Thursday, September 07, 2006

a military strike against Iran is all but inevitable

* frank rich (unleashed):
"What made Mr. Rumsfeld's speech noteworthy wasn't its toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason. That's old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld's performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has now lasted longer than America's fight against the actual Nazis in World War II.

Here's how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler's appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain's hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?"

* athenae:
"Oooh, Brian Williams gets e-mails saying people are sick of hearing about New Orleans. You know what? I have no doubt that's true. You know what else? Brian should tell them to go suck a dick. Because I have no doubt that people in New Orleans are sick of being homeless, living in trailers, not getting paid by their insurance companies, getting fucked over by FEMA and generally ignored or blamed by the loudest voices on TV talk shows, but they don't have the luxury of turning off the goddamn television. Brian should tell his noble e-mailers that he'll get off the story when the story's over, and that they'd better thank God that's his attitude because you can bet everything you have that when it happens to them, when Buttfuck, Nebraska gets hit by some natural disaster and the Bush administration does its heckuva job again, those same e-mailing assholes will be screaming for all the attention in the world to be paid to their plight. Once and for goddamn all, government didn't fail New Orleans after Katrina. Government failed AMERICA, and if Brian's e-mailers don't get that, he should deliver their puling messages straight to the junk folder and then go the fuck back to work.

If they're sick of New Orleans being a story, well, there are in fact ways to fix that. I've thought for a long time that the reason people confuse coverage with occurrence is that hardly anybody in the news business stands up and says, "Look, if the thing didn't exist we couldn't take a picture of it so I'm sorry you're offended, but get offended at the thing, not the image of it." People's anger was aimed at the government during the immediate aftermath of Katrina because they were told, clearly, with no equivocation or fake "balance" that government was failing. You can't just sit back and expect people to know this stuff. You have to tell them. Otherwise they'll blame you for putting the pictures on their TV."

* glenn:
"In his New York Post column, Podhoretz says this (emphasis added): "barring a miraculous change of heart on the part of the Iranian regime, a military strike is all but inevitable. Bush himself will view his own presidency as a failure if he doesn't act. So act he will." For reasons I set forth the other day, I agree entirely with Podhoretz. I believe the President is now committed to military conflict with Iran and, for that reason, has now boxed himself in by all but publicly vowing to initiate it.
There is only one reason why the administration and its Congressional loyalists would refuse to have Congress vote on an AUMF for Iran -- because they know Americans don't want a new war. If they thought they could make that case, they would follow the 2002 script which worked so well for them and engineer a vote before the midterm elections, thereby forcing Democrats to vote to authorize the war or be accused of being weak on national security (or, as with Iraq in 2002, both).
Democrats need very unambiguously and aggressively to tell Americans that continuing to allow the President's party full and absolute control of our government will -- as the President has essentially vowed -- ensure that we start new wars in our short-term future. Make Americans aware of what is really at stake, offer them that clear contrast, and then make the case as to why allowing the administration to start new wars is both imprudent and dangerous. The White House doesn't want a referendum on a war against Iran for exactly the reason Democrats ought to make it one."

* Paul Thomspon was on Rhandi Rhodes discussing 911PressForTruth a week or two ago. (mp3 - 16 mins) Rhandi:
"when you simply put all the stuff together that we KNOW about 911, it looks TERRIBLE for the Bush administration"
The premiere is Thursday. Yay. Congrats again to Kyle and Larisa. Kyle and Paul will be on Rhandi Rhode Thursday. Let's hope the US press covers it. ha! Check here for screening times & locations.

(I also heard a rumour that the film will be available at Barnes & Noble and Towers - which would be amazing)


Uranus said...

In May, 1999 an F5 tornado a mile wide at the base blew 8,000 homes off their foundations in Oklahoma City. The help those poor people got came from the city in the form of a warning that if they didn't remove any debris on their property in 90 days, they'd get a fine--a big one.

In April, 1995 when the Alfred P. Murrah building was bombed, in the worst terrorist attack in America's history, did the fed step up and pay the families of the deceased? No, not a dime, and these were federal employees and their children. They quickly swept away the wreckage and kept their mouths shut about what they knew, and then didn't contribute a thing to the building of a memorial.

Why, then, did the U.S. government pay the families of almost 3,000 people killed on 9/11 between $1 and $2 million? Could it be they didn't want them asking questions?

Why do we have all the money in the world to spend on wars of which our fearless leaders can't lay out a cogent purpose, yet we can't make the World Trade Center site the most beautiful place on earth, or rebuild the busiest port city in the country? People in Oklahoma City don't understand why the homeless of New Orleans get any help at all when our friends here get nothing when disaster strikes.

Yet, when such things happen, it's a matter of concern, of interest, and of involvement, of every person in the nation...and the federal government should have the ability and commitment to step in and indemnify the victims and cities absolutely and completely. We don't hear about zero population growth anymore. Instead the talk is all about finding nonsense reasons to start endless wars against imagined enemies who will never sign an peace treaty.

We can do better. Our military needs to divest itself a little from the business of killing and get involved in every field of endeavor. They think that's not their job? It could be, and it should be. If we had the manpower and money wasted in Iraq rebuilding New Orleans, the job could be finished in two years, and it would never flood again. If the pugs had pulled that off, they wouldn't have to fix elections to stay in power, and there'd be no getting rid of them. And they would own my heart, instead of my hate.

