Tag Archives: Baghdad

The Puppet-Masters and their pet Turkey, double-dealing.

They condemn those of us in America who rebel against their fascist Corporate leadership and presumption of ownership of every aspect of our lives, calling it “Freedom” while their Pig-Slaves break our heads with clubs and plastic bullets. And in the case of Oscar Grant, lead and copper bullets.
While cheering rebellions in countries which have denied “deprived” the Poor Little Rich Boys like Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch, Shell, “stolen” their claim to have Corporate Control over their ports and their oil. And they actually finance and organize the so-called “spontaneous” rebellions like in Libya and now, Syria. Never mind they’re also paying Other Peoples Money And Lives to put down REAL grass roots movements in Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen… And Turkey.
Turkey is now paying back their Corporate Overlords for the U.S. and NATO PUBLICLY FUNDED Terror War against the Kurds and Albania. The Slave-Caliph Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemns Syria for responding violently to violent attacks while continuing to suppress, with the help of his Puppet Masters in London and Washington, the Kurdish People actually having a right to life.
Lick them Pentagon Boots, “caliph” Erdogan. They’re your masters and you are their dog. Just like the New Puppet Regime in Libya, and the somewhat more established Puppet Regimes in Tel Aviv, Kabul, and Baghdad.
Be the little whipped hound for racist bastards who call you “ragheads” and “sand-niggers” and “muzzle monkeys”.
You might wear golden chains and a gold collar, but they’re still a collar and chain.
Just like the Oakland, Denver, Colorado Springs and New York Police departments violently suppressing freedom here, in the very homeland of your puppet-masters and, at their bidding.

Nobama, Out of our country!

barack-obama-greets-troop-001.jpg Seemingly unimpressed by CIC Barack Obama’s recent ‘surprise’ visit to their country, tens of thousands of Iraqis today demonstrated against continued US military presence in their country in Baghdad’s Firdous Square, where the statue of then-Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was pulled down on April 9, 2003. Iraqi protesters call for US exit

Space Symposium grand finale not a dud

Interstate 25 rollover on Monument PassCOLORADO SPRINGS- According to local sources, this year’s grand finale of the Broadmoor Hotel’s fireworks display, marking the final evening of the National Space Symposium, was not a dud. It simply never came.

Observation was complicated by last year’s unusual 25 minute delay which preceded the final synchronized collision of explosives. Anticipating it was a precedent, we waited.

Twenty five minutes is time enough to speculate about a lot. What caused the different colors, for example, and whether other properties might be reflected in the different combustions, smell maybe, or debris? We speculated that maybe the grand finale was top secret, like the much of the space program, veiled behind the US Black Budget. Maybe what we couldn’t see was a subterranean explosion commemorating the participants’ nuclear testing. We didn’t feel anything. Maybe the big weapons specialists are unimpressed by mere fireworks anyway, like so many legal-sized firecrackers. What dessert celebrates a meal of watered soup?

Who can watch a fireworks display anymore without thinking of Shock and Awe over Baghdad, 2001, when America watched in great anticipation of that grandest of would be finales, our attempt at regime change via techno-regicide? [That was a dud.] I remember one of the networks had an Iraqi university professor on the phone in Baghdad. He was asked if he feared for his family’s lives. He was asked why they didn’t flee. In return he asked “WHY ARE YOU BOMBING US?” It was decided that wires had gotten crossed and this professor was an unintentional interviewee. The phone call was hastily dispatched with sincere wishes that the professor and his children would survive until morning.

Last night no finale came. I hope the average Space Symposium attendee was as disappointed as we. But we noted that tonight’s pyrotechnics, more than the usual, symbolized war of the unending kind. What the military industrial complex entrusts to Development.

Whether we’re talking artillery or naked Spartans, warfare amounts to the continued consumption of one inflammable projectile after the next. Expending one shell/bomb/human being means having to replace it with another. No industry wants a customer who doesn’t purchase its product for consumption, or no one would need return for more. How do you profit from weapons manufacture if there is not unending war?

Things to do in April

APRIL 2009
3- Antonio Skarmeta: Swing and Literature, Gaylord Hall, CC, 7pm
5- Andrew Skurka: Walking the Great Western Loop, CC, 4pm
7- Rajeev Taranath, Concert sarod/tabla, Packard Hall, CC, 7:30pm
14- Anniversary of BURNING OF BAGHDAD LIBRARY
15- LUDLOW SYMPOSIUM, Max Kade Theater, CC, 7pm
17- International Day of Farmers Struggle
20- 20th Annual Holocaust Commemoration, Gates Common Room, CC, 7pm

Ward Churchill: Some People Push Back

British edition titled Reflections on the Justice of Roosting ChickensHere is Ward Churchill’s notorious 9/11 “Little Eichmanns” essay, published online September 12, 2001, presented here for archival purposes lest critics think they can silence one of our nation’s strongest dissenting voices. Churchill later expanded this piece into a book entitled On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: reflections on the consequences of U.S. imperial arrogance and criminality published by AK Press in 2003.

Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
by Ward Churchill

When queried by reporters concerning his views on the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, Malcolm X famously – and quite charitably, all things considered – replied that it was merely a case of “chickens coming home to roost.”

On the morning of September 11, 2001, a few more chickens – along with some half-million dead Iraqi children – came home to roost in a very big way at the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Well, actually, a few of them seem to have nestled in at the Pentagon as well.

The Iraqi youngsters, all of them under 12, died as a predictable – in fact, widely predicted – result of the 1991 US “surgical” bombing of their country’s water purification and sewage facilities, as well as other “infrastructural” targets upon which Iraq’s civilian population depends for its very survival.

If the nature of the bombing were not already bad enough – and it should be noted that this sort of “aerial warfare” constitutes a Class I Crime Against humanity, entailing myriad gross violations of international law, as well as every conceivable standard of “civilized” behavior – the death toll has been steadily ratcheted up by US-imposed sanctions for a full decade now. Enforced all the while by a massive military presence and periodic bombing raids, the embargo has greatly impaired the victims’ ability to import the nutrients, medicines and other materials necessary to saving the lives of even their toddlers.

All told, Iraq has a population of about 18 million. The 500,000 kids lost to date thus represent something on the order of 25 percent of their age group. Indisputably, the rest have suffered – are still suffering – a combination of physical debilitation and psychological trauma severe enough to prevent their ever fully recovering. In effect, an entire generation has been obliterated.

The reason for this holocaust was/is rather simple, and stated quite straightforwardly by President George Bush, the 41st “freedom-loving” father of the freedom-lover currently filling the Oval Office, George the 43rd: “The world must learn that what we say, goes,” intoned George the Elder to the enthusiastic applause of freedom-loving Americans everywhere. How Old George conveyed his message was certainly no mystery to the US public. One need only recall the 24-hour-per-day dissemination of bombardment videos on every available TV channel, and the exceedingly high ratings of these telecasts, to gain a sense of how much they knew.

In trying to affix a meaning to such things, we would do well to remember the wave of elation that swept America at reports of what was happening along the so-called Highway of Death: perhaps 100,000 “towel-heads” and “camel jockeys” – or was it “sand niggers” that week? – in full retreat, routed and effectively defenseless, many of them conscripted civilian laborers, slaughtered in a single day by jets firing the most hyper-lethal types of ordnance. It was a performance worthy of the nazis during the early months of their drive into Russia. And it should be borne in mind that Good Germans gleefully cheered that butchery, too. Indeed, support for Hitler suffered no serious erosion among Germany’s “innocent civilians” until the defeat at Stalingrad in 1943.

There may be a real utility to reflecting further, this time upon the fact that it was pious Americans who led the way in assigning the onus of collective guilt to the German people as a whole, not for things they as individuals had done, but for what they had allowed – nay, empowered – their leaders and their soldiers to do in their name.

If the principle was valid then, it remains so now, as applicable to Good Americans as it was the Good Germans. And the price exacted from the Germans for the faultiness of their moral fiber was truly ghastly. Returning now to the children, and to the effects of the post-Gulf War embargo – continued bull force by Bush the Elder’s successors in the Clinton administration as a gesture of its “resolve” to finalize what George himself had dubbed the “New World Order” of American military/economic domination – it should be noted that not one but two high United Nations officials attempting to coordinate delivery of humanitarian aid to Iraq resigned in succession as protests against US policy.

One of them, former U.N. Assistant Secretary General Denis Halladay, repeatedly denounced what was happening as “a systematic program . . . of deliberate genocide.” His statements appeared in the New York Times and other papers during the fall of 1998, so it can hardly be contended that the American public was “unaware” of them. Shortly thereafter, Secretary of State Madeline Albright openly confirmed Halladay’s assessment. Asked during the widely-viewed TV program Meet the Press to respond to his “allegations,” she calmly announced that she’d decided it was “worth the price” to see that U.S. objectives were achieved.

The Politics of a Perpetrator Population
As a whole, the American public greeted these revelations with yawns.. There were, after all, far more pressing things than the unrelenting misery/death of a few hundred thousand Iraqi tikes to be concerned with. Getting “Jeremy” and “Ellington” to their weekly soccer game, for instance, or seeing to it that little “Tiffany” and “Ashley” had just the right roll-neck sweaters to go with their new cords. And, to be sure, there was the yuppie holy war against ashtrays – for “our kids,” no less – as an all-absorbing point of political focus.

In fairness, it must be admitted that there was an infinitesimally small segment of the body politic who expressed opposition to what was/is being done to the children of Iraq. It must also be conceded, however, that those involved by-and-large contented themselves with signing petitions and conducting candle-lit prayer vigils, bearing “moral witness” as vast legions of brown-skinned five-year-olds sat shivering in the dark, wide-eyed in horror, whimpering as they expired in the most agonizing ways imaginable.

Be it said as well, and this is really the crux of it, that the “resistance” expended the bulk of its time and energy harnessed to the systemically-useful task of trying to ensure, as “a principle of moral virtue” that nobody went further than waving signs as a means of “challenging” the patently exterminatory pursuit of Pax Americana. So pure of principle were these “dissidents,” in fact, that they began literally to supplant the police in protecting corporations profiting by the carnage against suffering such retaliatory “violence” as having their windows broken by persons less “enlightened” – or perhaps more outraged – than the self-anointed “peacekeepers.”

Property before people, it seems – or at least the equation of property to people – is a value by no means restricted to America’s boardrooms. And the sanctimony with which such putrid sentiments are enunciated turns out to be nauseatingly similar, whether mouthed by the CEO of Standard Oil or any of the swarm of comfort zone “pacifists” queuing up to condemn the black block after it ever so slightly disturbed the functioning of business-as-usual in Seattle.

Small wonder, all-in-all, that people elsewhere in the world – the Mideast, for instance – began to wonder where, exactly, aside from the streets of the US itself, one was to find the peace America’s purportedly oppositional peacekeepers claimed they were keeping.

The answer, surely, was plain enough to anyone unblinded by the kind of delusions engendered by sheer vanity and self-absorption. So, too, were the implications in terms of anything changing, out there, in America’s free-fire zones.

Tellingly, it was at precisely this point – with the genocide in Iraq officially admitted and a public response demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were virtually no Americans, including most of those professing otherwise, doing anything tangible to stop it – that the combat teams which eventually commandeered the aircraft used on September 11 began to infiltrate the United States.

Meet the “Terrorists”
Of the men who came, there are a few things demanding to be said in the face of the unending torrent of disinformational drivel unleashed by George Junior and the corporate “news” media immediately following their successful operation on September 11.

They did not, for starters, “initiate” a war with the US, much less commit “the first acts of war of the new millennium.”

A good case could be made that the war in which they were combatants has been waged more-or-less continuously by the “Christian West” – now proudly emblematized by the United States – against the “Islamic East” since the time of the First Crusade, about 1,000 years ago. More recently, one could argue that the war began when Lyndon Johnson first lent significant support to Israel’s dispossession/displacement of Palestinians during the 1960s, or when George the Elder ordered “Desert Shield” in 1990, or at any of several points in between. Any way you slice it, however, if what the combat teams did to the WTC and the Pentagon can be understood as acts of war – and they can – then the same is true of every US “overflight’ of Iraqi territory since day one. The first acts of war during the current millennium thus occurred on its very first day, and were carried out by U.S. aviators acting under orders from their then-commander-in-chief, Bill Clinton. The most that can honestly be said of those involved on September 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course.

That they waited so long to do so is, notwithstanding the 1993 action at the WTC, more than anything a testament to their patience and restraint.

They did not license themselves to “target innocent civilians.”

There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . .

Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire – the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to “ignorance” – a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

The men who flew the missions against the WTC and Pentagon were not “cowards.” That distinction properly belongs to the “firm-jawed lads” who delighted in flying stealth aircraft through the undefended airspace of Baghdad, dropping payload after payload of bombs on anyone unfortunate enough to be below – including tens of thousands of genuinely innocent civilians – while themselves incurring all the risk one might expect during a visit to the local video arcade. Still more, the word describes all those “fighting men and women” who sat at computer consoles aboard ships in the Persian Gulf, enjoying air-conditioned comfort while launching cruise missiles into neighborhoods filled with random human beings. Whatever else can be said of them, the men who struck on September 11 manifested the courage of their convictions, willingly expending their own lives in attaining their objectives.

Nor were they “fanatics” devoted to “Islamic fundamentalism.”

One might rightly describe their actions as “desperate.” Feelings of desperation, however, are a perfectly reasonable – one is tempted to say “normal” – emotional response among persons confronted by the mass murder of their children, particularly when it appears that nobody else really gives a damn (ask a Jewish survivor about this one, or, even more poignantly, for all the attention paid them, a Gypsy).

That desperate circumstances generate desperate responses is no mysterious or irrational principle, of the sort motivating fanatics. Less is it one peculiar to Islam. Indeed, even the FBI’s investigative reports on the combat teams’ activities during the months leading up to September 11 make it clear that the members were not fundamentalist Muslims. Rather, it’s pretty obvious at this point that they were secular activists – soldiers, really – who, while undoubtedly enjoying cordial relations with the clerics of their countries, were motivated far more by the grisly realities of the U.S. war against them than by a set of religious beliefs.

And still less were they/their acts “insane.”

Insanity is a condition readily associable with the very American idea that one – or one’s country – holds what amounts to a “divine right” to commit genocide, and thus to forever do so with impunity. The term might also be reasonably applied to anyone suffering genocide without attempting in some material way to bring the process to a halt. Sanity itself, in this frame of reference, might be defined by a willingness to try and destroy the perpetrators and/or the sources of their ability to commit their crimes. (Shall we now discuss the US “strategic bombing campaign” against Germany during World War II, and the mental health of those involved in it?)

Which takes us to official characterizations of the combat teams as an embodiment of “evil.”

Evil – for those inclined to embrace the banality of such a concept – was perfectly incarnated in that malignant toad known as Madeline Albright, squatting in her studio chair like Jaba the Hutt, blandly spewing the news that she’d imposed a collective death sentence upon the unoffending youth of Iraq. Evil was to be heard in that great American hero “Stormin’ Norman” Schwartzkopf’s utterly dehumanizing dismissal of their systematic torture and annihilation as mere “collateral damage.” Evil, moreover, is a term appropriate to describing the mentality of a public that finds such perspectives and the policies attending them acceptable, or even momentarily tolerable.

Had it not been for these evils, the counterattacks of September 11 would never have occurred. And unless “the world is rid of such evil,” to lift a line from George Junior, September 11 may well end up looking like a lark.

There is no reason, after all, to believe that the teams deployed in the assaults on the WTC and the Pentagon were the only such, that the others are composed of “Arabic-looking individuals” – America’s indiscriminately lethal arrogance and psychotic sense of self-entitlement have long since given the great majority of the world’s peoples ample cause to be at war with it – or that they are in any way dependent upon the seizure of civilian airliners to complete their missions.

To the contrary, there is every reason to expect that there are many other teams in place, tasked to employ altogether different tactics in executing operational plans at least as well-crafted as those evident on September 11, and very well equipped for their jobs. This is to say that, since the assaults on the WTC and Pentagon were act of war – not “terrorist incidents” – they must be understood as components in a much broader strategy designed to achieve specific results. From this, it can only be adduced that there are plenty of other components ready to go, and that they will be used, should this become necessary in the eyes of the strategists. It also seems a safe bet that each component is calibrated to inflict damage at a level incrementally higher than the one before (during the 1960s, the Johnson administration employed a similar policy against Vietnam, referred to as “escalation”).

Since implementation of the overall plan began with the WTC/Pentagon assaults, it takes no rocket scientist to decipher what is likely to happen next, should the U.S. attempt a response of the inexcusable variety to which it has long entitled itself.

About Those Boys (and Girls) in the Bureau
There’s another matter begging for comment at this point. The idea that the FBI’s “counterterrorism task forces” can do a thing to prevent what will happen is yet another dimension of America’s delusional pathology.. The fact is that, for all its publicly-financed “image-building” exercises, the Bureau has never shown the least aptitude for anything of the sort.

Oh, yeah, FBI counterintelligence personnel have proven quite adept at framing anarchists, communists and Black Panthers, sometimes murdering them in their beds or the electric chair. The Bureau’s SWAT units have displayed their ability to combat child abuse in Waco by burning babies alive, and its vaunted Crime Lab has been shown to pad its “crime-fighting’ statistics by fabricating evidence against many an alleged car thief. But actual “heavy-duty bad guys” of the sort at issue now? This isn’t a Bruce Willis/Chuck Norris/Sly Stallone movie, after all.. And J. Edgar Hoover doesn’t get to approve either the script or the casting.

The number of spies, saboteurs and bona fide terrorists apprehended, or even detected by the FBI in the course of its long and slimy history could be counted on one’s fingers and toes. On occasion, its agents have even turned out to be the spies, and, in many instances, the terrorists as well.

To be fair once again, if the Bureau functions as at best a carnival of clowns where its “domestic security responsibilities” are concerned, this is because – regardless of official hype – it has none. It is now, as it’s always been, the national political police force, an instrument created and perfected to ensure that all Americans, not just the consenting mass, are “free” to do exactly as they’re told.

