Hey Mike!

After last week, it seemed this entry would be a pep talk for disheartened Colorado Springs Occupiers. Instead it seems it will need to be my own mind meandering around in an attempt to make sense of the new dynamic rising from the ashes of the original manifestation we had going here, which has surely been destroyed. It feels something like a kids cabin make of Lincoln Logs or something after he knocks it over to build something else.

It’s been over a week since the City shut our permit down and confiscated our ramshackle, wind-ragged tents down at Acacia Park. After a few days of curious and somewhat disconcerting quiet, Occupiers in Colorado Springs are reconnected, reinvigorated, and in many cases really pissed off. Yesterday a contingency of us made our way to the old Venetucci Farm south of CSprings to harass Colorado’s Gov. Hickenlooper at the groundbreaking ceremony for a solar garden project of the city’s publicly owned utilities company. About 20 Occupiers of Colorado Springs mic-checked the governor and briefly disrupted the speechifying before a group that was made largely of Occupy’s natural allies, raising the ire of some attendees, but most assuredly reminding Hickenlooper that he won’t be allowed to ignore the movement simply by leaving Denver.

Some Occupiers present , including i, were ambivalent about our project. Hickenlooper is something of a liberal darling, having supported projects like the SunShare solar garden in the past, and the crowd at the event was populated by many of Colorado Springs’s “liberal” elite. The business of interrupting at these proceedings is a little sticky, and may have cost some in support for Occupy among this crowd. On the other hand, some of the issues addressed by Occupy were aptly illustrated within the very brief span of our attendance. Jerry Forte, who wrangles close to $300,000 a year for himself without considering bonuses as CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities, spent a few smooth-talking minutes going on about how cool the city’s utility non-profit is, noting the great advance the two or three dozen solar panels undergoing installation at Venetucci Farm toward his goal of deriving 20% of city power from renewable resources by 2020 represents. Gee whiz! At today’s use rates, by 2020, the world’s inhabitants, especially in the U.S., will be stabbing one another over firewood if we can survive the toxic byproducts of the petroleum industry, or the potentially nuclear wars we are preparing for our next trick in the Middle East. Hmm–wonder what gas prices will look like if the Levant and its environs are sealed under a “sea of glass.”

Forte also sits on the board at the local branch of the United Way, where Bob Holmes’s Homeward Pikes Peak brought in around $650,000 last year, and still can’t figure out how to house or manage the low-ball ,(and variable), estimate of around 1,100 homeless residents in Colorado Springs. Hickenlooper, a million dollar winner in the American sweepstakes who loves to project an aw-shucks, up-by-the-bootstrap, populist kind of image came to his ability to start restaurant empires via the petroleum industry. He presides over a state that panders shamelessly to the U.S. military and its attendant industrial complex, both of which entities these days seem to be no more than acquisition arms of the energy and financial elite about which you may have heard Occupiers railing in recent months. Mike Hannigan of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation was there, and i’m sure he was butt-hurt by the Occupiers implication by their mere presence that his organization might be elitist or something. The CC student i spoke with on the way off the farm grounds was perplexed and hurt herself, expressing solidarity with Occupy, but begging that we not “do it again, ” referring to our admittedly rather obnoxious interruption. She will likely go on from CC to join the cultured pseudo-liberal aristocracy of our guilt-laden Western catechism spinning its wheels till the Apocalypse. Hannigan manages some $50m in assets, and to be sure the foundation does some good work, but all the back-slapping and genteel coffee-sipping over a couple of ultimately meaningless solar panels sure feels a lot like John Rockefeller’s habit of passing out dimes to street urchins late in his life.

I am not accusing Hannigan, Forte, or others of comparability with Rockefeller, who made his initial fortune by arson and murder. Consider this, though. No one seems interested in whether the numbers in the mix add up to anything substantive or not. None of the serious players mentioned above have ever questioned the 1,000% spread between some of the salaries involved at CS Utilities, and when and if they do it’s generally to argue that we have to pay such ridiculous amounts to attract the “best and the brightest,” even though recent history shows plainly enough that it’s painfully obvious huge salaries hardly translate into top performance. No one scratches his head over the disconnect between the high-minded goal of CS Utilities for 20% renewable energy within minutes of the utter collapse of projected petroleum reserves. And aren’t we Americans, including especially those of us with the clout big money wields, responsible for our own politics? Are we really a bastion of freedom and intelligent, realistically utilitarian process or is all that rhetoric just a roll of dimes to cover up our guilt every time we go down to Wal-Mart to perpetuate our slave economy, without which we have never lived? What’s the disparity between Forte’s salary and the annual income of the guy that made his spiffy shoes?

Occupiers love solar projects. But nothing’s ever about just one thing, and it seems to me it’s about as rarely mostly about the thing at the top of the presentation program. We Occupiers are often accused of stupidly purveying no solid agenda. it may be apparent that at least my Occupy agenda is complicated. The above connects Big Oil, Third World labor, charitable impulse, income disparity, under-girding Western guilt, competitive job markets, and spiritual malaise, among other things, including much that remains implied. Many Occupiers i have met personally are still perturbed at the scanty portion of the American Pie they find available on their own plate. We’ve brought this whole scenario upon ourselves, though, and the current program will remain fully unsustainable whether the polite society of charity in the Pikes Peak region dismisses us over our antics or not. That’s why Occupy in general will be not so easily dislodged from its place in history.

