Friday, October 5, 2007

Ahmadinejad: Open black box of Zionism

by Press TV News - Oct 5, 2007

Nations should be allowed to uncover the truth of Zionism and open the black box of Zionist crimes, President Ahmadinejad has said.

Before Friday prayers' sermon on the occasion of Quds Day in Tehran, Ahmadinejad pointed to the atrocities of the Zionist regime against the oppressed Palestinian nation during Quds Day rallies.

Referring to the supporters of Zionism, the Chief Executive said, "Why don't you allow the black box of Zionist crimes to be opened?!"

"The oppressed Palestinians have been deprived of all their human rights for over 60 years now. Today, the problem Quds is facing is not a Palestinian or even a Middle Eastern issue; it is global!"

"Zionism is a global threat, and is not only harming Palestine. The establishment of the Zionist regime and the all-out support (some countries extend to it) is an insult to human dignity," he added.

"Some powers believe their destiny is to protect the interests of the disgraced Zionist regime. Western countries which are pioneers in secularism and impiety support the Zionist regime as if it were the holiest task in the world."

Supporting Zionism is so important for them that they don't even allow anyone to question the establishment of the Regime, Ahmadinejad stated.

Another White House dodge and run

White House flak Dana Perino: Cranking up the spin machine (AP Photo)

Torture memo has Bush's boys scrambling to explain

By LARA JAKES JORDAN - Oct 5, 2007

Senate and House Democrats demanded Thursday to see two secret memos that reportedly authorize painful interrogation tactics against terror suspects — despite the Bush administration's insistence that it has not violated U.S. anti-torture laws.

White House and Justice Department press officers said legal opinions written in 2005 did not reverse an administration policy issued in 2004 that publicly renounced torture as "abhorrent."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller sent a letter to the acting attorney general saying the administration's credibility is at risk if the documents are not turned over to Congress.

The memos are "critical to an appropriate assessment" of interrogation tactics approved by the White House and the Justice Department, Rockefeller wrote to Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler. "Why should the public have confidence that the program is either legal or in the best interests of the United States?" the West Virginia Democrat asked.

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., promised a congressional inquiry into the two Justice Department legal opinions that reportedly explicitly authorized the use of painful and psychological tactics on terrorism suspects.

"Both the alleged content of these opinions and the fact that they have been kept secret from Congress are extremely troubling, especially in light of the department's 2004 withdrawal of an earlier opinion similarly approving such methods," Conyers, D-Mich., and fellow House Judiciary member Nadler wrote in a letter Thursday. Their letter to Keisler requested copies of the memos.

The two Democrats also asked that Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department's acting chief of legal counsel, "be made available for prompt committee hearings."

The memos were disclosed in Thursday's editions of The New York Times, which reported that the first 2005 legal opinion authorized the use of head slaps, freezing temperatures and simulated drownings, known as waterboarding, while interrogating terror suspects, and was issued shortly after then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took over the Justice Department.

That secret opinion, which explicitly allowed using the painful methods in combination, came months after a December 2004 opinion in which the Justice Department publicly declared torture "abhorrent" and the administration seemed to back away from claiming authority for such practices.

A second Justice opinion was issued later in 2005, just as Congress was working on an anti-torture bill. That opinion declared that none of the CIA's interrogation practices would violate the rules in the legislation banning "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of detainees, The Times said, citing interviews with unnamed current and former officials.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said neither of those memos overruled the December 2004 legal opinion that he said remains in effect.

"Neither Attorney General Gonzales nor anyone else within the department modified or withdrew that opinion," Roehrkasse said in a statement. "Accordingly, any advice that the department would have provided in this area would rely upon, and be fully consistent with, the legal standards articulated in the December 2004 memorandum."

"This country does not torture," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters. "It is a policy of the United States that we do not torture, and we do not."

Perino would not comment on whether the 2005 opinions authorized specific interrogation practices, such as head-slapping and simulated drowning. She initially said the first classified opinion was dated Feb. 5, 2005, but White House spokesman Tony Fratto corrected Perino's statement later Thursday to say the memo was dated months after February 2005. Another administration official later said it was dated May 2005.

The dispute may come down to how the Bush administration defines torture, or whether it allowed U.S. interrogators to interpret anti-torture laws beyond legal limits. CIA spokesman George Little said the agency sought guidance from the Bush administration and Congress to make sure its program to detain and interrogate terror suspects followed U.S. law.

"The program, which has taken account of changes in U.S. law and policy, has produced vital information that has helped our country disrupt terrorist plots and save innocent lives," Little said in a statement. "The agency has always sought a clear legal framework, conducting the program in strict accord with U.S. law, and protecting the officers who go face-to-face with ruthless terrorists."

Congress has prohibited cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of terror suspects. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said several extreme interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, are specifically outlawed.

"As some may recall, there was at the time a debate over the way in which the administration was likely to interpret these prohibitions," McCain said in a statement. McCain added that he was "personally assured by administration officials that at least one of the techniques allegedly used in the past, waterboarding, was prohibited under the new law."

The American Civil Liberties Union called for an independent counsel to investigate the Justice Department's torture opinions, calling the memos "a cynical attempt to shield interrogators from criminal liability and to perpetuate the administration's unlawful interrogation practices."

The issue quickly hit the presidential campaign trail.

"The secret authorization of brutal interrogations is an outrageous betrayal of our core values, and a grave danger to our security," Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in a statement.

The 2005 opinions approved by Gonzales remain in effect despite efforts by Congress and the courts to limit interrogation practices used by the government in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Gonzales resigned last month under withering criticism from congressional Democrats and a loss of support among members of his own party.

The authorizations came after the withdrawal of an earlier classified Justice opinion, issued in 2002, that had allowed certain aggressive interrogation practices so long as they stopped short of producing pain equivalent to experiencing organ failure or death. That controversial memo was withdrawn in June 2004.

The US, UK and Israel Are Just Colonies

by Henry Makow Ph.D. - Oct 5, 2007

Hardly a day goes by without an article on the Internet blaming Israel for the war in Iraq. The power of the Jewish neo-cons is analogous to that of Jewish Communists in the FDR era. Caroll Quigley wrote, "the power that these energetic left-wingers exercised was never their own power or Communist power but was ultimately the power of the international financial coterie." ("Tragedy and Hope", p.954)

In my review of "The Red Dragon" last week, I presented the hypothesis that there is only one imperial power in the world: the central banking cartel. Because it creates money out of nothing, it is obliged to buy everything it can. It hides behind the mask of British, American, French or Japanese imperialism, Nazism, Zionism, Communism, etc. but essentially the same people instigate and finance all wars, and profit from them, at the expense of humanity.

See my "Hitler Used Rothschild Banker's Typewriter")

The fundamental agenda appears to be that of the "The Protocols of Zion" (a "forgery" with amazing prescient power) "to undermine all collective forces not our own" by which they mean all nations, races, religions and family. They intend to sow chaos until an exasperated and exhausted humanity succumbs to their world "super government."

According to "Red Dragon" author L.B. Woolfolk, this ethnic-Jewish dominated "Money Power," operating through the Bank of England and countless corporate fronts, tied up most of the world's wealth as early as 1864.

They are colonizing the world, including the so-called imperialist powers. The most draconian repressive measures are taking place in England, the headquarters of this cabal. They created Israel not as a Jewish homeland but as seat of their future Masonic world government. They instigated the Holocaust to force Jews to support Israel. The Holocaust may have been used to mask the true character of WWII: an attack on Christian European civilization in general by a satanic heretical Jewish sect (the bankers) .

The US has been a colony of this financial power for a long time. In 1919, Col. Edward House, a Rothschild agent, spoke of using the League of Nations for the [quote] "peaceful return of the American colonies to the dominion of the Crown." House writes: "The League is in substance the Empire with America admitted on the same basis as our other colonies."

The "Crown" is a euphemism for this private cartel. Col. House boasts that the "Crown" used U.S. Treasury loans intended for war purposes to buy up oil fields in California, Mexico and Latin America.

"The war has made us custodians of the greater part of the world's raw materials... [We] now largely control the oil fields of the world and thereby the world's transportation and industry."


According to Wikipedia, "colonizing nations generally dominate the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory, and may also impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic structures on the conquered population."

We have not been invaded by a foreign army but by foreign capital. As Col. House intimates, they own a controlling interest in industry, and have used that position to buy the politicians, the media and education.

House described how their "entire system of thought control" was working relentlessly for the adoption of the League. But he could be referring to the Iraq War, Global Warming, the EU, or North American Union, today. I urge you to read this document because their tactics haven't changed.

Back in 1919, Col. House used Canadians and Brits to persuade Americans to join the League. He also used the elite-sponsored YMCA, Red Cross, and Salvation Army.

