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"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."
The War on Iraq was one of the most brutal events in modern history. Sold to the people on the basis of lies about non-existent WMDs and Saddam Hussein's non-existent ties to non-existent al Qaeda, the above quote from a Bush administration official encapsulates the pathological delusion of grandeur that is US government foreign policy.

On this week's show we'll be marking the 10th anniversary of 'Shock and Awe' by comparing American fantasy with reality and examining the disastrous choices American policy-makers have taken as the economy implodes. 9/11 gave the warmongers their "new Pearl Harbor." Couched in lofty rhetoric about spreading democracy and liberating the world from tyrannical dictators, America's glorious self-image stands in stark contrast to the brutal reality of ten years of bloody mayhem that has left Iraq and its people ripped apart.

But it's not just Iraqis that have suffered. This insane warmongering is having a disastrous effect on the American and European populations, both economically and morally. History shows that when a civilization reaches a certain level of selfishness and depravity, cosmic disaster follows.

Running Time: 02:08:00

Download: MP3



Here's the transcript:

Joe: "We are an empire now. And when we act we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality judiciously, as you will, we'll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too. And that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

"The war in Iraq was one of the most brutal events in modern history sold to the people on the basis of lies about non-existent WMDs and Saddam Hussein's non-existent ties to non-existent Al Qaeda."

The above quote from a Bush administration official encapsulates the pathological delusion of grandeur that is U.S. government foreign policy. On this week's show we'll be marking the 10th anniversary of shock and awe by comparing American fantasy with reality and examining the disastrous choices the American policymakers have taken as the economy implodes. 9/11 gave the war mongers their new Pearl Harbor couched in lofty rhetoric about spreading democracy and ridding the world from tyrannical dictators, America's glorious self-image stands in stark contrast to the brutal reality of 10 years of bloody mayhem that has left Iraq and its people ripped apart. Hubris and pathology writ large. It's a tale as old as time from Athens and Rome to the British Empire and today's U.S.-managed global pathocracy. To paraphrase George Orwell, in times of monumental deceit rhetoric is valued over truth. And the reality today's philosopher kings have created is about to get a very rude awakening.

Hi and welcome to SOTT Talk Radio. I'm Joe Quinn.

Niall: And I'm Niall Bradley.

Joe: And it's just the two of us this week. So it'll be an intimate soiree. As we just noted, the topic this week is the Iraq war because just a few days ago was the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. So we're going to be discussing that entire history and a few other things, perhaps many other things associated with it tangentially. But before we do that, or maybe to kick us off on that topic, we have a word from one of our sponsors.
BUSH: My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger. On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign. More than 35 countries are giving crucial support, from the use of naval and air bases to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.
To all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces now in the Middle East, the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you. That trust is well placed. The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military.

In this conflict America faces an enemy that has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his own military, a final atrocity against his people. I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm.
A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California can be longer and more difficult than some predict and helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment. We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.

I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon. Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent. For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people. And you can know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done. Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure.

The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now with our army, air force, navy, coast guard and marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities. Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half-measures and we will accept no outcome but victory.
My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We'll pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail. May god bless our country and all who defend her.
Joe: That was by far the biggest piece of propaganda, despicable, hideous, horrible propaganda, lies and emotional manipulation. It really should go down in history. Someone should put that on a plaque alongside various speeches by Hitler and Genghis Kahn and Attila the Hun and various people.

Niall: And Tony Blair.

Joe: And Tony Blair, yeah. He should be in there. There's plenty from the 20th century. So there you have Bush telling the American people, and the world I suppose, that 10 years ago they were going to invade Iraq. The U.S. military was invading Iraq to free the world from grave danger. What grave danger? There was none. They were going to stop Saddam's ability to wage war. He had no intention of waging war. Thirty-five countries supposedly were engaged in this "noble cause". Well, I'm not sure. I'm not surprised it coming from Bush but I'm sure his math isn't up to scratch, isn't up to third grade level probably, but 35 countries is a bit of an exaggeration. It was really the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: There were a few other countries: Australia very few troops, mainly the U.S. then the UK, some Australians. There was a few from El Salvador, half a dozen from South Korea. Italy had a few. These were all client American regimes anyway, or they were at the time.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Georgia, Ukraine. But several of these countries actually were there for only about six months or a year as well. So this was clearly a U.S., and to a lesser extent, UK-inspired invasion, despite the fact that he claims 35 countries, a coalition of the willing, my backside. It was being pursued to give hope to an oppressed people, who were expected to just accept that, that somehow the Iraqis were an oppressed people and were desperately in need of liberating. The Americans had no ambition in going to war in Iraq.

Niall: Totally no war.

Joe: Should not be going to war. Since they ended up going to war, the Iraq War, there was no Iraq War. It pisses me off something serious when I hear that over and over again. And it's gone down in history. It's written in the history books now as the Iraq War. It was not a war. It was an invasion by a massively superior force of another nation that had been decimated in terms of its ability to respond, its military and even its civilian population because of 10 years of sanctions previously that killed half a million children and probably another million people. So this was not a war.

Niall: A war is when you have two armies.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. This was the invasion of a sovereign country and an attack on the people of the country who had been beaten bloody already into a position of submission and the Iraq invasion and occupation was just basically going in for the kill, the complete appropriation of the country which is what has happened. Yeah, and the whole bullshit about "We're taking this action now because we don't want to - we want to fight now with our bombs and our guns or whatever, over there because we don't want to have to fight with firefighters in the streets of our own cities" I mean, that's just so much nonsense.

Niall: This is their rhetorical line we hear throughout the war on terror. We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Francois Hollande recently said exactly the same thing.

Joe: Yeah, it's a catch phrase. Sais la vie.

Niall: So we can fight them there, and we don't have to fight them here.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: In the middle of the Sahara.

Joe: It's the idea of kind of like proving a negative in a certain sense, you know? No one can supposedly contest that because what these presidents and psychopaths, psychopathic presidents and prime ministers and stuff are saying is that they know something we don't, which is that these evildoers are going to do evil on us at some point in the future. So we're taking action now to stop that from happening and protect all of you. And there's no proof needed in such a statement. You don't need to back it up because it's national security and blah, blah. No one questions. People just say "Oh well, if you're doing it for my safety, go ahead." So that's another thing that pisses me off, hearing that.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Plenty of "get them over there so we don't have to get them here".

Niall: Plenty of rhetoric in there to manipulate and play on the fears especially. This came after 9/11. That wasn't hard to do. But they still felt they had to try and present a casus belli, an actual justification for doing it. And that was of course, WMDs. And my god, they tried. They tried hard, but there was nothing.

Joe: Well exactly. Everybody knows this and no one seems to care because if they did really care, the world would be up in arms. Pretty much, I think it's safe to say that a good proportion, as in the majority, a decent majority, of at least people in the western world, and western Europe and Europe and probably around the world in other countries as well, know that the Americans and the Brits deliberately lied to the world and made shit up about WMDs to justify their invasion, i.e., they had no good reason to invade. It was a war of aggression. And these same people, who were behind this, are still in positions of power, still in positions of influence, still giving talks although not directly in office. And people go and people don't care that this has happened. We're just talking here about an insult to your intelligence. We're not even talking about the actual results of this war of aggression and what it did to your fellow human beings.
Talking about the WMDs, initially they had three narratives. They went from one, to the next, to the next. They started off Saddam did 9/11 or at least he was...

Niall: Harboring the terrorists.

Joe: Or hanging out with them, Al Qaeda, hanging out with Osama and they were buddies, some kind of childish nonsense or BS to try and tie the invasion of Iraq and Saddam Hussein to the trauma of 9/11 so everybody would get behind it. They were just looking for anything that was emotionally jarring or that would grab people by the emotions and get them to say "Okay, just do it! Just do it! Oh my god! 9/11!" So it was Saddam, 9/11 and that was very quickly dismissed and ridiculed by people, by scholars, by many people who know that there was no way that Saddam would ever have been hanging out...

Niall: Yeah, they dropped that one like a hot potato because Saddam Hussein, of course, was the leader of the most secular country in a region that was supposedly full of Islamo-fascist/Muslim terrorists. So he would have been the opposite end of that scale.

Joe: Yes, exactly. He was fighting against, in fact, Islamo-fascist-type people or fundamentalist Islamic extremists for many years. And it was well known. So they dropped that quickly. Then they moved on to, as we just said WMDs, with lots of fabrication, lots of going back and forth to the UN, trying to convince the entire world that, with Colin Powell showing silly pictures of things that he had made up or someone had given him, who had made them up, pictures of mobile weapons labs, etc.

Niall: Curveball.

Joe: Curveball, who was basically just...

Niall: Supposedly an Iraqi informer.

Joe: He was an informer for some western intelligence agency.

Niall: German.

Joe: Yeah, for the Germans. But it was all made up because apparently his source was an Iraqi taxi driver who was drunk. No, there was something about an Iraqi taxi driver that's ultimately where the information came from.

Niall: There was another story that this guy had worked in an agricultural seed processing factory somewhere in the middle of Iraq and he fabricated this story. And I say he fabricated it because he later admitted that it was fabricated. And the Germans who were listening to all of this intelligence and passing it on to the CIA presumably, actually tried to explain to the American attach茅.

