Evolution of Dispossession

Evolution of Dispossession
How to Steal a Country?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Will the US Destroy Iran AGAIN?????

The movie "300" has drawn the criticism of Iranians for the nature in which Persians are represented in the movie. As I have not seen the movie yet, I will not comment, but let's consider for a moment this notion that the enemy must be portrayed as a sinister, snarling monster.

On January 20, 2006, Larry Franklin was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison for passing classified information to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. Rosen and Weismann are currently under indictment for accepting classified information from Franklin [1]. Unbeknownst to all parties, the FBI was secretly surveilling the meetings between Franklin, Rosen and Weissman. What most Americans are unaware of is that Larry Franklin worked in the Pentagon in the Office of Special Plans, which was set up by Donald Rumsfeld. Larry Franklin worked directly under Douglas Feith. 1 year removed from the sentencing of Franklin, Americans were able to tune in to CSPAN and watch the shameless speeches made by prominent US officials to AIPAC concerning Israeli security and the strategic alliance between the US and Israel.
As reported in Forward, an American Jewish newspaper that claims dedication to democratic socialism, Vice President Dick Cheney addressed AIPAC and offered the following statement on Monday, March 12, 2007 :

" 'It is simply not consistent,' Cheney said in his Monday speech, 'for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace that is posed by the Iranian regime while at the same time acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave Israel’s best friend, the United States, dangerously weakened.' "

The same article in Forward goes on to say :

" Olmert echoed the point in a speech via satellite, warning that premature withdrawal from Iraq would put Israel’s security at risk.

Cheney’s call on pro-Israel activists to oppose withdrawal from Iraq overshadowed the annual AIPAC gathering. Organizers had hoped the plenum would focus on the need for tough economic measures against Iran, without having the effort portrayed publicly as advocating military action against the regime in Tehran.

But the attempts to avoid such a portrayal suffered a blow Monday, when Congressional Quarterly reported on AIPAC's role in blocking a House proposal that would require the Bush administration to get congressional approval before taking military action against Iran. " [2]

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama said in his first speech to AIPAC that "the world must work to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy." [3] This statement was made on 3/02/2007. Let's briefly examine the underlying events which led Iran to pursue a "radical theocracy" in the first place.

In 1953, Kermit Roosevelt (Teddy Roosevelt's grandson) led a CIA-directed coup against the government of Iran, whose Prime Minister was Mohammed Mossadegh. Operation Ajax was the first coup directed by the fledgling CIA.

President Truman was still in office when Mohammed Mossadegh came to power in Iran. President Truman spoke highly of this Iranian leader. Mohammed Mossadegh, who received a PhD in law from the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland, was pro-western, and had already established a parliamentiary system within Iran. Truman was asked to help the British overthrow Mossadegh, but sagely, Truman declined.

Then Eisenhower was elected President of the US. The two Dulles brothers were high ranking members of Eisenhower's cabinet. John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State, and Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA. In the midst of the Cold War, the official reason for the coup was that the US did not want Iran to fall under the evil Communist sphere of the USSR. This was the official reason, though not the real reason the coup occurred.

Mohammed Mossadegh's true crime was that he nationalized Iranian oil. The Anglo-Iranian oil company (now British Petroleum) was basically stealing Iran's oil. Prior to Mossadegh assuming power in Iran, the Anglo-Iranian oil company was paying huges sums of bribe money (though miniscule in comparison to the value of the oil it was looting) to high-ranking Iranian officials so that Anglo-Iranian oil could extract immense volumes of oil and make off with the majority of the profits. Iranians were very poor, and the country was in shambles. Mossadegh put an end to Anglo-Iranian oil's exploitation of Iranian resources. Mossadegh, a very principled leader of Iran, believed that Iran's natural resources should be used to develop Iran's economy and society as a whole, and not used to enrich a domineering British oil company.

Under the banner of "fighting communism" the CIA went charging in, at the behest of the British, and overthrew Mossadegh. Later, the CIA installed the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi. The Shah of Iran was a throwback. Bribery payments resumed, and American oil companies also joined in the feeding frenzy of Iranian oil. All the while, the common people of Iran that Mossadegh served were left neglected by the Shah. The Shah was in power until 1979, when a grassroots revolution that began in 1978 culminated in the Shah's flight from Iran in early 1979. This revolution came at a great expense, from the US standpoint. A new radical Islamic government replaced the government of the Shah. In fact, Iranians took part in a nationwide referendum to establish an Islamic state. The Ayatollah Khomeini was the new leader of Iran, and to be sure the US was not happy with their loyal crooked Shah being deposed.

