Tag Archives: Kuwait

Who killed Neda Agha-Soltan?

neda soltaniThe video footage is shocking. An attractive young woman watching the demonstrations in Tehran is struck by a sniper’s bullet and dies before several video cameras. The tragedy is projected unto Facebook and Youtube, with advocates hoping it will galvanize (American) public support for the brave reform movement in Iran. News accounts blame “Basij snipers” on the rooftops. Other protesters have been killed in confrontations with Iranian riot police, without the benefit of video witnesses, much like two million Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis et al. Poor 27-year-old bystander Neda Soltani stood at the quite improbable convergence of bullet and camera –correction– cameras. I don’t have to suggest the scene was staged; whether or not the triggerman was an American is immaterial.

Think about just the improbability of your seeing this video. When was the last time the mainstream press has circulated a snuff film? The average person is embarrassed to watch a person die. It’s exploitive. Even when America was fixated on beheaded hostages, our television gatekeepers refused to broadcast the footage. Many horrific war killing moments have found their way unto Youtube, which antiwar activists could only hope would find wider distribution, if only to bring home the inhumanity of our soldiers’ deeds. It never happens.

The western press is running with this story because it demonizes the apparently naked inhumanity of Islam. Muslims stone women, hang gays, look: the bastards shoot their own people arbitrarily. Curiously our media doesn’t make hay with the hapless victims of US snipers.

neda salehi agha soltanThe Neda Soltani snuff footage hit internet shores prepackaged with a smiling mug, and a name that translated means “the voice.” Could a casting director have picked a better title character to represent Iran’s repressed? The western press is even poised to outdo the Muslims in indignant piety, already lauding Neda as a martyr, whom we are informed should launch a thousand Shiite funeral processions. Western pundits compare Neda to the first Shiite martyr, the grandson of Mohammed himself.

Of course, also showing excessive Islamic sensitivity, western reporters readily dismiss the vanishing of Neda’s body, to the Muslim tradition of hasty burials. For the record, in case you missed it, Neda dies onscreen from an apparent gunshot. We do not see the bullet strike, nor now can anyone habeas corpus.

If the scenario was acted entirely, given the success with which the girl’s face is being made into an icon, young Neda’s life is probably as utterly expendable now as already depicted. You think you’re mourning Neda now, imagine her fate if this is a hoax.

OR the gunman could just as well have been a US black-op hit-man who had his eye on the videographers approaching innocent Neda. The US military has long admitted that special forces are already operating in Iran. If the Iranian forces are shooting civilian protesters, what’s the harm of helping them out where there’s a camera ready?

When we’re not meant to see it, the soldiers shoot the cameramen too.

It could be the work of Moussavi henchmen, who are our henchmen.

The Green Revolution, or TwitterTM Revolution, rebranded a “Social Media Revolution,” is a fabrication of the US pro-democracy agents working to destabilize Iran. They are hard at work in Cuba, in Venezuela, in Bolivia, and everywhere regimes threaten US globalization by enslavement. Remember the Orange Revolution? Any movement that is color-coded is the work of organizers reading US how-to manuals or attending OTPOR training seminars.

Where are the international voices decrying election fraud in Iran? No one other than the US and its stooges is asserting that populist leader Ahmadinejad did not win by a landslide. Only Iran’s urban middle class has taken to the streets of Tehran. And to protest what? Their minority standing in Iran?

The reformists in Iran are protesting democracy, not the failure of democracy. They are protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hard line against irreligious western economic and colonial policies which traditionally benefit the secular urban elite. “Pro-Democracy” is neoliberal for pro-capitalist plunder.

See: Shah’s Son Backs Iranian Protesters.

Like the “dissidents” of Cuba, the Green greenback-seekers are marching on the CIA’s dime, and being meted the fate of foreign provocateurs. I have no doubt the majority are idealists and are well-intended, but like the Kurds who rose against Saddam Hussein, the US has set them up for slaughter, the sooner to motivate western support for military aggression against their evil regime.

Our media pundits point out that the protest banners are written in English, a sign that the Iranians are desperate to appeal to American viewers. They dismiss Iranian accusations of the demonstrations being US-backed as pure paranoia, and ignore the most simple explanation behind the English slogans, and the websites and networks amplifying the message to English speakers: these materials are being crafted by USAID advisers. This is a propaganda campaign aimed at Western ears, to call for regime change in Iran.

Neda’s Theme is tried and true: Jessica Lynch, Roxana Saberi, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, Neda Salehi Agha Soltan. Onward Christian Soldiers.

Neda Agha Soltan iranian martyr victim of US sniperThe American public won’t believe another fiction about Kuwaiti babies dumped from incubators, or of Belgian children impaled on the bayonets of the evil Hun. So Madison Avenue has upped the amperage. Today’s television armchair adjudicators have to see innocent young women snuffed on film before our eyes. Provided to us by a press too otherwise prurient to show us the mass of death we deal everyday.

The Iranians in the streets, and poor pretty Neda, are being sacrificed by heartless US strategists. I doubt even an errant Iranian bullet can match the American military for cruelty.

Egyptian dictatorship uses swine flu as excuse to attack rights of Christian minority

Egyptian presidentThe decision by Egypt’s dictatorship to impoverish further the Coptic minority by using the swine flu as an excuse to slaughter off hundreds of thousands of their pigs is characteristic of how US allies and client regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, and other dictatorship run Islamic countries act. Clashes erupt over Egypt pig cull

This government only stays in power through massive US aid and is dependent on their servility to the US Empire. Mubarak’s use of torture, betrayal of Palestinians in Gaza, and his attacks on internal human rights of Egypt’s Coptic minority are all part of the US government program for the region. This is a brutal dictatorship in action once again. No freedom here.

Kuwaiti Freedom…

You remember, GulfWarz One…
“Freeing” Kuwait.

Only thing is, Kuwait has NEVER been free.

They’re a Monarchy, a Hereditary Dictatorship.

The Emirs of Kuwait have always and forever been notorious Despots.

Kind of like the Bush family but with no way to vote them out of power.

Ruling their Petty Fiefdom with an Iron Fist and all the smug arrogance they can muster.

Why is it that the U.S. government has a lot of “friends” like that?

Is it a Birds of a Feather type device?