By the time I was 4 years old, I thought playing cowboys and Indians was too stupid. How sad it is the Bush administration thinks it's the way to win elections, and sadder still the nation goes along. Why are we in the business of killing, with its attendant gigantic budgetary requirements, when so much other work needs to be done? We should be building water resources around the world, because in the near future wars will be fought over clean water instead of oil--and only organizations with the size and discipline of the world's militaries can manage such a challenge.

There is more than one way to establish security and peace in the world. Fear and killing was never that way. And by the grace of God, the time has come to treat killers and those who plan killing as the murderers they are. Which brings me to another question I have...

Uranus said...

I have a question.

If I develop a systematic, coherent and serious plan to kill a person, I'm guilty of two federal offenses: conspiracy to commit a felony and conspiracy to commit murder. If that plan involves more than one person, I'm guilty of multiple counts.

Furthermore, if I'm stupid enough to write this plan down and sign the document, I have incriminated and indicted myself.

So, my question is, why is it the Department of Justice hasn't prosecuted the whack jobs who signed the various documents which made up the philosophy of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)? After all, their plan involves the killing of countless, innocent people in a global campaign of horror and death designed to make the whole world buckle under in submission.

They can call it whatever they want, a policy, a military directive, preventive war, pre-emptive war--but it all comes down to murder. These little boys want to be free to kill, kill, kill, to conspire to kill, and plunder the commonwealth in a random rampage of killing. You know, I hate the idiots in my hometown. But if I formed a panel which wrote up a document stating we were going to kill all the idiots and take over, they'd throw us all in jail. Or the damn nut house. What makes fools like Perle, Kristol, Murdoch, Cheney and Rumsfeld so damn special and immune from the laws of civilized society I know instinctively to follow?

If Clinton can be impeached for doing something for which no prosecutor in the country would give him a parking ticket, why do unbelievable Baby Huey republicans get a free pass to do all the killing they can do?

We can do better! As Ray McGovern said in this interview for Truthout:

...the way you defeat terrorism is the same way you defeat malaria.

With malaria you find the swamp that breeds mosquitoes and you station sharp-shooters all around that swamp and you try to hit every one of those mosquitoes when they try to leave the swamp, right? Not really. What you do is you drain the swamp.

Now, we have to drain the swamp of legitimate grievances that come from over four decades of concentration-camp type living on the part of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Of grievances that come from our support for dictatorial regimes like the one in Saudi Arabia. We have to address those grievances.

It's no longer a case of right versus left, but that of right versus wrong. Our real battle in the world is with evil, and that battle isn't fought with battalions in the field. Do your part with simple acts of goodness and humanity, however great or small, and wield a very big mouth.

damien said...

Bush is flat out guilty of war crimes. He's a murderer according to US law. Under the US Constitution (I think article 12) foreign treaties automatically become part of US law. This applies to the provisions of the Geneva Convention on war crimes. In particular, illegal wars are seen as the "supreme crime" under the Convention because they enables so many other crimes to follow. Bush is legally responsible for all the deaths in Iraq.

This from Len Hart at ExistentialistCowboy:

"That Bush began the war against Iraq upon a criminal fraud, the war itself is a violation of the Nuremberg Principles which the U.S. literally insisted upon at the end of WWII. Moreover, because Bush violated Nuremberg, he is therefore in violation of U.S. Criminal Codes; Section 2441 which makes deaths resulting from war crimes (violations of Nuremberg specifically) CAPITAL CRIMES!"

What's more, Bush admitted he was a murderer in his 2003 SOTU:

"The war goes on, and we are winning... All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. And many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies."

That's extra-judicial killings in an undeclared and illegal war - murder!

You don't get to kill people just because you stole a few elections, even in the US.

There's a good account of the laws of war as applied to Iraq here

Kathleen said...


I definitely think the money paid to the 9/11 families was to forestall questions. It eased their guilt complex and they felt free to exploit photo ops for poltical campaigns. Creeps.

Uranus said...

Chances are, if we ever get at the truth about 9/11, it'll be something none of us expected. How about the talk regarding the theft of trillion(s) in gold bullion being stored beneath the World Trade Center? What about the involvement of AIG Insurance? It wouldn't surprise me to discover 9/11 was engineered by the insurance industry. Bin Laden is nothing more than the first name which comes to mind, and never struck me as a guy with enough snap to design and implement a mess like that.

damien said...

Uranus, this deserves a deeper discussion but, basically, gold is heavy as hell and stealing any appreciable amount of it couldn't be done on 911 in the time available. There is a claim via Tom Flocco that "on or about September 12, 1991 non-performing and unauthorized gold-backed debt instruments were used to purchase ten-year 'Brady' bonds. The bonds in turn were illegally employed as collateral to borrow $240 billion." These notes were supposed to come due on Sept 12 2001. The claim is that the destruction of the WTCs and/or WTC7 were designed to destroy the financial records necessary to redeem the debt.

I have no way of assessing the Flocco claim, it may even be legitimate. (link)

I haven't followed up on the AIG insurance aspect either, but this seems to be Richard Grove's gig. (link)

Larry Silverstein made a lousy business deal on the WTCs when he took up a 99 year lease in July 2001(!) The place was half empty, they couldn't get tenants, the buildings needed massive refurbishment, and neither the public nor the city liked them. But he made massive profits on the insurance policy taken for the twin towers just a month or so before the attacks, which allowed him to make separate claims for each building. Must have been one of the best timed business decisions ever. 1 2 3 4

These are only the basics anyone can find (I'm caught up elsewhere at the moment). Hope they help.