Joe: This guy's a bullshit artist. Don't believe anything he says.

Niall: Don't believe what he's saying.

Joe: But the CIA was aware of that as well, but it was the officials in the Bush government who were saying "Listen, that's not good enough. We want information. We want testimony from someone that fits in with our idea to invade Iraq." They were just going back and forth with the CIA saying "Listen, find it! Find something. Find anything." And they couldn't. And eventually this was the best they could come up with, which was a pure out-and-out lie. And you had Tony Blair talking about the forty five minute attack timeframe that Saddam could mobilize his weapons of mass destruction.

Niall: Long-range.

Joe: Yes, ICBMs or whatever, long-range missiles with chemical warheads that could strike the UK within forty five minutes or at least could be mobilized in forty five minutes. And maybe that came from an Iraqi taxi driver. Maybe that's where it came from. But there was definitely an Iraqi taxi driver supplied some of the core information to him. And they knew it. And Tony Blair, psychopath that he is, evil, disgusting, I can't think about any more words that are repeatable, he stood up in front of the House of Commons and vociferously declared that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction and that we needed to go to war, everybody needed to go to war. And it was all based on lies. And the man, Tony Blair that we're talking of, also had David Kelley killed later that year in July 2003, had him assassinated. This is Dr. David Kelley who was a weapons inspector and had been in Iraq a long time and knew that the claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that Blair had been touting over and over again, he knew it was false. He was going to testify that it was false. He was going to reveal the information that was ironclad, that him being someone who was a career scientist and a weapons inspector and had been in Iraq on many occasions knew that it was lies. He was assassinated, quite clearly, by the Blair government, Alexander Campbell, whoever they got to do it, basically some hit man.

Niall: People must know that that was such a sickening sight.

Joe: Everybody knows it in the UK. Every single person in the UK knows - okay, I'm exaggerating, but seriously, there are a lot of people who - because the story is so ridiculous.

Niall: It was so brazen. The guy has already been outed as the informant of this journalist for the BBC, Andrew Gilligan. His name is out there. At this point it's public. You don't just go and kill someone.

Joe: Well they do.

Niall: And they did. But they did it in such a way to try and make it look like suicide.

Joe: Yeah, because he was under such stress because he was going to have to reveal the deep dark secret that Tony Blair is a lying piece of - uh - shite?

Niall: No, don't do that. Not on air.

Joe: So yeah, that's what we're talking about here. Sorry that was all just all inspired by George Bush's address to the nation.

Niall: The thing with, before you go on, the WMD angle the lies go even further back because immediately after the Gulf War, 1991, well not immediately, I think it was a couple of years after, they launch one of those infamous whitewash public inquiries in the UK. It was called the Scott Inquiry. And it was because of reports that had come out which everyone already knew beforehand anyway, that the weapons Saddam had been using in the first Gulf War, were sold to him by the Brits and the Americans right up until Operation Desert Storm was launched. And the Scott inquiry pretty much nailed that down, the timeline, what exactly was sold. Now they couched it in "Well, oh, we didn't know he was going to use them like that. We didn't know he would use them against his own people".

Joe: Yeah, we give them to soldiers.

Niall: "We just gave him" - they called it farming equipment. It was for agricultural purposes. "We didn't know he was going to do that with it."

Joe: Well it's well known that Saddam liked some mustard gas in his tea.

Niall: So if there was anything to any weapons of mass destruction, which there wasn't because all through the '90's UN inspectors had gone and overseen their destruction if anything was found or verified that "No, there's nothing here in this site or that site". They knew full well. This is not something lost in the chaos of the build-up to the war in 2003. It was a decade old, this story.

Joe: So they knew. But what do you mean they knew? The Bush government knew and all the officials knew? And the people knew?

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: The people didn't necessarily know because they don't necessarily know anything, even if it comes via the media.

Niall: The officials knew.

Joe: The officials knew.

Niall: But they find the checks for god's sake!

Joe: That's the thing. Yeah, they knew that they had sold them too.

Niall: They know exactly. Famous, famous meeting of Rumsfeld in I think 1983 in Bagdad, shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, congratulating him on the progress he was making.

Joe: But the thing is, as we know about psychopaths, from research in psychopaths by, for example, Robert Hare, we know that for a psychopath, or the psychopathic mind, facts and the truth are kind of funny, nebulous, not very well defined things. They can be real one moment, as long as they serve their purposes, and the next moment, that same fact can be not a fact anymore.

Niall: That's fascinating. The idea that they don't actually understand what we mean when we say a fact.

Joe: Well a fact usually implies the idea of something externally to yourself, something that can be verified externally and can be agreed upon by several people, more than one person. Its close enough to objective reality, But if you consider psychopathy from the point of view of extreme narcissism, that's extreme subjectivity and extreme focus on and involvement with the self, the self being the kind of arbiter of reality essentially. And therefore for such a person with such a mindset or such a psychological makeup, facts would be quite problematic in terms of them being objectively true outside of themselves and that you're essentially governed or you have to submit, to a certain extent, to facts.

Niall: Yeah. You're beliefs and your choices, your options available to you, the next thing you do, are regulated by your environment.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: In other words, I might have the desire to do "x", but I can't because I can immediately foresee it's going to have a series of consequences on others and on myself.

Joe: Well that's the other aspect of seeing the future. I supposed it's tied to the idea of not being able to understand facts in a very clear way because they're so focused only on themselves and their own reality and they themselves being the center of the universe essentially, and everything else just being an extension of themselves. Therefore it's all mutable by them if they decide this shouldn't be the way it is for them. And that gets back to our quote from the very beginning. "We create our own reality" and all of you directly to what we're talking about.

Niall: Exactly. All of you will be left to study it. That was later attributed to Carl Rove, who was Bush's spin doctor I suppose, like Alistair Campbell was to Tony Blair.

Joe: Exactly. Yeah.

Niall: Creating reality one step at a time. And this will come up later in the show as well. We'll see that in the past the very things that some of these people like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, have said one day, they've said the exact opposite the next day.

Joe: Yeah, that's amazing. That's one thing to really watch out for anybody who's interested in psychopathy. It ties in with the old adage of looking to what someone says compared to what they do. It's almost folk wisdom at this point where that's how you can kind of judge a person's character. But I think that may actually come originally from an observation of psychopathy, as someone who consistently says something in a very kind of heart-felt, genuine way apparently, and then does exactly the opposite, or does not do that. It's quite startling to observe that. Because usually most people, by and large what they talk about, especially with conviction, they follow up on. But those two are completely disconnected from what they say and from what they do.

Niall: It's funny how I think if someone was seeing this in person, perhaps either in direct conversation with someone who would come across as a congenital liar, the red flag would go up and you'd be like "What the hell is going on here?" But when it's said day-in, day-out by leaders, authority figures, something seems to glaze over and those red flags don't go up. It's alarming. Maybe it's because they do it so much and they think surely people cannot lie like that to my face every day on the news, day-in and day-out.

Joe: Well, people don't believe it because they don't do it themselves. The Hitler - was it Hitler or Goebbels' quote about the big lie?

Niall: Yeah, the big lie. What was the third?

Joe: Well the third one. So we talked about Saddam, Saddam did 9/11. Nope he didn't, left him out pretty quickly. Then Saddam's WMDs, no, within about the end of 2003 that was already exposed that it was a big lie. So the rest of the time they threw in the odd "Saddam was a bad man". That became...

Niall: He was Hitler.

Joe: Tony Blair and George Bush and various people - well they called him a bad man. It was completely pathetic.

Niall: Asinine.

Joe: There was times when my jaw just hit the floor. It was like "Are you shitting me? That's your reason? He was a bad man?"

Niall: "Bad man".

Joe: Are you going to go to war on all the bad men in the world? And they must really think that they're talking to idiots when they use that kind of language. But anyway, they threw in he was a bad man. That's why we did it. We lied about the other things and we're just making up this next one. He was a bad man. But then as the chaos in Iraq worsened over the first few years, then it became, and it has been more or less until now, they were there to keep the peace essentially, that they wouldn't leave Iraq in this state, which they themselves had created. They weren't going to leave them in this civil war type situation, or sectarian violence. They had to be there to keep the peace. And in all of it, nothing was said about their ambition, like even in his address to the nation was said they have no ambition. And clearly they did. Clearly the ambition was oil and above and beyond that, you can include Israel maybe as part of the motivation in terms of doing the bidding of the Israelis.

Niall: Yeah, war for Israel.

Joe: But obviously there's a strong aspect of just the psychopathic destructive principle. Basically just getting off, getting their jollies from waging war and destroying people and destroying other countries. Just a kick out of destruction and mayhem and there's a strong element of that in what's been going on in Iraq in terms of direct involvement by high level American and British officials in the brutalization of individual Iraqis, as we'll get into in a couple minutes.

Niall: The thing that stood out for me, within a couple of years it became apparent that the situation there was just so far gone and okay, so as you put it now, okay so we can think they're there getting their jollies. Well, the extent of the corruption there was such that it was like they made the Wild West where anything goes. And the stories coming out were just insane that they were actually shifting over billions of dollars in hard cash and laundering the money. This is before we even get to oil, by the way. The no-bid contracts doled out in the billions if not trillions. No one knows. Two companies, American companies, but also international, not just the U.S. Obviously there was a lot of back room stuff "Yeah, you support the invasion of Iraq and you'll get something out of it. There'll be something in it for you."

