Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 05, 2007

OT 07-70

News & views & other issues ...

Posted by b on October 5, 2007 at 8:34 UTC | Permalink

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1 from The Guardian/UK and 2 from the Independent/UK:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/sep/08/climatechange>Greenland earthquakes increasing

http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article3021309.ece>rain at North Pole


http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article3021310.ece>melt holes big enough for helicopter movement

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 5 2007 11:01 utc | 1

In case anyone cares enough about primaries, i.e. thinks the election system is real, here are http://www.primarilypaul.com/ron-paul-in-the-primaries/>deadlines for changes to Independent/Whatever.

My own belief is that the ice will slide and the coasts be gone as armies and mercs under prescient command move and terrorize long before the next fake election, but obviously I've been prematurely anti-ice slide before.

$1000 offer made in previous posts for convincing evidence that catastrophic sea level rise is not inevitable stands. If not willing to look into that, and on a coast, why bet your life/family/property/welfare on the goodness of our leadership?


Also notice, food prices rise, so food's a good investment. All necessities are as the $ goes down like a friendly fraternity boy.

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 5 2007 11:32 utc | 2

Plushtown, thank you for the links @ 1. Checking the Independent articles, I found Johann Hari has a new piece on Africa.

Inside France's secret war

For 40 years, the French government has been fighting a secret war in Africa, hidden not only from its people, but from the world. It has led the French to slaughter democrats, install dictator after dictator – and to fund and fuel the most vicious genocide since the Nazis. Today, this war is so violent that thousands are fleeing across the border from the Central African Republic into Darfur – seeking sanctuary in the world's most notorious killing fields.

Posted by: Alamet | Oct 5 2007 13:55 utc | 3

For future reference:

Saudi Arabia's media influence

Riyadh's use of its financial power and predominance to widen Saudi Arabia's circle of influence in the media is beginning to pay off.

Posted by: Alamet | Oct 5 2007 16:23 utc | 4

Regarding plushtown's links at #1:

A change is coming

Posted by: Malooga | Oct 5 2007 16:37 utc | 5

Another Tillman? One more suspicious death

Slain soldier told kin to investigate if she died The Quincy soldier mysteriously slain by a bullet to the head on a secure Afghanistan airbase feared something might happen to her after discovering “something she didn’t like,” her devastated family revealed.

Massachusetts National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin, 30, was found with a single gunshot wound to her head behind a building at Bagram Airbase on Sept. 27.

“The last time she was home she said she had seen things that she didn’t like and she had raised concerns that had annoyed some people,” said Durkin’s sister Fiona Canavan, 44, of Quincy.

“She said, and I thought she was joking, that if anything happened to her we had to investigate.”

Canavan said she did not know what her baby sister had seen or whom she had told, and she rejected the notion that Durkin committed suicide. The military has not answered the family’s questions about her death, she added.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 5 2007 16:52 utc | 6

Pioneering research into a "gay bomb" that makes enemy troops "sexually irresistible" to each other has scooped one of this year's Ig Nobel Prizes.

You're gonna need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Besides, I thought "bonding" was a good thing.

Posted by: Malooga | Oct 5 2007 18:08 utc | 7

Unc#6,

What a fucking heart wrenching story for this old vet. When we’re a part of that diabolical machine, we all know in our hearts that we’re but pawns, not really to those in the royal back row, but of the billionaire wizards behind the screen for sure pushing even their minions around.

What did she discover so nefarious as to require murder? But I’m making assumptions and prejudging. Not that there hasn’t been precedent.

I sense this is the beginnings of something major. Fast heads up uncle. I’ll bet their will be much more on this thread. I’d suggest considering a headline b.

Posted by: Juannie | Oct 5 2007 19:39 utc | 8

Malooga,

it's NOT a gay bomb, it just causes soldiers to widen their stance to the point that they can no longer march in step.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 5 2007 19:45 utc | 9

Malooga:

A change is coming

I don't see it myself, after all, we are talking about a country that re-elected Bush despite Abu Graib, the invasion of Iraq turning into an occupation, Jessica Lynch PSYOPS exposed, the predicted benefits of $20 a barrel of oil going up in smoke and trillions added to the national debt. Just look at the top front runners for each party in the next Presidential election. On the one side you have Giuliani when asked about the ME two state sulution replied why would I want to create a terrorist state. On the other side you have Hillary advocating an undivided Jerusalem as capital of Israel. In other words they are still voting and pouring money into the same old policies. All of the top contenders want a dominant military presence in the ME. All the votes in Congress and the Senate get majority bipartisan support for Hamas = terrorist, Hezbollah = terrorist, Syria = terrorist Iran = terrorist, funding for the occupation of Iraq, not to mention spying, rendition, torture and executive above the law privelage.

Sure more people are aware and Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson will pick up more support but they have about as much chance of winning as you or me. The polls tell the story. Iran is still the prize within the military crosshairs and despite the disaster in Iraq most Americans want a repeat in Iran:

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents believe the US should take a tougher approach in dealing with Tehran, including military action against the Iranian regime.

Only 31 percent said the United States should intensify its diplomatic effort to halt Iran's nuclear activities.


Most Americans want tougher action on Iran

You know what they say the more things change the more things stay the same. Here's David Wurmser on the Clean Break paper:

"They see it as a blueprint hatched in Israel to finagle the US into a strategic campaign on Israel's

behalf."

In fact, he insists, "the very spirit of the document is the inverse" in that it urges Israel to act in

the interests of the West.

US 'must break Iran and Syria regimes'

Well you have to ask how will they "break" those regimes? Regime change of course, which was the same policy that led to the invasion of Iraq fully supported by a bipartisan majority. What is the interest of the West that Wurmser talks about? Permanent US military bases in the ME, US oil company concessions and regime change in all opposing countries. Same old same old.

Posted by: Sam | Oct 5 2007 20:54 utc | 10

A U.S. raid based on false intelligence? Accounts Differ Sharply on U.S. Attack in Iraq

American troops backed by aircraft attacked a Shiite town north of Baghdad at dawn on Friday, killing at least 25 Iraqis the military described as criminals who were involved in the transport of weapons. But Iraqis at the scene said the dead were civilians, though some were armed.

The military said it was searching for an insurgent leader believed to be associated with the elite Iranian Quds Force, which American intelligence sources believe is working in Iraq to foment violent activity by some Shiite militias. A military spokesman said the insurgent leader was not captured in the raid.

Iraqis at the scene gave an account that diverged sharply from that of the military.

They said that the Iraqis who were killed were trying to defend their town from Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the homegrown Sunni militant group that American intelligence believes has foreign leadership. Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has been active in Diyala Province, where the town is located, but so have militias associated with the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr.

“The residents were defending themselves and the town,” said Uday al-Khadran, the mayor of Khalis, the district in which the fighting occurred.

“They were not militias for killing people and they were recognized by the security forces in the district, and this issue is familiar in all the towns of Khalis because of Al Qaeda threats, especially to the Shiite,” he said.

At least 4 of the "criminals" killed were children ...

Posted by: b | Oct 6 2007 6:11 utc | 11

Thanks to Uncle $cam for the Durgin link. The Boston papers (Herald and Globe) indicate problems with the autopsy, among other things, but the latest Globe story indicates that the family is now willing the allow the Army time for a thorough investigation. The fact that there seems already to be a considerable political weight behind the family request for full disclosure (Senators Kerry and Kennedy, as well as a request from the Republic of Ireland) does indicate that this story may indeed "have legs". By sheer coincidence embarassing findings (about opium trafficking through Bagram(?), or some other "naughty" activity there) would arrive just in time to be useful in the run-up to next year's elections. Such "immorality" may be the only "issue" that could change the situation described above by Sam in 10 (the pessimism of which I share). The American electorate that accepts the deaths of scores of thousands of Iraqi's with nary a raised eyebrow, might go into a paroxysm of offended virtue if some link between the U.S. government and Afghan drug lords can be brought to their attention and suitably "marketed". On the record, however, it would probably be necessary for Bush and Dostum to be caught sodomizing minors on the Washington mall before a shadow of doubt would fall across the red states.

I also wonder if the case of Ted Westhusing will surface once again in the aftermath: it certainly deserved wider attention.

Meanwhile, thanks to Alamet for the link given here and those from other threads. One of those sites yielded this tidbit , which, if true, may constitute an rather strong rejoinder to recent Kurdish oil deals.

Rather than untoward comments about rats and sinking ships, I prefer to greet this bit of Andrew-Sullivaniana in the manner of the heavenly hosts rejoicing more for the repentence of one sinner than for the virtue of thousands.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 6 2007 8:24 utc | 12

The following is a post follow up on a few ot comments and blogs by me and others from b's Unused Laws topic below, : Matthew Barrett Porno Update.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 6 2007 8:57 utc | 13

The following is a post follow up on a few ot comments and blogs by me and others from b's Unused Laws topic below, : Matthew Barrett Porno Update.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 6 2007 9:05 utc | 14

More restroom toe-tapping and not from Larry (mcwide-stance)Craig...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 6 2007 9:15 utc | 15

Emmanuel Todd:

For a simple Western observer, the similarity between Shiism and Protestantism is not particularly obvious.

ET: It would be ridiculous to push this comparison to the extreme. But it is clear that - just as Protestantism was an accelerator of progress in European history and Catholicism was a break - Shiism today brings a positive contribution to development, notably in the domain of birth control: Azerbaijan, certainly post-Communist, but also Shiite, has a 1.7 fertility rate, while the Shiite Alawite regions of Syria have completed their demographic transition, unlike the majority-Sunni regions. In Lebanon, the Shiite community, Hezbollah's social base, was behind on the educational and social levels, but is in the process of catching up with the other communities, as one sees in the development of fertility rates.

ET: Iran is also a very big nation that demonstrates a realistic awareness of its strategic interest in a region where most of its neighbors possess the nuclear weapon: Pakistan, (and, via the presence of the American Army) Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel. In that context, the reasonable European attitude would be to accompany Iran in its liberal and democratic transition and to understand its security preoccupations.

In your book, you make the altogether surprising hypothesis of a possible secularization of Muslim societies.

ET: To the extent that within the Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Buddhist worlds, the drop in fertility has always been preceded by a weakening of religious practice, one must wonder whether the Muslim countries in which the number of children per woman is equal to or less than two are not also in the process of experiencing, unknown to us - and perhaps also unknown to their leaders - a process of secularization. That's the case of Iran.
.../blockquote>

Posted by: b | Oct 6 2007 10:21 utc | 16

unfortunately, the great repertoire of crimes the cheney-bush junta, all theoir minions & valets, & the soldiers that do their service will never be confronted in a court of law. & in any case, because of the complete corrupted jurisprudence in america - the only courts fit to try them are international

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 6 2007 13:38 utc | 17

Damn.

