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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]
March 1 , 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!
Did Saddam Hussein Gas His Own People? Reality Checks Needed During War Halabja (pop. 80,000) is a small Kurdish city in northern Iraq. On Wednesday, the Star reminded readers that Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army killed 5,000 Kurds in a 1988 chemical weapons attack on Halabja near the end of a bloody, eight-year war with Iran. The statement that Saddam was responsible for gassing the Kurds — his own people — was straightforward. Indeed, U.S. President George W. Bush has used similar language about the disaster at Halabja in making a case for a military strike to oust Saddam. Yet the Star also reported, in a Jan. 31 Opinion page column, that there's reason to believe the story about Saddam "gassing his own people" at Halabja may not even be true. Curious about those contradictory reports, and prodded by Star reader Bill Hynes, the ombud decided to examine how this paper covered the Halabja story 15 years ago, when Washington was tilting toward Saddam's side in the Iran-Iraq war. The Star's early coverage was skimpy. I found no breaking news story about the March 16, 1988 gas attack on the city. But four days later, a Reuters News Agency dispatch (filed from Cyprus) said Kurds, fighting on the Iranian side, had managed to seize Halabja and nearby villages "where Iran has accused Iraq of using chemical weapons against Kurds."
Two days later, Reuters reported, Iran was alleging that 5,000 Kurds were killed by chemical bombs dropped on Halabja by the Iraqi Air Force. Iranian officials put injured Iraqi civilians on display to back up their charges. An Iranian doctor said mustard gas and "some agent causing long-term damage" had been deployed. Burn victim Ahmad Karim, 58, a street vendor from Halabja, told a reporter: "We saw the (Iraqi) planes come and use chemical bombs. I smelled something like insecticide." Two weeks later, the fog of war over Halabja thickened a little when the Star ran a Reuters story saying a United Nations team had examined Iraqi and Iranian civilians who had been victims of mustard gas and nerve gas. "But the two-man team did not say how or by whom the weapons had been used," the Reuters story said. It explained that Iraq and Iran were accusing each other of using poison gas in violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol against chemical weapons.
In September, 1988, the Star quoted an unnamed U.N. official as saying the Security Council chose to condemn the use of gas in the Iran-Iraq war rather than finger Iraq, generally believed to have lost the war with Iran. The same story said Iraq's claims that Iran also had used chemical weapons "have not been verified." Buried in that story by freelancer Trevor Rowe was an intriguing piece of information. Rowe reported the Iraqi forces had attacked Halabja when it "was occupied by Iranian troops. Five thousand Kurdish civilians were reportedly killed." Let's fast-forward to Jan. 31 of this year, when The New York Times published an opinion piece by Stephen C. Pelletiere, the CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq during the 1980s. In the article, Pelletiere said the only thing known for certain was that "Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds."
Pelletiere said the gassing occurred during a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. "Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town ... The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target," he wrote. The former CIA official revealed that immediately after the battle the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report that said it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds. Both sides used gas at Halabja, Pelletiere suggested. "The condition of the dead Kurds' bodies however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent — that is, a cyanide-based gas — which Iran was known to use. The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time."
War Crime Or an Act of War?" was the way The Times' headline writer
neatly summed up Pelletiere's argument. No doubt, Saddam has
mistreated Kurds during his rule. But it's misleading to say, so
simply and without context, that he killed his own people by
gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja. The fog of war that enveloped the
battle at Halabja in 1988 never really lifted. With a new war
threatening in Iraq, it's coming back stronger than ever.
Journalists risking their lives to cover an American-led attack on
Iraq would face many obvious obstacles in trying to get at the
truth. In light of that, editors need to consider assigning staff
back home to do reality checks on claims and counter-claims made in
the fog of war. As our retrospective on the Halabja story suggests,
the bang-bang coverage — gripping though it may be —
may not be enough to get the job done.
U.S says Saddam must go into exile The White House said on Friday that the only way to prevent war in Iraq would be to disarm the country AND depose Saddam Hussein. At the same time, Russia’s foreign minister threatened to veto a UN Security Council resolution that says Iraq has missed its last chance of avoiding war. The hardening of positions on both sides increases the pressure on the six uncommitted members of the Security Council, who have looked to the work of Hans Blix, one of the chief UN weapons inspectors, for guidance on Iraqi compliance. Blix’s latest report, formally delivered to council members Friday, gives ammunition to both sides and does not offer the kind of unambiguous judgment that could help resolve the doubts of those who are wavering. France and Russia seized on Iraq’s decision “in principle” to begin destroying its 120 or so short-range al-Samoud 2 missiles as further evidence that the inspections process was working. Blix, in a brief conversation with reporters Friday morning, called the decision “a very significant piece of real disarmament.”
Blair in new bid
to discredit opposition to Iraq war Prime Minister Tony
Blair launched a new bid Saturday to win support for a war against
Iraq by comparing anti-war demonstrators with the appeasers of
Hitler in the 1930s. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper,
he also tried to discredit dissidents within his party by
suggesting that they were undermining his campaign against Saddam
Hussein. His bid to dampen the strength of opposition to a war
against Iraq came after Blair made an impassionate appeal to the
Welsh Labour conference in Swansea on Friday in which he claimed
the world will be "plunged into a living nightmare" unless a stand
was made. In his interview, the prime minister left little hope for
a war being prevented even if the Iraqi president surrendered more
to demands to disarm.
more Comment: So Blair is
right and everyone else is wrong. We should all just stop believing
our eyes and objective facts and instead listen to the cock and
bull story being spouted by Tony and George. I am constantly amazed
at how they get away with it. If, as it is increasingly likely, the
result is that there is nothing anyone can do to stop their
agressive war for continued world domination, the one thing that
will be clear is that democracy is dead (if it was ever alive) in
the US and UK, while Blair has the gall to accuse the anti-war
demonstrators as being "Hitler appeasers", again we see the trait
of the psychopath who accuses others of doing exactly what they
themselves are guilty of.
U.S. Troop Deployment Being Challenged Turkey's parliament voted Saturday for deployment of 62,000 U.S. combat troops to open a northern front against Iraq, but the opposition immediately challenged the outcome. The vote was extremely close, 264-251 with 19 abstentions, and the opposition Republican People's Party quickly disputed it on the grounds that a majority of those present in the chamber did not vote in favor. Speaker Bulent Arinc and his deputies were meeting to discuss the next step. The measure would empower the government to authorize the basing of up to 62,000 troops, 255 warplanes and 65 helicopters. It also allows the government to send thousands of Turkish troops into northern Iraq. Turkey and the United States still have to seal an agreement over the military, political and economic conditions of the deployment before troops can arrive and ships carrying armor for the U.S. 4th Infantry Division anchored off the Turkish coast can begin to unload. Turkey has been seeking billions of dollars in grants and loans to cushion its frail economy from the effects of war. It has also been seeking assurances that a separate Kurdish state will not be created in the aftermath of a possible war. A diplomat said the signing could come as early as Saturday night. Turkey's government had been putting off any decision on the U.S. request for weeks, frustrating U.S. war planners who want to use Turkey as a staging point to open a northern front against Iraq that would shorten a war with Turkey's southern neighbor. Arinc opened the session by cautioning legislators that "we are here for a historic session." Opposition politicians urged a "no" vote.
