Council members who would defy it. If and when it is passed, it will also hand Washington's only real ally, Tony Blair, an opening to claim UN authorization for attacking Iraq – although the proposed wording does no such thing.
Neither did the previous UN resolutions, by the way. The rest of the world never believed that either 687 (passed after the Gulf War) or the more recent 1441 gave the U.S. and the UK a right to attack Iraq. Before resolution 1441 was passed, the other members successfully insisted there should be another meeting of the Council to determine whether or not Iraq had culpably failed to cooperate with the UN inspectors. It was why the French at the time insisted there would have to be a second resolution to authorize force, since existing resolutions did not do so. But the Anglo-American draft is certainly not the second resolution that Paris asked for. It does not specifically authorize force, nor indeed mention it. It merely notes that "Iraq has submitted a declaration pursuant to its resolution 1441 (2002) containing false statements and omissions and has failed to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, that resolution." The statement concludes that the Security Council "acting under Chapter VII of the charter of the United Nations, decides that Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it in resolution 1441." There is no explicit reference to the "serious consequences" threatened in 1441, let alone a definition of what they would be, or who is authorized to deliver these consequences. The wording leaves a lot of room for creative ambiguity, allowing Tony Blair to innocently describe the resolution as a "last push for peace."
The U.S. and the UK think they can browbeat Council members into supporting the resolution by saying it is not a war resolution, then use it as a carte blanche to start the war. Its allusive and elusive wording derives from Washington's insistence it can act under powers granted in the cease-fire resolution 687 passed after the Gulf War and that, in matters of "national interest," it has the right to do as it pleases. The fate of the resolution is not going to change Washington's plans to attack Iraq. The U.S. and the UK have both told the Security Council they are going ahead with the war irrespective of what its members say. According to one diplomat quoted in the Washington Post, the U.S. Administration has told the other states, "That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the Council will go along with it or not."
There is, of course, the matter of disposing of the other alternatives on the council's table. The counterproposal made by France, Germany and Russia says, "(T)he military option should only be a last resort. So far, the conditions for using force against Iraq are not fulfilled: While suspicions remain, no evidence has been given that Iraq still possesses weapons of mass destruction or capabilities in this field." It says that there should be added efforts to reach a peaceful solution. The counter-initiative does not preclude the use of force against Iraq, but effectively puts it on the backburner until mid-summer, when it is generally considered to be too hot to fight. Bush, unfortunately, is prepared to follow the dictates of the weather rather than heed the antiwar opinions of much of the rest of the world, as well as the pro-UN caution expressed by a majority of Americans. The Canadian proposal, floated in the open Security Council debate a week ago is actually far more efficient than the French one, in every sense. It proposes that the inspectors set up a series of benchmarks the Iraqis have to meet, with a tight deadline set around the end of March. Failure to meet these assigned goals would trigger serious consequences.
This Canadian proposal is attracting a lot of support since it addresses the widespread perception among council members that Iraq is not cooperating "in substance," as the UN inspectors allege. If the U.S. and the UK were to back the Canadian proposal, it would win a majority on the Council and very likely avoid any vetoes. However, the U.S. has spurned the measure, thanks again to weather-related considerations. But since the administration has decided it wants a second resolution as a fig leaf for a decision it has already made, Washington is resorting to diplomacy, Texas-style. While Turkey, adroitly exploiting its strategic position, is chewing on billions of juicy carrots, the rest of the world is getting the stick – though in the case of the major players like Germany, Russia, and France, the big-stick approach has already provoked more resistance than cooperation. For example, sending uber-aggressive Undersecretary of State John Bolton to Moscow is the type of diplomacy that started the Hundred Years' War, not ended it.
