Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 16, 2006

Weekend Open Thread

News & views ...

Posted by b on September 16, 2006 at 8:00 UTC | Permalink


London 7/7 fake terror attack taken apart

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 16 2006 8:14 utc | 1

Uncle $cam,

Viewed the whole thing, and discovered it to be a poorly composed and unpersuasive piece of work. The points raised about the expansion of police powers and the abrogation of basic civil freedoms have potentially enduring effects on the state of society, and should attract the attention of any British citizen. But the editor drastically narrows his audience at the start by whinging in a vague and pointless way about the official position on the June 7 bombings.

The main effect of this will be to tantalize those who want something to decorate their imaginations. That's not necessarily an unhealthy thing, but it makes this a form of entertainment or epidiectic reinforcement, not a contribution to political discourse.

Apart from that, I found the soundtrack to be extremely irritating.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Sep 16 2006 9:55 utc | 2

On last OT, we read WaPo interview w/Jim Lovelock. Here's NYT interview. Wire jaw shut before reading. Even by NYT standards, this is stunning. It eliminates every thing he says that matters, concentrating on the argument over his support for nuclear energy. Ho hum...let's argue for another decade or so...yawn..what else is in the paper today...not much..anything interesting on television...or perhaps we should go off to a movie...Updating Prescriptions for Avoiding Worldwide Catastrophe yea, so let's put up a few nuke plants...and gee we need to cut back a bit...Next.....

This could be the don't panic the masses tack...if they knew they might try to interfere w/Elite Prerogatives to Decide their Future...

Posted by: jj | Sep 16 2006 16:23 utc | 3

''Ten years from now, when we have the whole story, we are going to be ashamed,'' he said. ''This is not us. This is not the way we do business. I don’t think in our history we’ve ever had a presidential involvement, a secretarial involvement, a vice-presidential involvement, an attorney-general’s involvement in telling our troops essentially, Carte blanche is the way you should feel. You should not have any qualms because this is a different kind of conflict.''

~ Lawrence Wilkerson, in his "cabal" speech

If congress does indeed "legalize" torture -- ["If congress doesn't legalize this illegal Program, it will end." ~ the Preznet] -- would it get past the Supremes? And if congress does not legalize torture, will this "Program" -- ala presidential signing statements -- truly end?

Presidentally authorized horror shops -- Abu Ghraib just one example of this entire obsenity.

Recall that the Pentagon is "investigating" more than (admittedly) 100 detainee deaths -- "Oops! Must have shoved the baton a little too far up Haji's a**!"

Note, too, that "Worried CIA Officers Buy Legal Insurance."

Staggeringly stunning that this even remains "debatable" -- that Bush & Co's advocacy of torture is buttressed by a significant measure of popular, political support!

["At first, we denied our culpability in the abominations of Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. But it polled well among a certain segment of voters! So now we're openly pitching our blood lust in prime time speeches to the nation, and viciously castigating those who 'don't have the stomach for it!'"]

Utterly obscene.



(1) IN GENERAL.—No person in any habeas action or any other action may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto as a source of rights, whether directly or indirectly, for any purpose in any court of the United States or its States or territories.


This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply retroactively, including to any aspect of the detention, treatment, or trial of any person detained at any time since September 11, 2001, and to any claim or cause of action pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.


Posted by: manonfyre | Sep 16 2006 17:00 utc | 4

recent, from mainstream papers (click):

ALMATY, Kazakhstan.

The U.S. on Monday again expressed regret over a new treaty to set up a nuclear weapon-free zone in Central Asia, saying the agreement has possible loopholes.

Under the treaty signed Friday, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan commit themselves not to produce, buy or allow the deployment of nuclear weapons on their soil. >link

US moves to scuttle Arab plan for international peace conference

The US is trying to block attempts by Arab countries to turn the UN Security Council into a key player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the upcoming General Assembly opening next week.>link

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 16 2006 17:05 utc | 5

Link to NYTimes

Further information on the torture shoot-out in the Senate.

So it's the uniformed military and its alumni against the Executive Branch (the DOD included, of course).

This would be a good time, wouldn't it, for the press to reconsider the long line of chickenhawks roosting in and near the White House? Except that the press itself is almost entirely populated by chickenhawks....

Posted by: alabama | Sep 16 2006 19:42 utc | 6

Jail for Powell!

The other Powell, as in son of...

Powell claims he didn't order report suppressed

Former FCC chairman Michael Powell denys even seeing media ownership study

Given Cheney, Rice, and Bush's recent interviews, it's official: regular people can know more about incredibly important, keystone Congressional and FCC reports than say, cabinet officials and chairmen. Now, "current Chairman Kevin Martin claims he was unaware of the report in his letter to Barbara Boxer."

@J. Jape, I watched it too, all be it half intoxicated and out of my gord. Neverthisless, it's all propagenda now, just a matter of who wins the ideology war in the end I guess...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 16 2006 20:20 utc | 7

The masochism continues. Tho I suspect that amerikan MoA contributors will find it difficult to consider 911 objectively until the neo-cons are dead and buried I feel obliged to entrat them to read a piece by DIANA JOHNSTONE in Counterpunch. I think it has been lurking there for a couple of days.

In the interests of brevity I won't cut and paste the whole article which I suggest people read and consider with as close to an open mind as the heat on this subject allows, but I will drop in the section on physics, not because Ms Johnstone offers any empirical evidence, she doesn't because just like everyone else she can't, but she does express the doubts I have about demolition evidence far more cogently than I have been able to:

"When the towers went down, it reminded viewers of deliberate building demolitions. That doesn't prove anything. There are experts who explain why it must have been demolition, and experts who explain why the collapse was due to the structure of the buildings (especially their vertical design). The layman has no way to judge between these expert explanations -- but neither do experts, since (as physicist Jean Bricmont points out) scientists cannot be sure of the cause of a single event that cannot be repeated experimentarily. So we are back to the question of plausibility and motivation.

As to plausibility, supposing the airliner attacks were really engineered by the Bushites, why add demolition? Since somebody would have to place explosives in the two towers, this would enlarge the circle of persons involved in the plot, making exposure more likely[2]. And what is the dividend from demolition to make it worth the additional risk of disclosure?.

And why demolish yet another tower? How does that strengthen what is supposed to be the effect of the attacks: to frighten the American people and justify war? . . "

It is important that amerikans get a more 'real' grip on exactly what these assholes are capable of and what they aren't, from this distance I see nothing but flaws, miscalculations and failure in everything they do outside of their quintessential deceit. Sometimes I hear the flavour of a description of satan when amerikans describe the BushCo/Cheneyite regime. By imbuing these assholes with that Mephistophelian flavour, they ascribe a level of omnipotence that these clumsy pricks don't have in any shape or form.

The enemy has become too powerful in the minds of good citizens for them to be able to envisage their defeat and that is an obstacle which must be overcome long before the real battle begins. It is also the reason that Bushistas have avoided addressing this business head on, as they normally would.

I will end with an example of neo-con stupidity and incompetence dressed up as hard assed capitalism because to me that is the real flavour of these guys. It also comes thru Counterpunch, from Brian Cloughley's observations of a PBS story :

"To understand why so many US representatives in foreign countries are figures of fun or even derision and contempt to their inhabitants one need look no further than a Public Broadcasting Service item of August 7.

The report goes further than showing that the main figure is an idiot. This cameo, this snapshot of the mindset of an American official in Afghanistan, demonstrates appalling lack of understanding of a country with which the US is deeply involved. The deep ignorance of the central character is terrifying. His rejoicing when he forces an Afghan van driver to pay $20 in road tax is grotesque. Here's the PBS piece:

Miranda Kennedy [anchor] : It's a hot, grueling afternoon at the toll plaza on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. Chris Anderson is an advisor to Afghanistan's finance ministry. That sounds like an exalted position. Often, as today, it means standing out on the tarmac, trying to convince Afghan drivers to pay a toll to use the highway. [Scene shifts to Anderson.]

Anderson: [to his interpreter] Can you please explain to him that I understand these people need to be somewhere, but unfortunately if he wants to use this road, there is no choice but to pay. [Dialogue involving the interpreter, Anderson and the van driver]

Anderson : "I understand what you're saying sir ; unfortunately everybody wants to pay tomorrow, and what happens is they come along tomorrow and say let me pay tomorrow so . . ."

Kennedy: Anderson is talking to a young guy who runs a taxi service between Kabul and some outlying villages. His van is loaded with half a dozen villagers, a stack of very weathered suitcases, a bicycle and a couple sheep. Because he's driving a commercial van, he's supposed to pay $20 for a monthly pass. But he offers up every excuse in the book not to shell out, including a sick child in the back. But Anderson is having none of it.

Anderson: "He must make a decision right now to either pay this money or to turn around, and if he refuses then we will have to ask the police to come and tell him to move."

Kennedy : "The traffic police appear. And half an hour later, our supposedly-penniless driver finally gives in."

Anderson : He bought it, he bought the sticker.

Kennedy: There he is, with his blue sticker!

Anderson : It was nothing to him to waste 20 minutes arguing with us rather than buy the decal.

Kennedy: But he had the money.

Anderson : He had the money the whole time.


Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 16 2006 21:48 utc | 8

Debs, that's a good find. The 9/11 conspiracy theories - that the attacks were directly perpetrated by Washington - seem to hold as many holes, if not more, than the official version. As I asked a few weeks ago, if the US staged the attacks, then why weren't any of the hijackers Iraqi or Iranian?

On the other hand, not even the FBI is willing to claim that Osama was behind the 9/11 attacks:

Posted by: Rowan | Sep 16 2006 22:14 utc | 9

Billmon has commented on Rottie the Razor.

14th Century emperors are so 14th Century.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Sep 16 2006 22:20 utc | 10

@Rowan, then Sec. of State Powell said at the time that he'd release a rpt. in a couple of mos. (after it happened) proving that ObL was the Evil One. No such report was ever released. If they had such evidence, or any stray bits that could be cobbled tog. I'm sure we would have been treated to it.

But consider, that if this really was an Attack by Outsiders, if Am. National & Physical Security was really shattered, they would have organized hearings immediately & endlessly. Instead, they stonewalled as long as they could. Then made sure they had control of them & even then the Puppet & his Ventriloquist Refused to Testify Under Oath....What more do you need to know about where fingers need to be pointing?

Finally put that in the context of pretext hunting for the oil/market resource wars they've started, include the plundering of the National Treasury, devouring of pension funds, war on the middle class; for the whipped cream & cherry on top use Lovelock's assertion that the die is cast & America & Europe will be uninhabitable by mid-century, and Elite's have every reason to be pretext hunting for building a police state.

The burden is on those who believe the Conspiracy Cartoon version of a handful of MaleMuslims in a cave in Nowheresville violating the most heavily fortified airspace in the history of the world 'cuz they were in a snit about something or other...Hell, if you're even to believe Prez. Bozo who said it was another Pearl Harbor, which FDR et al finessed to give them a pretext for entering WWII. (Throw in all the other wars they manufactured pretexts for starting...) How gullible can you be??

Posted by: jj | Sep 16 2006 22:38 utc | 11

Why don't you Listen to the 2 most Knowledgeable Scientists on the subject - Physicist Steven Jones, & Manager of the Laboratory that certified the steel, who discusses how over-built it was, how NIST's Summary Rpt. even lied about their own evidence, etc.

(Both guys have been canned for their candor.)

Posted by: jj | Sep 16 2006 22:42 utc | 12


I'm not sure what you're replying to. You didn't reference the article that Debs linked to which I agreed with, and you didn't seem to notice that I said that the conspiracy theory had as many or more holes than the official explanation.

Like the Johnstone piece says, I'm a layman. One scientist telling me one thing is just as likely to be telling the truth as another scientist telling me the opposite. The way to judge between them is to have an experiment demonstrating it, and we're not getting that. So I'm left with going with whichever appeals to me emotionally, and I'd rather stay agnostic and entertain other impossibilities.

[quote]But consider, that if this really was an Attack by Outsiders, if Am. National & Physical Security was really shattered, they would have organized hearings immediately & endlessly. Instead, they stonewalled as long as they could. Then made sure they had control of them & even then the Puppet & his Ventriloquist Refused to Testify Under Oath....What more do you need to know about where fingers need to be pointing?[/quote]

These are questions, not answers. I wouldn't be here if I didn't find them as absurd as you, but I don't take them to mean that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by the top of the current administration. I take it to mean that the current admnistration has something they don't want to talk about. That something is just as likely to be criminal incompetence and a disregard for the rule of law as it is conspiracy to destroy the WTC.

Posted by: Rowan | Sep 16 2006 23:20 utc | 13

As I sd, in another post, what needs to be focused on here is War games, during 911, "coincidences", insider trading, obstructed investigations, hijackers training/living at US military institutions, among a whole host of other things. The CD (controlled demolishion) argument is an exercise in futility; and can be manipulated as a red herring.

As squashed Philosopher Sir Karl Popper once sd, "abosolute truth can never be established,because it would require a infinite number of tests,
and that absolute falsity 'can' be esablished since a statement in
absolute form is falsified once a single exception is found.

One can see alot of the PRODUCTION of falsehood by the PTB in Paul Thompson's The Terror Timeline, though, the docu ‘9/11 PRESS FOR TRUTH is excellent it does not go far enough and leaves many many things out IMO.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 16 2006 23:40 utc | 14

I'd buy criminal incompetence for one plane - w/no plan in place to use this to justify all the things they've wanted to do since the outset anyway. Criminal Incompetence doesn't account for the stand-down order that was given. Criminal Incompetence doesn't account for planes being flown by those who could barely fly a Cessna, Criminal Incompetence doesn't account for the buildings falling at ~free fall speeds, it doesn't account for these seriously overbuilt buildings being the only ones ever to fall from fire w/temperatures not being hot enough to melt the steel, for the witnessed explosions in the basement of the WTC, for starters...

But in some sense that's in the past. I'm very concerned w/the recent link from Harper's about the CIA being worried about the outfit that Blackwater, headed by a far-right winger married to a Major Am. fortune(Amway), is becoming & what that portends for the future. They're loading up not just on Special Forces guys to provide elite protection in the myriad of wars, but on top guys from Clandestine Ops @CIA. Put that together w/Admin. authorizing Mossad to operate domestically, and we've got an ongoing Nightmare on our hands.

In short, I'd be open to an oopsy type explanation if it wasn't Essential to carrying out their plans. Even Brzezinski in "Grand Chessboard" calls for an accelerated militarization of America which the populous would not want, so there was a fairly widespread agreement among elites that they were going to have to pull some stunt to accomplish these aims, though they disagreed on the details.

Also, WTC was obsolete & needed to be replaced which was a problem in itself.

Posted by: jj | Sep 16 2006 23:47 utc | 15

Uncle, what does this mean?
As squashed Philosopher Sir Karl Popper

Posted by: jj | Sep 16 2006 23:49 utc | 16

The weird collapse, notably the WTC7, and the wargames about hihacked planes as missiles, that sent away most of the fighters, are the biggest clues that trouble me about 9/11. In fact, the wargames all of themselves would be huge enough to let pretty much everyone wonder what really went on.
If we were in a fictional work, and suddenly you have most of the airforce taken away to hunt down fake hijackings, and then have real hijackings coming that do destruction unseen by previous hijackings, one would suspect a massive set-up.

Lovelock piece: at least he got one thing correct. "sustainable development" is bullshit. There can't be any sustainability with 6bio people. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, trying to argue that we should shift to nuclear to live on is still giving on to this sustainability bogus. I just don't understand why he can't see it. But then, of course, it's quite unpolitically correct to say that the world's population should be cut by 3 or 4 right now and the remaining humans would have to considerably lower their standard of living, if we want a sustainable humanity that will live beyond the next centuries.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 17 2006 0:16 utc | 17

Thanks to Chris Conrad who posted the link to the Pope's text in his comment on Al Jazeera.

The most offensive part of this speech is the part right after that generally being quoted, and the Benedict XVI's attempts to link the Christian religion with reason and Islam with unreason.

For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

As an American I need only to point to the Xtian 'Taleban', a major power in the cabal that has seized power in my country, to demonstrate that Christianity is every bit as liable to be used as the unreasoning goad to war and intolerance in the tweentieth century as it was in the twelfth through fourteenth.

Rather than quoting a Byzantine emperor's opinion of Islam, Benedict XVI would have done better to have quoted, and denounced, Pope Urban II's call for Jihad against Islam :

"I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it. All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested. O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ!"

The Holy Roman Chancellor of Germany's defense of the Pope's shows how reflexive is the support for the underlying "rationality" of the West is.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Sep 17 2006 2:58 utc | 18

i read the johnstone piece yesterday & came away from it w/ the idea that she was only trying to poke holes in mihop and finds lihop plausible. some of the questions she poses are good, though they don't discount lihop, and maybe they'll make some of the more fringe conspiracists think a bit about their beliefs. however, i think she leaves quite a bit of info out of her arguments - perhaps she is addressing only a specific segment of the mihop crowd, wrt the response to cockburns polemic she singles out - and she bases her reasoning on some tendentious assumptions (e.g., "The United States is not a place where people keep secrets", "It just may be that there was no standard operating defense against such an operation" [flying passenger planes into the towers], "why demolish yet another tower? How does that strengthen what is supposed to be the effect of the attacks: to frighten the American people and justify war?", "an entourage clever enough to pull off the 9/11 spectacle should have been clever enough to manipulate the President to get him to play his important role in the scenario", etc...). johnstone laid bare a lot of the lies surrounding the 'humanitarian intervention' in kosovo, so she's a good figure to have in the public discourse (speculation?) on pressing for rigorous investigations.

as to rowan's question, if the US staged the attacks, then why weren't any of the hijackers Iraqi or Iranian?, i can only guess that a similiar line of inquiry would examine why the feds tried to recruit a group of haitian refugees to blow up the sears tower. or, perhaps, look into the relationships between the sauds & the u.s. military/intel sectors, and take into consideration the london bombings timed in conjunction w/ training exercises, where it is speculated that the guys w/ the backpacks were led to believe they were part of those training exercises.

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2006 2:58 utc | 19

JFL- last night, after debs drew our attention to an article in the guardian on the pope's speech, i pointed out how the guardian put words in the pope's mouth to try and cover for him. the copy of the speech you link to doesn't include the phrase "i quote" either.