"We are calling on you not to be involved with this disgusting war. Turn back when you still have the chance, otherwise the whole Turkish public will suffer," lawmaker Onder Sav from the Republican People's Party said in parliament Salih Kapusuz, deputy chairman of the governing Justice and Development Party, called for a "yes" vote and rejected criticism that the government was bowing to U.S. pressure. "We are not afraid of any force in the world, let alone of the United States. We're just doing whatever is best for the interests of this country," he said. The Justice party has been having difficulty selling the unpopular measure to its public and even to many lawmakers. Polls show that more than 80 percent of the Turkish public opposes a war and many fear that a conflict will endanger Turkey's frail economic recovery. Hours before the vote, the party's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with party legislators to try and persuade them to back the U.S. troop deployment.
Some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away from parliament, some 50,000 Turks held a rally to protest the war. "No to War," and "We don't want to be America's soldiers'," they shouted as some 4,000 police stood guard. Some carried banners that read: "The people will stop this war," and "Budget for education not war." But the government also fears rebuffing the United States could leave it without US$15 billion in grants and loans that Washington has pledged to help buttress Turkey's economy. To prevent the creation of a Kurdish state, Turkey wants to send tens of thousands of troops into northern Iraq in case of war. Kurdish leaders have warned that they will resist if the United States allows Turks to join in an invasion of northern Iraq.
Diplomats say Washington
wanted approval from Turkey at least three weeks ago. The Cabinet
finally submitted a proposal to parliament earlier this week to
permit the deployment. Party leaders had called for a Thursday
vote, but that was put off until Saturday amid signs that some
legislators would vote against the motion. Justice party leaders
have tried to show they seek a peaceful solution to the crisis in
Iraq and that the government proposal is designed to protect the
country in the event of war. "Everyone is trying to show the
government as if it is saying 'yes to war.' No one in their right
minds would say 'yes' to war," Erdogan said at a political rally
Blair warns the world of a 'living nightmare' Tony Blair warned yesterday that the world would be "plunged into a living nightmare" unless it takes a stand to stop terrorist groups or rogue states using weapons of mass destruction.
The Prime Minister told a conference of the Welsh Labour Party in Swansea that, if the world did not rise to the first test of its determination to deal with this issue, "it will not be the end, it will only be the beginning for these extreme groups or terrorists". He warned: "I tell you it is fear, not the fear that Saddam is about to launch a strike on a British town or city ... but the fear that one day these new threats of weapons of mass destruction, rogue states and international terrorism combine to deliver a catastrophe to our world. And the shame of knowing that I saw that threat day after day and did nothing to stop it. I cannot and I will not do that. No matter how hard the decision, I will try to do what I believe is right for our country."
Mr Blair insisted that backing away from the threat would not mean that Britain would "cease to be a target". He said: "If we do not take a stand now against the growth of this chemical, biological and nuclear weapons threat, then at some point a state or a terrorist group pursuing extremism with no care for human life will use such weapons. Not just Britain, but the world, will be plunged into a living nightmare from which we will struggle long and hard to awake." In his first public comments on the unprecedented rebellion by 121 Labour MPs on Wednesday, Mr Blair said: "I don't ignore the voices of people who are opposed to the course we are taking. I understand why they take that view and I respect that view." But he added: "At some point, you have a duty if you are to offer any leadership to your country in saying why it is we believe there is a real threat from terrorism and these appalling, terrible weapons to the security and prosperity of our countries and to the wider world."
a highly personal speech which struck a more conciliatory tone
towards his Labour critics, Mr Blair told the Welsh party
activists: "I know many of you find it hard to understand why I
care so deeply about this." The answer, he said, was his fear of
weapons of mass destruction getting into the hands of terrorists.
History had important lessons for the current crisis, Mr Blair
said. He cited the example of Neville Chamberlain's efforts to
appease Hitler before the Second World War. Chamberlain, said Mr
Blair, turned out to be "a good man who made the wrong decision".
Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said Mr Blair was
looking "seriously vulnerable" for the first time since becoming
Labour leader. He warned of possible "devastating" consequences of
what he said was a rush by President George Bush and Mr Blair to
table a second United Nations resolution on Iraq. Mr Kennedy, at
the Scottish Liberal Democrats' spring conference in Aberdeen,
said: "You only have to look at the faces of backbench MPs when I'm
talking about Iraq to see how many of them agree with me."
Comment: Here we have Blair using the
very same terror tactics as Bush in an attempt to scare the
population into letting him do as he (or rather Bush) wants. We
should view Blair's warning of a "living nightmare" as a direct
threat which he is capable of delivering on. The thing that
irks me so much is the complete lack of logic or sense to what
Blair says above. He talks of dire consequences if we back down on
invading Iraq, a country with no obvious weapons of mass
destruction and which poses no threat to either western or middle
eastern nations, due in particular to the devastating effects of 12
years of US lead illegal sanctions and continued
February 28, 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!
the Anthrax attacks? Remember the media and the White House
pushing Bayer's Cipro on people as protection from Anthrax, even
though there are several antibiotics just as effective against
Anthrax that cost one tenth as much?
George is right and the whole world is wrong Brother and sister traitors, loony radicals and conspiracy wackos, it's time to sit back and enjoy the Bush administration's "lovely" war on Iraq and stop dreaming about impeachment, a full investigation of 9/11 or putting corporate criminals behind bars. Don't you understand that "the adults are now in charge" and if we "kiddies" don't shape up and stop mouthing off, we will be harshly dealt with? Can you say "gulag" or "concentration camp?" How about "firing squad?" Really, we "usual suspects" must stop taking to the streets with our silliness in trying to stop a perfectly good war. Our antics really upset George W., the anointed one, and that is the same as upsetting God. And you all know what happens when you anger God. He smites you.
George, who is bursting at the seams to play with his arsenal of shiny new death toys, says God has commanded him to smite all evil in the world. The only way to smite all that "evil" is through endless wars, beginning in Iraq where the "mother of all evil," Saddam Hussein, is currently in charge. Furthermore, George says God has chosen America, Inc., to rule over His earthly kingdom to thwart further "evil doing." And if George fails to produce what God has commanded him to, the Big Guy in the Sky is not going to be a happy camper. So all that talk about oil and dollars and euros is just a bunch of hooey. You might say it's all merely collateral spoils. George says that God has even given him Three Wise Men—Donald "Dr. Strangelove" Rumsfeld, John "The Divine Crisco Kid" Ashcroft and Colin "The Repentant Poodle" Powell—to help him carry out God's work, plus a bonus helper: Tony "His Moral Eminence and Lapdog" Blair.