The FBI and “cooperating agencies” can be thus relied upon to set about “protecting freedom” by destroying whatever rights and liberties were left to U.S. citizens before September 11 (in fact, they’ve already received authorization to begin). Sheeplike, the great majority of Americans can also be counted upon to bleat their approval, at least in the short run, believing as they always do that the nasty implications of what they’re doing will pertain only to others.

Oh Yeah, and “The Company,” Too

A possibly even sicker joke is the notion, suddenly in vogue, that the CIA will be able to pinpoint “terrorist threats,” “rooting out their infrastructure” where it exists and/or “terminating” it before it can materialize, if only it’s allowed to beef up its “human intelligence gathering capacity” in an unrestrained manner (including full-bore operations inside the US, of course).

Yeah. Right.

Since America has a collective attention-span of about 15 minutes, a little refresher seems in order: “The Company” had something like a quarter-million people serving as “intelligence assets” by feeding it information in Vietnam in 1968, and it couldn’t even predict the Tet Offensive. God knows how many spies it was fielding against the USSR at the height of Ronald Reagan’s version of the Cold War, and it was still caught flatfooted by the collapse of the Soviet Union. As to destroying “terrorist infrastructures,” one would do well to remember Operation Phoenix, another product of its open season in Vietnam. In that one, the CIA enlisted elite US units like the Navy Seals and Army Special Forces, as well as those of friendly countries – the south Vietnamese Rangers, for example, and Australian SAS – to run around “neutralizing” folks targeted by The Company’s legion of snitches as “guerrillas” (as those now known as “terrorists” were then called).

Sound familiar?

Upwards of 40,000 people – mostly bystanders, as it turns out – were murdered by Phoenix hit teams before the guerrillas, stronger than ever, ran the US and its collaborators out of their country altogether. And these are the guys who are gonna save the day, if unleashed to do their thing in North America?

The net impact of all this “counterterrorism” activity upon the combat teams’ ability to do what they came to do, of course, will be nil.

Instead, it’s likely to make it easier for them to operate (it’s worked that way in places like Northern Ireland). And, since denying Americans the luxury of reaping the benefits of genocide in comfort was self-evidently a key objective of the WTC/Pentagon assaults, it can be stated unequivocally that a more overt display of the police state mentality already pervading this country simply confirms the magnitude of their victory.

On Matters of Proportion and Intent
As things stand, including the 1993 detonation at the WTC, “Arab terrorists” have responded to the massive and sustained American terror bombing of Iraq with a total of four assaults by explosives inside the US. That’s about 1% of the 50,000 bombs the Pentagon announced were rained on Baghdad alone during the Gulf War (add in Oklahoma City and you’ll get something nearer an actual 1%).

They’ve managed in the process to kill about 5,000 Americans, or roughly 1% of the dead Iraqi children (the percentage is far smaller if you factor in the killing of adult Iraqi civilians, not to mention troops butchered as/after they’d surrendered and/or after the “war-ending” ceasefire had been announced).

In terms undoubtedly more meaningful to the property/profit-minded American mainstream, they’ve knocked down a half-dozen buildings – albeit some very well-chosen ones – as opposed to the “strategic devastation” visited upon the whole of Iraq, and punched a $100 billion hole in the earnings outlook of major corporate shareholders, as opposed to the U.S. obliteration of Iraq’s entire economy.

With that, they’ve given Americans a tiny dose of their own medicine.. This might be seen as merely a matter of “vengeance” or “retribution,” and, unquestionably, America has earned it, even if it were to add up only to something so ultimately petty.

The problem is that vengeance is usually framed in terms of “getting even,” a concept which is plainly inapplicable in this instance. As the above data indicate, it would require another 49,996 detonations killing 495,000 more Americans, for the “terrorists” to “break even” for the bombing of Baghdad/extermination of Iraqi children alone. And that’s to achieve “real number” parity. To attain an actual proportional parity of damage – the US is about 15 times as large as Iraq in terms of population, even more in terms of territory – they would, at a minimum, have to blow up about 300,000 more buildings and kill something on the order of 7.5 million people.

Were this the intent of those who’ve entered the US to wage war against it, it would remain no less true that America and Americans were only receiving the bill for what they’d already done. Payback, as they say, can be a real motherfucker (ask the Germans). There is, however, no reason to believe that retributive parity is necessarily an item on the agenda of those who planned the WTC/Pentagon operation. If it were, given the virtual certainty that they possessed the capacity to have inflicted far more damage than they did, there would be a lot more American bodies lying about right now.

Hence, it can be concluded that ravings carried by the “news” media since September 11 have contained at least one grain of truth: The peoples of the Mideast “aren’t like” Americans, not least because they don’t “value life’ in the same way. By this, it should be understood that Middle-Easterners, unlike Americans, have no history of exterminating others purely for profit, or on the basis of racial animus. Thus, we can appreciate the fact that they value life – all lives, not just their own – far more highly than do their U.S. counterparts.

The Makings of a Humanitarian Strategy
In sum one can discern a certain optimism – it might even be call humanitarianism – imbedded in the thinking of those who presided over the very limited actions conducted on September 11.

Their logic seems to have devolved upon the notion that the American people have condoned what has been/is being done in their name – indeed, are to a significant extent actively complicit in it – mainly because they have no idea what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

Now they do.

That was the “medicinal” aspect of the attacks.

To all appearances, the idea is now to give the tonic a little time to take effect, jolting Americans into the realization that the sort of pain they’re now experiencing first-hand is no different from – or the least bit more excruciating than – that which they’ve been so cavalier in causing others, and thus to respond appropriately.

More bluntly, the hope was – and maybe still is – that Americans, stripped of their presumed immunity from incurring any real consequences for their behavior, would comprehend and act upon a formulation as uncomplicated as “stop killing our kids, if you want your own to be safe.”

Either way, it’s a kind of “reality therapy” approach, designed to afford the American people a chance to finally “do the right thing” on their own, without further coaxing.

Were the opportunity acted upon in some reasonably good faith fashion – a sufficiently large number of Americans rising up and doing whatever is necessary to force an immediate lifting of the sanctions on Iraq, for instance, or maybe hanging a few of America’s abundant supply of major war criminals (Henry Kissinger comes quickly to mind, as do Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and George the Elder) – there is every reason to expect that military operations against the US on its domestic front would be immediately suspended.

Whether they would remain so would of course be contingent upon follow-up. By that, it may be assumed that American acceptance of onsite inspections by international observers to verify destruction of its weapons of mass destruction (as well as dismantlement of all facilities in which more might be manufactured), Nuremberg-style trials in which a few thousand US military/corporate personnel could be properly adjudicated and punished for their Crimes Against humanity, and payment of reparations to the array of nations/peoples whose assets the US has plundered over the years, would suffice.

Since they’ve shown no sign of being unreasonable or vindictive, it may even be anticipated that, after a suitable period of adjustment and reeducation (mainly to allow them to acquire the skills necessary to living within their means), those restored to control over their own destinies by the gallant sacrifices of the combat teams the WTC and Pentagon will eventually (re)admit Americans to the global circle of civilized societies. Stranger things have happened.

In the Alternative
Unfortunately, noble as they may have been, such humanitarian aspirations were always doomed to remain unfulfilled. For it to have been otherwise, a far higher quality of character and intellect would have to prevail among average Americans than is actually the case. Perhaps the strategists underestimated the impact a couple of generations-worth of media indoctrination can produce in terms of demolishing the capacity of human beings to form coherent thoughts. Maybe they forgot to factor in the mind-numbing effects of the indoctrination passed off as education in the US. Then, again, it’s entirely possible they were aware that a decisive majority of American adults have been reduced by this point to a level much closer to the kind of immediate self-gratification entailed in Pavlovian stimulus/response patterns than anything accessible by appeals to higher logic, and still felt morally obliged to offer the dolts an option to quit while they were ahead.

What the hell? It was worth a try.

But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the dosage of medicine administered was entirely insufficient to accomplish its purpose.

Although there are undoubtedly exceptions, Americans for the most part still don’t get it.

Already, they’ve desecrated the temporary tomb of those killed in the WTC, staging a veritable pep rally atop the mangled remains of those they profess to honor, treating the whole affair as if it were some bizarre breed of contact sport. And, of course, there are the inevitable pom-poms shaped like American flags, the school colors worn as little red-white-and-blue ribbons affixed to labels, sportscasters in the form of “counterterrorism experts” drooling mindless color commentary during the pregame warm-up.

Refusing the realization that the world has suddenly shifted its axis, and that they are therefore no longer “in charge,” they have by-and-large reverted instantly to type, working themselves into their usual bloodlust on the now obsolete premise that the bloodletting will “naturally” occur elsewhere and to someone else.

“Patriotism,” a wise man once observed, “is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

And the braided, he might of added.

Braided Scoundrel-in-Chief, George Junior, lacking even the sense to be careful what he wished for, has teamed up with a gaggle of fundamentalist Christian clerics like Billy Graham to proclaim a “New Crusade” called “Infinite Justice” aimed at “ridding the world of evil.”

One could easily make light of such rhetoric, remarking upon how unseemly it is for a son to threaten his father in such fashion – or a president to so publicly contemplate the murder/suicide of himself and his cabinet – but the matter is deadly serious.

They are preparing once again to sally forth for the purpose of roasting brown-skinned children by the scores of thousands. Already, the B-1 bombers and the aircraft carriers and the missile frigates are en route, the airborne divisions are gearing up to go.

To where? Afghanistan?

The Sudan?

Iraq, again (or still)?

How about Grenada (that was fun)?

Any of them or all. It doesn’t matter.

The desire to pummel the helpless runs rabid as ever.

Only, this time it’s different.

The time the helpless aren’t, or at least are not so helpless as they were.

This time, somewhere, perhaps in an Afghani mountain cave, possibly in a Brooklyn basement, maybe another local altogether – but somewhere, all the same – there’s a grim-visaged (wo)man wearing a Clint Eastwood smile.

“Go ahead, punks,” s/he’s saying, “Make my day.”

And when they do, when they launch these airstrikes abroad – or may a little later; it will be at a time conforming to the “terrorists”‘ own schedule, and at a place of their choosing – the next more intensive dose of medicine administered here “at home.”

Of what will it consist this time? Anthrax? Mustard gas? Sarin? A tactical nuclear device?

That, too, is their choice to make.

Looking back, it will seem to future generations inexplicable why Americans were unable on their own, and in time to save themselves, to accept a rule of nature so basic that it could be mouthed by an actor, Lawrence Fishburn, in a movie, The Cotton Club.

“You’ve got to learn, ” the line went, “that when you push people around, some people push back.”

As they should.

As they must.

And as they undoubtedly will.

There is justice in such symmetry.

ADDENDUM
The preceding was a “first take” reading, more a stream-of-consciousness interpretive reaction to the September 11 counterattack than a finished piece on the topic. Hence, I’ll readily admit that I’ve been far less than thorough, and quite likely wrong about a number of things.

For instance, it may not have been (only) the ghosts of Iraqi children who made their appearance that day. It could as easily have been some or all of their butchered Palestinian cousins.

Or maybe it was some or all of the at least 3.2 million Indochinese who perished as a result of America’s sustained and genocidal assault on Southeast Asia (1959-1975), not to mention the millions more who’ve died because of the sanctions imposed thereafter.

Perhaps there were a few of the Korean civilians massacred by US troops at places like No Gun Ri during the early ‘50s, or the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians ruthlessly incinerated in the ghastly fire raids of World War II (only at Dresden did America bomb Germany in a similar manner).

And, of course, it could have been those vaporized in the militarily pointless nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There are others, as well, a vast and silent queue of faceless victims, stretching from the million-odd Filipinos slaughtered during America’s “Indian War” in their islands at the beginning of the twentieth century, through the real Indians, America’s own, massacred wholesale at places like Horseshoe Bend and the Bad Axe, Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, the Washita, Bear River, and the Marias.

Was it those who expired along the Cherokee Trial of Tears of the Long Walk of the Navajo?

Those murdered by smallpox at Fort Clark in 1836?

Starved to death in the concentration camp at Bosque Redondo during the 1860s?

Maybe those native people claimed for scalp bounty in all 48 of the continental US states? Or the Raritans whose severed heads were kicked for sport along the streets of what was then called New Amsterdam, at the very site where the WTC once stood?

One hears, too, the whispers of those lost on the Middle Passage, and of those whose very flesh was sold in the slave market outside the human kennel from whence Wall Street takes its name. And of coolie laborers, imported by the gross-dozen to lay the tracks of empire across scorching desert sands, none of them allotted “a Chinaman’s chance” of surviving.

The list is too long, too awful to go on.

No matter what its eventual fate, America will have gotten off very, very cheap.

The full measure of its guilt can never be fully balanced or atoned for.

In response to criticism, Churchill issued this press release January 31, 2005:

PRESS RELEASE

In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into the opposite of itself, and I hope the following facts will be reported at least to the same extent that the fabrications have been.

* The piece circulating on the internet was developed into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. Most of the book is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. My point is that we cannot allow the U.S. government, acting in our name, to engage in massive violations of international law and fundamental human rights and not expect to reap the consequences.

* I am not a “defender”of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people “should” engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, “Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.”

* This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world. My feelings are reflected in Dr. King’s April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed . . . without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”

* In 1996 Madeleine Albright, then Ambassador to the UN and soon to be U.S. Secretary of State, did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that “we” had decided it was “worth the cost.” I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths.

* Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as “Nazis.” What I said was that the “technocrats of empire” working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of “little Eichmanns.” Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

* It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American “command and control infrastructure” in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a “legitimate” target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than “collateral damage.” If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these “standards” when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

* It should be emphasized that I applied the “little Eichmanns” characterization only to those described as “technicians.” Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that’s my point. It’s no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

* The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the “Good Germans” of the 1930s and ’40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.

* These points are clearly stated and documented in my book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which recently won Honorary Mention for the Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award. for best writing on human rights. Some people will, of course, disagree with my analysis, but it presents questions that must be addressed in academic and public debate if we are to find a real solution to the violence that pervades today’s world. The gross distortions of what I actually said can only be viewed as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues at hand and to further stifle freedom of speech and academic debate in this country.

Ward Churchill
Boulder, Colorado
January 31, 2005

Mark 6TH YEAR of Iraq Occupation with profiteers Boeing, Lockheed, GD and KBR

answer-march-on-pentagon
A.N.S.W.E.R.’s March 21 MARCH ON THE PENTAGON to mark the sixth year of the War in Iraq will be directed not only at the US Department of Defense, but at the war profiteers for whom 2007 was a record year, among them Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and KBR. In Colorado Springs the merchants of death can be visited on one corner.

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On March 21, 2009,
March on the Pentagon and the Corporate War Profiteers

Department of the Defense HeadquartersThe March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 21 is shaping up to be a dramatic and highly significant demonstration. Many thousands of people are coming to Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard.

March 21 will culminate in a dramatic direct action where hundreds of coffins—representing the multinational victims of militarism, Empire and corporate greed—will be carried and delivered to the headquarters of the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death.

From the Pentagon, we will march to the nearby giant corporate offices of Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics and KBR (the former subsidiary of Halliburton).

The march will start close to the State Department in Washington, D.C. (assemble at 12 noon at 23rd St. and Constitution Ave. NW).

Please make an urgently needed donation today by clicking this link to donate online through our secure server, where you can also find information on how to donate by check.

These are the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death. They are the vultures who profit off the death and suffering of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, and off of the thousands of U.S. soldiers and marines who have died or been wounded in these wars of aggression. They are anti-worker and anti-union.

The march will be led by a large contingent of veterans and family members of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and from earlier conflicts.

Militarism and Corporate Capitalism
We will march on their slick-and-shiny corporate offices that are located less than a mile from the Pentagon. Their location in the very shadow of the Pentagon speaks volumes about the intimate connection between militarism and corporate capitalism.

When the Pentagon brass retire, they rotate out of their Pentagon offices and directly into the Corporate boardrooms and office suites of the Death Merchants. It is a very cozy and very profitable relationship for the elites—in and out of uniform. They make the profits, others do the bleeding.

Last year was a great year for the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death. Profits soared even as the rest of the economy neared collapse. The CEOs of the four corporations that we will be visiting on March 21 received more than $319 million in compensation in 2007 alone (and remember, that’s just for four individuals). “We the People” paid the bill for the high tech weapons that were used against occupied people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The Corporate Executives laughed all the way to the bank while grieving parents and children buried their loved ones from Baghdad to Kabul to Gaza to Detroit.

A quick examination shows that the CEOs of the Military-Industrial Complex contributed to both the Democratic and Republican Party candidates in almost equal amounts. They favor a system that ensures that politicians will come and go every four years but the military machine—that fusion of industry, banks and the Pentagon brass—will remain as is.

We Need Jobs & Schools – Not War!
The same banks that are being bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars even while they foreclose families who can’t pay their mortgage debts are double-dipping from the national treasury by making huge profits in their investments in Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and KBR.

War is just good business for these corporate executives. Every F-16 bomber, attack helicopter, cruise missile and Drone bomber is a source of profit. If the wars stopped they would be out of business.

The people of this country are fed up with the status quo. They want decent-paying jobs, and affordable health care and housing for all. Students want to study rather than be driven out by soaring tuition rates. People want a complete—not partial—withdrawal of ALL troops from Iraq. They want the war in Afghanistan to end rather than escalate. They are increasingly opposed to sending $2.6 billion each year to Israel.

People are coming to Washington, D.C. on March 21 from college campuses, high schools, and cities and towns throughout the United States.

It is time for real change. Unless the movement for change stays in the streets, the powerful corporate and banking interests will certainly dominate the politics of this country. That is unacceptable. That is a path toward endless war and occupation abroad, and a massive transfer of wealth to the already rich at home.

All out for March 21! Jobs Not War! Schools Not War! Occupation is a Crime!

From pentagonmarch.org:

Meet the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death

James Mcnerney Jr BoeingW. James McNerney Jr.
CEO of Boeing.

2007 Total Compensation: $19 million. Value of Boeing Stock Owned: $25.7 million

Facts about Boeing:
Boeing currently produces numerous jets and bombers, including the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber and the F/A-22 Raptor, as well as multiple surface-to-air missiles and various bombs. Boeing also produces the bolt-on JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) that turns gravity bombs into “smart” munitions.

