Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

It’s our observation that as the United States government continues its current foreign policy and its push to bring our form of government to countries that may not want it, the status of the U.S. as the arbiter of world affairs is diminishing. We can no longer announce that we are “the deciders” of world policy and not expect repercussions.

Other governments will take a page from the handbook the U.S. has been using and turn our treatment of them back on us.

We are on a steep and slippery slope here – and, after watching “the debates,” there appears to be no hope that the frontrunners in the 2008 campaign offer anything different. A different approach needs to be put forth – and we’re the ones who need to demand it. No more “lesser of two evils” – it’s time for NO evil!

The Iranian parliament on Saturday voted to designate the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Army as terrorist organizations, IRNA, the country’s state-run news agency, reported.

The CIA and the U.S. Army “trained terrorists and supported terrorism, and they themselves are terrorists,” the parliament said, according to IRNA.

The Iranian parliament said the condemnation was based on “known and accepted” standards of terrorism from international regulations, including the U.N. charter.

The parliament said it condemns the “aggressions by the U.S. Army, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan” and calls on the United Nations to “intervene in the global problem of U.S. prisons in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret jails in other countries,” IRNA reported, quoting a statement from Iranian lawmakers.

The Iranian parliament also decried the CIA’s and U.S. Army’s involvement in the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, U.S. involvement in the Balkans, Vietnam and the U.S. support of Israel.

Of the condemnation, Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman, said, “There are some things that don’t even deserve comment. This is one.”

National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said he declined to comment “on non-binding resolutions passed by parliaments in countries with dubious records on human rights, democracy and that are state sponsors of terror.”

There was no immediate response from the U.S. State Department.

Washington and U.S. military leaders have long accused Iran of training and equipping insurgents in Iraq. The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic relations since 1980 after Iranian militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held Americans hostage for 444 days.

The Iranian lawmakers’ condemnation was in apparent retaliation for the U.S. Senate’s resolution Wednesday requesting that the United States designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or Quds Force, as a foreign terrorist organization.

The Senate resolution passed a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly that an agreement reached last month between his country and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its disputed nuclear program has, in the Iranian view, settled the matter.

Iran says its nuclear program is necessary for civilian energy production. The United States and other Western nations have accused Tehran of trying to build a nuclear weapon.

From CNN.com

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has consistently led the way in telling the story of what’s really going on in Iraq and Iran. SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke to him about America’s Hitler, Bush’s Vietnam, and how the US press failed the First Amendment.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was just in New York (more…) for the United Nations General Assembly. Once again, he said that he is only interested in civilian nuclear power instead of atomic weapons. How much does the West really know about the nuclear program in Iran?

Seymour Hersh: A lot. And it’s been underestimated how much the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) knows. If you follow what (IAEA head Mohamed) ElBaradei (more…) and the various reports have been saying, the Iranians have claimed to be enriching uranium to higher than a 4 percent purity, which is the amount you need to run a peaceful nuclear reactor. But the IAEA’s best guess is that they are at 3.67 percent or something. The Iranians are not even doing what they claim to be doing. The IAEA has been saying all along that they’ve been making progress but basically, Iran is nowhere. Of course the US and Israel are going to say you have to look at the worst case scenario, but there isn’t enough evidence to justify a bombing raid.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is this just another case of exaggerating the danger in preparation for an invasion like we saw in 2002 and 2003 prior to the Iraq War?

Hersh: We have this wonderful capacity in America to Hitlerize people. We had Hitler, and since Hitler we’ve had about 20 of them. Khrushchev and Mao and of course Stalin, and for a little while Gadhafi was our Hitler. And now we have this guy Ahmadinejad. The reality is, he’s not nearly as powerful inside the country as we like to think he is. The Revolutionary Guards have direct control over the missile program and if there is a weapons program, they would be the ones running it. Not Ahmadinejad.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where does this feeling of urgency that the US has with Iran come from?

Hersh: Pressure from the White House. That’s just their game.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What interest does the White House have in moving us to the brink with Tehran?