And who better for the job than George who personally engaged in every evil going before he was "saved?" Moreover, did George not do his duty for his country by risking his life as a fighter pilot—before he was grounded and deserted—to keep Texas safe from foreign invaders, while the sons of less fortunate families died in Vietnam? Did not George and his "lovely" wife, Laura—who surely was doing God's work in ridding His earthly kingdom of a potential "evil doer" when she rammed her car into her boyfriend's and killed him—obey God's command to procreate and thereby produce "lovely" twin daughters who are following in their father's footsteps? Surely, put in these terms, you can see the error of our ways. Should we not, therefore, heed the divine words of George and all those who have cleaved to him—Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Sullivan, Michael Savage, the good people at the New York Sun, the entire corporate media, even Democrats who want to "liberate" Iraq and beef up the "war on terrorism?
Brother and sister peaceniks, commies, fellow travelers, dupes and all other rabble, can these good people be wrong? How could we be so "unpatriotic" and "un-American?" Okay, you get sick at the thought of all those innocent Iraqis dying, along with who knows how many young and foolish Americans. But buck up, George says God told him they all will immediately go to Heaven. Now that's not so bad, is it? It almost makes you want to say, "Bring on Armageddon, so we can be "raptured." Oops, only Christians can be "raptured." And doesn't the Good Book say only 144,000 of them will be "raptured?" Ho-ho, there are going to be some mighty surprised Christians—especially the ones who went to Israel to aid Ariel Sharon in doing his part to start Armageddon. And what about all the others who believe in an afterlife? Will they be left out in the cold? Remember, George once said Jews can't go to Heaven.
Never mind, we are not
supposed to worry about such things. It is ours to do and die, not
to reason why. That greatly simplifies things, doesn't it? After
all, God will provide, won't He? Forget all that stuff about the
oppressed becoming the oppressor; that it's easier to put a camel
through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven.
Some commies must have slipped that stuff into the Bible when no
one was looking, along with the bit about the Son of God having no
place to rest his head and the meek inheriting the earth. Pure
Marxist trash—of course that was long before Marx's time, a
minor point. Don't blame the scribes of yore, though, because they
could not read what they dutifully copied. As hard as it may be for
us, we must stop questioning. Thinking and reasoning are "evil."
And questioning, thinking and reasoning lead to the most "evil" of
all: dissent. We must accept that the Good Shepherd George and his
sheep are right and the whole world is wrong.
Spain begs President to restrain Rumsfeld
President Bush has been told to muzzle Donald Rumsfeld, his
provocative Defence Secretary, if he wants to ease European
misgivings about war with Iraq.
“I did tell the President that we need a lot of Powell
and not much of Rumsfeld,” said Señor Aznar, referring
to Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State. “Ministers of
Defence should talk less, shouldn’t they? The more Powell
speaks and the less Rumsfeld speaks, that wouldn’t be a bad
thing altogether.” Señor Aznar is the first leader to
voice publicly what many Europeans supportive of confronting
Baghdad feel strongly in private: that Mr Rumsfeld has made their
diplomatic work much harder.
more Comment: Perhaps Aznar
should do less talking to Bush and more listening to the people
that elected him, the vast majority of whom are against the war,
unless he, like Bush and Blair have given up democracy in favor of
dictatorship. Also ironic is the fact that a large proportion of
the Spanish people (and likely Aznar himself) are descended from
the Arabs that now inhabit the Persian gulf area who dominated the
Iberian peninsula for approx 800 years and helped to bring Europe
out of the dark ages.
The Facts About Rebellion Which political leader made war on his own people, killing 262,000 of them, burning their cities, destroying their food supply and placing the survivors under military occupation?If your answer is Saddam Hussein, you're wrong. The answer is Abraham Lincoln. Accepting the Northern but incorrect view of the War Between the States, Lincoln did exactly the same thing Saddam Hussein did. When "his own people" rose up in armed rebellion, he crushed the rebellion, brutally and decisively.
I'm making this point not to disillusion you about Lincoln but to point out how propaganda works. One effective way to propagandize people is to take a fact out of context. Much has been made of the fact that Saddam Hussein crushed the Kurdish rebellion. Any leader of Iraq would have crushed the Kurdish rebellion. If the Scots rose up in armed rebellion today, British Prime Minister Tony Blair would crush, or try to crush, the rebellion. What do you think the British have been doing in Ireland lo these many years?
Any government will assert the right to self-defense. When our forefathers chose to secede from the British Empire, the British tried to crush what they considered a rebellion. And before you give up the delicious and high-quality products of France, you should remember that without French troops and the French fleet, the British would likely have succeeded. I know it's idealistic foolishness to expect the government to tell the truth rather than to resort to propaganda. For that reason, we, as citizens, have to learn to recognize propaganda. To sell the war, the Bush administration has demonized Saddam Hussein. The fact is, Saddam is a run-of-the-mill dictator, worse than some, better than some. In the war against Iran, a nation with three times the population of Iraq, the Iraqis used chemical weapons. So did the Iranians. In World War I, the United States, the British, the French and the Germans used chemical weapons. In World War II, we used nuclear weapons. In Waco, Texas, in 1993, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used chemical weapons against American civilians.
It's quite true that, like any other dictator, Saddam treats his political opponents harshly, but it's also true that if you stay out of politics, you could live as freely in Baghdad as you can in New York City. Unlike a communist-style dictator, Saddam doesn't give a damn what Iraqis think or do unless it involves a threat to his hold on power. There are two categories of dictators: totalitarians who want to control every aspect of a person's life, and gangsters who just want to stay in power. Saddam is in the gangster category. Iraqi women, for example, are entitled to free education, just the same as men, and are free to choose any vocation they wish. Prior to the Gulf War, Iraq had one of the largest middle classes in the Middle East, one of the best education systems and one of the best health care systems. We, not Saddam, have destroyed all three with the war and economic sanctions.
Another propaganda technique is to focus on Saddam. To hear the Bush administration and to watch American television, you'd think Iraq was occupied by one individual, Saddam. He's only one of 25 million people, and the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are just like us, with the same dreams and hopes we have.
don't give a damn about Saddam Hussein. He's a tough guy and a
killer. He's lived 66 years in a tough and dangerous world. I'm
sure he's ready to die if it comes to that. But why should Iraqi
children have to die or be maimed or orphaned just because our
political leader doesn't like their political leader? It's too bad
we can't give Bush and Saddam each a knife, put them both in a dark
room and let them settle the matter between themselves.Comment: Amen to that! and throw Rummy, Cheney and
Co and all the other chickenhawks in
The "Don't Know" Crowd The Bush administration adamantly insists that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, but despite 12 years of inspections, bombings and spying, it doesn't have a clue as to where they are. It frequently warns us of terror attacks, but always says it doesn't know where, when or how. Nor have there been any terror attacks in the United States in the past 18 months.