Be careful when selling your yachts people.

Posted by: ran | Oct 6 2007 13:46 utc | 18

"Vast areas of Brazil and Paraguay and much of Bolivia are choking under thick layers of smoke as fires rage out of control in the Amazon rainforest, forcing the cancellation of flights.
Satellite images yesterday showed huge clouds of smoke and much of the Amazon basin burning as fires, originally set by ranchers to clear land, have raged into the forest itself."

from http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article3028701.ece>Independent/UK 10/5/07

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 6 2007 14:17 utc | 19

There are two good reviews on Mearsheimer/Walt "The Israel Lobby".

this one by David Levy is the best one of the ten or so I have read so far. It also seems to capture the actual book. If you read only one, this is it.

This one by Uri Arverny is also quite good, but not as extensive.

Posted by: b | Oct 6 2007 17:46 utc | 20

Republican Representative Darrell Issa huffed, "We're not surprised a country that was run by a corrupt dictator...would have a pattern of corruption." And Republican Representative John Mica noted that corruption plagues many democratic countries, including the United States.

How openly Mica acknowledges the local problem, in dismissing the seriousness of Iraq's corruption.

Republican congressmen responded with the disinterest and condescension of colonialists and bought functionaries, after the harrowing testimony of the (now) former head of Iraq's anticorruption commission (CPI) before a Waxman hearing. This is an Iraqi who supported the US invasion.

Thirty-one employees [of CPI] have been killed as well as at least twelve family members. In a number of cases, my staff and their relatives have been kidnapped or detained and tortured prior to being killed. Many of these people were gunned down at close range. This includes my staff member Mohammed Abd Salif, who was gunned down with his seven-month pregnant wife. One of my staff members who performed clerical duties was protected by my security staff, but his 80-year-old father was kidnapped because his son worked at CPI. When his dead body was found, a power drill had been used to drill his body with holes.

After Radhi travelled to the US in August, Maliki summarily dismissed him, charging him with corruption.

Meanwhile, State Dept has clamped a new cone of silence on any discussion of corruption in Iraq.

Ambassador Larry Butler, the deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, defended his department's refusal to cooperate fully with Waxman's committee.

Prior to the hearing, Waxman asked the State Department to provide witnesses and documents to his investigators. The department responded by claiming that previously unclassified documents about Iraqi government corruption were now classified (including the U.S. embassy draft report detailing extensive corruption within the Maliki government that I first disclosed in this column) and that any information provided by a State Department officials about corruption in Iraq would have to be classified (meaning it could not be discussed at a public hearing.)

Representative Stephen Lynch, a Democrat on the committee, angrily remarked, "Do you see the irony here? You've established [for Iraq] a committee on accountability and transparency. But here...you're claiming there is a level of confidentiality...and we cannot tell the American people what we're doing with their money."

In a written statement, Radhi said that "real corruption...is destroying my country. It is impossible to have both democracy and corruption at the same time."


Not less, the US.

Clearly unwelcome back in his own country, Radhi has applied for asylum in the US. Perhaps after he agrees not to speak about Iraqi corruption, it will be granted. In the meantime, his son's application for asylum in England has been rejected and the son ordered to return to Baghdad.

A warning to those who might believe the promises and consider entering an alliance.


Posted by: small coke | Oct 6 2007 20:52 utc | 21

Before it goes behind a pay wall:

Lebanese Internal Security Forces arrest political opponents

Beirut, 5 October - US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman signed an agreement with General Ashraf Rifi, head of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), according to which the ISF will be trained by US officers and receive equipment and money from the USA. A high number of officers in the ISF, which had been set up under Western auspices since summer 2005, hold citizenships of Western countries, especially of the USA. These facts and the genesis of the ISF as a de-facto security forces at the service of the March-14 political groups are preventing the ISF from acquiring a reputation of impartiality towards the political sphere, as would be required for any armed forces of a democratic state.

Parliamentarians from the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) have gone so far as to accuse the intelligence department of the ISF as being a militia, after ISF member broke into private residences and arrested two members of the FPM - Daro Qdeih and Eli Abu Younes - for undertaking paramilitary training. The arrests were carried out without any legal warrant and the arrested were led to the ISF interrogation office without any legal assistance and without notifying close relatives of their whereabouts. It then turned out that the photos which ISF officers exposed as evidence for the alleged paramilitary training of the two FPM members, were two years old and showed the young men training for their task as body guards of FPM-chaiman Michel Aoun.
(snip)
The incident prompted the FPM to accuse the ISF of having deliberately staged wanton arrests to intimidate the FPM and force it to backtrack from its demand to unveil the truth about what had really happened in the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp "regarding supplies and ensuring everything needed for Fatah al-Islam to grow".supplies and ensuring everything needed for Fatah al-Islam to grow". General Aoun had threatened Major Wissam al-Hasan, the chief of the ISF intelligence department, of suing him after noticing a role for the intelligence department in the Nahr el-Bared incidents.
(snip)

Posted by: Alamet | Oct 6 2007 22:52 utc | 22

I couldn't suffer past the first page. For those who can, here is Kanan Makiya having regrets.

Posted by: Alamet | Oct 6 2007 22:57 utc | 23

Alamet @ 23:

I couldn't suffer past the first page. For those who can, here is Kanan Makiya having regrets.

Not much regret given the outcome I would say. He lowballs the deaths, blames his own people not the occupiers and here's the killer quote:

Makiya said he believed that Chalabi could have been Iraq’s Mandela.

Anybody that could compare a convicted embezzler to a Nobel Laureate is smoking way too much of the wild weed. Or was it too much loot going into Iraqi pockets courtesy of the Renden Group. They put up a 150 Iraqis in Virginia to promote the bombing of their own country and they all sang freedom and democracy at the point of a gun while they cashed their thirty pieces of silver. And all this while their Paymasters were blaming Iraq for 9/11 and preaching to the troops that Iraqis were going to annihilate their women and children with nucleur bombs stirring up the entire country in a fever of revenge.

How anybody could watch that performance and still think the troops were going to go into Iraq with benevolent intentions is just beyond my comprehension. The soldiers were writing 911 on the "shock and awe" bombs. Subsequent polls amongst troops in Iraq revealed they thought they were their for revenge even after all the lies were exposed.

What's most interesting is his evasive answers to the author's questions on his own responsibilty for the present disaster. Another one of the "heroes in error" can't look into the mirror and admit that he participated in the Bernard Lewis Project.

Posted by: Sam | Oct 7 2007 8:50 utc | 24

As was to be expected: Iraq Embassy Cost Rises $144 Million Amid Project Delays

The massive U.S. embassy under construction in Baghdad could cost $144 million more than projected and will open months behind schedule because of poor planning, shoddy workmanship, internal disputes and last-minute changes sought by State Department officials, according to U.S. officials and a department document provided to Congress.
...
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he does not know when the embassy will be ready. "I can't tell you right now when it will open," he said Friday. "Now, that's not to indicate to you that it's going to be a lengthy period of time. It could be a brief period of time. But the fact is, I can't give you an opening date right now."

The Baghdad project has been complicated by a dispute between the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, and the top Washington-based official charged with overseeing the project. That official, James L. Golden, has been barred from entering Iraq by Crocker because he allegedly disobeyed embassy orders during an investigation of a worker's death, sources said.
...
Officials said some of the new work is required because Rice reorganized embassy operations this year. A decision to locate Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and his staff in the new embassy will require the conversion of normal office space into a facility secure enough to handle classified material.

So the ambassy will be the military headquarter ...

Posted by: b | Oct 7 2007 9:55 utc | 25

The Darfur deception

Why have these groups -- which, after all, are far more familiar with realities on the ground than all but a few specialists and Sudanese emigres living in the United States -- offered an incomplete picture of what's happening? Because they know that in order to get people to care, they have to oversimplify.
...
Activists are certainly within their rights to insist that had the African Union or the United Nations intervened in 2004, that intervention might have prevented the current chaos. But today, even many of the most ardent advocates of outside military intervention are qualifying their arguments -- at least privately -- now that the situation has grown so much more complex and murky. But these new anxieties have not changed the public rhetoric very much.

Small wonder, then, that the public is confused. For what the killing of the peacekeepers suggests is that the template for understanding present-day (rather than 2004) Darfur as a case of innocent Africans being preyed on by Islamist Arabs no longer conforms to reality. And even with the best intentions in the world, campaigners find themselves hoist on the petard of their own hyperbole.

Posted by: b | Oct 7 2007 12:42 utc | 26


@26

with the exception of western agricultural aid groups (and some others) comprising individuals many from the USA & Europe working hand-in-hand with their African peers & local farmers, most aid groups do not have much if any interest in developing local solutions to the African issues. Its very simple. They do not believe in the ability of Africans to contribute to solving their own problems.

so, when they distort the truth in order to manipulate the barely-curious folks back in Europe & USA for money, they do not care that the truth matters to the Africans on the continent. In fact, the truth is critical to the Africans both in Sudan, surrounding countries and the rest of the African continent. In the same way that the truth on Northern Ireland was important and indispensable to the French the Germans, ... who really wanted to know why all the killing was going on in their neighborhood. How does this make any sense ? The AU
works tirelessly to help resolve the issues & these aid & press groups from the West have the audacity to undermine the AU by broadcating deceit.

the author of the article does a good job of explaining why these aid groups lie & distort the facts. He is also quite generous to them in suggesting that the the uncomfortable facts are just revealing, which is not true, The complexity of the situation in Darfur has been a visible fact from day one for anyone who cared to look into it.

again, I do not get it. Its condescending and criminal for these press & aid organizations to lie & deceive on Darfur. I guess they went to Africa & discovered that the Darfuris are a dishonorable people who would rather be saved by lies & deception than by the truth.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 7 2007 21:37 utc | 27

The Shock Doctrine - Q&A From the Seattle Talk

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 7 2007 23:20 utc | 28

Remember Apartheid? : S. Africa's silent war in Iraq


Also see, Bush Hired 10,000 South African Apartheid Mercenaries For Iraq With your money.

It's not just Blackwater.

George Bush is stealing American tax dollars by the billions and siphoning off our tax dollars to pay for private killers and murderers (a.k.a. mercenaries) who are murdering Iraqi civilians by the day.

And almost 10,000 of these private killers have been hired from South Africa's apartheid mercenaries

No wonder Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's Peace Not Apartheid was so heavily attacked.

It all becomes clear now, why Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been banned from speaking at the the University of St. Thomas.

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "let us pray" We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." -Bishop Desmond Tutu

oh, and here's a nice guy and his friends: Strategic Communication Laboratories whom you may want to re-acquaint yourself with. salon published a piece on SCL back around the time rummy wanted us to invest in his flu vaccine:

LONDON Over the past 24 hours, seven people have checked into hospitals here with telltale symptoms. Rashes, vomiting, high temperature, and cramps: the classic signs of smallpox. Once thought wiped out, the disease is back and threatening a pandemic of epic proportions.