Joe: Yeah. That's what made up the coalition of the three or four willing. That was their motivation.

Niall: Well there were other countries. I think later on there were - Italy sent a contingent. Poland.

Joe: Yeah, but on a very short-term basis.

Niall: Yeah. As if there's like a nominal contribution, like just symbolic.

Joe: Well it was 'if you put this "x" number of troops in for "x" number of time, you'll get "x" number of money. As long as you put them there, the more troops, you'll get more money'. It was a pro-rata kind of basis.

Niall: I don't think people realize just how bad this event was. We described it in the show intro that it's one of the worst events. Okay, there are other events where you could say more people died or they lasted a longer time, but the sheer brazenness, the sheer lies on which this was founded and the subsequent carnage, and the fact that it continues. I think that what did it for me is the fact that it's been sold - or it's already gone down in history as being a humanitarian - it's the rhetoric that its already wrapped in that makes me just want to puke.

Joe: Yeah, Operation Iraqi Freedom. When you realize what it was really all about how can it be humanitarian when it's officially accepted and acknowledged that the main reasons that were given for going to war - not going to war, for invading Iraq - were lies, that they were desperately making up anything they could to justify it. That fact alone tells you that they had no good reason for invading Iraq. They only had bad reasons because they came up with a string of ridiculous and provably false good reasons, so they had no good reason, so they had a bad reason. So what was the bad reason? What was the reason that they were not willing to tell anybody well it was basically to enrich themselves and also part of the just "We want to go and destroy a country. We want to use our military. We want to exercise our military." And yeah, "We want to get our grubby hands on oil." I think people try too hard to come up with some kind of geostrategic...

Niall: Yeah, some ultimate, some motivator.

Joe: Or some long analysis of why and all the different factors involved when it just comes down to pure greed and pure destructive principle.

Niall: That's all you need. Analysis is fine so long as you come back to...

Joe: Yeah, you can analyze how it happened.

Niall: Because there is a lot of stuff to be told.

Joe: Well there is yeah, but I'm talking in terms of the rationale, the ultimate reason for it. I don't think it goes any further than them being psychopaths and employing the psychopathic destructive principle and also being extremely greedy, it being a pathology of greed. And that's about it, really. Like I said, you don't need any more. We don't need any kind of lofty ideological goals or reasons to why they wanted to go into this part of the world. For resources, sure, but that's greed.

Niall: Yeah. I think we don't need any super-grand strategy, reason to understand what exactly their objectives were and did they achieve them or not. However, they very much used that language to explain their rationale. Look at some of the documents where the idea of an overt war against Iraq first comes up with the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein, regime change and all that. We've obviously got the PNAC document rebuilding America's defenses, The Project for a New American Century, where the neo-conservatives who sort of piggybacked into George W. Bush's administration in 2000, these guys had already identified Iraq as number one target amongst a whole lot of other things. That document is 90 pages and it basically explains exactly what needs to be changed in the American military structure, Pentagon structure. It outlines which countries need to be dealt with, Iraq being number one. It talks about the introduction of drones and UAVs. This is at a time the technology was still unknown to the public.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: And this document I think was first published in 1996. And of course there's an infamous quote that basically says, at the end, "Well, the thing is, we can't do any of all this stuff absent a catalyzing, catastrophic event like a new Pearl Harbor".

Joe: And then George Bush on the evening of 9/11 wrote in his diary, allegedly, that America just got its new Pearl Harbor.

Niall: Actually, yeah, it's attributed to Bush. There's a quote here, I think it's from journalist Greg Palast, "Before going to sleep Bush wrote in his diary 'the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today. We think it's Osama Bin Laden'." Then Palast says "There's no evidence that Bush, the man who never reads, writes enough to keep a diary. The reference to a diary would seem to be a vehicle to convey that death of Bush's capitulation to the rogue network behind 9/11, i.e., the neo-conservatives they haven't been talking about."

Joe: Absolutely. And obviously you can't talk about the Iraq war without talking about 9/11 without which there would probably have been no wars anywhere in the past 10 years, no U.S. invasions of any countries in the past 10 years without 9/11. It was the seminal event and as we have often said, that is the day that everything really changed. It was the beginning of the end of any chance that in the west certainly, had of creating any kind of a decent or a positive civilization, a global civilization or even of having any hope for a bright future or a positive future. Because everything that has happened since then has just been the brutalization of so many people, in so many places, in so many different ways, physically, psychologically, emotionally. And it's not just happening 'over there', it's happening at home, in the U.S. and in Europe. All of the changes that have happened have been justified by 9/11.

Niall: Yeah. The mass trauma of an event like that, which seems to create an opening for people's values to be re-written in some way, to be reconfigured persistently you know, terror, terror, terror. Iraq invades, you know. They could get away with what they were doing because the emotional language, without ever having to actually prove the case, just flashing up on the screen an image of a nuclear bomb going off and then talking about Saddam Hussein. People were in this state where they didn't even need to appeal to rationality. I think they realized that. I think with 9/11, they could do what they'd always wanted. Look at Iraq for example. Iraq is long since on the hit list with the first gulf war.

Joe: Yeah, but let me just expand a bit on that idea of 9/11 enchaining people, or certainly 9/11 changed people in terms of opening them to all sorts of propaganda and lies and accepting all sorts of propaganda and lies in the years since then. But there has been a real de-humanizing effect on people as a result of what had happened. As a result of 9/11 people have sanctioned the invasion of other countries and the murder of their fellow human beings. Not only have they sanctioned it, they've essentially welcomed it or cheered it under the idea that it was good for them. They saw it as a positive thing. You're talking about getting a large percentage of the population to believe that killing their fellow human beings is good.

Now that has to have some kind of a psychological effect. And I'm just wondering if it's correlated because it seems to me that in the past 10 years, since about 2000, things have gone downhill socially and culturally in the west. The level of crass TV programming and the crassness of many areas of society, particularly in terms of entertainment and culture, are kind of staggering. It shocks me every day when I look out there at what is passed off as culture or interesting or something for people to do or some kind of positive pastime for people to engage in. And I'm wondering if the effects of the invasions and the brutalization of other human beings that have been done in the name of many people in this world, particularly in the west, has in some way de-humanized them or done something to their own natures by the fact of them accepting it and being encouraged to accept it and in accepting it, that that has then led to just this disintegration or the real deterioration of their values and even their thinking powers. They've become halfwits. They've become idiots.

There was a story I was looking at today. It was a museum, I think it was a British museum where an actress, she's a fairly famous actress, put on an art display. This was art. And for seven hours a day she was in a glass case in a gallery, sleeping on a bed. And I saw pictures of this.

Niall: That was the art.

Joe: That was art. And there were dozens of people or more. There was a large crowd of people. There was just one picture, but apparently had been attracting a lot of people to look at her sleeping. And that was art. Now tell me that that is not the art of a bunch of halfwits, a bunch of real village idiots. I mean, seriously. And I'm just wondering if there isn't a correlation between that and of course we've talked previously about the spread of psychopathic kind of ideals or psychopathic morality throughout society, but I'm wondering if there's something essential hasn't been lost in a lot of people as a result of them accepting maybe of torture, and killing, and war is good, and freedom and democracy. Believing that going off and invading another country and killing 1.5 million people is freedom and democracy, and it's keeping them safe and it's helping the Iraqis when the lies are so blatant and the truth should be so obvious. When people believe those lies and have internalized them it ultimately destroys them in some way or other. Or it certainly destroys their thinking and their ability to just be normal human beings.

Niall: I think it's been said that the act of actually believing a lie has a direct effect on someone's brain there and then. It was explained in a study exactly what's going on, the process. The net result is a kind of re-wiring where on the one hand, people become desensitized, and on the other hand, in some ways, they become hypersensitive, where the slightest scent of fear, or danger, or threat sends them over the edge and they start doing crazy things.

Joe: You mean when they believe lies?

Niall: When they believe lies. When there's something maybe slightly terrifying on the news. Maybe there's a story about or even when it's not a terrifying thing, when, like we've discussed in the show, when a kid gets arrested in his school because he talked about being in his (bad audio).

Joe: Well maybe what you're talking about there is hysteria. Basically the fact of believing lies, really blatant ones and internalizing them turns you into a hysterical idiot which is close enough. Either you're an idiot, a dimwit, or a halfwit or a hysterical halfwit.

Niall: And you can't help but wonder if it's a concerted campaign because in terms of crass entertainment, that TV show 24, it's not the only one that's guilty of this but I think it was the most popular, making torture seem normal. I'm sorry, but the day you accept torture of another person is the day it kills your own spirit if I can speak in those terms. Never mind what it does to your neurophysiology.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: And one after the other, as things came out in Iraq about what it was really like there, both for the local population and for, let's say for the troops that went there sincere in heart and were just horrified by what they saw and whose lives have been destroyed by it.

Joe: Yeah, eighteen suicides a day on average, in the military.

Niall: I think most U.S. deaths were suicides.