Hersh: You have to ask yourself what interest we had 40 years ago for going to war in Vietnam. You’d think that in this country with so many smart people, that we can’t possibly do the same dumb thing again. I have this theory in life that there is no learning. There is no learning curve. Everything is tabula rasa. Everybody has to discover things for themselves.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Even after Iraq? Aren’t there strategic reasons for getting so deeply involved in the Middle East?

Hersh: Oh no. We’re going to build democracy. The real thing in the mind of this president is he wants to reshape the Middle East and make it a model. He absolutely believes it. I always thought Henry Kissinger was a disaster because he lies like most people breathe and you can’t have that in public life. But if it were Kissinger this time around, I’d actually be relieved because I’d know that the madness would be tied to some oil deal. But in this case, what you see is what you get. This guy believes he’s doing God’s work.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So what are the options in Iraq?

Hersh: There are two very clear options: Option A) Get everybody out by midnight tonight. Option B) Get everybody out by midnight tomorrow. The fuel that keeps the war going is us.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A lot of people have been saying that the US presence there is a big part of the problem. Is anyone in the White House listening?

Hersh: No. The president is still talking about the “Surge” (eds. The “Surge” refers to President Bush’s commitment of 20,000 additional troops to Iraq in the spring of 2007 in an attempt to improve security in the country.) as if it’s going to unite the country. But the Surge was a con game of putting additional troops in there. We’ve basically Balkanized the place, building walls and walling off Sunnis from Shiites. And in Anbar Province, where there has been success, all of the Shiites are gone. They’ve simply split.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is that why there has been a drop in violence there?

Hersh: I think that’s a much better reason than the fact that there are a couple more soldiers on the ground.

SPIEGEL ONLINE:So what are the lessons of the Surge (more…)?

Hersh: The Surge means basically that, in some way, the president has accepted ethnic cleansing, whether he’s talking about it or not. When he first announced the Surge in January, he described it as a way to bring the parties together. He’s not saying that any more. I think he now understands that ethnic cleansing is what is going to happen. You’re going to have a Kurdistan. You’re going to have a Sunni area that we’re going to have to support forever. And you’re going to have the Shiites in the South.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the US is over four years into a war that is likely going to end in a disaster. How valid are the comparisons with Vietnam?

Hersh: The validity is that the US is fighting a guerrilla war and doesn’t know the culture. But the difference is that at a certain point, because of Congressional and public opposition, the Vietnam War was no longer tenable. But these guys now don’t care. They see it but they don’t care.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: If the Iraq war does end up as a defeat for the US, will it leave as deep a wound as the Vietnam War did?

Hersh: Much worse. Vietnam was a tactical mistake. This is strategic. How do you repair damages with whole cultures? On the home front, though, we’ll rationalize it away. Don’t worry about that. Again, there’s no learning curve. No learning curve at all. We’ll be ready to fight another stupid war in another two decades.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Of course, preventing that is partially the job of the media. Have reporters been doing a better job recently than they did in the run-up to the Iraq War?

Hersh: Oh yeah. They’ve done a better job since. But back then, they blew it. When you have a guy like Bush who’s going to move the infamous Doomsday Clock forward, and he’s going to put everybody in jeopardy and he’s secretive and he doesn’t tell Congress anything and he’s inured to what we write. In such a case, we (journalists) become more important. The First Amendment failed and the American press failed the Constitution. We were jingoistic. And that was a terrible failing. I’m asked the question all the time: What happened to my old paper, the New York Times? And I now say, they stink. They missed it. They missed the biggest story of the time and they’re going to have to live with it.

Interview conducted by Charles Hawley and David Gordon Smith

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Iranian President’s speech at Columbia – as well as the “introduction” he received. You may have even have an opinion about it all.

Before you set it in cement, watch the interviews on The Real News – you may come away with a different idea.

The Real News 

U.S. President Bush’s military build-up and the conflict in Iraq have meant soaring profits for defence contractors and big paycheques for CEOs. But should we be concerned?