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2006 3:12 utc | 20

Immigration raids leave Georgia town bereft, stunned

STILLMORE, Ga. — Trailer parks sit abandoned. The poultry plant is scrambling to replace more than half its work force. Business has dried up at stores where, just weeks ago, Mexican laborers once lined up to buy food, beer and cigarettes.

Stillmore, a town of about 1,000, has become little more than a ghost town since Sept. 1, when federal agents began rounding up illegal immigrants.

The sweep has had the unintended effect of illustrating how vital the illegal immigrants were to the local economy.

More than 120 illegal immigrants have been loaded onto buses bound for immigration courts in Atlanta, 189 miles away. Hundreds more fled Emanuel County. Residents say many scattered into the woods, camping out for days. They worry some are in hiding without food.


The raids came during a fall election season in which immigration is a top issue.

In August, the federal government reported that Georgia had the fastest-growing illegal-immigrant population in the country. The number more than doubled from an estimated 220,000 in 2000 to 470,000 last year. This year, Georgia lawmakers passed some of the nation's toughest measures targeting illegal immigrants, and Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue last week promised a statewide crackdown on document fraud.

Other than the Crider plant, there isn't much in Stillmore. Four small stores, a coin laundry and a Baptist church share downtown with City Hall, the Fire Department and a post office. "We're poor but proud," Mayor Marilyn Slater said.

The 2000 census put Stillmore's population at 730, but Slater said uncounted immigrants probably made it more than 1,000. Not anymore, with so many homes abandoned and the streets practically empty.

"This reminds me of what I read about Nazi Germany, the Gestapo coming in and yanking people up," Slater said.

Posted by: b real | Sep 17 2006 3:21 utc | 21

uh, er, did the story just change?

Secret Agent Man

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.

The Guardian transcript has Bush saying that Khalid "described the design of plane attacks," rather than the official "planned attacks." The video, available from the White House website, confirms "planned." Perhaps the Guardian couldn't quite believe what it was hearing. Because Bush went on to say that the operatives of the planned attacks were instructed in the placement of explosives. Adding, as though it's the clearest thing in the world, that Khalid disclosed the explosives were to detonate at "a point high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping."

Posted by: | Sep 17 2006 4:36 utc | 22

22 was your fav uncle...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 17 2006 4:36 utc | 23

Torture lawyer Yoo provides his logic in a NYT OpEd - the President is just claiming back his original powers - in there is this about Congress: How the Presidency Regained Its Balance

A legislature’s function is to draft the laws of the land, set broad goals and spend taxpayer revenues in the national interest, not to micromanage.
Congress’s vague legal mandates are handed off to the states or the agencies or the courts to sort out.

Now first Congress micromanages the executive and a few sentences later Congress is vague and hands off stuff to the executive.

Which is it Mr. Yoo? A bit confusion on the torture bench I guess.

Posted by: b | Sep 17 2006 6:29 utc | 24

A comment from another board sums up what I was trying to say in #14 very nicely,

..." it also has to do with the nature of the assessment of physical evidence, which rests largely upon the judgement of experts who themselves often come to such contentious cases with biases and agendas. So, as with JFK and the obsession over ballistics, physical evidence becomes a battlefield of expert opinion that never resolves itself into legal fact, while less readily contested evidence goes ignored."

Yeah, 'experts'....
If I had a dollar for everytime an expert told me something...

On a different but simular note,

Khalid Sheikh Mohamed himself is something of a ghost, even aside from the unlikely details of his capture. There is an excellent piece, "There's Something About Omar: Truth, Lies, and The Legend of 9/11" by Chaim Kupferberg (link at end of post) which repays careful study.

It's far too long and complex to summarize or even quote from adequately. However, most of the piece is taken up with showing how the official 9/11 story was constructed a bit at a time in the weeks following 9/11 -- and how every stap of that process gives indications of falsification.

Here's part of the conclusion:

The arguments set out in this paper rest on one general theory - that the events leading up to, and arising from, the September 11 attack on the United States may best be understood as unfolding in the context of a pre-fabricated, professionally coordinated legend, the elements of which were gradually acted out and disseminated in a finely calibrated disinformation campaign spanning more than a decade. Like any theory, its validity largely rests on the strength of its explanatory power in accounting for the number of synchronicities and anomalies that are so much a part of these events, as well as presenting an integrated picture of many of the main (i.e. most public) players and operatives. ...

Many of the more popular theories concerning September 11 rest on a selective reading of the facts. In other words, they focus on certain elements of the story - failing, in the end, to account for a wide-ranging number of facts and anomalies that cannot be adequately accounted for by such theories. As one prime example, the complacency theory for 9/11 only works so long as one studiously and consistently ignores the compelling circumstantial evidence for all the various well-timed coincidences that stubbornly recur in practically every rudimentary recitation of the facts. However, a well-grounded complicity theory would have to account for not only individual coincidences, but would also have to integrate a large number of these coincidences within a coherent overall explanatory framework.

In view of such an aim, one would be hard-pressed to advance a compelling complicity theory with either the Saudis, Pakistanis, neo-cons, or Israelis acting as the main, self-contained operative instigators. For one, such theories would have to posit each of these entities as rogue players operating outside - and in opposition to - the global political infrastructure as it presently exists. Moreover, one would have to account for all the evidence and "spin" offered by the main players at the head of that infrastructure - that is, the authorities within the U.S., U.K., and E.U. - who have played the instrumental role of publicly disseminating the Official 9/11 Legend. ...

What I am suggesting, then, is the existence of a covert global political network operating through an increasingly sophisticated corporate and media infrastructure. ...

Further, we have seen how the Official 9/11 Legend has been overlain with a number of equally plausible cover stories and counter-legends, involving various neo-cons, Saudis, Pakistanis, Israelis, or even Iraqis. Again, we have seen a precedent for this type of information campaign, as it has heretofore most successfully been used in obfuscating the facts behind the J.F.K. investigation. Indeed, it is as if the J.F.K. Assassination Legend has served as the textbook model for framing the 9/11 Legend and its off-shoots. As with the 9/11 Legend, the J.F.K. Assassination Legend also had its various equally plausible offshoots, each with their own proponents. ...

As for the existence of this infrastructure, it, too, has been obscured by various false leads and counter-legends - most perniciously, through super-natural, extra-terrestrial, or anti-Semitic theories, all of which share in common a tendency to discredit mainstream discussion of elite covert networks. Whether these theories come by way of long-exposed hoaxes like The Report From Iron Mountain or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; whether the U.F.O. tales are stoked by individual military/intelligence disinformation operatives unveiling "secret" groups like MJ-12; or whether we get a "unified field theory" of all these theories by way of authors like David Icke (who claims to have psychically "channeled" the revelation that our world leaders are, in truth, reptilian shape-shifters) - the main effect, if not intent, is to distract truly interested observers from the more dry (and potentially more damaging) writings of researchers like Peter Dale Scott, Greg Palast, Lisa Pease, Donald Gibson, John De Camp, and others who have credibly documented real evidence of political and corporate corruption.

In positing the existence of such a covert infrastructure, I do not mean to imply that all elements of this infrastructure are necessarily "in the loop." Indeed, a great many influential journalists - like Bob Woodward, Evan Thomas, Vernon Loeb, Judith Miller, Seymour Hersh, etc. - have built their careers on special access to an insular clique of politically connected intelligence operatives. And while it is in their interests to market themselves as hands-on "investigators," in many cases they serve as nothing more than passive mouthpieces for their anonymous informants, nursing the treasured informational threads that keep their by-lines on the front pages. Likewise, we can not be sure as to which political players are kept in line through financial or sexual bribery, and which of those have come on board for purely ideological reasons. Yet as regards the Legend of 9/11, we can make a circumstantial case against certain individuals who likely can be placed in the so-called "loop" - for the very reason that they have been so instrumental, and particularly well-placed, in establishing what we know and how we know it. Individuals like James Woolsey, Robert Mueller, Jerry Hauer, Richard Clarke, Yosri Fouda, Vincent Cannistraro, Robert Baer, and Bob Graham - though some are likely not among the most senior masterminds, the scope of their hands-on involvement here, along with the foregoing information which most directly connects them to a possible conspiracy, should suffice at least to trigger a truly independent investigation involving a far more incisive look into the background and activities of these highly influential operatives.

There's Something About Omar:
Truth, Lies, and The Legend of 9/11

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 17 2006 7:25 utc | 25

In case anyone's interested -

What would you think if it was announced that Canada was to cease as an independent country as early as 2007? Would it matter to you? Would you want to know who was responsible? What would you do?

Well, during the last week there have been announcements from at least two sources that Canada will soon cease to exist as a sovereign country.

The first notice I received was in the form of an Aug. 18 email from Connie Fogal, leader of the Canadian Action Party. The email includes a bulletin from the Fraser Institute entitled, "The Case for the Amero: The Institutions of a North American Monetary Union." A statement near the end of the bulletin reads, "On the day the North American Monetary Union is created--perhaps on January 1, 2010--Canada, the United States, and Mexico will replace their national currencies with the Amero. On that day, all American dollar notes and coins will be exchanged at the rate of one US dollar for one Amero."