A new course of action emerged from the US perspective. In 1980, Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Iran, and the US decided to supply weapons to Saddam Hussein in an attempt to defeat the newly-created Islamic Republic in Iran. The US gave Saddam Hussein mustard gas, as well as other weapons systems with which to fight the Iranians. Coincidentally, mustard gas was used on the Kurdish population in Northern Iraq later in the Iran-Iraq war. The nerve agent Sarin and VX were also used in the chemical attacks on the Kurds.

Good questions to ask at this point would be :

What would have happened to Iran had the US minded its own business in 1953?

Would Iran have become a "radical theocracy" as Obama puts it?

Would Iran today be a modern democracy in the Middle East?

Would Iran be a staunch ally of the US because the US decided not to intervene for the sake of British Petroleum or a very weak claim of Communist influence?

Do we see what happens when American officials let fear drive policy? Not many Americans are fully aware of this background history to the the US-Iran conflict. Conveniently, for the US administration, these relevant events have disappeared down Orwell's memory hole.

The following American politicians recently addressed AIPAC : Vice President Dick Cheney, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Republican leader John Boehner, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, and presidential candidate Barack Obama. All speakers had critical words concerning Iran, and there was no mention of the history of Mossadegh or the Shah or the many mistakes made by the US concerning Iran. There was no mention of Larry Franklin or AIPAC complicity in Israeli espionage.

If US forces are used for military actions against Iran, it will be directly attributed to the scheming of AIPAC (and the many other pro-Israel NEOCON organizations in the US), and the moral cowardice of US politicians that shamelessly promote Israel's interests, and not the the US national interest.

Walt and Mearsheimer were right. The US-Israel alliance is definitely harming the US and I would like to see one patriotic US leader stand up and angrily say to AIPAC, "Never Again!".

[1] The New York Times, David Johnston, Pentagon Analyst Gets 12 Years for Disclosing Data , January 20, 2006
[2] The Jewish Daily Forward, Nathan Guttman, Cheney Links Action on Iran to Winning Iraq, March 16, 2007http://www.forward.com/articles/cheney-links-action-on-iran-to-winning-iraq/
[3] AIPAC, Senator Obama Praises U.S.-Israel Relationship, Calls Iran a Threat, http://www.aipac.org/1680.asp#2773

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Well there it is ...

In a previous blog, I commented on the failed attempts of the overly-timid Democrats to at least make sure that President Bush gets congressional approval before any military actions on Iran begin.

This was big news last week, and I had a suspicion that one of the driving forces behind this provision being removed was ...

read the link above !

Stephen Kinzer on a US attack on Iran

I read Stephen Kinzer's book "All the Shah's Men" 2 summers ago, and I learned a great deal about the CIA coup against Mossadegh in 1953, and more importantly the political reasons which eventually led to the radicalization of Iran.

The above link provides a great article by Kinzer concerning possible military actions against Iran currently, and provides some relevant background.

Long but very detailed analysis

The linked article is very long but very detailed regarding Israel's unsuccessful attempts last summer to crush Hezbollah, which has only emboldened the resistance, and further weakened Israel's image of military invulnerability in the region.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spineless and Planless

Post 9-11, Congress gave up its right to declare war, and deferred to the President.

After the fall elections gave the Democrats a majority, I have been waiting to see some plan emerge. Sadly, none has. Today there was news that the Democrats were removing the provision that would prevent the President from pursuing war with Iran without Congressional approval. The last few weeks, there has been discussions on what constitutes a "surge".

I honestly do not know what's worse, the wrong course of action or no course at all, just treading water.

The current admin has deceived its people about the Iraq War, has trampled on the Constitution, has broken laws concerning warrantless wiretapping, has increased the security threat to the US by fighting wars of pre-emption for falsely-stated reasons, has shown its uber-close ties with Corporate America, has shamelessly been implicated many times in criminal investigations, such as the Abramoff trail of corruption, to the inner cabinet breaking US laws concerning outing a CIA covert operative ( because her husband correctly challenged the legitimacy of the Niger yellocake claim). I have been critical of the Bush administration for all the reasons above, and for failing to follow through with Bush's "Roadmap", which would prove to the world that the US can be somewhat balanced in foreign policy issues. I have been critical of this admin being led by the nose by pro-Israel NEOCON ideologues who basically dictate many elements of foreign policy.

But it is March, and the Dems have had control of Congress for 3 months, and besides starting to campaign for the '08 Presidential election, I cannot think of a single thing the Democrats have done, at least what they said they'd do if they won the fall elections. If the Dems cannot steer the US out of its Iraq quagmire, then at least uphold the Constitution and demand back the power to declare war from this admin, so it cannot alone launch another war on Iran.