By Michael Brush

 

While policymakers in Washington wrangle over how much progress the U.S. has made in Iraq, one thing is clear: The war on terror is making some people rich.

 

Bush’s military build-up has caused defence-contractor revenue to double, triple and even more during the past five years, and their executives have reaped huge bonuses and stock windfalls as the companies’ share prices have jumped.

 

Take a look:

-CEOs at top defence contractors have reaped annual pay gains of 200% to 688% in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

-The chief executives at the seven defence contractors whose bosses made the most pocketed nearly a half-billion dollars from 2002 through last year.

-The CEOs made an average of US$12.4 million a year, easily more than the average corporate chief. Since the start of the war, CEOs at defence contractors such General Dynamics, Halliburton and Oshkosh Truck have made, on average, more in four days than what a top general makes in a whole year, or US$187,390.

Defence contractor CEOs are enjoying these big rewards partly because much of the war effort is being outsourced by an administration that believes private companies do things better than the public sector, say researchers at the U.S. Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.

“In the most privatized war in history, lucrative opportunities abound for chief executives of defence contractors,” says Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies.

US$19.5 million a year
General Dynamics CEO Nicholas Chabraja tops the list of defence-contractor chiefs who have made the most money during the 2002-2006 defence build-up. Between 2002 and 2006, he pocketed US$97.9 million, or an average of US$19.6 million a year.

Sales at General Dynamics increased 76% from 2002 to 2006, with significant help from U.S. Department of Defense spending. Overall sales increased to US$24.1 billion from US$13.6 billion, and at least a third of that increase came from higher Department of Defense spending.

Those contract awards helped General Dynamics stock more than double to US$80 a share from US$39 at the start of 2002. In the same time frame, the S&P 500 Index has advanced 28%. The big stock advance allowed Chabraja to collect US$21.5 million by cashing out stock options last year. General Dynamics, which supplies technology that goes into combat systems used by several branches of the military, was the fourth-largest U.S. Defense Department contractor last year.

David Lesar at Halliburton made US$79.8 million, or nearly US$16 million a year, from 2002-2006. During this time, Defense Department revenue at his company grew from just 4% in 2001 to 40% in 2004. That year, the company got nearly US$8 billion in defence contracts out of total revenue of US$19.9 billion.

Virtually all of that money was for logistical support, engineering and construction services provided by Halliburton’s Kellogg, Brown and Root division, which was spun out earlier this year to trade as KBR Inc. Those contracts helped drive Halliburton stock from US$5 at the start of 2002 to more than US$40 last year. The gains allowed Lesar to reap US$13.6 million just by cashing in options last year, and US$14.7 million the year before.

Lockheed Martin Chief Executives Vance Coffman and Robert Stevens together earned US$64.8 million from 2002 to 2006. Stevens has also realized more than US$19 million so far this year by cashing in options. He replaced Coffman as CEO in August 2004.

Lockheed Martin’s U.S. Defense Department-related revenue increased from US$17 billion in 2002 to US$26.6 billion in 2006, a 57% increase. The stock has more than doubled to US$100 from US$47 at the start of 2002. Lockheed Martin was the top U.S. Defense Department contractor last year.

For the rest of the highest-paid defence contractors, see the chart below summing up the pay of those who earned the most. To calculate pay levels, I examined company documents and the U.S. Institute for Policy Studies CEO pay database. Pay includes salary, bonus, value realized on exercising and vesting stock options, nonequity incentive plan compensation, long-term incentive stock and “other” pay. Companies had to get more than 40% of their revenue from the Defense Department in one of the past three years to make the list.

See the list at Sympatico/MSN Canada

OpEd News

By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots

Dear Comrades in Arms,

You are facing challenges in 2007 that we of previous generations never dreamed of. I’m just an old fighter pilot (101 combat missions in Vietnam , F-4 Phantom, Phu Cat, 1969-1970) who’s now a disabled veteran with terminal cancer from Agent Orange. Our mailing list (over 22,000) includes veterans from all branches of the service, all political parties, and all parts of the political spectrum. We are Republicans and Democrats, Greens and Libertarians, Constitutionists and Reformers, and a good many Independents. What unites us is our desire for a government that (1) follows the Constitution, (2) honors the truth, and (3) serves the people.