The government faces a dilemma: It needs people to stay home, but if the news breaks, mass panic might ensue as people flee the city, carrying the virus with them.

A shadowy media firm steps in to help orchestrate a sophisticated campaign of mass deception. Rather than alert the public to the smallpox threat, the company sets up a high-tech "ops center" to convince the public that an accident at a chemical plant threatens London. As the fictitious toxic cloud approaches the city, TV news outlets are provided graphic visuals charting the path of the invisible toxins. Londoners stay indoors, glued to the telly, convinced that even a short walk into the streets could be fatal

.

Just as Blackwater has hired a Public relations giant it needs to be reiterated, that Blackwater is not the only ones out there kids.

This Dump is to outline the activities of the more than 100 private mercenary outfits. And this is important, THAT WE KNOW OF.

Aegis Defence Services Ltd
Olive Group FZ LLC
ISI
International Charters, Inc. (ici)
Blackwater usa
Blackstone
Titan Corp
Zapata Engineering (ordinance handling)
Armor Holdings Inc
Cochise Consultancy
DynCorp International LLC
SAIC-Science Applications Intl Corp.
Special Operations Consulting LLC
Triple Canopy Inc.
Triple Options
MPRI-Military Professional Resources Incorporated
Vinnell
BDM International Inc.
Sandline Ltd.
Executive Outcomes

Here's a good introductory link by P.W. Singer that outlines the problem: Peacekeepers, Inc.


Finally, here's a Screen capture of scrubbed page/: Burson-Marsteller's website

This isn't the Lincoln Group../snark

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 8 2007 1:11 utc | 29

Finkelstein eviscerates fourth-rate warmonger and all around douchebag Jeffrey Goldberg.

Posted by: ran | Oct 8 2007 1:47 utc | 30


Just as Klein talks about above, and dove tails with my # 29 also above, The rise of no bid, rigged, contracts of the contractor economy brings us such things as this: Contractor slave labor in Iraq

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 8 2007 2:51 utc | 31

who's zooming who...

Clan reconciliation congress ended in failure: Somalia minister

BAIDOA, Somalia Oct 6 (Garowe Online) - A 45-day national reconciliation conference held in the Somali capital Mogadishu in July and August ended in utter failure, Somalia's reconciliation minister told lawmakers Saturday.
...
"The Mogadishu reconciliation conference ended in failure and deceit," Minister Mareye told Somali members of parliament in the inland town of Baidoa, 250km northwest of Mogadishu.

He said reconciliation was needed between the transitional government, backed by neighboring Ethiopia, and armed groups opposed to the government and its Ethiopian backers.

"Instead they brought together elders and clans who are not fighting each other and it was a waste of time and loads of money," Mareye said in the strongest criticism of the NRC from a Somali government official.

He also criticized the NRC organizing committee, chaired by former president Ali Mahdi, saying that the committee mismanaged conference funds and failed to consult with the ministry of reconciliation during the process.

UN lauds reconciliation talks between Somali factions

October 7, 2007 (NAIROBI) — The United Nations has welcomed the interim Somali government’s move to work together with all opposition groups in the war-ravaged country as part of the ongoing political reintegration process.

In a statement received here on Saturday, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah also lauded the move by the transitional government to endorse the recommendations of the recently-concluded National Reconciliation Congress on political inclusion.

Ould-Abdallah said the move "should pave the way for greater inclusion of Somalis from a larger political spectrum."

He commended this decision as a first step towards national reconciliation and urged the transitional government to go further by extending the mandate of the National Governance and Reconciliation Committee as soon as possible.

"The decision to endorse the recommendations of the recently concluded National Reconciliation Congress (NRC) should pave the way for greater inclusion of Somalis from a larger political spectrum," Ould-Abdallah said.

the first article is the correct analysis. the u.n. view is more of the same deliberate misinformation/garbage that has allowed a half-million somali's to be displaced & several thousand killed w/ impunity following the illegal invasion of that nation.

Posted by: b real | Oct 8 2007 5:12 utc | 32

The other Naomi... Much to short..Colbert: Naomi Wolf and Fascism in America

author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 8 2007 6:39 utc | 33

It was Neil Mackay who revealed the existence of the PNAC rpt. in the Sunday Herald, way back when...

Here's his latest rpt. on governing documents:

It is a chilling, dystopian account of what Britain will look like 10 years from now: a world in which Fortress Britain uses fleets of tiny spy-planes to watch its citizens, of Minority Report-style pre-emptive justice, of an underclass trapped in sink-estate ghettos under constant state surveillance, of worker drones forced to take on the lifestyle and values of the mega-corporation they work for, and of the super-rich hiding out in gated communities constantly monitored by cameras and private security guards.


This Orwellian vision of the future was compiled on the orders of the UK's information commissioner - the independent watchdog meant to guard against government and private companies invading the privacy of British citizens and exploiting the masses of information currently held on each and every one of us - by the Surveillance Studies Network, a group of academics.


On Friday, this study, entitled A Report on the Surveillance Society, was picked over by a select group of government mandarins, politicians, police officers and academics in Edinburgh. It is unequivocal in its findings, with its first sentence reading simply: "We live in a surveillance society." The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, endorses the report. He says: "Today, I fear that we are, in fact, waking up to a surveillance society that is already all around us."

The academics who compiled the study based their vision of the future not on wild hypotheses but on existing technology, statements made about the intentions of government and private companies and studies by other think tanks, regulators, professional bodies and academics.


The report authors say that they believe the key theme of the future will be "pervasive surveillance" aimed at tracking and controlling people and pre-empting behaviour. The authors also say that their glimpse of the future is "fairly conservative. The future spelled out in the report is nowhere near as dystopian and authoritarian as it could be."


Here's how 2017 might look...
Surveillance Society circa 2017

It's not clear if they deal w/climatic destabilization, crop failures, ec. meltdown & whether that will intensify or derail this costly Elite Wet Dream.

Posted by: jj | Oct 8 2007 7:24 utc | 34

Department of huh?

A NYT editorial titled: Democrats Talk Sense to Democrats

It starts off with this:

It was an interesting document: a letter from a group of former Democratic leading lights from the Clinton White House and Congress telling their Democratic brethren on Capitol Hill to get their act together and pass the pending free trade agreements with Peru, Panama and Colombia.
Then it tells about all the "advantages" free trade agreements would have.

It does not once name the "Democratic leading lights" or says what they have argued to whom. They might as well not exist.

And that's "premier media"???

Posted by: b | Oct 8 2007 8:47 utc | 35


when aid groups & NGO's go to Africa, it is very understandable that they want to help the maximum number of people they can, especially when the challenge at hand is of a disaster nature.

it must also be mentioned that Africans benefit greatly from efforts & initiatives that establish sustainability & excellence. Whenever a few talented & well motivated individuals in a community receive training, experience & skills in private enterprise, they can over time contribute to the critical mass that demands excellence & acccountability and this is to the benefit of the entire community. They might be a plumber, a builder or a craftsman, small-scale manufacturer or a landscaper ... The beauty is that they are empowered with income-generating skills that will work for them in the private sector indefinitely regardless of what happens in the chaotic & entirely unpredictable politicized public sector in many Africa areas. Pensions over there are generally a joke. And its not that such critical masses did not exist before. Thats another story. But these critical-masses have been undermined by the new imposed class structures over the last few hundred years. Again the nature & extent varies from place to place.

there are some Americans & Europeans who understand this. And they have been working with Africans who have the talent & motivation. They are not trying to do stuff like help build 500,000 new huts to eliminate homelessness. Instead, they might for example work with a handful of willing & capable locals to build a couple of huts to world-class standards of workmanship & excellence, for sale to the local market of whomever might apprreciate such huts. And helping develop skills, resources & instituitions for certifying, sustaining & propagating excellence.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 8 2007 9:21 utc | 36

@ Uncle $cam #31
Dave Phinney has been working on "slave labor" in the Mideast for some years now, and in particular spotlighted Prime Projects International, a shadowy subcontractor to Brown and Root. I have yet to find confirmation or refutation of a relation between co-founder Neil Helliwell of PPI and the late Paul Helliwell, celebrated (or infamous) CIA spook, friend of Poppy Bush, and benefactor of University of Toronto Medical School, but since the former is a Brit while the latter is a Yank there may be no connection except homonymy. On the other hand, the relation between the State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard who found nothing to worry about in Uncle $cam's link, and the former CIA honcho A. B. "Buzzy" Krongard is that they are brothers. The latter came to the CIA from Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, the Wall Street investment firm linked to reports of irregular short-selling prior to 9/11. Since the ferocious rigor of the investigation by the 9/11 Commission (Keane-Hamilton-Zelikow) all right thinking Americans now know that such reports are mere conspiracy mongering, i.e., there's nothing to worry about there either. It's nice to be able to sleep in peace.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 8 2007 10:04 utc | 37

I know that Paul Craig Roberts is no bleeding heart leftist, nor even a
thoroughgoing anarchist, but this polemic against police brutality in the U.S. makes some cogent points, all the more so with the prospective influx of Blackwater reclutes coming soon to your local police department.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 8 2007 11:39 utc | 38

Firedog Lake points to this Capital Eye
report on presidential campaign contributions U.S. troops:


Obama, who has never served in the military, has brought in more contributions from uniformed service members—about $27,000—than any other presidential hopeful, Democrat or Republican...

Among GOP candidates, Ron Paul, the only Republican who opposes the war, has brought in the biggest haul from the military since the start of the 2008 election cycle in January—at least $19,250. Republican John McCain, a Vietnam War prisoner who backs the administration's policy in Iraq, has raised $18,600. Paul, who was a flight surgeon in the Air Force, got nearly twice as much from servicemen and women in the campaign's first six months as GOP fundraising front-runner Mitt Romney and four times more than better-known candidate Rudy Giuliani.


One should note the truly exiguous figures being reported here for all the candidates compared to the overall figures being raked in by the leading campaigns, millions (or tens of millions) of dollars in the the last quarter alone. The military contributions will be of significance only if they are re-inforced by those of the (lower strata of ?) the plutocracy.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 8 2007 12:10 utc | 39

Good NYT op-ed by Tony Judt: "From Military Disaster to Moral High Ground."

(found via Atrios)

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 8 2007 13:01 utc | 40

article by chomsky in the latest issue of zmag
Cold War II: Will the U.S. response to Iran’s supposed threat heat up Cold War II?