Completely spineless and completely planless ...

This post encapsulates why the US needs to seriously question the 2 party system. It ain't working folks, and our country is going down the tubes while the politicians smile for the cameras, and point the fingers at each other.

Feigned interest or legitimate willingness ...

The resurrection of the 2002 Arab League proposal could start talks again. I especially love Livni's comments about halfway down the article concerning even a "symbolic" right of return for Palestinians refugees to re-settle within Israel. I find the next sentence especially fascinating, and challenge anyone to find another "democracy" with this well-defined mission statement !

I am also cynical in Israel's ultimate willingness to comply with any treaty it may sign. The only reason we are discussing new talks in the first place is due to Israel's unfulfilled treaty obligations under the original Camp David accords.

But I'll give 5:1 odds its Israel's conditions that eventually scuttles the fair proposals.

Awesome article

This article is quite terrific, though a bit long for those with short attention spans.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Annual Pucker Sessions Underway

Just flipping through the channels when I heard Harry Reid say "Auschwitz".
I knew it had to be the annual puckerfest to AIPAC.

I watched about 5 minutes of Harry Reid's speech before my blood pressure skyrocketed, and I decided to change the station. When he started in on the Israel-Lebanon conflict last summer, he made a few comments that met with applause. It was something like "when Hezbollah started the war last summer, it showed the US that Israel still has threats against its very being", or some garbage like that.

But I eventually came back to watch another politician upfront and center, Mitch McConnell.

McConnell's speech really bothered me too. Full of trite cliches like the US-Israel bond will forever be strong, the Palestinians are terrorists by nature, they must recognize Israel's right to exist, disavow violence, blah blah blah.

Don't forget that it has not been even 2 years since this same group was implicated in espionage activity against the US, and has a long record of such behavior.

US politicians, bought and paid for, stand up in front of a group (that puts Israel's interests before the US national interest) and transform themselves from public servants into shameless whores.

Rats are first to bail ship ...

So Halliburton gets the nod on government contracts, which US tax dollars fund by the way, and then Halliburton decides its going to take their money and run.

If this company is allowed to take US tax dollars and move its headquarters overseas, where it won't pay US taxes, that is fundamentally wrong.

Cheney was Defense Secretary under George HW Bush. After the first Gulf War, as CEO of Halliburton Cheney defied his own country's sanctions and did business in Iraq (through a French subsidiary). And now the VP's former company is moving out of country !

It is an outrage. Halliburton should be required to give back every cent of its government contracts in the past 15 years to bail ship like this.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Makes One Wonder

Read this one first : click here

Now click on the title of this post.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Must Read on the Israeli-Palestinian issue

The title says it all. No need to comment further.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Child a Week

Gideon Levy questions the security threat posed by Palestinian schoolchildren who get shot by the IDF for rock-throwing .... even when the IDF taunts the kids to throw rocks.

But the Palestinians are the terrorists ??!!

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

I was reading an article about efforts to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from his lifetime sentence. Currently, there is a concerted effort to free Pollard by having Pollard supporters call the White House. Evidently, the White House tallies calls topically, and this is supposed to somehow persuade Bush to pardon Pollard.

The Pollard supporters claims that Pollard's offenses were minor. Caspar Weinberger called his acts treason, and sent a confidential packet to the judge that apparently impacted the judge's sentence.

Eric Margolis reported that the info Pollard passed to Israel was then passed to the Russians, and Margolis claims that the info contained the identities of covert US spies in the USSR (at the time), several of which were then executed.

Sy Hersh reported that the info was traded to the Russians for approving/maintaining Jewish immigration to Israel.

I stumbled upon the history of another Israeli spy, Eli Cohen, who must have been one of the best spies ever for what he was able to accomplish. The above link gives his story told by Wikipedia. He was third in line for President of Syria at one point, the article indicates. Interesting read ...

Nice Analogy

I remember reading in one of Noam Chomsky's books that "propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state".

This analogy has stuck with me ever since. I find the use of propaganda in the US a very effective tool at keeping Americans acquiescent in their acceptance of government dogma.

How this works is pretty simple.

Whatever your views on the current Iraq War, whether you think the invasion was just and necessary or whether you feel the government deceived the US public concerning the Iraqi threat to the US, let's examine how propaganda works.

On one hand, if the government did willfully deceive its citizens with a multi-pronged disinformation campaign, then the government does not want the citizenry to know about this. When you see FOXNEWS (his whole scenario has played out many times, not just on FOXNEWS but on other mainstream media outlets) bring on "experts" which say something like "it is not patriotic to question your government during times of war", one is faced with a false dilemma : does one want to be unpatriotic or does one want to know the truth?

