Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 30, 2005

OT - 05 - Last

Last news & views call for 2005 ...

Posted by b on December 30, 2005 at 14:19 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Chalabi takes over Iraqi oil ministry amid 'crisis'

Posted by: GM | Dec 30 2005 14:26 utc | 1

WaPo's Dana Priest: Covert CIA Program Withstands New Furor

The effort President Bush authorized shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, to fight al Qaeda has grown into the largest CIA covert action program since the height of the Cold War, expanding in size and ambition despite a growing outcry at home and abroad over its clandestine tactics, according to former and current intelligence officials and congressional and administration sources.
...
virtually all the programs continue to operate largely as they were set up, according to current and former officials. These sources say Bush's personal commitment to maintaining the GST program and his belief in its legality have been key to resisting any pressure to change course.

"In the past, presidents set up buffers to distance themselves from covert action," said A. John Radsan, assistant general counsel at the CIA from 2002 to 2004. "But this president, who is breaking down the boundaries between covert action and conventional war, seems to relish the secret findings and the dirty details of operations."


A long piece, but a good one. In the end it is all about the constitutional powers Bush believes he has (or Cheney believes Bush should have).

That will be the dominant conflict in 2006.

Posted by: b | Dec 30 2005 14:35 utc | 2

First time I read that the IMF requested the Iraqi governement to raise oil prices. All part of the big nation robbery...

Attacks Halt Production At Iraq's Largest Refinery

Azaid lives in Baiji, a town north of Baghdad that is home to Iraq's largest refinery and a frequent target of insurgent attacks. On Thursday, authorities confirmed that the refinery had been closed since Dec. 21 by a concerted insurgent campaign against gasoline distributors and filling stations.
...
Insurgents, apparently hoping to pick a cause popular with Iraqis, launched their offensive on gas stations this month after Iraq raised fuel prices eightfold. The International Monetary Fund mandated the reduction of government gasoline subsidies as a condition for forgiving some of Iraq's multibillion-dollar foreign debt.
...
Oil exports are hovering at or below 2 million barrels per day rather than the 2.5 million target set by U.S. officials. Insurgent sabotage has left Baghdad with an average of only six hours of electricity a day.

Posted by: b | Dec 30 2005 14:41 utc | 3

Well he gets to be PM after all.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 30 2005 14:45 utc | 4

Pentagon orders soldiers to promote Iraq war while home


More spin from on high, using 'intelligence officers' and others sent home specifically for the purpose.

Posted by: GM | Dec 30 2005 14:45 utc | 5

Didn't see this posted anywhere here yet...

Blogs Help Foil UK Censorship

Some interesting documents about what the Brits have been up to... and it ain't pretty.

Posted by: Ferdzy | Dec 30 2005 15:26 utc | 6

Escalating secrecy wars. Punish leakers of classified documents severely, says CIA veteran


In a speech to the Institute of World Politics, Bruce, a CIA veteran was also quoted as saying, "We've got to do whatever it takes -- if it takes sending SWAT teams into journalists' homes -- to stop these leaks." He also urged, "stiff new penalties to crack down on leaks, including prosecutions of journalists that publish classified information." The FDDC appears to be a follow-on to the old Director of Central Intelligence's Unauthorized Disclosure Analysis Center (UDAC).


and guess what? They're doing it: Justice Dept. Probing Domestic Spying Leak

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 30 2005 17:04 utc | 7


I would like to propose that everyone reading this blog, and all other bloggers and readers across the world, and everyone they know take this mentally constructed calendar moment to be both the observer and the actor in reinventing reality.

So, whatever your time zone, at some moment in this day, let your mind visualize the demise of fundamentalism across the world...from this moment on. See that Bush and bin Laden's followers are illusions of hatred and fear. Let the fear be displaced by goodness and caring for all beings on this earth and beyond, for the living trees and the living microbes and the molecules and atoms and the vast nothingnesses that pass between all things and unite us.

For one moment, at least, believe that you can make the world change by replacing hate with love. Let reality be the consciousness that it is, and not the time/space prison of linear narrative.