$180 billion US government giveaway to one insurance group and counting

AIG bailoutBarack Obama is going to put the US government into its grave! AIG has $61.7 billion loss, new U.S. aid may not be last …AIG is an insurance grouping and lost about $465,000 a minute in Oct, Nov, Dec of 2008, and was a record for a U.S. company, according to Thomson Reuters data. For all of 2008, AIG lost $99.29 billion, wiping out profits dating to the early 1990s. That amount is close to the gross domestic product of Kuwait. Total giveaway ‘relief’ to AIG by Bush and Gerald Barack Ford s now at $180,000,000,000 and still counting! Can you smell “the recovery?”

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime!

Occupation is a crime
A.N.S.W.E.R. has 7 Reasons to March on DC. We can borrow them!
– The war in Afghanistan is expanding and widening.
– 350,000 U.S. troops and US-paid contractors still occupy Iraq.
– Israel’s Siege of Gaza remains in place, with backing of Washington.
– Obama’s Justice Department is continuing the policy of renditions.
– Air strikes on Pakistan are killing an increasingly number of civilians.
– The real Pentagon war budget is over $1.3 trillion annually.
– More than 20 million people are now unemployed and under-employed.

7 Reasons You Should March on the Pentagon on March 21, 2009

1
The war in Afghanistan is expanding and widening. President Obama announced last week that another 17,000 troops are on their way to Afghanistan. Only 18 percent of Afghanis support this escalation and only 34 percent of the people of the United States approve of the added troops despite the president’s popularity, according to the Washington Post/ABC poll announced on February 17, 2009. This is a colonial war. The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was not involved in the decision to add more occupying troops into his country. Rather, he was “informed of the deployments in a telephone call with Obama” on February 17, according to the Washington Post (February 18, 2009).

2
About 350,000 U.S. troops and U.S.-paid private contractors (mercenaries) still occupy Iraq. The Iraqi people want the occupation to end. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is insisting that only two of the 14 combat brigades in Iraq exit in 2009. The war and occupation of Iraq costs $430 million each day. If the U.S. government were to end the military occupation, any and all future Iraqi governments would return to a position of political independence from the economic and political dictates of the United States. Iraq’s anti-colonial legacy has created a political reality that prohibits the country from becoming like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia–an out-and-out dependency on U.S. imperialism. That is the real reason that the U.S. government fears a complete disengagement from Iraq and an end to its military occupation.

3
Israel’s Siege of Gaza remains in place, with the full backing of Washington. The U.S. government has continued to fund Israel’s war and blockade against the people of Gaza. The Pentagon provided the funding, and technical and logistical support for the establishment of the Israeli war machine, including its massive cluster and white phosphorous bomb arsenal, and the country’s large cache of nuclear bombs.

4
The new Justice Department has announced that it will continue the policy of renditions, meaning the CIA and Pentagon will capture and kidnap individuals anywhere in the world and transfer them to other countries. “The Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.” (LA Times, Feb. 1, 2009)

5
The new administration has stepped up the air strikes that are killing an increasingly large number of Pakistani civilians. Unmanned drone bombing attacks violate Pakistani sovereignty and are creating an ocean of resentment and anger inside of Pakistan. The U.S. government has no right to carry out these drone bombing strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The people of the United States would not accept the legitimacy of other governments ordering air attacks in the United States. We must openly and loudly reject such tactics by the government that speaks in our name and spends our tax dollars for such aggression.

6
The real Pentagon war budget is over $1.3 trillion annually. This is greater than the combined total of most of the other countries in the world, including all the NATO countries, and Russia and China. Some label this “waste spending” because it spends precious resources to build exotic and high cost weapons, a new generation of nuclear weapons, and space-based war fighting capabilities, while filling the coffers of the big investors (i.e., the biggest banks) in the war corporations. Pentagon contracting is often based on guaranteed “cost-plus” contracts that reward price gouging since corporate profit is based on a fixed percentage above their expenses. Another label for this process is “extreme corruption” and theft from the public treasury.

7
More than 20 million people are now unemployed and under-employed. Nine million families are either in foreclosure or are at risk of foreclosure this year, according to the statistics just released by the government. Forty-seven million people are without health care. College tuition hikes are soaring and millions of students are at risk of being forced out of school. The people want change. They don’t want a simple tweaking of Bush’s criminal foreign policies. They want to put people’s needs before corporate greed. They want an end to wars of aggression that are wreaking havoc, death and destruction abroad, and diverting urgently needed resources in the service of semi-colonialism and Empire.

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.

Can Russians do worse than US soldiers?

I’m listening right now to live alarmist coverage of Russia’s occupation of Georgia. Embeds are reporting to analysts about the panicked Georgians, about forced labor, and about marauding Russian soldiers committing atrocities. A cease fire has been signed, and though we don’t hear any gunfire, American leaders and media hounds are blustering about the Russian disproportionate use of force. When did our DoD decide to recognize that war crime?

It’s only been a few days that the Russians have been tasked with restoring order in the belligerent Georgia. They’re making Georgians help clean the streets and they’re destroying the military facilities which the US-advised Georgian forces just used in their attempt to seize South Ossetia. I’m poised to hear Belgian/Kuwait atrocity fabrications as our talking heads try to prompt Americans to “do something.” The Russian move is being likened to Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, where Americans can have nothing but regret about not having acted to repulse the Soviets.

But we Americans know something about occupations now don’t we? How misbehaved have the Russians been? Are we hearing about Russian Predator Drones zapping unsuspecting civilians? Are we hearing of Russian snipers shooting everything that moves, including toddlers in their back yards? Are we hearing about cars and buses being strafed to a halt at improvised Russian checkpoints? Are Georgian ambulances being shot by helicopters?

Save Congo

A spin off group from Human Rights Watch reports that over 2,000 women were reported raped in one province of East Congo alone. Over 2,000 raped last month in Congo’s east -report In Kivu, there are over 1,000,000 refugees from the war there, and the United Nations and African Union have already arrived, implemented a peace treaty under their direction, and yet the bloodshed goes on.