Joe: I don't know. Well that's another contentious point about the actual number of dead in Iraq. I think it's far higher than they're suggesting. It's not four or five thousand, what they claim. It's probably more like forty to fifty thousand and well over 100,000 injured because that would fit with other similar types of conflicts in the 20th century, in terms of numbers, when you're fighting against a guerrilla war. You don't get away in 10 years with a few thousand casualties, you know. But we're just going to pause here for a moment. I know we started late, but we're going to pause here anyway, for a little word from our real sponsors this time. And we'll be back after this.

Joe: Yes indeed. That was just a little advertisement for Laura's latest book Comets and the Horns of Moses. It's an excellent book and I'd advise everybody to get it, despite what we're talking about here. It really gives you the broad, big picture understanding of what we're dealing with and the real threat, as we just heard the real threat to humanity. Although on a day-to-day basis obviously there are threats but there are threats from the same kind of things we're talking about here, in terms of psychopath-inspired war and aggression. But that's not un-linked potentially, to the topic of Laura's book, Comets and the Horns of Moses. So we really recommend you get yourself a copy.

Niall: Yeah, and if you're paying attention to SOTT lately you probably notice the number of fireballs being reported has gone through the roof. I don't think I can keep up with them these days.

Joe: No.

Niall: There are so many. I've done some rough number crunching based on the baseline of the American Meteor Society. They collect reports and they verify them, blah, and blah, blah. And there was a jump in 2010 of 50 percent over 2009. A 50 percent jump in 2011 over 2010 and last year. So far this year the rate, monthly rate is 60 percent over last year.

Joe: Wow.

Niall: So it's exponentially...

Joe: It's doubling.

Niall: It's doubling all the time year on year.

Joe: That's kind of scary.

Niall: It's real. So the Iraq war, they gave us all these reasons for going. They said 'we'll be in, we'll be out, and we'll be home by Christmas' kind of thing.

Joe: Flowers thrown out of...

Niall: We'll be greeted as liberators. They'll worship the U.S. military because it's so great. What the hell happened then? Officially the war was over in a month. Then you had George W. striding down...

Joe: George W. jockstrap.

Niall: ...in an F16 or something, landing on the U.S. carrier. "Mission accomplished". And what, that was the end? Well no!

Joe: The next month the violence really took off. But what really happened people need to understand that obviously, as we said, it wasn't a war, it was an invasion. It's long since been known, particularly by the powers that be in the west, the psychopaths in power, that when you invade a sovereign country you can tell the people back home whatever you want. This goes back hundreds of years really. You can tell the people back home whatever you want to convince them that it's all for good. But the people being invaded have a very different understanding of it, a much more realistic understanding of it.

And the people in Iraq very quickly understood that this was an invasion and an occupation. And it had ulterior motives, despite what George Bush said, that they had no ambition. They certainly had ambition and the ambition was to plunder and pillage the entire country to the detriment of the Iraqi people. That quickly became obvious. So quickly you had a large number of Iraqi people who were against the invasion. Surprise, surprise! I mean what a strange thing that people would be against being invaded and occupied. Of course they are! So they know this. And they prepare for in advance. And what they look to do is to exacerbate, or incite, or provoke however minimal, any sectarian, or religious, or social, or cultural divides within the country.

And usually it's not quite possible to do that because generally there's nothing better than an invasion by a foreign power to unite a country against those invaders. So what they've done on many occasions throughout the 20th century and in fact beforehand, is that when they invade a foreign country, they organize groups, as many as are needed, of essentially death squads to go around terrorizing the local population. Because the local population who take up arms against the invasion, they're just the front guard, the advance guard. The real support for them and the real power for a resistance movement comes from the population within the country.

So the goal all along in Iraq was to attack the Iraqi people and to terrorize and kill and maim and torture the Iraqi people into submission because they were the enemy to the occupation and the invasion and the plunder of Iraq's resources. And whatever other reasons you want to come up with for why they did it, what their real ambition was, the thing that stood in the way of that ambition, was the Iraqi people. So the attack was on the Iraqi people. This was an attack on the Iraqi people. It wasn't the Iraq War. It was a U.S/British attack on the 26 million Iraqi people.

Niall: So it wasn't about 'just get Saddam Hussein out and everything will be rosy'. They knew otherwise.

Joe: Absolutely. So what they did was - and this has been exposed and it's been known for quite some time and it's been exposed in a documentary recently by BBC Arabic and the Guardian although they did a kind of half-assed job on it - but they basically did a story on death squads, what they call Shia death squads. So there're Sunnis and Shias in Iraq. Saddam was a Sunni, who are a minority and the Shia were the majority. And they may be felt a little bit put out by Iraq maybe favoring Sunnis. But by and large, like you just said at the beginning, Iraq was a secular Moslem country. It was a very wealthy and evolved country. And most people in Iraq were actually happy enough with their lot. They actually had quite a good level, a good standard of living.

So they organized what they called Shia death squads. But they were basically anybody they could get who would take money to be their death squad hit man type of thing to terrorize the population. So they got as many psychopaths as they could together, give them all badges and guns and cars. This is the U.S. doing this, right? Under the direction of a guy called, he's a former colonel, James Steele who reported directly to Donald Rumsfeld. And he oversaw the organization of these death squads made up mainly of Iraqis who would carry out murder and torture on demand. But the thing about it is they called them Shia death squads. And this is where the whole sectarian conflict or civil war idea comes in. They tried to claim it was a civil war because they claimed they were Shia death squads attacking Sunnis. But this is ridiculous because one of the main resistance groups in Iraq was a Shia group. It was fighting the occupation.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So how could it be a civil war between Shia and Sunnis, as in Shias attacking Sunnis, when in fact a majority of the Shia was aligned with a group that was against the occupation and their leader whose name is Muqtada al-Sadr? He, on several occasions, came out and said and appealed to all of the Iraqi people to fight against the occupation. So this is just a lie, the whole idea of a civil war. It's what they've done repeatedly. They try to create the impression of a civil war. And certainly they scare the crap out of people and terrify people and terrorize people by having these death squads going around abducting, torturing and killing ordinary people. And they set off bombs.

But of course, the special ops guys amongst the U.S. military and the British military have a direct hand in these themselves. As we noted in September 2005, two British SAS members were caught in Iraq, in Basra, driving a car. They were dressed in Arab garb, driving a car full of explosives. And they had already shot one policeman. And their car was essentially a car bomb. And they were on their way to drop it off somewhere and detonate a car bomb. Two British soldiers, dressed as Arabs.

Now you can just extrapolate from there as to what was actually going on in all those car bombings and supposed 'ethnic' or 'sectarian' conflict. It was all being deliberately exacerbated and provoked as a way to divide the country, divide the population, terrorize them and divide them along religious lines. And it's very effective. I mean, they killed hundreds of thousands of people this way.

Niall: There was just report, after report, '50 headless bodies turn up, dumped outside local police headquarters' or whatever.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: There was horrific car bombing after car bombing.

Joe: Let me just say this guy James Steele, former colonel, was in Iraq as I said, sent there by Donald Rumsfeld. He had a history in the military, obviously. He was in El Salvador where he did exactly the same thing, where he cut his teeth on death squads and organizing death squads to deal with the resistance against the U.S. imposed dictator in El Salvador in the '80s. And that's where he learned his trade. And he was then sent to Iraq to do exactly the same thing, to deal with any resistance to U.S. interests, U.S. occupation, U.S. control, U.S. plunder of the country that they were in. And there's a guy, an Iraqi general, a former Iraqi general now, who was interviewed about this guy Steele. He met him. And he had this to say about him.
NARRATOR: Steele made a strong impression with the high-level, even battle-hardened Iraqis he worked with.

GENERAL MUNTHADER AL-SAMARI: The best description for him is that he lacks human feelings. I mean, the number of wars he's witnessed and the various methods of torture that must have been committed, whether in Iraq or elsewhere, somehow their hearts have died.

NARRATOR: General Munthader al-Samari is a former general in the Iraqi army. After the invasion, he worked with the Americans to rebuild the police force. But Munthader was very disturbed by the abuse and torture he witnessed being committed by the police commandos. He tried on a number of occasions to stop it. He has never spoken before about the part the U.S. played in running the special police commandos.

GENERAL MUNTHADER AL-SAMARI: The Ministry of Interior had 14 to 15 prisons. They were secret, never declared. But the American top brass and the Iraqi leadership knew all about these prisons. The things that went on there, drilling, murder, torture, the ugliest sorts of torture I've ever seen.
Joe: So that's his opinion of this guy James Steele. He has direct experience of it because he left in 2005. But he was there initially until he realized what was going on.

Niall: Someone incapable of human feeling.

Joe: He said the best description is that their hearts had died. And this is how he's describing James Steele who was sent to Iraq by Donald Rumsfeld and reported directly to him with the job of organizing, as he had done in El Salvador, organizing death squads to attack supposedly the resistance, but these are people who were resisting a foreign occupation of their country who understand that their country is being destroyed and pillaged. But they also attacked ordinary Iraqi civilians far more often because they were easier targets.