Let the dream within a dream be a dream and not a nightmare by transforming the universe with a butterfly wing of a thought that we have other worlds we can bring forth in this one.

peace.

Posted by: fauxreal | Dec 30 2005 17:34 utc | 8

that may be a good plan fauxreal, as I just heard on the radio Israel is thinking about giving land to Pat Robertson for the comming ammagedon. Did anyboby else hear this or am I losing it?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 30 2005 17:49 utc | 9

Thanks for the articles scam.

I wondered aloud here at the beginning of the Plame Thing whether intractable criticisms from the "left" deriding "leaking" might eventually be used by the administration and its supporters to expand executive power. I'm aware the leaks in the Plame case, done to smear a political enemy of Rove, are incomparable to the leaks about NSA domestic spying. Yet, the Rasmussen poll controversy seems at the very least to demonstrate that most Americans prefer secrets to leaks, regardless whether such secrets supposedly aimed to capture terrorists are accumulated "warrantlessly." Most people could care less about process, or about parsing when leaks are appropriate or evil (the difference between Ellsberg & Novak? Who cares, journalists are hated).

One more related observation of the zeitgeist: Dean has variously noted how Nixon was finally busted because of domestic spying. That's true, technically true. But it was elites and a Dem Congress sick of his war lies, and strategic abandonment by his own party, that smashed dick. I think this is important to recall in order to demystify the belief The Law got dick. That's bullshit. Bush's all-purpose prolegomenon to all executive action: "I do what the fuck I want" works so long as he has a freindly, pro-GWOT Congress and happy business "leaders." The law will only intercede to dethrone George when elites decide it is time.

Bush wins on this one, I think.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 30 2005 18:09 utc | 10

Bush wins on this one, I think.

Sure, how can he lose, when using your own lawyers who are willing to write opinions which gives you legal justification for your actions. Which thereby trump the "rule of law." Boy King indeed. Boy king has opened a pandora box that is of mythical purportions. It's the proverbial "putting the genie back in the bottle" idea... or as Lucinda Williams says: "can't put the rain back in the sky"...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 30 2005 18:20 utc | 11

btw. I'm aware ellsberg was not a journalist. Just sayin the "leak" is generallky assoiciated in mosdt peoples' minds as journalism's betrayal of "security."

My favorite "Dr. Bruce" quote from the article linked to by scam:

the person who leaks the information is subject to penalties while the person who receives the information isn't

Can't lawmakers just fold all anti-leak legislation into the Digital Millenium Copyright Act? Sheesh.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 30 2005 18:30 utc | 12

Also, in a more abstract way, the NSA crisis can be spun (http://ace.mu.nu/>is spun) as a problem only "solved" by more secrecy.

We're back to the old game played by fascists everywhere: always create problems for which you are the only answer.

These jackals have that primetime postmodern apothegm down.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 30 2005 18:38 utc | 13

I agree with the above post about where can you go wrong when all opinions are given by political hacks from DOJ that rubber stamp anything Bushie wants.

Two points to be made. According to published reports, Delays gerry mander in Texas was aproved by political appointees over the career lawyers ruling on the case. Also, the photo ID for voting legislation in Georgia was approved by DOJ.

This DOJ is completely political and will rule at all cost any way that promotes the rethug agenda. So, the NSA and rendition scandals will be rubber stamped just like anything wlse in this admin.

As was discovered in the Katrina situation, this admin is full of political hacks and the stamp of approval is only a campaign contribution away.

Posted by: jdp | Dec 30 2005 19:28 utc | 14

Iranian Attack in eary 2006?

The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year, according to German media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the Turkish media.

The Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel this week quoted "NATO intelligence sources" who claimed that the NATO allies had been informed that the United States is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. This "all options are open" line has been President George W Bush's publicly stated policy throughout the past 18 months.

But the respected German weekly Der Spiegel notes "What is new here is that Washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year."