The fact is patriotism and questioning the government have nothing to do with each other. The person who was inclined to investigate government claims about Iraq, but quickly resigned from those efforts because they did not want to be unpatriotic are victims of propaganda, plain and simple.

Thomas Jefferon said "Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism"
Retired General Anthony Zinni said in a TV interview I watched that during times of war, this is the most crucial time for people to question their government (my paraphrase).

Another example of how propaganda works:

After 9-11, Americans were told that we were attacked because we are free and good, and the bad guys hate us for that, in a nutshell.

People believed this type of rhetoric, many clinging to these statements.

What does the record say?

Go to the list of countries (click on CIA from the LABELS section) that the CIA has overthrown. Look at how US policy affects people around the world. The US government expects the people from these other lands to have their governments overthrown by our shadowy CIA, and like it as well. These other nations should not have the right to determine their own path! Their governments overthrown, and they are supposed to grin about it... Now of course there are political dynamics on why the operations occurred in the first place. In some ventures, a case could be made that US interests were being served by fighting the evil communists. In other cases, smokescreen arguments like "the US is spreading democracy" were used. Better yet, "the US will free an oppressed people" !

The last 2 contrived reasons are Goebbels-like propaganda. One can go back and examine the real reasons why Mossadegh was overthrown, why Arbenz-Guzman was overthrown, why Allende was overthrown, and the real reasons are always different from the stated official reasons. Why? Because if the government were honest and explained the real reasons to the public, they (the policy shapers) know the public would never have supported it.

It is easy to convince people to support a course of action on the emotional character of rhetoric like "freeing oppressed peoples".

It is much tougher to sell if you tell them the truth ; "my fellow Americans, Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11, but he is arming the Palestinians, he is trying to hurt the dollar by accepting Euros for Iraqi oil, and his country sits on top of natural resources the US needs, and we are going to oust him and his regime to make sure that we control oil trades in dollars, our buddies in big corporations make profits from the weapons and the rebuilding projects, our other buddies in the oil industry get first in line on oil contracts, Israel becomes safer, and if the world hates the US more now than we did before, and if a few thousand brave Americans die in the process, and if a few hundred thousand distant Iraqis die as well, tough cookie"

While I still would disagree with the course of action, that in the long-term this type of action is bad for the US, I would respect the honesty.

But where our government lacks the courage to be honest, they are quite bold about shaping an issue with fetching imagery shrouded with propaganda, sometimes subtle and sometimes brazen.

"propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state"

The truth hurts ...

When a delegation of bishops visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, of course the Israeli press might try and write an article with the "building bridges" theme. But when the same delegation visits Ramallah, and makes the comparison that Palestinians in Ramallah are being treated by the Israelis like the Nazis treated the Jews, well you better believe the presses will begin a blitzkrieg of articles containing the "schock" of such a statement, even though the bishops could have said much more truthfully.

These Bishops are anti-semitic, Jimmy Carter is anti-semitic, anyone else who has critical words for Israel is anti-semitic, according to the various groups that are well organized and cooperate well in defending Israel.

The problem is when the term anti-semite or anti-semitism is used so frequently when the term does not apply, the term itself is cheapened. That's especially problematic when a situation arises when there is bona fide anti-semitism. The term has been cheapened by the ADL, AIPAC, and many groups that defend Israel's name, whether warranted or not.

The real issue here is are the Palestinians in Ramallah being mistreated by the Israelis? The data suggest an answer of yes. But instead of the these vocal defenders of Israel addressing the root cause of the bishops' statements, namely the IDF's brutal treatment of most Palestinian subjects living under their tyrannical boot, they obfuscate the issue by playing their anti-semitism card, or the Holocaust card. (Thank you Norman Finkelstein for discussing these ploys so crucial to the I-P dialogue).

When the spotlight is focused on Israeli malfeasance, it is amazing to see how quickly the public media can mobilize to fend off this threat. It's fear of Israel being exposed for what it is that drives such frenetic and passionate defenses.

There was a worldwide poll the other day, the query being which country is viewed the most negatively in the world today : More than 28,000 were polled

1. Israel
2. Iran
3. USA

If the USA would cut aid to Israel and force the Israelis to comply with its signed treaties, like Camp David under Carter, and abide by UN resolutions (which it would have to if the US would stop using its veto in the security council to protect its little buddy), then the USA would see a quick resurrection of its worldwide image.

Of course, the mere mention of this course of action is political suicide in the US. And yet the Israeli mouthpieces have the temerity to suggest that AIPAC wields no significant power in the USA!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Quite the sellout.