Who brokered this deal? Why it was the European Union, the United States, the African Union, and the United Nations. See DR Congo: Peace Process Fragile, Civilians at Risk This is the same sort of ‘response’ that the group Save Darfur has called for in Darfur, Sudan, so it is instructive to see the failure of these military responses from imperialist countries located outside of Africa, in yet another locale, East Congo. Military solutions even while disguised as ‘humanitarian interventions’ under the direction of the UN are prescriptions for failure, and East Congo underlines this.

The United Nations is completely under the control of the United States and its gang of allies, and none of them are willing to take the steps to actually help any African country out. Instead, the name of the game for them is CONTROL. We need to Save Congo, as well as Save Darfur. The only way we are ever going to do it is to break the military control that the US and Europeans use to strangle the African continent. It is truly a tragic situation, and the solution must come in form of releasing the control of imperialism on the region, not increasing it by calling for troops to be sent in.

As a side note, the issue of women being raped in Darfur is one of the big drawing cards for emotional responses to do something that the Save Darfur groups always make. Where are they though when it comes to the Congo conflict?

It seems that their focus on rape is as selective as can be, and is reminsicent of when Americans became concerned about babies in Kuwait which they once used to justify the beginning of the US assaults on Iraq. Women are being raped in Darfur, so the imperialist knights must rush in to save them! But we have the knights in place in East Congo, and women are still being raped. Go figure?

Today US government is now set to declare war on Sudan

Darfur
The US and French have moved their troops into Chad and Darfur (around 10,000 UN troops are there now) and this weekend the US is set to use the United Nations once again to set up a war against yet another sovereign nation!

In a crime scene that is reminiscent of how the US government once gave Saddam Hussein the go ahead and permission to attack Kuwait and then later used this Iraqi attack as an excuse to attack Iraq itself, the US is planning to use Sudan’s permission to allow UN troops into Darfur as its beachhead in furthering its attack on the country of Sudan as a whole. President Bashir of Sudan will be accused of war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor in a day or two ahead.

This is what the pro-war ‘Save Darfur’ campaign has wanted all along, to give liberal ideological support for US- Euroepan aggression behind a cloud of ‘humanitarian’ interventionist rhetoric. They have succeeded in their goal 100% but have not succeeded in doing anything other than bringing another disguised US occupation to yet another African country. Instead of helping save Somalia, they have helped enslave Sudan.

We cannot be sure exactly how this coming declaration of US war on Sudan will unfold? What can be known with certainty is, that the US criminalization of another official enemy head of state in their ‘international’ kangaroo court can only be nothing more nor less than a US declaration of war on Sudan’s government.

None of this is for any benefit to the people of Darfur themselves, just like using the Kurds in Iraq has done nothing much to help out the Kurdish nation as a whole. Newsweek in their July commentary DARFUR-A Thin Coat of Blue More than six months after the United Nations formed a peacekeeping force in Darfur, little has happened on the ground gave an honest accounting of what UN troops in Darfur has meant to the people there. Instead of helpers, the area are getting nothing more than US mercenary pawns in the US government’s grand plan of obtaining total global control for its well established Empire.

The US antiwar movement is totally unprepared to today honestly analyze how their own stupidity and national jingoistic mindset has helped get its own government into yet more of African territory. It is a very sad situation. We should never promote ‘humanitarian interventionism’ when our own government is nothing more than just pirates and gangsters. To do so as many ‘peace’ activists did is criminal.

The contractors losing people in Iraq

We’ve all heard of Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, Custer Battles et al. Who are the other contractor / profiteer / mercenaries in Iraq? Here’s a partial list, sorted by most recent fatality.

Prolog Middle East, Wackenhut Services, Tetra Tech EC, DynCorp International, Armor-Group, L-3 Communications, Erinys International, Aegis Defence Services, CSS Global, BLP International, Odebrecht, Unity Resources Group, National Democratic Institute, The Sandi Group, Blue Hackle, Securiforce International, ECCI, Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group Inc, The Olive Group, Falcon Security, Lear Siegler Inc, EOD Technology, Inc., Cochise Consultancy, Inc., AIM Group, MPRI, Tetra Tech, Genric, SOC-SMG, Hart Security Company, Torres International, Danubia Global Incorporated, Kroll Incorporated, MVM Inc., Triple Canopy, Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc, Titan Corp, GRS Security, Control Risks Group, USA Environmental Inc., Lloyd-Owen International, CTU Consulting, Kuwaiti company, Edinburgh Risk Inc, Qatar International Trading Company, Janusian Security Risk Management., Steele Foundation, Bearing Point, Inc., CLI USA, Global Risk Strategies Limited, Taehwa Electric Co, Gorkha Manpower Company, Eurodelta d.o.o, Omega Risk Solutions, Gulf Services Co., MayDay Supply, Morning Star Co., Soufan Engineering, Siemens, Ulasli Oil Company, Bilintur, Al Tamimi group, InterEnergoServis, United Defense Industries, Readiness Mgmt. Svcs., Johnson Controls, Gana General Trading Co., Al-Atheer, Granite Services, Inc., General Electric, Titan National Security Solutions, Environmental Chemical Corp. International, Control Risks Group, Yuksel Construction, Prime Projects International, Meteoric Tactical Solutions, Bidepa, SOMAT, Chemoprojekt, Ensto Utility Networks, Air-Ix, SAS International, Ultra Services.Irex Corp., Omu Electric Co., Washington Group, Proactive Communications Inc, ToiFor Kft, IAP Worldwide Services, Sub-Surface Engineering, Bechtel, National Response Corp. of Long Island, Tetra Tech EC.

CENTCOM is central command of what?

Mecca in our talonsAs the invasion of Iraq progressed, I remember constant references to CENTCOM. Journalists would receive their briefings from CentCom, a tent in Kuwait by all appearances. I thought CentCom represented central military communications there, a safe spot behind our lines where generals could command artillery, logistics, etc.

Learning about the newly formed AFRICOM and the established EUROCOM, each beachhead assertions of US superpower control over world regions, I have to revisit US CENTRAL COMMAND for what it is, and its terribly telling dominion. Central? By the emblem I see you don’t mean the time zone. You are not talking about defense of the American Midwest. Do you really mean to refer to the Middle East, including its extended oil producing nations, as the center of your realms to command? I’d sooner concede to American ethnocentrism than to Judeo-Christian pre-occupation with Jerusalem, sooner than hold Mecca in the center cross-hairs of our bomb sights.