Then much worst news came. On August 30 I received, indirectly from an email correspondent, an article from '' entitled, "Timeline of the Progress Towards a North American Union". At the end of the timeline it projected that the North American Union would be created in 2007, three years before the projection of the Fraser Institute! Stephen Harper's "Quisling" government pursues further talks for U.S. take-over of Canada

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 7:44 utc | 26>Cutler has a post up on the alliance between the left, libritarian antiwar interests, and right arabists, where estranged Saudi Arabia plays out "the friend of my enemy..." -- from the perspective of Murry Rothbard as acted by Justin Raimondo, in the current Iraqi shotgun marrage hit now playing. And who feels betrayed by the impending divorce (coup).

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 17 2006 8:53 utc | 27

22 was your fav uncle...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 17 2006 9:14 utc | 28

Frankenstein's Children: Modern Torture's Scientific Bible

What if there was a book that dispassionately looked at the history and methodology of torture? What if this book looked at human physiology and psychology and tried to scientifically establish how to best break another human being and bend him or her to your will? What if this book were written by top behavioral scientists and published in the United States? And, finally, what if the studies published in this book were financed by the U.S. government?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 17 2006 11:01 utc | 29

@ Rowan, # 13,. Science is based on observation before experiment, which is just arranging events to observe. Scientists aren't priests, and include you if willing. No one has observed buildings come down like WTC 7 and the albatross towers from any cause except controlled demolition before or after 911. (If you want filmed acknowledged controlled demolition rent/borrow movie Heathers. Mad dad's nostalgia film looks very like 911 collapses.)

But yes, lots of disinformation spews. Makes people want to throw up their hands and cover their sense organs.

At all times, cui bono?

Posted by: plushtown | Sep 17 2006 12:12 utc | 30

Re 911: Has anyone here read “Crossing the Rubicon” by Mike Rupert? Bernhard said he had a copy and was reading it but I haven’t heard form him regarding it. The book does not use any ‘expert’ testimony but relies on official documents and news reports and makes a case for the involvement (not planning and execution) of administration officials, predominately Cheney.

From the personal perspective as an ex USAF airman, who used to watch the fighter interceptors scrambled within minutes to intercept off course aircraft, my first reaction after hearing of the second tower being hit was, “where the hell were the interceptors”. I have no other explanation than they were “stood down”, violating official SOP (Standard Operaing Procedures). Rupert’s book made a lot of sense to me and as one of the jury hearing his case I have to vote “guilty”.

Posted by: Juannie | Sep 17 2006 13:04 utc | 31

Debs, Diane Johnstone is wonderful, but this is not her area.

Under the assumption that the attacks were engineered with the complicity, active or passive, of part of the present US admin, of elements thereof:

A plane hitting a tower with little damage is not spectacular enough. America had to be hit in her heart, and hit hard, to sear the American psyche, and create a world-shattering event.

As for WTC 7, another plane was supposed to hit it. It was even announced on CNN I think. Sorry no links - I have given up trying to wake people up. Besides that, doesn’t anyone find it curious that the number of destroyed buildings keeps going up? It was 2, now its 3... what is the real number? How come people don't even know how many buildings were destroyed, or who died in them?

Rowan (at 9), The 19 perps or patsies are a bit of a detail - who exactly they were has not garnered much attention, and it does not matter much, except for the ‘muslim fundamentalist’ tag. You are overstretching the ‘truthers’ ideas - most assume some plot where real people (such as Atta) did desire to attack America or whatever, but were either manipulated, or helped, or left free to act. As jj points out, there was little or no effort to investigate the perps or their roots, their links, their financing, etc. It is just a list of names, with the media, yes, uncovering some elements of background where they could (Atta, Jarrah, for example...) But that was the media, not the FBI. That is also why their profiles are so confused, and the likes of Hopsicker write books about them. The Dems tried to make hay out of some of their Saudi backgrounds but that fell flat, as was to be expected. Satam al Suqami killed heaps of Americans, but most Americans don’t even know his name, who he was, etc. Even a shooting in a mall by crazed druggies (open and shut case) gets a more thorough investigation.

The point is that the perps were both ‘real’ and are at the same time characters in a story.

Rowan (at 13), conspiracy theorists, so-called, have multiple theories - theories - and many don’t state that the Bush Admin was responsible. Now that ‘the movement’ has taken hold, and many seek culprits (rather than a thorough investigation), and Bush is in the dog-house, you get one brand of conspiracy theory. Bush Knew! Bush Did it! That's a leap of logic (say) but it is one that serious people do not make. Enough said.>The destruction of WTC 6 - pic

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 17 2006 14:04 utc | 32

Rupert has just moved to Venezuela, following mysterious events.

Posted by: Noirrette | Sep 17 2006 14:07 utc | 33

WTC 6 too! is the final count 4 then?

good grief, I really can't keep up any more. Thanks Noirette

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 17 2006 14:39 utc | 34

@Juannie, somebody @Harvard has apparently read it. According to Rupert's website, they have just added it to library @Harvard's B-School!

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 16:00 utc | 35


There is speculation out there that Rupert is still working for "the company" aka CIA, as the saying goes "once in the family , always in the family". I've read some pretty convining claims to that affect regarding Rupert, however, I have also read “Crossing the Rubicon” which seems to have validity. Maybe he did try to be a whistleblower at one time and was leaned on enough to change his mind... double-agent? who knows...

But I do know that since HW's time, the spy agencies have been turned on their heads. In others words, since Bush 1, the clandestine spy service's has been on stiroids starting w/South America/Iran contra/off shorebanking etc....

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 17 2006 16:17 utc | 36

have just seen the security hoodlum in iraq's puppet govt. telling the gnome blitzer how everything was going so well, honky dory in fact- o the trenches they were already there wolfen & the checkposts - yes yes they were always there

the timetable is clear - the troops are prepared, we have wonderful relations with iran & we will respect each others sovereignty

on & on - this most perverse fantasm undressed by the objective & bloody facts that arrive at morgues all over iraq & especially in baghdad

these puppets make the diems or the somozas seem almost decent by comparison

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 17 2006 17:08 utc | 37

P.C. Roberts weighs in on 911. (He was asked to adjudicate D-N-'s debate between Loose Change film makers & Pop. Mechanics chaps.) He focuses on main issues:

The Popular Mechanics editors are convinced that any explanation other than the government’s explanation is a conspiracy theory. However, the title of their new book applies equally to their view, as there is no more fantastic conspiracy theory than the view championed by the Popular Mechanics editors. How, for example, can it be possible that on one short morning of September 11, 2001, multiple failures occurred not only in airport security but also in FAA and NORAD procedures? The probability of any one of these failures is low. The probability of all of these failures occurring on one morning is very low indeed. How is it possible that essentially all US security failures of the last 5 or 10 years occurred on one morning? What probability do independent statisticians assign to such an event?

The probability is also extremely low that the only three steel columned buildings believed to have collapsed from fire all failed on the same day from three separate fires.

There are many problems with the 9/11 debate.


But the main problem with the 9/11 debate is that there has not really been a debate. Instead, we have had a report from a political commission run by a Bush administration insider, Philip Zelikow. In place of a real independent investigation, we have a collection of Washington players reassuring the public by defending the government’s story line.

Studies, such as those referred to by the Popular Mechanics editors, are in fact not forensic studies of evidence but what the editor-in- chief of “Fire Engineering” called “paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals.”

The explanation that the three WTC buildings collapsed as a result of damage and fire is a mere assertion. The assertion is not backed up with scientific calculation to demonstrate that the energy from the airliners, fire, and gravity were sufficient to collapse the buildings. A number of independent authorities believe that there is a very large energy deficit in the official account of the collapse of the buildings. Until this issue is resolved, the official explanation is merely an assertion no matter who believes it.


Perhaps more scientists will find the independence, time and energy to become involved. But until scientists can come up with an explanation of where the energy came from to account for the total collapse of the buildings and an explanation of how the energy was evenly distributed so as to produce sudden symmetrical collapse, there is no more evidence for the official conspiracy theory than there is for the unofficial conspiracy theories. Where is the evidence?

The problem here is that it's a lot more likely they'll just lean on scientists on govt. dole to bury everything in a pile of obscure bullshit, rather than assemble the evidence & witnesses for all the independent explosions that went off throughout the buildings that morning. Not to mention speaking to professional pilots who laugh at the idea that amateurs could have flown the planes; or, the guy who was in the nose of one of the planes the day before in Newark Airport as it was outfitted w/the gear required for it to be flown remotely...

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 18:28 utc | 38

One of our Fave Uncle's favorite topics - Convergence of Totalitarian Govt. Thinking w/Big Pharma

Tuesday, a bipartisan group of female lawmakers backed legislation that, if passed, would require all Michigan girls entering sixth grade in the Fall of 2007 to be vaccinated against cervical cancer.

Lead sponsor Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom said the legislation is the first of its kind in the United States, and said the group believes the law could save girls' lives. American Cancer Society numbers estimate that 9,700 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2006 in the United States alone, and 3,700 women will die from the condition. Sixth grade girls to face mandatory cervical cancer vaccinations under Michigan bill

This prob. won't become law, but this thinking will allow others to do so.