Sadly, though, the stick does work well with many UN members, and the degree of resistance put up by a country is generally in inverse proportion to its GDP, but also strongly correlated with its trade ties to the United States. With Bulgaria, Washington emphasized the need for Senate authorization of its NATO membership. But if it toes the line, Bulgaria has also been promised that the new democratic and independent Iraq will pay off its pre-Gulf War debts. When Paris promptly pointed out the potential difficulties it may face in gaining entry into the European Union, the poor Bulgarians looked like rabbits caught in the headlights – as indeed do many of their colleagues at the moment. So will this resolution pass? Certainly not if it were a secret ballot! But even so, France has certainly sent a number of clear signals indicating its willingness to compromise. Neither French President Jacques Chirac nor Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has rejected the military option. However, Washington is not interested in offering easy climb-downs for uppity Europeans and may yet provoke a very reluctant France to use its veto. If France does not veto the resolution, then the Russians and Chinese almost certainly will not do so. In fact, Chirac is probably fervently hoping that Saddam Hussein refuses to destroy the Al-Samoud 2 missiles as ordered by Blix. It would provide a great opportunity to climb down from the pole of principle up which he has climbed, and which he can't otherwise slide down because of all the other countries that followed him up there! So what is the timetable? The UK and US have graciously allowed the other members two weeks or so to regain their senses. Bush is going to war, possibly with the dubious authorization of the new resolution sometime in the middle of March, after Hans Blix reports back earlier in the month. In the weeks of diplomatic posturing to come, it is important to keep in mind certain important facts. It does not really matter that the resolution does actually mention war, since like Humpty Dumpty, for this President, a resolution "means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less." Nor will it matter if the resolution fails to pass, because, as the same rotund pundit also said, "The question is, which is to be master – that's all."
White House Concedes That Counterterror Budget Is Meager Responding to criticism from Democrats and to the mounting concern of state and local governments, the White House is now saying that the long delayed government spending plan for the year does not provide enough money to protect against terrorist attacks on American soil. Read more Comment: Yet there are billions available to invade Iraq, a country that has never threatened the US.
Camps for US Citizens?: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty Republished from: LA Times 08/14/02
Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace. Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants. The proposed camp plan should trigger immediate congressional hearings and reconsideration of Ashcroft's fitness for this important office. Whereas Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens, Ashcroft has become a clear and present threat to our liberties.
The camp plan was forged at an optimistic time for Ashcroft's small inner circle, which has been carefully watching two test cases to see whether this vision could become a reality. The cases of Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi will determine whether U.S. citizens can be held without charges and subject to the arbitrary and unchecked authority of the government. Hamdi has been held without charge even though the facts of his case are virtually identical to those in the case of John Walker Lindh. Both Hamdi and Lindh were captured in Afghanistan as foot soldiers in Taliban units. Yet Lindh was given a lawyer and a trial, while Hamdi rots in a floating Navy brig in Norfolk, Va.
This week, the government refused to comply with a federal judge who ordered that he be given the underlying evidence justifying Hamdi's treatment. The Justice Department has insisted that the judge must simply accept its declaration and cannot interfere with the president's absolute authority in "a time of war." In Padilla's case, Ashcroft initially claimed that the arrest stopped a plan to detonate a radioactive bomb in New York or Washington, D.C. The administration later issued an embarrassing correction that there was no evidence Padilla was on such a mission. What is clear is that Padilla is an American citizen and was arrested in the United States--two facts that should trigger the full application of constitutional rights.
Ashcroft hopes to use his self-made "enemy combatant" stamp for any citizen whom he deems to be part of a wider terrorist conspiracy. Perhaps because of his discredited claims of preventing radiological terrorism, aides have indicated that a "high-level committee" will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps. Few would have imagined any attorney general seeking to reestablish such camps for citizens. Of course, Ashcroft is not considering camps on the order of the internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese American citizens in World War II. But he can be credited only with thinking smaller; we have learned from painful experience that unchecked authority, once tasted, easily becomes insatiable.
We are only now getting a full vision of Ashcroft's America. Some of his predecessors dreamed of creating a great society or a nation unfettered by racism. Ashcroft seems to dream of a country secured from itself, neatly contained and controlled by his judgment of loyalty. For more than 200 years, security and liberty have been viewed as coexistent values. Ashcroft and his aides appear to view this relationship as lineal, where security must precede liberty. Since the nation will never be entirely safe from terrorism, liberty has become a mere rhetorical justification for increased security. Ashcroft is a catalyst for constitutional devolution, encouraging citizens to accept autocratic rule as their only way of avoiding massive terrorist attacks.
His greatest problem has been preserving a level of panic and fear that would induce a free people to surrender the rights so dearly won by their ancestors. In "A Man for All Seasons," Sir Thomas More was confronted by a young lawyer, Will Roper, who sought his daughter's hand. Roper proclaimed that he would cut down every law in England to get after the devil. More's response seems almost tailored for Ashcroft: "And when the last law was down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast ... and if you cut them down--and you are just the man to do it--do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"
Every generation has had Ropers and Ashcrofts who view our laws and traditions as mere obstructions rather than protections in times of peril. But before we allow Ashcroft to denude our own constitutional landscape, we must take a stand and have the courage to say, "Enough." Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending.
