Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 18, 2006

WB: The Silent Party


[L]ike any fading rock group, Al Qaeda badly needs a hit to avoid being permanently supplanted in the public eye by its Shi'a rival, which is setting the charts ablaze, so to speak. If the original band or its various spin offs have any ambitious projects on the drawing boards, now might be the opportune time to put them into production.

The Silent Party

Posted by b on July 18, 2006 at 7:02 UTC | Permalink


The not so silent party:

I think we ought to execute some air strikes against Syria, against the instruments of power of that state, against the airport, which is the place where the weapons shuttle through from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas. I think both Syria and Iran think that we're cowards. [...] The last thing we ought to do now is to start talking about cease-fires and the rest.

-- James Woolsey, Former CIA Director

We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions -- and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement.

-- Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard

The one thing we want to avoid is stopping Israel before it gets a chance to do what it is trying to do to Hezbollah. So here's hoping that Rice's visit to the region "at some point in the future" comes later rather than sooner.

-- Rich Lowry, National Review Online

The answer lies in delivering an unequivocal blow to Syrian ground forces deployed near the Lebanese border. [...] Of course, Syria could respond with missile attacks against Israeli cities, but given the dilapidated state of Syria's army, the chances are greater that Assad will simply internalize the message.

-- Michael Oren, The New Republic

Here's what I do know about World War III and the impending apocalypse. One, we can't coexist with people who want to blow up trains and subways and bring down buildings. If somebody has a death wish, not really the best negotiating partner. [...]

And it's not just us. It's the whole Western way of life that is in trouble. That's why we need to get on that World War III bandwagon.

-- Glenn Beck, CNN Headline News

That's why I think this is a gift to the world, folks. This is an opportunity finally to do something about Iran. Iran is the elephant in the room in all of this, and if we sit here and say it's Hezbollah or it's Assad or it's Syria or it's Hamas, we are blaming the tentacles and not the brain, and Iran is the center and the focus of this, and that's why this is a gift.

-- Rush Limbaugh

Iran is behind the terror attacks on Israeli forces. The whole thing is part of World War III, ladies and gentlemen. Islamic fascism against the West. That global conflict, unfortunately, is here for the foreseeable future.

--Bill O'Reilly

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so. In an interview in Bellevue this morning Gingrich said Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president.

"We need to have the militancy that says 'We're not going to lose a city,' " Gingrich said. He talks about the need to recognize World War III as important for military strategy and political strategy.

Gingrich said he is "very worried" about Republicans facing fall elections and says the party must have the "nerve" to nationalize the elections and make the 2006 campaigns about a liberal Democratic agenda rather than about President Bush's record. [...]

"This is World War III," Gingrich said. And once that's accepted, he said calls for restraint would fall away...

-- The Seattle Times, July 15, 2006

In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser (all later senior officials in the Bush administration) had a plan for how to destroy Hezbollah: Invade Iraq. They wrote a report to the newly elected Likud government in Israel calling for " a clean break" with the policies of negotiating with the Palestinians and trading land for peace.

The problem could be solved "if Israel seized the strategic initiative along it northern borders by engaging Hizballah (sic), Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon." The key, they said, was to "focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions." They called for "reestablishing the principle of preemption." They promised that the successes of these wars could be used to launch campaigns against Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, reshaping "the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly."

-- Think Progress

Also see: Keeping track of some of the major neocon players and their connections - who's on first?

But hey,...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 18 2006 8:10 utc | 1

Fouad Ajami was on the Rose show the other night, pushing his new book (yaawn) but referred to a question from Rose about Mubarrak and and King Abdullah's screaching about the rise of Shiite power, enabled by the U.S. in Iraq -- as nothing more as "job applications", givin to the Bush administration. Which in fact might be the case, seeing how those two countries, along with the Saudi's, have now come out aginst Hizbollah. This is of course is all underlined 24/7 by every Israel official as a major talking point -- in what Billmon is saying, as the transference of the new source of evil from the Wahhabi Bin-Laden to the the real terrorists in Tehran. And Hizbollah, the latest suiter taking up slack for the Palestinian cause, all fit quite nicely -- in the overall policy two part harmony squabble within the administration, of how best to divide and conquer the natives into a shuffle dance. So much for Bin-Laden, so much for de-Baathification, so much for democratization of the middle east.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 18 2006 8:48 utc | 2

