Thursday, March 30, 2006

War is Their Only Hope

Israeli Electorate Rebukes Bush and Votes for Peace by Paul Craig Roberts: "Neocon propaganda has convinced ever-gullible Americans that Iran is now America’s most dangerous enemy. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice continue to make unsupported accusations against Iran, threatening military action. General John Abizaid, commander of US Middle East forces, is helping to spread the rumor that Iran is operating inside Iraq, supplying explosives to the resistance. Gareth Porter and Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to secretary of state Colin Powell, report that neoconservative zealots, who advocate destabilization and regime change in the Middle East, were able to block diplomatic engagement with Iran in order to keep open the military option. Instead of welcoming the opportunity to work things out, the Bush regime rebuked the ambassador who brought the peace offer.

Neoconservatives don’t want 'no stinking talks.' They want war. War is their only hope.

Neoconservatives are ruthless. They have control of the US government and military. Little stands between them and their fanatical determination to widen war in the Middle East."

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Proverbial Elephant in the Room

LRB | John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt : The Israel Lobby: "Given the neo-conservatives’ devotion to Israel, their obsession with Iraq, and their influence in the Bush administration, it isn’t surprising that many Americans suspected that the war was designed to further Israeli interests.

Last March, Barry Jacobs of the American Jewish Committee acknowledged that the belief that Israel and the neo-conservatives had conspired to get the US into a war in Iraq was ‘pervasive’ in the intelligence community. Yet few people would say so publicly, and most of those who did – including Senator Ernest Hollings and Representative James Moran – were condemned for raising the issue.

Michael Kinsley wrote in late 2002 that ‘the lack of public discussion about the role of Israel . . . is the proverbial elephant in the room.’ The reason for the reluctance to talk about it, he observed, was fear of being labelled an anti-semite.

There is little doubt that Israel and the Lobby were key factors in the decision to go to war. It’s a decision the US would have been far less likely to take without their efforts. And the war itself was intended to be only the first step.

A front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal shortly after the war began says it all: ‘President’s Dream: Changing Not Just Regime but a Region: A Pro-US, Democratic Area Is a Goal that Has Israeli and Neo-Conservative Roots.’"

Death Squadrons

Death Squadrons: "Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, much of Latin America was under the control of brutal military juntas engaged in what they perceived as a life-and-death war against communists. The role of the United States' government in this has been well documented, but until now, France's contribution was more shadowy.

DEATH SQUADRONS: THE FRENCH SCHOOL convincingly reveals French veterans of the wars in Indochina and Algeria provided the inspiration, the training, and some of the intelligence that allowed Latin America's dictators to torture and kill thousands of their own citizens.

Filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin traces the development of the theory of counter-revolutionary warfare, first tested Indochina and in Algiers (where 20,000 civilians died). Some of its foremost practitioners, like French General Paul Aussaresses, freely admit their contributions, even with a hint of pride. Others are surreptitiously captured on a hidden camera, admitting high-level political and military links between the dictators and the French government. Many of those interviewed are now either in custody or under indictment.

Though little documentary footage of these practices exists, the Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo realistically recreated the French interrogation methods in The Battle of Algiers. (The Battle of Algiers was recently shown to American officers confronted with ongoing attacks on their personnel in Iraq, and excerpts from this film illustrate DEATH SQUADRONS).

DEATH SQUADRONS also shows how, during the 1960's, the French were instrumental in training U.S. officers at Fort Bragg on counter-insurgency techniques that were later used by the U.S. military in Vietnam.

DEATH SQUADRONS serves a cautionary note about what can happen when governments and the military are convinced that enemies are everywhere, and that any means necessary can be employed to fight them. It's an important lesson to bear in mind as the war on terror continues."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Paul Krugman: Bogus Bush Bashing

: "the reason conservatives fall for the Heritage spin is that it suits their purposes. They need to repudiate George W. Bush, but they can't admit that when Mr. Bush made his key mistakes - starting an unnecessary war, and using dishonest numbers to justify tax cuts - they were cheering him on."