February 26, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
America is not what we have been lead to believe it is. America is not the land of the free. America is not the greatest democracy on earth, it is not the peace keeper of the world. Of course this comes as a shock to many, but that is simply a testimony to the efforts that have been made to keep these truths from the people. There is evidence a plenty, but it is not reported, so naturally how could we have known. We are all guilty of the atrocities that have been carried out by the US and other countries over the past century through our desire to believe the fantasy that all was right with the world and when it wasnt, we were on the side of righteousness. This time has passed, perhaps for the first time there is now an opportunity to see what really IS, however some effort is required on our part, we must be willing to identify and, if for a moment only, suspend the programming we have all unwittingly been subjected to by our governments and media and open our eyes to the reality of the world we live in and the men that are steering it down the road to perdition. Let the truth prevail, for a change
Shock and Yawn Plan could kill millions in 48 hours -- why don't Americans care? Exactly a month ago Pentagon planner Harlan Ullman, in a CBS-TV interview, publicly revealed for the first time the Pentagon's "Shock and Awe" plan for its assault upon Iraq, should (or when) George W. Bush orders it. Ullman's information was subsequently confirmed by a number of sources; it's for real. Here is what I wrote about it in my column of January 30: "The plan includes simultaneous ground invasions from north and south... It also includes a sudden decimation of Baghdad by raining down on its people, in two days, over 800 cruise missiles -- more than were used in the entire Gulf War. Ullman... characterized the Baghdad assault thusly: `You have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons of Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but minutes.' It would be a firestorm, a Dresden or Tokyo with 60 years of new technology. It would be a war crime of quick and staggering proportions.
"Such a plan, of course, makes a mockery of Donald Rumsfeld's ritual insistence that the Pentagon takes enormous care to avoid civilian casualties; the plan apparently is to kill a staggering percentage of Baghdad's civilian population in the first day alone. ... The name refers to the demoralizing effect such an attack would have on Iraqis, an effect, presumably, similar to the instant (although already planned) surrender of Japan after the gratuitous bombing of Hiroshima (and even more gratuitous bombing of Nagasaki. But those were, both military and diplomatically, demonstration attacks -- suggesting what could be done to the imperial rulers themselves and to Tokyo, a city far more valuable and populous than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.
Now, those plans, and sentiments of horror similar to mine, have been echoing around the Internet for a month; they've been featured extensively in alternative publications that have come out during that time. Which is precisely the problem. The United States is planning to suck all the oxygen out of the air with a fireball over the heads of the five million residents of Baghdad -- so that, as another Pentagon interviewee said, "nobody in Baghdad will be safe," whether above ground or below. This has been well-documented public knowledge for a month, widely reported in the rest of the world. But in America it has been roundly ignored, confined to the fringes of the media landscape and probably, by many Americans, dismissed as a result as conspiracist nonsense.
This raises two questions:
1) Are Americans -- politicians, media executives, and ordinary citizens -- so numb, or oblivious, or callous to the horrors of war that we cannot raise ourselves to be bothered by what would be, if it works as planned, one of the greatest massacres, one of the greatest war crimes, in the history of the world, committed in our name and with our money?
Forgetting for a moment those apparently irrelevant concerns about
millions of innocent lives, war crime tribunals, and the like, do
America's war planners seriously think such an action would
decrease the motivation or effectiveness of terrorists, who are
presumably the target of the "War on Terror" and who will most
certainly not be in Baghdad? (More, in fact, are likely to be
huddled in any major American city. Perhaps we should preemptively
bomb Philadelphia or Houston.)
Microsoft Update Spy? “A group in Germany has deciphered the information sent to Microsoft during an update using Windows Update and says that information on all software installed on your computer is sent, even that which is not Microsoft's own software."