"The League's praises are thundered by our press, decreed by our college presidents, and professed by our professors. Our authors, writers and lecturers are analyzing its selected virtues... we have enlisted 8000 propagandists for the League. We have organized international and national synods, committees, conferences, convocations, conventions, herald the birth of the League as the dawn of universal peace."

"Agriculturalists, bankers, brokers, accountants, chemists, and all other functional groups capable of exerting organized professional, business, financial or social pressure are meeting to endorse the League in the name of peace, progress and prosperity...Our film concerns are preparing an epoch-making picture..."

"In short, our entire system of thought control is working ceaselessly, tirelessly, ruthlessly, to ensure the adoption of the League. And it will be adopted, for business wants peace, the righteous cannot resist a covenant, and the politicians, after shadow boxing for patronage purposes, will yield valiantly [is this a threat?] lest the fate of the wanton and willful pursue them."


Today, the bankers are fomenting war between Zionism and Islam as part of their world colonization plan. Iran is being targeted for its oil wealth, independence and belief in God.

As in the past, they use all available means of "thought control," Jewish or non-Jewish. Most people can be tricked by a slogan or bought for the price of a steady job.

Because they control the media, neo-cons haven't felt the wrath of the American people for Iraq; and are beating the drums for war with Iran.

Recently, the President of Iran was a guest speaker at Columbia University where angry Jews picketed him. The President of the University, Lee Bollinger, called him "an evil petty dictator." Bollinger, who is a Jew, apparently cleared his speech with the Israel Lobby.

Here is an example of how a university supposedly dedicated to truth has been subverted by organized Jewry to foment war. Throughout history, organized Jewry has been accused of being a Fifth Column. Unorganized Jewry needs to repudiate Organized Jewry!

Of the eight Ivy League universities, only Dartmouth has a President who is a white non- Jewish male. Four have Jewish presidents. The other three have militant feminists. (Feminism, today's version of Communism, envisages a total transformation of society.)

Let's see how this "system of thought control" works. At Princeton, Shirley Tilghman succeeded Judith Rodin, a Jewish feminist who is now President of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Tilghman is not Jewish but, according to an alumnus, she "has pursued an activist feminist agenda to remake Princeton into a liberal paradise ...Princeton is rife with political correctness, multiculturalism, and liberal groupthink."

In 1945," Dartmouth president Ernest M. Hopkins declared that his "is a Christian college founded for the Christianization of its students." In the 1970s and 1980s, Dartmouth entrusted "the Christianization of its students" to two Jewish presidents. In the 1990s, Harvard and Yale also selected presidents with Jewish backgrounds. By 1993, Jews headed five of the eight Ivy League institutions prompting some wags to refer to the "Oy Vei" League.

Whether it's education, media or business, the central bankers regard Jews are trustworthy agents. This is not a racial thing. Jews that forget their task are fired. For example, Lawrence Sommers , the President of Harvard was replaced by a desiccated feminist (non-Jewish) after he dared to opine that men had superior scientific ability.

Of course the Freemasons are a prime example of a largely non-Jewish organization secretly devoted to subverting Western Civilization. In England, they have spawned a "charity" called "Common Purpose" which has recruited prominent people (educators, judges, cops, churchmen) entrusted to uphold democracy, sovereignty and the rule of law to undermine all three. They are run out of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK!


The New World Order is an extension of the imperialism of the "Crown", a clique of Jewish bankers and their Gentile accomplices devoted to "absorbing the wealth of the world" (in Cecil Rhodes words) and enslaving the human race.

We are being colonized by this financial power. The bogus "War of Terror" obviously is directed against us. It is the naked fist of this imperialism. Our jobs are outsourced; our resources are exported. Illegal aliens divide our political culture and dilute our job market. The education system is used for mass indoctrination. News is controlled. Entertainment is filled with trivia, drugs, violence and pornography. Obviously our masters wish to arrest our development.

In every colonial situation, the political and cultural elite consists of people who serve the occupying power. Thus, let's judge people not by their race, but by the service they perform for the invisible invader. And let's not confuse them with the real imperialist "Money Power."

The sooner we see ourselves as colonized, the sooner we can declare our independence.

Wurmser the traitor

by Xymphora - Oct 5, 2007

The comment “Why Bush won't attack Iran” is still marred by a lack of appreciation of the effects of globalization on the thinking of the strategists, and misses the Big Plan with respect to oil, but is still much better that just about anything else you’ll read on the subject of ‘Iran talk’.

I like the fact he gave Bush a little credit:

“To try to discern what the president himself thinks, however, is very difficult. It's particularly hard when Bush is trying to convince Iran that the military option is real, and that if Iran doesn't work out a mutually acceptable deal with the U.S., he will launch a strike.

To date, however, nothing suggests Bush is really going to do it. If he were, he wouldn't be playing good cop/bad cop with Iran and proposing engagement. If the bombs were at the ready, Bush would be doing a lot more to prepare the nation and the military for a war far more consequential than the invasion of Iraq. There is also circumstantial evidence that he has decided bombing may be too costly a choice.”


“Even if Bush wanted to make the Iranians believe that he could go either way – diplomacy or military strike – Bush would not so clearly knock back one side in favor of the other to the point where the ‘bad cops’ in a good cop/bad cop strategy would tell anyone on the outside that they did not enjoy the favor and support of the president.”

If Bush is trying to bluff the Iranians, it would make no sense to reveal his bad hand. Unfortunately for Bush, the Iranians know his ‘tell’, and have called the bluff. In fact American belligerence has made it more difficult to deal with Iran, which is one of the reasons why we should all can the ‘Iran talk’. While we can give Bush a little credit, we shouldn’t give him too much.

Clemons also catches Wurmser – wasn’t he supposed to be gone by now? – in a little treason (oh, and here’s Glenn Greenwald catching Ledeen out on another treason):

“One member of Cheney's national security staff, David Wurmser, worried out loud that Cheney felt that his wing was ‘losing the policy argument on Iran’ inside the administration – and that they might need to ‘end run’ the president with scenarios that may narrow his choices. The option that Wurmser allegedly discussed was nudging Israel to launch a low-yield cruise missile strike against the Natanz nuclear reactor in Iran, thus ‘hopefully’ prompting a military reaction by Tehran against U.S. forces in Iraq and the Gulf. When queried about Wurmser's alleged comments, a senior Bush administration official told the New York Times, ‘The vice president is not necessarily responsible for every single thing that comes out of the mouth of every single member of his staff.’”

There is no way around it. Wurmser, within the White House, is advocating a conspiracy to trick his President and the United States – I was going to write ‘his country’, but his country is Israel – into a monumentally disastrous war.

Shouldn’t he be arrested for treason?

Neocons Believe Jack Bauer Is Real

by Colin Colenso - Oct 05, 2007

A significant difference between Ron Paul supporters and the establishment Republicans, known widely these days as neo-conservatives, or neocons for short, is that the neocons tend to believe that characters like Jack Bauer, and story-lines created in shows like 24 are a close reflection of what happens in real life.

Well, perhaps I shouldn't actually charge the true neocons with such naivety, really the naivety comes from the neocon followers, who like most of us, have been fed a steady diet of movies and TV shows glorifying an endless array of supermen representing the state, of good using force against evil time and time again, achieving near perfect possible outcomes. The difference is that the neocon followers have swallowed such fantasies as a guide to decision making in the real world.

I doubt figureheads of the neocon movement, such as Bill Buckley, Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle are so naive as to think the world works like an episode of 24. In fact, many neocons are known to derive their political philosophy from the Straussian ideal of an elite few ruling over the people utilizing big lies to build their empire. The neocon figureheads gain power by convincing the gullible that government, through force, can create Hollywood-like solutions here on earth.

Ron Paul supporters, on the other hand, have realized that the many stories sold to them by the neocons were but a fantastical portrayal of what was going on in the real world and that the government is no more capable of pulling off incredible movie-like miracle solutions than it is of providing good consumer products in a competitive market. To be a Ron Paul supporter doesn't require that one believes all government actions are evil, just that the government is not very good at solving all our problems. Hence, we would be better off with less, rather than more government power.

The neocon followers however, believe that despite some fallibility within government, there are some powerful, insightful departments and some incredibly talented super-people within government that can achieve great successes. That through some clever twist, the government, as a representative of good, can overcome evil, just as it always seems to happen in the movies.

The neocon followers should reflect upon their own lives, to the times when they may have tried to use force to overcome an opponent. Did it work as well as when Clint Eastwood took on a group of bikers, or as well as when Mel Gibson went psycho in Lethal Weapon when confronted by a couple of armed drug dealers? Did they come out of it looking cool, or did most people perceive them as an idiot with a lack of self-control?