When Patients Become Costumers

The Doctor Will See You for Exactly Seven Minutes - New York Times: "The problem has been sneaking up on us for almost two decades. As health-care dollars became scarce in the 1980's and 90's, hospitals asked their business people to attend clinical meetings. The object was to see what doctors were doing that cost a lot of money, then to try and do things more efficiently. Almost immediately, I noticed that business jargon was becoming commonplace. 'Patients' began to disappear. They were replaced by 'consumers.' They eventually became 'customers.'"
Therefore, The poor are denied quality health services. This article good as it is, denouncing a problem, only raises an option for people with money. The poor will have no option but to suffer the seven minute visit.

The logical conclusion is that the "health" system is a failure.

The Truth About Inmigration Policy

Called by God to Help - New York Times: "The unspoken truth of the immigration debate is that at the same time our nation benefits economically from the presence of undocumented workers, we turn a blind eye when they are exploited by employers. They work in industries that are vital to our economy yet they have little legal protection and no opportunity to contribute fully to our nation.

While we gladly accept their taxes and sweat, we do not acknowledge or uphold their basic labor rights. At the same time, we scapegoat them for our social ills and label them as security threats and criminals to justify the passage of anti-immigrant bills.

This situation affects the dignity of millions of our fellow human beings and makes immigration, ultimately, a moral and ethical issue. That is why the church is compelled to take a stand against harmful legislation and to work toward positive change.

It is my hope that our elected officials will understand this and enact immigration reform that respects our common humanity and reflects the values — fairness, compassion and opportunity — upon which our nation, a nation of immigrants, was built."

Blinded to Reality

Incredibly Optimistic: "'I understand how some Americans have had their confidence shaken,' President Bush said yesterday in Cleveland. 'Others look at the violence they see each night on their television screens, and they wonder how I can remain so optimistic about the prospects of success in Iraq. They wonder what I see that they don't.'

Bush tried to explain. But in the end, what he provided was yet another example of what others see -- and he doesn't.

That would be reality."

New Rules for Propaganda

No Breach Seen in Work in Iraq on Propaganda - New York Times: "Across the Bush administration, officials are wrestling with how to counter radical anti-American messages that resonate throughout huge parts of the world. With the pace of technology, and against the backdrop of American counterterrorism efforts around the world, the role of information has been given greater prominence in Pentagon planning.

The question for the Pentagon is its proper role in shaping perceptions abroad. Particularly in a modern world connected by satellite television and the Internet, misleading information and lies could easily migrate into American news outlets, as could the perception that false information is being spread by the Pentagon."
What about beginning to tell the truth?

See how they care about 'perception' not reality. Their problem is not to do 'right' but to do whatever they want and then worry about how to manipulate perception. When ever you hear the official line you better be suspicious, because they have carefully parsed their words to deceive you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Deranged, Disconnected, and Dangerous by Paul Craig Roberts

Deranged, Disconnected, and Dangerous by Paul Craig Roberts: "The day of Bush’s delusional speech, Patrick Cockburn, present on the scene in Irbil, Iraq, gave a much more truthful account of the situation. Writing in CounterPunch, he reported: 'Iraq is a country convulsed by fear. It is at its worst in Baghdad. Sectarian killings are commonplace. . . . The scale of the violence is such that most of it is unreported. . . . Unseen by the outside world, silent populations are on the move, frightened people fleeing neighborhoods where their community is in a minority for safer districts. There is also a growing reliance on militias because of fears that police patrols or checkpoints are in reality death squads hunting for victims.'

Not a word of this reality from our delusional president.

The fantasy Iraq that Bush painted was only his warm-up. He went on to tell his Cleveland audience that American could not be safe unless Iraq was a democracy. What a weak, pitiful, vulnerable place Bush’s America must be. Unless a small, devastated Middle Eastern country is a democracy, America cannot be safe. Who in the Cleveland audience could possibly have believed this utter nonsense.

Bush told his audience that 'the security of our country is directly linked to the liberty of the Iraqi people, and we will settle for nothing less than victory.' What victory is he talking about? Despite the huge sums of dollars paid by the Bush regime to all the leaders of all the factions, Iraq cannot form a government.