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 18:43 utc | 39

Speaking of Totalitarian Govt....why would the EU tolerate Britain anyway?

Big Brother is not only watching you - now he's barking orders too. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.

The system allows control room operators who spot any anti-social acts - from dropping litter to late-night brawls - to send out a verbal warning: 'We are watching you'.

Middlesbrough has fitted loudspeakers on seven of its 158 cameras in an experiment already being hailed as a success. Jack Bonner, who manages the system, said: 'It is one hell of a deterrent. It's one thing to know that there are CCTV cameras about, but it's quite another when they loudly point out what you have just done wrong.

'Most people are so ashamed and embarrassed at being caught they quickly slink off without further trouble.Big Brother is shouting at you

A success...Just Wait...

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 19:41 utc | 40

Cant help but feel that if ex-Cardinal Frecklepuncher really wanted to comment on the squalid conjunction of religion and violence he would have been more effective if he had spoken of the more common and deadly occurrences in his religion, particularly his own church's eagerness to spread the word at sword and gunpoint.

He knew his audience though and he dropped back to good old Bavaria, the Mississippi of Germany, it's Queensland, the place where non-white citizens better mind their manners or wear the consequences of a machine designed from top to bottom to oppress them.

Showing off to the good old boys by making sly Turkish jibes landed in him in strife and that's what I don't get. He had to have known that his comments would be reported so maybe he didn't care. I mean to say he's not gonna get the sack now is he?

Meanwhile those members of his cult who are less well protected and probably more well intentioned than the cassock-snatcher have been copping the brunt of his ego-rant. A 70 year old Italian nun operating out of Somalia was aced with one to the back of the head. Can't help but feel that the altar boy-racer doesn't spend much energy on the problems of his other ranks, particularly christ's brides, so probably he's down with this act of violence. I mean, the ubiquitous Blind Freddy could see that one coming.

It will certainly play into the hands of his amerikan sponsors who need more mainstream xtians back behind the war on terra. The fundie storm troopers are useful to the rethugs but the romans can certainly turn out a vote. Who knows maybe even the recalcitrant europeans will get with the program.

A surge in violence between muslims and the organised catholic church must play into BushCo hands. The catholic branch of the xtian mania has always prided itself on political discipline, that it can turn out the vote and here's an issue that doesn't have the pitfalls of the abortion ploy. ie It won't drive women away from the sect.

It is exactly those groups such as catholic voters who have been concerned at the mess and shame the rethugs brought on their fantasy amerika that rethugs need to win back.

We can look forward to this issue becoming bigger than the cartoons unless Islam leadership can keep control of the response. Mostly even such 'radical' islamicists as the Muslim Brotherhood have been talking the issue down to defuse it.

"Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying the pope's apology is ``sufficient,'' Sky News reported. The head of the Cairo-based group, Mohammad Mahdi Akef, had previously said the pope ``aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world.''"

Of course western media has protrayed this as the pope being magnanamous and the islamo-facists being forced to back off due to xtian charity. Just like the cartoon affair the blame for the outrage is pointed back at islam culture.

THe loonies have been having a field day and mainstream media is trying to fan the embers back into flames.

As in so many of these issues BBC World is taking point on that part of it. In a few days when it is too late they'll let the token lefties and peaceniks outta the bullpen to provide 'balance':

The Egyptian opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, welcomed what it called the Pope's "retraction", but later warned that it did not amount to a definitive apology and would not be enough to satisfy all Muslims.

BBC World has been running with that para on it's new broadcasts for a few hours now. The thing is while the original acceptance of the apology is reported as a direct quote from Mohammad Mahdi Akef, the add-on about it being a retraction and not being enough to satisfy all Muslims, is unattributed so that we are left with the feeling that too, is a direct quote from the Brotherhood's leader.

Does it matter? Well for muslims this storm in a chalice won't have any great long term effect on the numbers of them that will be murdered by the western military machine since rethugs or dems in control of the legislature, notwithstanding, amerika is going to keep killing Arabs.

So the rioting that the pope, amerika and western media are trying to stir up in the ME is just more self-serving vandalism.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 17 2006 22:02 utc | 41

Speaking of the BBC, Pres. Carter Calls a Poodle a Poodle.

Former United States President Jimmy Carter has criticised the British Government's "subservient" attitude towards the White House.

Mr Carter told BBC's Newsnight he believed Tony Blair was a good man, but that he could have used his influence more wisely.

The 81-year-old said: "There had once been a very strong voice from London in the shaping of a common policy.

"I have been really disappointed in the apparent subservience of the British government's policies related to many of the serious mistakes that have originated in Washington."

And Bonzo is "addressing" UN on Tues...will the Delegates Boycott this time? (Timed no doubt to shift attention away from last week's Senate fight over authorization of torture & unlimited unsupervised wiretapping, so senators can be strong armed in the dark while the press moves on to terrorize Am. idiots about Iran?) Iran becoming New Iraq?

A report today by veteran McClatchy (formerly Knight Ridder) reporters John Walcott and Warren P. Strobel warns that some of the same type of shaky intelligence that proved false in the run up to the Iraq war may be rearing its head again in regard to Iran.

"U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials say Bush political appointees and hard-liners on Capitol Hill have tried recently to portray Iran's nuclear program as more advanced than it is and to exaggerate Tehran's role in Hezbollah's attack on Israel in mid-July," they write..

"President Bush, who addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, has said he prefers diplomacy to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but he hasn't ruled out using military force. Several former U.S. defense officials who maintain close ties to the Pentagon say they've been told that plans for airstrikes - if Bush deems them necessary - are being updated."

As E&P has often noted in the past, reports from Strobel, Walcott and others in the former KR Washington office, proved more skeptical and accurate than those from other leading news organizations in the pre-Iraq invasion push.

"It seems like Iran is becoming the new Iraq," said one U.S. counterterrorism official quoted by Walcott and Strobel. This official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the information involved is classified.

The article concludes: "Some officials at the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department said they're concerned that the offices of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney may be receiving a stream of questionable information that originates with Iranian exiles, including a discredited arms dealer, Manucher Ghorbanifar, who played a role in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal.

"Officials at all three agencies said they suspect that the dubious information may include claims that Iran directed Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, to kidnap two Israeli soldiers in July; that Iran's nuclear program is moving faster than generally believed; and that the Iranian people are eager to join foreign efforts to overthrow their theocratic rulers.

"The officials said there is no reliable intelligence to support any of those assertions and some that contradicts all three.

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 22:44 utc | 42

Al -like Hell he's not Running - Gore's giving speech on Elite Solutions to Climate Change on Mon.So, even Bozo's tacking...Of course, we have to find out about this in the only Eng. speaking newspaper to actually have a section w/its own editor devoted to the Environment - and natch it ain't in america.. Doubtless he'll discuss the urgency of stopping human reproduction, since 90% of the human race might not survive the transitionary 21st cen!!! And how since this is the biggest transformation we've ever had to design, so-called "market solutions" won't work; they'll only bankrupt those who are already being bankrupted by the Wall St. Predators...

Posted by: jj | Sep 17 2006 23:00 utc | 43

Very mysterious events indeed Noirrette. I don’t subscribe to FTW but check their summary’s on a regular basis. I read the long communication from Rupert re his move to Venezuela and the implication was he is running for his life. (Hey, then again, Venezuela would probably be a pretty nice reward for a faithful asset who’s value has been exhausted.) But I think from what he has researched and exposed, his life may very well be in danger.

Thanks for the head’s up on the addition of Rupert’s book to the library at Harvard's B-School. I hadn’t discovered that yet. It adds credence to his presentation to the jury of We the People.

It’s really interesting uncle. In the house of smoke & mirrors, that all we who seek truth inhabit, it’s always a tough call whether there is credulity in any communication that our experience hasn’t illuminated. I like to say, “the only time they tell the truth is when it happens to coincide with their agenda”. But my main point is that everything Rupert bases his case on is in the “official record”, and unless someone can refute his references his case is very compelling. We don’t need experts or further scientific “opinion” (oops, that may be heresy in my circle of professional friends) to build a case against the players in the Cheney administration. We need documented facts which I believe were enough to secure my vote of guilty. If this case could be presented to more of the sheeple, then maybe we could reach a bifurcation point where the real criminals would be convicted.

But I’m not holding my breath.

I think it may all be diverting our attention away from what r’giap (thanks for being back Steel) tried to communicate in # 37. They are confounding us with so much data that we miss what they are up to right now (maybe part of Rupert’s role). So I think I need to focus more on that and do my small part to try to thwart them and bring our species around again to “jump up and live again”.

b, you have been glaringly quite on this. Have you read the book and if so, what are your comments? I respect your evaluative talents too much to hear you remain silent.