In real life force, or the threat of force, is a poor choice of action, a last resort. Most of us learn that as part of growing up and getting along, of making friends rather than enemies. It is easier to understand this in the small scale of things that we experience in our day-to-day lives. It is when we have to conceptualize situations less familiar to us, such as terrorism or wars in faraway lands that we have little to refer to in our experiences than the absurd stories indoctrinated into us by movies, TV and much of the mainstream media. In those situations less familiar to us, we may only imagine force as a solution.

David Friedman wrote "The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations."

It is little wonder that around 50% of all military contributions to Republicans have gone to Ron Paul. It is revealing that many who are close to the horrors and who see the ineffectiveness of this war close up doubt their presence will produce the results that neocons claim.

In the same way we all should doubt that Jack Bauer and his super-human team in the Counter Terrorist Unit represent anything close to the effectiveness of a real government agency nor that the wild scenarios concocted by the scriptwriters, however engrossing, accurately represent reality.

Neocon followers would do well to examine Republican tradition and the reasons it promoted small government. That there are good reasons to believe that the government is not able to fix all our problems through force and that war enables and encourages the growth of government.

Byrd: Senate’s ‘Saber-Rattling’ Is ‘Sleep-Walking’ America To War With Iran

Think Progress - Oct 5, 2007

On the Senate floor today, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) decried the recent Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran that 72 of his colleagues voted for, calling it an exercise in “international verbal spitball.” Byrd warned his colleagues against “sleep-walking” into another war, saying “I hope that we can stop this war of words before it becomes a war of bombs.”

Byrd added that the Senate’s “chest-pounding” and “saber-rattling” towards Iran was “deeply troubling,” as the Iraq war has shown “all too clearly where it leads”:

It is deeply troubling to see the U.S. Senate joining the chest-pounding and saber-rattling of the Bush administration. I am no apologist for the Iranian regime, anymore than I was for Saddam Hussein, but I fear that we may become entangled in another bloody quagmire. We have been down this path before. We have seen all too clearly where it leads.

As former Vice President Al Gore noted in his book, The Assault on Reason, Byrd made a similarly prescient speech in 2003, warning against the invasion of Iraq:

We are truly “sleepwalking through history.” In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings.

To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is “in the highest moral traditions of our country”. This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.

At that time, Byrd noted that the Senate was ominously silent and failed to question the Bush administration’s invasion plan. “There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war,” he said. Let’s hope that with Iran, the Senate wakes up before it’s too late.

Ron Paul’s Chances of Winning Continue to Improve

Brian Farmer JBS - Oct 5, 2007

ARTICLE SYNOPSIS: Ron Dzwonkowski of the Detroit Free Press writes that Ron Paul 'is among what critics consider 'vanity candidates' or limited-issue folks who clog up the early going in every presidential race."Follow this link to the original source: "No chance to win"


One critic whom Mr. Dzwonkowski is particularly fond of citing is Dr. Michael Coulter of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College. Dr. Coulter suggested in a recent essay that U.S. House members should be banned from running for president. One wonders whether Dr. Coulter has read the U.S. Constitution.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution stipulates just two requirements for eligibility to hold the office of President. The first is that the candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States. The second is that the candidate must be at least 35 years of age.

Dr. Coulter claims that James Garfield was the only House member ever to be elected President. Coulter conveniently fails to note that Abraham Lincoln, often considered to be our greatest president, was neither a governor nor a senator. But he was a member of the House of Representatives!

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the order of presidential succession places the Speaker of the House immediately after the Vice President. That makes Dr. Coulter’s suggestion that House members be banned from running for president look absolutely ludicrous.

Dzwonkowski writes, "Coulter puts Paul in the 'less than no chance' category for winning the White House, which is accurate." Apparently, Coulter and Dzwonkowski have not checked out, which reports on Internet betting relating to presidential candidates.

Shortly after midnight on May 22, 2007, reported that Ron Paul was listed on with 200 to 1 odds of winning the 2008 U.S. presidential race. Nine hours later, it reported that the odds had been cut by half, to 100 to 1. Eight days later, the odds had been slashed to 15 to 1.

On August 7, reported that Ron Paul’s odds had been cut to 8 to 1, putting him in a tie with Mitt Romney. By October 1, Paul’s odds were down to 6 to 1, ahead of Romney, and just behind John McCain (5 to 1) and Rudy Giuliani (5 to 1). Fred Thompson is the favorite among Republicans with odds of 4 to 1.

That may strike those following the political scene as unbelievable, since mainstream media polls put Ron Paul way behind. Here’s what has to say about that:

Forget those political polls. Throughout time (at least the last decade), oddsmakers have had an uncanny knack for predicting political races. It's not so much that they have a crystal ball, rather the lines adjust based on public action. When it comes to political betting, the public action is presumed to represent votes. The theory being that someone who is likely to vote on Mitt Romney probably won't bet on Ron Paul winning.

The gambling public seems to believe that 2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul stands a very good chance of winning.

Coulter and Dzwonkowski also appear to be unaware of Ron Paul’s domination of the Internet. Dr. Paul’s superstar status in cyberspace was recently described in an article published by The New American magazine, which can be viewed here.

And this week it was reported that the Ron Paul campaign raised more that $5 million during the third quarter, a 114 percent increase over the second quarter. That increase is in stark contrast to the decrease suffered by Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain. Romney’s fundraising was down 29 percent. Giuliani was down 40 percent. McCain was down 55 percent.

No chance to win? That’s what they said about Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, in the early stages of their campaigns. The story that the mainstream media is missing is that Ron Paul is looking more like a first-tier candidate with each passing day.

The continual drumbeat in the media that Paul is not a serious contender, though, says more about the media than it says about Ron Paul. Paul espouses a constitutionalist message and is finding that voters are responding. That message contradicts with the soft-socialist predilections of the mainstream media. Hence, most media organs will go to any length in their attempts to discredit that message. In due time, however, the propagandists in the mainstream media may find, to their chagrin, that they have lost the ear, and the respect, of the American people.

The Net will set us free

by Andrew Winkler - Oct 5, 2007

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell

Even the self-chosen media are now admitting that Israel deliberately attacked the U.S.S. Liberty, fully aware that it was an American ship. On 2 October the Chicago Tribune reported on the matter in a 7 page article, and 2 days later the Israeli Ha'aretz picked up on the theme.

What appears to be part of an ongoing power struggle between the U.S. Empire Builders and the Israel First faction of the Anglo-Judean Axis of Greed, wouldn't have been possible without the Net. Not unlike the massive criticism of the pro-Israel lobby - expressed in thousands of articles published on hundreds of blogs and dissident media sites such as ZioPedia, Rense, The Jingoist, What Really Happened and Wake up from your slumber - which resulted in the taboo breaking Walt-Mearsheimer paper, the recent mainstream articles on the Israeli Air Force bombing of the U.S.S. Liberty wouldn't have been possible, without the ever growing number of reports on the treacherous Israeli false flag attack in Internet based alternative media.

The writings are on the wall for our self-chosen rulers. If they are unable to quickly gain control over the Internet, creating embarassment after embarassment for them, it is only a matter of time until their two biggest hoaxes of the past century - 9/11 and the Holocult - will be worn down by the rapidly growing number of dissident challengers.

Knowledge is power and whoever controls our knowledge has power over us. That's why the Zionist Mafia worked so hard to gain control over universities and media. The Net has changed all of that. The desperate attempts of our self-chosen rulers to resist the growing knowledge of their criminal nature have failed miserably. Neither the medivial heresy laws introduced in many European countries as result of shameless Zionist bullying, the equally medivial kosher inquisition of the likes of ADL and CAMERA, nor the systematic use of paid hackers, gate-keepers, provocateurs and disinformants, have been able to stop the knowledge revolution. For every Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zundel thrown into prison for exercising their right of free expression, hundreds of new ones are appearing elsewhere.

Even if the Anglo-Judean Axis of Greed successfully clamps down on dissenting web sites, one way or the other, the dissident community will find creative ways around it. The harder our self-chosen rulers are trying to suppress the Net, the more they are proving to be part of the conspiracy. The more people know, how they have been systematically lied to and taken advantage of, the harder it will be for our ruling elite to fool us again. We are at the beginning of a revolution.

The Net will set us free.

No More Wars For Israel Conference

Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 12-14

Mark Glenn Comments MP3, RAM

Important Update–‘You-know-who’ is up to their old tricks that they inherited from their Pharisee forefathers of trying to silence any opposition to their agenda. As such, these individuals who would dare accuse the rest of us of being unpatriotic are trying to rob us of our rights to free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of worship.

