Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Breaking : military coup in Thailand

Soldiers have entered Government House and tanks have moved into position around the building in Thailand in what can only be described as a military coup. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has responded by declaring a state of emergency in Bangkok.

Mr Thaksin who is currently out of the country attending the United Nations in New York stated that he had removed the chief of the army and had ordered troops to cease any attempts to "move illegally".

It appears that conflict is imminent as two separate army factions have now declared their allegiance. One side backing the prime minister and the other side backing a rebel army chief.

More information as it breaks from the BBC

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances in the "War on Terror"

Human rights groups and several public inquiries in Europe have found the U.S. government, with the complicity of numerous governments worldwide, to be engaged in the illegal practice of extraordinary rendition, secret detention, and torture.

The U.S. government-sponsored program of renditions is an unlawful practice in which numerous persons have been illegally detained and secretly flown to third countries, where they have suffered additional human rights abuses including torture and enforced disappearance. No one knows the exact number of persons affected, due to the secrecy under which the operations are carried out.




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EU agrees to back Palestinian unity government

European Union foreign ministers agreed on Friday to back a Palestinian national unity government being formed by President Mahmoud Abbas with the Hamas Islamist movement, despite U.S. misgivings.


"We agreed that we have to support the new Palestinian government. It's a very important turning point for the situation," Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema told Reuters."(EU foreign policy chief) Javier Solana told us in the platform there will be recognition by the new government of the treaty signed by the Palestinian Authority in the past -- it means recognize Israel as a partner," D'Alema said.

The EU and the United States have boycotted the Hamas-led government formed in March because it refused to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace accords.Washington said on Thursday it saw no grounds so far to lift the embargo on contacts and aid.But many European governments are anxious to end the stand-off, which has contributed to aggravated poverty and lawlessness in the Palestinian territories.

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Ludicrous Diversion - 7/7 London Bombings Documentary

On the 7th of July 2005 London was hit by a series of explosions. You probably think you know what happened that day. But you don’t.

The police have, from the onset of their investigation, chosen to withold from the public almost every bit of evidence they claim to have and have provably lied about several aspects of the London Bombings. The mainstream news has wilfully spread false, unsubstantiated and unverifiable information, while choosing to completely ignore the numerous inconsistencies and discrepancies in the official story.

The government has finally, after a year, presented us with their official ‘narrative’ concerning the event. Within hours it was shown to contain numerous errors, a fact since admitted by the Home Secretary John Reid.

The government has finally, after a year, presented us with their official ‘narrative’ concerning the event. Within hours it was shown to contain numerous errors, a fact since admitted by the Home Secretary John Reid. They have continuously rejected calls for a full, independent public inquiry. Tony Blair himself described such an inquiry as a ‘ludicrous diversion’. What don’t they want us to find out?



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Friday, September 15, 2006

Senators defy Bush on tribunals

A US Senate committee has defied President George W Bush by approving legislation to set up trials for foreign terrorism suspects. The panel voted 15-9 to back the bill, which Mr Bush has vowed to block.






Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell has backed Republicans opposing legislation sponsored by Mr Bush that would allow military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.Correspondents say the split within the party risks damaging its prospects in November's mid-term elections.

Four Republican senators joined opposition Democrats on the Armed Services Committee to approve their measure instead of the tougher bill put forward by the president.

The senators argued that Mr Bush's proposals would effectively redefine the Geneva Conventions to allow harsh treatment of detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba. The rebels include three prominent senators, John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham, who say Mr Bush's bill would do further damage to America's moral authority.

The three were joined by Mr Powell, who said in a letter that redefining the Geneva Conventions would put American troops at risk.

"The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," Mr Powell said.

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' Beginning to doubt".... Politely put Mr Powell , The world began to doubt the moral basis of the fight against terrorism when the US invaded Iraq. Approving this legislation is a tiny step in the correct direction. Correcting the moral basis would certainly never happen under this administration. They have already shown the morality of their view and it is not morality at all under everybody Else's understanding. Damage limitation is obviously a good thing and I support this legislation. But let us not kid ourselves in to thinking that the problem is so narrow. Respect will only be returned when genuine morality is returned to the US government. For every step that the US senate makes , be assured that the likes of John Bolton will continue to undo that credit each and every time they opens their mouth.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

US report on Iran branded dishonest by IAEA

The UN nuclear watchdog has protested to the US government over a report on Iran's nuclear programme it called "outrageous" and "dishonest" . In a letter, the IAEA said a congressional report suggested Iran's programme was more advanced than had actually been determined.


The agency also took "strong exception" to claims made over the removal of a senior safeguards inspector. The IAEA said the letter was sent to "set the record straight on the facts".

"This is a matter of the integrity of the IAEA and its inspectors," spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a statement.

The letter, signed by a senior official at the International Atomic Energy Agency, says the 23 August report by the US House intelligence committee contains "erroneous, misleading... information". It says the report was wrong to say that Iran had enriched uranium to weapons-grade level when the IAEA had only found small quantities of enrichment at far lower levels.

The letter also said the report was wrong to suggest that the IAEA had removed Chris Charlier for not adhering to an alleged IAEA policy barring its "officials from telling the whole truth" about Iran.

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Judge: Saddam was 'not a dictator'

The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's trial has said the former Iraqi leader was not a dictator, but had only been made to seem like one by his aides.The controversial comments come a day after Judge Abdullah al-Amiri was accused of bias towards the defence.



During the court session, a Kurdish man recalled a 1989 audience with Saddam Hussein, which he had hoped would secure freedom for his jailed family.

The exchange between the judge and Saddam Hussein came after the testimony of Abdullah Mohammed Hussain. Saddam Hussein asked the 57-year-old witness: "Why did you try to meet me when you knew I was a dictator?"

"You were not a dictator. People around you made you [look like] a dictator," the judge said.

"Thank you," Saddam Hussein replied.

Source

I have a feeling that comment will not go down well with the West. Saddam was certainly a dictator as far as I am concerned. A dictator who was empowered and propped up by the West. But still a dictator.

Expect to see yet another Judge being removed/resigning from the trial shortly.

Syria Says US Behind Attack On Own Embassy

Senior Syrian government official have accused the US of being behind Tuesday's assault on its own embassy in downtown Damascus.






A Baath party official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told WorldNetDaily, "We in the government are 100 percent sure America was behind this attack, which is not the same as other attacks by Islamic groups."

He explained, "Only the Americans can succeed in carrying out an attack just 200 meters from President [Bashar] Assad's residence in the most heavily guarded section of Syria."

The official charged that Washington had orchestrated the attack to "prove Syria is filled with terrorists and to put us in a weak position" in order to extract political concessions. Following the attack, Bush administration officials said they hoped the incident had convinced Damascus of the dangers of Islamic terror and the need to cooperate with the West against the phenomenon.

The US and several of its European allies have repeatedly demanded over the years that Damascus close down the local offices and training camps of several organizations hostile to Israel and the West.

The identities of those who attacked the US embassy Tuesday have not been revealed. Three of the gunmen were killed by Syrian guards during the assault. A fourth was reportedly captured.

Source

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Safe, but not "safe"


Chalmers Johnson once made a remark about the maddeningly contradictory statements of the Bush Administration. This video perhaps explains them.

U.S. lauds Syrian forces in embassy attack

U.S. officials praised Syrian security forces for thwarting Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Damascus despite the usually tense relationship with the Middle Eastern country.

The Syrians killed three attackers and apprehended a suspect outside the embassy after a car exploded near the walls of the American compound, the Syrian Information Ministry said.


"I do think the Syrians reacted to the attack in a way that helped to secure our people, and we very much appreciate that," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said while visiting Canada.

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Nonaligned want terrorism redefined

Iran, Syria, North Korea and more than 100 other nations are pushing to broaden the world's definition of "terrorism" to include the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.




Converging on Fidel Castro's communist Cuba for a summit this week, members of the Nonaligned Movement complain of a double standard: powerful nations like the United States and Israel decide for the world who the terrorists are, but face no punishment for their own acts of aggression.

A draft of the group's joint declaration condemns "terrorism in all its forms," especially violence that targets civilians.