Posted by: b real | Oct 8 2007 15:01 utc | 41

secrecynews: Bill on Contractor Liability Raises Intel Agency Concerns

Last week the House of Representatives passed a bill to extend federal legal jurisdiction to crimes committed abroad by U.S. contractors in war zones such as Iraq, so that such crimes could be prosecuted in U.S. courts.

But before the bill (H.R. 2740) was passed, it triggered alarms by those who were concerned that its provisions could undermine U.S. intelligence activities.

"The bill would have unintended and intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations," the White House said without elaboration in an October 3 statement (pdf) outlining its opposition to the bill.

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) spelled out those intelligence agency concerns in more detail on the House floor.

For example, he said, "If a clandestine asset was implicated in a crime, investigating and arresting that asset under traditional criminal procedures could expose other assets and compromise critical intelligence activities."

More fundamentally, he complained, the new bill "applies the entire criminal code to the new category of potential offenders and could implicate the authorized business of the intelligence community employees and contractors."

Rep. Forbes therefore introduced a motion stating that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect intelligence activities that are otherwise permissible prior to the enactment of this Act."

The motion was approved, but not without some critical commentary.

"The [Forbes] amendment raises serious questions about the activities its proponents may be seeking to protect," said Rep. David Price (D-NC), who authored the new bill.

"Given that my bill only targets activities that are unlawful, why do my colleagues feel the need to clarify that it does not affect activities that are permissible?"

"What activities are contractors carrying out that are permissible but not lawful?" Rep. Price wondered aloud.

"If there are private, for-profit contractors tasked with duties that require them to commit felony offenses, Congress needs to know about it. Such a revelation would point to a need for a serious debate about whether we are using contractors appropriately," he said.

See the October 4 House debate on the new bill, the "Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act Expansion and Enforcement Act of 2007," which was passed by a large majority.

The awkward fact is that intelligence collection operations are routinely conducted in violation of established laws, including international legal norms to which the United States Government is formally committed.

"The CS [clandestine service] is the only part of the IC [intelligence community], indeed of the government, where hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in counties around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them," according to a 1996 House Intelligence Committee staff report called IC21 (chapter 9, at page 205).

"A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) DO [Directorate of Operations] officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law) that not only risk political embarrassment to the US but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nationals and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself."

see original for links.

this would lend more support for the argument that toiletwater is also being employed by the cia.

Posted by: b real | Oct 8 2007 16:50 utc | 42

pinr: Intelligence Brief: Russian Economic Interests Drive its Policy on Myanmar

The current civil and political situation in Myanmar presents an opportunity for several major powers, namely Russia, China, India and the United States. Of these, Moscow has been working in concert with China to maintain the status quo in the country in order to preserve Russian interests.

For Russia, Myanmar holds a special economic interest since, during the past few years, it has entered into various business dealings with the country. In May, for example, nuclear equipment export monopoly AtomStroyExport forged an agreement to construct a nuclear research center in Myanmar. Leading foreign energy trade company Zarubezhneft, natural gas producer Itera, and Silver Wave Sputnik Petroleum are currently producing Myanmar's off-shore oil deposits alongside the Chinese company PetroChina, after forming a link with the south Russian republic of Kalmykia.

Additionally, Myanmar purchased 15 Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters for approximately US$150 million in 2001. Furthermore, it is negotiating with Russia's state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport on the establishment of an air defense system using the Tor-M1 and Buk-M1-2 missile systems. These business dealings, with a special emphasis on the energy related deals, are especially important to Russia.

Russia, which is currently one of the leading exporters of natural gas, is on the path to achieving a monopoly on energy throughout Europe and is most likely utilizing Myanmar and its oil and natural gas deposits (which it has gained access to after having negotiating the placement of the aforementioned air defense systems) to further its goals of monopolizing Europe's energy industry and possibly expanding its economic and political interest into the East.
...
In essence, Russia's interests are the stabilization and continued unsanctioned existence of Myanmar's ruling government, so that Moscow can continue to acquire Burmese oil and retain a stable ally in the region.

Opposition to this policy has come from several sources, one being the United States, which has called for immediate action and sanctions against the military junta in Myanmar. One reason for the United States to push for a change of government in Myanmar is to undermine Russia. If the current regime in Myanmar is disposed, it will be possible that a democratic government will come to power and seek better relations with the United States and its allies. The possibility of a democratic government, and its possible disposition toward friendly relations with the United States, is also an important driving force behind Russia's and China's actions in Myanmar.

Posted by: b real | Oct 8 2007 18:38 utc | 43

Global economy: China won't save the world

China - the Other Growth Engine - was supposed to save the world from U.S. financial woes. It won't.

I really wish Billmon would return, if only to write about the economic outlook...

Posted by: Alamet | Oct 8 2007 21:38 utc | 44

the minions of murdoch wherever they are - are really putting on a campaign of defamation of ernesto che guevara - throughout this last week the slander being leveled at che's example of 'socialist man' - has fallen to even greater depths

the bloody che, the che of the tribunals of exception, execution of spies etc etc etc - in his whole lifetime che does not have the blood that a dick cheney or a donald rumsfield of a richard helms or a william casey - shed in one day of their miserable & wretched lives

revolutions are not dinner parties & che was & remains an exemplary figure in history - a history that does not have many men or women like him

the slander is of course no accident - it is not incidental that che remains centrl for the leadership & people of bolivia, of the people & leadership of venuezalea, of uruguay, of mexico, of nicaragua, of honduras - in fact of everwhere where the people suffer the crimes of empire

we are living in one of the bloodiest moments, the most volatile moments of histories & the apoligists of the constant massacres of the middle east are trying to give us a lesson about che

in two words - fuck them & their rotiing fucking history

what the world needs in fact is 1, 2, 3 many che's. it needs men & women who place the interest of the other before their own

the western world has never understood that its constant self absorption is the key to its complete moral collapse & its continuing corruption

that the hearts of people whether it is ho chi minh, cabrel of guinea, lumumba of the congo, steve biko, chris hani or nelson mandela, carlos mariaghella - on & on the people who showed what a healthy heart & mind were & are

today that clarity of heart is most evident in the acts & the words of evo morales & for evo it is clear that che has plaed a central role in his own history, in his determinations

it is no accident that in latin & central america where che's heart still lives amongst the people - the empire through all its minions & mendiants try to demean the act & word of this most exemplary man

history is full of men, mostly of men of no consequence, no consequence at all - whose doings & words - may affect history for a moment buit who are thrown into the ashcan of history a decade later

in the case of che - they tried to kill a freedom fighter but they could not kill the fight for freedom

there is nothing, absolutely nothing in the history of che that needs to be hidden, nothing at all

his example will live on in life & in history long after bush is buried

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 8 2007 22:04 utc | 45

Che's Farewell Letter to Fidel Castro

HAVANA
Year of Agriculture (1965)

Fidel:

I remember many things in this hour—how I met you in the house of María Antonia, and how you proposed that I come with you, and all the strain of the preparations.

One day they passed by to ask who would be advised in case of the death, and the real possibility of it struck all of us. Later we knew that it was true, that in a revolution one triumphs or dies (if it be a true one). Many comrades were left along the road to victory.

Today everything has a less dramatic tone, for we are more mature, but the event is repeating itself. I feel that I have fulfilled the part of my duty that bound me to the Cuban Revolution on its territory, and I take my farewell of you, my comrades and your people who are now my people.

I formally renounce my posts in the leadership of the Party, my post as Minister, my rank as Major, my status as a Cuban citizen. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba, only ties of another kind that cannot be broken, as can official appointments. Looking back over my past life, I believe that I have worked with sufficient faithfulness and dedication in order to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only deficiency of any importance is not to have trusted you more from those first moments in the Sierra Maestra and in not having understood soon enough your qualities of leader and revolutionary.

I have lived through magnificent days and at your side I felt the pride of belonging to our people in the luminous and sad days of the Caribbean Crisis. Rarely has any statesman shone more brilliantly than you did in those days. I feel pride, too, in having followed you without hesitation, identifying myself with your way of thinking and seeing and of judging dangers and motives.

Other regions of the world claim the support of my modest efforts. I can do what is forbidden to you because of your responsibility to Cuba, and the time has come for us to separate.

Let it be known that I do it with a mixture of joy and sorrow: I am leaving here the purest of my hopes as a builder and the most loved among my beloved creatures, and I leave a people who accepted me as a son; this rends a part of my spirit. On new battlefields I will carry with me the faith that you inculcated in me, the revolutionary spirit of my people, the feeling of having fulfilled the most sacred of duties: to fight against imperialism wherever it may be; this comforts and heals any wound to a great extent.

I say once more that I free Cuba of any responsibility save that which stems from its example: that if the final hour comes upon me under other skies, my last thought will be for this people and especially for you, that I am thankful to you for your teachings and your example, and that I will try to be faithful up to the final consequences of my acts; that I have at all times been identified with the foreign policy of our Revolution, and I continue to be so; that wherever I may end up I will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary, and I will act as one; that I leave nothing material to my children and my wife, and this does not grieve me: I am glad that it be so; that I ask nothing for them, since the State will give them sufficient to live and will educate them.

I would have many things to say to you and to our people, but I feel that they are unnecessary; words cannot express what I would want them to, and it isn’t worthwhile wasting more sheets of paper with my scribbling.

To victory forever. Patria o Muerte!

I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervor!

c

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 9 2007 1:14 utc | 46

commandante che lives

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 9 2007 1:27 utc | 47

freed from le monde diplomatique, a lengthy investigative report on the u.s. role in the renditions of somalis from kenya to dungeons in ethiopia

Lost in the rendition machine


...
In Nairobi, a campaign group, the Muslim Human Rights Forum, began to lead protests and track their fate. Through legal action, they obtained a copy of manifests that showed more than 90 prisoners were deported in three flights from Kenya back into the war zone of Somalia. Alamin Kimathi, the chairman of the Forum, said the manifests revealed the number of women, children and babies aboard, and it became clear that these were not wanted terrorists, but their families, including the wife and children of Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, one of the alleged planners of the 1998 bombings at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was believed to be hiding in Somalia and the US was working hard to capture him.

At his headquarters in a Nairobi mosque, Alamin pointed on the lists to Fazul’s children – Luqmaan, 15, Asma, 13, and Sumaiya, 4 – and his wife Halima. “It is believed that she might lead them to him and the detention of the children might smoke him out from wherever he is. It’s a ridiculous way of doing things. These kids are hostages pure and simple.”

Alamin’s Forum was in contact with the families of those arrested. They included Kenyan citizens that the Kenyan government had now sent back to Somalia, and it was clear that most if not all the prisoners had been sent on from Somalia to Ethiopia in a coordinated rendition operation. These prisoners were being transferred to Addis Ababa for interrogation, led by a team of Americans.