Is it any wonder that millions of people around the world and in the United States don't support President George Bush's personal crusade to topple Saddam Hussein? Keep in mind that after the Sept. 11 attack, which Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with, virtually the entire world united in sympathy with us. Never has one president destroyed so much support by so many people in so short a time.
The fact is, the people in the Bush administration who want to go to war with Iraq wanted to go to war with Iraq before Sept. 11. As a matter of fact, they wanted to go to war with Iraq before George Bush was even elected president. That's a matter of record. This war against Iraq has nothing to do with disarming Iraq and nothing to do with terrorism. It has to do with the United States creating a situation in which it and Israel will dominate the Middle East and its oil resources.
The thing to remember about these alleged weapons of mass destruction is that nobody in the Bush administration or with the United Nations has ever laid eyes on them. What exists is a discrepancy between two numbers in reports — both supplied by the Iraqi government. One report stated that so many chemical bombs were used; another report had a different number. And the Iraqis are certainly right in that nobody can prove a negative; you can't produce for inspection what you don't have.
I personally don't know if these weapons exist in Iraq or not. I do know they exist in many other countries. I do know that in the Gulf War, Iraq did not use any chemical or biological weapons, even when it was being routed from Kuwait and "bombed back into the preindustrial age," to use an American phrase. I do know that in the 12 years since, Iraq has not used any chemical or biological weapons, even though it has been subjected to the harshest economic sanctions in modern history and to practically regular bombing. I do know that in the past 12 years, Iraq has not threatened, much less attacked, any of its neighbors, while during that the same period of time we have attacked Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yugoslavia. I do know that every one of the "neighbors" George Bush claims Iraq is a threat to has said repeatedly that it does not feel threatened by Iraq.
I do know that the only leader threatening the world with nuclear weapons and pre-emptive attack is George W. Bush. It gives me no pleasure to point that out. But it is not the role of an American citizen to be a sheep. It has become apparent that those of us who supported Bush made a mistake. I'm beginning to believe that a philanderer and a liar is less dangerous than an upright but ignorant man who thinks God has appointed him to rule the world.
best way to support our troops is to try to prevent the Bush
administration from sacrificing their lives for the hidden agenda
of the crazy neoconservatives in his administration. Young
Americans should not die because a bunch of chicken hawks have a
cockamamie idea that they can bring liberal democracy to the Middle
East by making war. That's like trying to sell pork barbecue in
Mecca. What the president is intent on doing is committing a crime
against humanity. If he goes through with it, he'll have to change
his ritualistic "God bless America" to "God forgive
Bush Selects Zionist U.S. General To Run Iraq The retired general tapped by the Bush administration to oversee rebuilding of post-war Iraq was, until just a few weeks ago, an executive at a leading defense contractor working on missile systems that would be used to bomb Baghdad. Although a Pentagon official said Jay Garner's new role as head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance does not constitute a conflict of interest, ethics experts say the appointment raises troubling questions. Why, they ask, would the White House pick a man from a company directly concerned with attacking Iraq to spearhead the country's aid and restoration?
"It's very curious," said Ben Hermalin, a professor at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business who studies professional ethics. "You have to wonder what the Iraqis will think of this guy and how much trust they'll place in him." He added: "If it's not a conflict of interest, it's certainly being tone deaf."
Garner, 64, a former three-star Army general and friend of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, served until last month as president of SY Coleman, a division of defense contractor L-3 Communications specializing in missile- defense systems. While the S.F. Chronicle lauds this general turned "humantarian" the general's past roles as one of the key leaders of JINSA and longtime advocate of using the U.S. military to support Zionism has been removed from the JINSA site
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a cabal of Jewish American military officers who have long advocated putting Israel's security needs before those of the United States, has removed most all links to JINSA positions which may embarass the Bush administrations drive to appoint General Gardner as the U.S. installed dictator of "liberated" Iraq.
Despite the Zionist's attempt to put General Gardner's past down the memory hole, many Arab sources including Al-Quds al-Arabi and Washington Report on Middle East have revealed General Gardner's close ties to the Israeli Likud party. The established media should realize that they may purge and censor their news to constantly rewrite history, but the truth lives forever on the Internet. There are still many sources on what General Gardner actually believes such as this JINSA statement on Palestinian "violence":
JINSA Flag & General Officers Statement on Palestinian Violence
We, the undersigned, believe that during the current upheavals in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces have exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of a Palestinian Authority that deliberately pushes civilians and young people to the front lines. We are appalled by the Palestinian political and military leadership that teaches children the mechanics of war while filling their heads with hate.We are appalled by Palestinian "police" and "military commanders" who place armed adults amid civilian rioters, betting their children's lives on the capabilities and restraint of the IDF and then callously using the inevitable casualties as grist for their propaganda mill. The behavior of those Palestinians, who use civilians as soldiers in a war, is a perversion of military ethics.
We have traveled to Israel over the years with The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. We do not claim to be experts in the political affairs of Israel and its neighbors. However, in those travels, we brought with us our decades of military experience and came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to US policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as around the world. A strong Israel is an asset that American military planners and political leaders can rely on.
Israeli military innovations, shared with America, in tanks and tank warfare, ballistic missile defense capabilities, reserve mobilization, the uses of air power and early warning, among others, are astonishing. But what makes the US-Israel security relationship one of mutual benefit is the combination of military capabilities and shared political values - freedom, democracy, personal liberty and the rule of law. We met in Israel with leaders from left to right on the Israeli political spectrum, and we met with soldiers from privates to generals and Chiefs of Staff. We traveled throughout the north, along the coast, in the Negev, Jerusalem and the territories. We reconfirmed the ageless lessons that every military professional knows - how geography and topography can predict destiny.
Throughout our travels and our talks, the determination of Israelis to protect their country and pursue a fair and workable peace with their neighbors at the same time was evident. It is with this background that we view the current conflict in and around Israel with such dismay. Yitzhak Rabin said at the beginning of this peace effort with the Palestinians that one can only make peace with one's enemies. But what every soldier also knows is that the enemy must have decided to put down his weapons - rocks as well as rifles - and make peace in good faith. The Palestinian-initiated violence in Israel now strongly tells us that the necessary good faith is sorely lacking on the Palestinian side.
America's role as facilitator in this process should never yield to America's responsibility as a friend to Israel, the only country in the Middle East that shares our democratic and humanitarian values. Friends don't leave friends on the battlefield." Full article here Comment: What a lovely piece of ficticious crap! And one of these madmen is gonna be the "prefect" of Iraq! Hello!!? How much more evidence do we need!
Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed Bombshell revelation from a defector cited by White House and press. On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims.