Am I the only one outraged by US politicans puckering up to AIPAC???????????

Larry Franklin, Steve Rosen, Keith Weissman, all guilty of passing or accepting classified info from the Pentagon, and this group has every US politician (save a few with integrity) genuflect to it in the course of every election.

For once, I'd like to see a presidential hopeful stand up in front of a camera and say "this group has hijacked US foreign policy, intimidates our Congress, has put Israeli interests before US interests, and by God, if I am elected President, I will make sure the US congress and the rest of the US government works for Americans, and not for some special interest group that uses the US to pursue its Machiavellian ends ! "

or something along those lines ...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

GUILTY !!!!!!!!!!!

The verdict today is a long time coming.

But who will ask the obvious question : Will Cheney ever visit the hot seat?

People like Libby obey orders; they do not undertake such missions without being told to do so. He outed a spy, and lied about it after the fact, but he certainly did not take the initiative to do so out of patriotic duty.

The lot of them should be indicted, and if not for the Valerie Plame case, then for lying to the American people so we could invade Iraq, for all the wrong reasons, reasons that remain hidden from the vast majority of the American people.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Uri Avnery and the Iraq Study Group

One of the best articles I've read in a long time. I really like Uri Avnery, and that a man can serve in the Israeli Knesset and now be a spokesperson for Palestinian rights and justice is a testament that peace could be achieved if only the zealots would get out of the way.

Introducing Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. Keep this is mind when you read the linked article.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie was ran over by an Israeli D-9 caterpillar (gift of the US taxpayers mind you). She was a college student working in the occupied territories with ISM, International Solidarity Movement, and some of the ISM volunteers tried to prevent the bulldozing of a Palestinian doctor's house. Israel claims it was an accident.

Israel has lots of accidents as it turns out.

The link above has some very graphic pictures. Don't click on the link if you are easily upset.

UN's anti-Israel Bias

I have read or heard statements at least a dozen times that the UN harbors some anti-Israel bias.

The link above contains a reference to this alleged anti-Israel bias by the ADL, the Anti-Defamation League (which some people have claimed specializes in defamation of character).

I guess the whole world is anti-semitic , Mr. Foxman. I guess it cannot have anything to do with the actual record, like Israel's defiance of UN resolutions, like Israel's attacks on UN headquarters in Lebanon, like Israel's contraventions of international law and the Geneva conventions, like Israel's attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 (which it lied about later and the US government covered up), like the many Zionist terror groups like the Haganah, the Irgun, and the Stern gang, like the coordinated efforts to terrorize the Palestinians into fleeing (Deir Yassin), like its involvement in the Lavon affair, like its black operations in Tripoli which triggered a US bombing campaign against Libya under Reagan, like its pre-emptive attacks on Egypt, like its annexing pieces of neighboring states (West Bank, the Golan Heights, Shebaa Farms, the Sinai (which it gave back to Egypt), the Gaza (which it still lords over creating humanitarian crises), like its demolitions of Palestinians homes and orchards, like its continued expansions of settlements on Palestinian land, like its Apartheid Wall, like its secret nuclear arsenal which is used to intimidate the entire Arab world, like its treatment of Palestinian medical workers, like its treatment of international humanitarian workers (a la Rachel Corrie and Tove Johansson et al), like its invasion and occupation of Lebanon (which it occupied for 18 plus years) , like its destruction of Lebanon last summer, like its dungeons holding close to 10,000 political prisoners who are resisting Israeli theft of Palestinian and Lebanese land, of and worst of all, its refusal to recognize the sanctity of non-Israeli life.

Now, some people would have you believe that the whole world is picking on poor little Israel. And this ploy has worked historically on the US populace, but the tide is starting to turn. The pro-Israel ideologues have cried wolf one time too many. The pro-Israel zealots have sent US troops to fight in Iraq for their beloved state. The pro-Israel zealots have given millions upon millions of dollars to US congresspeople via AIPAC and its offspring to keep funding the poor innocent victim state, which has really compromised US security. The US keeps funding the most aggressive and most fanatical nation in the world, and the world hates the US for this support. When do we ask the $64,000 question : at what point does the US cut the harmful parasite off its sickly body?

Walt and Mearsheimer were right ; the US-Israeli alliance is hurting the US, and Americans need to get involved to change this.

Below is a link to a list of UN resolutions concerning Israel's behavior.

click here

If Americans Only Knew

One of the best ways to introduce the Israeli-Palestinian issue to someone who does not know the history of the issue, nor its gravity, is to look at simple groupings of data, and ask them to compare the data to :

a. the media's rendering of the issue
b. the government's policies concerning US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine

Without making a single argument, the newcomer would be faced with a dilemma : how can the data point in one direction, and how then can Americans be prodded to support policies which point in the exact opposite direction?