Alamin later told me that one of the women transferred to Ethiopia had just been released and sent back to her family’s home in Tanzania. So I travelled with him to the town of Moshi by Mount Kilimanjaro, to hear her story. Fatma Chande, aged 25, revealed that she had been questioned by US agents once they had touched down in Ethiopia. Most prisoners were told that the Americans had orchestrated the arrest and rendition operation.

“The Kenyans told me originally that it is the Americans who wanted my husband, it’s the Americans who were interested in us. The police tried to force me to admit my husband was a member of al-Qaida. I told them he was a businessman. He was nothing to do with al-Qaida. They kept banging on the table. They threatened to strangle me if I didn’t tell them the truth.”

Fatma said the children suffered worst. “When we arrived at the airport, we were handcuffed and our headscarves were pulled down over our eyes. The men were hooded. The children were crying all the time saying ‘we want to go home, we want to go home’.”

In Ethiopia, FBI agents took her fingerprints and a DNA sample. Other women were interrogated more than she was. “They told me that they were being quizzed about their husbands – the Americans wanted to know what their husbands did, and their connections to al-Qaida”. Fatma said that not only were children held in jail but that at least one woman had gone into labour inside the prison and then “she was brought back to the cells with the baby”.

Posted by: b real | Oct 9 2007 2:59 utc | 48

here's something you don't see everyday
Uganda: Weddings to be compulsory for soldiers

The Uganda People's Defence Forces will soon introduce compulsory regimental weddings for serving soldiers as a way of limiting irresponsible sexual behaviour.

The 3rd Division Commander, Col. Patrick Kankiriho said a big number of the soldiers in the UPDF are involved in relations that are not binding.

He said such relationships had exposed the army to dangers of contracting HIV/Aids.

"This will happen soon. Soldiers will be expected to take part in the compulsory weddings and with time it is likely to be a condition for one to be in the forces," Col Kankiriho said.

He said the first level of patriotism is for a soldier to preserve his life to be able to protect other citizens, a reason why they should engage in safe marital relations.

which means then that museveni will have to revise his little farewell speech to the troops, like the one he gave to updf peacekeepers leaving for somalia last march

President Yoweri Museveni yesterday flagged off the UPDF contingent to Somalia, sternly warning the soldiers against illicit love affairs with Somali women.
...
Museveni dispensed parental advice in kiswahili: "I have heard that you went to doctors who found out that you do not have these dudus (HIV/AIDS). Take care of your lives when you go to Somalia. You have had enough women here."

& an almost entirely unrelated idea...

i was reading about how difficult it is for the mgmt of abattoirs to find employees willing to work on the front lines in their operations & how this forces them to hire illegal immigrants.

i was also reading about how the VA is not going to have enough money to provide for the medical care for soldiers returning from the occupation of iraq & the invasion of afghanistan.

so why not make it compulsory for returning soldiers to go to work on the front lines of amerika's slaughterhouses, killing thousands of chickens, pigs, & cows each shift? i'm sure there's ways to fit even the most disabled in there somehow -- if they can press a button, they can probably contribute something to the process. but this suggestion solves several problems-in-one: returning vets would be guaranteed of employment when they get back; it would reduce the dependence on hiring immigrants w/o proper documentation, giving more jobs to 'merikans; the burden would be taken off of the VA administration since the workers would be covered under their new employer's benefits program; and the kids would still get to kill, only this time it would be for a more truly humanitarian & honorable purpose -- fighting hunger.

barkeep. i think i'm ready for you to call me a cab now...

Posted by: b real | Oct 9 2007 4:11 utc | 49

Kabul rejects US pleas to spray opium poppies

Renewed American efforts to persuade the Afghan government to use crop dusters against poppy production have failed, despite Washington dispatching a top scientist to advocate the safety of spraying herbicides.
...
"We have rejected the spraying of poppy in Afghanistan for good reasons: the effect on the environment, other smaller crops and on human genetics," the acting minister for counter-narcotics, General Khodaidad (who uses only one name), told the Guardian. "It was a very friendly discussion, but it is difficult to change our mind," he added.
...
For the US ambassador, William Wood, who has offered to be sprayed with glyphosate to illustrate its safety, the arguments against more affirmative action on drugs are no longer acceptable. With unusually blunt diplomacy at the counter-narcotics conference, he singled out two of the largest opium producing southern provinces, which have each received considerable anti-drugs aid, saying: "Kandahar has no excuse ... Shame on you Helmand."
Ambassador Wood is an expert in Latin American affairs. He was ambassador to Columbia before getting the job in Afghanistan.

He doesn't know s... about asia and I bet 10:1 that he will order the spraying to start next spring. That may well cost Karzai's head ...

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2007 4:27 utc | 50

Upsurge in Kurdish attacks raises pressure on Turkish prime minister to order Iraq invasion

Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came under intense pressure last night to order an invasion of northern Iraq following the deadliest attacks for over a decade on the Turkish military and civilians by separatist Kurdish guerrillas.

Mr Erdogan, who has resisted demands from the Turkish armed forces for the past six months for a green light to cross the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, where the guerrillas are based, called an emergency meeting of national security chiefs to ponder their options in the crisis, a session that some said was tantamount to a war council.
...
Two Turkish soldiers were killed yesterday in booby trap explosions laid by guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) - fighters classified as terrorists by Ankara, Washington and the European Union. Those casualties followed the killing of 13 Turkish soldiers in the south-east on Sunday when PKK forces outgunned a Turkish unit of 18 men without sustaining any casualties, according to the Kurds.
...
Following the soldiers' deaths on Sunday, Mr Erdogan signalled a shift in policy without specifying how. "Our campaign against terrorism will continue in a different manner," he said. The Turkish military has just declared 27 "security zones" on the Iraqi and Iranian borders off-limits to civilians, suggesting to some that it might be gearing up for an invasion.

Something is brewing here and it's not going to be a nice drink. The Turks I know are pissed, really pissed ... Erdogan is holding back, but he only can do for so long ...

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2007 4:30 utc | 51

This will certainly give the impression that Democrats are very strong when facing adversaries ... :

Democratic Concessions Are Expected on Wiretapping

Two months after vowing to roll back broad new wiretapping powers won by the Bush administration, Congressional Democrats appear ready to make concessions that could extend some of the key powers granted to the National Security Agency.

Bush administration officials say they are confident they will win approval of the broadened wiretapping authority that they secured temporarily in August as Congress rushed toward recess, and some Democratic officials admit that they may not come up with the votes to rein in the administration.

As the debate over the N.S.A.’s wiretapping powers begins anew this week, the emerging legislation reflects the political reality confronting the Democrats. While they are willing to oppose the White House on the conduct of the war in Iraq, they remain nervous that they will be labeled as soft on terrorism if they insist on strict curbs on intelligence gathering.

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2007 5:09 utc | 52

The colonisation of Palestine continues:

IDF orders seizure of Arab land near East Jerusalem

The Israel Defense Forces recently issued an order expropriating over 1,100 dunams of land from four Arab villages located between East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim.

The land is slated to be used for a new Palestinian road that would connect East Jerusalem with Jericho. That in turn would "free up" the E-1 area between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim - through which the current Jerusalem-Jericho road runs - for a long-planned Jewish development consisting of 3,500 apartments and an industrial park.

The Palestinians and the international community, including the United States, have long objected to the E-1 plan on the grounds that it would cut the West Bank in two and sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
...
The plan also noted that the proposed housing development in E-1 would create an uninterrupted urban expanse between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim. Such an expanse would effectively sever the territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank.


No security issues are involved. So why is the Israeli "Defense" Force issueing such orders?

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2007 6:35 utc | 53

This two part article from American Conversative by Paul W. Schroeder of the University of Illinois seems to me to be excellent. To me it illustrates the evanescence of much of the classical liberal-conservative divergence in American politics, being simultaneously both clearly conservative in intent and philosophical matrix, and "liberal" in its intellectual elitism and merciless analysis of the maladies afflicting in the American body politic.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 9 2007 6:58 utc | 54

b@52: fuck the dems. they're worthless and so easily punk'd the Shrubco rethugs really must laugh their ass off continuously at their good fortune to have such feckless opponents or willing co-conspirators. who could really tell the diff?

Posted by: ran | Oct 9 2007 7:12 utc | 55

b@52: fuck the dems. they're worthless and so easily punk'd the Shrubco rethugs really must laugh their ass off continuously at their good fortune to have such feckless opponents or willing co-conspirators. who could really tell the diff?

Posted by: ran | Oct 9 2007 7:13 utc | 56

Ran, the Financial Elites & political elites they own & control have decided to turn xAm. into a neo-feudal police state. Further, in case you didn't realize it, when they merge w/Mexico & Canada w/in next ~2 yrs, Our Constitution will have as much relevance to the governance of our country as my dog. LITERALLY. If they jettisoned it all at once it would raise much greater resistance than this piecemeal destruction. that's also the main reason they will NOT allow Any discussion of impeachment. The last thing they want people thinking about is our nation, its liberties & the Constitution that used to govern it. As far as they are concerned it's already been pitched in the toilet, as it is in internal elite discussions. Or to put it another way, the principal tasks of this Admin. were to set up ME bases & get oil contracts signed & ME markets pried open & ME countries ready to sign on to WTO so they can form their world govt. of by & for the predators; to destroy the currency in preparation for issuing a new common currency w/mexico; & hollow out the govt. Mission Accomplished. Hence elite won't oppose them & masses of idiots have no choice about voting anyway...

Posted by: jj | Oct 9 2007 7:41 utc | 57

With all the necessary caveats regarding the dubious nature of the
source, the following seems to be a must-read link on the state of the art in NSA technology for total information awareness. (Is the search for this capacity not a type of blasphemy or satanic overweening pride?)

For several years the consensus among NSA watchers ... was that the NSA had failed in its quest for "the grail" despite over two decades of research. What was this "grail"?

Consider the following joke, popular in U.S university mathematics departments where for several years the NSA had hired half of all new maths Phds:

The NSA offers exciting and interesting work for recent college graduates in mathematics and computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

The NSA, not known for its sense of humor, was pained that this joke was not a universal reality. While its bases, spy satellites, undersea cable taps and secret deals with telcos could mass-intercept the world's voice calls, the NSA would need millions of employees to listen for "NSA", "application" and whatever else the agency or its political masters were interested in. What the NSA needed was a way to automate both listening and interception.
Removing the human element would permit the NSA to leap from millions of daily voice intercepts, with a few thousand human transcriptions, to millions of daily voice intercepts with millions of transcriptions, archived and "googleable" for eternity. Historically the two primary checks on NSA powers have not been Congressional oversight nor even the economic costs of bulk interception, but of costs of bulk transcription and translation. By 1999 translation had been partially automated (enough for search) and transcription remained as the final barrier to the agency's goal of being the universal spy with an ear in every international (and now every domestic) phone call.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 9 2007 8:44 utc | 58

Further comment on URL cited in #58: the article really deals in large
measure with a Google search key "MDA904" allowing one to see whose research has been funded by the NSA, and, of course, what that research deals with. The article could also use some editing for spelling errors, but remains of interest, if only to confirm the well-known and widely diffused "intrusion" of NSA money into "pure research". The question of accepting money from military organizations does not seem, to me at least, to be an open-and-shut case of "just say no", although that "absolutist" position does have a certain appeal. Moreover, it is clear that there will always be a dialectical tension between the openly declared and socially useful aspects of such research and its possible use by powerful coteries for their own ends.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 9 2007 9:19 utc | 59

They love their technology, their tech toys, bought on someone else's dime *cough cough* --uh, that's yours and my money-- and it makes them squirm with excitement.