Until now, Gen. Hussein Kamel, who was killed shortly after returning to Iraq in 1996, was best known for his role in exposing Iraq's deceptions about how far its pre-Gulf War biological weapons programs had advanced. But Newsweek's John Barry-- who has covered Iraqi weapons inspections for more than a decade-- obtained the transcript of Kamel's 1995 debriefing by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.N. inspections team known as UNSCOM.
Inspectors were told "that after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them," Barry wrote. All that remained ere "hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches" and production molds. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. The CIA and MI6 were told the same story, Barry reported, and "a military aide who defected with Kamel... backed Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks."
But these statements were "hushed up by the U.N. inspectors" in order to "bluff Saddam into disclosing still more."
CIA spokesperson Bill Harlow angrily denied the Newsweek report. "It is incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue," Harlow told Reuters (2/24/03) the day the report appeared.
But on Wednesday (2/26/03), a complete copy of the Kamel transcript-- an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive"-- was obtained by Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University analyst who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence dossier" was plagiarized from a student thesis.
In the transcript (p. 13), Kamel says bluntly: "All weapons-- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed."
Who is Hussein Kamel?
Kamel is no obscure defector. A son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, his departure from Iraq carrying crates of secret documents on Iraq's past weapons programs was a major turning point in the inspections saga. In 1999, in a letter to the U.N. Security Council (1/25/99), UNSCOM reported that its entire eight years of disarmament work "must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel."
Kamel's defection has been cited repeatedly by George W. Bush and leading administration officials as evidence that 1) Iraq has not disarmed; 2) inspections cannot disarm it; and 3) defectors such as Kamel are the most reliable source of information on Iraq's weapons.
Bush declared in an October
7, 2002 speech: "In 1995, after several years of deceit by the
Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It
was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced
more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological
agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely
produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile
of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and
capable of killing millions."
But according to Kamel's transcript, Iraq destroyed all of these weapons in 1991. According to Newsweek, Kamel told the same story to CIA analysts in August 1995. If that is true, all of these U.S. officials have had access to Kamel's statements that the weapons were destroyed. Their repeated citations of his testimony-- without revealing that he also said the weapons no longer exist-- suggests that the administration might be withholding critical evidence. In particular, it casts doubt on the credibility of Powell's February 5 presentation to the U.N., which was widely hailed at the time for its persuasiveness. To clear up the issue, journalists might ask the CIA to release the transcripts of its own conversations with Kamel.
Kamel's disclosures have also been crucial to the arguments made by hawkish commentators on Iraq. The defector has been cited four times on the New York Times op-ed page in the last four months in support of claims about Iraq's weapons programs-- never noting his assertions about the elimination of these weapons. In a major Times op-ed calling for war against Iraq (2/21/03), Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution wrote that Kamel and other defectors "reported that outside pressure had not only failed to eradicate the nuclear program, it was bigger and more cleverly spread out and concealed than anyone had imagined it to be." The release of Kamel's transcript makes this claim appear grossly at odds with the defector's actual testimony.
The Kamel story is a bombshell that necessitates a thorough reevaluation of U.S. media reporting on Iraq, much of which has taken for granted that the nation retains supplies of prohibited weapons. (See FAIR Media Advisory, " Iraq's Hidden Weapons: From Allegation to Fact Kamel's testimony is not, of course, proof that Iraq does not have hidden stocks of chemical or biological weapons, but it does suggest a need for much more media skepticism about U.S. allegations than has previously been shown.
Unfortunately, Newsweek chose a curious way to handle its
scoop: The magazine placed the story in the miscellaneous
"Periscope" section with a generic headline, "The Defector's
Secrets." Worse, Newsweek's online version added a subhead that
seemed almost designed to undercut the importance of the story:
"Before his death, a high-ranking defector said Iraq had not
abandoned its WMD ambitions." So far, according to a February 27
search of the Nexis database, no major U.S. newspapers or national
television news shows have picked up the Newsweek
story. Comment: More evidence that Bush and Co are liars.
I am staggered, on a daily basis, by the number and audacity of the
barefaced lies that are being spewed by these psychopaths, it
really beggers belief. I mean, it is not as if they are being
subtle about it, the evidence is staring people in the face!! What
will it take for people to wake up!? A nuke? A comet?
George W. Bush gave a speech Wednesday night before the Godfather of conservative Washington think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute. In his speech, Bush quantified his coming war with Iraq as part of a larger struggle to bring pro-western governments into power in the Middle East. Couched in hopeful language describing peace and freedom for all, the speech was in fact the closest articulation of the actual plan for Iraq that has yet been heard from the administration.
The Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, is a group founded in 1997 that has been agitating since its inception for a war with Iraq. PNAC was the driving force behind the drafting and passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act, a bill that painted a veneer of legality over the ultimate designs behind such a conflict. The names of every prominent PNAC member were on a letter delivered to President Clinton in 1998 which castigated him for not implementing the Act by driving troops into Baghdad.
PNAC has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to a Hussein opposition group called the Iraqi National Congress, and to Iraq's heir-apparent, Ahmed Chalabi, despite the fact that Chalabi was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years in prison on 31 counts of bank fraud. Chalabi and the INC have, over the years, gathered support for their cause by promising oil contracts to anyone that would help to put them in power in Iraq.
Most recently, PNAC created a new group called The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Staffed entirely by PNAC members, The Committee has set out to "educate" Americans via cable news connections about the need for war in Iraq. This group met recently with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice regarding the ways and means of this education.
Who is PNAC? Its members include:
* Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the PNAC founders, who served as Secretary of Defense for Bush Sr.;
* I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top national security assistant;
* Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, also a founding member, along with four of his chief aides including;
* Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, arguably the ideological father of the group;
* Eliot Abrams, prominent member of Bush's National Security Council, who was pardoned by Bush Sr. in the Iran/Contra scandal;
* John Bolton, who serves as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the Bush administration;
* Richard Perle, former Reagan administration official and present chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board;
* Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, who was Trent Lott's national security aide and who served as an advisor to Rumsfeld on Iraq in 2001;
* Bruce Jackson, Chairman of PNAC, a position he took after serving for years as vice president of weapons manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, and who also headed the Republican Party Platform subcommittee for National Security and Foreign Policy during the 2000 campaign. His section of the 2000 GOP Platform explicitly called for the removal of Saddam Hussein;
* William Kristol, noted conservative writer for the Weekly Standard, a magazine owned along with the Fox News Network by conservative media mogul Ruppert Murdoch.
The Project for the New American Century seeks to establish what they call 'Pax Americana' across the globe. Essentially, their goal is to transform America, the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of arms. A report released by PNAC in September of 2000 entitled 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' codifies this plan, which requires a massive increase in defense spending and the fighting of several major theater wars in order to establish American dominance. The first has been achieved in Bush's new budget plan, which calls for the exact dollar amount to be spent on defense that was requested by PNAC in 2000. Arrangements are underway for the fighting of the wars.