Niall: Yeah, it would never have been acknowledged that they're doing this to counter the resistance. The term is 'counterinsurgency'. You see "We're doing this to counter the insurgency which is by nature violent. Therefore we have to get down and dirty with them. That's just the hard facts of war. God help us!" That was the fallback reason for why this kind of thing went on, if it ever came up. I don't think it did really, the counterinsurgency, but the trick in that is not that you're countering something that's being done by the others, you are doing all that. And it's justifying your reprisals against the genuine resistance. We're talking about night time raids and then the regular U.S. troops would then be sent in, based on some intel or whatever that's tortured out of someone. They would go in and terrorize the crap out of whole neighborhoods. There was, at the height of it in 2006, they were doing sweeps of the whole of Bagdad, district by district.

Joe: Yup.

Niall: Millions of people.

Joe: Yeah. We can't excuse the U.S. military either. The U.S. military, despite what many people think, were murderers, most of them, by and large. Obviously there were different people in the military with different attitudes and stuff. But by and large, if you're part of the U.S. military and you were in Iraq, then you took part in murder. You may not have directly taken part in it yourself, but you are part of a large contingent of murderers who went around murdering, kicking in doors at night and shooting and killing innocent people. And these are the people that the U.S. population cheers and wears little badges for. "Support our troops. Aren't they wonderful? Aren't they great?" No they're not! They're murderers!

Niall: And this is why so many of them suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome. Those who...

Joe: Have a conscience.

Niall: ...have a conscience.

Joe: And saw what was going on.

Niall: And know better. At least they know better now, I hope. And it doesn't end there of course. I mean, I'm sure many of our listeners in the U.S. have heard stories of troops coming back home and just the stuff they get up to when they come back home because they're so, what's the word, they're so war sick or war affected by the Iraq war that it just carries on. The violence carries on at home.

Joe: Well, PTSD and traumatized. Who knows the various different ways that different people react to it. Some of them commit suicide. Some of them kill other people. Some of them just spend the rest of their lives depressed.

Niall: Yeah. Taking copious amounts of medications just to live another day. And that's another effect. We were talking earlier about the effects on the whole population of believing a lie and becoming halfwits by increments. But a direct effect is you've got a million troops I think, a million American males, young males, have done a tour in Iraq of some length or another...

Joe: Yup.

Niall: ...gone home and directly affect their immediate family.

Joe: Their friends.

Niall: Their colleagues, whoever. It's just ponerising, this is serious. If they had any heart to begin with when they went out there and they came home with none, well just try and imagine. Most Americans probably don't have to imagine. They've heard the stories.

Joe: Absolutely.

Niall: But that's a direct horrific effect on U.S. society. Meanwhile in Iraq, when Abu Ghraib came out, I thought "Oh, surely this is like a big exposure. Surely heads are going to roll here."

Joe: Tip of the iceberg.

Niall: Holy mackerel! This stuff! The images! The photos! They're still freely available. It's like they were like "Yeah, sure, whatever. Distribute them." There was no effort made to try and rein them in. They were posing; these were prison guards, low-level ranking junior officers, whatever guarding these torture centers, taking photos of themselves doing sex acts on groups of males, on children, on women, smearing feces on their faces.

Joe: Holding them in stress positions, torturing them basically in a very brutal way.

Niall: This was all the stuff we were told Saddam Hussein does to his people. That's why we're going in there!

Joe: Yup.

Niall: He's a killer. He's a bad man because he kills so many people. Well there's actually little evidence for that.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: And then the U.S. goes in and creates the very reality they accuse him of. It's a mind bender.

Joe: What I wonder is if anybody has any questions or any comments because obviously we have strong opinions on this. You may have noticed we have strong opinions on it. If you have a strong opinion one way or the other, or a question, or anything like that, feel free to call in and we'll do our best to answer your questions.

Niall: So you're talking about these death squads, right? So in 2003, I think it was May 1st or earlier even, Bush does his 'mission accomplished' as in the mission's over. As in the war is over. And now we pass it on to the new regime. It took a while before there was a new regime. That's right, there was a caretaker government led by the American Paul Bremer.

Joe: The Coalition Provisional Authority, the CPA.

Niall: CPA.

Joe: He was there just to make sure all the oil contracts were signed off to American companies and all the other "rebuilding" contracts were signed off. No rebuilding was ever done but a large amount of money/aid to defense contractors to do this rebuilding that never happened, they got the money but they didn't do anything. So that's just an aspect of a way to loot the country, using oil revenue. And then for future oil sales and the control of the Iraqi oil, they were signed off by Bremer basically. Bremer was the dictator for that first year, or more than a year that he was in Iraq. He could sign anything and everything into law and he did.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: I mean, they took complete control of the country and just installed him as dictator and then passed it off to this couple of CIA stooges, Ahmed Chalabi, who was a known CIA asset, and he became the interim prime minister. And then a succession of others, to the point that today Iraq is still destroyed. Or still daily almost, the car bombings that still leaves people who are continuing to put pressure on because they figure that the job isn't done yet. They haven't restructured, or reformed Iraq. The Americans have not re-formed Iraq fully in their own likeness, i.e., a fascist, capitalist form of government and society. So they're still putting the pressure on in terms of blowing people up and killing people, the last remnants of any resistance to that remaking of Iraq. And they're in complete control. The U.S. is still fully in control of Iraq. They have stage-managed the process of democratization of Iraq all the way, right up until this day.

Niall: Yeah, freedom and democracy and it is Iraq's turn. It's the turn of Syria and a few others.

Joe: Yeah, and of course, they had all of the mercenaries. They really did a number on them, you know? You had 100, 120, 100 and some thousand U.S. troops, a lot of whom were just going over to kick some 'raghead ass' and shoot some 'sand niggers' as they call them. And so you had those, then you had an even bigger contingent of mercenaries, civilian contractors like XE today, Blackwater back then, but XE today, who basically have no oversight. There's nothing to stop them doing whatever they want. They just arbitrarily kill people as we've seen in videos, shooting people in the street. We're up to 200,000 of them. And then you had this specialist group of say five to ten thousand Iraqi police commandos, as they were called, or Shia death squads, but they were just basically U.S. death squads, employed, and paid by the U.S. under the direct supervision of Rumsfeld and his man in Iraq, James Steele. And they were there to do the pinpoint terrorization. Well they were all doing it. They're all involved in the same game, you know. But the particularly, brutal, deliberate acts of torture and killing were done by these death squads that were sent by Rumsfeld as has been done many times in the past.

I'll just give you another little insight into this guy James Steele, who was the torturer essentially, the death squad man in chief in Iraq.
NARRATOR: Samara was the first place that the connection between James Steele and the activities of the police commandos was made known to the outside world. New York Times journalist Peter Maass convinced General Petreus to allow him and photographer Gilles Perez to visit the commandos in Samara. Their host was James Steele.
PEREZ: What I heard is prisoners screaming all night long, at which point you have the young U.S. captain saying to his solider "Don't come near this thing".

NARRATOR: Gilles Perez' stark, black and white photographs capture how the commandos worked in Samara. James Steele crops up in these photographs repeatedly.

MAASS: I was staying at the base in Samara, an American base, and I overheard American soldiers at this base talking about having watched prisoners be kind of strung up like animals after a hunt, over a bar, having watched prisoners be actually tortured.

NARRATOR: Adnan Thabit and the American military made the joint decision to set up the commando headquarters and interrogation center in the city's main library. We spoke to two men from Samara who were imprisoned in the library. Still fearful, they asked us to conceal their identities.

PRISONER: We would be blindfolded and handcuffed behind our backs. Then they would beat us with shovels and pipes. We'd be tied to a spit or we'd be hung from the ceiling by our hands and our shoulders would be dislocated.

PRISONER: They electrocuted me. They hung me from the ceiling. They were pulling at my ears with pliers, stamping on my head, asking me about my wife, saying they would bring her here.

MAASS: The interrogation center was the only place in the kind of mini-green zone in Samara that I was not allowed to visit. However, one day Jim Steele said to me "Hey, they just captured a Saudi jihadi. Would you like to interview him?"

NARRATOR: Maass and Perez were about to get an unprecedented glimpse into this clandestine world.

MAASS: We kind of walk into the entrance area and the first thing that I see is one of the Iraqi guards beating up one of the Iraqi prisoners. And then I'm taken not into the main area, kind of the main hall, although out of the corner of my eye I can see there were a lot of prisoners in there with their hands tied behind their backs, I was taken to a side office where the Saudi was brought in. And there was actually blood dripping down the side of a desk in this office.

PEREZ: We were in a room in the library interviewing and I was looking around I see blood everywhere.

MAASS: And while this interview was going on, me and the Saudi with Jim Steele also in the room, there were these terrible screams. There was somebody shouting "Allah, Allah, Allah" but it wasn't you know, kind of religious ecstasy or something like that. These were screams of pain and terror.
Joe: So, if you want an abiding picture of what the Iraq invasion and occupation has been all about, what defines it really, is that image that New York Times reporter just conveyed to you, of going in to a room to interview James Steele, that is Donald Rumsfeld's emissary to Iraq, and in the room that Steele was in, where he was interviewing Steele, there was blood everywhere. And James Steele is sitting in the middle of it, smiling. "Yes, what are your questions, any questions? Freedom and democracy, yes? Let me just wipe this blood off my desk."