Without victory, Iraq will be 'a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks against our nation.' Alas, there were no terrorists in Iraq until Bush invaded the country and drew them in. The problem our troops face in Iraq is not terrorists, but resistance fighters, 'insurgents' in the Bush regimes parlance. Democracies lack the dictatorial, extra-legal powers to suppress terrorists. That is why Bush is destroying civil liberties in the US. Under Saddam Hussein, there w"

US manipulated Iraqi divisions for its own sake

Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi civil war threatens region: "Why do you say the US manipulated Iraqi divisions for its own sake?

When the US entered Iraq, it took advantage of the sectarian divisions in the country. These divisions had already been aggravated by the rule of Saddam Hussein, but now it was being aggravated again by the US.

The US exploited these divisions by making promises to the Shia community to have a larger share of the pie - of the oil shares.

This is a policy to produce a more divided country.

The US administration hoped that by averting the rise of national unity among Iraqis, they could play one faction against another.

This policy has worked. For example, the Kurds, for all practical purposes, can be considered independent.

However, whenever we see any Shia-Sunni alliance, the US immediately considers this a threat.

So, they sometimes appease the Shia. And other times they appease the Sunnis, but never both together.

Muqtada al-Sadr, though, is a danger to the US because he appeals for national Iraqi unity across the Sunni-Shia divide."

Iraqi civil war threatens region

Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi civil war threatens region: "As'ad AbuKhalil: The repercussions of the Iraq debacle are very likely to affect more places in the Middle East, not less. There is now an explosion, literally, of militant fanatical groups that are bent on destroying the ties of amity and brotherhood between Sunnis and Shia. One can see that this was effective.

The latest International Crisis Group [report] points out the cynical and destructive ways by which the US administration manipulated Iraqi social, sectarian, ethnic, and tribal divisions for its own sake.

Having failed to shore up support for its favourite 'secular' clients, the US occupation armed and empowered lethal sectarian Shia groups that were bent on revenge.

'Bush, far from being remembered for establishing democracy in Iraq, will most likely be remembered as the man who brought ayatollahs' rule to Iraq, next door to Iran'

On the other side, [wanted Jordanian al-Qaida leader Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi and company found in Iraq the environment that existed in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

For such groups, the ability to register theological and ideological points on a land under US troops was too tempting.

This explains the influx of militant radicals from the entire Middle East. Ironically, the model of 'democracy' and 'secularism' that [George] Bush and the neo-conservatives were planning in Iraq had degenerated into a model of mayhem, pillage, and plunder, and the ayatollahs rule in all but name.

Bush, far from being remembered for establishing democracy in Iraq, will most likely be remembered as the man who brought ayatollahs' rule to Iraq, next door to Iran.

The ayatollahs' regional empire will have Bush's footprints on it. The region as a whole will continue to be affected."

worst possible public relations for the US in northern Iraq

Informed Comment: "4. The US military used Kurdish and Shiite troops to attack the northern Turkmen city of Talafar in August. Kurdish troops, drawn from the Peshmerga militia, were allowed to paint lasers on targets in the city, which were then destroyed by the US air force. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed, and much of the population was displaced for some time. Shiite troops and local Shiite Turkmen informants were used to identify and interrogate alleged Sunni insurgents. Turkey was furious at the attack on ethnically related Turkmen and threatened to halt its cooperation with the US. Although the attack was allegedly undertaken to capture foreign forces allegedly based in the city, only 50 were announced apprehended. The entire operation ended up looking like a joint Kurdish-Shiite attack on Sunni Turkmen, backed by the US military. Turkmen and Kurds do not generally get along, and Turkmen accuse Kurds of wanting to ethnically clense them from Kirkuk. The entire operation was politically the worst possible public relations for the US in northern Iraq, and seems unlikely to have put a signficant dent in the guerrillas' capabilities."

'unbelievable mess'

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq three years on: A bleak tale: "He wrote about the US administration in Baghdad led by retired US General Jay Garner: 'No leadership, no strategy, no coordination, no structure and inaccessible to ordinary Iraqis... Garner and his team of 60-year-old retired generals are well-meaning but out of their depth.'