We see our government going down the wrong path, all too often ignoring military advice, and heading us toward great danger. And we look to you who still serve as the best hope for protecting our nation from disaster.

We see the current Iraq War as having been unnecessary, entered into under false pretenses, and horribly mismanaged by the civilian authorities. Thousands of our brave troops have been needlessly sacrificed in a futile attempt at occupation of a hostile land. Many more thousands have suffered wounds which will change their lives forever. Tens of thousands have severe psychological problems because of what they have seen and what they have done. Potentially hundreds of thousands could be poisoned by depleted uranium, with symptoms appearing years later, just as happened to us exposed to Agent Orange. The military services are depleted and demoralized. The VA system is under-funded and overwhelmed. The National Guard and Reserves have been subjected to tour after tour, disrupting lives for even the lucky ones who return intact. Jobs have been lost, marriages have been destroyed, homes have been foreclosed, and children have been estranged. And for what? We have lost allies, made new enemies, and created thousands of new terrorists, further endangering the American people.

But you know all this. I’m sure you also see the enormous danger in a possible attack on Iran , possibly with nuclear weapons. Such an event, seriously contemplated by the Cheney faction of the Bush administration, would make enemies of Russia and China and turn us into the number one rogue nation on earth. The effect on our long-term national security would be devastating.

Some of us had hoped that the new Democratic Congress would end the occupation of Iraq and take firm steps to prevent an attack on Iran , perhaps by impeaching Bush and Cheney. These hopes have been dashed. The lily-livered Democrats have caved in, turning their backs on those few (like Congressman Jack Murtha) who understand the situation. Many of us have personally walked the halls of Congress, to no avail.

This is where you come in.

We know that many of you share our concern and our determination to protect our republic from an arrogant, out-of-control, imperial presidency and a compliant, namby-pamby Congress (both of which are unduly influenced by the oil companies and other big-money interests). We know that you (like us) wouldn’t have pursued a military career unless you were idealistic and devoted to our nation and its people. (None of us do it for the pay and working conditions!) But we also recognize that you may not see how you can influence these events. We in the military have always had a historic subservience to civilian authority.

Perhaps I can help with whatever wisdom I’ve gathered from age (I retired in 1978, so I am ancient indeed).

Our oath of office is to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Might I suggest that this includes a rogue president and vice-president? Certainly we are bound to carry out the legal orders of our superiors. But the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which binds all of us enshrines the Nuremberg Principles which this country established after World War II (which you are too young to remember). One of those Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order. It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were “only carrying out their orders.”

The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the “highest law of the land,” equivalent to the Constitution itself. Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention.

Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.

I know for a fact that in recent history (once under Nixon and once under Reagan), the military nuclear chain of command in the White House discussed these things and were prepared to refuse an order to “nuke Russia .” In effect they took the (non-existent) “button” out of the hands of the President.. We were thus never quite as close to World War III as many feared, no matter how irrational any president might have become. They determined that the proper response to any such order was, “Why, sir?” Unless there was (in their words) a “damn good answer,” nothing was going to happen.

I suggest that if you in this generation have not had such a discussion, perhaps it is time you do. In hindsight, it’s too bad such a discussion did not take place prior to the preemptive “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad . Many of us at the time spoke out vehemently that such an attack would be an impeachable offense, a war crime against the people of Iraq , and treason against the United States of America . But our voices were drowned out and never reached the ears of the generals in 2003. I now regret that I never sent a letter such as this at that time, but depended on the corporate media to carry my message. I must not make that mistake again.

Also in hindsight, President Bush could be court-martialed for abuse of power as Commander-in-Chief. Vice President Cheney could probably be court-martialed for his performance as Acting Commander-in-Chief in the White House bunker the morning of September 11, 2001 .