Al-Qaida could start a new teenie band, called "Boyz and the Oud"...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 18 2006 8:53 utc | 3

Oh, and by the way, this (Israels attack on Lebanon) is probably the first bonafide case of one democracy invading another.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 18 2006 9:07 utc | 4

Any Hezbollah Killed?
Sunday, July 16th, 2006 in News by Eric Garris|

There are many reports on those killed in Lebanon, as of this post, it stands at 204, “all but 14 of them civilians.” The 14 includes 9 Lebanese soldiers.
Almost every day in Gaza, Israel says that they have killed one or more militants.
But there are no reports I have been able to find of Hezbollah militants killed in the last few days of bombardment of Lebanon.
I am sure that if the Israelis were aware of any Hezbollah killed we would hear about it. I also believe that Hezbollah would announce the deaths of any of their officials or fighters. But we have heard nothing.
Israeli officials have stressed that they are focusing on Hezbollah targets, yet they seem to be killing only civilians (and a few Lebanese soldiers). Are they that inept? I doubt it.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 18 2006 9:31 utc | 5

Interesting that Billmon uses a pop chart metaphor for Al-Qaida. It's not at all clear to me that this is the way they think. They clearly have more patience than we do and a longer time-horizon.

The fact is that -- so far -- Hezbollah and Al-Qaida don't pick from the same talent pool, and I don't see why they need to try and upstage each other's attacks to compete for recruits. If you're a radical Sunni from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, are you really going to join Hezbollah just because that's where the media focus currently is? Or will you join Al Qaeda to kill Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Posted by: Vin Carreo | Jul 18 2006 9:35 utc | 6

* is defined by the US Department of Defense as "the unlawful use of -- or threatened use of -- force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives."
* The FBI defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 18 2006 9:41 utc | 7

When it happens you will know...

Soon I believe:

U.S. Silence Impeding Swiss in Nuclear Case
Expert Says Calls Have Been Ignored

Two years after the United States helped disrupt a notorious nuclear smuggling ring, the Bush administration has hobbled a Swiss effort to prosecute three of the alleged leaders by failing to share critical information, an American nuclear expert and Swiss law enforcement officials said yesterday.

Switzerland's federal prosecutor made at least four separate appeals for U.S. help over the past year, asking for access to documents and other evidence linked to the nuclear black market run by the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. In that time, the Swiss have received no assistance, or even a reply, a spokesman for the prosecutor said.

Also see:

A Higher Form of Killing
The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare

by Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman
2002, Random House reprint edition
(Originally published 1982, Chatto & Windus)
ISBN 0812966538
336 pages, illustrated.

Please note: In the 2002 edition this passage is omitted:

“As long ago as 1962, forty scientists were employed at the U.S. Army biological warfare laboratories on full-time genetics research. ‘Many others,’ it was said, ‘appreciate the implications of genetics for their own work.’ The implications were made more specific that genetic engineering could solve one of the major disadvantages of biological warfare, that it is limited to diseases which occur naturally somewhere in the world. ‘Within the next 5 to 10 years, it would probably be possible to make a new infective micro-organism which could differ in certain important respects from any known disease-causing organisms. Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.’ The possibility that such a ‘super germ’ may have been successfully produced in a laboratory somewhere in the world in the years since that assessment was made is one which should not be too readily cast aside. . .”

(A Higher Form of Killing; Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman; Hill and Wang [SC]; ISBN 0-8090-5471-X; p. 241.)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 18 2006 11:30 utc | 8

I have to confess, I did the same thing during the war in Vietnam and was about the same age as these girls

I feel really stupid about it now, I wonder if they will as well....

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 18 2006 12:39 utc | 9

Does anyone else here wonder if Isreal's withdrawal of their settlers from Gaza a few months ago was a genuine gesture towards Palestine or if they were just preparing for the area to be a warzone and getting their people out?