Boeing supplies Israel with various weapon systems, including the F-15 Eagle fighter jet and A-64 Apache attack helicopter, as well as numerous types of bombs and missiles. It was these weapons that helped to kill 1,017 Palestinians killed in the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

In 2008, Boeing made $2,225,947 in campaign contributions. 58 percent of these contributions were to Democrats, and 42 percent were to Republicans. In 2008, they spent $16,610,000 on lobbying.

Despite massive profits, Boeing opposed raises for plant employees, and attempted to outsource union jobs so that the company could be “more flexible.”

Robert Stevens Lockheed MartinRobert J. Stevens
CEO of Lockheed Martin

2007 Total Compensation: $37 million. Value of Lockheed Martin Stock Owned: $33.8 million

Facts about Lockheed Martin:
Lockheed Martin currently produces the F-117 Stealth Fighter that was used in the brutal “Shock and Awe” bombings of Iraq, as well as the F/A-22 Raptor fighter jet. They also produces various missile systems, including the Hellfire and Javelin, and various nuclear weapon designs. Lockheed supplies fighter jets and other weapon systems to Israel.

Lockheed’s 2008 first-quarter revenue was $9.98 billion–an increase of $700 million from the year prior. By 2015, the F-35 program alone could represent more than $16 billion in annual revenue for the company.

Lockheed’s former vice-president, Bruce Jackson, headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

In 2005, Lockheed received $65 million every single day of the year from the U.S. government. That year, Lockheed garnered $228 in federal tax money from every household in the United States.

In 2008, Lockheed made $2.6 million in political contributions—49 percent to the Democrats and 51 percent to the Republicans.

In 2004, Lockheed spent nearly $10 million on more than 100 lobbyists. From 2001-2005, only Philip Morris and GE spent more money lobbying Congress. By 2008, that number was $15.8 million.

Nicholas Chabraja General DynamicsNicholas D. Chabraja
CEO of General Dynamics

2007 Total Compensation: $60 million. Value of GD Stock Owned: $154.2 million

Facts about General Dynamics:
General Dynamics currently produces dozens of weapon systems, which include the Stryker Armored Combat Vehicle and the M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank series, as well as other highly devastating artillery systems and the Trident Nuclear Submarine.

General Dynamics has supplied Israel with various weapon systems, including the F-16 Falcon fighter jet.

In 2008, General Dynamics made $1,682,595 in campaign contributions—58 percent to the Democrats and 42 percent to the Republicans.

Also in 2008, General Dynamics spent $8,562,439 lobbying for government contracts.

Fueled by sales of business jets and military-combat equipment, General Dynamics reported a 32 percent jump in first-quarter profits for 2008, to $573 million. The backlog of work not completed far outpaced revenues, growing by 14 percent to nearly $50 billion.

Analysts think General Dynamics and Mr. Chabraja will do even better next year, noting the “upside potential” of the combat-systems group, which is benefiting from the U.S. Army’s restocking of equipment lost, damaged or worn by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to a $12 billion backlog of orders for corporate jets.

William Utt KBRWilliam P. Utt
CEO of Kellogg Brown & Root.

2007 Total Compensation: $3.29 million. Value of KBR Stock Owned: $6.5 million

Facts about KBR:
There are roughly 14,000 KBR employees inside of Iraq that provide logistical support to the U.S. military. KBR has made billions off of “reconstruction” contracts within Iraq.

KBR is the largest non-union construction company in the United States. It has won many contracts with the U.S. government, including $100 million to build a U.S. embassy in Afghanistan, as well as $216 million for the construction of several base camps and training foreign troops from the Republic of Georgia.

Despite at least a dozen former employees alleging they had been raped by co-workers in Iraq and other employees saying co-workers regularly stole gold, artwork, and weapons, KBR remains in the Pentagon’s good graces. In mid-April, it received a 10-year, $150 billion contract to support the military overseas.

CEO William Utt called 2008 an “outstanding year,” saying KBR posted record profitability.

Despite many scandals and controversies, KBR reported that its first quarter net profits for 2008 more than tripled, from $28 million the previous year to $98 million.

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ANSWER Coalition Responds to President Obama’s Iraq Speech of Friday, February 27

With his speech today, President Obama has essentially agreed to continue the criminal occupation of Iraq indefinitely. He announced that there will be an occupation force of 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for at least three more years. President Obama used carefully chosen words to avoid a firm commitment to remove the 50,000 occupation troops, even after 2011.

The war in Iraq was illegal. It was aggression. It was based on lies and false rationales. President Obama’s speech today made Bush’s invasion sound like a liberating act and congratulated the troops for “getting the job done.” More than a million Iraqis died and a cruel civil war was set into motion because of the foreign invasion. President Obama did not once criticize the invasion itself.

He has also requested an increase in war spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, and plans to double the number of U.S. troops sent to fight in Afghanistan.

President Obama has asked Congress to provide more than $200 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the next two years, in addition to increasing the Pentagon budget by four percent.

Based on President Obama’s new budget, the Pentagon would rank as the world’s 17th largest economy—if it were a country. This new budget increases war spending. Total spending in 2010 would roughly equate to an average of $21,000 a second.

This is not the end of the occupation of Iraq, but rather the continuation of the occupation.

There is only one reason that tens of thousands of troops will remain in Iraq: It is because this is a colonial-type occupation of a strategically important and oil-rich country located in the Middle East where two-thirds of the world’s oil reserve can be found.

Obama’s speech was a major disappointment for anyone who was hoping that Obama would renounce the illegal occupation of Iraq. Today, the U.S. government spends $480 million per day to fund the occupation of Iraq. Even if 100,000 troops are drawn out by August 2010, that means the indefinite occupation of Iraq will cost more than $100 million each day. The continued occupation of Iraq for two years or three years or more makes a complete mockery out of the idea that the Iraqi people control their own destiny. It is a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.

It is no wonder that John McCain came out to support President Obama’s announced plan on Iraq. McCain was an supporter of former President Bush’s and Vice President Cheney’s war and occupation in Iraq.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld—the architects of regime change in Iraq—never had the goal of indefinitely keeping 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. They wanted to subdue the Iraqi people and exercise control with a smaller force. The Iraqi armed resistance prolonged the stationing of 150,000 U.S. troops.

Bush’s goal was domination over Iraq and its oil supplies, and domination over the region. This continues to be the goal of the U.S. political and economic establishment, including that of the new administration.

President Obama decided not to challenge the fundamental strategic orientation. That explains why he kept the Bush team—Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Generals Petraeus and Odierno—on the job to oversee and manage the Iraq occupation. They will also manage the widening U.S. war in Afghanistan and the aerial assaults on Pakistan. There have been over 30 U.S. bombing attacks in Pakistan in the last two months.

We are marching on Saturday, March 21 because the people of this country are fed up with the status quo. They want decent-paying jobs, and affordable health care and housing for all. Students want to study rather than be driven out by soaring tuition rates. The majority of people want a complete—not partial—withdrawal of ALL troops from Iraq. They want the war in Afghanistan to end rather than escalate. They are increasingly opposed to sending $2.6 billion each year to Israel and want an end to the colonial occupation of Palestine.

IT demands proof…

Of anything WE write. Perhaps It should take the challenge…

  • Show US proof that YOU actually exist other than a Yahoo ID, Hotmail or gmail ID created yesterday.
    Many Commercial sites don’t even respond to such IDs because they’re effectively ANONYMOUS
    And are used many times for Spam and E-Mail Scam operations.
    And E-Bay doesn’t accept them as your actual Email identity.
    and the commercial sites that don’t accept your Bull-poo-poo Yahoo ID also turn it over automatically to SpamCop and other
    Anti-Spam World Wide Web databases.
  • What say, Eric, Tony, Marie?

    Should NMT subscribe to one of those databases?

    1) Did Someone Say Credibility?

    As in somebody who doesn’t even use a Real Name To Describe ITself, and keeps telling us that everything WE say must be outright Lies because IT has Imperial Military Sources which say that Invasions, Occupations and Mass Slaughter are actually manifestations of Freedom…

    And that IT considers and believes that anything which Gainsays the word of Professional Killers just could not possibly be true or worthy of consideration.

    It has also said in all of ITs many many “personalities” that we’re so stupid and crazy and Left Wing that we’re really not worth IT writing anything to us blah blah blah blah blah

    Kind of like Charlie Browns Teacher… wa woo wah wah wuh….

    But has “wasted ITs time” posting hundreds of links to Military Sources and their Propaganda Outlets like the New York Post and really Any Outlet Related To DumFox Noose NutWerx.

    All done, so it seems, from the Kindness of ITs heart.

    Of Course.

    2) In case IT didn’t catch the hint…

    IT has been not only CALLED a Liar IT has proven the point repeatedly that IT is a Liar or perhaps a loosely organized co-op of Liars working together.

    Funny how the only actual ISRAELIS who have had the courage to link to their writings are Peace Activists which IT has also spammed in ITs many “independent” personalities.

    I invite the Casual Reader or even the Serious Student of the issues to glance over to the left hand side of the screen and view ITs name repeated over and over, until you scroll through the pages to find where ITs “persona” has been seriously challenged and ITs name, National Identity, Faith, even ITs gender mysteriously changes… and so forth through it’s many incarnations.

    On the Right Hand Side of the screen you’ll notice a HUGE number of posts listed, 106,73,52 etc etc etc but THIS link you’re reading now is the most important of them all

    IT cyber-screams and cyber-wails that we’re not being “fair” to IT and that calling IT a liar is somehow censorship.

    IT has also not provided ANY proof or even Evidence that IT has done or written ANYTHING on the World Wide Web or in Newspapers, Broadcast Media or even College Publications other than what IT has written here.

    That last is Important because several of ITs “identities” claim to have gone to various Universities and to be officers in Various Military Services.

    Which would mean they I mean IT, if it were an officer in ANY Military Branch would have had to go to college.

    IT has not produced one single link to say, a Baccalaureate Thesis or even higher Graduate Student writings of any kind authored by IT.

    You will recognize IT by ITs hysteria in condemning us for exposing IT for what it and ITs enormous collection of plagiarized from other sources “Proof” that we’re all a bunch of Racist Anti-Semitic Hate-Speech Disseminators who

    aren’t worth ITs time and effort to reply to our ravings, (except IT has, hundreds and hundreds of times)

    3) Tell us, O Spammer-one… Do you have a Real Job?

    Because you’ve apparently been spending all your spare time HERE, telling us and, of course, our Readers who you claim we don’t have, that you’re a College Graduate, a Military Officer, Another Military Officer, Whatever the Latest Count of your Fake User Identities is…

    Surely somebody of such Education, Experience and Importance in the Community would actually have a REAL job somewhere, or like me be a disabled individual, who would STILL have to take time off for Physical Therapy, Doctors visits, trips to the Grocery Store, picking up the kids from school… You know, the type of Real Life activities most people engage in at least some of the time.

    Somebody with your Vast Experience in Middle East affairs, as you claim, SHOULD be shuttling between Washington, Tel Aviv, Amman, Rihyad, Cairo, Baghdad, Kabul….

    Brokering Peace talks, doing SOMETHING real about the Peace Process or, as we like to call it “The Washington Continuous War Because It’s Good For Our Corporate Profits” process.

    Which you’re apparently not actively involved in the War either, or at least not on a Personal Basis.

    Tony, Eric, Marie, myself, a few of the others who routinely post, well, ALL of the Others who routinely post, are actually REAL People.

    We’ve for the most part met each other, know each other…

    Even the Military Policeman who posted about somehow Redeeming His Soul by giving candy and cigarettes to a prisoner he was escorting to the Death-Camp at Bagram AFB is a Real Person.

    With a REAL Job.

    Even though neither he nor his job are very savory or honorable.

    So, Wazzup, Dawg?

    Billionaire bank robbers do not go to jail

    I thought there was something odd with a headline about a recent break in a 2001 murder case: Arrest of inmate imminent. Probably it makes perfect sense to hasten with the arrest of someone already incarcerated. Meanwhile, Allan Stanford, suspected of an $8 Billion dollar fraud, is “laying low” and not under arrest. And Bernard Madoff, of the $50 Billion fraud, is free in his penthouse.

    Really. It’s probably too soon to know how the Guinness Book of Records will rank these crimes, but we might guess these are the biggest, even if you include the S&L heists. Although record keepers will note the bank “bailout” heist, the GWOT military industry heist and the Tax Cuts For The Rich heist will eclipse all.

    What distinguishes the earlier crime record holders, from these break-the-bank blockbusters, is the urgency expressed, in familiar days, about bringing the guilty to justice.

    If asked to name the biggest heist of all time, most of us think of the Great Train Robbery, maybe just because it still has a ring to it. The take was peanuts by today’s standard. Buster Edwards and company stole $3.7 million from the mail train, (today it would be equivalent to $58 million). Still the offenders were undone.

    The record before that, thirteen years before, was the 1950 Brinks Robbery for $2.7 million.

    Since then: Brinks Mat; Société Générale heist, Nice; Lufthansa, $6M; Heathrow Airport security vehicle $6.5M; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston 1990 $300M; the Oslo National Museum, Oslo 1994 $58M; and the Carlton Hotel Jewelry store, 1994 $44M.

    This millennium there was: the Northern Bank Robbery, Belfast, Ireland 2004 $50M; Fortaleza, Brazil bank, 2005 $65M; Securitas Depot robbery, 2006 $92.5M; and I’ve gone a little out of order to list last, the only heist to reach one billion: the Central Bank of Iraq, Baghdad March 2003 $1B;

    Does that explain why Messrs Stanford and Madoff are reclining in the luxury of their own abodes, except to illustrate that the rich are different from you and me?

    Activism heroics and roadkill

    Bush and Muntadhar al-ZaidiThis is by no means a complete list of contemporary populist heros, but I’d like to start with comedian Stephen Colbert, who roasted President Bush at a Washington Correspondents Association Dinner, like a court jester gone rabid. With celebrated White House correspondent Helen Thomas’s help, Colbert belittled the decider-in-chief to his face right in front of his friends.

    Don’t Taser Me Bro
    There was University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, who held his ground asking critical questions of Senator John Kerry. Meyer was tackled and tasered for his impertinence, while Kerry kept mumbling, to divert attention from “Don’t taser me Bro.”

    Bidder 70
    Then Utah environmentalist Tim DeChristopher disrupted a government land auction, driving up prices and buying several leases raising paddle number 70, until federal agents took him away. Extraction industry spokesperson Kathleen Sgamma may have miscalculated the degree of DeChristopher’s popular support. She earned no one’s sympathy when she complained: “There’s a democratic process in place if you don’t like what’s happening. If we all just decided we wanted to change the laws unilaterally, that would run counter to our democracy.”

    The Shoes
    And Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi is in jail for throwing his shoes at that dog Bush, when our president was making a farewell visit to Baghdad. (His trial date is fast approaching actually.) The shoes missed, but Bush was made to duck, which is the closest anyone’s come to getting reality to register with the cretinous bitch.

    Barack’s first press conference
    Let’s also mention Helen Thomas again, at Barack Obama’s first press conference a week ago. When Obama ceremoniously called on Thomas to lob the last question, Thomas asked the president to name who in the Middle East had nuclear weapons. It was something of a leading question, because the answer is known, but bears reminding when the argument is repeated that Iran acquiring nukes would lead to proliferation. Thomas put Obama in the position of having to utter recognition of Israel’s never-mentioned nuclear program, or very conspicuously avoid the subject. Which is what he did.

    Israel Divestment Movement
    Now the Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine have succeeded in getting their school to divest in Israel, just as Hampshire College led the way in the nationwide divestitures which contributed to the fall of Apartheid in South Africa. Board of trustees chairman Sigmund Roos tried to explain that the school’s actions were in no way a repudiation of Israel, and accused the students of falsely claiming otherwise. Of the 800-signature petition, Roos explained: “We never took it up. Students know that.”

    Really? A petition signed by 800 of your students and faculty, and the Hampshire College board of trustees wouldn’t even read it? Roos doesn’t know what hit him.

    Harold Pinter on drama and US banditry

    “What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead?”
    -Harold Pinter (1930-2008)

    I’m reminded of a friend of mine who asked “You know what PTSD is? It’s a bad conscience.”

    An outspoken critic of the Iraq War, Harold Pinter died Christmas Eve. Here is the address he prerecorded for his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 2005, when he had become too infirm to attend in person.

    Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth & Politics

    In 1958 I wrote the following:

    ‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’

    I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

    Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

    I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.

    Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given word is often shortly followed by the image. I shall give two examples of two lines which came right out of the blue into my head, followed by an image, followed by me.

    The plays are The Homecoming and Old Times. The first line of The Homecoming is ‘What have you done with the scissors?’ The first line of Old Times is ‘Dark.’

    In each case I had no further information.

    In the first case someone was obviously looking for a pair of scissors and was demanding their whereabouts of someone else he suspected had probably stolen them. But I somehow knew that the person addressed didn’t give a damn about the scissors or about the questioner either, for that matter.

    ‘Dark’ I took to be a description of someone’s hair, the hair of a woman, and was the answer to a question. In each case I found myself compelled to pursue the matter. This happened visually, a very slow fade, through shadow into light.

    I always start a play by calling the characters A, B and C.

    In the play that became The Homecoming I saw a man enter a stark room and ask his question of a younger man sitting on an ugly sofa reading a racing paper. I somehow suspected that A was a father and that B was his son, but I had no proof. This was however confirmed a short time later when B (later to become Lenny) says to A (later to become Max), ‘Dad, do you mind if I change the subject? I want to ask you something. The dinner we had before, what was the name of it? What do you call it? Why don’t you buy a dog? You’re a dog cook. Honest. You think you’re cooking for a lot of dogs.’ So since B calls A ‘Dad’ it seemed to me reasonable to assume that they were father and son. A was also clearly the cook and his cooking did not seem to be held in high regard. Did this mean that there was no mother? I didn’t know. But, as I told myself at the time, our beginnings never know our ends.