The German news agency DDP cited "Western security sources" to claim that CIA Director Porter Goss asked Turkey's premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide political and logistic support for air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets. Goss, who visited Ankara and met Erdogan on Dec. 12, was also reported to have to have asked for special cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help prepare and monitor the operation.

The DDP report added that Goss had delivered to the Turkish prime minister and his security aides a series of dossiers, one on the latest status of Iran's nuclear development and another containing intelligence on new links between Iran and al-Qaida.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 30 2005 19:49 utc | 15

just for fun - last year's barfly predictions

Posted by: b real | Dec 30 2005 20:24 utc | 16


As was discovered in the Katrina situation, this admin is full of political hacks and the stamp of approval is only a campaign contribution away.

This is of course, what the thugs have done both with all political appointees and K street -- taking loyality oaths, that are an insurance policy that runs deep and wide throughout the federal government. And the likely excuse for the stealth expansion of the federal government under a republican (anti-big government) administration, in which the appointees prime function (of what-ever agency)is to preform a puplic relations (heck-of-a-job) task for the administration. I think we can pretty much assume that this Midas touch approach has crystalized throughout the federal government and frozen solid any mechanism(s) of flexibility necessary for an accurate accounting of function vs. competence. Which is to crony--ize the government into a giant, lock-step PR machine for the administration, that can simultaniously be whored in service to Bush, and when necessary, shown to be an example of incompetent big government. That functions not unlike a planned obsolescence.

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 30 2005 20:48 utc | 17

I am steadily coming to the conclusion that the reason for the scandals which hit the Bush administration is not that people believe that the Bush adminstration did anything wrong in, for example, spying illegally on Americans. Rather, the problem is that the Bushies authorized the illegal spying in secret.

The brilliance of the Bush administration has been its manipulation of the he said/she said journalistic reporting style into making the inconceivable real. If they want to do something idiotic and irrational like invading Iraq for WMDs which aren't there and nobody in their right mind believed - they toss the subject out for debate. It shapes up along partisan lines, then they manipulate the arguments to work. The same thing worked with Gitmo. Perhaps the most blatantly absurd case of this was the Swiftboating of Vietnam war "hero" John Kerry when compared to Bush's war record.

The two political scandals which have hit Bush, however, are the Plame Affair and this NSA revelation. In both cases, they demonstrate the administration acting outside the bounds of media/political debate. Congress, the media, they aren't concerned that Bush is spying on Americans illegally. They're concerned that Bush decided to do it without asking them first.

Posted by: Rowan | Dec 30 2005 21:21 utc | 18

[Breaking] (UPI) German media: U.S. prepares Iran strike
Perhaps,this explains why ABC's Woodruff [is]set to broadcast from Iran "We want him there just in case there is a war, not that we are saying there is going to be one, because of there was going to be one we would tell you, but there isn't, so we're not saying anything, but we just want Woodruff there ... just in case."

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 30 2005 21:42 utc | 19

@uncle - now it is for real. If the media is "positioning their reporters" or an attack, it has to happen. Otherwise the media would be wrong. We can't let that happen.

Posted by: b | Dec 30 2005 21:56 utc | 20

Make your 2006 predictions about Iraq here.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 30 2005 23:16 utc | 21

From a Guardian editorial linked to by b:

Peters, in New Glory: Expanding America's Supremacy, asserts: "Our country is a force for good without precedent"; and Barnett, in Blueprint, says: "The US military is a force for global good that ... has no equal."

From DeAnder's brilliant rant at the end of last year's thread. Can you top this?

I also would like to challenge a certain blindness-of-scale that finds it disgusting and a sign of deep social malaise when the stairwells of housing projects stink of piss, but blandly accepts the "right" of industrialists' factories to piss and s**t their waste toxins and mutagens, nitrogen overloads, hormones, etc. into the watercourses, the oceans, the wells of an entire country -- the "right" of everyone to drive around in private ICE vehicles that fart continuously (emitting far more harmful compounds than the average human burst of flatulence, I might add)...