Elements within the Zionist extremist camp are already in panic mode over this upcoming conference and are calling around to all the hotels in Southern California pretending to be Police Officers and trying to find out where the conference is being held so that they can do their usual business of intimidating hotel owners and others into shutting us down. This is the reason why details of the conference are being kept private at this time.
On the weekend of October 12-14 patriotic voices of conscience from around the world will be gathering in southern California to call for an end to the endless wars being waged… and yet more planned, if the neocons get their way…. in the Middle East by the U.S., sacrificing the lives of our sons and daughters all for the sake of a worthless parasitic and terrorist nation by the name of Israel that has been subjugating the Arab Christian and Muslim population of Palestine for nearly sixty years.

NOW is the time to stand up and let your voices be heard….BEFORE our out-of-control president and the Israeli moles who encircle and advise him begin what very well may be World War III by attacking the peaceful nation of Iran….AGAIN for the sake of the cancer in the Middle East known as Israel.

This one of a kind and important conference will be held in Orange County, California, minutes away from John Wayne International airport, and 30 minutes from LAX.

Friday evening, the 12th, a cocktail/ meet-and-greet party will kick off the weekends events, which will include a banquet dinner on Saturday evening and breakfast Sunday morning.

CONFIRMED speakers include:

*Capt. Joe Cortina, Former US Green Beret to talk about what he personally witnessed when he was on diplomatic business in Israel several years ago

*Phil Tourney, survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty and former president of the Liberty Veterans Association

*AFP correspondent, author and radio talk show host Michael Collins Piper

*Patrick Grimm, well-known internet writer/commentator

*Columnist and RBN radio host Mark Dankof

*Hesham Tillawi of Current Issues TV

*Bedros Hadjian, expert on the Zionist role in the Armenian Genocide

*Fr. Christopher Hunter, Traditional Catholic Priest, patriotic author and long time anti-Zionist activist

*Mark Green, journalist, producer and former TV talk show host.

*Dr. Kaukab Siddique, pubisher of the Islamic magazine New Trends

*Author and AFP correspondent Mark Glenn of Crescent and Cross

*Investigator and film maker on the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty Tito Howard

*Professor Ray Goodwin, author and regular contributor to The Barnes Review

*Founder of ‘We Hold These Truths’ and Project Strait Gate Charles Carlson

*Black nationalist Leader Dr. Robert Brock

*MarWen Media’s Wendy Campbell, documentary film-maker.

*911 widow and truth activist Ellen Mariani who will discuss her ongoing lawsuit and the efforts of judicial criminals to silence her

*Eillen Fleming, journalist, author, pro-Palestinian activist and owner of

*Joachim Martello, well-known Muslim american writer/researcher/activist

Open invitations have been extended to the following personages:

*Former US President Jimmy Carter

*US Representative Ron Paul, candidate for the Presidency

*Former Prime Minister of Malysia Dr. Mahatir Mohammed

*Professors Mearsheimer and Walt, authors of the controversial book ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy“

*Former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter

*Former Under Secretary for the Treasury and Columnist Paul Craig Roberts

These are just a few of the weekends speakers…MORE will be announced in the weeks to come. Furthermore, let the following be stated–


Reserve your place now for this history-making conference and be among the number of your fellow patriots who are saying with ONE VOICE: NO MORE WARS FOR ISRAEL!

Hotel rooms are $124.00 per night (double occupancy allowed)
Registration: $ 150.00 per person, couples $ 175.00. Registration fee includes Saturday evening banquet and Sunday breakfast.

Those not wishing to eat can get a discounted rate.

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Send checks or money orders to Mark Glenn at the following address

Box 27
Careywood, Idaho 83809

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Iraq Insurgents Unite To Fight U.S.

By CBS/AP - Oct 4, 2007

Nearly two dozen previously unknown Iraqi insurgent groups announced a new coalition to fight foreign occupation but it also set conditions for talks with the U.S. in a statement on a Web site affiliated with the country's deposed Baath party.

The 22 groups said their leader is Izzat al-Douri, the highest ranking member of Saddam Hussein's former ruling party still at large.

In the nearly half hour video message, an unidentified man, face blurred, was shown sitting behind a table with an Iraqi flag on his right side reading a statement announcing the formation of the new alliance called "The Jihad and Liberation."

According to the speaker in the video, downloaded by CBS News, the newly established umbrella group came into being during a conference held in Baghdad.

The group declared itself open to "all those who carry arms to fight the occupiers."

The new alliance laid down a series of conditions for talks with the U.S. It demanded an unconditional withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, immediately or within a short timetable, the release of all detainees, return of the security forces to their status before the occupation and a halt to all operations against the people.

"If the enemy wants to withdraw and save face, they should sit down and speak directly with the resistance to discuss implementing these sacred principles. Otherwise, the only alternative is their collapse and flight," the statement said.

Ayad Allawi, Iraq's first post-Saddam prime minister, has recently said he held talks with members of the Baath party loyal to al-Douri, for which he was severely criticized by Iraq's current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

The statement made no mention of al Qaeda in Iraq, but it contained slogans praising Arab nationalism and the Arab nation's great past. Al Qaeda's extremist ideology does not recognize nationalism, but calls for an Islamic state.

There have been reports of clashes in Iraq between the more nationalist and secular elements of the insurgency with groups following al Qaeda.

The coalition is led by a group linked to al-Douri, who in his later years ascribed to a moderate, mystic Sufi form of Islam.

An Islamic Web site linked to extremist groups such as al Qaeda also carried the announcement, but ridiculed al-Douri and the new group.

Lost in the Roar: War Alarms Drowned by Beltway Bloodlust

by Chris Floyd - Sept 28, 2007

"I got my hammer ringin', baby, but the nails ain't goin' down." -- Bob Dylan Hammerblows of truth keep falling on the Bush Regime's propaganda campaign for war against Iran, which has been built up out of allegations so specious and shoddy that they make the manifold deceits of the Attack Iraq carnival look like gospel truth. But far from doing any damage to the engine of death now rolling toward Persia, the hammers are not even being heard above the roar.

Of course, it is actually inaccurate to refer to the "Bush Regime's propaganda campaign." As we have noted here before, the Democratic-led Congress has already overwhelmingly swallowed the Bush case for war – the Senate even accepted the Regime's mendacious casus belli unanimously. And this week, the Democrats went even further in adopting aggression against Iran as their own cause, when a majority of them joined with the obedient goose-steppers of the GOP in support of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which effectively if not officially authorized military action against Iran by declaring the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a "foreign terrorist organization" and tying it to attacks on American soldiers in Iraq. The measure accepted at face value the proven mendacities and manipulations of Bush war propaganda, offering a selection of carefully-filtered testimony from the sainted General Petraeus (whom the Senate has declared literally sacrosanct, with its recent passage of an amendment "strongly" condemning any one who exercises their right of free speech to question "the honor, integrity and patriotism" of "any member of the armed forces" and Petraeus in particular). The Democrats have made it clear where they stand on aggression against Iran: alongside – or even in advance of – the war criminals of the Bush Administration.

(For a devastating take on the latest confirmation of Bush's criminal intent to launch a war of aggression against Iraq – the newly released transcript of the talks between Bush and then-Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar just before the war – see Juan Cole's blistering piece: The War Crime of the Century. One central point of the transcript is Bush's admission that he had turned down Saddam's offer to go into exile – one of several offers Iraq put on the table to avoid war before the invasion, including an offer to hold free, internationally-supervised elections and allow heavily-armed foreign troops to conduct WMD inspections. But Bush wanted war; and the war came. Cole's conclusion is damningly true: "[Bush] had a real offer in the hand, of Saddam's flight. He rejected it. By rejecting it, he will have killed at least a million persons and became one of the more monstrous figures in recent world history.")

Now this is the man whom the Democrats are so slavishly eager to support on Iran. This is the man whose minions they so willingly believe about Iran, having already been lied to in precisely the same fashion about Iraq, by precisely the same kind of honorable, patriotic men of unquestionable integrity. (Colin Powell, anyone?) This is beyond cravenness, beyond cowardice, beyond incompetence, beyond even the most bitterly tragic farce. No, something else is at work here. As we have noted before – echoing the powerful arguments of Arthur Silber – the Democrats are doing this because they want to.

It's the same reason they supported the invasion of Iraq; the same reason they supported Bush's obscene tax cuts for the rich; the same reason they supported the outrageous whitewash of the 9/11 investigation; the same reason they championed the "Bankruptcy Bill" put the screws to working people and the poor; the same reason they supported "Defense of Marriage" bills that legitimize hate and penalize love; the same reason why they rolled over and played dead when not one but two presidential elections were stolen from them. It's because they too, like the Bush and his ilk, worship at the altar of money and power. They too believe that the wealthy and well-connected should order the earth for their pleasure, through war, loot, terror, fraud, rapine – by any means necessary. Their "honor" depends solely on how well they serve this cause, not on how well they uphold their Constitutional responsibilities or live up to the ideas they espouse. (See Silber again for more on this.)