I’m happy to report there are currently no eager takers for Bush’s announced AFRICOM, command central for our extraction-industry ambitions on that continent.

After Bin Laden’s loudly felt complaint about the US unholy presence in Saudi Arabia, CENTCOM facilities had to be moved further from Mecca, to the crony dictator states of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE. The US Central Command assets include many military bases and undisclosed “weapon pre-positioning sites,” six of which have been revealed to be located in Israel.

Let’s not save those ‘damsels in distress’ in Muslim countries…OK?

One of the great US excuses for occupying Afghanistan with troops intermittently flowing forth from the neocon-controlled corporate press, was that American civilization was liberating Afghan women from their cruel men of the Taliban. It was a propaganda crumb thrown to church going liberals to try to appeal to their humanitarian interventionist tendencies. Save the Damsels in Distress… Holy Moly!

This ‘We Are Always the World’s Greatest Humanitarians’ argument was part of the package deal that came with the ‘Bringing Democracy’ to the Arabs’ routine. It was fed by previous routines about saving babies in Kuwait and stopping WOMD by Satan Saddam from being used against the poor Jews of Apartheid Israel, etc. and so on. These are long running themes by now in American ‘dialog’. We are a great people indeed!

In all of this, we Americans are supposed to see ourselves as saviours as we go about our daily business of allowing the corporate world to run amok in the world. Oh tax us more, please!

But here is another opinion about all of this spoon fed nonsense. A counter opinion. So how did it slip in?

From the Guardian: Muslim Women: Damsels in Distress?
The west should stop using the liberalization of Muslim women to justify its strategy of dominance by Soumaya Ghannoushi

Economic war on Sudan is not peace

Economic war against Darfur is not peace
Two more ideas for banners, to communicate why anyone would object to SAVE DARFUR and its lost boys.
Peace-keepers and no-fly zones equals military rule
Honestly. Look up SaveDarfur.org on Wikipedia. This is the same emotional pitch made to rally Americas to save Kuwait.
SaveDarfur is subterfuge to attack Islam and re-colonize Africa
In Afghanistan it was the Taliban creating orphans, and in Kuwait it was Iraqis stealing the incubators. In Belgium in 1916 Germans were said to be sticking babies on their bayonets and carrying severed fingers in their pockets as souvenirs.

Operation Quagmire, 1994

You know, the times come around and around and around… So this has been resurrected, I give you: Dick Cheney, advising NOT to invade Iraq.

Video Surfaces of Cheney, in 1994, Warning That An Invasion of Iraq Would Lead to ‘Quagmire’
By E&P Staff
Published: August 12, 2007 10:20 AM ET

NEW YORK It’s not the first time that citizen “investigative journalists” have uncovered some embarrassing, or telling, nugget from the past that apparently remained buried for years. But it has happened again with the posting of a now wildly popular video on YouTube that shows Dick Cheney explaining in 1994 that trying to take over Iraq would be a “bad idea” and lead to a “quagmire.”

The people who put it up come from a site called Grand Theft Country, the on-screen source appears to be the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and the date on the screen is April 15, 1994. That looks right, by the age of Cheney.

Posted on Friday, it had received over 100,000 hits by this morning, after being widely-linked around the Web. The transcript of this segment is below.

Cheney had helped direct the Gulf War for President George H.W. Bush. That effort was later criticized for not taking Baghdad and officials like Cheney had to explain why not, for years. Some have charged that this led to an overpowering desire to finish the job after Cheney became vice president in 2001.

Here is the transcript. The YouTube address is at the end.
*

Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because if we’d gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn’t have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it — eastern Iraq — the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families — it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.

Killbox circa Sinai Desert

Remains of the Egyptian Army in the Sinai Desert 1967
Does this scene of carnage look familiar to you? I thought it was the infamous Highway of Death where US airplanes destroyed the Iraqi convoys retreating from Kuwait in 1990. No, this was twenty three years earlier, in the Sinai Desert on the first day of the 1967 Six Day War.

The Egyptians had been threatening to attack Israel, even though they were completely outclassed by Israel’s military. However Israel seized the opportunity to launch a preemptive attack and decimated Egypt’s air force the first day, and Egypt’s ground forces the day after.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the six day war and the resultant occupation of Palestine. In describing the human cost of that war, I heard an Israeli representative explain that Israel lost 552 soldiers, “quite heavy losses for Israel, if you consider per capita.” And the Arab casualties? “Hard to say. Around 15,000 or so.” Does that kind of ratio appear familiar? Even the phrasing? The lack of interest certainly does.

License to kill non-combatants

When killing women and children was unpopularOn this anniversary of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, March 16, 1968, let’s remember a time when the American public was not rallying behind its soldiers as they murdered women and children in the conduct of modern warfare. We did not support the troops who shot civilians under orders, or wiped out entire communities. We did not sanction it as collateral damage, the killing we knew about.

Above is a poster from the First World War, where the Huns were demonized for their brutality. They didn’t have the current US license aparently. This was part of an enormous propaganda campaign to urge the American public to enter the war on the side of the British instead of the German. Much of the attrocities attributed to the Huns were actually contrived. The Rape of Belgium was much like the Rape of Kuwait. Talk of newborns pulled from incubators, tearfully recounted by the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s young daughter who had been stateside the whole time.

The new US attrocities in Iraq are documented, when there have been survivors. In a military town such as Colorado Springs, you can walk among the fatigue-wearing murderers. They’re not painted as red demons. You’re admonished to support them.

Is Iran Responsible, or the Bush family, for the destruction of Iraq?

The American media and government have begun a campaign to blame Iran for the chaos and destruction that now exists in Iraq. The storyline goes that all would be OK, but only if the Shia were to behave.

The US public is pretty damn ignorant of anything that goes on in the Middle East, always has been, and there are no signs on the horizon to make anybody think that this will ever change. However this new line of total bullshit from our imperialist misleaders really is too much to take, even by the most demented American Right Winger.