The bitch about saying all this is i really, really like most of the people i recognized at Venetucci Farms yesterday. I like Americans in general–but man, we’ve got problems, just like the homeless guys Bob Holmes and his philosophical brethren like to try to control all the time. When i talk to those guys in line at the soup kitchen, i tell them, “Man, ya really ought to leave that dope alone a little.” They know me, and they know i love them. Really. I do–and really, they know it. They know they’re fucked up, too. Sometimes i’ll tell the most torn down that they need to leave the dope alone completely, before it kills them. That’s what i’m saying about our society here in Colorado Springs, in Colorado, the U.S.A., and the whole world. I really don’t have a beef with the bankers, politicians, and half-assed, dime-roll charities of the world, or the foolish scrabblers grasping at the American Nightmare. They’re working a system designed by haphazard evolutionary processes to favor ruthless competition. But i am saying that we need to get serious about fixing all these interwoven problems that stem from deep down in human souls, because we’re running out of time. If we lose, and everything goes to Hell in a handbasket, if none of us learn a genuinely cooperative technique for living together with ourselves, and with the Earth before she rejects us, we Occupiers will be able to tell our kids we fought the deadly processes that brought us down with everything at our disposal. Even if it’s with our dying breaths. What will those of us that insist on competing our species to death be telling theirs?

Occupy is not going away, here in Colorado Springs, or anywhere else. We’re planning more and escalating prodding at the fat, lazy system and its symbiotic remorae. We hope the World listens closely to what we’re saying and its members genuinely look inward to find that bit of truth that remains, concealed behind layers of self-deception and avarice. Because, sure, we’re pissed off about injustice–who wouldn’t be? But we also really like humans, and other living things, and we don’t want to see them all go away.

Demonic DIA mustang Blucifer may be Bronco Blue, but eyes are Herring Red

Bluecifer, Satan's Steed, the Demon StallionThe conspiracy theories deepen about cruel oddities at Denver International Airport, and much of the conjecture is now being scuttled with classic disinformation. Questions are substantive enough about DIA construction anomalies, without worrying about Blucifer the red-eyed stallion, his Egyptian pal Anubis, gargoyle luggage gods, prophetic end-times murals, inward-facing concertina wire, tent canvas of pure Kevlar, and the dastardly Freemasons behind it all.

It’s supposed.

Conspiracy freaks delight in pretending the Masonic Order cannot help but leave triumphant clues about its omniscience. The eyeball pyramid on US paper currency would seem demonstration enough, but conspiracy sleuths nursed on Dan Brown eat that up. And the confusion disseminaters are pouring it on. Who am I to pooh-pooh any particulars, especially conspiracies, of themselves too often scurrilously maligned, except to suggest that the less symbolism-intensive speculation about DIA is plenty obvious, and operatic enough.

The fact that excavation continues at DIA, years after the facility became operative should raise eyebrows. How much excavation is required to build runways on a near-flat landscape? Has DIA really displaced so much earth it’s become a significant fraction of what was removed to carve the Panama Canal? Apparently satellite pictures reveal a growing mound to suggest the extent of cavernous facilities being dug under and around the DIA. The evocative white tents were always for the nomads, on the plains, white settlers needed dugouts.

Where easier to install secretive accommodations than under the everyday lock-down of a post-9/11 airport?

Would DIA serve as a massive underground concentration camp? Ask yourself if a many mile buffered isolation is necessary for that, on top of being underground, or vice-versa. Area 51 remains a mystery without having to comprise buried facilities. We’ve already seen that Superdomes smack in the middle of urban centers make perfectly inhumane detainment centers. Imagine too, the isolation of DIA, without a railway for incoming. The Nazi camps did not predate flight. There would have been no Auschwitz without a railroad line.

A far more obvious application would be as a shelter from the public outside, behind miles of no-man’s land, the single entrance easily closed off. Far from even prying eyes.

Underground shelters have historically been carved in bedrock, NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain as an example. Could a man-made hole ever surpass a mountain range for protection? But perhaps the New World Order has the atomic threat sewn up. The mushroom cloud may still be evoked to frighten the masses, but I’ll bet that all the nuclear arms across the globe are as secure as Israel’s Security Council veto. This DIA shelter may need only protect against biological agents or fallout from an environmental cataclysm.

Old-fashioned bomb shelters have suffered obsolescence due to ease-of-access. What safe-room will save you if you cannot get to it? NORAD only protected those already inside it. What do you do to protect far-flung clients in the age of Twitter-speed atmospheric percussions?

An oversized airport like DIA certainly answers that requirement. While Coloradans might grouse about the interminable drive to DIA, they might one day rue its impenetrability. Meanwhile the jet set will gain admission by simple default of having wings.

Nothing terribly complicated about that setup. If you belonged to the billionaires club, you’d think of a provision like that too. The A-bomb age already prepped Americans for the contingency that a nuclear war would necessitate saving the more important among us. What’s the objection now?

James J. Lee, caricature eco-vigilante, assails Discovery Channel offices, puts his money and life where his Malthus

The plus side of eco-vigilante James Lee’s Falling Down routine at the Discovery Channel headquarters is that viewers might be prompted to wonder what’s there to protest. Will the media paint the 43-year-old Lee as a kook, without addressing to what in particular the would- be superhero took offense? Maybe that the cable propagandists purport to inform as they dumb their national audiences to adolescence? No, it turns out Lee’s message is even less palatable, but made to order.

Why did James Lee want to task the Discovery Channel to “save the planet” instead of the major networks? Why Discovery, other than the peculiarity that some of their programs glorify large families, obviously a root cause of overpopulation and thus mankind’s disastrous impact on nature.

So far the reporting has avoided that line of question because it turns out James Lee’s crusade centers on a Malthusian epistemology not off limits to the MSM, in fact it’s right up Bilderberg Alley. Cries Lee:“All human procreation and farming must cease!” as he cites My Ishmael author Daniel Quinn for ideas of how to cut back food production to effect such a strategy.

Quinn’s 1992 “novel” received a one-of-a-kind 1/2 million dollar grant from Ted Turner, for its fearless anti-human prognosis. Which dovetails with the interests of another oligarch eugenicist of the Club of Rome ilk, Bill Gates, proponent of sterilization.

Cutting back on agriculture is no new idea. Genghis Khan had no use for agriculture. It supported city populations which threatened the open range. Modern times have restored the ultra rich who now seek to reestablish hunting grounds void of their subjects. No time like the present to prep the common man on the necessity of sacrificing oneself so that the sustainable few can survive.