If you oppose aggressive war, if you oppose the unbridled ravages of Money Power, if you stand for the Constitution and the rule of law, then there is no hope to be found in these national Democrats – because they are on the other side. They demonstrate this every day – witness the spectacle at the recent Democratic debate, when the three Establishment-anointed "leading" candidates – Clinton, Obama and Edwards – each said they could not guarantee to stop America's perpetration of the murderous war crime in Iraq by the end of their first term. Think of that. Think of someone watching a vicious thug savagely beating a child, over and over, pounding the child into bloody goo – then declaring that if they chase the thug away and take his place, they will go on beating the child, year after year after year after year.

Similarly, these "serious" candidates refuse to "take any options off the table" in regard to Iran. (Clinton, by the way, voted for Kyl-Lieberman's virtual authorization for aggression; Obama courageously skipped the vote.) Yet as both Gareth Porter and Scott Ritter demonstrate in detail, none of the charges leveled in the amendment – which is of course just a parroting of the Bush Regime's case for war – have been proven; many of them have been disproven. The International Atomic Energy Agency, for example, essentially agrees with Iran's position that the "nuclear case is closed;" after the most exhaustive investigation in the agency's history, the IAEA has "finally assembled enough data to enable them to close the books on the Iranian nuclear program, noting that all substantive questions have been answered and that contrary to the speculative assessments put forward by the Bush administration, it appears that Iran’s nuclear program is, in fact, dedicated to permitted energy-related activities," as Ritter notes.

Once again, something else is at work beneath the public rhetoric. Ritter again, on the charges that Iran's covert Quds Force is directing violence in Iraq:

But fiction often mirrors reality, and in the case of Iran’s Quds Force, the model drawn upon by the U.S. military seems to be none other than America’s own support of anti-Iranian forces, namely the Mujahedin el-Khalk (MEK) operating out of U.S.-controlled bases inside Iraq, and Jundallah, a Baluchi separatist group operating out of Pakistan that the CIA openly acknowledges supporting. Unlike the lack of evidence brought to bear by the U.S. to sustain its claims of Iranian involvement inside Iraq, the Iranian government has captured scores of MEK and Jundallah operatives, along with supporting documents, which substantiate that which the U.S. openly admits: The United States is waging a proxy war against Iran, inside Iran. This mirror imaging of its own terror campaign against Iran to manufacture the perception of a similar effort being waged by Iran inside Iraq against the U.S. has been very effective at negating any Iranian effort to draw attention to the escalation of war-like activities inside its borders.

Ritter also notes the most sinister development growing out of the visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York: the concentrated, deliberate effort across the Establishment to tie Iran to 9/11. Once again, Hillary Clinton was in the forefront, declaring her horror that the Iranian leader would want to pay his respects at Ground Zero; the "liberal media" giant CBS News weighed in also. Everywhere was heard the refrain "terrorist state, 9/11, terrorist state, 9/11" – the kind of crude hatemongering that even Josef Stalin might have found too blatant. We know that the myth that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11 was the clinching argument for many if not most Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq; certainly, it was the chief motivator for the many U.S. soldiers in the invasion force who told admiring reporters that they were there "as payback for 9/11." The same conflation is being used again, against Iran, and is being insinuated and disseminated by the same players: the serious, respectable American Establishment: the federal government, Congress, the Democratic "opposition," the "liberal media," and right on down the gilded line.

And despite intimations that some military brass are resisting a new act of aggression – not out of moral principle, evidently, but on the practical grounds that it might break the already overstrained armed forces – it must be remembered that the chief mouthpieces relaying the Bush propaganda about Iran's direct involvement in Iraq have been…military brass. As we noted here the other day, "the Bush Regime ruthlessly purges officers who question the Leader's maniacal agenda or stand up too strongly for the honor and well-being of their troops." When Bush and Cheney want to pull the trigger, suitable generals and admirals will be found.

The hammers keep ringing from truth-tellers like Ritter, Silber, Porter, Jon Schwarz and others -- but the nails ain't goin' down. And a house held together by nothing but lies cannot stand.

War With Iran? Who Decides?

by The New American - Oct 5, 2007

Anyone following the growing political debate about whether or not we should go to war against Iran knows that both pundits and politicians assume that the decision is the president’s to make.

But though this perception is fairly widespread, it not universal. In fact, a contrary point of view is occasionally aired by the mainstream media. Such was the case with the Fox News GOP presidential candidate debate in Durham, New Hampshire, on September 5. During the debate, moderator Brit Hume presented Congressman Ron Paul with a scenario that the next president may face regarding Iran. As described by Hume: “Its [Iran’s] nuclear program has continued to advance. UN weapons inspectors … are now saying that it appears that Iran is on the verge of being able to produce and may even be producing nuclear weapons…. Cross-border incidents in Iraq involving elements of the Revolutionary Guard … continue to increase and are a continuing problem for U.S. forces there. In addition, the threats by Iran’s leader against Israel have become more pronounced and more extreme.” Hume then asked Paul: “What do you do?”

Congressman Paul began his answer by pointing out: “For one thing, one thing I would remember very clearly is the president doesn’t have the authority to go to war — he goes to the Congress.”

But Brit Hume appeared a bit puzzled with Paul’s point that the president does not have the authority to go to war. “What do you do?” he asked the congressman. “So what do you do?” he repeated. Paul answered: “He goes to the Congress and finds out if there’s any threat to our national security.”

Under our system of government, Paul is correct. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly states: “The Congress shall have power … to declare war.” This means, of course, that the president does not possess this power. But how many of our fellow citizens know this? And how many know why the Founding Fathers assigned this power to Congress and not the president?

Undoubtedly, many of our fellow citizens, including perhaps Brit Hume, do erroneously believe that the decision to go to war is the president’s to make. Many Americans, after all, have been misled by media reports that focus on whether the president will take the nation into another war, as opposed to whether the Congress will declare war. And of course, many have been misled by the fact that after World War II U.S. presidents have acted as if the decision to go to war is theirs to make, with Congress allowing this usurpation to take place.

George W. Bush is no exception. In March of 2003, he launched an offensive war against Iraq without a congressional declaration of war. The previous fall, Congress had passed a resolution that essentially authorized the president to make the decision, thereby shirking its own responsibility under the Constitution. When the president launched the invasion of Iraq the following spring, he said he was doing so to enforce UN resolutions requiring Iraq to get rid of its reputed weapons of mass destruction. But he did not cite any congressional requirement to justify his action because there was none.

Bush has even explicitly claimed that he decides when America goes to war. For instance, in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address, less than two months before launching the war against Iraq, he claimed: “Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a President can make.” On December 18, 2005, in an address to the nation on Iraq, he said: “As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq.”

Obviously, much of the responsibility for going into Iraq does belong to the president. After all, he made the decision. But some of the responsibility for our Iraq debacle also falls on Congress for ignoring its congressional responsibility and bowing to presidential usurpation. But that aside, there is no question that the president not only does not possess the authority to go to war but should not possess that authority.

When the Founding Fathers formed our constitutional republic, they recognized the inherent danger in giving a single person — the president or anyone else — the awesome power to make war. As James Madison, the father of our Constitution, put it in a letter to Thomas Jefferson on April 2, 1798: “The constitution supposes, what the History of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has, accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature.”

A few years earlier, when the great question of whether or not to ratify the Constitution was being debated, Alexander Hamilton stressed in The Federalist Papers, No. 69, that the president’s powers would be limited: “The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first general and admiral … while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies — all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.”

In the following century, Abraham Lincoln recalled the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in a letter dated February 15, 1848: “Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our [1787] Convention [which drafted the Constitution] understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.”

Up to and including World War II, the Congress did declare our wars and the president acted on that authority. Beginning with the Korean War, however, our wars have not been declared. And a constitutional principle that was once widely understood has now been largely forgotten.

Of course, there are those who at least acknowledge that the power to declare war is in the Constitution, but who claim that this power is not the same as the power to make war. They overlook a very important fact that was pointed out by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its February 9, 1972 Report on War Powers: “The Constitutional Convention at first proposed to give Congress the power to ‘make’ war but changed this to ‘declare’ war, not, however, because it was desired to enlarge Presidential power but in order to permit the President to take action to repel sudden attacks.” Put simply, the congressional power to declare war is tantamount to the power to make war, and the Founders opted for the word “declare” to allow the president to respond immediately to sudden attacks without violating the Constitution.

There are also those who dismiss the congressional power to declare war by claiming that it is anachronistic. But how they’re able to make such a claim defies reason. Has human nature changed since the 18th century when the Constitution was drafted? Was it folly then to entrust a president with the powers of a king, but wise to do so now?