He criticised just about everything, calling it an 'unbelievable mess'."

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq invasion: For better or worse?

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq invasion: For better or worse?: "Abiding anger

What you don't see is building work. You would expect the capital city of a country which is undergoing a programme of major reconstruction to be full of cranes. It simply isn't happening. Baghdad is not being transformed; it's scarcely changed from the time of the first Gulf War, except for the buildings which the coalition bombed.

Children in Baghdad
Building work is scarce: Baghdad is not being transformed

If you see a US patrol, you should brake sharply and keep away from it. The gunners on the vehicles kill people every day for getting too close to them. Every Iraqi has a horror story about a friend or relative who misunderstood an instruction, often in English, and was shot at.

But there's one unquestioned success for the coalition: every available wall has a tattered election poster on it. True, three months after the last election Iraq still has no government, but the old terror of authority has evaporated."
. . .
But there is a real, abiding anger that the richest nation on Earth should have taken over their country and made them even worse off in so many ways than they were before.

Bush defines himself

BBC NEWS | Americas | Bush denies Iraq is in civil war: "'The terrorists haven't given up. They're tough-minded. They like to kill,' he said."

BBC NEWS | Americas | Death raises concern at police tactics

BBC NEWS | Americas | Death raises concern at police tactics: "'I have no problem with using these paramilitary style squads to go after known violent, armed criminals, but it is an extreme tactic to use against other sorts of suspects,' he said.

Mr Kraska believes there has been an explosion of units in smaller towns and cities, where training and operational standards may not be as high as large cities - a growth he attributes to 'the hysteria' of the country's war on drugs.

'I get several calls a month from people asking about local incidents - wrong address raids, excessive use of force, wrongful shootings - this stuff is happening all the time,' he adds."
"The problem is that when you talk about the war on this and the war on that, and police officers see themselves as soldiers, then the civilian becomes the enemy."

'American Theocracy,' by Kevin Phillips - The New York Times Book Review - New York Times

'American Theocracy,' by Kevin Phillips - The New York Times Book Review - New York Times: "The American press in the first days of the Iraq war reported extensively on the Pentagon's failure to post American troops in front of the National Museum in Baghdad, which, as a result, was looted of many of its great archaeological treasures. Less widely reported, but to Phillips far more meaningful, was the immediate posting of troops around the Iraqi Oil Ministry, which held the maps and charts that were the key to effective oil production. Phillips fully supports an explanation of the Iraq war that the Bush administration dismisses as conspiracy theory — that its principal purpose was to secure vast oil reserves that would enable the United States to control production and to lower prices. ('Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath,' an oil analyst said a couple of years ago. 'You can't ask for better than that.') Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, tyranny, democracy and other public rationales were, Phillips says, simply ruses to disguise the real motivation for the invasion.

And while this argument may be somewhat too simplistic to explain the complicated mix of motives behind the war, it is hard to dismiss Phillips's larger argument: that the pursuit of oil has for at least 30 years been one of the defining elements of American policy in the world; and that the Bush administration — unusually dominated by oilmen — has taken what the president deplored recently as the nation's addiction to oil to new and terrifying levels. The United States has embraced a kind of 'petro-imperialism,' Phillips writes, 'the key aspect of which is the U.S. military's transformation into a global oil-protection force,' and which 'puts up a democratic facade, emphasizes freedom of the seas (or pipeline routes) and seeks to secure, protect, drill and ship oil, not administer everyday affairs.'


Monday, March 20, 2006

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Press scathing at Iraq anniversary

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Press scathing at Iraq anniversary: "Iraq, three years after the war, is nearing the spectre of civil war and US plans have made conditions for Iraqis more difficult than at any time before the invasion. Americans have begun to uncover the game played by their administration and its involvement in the Iraqi quagmire... Despite all this, President Bush still thinks that he did the right thing... Tragedy has struck and its repercussions confirm the opposite of what Bush and his administration are saying."

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Press scathing at Iraq anniversary

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Press scathing at Iraq anniversary: "The third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq earns scornful press comment across the Middle East, with many papers angry at what they see as the gap between President Bush's rhetoric and the Iraqi reality.