Niall: Before I shake your hand.

Joe: Wipe his blood off my hand before I shake it.

Niall: God! Something I've wondered about is why Iraq. I mean, an event like 9/11 gave them carte blanche. I mean, they went into Afghanistan right away.

Joe: Same story there, yeah.

Niall: But they still had, let's say, lots of revenge fuel in the tank and it was all geared and spent on Iraq.

Joe: Well Afghanistan was invaded first and then Iraq and those are on either side of Iran. So you've got to figure that there's some attempt there to hem in Iran. And also it's just south of Russia and Russia's sphere of influence. So there's a certain geostrategic game being played there. But it's all fuelled by greed. It's rationalized and flowery geostrategic terms by think tanks and stuff like that, but it's just motivated from the top by greed and the destructive principle. And it's been going on a long time obviously because back during the First World War.

Niall: Actually the story, well who knows where it begins, but it begins a little bit before the First World War when a company was set up in London. It's gone through a couple of names, but eventually became the Iraqi or Iraq Petroleum Company. And this was a cartel of the biggest French and British oil companies. And they were actually competing with the Germans at the time. This is before WWI actually broke out. The Germans were building the famous Berlin to Bagdad railway. And part of that was greased by oil deals because oil had become the new black gold around 1910, turn of the century. And oil was going to fuel the industrial revolution. Well, it already had.

Joe: It had already started but it was now the commodity that would make the difference between a developed nation and an undeveloped nation in terms of the control of it.

Niall: Right. And this company, which today is still on paper, it's still actually an active company and still based in London, was formed and Iraq as such didn't exist. The territory was part of the Ottoman Empire which sided with the Germans in WWI. Early on, 1915, early on in the First World War, the French and British agreed to divide up spheres of influence in the region.

Joe: Yeah, to divide up the Ottoman Empire essentially.

Niall: Yeah, carve it up between them. Spoils of old wars giving rise to new wars. What came out of that was the creation of the country we know today as Iraq. Literally it was carved up based on this commodity of corporate interests. So its very foundation is based on oil. So in 1920, as part of the Treaty of Versailles, negotiations with Germany...

Joe: At the San Remo conference.

Niall: That's right.

Joe: In 1920.

Niall: We have the creation of this new state, Iraq, a kingdom.

Joe: The British Mandate of Mesopotamia.

Niall: At which the British government would control this new country. France would control the new country of Syria to the north and Lebanon. And a king was put in power; I think he was actually a Jordanian, King Faisal. And right away the British realized and they probably already knew it from plenty of experience that the local population would not be happy with you dictating to them how things are going to be. And already in those days - did you say that Winston Churchill did something infamous?

Joe: Yeah. That was the first time the Brits used, I think it might have been the first time that chemical weapons were used ever because it was just a new technology at the time, but Winston Churchill organized or ordered the use of chemical weapons, I think mustard gas, on the Arabs in Iraq who were revolting against the British-imposed monarchy. And he said something about unruly Arabs or unruly natives, that the best way to deal with them is mustard gas. And this is Churchill who is lauded...

Niall: Revered.

Joe: ...as the statesman to beat all statesmen. And that sickens me every time. Churchill was a psychopath who was the most evil person, not the most evil, but he was up there among the top 10...

Niall: Right up there, yeah.

Joe: ...of the 20th century in everything that he did. He was truly an evil, disgusting, despicable excuse for a human being. And if he was here now, I'd tell.

Niall: Well.

Joe: Shove one of those cigars down his throat. Anyway, carry on before I get carried away.

Niall: Well of course part of the new regime, it was a client regime from the beginning, was that 100 percent of the proceeds of oil discoveries went to the Iraqi Petroleum Company, which was nothing of Iraq. It was owned by the companies that became Shell, BP, and Totale in France. And it remained that way, unchanged, that basic oil deal, until the 1960s. It began to change a bit when there was a revolution. In 1958 there was a coup d'茅tat. A general in the Iraqi army came to power at which point, well I think the Americans were already interested, but they got heavily involved from this point onwards.

Joe: Yeah, the Brits and the Americans in 1963. Well there was a revolution that overthrew the monarchy in 1958. And then...

Niall: Then a kind of counter...

Joe: ...Saddam Hussein was supported at that time, by the Americans and the Brits.

Niall: He wasn't there on the scene yet.

Joe: No, he was there in 1963 I think.

Niall: Okay, but he's still a junior.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: And then some other guy, whose name escapes me [President Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i and Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim], but he reminded me of the Iranian leader Mossadegh, an actual, genuinely democratic leader who sincerely wanted to help his people. The name escapes me but anyway this was the beginning of Iraq getting some control over its own resources and using it to help people get out of grinding poverty, get some control in their own lives. This began in 1972 which means that for the first 60 years, or 50-some years of this creation, it was 100 percent a client regime. No, let's not call it that. Let's call it a colony, which is what it was, from the start, for 50 years. 1972 what changes was Saddam Hussein, not the leader yet, this other Mossadegh-like guy, can't remember his name, was still the top man, but Saddam was most influential in nationalizing the oil resources for Iraq, creating a national company and basically moving BP, Shell, Totale out of the country.

Joe: And then from then on you had the build-up to the Gulf War. Well you had the Iran/Iraq war in which they supported Iraq to try and get the goods out of Iraq. But Saddam wasn't playing ball even after that.

Niall: Saddam was by no means a saint. In the '70s he still wasn't the top guy. The most stable period in Iraq's history, when it became a secular country, when universal free education, universal health care, all the things that we - well that we did take for granted in the west at some point in the distant past - came to this little country that actually bootstrapped itself out of once it was able to nationalize its own resources and reinvested the money back into its country. And then Saddam Hussein takes exclusive power in the late '70s, '79 actually. And there must have been something about him because he did contribute to Iraq's downfall in a way because he got Iraq into a god-awful mess in the '80s by listening to the CIA, by meeting Rumsfeld, by saying "Yes, that's a good idea. I will attack Iran". Bad mistake, there were a million casualties in that war and it set Iraq back a good 10 years or more on any progress they had made. But somehow we're coming up to the Gulf War. Iraq is a U.S. ally. It means that effectively being a good client regime. What happened? On the eve of that war, Saddam only invaded Kuwait because he thought he had the backing of the U.S.

Joe: He was encouraged, yeah.

Niall: Right up to the end. He met with the U.S. ambassador.

Joe: Yup.

Niall: And whatever she told him.

Joe: She said "We have no interest in what we deem an internal affair to Iraq", i.e., because Saddam had always seen Kuwait as part of Iraqi territory and he took that as "Okay, the Americans won't mind. I'm going to invade Kuwait." And then they said "Oops. We changed our mind. The fact that we told you the other day isn't true today". And then the first gulf war which was basically a turkey-shoot.

Niall: And then they stopped.

Joe: They stopped because they figured that that would be enough to rein them in. They still had control in the area, in the region. And they were planning then sanctions for much of the '90s, brutal sanctions against Iraq which killed half a million children that Madelaine Albright thought was worth it, and countless more adults. And that seemed to be a softening up. So it seems that the plans ultimately to invade Iraq was always on the table.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: The softening up via sanctions through the '90s was in preparation for this grand invasion. And 9/11, as you stated, was the justification. 9/11 was needed for the boots on the ground, the sending of large numbers of U.S. military and the entire U.S. military machine halfway around the world. And the rest is history.

Niall: And the rest is history. And the intense interest on one country, on one part of the Middle East has cost so much. I mean, obviously to the Iraqi people. The expression has been said somewhere, I can't remember where, I think it's been said about Afghanistan that Afghanistan is the graveyard...

Joe: Of empires.

Niall: ...of empires. I think that's a reference to the British Empire.

Joe: Yeah, and the Russians.

Niall: And then later the Russians. But Iraq has been America's graveyard. I say that because if you think of all that has happened since then...

Joe: Before we think of that, we're going to take a call here.

Niall: Okay.

Joe: Hi caller. What's your name and where are you calling from?

Niall: Anybody there?

Joe: I see a name here, Zoya. Maybe our connection is going to let us down again. Zoya, we can't hear you.

Zoya: Yeah. Oh, so how are you?

Joe: Pretty good. How are you?

Zoya: Yeah, I'm great. Thank you. Well first of all I wanted to thank you for the show and to tell you how much I appreciate everything you do on SOTT.

Joe: Thank you.

Zoya: And also I wanted to ask you if you can speak about the Israeli angle in the invasion of Iraq.

Joe: Oh, yeah. That was the elephant in the room.

Zoya: Well, yes.

Joe: Okay, well what do you think? Do you have an opinion on it?

Zoya: Well you see, actually not long ago I was reading an article, an anniversary article of the invasion of Iraq. And the author mentioned an article written by an Israeli journalist. It's called A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s.

Niall: Yeah.

Zoya: And it was published in one of the Hebrew language journals affiliated with the World Zionist Organization. And it said there "Iraq rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's target", Oded Yinon is the journalist, "its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short-run, it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel." So I find it interesting that basically it was first of all was said in 1980s. And second of all that basically right now, they got rid of Iraq and Syria is next in line.