Anyone who sincerely believes this should take a look at the consequences of the presidential usurpation of power, particularly the power to send the nation to war — and should also consider how much worse the consequences could become if the usurpations are allowed to continue.

Which brings us to the looming specter of war with Iran. Is it wisdom or folly to allow President Bush to make this decision? Hasn’t the Iraq debacle — from the false intelligence regarding WMDs, to use of American troops to quell what has become a civil war — shown that President Bush must not be allowed to make any such decision?

But neither should any other president! Any decision regarding going to war — against Iran, or against any other country — must be made by Congress. But even with Congress making the decision, there is no justification whatsoever for launching a so-called pre-emptive war against any country that has not attacked us. We must never go to war except in defense of our country.

Saving the Military from Itself

by William Astore and Tom Engelhardt - Oct 5, 2007

When, in mid-September, General David Petraeus testified before Congress on "progress" in Iraq, he appeared in full dress uniform with quite a stunning chestful of medals. The general is undoubtedly a tough bird. He was shot in the chest during a training-exercise accident and later broke his pelvis in a civilian skydiving landing, but until he went to Iraq in 2003, he had not been to war. In the wake of his testimony, the New York Times tried to offer an explanation for the provenance of at least some of those intimidating medals and ribbons – including the United Nations Medal (for participants in joint UN operations), the National Defense Service Medal (for those serving during a declared national emergency, including 9/11) and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (for… well, you know…). Petraeus is not alone. Here, for instance, is former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace, a combat Marine in Vietnam, with one dazzling chestful of medals and another of ribbons.

Medal and ribbon escalation has been long on the rise in the U.S. military. Here, for instance, was General William Westmoreland, who commanded U.S. forces in Vietnam, sporting his chestful back in that distant era. But the strange thing is: As you continue heading back in time, as, in fact, U.S. generals become more successful, those ribbons and medals shrink – and not because the men weren't highly decorated either. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who won World War II in Europe for the Allies seems, in his period of glory, to have chosen to wear between one and three rows. And General George C. Marshall, who oversaw all of World War II, after a distinguished career in the military, can be seen in photos wearing but three rows as well.

It's hard to believe that there isn't a correlation here – that, in fact, there isn't also a comparison to be made. For all the world, when I saw Petraeus on display, I thought of the full-dress look of Soviet generals, not to say the Soviet Union's leader Leonid Brezhnev, back in the sclerotic 1980s when, ambushed in Afghanistan, they were on the way down. Like the USSR then, the U.S., only a few years back hailed as the planet's New Rome, has the look of a superpower in distress – and it's hard to believe that generals with such chests full of medals, whether in the former USSR or the present USA, have the kind of perspective that actually leads to winning wars – or to assessing a losing war correctly. Consider what a retired military officer, Lieutenant Colonel William Astore, has to say on the subject. Tom

Saving the Military from Itself

Why Medals and Metrics Mislead - By William Astore

It's time to save the military from itself. I say this as a retired Air Force officer who served for twenty years, my last three in a "joint" assignment, working closely with Army, Marine, and Navy officers and enlisted men and women. As the Dean of Students at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, I saw hundreds of young troops cross the stage, graduating with new skills in Arabic and other strategic languages. With few exceptions, these (mostly) young men and women were highly motivated, committed to their service and country, and ready to go to war. They had no quit in them.

But in the words of Kenny Rogers, "You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run." The reference to his hit song, "The Gambler," is not facile. The Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz wrote that war, in its complexities and uncertainties, most resembles a game of cards – let's say Texas Hold'em in honor of the President's adopted state. Over the last four-plus years, we've shoved hundreds of billions of dollars into the Iraqi pot, suffered sobering losses in killed-in-action/wounded-in-action, yet we're still holding losing cards dealt from a stacked deck. Even so, the Bush administration has recently doubled-down instead of folding, hoping to hit an inside straight despite long odds.

Why are we spilling blood and treasure with such reckless abandon? One answer is the military itself. Our military is a funhouse reflection of ourselves – purpose-driven, results-oriented, can-do, never-say-die, win-at-any-cost. Many commentators have noted that, in his recent testimony before Congress, General David Petraeus was hardly likely to criticize his own strategy in Iraq or, more crucially, the performance of the troops under his command. I have no doubt, however, that his belief in the viability of his mission reaches far deeper than that. Indeed, it surely taps into a core belief within the military that we can – and must – prevail in any conflict. We've been seduced by our own hype about being the world's "sole superpower," as if nuclear and technological supremacy had made us omnipotent as well as omni-competent.

Cheating the Kobayashi Maru

But how can you win someone else's civil war? In Iraq, our military faces a classic Kobayashi Maru – a no-win situation. In the Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan, Admiral Kirk recounts how he triumphed over his own Kobayashi Maru – by cheating. He reprograms a computer simulation to allow for victory, even winning a special commendation for originality!

The U.S. military seems to think it can do the same. Its version of reprogramming is "metrics": Show enough colored charts with seemingly hard-and-fast numbers and you can claim, if not victory, at least progress of a sort. Antiwar critics have referred to this as "cooking the books," implying that the military is engaged in a deliberate campaign of lies. While it may be true that the first casualty of any war is truth, bald-faced lies have been the least of our problems when it comes to our armed forces. Far more devastating has been the ability of its commanders to mislead themselves, and so, us. Even when U.S. forces can't always "search and destroy" Iraqi insurgents and terrorists, it turns out that they can search and deploy metrics indicative of progress anyway.

But when such metrics are deployed, do they mean what our military thinks they mean? For example, General Petraeus noted that this year his troops had already found and cleared more than 4,400 weapons and explosive caches, 1,700 more than in all of 2006. Is this, then, proof of better intelligence and interdiction techniques, as he claims? Or is it a sign that these caches are proliferating? Or that the insurgents are learning to disperse their weapons more effectively? And what exactly constitutes a cache anyway? Two AK-47s and an old artillery shell? And is it possible that top-down pressure from the chain-of-command to show results has inflated this figure? In other words, is better counting (and possibly some creative accounting) behind these figures?

Here's a metric of a different sort. General Petraeus testified that Iraq has already committed $1.6 billion to the U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program, and will likely commit another $1.8 billion to FMS by year's end. He presented this as positive news. Yet, is this not another way of saying that Iraq has $3.4 billion less to commit to desperately needed internal infrastructure repairs and improvements? Is it really the case that Iraq's ongoing civil war is best resolved by an infusion of billions of dollars worth of U.S. military equipment?

Lies, Damned Lies, and Metrics

One might be pardoned for asking: What makes our military think this way? For these and other metrics are not lies (although lies may be folded into them); rather, they are symptomatic of a state of ongoing self-delusion as well as self-congratulation. Our military is structured to recognize and reward performance, and institutionally we believe that "true" performance must be quantifiable. So we develop (invent is often a better word) "metrics" to feed the beast. Promotion ("fitness") reports exhibit the Lake Wobegon Effect, where nearly every officer and NCO turns out to be above average. Commanders do their best to quantify, showcase, and elevate the accomplishments of their units, even if results are nebulous or ephemeral. The status reports Petraeus offered Congress, displayed on those giant, colorful charts during the recent hearings, are at least in part a compilation of these glowing reports. The end result: an inherently flawed and overly optimistic vision, heavily weighted toward "progress" and ultimate success.

While this may, in part, be a military version of the grade-inflation endemic in our schools and culture, there are other signs that it is now rampant. Medals and ribbons, for instance, have proliferated to such an extent that few have any real meaning. Officers openly sneer about "PCS medals," almost pro forma awards received after a "permanent change in station" – that is, a new assignment, no matter how peaceable. Many medals shout "been there," rather than "done that." Some awards and decorations today are tied more to the military rank of the recipient than to objective measures of merit. Indeed, ribbons have proliferated like nuclear missiles during the Cold War. I counted nine rows on Petraeus' left breast during his Congressional hearings. If they were a valid metric across time, he would be roughly thrice as capable and valorous as George C. Marshall, perhaps America's greatest soldier-statesman, who somehow ran and won a world war while wearing only three rows of ribbons.

By no means do I intend to disparage General Petraeus or his record. In wearing a uniform festooned with medals, ribbons, badges, and tabs, he's the norm among U.S. military commanders. Yet those medals and militaria that our commanders wear are a kind of evidence. Our military, they indicate, is so busy patting itself on the back that its medal-bestowing has come to resemble those Little League tournaments where every kid gets a trophy, win or lose. We're so busy celebrating how great we are that we're failing to face reality. Not all problems can be solved by applying more elbow grease and shouting "Hooah."