Capitalism pisses copiously in all the stairwells and corridors of our world -- on the entire planet (PCBs found in the body fat of marine mammals at the Poles, the Asian Brown Cloud marching across the Pacific) -- and yet we treat the excrement of industrial processes as if it were holy and clean and sweet, not the nasty dirt (and the sign of contempt and irresponsibility) that it really is -- just as nasty as pissing in the stairwell or taking a dump on a park bench. Using the commons as a toilet is always rude, no matter whether the waste is personal and biotic or industrial/chemical. And the rules of contemporary capitalism encourage this kind of "gut-level" contempt, with their fantastical notion that cost (wastes, for example) can be "externalised" on a finite planet. So again I query whether Communism really has anything unique or superlative to offer when it comes to undermining moral character and promoting antisocial, irresponsible behaviours and contempt for the commons and for posterity.

Any system which teaches its citizens the myth of infinite growth (i.e. the myth of the physical world as subordinate to ideology, and the physical world as infinite source and infinite sink), is imho bound to create sociopathic, bizarre behaviour patterns. The root of irresponsibility is to imagine that resources are infinite and that actions have no consequences (i.e. that costs can be safely "externalised). As I've said before, both industrial Communism and industrial Capitalism share the Cornucopian psychosis, and therefore imho both will inevitably produce sociopathy and bizarre, solipsistic behaviours in citizens indoctrinated with the creed.


A year, a year. What does it all mean? Statistically, 365 days; 1.3% of our average lifespan; 2-3% of our creative years, if we are lucky. A pretty significant amount of time.

In the lifespan of the planet? A blink of an eye. In the lifespan of human stewardship of this planet? Maybe .02%. Nothing. But Human influence is increasing exponentially. And a year now is worth more than a thousand a few millenia ago in terms of impact on the planet. In the words of the World Conservation Union:

The world's species face an unprecedented crisis. The rate at which they are being lost is alarming, even when compared with the extinction episode of 70 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared. No-one knows exactly what the current extinction rate is, but recent calculations by leading scientists put it at between 1,000 and 10,000 times greater than it would naturally be. The rate of extinction also appears to be increasing. Species are threatened in every habitat on every continent...

Add to this resource depletion, population explosion, and the spread of pollution, particularly non-human-term-disappative radiological source-points, and one quickly realizes that we are at but a very brief holding pattern in history.

The violence, the militarism, the police-state spying: When I was getting into high-tech in '95, all that stuff was already planned, and had reached the building stage. I got five calls a day from recruiters who were looking for programmers with National Security Clearance to bring all this creepiness to fruition: all, in those days of "irrational exuberance."

All this death is the beginning of a world "Herxheimer" reaction; a dying off of the poison of humanity, of the excess. Say you poured a beer into a glass too fast and the foam has frothed over everything: That is mankind.

Before the traditional Iroquois convened their consul meetings, they invoked this declaration :

In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.

Now, it is a marketing slogan one encounters at Bread and Circus (increasingly, Circus and Bread).The thought is nice, but the metaphor of our industrial resource-consumptive military culture prevents it from being more than that. Friedman says you can't have McDonald's without MacDonell Douglas. The logic of neo-liberalism prods us on toward oblivion, implying that eventually every "thing", every commodity, will be produced by a single, gargantuan, "most efficient producer" somewhere in the world, and then trucked and distributed by Walmart world-wide to us unemployed lucky duckies to consume. No brains needed.

There is no conception of a 7th generation anymore. Cyberpunk fiction is already a generation old. Change is too fast. How can the planners (if there are any) plan, much less us. Modern conceptions revolve around rates of return (must be 20% or better these days), not rates of sustainability. When does one ever hear NPR trumpet, "At these rates of consumption, we have enough gold ore (or any other metal or mineral essential to industrialized life) to last three generations!"