We in the U.S. military would never consider a military coup, removing an elected president and installing one of our own. But following our oath of office, obeying the Nuremberg Principles, and preventing a rogue president from committing a war crime is not a military coup. If it requires the detention of executive branch officials, we will not impose a military dictatorship. We will let the Constitutional succession take place. This is what we are sworn to. This is protecting the Constitution, our highest obligation. In 2007, this is what is meant by “Duty, Honor, Country.”

Thank you all for your service to this nation. May God bless America , and sustain us in this difficult time. And thanks for listening to the musings of an old junior officer.

Respectfully,

Robert M. Bowman, PhD, Lt. Col., USAF, ret.

See updates at bottom.

There’s a huge new media scandal breaking this morning, and the headline so far — that a much-used consultant to ABC News published a phony interview with Barak Obama — may well be the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The news about now ex-ABC consultant Alexis Debat (left) is just dribbling out, but I’m surprised people haven’t been connecting the dots. This post will seek to connect a couple of them.

Simply put, Debat — a former French defense official who now works at the (no, you can’t make these things up) Nixon Center — has also been a leading source in pounding the drumbeat for war in Iran, and directly linked to some bizarre stories — reported on ABC’s widely watched news shows, and nowhere else — that either ratcheted up fears of terrorism or that could have stoked new tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Ironically, while Debat’s alleged specialty is foreign affairs, it was a foray into American presidential politics that brought this budding scandal out into the open. This from today’s article by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post:

A former consultant to ABC’s investigative unit admitted yesterday that he put his name on a purported interview with Barack Obama that he never conducted. Alexis Debat, a former French defense official who now works at the Nixon Center, published the interview in the French magazine Politique Internationale. He said he had hired a freelance journalist to conduct the interview, in which the Democratic presidential candidate supposedly said that Iraq was “already a defeat for America” that has “wasted thousands of lives.” Debat said he had been unable to locate the intermediary, and the Obama campaign says no such interview took place.

“I was scammed,” Debat said. “I was very, very stupid. I made a huge mistake in signing that article and not checking his credentials.”

But that’s not the only red flag about Debat’s credibility. It turns out that ABC News fired Debat as a consultant in June when it discovered that he had lied about earning a Ph.D. from the prestigious Sorbonne. According to the Post, ABC News also checked our Debat’s work for the network and didn’t find anything wrong. Today they say they’re checking again, and they should. Most recently, since ending his role with ABC, Debat helped raise a big international stir by pounding the drums for a U.S. attack on Iran.

The report came in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times of London, right after rumors swept through Washington that aides to Vice President Dick Cheney were planning to use friendly news outlets — including several others owned by Murdoch — to whip up popular opinion for attacking Iran.

This story appeared in Murdoch’s Times on Sept. 2, 2007:

THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert. Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.

Needless to say, the new information about Debat calls this story into question — big-time, as Cheney himself might say. But what is really going on? Is Debat pulling sensational stories from thin air, as was the case with Obama, to make a name for himself? Or in his role at the Nixon Center — which still has close ties to Henry Kissinger and others in the conservative foreign policy establishment like former Secretary of State James Baker, who spoke there recently– is he serving a higher agenda of spin?
If you look at the stories on which ABC News has acknowledged Debat’s work, many of the reports came from left field. Do you remember this report from June, on which ABC has apparently acknowledged Debat was a consultant?

Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com. Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany were introduced at an al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation ceremony held June 9.

A Pakistani journalist was invited to attend and take pictures as some 300 recruits, including boys as young as 12, were supposedly sent off on their suicide missions.

How did ABC get this alarmist video — at a time when government officials in Washington seemed to be amping up fears over new terrorist attacks at home, going into the congressional debate over reauthorizing the government’s eavesdropping program and maintaining troop levels in Iraq? Did Debat play any role?