    ‘Dark.’ A large window. Evening sky. A man, A (later to become Deeley), and a woman, B (later to become Kate), sitting with drinks. ‘Fat or thin?’ the man asks. Who are they talking about? But I then see, standing at the window, a woman, C (later to become Anna), in another condition of light, her back to them, her hair dark.

    It’s a strange moment, the moment of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence. What follows is fitful, uncertain, even hallucinatory, although sometimes it can be an unstoppable avalanche. The author’s position is an odd one. In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. You certainly can’t dictate to them. To a certain extent you play a never-ending game with them, cat and mouse, blind man’s buff, hide and seek. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.

    So language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you, the author, at any time.

    But as I have said, the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.

    Political theatre presents an entirely different set of problems. Sermonising has to be avoided at all cost. Objectivity is essential. The characters must be allowed to breathe their own air. The author cannot confine and constrict them to satisfy his own taste or disposition or prejudice. He must be prepared to approach them from a variety of angles, from a full and uninhibited range of perspectives, take them by surprise, perhaps, occasionally, but nevertheless give them the freedom to go which way they will. This does not always work. And political satire, of course, adheres to none of these precepts, in fact does precisely the opposite, which is its proper function.

    In my play The Birthday Party I think I allow a whole range of options to operate in a dense forest of possibility before finally focussing on an act of subjugation.

    Mountain Language pretends to no such range of operation. It remains brutal, short and ugly. But the soldiers in the play do get some fun out of it. One sometimes forgets that torturers become easily bored. They need a bit of a laugh to keep their spirits up. This has been confirmed of course by the events at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad. Mountain Language lasts only 20 minutes, but it could go on for hour after hour, on and on and on, the same pattern repeated over and over again, on and on, hour after hour.

    Ashes to Ashes, on the other hand, seems to me to be taking place under water. A drowning woman, her hand reaching up through the waves, dropping down out of sight, reaching for others, but finding nobody there, either above or under the water, finding only shadows, reflections, floating; the woman a lost figure in a drowning landscape, a woman unable to escape the doom that seemed to belong only to others.

    But as they died, she must die too.

    Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.

    As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

    The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it.

    But before I come back to the present I would like to look at the recent past, by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. I believe it is obligatory upon us to subject this period to at least some kind of even limited scrutiny, which is all that time will allow here.

    Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

    But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States’ actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

    Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict’. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.

    The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America’s view of its role in the world, both then and now.

    I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

    The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: ‘Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.’

    Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.’ There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

    Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

    Finally somebody said: ‘But in this case “innocent people” were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the citizens of a sovereign state?’

    Seitz was imperturbable. ‘I don’t agree that the facts as presented support your assertions,’ he said.

    As we were leaving the Embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did not reply.

    I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: ‘The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.’

    The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution.

    The Sandinistas weren’t perfect. They possessed their fair share of arrogance and their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But they were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.

    The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social unity and national self respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.

    I spoke earlier about ‘a tapestry of lies’ which surrounds us. President Reagan commonly described Nicaragua as a ‘totalitarian dungeon’. This was taken generally by the media, and certainly by the British government, as accurate and fair comment. But there was in fact no record of death squads under the Sandinista government. There was no record of torture. There was no record of systematic or official military brutality. No priests were ever murdered in Nicaragua. There were in fact three priests in the government, two Jesuits and a Maryknoll missionary. The totalitarian dungeons were actually next door, in El Salvador and Guatemala. The United States had brought down the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954 and it is estimated that over 200,000 people had been victims of successive military dictatorships.

    Six of the most distinguished Jesuits in the world were viciously murdered at the Central American University in San Salvador in 1989 by a battalion of the Alcatl regiment trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. That extremely brave man Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying mass. It is estimated that 75,000 people died. Why were they killed? They were killed because they believed a better life was possible and should be achieved. That belief immediately qualified them as communists. They died because they dared to question the status quo, the endless plateau of poverty, disease, degradation and oppression, which had been their birthright.

    The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. ‘Democracy’ had prevailed.

    But this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

    The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

    Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

    It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

    I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, ‘the American people’, as in the sentence, ‘I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.’

    It’s a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don’t need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it’s very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US.

    The United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour. It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain.

    What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead? Look at Guantanamo Bay. Hundreds of people detained without charge for over three years, with no legal representation or due process, technically detained forever. This totally illegitimate structure is maintained in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is not only tolerated but hardly thought about by what’s called the ‘international community’. This criminal outrage is being committed by a country, which declares itself to be ‘the leader of the free world’. Do we think about the inhabitants of Guantanamo Bay? What does the media say about them? They pop up occasionally – a small item on page six. They have been consigned to a no man’s land from which indeed they may never return. At present many are on hunger strike, being force-fed, including British residents. No niceties in these force-feeding procedures. No sedative or anaesthetic. Just a tube stuck up your nose and into your throat. You vomit blood. This is torture. What has the British Foreign Secretary said about this? Nothing. What has the British Prime Minister said about this? Nothing. Why not? Because the United States has said: to criticise our conduct in Guantanamo Bay constitutes an unfriendly act. You’re either with us or against us. So Blair shuts up.

    The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

    We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.

    How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore if any American soldier or for that matter politician finds himself in the dock Bush has warned that he will send in the marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they’re interested. It is Number 10, Downing Street, London.

    Death in this context is irrelevant. Both Bush and Blair place death well away on the back burner. At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraq insurgency began. These people are of no moment. Their deaths don’t exist. They are blank. They are not even recorded as being dead. ‘We don’t do body counts,’ said the American general Tommy Franks.

    Early in the invasion there was a photograph published on the front page of British newspapers of Tony Blair kissing the cheek of a little Iraqi boy. ‘A grateful child,’ said the caption. A few days later there was a story and photograph, on an inside page, of another four-year-old boy with no arms. His family had been blown up by a missile. He was the only survivor. ‘When do I get my arms back?’ he asked. The story was dropped. Well, Tony Blair wasn’t holding him in his arms, nor the body of any other mutilated child, nor the body of any bloody corpse. Blood is dirty. It dirties your shirt and tie when you’re making a sincere speech on television.

    The 2,000 American dead are an embarrassment. They are transported to their graves in the dark. Funerals are unobtrusive, out of harm’s way. The mutilated rot in their beds, some for the rest of their lives. So the dead and the mutilated both rot, in different kinds of graves.

    Here is an extract from a poem by Pablo Neruda, ‘I’m Explaining a Few Things’:

    And one morning all that was burning,
    one morning the bonfires
    leapt out of the earth
    devouring human beings
    and from then on fire,
    gunpowder from then on,
    and from then on blood.
    Bandits with planes and Moors,
    bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
    bandits with black friars spattering blessings
    came through the sky to kill children
    and the blood of children ran through the streets
    without fuss, like children’s blood.

    Jackals that the jackals would despise
    stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
    vipers that the vipers would abominate.

    Face to face with you I have seen the blood
    of Spain tower like a tide
    to drown you in one wave
    of pride and knives.

    Treacherous
    generals:
    see my dead house,
    look at broken Spain:
    from every house burning metal flows
    instead of flowers
    from every socket of Spain
    Spain emerges
    and from every dead child a rifle with eyes
    and from every crime bullets are born
    which will one day find
    the bull’s eye of your hearts.

    And you will ask: why doesn’t his poetry
    speak of dreams and leaves
    and the great volcanoes of his native land.

    Come and see the blood in the streets.
    Come and see
    the blood in the streets.
    Come and see the blood
    in the streets!

    Let me make it quite clear that in quoting from Neruda’s poem I am in no way comparing Republican Spain to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I quote Neruda because nowhere in contemporary poetry have I read such a powerful visceral description of the bombing of civilians.

    I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as ‘full spectrum dominance’. That is not my term, it is theirs. ‘Full spectrum dominance’ means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

    The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honourable exception of Sweden, of course. We don’t quite know how they got there but they are there all right.

    The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity – the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons – is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

    Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government’s actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.

    I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man’s man.

    ‘God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden’s God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam’s God was bad, except he didn’t have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don’t chop people’s heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it.’

    A writer’s life is a highly vulnerable, almost naked activity. We don’t have to weep about that. The writer makes his choice and is stuck with it. But it is true to say that you are open to all the winds, some of them icy indeed. You are out on your own, out on a limb. You find no shelter, no protection – unless you lie – in which case of course you have constructed your own protection and, it could be argued, become a politician.

    I have referred to death quite a few times this evening. I shall now quote a poem of my own called ‘Death’.

    Where was the dead body found?
    Who found the dead body?
    Was the dead body dead when found?
    How was the dead body found?

    Who was the dead body?

    Who was the father or daughter or brother
    Or uncle or sister or mother or son
    Of the dead and abandoned body?

    Was the body dead when abandoned?
    Was the body abandoned?
    By whom had it been abandoned?

    Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?

    What made you declare the dead body dead?
    Did you declare the dead body dead?
    How well did you know the dead body?
    How did you know the dead body was dead?

    Did you wash the dead body
    Did you close both its eyes
    Did you bury the body
    Did you leave it abandoned
    Did you kiss the dead body

    When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

    I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

    If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us – the dignity of man.

    Bush Iraq press conference hits the fan

    Bush ducks as journalist al-Zaydi throws his shoes
    “THIS IS A FAREWELL KISS, YOU DOG!” –yelled al-Baghdadia news journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, as he hurled his first shoe. Finally someone brave enough to have at our obscene Reprobate-in-Chief! What does this say about reporters, officials and celebrities who have access to President Bush but take their shoes off only to show fealty? Homeland Security has all of us removing our shoes, but it took an Iraqi to know what to do with them. If the world needed a sign of hope, that someone would at last stand up to America’s miserable criminality, new-detainee al-Zaidi is the one.

    Bush makes a last visit to a nation he destroyed, and gets: “THIS IS A FAREWELL KISS, YOU DOG!” Our news outlets initially censored the “you dog” bit. Al-Zaidi’s threw his second shoe yelling “THIS IS FROM THE WIDOWS, THE ORPHANS AND THOSE WHO WERE KILLED IN IRAQ.” Prompting a local Iraqi to write:

    “Yes, you dirty motherfuckers, NO VICTORY for you in IRAQ. No victory as long as people like Muntather exist…

    Dear Mrs Palin: write the 10 Commandments on the tablet of your heart…

    This is a recurrent theme, Mr Bush and Mrs Palin have gone to bat for the notion of placing the Ten Commandments in every government building and facility in America. Except they don’t actually live by them in the first place, and actively break most of them daily in the second place.

    1.You shall have no other gods before me

    2.You shall not make for yourself an idol

    3.You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God

    4.Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy

    5.Honor your father and mother

    6.You shall not murder*

    7.You shall not commit adultery

    8.You shall not steal***

    9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

    these last are counted as one Commandment
    10.You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
    You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor

    We have been told, repeatedly and indignantly, that we need to support a war started by none other than Mr Bush, and that God says we need no support it. That’s Commandments 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 all in one swoop.

    We were told in the beginning that it was because Saddam Hussein was amassing Weapons of Mass Destruction in preparation for a terrorist attack on America, and that he had been a participant in the attack on 9-11-2001.

    Both of which had been exposed as lies before the first bombs fell on Baghdad.

    So much for Commandment #9

    The real reason is obviously to take the Oil which belongs to the Iraqi people.
    Commandments #8 stealing and #10 coveting it in the first place.

    This is in relation to an Idolatrous worship of money by the lying murdering thieves who started the war. They “jokingly” refer to a Graven Image (literally, the picture of George Washington is an engraving) as “The Almighty”.

    A title usually which usually refers to God.

    If it is “merely a joke” then it’s taking God’s name in vain Commandment #3.

    If it’s not “merely a joke” then it’s having another god before God, Commandment #1, Graven Image #2 AND Blasphemy #3.

    They now very arrogantly admit that the original reasons for George Bush starting the war, they’re somehow proud of committing perjury which breaks Commandment #9.

    But they insist that God is somehow instructing them to do these things, in “Revelations of the Holy Ghost”.

    A type of Blasphemy, Commandment #3, which Jesus Himself said is The One Unforgivable Sin, Blaspheming against the Holy Ghost.

    And they insist that we support this action, and that God Himself commands us to do so… again with Commandment #3. And that it doesn’t matter that they broke Commandment #9.

    When they use the name Christian, they are AGAIN using the Name of God, and doing it in vain

    It’s been described as The Adoption and the Church has been termed “The Bride of Christ”, so we as Christians take the name the same way an adopted child takes the name of his adopted father, and the way a bride takes the name of her husband.

    Thus #3 Taking God’s Name in vain, #5 honor thy mother and thy father, both their physical human parents (the surnames of their parents are dishonored by their hideous acts, and George Walker Bush has three of his father’s names.)

    #7 Adultery because they, as the Bride of Christ, are whoring after their Other god “the almighty” dollar.

    And #4, keep the Sabbath holy…

    They do the other 9 on Saturday too, so, yep, It’s A Perfect Score of All TEN.

    Obama endorsed by infamous UN liar

    Anthrax vial“Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit about this amount — this is just about the amount of a teaspoon –“
     
    Colin Powell perjured himself at the UN, playing the leading role in encouraging the invasion of Iraq which resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqis. Now he’s lauded for endorsing Barack Obama? What hope is there that Obama will seek a just resolution to the war in Iraq?

    Let’s continue this excerpt from Colin Powell’s presentation before the United Nations on February 6, 2003:

    ” …less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shutdown the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope.

    “Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly material.

    “And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.”

    Transcript to Feb. 6, 2003 U. N. presentation by Colin Powell

    Part 1: Introduction

    Thank you, Mr. President.

    Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished colleagues, I would like to begin by expressing my thanks for the special effort that each of you made to be here today.

    This is important day for us all as we review the situation with respect to Iraq and its disarmament obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441.

    Last November 8, this council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous vote. The purpose of that resolution was to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had already been found guilty of material breach of its obligations, stretching back over 16 previous resolutions and 12 years.

    Resolution 1441 was not dealing with an innocent party, but a regime this council has repeatedly convicted over the years. Resolution 1441 gave Iraq one last chance, one last chance to come into compliance or to face serious consequences. No council member present in voting on that day had any illusions about the nature and intent of the resolution or what serious consequences meant if Iraq did not comply.

    And to assist in its disarmament, we called on Iraq to cooperate with returning inspectors from UNMOVIC and IAEA.

    We laid down tough standards for Iraq to meet to allow the inspectors to do their job.

    This council placed the burden on Iraq to comply and disarm and not on the inspectors to find that which Iraq has gone out of its way to conceal for so long. Inspectors are inspectors; they are not detectives.

    I asked for this session today for two purposes: First, to support the core assessments made by Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. As Dr. Blix reported to this council on January 27th, “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it.”

    And as Dr. ElBaradei reported, Iraq’s declaration of December 7, “did not provide any new information relevant to certain questions that have been outstanding since 1998.”

    My second purpose today is to provide you with additional information, to share with you what the United States knows about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction as well as Iraq’s involvement in terrorism, which is also the subject of Resolution 1441 and other earlier resolutions.

    I might add at this point that we are providing all relevant information we can to the inspection teams for them to do their work.

    The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are U.S. sources. And some are those of other countries. Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.

    I cannot tell you everything that we know. But what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling.

    What you will see is an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior. The facts on Iraq’s behavior demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort — no effort — to disarm as required by the international community.

    Indeed, the facts and Iraq’s behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.

    Part 2: Hiding prohibited equipment

    Let me begin by playing a tape for you. What you’re about to hear is a conversation that my government monitored. It takes place on November 26 of last year, on the day before United Nations teams resumed inspections in Iraq.

    The conversation involves two senior officers, a colonel and a brigadier general, from Iraq’s elite military unit, the Republican Guard.

    [Following is a U.S. translation of that taped conversation.]

    GEN: Yeah.

    COL: About this committee that is coming…

    GEN: Yeah, yeah.

    COL: …with Mohamed ElBaradei [Director, International Atomic Energy Agency]

    GEN: Yeah, yeah.

    COL: Yeah.

    GEN: Yeah?

    COL: We have this modified vehicle.

    GEN: Yeah.

    COL: What do we say if one of them sees it?

    GEN: You didn’t get a modified… You don’t have a modified…

    COL: By God, I have one.

    GEN: Which? From the workshop…?

    COL: From the al-Kindi Company

    GEN: What?

    COL: From al-Kindi.

    GEN: Yeah, yeah. I’ll come to you in the morning. I have some comments. I’m worried you all have something left.

    COL: We evacuated everything. We don’t have anything left.

    GEN: I will come to you tomorrow.

    COL: Okay.

    GEN: I have a conference at Headquarters, before I attend the conference I will come to you.

    Let me pause and review some of the key elements of this conversation that you just heard between these two officers.

    First, they acknowledge that our colleague, Mohamed ElBaradei, is coming, and they know what he’s coming for, and they know he’s coming the next day. He’s coming to look for things that are prohibited. He is expecting these gentlemen to cooperate with him and not hide things.

    But they’re worried. “We have this modified vehicle. What do we say if one of them sees it?”

    What is their concern? Their concern is that it’s something they should not have, something that should not be seen.

    The general is incredulous: “You didn’t get a modified. You don’t have one of those, do you?”

    “I have one.”

    “Which, from where?”

    “From the workshop, from the al-Kindi Company?”

    “What?”

    “From al-Kindi.”

    “I’ll come to see you in the morning. I’m worried. You all have something left.”

    “We evacuated everything. We don’t have anything left.”

    Note what he says: “We evacuated everything.”

    We didn’t destroy it. We didn’t line it up for inspection. We didn’t turn it into the inspectors. We evacuated it to make sure it was not around when the inspectors showed up.

    “I will come to you tomorrow.”

    The al-Kindi Company: This is a company that is well known to have been involved in prohibited weapons systems activity.

    Let me play another tape for you. As you will recall, the inspectors found 12 empty chemical warheads on January 16. On January 20, four days later, Iraq promised the inspectors it would search for more. You will now hear an officer from Republican Guard headquarters issuing an instruction to an officer in the field. Their conversation took place just last week on January 30.

    Let me pause again and review the elements of this message.

    “They’re inspecting the ammunition you have, yes.”

    “Yes.”

    “For the possibility there are forbidden ammo.”