Our military will continue to showcase the metrics of success in Iraq because the system itself is built on them. By nature as well as training, our military is composed of action-oriented problem solvers. This is a great strength, but also a potentially fatal flaw. It makes it unlikely indeed that military commanders will recognize how "bugging out and calling it even" – the jaded advice of Private Hudson in Aliens – can, at times, be the height of military wisdom. We magnet-ribbon people who sport "support our troops" on our SUVs need to learn that "support" sometimes means pulling the troops out, even when some of them are kicking and screaming to stay.

Generals and Train Wrecks

In a country founded on civilian control of the military, it's disturbing indeed that, as a New York Times/CBS poll indicated recently, Americans trust their generals three times as much as Congress and 13 times as much as the President. As unjust as the "General Betray Us" tag may have been in that ad, many other Americans, including most of Congress – and, above all, the President himself – seem to be chanting "General Please Save Us." Both chants are misguided, but the second is the more dangerous.

As French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau famously noted a century ago, "War is too important to be left to generals" – a fact illustrated recently by a serving Army officer. In "A Failure in Generalship," which appeared in Armed Forces Journal in May, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling argues that, prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, our generals "refused to prepare the Army to fight unconventional wars" and thereafter failed to "provide Congress and the public with an accurate assessment of the conflict in Iraq." Put bluntly, he accuses them of dereliction of duty. Bewailing a lack of accountability for such failures in the military itself, Yingling memorably concludes that "a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war."

When it comes to Iraq, we seem to suffer from a baffling case of collective amnesia. Think back to the spring of 2004. A friend of mine was then serving in the Green Zone with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), run by presidential appointee L. Paul Bremer III. Prior to the official handing over of "sovereignty" to the Iraqis in June of that year, he wrote me that the CPA staff "accepted as given" widespread "corruption, private militias, insecurity, and coming civil war." The "scariest" part, he added, "is that we're supporting a regime which is seen as completely illegitimate by the people it's supposed to rule in the name of democracy…. Even the Iraqis who welcomed us after Saddam have lost patience with us and are pursuing other routes to power and national control." The whole operation, he concluded, "is a train wreck waiting to happen, and the administration simply refused to acknowledge it, much less do anything about it." And for overseeing this train wreck, the Bush administration in December 2004 rewarded Bremer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Saving the New 'Greatest Generation'

Yingling's recent cri de coeur and my friend's pessimistic, yet accurate, prediction highlight the crime we're committing against today's all-volunteer military. For I believe General Petraeus was right to salute our troops as a new "greatest generation." After all, our last one, the veterans of World War II (currently celebrated in Ken Burns' documentary series), contained a large percentage of more-or-less reluctant draftees. Today's troops may not have had in mind repeated 15-month deployments to Iraq when they raised their right hands to take the oath, but they still resolutely put themselves in harm's way. They deserve our respect and gratitude – but, even more, they deserve our attention.

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your military can do for you, but ask what you can do for your military. In this case, "support our troops" should mean supporting the idea of pulling them out of a morale-sucking morass. The President won't act, so Congress must. Chaos may – or may not – ensue in Iraq after our troops withdraw, but buying time for more colorful benchmarks to be met, for more impressive metrics to be produced, is unconscionable when we know it will entail thousands of additional American casualties and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. These are the metrics that matter – blood and treasure. But what should matter even more to our country than body bags and billions is trust – the emotional and spiritual ties that bind our troops to ourselves. Those ties, currently being stretched in Iraq, must not be allowed to snap. For if they do, we'll be left with hollowed – instead of hallowed – legions.

William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), earned a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford in 1996. He has taught military cadets at the Air Force Academy, officers at the Naval Postgraduate School, and now teaches at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. His books and articles, focusing primarily on military history, include Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism (Potomac Press, 2005). He can be reached at


by Ted Rall- Oct 3, 2007

The nation is Iran. And the reaction is ridiculous.

"The Evil Has Landed," shrieked the headline of the New York Daily News on the occasion of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speeches at the United Nations and Columbia University. A "madman," Rupert Murdoch's New York Post spat, setting the tone for a week of Bizarro News. On "60 Minutes," the Iranian president said there was no reason his country and ours couldn't be friends--even the best of friends.

"La la la la--we can't hear you" was the response.

"Is it the goal of your government, the goal of this nation to build a nuclear weapon?" CBS News' Scott Pelley asked Ahmadinejad.

He replied: "You have to appreciate we don't need a nuclear bomb. We don't need that. What need do we have for a bomb?"

Pelley followed up: "May I take that as a 'no,' sir?"

Ahmadinejad: "It is a firm 'no.'"

Some Americans would pay good money to hear an answer as honest and straightforward as that from their leaders. Yet, minutes later, Pelley kept badgering: "When I ask you a question as direct as 'Will you pledge not to test a nuclear weapon?' you dance all around the question. You never say 'yes.' You never say 'no.'"

Weird. Is Pelley hard of hearing? But what I really can't figure out is how Iran qualifies as our--Very Big Word coming--"enemy." We're not at war with Iran. Neither are our allies. What gives?

Capitalizing on the reliable ignorance of the American public and the indolent gullibility of its journalists, the Bush Administration regularly conflates its numerous targets of regime change, pretending they love each other to death and are united only in their desire to slaughter innocent American children. There are gaping chasms in this narrative, but they vanish into our national memory hole.

After the 9/11 attacks turned the U.S. against the Taliban, U.S. media outlets put footage of a handful of jeering Palestinians on heavy rotation. Meanwhile, "In Iran, vast crowds turned out on the streets and held candlelit vigils for the victims. Sixty-thousand spectators respected a minute's silence at Tehran's football stadium."

Wondering why you never heard that? The above quote comes from the BBC. Fox News didn't report. American news consumers didn't know, much less decide.

Finding an opportunity for rapprochement and a mutual foe in the Taliban, Iran became a silent America ally after 9/11. The Iranian military offered to conduct search and rescue operations for downed U.S. pilots during the fall 2001 war against the Taliban. It used its influence with the Afghanistan's Dari population to broker the loya jirga that installed Hamid Karzai as president of Afghanistan.

Everyone expected U.S.-Iranian relations to thaw. There was even talk about ending sanctions and exchanging ambassadors. A few weeks later, however, White House neocons had Iran named as a member of an "Axis of Evil" in Bush's 2002 State of the Union address. "We were all shocked by the fact that the U.S. had such a short memory and was so ungrateful about what had happened just a month ago," remembers Javad Zarif, now the Iranian ambassador to the U.N.

Bush accused Shiite-majority Iran, a mortal enemy of Sunni-dominated Al Qaeda, of offering sanctuary to Al Qaeda fighters fleeing Afghanistan. "Iran must be a contributor in the war against terror," Bush railed. "Either you're with us or against us." The allegation was BS. No one--not the CIA, not one of our allies, no one--believed that Iran would harbor, or had harbored, members of Al Qaeda. "I wasn't aware of any intelligence supporting that charge," says James Dobbins, Bush's special envoy to Afghanistan. But we never took it back.

In May 2003, Iran shook off its annoyance and again tried to make nice. The Iranian overture came in the form of a letter delivered to the State Department after the fall of Baghdad. "Iran appeared willing to put everything on the table--including being completely open about its nuclear program, helping to stabilize Iraq, ending its support for Palestinian militant groups and help in disarming Hezbollah," reported the BBC.

U.S. officials confirm this overture.

"That letter went to the Americans to say that we are ready to talk, we are ready to address our issues," says Seyed Adeli, an Iranian foreign minister at the time. Larry Wilkerson, chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, says the Bushies made a conscious decision to ignore it. "We don't speak to evil," he recalls that Administration hardliners led by Donald Rumsfeld said.

In the minds of the hard right, the case for Iran's evilness rests on three issues: the 1979 hostage crisis, its opposition to Israel, and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Readers of Mark Bowden's "Guests of the Ayatollah" can't help but sympathize with the American embassy staffers who spent 444 days in captivity from late 1979 to early 1981. But the right-wingers' real beef over this episode concerns our wounded national pride.

What they fail to mention is that President Carter brought the mess upon himself, first by continuing to prop up the corrupt and brutal regime of Reza Shah Pahlavi long after it was obviously doomed, and then by admitting him to the U.S. for cancer treatment. Carter knew that his decision to coddle a toppled tyrant could stir up trouble.

"He went around the room," said then-Vice President Walter Mondale," and most of us said, 'Let him [the Shah] in. And he said, 'And if [the Iranians] take our employees in our embassy hostage, then what would be your advice?' And the room just fell dead. No one had an answer to that. Turns out, we never did."

Iran finances and arms Hezbollah, the paramilitary group-cum-nascent state based in Lebanon that wages sporadic attacks against Israel. If proxy warfare and funding Islamist terror organizations that despise Israel were a consideration, however, the U.S. would cut off relations with and impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. (Can we stop talking to ourselves? We supported the Afghan mujahedeen.) It is possible to maintain friendly relations with nations that hate one another, and we do.