There is outrage at the conditions on the ground, with one paper asking 'is the daily discovery of bodies the freedom President Bush says Iraqis are living in?'

There is also widespread disbelief at President Bush's continued assertion that the ousting of Saddam Hussein has made the world a safer place."

Intel Allegedly Falsified to Justify Weapons Purchases -- 03/16/2006

Intel Allegedly Falsified to Justify Weapons Purchases -- 03/16/2006: "Cruse said he pointed out that the misleading data could cause 'serious ramifications,' including the harming of NGIC's credibility and the misapplication of military resources. 'Ultimately it could cause the lives of U.S. service personnel,' warned Cruse.

'The use of this type of flawed information could cause superiors and national policy makers to incorrectly prioritize, and put resources against the wrong, or even non-existent, threats,' he said."

Iraq is a mess: Bush is Upbeat

Back to Iraq 3.0: The Big Lie: "Everyone of us is looking for any angle — any! — that will break news, make our stories stand out or otherwise distinguish ourselves. That’s what journalists do, and the corps here comes from the entire ideological spectrum, from the conservative to the socialist. But weirdly, this herd of cats — which is what we could be best be compared to — have all come to the same conclusion: Iraq is a mess."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Fool me once. . .

Preemptive Strike Out: "This morning's news that President Bush is reasserting his doctrine of preemptive war is a bit of a surprise because, well, I think most people thought the Bush Doctrine was dead.

How can Bush still argue for attacking another country based on his suspicions about their intentions -- when the first time he tried it, his public case turned out to be so utterly specious?

The idea that the American public or the international community would tolerate such behavior once again seems highly unlikely at this point in time. The American people, for one, won't be keen on putting troops in harm's way again on spec anytime soon.

Winning support for the application of a doctrine of preemption requires enormous credibility. It requires public trust in intelligence and motives. And that trust isn't there.

The rearranging of the intelligence community's deck-chairs has not resulted in any great surge of confidence in the nation's intelligence gathering or, more importantly, any assurance that policymakers will not abuse that intelligence.

In fact, the more we know about the run-up to war in Iraq, the more evidence there is that the doctrine of preemption (and the cherry-picking and manipulation of intelligence used to make the case for it) was just a pretext for an invasion that Bush and his top aides had already decided on for other reasons.

See, for instance, the recent Foreign Affairs article by Paul R. Pillar, the former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year.

He wrote: "It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Scoundrel/Patriot Act!

Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization by Paul Craig Roberts: "A provision in the 'Patriot Act' creates a new federal police force with power to violate the Bill of Rights. You might think that this cannot be true as you have not read about it in newspapers or heard it discussed by talking heads on TV.

Go to House Report 109-333 USA PATRIOT IMPROVEMENT AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 and check it out for yourself. Sec. 605 eads:
"There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the ’United States Secret Service Uniformed Division’."

This new federal police force is "subject to the supervision of the Secretary of Homeland Security."

The new police are empowered to "make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony."

The new police are assigned a variety of jurisdictions, including 'an event designated under section 3056(e) of title 18 as a special event of national significance' (SENS).

"A special event of national significance" is neither defined nor does it require the presence of a "protected person" such as the president in order to trigger it. Thus, the administration, and perhaps the police themselves, can place the SENS designation on any event. Once a SENS designation is placed on an event, the new federal police are empowered to keep out and to arrest people at their discretion.

The language conveys enormous discretionary and arbitrary powers. What is "an offense against the United States"? What are "reasonable grounds"?

You can bet that the Alito/Roberts court will rule that it is whatever the executive branch says.

The obvious purpose of the act is to prevent demonstrations at Bush/Cheney events. However, nothing in the language limits the police powers from being used only in this way. Like every law in the US, this law also will be expansively interpreted and abused. It has dire implications for freedom of association and First Amendment rights. We can take for granted that the new federal police will be used to suppress dissent and to break up opposition. The Brownshirts are now arming themselves with a Gestapo.