Posted by: Juannie | Sep 17 2006 23:21 utc | 44

this morning i participated in the vigil i posted about last weekend - "number the dead" - where a group of us lined fifth avenue for an hour holding placards honoring those who have died in iraq - coalition soldiers and iraqis. the action was poorly attended and where i stood there was a break of at least two blocks before the line appeared again. i chose to participate because i thought the concept was strong and those filming it would possibly capture some strong visuals that could potentially motivate others to develop greater awareness and even speak out. i don't regret the hour i spent standing on the line, but the statement it made about our society left me despairing.

this evening i just read a remarkable diary on daily kos which addresses why making the effort no matter how small is important. the diary, written by a fifteen year old girl wise beyond her years, is about darfur and the role we can play through divestment in changing the situation in chad. i can't recommend this exceptional diary more, particularly to the revolutionaries and feminists who visit here.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 17 2006 23:25 utc | 45

links not working for me conchita

Posted by: annie | Sep 17 2006 23:51 utc | 46

jj's #30

The proposed law fails to consider studies finding that vaccines can be harmful to health, as many of them use formaldehyde and thimerosol, a form of mercury, as preservatives. "The idea that the State of Michigan would impose a mandatory injection of mercury into the bodies of teenage girls is bewildering," Adams said, "and it demonstrates just how profit-driven public health policy has become. The primary beneficiaries of this policy would of course be the drug companies who sell the vaccinations and who are strongly supporting this legislation."

there is no way i would allow the state to impose this vaccination of a kid of mine

Posted by: annie | Sep 18 2006 0:12 utc | 47

better link, hopefully.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 18 2006 0:13 utc | 48

It doesn’t work for me either conchita, but I totally love the concept, no, the realization, that it's only when enough us interact that we reach the bifurcation point that avalanches into the next incarnation

- “making the effort no matter how small is important”!

Posted by: Juannie | Sep 18 2006 0:13 utc | 49

Thanks conchita. What timing!

Posted by: Juannie | Sep 18 2006 0:15 utc | 50

whoops, also realized i meant to say sudan - not chad.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 18 2006 0:18 utc | 51

In regard to passing it on to the next generation, it aint gonna be easy. One of the 'balancing acts' BBC World is running this month is called "Peace Month", last night's contribution was a documentary on PeaceJam who are having their 10th Anniversary this weekend and during the course of the week.

I guess many Amerikans will have heard of this organisation which initially brought Nobel Peace laureates together with young people in the wake of the Columbine shooting.

The documentary focussed on a group of Columbine survivors who had become activists in the organisation and were working through their communities to teach other young people ways to be peaceful and deal with confronting issues in non-violent ways.

There is no doubt these kids are doing really good work BUT and here is a really big but, the only one of them who came from a remotely typical middle class background was a guy who had been shot multiple times during the Columbine tragedy and is now a paraplegic. The Nobel Laureates (Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Jose Ramos Horta. Mairee Corrigan and Betty Williams, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams) worked with hundreds of kids from Columbine who judging from the media coverage came from pretty typical middle class amerika, yet the kids who 'got' it best of all were those on the fringes, victims of child abuse, addicted and homeless parents, a chicano gangbanger etc

One particularly articulate member of the group was a girl who in her freshman year at Columbine had been placed into the special needs class because she had been moved around so much that her school records were a couple of schools behind her. By the time she commenced high school she was a mess and had begun self mutilating. She said that was the first class she had ever been in where she made friends and didn't feel threatened by other kids and where teachers actually showed an interest in her as a person.

The thing I'm trying to say is that it was these kids who responded to the concepts about reconciliation that Tutu and co were putting out, the middle amerikan kids don't appear to have been interested in the non-violence message.

As far as I can tell that situation isn't particular to Columbine or to amerika. I see the same thing at the schools my kids go to. The vast majority of the 'have' kids are far more obssessed with what they haven't got than the kids who have sweet f.a.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 18 2006 1:49 utc | 52

On the other hand, you read crap like this & realize the planet can't warm up too much too fast...

Prot. Fundies Give New Meaning to Pedophilia

An in-your-face documentary out this weekend is raising eyebrows, raising hackles and raising questions about evangelizing to young people.

Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush -- these are some of the activities at Pastor Becky Fischer's Bible camp in North Dakota, "Kids on Fire," subject of the provocative new documentary, "Jesus Camp."

"I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places," Fisher said. "Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

"A lot of people die for God," one camper said, "and they're not afraid."

"We're kinda being trained to be warriors," said another, "only in a funner way."

Posted by: jj | Sep 18 2006 3:23 utc | 53

Has anyone here read “Crossing the Rubicon” by Mike Rupert? Bernhard said he had a copy and was reading it but I haven’t heard form him regarding it



Posted by: b | Sep 18 2006 5:12 utc | 54

Time: What War With Iran Would Look Like

The first message was routine enough: A "Prepare to Deploy" order sent through naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters. The orders didn't actually command the ships out of port; they just said to be ready to move by Oct. 1. But inside the Navy those messages generated more buzz than usual last week when a second request, from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), asked for fresh eyes on long-standing U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf.
Minesweepers=Street of Hormuz

Posted by: b | Sep 18 2006 5:26 utc | 55

don't ask

Posted by: annie | Sep 18 2006 5:51 utc | 56

King of Pain By PAUL KRUGMAN

So why is the Bush administration so determined to torture people?

To show that it can.

The central drive of the Bush administration — more fundamental than any particular policy — has been the effort to eliminate all limits on the president’s power. Torture, I believe, appeals to the president and the vice president precisely because it’s a violation of both law and tradition. By making an illegal and immoral practice a key element of U.S. policy, they’re asserting their right to do whatever they claim is necessary.

And many of our politicians are willing to go along. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is poised to vote in favor of the administration’s plan to, in effect, declare torture legal. Most Republican senators are equally willing to go along, although a few, to their credit, have stood with the Democrats in opposing the administration.
Only now, five years after 9/11, has Mr. Bush finally found some things he wants us to sacrifice. And those things turn out to be our principles and our self-respect.

Posted by: b | Sep 18 2006 5:55 utc | 57

A good OpEd by someone who seems to know what he is talking about: Talk to the Taliban

IF the past five years of increasingly violent fighting in Afghanistan have proved anything, it is this: The Taliban and their allies cannot be beaten by military means alone. Perhaps, then, the moment has come to talk to the Taliban and other insurgents.

But before we do anything, we have to understand them. Nearly half of Afghanistan’s population is Pashtun, the ethnic group from which the Taliban draw the bulk of their foot soldiers and supporters. In the international effort to shift the population’s loyalties away from the Taliban, the Pashtuns have, not surprisingly, proved more resistant than the country’s other main groups, the Tajiks, Hazara and Uzbeks. But for all four groups, the American and other members of the International Security Assistance Force now in Afghanistan are visitors, probably temporary and increasingly unwelcome, like the British colonizers and Soviets before them.

Posted by: b | Sep 18 2006 6:09 utc | 58

While there could be some truth to what Krugman writes, there's more to it than that. I heard Craig Murray ( interviewed on Pacifica, and linked to it at the time. (link) He was Brit. Ambas. to Uzbekistan, and canned for fighting & speaking out about their torture policies, so he's a better source.

I don't have time to page through his site, but my understanding from him was very different. The info. gained from torture, is fed back into reports that go to the desks of the Top guys in DC - Rummy, Condi, etc. But it is sanitized of all references to being obtained by torture so they can say they didn't know. Krugman's naieve mistake is to assume that they want the truth. That's precisely what they do not want. That would end the war on terra fiction. They want some poor shepherd boy, or farmer, or whoever their victim du jour is to spout whatever the top guys need to perpetuate this con. That they're AQ terrorists, and they know x,y,z also is. They were trained @blah...

Murray told this story when asked for an example of material that Brit. censors excised from his book. A report crossed his desk that was headed back to London. It discussed an AQ base at such & such location. He was curious to see what AQ base looked like, so he headed out there. What was it like? Like nothing he'd ever seen - it was nothing, nada, zip - nothing existed at that location 'cept barren land. For that you just might need torture.

Same deal on why they're fighting proper trials for poor schleps @Guantanamo. Most were sold to the Americans who were passing around piles of cash in exchange for turning guys in. How can you put them on trial...well, maybe if you had forced someone to implicate them under torture...

Posted by: jj | Sep 18 2006 6:36 utc | 59

It seems that a big mob of Canadian soldiers got blown to smithereens in Afghanistan last night.

A bomb has caused "multiple casualties" among NATO-led troops in southern Afghanistan, the force says.

Civilians were also hurt in the blast in Panjwayi district of Kandahar province, scene of recent fierce clashes between troops and the Taleban.

Some reports say the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber - but these have not been confirmed.

Witnesses and local police said Canadian soldiers had been giving children gifts when the bomb went off.

Same old same old giving candy out to the local kids. If they really want to spread tooth decay amongst the Islamic population, you'd think they would have learned a better way of distributing the toxins.

Adding insult to injury some 'media manager' is delaying the both the numbers and the nationality of the casualties which will simply add to the pain and anger felt by their families.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) would not give the wounded soldiers' nationalities.

The force said that the bomb attack occurred about 0930 local time (0500 GMT).

It had "caused multiple casualties to an Isaf patrol operating in Kandahar province", a statement said.

Somehow I doubt that all of the media in the coalition of the unwitting are going to be as compliant as the amerikan media were back in '03. It won't be long now before some journo trawls through the casualty reports in the newspapers of each country does the math and publishes whatever the number is. It wouldn't be surprising to find that the casualty numbers since NATO took over the south from the US at the start of the year were now in the hundreds. Can't help but feel that the reason it appears to be so much worse for NATO than it was for the amerikans is that the US had a quite small confined to base presence there, which kept the numbers low but also allowed the Afghani resistance to build up.