Last I heard the US has suffered less than 5,000 casualties in 2 wars with Iraq. The Iranians though, suffered 1,000,000 casualties and $350,000,000,000 dollars in losses due to a war started by Sunni run Iraq and its Sunni Arab allies, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1980. The US government of Ronald Reagan with George Bush Senior acting as the Dick Cheney of that era, solidly was behind the effort to ‘punish’ Iran for having overthrown the US backed despot, the Shah of Iran. Donald Rumsfeld, the Reagan and Bush emissary, was busy pumping Saddam’s hand in support late 1983, flat in the middle of that aggression against Iran.

In short, the Sunnis have screwed up Iraq for over 1/4 century now and screwed over Iran, too. And they could not have done the damage they did without the consistent complicity of the Bush family in support of that destruction. For more info (since they didn’t teach this history at your school), check out ‘Iraq Iran War’ over at wikipedia.

Scorched journalist policy

Shall we speculate as to who is killing journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan? (141 to date in Iraq.) Well, the who is documented, much of it labeled “friendly fire.” Shall we speculate about the why? Forgive me if it feels like I am connecting the dots with a crayon.
 
A recent documentary interviewed some Iraqi journalists about their inconsistent use of flack jackets. The journalists said they choose not to wear protection around fellow Iraqis because they don’t want to be mistaken for working for the occupiers. But walking beside American soldiers the journalists do wear flack jackets because they are fearful of being shot …by the Americans.

Witness to a crime
We’ve all seen it in the movies: the protagonist is accidental witness to a crime and becomes targeted by the perpetrator lest he live to testify. Or the victim begging for life, vowing in exchange not to go to the police. Both victim and criminal know it’s an offer the villain cannot risk.

Massacres usually intend to leave no survivors because the dead tell no tales. Countless war movies have depicted the war correspondent happening upon a war crime in progress, recognizing immediately that a “stray bullet” will be eminent.

Kill Boxes
We’ve learned over the course of two Gulf Wars that our military employs such tactics as “Kill Boxes” and “Free Fire Zones.” Both describe a similar US M.O.. The first is Air Force lingo for an area bounded by given coordinates inside of which everything is considered a target. The airmen are tasked with killing everybody in that box. They have the discretion not to shoot something, but they will be held responsible for whatever they leave, authorized as they were to annihilate all.

Photo shown across the world except in the USA renowned Kill Box in 1990 was the Highway of Death, where thousands of Iraqi soldiers fleeing from Kuwait were incinerated in their vehicles. (American viewers were spared the graphic images.)

The Hague Conventions forbid firing upon soldiers who are no longer attacking you. Even cowboys know you don’t shoot somebody in the back. Both the Hague and Geneva Conventions outlaw the indiscriminate killing of civilians and other non-combatants.

Free Fire Zones
Kill Boxes violate all international conventions. They are as illegal as the US Army’s Free Fire Zone in which soldiers are ordered to fire freely at “anything that moves.” Civilians are expected to know beforehand to get out of the way. They figure it out when our snipers begin popping their family members’ heads off in their gardens. IED detonations now trigger automatic Free Fire Zones around the radius of the blast. An American reputation for ruthless overkill now precedes us. As a result, when IEDs explode, Iraqis have learned to run for their lives. Our soldiers lie to themselves that the escaping figures must be responsible for the IED, and are thus combatants. American Humvees carry extra shovels to plant on the bodies of the slain civilians to paint them as bomb laying insurgents.

The US has deliberately shot civilians since the Korean War, though this has only recently been revealed. In No Gun Ri, entire masses of refuges were machine-gunned to prevent fighters from passing amongst them. This policy continued in Vietnam, the My Lai massacre being unique only for having been uncovered. In war, Collateral Damage has always been a tragic unintended consequence, but by no stretch of a JAG’s imagination can it be a sanctioned consequence.

Secret and Confidential
Let’s speculate here… If military manuals exist with instructions for Kill Boxes and Free Fire Zones which explicitly require the killing of civilians and non-combatants, how do you suppose the instructions read for dealing with uninvited members of the press? The US military seems quite preoccupied with how its actions appear in news broadcasts. How might US soldiers be instructed to deal with journalists who stumble upon the bodies and capture the unbecoming bloodshed with their cameras? We’ll find out someday when a witness survives.

How well is the war in Iraq going?

Finally there is unity! The war in Iraq is not going well for the United States so say the press, the politicians, Rumsfield, even. Oh the suffering amongst the British and Americans. They did not forsee the unfolding problems. If only the Iraqis would act normal!

It’s so bad they say, you think that the American government would be suing for peace? Cut in run, don’t cut and run? How do we get out of this unfolding disaster for our beloved country? So now we are awash in crocodile tears we are. Boohoohoo. Our poor suffering America. Yes, and the entire elite spectacle is so sickening it makes one want to vomit.

And, yes, this spectacle even includes our churchly ‘peace movement’. One group of kind people, the nuns. were rushing around Colorado last week to send canned goods to the soldiers and their families. And now, the CS pacifists are beginning a countdown. Tick-tock-tick-tock. Look what’s been done to our soldiers! We are nearing the magical 3,000 mark! Time to light some candles and pray.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Iraqis, too! Mention them at the press release for when the clock strikes 3. Don’t let it strike 4! We beg of you. One would open one’s mouth to say something to them about this sad approach, but for the fact that lighting a candle or two is a major ‘peace action’ for them. They’re in motion now! So better to remain mum so that at least the ten or fifteen of them get their pictures in The Gazette and Indy as concerned folk.

All this wailing and despair. Both Democrats and Republicans are creasing their brows with worry and cold sweat. We’ve lost Iraq they moan. It’s all going so wrong! It’s become like one big sorry soap opera. Oh the agony, and Oh the guilt. We tried to do good, but we failed. Why, oh why, oh why? Maybe it was them? Yes that’s it. The Arabs cannot be trained!

All this would be way comical if it weren’t so absolutely pathetic. First all, the start of wartime didn’t begin yesterday with Bush’s invasion of Iraq. It didn’t begin with 9/11. It didn’t even begin with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. So where do all these stupid calculations begin? The liberal churchgoing peacenics would have it all start with the number ZERO, and would have our time of great despair calculated now at 3,000. It’s very Biblical to do it that way, but it is utter nonsense. US foreign policy effecting Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq have killed millions. ‘We’ lost less than 3,000 US soldiers in this time, and all America begins to cry like babies! Jesus H. Christ! Talk about being absolutely self-centered? YES, our society definitely takes the cake!