Joe: Mm-hm. Yeah, that's a very good point. And I think we can talk about that.

Niall: For sure, thank you Zoya. I read that paper recently, although I'd seen reference to it before. And yes, what it describes is exactly what's come to pass. It is - I think it's this convergence of interests where what's good for Israel is good for the U.S. and vice versa when it comes to the Middle East, this plays out again and again.

Joe: Yeah, tell you what, Zoya, we'll just hang up here because there's a lot of interference and then we'll just answer your call. Is that okay?

Zoya: Yeah, it's perfectly okay. Thank you.

Joe: Thanks for calling.

Zoya: Yeah, no problem.

Joe: Go ahead.

Niall: Yeah, it's an important angle here because it goes back to a foundation.

Joe: The foundation of Israel.

Niall: The foundation of Israel and the foundation of Iraq.

Joe: Yeah, the foundation of Israel, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 where the Brits decided that the Israelis, the World Zionist Federation and the Zionists who were lobbying for this state based on their religious delusions, at least that's what they claimed, in Palestine, they were lobbying for it and the British decided "Okay, we'll go with this because we can use the Israelis hopefully, eventually, as basically a policeman or a kind of little piece of definitely westernized, as they thought, or a country with western interests in the Middle East surrounded by all of these Arab nations. And they obviously, with that as the beginning, with that as the foundation of Israel, there was obviously a relationship from then on between Britain and then the U.S. And their interests in the Middle East, their greedy interest in the Middle East and the Israelis, and the Israelis have their own interests, which are largely delusional in the sense of being motivated and founded on religious fantasy, as has been proven by...

Niall: If you think of...

Joe: Shlomo Sand in his book.

Niall: Yeah. If you think of the strategy we've been talking about, that you go into a country and just take what you want, you need to keep people divided, distracted, down. Well since the creation of Israel, that country has served that purpose.

Joe: Absolutely.

Niall: For the region as a whole. It is a permanent source of instability through which a lot of things can get done.

Joe: And that's what they want, instability. Instability is perfect. They talk about the Middle East and the Middle East conflict and the Middle East problem. There has been a conflict in the Middle East directly as a result of Israel's foundation on Palestinian land in 1948 and all of the events that led up to that for over 30 years or more beforehand, that has all caused instability until today in the Middle East. And that is perfect because you want all of those countries to be under the threat of being destabilized or being generally unstable so at any moment you can go in and incite the flames of conflict. Having a permanent conflict there is very useful for the purposes of control of the countries and the leaders that may rise up in those countries.

Niall: This paper that Zoya quoted from called explicitly for that. The more inter-Arab conflict you can generate...

Joe: The better.

Niall: ...the better for us.

Joe: And the division of Iraq, which is exactly what's happened.

Niall: Yeah, it describes exactly what...

Joe: They have incited civil war, manufactured civil war in Iraq and tried to divide the country along religious lines, which are Sunni, Shia and Kurds. And they have deliberately corralled them and shepherded those different religions. They're not really different religions. Before there was a lot of intermarriage between Shia and Sunni, the differences weren't that great. They aren't that great, religiously speaking. And culturally speaking in Iraq, there was no great difference between them. They weren't enemies.

Niall: No of course not.

Joe: And they intermarried. There was no problem with them intermarrying and many of them did intermarry. But today they have all been corralled into their little kind of Bantustans, or whatever you want to call it, in Iraq right along the lines of that document that you're talking about that was written by an Israeli, a Zionist, in the 1980s.

Niall: Yep. And the same language, practically the same things that this guy prescribed in that paper, resurfaced later on. In the other program we talked about rebuilding America's defenses.

Joe: By the neo-conservative.

Niall: The neo-conservatives who a lot of them were dual Israeli citizens. Now this has brought up a lot of discussion about whether or not the war was primarily for Israel or vice versa. Is the U.S. using Israel? Is Israel using the U.S.? I think...

Joe: Absolutely. They're using each other.

Niall: They're using each other. In a psychopathic world, it's just a beautiful convergence of interests in which a lot of stuff can get done. They need war and terror to get stuff done.

Joe: And there's no honor among thieves. The Israelis are thieves. The Americans are serial thieves. And certainly when their interests converge, fine as they have done. But all along there has been a lot of suspicion and distrust between the two as well. And the Israelis are extremely, extremely paranoid and it's their own fault. You don't plant yourself and create a country for yourself on Arab land surrounded by other Arab countries, what do you expect? You know? But so many Americans are all about supporting Israel and Americans for Israel and those people are nuts.

Niall: Certifiable.

Joe: Yeah. I don't know what to say, just basic common sense. Not even asking for humanity here. I'm just talking about basic of common sense. But humanity would be good as well, in terms of seeing your fellow human beings, regardless of race, color or creed, as your fellow human beings and understanding who the common enemy is and who the really non-humans are because obviously much effort has gone into demonizing and dehumanizing other people in the eyes of Americans and in the west and stuff, particularly Arabs and Moslems in recent years. And it's very interesting that they've tried to dehumanize them, to make them non-human so that they can more easily accept their brutalization when in fact the people who are putting that idea into the minds of people in the west are themselves the real non-humans in the sense that they are very different genetically from normal humanity, which is their complete lack of empathy for other human beings. They are the ones who cannot feel any empathy or care or consideration for their fellow human beings. They don't have any fellow human beings. But they try to project that into and onto normal human beings and get them to adopt that kind of creed and believe that psychopathic ethos.
We've got another call here. Hang on a second. Hi caller. What's your name and where are you calling from?
Caller: This is Lynn from Canada.

Joe: Hi Lynn.

Lynn: Hi, great topic, really great topic. And not surprised you had so much trouble getting it out there. You just managed to circle back to something I had wanted to comment on early in the show which is about preparing the American people. I wonder if it isn't even a longer game than PNAC or 24 because I remember when Survivor came out. And that was like the early '80s and I remember hearing the description of the show and thinking "I don't need to watch this. I know exactly what I'm going to see". And it just seems to have been sort of the beginning of inuring the American population to the idea of cheating and backstabbing and all of that stuff. It just seemed to be the real beginning of a dehumanization of each other even. And if we can dehumanize each other, then it's certainly no problem to dehumanize some weird looking person from halfway around the world.

Joe: Well yeah, that's a very good point. And it probably did start quite a long time ago. When they first started to get people to - I mean it does go way, way back, sporadically. But the difference I suppose today is that it's more widespread and I suppose that's a function of communication.

Niall: I think today it has taken hold.

Joe: Maybe it has taken hold after so long.

Niall: They tried and tried and tried and it's like now.

Joe: But you go back to the days of the British Empire, for example.

Lynn: Mm-hm.

Joe: That was also demonization of natives all around the world where the British had their empire, they were seen as savages. They called Irish people monkeys and gorillas and characterized them in...

Niall: Cartoons.

Joe: ...cartoons as monkeys. So, it didn't even have to go too far away. I wonder if that's a function of, I mean I might be accused of being anti-something here, but I wonder if that's a function of a particular race of people. You know what I mean?

Lynn: Oh yeah.

Joe: Genetics or something.

Lynn: White people have always thought of themselves as the superior. And I guess when you've got the most guns you can think that. But it just struck me as the beginning of, in the long-view, something very coordinated.

Niall: Yeah, there's a documentary, I can't remember the name of it, but it looks back at generally movies that have been made in Hollywood and the anti-Arab/anti-Middle Eastern strain through them right back to the beginning of cinema really. What is the name of it? [Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People] Anyway, it looks at the sort of crass to the more subtle. You're talking about dehumanization of Arabs.

Lynn: Oh yeah. Even if anybody remembers Back to the Future, what was the first movie, Libyan terrorists.

Niall: Yeah, I remember that. And it's just in there. There's no reason for it to be there.

Lynn: Yeah, well this is the thing. And when you start to notice that, you start looking at movies in a different way. And to take the opposite tack I don't think I've seen a movie, and I don't watch that many anymore, that doesn't have some little pat on the head for Israel or some Jewish aspect of their culture. It's almost like it's mandated, that you can't make a movie without something like that. So both poles are being played in what passes for culture in the States. And once you start looking for it, it's so obvious.

Joe: But you would say Lynn that there has been a progression? Just back, I don't know, the '50s, look at TV shows in the '50s?

Lynn: Oh yeah!

Joe: A bit more wholesome.

Lynn: Not that the '50s didn't have their own issues but something like 24 would never even have entered somebody's mind as a show pitch. That would be so far out of the mentality of that era. So you can see there's this degradation, this decade-by-decade degradation, as you spoke of to where we can't even call it culture anymore, not really.

Joe: It's poison.

Lynn: Exactly. Anyway, I just wanted to get that in there, just the idea that there may be a longer game than 24.

Joe: Absolutely, yeah. Okay.

Lynn: Okay, great show.

Joe: Thanks for your call.

Niall: Thanks for your call. Bye.

Lynn: Bye-bye.

Joe: Yeah, it's a good point. It does go back further. But when we were talking about it earlier on, I don't know the gist, maybe 9/11 was the kind of end game. It was a few years beforehand but 9/11 signaled the kind of end game and really ramped up.

Niall: Yeah, the final curtain.