Labour MPs revolt over Iraq - Biggest revolt of Blair's
‘Massive Ordnance Air Burst’ Bomb Set to Go if War Begins As the United States approaches the possibility of war with Iraq, military sources say there will be a major effort to cripple Iraq's air defenses in both these zones and in the south, to take out surface-to-surface missiles that pose a threat to American troops in Kuwait. Preparations for war appear to be nearly complete. Military sources say all the ships the Navy needs to go to war are in the region — nearly 100 of them, including five aircraft carrier battle groups. In the next several weeks, the Air Force will fly in the last 100 to 150 of its planes — including B-2 stealth bombers early next week. That will bring the total of American aircraft — Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — to about 900. As for U.S. troops, there are now 210,000 in the region from the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps. In the next two weeks, 50,000 more are expected.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was asked how long this massive U.S. force could just sit there. "It is very clear that once you flow the forces it's stressful to maintain them for a long period of time," Rumsfeld said. "It is clearly preferable to be engaged in Iraq in the period other than the summer." Temperatures begin climbing to summer levels in April. When and if the United States does go to war, military sources say the United States is preparing a monster new weapon to be used during the first nights. It's called MOAB, short for "massive ordnance air burst" bomb. It is a modern, bigger version of the 15,000-pound "Daisy Cutter" used in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and Afghanistan. Sources say MOAB — still experimental — is a 21,000-pound bomb that will be pushed out the back of a C-130 transport and guided by satellite. Because it is not dropped by parachute, as was the old Daisy Cutter, the aircraft can let it go from far higher altitudes, making it safer for U.S. pilots. The MOAB's massive explosive punch, sources say, is similar to a small nuclear weapon. It is intended to obliterate a command center hidden in tunnels and bunkers or a concentration of Iraqi tanks. Whatever the target, it must be far from cities where civilians might be hurt. But one important aspect of using this type of weapon, sources say, will be psychological impact on enemy troops. It is intended to terrorize Iraqi troops, drastically reducing their desire to continue the fight. Comment: Isnt it wonderful to see the barely disguised glee at this hideous weapon of mass destruction. Rumsfeld must wet his pants at the thought of the destruction and death it can deliver.
America will declare war against Iraq regardless of how the United Nations Security Council votes, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, said Tuesday. Rockefeller, who returned to the country Saturday following a week-long visit to Pakistan, Kuwait and Afghanistan, said based on private conversations he's had with President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others in the administration, he believes war with Iraq is inevitable. "I think the president has made up his mind, and whether we get the votes or don't get the votes, I think we're going to go to war," the senator said, adding Bush "made up his mind a long time ago ..." Rockefeller said he's convinced that internationally the "tide is turning against" the U.S., partly because of what Rockefeller called a certain "bravado" in Bush's overseas policies. "It's sort of a coming together of years of resentment about the United States as now the only world super power," he said."The president has put forth a ... pre-emptive philosophy (that the U.S. can) spread democracy and freedom wherever we want. "It plays very badly out there. They think we're arrogant," the senator said.
Rockefeller said although he would support the U.S. in a time of war and offered support to troops already in the Gulf, he was critical of Bush's policies on diplomacy. So far, Great Britain, Spain and Bulgaria are the only other countries on the 15-member Security Council expressing support for a U.S. invasion of Iraq. Germany, France, Russia and China have expressed strong disapproval. Rockefeller said the support of other countries is necessary to fight a successful war against Iraq and terrorist groups, including al-Qaida. Leaders of Islamic countries who choose to offer aid to the United States are quietly walking a political tightrope because most of their citizens are anti-American, Rockefeller said. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who recently aided the U.S. in taking 483 al-Qaida members out of circulation, is one such leader, the senator added.
"He has to toe the line because so many of his people are against (supporting the United States)," Rockefeller said. "He is doing about as well as he could possibly do, and he is taking risks - believe me, he is taking risks." Anti-Israel sentiment is also strong in Islamic countries, Rockefeller reported. "Every single person we talked to in those countries (mentioned Israel)," he said. Regarding a U.S. invasion of Iraq, Middle Eastern opposition is two-tiered, the senator reported. "Their public position is, they're not for it," he said. "Privately, they despise (Saddam Hussein), and they fear (Saddam Hussein) and they fear what they know he has in chemical and biological weapons. "So they have to be careful."
Concentration Camps in Okanagon County? Okanogan County Commissioner Dave Schulz says he's convinced his county is a designated home for a "concentration camp'' in case of civil unrest. Schulz says he has copies of documents, although he hasn't been able to confirm the rumor. Federal officials say they have no idea where the commissioner got the notion of civilian detention camps. A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman says it sounds like an urban legend and a Pentagon spokesman says he's not aware of any planned camps in Okanogan County or elsewhere. Rumors of planned U.S. detention facilities appear on dozens of Web sites. Schulz says he thinks the plan has been written in the event of a national emergency where martial law is necessary, and hopes it never becomes necessary. Comment: "National emergency"? The US government is an old hand at creating one of those!