The men from PNAC are in a perfect position to see their foreign policy schemes, hatched in 1997, brought into reality. They control the White House, the Pentagon and Defense Department, by way of this the armed forces and intelligence communities, and have at their feet a Republican-dominated Congress that will rubber-stamp virtually everything on their wish list.
The first step towards the establishment of this Pax Americana is, and has always been, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of an American protectorate in Iraq. The purpose of this is threefold: 1) To acquire control of the oilheads so as to fund the entire enterprise; 2) To fire a warning shot across the bows of every leader in the Middle East; 3) To establish in Iraq a military staging area for the eventual invasion and overthrow of several Middle Eastern regimes, including some that are allies of the United States.
Another PNAC signatory, author Norman Podhoretz, quantified this aspect of the grand plan in the September 2002 issue of his journal, 'Commentary'. In it, Podhoretz notes that the regimes, "that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced, are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as 'friends' of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen." At bottom, for Podhoretz, this action is about "the long-overdue internal reform and modernization of Islam."
This casts Bush's speech to AEI on Wednesday in a completely different light.
Weapons of mass destruction are a smokescreen. Paeans to the idea of Iraqi liberation and democratization are cynical in their inception. At the end of the day, this is not even about oil. The drive behind this war is ideological in nature, a crusade to 'reform' the religion of Islam as it exists in both government and society within the Middle East. Once this is accomplished, the road to empire will be open, ten lanes wide and steppin' out over the line.
At the end of the day, however, ideology is only good for bull sessions in the board room and the bar. Something has to grease the skids, to make the whole thing worthwhile to those involved, and entice those outside the loop to get into the game. Thus, the payout.
It is well known by now that Dick Cheney, before becoming Vice President, served as chairman and chief executive of the Dallas-based petroleum corporation Halliburton. During his tenure, according to oil industry executives and United Nations records, Halliburton did a brisk $73 million in business with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. While working face-to-face with Hussein, Cheney and Halliburton were also moving into position to capitalize upon Hussein's removal from power. In October of 1995, the same month Cheney was made CEO of Halliburton, that company announced a deal that would put it first in line should war break out in Iraq. Their job: To take control of burning oil wells, put out the fires, and prepare them for service.
Another corporation that stands to do well by a war in Iraq is Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Ostensibly, Brown & Root is in the construction business, and thus has won a share of the $900 million government contract for the rebuilding of post-war Iraqi bridges, roads and other basic infrastructure. This is but the tip of the financial iceberg, as the oil wells will also have to be repaired after parent-company Halliburton puts out the fires.
More ominously is Brown & Root's stock in trade: the building of permanent American military bases. There are twelve permanent U.S. bases in Kosovo today, all built and maintained by Brown & Root for a multi-billion dollar profit. If anyone should wonder why the administration has not offered an exit strategy to the Iraq war plans, the presence of Brown & Root should answer them succinctly. We do not plan on exiting. In all likelihood, Brown & Root is in Iraq to build permanent bases there, from which attacks upon other Middle Eastern nations can be staged and managed.
Again, this casts Bush's speech on Wednesday in a new light.
Being at the center of the action is nothing new for Halliburton and Brown & Root. The two companies have worked closely with governments in Algeria, Angola, Bosnia, Burma, Croatia, Haiti, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Somalia during the worst chapters in those nation's histories. Many environmental and human rights groups claim that Cheney, Halliburton and Brown & Root were, in fact, centrally involved in these fiascos. More recently, Brown & Root was contracted by the Defense Department to build cells for detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The bill for that one project came to $300 million.
Cheney became involved with PNAC officially in 1997, while still profiting from deals between Halliburton and Hussein. One year later, Cheney and PNAC began actively and publicly agitating for war on Iraq. They have not stopped to this very day.
Another company with a vested interest in both war on Iraq and massively increased defense spending is the Carlyle Group. Carlyle, a private global investment firm with more than $12.5 billion in capital under management, was formed in 1987. Its interests are spread across 164 companies, including telecommunications firms and defense contractors. It is staffed at the highest levels by former members of the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. Former President George H. W. Bush is himself employed by Carlyle as a senior advisor, as is long-time Bush family advisor and former Secretary of State James Baker III.
One company acquired by Carlyle is United Defense, a weapons manufacturer based in Arlington, VA. United Defense provides the Defense Department with combat vehicle systems, fire support, combat support vehicle systems, weapons delivery systems, amphibious assault vehicles, combat support services and naval armaments. Specifically, United Defense manufactures the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the M113 armored personnel carrier, the M88A2 Recovery Vehicle, the Grizzly, the M9 ACE, the Composite Armored Vehicle, the M6 Linebacker, the M7 BFIST, the Armored Gun System, the M4 Command and Control Vehicle, the Battle Command Vehicle, the Paladin, the Crusader, and Electric Gun/Pulse Power weapons technology. In other words, everything a growing Defense Department, a war in Iraq, and a burgeoning American military empire needs.
Ironically, one group that won't profit from Carlyle's involvement in American military buildup is the family of Osama bin Laden. The bin Laden family fortune was amassed by Mohammed bin Laden, father of Osama, who built a multi-billion dollar construction empire through contracts with the Saudi government. The Saudi BinLaden Group, as this company is called, was heavily invested in Carlyle for years. Specifically, they were invested in Carlyle's Partners II Fund, which includes in that portfolio United Defense and other weapons manufacturers.
This relationship was described in a September 27, 2001 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled 'Bin Laden Family Could Profit From Jump in Defense Spending Due to Ties to US Bank.' The 'bank' in question was the Carlyle Group. A follow-up article published by the Journal on September 28 entitled ' Bin Laden Family Has Intricate Ties With Washington - Saudi Clan Has Had Access To Influential Republicans ' further describes the relationship. In October of 2001, Saudi BinLaden and Carlyle severed their relationship by mutual agreement. The timing is auspicious.
There are a number of depths to be plumbed in all of this. The Bush administration has claimed all along that this war with Iraq is about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, though through it all they have roundly failed to establish any basis for either accusation. On Wednesday, Bush went further to claim that the war is about liberating the Iraqi people and bringing democracy to the Middle East. This ignores cultural realities on the ground in Iraq and throughout the region that, salted with decades of deep mistrust for American motives, make such a democracy movement brought at the point of the sword utterly impossible to achieve. This movement, cloaked in democracy, is in fact a PNAC-inspired push for an American global empire. It behooves Americans to understand that there is a great difference between being the citizen of a constitutional democracy and being a citizen of an empire. The establishment of an empire requires some significant sacrifices.