What a golden opportunity to have a kook broach the subject, float the balloon so to speak, to set environmental do-gooders on the thought-path of rationalizing having to do themselves in.

The failed hostage-taker left a web page where he explained My Demands. My guess is that James Lee’s exclamation-point-ridden protestations remain unadulterated, a match for his ill-conceived and unpromising armed assault. Instead of elevating the debate, Lee has given America’s security agencies further excuse to demonize environmental activists as “terrorists” under the theme of The Green Scare.

The web page at savetheplanetprotest.com is reprinted below: “the demands and sayings of Lee.”

The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY:

1. The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s “My Ishmael” pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other’s inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!

2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.

3. All programs promoting War and the technology behind those must cease. There is no sense in advertising weapons of mass-destruction anymore. Instead, talk about ways to disassemble civilization and concentrate the message in finding SOLUTIONS to solving global military mechanized conflict. Again, solutions solutions instead of just repeating the same old wars with newer weapons. Also, keep out the fraudulent peace movements. They are liars and fakes and had no real intention of ending the wars. ALL OF THEM ARE FAKE! On one hand, they claim they want the wars to end, on the other, they are demanding the human population increase. World War II had 2 Billion humans and after that war, the people decided that tripling the population would assure peace. WTF??? STUPIDITY! MORE HUMANS EQUALS MORE WAR!

4. Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is. That, and all its disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed. Broadcast this message until the pollution in the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn’t, then get hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! It is the moral obligation of everyone living otherwise what good are they??

5. Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it. Call for people in the world to develop solutions to stop it completely and permanently. Find solutions FOR these countries so they stop sending their breeding populations to the US and the world to seek jobs and therefore breed more unwanted pollution babies. FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH! (The first world is feeding the population growth of the Third World and those human families are going to where the food is! They must stop procreating new humans looking for nonexistant jobs!)

6. Find solutions for Global Warming, Automotive pollution, International Trade, factory pollution, and the whole blasted human economy. Find ways so that people don’t build more housing pollution which destroys the environment to make way for more human filth! Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet!

7. Develop shows that mention the Malthusian sciences about how food production leads to the overpopulation of the Human race. Talk about Evolution. Talk about Malthus and Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people’s brains until they get it!!

8. Saving the Planet means saving what’s left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies! You’re the media, you can reach enough people. It’s your resposibility because you reach so many minds!!!

9. Develop shows that will correct and dismantle the dangerous US world economy. Find solutions for their disasterous Ponzi-Casino economy before they take the world to another nuclear war.

10. Stop all shows glorifying human birthing on all your channels and on TLC. Stop Future Weapons shows or replace the dialogue condemning the people behind these developments so that the shows become exposes rather than advertisements of Arms sales and development!

11. You’re also going to find solutions for unemployment and housing. All these unemployed people makes me think the US is headed toward more war.

Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture.

For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human’s lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease!

It is the responsiblity of everyone to preserve the planet they live on by not breeding any more children who will continue their filthy practices. Children represent FUTURE catastrophic pollution whereas their parents are current pollution. NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis. Even one child born in the US will use 30 to a thousand times more resources than a Third World child. It’s like a couple are having 30 babies even though it’s just one! If the US goes in this direction maybe other countries will too!

Also, war must be halted. Not because it’s morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. FIND SOLUTIONS JUST LIKE THE BOOK SAYS! Humans are supposed to be inventive. INVENT, DAMN YOU!!

The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans.

Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.

The humans? The planet does not need humans.

You MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation. Surely you MUST ALREADY KNOW this!

I want Discovery Communications to broadcast on their channels to the world their new program lineup and I want proof they are doing so. I want the new shows started by asking the public for inventive solution ideas to save the planet and the remaining wildlife on it.

These are the demands and sayings of Lee.

Thinking outside the bomb, in the box

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOMB is a clever antiwar appropriation of Taco Bell’s inventive twist, but since when does imitation break from a box? And does “the bomb” mean what it used to? By the look of their logo, the TOTB activists are not talking about the A-bomb, nor bunker-busters, nor smart-bombs, nor predator drones. Intentionally or not, TOTB they’re invoking the proverbial cartoon explosive, wielded by anarchists or other insurgents, the only means by which social uprisings have ever transcended the box.

“The bomb” was the feared Armageddon of the early nuclear age. More recently, “Food Not Bombs” conflates bombs with militarism because modern war-making, aka peace-keeping, is dominated by aerial bombing. Returning to “bomb” in the singular insinuates nukes, or the mutually-assured destructiveness of endlessly reciprocated violence. So let’s see the bomb depicted more as a nuclear warhead or an artillery shell.

Intrinsic to the plea for nonviolence is the determination to subdue the military instinct with transcendence. And when have proponents of nonviolence exerted jurisdiction over anyone but themselves? Lead by example they cry. We will defeat the barbarians by not becoming barbarians ourselves. Turn the other cheek, the meek shall inherit the earth. I rather suspect, quoth Camelot: “It’s not the earth the meek inherit, it’s the dirt.”

To warmongers I say: think. In of itself, thinking is outside the box enough for you. To peaceniks: exchanging the challenges of human reality for a spiritual realm, is a religious balm that dates to antiquity, about as inside the box as it gets.

Stop Jewish A-bomb. Say what? Whose?

barkat-stop-jewish-abomb-438DENVER- Barkat Protest. Tony’s sign proved effective right out of the bag. Tony had no sooner pulled it out when a pro-Israel organizer saw “STOP JEWISH A-BOMB” and immediately scolded Tony for his sloppy choice of words. “Your sloppiness reveals the anti-Semite you are.” We chased after him, demanding why it’s alright to say “Muslims” mustn’t have nukes.

Indeed, the Israeli lobby has become more careful to say in public that “Iran” must not have nuclear weapons. But not far behind that argument, is the rationale that radical Islam must not, and Muslims themselves cannot be trusted. According to Uzi Landau last week, Islam is the nemesis of our (yours and my) Judeo-Christian civilization.