    “For the possibility there is by chance forbidden ammo?”

    “Yes.”

    “And we sent you a message yesterday to clean out all of the areas, the scrap areas, the abandoned areas. Make sure there is nothing there.”

    Remember the first message, evacuated.

    This is all part of a system of hiding things and moving things out of the way and making sure they have left nothing behind.

    If you go a little further into this message, and you see the specific instructions from headquarters: “After you have carried out what is contained in this message, destroy the message because I don’t want anyone to see this message.”

    “OK, OK.”

    Why? Why?

    This message would have verified to the inspectors that they have been trying to turn over things. They were looking for things. But they don’t want that message seen, because they were trying to clean up the area to leave no evidence behind of the presence of weapons of mass destruction. And they can claim that nothing was there. And the inspectors can look all they want, and they will find nothing.

    This effort to hide things from the inspectors is not one or two isolated events, quite the contrary. This is part and parcel of a policy of evasion and deception that goes back 12 years, a policy set at the highest levels of the Iraqi regime.

    Part 3: Attempt to thwart inspection

    We know that Saddam Hussein has what is called “a higher committee for monitoring the inspections teams.” Think about that. Iraq has a high-level committee to monitor the inspectors who were sent in to monitor Iraq’s disarmament.

    Not to cooperate with them, not to assist them, but to spy on them and keep them from doing their jobs.

    The committee reports directly to Saddam Hussein. It is headed by Iraq’s vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan. Its members include Saddam Hussein’s son Qusay.

    This committee also includes Lt. Gen. Amir al-Saadi, an adviser to Saddam. In case that name isn’t immediately familiar to you, Gen. Saadi has been the Iraqi regime’s primary point of contact for Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. It was Gen. Saadi who last fall publicly pledged that Iraq was prepared to cooperate unconditionally with inspectors. Quite the contrary, Saadi’s job is not to cooperate, it is to deceive; not to disarm, but to undermine the inspectors; not to support them, but to frustrate them and to make sure they learn nothing.

    We have learned a lot about the work of this special committee. We learned that just prior to the return of inspectors last November the regime had decided to resume what we heard called, “the old game of cat and mouse.”

    For example, let me focus on the now famous declaration that Iraq submitted to this council on December 7. Iraq never had any intention of complying with this council’s mandate.

    Instead, Iraq planned to use the declaration, overwhelm us and to overwhelm the inspectors with useless information about Iraq’s permitted weapons so that we would not have time to pursue Iraq’s prohibited weapons. Iraq’s goal was to give us, in this room, to give those of us on this council the false impression that the inspection process was working.

    You saw the result. Dr. Blix pronounced the 12,200-page declaration, rich in volume, but poor in information and practically devoid of new evidence.

    Could any member of this council honestly rise in defense of this false declaration?

    Everything we have seen and heard indicates that, instead of cooperating actively with the inspectors to ensure the success of their mission, Saddam Hussein and his regime are busy doing all they possibly can to ensure that inspectors succeed in finding absolutely nothing.

    My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.

    Orders were issued to Iraq’s security organizations, as well as to Saddam Hussein’s own office, to hide all correspondence with the Organization of Military Industrialization.

    This is the organization that oversees Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction activities. Make sure there are no documents left which could connect you to the OMI.

    We know that Saddam’s son, Qusay, ordered the removal of all prohibited weapons from Saddam’s numerous palace complexes. We know that Iraqi government officials, members of the ruling Baath Party and scientists have hidden prohibited items in their homes. Other key files from military and scientific establishments have been placed in cars that are being driven around the countryside by Iraqi intelligence agents to avoid detection.

    Thanks to intelligence they were provided, the inspectors recently found dramatic confirmation of these reports. When they searched the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist, they uncovered roughly 2,000 pages of documents. You see them here being brought out of the home and placed in U.N. hands. Some of the material is

    classified and related to Iraq’s nuclear program.

    Tell me, answer me, are the inspectors to search the house of every government official, every Baath Party member and every scientist in the country to find the truth, to get the information they need, to satisfy the demands of our council?

    Our sources tell us that, in some cases, the hard drives of computers at Iraqi weapons facilities were replaced. Who took the hard drives. Where did they go? What’s being hidden? Why? There’s only one answer to the why: to deceive, to hide, to keep from the inspectors.

    Numerous human sources tell us that the Iraqis are moving, not just documents and hard drives, but weapons of mass destruction to keep them from being found by inspectors.

    While we were here in this council chamber debating Resolution 1441 last fall, we know, we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was disbursing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agents to various locations, distributing them to various locations in western Iraq. Most of the launchers and warheads have been hidden in large groves of palm trees and were to be moved every one to four weeks to escape detection.

    We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities.

    Let me say a word about satellite images before I show a couple. The photos that I am about to show you are sometimes hard for the average person to interpret, hard for me. The painstaking work of photo analysis takes experts with years and years of experience, pouring for hours and hours over light tables. But as I show you these images, I will try to capture and explain what they mean, what they indicate to our imagery specialists.

    Let’s look at one. This one is about a weapons munition facility, a facility that holds ammunition at a place called Taji (ph). This is one of about 65 such facilities in Iraq. We know that this one has housed chemical munitions. In fact, this is where the Iraqis recently came up with the additional four chemical weapon shells.

    Here, you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers.

    How do I know that? How can I say that? Let me give you a closer look. Look at the image on the left. On the left is a close-up of one of the four chemical bunkers. The two arrows indicate the presence of sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions. The arrow at the top that says security points to a facility that is the signature item for this kind of bunker. Inside that facility are special guards and special equipment to monitor any leakage that might come out of the bunker.

    The truck you also see is a signature item. It’s a decontamination vehicle in case something goes wrong.

    This is characteristic of those four bunkers. The special security facility and the decontamination vehicle will be in the area, if not at any one of them or one of the other, it is moving around those four, and it moves as it needed to move, as people are working in the different bunkers.

    Now look at the picture on the right. You are now looking at two of those sanitized bunkers. The signature vehicles are gone, the tents are gone, it’s been cleaned up, and it was done on the 22nd of December, as the U.N. inspection team is arriving, and you can see the inspection vehicles arriving in the lower portion of the picture on the right.

    The bunkers are clean when the inspectors get there. They found nothing.

    This sequence of events raises the worrisome suspicion that Iraq had been tipped off to the forthcoming inspections at Taji (ph). As it did throughout the 1990s, we know that Iraq today is actively using its considerable intelligence capabilities to hide its illicit activities. From our sources, we know that inspectors are under constant surveillance by an army of Iraqi intelligence operatives.

    Iraq is relentlessly attempting to tap all of their communications, both voice and electronics.

    I would call my colleagues attention to the fine paper that United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.

    In this next example, you will see the type of concealment activity Iraq has undertaken in response to the resumption of inspections. Indeed, in November 2002, just when the inspections were about to resume this type of activity spiked. Here are three examples.

    At this ballistic missile site, on November 10, we saw a cargo truck preparing to move ballistic missile components. At this biological weapons related facility, on November 25, just two days before inspections resumed, this truck caravan appeared, something we almost never see at this facility, and we monitor it carefully and regularly.

    At this ballistic missile facility, again, two days before inspections began, five large cargo trucks appeared along with the truck-mounted crane to move missiles. We saw this kind of house cleaning at close to 30 sites.

    Days after this activity, the vehicles and the equipment that I’ve just highlighted disappear and the site returns to patterns of normalcy. We don’t know precisely what Iraq was moving, but the inspectors already knew about these sites, so Iraq knew that they would be coming.

    We must ask ourselves: Why would Iraq suddenly move equipment of this nature before inspections if they were anxious to demonstrate what they had or did not have?

    Remember the first intercept in which two Iraqis talked about the need to hide a modified vehicle from the inspectors. Where did Iraq take all of this equipment? Why wasn’t it presented to the inspectors?

    Iraq also has refused to permit any U-2 reconnaissance flights that would give the inspectors a better sense of what’s being moved before, during and after inspectors.

    This refusal to allow this kind of reconnaissance is in direct, specific violation of operative paragraph seven of our Resolution 1441.

    Saddam Hussein and his regime are not just trying to conceal weapons, they’re also trying to hide people. You know the basic facts. Iraq has not complied with its obligation to allow immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to all officials and other persons as required by Resolution 1441.

    Part 4: Access to scientists

    The regime only allows interviews with inspectors in the presence of an Iraqi official, a minder. The official Iraqi organization charged with facilitating inspections announced, announced publicly and announced ominously that, quote, “Nobody is ready to leave Iraq to be interviewed.”

    Iraqi Vice President Ramadan accused the inspectors of conducting espionage, a veiled threat that anyone cooperating with U.N. inspectors was committing treason.

    Iraq did not meet its obligations under 1441 to provide a comprehensive list of scientists associated with its weapons of mass destruction programs. Iraq’s list was out of date and contained only about 500 names, despite the fact that UNSCOM had earlier put together a list of about 3,500 names.

    Let me just tell you what a number of human sources have told us.

    Saddam Hussein has directly participated in the effort to prevent interviews. In early December, Saddam Hussein had all Iraqi scientists warned of the serious consequences that they and their families would face if they revealed any sensitive information to the inspectors. They were forced to sign documents acknowledging that divulging information is punishable by death.

    Saddam Hussein also said that scientists should be told not to agree to leave Iraq; anyone who agreed to be interviewed outside Iraq would be treated as a spy. This violates 1441.

    In mid-November, just before the inspectors returned, Iraqi experts were ordered to report to the headquarters of the special security organization to receive counterintelligence training. The training focused on evasion methods, interrogation resistance techniques, and how to mislead inspectors.

    Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions. These are facts, corroborated by many sources, some of them sources of the intelligence services of other countries.

    For example, in mid-December weapons experts at one facility were replaced by Iraqi intelligence agents who were to deceive inspectors about the work that was being done there.

    On orders from Saddam Hussein, Iraqi officials issued a false death certificate for one scientist, and he was sent into hiding.

    In the middle of January, experts at one facility that was related to weapons of mass destruction, those experts had been ordered to stay home from work to avoid the inspectors. Workers from other Iraqi military facilities not engaged in illicit weapons projects were to replace the workers who’d been sent home. A dozen experts have been placed under house arrest, not in their own houses, but as a group at one of Saddam Hussein’s guest houses. It goes on and on and on.

    As the examples I have just presented show, the information and intelligence we have gathered point to an active and systematic effort on the part of the Iraqi regime to keep key materials and people from the inspectors in direct violation of Resolution 1441. The pattern is not just one of reluctant cooperation, nor is it merely a lack of cooperation. What we see is a deliberate campaign to prevent any meaningful inspection work.

    My colleagues, operative paragraph four of U.N. Resolution 1441, which we lingered over so long last fall, clearly states that false statements and omissions in the declaration and a failure by Iraq at any time to comply with and cooperate fully in the implementation of this resolution shall constitute — the facts speak for themselves –shall constitute a further material breach of its obligation.

    We wrote it this way to give Iraq an early test — to give Iraq an early test. Would they give an honest declaration and would they early on indicate a willingness to cooperate with the inspectors? It was designed to be an early test.

    They failed that test. By this standard, the standard of this operative paragraph, I believe that Iraq is now in further material breach of its obligations. I believe this conclusion is irrefutable and undeniable.

    Iraq has now placed itself in danger of the serious consequences called for in U.N. Resolution 1441. And this body places itself in danger of irrelevance if it allows Iraq to continue to defy its will without responding effectively and immediately.

    The issue before us is not how much time we are willing to give the inspectors to be frustrated by Iraqi obstruction. But how much longer are we willing to put up with Iraq’s noncompliance before we, as a council, we, as the United Nations, say: “Enough. Enough.”

    The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. Let me now turn to those deadly weapons programs and describe why they are real and present dangers to the region and to the world.

    Part 5: Biological weapons program

    First, biological weapons. We have talked frequently here about biological weapons. By way of introduction and history, I think there are just three quick points I need to make.

    First, you will recall that it took UNSCOM four long and frustrating years to pry — to pry — an admission out of Iraq that it had biological weapons.

    Second, when Iraq finally admitted having these weapons in 1995, the quantities were vast. Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit about this amount — this is just about the amount of a teaspoon — less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shutdown the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope.

    Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly material.

    And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.

    Dr. Blix told this council that Iraq has provided little evidence to verify anthrax production and no convincing evidence of its destruction. It should come as no shock then, that since Saddam Hussein forced out the last inspectors in 1998, we have amassed much intelligence indicating that Iraq is continuing to make these weapons.

    One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq’s biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents.

    Let me take you inside that intelligence file and share with you what we know from eye witness accounts. We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.

    The trucks and train cars are easily moved and are designed to evade detection by inspectors. In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War.

    Although Iraq’s mobile production program began in the mid-1990s, U.N. inspectors at the time only had vague hints of such programs. Confirmation came later, in the year 2000.

    The source was an eye witness, an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised one of these facilities. He actually was present during biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to biological agents.

    He reported that when UNSCOM was in country and inspecting, the biological weapons agent production always began on Thursdays at midnight because Iraq thought UNSCOM would not inspect on the Muslim Holy Day, Thursday night through Friday. He added that this was important because the units could not be broken down in the middle of a production run, which had to be completed by Friday evening before the inspectors might arrive again.

    This defector is currently hiding in another country with the certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him. His eye-witness account of these mobile production facilities has been corroborated by other sources.

    A second source, an Iraqi civil engineer in a position to know the details of the program, confirmed the existence of transportable facilities moving on trailers.

    A third source, also in a position to know, reported in summer 2002 that Iraq had manufactured mobile production systems mounted on road trailer units and on rail cars.

    Finally, a fourth source, an Iraqi major, who defected, confirmed that Iraq has mobile biological research laboratories, in addition to the production facilities I mentioned earlier.

    We have diagrammed what our sources reported about these mobile facilities. Here you see both truck and rail car-mounted mobile factories. The description our sources gave us of the technical features required by such facilities are highly detailed and extremely accurate. As these drawings based on their description show, we know what the fermenters look like, we know what the tanks, pumps, compressors and other parts look like. We know how they fit together. We know how they work. And we know a great deal about the platforms on which they are mounted.

    As shown in this diagram, these factories can be concealed easily, either by moving ordinary-looking trucks and rail cars along Iraq’s thousands of miles of highway or track, or by parking them in a garage or warehouse or somewhere in Iraq’s extensive system of underground tunnels and bunkers.

    We know that Iraq has at lest seven of these mobile biological agent factories. The truck-mounted ones have at least two or three trucks each. That means that the mobile production facilities are very few, perhaps 18 trucks that we know of — there may be more — but perhaps 18 that we know of. Just imagine trying to find 18 trucks among the thousands and thousands of trucks that travel the roads of Iraq every single day.

    It took the inspectors four years to find out that Iraq was making biological agents. How long do you think it will take the inspectors to find even one of these 18 trucks without Iraq coming forward, as they are supposed to, with the information about these kinds of capabilities?

    Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulism toxin. In fact, they can produce enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people. And dry agent of this type is the most lethal form for human beings.

    By 1998, U.N. experts agreed that the Iraqis had perfected drying techniques for their biological weapons programs. Now, Iraq has incorporated this drying expertise into these mobile production facilities.

    We know from Iraq’s past admissions that it has successfully weaponized not only anthrax, but also other biological agents, including botulism toxin, aflatoxin and ricin.

    But Iraq’s research efforts did not stop there. Saddam Hussein has investigated dozens of biological agents causing diseases such as gas gangrene, plague, typhus, tetanus, cholera, camelpox and hemorrhagic fever, and he also has the wherewithal to develop smallpox.

    The Iraqi regime has also developed ways to disburse lethal biological agents, widely and discriminately into the water supply, into the air. For example, Iraq had a program to modify aerial fuel tanks for Mirage jets. This video of an Iraqi test flight obtained by UNSCOM some years ago shows an Iraqi F-1 Mirage jet aircraft. Note the spray coming from beneath the Mirage; that is 2,000 liters of simulated anthrax that a jet is spraying.

    In 1995, an Iraqi military officer, Mujahid Sali Abdul Latif (ph), told inspectors that Iraq intended the spray tanks to be mounted onto a MiG-21 that had been converted into an unmanned aerial vehicle, or a UAV. UAVs outfitted with spray tanks constitute an ideal method for launching a terrorist attack using biological weapons.

    Iraq admitted to producing four spray tanks. But to this day, it has provided no credible evidence that they were destroyed, evidence that was required by the international community.

    There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling.

    UNMOVIC already laid out much of this, and it is documented for all of us to read in UNSCOM’s 1999 report on the subject.

    Let me set the stage with three key points that all of us need to keep in mind: First, Saddam Hussein has used these horrific weapons on another country and on his own people. In fact, in the history of chemical warfare, no country has had more battlefield experience with chemical weapons since World War I than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

    Part 6: Chemical weapons

    Second, as with biological weapons, Saddam Hussein has never accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions and enough precursors to increase his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents. If we consider just one category of missing weaponry — 6,500 bombs from the Iran-Iraq war — UNMOVIC says the amount of chemical agent in them would be in the order of 1,000 tons. These quantities of chemical weapons are now unaccounted for.

    Dr. Blix has quipped that, quote, “Mustard gas is not (inaudible) You are supposed to know what you did with it.”

    We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with it, and he has not come clean with the international community. We have evidence these weapons existed. What we don’t have is evidence from Iraq that they have been destroyed or where they are. That is what we are still waiting for.

    Third point, Iraq’s record on chemical weapons is replete with lies. It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons.

    The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law. UNSCOM also gained forensic evidence that Iraq had produced VX and put it into weapons for delivery. Yet, to this day, Iraq denies it had ever weaponized VX.

    And on January 27, UNMOVIC told this council that it has information that conflicts with the Iraqi account of its VX program.

    We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry. To all outward appearances, even to experts, the infrastructure looks like an ordinary civilian operation. Illicit and legitimate production can go on simultaneously; or, on a dime, this dual-use infrastructure can turn from clandestine to commercial and then back again.