The linked website above has some data that anyone interested in learning about the I-P issue should consider.

Iraqi Insurgents

I remember having discussions with family and friends prior to March 03 on the impending Iraq invasion. I supported the Afghanistan operations post 9-11, as did most Americans.

I remember making the arguments that :

1. Iraq had no WMD's
2. The US's image will suffer if it invades Iraq with no justification, and in the long run, Americans will be less safe, and more vulnerable to terror attacks
3. The US should not circumvent the UN to punish Saddam Hussein for non-compliance of UN resolutions
4. The US is not interested in freeing "oppressed" people, for if it were, it would force Israel's compliance with international law, UN resolutions, Geneva conventions, and its own signed treay agreements
5. Corporate interests are being pushed by elements within the administration that will inevitably profit from the war

I think it's safe to say that the anti-war movement got it right. The object of this piece is not to gloat, really, but to make a point on US arrogance.

The use of the term "insurgent" and "foreign fighter" has been very widespread in the mainstream US presses. I'm not sure Americans ever question the use of this term. We hear comments like "there are suspected foreign fighters from Syria operating inside Iraq" ... George Galloway asked Christopher Hitchens, when Hitchens said something similar in their debate, "exactly what part of Iraq is Richard Myers from?"

I'm pretty certain that newspapers in England called US colonials fighting against them in the revolutonary war "insurgents".

Do the facts warrant such a term like "insurgent" being used? The US invaded Iraq with doctored/cooked/cherry-picked intelligence. US politicians talk endlessly on rebuilding Iraq, even when there were/are discussions about whether New Orleans should be rebuilt. I get so angry when I hear the terms "rebuilding Iraq" because it only needs rebuilding because the US destroyed it in the first place. How prescient was Colin Powell's objections to Wolfowitz's neuroses? Powell quoted the Pottery Barn rule ; you break it, you own it.

Consider this hypothetical ; suppose an uber-strong foreign military were to invade a corrupt, weak United States. Suppose that people inside the US armed themselves and fought against the invading army. Would US presses call these people "insurgents" or would they be labeled "freedom fighters" ?

It is their country. At this moment, a plurality of Americans acknowledge being deceived into supporting the war in the first place, and a majority want to bring the troops home. What Americans should really be preoccupied with is not being bombarded with campaign messages for the next president, but in holding the people responsible for the deceit accountable. There should be hearings, and those responsible should be labeled traitors, and executed at dawn.

Scott Ritter on Hillary Clinton

I have never liked the Clintons, from Bill's perjury and allowing the Israelis to sell defense technology to the Chinese (which may have been US technology) without any repercussions, and his last minute pardon of Marc Rich, to his wife's slavish genuflections to AIPAC, and her acting career that we watch every day now. If she wants the American people to know about her true belief system, then she would not be so petrified of her thesis being printed publicly. What is she hiding? If she has changed her political views since the time of writing the thesis, which many people do by the way, then why was so much effort poured into blocking the thesis from going public (a special law was passed under her husband's watch that protected her thesis from being obtained publicly)? How radical was the thesis, and exactly what effect did Saul Alinsky have on her?

In the above link Scott Ritter gives some great background on the Clinton Administration's behavior concerning weapons inspections. For people who do not know, Scott Ritter had a leading role in the inspections process.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Election of Hamas

When the Palestinians voted the wrong way in a free election, they were immediately punished with devastating sanctions imposed on them by the US Congress.

When Arbenz-Guzman was overthrown with a CIA coup in 1954, newspapers stateside reported that the people of Guatemala would have a new democratically-elected President. Arbenz-Guzman was elected with more than 70% of the popular vote, and the overthrow had nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with the United Fruit Company, whose leased-land was bought back by the Guatemalan government for the same price that United Fruit paid for it. Arbenz-Guzman's real crime was that he turned the land over to poor peasants to farm themselves.

US government and US media translation : the evil socialistic elements of that country were eradicated ...

US policy trumpets democracy, but I consider it the very pinnacle of arrogance to try and export the US version of democracy to all corners of the world. The US model of democracy allows the woefully uninformed general public to pull levers at regular periodic intervals, but Americans have little input during the times between the elections.

The real comment is that the US supports democracies only when the victors have political leanings the US government approves of, and when these elected governments in other lands pursue their own agendas, they are punished, either by sanctions or interventions, CIA-directed or military.

Yet another double-standard ...