Essential social, medical, educational and retirement services will have to be gutted so that those funds can be directed towards a necessary military buildup. Actions taken abroad to establish the preeminence of American power, most specifically in the Middle East, will bring a torrent of terrorist attacks to the home front. Such attacks will bring about the final suspension of constitutional rights and the rule of habeas corpus, as we will find ourselves under martial law. In the end, however, this may be inevitable. An empire cannot function with the slow, cumbersome machine of a constitutional democracy on its back. Empires must be ruled with speed and ruthlessness, in a manner utterly antithetical to the way in which America has been governed for 227 years. And yes, of course, a great many people will die. It would be one thing if all of this was based purely on the ideology of our leaders. It is another thing altogether to consider the incredible profit motive behind it all. The President, his father, the Vice President, a whole host of powerful government officials, along with stockholders and executives from Halliburton and Carlyle, stand to make a mint off this war. Long-time corporate sponsors from the defense, construction and petroleum industries will likewise profit enormously.
Critics of the Bush administration like to bandy about the word "fascist" when speaking of George. The image that word conjures is of Nazi stormtroopers marching in unison towards Hitler's Final Solution. This does not at all fit. It is better, in this matter, to view the Bush administration through the eyes of Benito Mussolini. Mussolini, dubbed 'the father of Fascism,' defined the word in a far more pertinent fashion. "Fascism," said Mussolini, "should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." Boycott the French, the Germans, and the other 114 nations who stand against this Iraq war all you wish. France and Germany do not oppose Bush because they are cowards, or because they enjoy the existence of Saddam Hussein. France and Germany stand against the Bush administration because they intend to stop this Pax Americana in its tracks if they can. They have seen militant fascism up close and personal before, and wish never to see it again. Would that we Americans could be so wise. Comment: With the Patriot Act and the recent "Patriot Act II" Americans will get to see militant fascism "up close and personal" very soon.
Well, since Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, says that the Palestinians may only get 50 per cent of the West Bank and his new chums in his coalition government are all for more settlements in that area, why should Muslims take this talk seriously? They don't. It's just another word trick to kick-arse the Arabs into support – or at least acquiescence – in the American invasion of Iraq.
Not once did President Bush mention the word "oil" – save for a brief reference to the disastrous oil-for-food "programme" – though there was just one mention of the occupied territories (or "so-called occupied" as Donald Rumsfeld infamously called them). But once America occupies Iraq, what argument can the Arabs deploy against Israel? If the West Bank is occupied, well so is Iraq. If the United States occupied Iraq to spare the world from "terror", why shouldn't Israel occupy the West Bank to spare itself from "terror"? Few have yet worked through this dangerous equation.
Much of the Bush speech to the American Enterprise Institute was written in the language of Israel. "If war is forced upon us by Iraq's refusal to disarm, we'll meet an enemy who hides his military forces behind civilians, who has terrible weapons, who's capable of any crime." This is precisely the language of Ariel Sharon. The equation that other Arab states are expected to understand is contained in that ominous suggestion by Mr Bush that after the "passing" of Saddam Hussein's regime, "other regimes will be given a clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated". Primarily, this is a message for Syria, then for Iran and then for anyone else who has not knelt before the Americans.
To support this, we are asked to believe – even the Arabs who live in the Middle East are asked to believe – that "in Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could [sic] enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilised world". The same man "has close ties to terrorist organisations and could [sic] supply them with the terrible means to strike this country". Or not, as the case may be. And if it's North Korea we're talking about, you can forget all this nonsense about "regime change". Arabs were, obviously, interested in the "coalition of more than 90 countries", until they realised that this "coalition" was merely arresting al-Qa'ida suspects, not planning to invade Iraq. And when Mr Bush said that America had "arrested or otherwise dealt with many key commanders of al-Qa'ida", a smile or two on the faces of America's friendly Arab dictators might have been forgiven. The phrase "or otherwise dealt with" will be as familiar to them as it is shameful to the US.
So on we go to a "free and peaceful Iraq". But what was it President Bush told us? "Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us," he said. Since when? When Iraqi men and women were being raped in President Saddam's torture chambers in 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was in Baghdad asking the Iraqi leader if he could reopen the US embassy. Rebuilding Iraq will require "a sustained commitment from many nations" but "we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary and not a day more". How extraordinary. For these are precisely the same words used by Israel when it invaded Lebanon in 1982. It took Israel 22 years and hundreds of Israeli lives – and thousands of Arab lives – before that occupation ended.
what it is to fight for "the liberty of an oppressed people"
– this is Mr Bush on Iraq – provided, of course, they
are not Palestinian Comment: in the above Bush states "If war is
forced upon us by Iraq's refusal to disarm, we'll meet an enemy who
hides his military forces behind civilians...." This sounds
ominously like a get out clause for the upcoming massacre of many
thousands of innocent Iraqi men women and children as the US
delivers its "shock and awe", deceptive words for "death from ths
sky". Of course, it is
unlikely we will hear or see anything even close to the
truth reported, with the standard extreme gagging of the press to
be enforced. Rather we will be treated, as we were in the first
Gulf war, to a fireworks display of flashes in the night sky over
Baghdad, as the unseen innocents are blown to pieces
President Bush last night spoke at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and claimed an invasion of Iraq will set the stage for peace in the Middle East. He also tried to allay fears of a humanitarian disaster. Claiming "the first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people themselves," he promised the US will deliver medicine and said the US is already moving into place nearly three million emergency rations to feed the hungry.
But Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports from Baghdad that the Bush administration's humanitarian plans are being met with disdain by Western humanitarian organizations inside Iraq. One humanitarian official told Democracy Now!, "it would be funny if it wasn't so sad." Worse, Democracy Now! has learned the Pentagon is asking humanitarian organizations for the global positioning coordinates of civilian sites, such as water treatment facilities, electrical power plants, sewage treatment systems and food distribution centers.
The Pentagon is telling the organizations it wants this information so it won't accidentally bomb these sites. But the US systematically attacked civilian infrastructure during 1991 Gulf War. And in Afghanistan, a clearly marked Red Cross warehouse was bombed twice, and the Kabul headquarters of the Al Jazeera news agency was bombed as the US-backed Northern Alliance was taking the city.
humanitarian official told Scahill it would be outrageous if any
cooperated with the Pentagon, saying it would be tantamount to
spying for the US government. In addition, Democracy Now! has
learned Washington has been pressuring the International Committee
of the Red Cross over past several months, not to repeat what it
did in Afghanistan: criticize the US use of non-conventional
weapons like cluster bombs, and the very public denunciation of the
Guantanamo detention camps as violation of Geneva Conventions.
Listen to this excellent interview Real player
FBI acknowledges its plane is circling Indiana town. The FBI said Thursday that the plane is being used in monitoring people who might have terrorist connections. Earlier in the week, when aviation officials disclosed that the aircraft was conducting surveillance, the FBI had denied any link to the plane. Mystery flights had alarmed some residents.