The Reign Of Terror Has Begun Fear among the Iraqi people must be enormous at this moment. Terror is at their doorsteps; terror from an America ready for war, ready to punish them for the sins of a president they never elected. Some 200,000 U.S. troops, equipped with the most expensive killing machines money can buy, are already in the region and the inexorable process of mobilization continues. As so many signs now confirm, the issue is no longer whether war will be launched, but when. And Iraqis wonder what horrors will ensue once George W. Bush issues his decision. How many tons of bombs will rain down on Iraq this time? In the last war against Iraq Americans flew 110,000 aerial sorties, one every thirty seconds, and dropped 88,000 tons of explosives -- equivalent to seven Hiroshimas. With deadly laser-guided bombs the first wave will go straight to presidential places, bridges, communication posts, electrical generating stations, and water treatment plants. The second will target TV stations, and any official buildings not destroyed in the first wave. And so the reign of terror will continue.
Iraqis have no defense against the American attack: no intelligence, no secure communication lines, or air power; and little ammunition, or working defense weapons to speak of. Thanks to more than a decade of punishing sanctions, they have no food reserves, clean water, or medical supplies with which to maintain any effective resistance. And not one competent military analyst remains under the illusion that even Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard could stand for long against American fire-power. The impending American invasion of Iraq is a classic example of the kind of power inequity that enables a superpower to invade the territory and integrity of a smaller, weaker nation, killing and wounding thousands of innocent civilians; destroying and occupying its infrastructure; then installing its own military rule with no fear of reprisal whatsoever.
What kind of debased morality has inspired George W. Bush to order young Americans -- mostly Blacks, Hispanics, and others from America's poorest families --to march into Baghdad? What gargantuan arrogance has convinced him that he can intimidate, bribe or threaten any nation, including Canada, who dares to challenge his mad march to war at any cost? America will not kill everyone in Iraq, but enough will die through intentional and collateral damage that survivors will be haunted by terror for the rest of their lives. As recently as last month, two separate reports were issued about the grim humanitarian situation in Iraq, both based on work done by on-site research teams. In combination with a current UN report on the likely humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people in a post-conflict situation, these reports paint an alarming picture of the impact of an American-led invasion on an already debilitated society.
The UN estimates that today, some 60 per cent of the Iraqi population -- or 16 million people -- are "highly dependent" on a monthly food aid package, without which "they have no other means... to provide for other essential requirements." With major bridges destroyed by bombing, and road transportation seriously affected, food distribution under war conditions will quickly dwindle. The UN report estimates that the nutritional status of some 3 million people throughout the country "will be dire" and warns they "will require therapeutic feeding." The same report also estimates that war will create some 900,000 Iraqi refugees "requiring assistance," adding that this number "may in fact be higher." Direct and indirect casualties resulting from conflict are estimated at 500,000.
Until recently, various UN agencies mandated to alleviate humanitarian problems in the aftermath of military confrontations, have been strangely silent about the expected impact of an Iraq war. The fact that they are now breaking that silence ominously suggests that war is imminent. According to the UN high commissioner for refugees, the number expected to flee from Iraq when the fighting begins is estimated at between 500,000 and 600,000. Half of them will be Shi'ites from southern Iraq, seeking shelter in Iran. Many others would be Kurds from northern Iraq, fleeing to Turkey, while Sunnis would head for Syria and Jordan. As with the last war, Saudi Arabia is expected to reject Iraqi refugees within its borders, but may assist in financing their relocation elsewhere.
On the domestic front, in a desperate attempt to link Iraq with Al-Qaeda, the American administration raised its national terrorism alert status from "elevated risk" to "high risk," in response to "specific intelligence" suggesting an increased probability of attack. Enough fear has been built up in the American public that a recent pepper spray incident in a crowded night club was mistaken for a chemical attack. Hysteria took over, with fatal results. American peace crusader Ramsey Clark has warned, Until we recognize that all human beings are equal in every way to our children and to ourselves, [America] will see no wrong in using violence to control and destroy those we believe to be inferior. I doubt that George W. Bush understands an iota of what Clark is talking about.
May God save America and the world from the likes of America's president. The real reign of terror against Iraq has already begun. Comment: A heavy price will be paid by those responsible.