Nuclear Double Standards

I read 2 days ago on the upgrade that many US nuclear weapons will undergo. I find this topic timely since the current administration and mainstream media are synchronized in their efforts to make war with Iran digestible for the US public.

One can flip through the cable channels one time, and I daresay one will find at least one political/news show discussing the growing threat from Iran and its fledgling nuclear program.

These notions, when juxtaposed, demonstrate yet another double-standard in US policy. it is OK for the US to upgrade its nuclear program, and it is OK that Olmert admitted that Israel has a nuclear arsenal, even though it has not signed the non-proliferation treaty.

Iran has signed the treaty, and it specifically says that nations can develop nuclear technology if used for peaceful purposes.

Even if Iran has malevolent intentions with its nuclear program, experts have stated that a nuclear bomb is a long way off, maybe a decade, and Iran has no long-range delivery means.

How can the US claim it is working for a nuclear-free middle east when the most aggressive nation in the modern middle east has a nuclear arsenal? I guess Americans are meant to overlook this glaringly-obvious double-standard.

Wesley Clark's Interview with Amy Goodman

The reader might discover a few important points in this piece. The transcript is there, but you can also click on the video clips to watch the actual interview.

I thought General Clark's comments on Iran, Syria, Lebanon , Somalia, Libya and the Sudan to be most intriguing.

I disagreed with Amy Goodman's grilling the general on bombing the RTS headquarters to be a bit off. I was not familiar with the controversy until the background came out in Amy Goodman's question. But if they were warned twice that the building was a military target, and Milosevic stations people there during the night, when it was bombed, then that becomes the fault of Milosevic, not Clark.

This would be completely different than US forces targeting Al Jazeera, both in Kuwait and Afghanistan, which evidence suggests both events were deliberate.

I think Clark would be a candidate for President I could support, a much better candidate than Clinton, on the democratic side.

I will have to find a new country to live in if Hillary Clinton is the next president ....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Jewish Solidarity

I stumbled upon this site this morning, and read its mission statement.

I still think that the only lasting solution with both Palestinian and Israeli interests closely married is a one-state solution. Currently, Palestinians are living under extremely brutal conditions, demonic offsprings of an amoral occupation, both in violation of UN resolutions, Israel's own signed treaties, and international law. If Palestinians were allowed to live within Israel with full rights of citizenship, then there would be no need for a formal Palestinian state. This would require a huge concession on the part of the Palestinians in that they would give up their dreams of statehood, and it also requires a huge concession on the Israeli side as this compromise would mean the end of the Zionist mission, a mission that in retrospect has wrecked the lives of many innocent victims. In such a one-state solution, there would not be an overwhelming Jewish majority.

But for long-term peace, I think this is the only real solution. I doubt both sides will ever compromise on these 2 issues, but I think a formal Palestinian state would be lorded over by Israel, much like the Gaza has been since the "disengagement". In essence, a Palestinian state would simply be a huge trash dump ruled from the outside by the Israelis. Chomsky said something to this effect. But Chomsky also said the Palestinians should give up their right of return. On this point, I disagree vehemently. Palestinians should continue their refusal to give up this right.

It would be interesting to float this query around ; which side would be most amenable to this compromise ?

But when I see websites like the one linked above, it does leave me with a glimmer of hope.

Stephen Zunes

This professor makes impeccable arguments, and I wish more people would read his insightful comments.

Article by Sy Hersh

A good article by Sy Hersh, a legendary investigative journalist.

A Sane Voice Echoes My Sentiment

I have just about had it with Glenn Beck. I watched his interview with Netanyahu prodding the US to attack Iran on Israel's behalf, and this is not the first time I have seen this grinning chicken-hawk beating the drums of war. This guy is an absolute lemon, and his network is re-running "Exposed : blah blah blah" again, due to what he said was incredibly high ratings.

Well, sir, if the ratings were so high the first time through, why re-run the damned thing? To further indoctrinate the already-brainwashed of your viewers?

One wonders.

Machsom Watch

I just read about this group of Israeli women who monitor the behavior of the IDF at the infamous checkpoints, many of which are not at the green line, but deep inside the West Bank !

Things like this give me some hope that eventually the people within Israel will acknowledge the many injustices of the policies of the Israeli state concerning the Palestinian people.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Human Shields

I guess I will start reading the LA Times.

First mention I have seen of this IDF practice in a mainstream US paper. Of course, I know of the practice from reading releases from Human Rights groups.

My Email to plagiarist Alan Dershowitz

I don't know why I am adding this post, but I felt like doing it.

Mr. Dershowitz,

Your behavior is disgraceful.