Although Nato is making noises about sending more troops you can be sure that the only re-inforcements will be from Poland who are learning the hard way that they came about two decades too late to the EU party:

The concerns come as Ministry of Defence officials remain 'hopeful' that more nations in the Nato alliance will agree to send extra troops to Helmand when urgent talks are held this Thursday. Nato generals want an extra 2,500 troops for the operation in southern Afghanistan. Poland has promised to send 1,000 troops, but they will not arrive until February.

It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic, but it seems that Poland is forever destined to be swapped between East and West every 50 years or so for a good old ass fucking.

Can't help but wonder if Poland had to similarly 'volunteer' troops for the Russian afghani adventure. If they did this stuff will be getting pretty old.

The last straw will be the return of the Nazis in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which is right across the border from Poland.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 18 2006 10:47 utc | 60

Debs, new spin via BBC

Local police said a patrol of Canadian soldiers were outside a school on foot, handing out pens and other items to children when a suicide bomber on a bicycle rode into the crowd.

Pen is mightier etc etc

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Sep 18 2006 12:28 utc | 61

I just read righteousbabe's diary on dkos (conchita's link) and she is very talented. Shes a very aware for a 15 year old, unfortunately aware enough to already have some of that sense of disillusionment and frustration thats eventually sets into concerned people much older than her.

And theres the other kid:
I remember a boy from our class who hadn't participated- solitary, an Ayn Rand acolyte- walking up to me. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "$400 can't stop a genocide."

His perspective is just as important as righteousbabe's. But he is on a different journey from her and with much lower and more realistic expectations.

Also, its never been the case that good thoughts and good deeds can save the world or any particuclar individual. Its true that divestment played an important role in ending apartheid. And thats primarily because the Afrikaaners considered the understanding and sympathy of their European cousins indispensable and they were losing that battle amongst others. The Sudanese leadership have no affinity for the Europeans and will not be swayed anywhere as much by divestment or loss of face in Europe/North-America.

But the key reason why apartheid fell is because the Black Africans demanded nothing less. It was Black resistance to the Bantusan apartheid policy that originally provided the basis for an international anti-apartheid movement. And in the case of Darfur, the solution should be driven by what the people there want. Its a very very different situation from apartheid South Africa and to think otherwise is condescending and suggests moral-superiority.

Kids like righteousbabe and the boy should be learning as much as they can about history and other cultures. On the long run, thats what can make a real difference.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 18 2006 13:28 utc | 62

Hey, it won't matter if Johnny can't read

In 2025, higher-level literacy is probably necessary for only 10 percent of the American population.

School districts have wasted billions of dollars in recent decades to correct “reading disabilities” when in fact there is no such thing as “reading ability” to start with. Reading is an artificial construct that is of high value for a very limited set of human activities — but by no means all activities.

In 2025, tens of millions of Americans continue to enjoy books and magazines as recreational pursuits...

Like "Mi Pet Gote" and "Popalr Sinse" or "Oprah"

In 2025, the American population becomes a vast pool of cheap labour and cannon fodder for President Jenna Bush in her continuing war on a heightened emotional state of fear.

Her admin (the first woman in the top post after 2 terms of unca Jeb Bush and two for Billy Green Bush) will score a coup by capturing AQ's number 2 man early in 2025, thus turning a corner and breaking the back of the Saddamists.

In 2025 it’s time to put reading into perspective for the remainder of the 21st century: it is a luxury, not a necessity!

Please, send your simply worded rebuttals to Michael Rogers

Posted by: gmac | Sep 18 2006 13:34 utc | 63

jj @26

What would we do if the US assimilated Canada? We'd pack up and leave. Already discussed it.

Harper is doing his bit to help that along

Posted by: gmac | Sep 18 2006 14:04 utc | 64

URGENT many senators are taking tallys right now on the leahy bill"...immunize officials who have violated federal law by authorizing such illegal activities."

this would be a good time to call your senators in DC

Posted by: annie | Sep 18 2006 16:52 utc | 65

All these links are from non-conspiracists:

This report (PDF) follows the official story, and deems the damage is caused by ‘debris’ and ‘fire.’ It has some good pictures.>Buffalo U

Map from Newsday showing what was destroyed:>link

Similar effort from Tenant Wise:>link

From the Stanford U Report, eng. R. Hamburger:

He pointed out that four buildings were immediately destroyed in the WTC assault, and three others suffered irreparable damage and are in the process of being razed. Another half-dozen buildings were harmed structurally but can be repaired, and more than 50 others were damaged by the enormous debris cloud and the burning material that followed the collapse of the twin towers.>link

A 3 D-model from a yay America site - scroll down after the eagles - this is accurate in the sense it concurs with all other descriptions that list the damage (wording and pix angles differ!) - It is particularly impressive, as if one has any sense of scale at all - imagine the size of a Boeing as compared to the massive buildings - the idea that two planes could have done so much damage is outta sight lunacy.>link

Juannie, who knows. Anyway ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ is a good book, it stands, criticism always possible, was published at point x, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 18 2006 17:36 utc | 66

jony_b_cool, thanks for your comment. it made me look deeper into the darfur situation. my original point in writing the comment was to highlight righteous babe's motivation and early introduction to disillusionment, but it is important as you said that, "Kids like righteousbabe and the boy should be learning as much as they can about history and other cultures. On the long run, thats what can make a real difference." this actually applies to all of us.

i realize that in order to understand why encouraging divestment would be condescending and suggestive of moral superiority i need to understand more about the conflict between the sudanese government and the rebels. it was my understanding that the sla/slm and the jem were demanding that the government address the underdevelopment and political marginalization of the region. this does not correspond exactly to south african apartheid, but i saw it as a struggle of the people of sudan against the injustices of the sudanese government. i have heard arguments for sending a u.n. peacekeeping force and for military intervention which i cannot support - partially for the reason you suggest - but divestment seems to me to be a mechanism for bringing pressure upon the government to stop the violence. as i stated, i need to understand the sudanese conflict better.

the other reason i posted the diary is that i do believe that good deeds may not save the world, although doing them can make a difference, particularly if they are done collectively. righteous babe and her classmates may have only contributed $400-500 to doctors without borders, but it was $400-500 more towards the work that doctors without borders is doing in the refugee camps in sudan. i don't think she thought she could save the sudanese, much less the world, but she did want to make difference, however small. i didn't think i would stop the war in iraq by standing on the side of the street on sunday morning, but i hoped that as a group we would have an impact and raise consciousness and that possibly the documentation of the vigil might prove a helpful tool in promoting greater change. i do believe that we can each individually make a difference in our world by how we act in it. it's a pretty simple concept, but one that is often forgotten by many of us as we get caught up in other priorities.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 18 2006 17:38 utc | 67

some things that bother me about Darfur:

Darfur seems to have been seized on by some cadre of misguided Eurocentrics to create yet another "moral-moment" to rescue Africa.

the initial dispatches that something really horrific was going on there described mass genocides of Black Africans by Arab Muslims. A big lie. Both the Darfurians and their adversaries, the so-called Janjaweed are Black Africann Muslims. The key point of difference with respect to the conflict is the Darfurians are farmers whilst the Janjaweed are pastorals/herdsmen.

having mis-framed the conflict with the appropriate "racial coding", the outburst of outrage that followed totally obscures important underlying issues. Access to water & grazing land is central to the dispute between Darfurians and the Janjaweed. Darfur-oil is the secondary but massively looming issue, introducing the hands of governnments of Sudan and the NATO countries into the conflict.

At this point, the whole situation is paralyzed by the level of mistrust between the Sudanese govt and the NATO countries.

Just another case of misguided Eurocentrics looking for their "moral moment" to help Blacks, only to end up screwing things up much worse. Its got to be some kind of moral superiority. There are plenty of Blacks in Europe and North America who desperately need help. They are the uniquely harmed victims, having been horrifically stripped of their culture, language and heritage.

But the narrative on Africans is so much more story-book, nice pictures are taken, the "evil" Arabs/Muslims are driven off the land, the humble & grateful "tribal" folks are fed and aided, all smiles, and we can all feel so much better about ourselves.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 18 2006 18:46 utc | 68

haven't had time to read the post conchita linked to, but here were some links on u.s. interests/involvment in darfur that i posted this summer. haven't listened to today's democracynow yet either, but they were covering the divestment mvmt (i believe).

Posted by: b real | Sep 18 2006 18:56 utc | 69

Interesting bit suggesting that arm-twisting going on toward transformation (or replacement by) of WTO into full blown world state, using "global warming" as the club for the recalcitrant. A world state of by & for the Kleptocrats is a fate far worse than mere "global warming". Given the Kleptocrats agenda, how can one possibly believe the science? Or conversely, however plausible the science, the agenda definitely does not follow.

Anyhow, here's the bit:
LISBON, September 18 (Itar-Tass) - Russia does not see a reasonable alternative to the creation of a new collective leader comprising key, highly industrialized countries in the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an article published in the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias over his two-day visit in Lisbon that will begin on Monday.

According to the minister, these key countries should be “representative in terms of geography and civilisation.” “The Group of Eight (G8) may become an important aspect of an informal mechanism of a new collective leader,” Lavrov pointed out.