Many naïve Americans will write to me to explain that this new provision in the reauthorization of the "Patriot Act" is necessary to protect the president and other high officials from terrorists or from harm at the hands of angry demonstrators: "No one else will have anything to fear." Some will accuse me of being an alarmist, and others will say that it is unpatriotic to doubt the law’s good intentions.

Americans will write such nonsense despite the fact that the president and foreign dignitaries are already provided superb protection by the Secret Service. The naïve will not comprehend that the president cannot be endangered by demonstrators at SENS at which the president is not present. For many Americans, the light refuses to turn on.

In Nazi Germany did no one but Jews have anything to fear from the Gestapo?

By Stalin’s time Lenin and Trotsky had eliminated all members of the "oppressor class," but that did not stop Stalin from sending millions of "enemies of the people" to the Gulag.

It is extremely difficult to hold even local police forces accountable. Who is going to hold accountable a federal police protected by Homeland Security and the president?"
Now, Why this did not make it into public debate concerning the "Patriot Act"? (from now on better known as the "Scoundrel Act"?

Bush Threatens the World in the name of "Self Defense"

BBC NEWS | Americas | US backs first-strike attack plan: "However, likening the current international situation to the early years of the Cold War, the new document insists on the right of the US to protect its interests using force.

'If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-defence, we do not rule out use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack,' it says.

'When the consequences of an attack with WMD [weapons of mass destruction] are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialise.' "
That the US is still saying such nonsense after the war in Iraq is mind boggling!

"Preemptive war" is just a name to cover up blatant, inmoral, and illegal wars of aggression created by the Bush administration to futher its own imperial interest.

The 'preemptive' rational is morally bankrupt. If applied generally it would justify, US enemies attacking the US as soon as possible, since they know they will be attacked by the US sooner or later.

It is madness.

Such rational is setting the scene for war without end. Self-defence implies that one is actually being attacked. One cannot shoot somebody because he seemed suspicious, while the time and place of his possible attack remains uncertain. If I did that, my 'self-defense' would actually be murder. It is not any different for a State.

International law and internationally adopted moral standards require nations to abstain from agression of other Nations. The US is once more setting the stage for using its power against other nations in their agenda. That Is morally unacceptable. and will trigger a state of war with no end in the world.

From such presumption and foolishness
Good Lord Deliver Us!

Friday, March 10, 2006

BBC NEWS | News Front Page

BBC NEWS | News Front Page: "inquiry after an open verdict into the death of a young soldier"

Democracy Now! | Former Labour MP Tony Benn on how Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal

Democracy Now! | Former Labour MP Tony Benn on how Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal: "Well, you see, the United States and Britain are in total breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Non-Proliferation Treaty says three things. One, the nuclear powers will agree to disarm collectively. Secondly, that other countries can develop nuclear technology. And thirdly, that nuclear powers will give absolute assurances they will never use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state. And both the United States and Britain have now said that if their security was at stake, they would use nuclear weapons. What Bush has done -- I don't think you realize it -- that make the case for the spread of nuclear weapons, because I tell you this, if Iran had nuclear weapons now, he would not dare to attack it. So, actually, Bush is encouraging the spread, and when he went to India the other day, which isn’t a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, he signed an agreement. So, I mean, the thing is total hypocrisy. I think if we could get that clear, then we can consider how we deal with the situation that faces us."

Democracy Now! | Former Labour MP Tony Benn on how Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal

Democracy Now! | Former Labour MP Tony Benn on how Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal: "It wasn’t put to ministers. I mean, this is the trouble with the nuclear industry, I came not to believe what I was told, and that throws a doubt on more than nuclear power: the question of democracy, if officials can operate as a state within a state. Where is the democratic control of policy? So it was a very, very serious thing to happen. And, of course, it also comes up at a time when, as you've been pointing out, there's a lot of pressure now on Iran not to develop nuclear technology in any form."

Hypocrisy and lies behind Nuclear Power and Weapons.