Ross acknowledged yesterday that Debat was a source on this controversial report regarding U.S. efforts in Iran, back in April:

A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News. The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

Debat has also reportedly helped ABC analyze terrorism inside Saudi Arabia, and provided his “expert” commentary and information on stories ranging from the 2005 London bombings to the trial of his fellow Frenchman, al-Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui. His work should cause a re-examination of all of ABC News’ investigative reporting on both terrorism and Iran over the last couple of years, because — wittingly or unwittingly — no other network has better served the Bush agenda in the Middle East.

For example, no story raised tension on the Iranian front more than this one — which was instantly discredited by several knowledgeable experts:

Iran has more than tripled its ability to produce enriched uranium in the last three months, adding some 1,000 centrifuges which are used to separate radioactive particles from the raw material. The development means Iran could have enough material for a nuclear bomb by 2009, sources familiar with the dramatic upgrade tell ABC News.

The sources say the unexpected expansion is taking place at Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant outside the city of Natanz, in a hardened facility 70 feet underground.

Was Debat — who was aggressively working with Ross on other Iran stories at the time — one of the sources on this, as well? If so, it would fit with Debat’s modus operandi on the Times of London article.

As noted at the top, there are two radically different ways to look at this scandal. Either Debat is a lone wolf, a deluded self-aggrandizer whose main agenda is promoting himself. Or he is acting in his role at the Nixon Center as a conduit, spreading information and occasional disinformation at the behest of others.

Either way, this is unarguably yet another huge black eye for the American media. But if the latter is true, it could also raise major questions about American foreign policy, and about the future of war and peace in the Persian Gulf.

Just a footnote — here is Debat’s cached listing at the Nixon Center. The real one has vanished from cyberspace already.

UPDATE: Laura Rozen has a lot more on this.

UPDATE II: Wow:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan have added their names to the list of people who say they were the subjects of fake interviews published in a French foreign affairs journal under the name of Alexis Debat, a former ABC News consultant.

From The Philadelphia Daily News – Attytood

We do not think of ourselves as conspiracy theorists – but we do have to admit that, when you add them up, there are WAY too many “coincidences” for us not to increase our questions. Here’s one man’s take on it:

I don’t think I have seen such an amount of strange goings at the same time in a very long time; maybe never. The last time this happened was 9/11 and I didn’t see any of that until afterwards.

There’s this stranger than fiction aspect to the nukes in flight. Here’s an excellent article where you can inform yourself if you aren’t informed yet http://freeworldsurvey.blogspot.com/2007/09/6-nukes-fly-over-us-big-problems-with.html here’s the nukes http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=3548 does any of this seem strange to you? I’ll tell you what looks strange to me, grounding entire air defense squadrons of fighters on the 14th of the month when it is bombers that were involved. Read the first link above and you’ll be in the picture. The other thing is how did that squadron commander get control of those nukes? There are all of these fail-safes and protocols in place so; who waved them through? Who waved them through? Surely someone would have been named. Surely this is the sort of thing the press would be right on top of… surely. “Don’t call me Shirley.”

And then, like a jack in the box, up comes the animated corpse of the long dead Bin Laden in a video that stops for minutes at a time while the voiceover continues unimpeded. What you are to take away from this is that when Bin Laden pops up it means another terror attack is about to happen. Right on cue, the head of the CIA announces that Al Qaeda is planning another terror attack http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14523542&vsv=SHGTslot2

Meanwhile the Fed is pumping money into the system like no tomorrow because of an immense financial crisis that isn’t being discussed at the level it really exists at and Israeli fighter jets are violating airspaces all over the Middle East and America and ‘unnamed allies’ are all upset with El Baradei and there’s booga-booga here and booga-booga there. It really feels like the carnival has come to town. The carnival has come to town folks and the freak show is the big attraction.

I could put so many links in here that there wouldn’t be an article when I was done. Maybe you should head over the http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ and http://www.signs-of-the-times.org/ and inform yourself. Look over what’s been showing up in the last couple of weeks and then see what your reasonable mind makes of all the happenings and signs.