Tony’s sign was designed to point at this hypocrisy. As well, of course, to remind all parties that Israel is a nuclear power. As much as it’s an alarmist about a nuclear Middle East, Israel possesses an estimated 200 nuclear warheads. But I didn’t expect the slogan to provoke the confession that a choice of words, Jewish versus Israel, Muslim versus Iran, was a mere matter of sloppiness. It is not.

For the most part, the crowd protesting Nir Barkat’s speech were on message. Barkat’s mission was to promote tourism to Jerusalem, and to rally the Jewish community to reverse the trend of Jews leaving his city. Those outside protested the demolition of Palestinian homes, and the building of new settlements. Some of the protesters were Palestinian, and all were pro-Palestinian. We were admonished for straying from the focus, in particular with our signs urging US OUT OF AFGHANISTAN.

Strangely, the counter-protesters supporting Barkat had a singular message, besides I HEART ISRAEL. It was about terrorism. Not just against Israel, but all terrorism. You’d not believe the signs borne by the pro-Israeli demonstrators: God bless US troops, Remember 9-11, Americans against Terrorism. They show up to support the Mayor of Jerusalem, but their message is about the Global War on Terrorism. I think it’s rather interesting to see Israel’s relationship to that meme authenticated by members of the Jewish community.

Inside, someone was able to unfold a sign which read “Barkat: Destroyer of Palestinian Homes” until quickly asked to conceal it. The questions for Nir Barkat posed by the moderator were mostly softballs. Barkat’s presentation was mostly to urge Jewish migration to Jerusalem, or at least, come for a visit.

(Work in progress: more by morning)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat addresses University of Denver audience

The international campaign to deny Iran the use of nuclear reactors

Nuclear energy whether we like it or not is seen by many countries as their way of becoming ‘energy independent’. Those countries that have already developed this technology are seen as being the movers and shakers around the world… don’t laugh! But there is a giant campaign across the world (centered in the US), not to do away with construction of their own nuclear reactors by those countries already having them, but to deny less developed countries entry into the world of the Imperial Order of Countries with nuclear reactors online already producing energy. There, the movement (centered in the US once again) is actually to expand the use of nuclear reactor produced energy.

Key to the idea of not allowing other less developed countries the right to develop their own technology, is the idea that they will copy the Big Powers and develop nuclear bombs out of them. Certainly there might be the temptation to do such, though most of these impoverished countries also have a big temptation to limit costs and move away from the expense of doing so. It is not an industry that they can profit on by selling to other countries, as the US did so with their own nuclear industry. Military development of nuclear power in the US was run in conjunction with the US based military industrial complex and its constant need to sell their products elsewhere than in the host country of development. Such a profitability is dubious in the case of North Korea or other like countries looking for energy development at a seemingly reasonable cost.

It cannot be assume that all countries trying to development nuclear energy are just looking for trouble and wanting to initiate a nuclear war. That was the case with the US but not necessarily the case with other countries national nuclear industries. The US developed its nuclear energy first to have the bomb, and only second to produce energy. It has used that development to build itself up as the world’s biggest threat to ever obtaining a peaceful world, too.

Iran is trying to develop nuclear energy and Israel sees that as threat to its own illegal actions against others. However, even if Iran were trying to develop an atomic bomb arsenal, the situation would not be even as bad as both Pakistan and India both having nuclear weapons and having already threatened to use them against each other. For half a century the ex Soviet Union and the US threatened each other with nuclear weapons, too, so it is certainly the epitome of hypocrisy to actually deny Iran a nuclear weapon if it were to be developing one. There are no world disarmament programs currently in place, are there?

However, there is much evidence that Iran is actually telling the truth about its nuclear programs, and to argue that point I defer to the Monthly Review commentary by Muhammad Sahimi, a USC professor of chemical engineering, titled Who’s Telling the Truth About Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Check it out and take a look at the pro-war lies of the American military machine once again. Truth is simply not part of Pentagon operation.

Colorado Springs Mayor Rivera’s garbage

garbage truckI have been going through Mayor Rivera’s garbage and have discovered that he is full of it! No, actually I found out about Mayor Rivera’s garbage by listening to him brag about his supposed Eco-credentials at the last City Council meeting. No kidding!

Here is Mr. Military-Industrial Chicano bragging publicly about how he is on-board the non-existent city recycling efforts! It was a pretty bizarre City Council gathering that day, and here is the gist of what our great mayor had to say…

He said that he is now fully recycling all his garbage because he had paid a $10 fee to one of the 10-15 local companies that pick up the garbage here in Colorado Springs, and that one of them now escorted his recyclables to be recycled for him. As a great personal model of eco-outstanding behavior Mayor Rivera wanted us all to now know that the City of Colorado Springs was fully onboard being GREEN! Clap, clap, clap… Applause, applause, applause…. (If you haven’t been to one of this pat-on-the-back City Council sessions you just don’t know what you were missing!)

Mayor Rivera, Mayor Rivera? There is just one small teeny-weenie problem here that I see. Like Duh! Duh? Have you or your military cohorts that run the City Government ever thought about how much waste there is in having multiple companies pick up the garbage in our Rah! Rah! military base camp area? Instead of one truck going down the street slowly and SAFELY picking up everybody’s garbage all at one time, we have multiple trucks belonging to multiple outfits racing around in duplicated circles picking up a can or two here and a can or two there. You preside over this sad state of eco-affairs, Dude. Comprende, Hombre?

Mayor Rivera has got to be one of the densest people I have ever met. A dense man for a dense town for a dense military base camp. That just seems to be Colorado Springs PERIOD though. Nobody challenges the Mayor and his team and nobody challenges the military love affair the City Council has going. It’s like watching Gomer Pyle when you go to their little Go Pentagon! cheerleading sessions.