Democracy Now! | Former Labour MP Tony Benn on how Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal: "But if you look at the story of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, it's very interesting. What I remember, as a navy pilot, hearing at Hiroshima, and I visited it later and Nagasaki, then Eisenhower said, “atoms for peace.” And that moved me, I thought a classic case of swords into plowshares, if you remember the Bible. And I a became an advocate of civil nuclear power. I was told it was cheap, safe and peaceful. And having been responsible for it for many, many years, I learned from experience, it wasn't cheap, with the cost of storage of nuclear waste and the research; it isn't safe, because Chernobyl and Three Mile Island and Windscale and so on; and it wasn't peaceful. But all the time it was motivated by the desire to build nuclear weapons.

And, I mean, the example we're just discussing was one. But I discovered after I left office, that without telling me, the plutonium from our civil power stations, what we called “atoms for peace power stations,” all the time was going to the United States for its weapons program. So, I’ve learned a lot from this. I’m now a passionate opponent of nuclear power and nuclear weapons, always was against nuclear weapons. But this story highlights the hypocrisy that lie behind so much of the comment about the Non-Proliferation Treaty."

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Terrifying tactics

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Musharraf's al-Qaeda hunt crisis: "The American missile strike that killed many civilians in a Pakistani border village is the latest in a series of failed attempts by the US intelligence and military to eliminate al-Qaeda's top two men.

The attack destroyed three houses in Bajaur agency near the Afghan border - with or without the knowledge of Islamabad.

It has strengthened the widely-held view in Pakistan that in their sheer desperation to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri the Americans have decided not to care about collateral damage.

It's a marked departure from the policy of a few years ago when the fear of civilian deaths discouraged the Americans from bombing suspected Bin Laden hideouts in and around the tribal region.

And the new policy certainly means more trouble for Pakistan's military ruler, Gen Pervez Musharraf, who is already perceived by many to be surviving mainly on American life-support."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Condi on Iran: More War based on Lies 09/20/03 - Neo-Jacobins Push For World War IV: "'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.' If neoconservatives have their way, Americans will soon be repeating this refrain.

The identical lies used to deceive Americans about Iraq are now being recycled to justify invading Syria and Iran.

Before exploring this fact, first understand that there is nothing conservative about neoconservatives. Neocons hide behind 'conservative' but they are in fact Jacobins."

Democracy Now! | Lawless World: Bush Considered Flying US Spy Planes Painted With UN Colors Over Iraq In 2003 to Provoke War

Democracy Now! | Lawless World: Bush Considered Flying US Spy Planes Painted With UN Colors Over Iraq In 2003 to Provoke War: "British international law professor Philippe Sands, author of “Lawless World,” reveals President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair secretly agreed in January 2003 to invade Iraq in mid-March 2003 regardless of the outcome of diplomatic efforts. [includes rush transcript] New evidence has emerged that President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed in January 2003 to attack Iraq regardless of whether diplomatic efforts succeeded. The revelation comes in a newly updated version of the book “Lawless World” by British international law professor Philippe Sands. According to the book, Blair offered Bush his full support of the war during a meeting at the White House in January 2003. Sands says his account is based on a summary of the meeting prepared by one of the participants. According to the book, Bush is recorded as saying that 'the start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March. That was when the bombing would begin. The military timetable meant that an early resolution was needed.'

Bush also reportedly said the 'diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning'. In addition the book reveals President Bush told Blair that the United Stated was considering flying U2 spy planes disguised as United Nations planes over Iraq in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein. If Iraq fired on the planes, it would help justify a U.S.-led invasion."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A terrible catastrophe awaits.

Catastrophe Looms by Paul Craig Roberts: "What does it say for democracy that half of the American population is unable to draw a rational conclusion from unambiguous facts?

Americans share this disability with the Bush administration. According to news reports, the Bush administration is stunned by the election victory of the radical Islamist Hamas Party, which swept the US-financed Fatah Party from office. Why is the Bush administration astonished?

The Bush administration is astonished because it stupidly believes that hundreds of millions of Muslims should be grateful that the US has interfered in their internal affairs for 60 years, setting up colonies and puppet rulers to suppress their aspirations and to achieve, instead, purposes of the US government.

Americans need desperately to understand that 95 percent of all Muslim terrorists in the world were created in the past three years by Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

Americans need desperately to comprehend that if Bush attacks Iran and Syria, as he intends, terrorism will explode, and American civil liberties will disappear into a thirty-year war that will bankrupt the United States.