No, they don't think that way and they don't want us thinking that way. Rather, we have fallen throught the Looking Glass and landed in a horrifically real version of "Rebel Without a Cause". America (certainly not James Dean in this scenario), China, Europe, India, everyone, has lined up in their sports cars, and with their 'pedals to the metal' of global growth, they are gunning their cars towards the cliff of depletion and catastrophe. We live in a world of sheer madness! We bow before the God of Science to save us. Even if one of these Leviathans manages to jump out--of the engine of perpetual growth--before the cliff, there will be no Natalie Wood waiting for them.

Yes, a year can go by and nothing important may seem to happen. We may appear to be on a small plateau. But it is a small and lonely plateau indeed.

Bush has been tremendously successful. Under the guise of the "War on Terror" he has managed to strip away more liberties than all his predessesors have. A few guys in robes in a cave have scared the sheeple more than the whole Cold War and "Evil Empire". Amazing. An undefinable, and hence, unbeatable, enemy is seen as a greater threat than the whole Soviet Union and its satelite states.

And yet.... All this "War on Terror," all this hubris, all this weaponry--some of it already rusting in the desert sands--in a mere generation or so, in the glint of an arrowhead as it flies toward the sun, in the flash of the wing of the bird of time, will lie stilled and shunned.

Peak over the edge of the plateau...What do you see in the distance?

Or in the words of Shelley:

"My name is Bushymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

********************

Happy New Year, everyone. And thanks for the support in what has been a personally difficult and trying time for me.

Posted by: Malooga | Dec 31 2005 0:58 utc | 22

Happy New Year, everyone. I've been spending the last few months watching the scene unfold, and I'll share some thoughts about it when they gain a little clarity. But one thing, rather minor, seems very certain to me: Cheney has indeed lost the services of Libby, his only real link to the outside world, and it's a total disaster. Among those, at least, whom he would like to charm or intimidate, Cheney has powerful enemies in strong places--Negroponte being a particular nemesis of his--and I rather think his efforts at this time are reduced to enhancing the NSA and Rumsfeld's team at the Pentagon. Yes, he clearly worked hard for Chalabi's post in Iraq, but the great dream of capturing those oil fields is surely done for. In a word, Cheney's essentially finished; the man has nowhere to go; he can sit in isolated splendor, plotting revenge against a long list of folks who've let him down, but it's all just a way of taking his mind off the thing one thing that's truly wrecking him--Patrick Fitzgerald's discovery proceedings of the past two years. Cheney clearly has to know that Fitzgerald knows everything about Cheney and a lot more besides. He also knows that Fitzgerald's findings are stored in an archive that cannot be invaded, sequestered, or withdrdawn from the public domain. Worst of all, they can't be spun, sabotaged, or tampered with. They simply exist, they grow, and they rightly claim to be definitive--encyclopedic. They are Cheney's own inquest, indictment, trial, judgment, verdict and sentence all rolled up into one, and will spell themselves out before the body politic in the due course of time. And these archives have gathered further institutional force over the past two years, after being initially launched as a push-back by CIA, State, FBI and the uniformed military. The spying charges we all read about--the one's accusing Bush of breaking the law--clearly point back to Cheney. And Fitzgerald, as if by chance, has become nthe champion of an abused judiciary, as also of the aggrieved officials from the Executive branch who launched this thing in the first place. It will remain only for the legislative branch to make its own move: if, in the light of Fitzgerald's investigations, Cheney's enemies in the Executive and Judicial branches really start to press in, then Congress can be counted on to join them in their lynching party (Congress can't just stand by and watch the other two branches put it in the shade). Before it's all over, I expect to hear about Cheney hiding in some caverns in the mountains of North Carolina, foraging for food in the dark of night like Mark Rudolph. The one thing to remember is this: Rudolph had friends and supporters when he was hiding. Cheney hides alone..

Posted by: alabama | Dec 31 2005 1:01 utc | 23

I'd say my predictions were more like presentiments, less like amazing kreskin and more like the empathic brunette in "World Police":

1. we (and israel is "we") would bomb Iran by early Fall. my timing's off, but I think likely soon.

2. no big shakedown by fitz. never.

3. torture only scandalizes u.s. rep.

4. the nsa thing makes bush stronger.