Joe: Because I don't remember I don't think, at least in American history or in western history, there has ever been such a widespread campaign to get people, ordinary people, as many as possible, to accept the idea of torture, torture of real human beings. Because this wasn't just, I mean they can do it on TV and stuff like that, but this was in real life. This was like Gitmo and stuff. And just saying that these people haven't been accused of any crime, they haven't done anything, but they are people of interest for us. We're concerned about them so we're going to keep them in Gitmo, in shackles and basically torture them on a regular basis by sleep deprivation and all sorts of, who knows what goes on there, but there's probably some horrible stuff going on there.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: And getting people to accept that, it's almost like it takes reality TV to a kind of new level and it's getting people to accept, in real time, the torture of other people. People living in Florida it was happening, what was it 90 miles away?

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So yeah, it has been going on for quite a while though. And probably that's a function of, I don't know as Lynn said, it's progressive and seems to have happened like I said, it does seem to be that in the middle of last century there was more of a wholesome kind of thing, at least, still hanging in there. But today, you can't find anything wholesome on TV. It's all tainted by some screwed-up pathological, literally psychopathic kind of trait or ideology in there, whether it's just like screwing over your neighbor or being promiscuous or being cool or laughing at people's suffering in some way or other. It's everywhere, and that's entertainment these days. And that's all it is. Like Lynn said, there is no culture. It's just entertainment and its poisonous entertainment.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Because people are watching it and absorbing it and absorb the messages that are being projected into their minds. Because you're watching a story there and you're being taught essentially. You're learning. Even adults are doing it. They're learning a code of conduct and a way of thinking and acting by watching TV. And people need to be very careful about what they watch and what they allow into their kind of consciousness. You can watch stuff but you've got to be able to call it out and say, like regularly when we watch a movie here, or a TV show and it's got something of that nature in it, we will come down pretty hard on it afterwards in a post-movie analysis we'll really dissect it and call it for what it was. And not watch it again if it's full of poisonous crap.

Niall: Even if we're left feeling good about the movie, but we still have a niggling doubt about something.

Joe: Absolutely. Yeah, the good guys and the bad guys and stuff.

Niall: As soon as you take it out and you really look at it.

Joe: The Bourne movies, the Bourne Identity, etc., etc. I enjoyed those movies because they were well made and all that kind of stuff, and the action, and the good guy wins out. But take away the idea of the good guy winning out, at the same time, we're not going to be sucked in by any kind of glorification of super soldiers or...

Niall: Secret agents.

Joe: And I suppose, yeah.

Niall: I think a point needs to be said. We've been here talking about one war. It's recent, it's still ongoing. What for me makes it a bigger event than I think people realize is that all the things that have happened since then, and I'm including here the economic chaos that really took off in 2008 and is still ongoing; they're all rooted in the same thing. It's this rampant corruption. Iraq stands out because...

Joe: The banks finance the wars right?

Niall: Oh yeah!

Joe: Ultimately a central bank will finance a country and if the country goes to war, ultimately it's the central bank that finances and the bankers that finance the war, right?

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So, if people accepted the war, or were cajoled or manipulated and for whatever reason they were led to accept the brutality of the war and torture and all that kind of stuff, well then the banks now are cashing in, right?

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: You've got to pay for it. You sanctioned us to do this. We need your money now to prop up the banks because we spent a lot of money on the war and we may not have enough, kind of thing. Or we certainly bankrupted or emptied the coffers in paying for the war. So now we need you all to cough up because you apparently had a good time. You were all cheering. You were all shouting about going and getting those dirty Arabs who attacked us on 9/11 and stuff, and wanted to torture people to get information about them to keep you safe. We had to do that. We had to spend money on that. And now I don't have any money, so we want your cash.

Niall: You got to enjoy living in the land of freedom and now we're going to sequester from you because, oops we've run out of money. And yeah, we're calling in our debts.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: And it's over-extension of the U.S. government. Think about it. Iraq is as far away from the U.S. geographically as you can get.

Joe: Almost.

Niall: They park themselves there. The amount of logistics, the amount of troops, the amount of money of course that went in there, it's a self-inflicting wound in that sense because it has sped up, if not caused, the complete collapse of the U.S. itself.

Joe: Not just financially, but morally.

Niall: Yeah, on both counts.

Joe: Socially.

Niall: And it's a tale as old as time.

Joe: Yeah, but it's like you talk about what has happened as a result of 9/11. Well, the Iraq war was precipitated or was facilitated, justified by 9/11. Many other things have been justified by 9/11 that does not directly involve Iraqis. Directly it involves Americans and even western civilization and western countries, as we've said. I don't like to deal with civilization because they're not very civil. But all of the freedoms and stuff that have been stripped away, and the Patriot Act, and the Indefinite Detention Act, and Obama's ability now to blow anybody up with a drone on how he feels. This is what you're getting. This is payback. This is your reward for allowing psychopaths to lie to you or manipulate you into justifying inhuman acts against other human beings. And the result is that you get screwed. You thought it was just "Okay, I can let it happen because it's just those people over there getting screwed." Nah, it's you who have to pay the piper as well. And people will.

Niall: Yeah. Just this week there were senate hearings on the space threat. It was brought up because of what happened in Russia last month.

Joe: The Russian meteorite.

Niall: Kaboom!

Joe: Hang on a second. Are you talking about this Russian meteorite?
[Playing sound of Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion]

Joe: We've heard that one before. But it goes on for quite a while.

Niall: Apparently it got the attention of some senators, thankfully. But the discussion they had was interesting. They hauled up the head of NASA, a general, James Holden, I think [Major General Charles Bolden].

Joe: A general is the head of NASA?

Niall: I think he is yeah.

Joe: Way to militarize a...

Niall: He was sitting next to a four-star general as well. Anyway, he's there before Senator Lamar Smith, republican from Texas, chairman of the Science Space and Technology Committee. Actually, they were reporting on, NASA had been tasked with being able to track by this year I think, some 90 percent-plus of all asteroids over one kilometer in diameter, and this was kind of a report, a checkup of "how are we going with that project?" Well he said something interesting. He said "Yeah, we have reached that target" which I don't believe for a second. But then the senator asked him some other questions because it was pointed out that the most damage can be done by objects as small as 100 meters across, city-destroying asteroids or comet fragments, and so the senator asked him "Well, how many of them are out there and what percentage have we got our eye on?" And the head of NASA looks across at Obama's advisor, Holden I think, and says to him "Um, something like 10 percent."

Joe: Ten percent we have our eye on, 10 percent of the deadly space rocks that could wipe out life as we know it?

Niall: And then he's asked by the senator, "If hypothetically one of these objects was heading for us right now, what can we do? Are we in a position to do anything about it?" And the guy basically said to him "No. The best thing Americans can do is pray."

Joe: The best thing Americans can do, Americans only? Well...

Niall: Well of course. It was all about the space threat as far as the U.S. is concerned.

Joe: Americans can put their heads between their legs and kiss their arse good-bye?

Niall: He was being...

Joe: Would that be an appropriate response?

Niall: He was saying "pray" because he wanted budget, i.e., "If we're going to do our job while protecting America from the space threat, we're going to need more satellites up there watching the skies," i.e., give me more money.

Joe: So him saying "pray" in response to one of these coming towards the U.S. is him saying "Give us more money and we'll be able to do something about it"?

Niall: Give us more money. And the response was "Well we can't because there's no budget." Well yeah there's no budget. You can't deal with this problem because...

Joe: No budget because there's no money.

Niall: Yeah, because it's been wasted on wars.

Joe: On wars. This reminds me of the Roman Empire.

Niall: And the Athenian Empire, democracy and all that.

Joe: It's like, are we in a time loop? It just seems like some kind of a time loop.

Niall: Do these people not read history?

Joe: No. History's full of facts. They don't like facts.

Niall: Even recent history. I mean, when the British arrived in Bagdad in 1917, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the British general gets up and makes a speech "We'll be greeted as liberators". It's almost word-for-word.

Joe: They said that back then as well?

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Then they use their suppressing an uprising. They could have known it then, and even now, they make the same mistakes.

Joe: Well the two things seem to go hand-in-hand. The decay of society fuelled by wars led by psychopaths and by a ponerized society and population seems to coincide. I don't know which was on first but historically speaking they seem to coincide with the increase in fireballs and the celestial threat. It's just a marker. You look around you and you see the society is fatally or appears to be fatally and intolerably screwed up, look to the skies. Maybe the thing to do, you know. On that note, I think that we have made up for our 13 minute dead airtime at the beginning, through no fault of our own.

Niall: Yeah. Sorry about that. That's Skype's fault.

Joe: That's Skype's fault. So this was just an exercise in trying to inform people on what the Iraq war was all about and some of the context in which it was waged and it's just a warning to people to be very careful. Maybe it's a bit late. We should have been saying this 10 or 15 years ago, but be very careful about what you allow yourself to be manipulated into believing and accepting because it's not just people over there who suffer as a result. You run the risk of potentially losing your own soul and you are the guardian of your own soul. So you need to be on your guard in that respect. So with those words we will sign off for this week and just thank everyone for listening and thank our callers for calling in. And let you know that we will hopefully be back next week at the same time and we hope you can join us. Over and out.

Niall: Good night.