Mayor, you got a lotta garbage flowing out your mouth, and any claim that the city is onboard being GREEN is just that. The sprawl in this city is a total disgrace, too. That comes from a run wild real estate industry allied with a run wild military officialdom in the area. You are their mayor and as such we just expect a lot of garbage from you, and please, you have already recycled it quite enough.

Colorado Springs is so nonGREEN, that the command center for nuclear war located in our metro limits just very well some day may toxify the entire planet. So, Mayor Rivera, go recycle that!

NO TO NATO Protest 2009

A No to NATO Protest 2009 is being organized in Strasbourg, France, but where is the US Antiwar Movement? A similar protest against NATO should and could be built on the same date in Washington DC at the Pentagon, so why does the American Antiwar Community always give NATO a free ride?

Look below at the organizing committee for the Strasbourg event and notice how the US antiwar Community is simply MIA. That’s very sad…

No to NATO Protest Saturday 4th April 2009 – Sunday 5th April 2009 Details to be confirmed…………………………………………..
A protest is being organised outside the NATO conference in Strasbourg, France marking the 60th anniversary of NATO.

Sixty years of NATO are enough. NATO is the main driving force behind global war. NATO stands for the missile defense system, military bases around the world, nuclear weapons and military interventions and expenditure. NATO is a rival to the UN and the system of international law, and it is intertwined with the European security and defense system. But NATO is not all-powerful, indeed it is under extreme pressure right now in Afghanistan.

Members of the open preparation committee for the protest at the 60th anniversary of NATO include:

Arielle Denis (Le Mouvement de la Paix, France)
Reiner Braun (IALANA, speaker of Cooperation for Peace, Germany)
Chris Nineham (Stop the War Coalition, UK)
Tobias Pflüger (MEP, IMI, Germany)
Thomas Magnusson (International Peace Bureau, Sweden)
Sotiris Kontogiannis (Stop the War Coalition, Greece)
Elaheh Rostami Povey (Stop the War Coalition, UK/Iran)
Peter Strutynski (Federal Committee Peace Council, Germany)

International Peace Bureau (IPB)
International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES)
International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA Europe)
War Resisters’ International
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Germany
Le Mouvement de la Paix, France
Stop the War Coalition, Great Britain
Stop the War Coalition, Greece
Cooperation for Peace, Germany
Federal Committee Peace Council, Germany

Further details of the NO TO NATO demonstration will be available shortly. To read a briefing on NATO’s expansion by Kate Hudson, the chair of CND, click here.

Harold Pinter on drama and US banditry

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

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

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

Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth & Politics

In 1958 I wrote the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

In each case I had no further information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But as they died, she must die too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who was the dead body?

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

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

Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?

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

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

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

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

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

‘Vigilant Shield ’09’? More like just scary and crazy…

putinPurely by coincidence, my daughter and I were out walking on a rather warm Colorado Springs night with our ‘PEACE” dog, Harriet. Little did we know???? As we walked under the stars Wednesday night, my daughter asked me what bright star was that high above Cheyenne Mountain? And I looked….

…and we looked… and we looked.

‘Heck, that’s no star at all’, I said. ‘but what is it?’

And the more we looked, the more we noticed that it was too bright to be either a star or a planet. And then we noticed another more faint light, kind of red light. Then we noticed that there was many more than just one or two unusual lights up there! And they were moving slow and creepy like!

‘What is this?, asked my daughter with increasing anger. I, having grown extremely accustomed to much military nonsense when she was several years younger watching the Navy pilot training play center over Corpus Christi Bay, plus many other similar glimpses at the over militarization of our country, I really did not get to emotional this night at the “Boys with Toys’, but my daughter kept getting angrier and angrier as she became aware that the entire sky seemed taken over by their UFOs. She was hardly calmed down by me mentioning that these flights by the UFOS seemed to slowly criss cross between Cheyenne Mountain, Peterson Air Force Base, and the Air Force Academy. What was going on?!!!! she wanted to know?

I told her that I had no idea what this was all about. However, today I have now learned that it was some sort of bullshit nuclear game role playing called ‘Vigilant Shield ’09’ kickoff from the NORAD bunker here in our fair city. In the olden days of my youth, I would have fallen to my knees, placed my hands behind my head, and stayed close to the floor. I guess the training for this has gotten rather cold now post former Soviet Union times and I did not even inform my daughter how to best protect herself from a nuclear bomb ala ’50s Red Scare days.

‘Cover Up, Honey! You don’t want to get radioactive or pulverized into vapor!’

Here is a good question? What Is NORTHCOM Up To? Let’s follow that by What is Braxton Technologies up to?

I don’t really feel much safer with this going on, and in fact it makes me think maybe Southern Argentina might be a safer place to live than Colorado Springs, which will be Ground Central for a Nuclear Holocaust? Do you feel safer now that Braxton Technologies and others like them are out there making a killing? If you do, then I’d like to know WHY? These fools seem to think that they actually can ‘win’ a nuclear war! More than just a bit scary… Our neighbors here in Colorado Springs are just plain scary and crazy both. 601st Air and Space Operations Center

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.

McCain won’t need on the job training, he’s almost dead in this election

beam me upThe funniest part of the debate was McCain saying that he won’t need any on the job training for being President unlike how Obama supposedly would. That’s right, John, clones of Bush/ Reagan do not need any on the job training at all. However, neither do clones of Clinton.

But how stupid could McCain get with using this line? People aren’t comparing Obama’s ‘experience’ as a political hack with that of Old Fart John, they are comparing Obama’s experience with that of Sarah Palin since they figure that such a decrepit tottering old fool probably won’t last his 4 year term. In fact, McCain looked so bad health wise in tonight’s debate that many folk will have trouble thinking that he could make it through even another year!

As to substance? Well there was little. Neither candidate had anything to say about the effects of deficit spending for the military plunging (that’s today’s Wall Street word) the world economy into the deep, yet they blabbed on about it for most of their time. And to the military and what wars to fight, Obama outflanked General McCain to the far right, saying that we must go aggressively into Pakistan and Afghanistan yet more than has already been done! He wants to invade Sudan, too, it seemingly appears. McCain says that Obama speaks big, but carries a small stick, where as with Viagra McCain it is the other way around. Hey, that’s differences for you!