Shortly before all of this the History Channel did a smear job on the 9/11 truth movement and that is because no one with a brain in their head believes the official version any more. You can see who owns what in the media here http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart.php and then you can speculate on why whoever owns the History Channel felt that they needed to do a big disinfo special at this time. Then you might remind yourself that fascism occurs when corporations control the government. Finally you can check out this 3 part rebuttal of the History Channel’s hit piece here http://www.innworldreport.net/video_launcher.php?2007-08-29i and here http://www.innworldreport.net/video_launcher.php?2007-08-30i and here http://innworldreport.net/video_launcher.php?2007-09-04i

Okay, that’s it for the links. Have you checked out some of what is available for you here? Have you looked at the two major sites that I included which give a comprehensive view of all the news the mass media has spun or ignored these last weeks? Then you should be up to speed.

Let’s add to the whole picture the strange legislation that put the country solely into the hands of lil’ Bush should anything go wrong enough- according to him- to implement it. This happened around May 8th. Think about what happened to Posse Comitatus and all the other weird things, from Ashcroft’s sickbed to grabbing your property if the government feels you are supporting terror and… ask… yourself… why all of these things; all of the things I have mentioned so far and what is presented in all of the links has been happening. Remember too that Bush only does what he is told.

Is it all coincidence? Is it the result of the workings of deep and penetrating intellects with big hearts who are trying to protect all of us from an army of people who hate your freedom? Is it the natural out-workings of the collective mathematics of life? More likely it is none of the above.

This blog has been at pains to point out the psychopathic players behind all the smoke and mirrors. I don’t think that needs to be done one more time. This blog has mentioned a number of times, what an ordinary citizen can do; collectively strike in such a way that the money and product stops flowing. I don’t expect the ordinary citizen to do anything about any of this until they are forced to and the good news and the bad news is that I suspect that’s going to happen. I suspect you will find yourself in this position.

Trends are indicators, folks. If you watch trends you can see patterns. Life is composed of trends and the more successful among us are very mindful of them. Various organized groups of the successful often engineer the very trends they profit from. Depending on the industry they are a part of depends on the trends they engineer or manipulate. Observing the passage of trends can have a lot to do with your level of comfort and often whether you survive at all.

Right now, booga-booga and strange unexplained events have become trends. Those who profits off of the blood- sweat and tears of the rank and file know that there are certain primal instincts that you can always appeal to. You can generate a collective response from the public by inflaming desire or instilling fear. It’s a little more complex but mostly it has to do with activating people’s appetites or amplifying their fears.

Are you hungry yet? Are you scared? Most of you aren’t even thinking about any of this. Most of you are going along with the program the way sheep go along with the program until the day they become lamb chops; that’s part of the program too. Is there any truth to the fact that that bomber left with six nukes and arrived with five? I just put that in there because I love how it makes the rah-rah lemmings scream with outrage. People are talking about this though. People are saying there are weird things happening with Fosset’s missing plane and that unheimlich ‘flight of the nukes’.

I don’t know who did what, when. I don’t know the identity of “the man who squats behind the man that works the soft machine.” There are a lot of things that I don’t know and I’m happy to admit that. We don’t do advertising here. We don’t answer to a paycheck or write in hope of one. We just wonder a lot and we hope to make you wonder too. We would like you to be more informed. You might not wind up knowing any more than we do but at least you’d be wondering what the Hell is going on and maybe the more we all wonder, the more the smoke and mirrors will look exactly like smoke and mirrors.

Whatever is going on it is beginning to ratchet up. There’s an increase of tension and excitement. It’s kind of like getting to that part of the film where something is about to happen. If nothing happens you feel let down. Well, hopefully nothing does happen in this film. I would prefer that.

We need to wonder more and we need to ask more questions. We need to be less satisfied with the bullshit we are being fed. We need to stop being a nation of people that are glad to eat shit as long as they serve it to us warm. I don’t expect you to do much now. I hope you will act when the time comes and I hope the time never comes. For the moment it looks like the Boogeyman has shown up well before Halloween. Keep thinking; keep wondering and why not start being better informed?