    These inspections would be unlikely, any inspections of such facilities would be unlikely to turn up anything prohibited, especially if there is any warning that the inspections are coming. Call it ingenuous or evil genius, but the Iraqis deliberately designed their chemical weapons programs to be inspected. It is infrastructure with a built-in ally.

    Under the guise of dual-use infrastructure, Iraq has undertaken an effort to reconstitute facilities that were closely associated with its past program to develop and produce chemical weapons.

    For example, Iraq has rebuilt key portions of the Tariq state establishment. Tariq includes facilities designed specifically for Iraq’s chemical weapons program and employs key figures from past programs.

    That’s the production end of Saddam’s chemical weapons business.

    What about the delivery end?

    I’m going to show you a small part of a chemical complex called al-Moussaid (ph), a site that Iraq has used for at least three years to transship chemical weapons from production facilities out to the field.

    In May 2002, our satellites photographed the unusual activity in this picture. Here we see cargo vehicles are again at this transshipment point, and we can see that they are accompanied by a decontamination vehicle associated with biological or chemical weapons activity.

    What makes this picture significant is that we have a human source who has corroborated that movement of chemical weapons occurred at this site at that time. So it’s not just the photo, and it’s not an individual seeing the photo. It’s the photo and then the knowledge of an individual being brought together to make the case.

    This photograph of the site taken two months later in July shows not only the previous site, which is the figure in the middle at the top with the bulldozer sign near it, it shows that this previous site, as well as all of the other sites around the site, have been fully bulldozed and graded. The topsoil has been removed. The Iraqis literally removed the crust of the earth from large portions of this site in order to conceal chemical weapons evidence that would be there from years of chemical weapons activity.

    To support its deadly biological and chemical weapons programs, Iraq procures needed items from around the world using an extensive clandestine network. What we know comes largely from intercepted communications and human sources who are in a position to know the facts.

    Iraq’s procurement efforts include equipment that can filter and separate micro-organisms and toxins involved in biological weapons, equipment that can be used to concentrate the agent, growth media that can be used to continue producing anthrax and botulism toxin, sterilization equipment for laboratories, glass-lined reactors and specialty pumps that can handle corrosive chemical weapons agents and recursors, large amounts of vinyl chloride, a precursor for nerve and blister agents, and other chemicals such as sodium sulfide, an important mustard agent precursor.

    Now, of course, Iraq will argue that these items can also be used for legitimate purposes. But if that is true, why do we have to learn about them by intercepting communications and risking the lives of human agents? With Iraq’s well documented history on biological and chemical weapons, why should any of us give Iraq the benefit of the doubt? I don’t, and I don’t think you will either after you hear this next intercept.

    Just a few weeks ago, we intercepted communications between two commanders in Iraq’s Second Republican Guard Corps. One commander is going to be giving an instruction to the other. You will hear as this unfolds that what he wants to communicate to the other guy, he wants to make sure the other guy hears clearly, to the point of repeating it so that it gets written down and completely understood. Listen.

    (BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)

    (Speaking in Foreign Language.)

    (END AUDIO TAPE)

    Let’s review a few selected items of this conversation.

    Two officers talking to each other on the radio want to make sure that nothing is misunderstood:

    “Remove. Remove.”

    The expression, the expression, “I got it.”

    “Nerve agents. Nerve agents. Wherever it comes up.”

    “Got it.”

    “Wherever it comes up.”

    “In the wireless instructions, in the instructions.”

    “Correction. No. In the wireless instructions.”

    “Wireless. I got it.”

    Why does he repeat it that way? Why is he so forceful in making sure this is understood? And why did he focus on wireless instructions? Because the senior officer is concerned that somebody might be listening.

    Well, somebody was.

    “Nerve agents. Stop talking about it. They are listening to us. Don’t give any evidence that we have these horrible agents.”

    Well, we know that they do. And this kind of conversation confirms it.

    Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.

    Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of territory, an area nearly five times the size of Manhattan.

    Let me remind you that, of the 122 millimeter chemical warheads, that the U.N. inspectors found recently, this discovery could very well be, as has been noted, the tip of the submerged iceberg. The question before us, all my friends, is when will we see the rest of the submerged iceberg?

    Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using them again, against his neighbors and against his own people.

    And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them. He wouldn’t be passing out the orders if he didn’t have the weapons or the intent to use them.

    We also have sources who tell us that, since the 1980s, Saddam’s regime has been experimenting on human beings to perfect its biological or chemical weapons.

    A source said that 1,600 death row prisoners were transferred in 1995 to a special unit for such experiments. An eye witness saw prisoners tied down to beds, experiments conducted on them, blood oozing around the victim’s mouths and autopsies performed to confirm the effects on the prisoners. Saddam Hussein’s humanity — inhumanity has no limits.

    Part 7: Nuclear weapons

    Let me turn now to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program.

    On the contrary, we have more than a decade of proof that he remains determined to acquire nuclear weapons.

    To fully appreciate the challenge that we face today, remember that, in 1991, the inspectors searched Iraq’s primary nuclear weapons facilities for the first time. And they found nothing to conclude that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program.

    But based on defector information in May of 1991, Saddam Hussein’s lie was exposed. In truth, Saddam Hussein had a massive clandestine nuclear weapons program that covered several different techniques to enrich uranium, including electromagnetic isotope separation, gas centrifuge, and gas diffusion. We estimate that this illicit program cost the Iraqis several billion dollars.

    Nonetheless, Iraq continued to tell the IAEA that it had no nuclear weapons program. If Saddam had not been stopped, Iraq could have produced a nuclear bomb by 1993, years earlier than most worse-case assessments that had been made before the war.

    In 1995, as a result of another defector, we find out that, after his invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had initiated a crash program to build a crude nuclear weapon in violation of Iraq’s U.N. obligations.

    Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of the three key components needed to build a nuclear bomb. He has a cadre of nuclear scientists with the expertise, and he has a bomb design.

    Since 1998, his efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program have been focused on acquiring the third and last component, sufficient fissile material to produce a nuclear explosion. To make the fissile material, he needs to develop an ability to enrich uranium.

    Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb.

    He is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries, even after inspections resumed.

    These tubes are controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group precisely because they can be used as centrifuges for enriching uranium. By now, just about everyone has heard of these tubes, and we all know that there are differences of opinion. There is controversy about what these tubes are for.

    Most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors in centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Other experts, and the Iraqis themselves, argue that they are really to produce the rocket bodies for a conventional weapon, a multiple rocket launcher.

    Let me tell you what is not controversial about these tubes.

    First, all the experts who have analyzed the tubes in our possession agree that they can be adapted for centrifuge use. Second, Iraq had no business buying them for any purpose. They are banned for Iraq.

    I am no expert on centrifuge tubes, but just as an old Army trooper, I can tell you a couple of things: First, it strikes me as quite odd that these tubes are manufactured to a tolerance that far exceeds U.S. requirements for comparable rockets.

    Maybe Iraqis just manufacture their conventional weapons to a higher standard than we do, but I don’t think so.

    Second, we actually have examined tubes from several different batches that were seized clandestinely before they reached Baghdad. What we notice in these different batches is a progression to higher and higher levels of specification, including, in the latest batch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth inner and outer surfaces. Why would they continue refining the specifications, go to all that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon be blown into shrapnel when it went off?

    The high tolerance aluminum tubes are only part of the story. We also have intelligence from multiple sources that Iraq is attempting to acquire magnets and high-speed balancing machines; both items can be used in a gas centrifuge program to enrich uranium.

    In 1999 and 2000, Iraqi officials negotiated with firms in Romania, India, Russia and Slovenia for the purchase of a magnet production plant. Iraq wanted the plant to produce magnets weighing 20 to 30 grams. That’s the same weight as the magnets used in Iraq’s gas centrifuge program before the Gulf War. This incident linked with the tubes is another indicator of Iraq’s attempt to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.

    Intercepted communications from mid-2000 through last summer show that Iraq front companies sought to buy machines that can be used to balance gas centrifuge rotors. One of these companies also had been involved in a failed effort in 2001 to smuggle aluminum tubes into Iraq.

    People will continue to debate this issue, but there is no doubt in my mind, these illicit procurement efforts show that Saddam Hussein is very much focused on putting in place the key missing piece from his nuclear weapons program, the ability to produce fissile material.

    He also has been busy trying to maintain the other key parts of his nuclear program, particularly his cadre of key nuclear scientists.

    It is noteworthy that, over the last 18 months, Saddam Hussein has paid increasing personal attention to Iraqi’s top nuclear scientists, a group that the governmental-controlled press calls openly, his nuclear mujahedeen. He regularly exhorts them and praises their progress. Progress toward what end?

    Long ago, the Security Council, this council, required Iraq to halt all nuclear activities of any kind.

    Part 8: Prohibited arms systems

    Let me talk now about the systems Iraq is developing to deliver weapons of mass destruction, in particular Iraq’s ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.

    First, missiles. We all remember that before the Gulf War Saddam Hussein’s goal was missiles that flew not just hundreds, but thousands of kilometers. He wanted to strike not only his neighbors, but also nations far beyond his borders.

    While inspectors destroyed most of the prohibited ballistic missiles, numerous intelligence reports over the past decade, from sources inside Iraq, indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covert force of up to a few dozen Scud variant ballistic missiles. These are missiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers.

    We know from intelligence and Iraq’s own admissions that Iraq’s alleged permitted ballistic missiles, the al-Samud II and the al-Fatah , violate the 150-kilometer limit established by this council in Resolution 687. These are prohibited systems.

    UNMOVIC has also reported that Iraq has illegally important 380 SA-2 rocket engines. These are likely for use in the al-Samud II. Their import was illegal on three counts. Resolution 687 prohibited all military shipments into Iraq. UNSCOM specifically prohibited use of these engines in surface-to-surface missiles. And finally, as we have just noted, they are for a system that exceeds the150-kilometer range limit.

    Worst of all, some of these engines were acquired as late as December — after this council passed Resolution 1441.

    What I want you to know today is that Iraq has programs that are intended to produce ballistic missiles that fly over 1,000 kilometers.

    One program is pursuing a liquid fuel missile that would be able to fly more than 1,200 kilometers. And you can see from this map, as well as I can, who will be in danger of these missiles.

    As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence, Iraq has built an engine test stand that is larger than anything it has ever had. Notice the dramatic difference in size between the test stand on the left, the old one, and the new one on the right. Note the large exhaust vent. This is where the flame from the engine comes out. The exhaust on the right test stand is five times longer than the one on the left. The one on the left was used for short-range missile. The one on the right is clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers.

    This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the test stand has been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will be harder for satellites to see what’s going on underneath the test stand.

    Saddam Hussein’s intentions have never changed. He is not developing the missiles for self-defense. These are missiles that Iraq wants in order to project power, to threaten, and to deliver chemical, biological and, if we let him, nuclear warheads.

    Now, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.

    Iraq has been working on a variety of UAVs for more than a decade. This is just illustrative of what a UAV would look like.

    This effort has included attempts to modify for unmanned flight the MiG-21 and with greater success an aircraft called the L-29.

    However, Iraq is now concentrating not on these airplanes, but on developing and testing smaller UAVs, such as this.

    UAVs are well suited for dispensing chemical and biological weapons.

    There is ample evidence that Iraq has dedicated much effort to developing and testing spray devices that could be adapted for UAVs. And of the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs, he has not told the truth. One of these lies is graphically and indisputably demonstrated by intelligence we collected on June 27, last year.

    According to Iraq’s December 7 declaration, its UAVs have a range of only 80 kilometers. But we detected one of Iraq’s newest UAVs in a test flight that went 500 kilometers nonstop on autopilot in the race track pattern depicted here.

    Not only is this test well in excess of the 150 kilometers that the United Nations permits, the test was left out of Iraq’s December 7th declaration. The UAV was flown around and around and around in a circle. And so, that its 80 kilometer limit really was 500 kilometers unrefueled and on autopilot, violative of all of its obligations under 1441.

    The linkages over the past 10 years between Iraq’s UAV program and biological and chemical warfare agents are of deep concern to us.

    Iraq could use these small UAVs which have a wingspan of only a few meters to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or if transported, to other countries, including the United States.

    My friends, the information I have presented to you about these terrible weapons and about Iraq’s continued flaunting of its obligations under Security Council Resolution 1441 links to a subject I now want to spend a little bit of time on. And that has to do with terrorism.

    Part 9: Ties to al Qaeda

    Our concern is not just about these illicit weapons. It’s the way that these illicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terrorist organizations that have no compunction about using such devices against innocent people around the world.

    Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the intifada. And it’s no secret that Saddam’s own intelligence service was involved in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.

    But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants.

    Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialities and one of the specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp. And this camp is located in northeastern Iraq.

    You see a picture of this camp.

    The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch — image a pinch of salt — less than a pinch of ricin, eating just this amount in your food, would cause shock followed by circulatory failure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote, there is no cure. It is fatal.

    Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein’s controlled Iraq.

    But Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization, Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000 this agent offered al Qaeda safe haven in the region. After we swept al Qaeda from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe haven. They remain their today.

    Zarqawi’s activities are not confined to this small corner of northeast Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day.

    During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there. These al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they’ve now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.

    Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al Qaeda. These denials are simply not credible. Last year an al Qaeda associate bragged that the situation in Iraq was, quote, “good,” that Baghdad could be transited quickly.

    We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because they remain even today in regular contact with his direct subordinates, including the poison cell plotters, and they are involved in moving more than money and materiel.

    Last year, two suspected al Qaeda operatives were arrested crossing from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were linked to associates of the Baghdad cell, and one of them received training in Afghanistan on how to use cyanide. From his terrorist network in Iraq, Zarqawi can direct his network in the Middle East and beyond.

    We, in the United States, all of us at the State Department, and the Agency for International Development — we all lost a dear friend with the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan, last October — a despicable act was committed that day. The assassination of an individual whose sole mission was to assist the people of Jordan. The captured assassin says his cell received money and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder.

    After the attack, an associate of the assassin left Jordan to go to Iraq to obtain weapons and explosives for further operations. Iraqi officials protest that they are not aware of the whereabouts of Zarqawi or of any of his associates. Again, these protests are not credible. We know of Zarqawi’s activities in Baghdad. I described them earlier.

    And now let me add one other fact. We asked a friendly security service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing information about him and his close associates. This service contacted Iraqi officials twice, and we passed details that should have made it easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad. Zarqawi still remains at large to come and go.

    As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they represent in Europe know, Zarqawi’s terrorism is not confined to the Middle East. Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actions against countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia.

    According to detainees, Abu Atia, who graduated from Zakawi’s terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasked at least nine North African extremists in 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison and explosive attacks.

    Since last year, members of this network have been apprehended in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives connected to this global web have been arrested.

    The chart you are seeing shows the network in Europe. We know about this European network, and we know about its links to Zarqawi, because the detainee who provided the information about the targets also provided the names of members of the network.

    Three of those he identified by name were arrested in France last December. In the apartments of the terrorists, authorities found circuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to make toxins.

    The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot also targeted Britain. Later evidence, again, proved him right. When the British unearthed a cell there just last month, one British police officer was murdered during the disruption of the cell.

    We also know that Zarqawi’s colleagues have been active in the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to which they are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi’s network say their goal was to kill Russians with toxins.

    We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his subordinates. This understanding builds on decades long experience with respect to ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.

    Going back to the early and mid-1990s, when bin Laden was based in Sudan, an al Qaeda source tells us that Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al Qaeda would no longer support activities against Baghdad. Early al Qaeda ties were forged by secret, high-level intelligence service contacts with al Qaeda, secret Iraqi intelligence high-level contacts with al Qaeda.

    We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have met at least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In1996, a foreign security service tells us, that bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum, and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service.

    Saddam became more interested as he saw al Qaeda’s appalling attacks. A detained al Qaeda member tells us that Saddam was more willing to assist al Qaeda after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al Qaeda’s attacks on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

    Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in his new home in Afghanistan. A senior defector, one of Saddam’s former intelligence chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al Qaeda members on document forgery.

    From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan played the role of liaison to the al Qaeda organization.

    Some believe, some claim these contacts do not amount to much.

    They say Saddam Hussein’s secular tyranny and al Qaeda’s religious tyranny do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition and hatred are enough to bring Iraq and al Qaeda together, enough so al Qaeda could learn how to build more sophisticated bombs and learn how to forge documents, and enough so that al Qaeda could turn to Iraq for help in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.

    And the record of Saddam Hussein’s cooperation with other Islamist terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, opened an office in Baghdad in 1999, and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.

    Al Qaeda continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to al Qaeda.

    Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.

    This senior al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan.

    His information comes firsthand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al Qaeda. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef, did not believe that al Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.

    The support that (inaudible) describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al Qaeda associates beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abu Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.

    Part 10: Conclusion

    As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a surprise to any of us. Terrorism has been a tool used by Saddam for decades. Saddam was a supporter of terrorism long before these terrorist networks had a name. And this support continues. The nexus of poisons and terror is new. The nexus of Iraq and terror is old. The combination is lethal.

    With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting terrorism take the place alongside the other Iraqi denials of weapons of mass destruction. It is all a web of lies.

    When we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future.

    My friends, this has been a long and a detailed presentation.

    And I thank you for your patience. But there is one more subject that I would like to touch on briefly. And it should be a subject of deep and continuing concern to this council, Saddam Hussein’s violations of human rights.

    Underlying all that I have said, underlying all the facts and the patterns of behavior that I have identified as Saddam Hussein’s contempt for the will of this council, his contempt for the truth and most damning of all, his utter contempt for human life. Saddam Hussein’s use of mustard and nerve gas against the Kurds in 1988 was one of the 20th century’s most horrible atrocities; 5,000 men, women and children died.

    His campaign against the Kurds from 1987 to ’89 included mass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing, ethnic cleansing and the destruction of some 2,000 villages. He has also conducted ethnic cleansing against the Shiite Iraqis and the Marsh Arabs whose culture has flourished for more than a millennium. Saddam Hussein’s police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares to dissent. Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any other country, tens of thousands of people reported missing in the past decade.

    Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein’s dangerous intentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculated cruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbors. Clearly, Saddam Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him.