Terrorism should not be associated with any religion or nationality, says the draft. It singles out a favored phrase of President Bush in declaring that member countries "totally reject the use of the term 'axis of evil' by a certain state to target other states under the pretext of combating terrorism."

A Cuban official said sarcastically on Tuesday that the U.S. could one day accuse the entire Nonaligned Movement of supporting terrorism. "Reading some news reports ... I'm left to believe that the axis of evil is growing," said Abelardo Moreno, Cuba's vice foreign minister. "Soon, the (axis of evil) will be made up of 118 countries."

Cuba says the U.S. is particularly hypocritical in the case of a former CIA operative and Castro foe wanted in Venezuela in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner from Caracas that killed 73 people.

On Monday, as the U.S. sought global support for its response to the Sept. 11 attacks five years ago, a federal magistrate in Texas said Luis Posada Carriles should be released while he waits to be deported anywhere but Cuba or Venezuela, where the U.S. fears he could be tortured.

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UK minister to condemn Guantanamo

A Cabinet minister is due to denounce Guantanamo Bay detention centre as a "shocking affront to the principles of democracy", it has emerged. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, is expected to voice the most outspoken criticism of US terror policy yet made by a senior minister.


He will accuse the US of "deliberately seeking to put the detainees beyond the reach of the law in Guantanamo Bay".

He will make the comments in a speech in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday.

Source

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Yorkers Faced the Fire in the Minds of Men

Always an interesting read, here's Slavoj Žižek on this year's 9/11 films:

On 9/11, New Yorkers Faced the Fire in the Minds of Men
Hollywood's attempts to mark the 2001 attacks ignore their political context and the return to history they symbolise
by Slavoj Zizek

Two Hollywood films mark 9/11's fifth anniversary: Paul Greengrass's United 93 and Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. Both adopt a terse, realistic depiction of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. There is undoubtedly a touch of authenticity to them and most critics have praised their sober styles and avoidance of sensationalism. But it is the touch of authenticity that raises some disturbing questions.

The realism means that both films are restrained from taking a political stance and depicting the wider context of the events. Neither the passengers on United 93 nor the policemen in WTC grasp the full picture. All of a sudden they find themselves in a terrifying situation and have to make the best out of it.

This lack of "cognitive mapping" is crucial. All we see are the disastrous effects, with their cause so abstract that, in the case of WTC, one can easily imagine exactly the same film in which the twin towers would have collapsed as the result of an earthquake. What if the same film took place in a bombed high-rise building in Beirut? That's the point: it cannot take place there. Such a film would have been dismissed as "subtle pro-Hizbullah terrorist propaganda". The result is that the political message of the two films resides in their abstention from delivering a direct political message. It is the message of an implicit trust in one's government: when under attack, one just has to do one's duty.

This is where the problem begins. The omnipresent invisible threat of terror legitimises the all-too-visible protective measures of defence. The difference of the war on terror from previous 20th-century struggles, such as the cold war, is that while the enemy was once clearly identified as the actually existing communist system, the terrorist threat is spectral. It is like the characterisation of Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction: most people have a dark side, she had nothing else. Most regimes have a dark oppressive spectral side, the terrorist threat has nothing else.

The power that presents itself as being constantly under threat and thus merely defending itself against an invisible enemy is in danger of becoming a manipulative one. Can we really trust those in power, or are they evoking the threat to discipline and control us? Thus, the lesson is that, in combating terror, it is more crucial than ever for state politics to be democratically transparent. Unfortunately, we are now paying the price for the cobweb of lies and manipulations by the US and UK governments in the past decade that reached a climax in the tragicomedy of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Recall August's alert and the thwarted attempt to blow up a dozen planes on their way from London to the US. No doubt the alert was not a fake; to claim otherwise would be paranoiac. But a suspicion remains that it was a self-serving spectacle to accustom us to a permanent state of emergency. What space for manipulation do such events - where all that is publicly visible are the anti-terrorist measures themselves - open up? Is it not that they simply demand too much from us, the ordinary citizen: a degree of trust that those in power lost long ago? This is the sin for which Bush and Blair should never be forgiven.

What, then, is the historical meaning of 9/11? Twelve years earlier, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. The collapse of communism was perceived as the collapse of political utopias. Today, we live in a post-utopian period of pragmatic administration, since we have learned the hard lesson of how noble political utopias can end in totalitarian terror. But this collapse of utopias was followed by 10 years of the big utopia of global capitalist liberal democracy. November 9 thus announced the "happy 90s", the Francis Fukuyama dream of the "end of history", the belief that liberal democracy had, in principle, won, that the search was over, that the advent of a global, liberal community was around the corner, that the obstacles to this Hollywood happy ending are merely local pockets of resistance where the leaders have not yet grasped that their time is over.

September 11 is the symbol of the end of this utopia, a return to real history. A new era is here with new walls everywhere, between Israel and Palestine, around the EU, on the US-Mexico and Spain-Morocco borders. It is an era with new forms of apartheid and legalised torture. As President Bush said after September 11, America is in a state of war. But the problem is that the US is not in a state of war. For the large majority, daily life goes on and war remains the business of state agencies. The distinction between the state of war and peace is blurred. We are entering a time in which a state of peace itself can be at the same time a state of emergency.

When Bush celebrated the thirst for freedom in post-communist countries as a "fire in the minds of men", the unintended irony was that he used a phrase from Dostoevsky's The Possessed, where it designates the ruthless activity of radical anarchists who burned a village: "The fire is in the minds of men, not on the roofs of houses." What Bush didn't grasp is that on September 11, five years ago, New Yorkers saw and smelled the smoke from this fire.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Other 9/11

Were the lives of those killed at the World Trade Centre more valuable than the innocents murdered in Chile's US-backed coup, asks Tito Tricot.

Our dreams were shattered one cloudy morning when the military overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. Twenty-nine years later, at midday, Chile's's firemen sounded their sirens paying tribute to thousands of men and women who lost their lives without really understanding what was happening.

It was a moment of remembrance, not for the victims of the military coup, but for those killed at the World Trade Centre in New York. Sad as that might have been, it is even sadder that Chilean firemen have never sounded their sirens to remember our own dead. And there are thousands of them, including many children, who were murdered by the military.

Continue here

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Declassified Military Documents Show How US Government Planned Terrorist Attacks Against its Own Citizens

As reported by ABC News, stunning military documents codenamed "Operation Northwoods" were declassified in recent years and show how in 1962, the top US military leaders planned an operation to create terror attacks against its own cities and kill US citizens.





The documents state that through the fabrication of false evidence, the US would blame Cuba and gain public support for an unpopular war against Castro. They included developing a fake Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, the use of airplanes, and much more.
For further details, the now declassified military documents are available at the National Security Archive of the George Washington University

Read the full fascinating article Here ( A must read)

What motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? The Hidden Truth

What motivated the 9/11 hijackers to attack the US?

US foreign policy bias for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and US government support for other oppressive regimes in the Middle East.

The 9-11 Commission held its twelfth and final public hearing June 16-17, 2004, in Washington, DC. On June 16 the Commission heard from several of the federal government's top law enforcement and intelligence experts on al Qaeda and the 9-11 plot. It was at this hearing that the question

"What motivated them to do it?"



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The 'claimed' video of Osama' with the'9/11 Hijackers ?

For those of you interested in the new aptly timed video release claiming to show Osama bin Laden meeting the 9/11 hijackers . It can be seen Here




What does not surprise me is that yet again the timing of this release seems to have more value to the Bush Administration than it does to Al-Qaeda.

New poll says most Canadians blame U.S. for 9/11 attacks

A majority of Canadians believe U.S. foreign policy was one of the root causes that led to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and Quebecers are quicker to criticize the U.S. administration for its international actions than other Canadians, a recent poll suggests.


Those conclusions are found in a newly released poll conducted by Léger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies.The poll suggests that 77 per cent of Quebecers polled primarily blame American foreign policy for the Sept. 11 attacks. The results suggest 57 per cent in Ontario hold a similar view.

Here

The Divide: 911 & The War on Terror

A musical tribute to mark the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of september 11th 2001. On 911 a great divide began throughout the world... you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists.



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9/11 Omission Commission

Video documenting the the conflicts of interest of the 9/11 commission and the many distortions of their final report.



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Friday, September 08, 2006

'No Saddam link to Iraq al-Qaeda'

There is no evidence of formal links between Iraqi ex-leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq prior to the 2003 war, a US Senate report says. The finding is contained in a 2005 CIA report released by the Senate's Intelligence Committee on Friday.





US President George W Bush has said that the presence of late al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq before the war was evidence of a link. Opposition Democrats say the report has harmed Mr Bush's case for going to war.

The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says that the US president has again and again tried to connect the war in Iraq, which most Americans think was a mistake, with the so-called war on terror, which has the support of the nation.

The report comes as Mr Bush makes a series of speeches on the "war on terror" to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the 11 September attacks. The report is the second part of the committee's analysis of pre-war intelligence. The first dealt with CIA failings in its assessment of Iraq's weapons programme.

The committee concluded that the CIA had evidence of several instances of contacts between the Iraqi authorities and al-Qaeda throughout the 1990s but that these did not add up to a formal relationship. It added that the government "did not have a relationship, harbour or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates".

It said that Iraq and al-Qaeda were ideologically poles apart.

"Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support," it said.

The Senate report added that the Iraqi regime had repeatedly rejected al-Qaeda requests for meetings. It also deals with the role played by inaccurate information supplied by Iraqi opposition groups in the run-up to the war.


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Thursday, September 07, 2006

America Remembers Again

Another poignant animation from Mark Fiore .





Here

Is It Too Late To Turn Back?

Can we still turn this thing around, or is America doomed to follow this administration straight to our country's destruction?



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Bush Acknowledges Secret CIA Prisons for Terror Suspects

U.S. President George W. Bush has acknowledged for the first time that suspects accused of terrorism have been detained abroad in secret CIA prisons.

The official admission on Wednesday confirmed rumours and media reports that have stirred controversy for months, both in the United States and in countries accused of hosting the facilities.

Continue here

Progress?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act

The US War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a felony to commit grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush administration is quietly circulating draft legislation to eliminate crucial parts of the War Crimes Act.





Observers on The Hill say the Administration plans to slip it through Congress this fall while there still is a guaranteed Republican majority--perhaps as part of the military appropriations bill, the proposals for Guantánamo tribunals or a new catch-all "anti-terrorism" package. Why are they doing it, and how can they be stopped?

Read the full article Here

I Is for Infidel

From Holy War to Holy Terror: 18 Years in Afghanistan



Associated Press and New Yorker writer Kathy Gannon delivers an intimately observed history of Afghanistan from 1986 to the present. The longest-serving Western journalist in the region, Gannon overturns simplistic understanding of the country's politics in this eye-opening talk. Series: "Voices"

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Israel destruction in south Lebanon: initial survey

Israel destroyed or damaged in south Lebanon 1489 buildings, 21 of 29 bridges over the Litani river, 535 sections of road and 545 cultivated fields during its 34-day military offensive, according to an EU assessment released today.





In Beirut, 326 residential buildings have either been damaged or destroyed in the southern suburbs, of which 269 are located in the Haret Horaik area. All runways of Beirut airport and six strategic highway sections have been severely damaged.

The European Commission, through its in-house scientific expertise and working with the EU Satellite Centre, provided a preliminary damage assessment and had called for another assessment for south Lebanon to assist a donors' conference on Lebanon being held today Stockholm It is said that some 1200 civilians were killed by Israel , and about a quarter of Lebanon's population was displayed during the aggression by Israel on Lebanon.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said yesterday that 130,000 housing units had been destroyed or damaged in more than a month of Israeli air raids and ground assaults fighting against Lebanon. $3.6 billion of physical damage is said to have inflicted on Lebanon, without counting the economic damage and loss.

Source

1200 civilians were killed by Israel . That's over on third of the tragic deaths on 9/11

Shocking.

Dying to win

Nationalism, not Islam, motivates most suicide terrorists








Here is today's discussion question: Suicide terrorism is primarily caused by Islamic fundamentalism. True or false? Although it seems counter-intuitive, especially given everything we read and hear in the mainstream media, the correct answer is ''false.''

In his recent book, ''DYING TO WIN: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,'' University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape has provided an indispensable public service by collecting data from all 315 suicide terrorist campaigns from 1980 to 2003, involving 462 individuals. His overall finding: The major objective of 95 percent of suicide attacks is to expel foreign military forces from territory that the terrorists perceive as their homeland. There is little connection with Islamic fundamentalism or any of the world religions. The taproot of suicide terrorism is nationalism and it's ''mainly a response to foreign occupation.'' The objective is political self-determination. The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a secular, clearly anti-religious movement, have committed 76 of the 315 suicide attacks, the most of any group. Their specific goal was an independent homeland in Sri Lanka.

Pape, who has also taught at the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Airpower Studies, convincingly demonstrates that ''suicide terrorist groups are neither primarily criminal groups dedicated to enriching their top leaders, nor religious cults isolated from the rest of their society. Rather, suicide terrorist organizations often command broad social support within the national communities from which they recruit, because they are seen as pursuing legitimate nationalist goals.'' Absent these goals, suicide terrorism rarely occurs.

Only 6 percent of the perpetrators have come from the five countries with the world's largest Islamic fundamentalist populations. (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran and Nigeria). He notes, ''Prior to America's invasion in March 2003, Iraq had never experienced a suicide bombing in its history.'' Further, Pape's demographic profiles of individual suicide terrorists reveals they are not uneducated, poor, mentally unstable, lacking in prospects, or young men expecting to spend paradise in the company of 72 virgins. Almost exactly the opposite is true. The data indicates they have higher incomes, intelligence and education, are deeply integrated into their communities, are highly politically conscious and from widely varied religious backgrounds. A significant minority are female.

Obviously, killing innocents is a morally repugnant act, but the evidence also strongly suggests that these individuals are motivated by a deep sense of duty and view their actions as a sacrifice for a nation's common good, its culture and community goals. Reprehensible, of course. But not caused by religious fervor. Although suicide attacks account for only 3 percent of terrorist incidents, they account for 48 percent of all fatalities. Clearly it's the most deadly manifestation of terrorism and there is every reason to suspect it will increase. It works.

Placing tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the Arabian Peninsula between 1990 and 2001 was the pivotal factor accounting for the Sept. 11 attacks. Pape concludes that given the high correlation between foreign military occupation and suicide terrorist movements, the continued and hated presence of American troops in the region will greatly facilitate terrorist organizers in recruiting fresh volunteers.

My own take is that here we get to the nub of the matter. U.S. military might is concentrated in this region for one reason: He who controls the world's energy resources, especially scarce oil resources, controls the world. He also becomes fabulously wealthy. Permanent military bases in Iraq are crucial to realizing their ends. How much easier, and necessary, for U.S. planners to deceive our citizens that Iraq and all the rest is about a ''war on terrorism'' related to Islamic fundementalism than to reveal the truth about their motives. They're well aware that an enlightened American public would refuse to give our nation's blessing, blood, and treasure to such a nefarious enterprise.

The so-called ''war on terror'' is fatally flawed because its planners are incapable of addressing the real political goals of those employing terrorism. They can't afford to do so. Precious little time remains to reverse a U.S. course of action that virtually guarantees a significant uptick in deadly attacks on Americans, both here and abroad.

Source

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Demand for Hussein's Release

A coalition of 300 Iraqi tribal leaders on Saturday demanded the release of Saddam Hussein so he could reclaim the presidency and also called for armed resistance against U.S.-led forces.






The clan chieftains, most of them Sunni Arabs, included the head of the 1.5 million-member al-Obeidi tribe, said they planned to hold rallies in Sunni cities throughout the country to insist that Hussein be freed and that the charges against him and his co-defendants be dropped.

Hussein is being tried on charges of genocide and other alleged crimes arising from the Iraqi government's killing and forced relocation of ethnic Kurds in 1988, and he is awaiting a verdict in a trial that concluded in late July in the mass killings of Shiites after an assassination attempt against him in 1982.

During Hussein's dictatorship, positions of power in the military and the ruling Baath Party were held overwhelmingly by Sunni Arabs, a minority that formed the backbone of the Iraqi insurgency after Hussein was toppled in 2003.

"If the demand is not carried out, we will lead a general, sweeping and popular uprising," said Sheik Wassfy al-Assy, brother of the chief of the Obeidi tribe, which hosted a meeting of the clan leaders on Monday in Ramal, a village 55 miles southwest of Kirkuk. "As for whether [Hussein] will be reinstated in his post as president after his release, that will be up to him."

The leaders announced their demands on Saturday, as Shiite-Sunni sectarian violence and a move asserting Kurdish independence heightened fears that the country is sliding toward full-scale civil war.

Source

Britons threaten Muslim beheadings in footage

FAR-RIGHT extremists have adopted the tactics of Islamic jihadis by posting videos on the internet in which they threaten to behead British Muslims.






The films show balaclava-clad white British men brandishing guns, knives and clubs, calling on all Muslims to leave Britain or be killed. One appears to be a soldier who has served in the Gulf.

In one film, a man tells Muslims to "go home" or risk being burned alive. He threatens, "I'll cut your head off", and claims to have "comrades" across Britain who have "had enough".

The videos were made after the arrests three weeks ago of suspects connected to the alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jets. Their style mimics the "martyrdom videos" of Islamic radicals. The release of the videos on YouTube, a US-based open-access website, coincides with reports of a rise in the number of attacks on mosques.

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said the videoed threats were extremely worrying. "There is no question there has been an increase in attacks on mosques and Muslims," he said at the weekend.

The videos, posted between August 11 and 19, depict three men, each wearing a black terrorist-style mask. Would-be viewers of the clips, lasting two to three minutes, are told in a YouTube warning the videos "may contain content that is inappropriate for some users".

In one video, a man with a London accent says: "I wish to know what we are going to do to fight the so-called religion of peace known as Islam." He lists incidents including the racially motivated murder of Ross Parker, a white teenager, on September 21, 2001. The alleged airline bomb plot is also mentioned, with the masked man claiming it has resulted in "no retaliation" against Muslims.

He says: "It may be because you fear prison. Well, wake up. I am calling on England, Ulster, Scotland and Wales to stand and defend the island that we love." Another video, dated August 19, shows a balaclava-clad man with a Welsh accent telling Muslims to "go home" or be burned.

Brandishing a 30cm-long hunting knife with a serrated blade, he says: "We are going to rip the life out of you. I am going to tear your guts out. I'll cut your head off." n a reference that may indicate a military background, he says the slaughter would remind him of being "back in the Gulf".

Source

Monday, September 04, 2006

John Dean on Countdown

Dean talks about how the administation's latst criticism of war critics, is further evidence of their authoritarian traits.



Source

Great video.

John Bolton: Mission accomplished?

By Gordon Prather








This year, Bonkers Bolton and his Gang of Three – the British, French and Germans – have managed to get the other members of the Interna-tional Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council to commit 'assisted' suicide, seriously undermining – as intended – the authority and effectiveness of the United Nations itself.

First, the IAEA – whose primary mission is to "seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world."

On Feb. 4, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton got the IAEA board to pass a resolution that begins by stipulating "that nothing in the Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable rights of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear en-ergy for peaceful purposes without discrimination," but then perversely goes on not only to deny Iran its inalienable Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, rights but presumes to make additional demands on Iran as an NPT signatory.

Bolton already had attempted, but failed, to drastically modify the NPT at the 2005 NPT Re-view Conference, removing the demands made on us and the rights bestowed on everyone else.

Now, the IAEA board "deemed it necessary" that Iran – inter alia – "ratify promptly and implement in full the Additional Protocol" to its NPT Safeguards Agreement.

Of course, the IAEA board has no authority to make any such demands. So, recess-appointee Bolton brought the IAEA resolution before the U.N. Security Council, which does.

But upon first referral, all Bolton got was a U.N. Security Council 'non-binding' Presidential Statement which begins:

The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and recalls the right of States Party, in conformity with articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.

Bummer.

Meanwhile, with Bush-Blair acquiescence – if not downright encouragement – the Israelis had launched a bona fide "act of aggression" against Lebanon.

Bolton soon had his hands full, preventing the Security Council from condemning Israel for it flagrant violations of the U.N. Charter, while strong-arming it into passing Resolution 1696. The resolution, "acting under Article 40 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations," demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAE. …"

What does that mean – acting under Article 40?

Well, Bolton previously had strong-armed the IAEA Board of Governors into asking the Security Council to "determine" that Iran's refusal to re-suspend – as "required" by the U.N. Security Council Presidential Statement – certain IAEA Safeguarded activities constituted under Article 39 as a "threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression."

Article 40 says:

In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.

Now, the Security Council has yet "to deter-mine" under Article 39 that Iran's safeguarded activities constitute a threat to the peace, much less an act of aggression. So, technically, the council shouldn't yet be "acting" under Article 40.

Nor should the council "call" upon Iran to take without further delay the steps "required" by the IAEA board in its resolution of Feb. 4, which in-cluded requiring Iran to "ratify promptly and im-plement in full the Additional Protocol" to its NPT Safeguards Agreement.

An Additional Protocol – once ratified – can hardly be considered a "provisional measure."

The Security Council shouldn't be "demanding" that Iran suspend safeguarded uranium enrichment activities. After all, Bolton and his Gang of Three have made it clear such suspensions will hardly be temporary "provisional measures," taken "without prejudice" to the exercise of Iran's "inalienable rights" under the NPT.

As Iran's U.N. representative, Javad Zarif, put it, upon passage of Security Council Resolution 1696:

Today we are witness to an extremely dangerous trend; while members of the NPT are denied their rights and are punished, those who defy the NPT, particularly the perpetrators of [the] current carnage in Lebanon and Palestine, are rewarded by generous nuclear cooperation agree-ments.

Having successfully established such a "trend," it may not matter to recess-appointee Bolton whether or not he becomes permanent ambassador to the United Nations

Source and references

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. He also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

FBI Role in Terror Probe Questioned

Standing in an empty Miami warehouse on May 24 with a man he believed had ties to Osama bin Laden, a dejected Narseal Batiste talked of the setbacks to their terrorist plot and then uttered the words that helped put him in a federal prison cell. "I want to fight some jihad," he allegedly said. "That's all I live for."




What Batiste did not know was that the bin Laden representative was really an FBI informant. The warehouse in which they were meeting had been rented and wired for sound and video by bureau agents, who were monitoring his every word.

Within a month, Batiste, 32, and six of his compatriots were arrested and charged with conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization and bomb a federal building. On June 23, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a news conference to announce the destruction of a terrorist cell inside the United States, hailing "our commitment to preventing terrorism through energetic law enforcement efforts aimed at detecting and thwarting terrorist acts."

But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a "deadly plot" was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own. The suspects have raised questions in court about the FBI informants' role in keeping the plan alive.

The plot featured self-proclaimed militant religious leaders who referred to themselves as kings, talked of establishing their own nation inside the United States, called their headquarters an embassy and discussed plans to train their recruits to use bows and arrows. One of their quixotic notions was to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower.

Batiste's father, a Christian preacher and former contractor who lives in Louisiana, told the news media after the indictment that his son was "not in his right mind" and needed psychiatric treatment.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, separating serious terrorist plotters from delusional dreamers has proved one of the FBI's most challenging tasks. The effort is complicated by the bureau's frequent use of informants who sometimes play active roles in the plotting.

U.S. law enforcement officials say they do not have the luxury of waiting for a terrorist plot to mature before they break it up. A delay, they say, could mean that a member of the plot they had not discovered might be able to pull off an attack.

At the news conference, Gonzales acknowledged that Batiste was nowhere near carrying out a terrorist act.

"Our philosophy here is that we try to identify plots in the earliest stages possible, because we don't know what we don't know about a terrorist plot," he said. It is dangerous to evaluate in advance that "this is a really dangerous group; this is not a dangerous group," he added.

But lawyers for the defendants have raised questions about where a government sting ends and entrapment begins. Not only did government informants provide money and a meeting place for Batiste and his followers, but they also gave them video cameras for conducting surveillance, as well as cellphones, and suggested that their first target be a Miami FBI office, court records show.

At the hearing, Batiste's attorney, John Wylie, showed that the FBI's investigation found no evidence that his client had met with any real terrorist, received e-mails or wire transfers from the Middle East, possessed any al-Qaeda literature, or had even a picture of bin Laden.

Continue reading Here

Tehran assures Annan on Lebanon

UN chief Kofi Annan has received assurances from Tehran that it will co-operate fully with the UN resolution on Lebanon, his spokesman says. Mr Annan is in Iran for talks on strengthening the UN-sponsored truce which halted 34 days of conflict.




He also met the top nuclear official for "good" and "constructive" talks.

The visit comes two days after the UN nuclear watchdog reported that Iran had failed to meet the Security Council's deadline to halt uranium enrichment. On arrival in Tehran, Mr Annan said he expected to discuss "issues of concern to this region and to the international community".

It is the latest stop on Mr Annan's tour of a crisis-ridden Middle East.

Mr Annan began his time in Iran by meeting Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. Iran may accept that Lebanon now needs a period of calm to rebuild

He was expected to seek Iranian backing for UN resolution 1701, which ended the war in Lebanon. A spokesman for Mr Annan said that when he and Mr Larijani had discussed the resolution, Mr Larijani had said: "You can count on our full support, sir."

As he met Iranian leaders, the first major new contingent of foreign troops to expand the UN force tasked with policing the ceasefire arrived in southern Lebanon. Nearly 900 Italian soldiers have begun landing from boats in the southern port city of Tyre. they will be part of a UN force which will eventually total up to 15,000 troops.

Resolution 1701 calls for other countries to withhold supplies of arms to any group other than the Lebanese government. Along with Syria, Iran is a key supporter of Hezbollah. It says its support for Hezbollah is primarily political, although analysts say it remains a major supplier of weaponry. The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says although Iran is unlikely to give up its strong support for Hezbollah, it may well meet Mr Annan half-way.

This could amount to tacitly accepting a period of calm during which Hezbollah can regroup and southern Lebanon's infrastructure can be rebuilt, our correspondent says.

Iran's nuclear programme also featured in talks between Mr Annan and Iranian leaders. The Security Council is divided over how to respond to Iran . Both Iran and the UN said talks between Mr Annan and Mr Larijani were very positive, but neither side gave details.

The UN said it was an interesting and useful meeting, but they wanted to wait for talks on Sunday with Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before making a final assessment of Iran's mood. Iran strongly asserts its right to uranium enrichment, insisting it is solely for civilian power generation. Hours before Mr Annan's visit, the Iranian president repeated his warning that Iran would not abandon its nuclear programme.

"They (the West) should know that this nation will not give up its absolute right to benefit from nuclear energy even one iota," Mr Ahmadinejad told an applauding crowd in the city of Miandoab.

Western powers suspect Iran may have ambitions to create a nuclear bomb. Six world powers are set to meet next week to decide on the way forward, after Iran missed the UN's 31 August deadline to halt enrichment. The EU has indicated it is willing to give Iran extra time, during talks between the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana and EU foreign ministers. Correspondents say it is not clear what sanctions the UN could agree to impose on Iran as the key powers are deeply divided over whether punitive measures should be taken.

Source

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Depeche Mode: "John The Revelator"

Unofficial animated music video for Depeche Mode's latest single from their album "Playing The Angel."This video was created only for artistic (non-commercial) purposes and without the consent of the band or the label.



The visual interpretations of the song's lyrics and the views expressed in this music video are solely those of the director, a Depeche Mode fan / outraged American.

Please support the impeachment movement at [www.impeachbush.org] and also support the band by buying their single (available in iTunes

Rupert Murdoch's Victims

The first death known to me, that was precipitated by a Rupert Murdoch headline, occurred in Sydney in March,1964, when a schoolboy committed suicide. More of that later. These days, the casualties resulting from military invasions championed by Murdoch are numbered in the thousands, though he is not the sole agent of destruction. One of his former TV producers in the Middle East, Serene Sabbagh, resigned from Fox recently because of its "bias and racism".


What tipped Sabbagh over the edge was the bombing of Qana._"As a mother of three, watching the images, the raw images of children being pulled out of the rubble and then I switched to Fox News to hear some of their anchors claiming that these little kids that were killed, these innocent victims that were killed, were human shields used by Hezbollah. And one of the anchors went as far as saying they were planted there by Hezbollah to win support in this war. And it was unbelievable. For me, that was the breaking point"

On August 6, Serene Sabbagh and a colleague sent a joint letter of resignation to Fox News: "Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism." A verdict which is widely echoed. "Fox News has had reporters running around northern Israel chronicling every rocket attack and every Israeli mobilization, but has shown little or no interest in anything happening on the other side of the border", noted Andrew Gumbel in the UK's Independent.

News Corp had "walked away from professional journalism and crossed over into dutiful propaganda", wrote another analyst," a dangerous new chapter even for Fox News". The whole organization had shifted beyond warmongering into deep censorship, where it "purposely cordoned off topics of discussion In fact, I could not find a single, authentic, independent expert on Arab politics and history who appeared on Fox News to discuss the roots of the escalating violence. Not one."

In the editorial pages of Murdoch's antipodean flagship, The Australian, the bombing of Beirut is presented as "Israel doing Lebanon a favour" and restive Arabs are described as "Nazis". None of this should be surprising, as Murdoch revealed to the Hollywood Reporter that his media ventures are "not as important to me as spreading my personal political beliefs" (November 23, 2005). And these beliefs are dangerous. Murdoch's influential Weekly Standard advocates the pursuit of "regime change in Syria . and a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?"

It does not seem to figure in Murdoch's personal accounting that over half a million civilians are now dead or disfigured as a result of the wars he has already promoted. Instead of reconsidering his politics, like other lapsed neocons, Murdoch is still blazing away with his tools of the trade: hate, lies, fear and censorship.

Continue reading Here

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dispatches: The Killing Zone

British report on Israeli violence in Gaza against not only Palestinian civilians, but international aid volunteers and foreign reporters as well



Source

Insurgents kill 77 in Iraq as bloodshed mounts

Insurgents have killed at least 77 Iraqis and wounded scores in a series of shootings and bombings, including one in a crowded Baghdad market and another at a military recruitment centre.




A blast in the Shurja market left 24 dead and 35 wounded Wednesday and came just two hours after rebels targeted an Iraqi army recruitment centre in the Shiite town of Hilla, south of Baghdad, killing 12 volunteers and wounding 38. The Baghdad market blast came despite a massive security crackdown in the violent Iraqi capital, rattling windows one kilometre (half a mile) away as a plume of dust and smoke climbed above the skyline.

Body parts were strewn across the area. Windows of nearby shops were shattered, two cars were ripped apart and a popular restaurant blown open. "Firefighters are fighting to quell the fire as many shops are burning," a police officer said at the scene, adding that the bomb had been placed in a bag and partially concealed by a bicycle. "People are gathering the mobile phones and money of those killed and storing them in a nearby mosque. They were also collecting flesh and body parts in plastic bags," he added.

Source

Siniora: Lebanon will be last country to make peace with Israel

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Wednesday that he refused to have any direct contact with Israel, and that Lebanon would be the last Arab country to ever sign a peace deal with it.




"Let it be clear, we are not seeking any agreement until there is just and comprehensive peace based on the Arab initiative," he said.

Siniora was referring to a plan that came out of a 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut. It calls for Israel to return all territories it conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War, the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem - all in exchange for peace and full normalization of Arab relations with Israel.

Israel has long sought a peace deal with Lebanon, but Beirut has hesitated as long as Israel's conflicts with the Palestinians and Syria remained unresolved.Siniora said Lebanon wants to go back to the 1949 armistice agreement that formally ended the Arab-Israeli war over Israel's creation.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier Wednesday that the Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire could be "a cornerstone to build a new reality between Israel and Lebanon." Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also said they hoped the cease-fire deal could evolve into a full-fledged peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon.

Implementation of the cease-fire "gives us a foundation to move forward and settle the differences between Israel and Lebanon once and for all, to establish a durable peace," Annan said.

Also Wednesday, Siniora said that his government would pay $33,000 per house to compensate residents whose homes were destroyed by Israel Air Force attacks. The government has been criticized for being slow to respond with financial support for people who lost homes in the fighting.

Siniora said 130,000 housing units had been destroyed or damaged in more than a month of Israeli airstrikes and ground fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas, mostly in south Lebanon. He did not give a breakdown of the completely destroyed houses.

Hezbollah launched rebuilding campaigns in its strongholds within days of the August 14 cease-fire, burnishing its support among residents.

Siniora said he would ask delegates to an international donors' conference in Sweden on Thursday to take responsibility for rebuilding specific villages hit by IAF attacks. Organizers of the conference are aiming to raise $500 million in aid for Lebanon, Sweden's aid minister said Tuesday.

The European Commission said Wednesday it will pledge $54 million at the conference on top of the $64 million that the European Union's head office has already earmarked for emergency relief to Lebanon.

Source

The Man Who Has Been to America

'Why should Geneva Convention protections be applied to Guantanamo detainees? One innocent man's journey through the legal black hole of the War on Terror—four prisons, three countries, two years—may be the best argument yet.'

Read it : Here

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Big Lie About 'Islamic Fascism'

By Eric Margolis See his website.






The latest big lie unveiled by Washington’s neoconservatives are the poisonous terms, "Islamo-Fascists" and "Islamic Fascists." They are the new, hot buzzwords among America’s far right and Christian fundamentalists.

President George W. Bush made a point last week of using "Islamofacists" when recently speaking of Hezbullah and Hamas – both, by the way, democratically elected parties. A Canadian government minister from the Conservative Party compared Lebanon’s Hezbullah to Nazi Germany.

The term "Islamofascist" is utterly without meaning, but packed with emotional explosives. It is a propaganda creation worthy Dr. Goebbels, and the latest expression of the big lie technique being used by neocons in Washington’s propaganda war against its enemies in the Muslim World.

This ugly term was probably first coined in Israel – as was the other hugely successful propaganda term, "terrorism" – to dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their grievances and demands.

As the brilliant humanist Sir Peter Ustinov so succinctly put it, "Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."

Both the terms "terrorism" and "fascist" have been so abused and overused that they have lost any original meaning. The best modern definition I’ve read of fascism comes in former Colombia University Professor Robert Paxton’s superb 2004 book, The Anatomy of Fascism.

Paxton defines fascism’s essence, which he aptly terms its "emotional lava" as: 1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign "contamination."

Fascism demands a succession of wars, foreign conquests, and national threats to keep the nation in a state of fear, anxiety and patriotic hypertension. Those who disagree are branded ideological traitors. All successful fascists regimes, Paxton points out, allied themselves to traditional conservative parties, and to the military-industrial complex.

Highly conservative and militaristic regimes are not necessarily fascist, says Paxton. True fascism requires relentless aggression abroad and a semi-religious adoration of the regime at home.

None of the many Muslim groups opposing US-British control of the Mideast fit Paxton’s definitive analysis. The only truly fascist group ever to emerge in the Mideast was Lebanon’s Maronite Christian Phalange Party in the 1930’s which, ironically, became an ally of Israel’s rightwing in the 1980’s.

It is grotesque watching the Bush Administration and Tony Blair maintain the ludicrous pretense they are re-fighting World War II. The only similarity between that era and today is the cultivation of fear, war fever and racist-religious hate by US neoconservatives and America’s religious far right, which is now boiling with hatred for anything Muslim.

Under the guise of fighting a "third world war" against "Islamic fascism," America’s far right is infecting its own nation with the harbingers of WWII totalitarianism.

In the western world, hatred of Muslims has become a key ideological hallmark of rightwing parties. We see this overtly in the United States, France, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Poland, and, most lately, Canada, and more subtly expressed in Britain and Belgium. The huge uproar over blatantly anti-Muslim cartoons published in Denmark laid bare the seething Islamophobia spreading through western society.

There is nothing in any part of the Muslim World that resembles the corporate fascist states of western history. In fact, clan and tribal-based traditional Islamic society, with its fragmented power structures, local loyalties, and consensus decision-making, is about as far as possible from western industrial state fascism.

The Muslim World is replete with brutal dictatorships, feudal monarchies, and corrupt military-run states, but none of these regimes, however deplorable, fits the standard definition of fascism. Most, in fact, are America’s allies.

Nor do underground Islamic militant groups ("terrorists" in western terminology). They are either focused on liberating land from foreign occupation, overthrowing "un-Islamic" regimes, driving western influence from their region, or imposing theocracy based on early Islamic democracy.

Claims by fevered neoconservatives that Muslim radicals plan to somehow impose a worldwide Islamic caliphate are lurid fantasies worthy of Dr. Fu Manchu and yet another example of the big lie technique that worked so well over Iraq.

As Prof. Andrew Bosworth notes in an incisive essay on so-called Islamic fascism, "Islamic fundamentalism is a transnational movement inherently opposed to the pseudo-nationalism necessary for fascism."

However, there are plenty of modern fascists. But to find them, you have to go to North America and Europe. These neo-fascists advocate "preemptive attacks against all potential enemies," grabbing other nation’s resources, overthrowing uncooperative governments, military dominance of the world, hatred of Semites (Muslims in this case), adherence to biblical prophecies, hatred of all who fail to agree, intensified police controls, and curtailment of "liberal" political rights.

They revel in flag-waving, patriotic melodrama, demonstrations of military power, and use the mantle of patriotism to feather the nests of the military-industrial complex, colluding legislators and lobbyists. They urge war to the death, fought, of course, by other people’s children. They have turned important sectors of the media into propaganda organs and brought the Pentagon largely under their control.

Now, the neoconservatives are busy whipping up war against Syria and Iran to keep themselves in power and maintain the political dynamics of this 21st century revival of fascism.

The real modern fascists are not in the Muslim World, but Washington. The neocons screaming fascist the loudest, are the true fascists themselves. It’s a pity that communist and leftist propaganda so debased the term "neo-fascist" that it has become almost meaningless. Because that is what we should be calling the so-called neocons, for that is what they really are.

Source

Related articles Here and Here

Let's Bomb Iran! (comedy)

Parody of the Beach Boys 'Barbara Ann'


Source

The Americanization of Canada by Harper

Harper's assertion that the Israeli actions in Lebanon were a measured response to the provocations of Hezbollah was only the start of his reading from the American script.





Bush stalled a ceasefire. So did Harper.

Bush said no to American troops in a multinational force. Harper said no to Canadian participation.

Bush cast the Israeli offensive as a "struggle between the forces of freedom and the force of terror." So did Harper.

Bush tied Lebanon to the larger (failed) war on terrorism. So did Harper.

At times, Harper sounded more hawkish than the Republican neocon hawks.

Bush called the massacre at Qana "awful," but Harper stayed mum, and his office made a point of saying that he would stay mum on the tragedy

Read the full article Here

Hezbollah Leader Regrets Kidnapping that Led to War with Israel

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says he regrets the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers that sparked more than a month of warfare with Israel. Nasrallah told Lebanese television Sunday if he had known the kidnapping would have led to such a war, he would not do it again.





He also said Italy and the United Nations have shown interest in taking part in possible talks on a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah seized the two Israeli soldiers during a cross-border raid July 12. The raid led to 34 days of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah fighters and widespread destruction in Lebanon.

Source

Can Anything Be Done?

By Paul Craig Roberts









Many readers have praised me for my courage in broaching taboo subjects and stating obvious truths. Others denounce me for “being unpatriotic and distrusting our government.” One reader, Susan Hartman, wrote to me that I was obviously in the pay of Islamic Jihadists and that she had reported me to the FBI.

Despite the lack of evidence to support their belief, a number of readers remain confident that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that America narrowly missed being annihilated. These readers know for a fact that Hussein had WMD, because “the President would know, and he wouldn’t lie.”

In other words, whatever Bush says is true, and all who doubt him are unpatriotic. “You are with us or against us.” The facts be damned. There are a large number of Susan Hartmans in the body politic.

A group of scientists, engineers, and university professors are trying to start a debate about the collapse of the three World Trade Center buildings. I reported one of their findings: There is an inconsistency between the speed with which the buildings collapsed and the “pancaking theory” used to explain the collapse. Another way of putting the problem is that there seems to be a massive energy deficit in the explanation that the buildings fell as a result of gravitational energy. There simply was not sufficient gravitational energy to produce the results.

For reporting a scientific finding, I was called a “conspiracy theorist.” Only in America is scientific analysis seen as conspiracy theory and government lies as truth.

Applications of the laws of physics and scientific calculations can be reviewed and checked by other scientists. Scientists, like the rest of us, can make mistakes. However, questions raised about the collapse of the WTC buildings are not engaged but ignored.

Read more Here

Monday, August 28, 2006

UK: Cameron: we got it wrong on apartheid

David Cameron(leader of the UK conservatives) dramatically denounced one of Margaret Thatcher's flagship foreign policies last night, saying that she was wrong to have branded Nelson Mandela's African National Congress as 'terrorists' and to have opposed sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa.


Source

Well It's about time the Conservatives spoke up against apartheid .....

Just a decade or so too late it seems . What next, Are they going to announce that supporting Saddam for all those years was wrong too ? I doubt it.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor

A chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg has said George W. Bush should be tried for war crimes along with Saddam Hussein.







Benjamin Ferencz, who secured convictions for 22 Nazi officers for their work in orchestrating the death squads that killed more than 1 million people, told OneWorld both Bush and Saddam should be tried for starting "aggressive" wars--Saddam for his 1990 attack on Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"Nuremberg declared that aggressive war is the supreme international crime," the 87-year-old Ferencz told OneWorld from his home in New York. He said the United Nations charter, which was written after the carnage of World War II, contains a provision that no nation can use armed force without the permission of the UN Security Council.

Source

Iran nuclear response leak reveals demands

The US would have to lift decades-old sanctions against Iran and probably give assurances that it has no policy of regime change towards the Islamic republic to settle Iran's nuclear dispute with the west, according to leaks of the Iranian response.





Iran is demanding firmer guarantees on trade and nuclear supplies, a tighter timetable for implementing agreements and clearer security pledges from the west before it decides whether to freeze its uranium enrichment programme and explore an offer of a new relationship.

Source

Friday, August 25, 2006

Are FOX News Employees really “Noncombatants”?

By Mike Whitney






Are FOX employee’s innocent bystanders or an integral part of the American war machine? That may turn out to be an important question now that 2 FOX workers have been captured by a group of Palestinian militants.

It would be hard, if not impossible to draw a line of separation between the US military and FOX News. Their anchors may shun the camouflage fatigues and jack-boots, but that is where the difference ends. FOX is a fully-integrated cog in the corporate/state media apparatus; faithfully reiterating the official statements of Pentagon Big-wigs and administration powerbrokers. Their “embedded” news team provides the splashy graphics and right wing chatter which energize their base and marshal public support for American aggression. They carefully create a narrative which makes deliberate acts of unprovoked warfare appear necessary and (even) humanitarian.

No one has violated the basic standards of journalistic integrity more consistently than FOX News. Their unwavering support for the war in Iraq demonstrates their blatant disregard for professional evenhandedness and neutrality. Dissenting opinions are scrupulously scrubbed from their broadcasts while the vulgar displays of jingoism and xenophobia are presented as “Fair and Balanced” coverage. On some FOX web sites it’s still possible to find articles which claim that Weapons of Mass Destruction were actually found in Iraq. No wonder nearly 50% of the American people still believe that Saddam posed a threat to our national security and that Bush’s illegal invasion was justified.

If FOX is an essential part of the state propaganda-system which facilitates the war, then how can we absolve their employees from accountability? Doesn’t that make them legitimate targets for resistance organizations?

Reporters are given immunity because their work is perceived to be beyond the activities of combatants. That rule cannot be applied to FOX. FOX is the corporate-arm of the war machine; a critical cog in the Pentagon’s information-management strategy. It is as indispensable to the smooth operation of the modern army as any of the high-tech weaponry or space-age gadgetry.

FOX News is franchise journalism; information that is crafted to meet the requirements of ownership. Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn summarized the Rupert Murdoch business-model this way:

(Murdoch) “offers target governments a privatized version of a state propaganda service, manipulated without scruple and with no regard for truth. His price takes the form of vast government favors such as tax breaks, regulatory relief, monopoly markets and so forth. The propaganda is undertaken with the greatest cynicism, whether it’s the stentorian fake populism and soft porn in the UK’s Sun and News of the World, or the shameless bootlicking of the butchers of Tiananmen Square” (Alexander Cockburn “A Journey into Rupert Murdoch’s Soul” counterpunch.org)

The journalists who participate in the Murdoch-system are mere functionaries in a corporate news-militia. They deserve the same treatment as any other POW, nothing more.

The group which captured the two FOX employees did what they felt they had to do to address the egregious human rights abuses at American gulags at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. When peaceful means for acquiring justice are foreclosed, violence becomes inevitable. This truism is even enshrined in our own Declaration of Independence.

The “Holy Jihad Brigades” has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, although the group remains unknown in Gaza. They have released a video demanding a prisoner-swap for Muslims held by the United States.

“We are going to exchange the Muslim female and male prisoners in American jails in return for the prisoners we have. We are going to give you 72 hours, beginning tonight, to make your decision,” says the voice on the video. “If you implement and meet our condition, we will fulfill our promise. If not, wait, and we are going to wait with you.”

It is not clear what will happen to the victims after the 3 day deadline passes, but the FOX duo appears to be in good health and there are no signs of torture or abuse. The same cannot be said for the victims of American detention in Iraq or Cuba.

The demands of the militants are consistent with the basic principles of American justice. The prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib have been detained in violation of international law and without regard to their fundamental human rights. Bush claims the absolute authority to imprison anyone he chooses; stripping them of their right due process and of any legal means for acquitting themselves.

The prisoners at Guantanamo are nothing more than Bush’s personal hostages. It was only a matter of time before someone responded to this insidious act of tyranny.

Bush is not above the law. The inmates at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib have “inalienable rights” just like the rest of us. These rights cannot be repealed by presidential edict.

The first of these rights is the “presumption of innocence”. If Bush insists these men are “the worst of the worst”; let him prove it in court of law with solid evidence of wrongdoing.

Secondly, “justice delayed is justice denied”; either try them or let them go. Bush has no authority to keep these men languishing indefinitely in a legal black hole without formally charging them with a crime.

Guantanamo should be shut down, dismantled, and steamrolled into finely-ground powder. The prisoners should be returned to their countries of origin and compensated for their mistreatment at the hands of American jailors. The men who are responsible for creating Guantanamo should be held accountable before an international tribunal.

As long as Muslims are deprived of their rights and freedom, we can expect more random incidents of kidnapping andcruelty. These are the unavoidable consequences of injustice.

The Holy Jihad Brigades is the natural offspring of Bush’s “New Middle East”, a hotbed of animosity and violence. America has radicalized the region and is fueling the rage and bloodshed. The chickens will continue to come home to roost until America withdraws from Iraq, stops its blind support of Israel, and negotiates a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian issue.

If Bush really wants to know why Americans are targets, he ought to take a good look at his own blinkered foreign policy and rethink his strategy.

Source

Does Shashi have the vision

One man is capable of strengthening the UN's ability to be a genuinely effective global player





In the next few weeks, a new secretary general of the United Nations will be chosen by the security council. In a world racked by violent divisions surpassing anything witnessed since the organisation was created "to end the scourge of war," the secretary general can play a much more important role than is currently the case in easing global tensions and in making the weak and the dispossessed feel that their voices are being heard.

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Iraq PM bans TV from showing attacks

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has banned television channels from broadcasting gory images of daily bloodshed in the country, the interior ministry said in a statement.




During a visit to the ministry on Wednesday, Maliki issued an order prohibiting broadcasters from showing "blood and killings that magnify the horror" and warned of legal action against those violating the order.

Major General Rashid Flayah, head of a national police division, urged reporters to tone down stories that could inflame sectarian passions in a country riven by violence between Sunni and Shiite groups.

"We will let you do the job, but we want you to stop publishing pictures that arouse passions and sectarian feelings," he told a news conference. "You should reject it. We are building the country with Kalashnikovs and you should help in building it with the use of your pen."

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So there was no real concern when we were planting false news items in to Iraqi press . Propaganda is good. But now the press want to start telling people the truth and all hell breaks loose. We can show you what didn't happen here yesterday once the Pentagon script writers had completed it. But if you have real story then you better keep it quiet buddy. The truth it seems, is always unpatriotic.

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Thursday, August 24, 2006

On Bush's Iraq speech from the past three years

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Six Questions for Michael Scheuer on National Security

Michael Scheuer served in the CIA for 22 years before resigning in 2004; he served as the chief of the bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999.




1. We're coming up on the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Is the country safer or more vulnerable to terrorism?

On balance, more vulnerable. We're safer in terms of aircraft travel. We're safer from being attacked by some dumbhead who tries to come into the country through an official checkpoint; we've spent billions on that. But for the most part our victories have been tactical and not strategic. There have been important successes by the intelligence services and Special Forces in capturing and killing Al Qaeda militants, but in the long run that's just a body count, not progress. We can't capture them one by one and bring them to justice. There are too many of them, and more now than before September 11. In official Western rhetoric these are finite organizations, but every time we interfere in Muslim countries they get more support.

In the long run, we're not safer because we're still operating on the assumption that we're hated because of our freedoms, when in fact we're hated because of our actions in the Islamic world. There's our military presence in Islamic countries, the perception that we control the Muslim world’s oil production, our support for Israel and for countries that oppress Muslims such as China, Russia, and India, and our own support for Arab tyrannies. The deal we made with Qadaffi in Libya looks like hypocrisy: we'll make peace with a brutal dictator if it gets us oil. President Bush is right when he says all people aspire to freedom but he doesn't recognize that people have different definitions of democracy. Publicly promoting democracy while supporting tyranny may be the most damaging thing we do. From the standpoint of democracy, Saudi Arabia looks much worse than Iran. We use the term “Islamofascism”—but we're supporting it in Saudi Arabia, with Mubarak in Egypt, and even Jordan is a police state. We don't have a strategy because we don't have a clue about what motivates our enemies.

2. Is Al Qaeda stronger or weaker than it was five years ago?

The quality of its leadership is not as high as it was in 2001, because we've killed and captured so many of its leaders. But they have succession planning that works very well. We keep saying that we're killing their leaders, but you notice that we keep having to kill their number twos, threes and fours all over again. They bring in replacements, and these are not novices off the street—they're understudies. From the very first, bin Laden has said that he's just one person and Al Qaeda is a vanguard organization, that it needs other Muslims to join them. He's always said that his primary goal is to incite attacks by people who might not have any direct contact with Al Qaeda. Since 2001, and especially since mid-2005, there's been an increase in the number of groups that were not directly tied to Al Qaeda but were inspired by bin Laden's words and actions.

We also shouldn't underestimate the stature of bin Laden and Zawahiri in the Muslim world now that they’ve survived five years of war with the United States. You see commentary in the Muslim press: “How have they been able to defy the United States? It takes something special.” Their heroic status is an important fact. It helps explain why these cells keep popping up. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda is also assisting insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq. I agree with the view that we've moved from man and organization to philosophy and movement, but one hasn't entirely replaced the other. There are three levels: Al Qaeda central is still intact; there are groups long affiliated with Al Qaeda, in places like Kashmir, the Philippines, and Indonesia; and there are the new groups inspired by Al Qaeda.

3. Given all this, why hasn't there been an attack on the United States for the past five years?

It's not just a lack of capacity; they're not ready to do it. They put more emphasis on success than speed, and the next attack has to be bigger than 9/11. They could shoot up a mall if that's what they wanted to do. But the world is going their way. Our leaders have been clever in defining success as preventing a big terrorist attack on the United States, but we've lost some 3,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. We've spent billions on those wars, and as in Vietnam the government has suffered a real hit on its credibility. The war in Iraq has created huge divisiveness in our domestic politics, not to mention in our relationships with our European allies. At the same time, there are more people willing to take up arms against the United States, and we have less ability to win hearts and minds in the Arab world. If you're bin Laden living in a cave, all those things are part of the war and those things are going your way.

4. Has the war in Iraq helped or hurt in the fight against terrorism?

It broke the back of our counterterrorism program. Iraq was the perfect execution of a war that demanded jihad to oppose it. You had an infidel power invading and occupying a Muslim country and it was perceived to be unprovoked. Many senior Western officials said that bin Laden was not a scholar and couldn't declare a jihad but other Muslim clerics did. So that religious question was erased.

Secondly, Iraq is in the Arab heartland and, far more than Afghanistan, is a magnet for mujahideen. You can see this in the large number of people crossing the border to fight us. It wasn't a lot at the start, but there's been a steady growth as the war continues. The war has validated everything bin Laden said: that the United States will destroy any strong government in the Arab world, that it will seek to destroy Israel's enemies, that it will occupy Muslim holy places, that it will seize Arab oil, and that it will replace God's law with man's law. We see Iraq as a honey pot that attracts jihadists whom we can kill there instead of fighting them here. We are ignoring that Iraq is not just a place to kill Americans; Al Qaeda has always said that it requires safe havens. It has said it couldn't get involved with large numbers in the Balkans war because it had no safe haven in the region. Now they have a safe haven in Iraq, which is so big and is going to be so unsettled for so long. For the first time, it gives Al Qaeda contiguous access to the Arabian Peninsula, to Turkey, and to the Levant. We may have written the death warrant for Jordan. If we pull out of Iraq, we have a problem in that we may have to leave a large contingent of troops in Jordan. All of this is a tremendous advantage for Al Qaeda. We've moved the center of jihad a thousand miles west from Afghanistan to the Middle East.

5. Things seemed to have turned for the worse in Afghanistan too. What's your take on the situation there?

The President was sold a bill of goods by George Tenet and the CIA—that a few dozen intel guys, a few hundred Special Forces, and truckloads of money could win the day. What happened is what's happened ever since Alexander the Great, three centuries before Christ: the cities fell quickly, which we mistook for victory. Three years later, the Taliban has regrouped, and there's a strong insurgency. We paid a great price for demonizing the Taliban. We saw them as evil because they didn't let women work, but that's largely irrelevant in Afghanistan. They provided nationwide law and order for the first time in 25 years; we destroyed that and haven't replaced it. They're remembered in Afghanistan for their harsh, theocratic rule, but remembered more for the security they provided. In the end, we'll lose and leave. The idea that we can control Afghanistan with 22,000 soldiers, most of whom are indifferent to the task, is far-fetched. The Soviets couldn't do it with 150,000 soldiers and utter brutality. Before the invasion of Afghanistan, [the military historian] John Keegan said the only way to go there was as a punitive mission, to destroy your enemy and get out. That was prescient; our only real mission there should have been to kill bin Laden and Zawahiri and as many Al Qaeda fighters as possible, and we didn't do it.

6. Has the war in Lebanon also been a plus for the jihadists?

Yes. The Israel-Hezbollah battle validates bin Laden. It showed that the Arab regimes are useless, that they can't protect their own nationals, and that they are apostate regimes that are creatures of the infidels. It also showed that the Americans will let Israel do whatever it wants. It was clear from the way the West reacted that it would let Israel take its best shot before it tried diplomacy. I saw an article in the Arab press—in London, I think—that said Lebanon was like a caught fish, that the United States nailed it to the wall and Israel gutted it. The most salient point it showed for Islamists is that Muslim blood is cheap. Israel said it went to war to get back its captured soldiers. The price was the gutting of Lebanon. Olmert said that Israel would fight until it got its soldiers back and until Hezbollah was disarmed. Neither happened. No matter how you spin it, this will be viewed as a victory for Hezbollah. Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon six years ago. Since then there have been the two intifadas, and now this. The idea of Israel being militarily omnipotent is fading.

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