From Smoking Mirrors

We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.

If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.” Say-when.org

What is an “alive day?” The day a soldier nearly loses his or her life in combat.

Visit Alive Day – the site.

Watch Alive Day – the movie. 

Those who hoped that – with the victory of the antiwar party in 2006, the departure of Rumsfeld and the neocons from the Pentagon, the rise of Condi and the eclipse of Cheney – America was headed out of Iraq got a rude awakening. They are about to get another.

Today, the United States has 30,000 more troops in Iraq than on the day America repudiated the Bush war policy and voted the GOP out of power. And President Bush, self-confidence surging, is now employing against Iran a bellicosity redolent of the days just prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

What gives Bush his new cockiness? The total collapse of the antiwar coalition on Capitol Hill and the breaking of the Congress.

Last spring, Bush vetoed the congressional deadlines for troop withdrawals, then rubbed Congress’ nose in its defeat by demanding and getting $100 billion to support the surge and continue the war.

Before the August recess, Democrats broke again and voted to give Bush the warrantless wiretap authority many among them had said was an unconstitutional and impeachable usurpation of power. They are a broken and frightened lot.

Comes now evidence congressional Democrats have not only lost the pro-victory vote, but forfeited the peace vote, as well.

According to a Zogby poll the last week in August, just two weeks before Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker report, Americans, by 45 percent to 20 percent, give this Democratic Congress lower grades on handling the war than the Republican Congress it replaced.

Fifty-four percent of the nation believes, contra Harry Reid, the war is not lost. That is twice the support that Bush enjoys for his war leadership, a paltry 27 percent. But, by nine to one, Bush’s leadership on the war is preferred to that of the Congress of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Incredibly, only 3 percent of the nation gives Congress a positive rating on its handling of the war. Congress has lost the hawks, and the owls, and the doves. No one trusts its leadership on the war.

And George W. smells it. He no longer fears the power of Congress, and his rhetoric suggests he is contemptuous of it. He is brimming with self-assurance that he can break any Democratic attempt to impose deadlines for troop withdrawal and force Congress to cough up all the funds he demands.

Confident of victory this fall on the Hill, Bush is now moving into Phase III in his War on Terror: First, Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran.

Do not take this writer’s word for it. Hearken to the astonishing rhetoric Bush used at the American Legion Convention in Las Vegas against Tehran:

“Iran … is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. … Iran funds terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which murder the innocent and target Israel. … Iran is sending arms to the Taliban. … Iran has arrested visiting American scholars who have committed no crimes. … Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.

“Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. … We will confront this danger before it is too late.”

Bush has repeatedly warned Iran to cease supplying Iraqi insurgents with arms and enhanced IEDs for attacks on our troops in Iraq.

How has Tehran responded to Bush’s virtual ultimatums?

“The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased in the last few months – despite pledges by Iran to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq. …

“Iran’s leaders cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis.”

This is a case for war. Indeed, it’s an assertion by President Bush that Iran is colluding in acts of war against the soldiers and Marines and allies of the United States. What does he intend to do?

“I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities. … We’ve conducted operations against Iranian agents supplying lethal munitions to extremist groups.”

This suggests that U.S. forces may already be engaged in combat operations against Iranians.

Who or what can stop this drive to war?

Last spring, Nancy Pelosi herself, after a call from the Israeli lobby, pulled an amendment that would have forced Bush to come to Congress for specific authorization before attacking Iran. Before the August recess, the Senate voted 97 to zero for a resolution sponsored by Joe Lieberman to censure Iran for complicity in the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The resolution explicitly rejected authorization for immediate military action, but the gist of it declared that Iran is participating in acts of war against the United States, laying the foundation for a confrontation.

What is to prevent Bush from attacking Iran and widening the war, at a time and place of his choosing, and sooner than we think?

Nothing and no one.

Patrick J. Buchanan [send him mail] is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire.