Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 01, 2006

Incompetence or Intent

Still I am drifting between different reasoning of the U.S. action in Iraq.

Iraq goes down in a civil war that likely will end with a country separated into three religious/ethnic parts.

There are old PNAC papers that had argued for a parted Iraq to be in favor of Israel and therefore a positive result. As many of PNAC members are members of the Cheney administration, there influence might well have pushed into that direction.

But is this really the main force behind this war of aggression, or is the control of oil the more important part? What about other issues like personal revenge because "He tried to kill my daddy!"

Is there one clear reason, or is there a mixture, a point in history where several otherwise diverging interests came together to culminate into one task?

Mark Levine is also not convinced of the Israel theory:

The United States supports Israel not because of "shared values" and "democracy", but rather because for four decades Israel's actions - particularly those that ostensibly harm the chances for peace - have served US goals in the Middle East.

But he argues that slicing up of Iraq is by design, though not for Israel's benefit.

Two reports in today's press might hint to some support for this theory. Knight Ridder reports:

U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war, according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the reports.

Sp was this information ignored by intent or by incompetence?

U.S. lacked plan for rebuilding Iraq, report says

The Bush administration never drew up a comprehensive plan for rebuilding Iraq after the March 2003 invasion, which contributed to a severe shortage of skilled federal workers in Baghdad and to the mismanagement of the country's oil money, according to a new government report.

Again, was this the plan or sheer hubris?

All the signs for a long time have hinted to a growing animosity between the several groups in Iraq. By emphasizing these differences, the U.S. has put some oil to the fire.

On the other side, such a calculation misses two serious points.

Within an all out civil war, U.S. troops in Iraq, especial any supply element, will be in serious danger of being cut off and brought down.

A civil war in Iraq can not be contained to Iraq. Jordan might well light up pretty soon. Turkey may finally start to move against a Kurdish state.

I do not understand how both these issues, which were obvious possibilities when the scheme started, could have be done by design. Their negative consequences for the U.S. and Israel can easily exceed any gains anticipated from the war on Iraq.

Can they really be matched with the argument of a PNAC steered campaign?

Posted by b on March 1, 2006 at 11:22 UTC | Permalink


You'll give yourself a headache, B.

I think it's primarily incompetence, with healthy doses of mental inflexibility, cronyism, gullibilty , wishful thinking, and opportunism(remember how Iraq's industries were going to be privatized, and remember the oil) thrown in.

Bush is a sixth-rate mental mediocrity, a "bear of little brain", as a British civil servant famously put it.

But even this Pooh Bear must know he's going down in history as the worst president ever. And he must also realize he's in way over his head.

And it must hurt a lot.

Posted by: Groucho | Mar 1 2006 14:02 utc | 1

Terrorism is the new Communism

It seems to me that the PNAC argument, while compelling, misses a few components.

We know that PNAC sees a military stronghold in Iraq as central to continued American dominance in the Middle East and the world. But, this cannot be construed to mean that Iraq is turning out how they expected.

While the Bush Administration has not admitted that it miscalculated, the writing is on the wall. They expected a short war, a quick reconstruction and a glorious success. That this was unrealistic didn't matter - so, they have had to alter their plans to a lengthy and deadly occupation.

They have found a brilliant means of compensating their major funders with contracts for roads to nowhere and the ideological and fanatic base who want nothing more than another Crusade against Islam and the repression of uppity people around the world. Not excatly what they wanted, but something they are willing to accept.

But even this, misses the internal crisis facing the United States.

This war has united the American people in horrible ways. It has provided this, and the next Administration with unprecedented 'wartime' powers to thwart any threat from below. If we were to marshall the political and organizational strength to challenge the reigning elite, we face an even stronger response than we faced in the 1950s. Terrorism is the new Communism. And just as much nonsense as it was then.

Posted by: J Olson | Mar 1 2006 14:06 utc | 2

it seems that every interest had their own reasoning for invading iraq. as wolfowitz said in that vanity fair interview, 'wmd was the one issue they could all agree on' to push their 'product', and this was primarily b/c the wmd threat was the rational that got the most response from the u.s. public in '91, after testing a range of justifications from 'oil' to 'american jobs' to 'human rights' to 'saddam == hitler'. while some of those threads of interest are more equal than others, there are multiple realities for the different parties & they do not boil down to one overriding solid reason, outside of the intent to plunder (not just iraq, but also the u.s. govt, it's citizens, other nations, etc...).

PNAC serves as the intellectual justification - a revolutionary blueprint for u.s. control of the earth (& space). like most abstract theorizing, esp in the realm of dogmatic politics, details on the full implications of its implementation & consequences are always lacking, if addressed at all. of course it's incompetent - the people that rationalized that view are insane, ignorant & incompetent. my take is that PNAC only serves as the impetus for a great big predatory-capitalist scam & the "crazies" are only taken seriously enough in that their adventures guarantee profit & power amongst a large enough contingent of the pirates.

one thing you constantly here about war is that it is unpredictable - that if history has taught those paying enough attention anything at all, it's that nobody can predict the outcome before it starts. however, this ignores the perspective that war has always been about profiteering & amassing fortunes. and those who are in the position to capitalize on this aspect of war are rarely punished for it. there's your incentive for the invasion of iraq & an ambiguous 'long war' right there.

Posted by: b real | Mar 1 2006 16:13 utc | 3

Intent. It's all intent, both from those who follow orders and those who know that ice will slide and tsunamis will devastate coasts, and so have armies ready to move against the confused. Ask not for whom the Alaskan volcanoes tremble every 12 hours.

The pending $6.85 billion sale (20% above assessed
value) of The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation
Company to the United Arab Emirates government set for tomorrow, 3/2/06 is not a strong terrorism worry, though indeed
the group that engineered 911 favors no delay of
ownership transfer for their own financial reasons.

There isn't any necessity for it to be a terrorism
worry, as earthquakes and tsunamis will serve.

The key isn't who's buying (whoever it is, is screwed)
but who's selling, i.e. the soon-to-be-former owners
of The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

The fact is, whoever ends up holding those port
contracts and equipment will own dead wet potatoes in
London, our 21 ports from Maine to New Orleans, over
10 in Canada, and many worldwide very soon. $6.85
billion buys a lot.

At bottom is the 9/23/04 Nature piece "Glaciers Are
Flowing Faster". Notice the significant chunk "within
the next 5 years" part.

You can also google 9/24/04 Science "A Bit of Icy
Antarctica is Sliding Toward the Sea" and the
Independent/UK 2/2/05 "Dramatic Change in West
Antarctic Ice Could Produce 16ft Rise in SeaLevel "
The air temperatures in West Antarctica this time of
year, where this 16 ft potential rests on land below
ocean level, are viewable at, and the ends of the far
southern summer are stormy, salt water whipped to
great waves.

Boston Globe 2/17/06 had "Greenland Glacial Pace onthe
Rise, Study Finds" for potential sliding in the
northern summer, but at least rests on higher land.

Melting is not the worry, except inasmuch as it
facilitates sliding (and coincidentally kills Gulf
Stream (already 1/3 reduced) and alters rest of
thermohaline system, and thus economies and crops,
spurring worldwide depression and so eventually
decreases shipping on its own.)

Anyway, ice will slide, even without earthquakes or
tsunamis to precipitate, so one would think people
spending $6.85 billion on a single deal would
anticipate same. But no one anticipates same. Business
forecasters, stock prognosticators, professional and
amateur planners for New Orleans, NYC, Boston, London,
Amsterdam, D.C., Miami and every seaside city ignore
these warnings of the inevitable. Columnists and
cartoonists I’ve written and priests, monks and
Irishmen I’ve talked to all think that climate changes
and ocean rises won’t really matter. The environmental
groups concur, raising funds to argue about emissions
and polar bears, all their efforts a bribed waste of
energy. We are hamsters on wheels, making great time
in the moments before our cages are crushed.

In the 6th century CE, the skies were filled with
yellow dust. The winds changed, and Justinian's great
historian Procopius wrote that the sun was like the
moon and the moon nearly gone. Other Europeans
recorded same, as did chroniclers in northern China
and Japan. All also record decades of famines and
plagues, conquests and crimes. Mayan sources concur,

And we've forgotten, except for Arthurian wasteland
hints: Arthur dies in 542 according to
Geoffrey of Monmouth. The dust was probably volcanic,
from eruptions near Krakatoa in 535 and perhaps again
in 540. Those dates are from worldwide tree ring, ice
core and lake bottom data, according to Keys,
Catastrophe, published by a Random House subsidiary in
2000, now out of print except electronically, but
searchable for "Procopius" "plague" "cannibalism"
"Arthur" etc. on Amazon.

There was a hurricane in the South Atlantic
3/27-28/04, first in at least 500 years, hit
southeastern Brazil and killed a few people there and
at sea. Reuters had it, CNN had it, NYT did not.
(confirmed via e-mail with Public Editor Assistant, no

We’ve forgotten that J.P. Morgan at 24 contracted to
sell the 1861 Union Army in St. Louis 500 military
rifles at about $22 a piece, then had an agent buy
guns that blew soldiers’ thumbs off at about $3.50
from a New York armory where they’d been sent to be
scrapped. The St. Louis general refused delivery so
Morgan sued and won a court judgment for $109,912.
I'm not sure if he collected, Congress investigated in
1862, but it shows character not refuted by later
deals. And as he, partners, and their elite
inspirationally attest, character runs in families.

The Panic of 1907 ended when he bailed the government
out, and citizens were bothered that an investment
banker could have such power. So they welcomed the
1913 formation of the Federal Reserve System he
officially opposed but secretly helped design and

Money = Power, so who controls the money? To
paraphrase Acton, when did great power e/er not

We know that the OSS in WW II loved weapons that sound
wacky, and that the Federal government got Tesla’s
papers after he died in 1943 Manhattan. Tesla designed
and sold to Westinghouse our electrical supply system,
so it seems likely that Donovan et al would look
seriously into his hurricane control and earth
vibration experiments hot wartime and after. They and
their CIA, NSA and NASA successors have had 60 years
now, and like paying big secret bucks to Boeing, etc.

For really scary stuff, google: denver airport.

Remember that CSX sold its port operations (outside
US) to Dubai, after John Snow became Treasury
Secretary. Treasury Secretaries know stuff. See former
Treasury Secretary Summers leaving coastal Harvard.
His resignation isn't final until semester ends, but
I'll bet he travels away from coasts on a fortuitous

Only financiers know the value of money.

Sincerely, Michael McIntyre
[email protected]

Glaciers are Flowing Faster

As its fringes collapse, the ice of Antarctica is
slipping into the sea

PHILIP BALL / Nature 23sep04

[Press Release / NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ice is sliding off the Antarctic continent much faster
than it did during the 1990s, several teams of
researchers have found.

On the Antarctic Peninsula that sticks out from the
western side of the continent, the speeds at which
several glaciers are surging into the sea have
increased eight-fold between 2000 and 20031,2. And
below the peninsula, in Western Antarctica, glaciers
are now releasing 250 billion tonnes of ice into the
Amundsen Sea each year - enough to raise global
sealevels by 2 millimetres per decade3.

The results, which draw on satellite and aircraft
measurements of glacier thickness and flow, highlight
the disturbing potential consequences of recent
climate warming in the Antarctic region.

Ice slide

The thick sheet of ice covering Western Antarctica is
a focal point for fears about the effects of climate
change on the frozen poles. It is particularly
vulnerable because it rests on land that lies below
sealevel, and there is a danger that if the ice
shelves surrounding it were to disintegrate, the
entire ice sheet could slide into the sea.

If that happened, global sea level would rise by an
awesome 5 metres: five times greater than the highest
current prediction for the increase in sealevel over
the next century.

"The potential impacts of a major change in the West
Antarctic Ice Sheet are severe," says David Vaughan of
the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. "Sealevel
rise will be fantastically expensive for developed
nations with coastal cities and dire for poor
populations in low-lying coastal areas."

Glaciers threatened

Using data from satellites and aircraft flights,
Robert Thomas of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Virginia and co-workers in the United States and Chile
followed the progress of several glaciers discharging
into the Amundsen Sea off Western Antarctica. They
found that the glaciers are getting thinner, because
they are losing about 60% more ice into the ocean than
s being replaced by fresh snowfall over the

The researchers think the reason so much more ice is
being lost is because ice at the edges of the
continent has thinned, causing it to detach from the
bedrock below. No longer anchored to the rock, these
marginal ice plains are less able to hold back
glaciers pushing toward the coast.

For at least one of the glaciers, the Pine Island
Glacier, the researchers say that if the present rate
{peculiar phrase choice for accelerating system} of
thinning continues, "most of the ice plain should
float free from its bed within the next five years".
These glaciers are already the fastest moving in all
of Antarctica. But if the ice floats completely free
of the rock, they will speed up much more. These
Amundsen Sea glaciers alone contain enough ice to
raise sealevel by 1.3 metres.

Breaking up

On the Antarctic Peninsula, the story is much the
same1,2. A team led by Eric Rignot of the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and a
group headed by Ted Scambos at the University of
Colorado in Boulder, have both found that some
glaciers there are flowing several times faster than
they were three or four years ago.

This region has also been a focus of concern for some
time; in 2002 one of the floating ice shelves, called
Larsen B, broke apart in response to the 2.5°C
temperature rise the Antarctic has experienced over
the past 50 years. The melting ice shelf does not in
itself affect sealevel, because floating ice displaces
its equivalent volume of water.

But the new results reveal that the consequences of
the break-up are grave. Without the restraining band
of ice, the researchers found that several glaciers
have surged forward at greater speed. In contrast, two
glaciers where the ice shelf remains intact show
virtually no speed-up.

The Larsen B ice shelf is relatively small. It's not
yet clear if the changes seen for the Peninsula
glaciers would necessarily scale up to the much larger
ice basins that feed into the Western Antarctic ice
shelves, says Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott
Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, UK. But the
fear is that if the same thing were to happen to the
huge Ronne and Ross ice shelves in Western Antarctica,
a catastrophic collapse could follow.


1 Rignot E., et al. Geophysical Research Letters, 31.

2 Scambos T. A., Bohlander J. A., Shuman C. A. &
Skvarca P. Geophysical Research Letters, 31. (2004). |
Article |

3 Thomas R., et al. Science, (2004). | PubMed |

Posted by: Michael McIntyre | Mar 1 2006 16:25 utc | 4

b real is right about the profit of war. Also, managed chaos in Iraq vindicates longterm US military occupation. Further, fomenting low-level civil war might also draw Iran into direct confrontation w/ the occupation. This would deligitimize sciri/dawa and undermine shia political power and justify US-led attack on Iran. One can easily imagine the sunni 'insurgents' of today will tomorrow be allies of US against Iran.

Splitting Iraq up is 'good' for the US.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 1 2006 16:51 utc | 5

The vile> David Wurmser in 1997 advocated smashing Iraq up into "scraps."

It's a fight to the death. Every soccer Mom knows it.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 1 2006 16:54 utc | 6


The USA, right now, is just plain, pure evil. People know this implicitly, or, as anyone can see when visiting the local rightwing blog, the evil is extolled as entitlement.

And it's gonna get worse.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 1 2006 17:10 utc | 7

and if you're a fence-sitter about the USA-as-evil thing, just watch Dancing With The Stars.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 1 2006 17:16 utc | 8

the intent of the US presence in the ME is to function like an IUD. a constant low grade infection, it really doesn't matter how it works, or how much pain it causes, or damage to the body as a result. the chaos as a result of its presence insures an unhealthy atmosphere where any conception will abort.

Posted by: annie | Mar 1 2006 17:22 utc | 9

In the latest Defense Policy Review (or whatever it is called, signed by Rummy), one of the phrases that struck me was fighting war in countries with which we are not at war. The fact of it is not new - think of the war on drugs, for example - but seeing it stated surprised me.

Rummy, of course, likes to think of himself as an innovator with his small forces (e.g. 150 K troops in Iraq vs. more than .5 M in Gulf War I), his robot soldiers and microwave gadgets, etc. His description The Long War is also evocative.

This is bully-on-the-block stuff.

This is ‘war’ or something resembling it, whenever or wherever the Superpower feels like it, for whatever reason: booty, revenge, pique, caprice, money, money, money. It is the way a rogue Corporation or ‘family’ like the Mafia operates. Protecting the business, winning over and controlling competitors, intimidating rivals, targetted assassinations, a culture of revenge and sadism. Internally: ties that bind, through clique or family relations, a hidden informal power structure, blackmail, coercion, exchange of daughters (or other flesh), compensated self-sacrifice. The laws are unwritten, and indeed it is best, from their pov, to have none that are on the books. Laws or rules must be personally negotiated at every turn, following personal relations.

However, organisms, entities - what the right word is I don’t quite know - of this type can or do flourish only under some conditions.

They act and grow in a world - an outside world - that is stable, or at least relatively so, much as a cancer needs a living body to develop in. If they are confronted with total chaos, they loose their power, as others will adopt their techniques, or different ones, perhaps creative and new, and the playing field will be levelled. They need the illusion of a stable milieu. The mixture of revolution / renewal / novelty and reliance on tradition (conservatism, in general) resembles that of Fascim (fascim as a political doctrine, an extremism of the center.) Therefore, a certain level of order and stability must be maintained, and that implies control of the periphery. The best way to manage that is to let others do it, and not bother with it oneself, as the Mafia, or Scientology, or the neo-Nazis in Europe do (to quote some examples that will speak.)

So, a necessary division between the inner (circle, cabal, etc.) and the outer (sheeples, to use just one word) arises. That division creates a need for secrecy. The outer should not really understand what the inner is doing - they may see some effects, and try to interpret them, but their counter reaction is programmed to be tiring, dispiriting, worthless, ultimately ineffective.

Attempting this kind of action on a World - globalised - scale is new. The Roman Empire, the Ottomans, functioned in a different way, if I recall my school lessons correctly, taking into account that History is always interpreted in the light of the schema-du-jour.

So, the Democrats innocently (in part) present the fiction of a stable world, the US ‘core’ confusedly both tears down and upholds International agreements and laws (e.g. continues to massively support the UN while trying to manipulate and steer it from the inside, thru a program of destruction cum renewal!), continues to champion ‘democracy’, ‘the rule of law’ while killing many; hold to pious ancient values (e.g. Christianity) to uphold its respectability and rely on informal, even just plain emotional, rules, precepts, values; shamelessly extorts tribute, threatens, manipulates, etc.

Through agreement, or submission, even fear in some cases, the rest of da West is complicit, and a lively actor, in a supporting role. (To make it clear that this is not just a US bashing post.)

USuk invaded Iraq because they could.

(that’s the short answer here, much more could be said.)

Posted by: Noisette | Mar 1 2006 17:23 utc | 10

Then again, maybe,...just maybe, it was PANIC (not PNAC) at the imminent failure of the profit system. Where the only course for continued 'margin' was PIRACY on a global scale.

If JC ever does show up again, I hope the first thing He does is go after the 'Money Changers' again. What could they do to Him this time? Kill Him?

Posted by: pb | Mar 1 2006 18:02 utc | 11


You got that right! I really wish the left would remember how to sock it to the right with more JC teachings.

Posted by: gylangirl | Mar 1 2006 18:25 utc | 12

You are asking several different questions, primarily: "Why did we go to war?","What were the plans for the war?",and "What was the scope of the planned war?".

First off: "He tried to kill my daddy!" is an old canard, based on a coerced confession from our nascent gulag.

Why did we go to war?--this is always a complex question where many interests need to be balanced; when the equation tips one way, we go.

As Howard Zinn notes:

"War is the health of the state," the radical writer Randolph Bourne said, in the midst of the First World War. Indeed, as the nations of Europe went to war in 1914, the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.
In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people, two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that "these people of ours shall be divided into classes." Rather: "We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country."

Nothing has changed since then, except that our economy is even more dependent on war related production. After all, weapons, movies about war, and wheat are about our only exports these days. War has always spured the economy without without redistributing income to the less well off.

Chomsky notes:

"Business understood that social spending could overcome market catastrophes as well as military spending, but social spending has a downside: it has a democratizing and redistributive effect while military spending is a gift to the corporate manager, a steady cushion. And the public is not involved. People care about hospitals and schools, but if you can "scare the hell out of them," as Senator Vandenberg recommended, they will huddle under the umbrella of power and trust their leaders when it comes to jet planes, missiles, tanks, etc. Furthermore, business was well aware that high-tech industry could not survive in a competitive free enterprise economy, and "government must be the savior," as the business press explained. Such considerations converged on the decision to focus on military rather than social spending. And it should be borne in mind that "military spending" does not mean just military spending. A great deal of it is high-tech R&D. Virtually the entire "new economy" has relied heavily on the military cover to socialize risk and cost and privatize profit, often after many decades: computers and electronics generally, telecommunications and the Internet, satellites, the aeronautical industry (hence tourism, the largest "service industry"), containerization (hence contemporary trade), computer-controlled machine tools, and a great deal more. Alan Greenspan and others like to orate about how all of this is a tribute to the grand entrepreneurial spirit and consumer choice in free markets. That's true of the late marketing stage, but far less so in the more significant R&D stage. Much the same is true in the biology-based sectors of industry, though different pretexts are used. The record goes far back, but these mechanisms to sustain the advanced industrial economy became far more significant after World War II.

In brief, the permanent war economy has an economic as well as a purely military function. And both outcomes -- incomparable military force and an advanced industrial economy -- naturally provide crucial mechanisms for foreign policy planning, much of it geared to ensuring free access to markets and resources for the state-supported corporate sector, constraining rivals, and barring moves towards independent development."

Domestic considerations: Stock Market going nowhere, tech boom over, Bush's approval rating in freefall and hence his elite mandate to continue the radically redistributive economic policies begun under Reagan were stymied.

War creates conditions conducive to the enhancement of elite control. We see that Bush has taken full advantage of these with the passage of the patriot acts, the domestic spying, and advancement the unitary executive theory.

Economic considerations: Enron was about to go belly up, implicating Bush and creating growing pressure for serious business reform, but more importantly, Halliburton was near bankruptcy, facing asbestos lawsuits and hitting a low of $9.30 on Jan 18, 2002 (cf: 01/30/06 $80.68). Then there's the whole tangled web of Bush Pere related crony capitalism involving CSX, Carlyle, and many others. Oil, as a domestic consideration, has also not been well understood. Completely outside the realm of peak oil, there is the cyclical nature of oil prices and their function. The nineties saw a great consolidation of industry as smaller firms had to sell out due to low oil prices. The market had become sufficiently consolidated by 2000 that low prices were no longer serving a business purpose. This dictated a need for a cover to raise prices, and hence, profits.

International Considerations: The PNAC declaration, most succinctly explicated by Zia Mian, has been covered by others here. It only extends the American doctrine, which since WWII has called for world domination, into space. The outright bellicosity of the document only reflects the continual economic weakening of the American position since the fall of the Soviet Union, when history was said by Fukuyama to have ended. American share of global gdp has steadily fallen from over 40% after WWII, to 20% at the present. EU and US share are approximately equal. China should (baring surprises) overtake both within 5-7 years. Noteable here is that the former Soviet block is of course gone, and Russia is at a mere 12% of US gdp, behind Italy and Brazil, shocking considering its population, resource and industrial base, and relative world influence.

In any event, as has been noted, control over the middle east means control over the policies of its rival power blocks, the EU and China, both major oil importers. It also represents a vast relatively untapped market for US consumer goods such as soft drinks and cosmetics, as I have mentioned before. Whether invasion has helped the inage of the American brand in the muslim world is certainly debateable at this point. Finally, control over this area puts potential pressure on western european hi tech contracts in the area.

War in the middle east potentially provides cover for 'less militaristic' adventurism, both in Africa and our hemisphere,

Chomsky comments on the role of Israel vis-a-vis the US

Tehran Times, October 11, 2004
There are strong pro-Israel voting blocs and funding constituencies. The largest voting bloc by far is evangelical Christians, an enormous segment of the population in the US, which is entirely unlike other industrial societies in the scale of religious fundamentalism, and in recent years, its role in electoral politics. The matter is debated, but my own view is that US policies towards Israel have been guided primarily by geostrategic considerations, more so than domestic politics. That has been so particularly ever since Israel performed an enormous service for the US (and its Saudi and Iranian allies) in destroying the major center of secular Arab nationalism in 1967, Nasser's Egypt. By now Israel has become almost an offshore military base for the US, and a high tech and financial center closely linked to the US economy, and resembling it in many ways.

Chomsky in 2001 comments on the role played by Terrorism

‘What is the war against terrorism?’ and a side question, ‘What’s terrorism?’. The war against terrorism has been described in high places as a struggle against a plague, a cancer which is spread by barbarians, by “depraved opponents of civilization itself.” That’s a feeling that I share. The words I’m quoting, however, happen to be from 20 years ago. Those are…that’s President Reagan and his Secretary of State. The Reagan administration came into office 20 years ago declaring that the war against international terrorism would be the core of our foreign policy….describing it in terms of the kind I just mentioned and others. And it was the core of our foreign policy. The Reagan administration responded to this plague spread by depraved opponents of civilization itself by creating an extraordinary international terrorist network, totally unprecedented in scale, which carried out massive atrocities all over the world, primarily….well, partly nearby, but not only there. I won’t run through the record, you’re all educated people, so I’m sure you learned about it in High School. [crowd laughter]

As has been noted, the particular raison d'etre advanced for war, the casus belli, "WMD", was admitted by Wolfowitz, the chief US architect of third world subjugation, to be primarily a matter of convenience, a mere marketing slogan. This is unremarkable. It has always been so, whether it was the 'war on drugs' in S.A., and southeast asia, the 'Humanitarian war' in the Balkans (Where Christopher Lydon exulted daily from his outpost on NPR's flagship program, "The Connection", about the wonders of smart bombs and how much of the civilian infrastructure we were destroying. That we 'inadvertently' destroyed the Chinese embassy in the process should have been a tip-off for all.), even back to the Spanish American War when we were told to "Remember the Maine", later proved to have exploded from a simple boiler problem, and invaded Hawaii, Guam, and the Phillipines in order to "protect Cuba."


As far as question 2, "What were the plans for the war?":

The evidentiary record seems pretty clear that the Bush administration did not expect the level of resistance they have encountered. It is clear that they made no use of State department plans for occupation. It is also clear that Rumsfeld and others in power believed that the limited shock and awe, militarily and looting-wise would be sufficient to pacify the population. The overextension of the Army and weaponry demonstrate this. It is also clear that there was a sizeable minority within the edministration who held countervailing opinions that this would not be a "cakewalk', and that they were silenced for domestic considerations; thus the eventual troubles of occupation were not a complete surprise.

It is also clear that plans to create and extend public and covert gulags were developed prior to the invasion, as were plans to employ Negroponte's El Salvador option. This is in keeping in line with the known psychology of the architects of war.

Also clear was Israel's early role in preparing and training Western forces for urban conflict.

All of this is a part of the tactical preparation for war.


Finally, question 3, "What was the scope of the planned war?":

Strategically, it seems clear that the more optimistic factions of the regime saw this as only the first salvo in reforming the middle east. Despite the difficulties encountered, the more militant factions still believe this. From the beginning, Cheney publicly warned that this would be a war that would last for our lifetimes at least, if not for generations. Now, they are rolling out the term "long war"; whether this sufficiently molds public thinking about perpetual war remains to be see.

A further strategic benefit of this war is the opportunity to enforce unity and bludgeon would be competitors like the EU and Japan (who they would like to further militarize as a bulwark against China),into grudging alliance.

Some believe that the administration will be able to manage the conditions of 'creative destruction' which they have created. The most optimistic see this as a positive property of the conflict, allowing the occupation forces to play the time honored card of divide and conquer. Indeed, perennial importunings that the "the Arab street" would revolt at each sucessive outrage have been no more than lonely cries of wolf.

However, they are playing a very, very risky game here should they prove wrong. Just today, Immanuel Wallerstein states:

The level of agitation is rising everywhere, and the world-system has never been more anarchic than now. We may be going over the edge.

The bombing of the Askari Mosque in Iraq resulted not only in an immediate and large surge in intra-group violence in Iraq, but has probably derailed the efforts of the U.S. Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, to bring about Sunni participation in the Iraqi government. This could mean a failure to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority vote to establish the government and therefore new elections, which would be very difficult to arrange in the present climate. At the very same time, the U.S. Army has demoted the single Iraqi unit previously thought capable of military operations without U.S. support to one that still needs U.S. support. The United States is now being openly criticized - indeed attacked - by the principal Shia parties, creating for the first time a pan-Iraqi hostility to U.S. presence and objectives in Iraq. And the British in Basra are now as limited in their ability to control the situation as the Americans in Baghdad...

The attempts of Muslim governments to channel this anger, by themselves leading the attack, has backfired in that the demonstrators have now turned actively against them, as in Pakistan, where President Musharraf's erstwhile Islamist supporters are now calling for his resignation.

Combined with mounting domestic criticism and resistance, the Bush administration is finding itself steadily backed into a corner. The 'how' and 'if' of the beast lashing out are now being debated in the centers of government worldwide.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 1 2006 19:38 utc | 13

Wallerstein ends with this:

"The reaction thus far of the neo-con cabal in the Bush regime, led by Vice-President Cheney, himself in increasing trouble with the U.S. public, has been to plunge ahead as if nothing had happened. They are advocating war on Iran (unlikely they will succeed even in launching it, but nonetheless). And now Cheney wants the U.S., which has accumulated enemy after enemy, to take on Putin and Russia as well. Cheney is the U.S.'s Samson, pulling down the temple. He may only succeed in stimulating a U.S. civil war."

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 1 2006 19:44 utc | 14

This bit from Today in Iraq:

It seems extremely likely that the attack on the religious shine at Samarra was the work of those attempting to cause a civil war in Iraq leading to its destruction as a unified country. An eyewitness report confirms Americans were in control of the area when the bombs were set. That would be American troops operating on behalf of the American neocons, who, despite some recent setbacks, are proceeding with their original Israeli plan without interruption. Iraqi Shi'ites would hardly blow up their own shine (nor would the Shi'ite Iranians, who in addition like the way things are going in Iraq without this added complication), Sunnis wouldn't do it because they would be aware of the retaliation it would cause, and, despite some warblogger opinion, it is not al Qaeda's style to attack a Muslim shrine. The insurgency wants to remove the occupiers, and this attack just strengthens the occupiers, who of course can't leave while the Iraqis are in so obviously incapable of looking after themselves. That leaves the Israelamericans, who have the characteristics of being capable of doing the deed, being the only group that benefits from it, and having security forces in the area (means, motive, and opportunity). There is nobody in Iraq or the Middle East who doesn't know who really was behind the attack.

The most telling incident wasn't the attack itself, but the execution of a group of Iraqis, Sunnis and Shi'ites, who were driving to attend a rally of national reconciliation. There were intercepted on the road by people who set up a fake checkpoint outside of Baghdad, pulled from their cars, and summarily slaughtered. The provoking incident and the violent prevention of positive Iraqi steps to prevent civil war are part of the same conspiracy. Who would want to stop reconciliation? More pointedly, who uniquely has the ability to identify the reconciliation group, and immediately mobilize to block the road? The combination of technical ability and desire to stop reconciliation points to only one group, the neocon operators in Iraq and their allies in the Iraqi government. The Yinon plan - one also favored by parts of the American establishment including Leslie Gelb - of breaking Israel's possible enemies into small, unthreatening statelets, continues.

Oded Yinon's Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties is unfolding just nicely, should that be the blueprint for whats going down in Iraq at the moment, with a 20 year delay. As he wrote in 1982, the fragmentation and seeding of Iraqi infighting, the sclerosis between the different ethnic groups, means weakening Israel's potential enemies.

The Moslem Arab World is built like a temporary house of cards put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the Nineteen Twenties), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into 19 states, all made of combinations of minorites and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging.5 Most of the Arabs, 118 million out of 170 million, live in Africa, mostly in Egypt (45 million today).

...Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel...

Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible.

Although 20 years is a long time, and lots has changed, but the theory is still valid. Who'll benefit the most from a broken up Iraq? Israel. And would they care about a mosque in Samarra? Probably not. Are they already on the ground in Iraq? Most definitely. Do they have the expertise, materials and connections to pull that stunt? Yes Sir.

Is it good for the US forces there? Certainly not, but the PNAC doesn't waste time with such minor details. Should Iraq disintegrate, Iran might be forced to play its hand, at least more openly as it does already, and by doing so giving the PNAC possibly the next justification for an attack (especially should the nuclear enrichment reason disappear). I agree with you Bernhard, the flames could quickly travel across borders and ignite other powder kegs, but the initial invasion carried the same risk, and they did it anyway, despite the warnings. If they'd be worried about the US troops, they wouldn't have send them in the first place.

Its hard to tell who is behind this instigation of violence between the various ethnic groups, but somehow I can't see Ahmadinejad ordering the bombing of the mosque of the hidden Imam, the Iraqi Shi'ites wouldn't blow up their own holy place, and the Sunnis? Hmm, whats in it for them? Nothing but trouble. The Kurds? Hardly. No Iraqi gained anything, but some outsiders did, straight after the maxim "Divide and conquer".

The United States supports Israel not because of "shared values" and "democracy", but rather because for four decades Israel's actions - particularly those that ostensibly harm the chances for peace - have served US goals in the Middle East.

And continue to do so. Peace in the Middle East? Can't be. Not until the PNAC crew has a, control over the region and b, the nation found a new sellable and beatable menace, coz' one "threatening" enemy at least is needed to keep the war industry in profitable business, PNAC style.

Posted by: Feelgood | Mar 1 2006 20:46 utc | 15

And by analogy, we can perhaps add willful negligence to the mix.


Posted by: Groucho | Mar 2 2006 1:27 utc | 16

the AP story on bush, lies & videotape that groucho linked to gets beat into better form here , "Bush lies, deserts under fire".

Posted by: b real | Mar 2 2006 3:26 utc | 17

Broken news

Even the news, once breaking, is now just broken. That's not to say there's been an interruption to the datastream. In fact, that's the problem. The datastream clips along without pause for either reflection or response, which is just fine for some. Today's bombshell becomes yesterday's bombshell, which means few people will still hear it exploding over tomorrow's bombshell. And with so many bombs going off, we should expect to be somewhat deafened, and perhaps a little shell-shocked. Perhaps a lot.

We're informed, whatever that means. But the datastream is unforgiving of analysis, and if we stop to mull over something we soon fall behind. But you know what? Maybe falling behind isn't the worst that can happen to us, if remaining current means we're destined to be ineffectually overwhelmed.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 2 2006 5:57 utc | 18

Michael (McIntyre) and slothrup; Go to Botox Cosmetics. Not only will they put a (slack) smile on your (wrinkly) sourpuss frown, but with increased dosage, eliminate those migraines you must be experiencing. With prolonged treatment, you'll become another one of the waking elite. You can see them talking on their cellphones, driving in the carpool lane in their Escalades, planning their Glacial Ice catering empire. It's a Neo World. They won, we lost. Forged abahd et! Laissez les bon temps rouler, et rendez joyeux, pour le demain où nous mourons.

Posted by: Larry Ellison | Mar 2 2006 6:14 utc | 19

Here is Fisk's view :

Posted by: vbo | Mar 2 2006 11:03 utc | 20

Let's try again.
Roberst Fisk shares his Middle East knowledge

Posted by: vbo | Mar 2 2006 11:10 utc | 21

good to see you again vbo.

I wonder what happened to outraged? It would be nice to get some comments from him on the whole Samarra operation.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 2 2006 11:52 utc | 22

It’s About the Oil

Paul Street channels Chomsky

By many analysts’ estimation, OIF is part of a White House effort to use America’s last truly unchallenged form of world dominance – it’s near monopoly over globally projected organized violence – “to establish U.S. control over the global oil spigot, and thus over the global economy, for another fifty years” ...

Iraq cannot be physically lost – territorially conceded – to the Iraqis without monumentally dire consequences to American Empire. If abandoned, Iraq’s significant share of “the greatest material prize in history” can only be left to the control of others, an outcome that is unacceptable to American policymakers for (again) “very good [imperial] reason[s].”

The fully and ugly truth is that the self-proclaimed universal state and global super-power Uncle Sam has no intention of granting management of the world’s most “stupendous source of strategic power” and “critical” global political-economic “leverage” to the people who happen to live on its merely national, not-so sovereign topsoil. At this precarious and potentially late point in the history of its global dominance, the U.S. can be expected to hold on to that control with an impressive imperial death grip. It will likely exhibit a fierce determination to defend that grasp through even the most terrible conflicts and violence abroad and at home, where more and bigger 9/11’s seem all-too likely in coming years.

Liberal columnist and author Richard Reeve was on Charlie Rose last week peddling his new book about Reagan. He said that Bush will go down as the worst president in American History (which of course is a history of glorious conquest), right there with Buchanan. He said "Reagan assumed the Presidency with two superpowers, and went left with only one. Bush assumed the Presidency of the sole superpower, but will leave it with two great powers again."

One can only hope that it will make for a safer world, if we get that far.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 2 2006 14:42 utc | 23

This whole issue is so incredibly confusing and copmlicated that I feel like I could never make a well-educated decision on what to believe.

Posted by: Corona Sherona | Mar 2 2006 15:01 utc | 24


Then this will really give you a headache; I present Max Boot:


Posted by: Groucho | Mar 2 2006 15:18 utc | 25

Thanks.I spend more time on ET now,but I visit MOA regularly...I also hope outraged will post again...and other well known posters from "old days"!I see some of them back here...
See you around here...

Posted by: vbo | Mar 2 2006 15:29 utc | 26

from Mad Max talking to a soldier:

"the nonkinetic problem set"

Who gets paid to craft phrases like that, and how can I get a job? I actually think I could work for the government without moral problems if all I had to do was invent nonsense like that.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 2 2006 15:32 utc | 27

Masterful round up there, Mallooga. You mention revenge for Bush Senior; I’d add in another personal element - rivalry.

Billy C, with the help of the Prince of Darkness (Wesley Clark), the EU, specially Germany, and NATO -now that was a coalition, a glorious memory for Democrats- broke Yugoslavia up into impotent statelets, to take over the industry, ressources, corridors there, and cut the standard of living of ex-Yugoslavs by more than a third. (rough..)

In fact, the coalition was even larger, as it included Muslim revolutionaries! The mantra of dictator with green claws and an opressed people who are lacking in democratic opportunities and locked in ethnic strife was used successfully. Of course, Yugoslavia was dependent on both Russia and the West (pre 90) and was badly off thereafter, and it is a considerably smaller and less important chunk than Iraq, which is slap in the middle of the Great Game.

Although Iraq had been ‘softened’, and Gulf War I was coalitioned - it was paid for mostly by Japan and the EU - a fair sharing of burdens - the situation with Iraq in 2002 was different. Both Japan and the EU were hesitant or against, for many reasons, the main one probably being giving the US too much of a free reign and destabilizing the whole region. Gulf War I was a war of containment and for stability, and Yugoslavia is a "tin pot" place after all. (The role of Britain I have left out.)

I often wonder, would Clinton or Gore have invaded Iraq? Kerry is another kettle of fish.

---hi vbo, maybe you don't agree with my thumbnail about Yugoslavia?--

Posted by: Noisette | Mar 2 2006 17:20 utc | 28

Oil Royalties Index Error an "Oversight"

Turns out "someone" in the Fed "inadvertently
left out" oil royalties indexing clauses on Fed
(public lands) oil contracts, (which used to
be in the oil contracts and) which would have
required indexed-higher royalties, tied to the
price of oil (as it soared). No explanation was
given how the "oversight" occurred, and it's
estimated the loss to US taxpayers will only
amount to $7B or so, a drop in the FEMA bucket.
No word whether contracts would be rewritten,
there doesn't appear to be a lot of interest.

Thanks, Carrie, for the update!
And now for local news.
Dog bites man!

Posted by: Carrie Underwood | Mar 2 2006 17:41 utc | 29

“Operation Iraqi Freedom” (hereafter “OIF”)

Should have just gone ahead and called it Operation Iraqi Liberation.

Posted by: beq | Mar 2 2006 17:49 utc | 30

Thanks all and esp. Malooga for that collection. So it is a mix. Now how can break that. What are conflicting aims that could collide etc....

Posted by: b | Mar 2 2006 21:03 utc | 31

This from Juan Cole today:

The Kurdistan Alliance and the Sunni fundamentalist Iraqi Accord Front are attempting to block Ibrahim Jaafari from becoming prime minister. The United Iraqi Alliance, the largest bloc in parliament, has the right to nominate the PM, and an internal party vote resulted in Jaafari's victory. Jaafari is, however, unacceptable to the United States because of his close ties to Iran and his socialist tendencies (he recently expressed admiration for Noam Chomsky and wondered if Noam would come visit Baghdad). The US appears to be working with the Kurds and the Sunnis behind the scenes to make Jaafari's candidacy collapse. The United Iraqi Alliance has 132 votes in the 275-strong parliament, but 184 are needed to choose a president. It therefore needs partners from either the Kurds or Sunni Arabs or both, and these two can essentially filibuster and prevent the formation of a government unless the UIA goes along with them.
This explains something of the critical mass developing in Iraq, in that the Shiites are back-sliding on the whole privitization scheme, especially concerning the oil question. Early in the drafting of the constitution the Iraqis showed no interest in privitizing, but were ratcheted back into a position of appearing to go along with it, with many mixed signals being sent, and entering PSA negoations that may lock in long term agreements (antiquated by todays standerds) sharing oil revenues with western interests.

It now appears, with the big Shiite victory in Dec. that they are in a process of of squeezing out the american interests, with regards to both the PSA's and privitization in general. Their position of maintaining their militias (as a "red line") within the security forces, especially in the ministry of interior, can also be seen as pushing out american influence in preserving a security force loyal to them via militia domination, instead of the more secular variety being trained up with loyality to generic (US) power.

Which in a nutshell, also accounts for Zhlmay Khalilzad last week hair on fire all over the media threatening to cut out funding of the new government. Perhaps the puppet government is cutting its strings, leaving the US puppetless, and furious enough to try anything to avoid being thrown from the train, that they have put into motion. At any rate the endgame is in motion.

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 2 2006 21:11 utc | 32

@vbo - thanks for the Fisk link, recommended!

Posted by: b | Mar 2 2006 21:32 utc | 33

All excellent detailed explanations of the Iraq debacle. Confusion arises only because the great synthesizers, corporate media, is muted.

The USA elected a leader who is a true believer who heard the voice of the all mighty say “go to war”. His handlers wanted control of a Middle Eastern country to project power and then there is all that oil. Even if they all had been realists instead of ideologues who believed their own propaganda, a Christian country has no chance in hell of invading and occupying a Muslim country without a Holy War breaking out. It did.

Posted by: Jim S | Mar 3 2006 5:17 utc | 34

Covering the Mangoes

"The United States is looking forward to
eating Indian mangoes," President Bush
told his obescient audience in India today.

"Man-goes", of course, is the local pidgin
short-form encapsulation of a common Hindi
rural-villager expression, "Chale jao ke
liye kucch bhi karega" which translates
literally, "I will do anything to go away
(from here to get work)", (e.g. 'man goes').

Bush's phrase appears to be a clever double

entendre, referring not only to the imminent
resumption of unilateral trade in exotic
Indian fruits, but the growing unilateral
trade in foreign outsourcing of US high-tech
to urban Indian technology centers, where
the same computer and engineering work is

performed for a little bit under US$10.

Umm, did I mention nuclear engineering?

The gigantic career gap which occurred when
new reactor sales ceased in the late '70's,
means there are few trained US engineers
today with nuclear engineering expertise,
to meet Vice President Dick Cheney's Neo
Energy Policy Act plan to build six (6)
tax-payer funded, and Federally-operated
nuclear reactors in the next few years,
as well as up to seventeen (17) commercial
reactors, again in preliminary planning.

Along with that outsourcing of nuclear
engineering to Indian nuclear engineers,
will go a significant share of related oil
and gas engineering design work, continuing
a trend which began back in 1991, when the
First Gulf War brought the first price spike
for oil from it's $12 a barrel doldrums,
and started a boom in offshore exploration
that was in many cases designed by (India)n
technicians and engineers.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised a
swift response, with a trade consortium
planning to visit the United States in
March to discuss trade in "lai dzi",
(pronounced like "lazy") or the litchee
fruit, perhaps the Premier's own racist
double-entendre slam against (India)n
in-roads into what the Chinese must feel
is their US territory and their's alone.

Taiwan's Big Brother, as it were.

Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, when
asked about the twin impacts of Indian
and Chinese high-tech outsourcing upon
the US labor pool, mentioned a proposed
Can-Alaskan gas pipeline, recently signed
for development between now and 2010.

"American workers may look forward to
good paying jobs on the Can-Alaska gas
pipeline. Although they won't actually
be able to work on the construction, that's
going to the Canadian/British contractors,
Americans will still be able to serve as
caterers, domestic service, taxi drivers
and pleasure girls for these foreign
workers, and hey, those are good jobs!"

Oh ... oh ... ! You thought he meant fruit!
(smile, the world is coming to an end)

Posted by: Carrie Underwood | Mar 3 2006 6:15 utc | 35

" 'the nonkinetic problem set' Who gets paid to craft phrases like that, and how can I get a job?" Thank you Malooga for a big laugh here at 2:41 AM. If when you get work you need an assistant, please call.

Posted by: emereton | Mar 3 2006 9:42 utc | 36

Call? That might involve using a 'non-kinetic problem set' resolution device.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 3 2006 15:27 utc | 37

Fisk permalinked

And it is lovely to see the man remind us how to speak to an audience to prove one's case:

We know the Americans say we think we've recognised him on a videotape. Who recognises him on a videotape? How many Americans have ever met al-Zarqawi? Al-Zarqawi's mother died more than 12 months ago and he didn't even send commiserations or say "I'm sorry to hear that". His wife of whom he was very possessive is so poor she has to go out and work in the family town of Zarqa. Hence the name Zarqawi. I don't know if al-Zarqawi is alive or exists at the moment. I don't know if he isn't a sort of creature invented in order to fill in the narrative gaps, so to speak.

Posted by: citizen | Mar 3 2006 17:22 utc | 38

Fisk permalinked

And it is lovely to see the man remind us how to speak to an audience to prove one's case:

We know the Americans say we think we've recognised him on a videotape. Who recognises him on a videotape? How many Americans have ever met al-Zarqawi? Al-Zarqawi's mother died more than 12 months ago and he didn't even send commiserations or say "I'm sorry to hear that". His wife of whom he was very possessive is so poor she has to go out and work in the family town of Zarqa. Hence the name Zarqawi. I don't know if al-Zarqawi is alive or exists at the moment. I don't know if he isn't a sort of creature invented in order to fill in the narrative gaps, so to speak.

Posted by: citizen | Mar 3 2006 17:24 utc | 39

More and more Americans are gradually getting used to the idea that the "good German" problem is ours:

   Bush's demand is unprecedented. No leader in all human history, not even Hitler, Stalin, or Mao, has publicly demanded the right to torture. All others have behaved as Bush did before the amendment when he secretly tortured on a scale unseen in American history even while saying he wasn't. Forced into the open by the McCain amendment, however, Bush chose to openly demand the legal right to torture. Most experts assume he will continue to torture.

    It is important to understand what this means. Bush justifies his right to torture on the grounds of saving American lives in a global "war on terrorism." Unlike previous wars, however, this war will never end. On the contrary, Bush's bungling of the war on terror - including the increased Muslim hatred of the United States that the practice of torture has caused - makes it more likely that there will be another domestic 9/11, leading in turn to more demands to torture. Bush's assertion of his right to torture, therefore, would make torture a permanent and growing instrument of US state policy.

    Also, by opposing the McCain amendment, Bush took direct responsibility for the torture he and his administration have inflicted on countless suspects. As you read these words, people are screaming in agony from Gestapo techniques used in CIA and "allied" torture chambers around the world.

19 hours before Katrina hit, Bush on videotape proves to have all the empathy of a talking worm:
"I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm," says Bush, "but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm." After the delivery of this promise, however, Bush goes mute.

Because they feel the people turning, GOP angry, frightened by Bush screwups

Ray McGovern shames Congressmen and CIA

Nervous now, the White House seizes the day on Ash Wednesday to arrest 15 protestors, all Catholics I believe, who had been allowed to protest torture everywhere else they went in the Capitol, on the day Christians begin to prepare to meet their tortured savior, Jesus Christ.

Also yesterday, Congressman Conyers announces his and Harper's Magazine's campaign to impeach Bush

So if you're part of the administration, what's the logical response to this? If you were around in Vietnam, you may want to sit down before reading:

AC-130 deployed to Iraq: Kill and Retreat Plan initiated

Posted by: citizen | Mar 4 2006 3:11 utc | 40

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