5. scalito a shoe-in (sorry, b)

6. partition of iraq on schedule, as planned

7. u.s. will have its cake and eat it too, because of partition

8. rgiap slowly loses sense of humor

9. deanander sails away, sun always on her shoulders.

10. hic rhodus, hic salta.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31 2005 1:02 utc | 24

tough times, as i imagine it is for all of us but i wish all here all my force & tenderness

especialloy slothop - our fisticuffs are those of friends & i never forget that

looking at what i sd last year i would only repeat it

you as a community of resistance & a community of individuals mean a great deal to me

& thank you b - in more ways than y know

venceremos

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 31 2005 3:40 utc | 25

well...I just spent a day at ace of spades as a troll.

those peeps are mean, I tell you.

message:

Murder is good.

for "us."

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31 2005 4:15 utc | 26

& slowly, slowly i write an exegesis on robert zimmerman for moon as a way of giving back what you all give, often

& as i've noted before - my presentiment (& it doesn't take einstein or derrida to see it) that it is going to get a whole lo darker before we see any light

like sothrop, i see stikes & an invasion of iran is distinctly possible

in iraq, i think there will be major major 'successes' of the resistance & i do not see what slothrop sees there - i think the narrative is both darker & more macabre than vietnam

i wish i had alabama & annie's optimism with fitgerald but like slothrop i fear little will happen

bush is congenitally guaranteed to make every tragedy farcical

as for the supreme court - it has become neither - it is a cat hpuse for the third rank of the right's so called thinkers


as woody sd - take it easy but take it

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 31 2005 4:23 utc | 27

Winner of the "Quality Comments" of the Year!

As it is the end of the year and lists and predictions are a norm. I have a suggestion/request not a prediction persay, but I have a nomination for what I think is the most profound and thought provoking comment of the year here at Moon. It goes to Monolycus.
This, at least to me, is the winner of the year. It speaks to me on so many levels and in my view could have been a front page post all by itself. b, if you have the inclination to do a year end "quality comments" post please consider this one. Also, I'd love to hear other comments on comments that have shaped and or moved others this year.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 31 2005 6:45 utc | 28

With reference to b reals post (kurdish thread 11:02), I'm, reposting a link to http://StanGoff.com/?p=223>GPF on Great Iraq Oil Ripoff via Stan Goffs place -- as there is something in the air regarding an oil privatization scheme, which now appears in the works. Juan Cole reports today several sources and stories regarding these developments (without, of course, mentioning the privatization scheme itself??) that could be the formation of events aimed at the takeover of future Iraqi oil assets.

First, there has recently been a serious curtailment of export, down last month to 1.2mbd the lowest since Nov.2004. The southern port of Umm Quasor has stopped all exports with ships lined up, some for 14 days. The Beiji refinery has been shut down, and exports from Kirkuk have been down to half of recent normal.

Recently, PM Jaafari raised the price of gasoline to triple the going rate, as now revealed, because the $140 million IMF loan demanded it to secure the loan.

The oil minister Ibrahim al-Ulum has been fired by Jaafari (while on vacation) and has replaced him with none other than Ahamad Chalabi.

Three Southern (Shia) provences have refused to go along with the price hikes.

And then there is this un-named/sourced quote:

“An official of the Oil Ministry in Baghdad told ISN Security Watch, on condition of anonymity: “We do not know the exact quantity of oil we are exporting, we do not exactly know the prices we are selling it for, and we do not know where the oil revenue is going to.””
“'Production in the north, centre and south is about to suffocate,' he said.” [repeated for emphasis]
.............
I'm not sure exactly what all this adds up to, but it sure looks like this is the full frontal assault on Iraqi oil resources we've all come to expect. All of which are happening without internal debate in Iraqi society, all of which are happening in the midst of the formation of the new governing body, and all of which is being expedited in secret by outgoing and or discredited politicians -- before the formation of the new government. And now with the IMF giving dictates, which will have to be guarenteed or secured through long term military enforcement and allow the PSA (production sharing agreements) to be implimented -- which would entrap Iraqi sovereignity into long-term agreements and de-facto US/UK control of their resources. All acomplished under cover of sectarian strife.