Of course, knowing that "The detention of Hamas parliamentarians in the early hours of Thursday morning had been planned several weeks ago and received approval from Mazuz on Wednesday. "; as well, as no diplomacy attempts from anyone (actually it's been the opposite) that matters doesn't bold well for my suspisions.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 18 2006 13:18 utc | 10

they were just preparing for the area to be a warzone and getting their people out?

I have always felt this, Uncle. They wanted to make sure they could indiscriminately carpet-bomb the area and not worry about hitting Israelis. At the same time of course, they started new illegal expansion into the West Bank. Apparently, they plan to keep the best Palestinian land for themselves.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 18 2006 13:53 utc | 11

From Uncle's Billmon-esque, sorry, Krugman-esque, quote fest:

"This is World War III," Gingrich said. And once that's accepted, he said calls for restraint would fall away...

So basically this is all a show in the ME, put on for domestic US Rethug political purposes in the autumn?

Fuck you, Gingrich, and fuck the horse you rode in on.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Jul 18 2006 14:12 utc | 12

Al Quaida! Da base! That is so yesterday!

Seriously, these mock villains and leaders with green claws (Saddam and so on) are necessary for the American public, the Israelis have no need for them, and as far as I intuit only pay lip service to them when Americans are in ear-shot. The Israelis know they are ‘truly’ threatened, they don’t need to make stuff up.

This situation is the real thing, even if it is shrouded in the usual spin - Bolton saying that civilian deaths in Lebanon are not morally equivalent to Israelis being killed by terrorists, or whatever g-d thing he said.

Also, ever considering that a ‘global’ terrorist network existed was silly. They don’t, even if international contacts exist, and communication or punctual help to ‘brothers’ take place. These movements are always local, a reaction to particular local conditions.

There is no world-wide neo-nazi movement, or left-anarchist movement (most of that was false flag anyway), etc. but the IRA, the Basques, Jihadists of one stripe or another in Iraq, etc. do exist.

In fact, it is quite the other way round, and ‘terrorist’ groups are very tight, suspicious of strangers, even those bearing gifts. Their capacity for action rests on that.

The Bin Laden network, according to one of my interpretations, admittedly it is an exercise in reading the tea leaves, was a combination of novelty and tradtion, in the sense that they set out to punish the masters that they felt were opressing them - the US who keeps the Saudi Royals in position. (USS Cole, African Embassies, etc.)

They managed to set up a small, rich, but ideologically weak and strategically disorganised (no aim, no demands!) group, because they were supported and funded in various ways both by Saudi, exporting its dissidents, AND the US, who had, and has, a big stake in creating Arab bogeymen. The US countenanced the Saudi approach (as does GB, in a very much more open fashion); it could easily have stopped it right away. Muslim terrorists amok around the place suited them both. And that is without mentioning the instrumentalisation by the US of Muslim fighters, be it in ex-Yugo or Afghanistan.

So Al-Q was not a movement in any proper sense - but an offshoot of two or more Gvmts - a band of rag-tags, gangsters, who saw the oppo for getting quite a lot, actually impressive amounts, of money for some smallish actions here and there - becoming, so to speak, an offical gang with international weight and notoriety, rather than bit-time bank robbers, kidnappers, people hiding in cellars, etc. Rather like underground mercenaries; in competition with their South African counterparts!

The myth is now perpetrated by Arab teens who buy Binny T-shirts and furnish internet chat that gets the attention of US intelligence services.

The general softie-leftie, or Democrat (some) pov is the old incompetence theory; that the US sort of helped to create the “monster” of islamic terror, while considering it genuine, and even, in some cases, justified (Backlash, etc.) Alternate spin!

Al Q was a propaganda op - it is now over; the Arab-as-Terrorist meme is quite firmly implanted.

The CIA has stopped looking for Binny, who was never accused of complicity in 9/11 in any case. And Fitz, master prosecutor, has been set other tasks.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 18 2006 16:27 utc | 13

Gary 'U$' Bonds--

Is there a stain on the blue dress that those devils whose statements you chronicled at the top of the thread are each taking turns wearing?


btw those quotes are so good I think I'm going to swipe them.


Posted by: RossK | Jul 19 2006 3:33 utc | 14

The comments to this entry are closed.