Obama seemed to score a point or two on the theme of health care, simply because McCain’s approach was to say let the poor die in the streets and don’t bother business folk with such picayune affairs. Obama replied that he was not so eager to napalm the American public.

Who won the debate in this debate of losers? Why Obama did. McCain is too cloned from a one letter President who is sinking faster than Wall Street stocks. It’s the economy, W. Look for the gap between McCain and Obama to grow wider with John’s weak punches. The Republican campaign is now on life support and needs Cheney to start a nuclear war to possibly rally the flag waving public back into their camp of Fantasy. We’re on to new fantasies instead! Clintonism just turned Blacker! Oh joy!

The NATO tug of war

The US and Britain are pulling NATO in one direction and France and Germany seem increasingly rather reluctant to follow along. The US wants a NATO ready to start nuclear war with Russia and ready to dismember Pakistan’s national integrity, but the French and German governments don’t seem fully on board this imperialistic US game plan. They sit by silently in apparent disbelief, as the US also foments civil war in Ukraine.

As a result of this French and German discord with the US war drive, NATO has issued a comment or two that it will not participate in US destruction inside Pakistan. NATO says won’t take part in Pakistan raids And France and Germany have tried to bargain with Russia separate from the US about the Georgia/ US-Russian conflict, but without any real success.

Inside the US, we have seen no split in the unity of the ruling 2 parties in their apparently united desire to push conflict with Russia to the wire. We have seen not the faintest sign that there is any disagreement at all between the DP and RP over dragging Pakistan further into civil war pushed by outside forces, i.e. the US government. There has been no apparent Democratic Party response to Palin’s comments that she was ready to war with Russia. And the DP-voting bloggers have even gone along totally, too.

There is a clear US government drive to increase world conflict in order to establish yet more US hegemony across the planet. Americans as a whole seem utterly content with this at the moment, since they still see no price to pay that will involve themselves. Such a level of ignorance and stupidity is truly disheartening, and Americans will ultimately discover what a catastrophe they went along with as their leaders plotted and planned.

Palin ready to start nuclear war with Russia

nuclear explosion
And you thought she had been told to shut up by her handlers! Instead, Sarah Palin is running her mouth and spilling the beans about the real direction that Dick Cheney already has the country moving in, and with Democratic Party silence and acquiescence. And that is not to mention the silence of the Democratic Party tied down US antiwar movement, too. Shame on us for allowing this to go on without any response! Palin takes hardline on Russian aggression Silence is Death.

Russia is rejecting planned US war against Iran

onepeople_worldpeace_small.jpg As both US corporate political parties line up solidly to support a war with Iran, Russia’s rejection of Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia signifies that Russia is also firmly rejecting supporting the US government’s planned coming war against Iran. Most American’s do not realize that it is a Russian company that is building Iran’s nuclear plant, and in the wake of US-Georgian aggression against Russian interests in the Caucasus that the Russian government and this Russian company have reaffirmed that they will continue work on building this facility.

That, with Russia’s recent condemnation of US massacres of Afghan civilians signals a clear turn against continuing Russian backing for US occupations and wars against countries near to or on its southern borders. Russia and Iran have many years of mutual distrust, but US imperialism is now giving both countries good reason to abandon their traditional hostilities and ally together for mutual defense. Iranian Trump Card. Russia Can Take Control of Persian Gulf is an article that discusses some of the issues in this up and coming new alliance in the South of Asia.

Russia has no continued interest in openly supporting US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, which in fact they have been doing. The US government has moved to aggressively confront Russia militarily instead of mutual disarmament, and now the whole world is in danger of a world war developing because of this. The US is no longer just picking on defenseless and underarmed regimes, and we are being stupid in the US Antiwar Movement if we don’t take immediate actions to inform the general public about what its bipartisan government is doing together to destroy any future possibility of having world peace. The time to take action is now.

Putin accuses Georgian government attack of being part of McCain campaign

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the US of provoking the conflict in Georgia, possibly for domestic election purposes. Putin blames US for Georgia role Good luck, Vladimir, but not even God can revitalize Obama’s campaign at this point, not with Joe Biden on board. Besides, Barack and ‘Joe’ are just as much as trying to get a nuclear war going with you as the next ‘John’ is. Most of us Americans are too stupid to care about nuclar matters anyway.

US liberal radicals silent about ‘self determination’ now that South Ossetia and Abkhazia want it

One of the most aggravating things about American (and British) liberals has been how they consistently line up with the US government shouting ‘Self-Determination! Self Determination!’ every time the Pentagon uses some small nationality against another government.

When Australia wanted to split East Timor off of Indonesia, this was their shout. When the US and the Western Europeans wanted to carve up Greater Yugoslavia into nation-lets under their control this was their call. We hear their call again against China as the US government wants to use Tibet to propagandize for the Pentagon and against the Chinese. We hear it in Africa as they use the issue of the fighting in Darfur to move against Sudan.

Liberal radicals are always using the issue of ‘self determination’ to support US militarism while pretending to be doing the exact complete opposite. That is why their silence is so deafening now about keeping quiet about ‘self determination’ for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Apparently the liberal interventionist American Left is only for ‘self determination’ when the Pentagon calls for it? This is a sad illustration about the liberal Left’s own lack of self examination and their pro US nationalism and pro imperialism that hides behind liberal human rights rhetoric. Some even hide behind Marxism to justify what positions for the Pentagon they take!