All this hysteria proceeds from the previous nonsense we have been spoon fed. Stuff about WOMD, protecting the sovereign country of Kuwait, helping establish democracy in the Middle East, and so on for ad nauseum. Can our elderly still remember all the nonsense about what a supposedly remarkable man was the Shah of iran? I date myself here, because I certainly can. Time Magazine, and all the usual rest of the pornographic US press, loved the guy! The Shah was the world master of running a state torture regime, like the one that America’s top criminals now copy so fanatically. Back then, it was claimed in the US that he was a man ahead of his time. Oh such a teacher that Donald and his ilk had! The Shah. Oh shit! Ask the British and they will show you how it started all way before even then.

And then, the unfortunate takedown. This modern day American hero, the Shah, fell. Tears. Where did ‘we’ go wrong? Where did this modern leader go wrong? We need to arm Osama and gang to the tune of multi-billions, and make the Soviets have their own Vietnam. Osama the freedom fighter! We need to cook up a war with Iran to show them we wouldn’t let them get away with thumping our patron saint, The Shah. So America and its buddies, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia armed Saddam Hussein. Killed a million plus.

Fast forward to now. Where did Bush go wrong, The chimp? Boohoohoo. It’s a bloodbath. And we get the ‘debate’ of the press corp buffoons. Stay the course, or cut and run? Yeah, but how ’bout we all just throw up? This is not a real debate our elites are engaging in, just a charade. A country that allowed its elites to destroy the lives of millions in this stretch of ME alone, deserves to go bankrupt. And we are! Boohoohoo. How we suffer they say! We approach 3,000 of our own dead, in the midst of this shower of blood we have constructed for others, and all the press propaganda brigade can talk about is American trauma! Nauseating. The real trauma for America will come when the bill arrives in the mail, Chumps.

Let’s face it. The war is going rather well. There have been 2 main goals for Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Lockheed, and President Cheney. Max out the profits that can be financed from the public treasury. And control the oil. These pied pipers of the Democratic and Republican politician rats are not going to ‘cut and run’. From what? They’re looking to extend the war, are they not? And for good reason. The war in Iraq is going well for them. Why not take it further? Why not make it permanent war? After all these decades of killing, the local peacenics can’t even get it together enough to get 100 people out to pray and light candles. The Iraq War is going well for the war machine. Three thousand? Oh get real, please.

The war in Iraq is going well; there is no anger in the air. Only religious pacifist good will. Feliz Navidad. When people get angry, they will not light candles and meditate. And without real anger, the bloodbath will go on.

What is the purpose of the ‘War on Terrorism’, and when did it start?

When did this war start that is now called ‘The War on Terrorism’ and what is its purpose? The answers to both questions would seem rather simple and obvious to Americans, but on closer examination are not what would be most considered. Why the war on terrorism’s purpose is to stop attacks from terrorists on our country and the world, would certainly be the most common reply. And the war started, of course, on September 11, 2001.

But are these 2 simple answers really the true answers here? And we really should ask yet a third question to get to the bottom of this issue. Is Osama bin Laden the original ‘terrorist’ that had the US government launch its ‘War on Terrorism’? Actually, the “War on Terrorism’ was launched by the US government on January 17, 1991. The terrorist then was considered to be Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq. His victim was considered to be not the United States, but the country of Kuwait that had just been occupied by the Iraqi military forces under the command of Hussein.

The war to stop terrorism was then labeled the ‘War to Liberate Kuwait’. To those Americans under 35 or so, this might be new history, of sorts. And to those under about 46, the decade plus before the launching of this war of liberation from Saddam Hussein, the ‘terrorist’, must seem like almost unknowable ancient history. So let’s review it some. Let’s review from February 11, 1979 (fall of the US backed Iranian dictator, the Shah of Iran) to February 7, 1990 (fall of the Soviet Union).

Pre “War on Terrorism’, the US favored the ‘terrorists world wide. They used them to fight 3 major proxy wars against their enemies. First off, the US spent billions that was sent to irregular forces who used the money to fund terrorist actions against the Soviet backed government of Afghanistan. This is where the US recruited Osama bin Laden and made him their ally. Second group of irregular recruits of terrorists was made in Central America, where the US funded terrroism against Nicaragua. Third use of terror by the Americans was when the US backed Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War, when Iraq attacked Iran. It was only when Hussein later attacked and occupied Kuwait, that the media campaign began to call his war making terrorism. Before then, the media remained totally silent about Hussein’s use of terrorism.

So why did the US go from making terrorism ( in the eighties) its strategy, to making its strategy the fight against ‘terrorism’ (in the nineties onwards), so to speak? That would have to be from the negative publicity that the US got from using terrorism repeatedly against Nicaragua. This put a bad mark against the US in international circles. So propagandists within the uS government began to react from trying to defend terrorists as being so-called ‘freedom fighters’, to themselves attacking the supposed ‘terrroism’ of others. The fight to ‘liberate the Kuwaits’ was what launched the US continual ‘War Against Terrorism’. Nobody under about 45 can remember much being said one way or the other about Kuwaitis. But those 45 and older can remember how America became suddenly bombarded about how supposedly virtuous the Kuwaitis were supposed to all be. Kuwait being raped by Saddam Hussein, the terrorist! Babies being thrown to the ground even!

I personally heard American after American who claimed to know a Kuwaiti or two. They all told of what a wonderful folk they were in the most graphic manner! In the Arab world, the Kuwaitis had horrible reputations. The Kuwait citizens were the mionority of the population in their own country, yet employed huge numbers of other Arabs from around the Middle East who they treated like slaves. The women of Kuwait had absolutely no rights what-so-ever. Yet, the American press began a gigantic propaganda campaign to ‘liberate Kuwait’ from the Iraqi ‘terrorist’, Hussein! That is the reason, that even today so many Americans believe that Saddam Hussein had some sort of role in the toppling of the World Trade Towers. The US launch of the ‘War Against Terrorism’ began with plans to ‘liberate Kuwait’, and continued with the let’s get Hussein campaign.