It is bad enough that you lie ad nauseam (concerning your plagiarisms, the release of the letters, etc), but ever since Finkelstein shredded your fraudulent book, you have been on quite a tear.

I just read every word of that letter you wrote to the Brandeis Justice, and I like the way you report only what the detractors say about Finkelstein. You only know one thing, and that is the art of logical fallacies (ad hominem, poisoning the well, red herrings, straw man, false dilemma, appeal to pity, hasty generalizations, slippery slopes etc etc etc).

I copiously diagrammed your logical fallacies in detail in a previous letter of yours, only to receive yet another form letter. I will try a different strategy.

Raul Hilberg described "The Holocaust Industry" as a groundbreaking piece of work. It is curious you did not mention this endorsement in your poisonous polemic on Finkelstein.

In a face-to-face debate with Finkelstein, you got embarassed. You did not even know the contents of your book. You attributed phrases to the wrong people. You confused different people in the peace process that you claimed you aided. You plagiarized from another person's work, which itself was fraudulent. You quoted Sony pictures, and small obscure news article from tiny newspapers to support your untenable arguments, and when Finkelstein shredded your pitiful arguments in "Beyond Chutzpah" by summarizing the mainstream human rights groups findings, where were you then?

Writing letters trying to get the book blocked ...

Oh, never mind, I forgot, you claimed you never did that.

You showed that you are a passionate defender of Israel, but a mindless supporter of injustice.

Jimmy Carter wrote a good book, and when Carter said he had no interest debating you at Brandeis because you had NOTHING substantive to offer on the issue, because you know nothing of the Palestinians, you were able to somehow get the press to spin this as "Carter afraid to debate the great defender of Israel, Alan Dershowitz".

The spin should have been "exposed plagiarist charlatan does not know how to let the debate continue without his vacuous and fallacious input".

Your credibility is a thing of the past. Let the real scholars do their work.

If you have a form letter meant for this type of email, I would certainly love to read it.


Scott Sorrell
Lafayette, LA

I did not receive a response ...

Poppy cock

This is complete nonsense.

The Taliban ordered the poppy plants destroyed for religious reasons.

The Northern Alliance, which controlled a piece of Afghanistan under Taliban rule, and the bulk of the country post October 2001, is responsible for the opium trade in Afghanistan.

How could this writer get it so wrong, or the State Department itself ?

VIENNA: The Northern Alliance has become major opium producer after a Taliban clampdown on poppy-growing slashed world production by around 60 percent, a UN official told AFP Friday.

The Alliance, which has won US support, in its battle against the Taliban produced 150 tonnes of opium this year.

This was stated by Mohammad Amirkhizi, senior policy adviser at the UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention.

"They always produce between 120 to 150 tonnes," he explained.

On 9/30/01 the London Observer reported that British and Americans would soon enter Afghanistan to fight another drug war: to target and destroy the drugs stockpiles of the Taliban, out of fear that the Taliban plans to flood the West with 20 billion pounds worth of heroin. But three weeks later Jane's Intelligence Review discounted this "heroin onslaught theory" as "premature:" the Taliban's role consisted merely of taxing the illicit drug traffic, not controlling it.

In another article, Jane's Intelligence Review reported that while "poppy cultivation has almost totally disappeared" from the areas of Afghanistan under Taliban control, "a rising tide of narcotics - both opium and the heroin refined from it" was flooding out of the northeast corner of Afghanistan under the control of America's new anti-Taliban allies, the United Front or Northern Alliance.

The article noted that "Compared to the key [Taliban] southern and southeastern provinces - Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Nangahar - where most Afghan opium production has been concentrated, output from the UF-controlled zone has been small - less than 5% - of a national production estimated in 2000 at some 3,300 tonnes. However, the arrival in Badakhshan of Mashriqi opium traders, who generally provide credit to farmers, has both stimulated northeastern production and, perhaps more importantly, has turned the region into a vital conduit for southern opium and heroin moving north into Central Asia. Increased security measures and interdiction along the Afghan-Iranian and Pakistani-Iranian borders have also encouraged this shift towards northern trafficking routes."

The claim that drug-trafficking had shifted from Taliban to Northern Alliance territory was developed further on 11/25/01 by the London Observer, which attributed the shift to the Taliban's ban of 2000 on opium-growing: "During the ban the only source of poppy production was territory held by the Northern Alliance. It tripled its production. In the high valleys of Badakhshan - an area controlled by troops loyal to the former President Burhannudin Rabbani - the number of hectares planted last year jumped from 2,458 to 6,342. Alliance fields accounted for 83 per cent of total Afghan production of 185 tonnes of opium during the ban.