What about the Ossetians? Once again the Libertarian Right is more honest than the pseudo Marxists and Left liberal ‘Progressive’ community is. They ask the question about the Ossetians when the phonys remain silent. While the pro Democratic Party liberals/radicals are out cheerleading Barack it is antiwar.com that keeps us informed about the dangerous buildup for war involving Russia and the US. And unfortunately, this constant misuse of the issue of ‘self determination’ in support of State Department propaganda is often used by many even to the Left of the Democratic Party, too. Shameful. But now they are all silent when it comes to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russia rejects NATO, refuses to be dismembered like Yugoslavia and Iraq

Bush fun house monkeyWhen the Russian Communist Party re-established capitalism in the former Soviet Union, its top misleaders at the time(including Putin) thought that the place that Russia would be granted in the new world disorder would be somewhat akin to the position that Germany, France, and Italy are granted by the US. These Russian top dogs thought that they would become the new capitalist politicos of capitalist junior partner national governments underneath the broad US Empire’s umbrella. Poor students of Lenin these guys were indeed.

Things started to look very sour as living standards plummeted everywhere in the fSU, not least of all in Russia itself. Then the US began to play off bits and pieces of the fSU against itself, kind of like they are now doing in Iraq. These sad sack formerSoviet Union leaders looked on sadly as they saw Yugoslavia dismembered piece by piece after piece. Divide and conquer, not assimilate and assist as they had rather simply believed would be the case.

Putin is now a leader of a bloc of politicians, generals, and other assorted big wigs in the new Russian capitalist state. They now have lost their previous delusions entirely. They correctly see that it was never meant to be that they would be offered integration into junior partnership with the US and its Western European Klan. The US-Brit kingdom wants only to turn Russia into a gigantic, but utterly divided colony to better plunder the natural resources there.

Russia has had its back against the wall and it has not been able to consolidate an alliance with India and China against the US Empire. The US has so far successfully managed to divide and play off these 3 countries against themselves. Russia is backed against a wall as the US occupies Iraq and Afghanistan and is set to do the same with Iran, and has moved the missile systems of US-NATO into forward positions everywhere. Russia knows that the US government thinks and wants that it can win a nuclear war against them, and has funded and worked to do so for the last 2 decades, not to mention the many decades when Russia was the core of the fSoviet Union.

Further the Russians know that the forces for Peace inside the US and its allied countries are weak, play stupid, and are largely ineffective barriers to the war drive of our governments. They cannot look to these forces as brakes on our own governments.

We are at a scary moment because Russia is starting to refuse to be pushed around any further, yet the thugs that head the US government up have convinced themselves they can bully Russia down all the more, and not less. They think that they can destroy ‘the enemy’, independent countries everywhere. and their arrogance can very well become the fall of us all…. the cause of a Nuclear Winter to go alongside with their overheated Global Warming they are preparing for us all anyway.

We could have stopped this point from arriving, but we dithered, dithered, and dithered doing nothing. Instead of building an Antiwar Movement we have turned over that turf to religious clowns who most of us ignore almost altogether. We further allowed the Democratic Party to posture themselves as our Saviors, when we all along have really known quite well that they were working hand in hand with the Republicans. We made up excuses for that.

Russia has just announced that it was no longer going to listen to NATO’s orders. They are tired of seeing defeat after defeat as they capitulated and capitulated to the US-NATO. Not one of our US politicians has stepped up to denounce the Bush Gang and US government for continuing to threaten violence against Russia. Not one! And hardly a citizen voice has been raised in opposition to the US government-NATO either.

It is a stupid road we have all chosen. Our voices were silent even as our government announced its plan to win a nuclear war against Russia. And to this day it continues to plan to do this, too, yet our mouths are closed and we all pretend it is not happening.

Meanwhile, all we can come up with is to do a circus sideshow event up in Denver for the media to air as infotainment. We have no focus at all until the very sec it all spins out of control. A sideshow circus of poor fools, with poor fools who hate us as spectators (thank you FOX-Murdoch Entertainment) outside with all the police Klan Klowns, and totally unheard by the foolish billionaires inside who will play bingo games with our ‘votes’. What a blast it might be? But Russia is not going to continue being led down the slaughter shoot to be done in no wonder what Carnival of Fools the US might continue to be. Russia has decided to take a stand now rather than later.

‘Missile shield’, or nuclear war weapon placement in Poland?

It is a sign of the Orwellian double speak of our imperialist capitalist Empire times, that a weapon to wage nuclear war with is now being called a ‘missile defence shield’. See Polish President Lech Kaczynski stressed the missile defence shield was purely a defensive system and not a threat Of course it is no such thing, but rather is instead weaponry designed to help win a nuclear war for a US Empire that is straining at its reins to fight one.

Seeing how the US has advanced its systems for waging nuclear war into being placed in The Czech Republic and Poland, it is easy to see why the former Soviet Union did what it did in Hungary in 1956. It invaded the small satellite country in Eastern Europe to militarily protect itself from an aggressive empire.

Russia today is a capitalist country but that has not stopped the US Empire from continuing to try to militarily dominate it. Like in 1956 Russia has to currently decide just how far it will allow an offensive military system designed to win a nuclear war against it to advance itself toward its borders? Georgia was their limit, and so is Ukraine. We have to ask ourselves though, why is our capitalist economy so intent on ‘winning’ a nuclear war? Is this written into our for-profit economic system? Ask yourself….?

Russia should no longer try to appease US/NATO imperialism

AtrocityRussia and China have been trying to stay out of the line of fire by appeasing the US/NATO drive for perpetual war, but it has not worked, will not work, and cannot work. Russia should not pull its troops out of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, areas considered by the US/NATO to be part of their new country of Georgia, which the US set up at the fall of the former Soviet Union. These regions are actually full of other nationalities other than just Georgians, and have absolutely no reason to be considered Georgian property at all by the rest of the world.

Further, the whole question of what exactly should be considered Georgia territory and what should be considered territory of other peoples is not the central question in this US versus Russia conflict. Much of the area surrounding the borders of Russia, as much of Russian territory itself, is a land where multi nationalities reside. This area of world territory lies far away from American territory and outside of the US, where our corporate dictatorship located in Washington DC now wants to dictate the fates of other peoples of the world.