But George Bush Senior was a smart man. Who was he going to have as ‘terrorist’ foil if he actually caught Hussein? So Kuwait was ‘liberated’, but the most evil ‘terrorist’ was not caught. That unfortuantely left the Democrats as the leaders in the ‘fight against terrorism’ when Bush unexpectly did not make it a second term. But what to do since the victim of terroism, Kuwait, was already ‘liberated’? Could a new victim be found? Well, yes it was soon found. The victim was potential, as Hussein was claimed to be developing nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons! And of course, the potential victim could only be ourselves, us the poor US citizens, so the terrorist had to be stopped! Eight years of the ‘War Against Terrorism’ was then fought by Clinton and Gore against the people of Iraq, where hundreds of thousands weree killed by economic sanctions designed solely to stop the ‘terrorist’.

Now we know, all of that was the big lie. The Democrats actaully have the nerve to credit Bush Junior with lying about that! Takes some gall, it sure does. But with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, communists could no longer be the offical enemy, so ‘terrorism’ had to be it. The fall of the Soviet Union was over 10 years before 9/11, and Saddam Hussein was the big guy bad guy, before we ever began to think about Osama. Fast forward to now, where terrorists are all over, and all ephemeral.

We now know when the ‘War Against Terrorism’ started, but what has been the purpose? To stop terrorists from harming us? Why NO, that’s not it at all. To catch Osama? No, he has been killed already, more than likely. NO, the real purpose is to provide an official enemy that can camoflage 2 countries’ needs to steal from others. One Holy Land needs to steal land, and the other needs to steal oil. Together they have allied themselves to fight a continual conflict, that they now call, a “War Against Terrorism’. Even as it’s fought, we create yet more of the official enemy to fuel our production of war equipment. Oil and industry for us, and stolen land for our ally. That’s the purpose that makes our leaders march us like so many sheep, into this war against the shadows they create.

The ‘War Against Terrorism’ cannot be stopped, until the land is stolen, and the oil supplies are ours.

An Inconvenient Truth; Al Gore in the Balance

This last Friday I headed over to see a herd of well-fed liberals that rodeoed themselves into the Unitarian Church for a free showing of the film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. The corral was packed and after we were informed that a pastor was on the way from Denver to moralize to us later, the film began to roll. Another showing of ‘Al Gore, the Intellectual Politican’ was under way. Hey, it kinda of reminded me of the repeated US`showing of ‘Jimmy Carter, Born Again Liberal Christian’, too. Holy Mackeral. Why buy a used car from the other guys, when we got such a sincere team over at Slick’s Used Cars Emporium?

My daughter was one of about 5 church-like kids dragged into the Unitarian Church that evening. And she lasted only 30 minutes, and then I had to go. She had to go that is, since I actually kind of wanted to stay. The film had a ‘Don’t Feed the Bears’ ambience to it, that made me feel like I was watching a Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo Bear rerun from my youth. Plus, it had that feel of those professional ‘Why You Need to Join Your Local Union’ stuff the AFL-CIO occasionally puts out. But my daughter was demanding that I rent her some obscure foreign film from over at Toons Video instead of staying and watching more of the freebee.

So how the Hell can I review a film when I watched only 30 minutes of it? Easily. I have been watching Al Gore for much longer than just the 90 minutes the film lasts. Here is Mr Environmental Guru as I have seen him over the years.

1) Supported Poppy Bush’s so-called Desert Strom that resulted in the deployment of Depleted Uranium radioctivity across the region. It also led to further environmental catastrophe as Hussein retaliated by incinerating the oil refineries of Kuwait.

2) As VP, he later went on to head up an Adminstration that deliberately targeted Yugoslavia’s civilian infrastructure through a US bombing campaign. As a result, the Danube was totally polluted with highly toxic waste. He also supported 8 years more of continued bombing of Iraq during that time, which certainly did not improve the ecology already destroyed by US warmaking he had supported even when a Republican had been directing the effort.

3) He supported the invasion of Afghanistan, which has left entire regions there decimated by so-called ‘bunker busting’ weaponry. Hardly a major ‘green’ effort on the part of Gore.

4) Gore has sat quiet as Israel bombed a civilian installation in Lebanon, which is a country invaded with total Bush support and complicity. Result?… a tidal wave of petro pollution that is the worst spill ever experienced in the Eastern Meidterranean. It will take decades to repair the damage, yet ‘Green’ Al Gore is silent.

5) Al Gore holds large number of shares in Occidental Oil, the company that polluted the Love Canal in New York State. It is also a company heavily invested in Colombia where Gore has helped have tons of isecticide dropped onto rural areas under the guise of waging a Clinton made ‘drug war’. The company sold off its holdings from the area after their drilling in U’wa tribal lands came up negative. Despite U’wa protests against this drilling, the Gore family held its shares in the company. Too bad the U’wa’s note to Gore was not part of the movie.

We could go on, but why should anyone believe Al Gore is doing anything other than image restructuring for himself, and the Democratic Party? If you are depending on him to be pro-environmental, then I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. If you are depending on the Democratic Party to stop the Pentagon (which is the main danger to global environments), then you should have your head examined.

Senator McCain fake shining armor

Victim of Vietnamese 
Do we assume because John McCain suffered mistreatment at the hands of the Vietnamese, that he empathizes with victims of torture? By presenting a false alternative to Bush’s torture bill, McCain is showing he may just want payback.

 

I’m not so sure we should believe that McCain was grossly mistreated by the Vietnamese. When he was shot down he was assaulted by angry people that did physically attack him. He was already injured at that point from the fall of his aircraft though.

Why did they attack him when he came down? The answer seems rather obvious, but this assault hardly can be called torture. It was rage at the American criminal that had been napalming and bombing those ‘Gooks’ down below.

As to his later imprisonment? He claims he was beaten and kept in solitary at times. There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who have suffered these abuses and much worse within America’s own jails. Nobody talks about this even as it goes on massively today in US prisons. I think we all know that rape is an epidemic in US prisons, and is actively encouraged by authorities as a form of control and torture of prisoners. Has McCain ever opened his mouth about this? I think not. He certainly was never threatened with it at the ‘Hanoi Hilton’.

McCain’s debriefing by the US military was set to make it publicly appear as if the Vietnamese were torturing American POWs on a routine basis. The reason for this is that the US was systematically doing much worse to the Vietnamese they held, and a loud campaign of denunciation of supposed Vietnamese abuse of the few Americans they held was meant to take the spotlight off what the US military did in mass to its captives. Returning US GIs were encouraged to join into this campaign with their stories, many of which might well have been coached.