Decisions, decisions Americans are from Mars, Europeans
are from Venus. So says the latest hot polemic exciting
transatlantic policy types: Robert Kagan's Paradise and Power, a
meditation on how Europeans have grown soft and idealistic (and
feminine) while the Yanks remain tough, booted and aware (like real
men) of how brutal a place the world can be. According to Kagan,
our outlooks have grown so far apart that it's time we stopped
pretending we even "occupy the same world". We are from different
It might be a simple function of power. We sit back making abstract, moral judgments while they, as the nation poised to do the business, concern themselves with practicalities. We are not quite spectators - 40,000 Brits will be involved, after all - but nor do we have the prime spot in the dugout, making the key decisions. Those will be made in Washington. Whatever the explanation, the gulf between us is real. The op-ed pages of the American papers have the odd thumb-suck on the rights and wrongs of prising Saddam out by force, but their more pressing interest (besides pouring bile on the surrender monkeys of France and Germany) is in the task that will face the great US Army of Liberation once its initial work is done.
There is, for example, an argument about personnel. Should the American governor-general ruling newly free Iraq be a civilian - perhaps the former nuclear weapons inspector, David Kay, or Bush-friendly lawyer Michael Mobbs - or a soldier? Surely a man in a suit would smack less of military occupation, and therefore be the more tactful choice? On the other hand, a uniformed viceroy might repeat the magic worked when Douglas MacArthur oversaw Japan. If that's the precedent, then retired lieutenant general and veteran of the first Gulf war, Jay Garner, would be a frontrunner. Or would it be smarter-to- name, Arabic-speaking Lebanese-American General John Abizaid, amusingly known as "Mad Arab" to his colleagues? Such are the dilemmas preoccupying pre-occupier America.
There are mechanical questions to ponder, too. Which system would work best? If not a formal military occupation, perhaps a Kosovo-style civilian administration? Or an interim government made up, à la Afghanistan, of multiple opposition groups, returned to Iraq after decades of exile? Or would it be more convenient simply to replace Saddam with a new strongman: whether a former Ba'athist suitably made over and rebranded as "pro-western" or an outsider, like Jordan's Prince Hassan, a cousin of Iraq's last king who was assassinated in 1958? Decisions, decisions. And the US will, barring the most dramatic change of heart by either Saddam Hussein or George Bush, be making them soon. What they will turn on will be more than operational matters of efficiency. They will go instead to the heart of why America is fighting this war. For if this conflict's chief aim is what the new, second UN resolution claims it to be - the simple disarmament of Iraq - then any postwar settlement would be devised around that objective: perhaps a new, compliant dictator would do that job best. If the goal is the one touted by Tony Blair in recent days as the moral case - namely, liberation from tyranny - then only a fresh, democratic start will do.
If, however, the American victors insist on a much more robust level of US control - restructuring Iraq entirely, studding it with countless military bases - then we could start drawing rather different conclusions as to the true motive of this campaign. We might agree with those who detect in the Iraq adventure the opening move of a much grander American design: the establishing of US hegemony for the next 100 years. This is not just twitchy, anti-war conspiracy talk. An outfit exists on 17th Street in Washington, DC, called the Project for the New American Century, explicitly committed to US mastery of the globe for the coming age. Its acolytes speak of "full spectrum dominance", meaning American invincibility in every field of warfare - land, sea, air and space - and a world in which no two nations' relationship with each other will be more important than their relationship with the US. There will be no place on earth, or the heavens for that matter, where Washington's writ does not run supreme. To that end, a ring of US military bases should surround China, with liberation of the People's Republic considered the ultimate prize. As one enthusiast puts it concisely: "After Baghdad, Beijing."
If this sounds like the
harmless delusions of an eccentric fringe, think again. The founder
members of the project, launched in 1997 as a Republican assault on
the Clinton presidency, form a rollcall of today's Bush inner
circle. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush,
Richard Perle - they're all there. So too is Zalmay Khalilzad, now
the White House's "special envoy and ambassador-at-large for free
Iraqis". It will not be the war
itself which will reveal these ultras' true intent. That would be
fought the same way whatever the underlying motive: overwhelming
force aimed at a swift decapitation of the Iraqi regime. But the
postwar occupation will reveal plenty. Then we will know if the
hawkish dreamers of the project have indeed taken over US foreign
policy. How they remake free Iraq will tell us whether they plan to
remake the world.
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