There are two points missing from most discussions of Iran's nuclear energy program and whether it's a cover for a weapons program. First, Iran ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970. Leaders of the Islamic Republic inherited the NPT from the Shah. The revolutionaries voluntarily chose to honor the agreement after they threw him out.

Second, the U.S. practices a double standard by threatening war against Iran while ignoring Israel's refusal to obey a U.N. resolution calling for a nuclear-free Middle East passed in 1996. As of the late 1990s, U.S. intelligence agencies believed Israel to possess between 75 and 130 nukes. Iran has zero. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there's even less evidence against Iran than there was against Saddam's Iraq.

There are many legitimate reasons to criticize the government of Iran. They're just a regional rival in the Middle East--another frenemy.

(Ted Rall is the author of the new book "Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?," an in-depth prose and graphic novel analysis of America's next big foreign policy challenge.)

The Blackwater Massacre

Out of control 'private' contractors terrorize Iraq

by Justin Raimondo - Oct 5, 2007

On September 16, as a car approached Nisour Square, all the folly and tragedy of the Iraq war was enacted on a Baghdad street. In the vehicle were two Iraqis: Ahmed Haithem was driving his mother, Mohassin, to the local hospital, where her husband worked as a pathologist. They never made it.

Instead, four armored vehicles manned by "private" guards employed by Blackwater USA moved into position and fired: Ahmed was hit, but the car continued on its path, out of control. When the smoke cleared, and the casualties counted, 17 Iraqis were dead and 24 wounded. The Washington Postcites one anonymous high-ranking U.S. official as saying:

"This is a nightmare. We had guys who saw the aftermath, and it was very bad. This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib, and it comes at a time when we're trying to have an impact for the long term."

It's a nightmare alright, especially for the Iraqi people, who have long resented this "private" army of thugs and wannabe heroes, apparently subject to nonexistent rules of engagement. The Americans have slaughtered, abused and otherwise alienated their "liberated" charges before, and the Iraqis did little but bleat a few feeble protests: this time, however, the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reacted with authentic anger. The Iraqi ministry of the interior ordered Blackwater out of the country, and, although the U.S. State Department initially succeeded in getting this order rescinded, that reversal now appears to have been reversed. If Maliki sticks to his guns, the Blackwater massacre could mark a new phase in the war, one that bodes ill for the Americans.

This new phase was prefigured by what Seymour Hersh dubbed "the redirection" and made manifest in the alleged "success" of our alliance with the Sunni tribesmen of Anbar and Diyala provinces. As U.S. war aims in Iraq have shifted from stamping out the Sunni insurgency to preparing for war with Iran, the potential for conflict with the Shi'ite-dominated government has increased: that's why that anonymous senior official described the Blackwater massacre as possibly "worse than Abu Ghraib." The September 16 incident could be the pivot point leading to the previously unthinkable: a demand by the democratically-elected government of Iraq that U.S. forces begin withdrawing.

Ah, but they wouldn't do that – especially when their very lives depend on the presence of U.S. soldiers – now would they?

Don't count on it: after all, they can always turn to their natural allies in Tehran to afford them all the protection they need.

As Henry Waxman waxes eloquent about how bad it is for the American taxpayer that we are "outsourcing" security for U.S. diplomats in Iraq to private companies like Blackwater – and caves to a Justice Department request that places the September 16 massacre beyond the purview of his committee hearings – we are in danger of missing the meaning of that deadly day. One has only to read the New York Times coverage – which is, so far, the only coherent narrative – to get a very clear sense of the horror and tragedy of our involvement in Iraq.

A road bomb went off in the vicinity of a "financial compound" where U.S. diplomatic personnel were present, and an immediate order went out to extract them. While one Blackwater convoy picked up the diplomats who were on their way to Nisour Square at the time of the incident, another convoy moved into the area and diverted traffic. Blackwater officials have previously asserted that their personnel opened fire only when they found themselves under attack, but that account is contradicted by every available witness. As the Times reports:

"The events in the square began with a short burst of bullets that witnesses described as unprovoked. A traffic policeman standing at the edge of the square, Sarhan Thiab, saw that a young man in a car had been hit. In the line of traffic, that car was the third vehicle from the intersection where the convoy had positioned itself.

‘We tried to help him,' Mr. Thiab said. ‘I saw the left side of his head was destroyed and his mother was crying out: ‘My son, my son. Help me, help me.'"

Bystanders rushed to help, but the Blackwater guards didn't let them:

"Then Blackwater guards opened fire with a barrage of bullets, according to the police and numerous witnesses. Mr. Ahmed's father later counted 40 bullet holes in the car. His mother, Mohassin Kadhim, appears to have been shot to death as she cradled her son in her arms. Moments later the car caught fire after the Blackwater guards fired a type of grenade into the vehicle."

Why did the Blackwater guards fire on a car that was nowhere near their convoy until the weight of its dead driver on the accelerator drove it in their direction? No witness recalls shots being fired before the Americans unleashed their deadly fusillade. Yet the Blackguards and their spokesman claimed to have been under attack, possibly from Iraqi police. That's not how Iraqi witnesses tell it. Says Fareed Walid Hassan, a truck driver caught in the intersection:

"'The shooting started like rain; everyone escaped his car.' … He saw a woman dragging her child. ‘He was around 10 or 11,' he said. "He was dead. She was pulling him by one hand to get him away. She hoped that he was still alive.'"

Why were the Americans firing indiscriminately into cars at a busy Baghdad intersection? This is the question Rep. Waxman dared not ask at his phony "hearing," and which needs to be asked anyway. The answer, I fear, is because if you're an American in Iraq, every Iraqi is seen as an enemy. After all, a good proportion of the population wants us the heck out of there, and believes attacks on U.S. soldiers – or "private contractors" – are entirely justified. In such an atmosphere, who wouldn't be trigger-happy, not to mention paranoid and driven half-mad by the ever-looming prospect of imminent danger?

The issue is not private contractors, per se, although the rules of engagement followed by the Blackguards are considerably more relaxed than those in force for the U.S. military: U.S. soldiers have been involved in similar incidents, and a lot worse. The point is that we are an occupying force, and are seen as such by the increasingly resentful Iraqis: whether private or U.S. government-owned-and-operated, an army of occupation is going to meet resistance, and so we have. We are fast reaching a critical point – when growing resentment and even hatred of the Americans takes the shape of a demand for some accountability from the occupiers.

The official Iraqi investigation into the September 16 incident has been concluded, and submitted to the government: a three-man panel, headed up by the Iraqi defense minister, recommends the Blackguards stand trial in Iraq, under Iraqi law – an explosive demand that could lead to an open rupture between the Maliki government and Washington.

If ever Iyad Allawi had a chance to take advantage of an American-sponsored coup, surely that moment, if it isn't already upon us, cannot be far.

The rising political firestorm over the Blackwater massacre runs up against a legal firewall in the form of an edict issued by Paul Bremer, former U.S. viceroy, that forbids US military personnel (including private contractors) from being charged by Iraqi authorities or tried in Iraqi courts. It was one of his last acts, one that put the lie to the American proclamation of Iraqi "sovereignty."

The crisis will come when Iraqi demands for justice collide with the reality of Iraq's de facto status as a U.S. colony. In the event of a showdown over this case – and over the larger issue of sovereignty – the Americans will either go to war with the government they hailed as the vanguard of the region's democratic transformation, or else pack up their gear and go.

I'm betting on the former. In a war full of ironic twists and turns, this would be the crowning example of what Chalmers Johnson calls "blowback" – the unintended consequences of U.S. government intervention overseas that blow back in our faces. With one very important difference, however: it's hard to believe that growing tensions between Washington and the Shi'ite-dominated Maliki government, while unintended, were altogether unanticipated.

In their planned war with Iran, surely the best the neocons can hope for is a neutral – or effectively neutralized – Iraqi government. It doesn't take much imagination, however, to project the possibility of U.S. troops facing off against the Shi'ite party militias run by the parties of the ruling coalition.

How will our War Party explain this rather disturbing turn of events to their bewildered and war-weary constituency, which is, at any rate, shrinking fast? Easy. By that time, the image of a nuke-wielding terrorist-sponsoring Saddam Hussein will have long since morphed into a nuclear-armed, Hezbollah-sponsoring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, bound and determined to wipe Israel off the map.


I've been blogging, over at Taki's Top Drawer, on Norman Podhoretz, the Unknown Soldier of the War Party; remembering the Liberty, the Lobby's reaction to the Mearsheimer-Walt book, what happens when a left-interventionist (and a Brit to boot) runs into the antiwar right, and why Ramesh Ponnuru ought to go **** himself.