Bloomington, Ind. – A small plane whose frequent, unexplained flights over the city had raised fears among some residents is being used by the FBI, officials acknowledged. The FBI said Thursday that the plane is being used in monitoring people who might have terrorist connections. Earlier in the week, when aviation officials disclosed that the aircraft was conducting surveillance, the FBI had denied any link to the plane.
Agent Thomas V. Fuentes said the FBI issued the denial because a reporter asked if the airplane is doing electronic surveillance, which it is not. Fuentes and agent James H. Davis said the FBI is not aware of any threat to Bloomington or the state, but is watching many foreign nationals. Besides individuals, they said, the aircraft is monitoring vehicles and businesses – particularly those open late at night from which faxes or e-mails can be sent. Residents in this city of 69,000 have seen the white, single-engine Cessna 182 at least since Feb. 19 making passes overhead about noon, in the late evening and after midnight. Fuentes said the aircraft is conducting surveillance flights over several communities near Indianapolis.
Bloomington is about 40 miles south of Indianapolis and home
to the flagship campus of Indiana University, where more than 3,300
foreign students attend. Several of the university's students have
been questioned by FBI agents, university and agency officials
confirmed. Agency spokesman Doug Garrison, however, would not say
if those interviews were related to national security or the
10 obvious, but overlooked, questions on Iraq President Bush has given several nationally televised speeches on Iraq, held roundtables with dozens of influential reporters, and even addressed the U.N. General Assembly before a world audience. So why do Americans still have so many questions about this war? Perhaps because the most obvious questions are also the most easily overlooked. Yet since invading and occupying Iraq could claim thousands of American lives and even spark a wider war in the Middle East, Bush has a solemn obligation to fully explain his reasons for war. In that spirit, here is a list of 10 simple questions about his Iraq policy.
(1) Isn't it possible that invading Iraq will cause more terrorism than it prevents?
The al-Qaeda network has explicitly threatened to murder innocent Americans in retaliation for a U.S. raid on Iraq. So why hasn't Mr. Bush addressed this possibility?
Even General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, says: "Attacking Iraq will detract from our primary mission against al-Qaeda, supercharge anti-American sentiment in the Arab street and boost al-Qaeda's recruiting." Is Gen. Clark wrong?
(2) If Saddam is really a threat to the Middle East, why do his neighbors seem to fear him less than the U.S. government does?
None of the countries bordering Iraq has been clamoring for the United States to protect them from Saddam. So how can Bush argue that Saddam poses a threat to a nation halfway around the globe?
(3) You point out that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction that "could" be turned over to terrorists. But couldn't the same be said of Pakistan, North Korea, and dozens of other nations? And do you intend to launch pre-emptive strikes against them as well?
Bombing Iraq because of what it "might" do would set a frightening precedent. Imagine the global chaos that would result if every nation followed Bush's example, and it's easy to understand how reckless a first-strike policy is.
(4) Won't attacking Iraq make Saddam more likely to launch a biological or chemical attack?
During the Gulf War, the Iraqi leader apparently decided that unleashing such devastating weapons was not in his self-interest. But this time Saddam knows he is targeted personally – which means he has nothing to lose. If Bush really wants to avoid such a catastrophe, he can prove it by keeping U.S. troops out of Iraq.
(5) Why do you maintain that Iraq poses a more immediate threat than North Korea?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il admits that he has nuclear weapons capable of hitting U.S. targets, and brags that he can 'win' a nuclear war with the United States. Please explain why Americans should fear Iraq more than this belligerent, and apparently unstable, communist dictator.
(6) Why do you believe a U.S.-led regime change will do any more good in Iraq than it did in Panama, Haiti, or Bosnia?
Like previous presidents, the Bush administration promises to topple a tyrant and liberate the nation. But if the history of U.S. intervention is any guide, Bush will merely replace one dictator with another.
(7) You say Saddam has refused to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors. Does that mean that you intend to subject Americans to U.N. mandates in the future?
No one should be surprised if this notoriously anti-American agency decrees that it's our turn to submit to a weapons inspection, or demands that U.S. troops be sent into a bloody, pointless battle overseas.
Yet how could Mr. Bush refuse such requests without being denounced as a hypocrite? And how could he comply without betraying U.S. sovereignty?
(8) Considering that many of the September 11 hijackers were Saudi nationals – not Iraqis – why haven't you publicly accused the Saudi government of sponsoring terrorism?
Bush has struggled mightily to produce a link between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists, while refusing to address allegations of Saudi connections to terrorism. The grieving families of the 9/11 victims have a right to know why.
(9) Why have you stopped mentioning the name of the one individual who has been most closely linked to the 9/11 attacks: Osama bin Laden?
Bush's interest in the world's most-wanted terrorist seems to have vanished mysteriously into the caves of Tora Bora. So it's understandable for Americans to wonder if invading Iraq is Bush's way of punishing Saddam Hussein for the crimes of bin Laden.
(10) Finally, Mr. President, if your Iraq policy is so successful, why are Americans more afraid than ever?
the attack against Iraq draws near, the Homeland Security
Department has raised the terrorist threat level to orange; started
to educate the nation about how to cope with dirty bombs and
chemical attacks; and warned panicky Americans to stockpile food,
water and medical supplies. If this policy is a success, how would
we measure failure?
But when I unrolled my sign, all that changed, and I may never be able to look at my community the same way again. I never chanted, raised my voice, confronted anyone or was disrespectful to those around me. I simply held my sign and stood my ground. The abuse came first from a small group of homemakers standing near me, their small children dressed in red, white and blue. "Go home! You don't belong here," they said. All around me folks began to speak up, and it wasn't long before a large group of people crossed the street with banners and flags and began aggressively yelling "Go USA!" Bob, a young man with a ball cap and a sign reading "Drop Bush, Not Bombs" came and stood with me for support. The really frightening stuff began when a television cameraman stopped and asked me why I was there. As soon as the crowd saw the camera pointed at me, they went wild. I was trying to express myself and they screamed at me and over my voice. A man stood behind me making obscene gestures as I spoke.
This could not be happening. Not in America, right? One man suggested I take my cross off, insinuating that I was not a Christian. Another told me to pray for the president. I respect the position of the president and what a difficult post he holds. I just don't agree with his position on some very important issues that directly affect my family and me. I believe the money being spent on the war in Iraq should be spent on education, health care, public transportation and the development of alternative sources of energy. I believe I live in the greatest country in the world. Part of what makes this country great is that I can publicly disagree with my president and not be persecuted for my opinions. When the president's limo passed by on the way back to Dobbins Air Reserve Base, I was perfectly positioned. I know he saw my sign because I caught his eye and smiled. God bless you, Mr. President. May you make solid, moral decisions. May you and all of us stand up for our right, as Americans, to disagree. Comment: Just a small point. America is not "the greatest country on earth" simply because it is a democracy. There are plenty of other democracies on the planet, the only difference being that those other democracies, by and large, have not bombed and killed quite so many innocent people over the course of the last century as the US has.
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