Robo-Chopper for DARPA's Super-Spyeye

Boeing robo-chopper for DARPA's super-spyeye
By Lewis Page
Published Monday 8th October 2007 12:45 GMT
Arms'n'airliners behemoth Boeing has announced that its autonomous robotic stealth chopper, the A160T, will be the initial carrying platform for a new US airborne surveillance payload. The radical new spy system will not be so much an aerial camera as an all-seeing insect-style compound bugeye able to simultaneously look at many different things.

The spy machinery, dubbed ARGUS-IS*, is under development by DARPA** - the Pentagon deathboffin apparat where ideas need to be off walls, outside boxes, and well to the left of any field. ARGUS-IS is supposed to avoid the current "soda straw" effect suffered by existing flying spydroid platforms.

These machines' cameras can typically look at only one location in any detail, like a person peering down a drinking straw, which can mean that unfortunate choices have to be made. It's difficult to put lots of flying robots into the same airspace at once, even if there are enough to watch everything, so increased numbers aren't the answer. Not just one drinking straw to look down, but dozens.
...

Not just one drinking straw to look down, but dozens.

Either this is A) something straight out of Bladerunner, B)complete bullshit like those choppers and anti-missile program shields that don't work, or C)it's a combination of all three and they took the money an ran. Either way we're fucked.

Posted by: | Oct 9 2007 11:05 utc | 60

human rights watch rpt: Criminal Politics: Violence, “Godfathers” and Corruption in Nigeria

Nigeria is mired in a crisis of governance. Eight years since the end of military rule, the country’s longest-ever stretch of uninterrupted civilian government, the conduct of many public officials and government institutions is so pervasively marked by violence and corruption as to more resemble criminal activity than democratic governance.

This report documents what Human Rights Watch considers to be the most important human rights dimensions of this crisis: first, systemic violence openly fomented by politicians and other political elites that undermines the rights of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders and enjoy basic security; second, the corruption that both fuels and rewards Nigeria’s violent brand of politics at the expense of the general populace; and third, the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these abuses that both denies justice to its victims and obstructs reform.
...
The report is based largely on two four-week Human Rights Watch research missions to Nigeria in early 2007 before, during, and after the April 2007 elections. This included field research in Anambra, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Katsina, Lagos, Oyo, and Rivers States and interviews in the capital Abuja. While patterns of abuse in some of those states are among Nigeria’s worst, they are not atypical in nature, and the federal government’s failure to tackle their underlying causes is common to the whole of Nigeria. Human Rights Watch conducted more than one hundred interviews with federal, state, and local public officials; politicians from ruling and opposition political parties; journalists; civil society workers; religious leaders; lawyers; members of armed gangs and cult groups; political godfathers; and victims of human rights abuse. The names of many interviewees have been withheld to protect them from possible reprisal.

Posted by: b real | Oct 9 2007 15:11 utc | 61

Craig Murray's blog is back under a new URL. Please update your bookmarks.

www.craigmurray.org.uk

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2007 15:22 utc | 62

Just wanted to add Man Tech to Uncle's list in #29.
Take a look, for example at who turns up on the board of directors and their locations to get an idea of "who they are". I'm sure that it would be easy to "multiply the miracles" of interesting coincidences regarding cross-memberships in the various boards of directors mentioned by Uncle, just like judgeships in Chicago under Richard J. Daley, but such interwoven corporate and governmental fabrics are the explicit realization of the oft-mentioned but seldom explicitly specified "power elite". For whom they are working, other than themselves, is far from clear, but there's no doubt that it's the U.S. taxpayer who is footing the bill for being "serviced". Two of their employees (perhaps under cover for some U.S. intelligence service???) died in the Kam Air Flight 904 crash of Feb. 2005.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 9 2007 15:38 utc | 63

U.S. Soldiers Accused of Raping 12-Year-Old Girl in Colombia

This is just the latest in a line of crimes and abuses that U.S. soldiers and civilian officials have committed in Colombia. As Narco News has reported in the past, these have included:

* The wife of an army colonel stationed at the U.S. embassy who smuggled cocaine and heroin back to the U.S. in diplomatic packages and recieved a relative slap on the wrist
* U.S. soldiers smuggling cocaine to North America on military aircraft
* U.S. soldiers stationed at Tolemaida involved in arms deals with paramilitary death squads
* The release of pornographic videotapes made by U.S. soldiers and contractors stationed at Tolemaida featuring several underage girls

And now this, yet another outrage at the Tolemaida base in Melgar.

One of the justifications for the huge U.S. military and diplomatic presence in Colombia has always been to help “professionalize” the Colombians and teach them respect for “human rights,” helping them to end the history of corruption and thuggery that stands in the way of winning this war on drugs for good. But just like our Iraqi friends, also being taught about professionalism and modern democracy by U.S. armed forces, Colombians have had to watch case after case like this one. Each one ends with virtual impunity for the gringos, whisked away to the U.S. never to face charges or even questions from Colombian prosecutors.

Coen is apparently already out of the country, but Ruiz is not. The embassy is expected to make a statement in the next few days...

Posted by: b real | Oct 9 2007 18:36 utc | 64

A lifetime ago I enjoyed Richard Condon's novels, because even though they seemed totally 'over the top', there was a humour compounded with an underlying humanity to his best work.

Some books seemed way over the top. In "The Manchurian Candidate" for example, the political family who supplied the novel's baddies was plainly exaggerated. No electorate would/could keep voting for the sons of old politicians, that was too much like creating royalty. What voter in their right mind would do that. As for the Machiavellian machinations of that family, no-one is that evil in real life. Intelligent people are insightful enough to see the damage they do is eventually counter productive.
But that was back in the good old days before I had heard of the Bush family. Maybe Prescott had been covered in some historical analysis of World War 2 I had read, but George Herbert was still on his way up the CIA ladder and George Walker was face down in sticky mirror of glucose drenched coke.

I bring it up because at that time many of us were mourning the assassination of a bloke who had seemed to carry a light into the darkness descending over the South of this planet. A bloke by the name of Che Guevara, whose final hours are recounted by one of his assassins, CIA operative and Bay of Pigs survivor, Felix Rodriguez, here in the Independent. Unsurprisingly he reckons he was opposed to murdering Che, presumably he had plans of water boarding him, then 'turning' him.
Che who didn't agree with those options was stoic if allegedly as hesitant about his impending death as any other human said "It's better this way, I should have never been captured alive".

Rodriguez wants to sell his new book and by seeming to be a reluctant serial killer I suppose he will appeal to a few more buyers. His history is littered with the deaths of good men for the greedy motives of hateful tyrants.

Which brings me to the Bush family. It is really no surprise that Rodriguez should be a 'good friend' of George Herbert Bush (Herbie). Knowing that family as we have all come to, their lives seem to be totally occupied by tete a tetes with every evil son-of-a-bitch on the planet.

Even so this story gets under my skin more than most. Something to do with the mystique around Che Guevara. I suppose that even after all this time I find his mean and needless death is difficult to bear.
I tried to watch the "Motor-cycle Diaries" a few weeks ago but seeing the story of that determined young man as he went through the usual trials of all young men was difficult, knowing the fate that was to befall him.

Che was so much like any one of us even if he did have the courage or self belief that few/none of us have. Of course it was that which made him such an iconic figure.

The popular neo-con riff is that Fidel Castro created the myth of Che in an attempt to update the xtian Latin Americans by using a local born socialist martyr with a christ-like sub-text. But Che was a presence long before he died. It was amerika which martyred him, not the left.

How typical that a Bush confidante should be the architect of Che's brutal end. No end is too foul for that upstart dynasty.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 9 2007 20:35 utc | 65

Here in the increasingly deranged US, dedicated wingnuts have invented a whole anti-Che mythology including assertions that he personally murdered Christian children -- just for being Christians, you see, hateful godless Commie that he was. I have not yet met anyone who claims that he subsequently ate them (whether raw or roasted) but doubtless there are some who would eagerly believe it.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 9 2007 22:12 utc | 66

I went to an odd sort of school and was taught by a motley selection of Maoists and various shades of pseudo-Trotskyites, and I got a fair amount of Che. I've never had much time for the legend, no doubt as a result, but the one thing that shines bright and clear across 40 years is that the man was ALIVE, and even four decades in the grave he is more alive than the axis of zombies who have their dead paws on us now.

Incidentally, Eurotrib reminded me that today was also the death/assassination-iversary of
Ioannis Kapodistrias, one of the more worthwhile political figures of the past two or three hundred years. I heard a lot about him growing up as well, from my Greek relatives. The morons got him in the end, too.

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 10 2007 0:06 utc | 67

And still on Che Guevara, this is - to me, anyway - a brilliant and surprising story about the immortal t-shirt image and the power of art and memory: Che Guevara-Lynch: the Dublin connection, you could call it...

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 10 2007 0:24 utc | 68

Boot camp boy died under 'routine' control

An incident at a US boot camp in which a 14-year-old was hit, kneed and given ammonia capsules was "a day at the office", a defence lawyer for one of seven guards accused of manslaughter said yesterday.

Charles Helms, a former army drill instructor, and six other guards at Bay County boot camp, Florida, are charged with aggravated manslaughter in connection with the death of Martin Lee Anderson in January last year.

More at the link...

I can't even bring myself to comment on this one.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 10 2007 3:28 utc | 69

It now appears the the drug-trafficking plane that crashed recently in Mexico, nominally registered to "Donna Blue Aviation" embodies a bit of spooky acronym humor: Donna Blue Aviation --> DBA --> "Doing Business As".
For this and other illuminating comments on the "sloppy tradecraft" involved, see Hopsicker's MadCow site.
One can reasonably be skeptical of what Hopsicker says, but, as mentioned in an earlier post, the prevailing culture of official secrecy is such that these source of counter-information, with all their warts and shortcomings, become more credible with each passing day due to the very ethos and praxis of that culture. In this vein, one may hope that, like Craig Murray's, Hopsicker's site will soon be shut down, since nothing could better validate its allegations. It seems however that the spooks now know they no longer need to bother with tradecraft and precautions.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 10 2007 7:44 utc | 70

Sarkozy fails to soften Russian backing for Iran

"We do not have information that Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapon. We operate on the principle that Iran does not have those plans," Putin told journalists after the end of the talks with Sarkozy who was in Moscow seeking to ease tensions.
Nice quip by the author on Sarkozy:
Sarkozy said after his talks in the Kremlin that Putin's readiness was "important." "After that, there might be a difference in the analysis," he added.