    For more than 20 years, by word and by deed Saddam Hussein has pursued his ambition to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle East using the only means he knows, intimidation, coercion and annihilation of all those who might stand in his way. For Saddam Hussein, possession of the world’s most deadly weapons is the ultimate trump card, the one he most hold to fulfill his ambition.

    We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction; he’s determined to make more. Given Saddam Hussein’s history of aggression, given what we know of his grandiose plans, given what we know of his terrorist associations and given his determination to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we take the risk that he will not some day use these weapons at a time and the place and in the manner of his choosing at a time when the world is in a much weaker position to respond?

    The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.

    My colleagues, over three months ago this council recognized that Iraq continued to pose a threat to international peace and security, and that Iraq had been and remained in material breach of its disarmament obligations. Today Iraq still poses a threat and Iraq still remains in material breach.

    Indeed, by its failure to seize on its one last opportunity to come clean and disarm, Iraq has put itself in deeper material breach and closer to the day when it will face serious consequences for its continued defiance of this council.

    My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have an obligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with. We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try to preserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance. Iraq is not so far taking that one last chance.

    We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us. We must not fail in our duty and our responsibility to the citizens of the countries that are represented by this body.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

    Jonah and the Obama Chinese food story

    (Editor’s note: Jonah posted this account yesterday on Alfrankenweb, which reached the Rec List on Daily Kos. Now I’m fielding emails and calls inquiring whether Jonah is real. Here are the Alfrankenweb posts, until Jonah can give us an update.)

    OK, so this is the story as I finally got straight.

    I was out scrounging scrap metal today, to get enough food money to last us through the weekend.

    I came home and Miss Johnnie, my landlady, was crying and showing me a table full of food.

    I thought one of our friends or my relatives had come over and bought for us.

    But it was bought, according to the lady who owns the restaurant, by Barack Obama over the phone.

    After the Obama Campaign Workers came to the door, and were listening to Miss Johnnie describe why she, a registered republican, was voting for Obama.

    She showed a picture of her daughter Michelle the Marine who had been deployed to Iraq twice, and is still pending discharge because of the Stop Loss.

    All her kids in fact.

    And her late husband, who had died of Agent Orange from his service in VietNam.

    About that time the campaign workers started making phone calls and she got to talk to Obama.

    She was in tears while telling me all this so I got the story wrong at first.

    She talked about the War, about the health care bill that got turned down because it was “too expensive” but the Rich Thieves got to take 16 times as much just because they had broken the economy with their wild schemes.

    About the VA messing around with the repayment of the medical expenses she had borne by herself over the 12 years since her husband died, over nitpicky paperwork errors on Their Part.

    About me being out against doctor’s orders scrounging scrap metal just to make it through til monday.

    One of the volunteers was a Marine and a Nam Vet, so much for the notion that Veterans are all voting for McCain, (despite his continued votes to screw the veterans the same way the VA is messing up Miss Johnnie’s paperwork and payments)

    Miss Johnnie, understandably, doesn’t talk without a great deal of emotion on those subjects.

    So after the Volunteers left, about 20 minutes later a very large order of Chinese food charged to Obama came to the door.

    The Delivery man is a recent immigrant and doesn’t speak English, so he called his boss, who confirmed it but said it was supposed to be a surprise.

    Enough food to last until Monday.

    I came in with this really pitiful half gallon of milk and about a meal worth of food and some cat food.. and she was crying and showing me all the food.

    And said that Obama had bought it for us.

    I didn’t get the story quite right the first time, so I thought he had been there in person.

    Not quite, but you know how in the Churches people say “I’ll be there in spirit”?

    He was there in a way that really counts.

    McCain has a fake falsified made-up “Joe the Plumber” who turns out to be a white-collar person named Sam and not even a plumber…

    Obama now has Miss Johnnie the Viet-Nam Widow and a Real Joe the Ex-Roofer with Busted Feet.

    That’s why Obama wins.

    He’s Real, his concern for the people is Real, and the people who supporting him, WE’RE real too.

    Hell, I don’t know where to research it myself.

    There’s been a flood of out-of-state volunteers past two days, because Ms Sarah was doing her Schtick at the baseball park to a tame crowd.

    Tame as in no Nasty Obama Supporters being let through to ask all kinds of icky-poo questions.

    I went in yesterday and mentioned at the welcome desk at Obama HQ about the FreakSquad chalking the death-threat or death-wish either one on the sidewalk essentially directly across the street from them.

    The restaurant is “Coal Mine Dragon” at 1720 W Uintah, the Springs. The lady who runs it is Second Generation Chinese. She told Miss Johnnie that it was Obama paying the tab, and that it was supposed to have been secret.

    If it was merely the Volunteers calling in the order, and the restaurant owner not getting it out clearly distinguished, that’s still great.

    as to was he the one who spoke to her, he identified himself as such.

    If he was a clever impostor doing a good imitation that’s more improbable.

    Not much reason anybody would, especially as Obama wouldn’t tolerate it.

    if he confirms it himself is the best proof I could think of.

    Who has that kind of pull to hotline direct to Obama during a rally?

    Congressman Mark Udall, that’s who.

    He told Miss Johnnie about being a Marine himself, I had thought “damn, that sounds a lot like Mark Udall…”

    And, sure enough…

    Run the pack of clowns out of office.

    There’s some tidying up to do, seems like a herd of Elephants has gone through the national living room, pooping on the floors, breaking stuff and drinking out of the toilet.

    If I’m not mistaken, some poor clerk at the VA in Denver is going to have a rude surprise Monday morning.

    Mark Udall is running on Workers Rights, and Veterans Affairs… very large issues here in Colorado.

    The “Terror Connection” they’ve been trying to tar Obama with, with Udall it’s “the Department of Peace” and Labor Unions.

    His opponent is making big talk from those same National Attack Ads just like with the “Daschle Democrats” Ads with the bobble heads…

    Well, Daschle was proven RIGHT about Iraq.

    Trying to paint Udall as a hippie-dippy doper (seriously, they’ve been using that angle) when he’s a Marine and a Nam Vet, I think they bit off a chunk of the wrong sandwich.

    I don’t know what all the names of the meals are, one involved a lot of chicken and broccoli, mushrooms… oh man..

    Another same recipe, stir fried, with steak in it.

    Cabbage rolls and rice with more chicken in it…

    I think I like this restaurant and plan to give them my patronage.

    The bill came to just under $40 bux.

    If you’re in Colorado, vote no on 47 and there’s two more Blatantly union busting amendments there.

    Oh, there’s an attack ad on right now….

    These freaks need to be slapped repeatedly, in fact I’ll start a thread about that…

    I had to reboot the puter, knocked my keyboard connection loose.

    We have one cat, Keenan, neutered male.

    She built him cat-runs at three of the windows, we can’t let him outside because our next-door neighbor is a Confirmed Cat-Kicker.

    Last summer she contracted Leishmaniasis, which is also called the Baghdad Boil, in Mesopotamia it’s spread by the bite of a flea…

    They gave her Antibiotics for it, and for the Mycelin Resistant Staph Aureole that goes with it.

    This has affected her inner ear, because the antibiotics were so strong.

    At the time we thought it was her lymphatic cancer coming out of remission.

    After her husband died, she was waiting on getting her Widow’s Pension, the VA wasn’t even acknowledging that her husband had died of Agent Orange.

    It took a few years for that. That’s when she had the lymphoma.

    She was out on the street while taking chemo.

    Last year she started to try for her CHAMPVA benefits, so she could get meaningful health care.

    The ones who come to the forum to blast “Socialized Medicine” don’t know the least part of what the hell they’re putting out, or putting down.

    We had the paperwork and forms from the VA to take to the Air Force to get her Widowed Spouse ID card, to get the CHAMPVA started.

    We rode the bus across town to Peterson AFB, they allowed her onto the base, but not me, made me get off the bus and wait outside.

    Which I prefer anyway, when I left the Air Force, I LEFT.

    The guards at the gate, they weren’t Air Force, didn’t have any insignia or rank or name tags, but I knew they weren’t SPs because the SPs are stone freaky about maintaining a spit-shined appearance.

    Turns out they’re mercenaries, I thought at first Blackwater but it seems it’s a different group of Mercs.

    All the same to me.

    At the Admin building another Mercenary, not Air Force personnel, clerk told her that the VA was full of shit, everything changed with nine eleven, don’t you know there’s a war on yadda yadda and threatened to have her arrested.

    This year we finally got her ID card, got her CHAMPVA started.

    Any Vets reading this, be-the-hell-ware because this is what they’re fixin’ to do to YOU next if McInasane gets in power.

    So she’s owed 11 years worth of reimbursement for all the medical care she had to pay for out of pocket, even with the next to worthless Colorado Indigent Care Program insurance (Look up “worthless” in the dictionary and right next to it will be a picture of CICP) one of those “Massive Entitlement Programs For Bums” that McCain bitches about.

    She got some reimbursement but is owed about 5 times as much more.

    They keep bouncing her claims back, saying the forms are “incomplete”.

    Utter bullshit, because I went over their claim as to what information was missing, and it was all right there in the papers.

    That’s why I believe somebody from Mark Udall’s office is going to give them a Nasty Note Monday.

    That’s the status so far.

    The Health Care meltdown in Colorado is almost as bad as it was in Texas when I left.

    Privatized everything. Well, I can testify, it didn’t work in Texas, and it surely ain’t working in Colorado either.

    I get SSI and Medicaid. Miss Johnnie gets a Widows pension and CHAMPVA.

    I supplement it by repairing computers and selling them, and the Scrap Metal.

    I’ve been making more money off the scrap metal than the computers though.

    The internet is part of our Cable package.

    And, it’s necessary for the repairs I do to the computers, otherwise we would have ditched that part and just used dial-up.

    The past month I haven’t been able to scrap, doctor’s orders.

    That drop in income brought us near the edge.

    We have for vehicles three bicycles, two of them mine, and she can’t ride hers anymore because of some of her injuries.

    And ride the bus for further transportation.

    I don’t drive anyway, never learned because it would be too dangerous.

    Trust me on that.

    But I’ve been getting on fairly well using the bicycles.

    Until last month.

    On top of that, scrap prices are down, way down… and there’s more competition for what scrap there is.

    This is what’s happening across America.

    I find out on November 5th what exact kind of surgery is going to be needed, for the foot I thought was uninjured 16 years ago.

    I do know part of it is going to involve removal of a bone, the Cuboid.

    I won’t have a leg to stand on.

    It would be really really cool, you know, if this situation were anywhere near being unique.

    Fact is, it ain’t.

    That’s why there’s this:

    I’m not dancing with joy that McCain is going to lose…

    I’m rejoicing that America now has a chance to WIN.

    Thanks, but we’re getting there. You might need it yourself soon anyway.

    Stocks are tanking like mad.

    Gas prices are down to 3 a gallon but that’s mostly because so much business, small and large, has crashed that there’s a huge drop in actual consumption.

    First law of economics, supply and demand.

    There’s going to be money coming in, just a question of when.

    We both know how to make money, just we aren’t going to try doing anything on credit, build from a cash-only base.

    Johnnie used to be a business owner, she and her husband did custom printing. Before his illness got to him they had over a million in the bank.

    That’s how quick a catastrophic illness can do you down.

    “difficult” and “impossible” are two separate equations, if something is difficult that just means it’s possible.

    It’s a challenge more than anything. I hope.

    I’ve got good skills I can adapt, like these computer skills.

    This one I’m using now I built up from parts I salvaged, part of the scrap metal deal.

    Here in town there WAS a steady supply of one-off computers, like, HP would come out with the newest mainboard and all the HP employees would get a discount on the new one, and either sell the older ones cheap or donate them to the ARC or Goodwill. Here’s a really good business tip, something you might want to invest yourself into, a new mainboard combination comes out roughly every 6 months and the older one, the one that’s King of the Jungle today, is going to be only worth half of what it is today.
    Same with all the parts.

    And for all practical purposes, the best there is today, in 6 months will still be able to run any software package there is. Not much point in buying a brand new computer, unless you’re developing software specifically for the newest chipset. so I’m developing a base of people who will want to buy good computers, that’ll do whatever they want, just at an amazingly lower price than they would pay to HP or Dell.
    it’s more a matter of timing your purchases than anything else.

    Now HP is closing down most of their local operations here, moving some to Albuquerque and some to iirc Little Rock.

    But I’ll adapt. Part of it is that I don’t have a huge monetary investment in anything, mostly my investment has been in skills.

    At least we have a plan, and are getting, slowly to be sure, but it is building up, the means to implement the plan.

    Dire straits are familiar territory for me. At least I know my way around.

    There’s good coming onto the horizon.

    Iraq speaks up: Get Out, Occupiers!

    baghdadHow many times have I heard the words from Democratic Party type liberal smurfs, saying that demonstrations supposedly accomplish nothing? Yet how to explain that the Iraqis seem to think otherwise and just held a huge demonstration in Baghdad under conditions that Americans cannot even begin to imagine having for themselves? Iraqis stage mass anti-US rally.

    Unlike do-nothing Americans, Iraqis seem to see value in holding mass demonstrations to show the world how they feel about US troops continuing to promote slaughter in their country. And they are right to do so. These demonstrations, in their case, are part of supporting armed struggle to resist the imperialist invaders. Holding mass demonstrations in our country, too, would work toward the goal of regaining national sovereignty away from others.

    Capitalism has failed. It is time to try something else

    The devil is in the details
     
     
     
    America is Lost. The Senate of the Damned (2/3 of which is not up for reelection, so they can ignore the will of the voters) passed an $800B givaway for the filthy-rich on Wall St, nothing for Americans losing their homes. They actually added $100B in bribes to the already rejected extortion package.

    Will Congress succeed in throwing a magic TARP over our eyes, and let Wall St. abscond with another $Trillion of taxpayer money? If ever there was a time for a second American Revolution, this is it.

    Never mention the greed. Nutcase Conservatives again try to scapegoat minorities for Wall St. meltdown. Just like Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s economic collapse.

    In taped interview, McCain proves what an asshole and liar he really is. I hear his handlers are worried about him going postal before the election.

    Another huge success for McCain’s surge. Dozens killed in Baghdad bombings this morning.

    Muslim clerics issue fatwa against new Pakistani president, for flirting with the slutty tramp Sarah Palin.

    I’m going to the store to buy some popcorn, tonight is when Sarah Palin makes a complete fool of herself debating Biden, and tomorrow the Republicans will have to hide their faces in shame at the thought of having to vote for her. But hey, a contract is a contract, even with the Devil himself.

    Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Oct 2nd notes, thomasmc.com.

    Martial Law undeclared in New Orleans

    WE INTERRUPT WITH BREAKING NEWS- New Orleans is under MARTIAL LAW. It’s a scoop! The Breaking News keeps announcing the anticipation of Hurricane Gustav, without explaining the images which speak the obvious. The National Guard have arrived, and they’re not carrying sandbags. The soldiers are sitting in parked Hummers, with assault rifles across their knees.

    As if what undid New Orleans and Baghdad was the looting pursuant to Katrina and Shock and Awe. Hurricanes and floodwaters can demolish homes in the wrong neighborhoods. The homes on higher grounds have to fear the looters.

    So a curfew has been announced, starting at 9PM tonight, with no set end time. Is that a curfew or Marital Law? If the power goes out, how are you supposed to learn when “curfew” has been lifted? If you’re found outside your property lines, you face arrest for ignoring the mandatory evacuation. You’ll be presumed to have intentions on your neighbor’s property.

    The Mayor of New Orleans is warning that potential looters will be sent directly to Angola [Prison.] There will be no quarter, he appears to be saying, no temporary holding facility between court and sentence. You’ll go directly into the General [Prison] Population. Adding, “May God have mercy on you,” as if pronouncing the last rites on a condemned man.

    Can he do that? Can they throw away the key on citizens innocent until proven guilty? Mayor Ray Nagin is speaking down to his constituents as if they are adolescents he can scare straight. But I’m sure the same TV audience which cheers when their Law and Order heroes smack down suspects who don’t confess, are loving these tough words of warning. Here’s a black man speaking as if he knows that his constituents 1. have no self respect, and 2. can’t wait to loot.

    I see the same public desensitivity to excessive police presence, as became apparent at the DNC. We may stand aghast, but few question if it’s appropriate. Tons of cops, heavily armed, even pointing their guns at you. Unless you find yourself brutalized, it’s just added security. And so long as you don’t have a problem with whose rule of law is being enforced, who can argue with absolute power?

    Perhaps security developments in New Orleans are not called Martial Law, because they’re closer to everyday law as we’re coming to see it.

    Here are Mayor Nagin’s condescending words:

    You need to be scared.
    You need to be concerned.
    And you need to get your butts movin’
    Out of New Orleans. Right now.

    That’s the scare tactic used to justify police crackdown. It makes me laugh.

    And then finally,
    I just talked to the Sherif and to the Police Chief,
    I just want to send a strong message out to anybody
    who’s thinking about lingering around
    and becoming a looter.

    Looting will not be tolerated.
    We have doubled the police force,
    Doubled the National Guard force
    that we had for Katrina,
    And looters will go directly to jail.

    You will not get out -uh uh-
    You will not get a pass this time.
    As a matter of fact,
    anybody who’s caught looting
    in the City of New Orleans
    Will go directly to Angola.
    Directly to Angola.
    You will not have
    a temporary stay in the city.
    You go directly to the Big House
    In General Population.
    Aight?
    So I want to make sure that every looter,
    Potential looter, understands that.
    You will go directly to Angola Prison.
    And God Bless You, when you go there.

    Opening ceremonies of Beijing Olympics star humanity in his own flea circus

    Metropolis science fiction horror
    Can you remember an Olympic Games opening ceremony that was not spectacular? Suffice it to say Beijing was the biggest, befitting the world’s most populous nation. “Awesome” provides perfectly qualified praise. I have to say this spectacle invoked colossal horror as it drew a full-color digital smiley face over Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

    Automatons
    I thought the drumming performance was the most impressive. Two thousand (and eight) drummers beating their hands on antique-style drums set in mobile tables. The bare skinned drummers beat hard, seemingly to illuminate the square table surfaces, like fireflies assigned coordinates in an array, or a spider’s web.