The Pentagon and the US government that directs it is trying to position itself to win a world nuclear war that they might potentially decide to fight against Russia and/or China, and that’s really what this current flare up of US-Russian hostilities is actually about. The American people need to stop playing stupid about this and begin to more actively oppose the war drive of our government.

Russia should stand firm against this US sponsored aggression that began way before the last round in South Ossetia. It will not serve them or us to give in to the threats of the US government and NATO at this point, since every time in the past they have done so has simply just led to more bloodshed. Our corporate dictatorship in DC does not represent the interests of the American people, nor any peoples of the world today. It threatens us all with a future unlivable planet, and continual warfare on the road to that horrifying future for Planet Earth.

They Call Him “W” So He Can Spell It

Bush brings back nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis. Bush announced that he will be putting missile shield in Poland, Russia responds with threat of nuclear anhilation if Poland allows it. Putin isn’t stupid (like Bush is), he knows the US is bogged down in two senseless wars, and can’t do a damned thing, and NATO will likely collapse rather than follow the idiot W into a nuclear war with Russia.

This is what McCain thinks of Social Security.

John McCain for alzheimer’s patient.

McCain claims he created national “do not call” list, 2 years after it was actually announced by the FTC.

McCain campaign tool CNN suggests Obama is the Antichrist.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s notes Aug 16, thomasmc.com.

Poland, Ukraine and Georgia are three troops in US battle plan against Russia

MDAThe US is advancing its battle plans against Russia on multiple military fronts, with Georgia, Ukraine, and Poland being the most key ones. That is not to forget about US missile plans in The Czech Republic and the US manipulations in other tiny nation-lets now under at least partial US command, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. All this NATO-Pentagon joint buildup against Russia goes on under a virtual blackout of media coverage.
Shhhh…. says the corporate press. It’s not news you need to know.

Russia is vocally telling the US what it plans to do about this, and we should all be up in arms about the Pentagon game plans for conflict with Russia. Russia could strike Poland over U.S. shield: report But quite frankly, with all ‘resistance’ contained by the Democratic Party, Americans are basically a flock of passive sheep. Add to that, the antiwar movement under liberal church direction is now dead asleep.

What are you personally doing to help change all that? Oh, and does that ‘missile Defense Agency’ logo seem somewhat familiar? Head on over to Colorado Springs’ Schriever Air Force Base to see who’s goading on a possible nuclear war with Russia? You can see that logo there once again.

US government heads toward direct military engagement against Russia

The US government is moving toward direct military confrontation against Russia as Bush has directed the US military to begin shipping ‘aid’ to Georgia. The Pentagon has already been ferrying Georgian troops back into Georgia from out of Iraq, where they functioned as US mercenaries there in the US occupation of that country. Because of DC’s continued belligerence all over the globe and now its role in destroying South Ossetia’s capital, Russia has little choice other than to stand up to the current Bush Administration and draw the line hard and fast now, and doing that can lead to a nuclear showdown quite quickly.

The Democratic Party has an opportunity to veto this Republican begun war, but so far has remained utterly silent. Correct that. Actually some leading advisers to the DP also are pushing for further dangerous confrontation against Russia. I am talking about Zbigniew Brzezinski in special who is now a Barack Obama adviser. This infamous Cold Warrior who gave Osama bin Laden his start in Afghanistan is advocating more US government aggression against Russia, not less.

What do the latest Rice and Bush communiques signify? Bush orders aid to Georgia, Rice to visit Tbilisi One thing is for sure, and that is that George W. Bush and his neocons are a lot stupider, a lot looser with their power, and a lot more arrogant than John F. Kennedy ever was, and that spells trouble for us all. The Democratic Party’s passive acceptance of the Bush plan to continue attacking Russia is very disturbing.

Mao’s Chinese Revolution responsible for China’s fast capitalist growth today

Communist Revolution
Many Americans don’t like to think about it this way (or admit it), but without the Mao Zedong led Chinese Revolution, China would not be doing as well as it is today. Because of the Chinese Revolution, China was able to free itself from the domination and control of other nations, and this has led to today’s large and still growing Chinese economy and today’s relatively stable government.

As comparison, take the Indian sub-continent, which was in a better state than was China post World War II. Today, this region has been torn asunder into three separate countries, two of which almost had a nuclear war between themselves, and one of which today is pretty much directly under US thumb. Also, one of these three countries, Bangladesh is the country most likely to be flooded by global warming, and the entire Indian sub-continent region continues to be torn by multiple regional, ethnic, religious, caste, and sectarian strife.

China today is a power that has the recourses to partially stand up to the US superpower, that wants to make all subordinate to its own needs. Thank the Mao Zedong led Chinese Revolution for that. It is not a nation that is totally servile to the mainstream capitalist world structure.

One cannot make too many apologies for China’s ruling group though, as they have now turned away from having any planned economy at all after some absolutely horrendous actions of Mao Zedong post Chinese Revolution. We are talking mainly about the deadly so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’, which was a giant murderous step backward, an action that actually destroyed both culture and economy, as well as much innocent individual life. It was the first step in China’s current Counter Revolution towards the restoration of the brutality of Capitalism in that country.

Despite the advances in economic life made in China due to its relative freedom from imperialist control, the current capitalist future looks grim for the Chinese. Ecologically the economy is being marched down a dead end alley. Yet is that not the fate of the entire world under capitalist domination? We can only wish the Chinese the best in the years ahead. They deserve it after what their society has been through.

The Real Eisenhower

Did US President Eisenhower ‘warn’ us about the military industrial complex, or did he build the damn thing into a monster? Ira Chernus answers this question well in his commentary, Published on Tuesday, March 18, The Real Eisenhower: Planning to Win Nuclear War
 
It’s time to tell the truth about ‘Ike’. It’s time for a less delusional Peace Movement still tied to ‘Americana, ‘honoring the troops’ and the American flag, and ‘prayer’. Why hobble the movement with false idols like Eisenhower? Why hobble it with false history?