But then again, the recent events (cited) above may be a signal of growing awarness among the population, and especially the industry workers, that their country is quietly being sold down the Euphrates River.

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 31 2005 10:22 utc | 29

Wish Jerome was around to help sort this out -- butit does nonethe less indicate a very dangerous set of circumstances whereby the US/UK is attempting to sink its long term fangs deep into Iraqi blood through legal mechanism before the government is (still) born.

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 31 2005 10:40 utc | 30

@anna - it feals like you are right. The question is then if there is any legal standing to that. I have my doubts and I am quite sure the new Iraqi government and/or what follows afterwards will have no qualms no to renationalise everything.

Posted by: b | Dec 31 2005 12:18 utc | 31

THE US AND IRAN - Is Washington Planning a Military Strike?

Sure they are planing one, but the German source behind this is quite "near" to some special services. It might as well be pure psyops.

Posted by: b | Dec 31 2005 12:24 utc | 32

on secret domestic spying:

Scandals about it erupt now and then. And die down.

Gvmt. usually manage to change the form, the legitmacy, the laws, the procedures, the spin.

In the US, huge Gvmt. organisations take it as routine. I mean the KGB was a slim op in comparison.

Things have changed.

Domestic spying is a hangover from Cold War days, Nationalist State days.

When it is considered that individuals no longer have any power at all, the spying is limited to empty actions designed to keep the spiers happy -

*dissidence and suspicious activity will be rooted out*!

The spiers have to be kept on - you never know. A back-up mechanism of state control, valued not for the information they collect (nil and / or trivial , useless), but necessary to conserve a body of ‘agents of the state’ - people ready to mobilise if ever. Needed. And potentially dangerous if fired in large numbers.

'Modernity’ and ‘free speech’ - necessary for domination in the landscape beyond authoritarian dictatorships - are irrepressible and no longer really need to be controlled.

When their paycheck depends on it, people will pretend. You know what they do? Watch porn, smoke cigarettes in the parking lot, and spend three hours a day filling in dumb forms.

Cool. My wife Tracey got a black belt. And Zack is doin’ real fine, the disability is not too serious. D’ya see that new secretary on floor three? Hot babe! ...

Support the troops. Lower the cholestrerol intake. Yup.

There are no terrorists in the US (France, Switzerland, etc.) no dissidents who have any voice, no organisation worthy of close watch.

Dispiriting, no?

Posted by: Noisette | Jan 1 2006 18:52 utc | 33

The US will not attack Iran. (Beyond symboplic bombings that will shock the international community) . I’ve been saying this for 6 years now. Getting a bit worn and tired.

Besides the military logistics - intractable - it is not at all in US interests. Nor, actually, when one comes down to bare bones, in Israel’s. This is all posturing, empty threats, a dangerous and hubristic show of threat, an attempt to hype the power of the military industiral-complex. It is, ultimately, a show of weakness, easily decrypted by people worldwide. Big mistake.

It is built on the perception that when the Shah was deposed and the Ayatollahs took over, that was a bad thing. Old hat all that.

Iraq will be broken into pieces, and Iran will play a big role there.

John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, amongst others, know this perfectly.

Chalabi has been unofficial Oil minister for ages.

Posted by: Noisette | Jan 1 2006 19:10 utc | 34

Noisette, I really like your post at 1:52 yesterday on secret domestic spying. Do more of these please.

>There are no terrorists in the US (France, Switzerland, etc.) no dissidents who have any voice, no organisation worthy of close watch.<

I have had that view for over a year now (admittedly I catch on a bit late sometimes).

You didn't mention the obvious, that in addition to it being dangerous to fire spooks, spying has the essential function of keeping up the fear level, both inside the govt and out.

Here's hoping the spying regime crumbles soon.

Posted by: rapt | Jan 2 2006 18:04 utc | 35

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