But there was no sign of confirmation that Franco-Russian positions on the controversy had "moved closer," as Sarkozy had indicated following a dinner with Putin on Tuesday night.

All he really wants is part of the loot:
Putin praised strong growth in French-Russian bilateral trade and Sarkozy announced that French companies were keen to buy into Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom.

"I told Putin that French companies are ready to buy into Gazprom," Sarkozy said at the joint news conference with Putin, responding to a question about investment between the two countries.

"There will be no French protectionism. We just want mutual benefits."

...

Posted by: b | Oct 10 2007 14:07 utc | 71

junk jurisprudence

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 11 2007 0:02 utc | 72

the widescale flooding affecting africa really turned deadly last friday

15,000 wildebeest drown in river stampede

Some 15,000 wildebeest have drowned in the Mara river during their annual migration between Tanzania and Kenya, shocking tourists and baffling conservationists, officials said.

The mass death of the animals [last Friday] was the first of its kind in recent memory, officials said, and struck during peak season at the globally renowned Maasai Mara Game Reserve, which attracts some 300,000 tourists each year.

The carcasses of wildebeest rotting since last week are being picked over by Maribu storks, vultures, crocodiles and other scavengers.

Some visitors clutch handkerchiefs to their faces to cope with the smell as they take pictures of the pile-up of corpses.

"It was a strong tide that swept them away," said Mara administrative official, Sarisa Nkadaru, adding that most wildebeest died when they were stepped on by others.

Some officials blame the destruction of the nearby Mau forest for changing weather patterns and affecting tide levels, and they called on the Government to curb the deforestation.

"Had the forest not been destroyed, the speed of water in the river would have been checked and the wildebeest would not have been swept away," local conservationist Doris Ombara said.

15,000 wiped out in one incident. damn. nairobi's the standard cites mr. nkadaro stating "that 20,000 wildebeests and Zebras have so far been swept away in three different crossing points since the migration started in July."

Posted by: b real | Oct 11 2007 4:08 utc | 73


WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 — The Supreme Court today turned down the chance to elaborate for the first time in more than 50 years on the “state secrets privilege” by refusing to hear an appeal filed on behalf of Khaled el-Masri, who claims he was abducted and tortured by United States agents while imprisoned in Afghanistan.

Without comment, the justices let stand an appeals court ruling that the state secrets privilege, a judicially created doctrine that the Bush administration has invoked to win dismissal of lawsuits that touch on issues of national security, protected the government’s actions from court review.

Mr. Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, says he was detained while on vacation in Macedonia in late 2003, transported by the United States to Afghanistan and held there for five months in a secret prison before being taken to Albania and set free, evidently having been mistaken for a terrorism suspect with a similar name.

Mr. Masri alleges that he was tortured while in the prison. After investigating the case, German prosecutors earlier this year issued arrest warrants for 13 agents of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Also see the embedded links along w/more of this article above. Man I'd love to see Billmon weigh in on this and so many other things right now.

Bonus post: (and a good one, yall...)

New Yorker Festival Interveiw with Seymour M. Hersh

I could have watched and listened all night. The first video in a long time, I didn't want to end. The scary part: "We write less that we know".

And just why is that? I mean look, if Former President Jimmy Carter sees enough to speak out things, must be bad.

"Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights," Carter said.
Thanks, for the half truths Jimmy;Your still my favorite peanut farmer. Don't get me wrong, I want to like the man, and do much more so than these other dinks, but...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 11 2007 6:16 utc | 74

Crap, left out the link above:
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Torture Appeal

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 11 2007 6:18 utc | 75

This has already been intimated here at MOA, and while this DEBKA report may not come from a neutral or reliable observer, it does, nevertheless
neatly fit in to at least part of the picture.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 11 2007 6:50 utc | 76

We live in a world of double standards, nothing new about that, but even those of us who read many differing news sources and try and analyse the 'truth' from an interpretation of what everyone is saying, become so accustomed to the blinding obvious that we can miss what is right in front of our noses.

Take Myanmar - or Burma if you support the absolute rule of the Burman 61% of Myanmar's population. The last few weeks have been full of stories about thousands being dragged off and shot, if really light on detail. I came across this story in today's Guardian. The story tells us the details of one opposition activist who was arrested and "died under interrogation".

This is an abomination and the people responsible for Win Shwe's death must not be allowed to get off the hook the way those who interogated and killed Baha Mousa or Manadel al-Jamadi have done.

Like those murders those responsible have eventually notified Win Shwe's family of the death but not the exact circumstances surrounding it. That act tends to belie the english accusations of hundreds, or even thousands of protesters being 'disappeared' after the crackdown.

What is going on in Burma is unconscionable and needs to be stopped, but those who live in amerika or england have more power to prevent these torturers from doing their work if they deal with their country's own dirty linen first.

Firstly they have more power to directly mobilise citizens to cause grief for the politicians who enable their nation's atrocities. Secondly, until amerika and england are known to have cleaned up their own horrors they have no moral authority to confront others on theirs.

Which brings me to another depressing story I came across today:

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian soldiers are executing a rising number of peasants in rural areas and passing them off as leftist rebels killed in combat, an international human rights commission claimed in a report released on Wednesday.

The article tells us that many hundreds of 'peasants' peacefully going about their business have been slaughtered by Colombian soldiers,

These guys work at the behest of amerikan 'advisors', their officers are trained in amerika, and they are killing innocents in huge numbers, yet still amerikans give more thought to Myanmar?

It's kinda like before 1990 when conservatives would be running off about the supression of the "Prague Spring" in 1968, which was a horror, but compared to Santiago in 1972, it was a minor atrocity.

Apologies to those Czechs who suffered in 1968, what happened was despicable, though it wasn't of the scale or brutality of Chile after Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon had organised their horror show.

Saying that I realise numbers should be irrelevan,t one murder by the state is one too many. Yet we come back to numbers chiefly because the western media keep coming up with telephone numbers to describe the massacres of those that aren't their friend/ally/ or fall guy, despite those numbers being unsupported by the facts.

The chief reason they do it is to distract from the massacres committed by 'friends' - often at the behest of amerika or england. Even though in many cases those numbers can be supported by the facts (eg Iraq and The Lancet study).

It works. Right now how many english or amerikan people are thinking about the horrors alleged to have occurred in Myanmar recently; and how many are distracted by the numbers of innocents proven to have been slaughtered in Colombia?

The answer is mobs for the first, fuck all for the second.

Why do we do this? Is it wrong to drag people's attention away from what can only be a vicarious interest in the horrors of Myanmar or Darfur and try to point them to killings that they do have the power to stop or at the very least reduce?

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 11 2007 6:56 utc | 77

You know, after watching the Hersh video again,--for the second time-- there is just no way anyone can convince me that Cheneyco doesn't have this guy watched and followed 24/7. And how he can manage to get the insider info he does, e.g., from his sources, is beyond me. His role in the drama of the day just baffles me.

I want to trust him.

What say you?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 11 2007 7:06 utc | 78

Methinks they've decided Hersh is too impt. not to pollute his stream.

Posted by: jj | Oct 11 2007 8:23 utc | 79

I second DID's sentiments in 77 above, but doubt that the tendency to see others' atrocities while being blind to our own will ever disappear, especially not as long as there are mighty Wurlitzer's and spin machines specifically designed to assist in such projection, i.e., for the foreseeable future.

As to Uncle's musing on Sy Hersh constant companions, it seems pretty clear that Hersh is a witting player in the military-security elite's information games: everyone knows who he is and where he's coming from, and therefore he can be "trusted" to deliver the message that "his" faction wants to get out. It's obviously more complicated and ambiguous than just that, of course. His work (both historically and at present) has been very valuable. His role as "official recipient of spooky leaks" with its concomitant high visibility probably insures his survival. Less well-connected investigators often seem to encounter career problems (e.g. Robert Parry) or even find premature graves (Gary Webb, or even Ted Westhusing, for example).

Since this is an open thread I add the following link from the LRB for the small band of creationists visiting or lurking here.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 11 2007 8:38 utc | 80

Ahhh, speaking of Gary Webb, I ran across the the other day and forgot to share it.

"Yahoo Podcasts" is being discontinued on October 31, 2007. Gary Webb

The more I think about it, we have been led from one node of fear, crisis, outrage to the next, from one horrifying appalling and absurd incident to the next without a breather, without downtime to process, without reflection, pushed, prodded, dragged but always with the powers that be corralling us into, into what? Non stop for seven years. A trap? What is the payoff of this Strategy of tension for them and do people perhaps journalist like sy unbeknownst (or not) do this administration's bidding for them, hell, it just dawned on me, that even I could be playing a small role that benefits these murders, by...?

It reminds me of the childhood bully. Bullies who relied mostly on gossip and hearsay to keep their domain of power of fear.

Maybe I'm just to dumb to get it, but what do they gain? They have it all, they have all the money they will ever need, the have all the power, all the,... fuck, I just don't get it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 11 2007 9:34 utc | 81

@ Uncle 81: here's something from Italy to
counter the strategy of tension
(but it's not politically correct).

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 11 2007 10:01 utc | 82

McClatchy's Hannah Alaam on personal experience with: Blackwater USA

Over time, however, our Blackwater pals wore out their welcome. I can’t pinpoint when it happened. Was it one too many beer-drenched party that upset the Iraqi families who lived in neighboring homes? Was it the parade of young Iraqi prostitutes that crept out of their rooms when the sun rose? Was it when their speeding SUV convoys began cutting down any Iraqi with the misfortune to block their path?

Our own security adviser, an older Brit who sneered at what he considered Blackwater’s unprofessional behavior, was conducting his rounds late one night when he noticed shadowy figures lurking about the hotel. From his balcony, he later told me, he observed the fully armed, camouflaged men creeping around corners as if ready to attack. Alarmed, our guard took the safety lock off his weapon and prepared to fire.

Then he realized it was the Blackwater boys, apparently drunk and playing war games after dark. Our security adviser was livid and lodged complaints with the hotel. I don’t remember whether he also contacted Blackwater. In any case, this wasn’t the first time managers had received such gripes and the Blackwater team was kicked out.
...