    We’ve admired marching ceremonies before, and synchronized flags. We marvel at the precision ensembles of Rockettes, Busby Berkley choreography, and, for want of an example further afield, the Chinese circus. What made the Bird Nest Stadium extreme so horrific was the miniaturization of man’s role. If it had been a Seurat painting, one man, one dot, we might have been comforted to see ourselves woven into a tapestry which created an artistic expression. Instead, long shots showed the full effect to be an LED board, each pixel either on or off, flickering based on whether that person was activated or not. Man as electron, charged or uncharged.

    I wondered what was the stadium perspective. Did the audience of 91,000 see the large electronic panel or the matrix of individuals sweating to power it? An aerial view gave the TV audience the full effect, while other cameras zoomed in as if to provide a microscopic perspective of the human termites working frenetically in the machine.

    Putting people in the role of insect automatons would seem to me a phobia of a humanitarian society. But the mechanized human component of the 2008 opening ceremonies was not disharmonious with the way we already see China. Everywhere performers were tethered, playing tiny roles in gargantuan schemes. Some provided the piston power to undulating cubes. They revealed themselves only at the end, and emerged only partially, free but to give a smile and wave. These giant light-board shows were switched by computers, their human components alerted by electric signal, be it light, or tone, or sensor, to synchronize their positions. A TV commentator who remarked about the amazing lack of wires, would be overlooking how his personal computing devices communicate these days.

    Human labor
    The human element was required for the spectacle, otherwise we’ve seen more complex LEDs on old ballpark scoreboards. Technically the chain-link of humans was superfluous, but doesn’t it represent China, where labor costs are negligible?

    And so we cheered the 2008 drummers, who worked drums mounted into tables that could pass for work desks. Indeed the drummers were bent over them like bent people, galley slaves exerting themselves to the rhythm of the whip. It was a sea of modern slaves, the sweatshop laborers. Actually, two thousand and eight impressed the crowd, but that number is probably small for a factory workforce. Probably there are scenes like this many times as big in daily Chinese work life.

    Food processing

    Later the performance took on a Disneyesque quality as dancers opened umbrellas illuminated with large smiling faces of children. Is that a touch-stone theme for pseudo international-harmony? The promise of children? I wondered after seeing the drummers harnessed to their sewing tables, coordinated by an electronic whip-master, if the faces of children represented the child workforce. In traditional cultures childhood idleness ends when a child can carry water or sweep the floor. The idealized child is a Western facade and here China appears eager to celebrate the ruse. Mankind’s aspiration should emulate the innocuous, non-threatening smile of a child.

    Gladiators
    Never before have I gotten a clearer sense of the Olympics as gladiator games. The audience are the privileged few, who do not bring politics to the games except the rivalry of nationalism, a preference for their athletes, rooting for a win to enhance their prestige. Ninety dignitaries were in attendance in Beijing. And what a celebration of harmony. Regardless the turmoil between nations outside, between world leaders, harmony. Because they’re going nowhere. Only rebels and coups threaten the ruling class. Did you know an IOC rule forbids the display of flags of entities not competing in the games?

    Politics don’t enter the minds of the athlete class because they’ve got a singular focus, their performance. Some strive for financial rewards, others are focused on the physical achievement. All are vying to please the emperor, to live to compete again.

    Even as the techno pageantry dazzled, by the end I was still shocked to see a human being reduced to flintlock to carry the flame to the gigantic torch, a blazing industrial altar.

    The colossal fireworks show looked to be outside the view of the stadium audience, but I saw no throngs outdoors to witness it. The pyrotechnics reminded me of Shock and Awe the first night in Baghdad, cameras well recessed to take it all in. It turns out a chunk of the fireworks was CGI for the TV spectacular.

    In hindsight for me the highlight of the evening was seeing President Bush sitting next to Vladimir Putin, each saluting their athletes in turn, neither turning toward each other, at least on camera, while in Georgia US backed forces battled Russian soldiers in all out war. An example of a tangible measure to which politics are kept out of the Olympic Games.

    Photos:
    Drummer pool

    Umbrella children

    Update: Tony Snow still dead…

    Now on the epitome of hubris, the Republicans are setting up a Trust Fund, and asking Americans to contribute.

    Steely Dan, Jethro Tull and the Doobie Brothers are planning a benefit concert.

    all contributions tax deductible of course. Meaning, we the people are going to be paying for it.

    And, Tony Snow didn’t die in poverty. Had plenty of insurance. Got paid well for selling American Soldiers and Iraqis to their deaths based on what anybody who had any sort of sources of information, and the pure courage to use those sources, would know to be a LIE.

    A whole series of lies.

    Acting as GWs mouthpiece he deliberately joined him in Murder and Theft. That makes him an accomplice under any legal system on earth.

    A lot of the people in the Springs don’t give a damn about any Iraqi people being killed, but they pretend to care about American casualties.

    So I’ll focus on that. Tony Snow, like everybody associated with Bush, was heavily invested in the Oil and “defense” industries.

    He, like the Bush family still do, made money every time an American soldier became a casualty.

    I can easily picture him doing a little jig and saying “Cha-ching! yeah, baby, c’mon and die, daddy needs a new pair of dancin’ shoes! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!”

    I strongly suspect the same thing about ALL supporters of this war. They no likey, me no givey damn they no likey.

    Ali Burton, the Thief of Baghdad, makes enough money in One DAY to put the Poor, Impoverished Rich Widow on easy street for the rest of her unnatural life.

    This is the widow of one of Bush’s accomplices, who made excuses for Mr Bush when Mr Bush refused to increase and tried to decrease VA benefits and other Veterans, their dependents or Widows and Orphans programs.

    The widows and orphans of the soldiers Mr Bush and Mr Snow had Murdered for their fun and profit (mostly profit) are given the collective cold shoulder here, but one of the Murderers is being honored for his crimes,

    and we, the people, are without our consent directly subsidizing the payments of a trust fund for the Murderer’s wife and children… because it’s a tax deduction…

    American government’s love affair with bunkers and walls

    Birds eye view of our Navy
    Check this out! An actual building in San Diego accidentally built by the Pentagon that looks like the Nazi swastika! The Navy is now spending over $600,000 to change the appearance of their building!

    Everywhere one looks, American government is building bunkers and walls! All though out Baghdad, the Pentagon is building bunkers and walls. In the West Bank, Israel and the Pentagon together are building bunkers and walls. On our southern border with Mexico, YES you guessed it, America is building bunkers and walls.

    Do we think for one split second that the rest of the world hasn’t noticed that America is about bunkers and walls these days? All the sugary sweet talk in the world is not going to hide that fact away from the world. When one drives by an American embassy anywhere in the world one sees bunkers and walls. When one drives down the road in much of America, one sees bunkers and walls (prisons). Oh Sweet Land of Liberty…. Hardly!

    Yes, America is now an imprisoning nation, land of bunkers and walls. Do you live in a gated community? Probably not, since you would not be likely to be reading this commentary if you were into that sick mindset. But many, if not in fact the majority of us, live behind bunkers and walls.

    Bunkers and walls need regulations, lots of them. They need tickets, passports, and papers to go with this order. They need guns, barbed wire, and tasers. They need dope, lots of it, because bunkers and walls are shall we say it? … they are depressing. Bunkers and walls need uniforms, officials, and lawyers, though not to enforce the law but to break it.

    Once it was parking lots, shopping malls, and interstate freeways. Today, it is more bunkers and walls. United We Stand. Divided We Fall. We are falling with bunkers and walls. Bunkers and walls is what brought elites, other than our own, down before, simply because most people hate bunkers and walls.

    American government has a love affair with bunkers and walls.

    Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan together in Mexico City!

    Below, we reprint 2 speeches made in Mexico City Friday, just yesterday, April 4, 2008. The speech Greed … by Cindy Sheehan, and another speech by Cynthia McKinney that is without title.

    Cynthia McKinney
    Segundo Encuentro Continental de los Trabajadores
    Mexico City, Mexico, April 4, 2008

    Brothers and Sisters in the Movement

    I am happy to be here in Mexico City where the people all over Latin
    America are on the move:

    On the move for justice, self-determination, and peace.

    I love that you have created a Power to the People movement with your
    votes that is stronger than the mightiest military force on the
    planet!

    With the power of your vote you have taken your countries back.

    Now, all we have to do is to count all the votes in the United States
    and Mexico!

    In the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, an estimated six million
    people went to the polls and voted, but their votes weren’t counted.

    In 2000, and again in 2004, Democrats helped to install Republicans
    into power rather than fight for the victory that the voters had
    given them.

    As a result of this kind of collusion, the Democratic majority in our
    Congress has failed to impeach Bush. They have failed to institute a
    livable wage, stop the multiple wars the U.S. is fighting right now,
    and they have failed to protect human rights anywhere in the world,
    including even at home.

    That’s why I left the Democratic Party.

    I refused to become complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity,
    crimes against the peace, spying on the American people, and ripping
    our Bill of Rights to shreds.

    And so I declared my independence from the U.S. leadership that gave
    us tax cuts for the wealthy and a country 53 trillion dollars in debt
    and Hurricane Katrina.

    To my brothers and sisters at this Conference and in the United
    States, I say:

    Hands off Haiti!

    Hands off Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Argentina now making a claim for
    the Falklands!

    Hands off Venezuela and Ecuador!

    No to Plan Mexico; No to Plan Colombia! Hands off Pemex!

    And finally, it was on this date, 40 years ago, that Dr. Martin
    Luther King, Jr. was murdered.

    We now know that Dr. King was murdered as part of a conspiracy that
    included his own government. Hatched in the bowels of the Pentagon,
    where so many other regime change operations have been hatched, the
    government of the United States launched regime change at home on
    Black America. We blacks in the United States have long known the
    pain and the consequences of having authentic leadership snatched
    from us; of having someone else pick our leaders before we pick them
    ourselves.

    I am proud to join this international movement for
    self-determination; for justice and for peace. Despite today’s
    difficulties, we must never let our dream be deferred. We in the U.S.
    gain inspiration from your successes here so we can carry the
    struggle to every nook and cranny of the United States.

    Que vivan los pueblos de america!

    Cindy Sheehan -Key Note Speech “GREED”
    Segundo Encuentro Continental de los Trabajadores
    Mexico City, Mexico, April 4, 2008

    First of all I would like to thank the International Labor Council and the Electrician’s Union for such a warm welcome and I would like to assure you all, my brothers and sisters that I represent millions of North Americans who are in solidarity with you, because we are also plagued with an illegitimate President!

    Once, a couple of years ago, I was getting a pedicure in the deep south in the USA, of all places, and my pedicurist was a Latina from Mexico. She lived two hours from where she and her husband owned the shop and she left her young son home with her mother-in-law for six days a week, while she and her husband toiled at the shop. She was very sweet and sympathetic to my situation as a mother whose son was killed in Iraq, but she looked up from my feet at one point and asked me: “Why do you Americans have to have everything. If you all weren’t so greedy, I could still live in my country with my family.” Greedy? Hmm? Her earnest and passionate comment gave me much to think about.

    Dictionary.com defines greed as the rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions

    Greed is also one of the seven deadly sins and I know more than most Americans that the same twisted drive for, not just a fair share of prosperity, but ALL the prosperity is what caused my son’s death and, similarly, my nail persons’ need to have to leave the beloved country of her birth.

    Greed is not what drives Latin Americans to try and cross the border to go north, existential necessity is; but corporate-capitalist greed is what makes the dangerous journey necessary. Building walls on the border is not the way to solve the immigration “problem” just as invading two countries and killing innocent civilians was not the way to solve the terrorism problem. Healing the systems of oppression that cause immigration is the way to solve the “problem.” People in Latin America want the right to not have to emigrate. Like my pedicurist, they want to be able to make a good living in their own countries.

    In a study done by the Economic Policy Institute in 2004, it was found that 5% of the US population owns 58% of the wealth and only 1.2% of the wealth is owned by 40% of our citizenry. I am sure if a similar study were done, this disparity would be much wider in these days of irresponsible corporate bailouts while Americans are losing their homes at the rate of 250,000 a month and the war economy has made the fat cats astronomical profits while robbing our communities of essential services and needed infrastructure improvements. The Milton Friedman model of disaster capitalism, which Naomi Klein exposes so well in her book, Shock Doctrine, is responsible for economic disaster from New Orleans to Baghdad and the basic underlying root sickness of this is greed.

    Statistics can be easily manipulated as we know the statistics reporting the “success” of free trade agreements such as NAFTA are. Facts, numbers and experiential data cannot be so easily manipulated, though. In the years since the Clinton administration (with the support of my Congressional opponent, Nancy Pelosi) foisted NAFTA on our continent, both Mexico and the US have lost farmland and good paying jobs. Many of our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas to Indonesia or China and the Wal Martization of our cultures creeps up on us unchecked and corporations such as Wal Mart have been the main beneficiaries of NAFTA to the detriment of working class people in both countries.

    What can we do to improve the situation and reclaim our prosperity from the control of the 21st Century Robber Barons and slave-traders?

    First of all, “free” trade treaties should be replaced with fair trade agreements. Small business owners and workers should be protected from being crushed under the heels of multi-national corporations. Any agreement should have protection for workers. A worker who makes shoes, computers, cars, or grows crops should make the same livable wage in Mexico or China, as they would in America. There would be no incentive for off-shoring jobs or relocating manufacturing plants if workers in China made the same wages as workers in America.

    All workers should be guaranteed the basic human right of being able to belong to a union. Unions elevate the conditions of workers and families and should remain a strong political force for good and not allow them selves to be beaten into submission or weakness by governmental or corporate pressure. (But aren’t the corporations and governments so intimately linked these days in their fascistic oppression of us average citizens?)

    The fragile ecology of our planet must be protected in these agreements and the same standard of sustainability and environmental protections should be uniformly recognized and practiced globally.

    Small farmers should be protected from the encroachment of “agri-giants” and their lands protected from the eminent domain of greed.

    I know there are many more solutions and a comprehensive platform of “No human left behind” would guarantee the rights of all humans to safe and plentiful food and drinking water; shelter; good and free education; sustainable employment; security and safety from US corporate-militarism; and the basic rights that were guaranteed of: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    For far too long, the United States of America has greedily gobbled up too much of global wealth and resources and our chickens of greed and violence are coming home to roost. As alarming as these trends are, we North Americans are only slightly beginning to feel the ravages of what we have been manufacturing and exporting for years: death and destruction. A new paradigm of global sharing and caring must be implemented and today is the beginning.

    Today, as we commemorate and mourn the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr who was assassinated 40 years ago in Memphis, Tn; and as I mourn the murder by the war machine of my son Casey, who was killed in Sadr City, Baghdad 4 years ago today—we must renew our commitment to peace and justice to honor their sacrifices and the sacrifices of others who have also gone before us. We just celebrated the birthday of Cesar Chavez who dedicated his life to the most marginalized and exploited of workers and I am constantly inspired by the devotion of people like Dr. King, Casey and Cesar Chavez andI hope that we all take inspiration to rededicate our lives to peace and justice.

    We must build upon the coalition that we have gathered here in this beautiful and historic place to include every group that we are a part of. We can no longer say that we have to focus on “one” issue, because all the issues are the same. My country is waging deadly and lost-cause occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and so many groups in my country say that we have to focus on bringing our troops home and not become “distracted” by other issues. Profound economic inequality and unchecked greed is the root cause of these occupations as it is the root cause of the occupation of Palestine by Israel and all the violence in the world’s hot-spots today.

    In our coalition, we must educate our brothers and sisters that equalizing prosperity and neutralizing greed are the solutions to these acute problems.

    I also stand here in solidarity with my brothers and sisters who are working in the Legitimate Government of Mexico to prevent the illegitimate government from privatizing PEMEX. The oil of Mexico belongs to the people of Mexico, and if I can’t be here with you all to block the crimes with my body then I will definitely be with you in spirit.

    Thank you for allowing me to speak. It has been an honor to be here.

    Moving Pictures, or pathetic Gazette pseudo-journalism?

    Today’s Sunday Gazette highlights its Iraq coverage with a huge headline titled, ‘Moving Pictures’. Below the headline in smaller print is the additional sub-headline, ‘Everyday Iraq Through a Humvee Window’. Our local paper has no shame at all, it seems, as it even brags about being ‘in bed with’ the American government occupation army of Iraq as it rides through the Baghdad suburban streets in super armored vehicles pointing high powered weaponry at the local kids !

    What we get is not real reporting but Pravda style propaganda. Comical crap. We can expect no less from this Far Right Wing propaganda rag called The Gazette. Their paper is pure trash. The local community deserves much better.

    Where are Salam Pax and Raed Jarrar?

    Collected posts of Salam al-JanabiThe BBC has an update on Iraqi bloggers. Riverbend is back, she’s now a refugee in Syria. Nabil is in Jordan. “Zappy” is in the UK. 24stepstoliberty now writes from California.
     
    Livesstrong and Najma are in Mosul. Last-of-Iraqis writes from Baghdad and shares the dashed-syntax with neurotic-iraqi-wife from the Green Zone.
     
    September last year, Raed Jarrar, namesake of Where is Raed? was not permitted to board a JetBlue plane at JFK because he wore a t-shirt which read “We will not be silenced.” Salam al-Janabi, aka Salam Pax the Baghdad Blogger last posted to Fat Whiner on July 2006, and made a CNN video in April.

    Dallas whores to visit US troops in Iraq

    Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders do Apocalypse Now
    As the morale begins to plummet, there is always one thing that will cheer up The Troops. Just send in the whores!

    For over 3 decades as the USO article below states, Dallas’s finest plastic whores have been doing their patriotic duty as military circus clowns. This year will be no different.

    How it must cheer up The Troops to have this bit of plastic Barbie Doll whoredom dance their way into the soldier’s none-too-pleasant desert reality, churning these young soldiers stomachs. Whores do love whores!

    Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders to Entertain

    Tom Landry can’t be there with The Girls, but how about having Franklin Graham on board in Baghdad, at least? Alas, this year’s musical will not be last year’s big hit, Spring Time for Hitler in Germany, but will be a delightful new score, Autumn Time for Bush in Iraq! Lots of song and dance to be had! But where’s the booze?