The Pentagon actively pushed US POWs to voice claims that they were grossly mistreated. It became a major industry on the propaganda front. To this day, it is an urban Right Wing myth that huge numbers of returning veterans were spit upon and assaulted by hippie protesters. And the campaign suoppsoedly to aid ‘America’s POw/MIA’ went on for decades, even when it became quite preposterous. No campaign for the victims of US atrocities in SE Asia was ever begun though.

Let’s face it, many people lie and then even begin to believe their own lies. During the first Gulf War, I can’t count the number of Right Wing Americans that claimed to know Kuwaitis. I think we need to take McCains’s claims of being tortured with a big grain… make that a big rock of salt. The verifiable evidence is slim that he was tortured, to say the least.

My father-in-law was tortured by police though. He later died from complications related to that torture. Remember the so-called ‘Operation Cooperation’? It launched the decades long so-called drug wars. My wife’s dad was caught up in the militarization of the US-Mexican Border, thrown in jail, and then tortured. Acid was dropped into his eyes.
As a result, he walked around half blind the rest of his life.

In contrast, McCain is running for president as a Right Wing Republican. I think he is just an asshole and not a torture victim at all. He looks just fine though a little heavy from fine dining.

McCain hardly seems like a torture victim. He’s just your typical Right Wing ex-US-soldier type that wants to be publicly hailed as a hero, even though his activities as an imperialist trooper were dispicable. I can think of a jillion other ‘victims’ of torture out there whose claims of abuse I would take much more seriously. His claims to be a ‘compassionate conservative’ aren’t much more believeable than Bush’s.

The Path to 9 11

In defense of ABC’s docudrama The Path to 9/11. Near the beginning, when the terrorists were taking responsibility for the 1993 WTC bombing, “Ramzi Youssef – Palestinian Terrorist” explained why they had done it: because of America’s military and economic support of Israel.

The subject of Israel and Palestine never came up again, and never came up at all on Ted Koppel’s counter-ABC-straw-man The Price of Security.

We’ve got our boot on Palestine’s windpipe, they’re flailing their arms hoping to dislodge us, and we declare a war on arm flailing. Our media runs through what options America has to be safe from arm-flailing without looking at our boots to let American citizens consider how we might tread the earth with more humanity.

The US and Israel, it’s hard to say who is the master of whom, are actively killing Palestinians in a genocidal program every bit as calculated as the Holocaust or the extermination of the Native Americans. The US supported the recent slaughter of Lebanese peoples, also considered by the international community as genocide.

The US accuses Syria or Iran of backing Hizb’Allah. Those links are sketchy compared to our sending weapons and aid to Israel and other false authorities in the Middle East. When Israel was stepping up its bombing Lebanon in advance of the nearing ceasefire, we had to speed our resupply of Cluster Bombs lest Israel run out of time to use them. The US arms and defends the self-proclaimed kings and sultans who amass great wealth from the sale of their countries’ oil while at the same time subjecting their peoples to abject poverty. Bin Laden opposed our propping up of the Saudis. Youssef decried our support of Israel in Palestine. Arabs have cause to reject US strong arm policies in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and of course Iraq. Muslims have very good reasons to reject US policy in Afghanistan, Indoneasia and the Philippines.

The least ABC could do in its mockudrama was to set the scene with the Muslim extremists’ motives, and that was it. Even though the rest of the program was re-edited because of the criticism, there followed closely law enforcement characters endlessly lamenting they needed authority for warrantless searches, domestic eavesdropping and inter-departmental information sharing. Filipino police were depicted heroically for not waiting for warrants, female border agents were lauded for using their intuitive -read racial- profiling, suggestions were made of an FBI coverup, even that Clinton’s people were helping Osama.

The irrationality-mongering was so egregious it would take forever to enumerate. The good news is that the Stephen Bochco style shaky camera, the endlessly tight closeups, the jump cuts unto incongruous details lacking context, and the frenetic action going every direction, serve really like an alarm bell going off next to your ear. It’s not conducive to critical thinking, but it’s also painfully and obviously contrived.

I draw one fundamental conclusion. The 9/11 truth seekers have been right all along. We must diffuse the 9/11 lie because the establishment yahoos, both Republican and Democrats, plan to ride this vile deception as long as they can.

By comparison, Ted Koppel’s sombre contemplative piece was full of verbal obfuscation. Koppel began his report with “by now every adult in America knows what happened on 9/11.” What an innocuous way to brush aside the fact that what happened is known, yes, and disputed! His language got no clearer as the program progressed. Lots of “clearly” this, when of course it very clearly could be unclear.

Koppel asked critical questions of such criminals as the author of the latest definition of torture and the commander of Gitmo who declined to admit that detainees had ever been tortured, but Koppel let Bush cabinet officials off with softballs and setups. Koppel let Tom Ridge appear thoughtful as to hold a mirror to himself asking what America is about, he let effete Senator Hays tell everyone that nuclear bombs can be made from items purchased at Home Depot, and Koppel let an NSA software developer appear pro-civil liberties by rejecting racial-profiling. His solution? Eavesdrop on everybody.

By assuming the role of white knight, Ted Koppel is really an effective mouthpiece for the Time-Warner machine, a major player in upholding corporate dominance. What do you think of his “point well taken” technique? As if his smilingly elusive subjects have just trumped him with something other than a quacking canard!

The good news about Koppel on Discovery is that we got a close look at the Bush operatives. They are in charge, yes, and they benefit from being presented by a charming, deep voiced newsman, but didn’t you recognize Larry, Moe and Curly right down to the haircuts? These guys are dopes! In morals, self-reflection and speech. It makes me giddy to contemplate because it’s not going to take much thinking power to take them down. Call me gullible, call me idealistic. It’ll take effort, determination and sacrifice, but it won’t take nucular-chemical-rocket science.

Short term life expectancy

This week 1,500 Army reservists from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division are being ordered from Kuwait to join the embattled Marines in Iraq’s Anbar province. Their commander General Casey assured us this deployment will be short-term. “Definitely short-term” he reiterated.
 
With casualty rates so high, is the general’s confidence based on the soldier’s probable life expectancy?