Posted by: b | Oct 11 2007 10:51 utc | 83

@ Uncle $cam #81,
Power for the elite is like hits of cocaine in David Lee Roth's line:

You take a hit, and feel like a new man. Then the new man wants a hit.

(might be someone else's, fast google only found his "I used to have a drug problem, but now I make enough money", evidence that at his level there is "enough money".)

Google "useless eaters" for evidence of elite desires to reduce population.

If you were they, and knew that earthquakes in arctic and antarctic must inevitably push ice into ocean and thus destroy coasts, would you tell the peasants, or even your functionaries?

Or would all the news reports and supposed anti-emission advocates talk of sea ice and http://www.furrylogick.com/page_2>polar bear worries more than land ice and human engulfment?

Like the way they use Sy Hersh, and all popular culture, they do give us hints. Here's a quote from NY Times on sea ice:

"In a conference call with reporters, the scientists also said the momentum to a warmer world with less Arctic sea ice — and fewer bears — would be largely unavoidable at least for decades, no matter what happened with emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide.

'Despite any mitigation of greenhouse gases, we’re going to see the same amount of energy in the system for 20, 30 or 40 years,” said Mark Myers, the survey director. “We would not expect to see any significant change in polar conditions regardless of mitigation.' " http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/science/earth/02bear.html?ref=environment>Grim Outlook For Polar Bears

And notice that things always happen faster than http://www.furrylogick.com/pig_prudence>models forecast, to everyone visible's http://www.furrylogick.com/martial_arts_mouse_on_why_dubai>surprise.

#1 post this thread has link re rain at North Pole, not yet mentioned in NY Times, like the South Atlantic http://www.furrylogick.com/page_5>hurricane 3/27-28/04 or the ist snow in 90 years in Buenos Aires last July 10th.

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 11 2007 11:41 utc | 84

'No Real Data' on Iranian Nuclear Ambitions, Putin Asserts

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday there is no evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, reiterating a Kremlin position that has hamstrung efforts by the United States and European Union countries to impose tougher U.N. sanctions on Tehran.

"We have no real data to claim that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, which makes us believe the country has no such plans," Putin said after a meeting in Moscow with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who suspects the opposite and supports a third and much harsher round of U.N. sanctions.
...
An Asian diplomat said in an interview that Russian officials he speaks to believe military strikes on Iran are likely and would have the same kind of unintended and bloody consequences as the invasion of Iraq.

Now something really Orwellian. In the last part of the article about Russia not supporting a new Un resolution or an attack on Iran this:
"Now Russia and China -- having told us to try diplomacy and having accepted diplomacy as the way forward -- are still seeking commercial advantage and kudos with Iran," the European envoy said. "They don't understand the implications. The credibility of Moscow and Beijing is being destroyed because of their belligerent approach."

Posted by: b | Oct 11 2007 12:44 utc | 85

Uncle #81,

Yeah, and what is even harder to explain is so much of the media is an active participant.

Is this story below true and typical?. I fear it is but don’t know. If it is true, why isn’t it a headline on drudge or rawstory?
CNBC Pulls Online Poll That Shows Ron Paul Handily Winning Pres Debate


Posted by: Rick | Oct 11 2007 13:24 utc | 86

Rick, there were only some 1600 respondents in the poll. a couple of guys deleting cookies and voting over and over again could have skewed the poll toward Paul.

it could very well be that the website operators saw that happening and took it down. of course, you have to ask yourself if they would have done the same thing if one of their favorites was getting artificially pumped....

Paul is probably the only republican I would ever vote for. if the disillusioned democrats were to team up with the disillusioned republicans and get behind Paul he would probably win with a landslide victory. this would have to be done in spite of severe and unrelenting corporate media telling us how he doesn't have a chance and that we would better served by someone like Thompson or Giuliani or heaven forbid...Clinton.

I have been listening to Limbaugh every now and then as I drive home from work and have been waiting to hear who the republican candidate will be. he hasn't come out for anyone yet, I wonder when they will make the decision. one thing is certain, limbaugh never mentions Paul so he is definitely not on the short list.

Posted by: dan of steele | Oct 11 2007 15:26 utc | 87

How can anyone talk seriously about an election when the "electorate" have accepted representatives who are OK with no paper trail systems? $1000 for convincing response.

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 11 2007 16:23 utc | 88

DOS #87,

Unfortunately, I think Hillary Clinton is the chosen one. She has sold out to the corporate elites completely, especially the large insurance companies regarding health care in the U.S.

I like Ron Paul and would vote for him given the chance, although I do not agree with his immigration reform policies. But at least Ron Paul is not part of the ‘club’. If he were to win big in the early upcoming primaries, I am fairly certain the media would take him out by overemphasizing some minor event just like the media did with the Dean “scream.”

The dream race for myself would be Ron Paul vs Dennis Kucinich. I would be pleased if either candidate won.

Posted by: Rick | Oct 11 2007 17:21 utc | 89

HKO'L @ 82:

Our own Washington DC Casa Bianca may not be "the house of emotions," but for quite a few of its denizens and good customers, it's most definitely "a sensuous place to get everything you want."

In Italy they describe politics as 'un casino' - a brothel, don't they? It's even more true here.

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 11 2007 17:30 utc | 90

All's well in Texas. Reuters on crashing sales tax revenue in 25 U.S. states.

Posted by: Wolf DeVoon | Oct 11 2007 17:36 utc | 91

I'm trying to understand the whole Turkey/Iraq/US situation and getting nothing but a headache. The Blackwater arms to PKK story seems to have faded, but surely they couldn't have been supplying weapons without official knowledge? Seems ridiculously obvious, but... CIA? Now the genocide resolution, and Turkey have just now withdrawn their ambassador to the US. WTF?

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 11 2007 17:47 utc | 92

RPaul - are you crazy? The only good thing about him is opposition to military adventurism. Everything else is a nightmare. He's an ideological extremist who would abolish the income tax in favor of far more regressive taxes. Completely opposed to any valuable regulatory functions of the state. Would obliterate the commons. Virulent woman hater - a male ob/gyn who is opposed to abortion, which is as sick a combo as you can find. Even the guy Reagan appointed to be Surgeon General started out opposing abortion, til he got some experience in the field & saw the practical disaster this would be for women's lives. This guy was in the field & too blinded by his ideology to even see. Those so driven by a rigid ideology, whatever it is, are sick & dangerous.

Clinton agreeable to having those from whom all has been stolen bail out the thieves. According to Prof. Michael Hudson (see Michael-Hudson.com), Kucinich's Chief Ec. Advisor, she agreed to confiscating 90% of our income via taxes. No wonder the elites are pushing her. Obama is likewise controlled by Robt. Rubin, so he'd do likewise w/overwhelming probability. Choice bet. these 2 is question of what color packaging do you want.

Edwards is 5% better. At least he gave a speech to CFR saying we should toss this phony war on terra crap - but then he may have done so in search of Soros $$, as Soros opposed it as well.

But you're forgetting that they'll prob. give Gore a ridiculous Nobel this week to boost his chances. Look at him. Talk about the spitting image of a neo-feudal baron. His main thing, whether spoken or not, will be forming a World State, of, by & for the predators...

Kucinich is the Only Sane candidate dedicated to the welfare of Americans. He's developing a tax policy to promote re-industrialization & insuring we again grow enough food to feed ourselves. He also has been pushed into accepting a pro-choice position & plans to get out of Iraq & curtail foreign military adventurism. Best of all worlds.

Posted by: jj | Oct 11 2007 18:02 utc | 93

Will AIPAC fight Coulter?

"Jews need to be perfected" - how lovely - pass the popcorn ...

Posted by: b | Oct 11 2007 20:54 utc | 94

Those so driven by a rigid ideology, whatever it is, are sick & dangerous.

An ideology is a system of thought that proceeds logically from a basic principle or idea, for instance: Fascism is direction of industry by government (Hitler, Mussolini). Liberalism is equal justice for everybody (Jefferson, Jackson, MLK). Populism is promising free lunch with an extra slice of pork (Upton Sinclair, Huey Long). Which one do you think describes Dennis Kucinich?

BTW, Ron Paul is a libertarian. Has something to do with liberty, I think.

Wolf DeVoon

Posted by: Wolf DeVoon | Oct 11 2007 21:05 utc | 95

George Packer makes some worthwhile comments on the U.S. and Myanmar
(he calls it Burma).

As to Ron Paul, I would vote for him, given the chance. Even accepting as true what JJ says in #93, I see the Paul campaign as something like those of George Wallace back in the late 1960's: he never really got very far, but he did arguably contribute to setting the agenda for the next 40 years of American politics (just ask Kevin Philips). I would be delighted to see Paul's frontal attack on U. S. militarism "refined and polished" so as to make it "respectable" (just as Nixon, Reagan et al
took the Wallace message and laundered it to Republican respectability standards). Citizens of the U.S. could (and undoubtedly will) do a lot worse than Paul in their choice of the next president.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 12 2007 7:06 utc | 96

@94

because that is what christians are, perfected jews

and the world would be better off if all the talking monkeys just obeyed and became christian

because it is a fast track, a fedex - to salvation I presume

perhaps Icke is correct and the talking monkey is being ruled by alien lizard overlords if this creature is any indication

JUST OBEY - did this thing read 1984 and consider it a primer for a just society?

why does the talking monkey still cling to these superstitions?

100 million dead or more in the last century alone is a lot of broken eggs for this omelette called faith - my forebears were made to attempt to murder b's for that very reason (my high school history made it pretty clear it was and has been about resources for a very long time - a reason that might not motivate the hoi polloi of any era too much)

my group is better than your group

and according to the thing referenced at 94, christians are most certainly THE group

I read the LRB article @80. A lot of words were spent to convey that there seems to be some evidence that Natural Selection isn't just environment driven. I think. I found the article to be a mish-mash.

Regardless, one of the points it raises is the idea that "we are all a little bit crazy" because we have "hunter gatherer" minds that aren't properly evolved for the problem solving req'd of our current environment.

This too is in reference to the broken eggs of the last century as a possible explanation for the murderous depravity.

This is incorrect. It is just business as usual because the talking monkey cannot leave the more primitive aspects of the "hunter gatherer" behind

Posted by: jcairo | Oct 12 2007 14:29 utc | 97

sentimentality is

the superstructure


of brutality

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 12 2007 16:52 utc | 98

this is funny. somehow i found a copy of the wsj w/i my sightline this morning & the top-right corner prominently features the big-eared decider, on the issue of not having enough "free trade" to wallow in, declaring

"We have lost sight of what it means to be a nation willing to be aggressive in the world, and spread freedom or deal with disease ... We have lost our confidence in the ability to compete internationally."

Posted by: b real | Oct 12 2007 17:33 utc | 99

"perfect christians", "perfect jews" = echoes of the "master race".

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 12 2007 19:09 utc | 100

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