The total lack of rationality and competence in the White House and the inability of half of the US population to acquire and understand information are far larger threats to Americans than terrorism.

America has become a rogue nation, flying blind, guided only by ignorance and hubris. A terrible catastrophe awaits."

How Conservatives Went Crazy by Paul Craig Roberts

How Conservatives Went Crazy by Paul Craig Roberts: "When I was on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, the editorials were analytical and reformist. Sometimes we broke news stories. The page’s attention to the Soviet Union was based on the rulers’ aggressive posture and suppression of civil liberties. Today the editorial page is a fount of neoconservative war propaganda. All intelligence has vanished.

Consider the Review & Outlook of February 3, which declares Iran to be 'an intolerable threat.' Iran is portrayed as a threat because the country’s new president has used threatening rhetoric against Israel. But, of course, Bush and Israel are constantly using threatening rhetoric against Iran. To avoid being regarded as a wimp by his countrymen and by the Muslim world, the new Iranian president has to answer back. It doesn’t occur to the editorialists that Iranians might see the nuclear weapons of Israel and the US as intolerable threats.

Unlike Iran, Israel does have nuclear weapons. In view of this overpowering fact, it is difficult to see why Bush and Wall Street Journal editorialists think the US needs to protect Israel from Iran.

But what if Iran were to succeed in fooling the International Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear inspectors and develop a bomb. Might not crazed mullahs drop it on Israel or give it to an al Qaeda terrorist, who might use it to blow up Washington DC or New York?

What would Iran gain aside from its own immediate destruction? If mutual assured destruction worked for decades against a powerfully armed communist state every bit as hostile to American 'bourgeois capitalism' as Iran is to the 'Great Satan,' why would it fail against a state that is puny compared to Soviet standards?

Iran does not require nuclear weapons in order to do all the things the editorialists marshall in their case against Iran. Indeed, a US or Israeli attack on Iran is likely to precipitate the dire deeds that the editorialists fear: a Shia uprising in"

One Party Politics Covering Their Tracks

Senate Panel Blocks Eavesdropping Probe:
"The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted along party lines yesterday to reject a Democratic proposal to investigate the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program and instead approved establishing, with White House approval, a seven-member panel to oversee the effort."
We are living through a soft dictatorship in which one leader of one party can act above the law and use the party to get away with it. So much for democracy and freedom, what about the consitution, the rule of law and accountability?

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Adulation of Ignorance by Paul Craig Roberts

The Adulation of Ignorance by Paul Craig Roberts: "In view of the available facts, how can Bush in his state of the union address tell Congress and the world that the US is winning in Iraq? Why did Congress stand and applaud? What does it mean to win a war that should not have been started?

Having admitted that his invasion of Iraq is based on incorrect intelligence, why did Bush claim in his state of the union address that his war in Iraq is central to the war against terrorism? He must mean that his mistake created terrorism where it did not exist, and, having created the terrorism, he must now fight it even if doing so creates yet more terrorists.

A rational response to Bush’s mistake would be to remove the cause of the insurgency by apologizing for the mistake and withdrawing US military forces. Neoconservatives say that the US cannot withdraw because Iraq would fall into civil war. This is an admission that by removing Saddam Hussein, Bush created the conditions for civil war in Iraq. How, then, was removing Saddam Hussein a good thing?"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

BBC NEWS | Americas | Video shows Bush Katrina warning

BBC NEWS | Americas | Video shows Bush Katrina warning: "Clear warning

The footage does the president no favours, the BBC's Justin Webb reports from Washington.

Cars stream out of New Orleans on eve of Katrina disaster
Citizens were fleeing New Orleans as Mr Bush was being briefed

It shows plainly worried officials telling Mr Bush very clearly before the storm hit that it could breach New Orleans' flood barriers.

In the past, the president has said nobody anticipated a breach but the video shows Michael Brown, the top emergency response official who has since resigned, saying the storm would be 'a bad one, a big one'."

No new news here. Once more, Bush lied. The question is: Why the inaction against New Orleans?