Russia is ready to make a contribution in the creation of a new universal system that will be safer and democratic based on the principles of law and multilateral cooperation, Sergei Lavrov said.
Russia on Formation of World State

Posted by: jj | Sep 18 2006 19:52 utc | 70

Gore's Speech - his 2nd salvo of his '08 Campaign - is up now. link.

Posted by: jj | Sep 18 2006 21:02 utc | 71

Sorry Noirette but I've got to pull you up on this one
imagine the size of a Boeing as compared to the massive buildings - the idea that two planes could have done so much damage is outta sight lunacy.

Imagine the size of a cluster bomblet compared to some humans arms legs and head. That one could do so much damage is lunacy as well. _but it does happen.

Imagine the size of the B-29 Enola Gay and the size of Hiroshima the idea that something so small could have done so much damage is also lunacy.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 18 2006 21:32 utc | 72

Navy told: Prepare to blockade Iran by Oct 1 ?

What Would War Look Like? A flurry of military maneuvers in the Middle East increases speculation that conflict with Iran is no longer quite so unthinkable. Here's how the U.S. would fight such a war--and the huge price it would have to pay to win it By MICHAEL DUFFY

Posted Sunday, Sep. 17, 2006
The first message was routine enough: a "Prepare to Deploy" order sent through naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters. The orders didn't actually command the ships out of port; they just said to be ready to move by Oct. 1. But inside the Navy those messages generated more buzz than usual last week when a second request, from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), asked for fresh eyes on long-standing U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf. The CNO had asked for a rundown on how a...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 18 2006 22:47 utc | 73

we're in iran right now

Posted by: annie | Sep 19 2006 1:10 utc | 74


Posted by: annie | Sep 19 2006 1:11 utc | 75

ynet (via informationclearinghouse): Time: This is how US will attack Iran

Time Magazine published details regarding a possible attack, based on talks with military sources.

According to the magazine, no one in Washington is talking about a ground invasion of Iran, as was carried out in Iraq or Afghanistan. According to the report, the American goal in case of an offensive will be to delay the Iranian nuclear plan, an operation which can be carried out from the air.

Goal: Delaying nuclear plan by 2 to 3 years

The attack, the Time says, will be limited to the nuclear facilities in Iran and will be aimed at 18 to 30 different facilities connected to the nuclear program. The sites are spread across the country, some of them exposed, some operating under the guise of regular plants, and others buried deep under the ground.

Sources in the Pentagon told the magazine that among the sites the Americans are familiar with are 1,500 targets for an attack. In other words, the military offensive requires activating nearly all types of planes in the army's possession: Warplanes and stealth vehicles, F-15 and F-16 aircrafts taking off from the land and an F-18 which takes off from an aircraft carrier.

Such an attack requires using satellite-guided weapons and laser-guided ammunition, as well as spy planes and unmanned aerial vehicles. Since many targets are hidden underground and are reinforced with armed concrete, they will have to be hit once and again in order to guarantee that they are destroyed, or at least severely damaged.

Submarines and American battleships will be able to launch cruise missiles, but the Time says that the warheads in this case are small and are not enough to cause damage to the concrete. Therefore, they will be used for other targets.

An American attack in Iran may take a few days, with hundreds and maybe thousands of sorties. According to the report, it will help in delaying the Iranian nuclear program by two to the three years.

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2006 2:33 utc | 76

gotta be propaganda

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2006 2:46 utc | 77

b real, wondering if the article mentioned how many iranian citizens would lose their lives. i know, dumb question. i suppose it is also futile to ask if they have thought about the radiation that will be released and where in the region it will end up.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 19 2006 2:49 utc | 78

conchita- haven't found a copy of the article yet, but there's a summary at cnn w/ unsourced "experts" speculating on what a possible strike would look like and what u.s. options are. i stopped bothering w/ time years ago, as its purpose is more to influence opinion, not inform the public. whatever's going to happen, it's safe to predict that it won't go the way it's planned.

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2006 3:09 utc | 79

This reminds me of a book published sometime in the 1970s by Mad Magazine, titled "History Gone Mad". On the second-to-last page is the entry: "1961 -- The Bay of Pigs invasion liberates 200 square feet of Cuban beach for almost 15 minutes." On the last page, it says "1964 -- Since the Bay of Pigs invasion turned out so well, we decide to liberate Vietnam, too."

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Sep 19 2006 3:21 utc | 80

b real

we're going to attack iran.

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 19 2006 3:22 utc | 81

billmon has a new post up. i am placing my hands over my ears, my eyes are shut


ignorance is bliss

Posted by: annie | Sep 19 2006 3:25 utc | 82

jony b cool #68, you clearly are better informed about the conflict in darfur than i. it is my impression that what people are trying to achieve right now is to get funding so that the african union troops currently in darfur can remain after september 30. it seems that there is a bit of a circus out there with many calling for a u.n. peacekeeping force - but how effective is a peacekeeping force in the face of a civil war. and as you point out very well, a euro-centric u.n. brigade would not be welcomed by the sudanese. there are those who are calling for nothing short of a major military action to stop the sudanese government. and there are those who are calling for divestment stating that the sudanese government has been responsive to financial pressures in the past. this course seemed to me the most acceptable. i agree that the u.s. (and europe) should not the world's policeman, and that the sudanese should determine their own course. but the same could have been said about south africa. i need to read further and see if the sudanese rebels are a close enough equivalent of the a.n.c. or if it is as you suggest a matter of access to natural resources. and then there is balance of power between the u.s., china, and russia and the oil card. about this i need to read much more before i can comment with any confidence.

in the beginning,yes, this was seized upon by right wing world as another example of evil islam, but i don't think the situation is still cast in that light - at least not where i have read. i can understand that you would cite moral superiority and the attraction of the story-book ending, but i don't think most people in the u.s. give much thought at all to what happens beyond their immediate vicinity, and if they do, it is fear-based. righteous babe and many like her seem genuinely concerned about making an effort to prevent the loss of millions of lives. i don't know that they are thinking about whether they are herdsman or taxidrivers. this is not to say that the people you describe do not exist, and i am willing to be proven wrong, but i do not think they were the ones behind this past sunday's darfur day. like i said earlier, i need to do more research and i will. thank you again for sharing your perspective, i respect what you have to say about this issue and others here and will give this thought.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 19 2006 3:38 utc | 83

conchita, thank you, we are all learning.

its the same old struggle from time immemorial. Theres really nothing new about our struggles today. We just have the priviledge today that we can share over the internet. So, its struggle on steroids and lets hope it pays off big.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 19 2006 3:52 utc | 84

keith harmon snow on darfur

Posted by: b real | Sep 19 2006 4:15 utc | 85

if anyone read the keddie book would know, how obscene and horrible an attack on iran would be.

fitting, for the bush administration.

"dark times," indeed.

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 19 2006 4:21 utc | 86

also, dewey redman died sept, 2.

what a blow.

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 19 2006 4:24 utc | 87

b real, thanks for the keith harmon snow - two or three of the panels look like exactly what i need.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 19 2006 4:57 utc | 88

Jonathan Steele in the Guardian on Dafur: Sorry George Clooney, but the last thing Darfur needs is western troops

In most wars, governments spin and the media (at least sometimes) seek the truth. Darfur reversed the trend: the media spun while governments were more sophisticated. In spite of efforts to describe the killing in Darfur as genocide, neither the UN nor the EU went along with this description. It was not because of moral myopia, but because they understood the difference between a brutal civil war and a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing. Darfur is not Rwanda. Only the US accepted the genocide description, though this seemed a concession to domestic lobbies rather than a matter of conviction. Washington never followed through with the forcible intervention in Darfur that international law requires once a finding of genocide is made.

Instead, it supported other western governments in encouraging the African Union (AU) to broker peace talks between Khartoum and the rebels. These culminated in May in an agreement that requires the janjaweed to disarm before the rebels do. It also gives Darfur's rebel leaders powers to run the region on their own. Alas, two rebel groups refused to sign. Any fair account of this summer's relapse into war would therefore put most blame on the rebels, whose field commanders recently split into rival groups while their political leaders squabbled in their safe havens in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.
Suspicions remain on all sides. Khartoum feels betrayed by the US. After making a peace deal in the south that rules out sharia law and provides for a referendum on secession, it expected US sanctions would be lifted. It felt it had shown it was not fundamentalist or even Islamist since its new government of national unity includes southern Christians and other non-Muslims. As for terrorism, Washington has produced no evidence for a decade.

Meanwhile, many of Khartoum's critics suspect the government has not abandoned its indiscriminate bombing raids and excessive use of force against rebel villages. No foreign peacekeepers, whether AU or UN, can monitor all the vast terrain of Darfur. Sudan's government must discipline its own commanders.

That said, the compromise of an expanded AU force, whether labelled UN or not, is still the best option. The "something must be done" brigade will be upset, but sending foreign troops into Sudan without Khartoum's consent would be nothing short of disaster.

I don´t agree with the last paragraph. This is an interior Sudan conflict about the consequences of climate change. There is no base for any outsider to interfere here.

Posted by: b | Sep 19 2006 6:35 utc | 89

The comments to this entry are closed.